Adapt 4×4″ patterns to the Kayu

When you have many patterns to weave on 4×4″ looms (Zoom Loom / Weave-It) and also pattern books and perhaps you have already ventured to invent your own stitches and patterns, surely you have wondered if you can use them on other larger looms, to make larger pieces.

The answer is YES! And in this post I will tell you how to do it 🙂

REINVENTING PIN LOOM WEAVING TECHNIQUES

When you already know a pin loom weaving technique quite well, the natural thing is to want to go further, explore and invent.

When weaving and creating we are in the middle of a creative process and it is expected that you seek to challenge those limits that the technique seems to impose on you and seek other ideas to surprise yourself and others.

I usually separate the techniques, each one goes with its own pin loom, but it is when I go beyond those limits (which don´t need to exist!) that true innovations appear and a new and enormous range of possibilities to explore arise before me.

Today I’m going to show you how I adapted the patterns and stitches from a 4×4″ pin looms (nails arranged in trios) to a regular square loom (equal distance between pins/nails), the challenges, requirements, and results! of course.

LET´S START WITH A PATTERN

So, to start the test, I took the Huentelauquén Pattern for 4×4″ pin looms, from my recently published book Oversize Projects on a Pin Loom.

It is a symmetrical pattern, which makes things easier.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 08.40.24

Any 4×4″ pin loom pattern has 31 rows of warp and 31 rows of weft, so the pin loom you use to make this pattern is required to also have 31 nails/pins.

The Kayu multi loom measures 12×12″ with equal spacing between pins/nails, giving a total of 31 nails, ideal for testing.

TEST 1

To start, I grabbed a thick Bulky No. 5 yarn (mustard color) and made 31 warp rows, as shown below.

urdimbre simple

The gap between the rows was too big and the weave was too loose, so I changed it to double yarn immediately, which I found to be sufficient.

Once the 31 rows were done in double yarn, I chose another color in Bulky N°5 (purple), single yarn and started to weave.

I could have chosen double yarn for the weft too, but I thought it would be more interesting if there was a difference in thickness between warp and weft.

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 13.05.22

The finished piece was not dense enough, in my opinion. There was a wide distance between the threads, which makes the yarn tend to curve.

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 13.13.29

prueba 1

Here you can clearly see the spaces between weft and warp. It is not recommended that these spaces exist in woven pieces, because it reduces its performance. It is delicate, easy to be damage by pulling out the threads.

If you want to make a cushion for example, which is for daily use, you would have to take great care of it so that you don’t accidentally start pulling the threads when you sit on it, etc.

When you make a shawl or any garment that needs to be more flexible and less dense, this piece can work, but you have to be extremely careful not to damage it. So unfortunately you would have it stored in the closet for fear of spoiling it! Don’t you think?

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 13.20.54

TEST 2

I made it using the same types of yarn, I just changed the number of strands.

Warp (Bulky N° 5, mustard): Triple yarn (before double)
Weft (Bulky No. 5, purple): Double yarn (before single)

And I weaved the sample.

kayu

It was just as easy to weave as the previous sample, honestly. And it turned out better, denser, so the pattern is more noticeable. But the strands still curve, because there is not enough tension or density.

Here you can see the comparison between both samples (Test 1 / left, Test 2 / right)

2 muestras

Here you can see the detail of the separation between threads for both tests.

In the second there is greater density, therefore the strands are straighter, which works better to make a usable object because it makes it less delicate.

It is also perceived to be of better quality, better made.

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 13.27.16

So I decided to do a third test where the yarn was crocheted, as I explain in this post.

TEST 3 (unsuccessful)

For the warp I used the same yarn (Bulky N° 5, mustard color), but first I crocheted the yarn with the Double Chain Stitch, which consists of making a row of chains that emerge from the previous stitch. In this video you can see how to do it.

As I crocheted, I measured across the width of the loom the 31 rows needed to make the required length (and no more!) of warp yarn.

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 13.36.13

Then I took a new Bulky N°5 purple acrylic yarn and crocheted a yarn to then weave the weft, made of chains, in the classic way.

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 13.40.14

Then I just warped and weaved the Huentelauquén Pattern, using my new crocheted yarns.

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 13.42.23

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 13.42.37

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 13.42.58

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 13.56.33

But after a few rows I noticed that the sample was beginning to be very rigid and that having both warp and weft “braided” became repetitive, none of them showed off in the end.

So I decided to stop the test (as far as you see above) and change only the weft yarn, leaving the braided warp as it is.

TEST 4

Using the same warp from the previous test, I took purple acrylic yarn (Bulky #5) and doubled it, no braiding or anything.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 09.06.44

Immediately the combination of both contrasts, between braided warp and smooth weft, began to have a positive effect. Being dissimilar textures, both looked more balanced and the fabric worked better in terms of tension and depth.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 09.09.11

This sample definitely met my expectations. I achieved the tension, density, texture and depth necessary for this sample to become an object of daily use.

The braiding helped structure the piece and avoid the problem of the strands curling as the woven piece came off the loom.

And remember a fascinating attribute of 4×4″ patterns.. that they have 2 different sides! 2 woven piece options to choose from!

I often keep the reverse to make a project, both are correct in any case!

Look here at both sides of the final piece from Test 4 (front/left, back/right).

Which one do you prefer?

2 finales

Here you can see the results of tests 1, 2 and 4 (remember that 3 was unsuccessful) and make your own conclusions (these are the front side of the 3 pieces).

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 09.25.11

CONCLUSIONS

  • The 4×4″ pin loom patterns have long stitches, which makes them delicate to turn into objects, so the ideal is to weave them with very thick wool, where the woven piece, even on the loom, is perceived as dense, with little separation between threads of yarn. If you are going to make a shawl or a garment that requires more flexibility and less density, you may think that you can make it with thinner wool (or fewer strands, like the first test I made), but the truth is that it will be tremendously delicate and easy to be spoiled.
  • I do recommend adapting the 4×4″ pin loom patterns to regular looms like the Kayu, but keep in mind that the project or object you want to make works when it’s made with dense, stiff woven pieces, like the last sample. Otherwise, it’s easy to spoil it, because the drawings of the 4×4″ patterns, the long stitches, make it very delicate and susceptible to being damaged.
  • When evaluating the last sample, which met the expectations and requirements to be later usable in other projects, I consider that making 4×4″ pin loom patterns in regular pin looms like the Kayu work, but they are thick, dense and stiff, which in itself limits its application. A cushion works perfectly (I’ll do it with the last sample and post it here in a few more days), but a shawl definitely doesn’t work. So before making your project, think about whether this technique will give you the raw material (woven pieces) you need to build it.

final flor

PENDING FOR ANOTHER POST

  • Trying XL wool or braided by other methods. I would like to see the results I get in those cases as well.
  • Trying simpler 4×4″ pin loom patterns on a regular 12×12″ loom, where there are no long stitches.

I hope you liked this project, it took me at least 2 days to do all the tests, because crocheting the yarns is quite slow. But it’s fascinating to see how you build large pieces from patterns that were relegated to 4×4″ size.

I hope this post will help you make good decisions in your next projects.

Remember to FREE DOWNLOAD the Herringbone Pattern HERE to try out your own samples.

A creative hug!

FlorenciaCC

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