Fisher-Price Loom Set Up Instructions/Tutorial

When I was eight or nine years old I received a Fisher Price Loom as a gift. I spent many hours that winter weaving purses, bags, and placemats with it. It must have been packed away when I was in middle school, and I forgot all about it until 20 years later. I called my mom one day and said, "I wish I had kept that loom, it was such a cool toy and I think our daughter would love it." I was sure I had taken it to the Goodwill when I was preparing to move to Colorado.

About I week later, I received a box from my parents. The loom! They found it in a box in the attic, and all of the pieces were there. A few of my readers have written to ask how to set up this loom, so I thought I would share a little photo tutorial with you. If you have this loom, you should have:

1. Six nuts 

2. The heddle

3. Two levers

4. Two cross bars with letters, one without letters

5. Two side panels

Okay, here we go!
First, look at the inside of the side panels and locate the L and R for left and right sides. There are corresponding letters, and L and R on the heddle so you know which way the heddle goes.

The heddle goes between the panels into the circular opening.

Locate the levers, they are also conveniently labeled L and R. 

Put the end of the heddle through the circular opening in the panel and snap the lever onto the end of the heddle. This is the trickiest part of set up- it is a snug fit and requires careful pressure because you don't want to snap the plastic parts.

Repeat this for the other side, the lever secures the heddle and is used to move it up and down.

Find the cross bar without the letters and secure it between the side panels below and behind the heddle. It goes into the opening that is square.

Use one nut on each side to tighten the cross bar.

 Find the cross bar that has the teeth on the bottom and ends on the letter V. 

This bar needs to go between the panels at the front of the looom. Secure with a nut at each end.

The last cross bar has teeth on the top and ends with the letter U. When securing the top cross bar, be sure the heddle is properly placed between the panels. The levers should raise the heddle up and down as shown in the photos below.

Secure the top cross bar with a nut at each end.

You are all done- your loom is set up!

This is what it should look like when the lever and heddle are in the down position.

This is what it should look like when the lever and heddle are in the up position.

Begin weaving by securing your warp at the front of the loom. To warp, simply wrap the warp around a "lettered tooth" at each pass.

When you get to the top of the loom, you will approach the matching letter at the top cross bar, and alternate as you warp up and down between the top and slot of the heddle. It sounds confusing, but once you do it you will see how simple and intuitive this step is. You can make the warp as wide or narrow as you wish.

It is my experience that the shuttle and the comb are the easiest parts to lose from this loom. These are the ones that come with the loom:

If you lose your shuttle, you can simply use another one, like this one from Schacht.

Once you warp the loom and get your shuttles ready, you can start weaving!

Lift and lower the lever between each pass of the shuttle.

You will fall into a rhythm within a few passes.

Fun, isn't it? I think they should re-issue the Fisher Price Loom. I am so glad I didn't give it away after all!

Happy Weaving!


Phoebe's Birthday is at Quilt Market!

We are on a new adventure... Phoebe's Birthday is at Quilt Market in Houston this weekend! Checker Distributors recently picked up our newest book for distribution, and will be displaying Phoebe's Birthday at their booth. Happy Stitching, everybody!


Jane Austen Knits, Fall 2012

by Joanna

Have you seen the fall issue of Jane Austen Knits? My copy arrived in the mail yesterday, and I think it is the most beautiful issue yet. Can you believe this is the third one already?

My favorite photographs are of these three sisters having a tea party picnic. The baby in her bonnet is so adorable- I think I may just implode from the cuteness!

Although I don't have any patterns in this particular issue, I did have a hand in it. (I am still holding out hope to see my name next to "yarn wrangler" some day... but for now, "yarn coordinator" suits just fine.) It was a delight to work with the team of editors, designers, and yarn companies on this publication. Christa did an amazing job at the photo shoots, as did the stylist and the models. 

I love the collection of patterns featured in this new issue, but I think that the Misses Bertram Wrap by Catherine Salter Bayar, worked in Handmaiden Flaxen, has captured my fancy more than any other. 



Naturally Fun Parties For Kids~ book review

Naturally Fun Parties for Kids by Anni Daulter and Heather Fontenot is hands down the most beautiful children's party book I have ever seen. As a mom of three children who all have summer birthdays, I am always looking for new ideas for our backyard birthday parties. Until I read this book, I thought we had pretty much covered all of the party theme possibilities: luau, craft, train, cookie monster, jewelry, carnival, sweetheart, obstacle course, dinosaurs... we have thrown over 20 birthday parties for the kids out in our back yard. As a result, I have a collection of resources to inspire me: cookbooks, 1950's party books,  magazine clippings, pinterest pins, and so forth. Even so, I was starting to run out of ideas. Until I discovered this book.

Anni, the author of several lovely cookbooks, has thoughtfully organized the book by the four seasons, with three party theme concepts for each season. (I will say, though, that most of the themes would work year-round, too.) Each party has ideas for everything, including: inspiration, projects and materials, a timeline (that is realistic for even the busiest of families), invitations, setting the scene, activities, decorations, and, my favorite part, scrumptious recipes. At the very top of my list for our daughter is the Natural Spa Party. I just love that instructions for the six spa concoctions are all included, and that the party activity doubles as favors for the children to bring home at the end of the party. Actually, I think I might want to have a Natural Spa Party with my grown-up friends!

Heather, the co-author of the book, presents crafts, decorations, and activities for families to share together that are both simple and engaging. I love that so many of these party ideas can be pulled together with things I already have at home. Broken crayons? Paint and brushes? Glass jars? Rolls of paper? yup. I really dislike sending our party guests home with a little cheap bag of junky plastic toys. Now, a handmade dream pillow, rainbow crayons, and one-of-a-kind artwork? Those are party favors worth writing home about! Our son, who loves to draw, would just love an art-themed birthday party.

As for our youngest's birthday next summer... I can't decide between the Pancake P.J. Day Party and the Knights and Dragons Quest Party. But that's okay. I have all fall, winter, and spring to plan his big day. And you can bet I will have this book at my side the whole time!

A review copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher. Please visit their site for more information on how to order Naturally Fun Parties for Kids.