Basic Weaving with the New Bucilla Loom

Last month, I had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta to visit the headquarters of one of my favorite brand partners, Plaid Crafts. While I was there, I got to try out lots of fun new products and techniques, all of which I’ll be sharing here on the blog soon. First up is something I thought I wasn’t going to be my thing, but ended up being one of my absolute favorites…second only to watercolor paints and water brushes…weaving with the new Bucilla Adjustable Loom.

There’s something so comforting about having soft textures in our homes, so it’s no wonder that woven wall hangings, rugs, coasters, and blankets are incredibly popular right now. The Bucilla Adjustable Loom, available in 10″ and 16″, allows you to create your own woven projects in a variety of sizes using any yarn, pattern, and design you love. Here’s a look at the wall hanging I created during my trip…I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out! I used neutral colors so it could go anywhere in my home, and I made up the design as I went.

I want to share this pattern with you so you can create your own, but first, we need to look at how to use the loom and do the three basic stitches you’ll need to know. Today’s post will cover assembling the loom and the first stitch, called the plain stitch. That will get you started with basic weaving, then I’ll share the other stitches along with how to finish it off and the specific pattern for this hanging in another post or two. I find that it’s better to break things up into manageable chunks instead of trying to become a pro all at once, right? So here we go…

You’ll need:

10″ Loom Starter Kit {affiliate link}: Contains 10″ loom and hardware, cotton warping string, acrylic yarn, wooden comb, and plastic needle

There is also a 16″ loom available as well if you prefer to make larger projects instead!

Assembling the Loom:

The loom comes pre-assembled in the starter kit, but if you buy it separately or want to adjust the size, it’s easy to do! There are four wooden pieces; the two with a series of 26 notches are the top and bottom, and the two with wide grooves and holes are the vertical sides. Four screws and wing nuts secure the wooden pieces together, one in each corner. To use the full 10″ square, the top pieces sit in the farthest grooves, as shown below. However, if you want to make a smaller project, the top and bottom pieces can sit in any of the grooves you like. Just remove the wing nuts and screws, re-position the wooden pieces wherever you want them, and insert the hardware.

Stringing the Loom:

In the kit, you’ll find 100% cotton warping string for this step. If/when you make so many projects that you run out, you can find similar string in the yarn and crochet section of any local craft store. Starting in the lower left corner, you will wrap the string around the first two notches on the bottom and tie it in place. Then, you’ll stretch the string up to the top, letting it rest in the farthest left notch. Wrap it around the top and then come back down through the next notch. Pull the string down to the bottom where it will rest in the second notch. Wrap it around and go up through the third. Continue across, wrapping the string and letting it sit in each notch…does that make sense? Up on the left, down on the right, up, then down. All of this happens on the front of the loom. When I first tried wrapping mine, I wrapped it all the way around the wood, but you just want to go around the little cutouts on the front. When you’re done, you should have something that looks like the image below. When you get to the end, you’ll wrap the string all the way around the final two notches and tie it off. Make sure the strings are nice and taut.

Preparing Your Yarn:

You’ll want to prepare for weaving by cutting a piece of yarn and threading it onto your plastic needle. Typically, I cut a piece that’s about 3-4 yards in length. It sounds like a lot, but that’s what you need to create a decent sized section of color. Of course, depending on your pattern, you can use more or less. You can weave with any color, size, and texture of yarn you like. In fact, I like to choose yarns that are different from each other so that I have contrast and variety within the piece. You’ll see in the photos how different thicknesses and textures of yarn create a totally different look. Using variegated yarn is another fun way to add visual interest, because the color will change gradually as you work.

The Plain Stitch:

The simplest of all the stitches to do is called the “plain stitch.” To begin, you’ll start on the left side of your loom and place your needle under the first warp string. Then, you’ll begin to weave by moving the needle in an “over, under” pattern over the remaining strings. It’s just like when you were a kid and would weave strips of construction paper together! Over, under, over, under, over, under. I like to thread my needle through as many of the warp strings as I can before pulling the yarn through because it saves time.

Once you’ve gotten through all the warp strings, you’ll pull the yarn through. Be sure to leave a tail that’s about 3″ long. Later, you will tuck this in and it won’t be visible, but for now, you can just let it hang out to the side.

Here’s how your yarn will look when you’ve woven it across the warp strings.

Now, you’ll “beat it down” by gently pushing it down to meet the previous rows – or in the case of the first row, just gently push it as far down the strings as you can. You can use your fingers, or the wooden comb provided in the kit is great for this job.

Continue weaving by going back across the loom in the opposite direction. Your last stitch was to go over the last warp string on the right; now you’ll go under it and continue the over, under pattern heading back to the left of the loom. Repeat until you run out of yarn, making sure to leave a 3″ tail again at the end. {Mine isn’t visible in the photo because I tucked in in already.}

As you go, you’ll want to keep your stitches somewhat taut, but don’t pull too tightly or you’ll lose the rectangular shape of your project.

That’s all there is to the plain stitch! You can create an entire project using just this stitch if you like, and by varying the color and texture of your yarn, each section will look different! To change colors, simply finish with the first color, then start immediately with the next color repeating the same process; leave a 3″ string and begin weaving, beating each row down to sit on top of the one before it.

In the next post, we’ll talk about how to do a twill stitch and add fringe to your piece like I did in my wall hanging.
Personally, I find weaving to be incredibly relaxing. I don’t have to think too hard about it, and it’s something I can easily do while watching television or chatting with a friend. In fact, while I was at Plaid, I worked while I listened to some of the speakers give their presentations, and I even worked on it in the airport when I was waiting to come home. It’s a portable kind of project, much like crochet or knitting, and I find it really enjoyable, which I wasn’t expecting!

I am anxious to make another project, but in the meantime, Little Crafter stole my loom and has been working on his own wall hanging! As a matter of fact, the green, blue, and gray you see in some of the photos is actually his project. He did that weaving all by himself and chose the yarns as well. So, be forewarned, you may need to get a kit for your little crafters too.

Hope you enjoyed this first part of the tutorial; stay tuned for more stitches and how to finish off a project, coming soon!

Weaving with the Bucilla Adjustable Loom

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  1. I just bought the loom Thursday night and I love it I just wish that there were patterns for blankets in the book that came with it because two of the patterns that are in the book are for the same thing

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