Tips for beginning weavers

Hello fellow weavers!

If you would have told me a year ago I would own a loom and weaving, I would have shaken my head thinking you were mistaking me for someone else.

Anyway - I was hoping we could start a thread where we could consolidate tips and tricks for weavers. I hope that is ok.

Please tell us:

  • “If you knew then what you know now” items
  • warp tips
  • weft tips
  • free patterns
  • yarn recommendations
  • oh - and the fusible thread tips
  • anything else I missed
Thank you in advance!!!

I love this!! Great idea! Looking forward to learning from the best! I own a RH loom, so any thing esp. related to RH weaving would be appreciated, but it’s also a great place for us to learn about weaving with the “big” looms as well. :fk:

I’ll also be watching this thread. I’m enjoying seeing what both of you are doing on your looms and think one may be in my future.

@FreedomLover - it is so fun to learn! I’m already thinking I need a bigger loom. :slight_smile:

@FreedomLover - rkennell and I found great deals on FaceBook Marketplace on used ones if you are on FaceBook. :slight_smile:

I’m not on FB but my husband is. I watched the beginner’s class on Bluprint yesterday. I feel silly admitting this but I didn’t know about these looms, I thought I’d need to have a floor loom. There’s no place for me to put one and I’m sure I couldn’t begin to afford that.

@FreedomLover did you watch the Rigid Heddle or a floor loom?

The rigid heddle start up library class. I want to watch beyond the basics and any others, but DH is home today and on his second James Bond movie.

To give a sense of the relative weights of yarns commonly used in weaving, Handwoven Magazine offers a free download of a chart that is very useful here:

The three numbers given at the end of each entry represent the ends per inch for wide sett (as for lace), medium sett (as in plain weave), and close sett (as in twill).

One thing I learned after joining Jane Stafford’s online guild was to have fun…it’s only yarn! This helped me a lot. I learned to play and experiment at the loom. You really don’t need to have huge looms or many shafts to create beautiful cloth.

I have two things I am struggling with…

  1. the beginning and end of the weft… how and how far to tuck in. As a knitter I am pretty obsessive about this. As a weaver, how do you guys do this? I just watched a YouTube video where a Kelly Casanova just overlaps two weft threads and calls it done. Does it get tucked in at the end?

  2. no can’t figure out why my weaving inclines in the right hand side. I am beating with my hands in the middle of the heddle, even tried moving them more to the right. I can’t figure it out.


I checked in Liz Gipson’s book Weaving Made Easy and on page 40 she says to leave about 3" of weft sticking out of the warp hanging free, change sheds, tuck in the tail for 2 inches into the shed, leaving one inch to exit out of the shed to trim off later. She is demonstrating with what looks like worsted weight yarn in the accompanying pictures.

When you say your weaving inclines in the right hand side, do you mean that your weft (or fell line) slants upward diagonally to the right? If so, your tension on the right side of the loom may be tighter than on the left (difference in the tightness of your knots). You are already watching that you are beating with even pressure and that is also something to keep watching. When you pack your warp beam, it should feel like a very tight muscle, not spongy or flabby at all, and even all the way across, not shaped like a cigar. I found a lot of great troubleshooting tips in the book by Syne Mitchell, Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom, which is quite densely packed with serious information as well as being quite inspiring. I am totally sold on the hard copy by also have an online copy that I bought for $3 before I knew how much I would want a hard copy. I’m having trouble this evening with bandwidth so I am going from memory from what I read in Mitchell’s book. It is available for $2.99 on the free Kindle app from Amazon, here:

Oh, and Knit Picks has the hard copy for 40% off at the moment here:

Thank you!!! I am going to start with the Kindle book and go from there. :fk:

My favorite way to tuck in my ends, whether I’m beginning, run out of weft and starting a new bobbin, or ending, is the split ply method. I think there’s less bulk this way.

I agree with @Carlota that the issue with your selvages may be a tension issue. Perchaps this video will help:

The ply split join referenced by @Kathy7661 is my go-to join, because it reduces bulk and sort of feathers in the yarn. When weaving with wool singles yarn I’ve also done a felted spit splice overlap with no ends hanging out (same as for knitting) as it gives a really nice invisible result. I see that weaving teachers vary in the amount of recommended overlap at the join. Personally I feel better with at least 1-1/2 to 2 inches and in addition I like the idea of leaving a tail of a couple more inches hanging free to be trimmed off after the first wash, so it has plenty of length to take up and nestle into place and possibly felt a little before getting snipped off.

This is a handy chart!! Thanks!

Good reminder! I’m hoping to learn to use heddle rods with string as extra heddles! I’ve been watching Kelly Casanova and Liz Gipson in their online classes and I’m excited for the potential that gives!

I found Kelly Casanova yesterday!

I made one and a half napkins. I thought I had a few more inches to weave when my down shed disappeared. Is that normal or did I do something wrong? At least I learned that I prefer the yellow weft with the Peaches and Cream Peace colorway.


Tip: Don’t do this. :o