Peggy’s Weaving Tips

Please enjoy the weaving tips below that I’ve accumulated over quite a few years. I have just published the most popular tip as a Kindle booklet: Peggy’s Weaving Tips: Hemstitching! It is an enhanced version of the tip plus a gallery of hemstitching variations. It is available for download on Amazon for $2.99. Of course it can be viewed on all Kindle readers and on most smart phones, tablets, and computers if you install the free Kindle reading app on your device.  Watch for more eBooks on weaving tips. Any suggestions for tips?

For those who have been tied up in knots trying to tie weaver’s knots this Kindle booklet is for you! Three methods to tie a weaver’s knot plus how to tie a double weaver’s knot are included. How to undo a weaver’s knot and how to know if it is tied correctly are valuable descriptions. Detailed illustrations show the steps for tying other knots that hand weavers use. Light and dark cords make clear the path that each part of a knot is to take. Various knots are grouped together to show their similarities which also aids learning. A chart shows given situations and what knot(s) to use. Over 65 illustrations are shown for 20 different knots that weavers need to know.

How to Make Lark’s Head Knots
Using the Two-stick Heading
Homemade Counter for Sectional Beaming
Yarn Packages and Tension Boxes:
Combining Sectional and Plain Beaming
Warping Drum
Lacing On
Two-Stick Heading
Tying on New Warps the New Way
Beam the Warp Under a Lot of Tension
Threading Without Mistakes: Part One
Prevent the Loom from Walking: “Firewood Method”
Threading Without Mistakes: Part Two
Jim’s Adjustable Loop
Kitestick Instead of Chaining Your Warps
Two Ways to Tie Lease Sticks
Automatic Reed Hook
Lease Cord Instead of Lease Sticks
Yarn Count Explained: Understanding the Labels on Yarn Packages
End-feed Shuttles Go Back and Forth Like Boat Shuttles
Jim’s Fisherman’s Knot
Crank in the Right Direction
Weight Bundles of Warps to Make Threading Easy
Use a Tension Box to Wind Pirns and Bobbins Tight
Making a Special Raddle
McMorran Balance
Beam Your Warps Under Tension
What Looms Do
Tying onto the Apron Rod
Use Color Coded Ties to Avoid Twists and Tangles
Weaving With Two or More Warps: Part One
Weaving with Two or More Warps: Part Two
 Weaving with Two or More Warps: Part Three
Planning a Project
The Path on the Warping Board
 Screw Eyes The “Catch” fine Threads
A Special Bow
How Many Ounces in a 50-gram Ball?
A Better Way to use Paper for Winding Warps
Some Yarns Twist Severely in Raddle Groups
The doubling Stand and Tension Box
Avoiding Twists in the Raddle Groups
More About Yarns: Unbalanced, Plied, Singles
Lease Sticks: In or Out During Weaving?
Size of Lease Sticks is Important
Ashnenhurt Rule
Sett: Allowing for the Purpose
Sett: Making Your Weaving Easier
Sett for Balanced, Warp-faced, and Weft-faced Fabrics
Weaver’s Knot and Different Ways to Make It: Part I
Weaver’s Knot: Part II: When One End is Short
Weaver’s Knot: Part III: The Rabbit Hole Story
Weaver’s Knot: part IV: Double Weaver’s Knot
How Drafts Are Read
A Trick When You Must Unweave a Single Weft
Boat Shuttle Tips
For Your Weaving: a Beautiful Fringe
Unwinding Skeins
Warp Yarn Pills, Frays, Breaks
Sett Charts
Cutting Yarn Tails
Tying a new Warp to an Old One
Pre-sleying a Reed
Allowing for Shrinkage
Narrow Warps: Another Approach
Why Make Two Crosses (Leases)
Crossed Warp Threads and How to Fix Them
Can’t Get a Shed?
Repairing a Broken Warp
Plain Weaves Are Wider than Twills
Why Warp Back-to-Front
Keeping Count
The Path on the Warping Board
Tie the End Loops
Lacing On
Warping Drum: Part One
Warping Drum: Part Two
Warping Drum: Part Three
Boat Shuttle Bobbins
Manufacturer’s Knots
Try Tying on New Warps This Way
Using a Temple or Stretcher (Croc Clips)
Why Use a Paddle
Sheds Too Small

34 thoughts on “Peggy’s Weaving Tips”

    • This indicates that the tension on the selvedge threads is too little in relationship to the rest of the warp. Can you tighten them or reduce the general tension on the whole warp? You only need enough tension on the warp to get a shed–unless you are doing weft faced things. Then the tension needs to be tight. I discuss this on page 309 in my book, Weaving for Beginners. You can order it on my web site.

    • Are the heddles all threaded and now you are threading the reed? Sounds like your yarn is being abraded by the reed. Change the reed to larger spaces and put more threads in each space to keep the sett you want. Larger spaces in the reed will prevent the reed’s wires from rubbing so much on the threads. You might have to open the sett up if that doesn’t work. When you weave, lift one shaft at a time when creating a shed. Then the threads themselves in the heddles and reed can pass with less abrasion. While weaving, constantly check for ANY fuzz balls on the warps behind the heddles and get rid of them immediately and check often. A fuzz ball will “knot” the warps together and become unseparable. Good luck. Keep me posted.

      • I change reed to a bigger size and it was just falling apart in the reed and the heddles so I took of the whole warp and started a new one. I will use this yarn for a weft.. Lesson learned My biggest problem is I’am self taught and I have a lot to learn . My father in Law was the superintendent J P Stevens Woolen mill and a wonderful weaver. When he passed away he left me his H..D 40′ floor loom and a lot cone yarns and tote full of yarn the problem is they have no label or other information on what type they are is their some kind of chart or method to figure out what types of yarn they are I know the burn method for wool and the method to figure out if it balance and unbalance that as much as I know.But enjoy the journey into weaving. Thank you for taking the time to respond to me. Have w wonderful night . thank Theresa

        • Theresa, I am by no means an expert, but two things I’ve been told to test to see if yarn is appropriate for warp:

          – while holding the yarn under the same tension as you would the warp, scrape your fingernail several times back and forth on the yarn, held fairly tightly. If it starts to look like it will fray, put it in the weft stash!

          – give it a few sharp tugs. It doesn’t have to be really strong, as the entire warp takes the strain together (it’s not sewing thread), but it does need to survive reasonable stress.

          Also, yarn like people ages, and what might once have been wonderful can become weaker. You may need to just treat your yarn inheritance as weft or studio decoration, to remember someone who passed on this wonderful craft to you.

          Best of luck!

  1. I’m new to sectional warping, having a new Cranbrook and AVL Warping Wheel. I understand from your book on warping and from others that the sections are to be filled fully and flat so that the subsequent layers do not cut down into the lower layers. I figured that the way to calculate that was to find out my Wraps Per Inch.

    The problem I have is that, with a weft-faced rug warp of 4 working threads, doubled (thus 8 epi), the width in the reed is 24″. The 8/5 linen warp threads work out to be about 16 Wraps Per Inch, which if I fill the sections nice and full, makes the width on the warp beam significantly narrower than up at the reed.

    How do I adjust for this?

    • I don’t know anything about weft-faced rug weaving. It is a specialty. You might Google Michael Rhode for advice. He is an expert.

  2. Hi Peggy,

    I am new to weaving and I’m just using a small table loom. I have just about finished my first project and would like to know how to weave right up to the rod I intend to hang my loom on. Here is an example I saw on the web:
    how can I achieve this without loosing tension when I take it off the loom?
    Thank you kindly for any help.

    • Could be that was done on a frame loom. but you can’t go to the apron rod . You need to weave in the stick then weave a little more for a hem, then cut off> I doubt a frame loom could weave so perfectly up to the apron rod. Try to shift your plan now, so you can still have a nice fishished edge and loom waste. Sorry to say this. Peggy

    • I know this was asked a loooong time ago but I found the answer just two days ago – attach the rod to the warp threads while the piece is still on the loom. Then take the piece off the loom (cut the threads) and you will have the rod already in place!

  3. Hi Peggy. I’m a decent weaver. Two questions for you – I own your books and I love them!!!!!!!

    1. I was given a gift (!) of an Ahrens and Violette 16-shaft mechanical dobby loom a year ago. I haven’t woven on it yet. Part of me is scared to do it, and part of me has been too busy doing other weaving projects. When beaming: the instruction manual highly suggests using a helper to maintain the high tension required. This is awkward for me – I’d rather do it myself. Do you have any suggestions as to how to beam this type of loom by myself?

    2. I am going to weaving the yardage for a linen shirt soon. 40/2 linen. Is 30 epi about right or would you go more epi? I did weave a sample a year ago, and I need to go back and see what epi that was. To me the fabric could have gone a little bit firmer, but I’d like your advice.

    Thank you. Your books are EXCELLENT!!!!

    • Thanks for you kind words. I appreciate them. I’m shocked the manual suggests needing a helper. I think you can do it just fine yourself the ways I show in my books. You want tight tension, of course, but you always want that. I suggest making a narrow and short warp to get to know the loom before you do the shirt fabric. Maybe try the linen, or something less precious–just to go through the process without much at stake.

      Yes, I think 30 epi is fine for plain weave. The 80% number is 28, so I would recommend the 30. Keep me posted.

        • My issuewith the tension is that you have to undo the rope tension from the warp beam before you beam the warp, according to the manual. I’m used to a lever tension and not a rope tension , and I’m used to keeping the tension on the warp beam while I beam. If I take the tension off the warp beam on this loom, it is hard to put tension on the warp without the beam going round and round and everything getting bolloxed up. Any advice?

  4. Tying on to old warp and I miscounted Threads in the new warp. I have 18 extra new threads! What is the best way to resolve this, now that all the other threads are tied? I have your DVD and warping book but could not find the answer!

    • Sorry to be so late in responding but i have been in Morocco and just getting back. I hope you have figured out a solution for your 18 threads. I’ve been thinking of what I might do–would have to invent a solution. I assume you don’t want to give up the threads. How about tying extensions on each one and thread them in the heddles and tie them onto the from apron rod? That’s the best fix I can think of. Peggy

  5. Hi and fretting from Madeira Islands, off the coast of Casa Blanca, Marroco.
    I wonder if you have any teaching instructions on how to set up a six pedal weaving loom. I am building one and I have no idea on how to get it going. Here in the islands we are extremely limited to the weaving field. Can you please recommend any site or place online that I can look up on how to attach the threadles to the weaving boards?

    very truly yours


    • I do teach privately in my studio in Marin County. However, i wrote my book “Weaving for Beginners” just for you. It’s available on my website. I love beginning weavers. Let me know what you want to do. Peggy

  6. Hello peggy. What knot would you recommend for changing weft yarns half way through a weave? or would you recommend another method.

    • I used to say, “Do not knot in your weaving–ever.” Just change the weft color like you change ordinary wefts when your shuttle runs out. You can over lap, splice, or do it at the edge–my book Weaving for Beginners (see website) shows various ways, but I expect you already know them They are in other weaving books, too. good Luck, Peggy

  7. Peggy I have asked quite a few people this question and can’t seem to get a simple straight answer, in every book or video I have checked out they refer to 10/2 cotton now the only cotton that I can find around this area with those numbers is croquette cotton, is this the same stuff or not ? I am 61 male and new to this weaving craft so call it a male thing for not knowing the answer but could you please tell me yes or no then I will know to keep looking for other stuff with 10/2 on it

    • Dear Gordon
      Re: yes or no
      10/2 crochet cotton is a tighter twist yarn than what most weavers use. However it can be used for weaving.
      My suggestion is to look around for 10/2 pearl cotton. That is a bit softer–not so hard or harsh.
      I think you’ll like the cloth better. Pearl cotton is mercerized–slightly shinier and fluffier than crochet cotton. There are more colors available with pearl cotton, I would think. Unmercerized cotton is available,too.

      The photo I’m sending is from my book, ” Weaving for Beginners” and it shows various sizes of yarns and their “names”– for example, the top one is 5/2 pearl cotton. You can see the size of it. Go down to the next to the last one and see 10/2 pearl cotton and see that it is finer. You can lay a thread or yarn on the image to get an idea of its size in relationship to other yarns. Pearl cotton is a bit softer. I imagine the 10/2 crochet cotton is about the same size as the 10/2 pearl cotton–both are pretty fine for a beginner. I always started my students with 5/2 pearl cotton.

      All the mail order yarn places have pearl cotton in lots of colors–and sizes: 3/2 is fatter than 5/2 which is fatter than 10/2.

      10/2 refers to the yards per pound of a yarn or thread. Check out my blog and search for ” yarn count”. That explains how the numbers are calculated–it’s very convoluted and probably 90% of weavers (male and female) don’t know what the numbers mean.

      I’m afraid this is more info than you wanted, but feel free to ask any more questions you have. I taught beginners at our community college for over 10 years. My beginners book is what I taught them the first semester and then after that. It’s a big book, but there are things that will come up in one’s weaving life and I wanted to have them available.

      I wonder what you are making that requires 10/2 cotton. My beginners made a sampler out of the 5/2 and I think it’s a good size to see how the threads interlace.
      Let me know what you think. If you try another size yarn, you’ll be dealing with sett (epi–ends per inch).

      My book explains good techniques for weaving without tangles, explains what to do, and explains different weaves with the idea that you could make up your own projects/designs or understand a “recipe” in a book or magazine. There are over 600 illustrations.
      I hope I hear from you.

      Peggy Osterkamp

      —–Original Message—–
      From: Peggy’s Email []
      Sent: Sunday, June 05, 2016 3:25 PM
      To: Peggy Osterkamp
      Subject: Sett chart


  8. Are you aware of a compendium of information on making tartans? From breed of sheep to kilt? I think I can figure out the natural dyes. Thank you.

  9. Peggy,
    I was told that you had written a post about balancing a counterbalance loom but I have been unable to find it. Could you please guide me to that post?
    Thank you.
    Jaci Bledsoe

    • I couldn’t find one either and I doubt I made one on balancing the looms. There is a large section on adjusting counterbalance looms in my book, Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps. It is only available as a pdf on my website. I think that is where you should look. You can download it and have it immediately. that would be too large a subject for a tip or a post. The book is what you need and it explains how they work, etc. It’s a comprehensive section I think.

  10. Hi the link does not seem to be working. I have a counterbalance loom( I think) It is very old, I got it from a friend who has since passed. I have taught myself mostly with weaving, with the help of reading about weaving. The shed is perfect on one side but toward the middle and to the left it is not clean. I tried adjusting but not helping. I am thinking about buying one of your books, which would be the best to help me with adjusting my loom, Thank you,


Leave a Comment