Thursday, January 09, 2014


Overseeing the loom setup is Blue Mews my Muse.
Her head is a pincushion.  She wears my Spirit of Joy dolphin bracelet as a crown
and my Heart of Joy pendent as her breastplate. 

I'm about to embark on yet another fiber art.  Not just yet another project but yet another craft genre: Looming.

The belt featured in yesterday's Nostalgic Nudges post which Mom made for herself in her early twenties intrigued me so much I had to figure out how to make a bookmark using the same stitch.

I set out to reverse engineer it. My first glance assumption that it was crochet was disabused  as soon as I got a closer look at it edge on.  I picked and pulled and stretched and poked at the stitches for several minutes before realizing it was loom work.  I confirmed that with Mom when she got back Sunday evening.  The loom was handmade with nails on a board.

I hated the thought of pounding two rows of nails into a board tho.  The thought of the resulting weight and bulkiness repelled me as well.  I also knew that to accommodate the size 10 and 20 crochet threads I'd need slimmer nails than Mom had used for medium weight yarn.

I was picturing those slim nearly headless nails I'd seen on Dad's workbench over the years but I suspected my sister would not want to hunt for them in the chaos in the garage and would probably deem it more economical to go buy a handful but even that would take time she doesn't have this week as she gets herself, Mom and the household ready for her week out of commission following her Monday oral surgery. So I was reluctant to impose this on her before she leaves Sunday but nor did I want to wait until sometime after she returned to get started on a project.

I wanted to strike while the iron of my enthusiasm was still hot.

Letting my imagination roam over possibilities,  it landed first on Styrofoam as a substitute for a wooden board and I knew there was plenty of that laying around here among product packaging.  Those slim nails would probably work in that too but I'd already ruled them out for now.  My imagination then visualized those round pointy toothpicks but a quick glance in the cupboard revealed there weren't enough which also meant an errand I didn't want to impose on my sister.

It was a day or two before I thought about the foam-core boards Carri uses in her matting and other art work.  I liked the thought of them better than the Styrofoam because they were thin, light weight, sheer-edged and very portable.  I think it was some several hours after settling on the foam-core boards before I thought of straight pins.

Now that I had the concept complete I needed to set up a proof of concept which you see pictured above.  I quickly realized after starting to put pins on the second side of the ruler that I wouldn't be able to space them correctly that way.  I'll have to do one side and then turn the ruler around, making sure to position it so that the first pin will be aligned with the first pin on the first side.  This would be the way I'd have to do it for objects wider than the ruler anyway.

Carri gave me several foam-core scraps of varying sizes and I'm going to use a slimmer one for the bookmark and I won't be actually creating the loom until after I've got this room swung back into a productive arrangement again.

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