Thursday, December 1, 2011

Loom Wrestler Part I

I have wrestled with the loom.

My interest in weaving started in kindergarten when I made a bag weaving loom out of a shirt cardboard. We always got to do weaving or needlepoint before nap time. At some point, my parents gave me a little wooden block for the weaving of more precise little bags. In fifth grade, I studied the unicorn tapestries because they were really colorful, big, pieces of cloth. My goal was to make a miniature tapestry for the medieval fair at school. My parents had a loom meant for tapestry weaving which fueled my desire to weave a unicorn.

The Good Karma Loom is a Native American style weaving tool which takes a few hours to set up. It is slightly more sophisticated than my cardboard setup. I made a small square of tangled yarn before deciding to fabricate my unicorn some other way.

A few weeks ago, while browsing images of ikat and pooled weaving, I decided to try the loom one more time. For the warp, I picked a scrap of rainbow Red Heart acrylic yarn. I tried to pool the colors to make something that had a chance at looking cool.

On the floor of my office, for three hours, I wrestled the loom. It sounds silly, but after spending an evening crawling back and forth carrying strings, everything that could ache did.

The weaving part was actually relatively easy. Pictures coming soon in LOOM WRESTLER PART II.


  1. Hi- I was just given a Good Karma loom and have no information about it. Thanks for posting some photos with it warped up! Do you happen to have any information about this loom? I posted photos of mine on Weavolution at and am just starting my research process.
    I don't see anything on your blog titled "Loom Wrestler Part II". How did it come out in the end?

  2. Loom wrestler II is not posted because I managed to make the ugliest scarf/sash ever.

    I warped the loom absolutely wrong, it is supposed to have a stationary warp and you just weave something little and tapestry like. I'm really not sure. There were no instructions so the technique was improvised.

    You should not copy what I did at all. Listen to the experienced people in your forum and I'll do so too. Thanks for the link, it looks to be a helpful source.

  3. @Sarah Nopp: History goes back to 1971. Good Karma Looms were listing in the Last Whole Earth Catalog and became a favorite of the new counter culture worldwide. Good Karma Looms were designed and manufactured by Neal Paterson of Chadron, Nebraska (I worked in the three-man shop and made the looms). Most were sold to schools, including universities, in the North America, Europe and Australia, for teaching the principles of harness weaving. Except for the first batch of 40, Good Karma Looms have "Good Karma" burned (branded) onto the frame. The loom offers a long and short length setup and two or four harness weaving. Good Karma also produced a fantastic maple and ash Early American spinning wheel.

  4. Hi Xandy- I completely understand the no-posting! I burned the first ever quilt top I finished LOL thankfully it was crib sized. As far as listening to the forum, I haven't received any advice :( At this point, your post is the only thing I can find on the internets. You are my expert.
    And Thank you to Doug too. It is nice to get a bit more of the history behind this loom. I did find the Brand on the lower edge of the frame, as you said.

    I still have not warped it up but I have plans. I picked up a new dowel for warp tie-on. I also need to replace one of the side wedges (name for them???) used to secure the warp stick. I think I may add a few pieces of dowel along the inner sides, so that I can advance longer warps incrementally as I work. I have been getting some lovely ideas for what to warp up from reading "The Woven Coverlets of Norway" by Katherine Larson too.

  5. I'm curious if you ever got to part II, or whatever became of your good karma loom. I also have one along with minimal paperwork, with info on warping it. If you can share any tips I'd appreciate it. :)

  6. The scarf that came from this is hideous so I am pretty much just not into taking photos. It is a bad idea to start with that cheap rainbow yarn, everything worked though with the loom.

    I forget how I warped it and have put it away in favor of other pursuits. I think this type of loom is made for tapestry/art style weaving and is not my type of tool. It will probably be going to a friend who wants to weave some wall hangings...

    ... if anyone remembers how to warp it again.


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