Posts tagged Getting Started
How to Weave a Tapestry Sampler
Loom & Spindle Tapestry Samplers

For a while now I’ve been working on a special project for Loom & Spindle, a weaving yarn that's structure and composition has been carefully considered and selected specifically for tapestry weaving.

Exciting, I know! I’ll have all the details for you in coming weeks. 

But for now, I’d like to focus on one element of the project, weaving samples (or samplers, or swatches or whatever you’d like to call these tiny woven fabrics).

Sampling has been an important part of the project as it’s given me the opportunity to work with this yarn on a small scale and test the arrangement of elements that form the tapestry fabric – things like warp sett, weft weight, and colour harmony or disharmony.

Weaving a test fabric can be the defining moment in a new tapestry project. This little experiment between fibre and form will help you decide whether or not your configuration will work cohesively and convey the feeling you intended.

In preparing for the upcoming yarn launch I thought it would be useful to weave a sample of each new yarn colour to explore and share the fabric each produced. My thoughts were that this will help us both choose colour palettes and determine the suitability of the yarn for any future projects you or I might have in mind.

Here’s my method for weaving a tapestry sampler…



Make a small woven tapestry sample using Woolsey: A Weaving Yarn, to study the colour and texture of the woven fabric produced.


  • Plain weave.

  • Double half-hitches to secure warp and weft.

  • Weft changes using the half-hitch method.

*To learn more about these skills you might like to check out our book - LINE SHAPE TEXTURE.


  • My samples will measure 10cm x 10cm (or 4" x 4"), I find this sample size quick to weave and the warp sett is easily determined.

  • My set-up will comprise a frame-loom warped with cotton thread at 16 ends over 10cm (4 ends per inch).

  • I will use a ground weave of warp thread to evenly space the warp and provide a firm base to begin the sample.

  • The warp and weft will be secured with a row of double half –hitches at either end.



Space the warp evenly over the 10cm (4") warp width.
While carefully maintaining the warp spacing, begin the weft yarn by establishing a row of double half-hitches.
Ensure each hitch is knotted firmly to secure the weft to warp.

Using plain weave, weave in the body of the fabric until the piece measures 10cm (4") in length. If needed, begin any new weft threads using the half-hitch method.

Finish with a row of double half-hitches to secure the fabric.

Cut from the loom and finish as desired.

Loom & Spindle - Tapestry Sampler Method


  • The method is fairly straight forward with no special notes to consider.

  • No modifications were made when weaving the samples.

  • To ensure straight edges and symmetry I did take extra care when working close to the selvages.


  • No finishing techniques were applied but I might use this sample in the future to test the effects of steam blocking on this yarn.



  • This method enables me to set up and weave a tapestry sample in about 30 minutes, allowing me to very quickly sample a new yarn or fibre.

  • It’s such a versatile method that it would also be useful for working a series of small tapestry projects.

Loom & Spindle Tapestry Sampler


Our new weaving yarn has arrived, find Woolsey here.






How To Spin Yarn: Six Simple Steps
Loom & Spindle - Spinning Your First Yarns

Last week I launched the first Learn to Spin Kit for Loom & Spindle. I shared my journey on learning how to spin yarn (HEREand some of the frustrations I experienced.

Part of these early frustrations were the result of not having a clear method for spinning yarn on a drop spindle, and not fully understanding how each action influenced the yarn I was spinning.

Over time one key insight emerged, I found it much easier to regulate the yarn I was producing when I had an understanding of the process and mechanics of making yarn.

The resulting method I developed for the Loom & Spindle Learn to Spin Kit builds on this by teaching you the sequence for spinning yarn on a drop spindle, and importantly explaining how each action can be used to control the process of forming a yarn - giving you confidence through understanding!

I’ve shared my method on how to spin yarn on a drop spindle below and included a FREE ‘take-home’ copy for you to download. You’ll find the link at the end of the post.

Good luck!

PS: Remember, your first yarns might not be exactly what you envisioned, but they will be your most important lessons.

How To Spin Yarn: Six Simple Steps

Step 1

Draft a small amount of fibre and loop it under the spindle’s hook. 
Using your thumb and index finger, PINCH together the pre-drafted end and main fibre supply.

Loom & Spindle - Spinning your First yarns

Step 2

Spin the spindle storing TWIST in the length of fibre between the hook and your fingertips.
PARK the spindle.

Loom & Spindle - Spinning Your First Yarns

Step 3

With two hands, DRAFT from the fibre supply using your thumbs and index fingers. Carefully allow twist to enter the newly drafted fibre.
When the twist energy reduces, pinch the fibres and stop any further twist entering the fibre supply.

Loom & Spindle - Spinning Your First Yarns

Step 4

Repeat steps two and three until the length of yarn is no longer comfortable to manage.

Loom & Spindle - Spinning Your First Yarns

Step 5

Remove the yarn from the hook and wind it around the shaft of the spindle, leave enough length to wrap the yarn over the whorl and under the hook.

Loom & Spindle - Spinning Your First Yarns

Step 6

Repeat the PINCH-TWIST-PARK-DRAFT sequence for the remaining fibre supply.
As the yarn forms, you will need to monitor the fibre carefully for your intended characteristics –Yarn weight, optimal twist, etc.


PINCH – The action of locking the fibres between your fingers to hold the twist energy back from the fibre supply.

TWIST – The energy added to the fibre when the you turn or spin the spindle. The twist holds the fibres together in the forming the yarn.

PARK – Refers to the action of setting down and securing the spindle so you have both hands free to draft the fibre. Suggestions for parking the spindle include holding the shaft of the spindle under your arm or between your knees.

DRAFT – This is the process of thinning the fibre supply by drawing fibres apart lengthwise. A suggestion for beginner spinners is to use two hands to draft the fibre. The hand closest to the spindle controls the amount of twist that enters the fibre supply. The other hand controls the draft, how much fibre is drawn out of the fibre supply.

Loom & Spindle - How to spin yarn


Loom & Spindle - How to Spin Yarn - Reattaching the Fibre Supply

It’s likely at some stage during the spin you’ll need to reattach the fibre supply to the forming yarn. This can be challenging at first but with practice you’ll gain confidence.

To reattach the fibre, begin by untwisting the last bit of spun fibre. Pinch behind the unspun end so the twist can’t re-enter the fibre. Add any extra twist to the length of yarn behind your pinching fingers. This extra twist will be needed to reattach the fibre supply.

Place the drafting end of the fibre supply onto unspun end. Pinch the two ends together and gently draw back the fibre supply. Allow the twist to enter the drafting zone, locking the unspun end and fibre supply together.


This method is also available as a neat little PDF package.
Click the button below and get your FREE copy!

Loom & Spindle - Spinning Your First Yarns A Method.jpg


Share your work, #loomandspindle