I’ve never been a fan of loom work. Not the actual finished pieces mind you, but the process of working on a loom. I’ve tried it in the past and got frustrated and gave up pretty quickly. Working with all of the different threads was a pain and the looms were difficult to use. So imagine my disdain when I was asked to work with the NEW Ricks Beading Loom we just got in stock. I was not too excited at all. In preparation for my project, I visited the Ricks website and watched some of their informative videos. After watching the videos, the thought of working on this loom seemed a lot less daunting than when I first set out. Between the full color instruction sheet that comes with the loom and the video, it’s really simple to set up. I was really surprised by how easy this loom is to use.
On a traditional loom, you must have a separate thread for each warp. The warp is the thread that goes vertically on the loom and will make up the length of your finished piece. With the Ricks loom, you only need one continuous warp thread! When your piece is finished, you will only have two threads to tie off as opposed to the many you would have on a traditional loom. For my warp thread, I used a .5mm C-Lon cording as I wanted something a little bit stronger. For the weft (the thread running horizontally that holds your beads) I used a .006 Fireline.
I set my loom piece for 6.5 inches and got to work. I had to use a very small beading needle for these beads. The pyrite has very small and irregular holes and after experimenting I found that a size 13 beading needled worked the best. Using all eight colors available, I came up with a cute square pattern (see below.) My finished piece has 7 complete blocks in this pattern. I didn’t really have a set plan for the colors, I just made sure not to repeat any of the colors in each block.
When working with a pattern such as this, it is a good idea to factor that in to the finished size of the piece. Since you have to set your length from the beginning, it is not possible to adjust the size once you have begun stringing the beads. If you look at the header picture, you can see the first row and the last two don’t really fit with the pattern. That’s because I did not consider that when I was setting my length and I had to adjust it a little to make it work.
When setting my warp thread, I made sure to give myself lots of extra length on either end of my cording so that I could use those threads to attach my finished loom piece to some leather cord to create my bracelet. Using an overhand knot, I attached my button to the leather the I began to lash the loom piece to the leather . I used a big eye needle to thread the cord around the leather and through the loom piece to attach it. It was extremely difficult to get the loom piece to line up evenly under the button but it doesn’t affect the wearability of the bracelet. It’s one of those small details that makes the perfectionist in me slightly crazy.
For a novice Loomatik (that’s what the Ricks Loom fans call themselves) I’d say this turned out pretty great. It was so simple to use and is definitely something I will use again. As someone who previously would have never used a loom ever again, I think that says a whole lot. This entire project took a little over an hour to complete but Ricks Loom is so user-friendly that the process is really enjoyable. You can find the Ricks Loom on our website HERE.