Since I didn’t know what width of tarn would work best with my new mat loom,
I arbitrarily chose 5/8″, halfway between the widths I had used for my two previous tarn projects. (bathmat and kitchen rugs) The four colors, in the order I put them on the loom, are black, light grey, forest and bright green.
5/8″ strips worked o.k., creating a lightweight placemat,
and I think the four-color pattern is striking, on both front and back.
But reaching down through two upper layers (forest and light grey) to pull up the black strands of the bottom layer was not as easy as that video I wrote about earlier made it look! You think you’ve grabbed both strands when you’ve actually only gotten ahold of one.
It was only when I happened to look at the back of the loom that I discovered the many overshots that I’d accidentally created. (Overshot – in this case, a horizontal strand that passes over three vertical strands instead of just one) I corrected them by undoing and reweaving the middle of each three strand group, more difficult the further along I’d woven after making a mistake. . . not something I want the Crochet Ladies to have to deal with.
And I’m not crazy about the mat’s little “zig-zags” either. There’s a bright green zig-zag over forest going vertically near the left edge and then forest against light grey going horizontally along the bottom.
Plus, on the flip side, there’s a major jumble of light grey on the left. Yuck.
Amazing, considering the number of times I watched the video, that I never noticed any “zig-zags” until after I’d finished weaving this mat.
O.Kaaaay. . . so what if we were to weave mats out of giant potholder loops instead of tarn?
I remembered having seen a CraftSanity post about making potholder loops from t-shirt fabric and thought I’d give it a try. I cut and stretched onto a potholder loom one loop each in the two widths mentioned in the video and decided to cut enough 2 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ loops to make one potholder.
Much too wide – not enough room on a little potholder loom for all that fabric! – so I skipped a peg every now and then in order to finish the potholder, which is why it’s slightly rectangular. . .
and stiff, so stiff it can easily stand on its own! lol.
But that’s fine, cuz the main reason for making this particular potholder was to find out the ratio of looper length to loom size. . . 5.5″ loop to 7″ loom = .78, which I then applied to my mat loom. A 16 1/2″ x 20 1/2″ rectangle, it requires loopers in two lengths, 13 and 16″. ((16.5″ x .78 = 13″ and 20 1/2 x .78 = 16) Since this loom’s nails are further apart than the potholder loom’s pegs, I cut strips 3″ wide, 2 1/2 if the tee was heavier.
Weaving the first mat went smoothly, if slowly. A 20″ loom is huge compared to 7!! After I’d woven about a third of the way across I stopped cut 1/4″ from each side of the remaining loopers, which kept my first t-shirt mat from turning out as stiff as that first t-shirt potholder!
For my second mat, I again cut loops 13 and 16 inches long, but only 2 1/2″ wide, 2″ if heavyweight.
See how much they stretch!
These proved to be Just Right. Yay!!
These mats measure about 13 1/2″ x 18″, good for placemats, a sleeping mat for a cat or small dog, or as a mat to go by the door for wet shoes. – Any other ideas for ways to use these cute little mats? –
I’ll end this post by sharing something I learned through sad experience. . . When stretching a diy t-shirt looper to go across a loom, it’s best to gently pull by the loop’s little “end tabs”. If, instead, you give the loop a mighty tug with all your fingers inside, like we’re used to doing with those tough commercially made sock loops, your handmade t-shirt loops are very likely to tear. – Oops! Good thing I had plenty more of that particular color loop. –