When I first started weaving back in 2014 there were not a ton of loom options available. I purchased my first loom on Etsy from MaryAnne Moodie for about $145. It came with a small selection of yarns and a small pair of adorable scissors. It was a pretty small loom and was easy to assemble (no drilling required). Luckily for me, at that price point, I fell in love with weaving immediately.
Over the years, the number of loom makers has grown and the options are plenty. As my skills and scale increased, I purchased looms created by Meghan Shimek (with a rotating heddle), Lost Pond Looms, and another loom from MaryAnne Moodie. And a few months ago, I even purchased a barnwood frame and hammered 200 nails in it to create a 3 foot wide loom for even larger projects!
So, when I started to explore loom options for my weaving classes at Fancy Tiger Crafts, I was excited to see what was on the market for beginning weavers today. We looked at a lot of looms and considered size, price and wholesale opportunities. Ultimately we decided on this precious little number by Black Sheep Goods.
While I worked on my demo for my class, I thought a lot about how this loom would work for a beginning weaver and how it compared to the loom I learned on years ago. Here are my thoughts:
Price: This beginners loom is only $28!!! That is the less then what I have paid for a skein of some of my favorite yarns! This means you can try out weaving at a vary low cost of entry. Who doesn't like that!? And for $28 you don't just get the loom but also included are a number of weaving tools: a tapestry needle, 2 shuttles, pick up stick and comb.
Craftsmanship: The loom and tools come in one piece and you have to pop each piece out. I don't think I realized that the kit is somewhat fragile and I did experience some splintering on my loom. I think if I had been a bit more careful, I definitely could have avoided this,. They do include a small piece of sand paper so they recognize this can be an issue. The attention to detail and design aspect of the loom is wonderful. The loom is small (around 8x10) and sleek which is great for new weavers and weaving on the go. Crafted of birch, it is also very light weight which is also great if you're traveling! The only issue I had is that the weight of the loom gives very little resistance when you're trying to warp the loom AND when you're pulling the weft. This was something I noticed in comparison to all my other larger and heavier looms but was able to quickly adjust my weaving style to compensate for this difference. If this is your first time using a loom this would likely be a non-issue.
Tools: Ok, as you can see in the pictures, the loom and tools all have the most adorable designs on the them and I just loved looking at them as I was weaving. I am a sucker for cute illustrations and these designs pulled on my heart strings. Not a must have but definitely a nice to have!! But to be honest, I didn't find the tools that useful with this kit. The loom is so small, I don't think the shuttles are really necessary BUT I could see myself using them with bigger looms. I also didn't use the needle or the comb, because I don't like the feel of the wood against my yarn. I prefer a metal needle and comb/fork. This is just be a personal preference and I'd love to hear what your thoughts are if you purchase this loom!
Maker Lastly this loom is made by the most adorable woman Ashely. Check out her bio here and her super cool video! I love that she cares about the earth demonstrated by the fact that the birch for the loom is made of sustainable birch and most of her beautiful woven goods are made of vintage, dead stocked or reclaimed yarns and materials. Rad huh?
Final Thoughts Overall I think the Black Sheep Goods Pop Out Loom is a wonderful beginners loom AND a great option for weaving teachers to use in a class for first time weavers. The small scale will allow your students to finish a project within the class time AND the low price helps keep costs down for your students. Plus its just so darn cute!
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