How to Make a Pocket Loom for Weaving

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Do you want to give weaving a try, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a fancy loom. You can make your own pocket loom out of mat board.   Weaving on a pocket loom is a fun and easy way to use up left over scrap yarn.  This loom makes a small bag that is the perfect size for a gift card!

Supplies:

  • Mat Board – I used one that was white on one side, and black on the other
  • Scissors
  • Straight Edge-I like to use a T-Square
  • Exacto Knife
  • Self-healing Mat or Stack of Newspaper
  • Pencil
  • Yarn
  • Tapestry Needle

Mark your mat board. We are going to cut a 3 by 6 inch rectangle. You can use a mat cutter if you have one. If you do not have a mat cutter, then you can use a straight edge and an Exacto knife.

Matboard Loom

Use a self-healing mat to protect your table.  Use your straight edge to maintain a straight line. Lightly score the mat board. Gently fold to help break apart the board. Mark the mat board board ¼ inch marks. Use Scissors to cut slits into the mat board both on the top and on the bottom.

Pocket Loom
Cut slits into the top and bottom of the mat board

Warping the Loom for the Bag

The warp is the vertical strands of yarn that you will be using to weave on.  Putting these treads onto a loom is referred to as warping the loom.  This bag is made by using both sides of the loom. You will be weaving around both sides of the loom to create a bag. One side of my loom has black background and the other has a white background. I chose to use crochet cotton for the warp.

How to Warp a Pocket Loom
Wrap the yarn around the loom so that you have yarn on both sides.
Wrap the yarn around both sides of the loom.

Warp the loom by wrapping your yarn around the mat board using the slits to hold the yarn in place. You will want to have an even number on one side and an odd number on the other. This is very important if you want to weave on both sides to get a bag you do not have to sew a seam on.  In the picture below Do you see how there are tow strands on the end.  If you need to then you can treat one of the town on that are in the same slot as one strand of yarn so that you have an even number to weave on one side and an odd number on the other.

Warped Loom

The Weft

The weft is the part of weaving that is horizontal to the warp.  I chose to use some of my corespun art yarn for the weft. If you are interested in starting to spin your own yarn, then check out my post about how to start spinning your own yarn without spending a fortune here.  I used a tapestry needle to weave the yarn. You want to alternate over and under each warp thread. When you get to the end of the first side, turn your loom over and start the other side. Make sure that you are continuing the over, under, over, under, sequence on the next side.

The Weft
I used corespun art yarn for the weft.
Weaving using a tapestry needle
Use a tapestry needle for the weft.
Use your fingers to press the weft down.
Art Yarn/Pocket Loom
Continue weaving until you have almost filled up the loom.
Weaving in ends.
Weave in ends.
Finishing with a hem stitch.

Finishing with a hem stitch keeps your weaving from unraveling.  There is an amazing tutorial on how to do a hem stitch by Purl Soho here.

When you complete the hem stitch then cut the strands off of the loom.
Slide the bag off of the loom.
Fold a little bit of the weaving down to sew a hem.
Gift Card Woven Bag DIY
You can add a draw string ribbon if you like.

I hope you will enjoy making and weaving on your own pocket loom.  Thank you for reading.  Please share on social media to help The Yarn Bucket grow!

Happy Weaving!

 

 

Vintage Patterns and Where to Find Them

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There is something magical about vintage patterns. Knitting or crocheting a vintage pattern is like looking through a window into the past. Imagine what life was like for the people who knitted or crocheted the patterns when they first came out. Some vintage treasures include socks for servicemen, vintage sweaters, crocheted tablecloths, keyhole scarves, and so much more! Most vintage patterns used a different knitting needle sizing system than we use today.  You can find a conversion chart from The Fiber Gypsy here.  I strongly recommend a gauge swatch for vintage patterns.  You can read my post on doing a gauge swatch here. Vintage sizes for clothing were also different than today’s sizes. I recommend reading Vintage Design Workshop: Knitting Techniques for Modern Style. This book is a must have for the vintage knitter.  It teaches you how to resize patterns so they fit you! There are a lot of places to find vintage patterns, and some of them are free!

The Internet: Digital Format

I love the internet!  Finding information is so much easier now than it used to be.  There are a lot of great resources for free knitting and crochet patterns online.  It’s great that they have been converted in to digital format so they can be preserved.

  1. Victoria and Albert Museum:  There are some great knitting patterns from the 1940s on this site! There is a sweater, a fatigue hat, a balaclava, gloves, a waist coat, and knitted turbans.
  2. The Vintage Pattern Files:  I am a huge fan of this site! It is a treasure trove of free vintage knitting and crochet patterns.
  3. Va-Voom Vintage with Brittany: This is one of my favorite blogs, and the first blog I started reading on a regular basis. Brittany offers some great free patterns.  Brittany has recreated some amazing vintage looks.
  4. Free Vintage Knitting: This site has a collection of free vintage patterns.  I am currently knitting the Little Scarf Pattern by Hilde Fuchs from 1953.  It was originally published in Stoles and Accessories by Hilde Volume 76.  It is a keyhole scarf and a delightful knit with crocheted beaded edging.  I haven’t decided if I am going to add the beads yet.
  5. All Free Knitting:   All Free Knitting has 18 Vintage Knitting Patterns from the 1950s!
  6. Vintage Purls: Vintage Purls has a lot of free patterns that are no longer covered by New Zealand’s copyright laws.
  7. Subversive Femme:  Has a lot of vintage knitting patterns.

Books and Magazines – Original Format

These are the real deal.  Magazines and books published decades ago are a treat!  I love looking at the beautiful patterns, and the retro hair styles.  Treat these carefully when you find them.  Some can be very fragile.  It’s a good idea to copy the pattern to carry in your yarn bag so that you don’t ruin the original.

  1. Yard Sales, Estate Sales, and Garage Sales:  These are great places to search for vintage treasures.  Sometimes you can find vintage knitting needles too.  I found a lot of vintage needles when I first started knitting at a church yard sale.  Jackpot!
  2. Second Hand Book Stores:  I always enjoy a trip to our local second hand book store.  Most books stores will separate their books into categories.
  3. Antique Stores:  In most antique stores there is usually at least one booth with knitting or crochet patterns.  It is a bit like a treasure hunt looking for the patterns.
  4. Relatives and Friends:  Get the word out that you are a knitter or crocheter looking for vintage patterns, they will find you!  I just had a cousin give me a giant box of vintage patterns yesterday.  I am looking forward to going though this box!
  5. The Internet:  You can order the “real” vintage publications online through sites like Ebay, Etsy, and Amazon.

Books:  Re-releases, Vintage Inspired, and Resources

There are some amazing current publications that have re-released vintage patterns.  Some of these are vintage inspired and have been written (or rewritten) to give you today’s sizes, and today’s needle sizes.

    1. Vintage Design Workshop: Knitting Techniques for Modern Style by Geraldine Warner: This book is a wonderful resource.  It teaches you how to resize patterns to fit.  It also teaches you how to knit different kinds of sleeves.  There is a section on how to make a modern pattern look vintage.
    2. A Stitch in Time v.1 by Jane Waller and Susan Crawford: There are 59 knitting and crochet patterns from 1920 to 1949 in this amazing book!
    3. A Stitch in Time v.2 by Susan Crawford:  This book has 80 patterns from 1930 to 1959!
    4. Knitting it Old School: 43 Vintage Inspired Patterns by Stitchy McYarnpants and Caro Sheridan:  A wonderful collection of vintage inspired patterns.
    5. Vogue Knitting Vintage Collection: Classic Knits from the 1930s-1960s by Trisha Malcolm:  Vogue needs no introduction in the world of fashion. This collection of classic vogue patterns showcases three decades of style.
    6. Lion Brand Yarn Vintage Styles for Today: More than 50 Patterns to Knit and Crochet by Nancy J. Thomas and Charlotte Quiggle:  I love when the yarn companies re-release patterns.  Lion Brand re-released some of their classic patterns and rewrote them for their newer yarns.  It is a fun book to flip through.  I knitted the Hug-Me-Tight Shrug in black.  A joy to knit.

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Retro Patterns
Vintage Knitting and Crochet Patterns