GIANT NEEDLES AND A WEAVING LOOM

Lately we’ve been inspired by some of the craft and home decor boards after browsing on Pinterest. There are so many creative and talented people with so many great ideas, it’s hard not to feel like trying something new, exploring our potential. I especially like the knit wear and textiles pages, in particular the cozy, wooly bedspreads and hand-woven cushion covers. Actually, all things soft. Only a lot of it is out of our price range. But that’s a good thing, right? All it means is we have to use our noodle, and have a go.
But there’s a small problem.“Toooooooooooommmmmmm”. “Yes, my love”. “Can you make me a loom?”. “Sure”. “And some big knitting needles?”. “Yeah, I’ll see what I can do”. 
Alessia had already told me that a pair of wooden needles, 25mm in diameter, would cost around 35 Euros to buy online. I was sipping a beer at the time and almost choked. Essentially all they are is two pieces of dowel from an old broom handle pointed at one end with a means to prevent the stitches dropping off at the other. 35 Euros *shakes head
I first cut my two pieces of dowel and began sharpening the end to a point, in much the same way I’d done as a boy with a stick from the woods and an imitation Swiss army knife. This time though I made use of a random orbit sander to refine the shape until I had something I was happy with. Not sharp, but not blunt either. I then cut two small squares of scrap ¼ inch plywood, sanded and rounded the corners and edges until smooth. I found the centre of the squares and drilled a hole in each with a countersink then hot glued them in place at the opposite end of the dowel so that I could secure with a single drywall screw. All I had to do then was build up a nice lasting to  finish since they are going to be handled often. For that I had some leftover Ikea kitchen worktop oil which I applied liberally with a rag 3 or 4 times, sanding between each coat. Two needles down, one loom to go. 


Making the loom gave me a chance to practice with my hand tools. The batons were slightly uneven so I used a plane to get them all to the same dimensions.



You can make a loom any size, but Alessia’s measures roughly 400x550mm on the external, and the internal part measures 330x480mm. For the joinery I chose to cut a rebate into both ends of the short pieces to accept the two longer pieces. Adding wood glue and screws makes for an extremely strong joint as opposed to just butting all the corners together. The rebate provides more surface area for the glue, and the screws really clamp everything tight until the glue dries. I cut the rebates using my table saw and homemade cross-cut sled then went back to clean up the saw marks with a sharp chisel. I am using reclaimed wood so before sanding I filled in any old nail holes with hot glue. Again I sanded in between coats of water-based varnish until I had a result I was happy with.


The nails are spaced 15mm apart and staggered so that more yarn can be added for more intricate weaves. 


Even though these two projects were simple to build I find it satisfying because we now have the tools to make and create other great gifts.


Maybe she’ll knit me a cozy bedspread- Alessia, you’d better get weaving

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