New Toy Alert: iLoom

This was a Christmas Day present purchased because I have been considering a small loom for some time.  Part of me keeps saying ‘you have no room for another hobby’.   Curiosity and the small size won out so it came home with me from Hobby Lobby and went under the tree.

It is laptop size and I don’t mean PC.  It’s designed to hold an Ipad behind the spool thingy in the middle. There is an app for the Ipad which will keep track of your rows.  I thought if they put out the app for Ipad there would be an Android version. I was shocked to find that iLoom did not appear in the Google Play Store.  I think that’s a bad oversight on the manufacturers part. This old lady is a diehard Android fan.  The people I know in the next generation, I think the intended demographic, like Amazon Kindle, also Android. I don’t personally know anyone of any age that has an Ipad.  We’re middle class people who see no reason to pay $600 for a $50 item (Kindle price at Thanksgiving 2015).  So I scoped out Youtube and the Internet. Nothing beyond a couple of slick ads which were not instructional.  Finally I searched for ‘friendship bracelets’ and was on my way.

Front

My first project is 6″ long, 6 strands. Well 8.  I doubled the white so that it would be the same thickness as the green and blue cords. This is a simple forward knot repeated left to right each row. Ah! Light bulb, we’re doing macrame on a small-scale! I started with 36″ strands and an hour later decided that the tails were too short for any more rows of knots.

Back

This is a test. I wanted to know how time intensive it was and how long initial cords needed to be. I also wanted to develop some skill. That takes time and I’m not displaying any skill in this sample. My edges are uneven and so are my knots.  I thought a little steam from the iron might even things up but that didn’t make a big difference. So I suspect that what comes off the loom is what I have to work with and I need to develop more skill.

The loom itself is pretty cool. The turquoise areas at the bottom are sliced for holding working cords. There are two types of bobbins. The round things seen at the top, which I haven’t worked with and some little turquoise bones.  I like the bones but doubt that they will last long.  They store at the top in the middle between the round bobbins. When they die, I’ll use standard  floss bobbins.  The spool like thing in the middle which rests on top of the Ipad, holds the initial knot. For those you who didn’t macrame in the ’60s.  The amount of yarn is estimated; cut off the spool. The strands are smoothed together into a long strand and folded double. A simple overhand knot is done at that point where the group strand has been doubled.  Most of the Youtubes I watched, taped the initial knot to a board.  With this loom, a turquoise cap is lifted, the knot is placed over a spool,  the cap is replaced holding the knot securely  in place.  As the knots are made a slim ‘fabric’ or  ‘macrame piece’ or ‘bracelet’ evolves getting longer with each row.  Eventually it extends beyond the bottom of the loom and knotting becomes awkward.  At that point the spool with its turquoise lid is rolled forward wrapping the work around the spool. There is a catch so that the spool will not unroll.   WOW I hope my explanation hasn’t made this seem hard. It’s actually a clever, inexpensive tool that makes small macrame easy.

I have an endpoint in mind:  matching trims. I have a sewing project stalled now because I need a finish for a cut edge on a loosely woven fabric.  Turned and covered with a ribbon or other trim would be perfect except I don’t have a trim I like. I do have a cone of yarn that matches beautifully.  I’m often in similar position.  I could embroider yards of trim. I’ve done that in the past.  However it requires either yards of stabilizer or joining the trim at the SM.  Joins are usually imperfect and most of the stabilizer is wasted (making continuous embroidery a very expensive operation).  It’s a choice but I’d like an alternative.  The down side of the iLoom will be time. I made a 6″ trim in one hour. I usually buy 3 yards per project. For 3 yards I need to plan 18 hours {(36″ / 6 )*3 yards}

Well truth is I usually buy 2 spools because I know I can’t go back to the store if I don’t have enough. In which case I have to change my project or wait until I can get to the store and buy more.  If I wait, the store rarely has the same trim in stock and I never find an exciting substitute. It kind of spoils the project in my mind.

I can understand why most people produce key fobs and friendship bracelets with this technique. The good thing is, this is a craft easily done in front of the TV. So even if I have to delay the project a week, eventually I will be able to continue with a trim that I like. I call that a SCORE.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “New Toy Alert: iLoom

  1. I so admire you’re technical skills! You come up with things I’d never heard of! I’m loving following your journey of the new machine – and now a loom. I’ll have to check those out. I have no desire to own one but I would like to ‘see’ one!!
    Marcia

    1. Thank you marcia. I’m always curious about crafts and try as many as I can. I’ve done macrame before — like back in the sixties. But that was for plant hangers, belts or larger stuff that’s pretty quick to make. I might not pursue this except there really are times when I’d like a coordinating trim dont have one on hand cant get to Sioux Falls and when I do cant find something there. It occurred to me it wouldnt take a whole lot of room for a nice supply of perle cotton or embroidery floss. I’ve got to develop some skill before I’m confident enough to buy a stash.

      If I dont hear from you before then: Happy New Year!

Comments are closed.