Weaving with Circular Looms

Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Events, weaving | 16 comments

In the last few days I’ve been surrounded by circles, warped and wefted, beaded and braided cut and pasted, and clipped and edited. Really! This week has been a busy one, preparing some stuff to take and present at the SWAY Art Yarn Guild Festival in Sarasota Florida, coming up in just a few weeks. And there are so many reasons why I am excited about attending this festival! Firstly, it is my absolute honour to be there as the ‘headliner’ for the weekend, two days to teach and share and meet everyone, and finally to be able to put real faces to names, as I know there will be many coming along who I know only through Facebook. What a wonderful opportunity, and I am really looking forward to sharing  this weekend with some incredibly creative people.

It is also the first ‘outing’ for Arlene Thayer and myself as ‘FiberyGoodness’. We have the Friday evening planned as a Golden Fleece Course get together, along with a special activity we have imagined up for the event. We will also be releasing one of our new courses over the weekend! Both online AND at the festival itself. All I can tell you is it DOES have a fiber kit with it 😉 We will have some goodies and SWAY Swag there on sale, not only the new Course but also some pretty things to decorate your fiber space with that I hope everyone will really love. Is that cagey enough? I know I know! Its all surprises!

And another reason I am really excited about this weekend is that I have been waiting to share something especially at SWAY for the very first time. It involves circular looms and the neckwear I have been developing. This past week I have been creating a tutorial for it, I just exported the PDF, and made a video to go along with it! I will have a few copies of the tutorial to use at the workshops and will give all participants the download link so they can download their own copy  after the event too. I am hoping to have an ibook version available as well, for those with an ipad, and that will have the video embedded in it as well as a couple of other snazzy interactive features. I am really excited about this possibility and I hope to be able to offer more of these kinds of things via the ibook store in future too. (I will continue to make PDF versions of everything though!)

So back I come to the weaving. I just posted the link to Majacrafts circular loom on my facebook page, because they have recently brought out the large size, which I am planning on warping up tonight to try out another kind of neckwear with the bigger base.


What I am finding with these looms, is that since the first inception of them, and the idea of being able to make circular weavings, we have been discovering more and more ways to use them, and more and more things to do with the resulting weavings. Some people have been making amazing bags, hats, clothing items, even beautiful fibery bowls. I would love to make enough to crochet them together into a big throw, and I have found several ways to create quite different kinds of neckwear and collars, and I have some more ideas for how I can make some other things using the same method. The circular loom has surpassed my initial expectations and its amazing how the fibery community who have picked these up have been so creative in their uses of both the loom and the end products. Even the materials people are using to weave have varied from unspun roving to laceweight silks, long locks and art yarns, circles have been beaded, feathered, and sparkled, each weaving turned into a  stunning work of art. Our fibery community abounds with creativity and inspiration!

Needless to say, I can’t wait to get my new tutorial out there and see what will be created from it, I know for sure there will be plenty more ideas and uses that I haven’t thought of myself!

Here is part of my current collection of neckwear pieces, there are a couple more I havent photographed yet, all variations on the theme.

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  1. Hello! What size Majacraft circular loom do you use for your woven neckwear pattern? It’s a great, versatile concept, but I haven’t been able to find that bit of info. Thanks!

    • I use the medium size one for the neckwear, but you can also use the large one 🙂

  2. the thread in mines is bunching up instead of makiing it bigger what do i do?

    • Hi Mangoes, most likely you are using a thread that has some stretch and elasticity in it, so when it is stretched out on the loom, as soon as you take it off it wants to pull back in again and that will bunch things up. I would suggest using a less bouncy thread, maybe a cotton or linen blend for your warp, and then as you are weaving, be sure not to pull or tug the yarn into place but instead push it down into the weave each time. I hope this helps 🙂

  3. You used the circular loom to weave those neck collars? What an amazing idea!

  4. Please help – my flat circular weaving is curling up and not lying flat..What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Christie! Most likely it is curling up because you have too much tension on the weft (the yarn you weave around it). When you thread your yarn around through the warp, make sure that instead of pulling it into place that instead you tap it into place so it doesnt get pulled tight. This way your weaving is more likely to have no extra tension on it when you take it off the loom and should stay flat. Also make sure that your warp thread is not too stretchy and also not pulled up super tight, because if its stretched out a lot and you take it off the loom it will want to pull back in when you release it and that can also cause bunching up. If you want some great tips on circle weaving we also started a Facebook group and the folks over there share some wonderful inspiration and info, please come and join us there if you havent already! https://www.facebook.com/groups/circleweaving/

  5. I really love your things! Could you send me information about ordering the Majacraft circular loom. I could not find the loom on dealer’s web pages. Thanks

  6. I like that idea of a kind of tribal thing, maybe these are representative of a ‘yarn tribe’ 🙂 I started out with inpsiration from the old Victorian lace collars, and thats how the little mother of pearl buttons ended up in there with the first one I did. That would certainly represent my European heritage! In New Zealand its part of the Maori culture to refer back to lineage and place as part of ones current identity, perhaps that would be a nice direction to take the next piece I make, like a heritage collar or something, with elements of all those things in it. Thanks Susan!

    • Yes! That is exactly where I was coming from…and I do like the “yarn tribe” idea too 🙂
      Your response is so interesting, thank you for all the details, I really appreciate knowing the inspiration behind the work.

  7. The neckwear is absolutely gorgeous! Wish I could attend in FL as I’m sure I would learn a lot.

  8. Thanks for replying. I can live with that. Just wish I’d known then what I know now. That’s called learning. Can’t wait for SWAY and the new class. Elizabeth

  9. Oh Suzy these are stunning! I can’t wait to view the tutorial. I so wish I could be at the workshop in Florida, know I am there in spirit with all the Golden Fleecers. I hope you will do one in Southern Califonia sometime–it’s almost always warm here (just trying to lure you here, lol)

  10. What can l say love all of them, must add circular loom to the list!

  11. Some of us don’t have Ipads but have android based devices. Can you make your downloads will work on android devices too? Boy did I make a mistake trying to save a dollar or two when I bought my tablet. I hate missing all this good stuff.

    • at the moment making stuff for Android devices is beyond my skills, however I will keep making everything available as PDFs so they can be viewed on pretty much all devices and also printed out.

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