Butterfly looms are wooden tools that help you wrap and knot yarn, creating beautiful designs for clothing or textiles. The looms come in five different sizes: baby, small, medium, rectangle and large. The process is similar to knitting or crochet but doesn't require a complicated technique. Instead, you can create your designs a square at a time and, when you're done, release the finished piece quickly and easily from the loom without disturbing your pattern.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Butterfly loom
- Yarn of your choice
- Pattern for a design
- Large crafting needle
Secure the butterfly loom's shape by ensuring the arm is locked in position at the back of the loom. If necessary, tighten the second screw so the arm won't slip out of place while you are creating your yarn design.
Hold the loom with the hinges facing you and refer to your yarn pattern for directions on which side to start wrapping. Wrap from top to bottom first, moving along one square with each wrap you make. When you begin, leave the end of the yarn free, taping it to the back of the loom if you need to keep it out of the way.
Turn the loom 90 degrees when you have finished wrapping the top and bottom so that the section you have wrapped is now pointing from side to side. Fold the yarn over a corner square and continue wrapping from the top to the bottom of the loom.
Repeat this process, turning the loom 90 degrees in the same direction once you reach the end of the row, until you have created enough rows to match your pattern.
Cut the yarn, leaving three inches spare at the end of the last row. Tie this end of the yarn to the beginning section of the yarn so the design is held in place.
Wrapping the Loom
Take a different coloured piece of yarn and use it to thread a large crafting needle. Unless your pattern states otherwise, start by threading the second yarn thread under the top left-hand intersection of the first piece of thread on the loom. Leave about an inch of thread spare at the end and use this to tie a knot so the second thread is secured to the first.
Thread the needle back under the same intersection in the opposite direction to which you tied the knot. Pull the thread over the top of the intersection, leaving a loop. Thread the needle through the loop and pull it tight, creating a knot over the intersection.
Repeat the same process with the intersection underneath, leaving a loop and pulling the needle through the loop to create a knot. Then, at the same intersection, thread the needle under the intersection in the opposite direction, still leaving a loop and then pulling it tight so you have created two knots at the same intersection.
Create knots over all intersections on the left-hand side of the loom, using the same method. Once you have finished the column, Turn the loom 90 degrees to the right so that the threaded column is now the top row. Create a knot on the intersection underneath on the left hand side, then continue threading left to right, making two knots per intersection.
Follow the same pattern for the rest of the loom, moving down a step every time you reach the end of a row. This creates a ladder design. You can also create a cross-stitch pattern by making the same knots at each intersection but threading the yarn diagonally instead of vertically and horizontally.
Creating the Design
Unhook the arm on the back of the loom, loosening the screw first if necessary. Carefully fold the loom at the hinges until the design slides off. You can now attach your design to other squares or display it as it is.
Place one square on top of another, with the plain sides facing outwards and the sides with the coloured yarn design touching.
Hold the left-hand loops in your left hand and, still holding the two squares together, flick the squares open so that the design now faces outwards.
Thread the needle with the same colour thread you used for the design. Pass it through the closest knots on the left-hand and right-hand squares, joining the two squares together. Repeat this process, working your way down each row until you have joined one side of each square together.
Join each square you have created together in a pattern of your choosing. For shawls or throws, you will want to join them together in a square shape. For scarves, you might want to join each square together in a line.
Joining Squares Together
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