Playing at Being a Weaver

Playing at weaving - a first belt

I’ve been playing at being a weaver. Its not the same thing as being an actual weaver but it lets me get a glimpse into what that must be like. Its probably pretty fun to be a weaver. But I don’t think I’m going to be one.

I made a second bookmark on my… actually I’m not sure what to call this particular play-loom. I bought it a decade ago and have long since lost all the packaging it came with. If it had pegs I’d call it a peg loom. It might technically be a lap loom but its only 8 x 8 inches square.

small loom for handweaving

Whatever its called, I used it to make a second bookmark. Its far less cruddy than the first bookmark I had made and so I showed it off to pretty much everyone I know.

handwoven bookmark

Here is a generalized version of how the conversation went when I showed any friend my new bookmark:

Not Me: That’s so pretty! Did you make it?

Me: Yep.

Not Me: I love those colors. Its woven right?

Me: Yep. That’s weaving. 

Not Me: How long did it take to make this?

Me: Hours.

Not Me: .. really?

Me: Yep. 

Not Me: Well, its very pretty. (and then they handed it gently back to me)

I agree. I can crochet up a bookmark in ten minutes. So I think this is the last woven bookmark I’ll make. I’m not much of a weaver I guess. But… it would be nice to have a woven coaster, in white and black plaid don’t you think? So I warped the play-loom to get that ready and now its over in the corner waiting for me to come make my coaster.

small loom warped and ready

But I didn’t start on that right away because I have a second loom which is a few steps up in quality from the play-loom. Its a backstrap loom from Harrisville Designs that they market for kids who want to play at weaving. Kids like me.

Handweaving a camera strap on a backstrap loom

Its still a very simple loom. One end of the warp threads get tied off to the leg of my desk while all the other ends are held by that clamp in the foreground. Then there is a strap that goes around my back and I hold the loom out in front of me at tension while I weave. It only makes thin strips of weaving, like belts and camera straps. But it does has an actual ridged-heddle card to play with.

a ridged-heddle card for weaving

So now I have a handwoven camera strap.  I certainly got better as I went.

handwoven camera strap


But I do think that if I warped with all one (dark) color) and used a matching (dark) color for the weft and that weft was a bit puffy and fuzzy than I could weave a camera strap that didn’t show any mistakes at all. I think it should be in purple, don’t you? Me too. I just need to re-warp this baby. Then I’ll have a camera strap I can wear with pride and no one could see my mistakes, like they can with this one.

a handwoven camera strap


But how many camera straps does one woman need? If I wanted to make anything real, like a scarf, I’d have to buy a real loom. Like an Ashford KNITTERS loom (yes that’s what they call it). But I can make scarfs with needles and hooks if I want so why bother? I mean if I was going to be a real weaver, I’d need a 36 inch (at least) floor loom for $2000. And a room to put it in.

I’m not going to be doing that. So I guess I’m not going to be a weaver.

I’ll just buy the current issue of Hand Woven Magazine for my Nook instead. Its no where near $2000.

an issue of Hand Woven magazine on a Nook Color

And I only need that magazine because its the linen (i.e. flax) issue. I did spin my first successful flax yarn last year you know. Most of that is just siting in the yarn closet waiting for me to figure out what to do with it. I’m sure that flax yarn would make nice handkerchiefs or something. I just need to get a bit better at handweaving before I start with my limited supply of handspun flax.

But I don’t think I’ll be doing much weaving.






Unless I magically acquire a few grand and a new spare bedroom. Then I’ll totally take up weaving because its pretty fun. 


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12 Comments on "Playing at Being a Weaver"

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So… you probably don’t want me to tell you that you can make a backstrap loom with stuff from the hardware store?


I think it’s wonderful you like to branch out and learn new things. If I had the finances I wouldn’t mind taking up weaving myself as long as it doesn’t mean I have to sit on the floor like Navajo women did or perhaps still do while weaving blankets and such. Don’t think my knees would hold up. Too old. I admire your diversity. Don’t let anyone hold your dreams at bay. I hope you have a lovely evening and would like to thank you for sharing.


I know the feeling well. I was given a dear friend’s inkle loom, she made fantastic bands,for hats, dog leashes, trim for other clothing. Can I figure it out? Nope. Feel like an idiot.
If you want quick easy coasters, look at the Zoom Loom. I use up my handspun leftovers, and it only takes 15 minutes! Four make a nice potholder/table mat…..and it goes from there….


You are so right about weaving. It’s slow and expensive. I have a 10 harness loom that I keep hidden in a storage shed. I don’t want to see it. My bank balance won’t tolerate any inspiration on my part. I love your great instructions, patterns and ideas. Thank you so much!


Your bookmark and camera strap are beautiful–especially the camera strap. Are they perfect? I don’t know–have never done weaving before. They aren’t really supposed to be at this point because you will get better over time. It doesn’t make these learning pieces any less beautiful though because they have your creative spirit/soul worked into them. That is what most non-crafters do not understand is that your creations, no matter how small or big, imperfect or perfect, are a part of you and are therefore intrinsically beautiful–just as you are.