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New Project - Adult-sized Peg Loom

Have any of you played with those peg looms aka potholder looms? The photo to the left links you to one sold on Amazon.

When my sister and I were little (like under ten) we played with these a lot. Probably made a hundred potholders between the two of us. Neither of us cared much about design - we just enjoyed making things that we could actually use.

In January, while researching something on Pinterest, I found a photograph of an adult peg loom, and promptly sent the image to my sister to see if she could make one. As my sister and I grew up, I went to the fiber arts, while she went to carpentry. The first project had some technical glitches (the boards broke), but the second project succeeded.

The Second Loom
The second loom measures in at 30" by 18", but the actual weaving width is 27" by 15". The finished items measure in at 23" by 12". The shrink is almost four inches all around, which was a little more than I expected, but within the limit I built into the original plan of 3.5' by 4.5'.

To begin my experiments, I used two old bed sheets we no longer used. Both were t-shirt type material, and blue. One had clouds and the other was solid. In this case, the clouds were my 27" length, and the solid was the 15" length. I cut them two inches wide, and one inch longer. The total strips were 2" by 32" (56") or a circle 2" wide with a 15.5" (55.5") diameter.

First Rug (23" by 12")
The first attempt turned out well ... ish. I had a few problems with the 27" inch lengths because instead of measuring them on the cutting board, I laid one already cut to measure the new ones thereby adding length unintentionally.

Second Rug (23" by 12")
The second and third rugs used 1.5" strips I had already cut out for rug weaving, quilting and other items. Once again, I measured them to 28" and 16" respectively. The second rug utilized calico fabric (quilting fabric), so it was a little stiffer than the first rug. Also, since the calico cotton is woven in plain weave, it wasn't as springy as the t-shirt sheets which were knitted. In the case of the second rug, I ran out of long enough strips for the 28" length, so I used only three seen on the top, bottom and middle. They are the locations where there is a long dark stripe.

Third Rug (23" by 12")
The final rug used fabric similar to the second rug (the bright yellow and the pink from the second rug are the same designs, just different colors), and a flannel plaid. Once again, I ran out of fabric for the original intent, so I compromised.

The second and third rug took me about two hours to cut down and sew the ends together, but about an hour to weave and finish both of them. In total, it takes about two to three hours to make one rug at this size simply because of sewing the ends together. I did discover that if I sew the ends together in one continuous stream, it makes it go by quicker instead of doing each one individually. I learned the concept from making log cabin and drunkard's path quilts. Very handy trick, actually.

All three rugs before sewing (3' by 2')
One thing I quickly realized was that the rugs individually are much too small to sell anywhere. There is little to no use for items at 2' by 1', so I laid the three of them down together to see what happened (photo above). Now at 3' by 2' the three rugs work better together. The major downside is the bound-off edge is too thick to use the sewing machine, so I have to hand sew them together. Should prove interesting.

If you want to see a photograph of the finished product, follow me on Twitter @bridgettenbrian
Next Saturday, I'll have step-by-step instructions on how I make them with photographs.


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