Swatching may seem to imply that you are striving to make a perfect thing. For me it is about bringing more joy to the process. A chance to stroll through the what-ifs without the worry. Will I like this color combination or that combination? Will this yarn finish the way I hoped it will? Will this yarn sett close enough for twill or leave enough space for lace? It is an intimate tactile experience that allow you to take your weaving whereever you go, swatching as inspiration hits.
When bringing the Swatch Maker Looms into the Yarnworker world, I wanted to continue to make available the tools I use in my own weaving life. Being a loom manufacturer was nowhere near the top of my list, but I didn’t want to see these little looms go away, and with the help of Angela Smith and Hector Aguilar, they are still here. After a year, I’m finding that it is tough to keep up with the demands of even this small portion of the former Purl & Loop line.
In trying to find the sweet spot, I’m consolidating the loom line and offering a new version of the Swatch Maker Loom in half the size, and placing the 3-in-1 on pause. I simply don’t want to let go of the slotted loom but I no longer have the capacity to offer both styles. This seems to strike a balance, not only for my business, but also for my weaving life.
I can’t tell you how many swatches and samples I’ve woven in my life. I can say they fill multiple bins. I’ve discovered I don’t need to weave a very big swatch to get good information. Over the years, I’ve found that a 2” by 4” swatch gives me good information—enough width to test sett, and enough length to mix things up a bit. If I’m not testing colors, then a 2’’ by 2’’ square is sufficient. The slotted-style looms make it easier to double or space ends to test a wider variety of setts, always the biggest drawback of the 3-in-1.
I tested out looms that either proved to be too small—not enough length to use the pick-up and shed sticks for at least 3”—or too long and awkward to hold. I found that a loom that is half the size of the current Swatch Maker Loom is just right. These 7-1/2” by 3-1/2” looms, offer a weaving width of about 6-1/2” by 2-1/2” weaving space. They are made from the same quality 1/8” thick maple with all the features of the Swatch Maker Loom—a raised platform for the prongs to provide space for you to maneuver your tools as you weave, and a flat hardwood back, which allows you to work anywhere without putting pressure on the warp.
I’m really pleased to offer these new mini looms. To celebrate, I’ve created the ultimate swatching bundle that includes all three sizes of mini looms and includes a pick-up stick, comb, and shuttle. I’m including a digital copy of A Weaver’s Guide to Swatching, a project bag, and a Yarnworker enamel pin at no extra cost, a $29 value.
Thanks for sharing this weaving journey with me.