When I was little, one of my favorite toys aside from my Etch A Sketch® was a plastic potholder maker. I would spend hours weaving scraps of fabric on this small toy loom. Yeah, this is what passed for entertainment in the 60’s and 70’s before social networking became our most cherished hobby. 😉
As I looked at my dwindling supply of store bought pot holders that had decidedly seen better days and considered whether I should darn the thread barren places or bite the bullet and buy something NEW (gasp!) oven mitts, I remembered how easy it was to make potholders as a child and became inspired to make my own make-shift loom.
Our garage has so many spare parts it would make MacGyver proud. So it was easy to find some old wood strips to use as my frame. With a hand saw and plastic miter box I cut four equal lengths of 2 inch wood strips (I made two looms that day, one was 12 inches and one 8 inches in order to have two sizes for my potholders.) A staple gun made fast work of fastening the sides together at the corners.
I tapped finishing nails into the boards at half in intervals making sure I had the same number of pegs on each of the four sides.
For material, I used scraps from old tee shirts, leggings and other cotton interlock or stretch material. I measured a strip that was twice as long as my loom and doubled it over. With my sewing machine, I made a stretch straight stitch along the unfinished hem until I had one long “tube” of fabric.
Next, I carefully cut the fabric into one half inch strips to use for my weaving.
To set up the loom, place one fabric loop on each of the pegs running in one direction.
Then take the first peg in the opposite direction and slowly weave it over and under each of the planks. Start your next weave on the opposite pattern, for instance if you began on an OVER cast, then place this next loop UNDER to start your run.
When you are finished filling up all the nails you need to finish the edges, by carefully taking off ONE LOOP at a time and threading the next loop into it. That is to say you take one of the edges off, hold open the loop with one hand and then carefully slip the next loop off and insert that loop through the open loop you are holding. Once through, you open up that loop and start again with the next loop on the loom.
When you come to the last loop, you can tie a knot in the last ring to secure all of the edges in place. Saved a few dollars and passed down a family tradition to my own kids.