Pin Loom Weaving by Margaret Stump: Book Review

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It is a privilege to write a review of Pin Loom Weaving by Margaret Stump, published by Stackpole Books.  I have enjoyed weaving on hand-held looms since I first inherited one back in the 1980’s. Over the years my collection has grown to include many sizes of squares and rectangles.  Weaving on these looms is simple and fun.  It is also highly addictive.  You’ve been warned. Margaret Stump created the first comprehensive book on pin loom weaving. I have found it to be an invaluable resource for techniques, project ideas, clever 3-D designs, and creative inspiration. Pin Loom Weaving by Margaret Stump

Projects in the book make use of a wide variety of sizes of pin looms

It is refreshing to find a book with project ideas for more sizes than just the standard 4″ square loom.  The book even includes instructions for making your own looms, with templates in sizes: 2×2, 2×4, 4×4, 4×6, and 6×6. (Note: a correction for the 6×6 template can be found on the author’s blog, Pin Loom Weaving).  While many handmade looms rely on small nails (called “brads” or “lost head” nails) for the pins, Margaret Stump has come up with 2 alternatives that work much better and more closely mimic the diameter and shape of the original pin loom pins (with no heads to catch on the yarn). One is something called music wire and the other is the embroidery needles with the eyes snipped off. The instructions are written clearly with supporting photographs and detailed materials & tools list.

Loom Collection - Fiber Art Reflections

Here are some of the looms in my collection: 12″ square, 6″ square, 2″ square, 4″ x 6″ rectangle, 2″ x 4″ rectangle, 2″ x 6″ bookmark loom, 4″ square Zoom Loom, and the Lacis “Square” Looms kit.

Pin Loom Sources

Classic versions from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s can often be found on auction or craft websites like eBay, Etsy, ArtFire, etc., or at antiques stores and rummage sales. In the 90’s and early 00’s there was a company called Buxton Brooks that sold many different sizes under the brand name Weavette, and sometimes these pop up for sale as well. The Schacht Spindle Company, among others, sells the 4-inch square Zoom Loom. Handmade versions of pin and peg looms can be purchased from the following: U-Weave, Mielkes Fiber Arts, The Woolery, Hazel Rose, and CraftSanity. Use a Lacis “Square” Loom to create your own pin arrangements and loom sizes.

Basic Instructions, Weaving Patterns, Joining Techniques

Beginner’s will appreciate the inclusion of the basic wrapping & weaving instructions, done with easy-to-read color coded diagrams. Joining instructions include mattress stitch, double overcast stitch, single crochet method, and whip-stitched single crochet edges. To go beyond basic over & under weaving, several weaving patterns are included: Heart, Eight Rib, Crossroad, Triple-Rib, Five-Star, One-Star, and Six-Star.

Creative Inspiration

What I love most about any pattern book (whether it is for weaving, crocheting, lace making, knitting, felting, etc.) is the ability to inspire creativity and let me play with the question, “what if…”.   While I may not make a specific pattern from this book (or follow it to the letter) I have generated a lot of new ideas for projects.  For example, I may not make a set of farm animals (Chapter 5), but have learned much about creating 3-D items by reading through the instructions and experimenting. Her instructions for making a houndstooth pattern (page 73) are not something I have seen elsewhere. She uses it in making loons which are common here in Minnesota and are our state bird.  Hearing a loon’s cry on a still night, carrying across a northern Minnesotan lake is magical.  I love the little details she provides about how male and female adult loons look the same whereas male and female ducks are different from each other. These little asides are part of what makes reading this book a joy. I love the patterns for soft bowls and the stuffed hearts, too: Soft bowls from Pin Loom Weaving by Margaret StumpMargaret’s designs for board-game inspired blankets also got my creative juices going.  Jumping off of her examples for Checkers and Parcheesi, I plan to design a blanket that doubles as a bean bag tossing game, using stuffed squares and hearts as the tossing bags. Chapter 2 contains 13 different patterns for various bags, purses, and cases.  I am especially intrigued by the lined Crossbody Bag she designed: Cross body bag from Pin Loom Weaving by Margaret StumpTo see more examples from the book, check out this 17-page preview available at this link from Schacht Spindle: Excerpt Not all projects in the book may appeal to all pin-loom weavers, but the wide variety of patterns and ideas make this a wonderful resource. I highly recommend it! Table of Contents: Pin Loom Weaving by Margaret Stump Pin Loom Weaving by Margaret Stump

A review copy of this book was provided courtesy of Stackpole Books.

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