Portrait of Sierra Roberts
by: Sierra Roberts

Getting to know pin looms with the Schacht Zoom Loom

Swatch, stitch, and experiment on the go!

Whether you’re swatching, making squares to sew into something larger, or just playing with color and texture – pin looms are perfectly portable and pretty adorable…

It seems there is no end to the list of things you can do with yarn, especially where weaving is concerned. Although pin looms have been around for a long time, Schacht has designed the most user friendly model I’ve come across – the Schacht Zoom Loom 4" x 4".  This little loom is sturdy and well-made, comfortable to hold, and (best of all) clearly labeled so you can be sure to get the right warp every time.  Pair that with their easy to read instruction manual, and you’ll be weaving your own squares in no time. But why tell you when I can show you? Using my own Zoom Loom, I swatched some Malabrigo Rios Superwash Wool Yarn, Norumbega Yarn and some Heirloom Romney Yarn. Follow along with your own favorite yarns…

 

Schacht Zoom Loom 4" x 4"  Schacht Zoom Loom 4" x 4"
Malabrigo Rios Superwash Wool Yarn Malabrigo Rios Superwash Wool Yarn
Norumbega Yarn Norumbega Yarn
Heirloom Romney Yarn Heirloom Romney Yarn

I love to see how variegated yarns like Malabrigo Rios Superwash Wool Yarn end up looking on this loom, so I decided to use that to demonstrate. At the bottom left, you can see the little notch that holds your yarn in place as you begin warping.

 

Malabrigo Rios Superwash Wool Yarn Malabrigo Rios Superwash Wool Yarn

Once you reach the other side, there are handy little markers on your loom that show exactly where to go next.  I love this feature because even though I’ve woven a million swatches on this, I always forget the exact steps. Now I don’t have to constantly go running for the manual! (Thank you, Schacht.)

Two warp layers down, one more to go… Again there’s a wonderful little number in that corner, letting you know what to do next.

All warped.  Now it’s time to measure out your weft!

To measure how much yarn you’ll need to finish your square, simply wrap it around the outside of the pins 5 times total. That’s it. Cut your yarn, thread the cut end through your needle, and you’re ready to weave. Well, you’ll want to unwind that yarn from the outside of the loom first!

The loom shows you where to start, and it’s pretty straightforward from there. The finished fabric is so neat and tidy, I can’t believe it made it with my own hands. Here are some close-ups so you can really see what each of these yarns look like:

Here’s the finished Malabrigo Rios swatch. Instant plaid, just add variegated yarn!
Made from Heirloom Romney, this swatch is kind of dense, super woolly and surprisingly soft.
Our Botanica is an awesome choice for weaving. I love the pebbled surface of the fabric, and the way the unique ply of this yarn makes little “X” patterns all over.

If you’re new to weaving, you’ll soon learn that swatching is just as important for weaving as it is for knitting, and a pin loom is a great way to preview how a yarn will behave when it is finished – before you make a full sized piece. You can estimate how tight a sett you’ll need by measuring and counting the ends per inch, then adjusting accordingly for a looser or tighter fabric. It’s also a no-risk way to play with combining colors and textures as you design bigger projects. These swatches are all shown using the same yarn for warp and weft, but you can also mix and match yarns to discover how two yarns will interact, with some amazing results!

The Schacht Zoom Loom 4" x 4" is the perfect choice for road trips and vacation weaving, testing out textures, and also for using up leftover yarn. But a quick internet search shows a whole world of uses for this simple little loom. These squares can be sewn together any which way to produce clothing, accessories, toys (picture some simple stuffed cubes for your favorite kiddo) – you name it.  Actually, I’ve been fantasizing about making a T-shirt out of my own growing stack of swatches. What a fun, easy way to play with yarn!

 

Schacht Zoom Loom 4" x 4"  Schacht Zoom Loom 4" x 4"

 

Related items of interest: • Weaving EquipmentOur yarnsMedium weight yarnsWool yarns

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