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Latest News – we’re going to Crickhowell!

News from Weaving Looms and the Toika Loom Studio.

I am really pleased to tell you that along with Adrian and Grace of Weaving Yarn and Sarah of Hedgehog Equipment I have been invited to attend the Crickhowell Guild Friendship Day later this month.

You don’t need to be a member of the guild to attend, all are warmly invited.

I will be bringing my surplus yarn stock as well as some new and used equipment.

I will be bringing a selection of smaller Toika equipment; shuttles, stretchers and hooks etc. If you would like to order larger pieces of equipment such as reeds for collection on the day please order these on the website and select the ‘Collect from Crickhowell’ option at the checkout so you won’t be charged postage.

As well as bargain yarn I will also be bringing some new and used spinning and weaving equipment that I no longer use either myself or for workshops. If you would like information on what is available please get in touch by phone or email before the 19th of March.

There will be a selection mainly Ashford rigid heddle looms, a couple of brand new 30cm 4 shaft Louet Ericas, a very rare Louet S90 and Shacht spinning wheels. I need to de-stash so everything will be at never to be repeated prices!

I’m really looking forward to catching up with everyone.

See you in a few weeks!


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New! Texsolv Coloured Heddles, Pegs and Cords

Texsolv have launched arrange of coloured heddles, pegs and cord.

Before I launched these new products on the website, I wanted to use them myself and was also lucky enough to have some customers who were willing to try them and give me some feedback.

The reaction has been very positive, both for use of coloured cords and pegs in the tie up as well as swapping white heddles for a coloured version.

Texsolv are producing heddles in 5 colours plus white. We have opted to stock heddles in blue and orange and the pegs and cords in all colours available at present.

I have met weavers who have dyed their heddles themselves as an aid to threading correctly.  In the past I have tried marking heddles with coloured felt tip pens but never found it satisfactory partly because the colour rubs off over time but also as I now realise that looking up or down at the end of the heddle rather than through the eye didn’t help me at all.

I swapped white heddles for orange on the odd numbered shafts on my Eeva floor loom and set about threading a warp. The difference in the ease of identifying heddles correctly was even greater than I had imagined it would be. 

I can’t say that I didn’t make any threading mistakes but I can categorically state that by the time I had finished threading the warp there were no threading mistakes and the warp was ready to sley through the reed. That made a massive difference as I usually only discover a threading error or errors once the warp is tied on and weaving started, no matter how many times I have checked!

Having the coloured heddles threaded on the odd shafts proved to be helpful in several different ways.

The heddles are manufactured in exactly the same way as the white ones but those clever folks at Texsolv have made the ladder stitches that create the heddle eyes a solid colour and the rest of the heddle structure is made by twisting the colour with white. The result is that the eye of the heddles stands out really clearly as the solid colour makes an excellent contrast. 

I realised as I threaded this warp that one of the most common mistakes that I make is threading 2 heddles next to each other on the same shaft when the draft specifies one. It’s an easy mistake to make and even easier on the shafts further that are further away. Counting bundles be they 4, 6, 8 or more can give a false impression that the threading has been made correctly but a quick look on the top of the heddles showed these mistakes up as soon as the section was threaded;  they were really easy to spot. This made it easy to correct the threading before moving onto the next section. 

It was easy to identify immediately if a heddle was on an odd or an even numbered shaft. This could also be double checked as I tied off groups of bundles after threading a section. My loom is deep from front to back and the heddles at the back of the loom are always harder to see and easier to miss when threading all of the shafts. It was much quicker and easier to identify incorrectly threaded or missed heddles. I plan to change the white pegs for orange on Eeva’s odd shafts. I think it will make identifying odd shafts from even easier.

A friend who ties up her countermarch loom in the traditional way believes that changing either the long or short cords to a colour instead of white will also make tying up much easier and less prone to errors. I will change white pegs for coloured on my countermarch that is tied up the top of the lamms way. I have already seen how much easier this makes in changing and checking a TOTL tie up.

I appreciate that this won’t appeal to, or necessarily help, every weaver as we all have our ways of doing things and short cuts that suit our looms and our bodies. I am someone who regularly makes threading mistakes so for me changing half my white heddles to orange has been really helpful. My looms will have their odd heddles changed to orange too as soon as their current warps are finished as will our selection of Toika demo looms.

These coloured Texsolv products cost more to produce so will cost than white ones but until January 31st 2024 we are making them available at the same price as their white counterparts as a special introductory  offer.

If you have any questions do get in touch!

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Anni Weaves for a wedding Part 2

I had bought a dress on impulse without trying it on. Once I got it home it fitted perfectly but there was one problem, it was sleeveless. Despite weaving making good use of our arm muscles in all sorts of ways I have reached the age when my upper arms are past looking their best, baggy or bingo those wings needed covering!  As usual I was pushed for time but a friend had woven 2 crammed and spaced shawls for herself and sister in law for her daughter’s wedding a couple of years ago. She had bought Garnhuset 40/2 linen and 30/2 mercerised cotton from us for both and they were beautiful.

So I set to work planning a warp, luckily I had some of the Garnhuset yarn she had used in my stash as well as some 60/2 silk that I thought might also be useful in the required colours, but I also knew that if I ran out or the colours weren’t right I could get speedy delivery from Weaving Yarn who have continued to stock Garnhuset’s beautiful yarns.

There was no time for proper sampling but I had allowed for some extra warp to be able to check the sett and the colour combinations on the loom.  I also had the benefit of Jacky’s experience of weaving something similar with the same yarn. Happily, my choices all worked! 

The warp was wound using black 40/2 linen for the crammed stripes with 2 shades of 40/2 linen alternating with the 30/2 mercerised cotton for the open sections. I took care to ensure the warp was wound evenly and made sure that the paper between the warp layers was wide enough to protect the warp threads from slipping down at the edge of the beam as I was using the full width of the loom. For the weft, the cotton, linen and silk with the addition of a natural 40/2 undyed linen were used in a planned colour rotation. 

Anni coped with the linen as well as she had done with the wool. The tension was even, the shed large and clean with no problems at all. Other than remembering to change the colours in the right order and watch the beat in the open and crammed spaces these fabulous yarns behaved beautifully.

The finished weaving was hand washed and pressed whilst damp with steam. After lightly twisting the fringes it was washed and pressed again. Finished with a couple of days to spare before the happy day! 

The weaving was quick and easy and I was very, very pleased with the result! An added bonus – linen will keep you warm as well as cool, when the sun went down the shawl literally doubled up as a warm scarf and kept away the chill!

Shawl in progress

It seems like a long time since August but Anni came into her own again to weave this shawl. She’s since woven another blanket, which I will share another time.

Wedding Shawl
shawl close up
Shawl close up
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Christmas and New Year Opening

Our website will be available to take orders throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Our office and phone line opening hours are shown in the table below, and we have also indicated when we will post out orders that accumulate while we are closed.

Last posting dates

A reminder too that the last posting dates for Christmas are:

Royal Mail Second Class, Parcelforce express48Monday 18th December
Royal Mail First Class, Parcelforce express24Wednesday 20th December

Opening Hours

Here are our opening hours:

DateOpening HoursDespatch
Friday 22nd December9am – 5pmPosting as usual
Saturday 23rd DecemberClosedNo post
Sunday 24th DecemberClosedNo post
Monday 25th DecemberClosedNo post
Tuesday 26th DecemberClosedNo post
Wednesday 27th December9am – 5pmPosting as usual
Thursday 28th DecemberClosedNo post
Friday 29th DecemberClosedNo post
Saturday 30th DecemberClosedNo post
Sunday 31st DecemberClosedNo post
Monday 1st JanuaryClosedNo post
Tuesday 2nd January9am-5pmPosting as usual
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Anni weaves for a wedding

A wedding invitation usually means a woven gift needs to be made and an excuse to leave other jobs to weave is never passed up!

With a warp in progress on my floor and table loom I decided that with a weaving width of 55cm; wider than my rigid heddle loom and able to take a much longer warp Anni was the obvious loom choice.

Happy with my choice of colours from a somewhat limited stash I set up Anni with a long warp and got weaving. I cut apart the three pieces I had woven on the warp and used my preferred method of wet finishing New Lanark Wool which I know works well.
The first process is to scour out the spinning oil with 2 wool washes at 30 degrees in the washing machine, drying them outside on the line. After joining the 3 pieces together and plaiting the fringes it had another 30 degree wool wash followed with some supervised tumble drying until I was happy with the finish. This finishing process closes up the weaving and the cloth develops a lovely fuzzy nap, just the job for a snuggly blanket.

Incidentally this project gave Anni and excellent work out. I pushed her to the limit with the long warp in a thickish wool that can be a bit sticky if the tension isn’t quite tight enough. She coped really well and the weaving is always so much quicker when your feet rather than your hands change the shed. This has been the start of a bit of a love affair between myself and Anni! She will be appearing again soon in the next blog post.

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Association of Guilds of Weavers Spinners& Dyers Summer School Trade Fair 18-19 August 2023

I will be attending the AGWSD Summer School Trade Fair with a selection of Toika weaving equipment (not looms).

I will be sharing space with Adrian and Grace from Weaving Yarns Ltd who will be bringing lots of yummy weaving yarn to tempt you. The Trade Fair is open for Summer School delegates only on Friday evening 18th August and is open to all on Saturday 19th August from 9am-4pm. Summer School is taking place at: 

Harper Adams University Near Newport Shropshire TF10 8NB.

I will only have space to be able to bring a small selection of reeds. If you would like to be sure of purchasing a reed please order it from the website and select ‘Collect from Summer School’ as your delivery option at the checkout so you are not charged postage.  

I look forward to catching up with everyone.

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Thanks for waiting!

So much for new year resolutions, I have failed miserably to regularly post, but I will keep trying!

Stock and website updates.

We have made good progress with moving our stock into the Toika Loom Studio. Next to be moved in is Jaana with a 16 shaft ES, but that will take some planning and some extra hands. We are expecting another delivery of reeds etc from Toika in the next couple of weeks. We will update the website and get in touch with those of you waiting just as soon as it arrives. We have also added an announcements page to the website where you can find information on any events we may be attending as well as details of our planned closures. A link from the banner at the top of each page will take you to the page.

What’s on the looms?

Since the last post I have been weaving on Eeva’s smaller sisters. I have woven a blanket strip on on Siru and the loom is warped and ready to weave another. It’s folded and ready to go just as soon as I have finished the warp on Anni and will be my current take to Weaving Group/Guild meeting loom for the next few months. I have just started yet another blanket warp on Anni, and have been playing with the tie up on Laila. More on those looms and projects next time.

Anni is a 2 shaft jack loom with a 55cm weaving width. Delivered with minimal building required. Anni folds up to be small enough to go through a door when not in use and a couple of wheels on the rear legs aid moving the loom around if required.   Metal pawls mean keeping even tension is a cinch, Texsolv heddles and a beater that takes stainless steel reeds means Anni has the ability to cope with different yarn weights without needing to double up threads or use a second heddle. Sturdy wooden warp and cloth beams allow plenty of space for long warps and the resultant long length of cloth.

As all weavers know there is nothing plain about plain weave! Try colour and weave, textured yarns, crammed and spaced, thick and thin and more, the choices are endless! I can highly recommend this brilliant book; Plain Weave by Tina Ignell.  Showcasing 60 patterns with a full page colour photo of each one it’s a great source of inspiration.

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Reed delivery

We have just taken delivery of a large order of Toika Stainless Steel Reeds including some new dent sizes in metric and imperial measurements as well as some new lengths we have been asked to stock. The website should now be up to date with stock that is now available. We are pretty confident that you will find a Toika reed to fit your loom even if it isn’t a Toika! Toika reeds are still made in the traditional way and in our opinion offer high quality and excellent value for money. If you aren’t sure if a Toika reed will fit your loom please drop us an email or give us a ring and we can advise you. As we now very well stocked with reeds, it seems like good time to offer some information on substituting a reed.

Reed Substitution Charts

If you only have one or two reeds you will probably need a reed substitution chart. This is the easiest way of finding out how to thread the reed if the sett you have decided upon doesn’t fit easily into your reed in equal numbers. There’s lots of choice for imperial measurements, but less choice when it comes to metric. If you have reeds in several different sizes you may well be able to find a better solution to those offered in the substitution charts. Don’t forget that if your beater is open ended you can fit a longer size in than if it is closed at the sides. It is almost always possible to use a narrower reed than your loom requires as long as it is wide enough for your project. You may be able to borrow a reed better suited for your chosen sett from a weaving pal or your local Guild.

Ashford have a downloadable pdf reed substitution chart.

Just remember that sett recommendations are fairly arbitrary and should only be used as a starting point. Thinking about the use for the cloth, how it will change when taken off the loom, what effect wet finishing are just a few considerations we need to take into account when planning a project. Even when following a pattern from a book or magazine you may be making adjustments to suit your loom, the yarn you are using or the final use of the cloth. Setts are not set in stone, and sampling often yields the best outcomes.

Jane Stafford – whose subscription weaving course draws universal acclaim – also has a chart which includes 5dpi and 18dpi reeds.

While US weavers almost exclusively use imperial units, If you have European weaving books or magazines they will almost certainly only use metric reed numbers. The other important thing to remember with metric reeds is that the dent size is expressed as dents per 10cm, approximately 4 inches, something that I remember not understanding when I first read a Vav magazine!

Karen Eisenhower however has kindly worked out the conversions for us. You can find it on her website Warped for Good. Karen gives us accurate conversions, not approximations and her advice on choosing and using metric reeds over imperial has given me a great deal of thought. Many of us of a certain age muddle along using a hybrid of imperial and metric measurements. Karen also points out that “the math is much easier” in metric so I am going to give it a go on my next project for all of the calculations and measurements, and use metric reed in the process.

 Karen also has a brilliant weaving glossary, another source of excellent information as well as lots of weaving information and beautiful weaving to admire and inspire. You can sign up for updates if you like what you see.

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Online Weaving Resources

Recently I have been thinking about some of the great weaving resources that can be found on the internet. Sometimes I need to quickly look something up, find the answer, and move on. But other sites I find myself going back to time and time again. It’s good to share, so here are two that fall into the second category. if you haven’t already found them here are two of my favourites.

Helen. has thousands of weaving drafts, hundreds of articles, books and monographs as well as some basic but nevertheless very useful weaving draft software. Lots of this content is available with a free account but to access everything an annual subscription is required.  This is currently $29.99 (US). New features and improvements are ongoing.

Probably the best value weaving resource money can buy!

Peggy Osterkamp

Peggy is the author of several really great books and her website is full of information.

Peggy advocates using Ashenhurst’s Rule  to calculate sett and explains it very clearly on her website. It is based on based on yards per pound or metres per kilo meaning the sett is calculated using the size of the yarn regardless of fibre content.

There’s a lot of reference information for both novice and seasoned weavers, including some great tips on warping, using lease sticks and weaver’s knots, but my two most used (and bookmarked) pages are:

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Our website is now live!

Earlier this year we decided to wind down our “My Fine Weaving Yarn” business and focus on supplying high quality but affordable weaving looms and accessories. Today Weaving Looms has launched with a wide range of looms, reeds, warping, tie up, shuttles, stretchers and other essential weaving equipment.

We would like to hear what you think about our website and any suggestions for products you would like to see here. We would also love to see your weaving projects and feature them on our projects photo gallery. You can get in touch using the contact form or by emailing us at