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Warp Weighted Tabletop Loom: Build and Weave   

The warp-weighted loom has a more than 9,000 year history as a vital tool of everyday life. Instructors Melba Granlund and Jess Hirsch have updated this fascinating tool into a tabletop version better suited to the modern home and habits. In this unique combination course, students will learn both woodworking and weaving skills as they build a loom and learn to weave. No previous experience is required, as Jess Hirsch, an experienced woodworking instructor, will guide students through use of a table saw, miter saw, bandsaw, and drill to cut and assemble all the pieces of their loom over the course of two days. Once the loom is completed, students will warp their loom with stone weights and begin weaving a small rya to use as a wall hanging or pillow top under the instruction of Melba Granlund. Historically, large ryas were woven on the full-sized looms and used as bed covers or outer garments, many with a distinctive look of a sheep skin, with fleece locks woven into one side. Students will choose from an array of colors of Swedish and Norwegian wool yarns and fleece locks to weave their project. The instructor will share a variety of examples and reference materials for design inspiration. This course welcomes beginning and experienced weavers alike, and no woodworking experience is required. Students may not complete their weaving in class, but finishing techniques will be discussed and the loom can simply be loaded into the car for the trip home.

Required Tools

  • Graph paper and colored pencils for sketching rya design 
  • Tapestry beater or kitchen fork with wide-set prongs
  • Scissors
  • Plastic zip lock bags to hold short lengths of cut yarn or fleece locks
  • Tote bag to hold warp weights (rocks) and yarns/fleece to take home

Optional Tools

  • Crochet hook(s) (sizes from D -G)
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