Crafty Post – MasterWeaver Loom: I Have One! :-D

So… Apparently “telling the internet” works a bit like “telling the bees” as far as wishcraft is concerned. I’ve been throwing looms and spinning wheels up on my pinterest board and, lo and behold, I now have a spinning wheel (kind of like this single-flyer wheel, but only 40 years old and rather cobbled together – I’ll talk more about it in another post) and I now have a loom. 🙂

This is not my loom. This is the loom pictured in this post from Seabreeze Spinners. But my loom is a narrower version of this.
I think that dial think is supposed to be something akin to a rigid heddle, but with options for more complicated weave patterns. I don’t actually know though. Help?

A friend was clearing out some stuff from his basement – his mom used to run a chain of fibre arts stores in Ottawa back in the 1970s, when Macrame was A Total Thing and he’s got a bunch of her left-over stuff that he’s trying to get rid of – and I was happy to help him out. 😉
So now I have this loom – a MasterWeaver MW105 – that can weave stuff up to 30cm wide[1] and which, by the looks of things, has a limit to the length of warp in can handle (damn – but we’ll do what we can to make that not the case). If this works (ahaha) I will probably be making Table Runners for Everyone this xmas. Wish me luck with that. 😉
As it stands, I am not entirely sure how to make it go and, since the MasterWeaver is no-longer being made, I’m having a devil of a time finding instructions anywhere.
I’m pretty sure (in my very guess-as-guess-can way) that the wide bar of disks (the “reed”?) is something a bit like a rigid heddle (since there are no pre-existing wire “heddle loops” and no peg to attach string heddles to link on an inkle loom…), but one where you can do a repeating pattern that’s more complicated than the kind where half the warp is “up” while the other half is “down”.
The… dial that the reed disks are on has eight positions, and each disk has… four(?) settings? (I think… I will have to check this out). There is no beater, so I think I’d have to use something else (maybe a ruler or a narrow dowel?) to make sure the weft thread is good and tight against the weave… (Sorry, I’m totally speculating and thinking-in-print right now – bear with me). I’m really hoping that I don’t need to use “pick-up sticks” or similar to make this work. :-\
I think how it works is that you set the disks to the pattern of “ups” and “downs” that you want (Maybe for something Very Simple, I would just set everything to 1-2-1-2-1-2?) and then I turn the “dial” to shift the position of the warp threads (I just don’t know if I would shift it between “one” and “five” or “one” and “two”… Any suggestions?).
I think this may be the kind of occasion where I go digging around in my cheap synthetics bag and see what I can come up with through experimentation.
Wish me luck! 😀
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] If I really take to weaving, I will eventually find/get-my-wife-to-build/scrounge (or even buy, ye gods) a 32-inch (potentially wider, but that’s unlikely) rigid heddle loom of some kind (like a Cricket or something), potentially with a stand to go with it… but for now, we’re working with what we can get for free. So this is what I’ve got. Woohoo!!! 😀

19 responses to “Crafty Post – MasterWeaver Loom: I Have One! :-D

  1. I couldn’t find the Masterweaver group on Facebook, any luck with that?

  2. There is now a Masterweaver group on Facebook… hopefully we can exchange some good information there.

  3. I have a Masterweave loom. Figuring it out. Are you still playing with yours??

  4. It sounds like you may have a Masterweaver ll. My niece had that model. My sister and I both have the Mastereeaver lll. Janet Meany with The Weavers Friend has all of the Manuals and pattern books available for purchase at low cost from her website. This is where I got all of my info and nearly inexhaustible supply of patterns.
    Have fun!

    • Thank you! I’m less worried about patterns, honestly. My goal is to find out what I can create using the simplest of up/down settings, experimenting with tartans and such-like. It’s good fun! 😀

  5. thanks Meliad! i’m going to put some of my handspun yarns on mine and see what I can make. Great blog you have here too, will check out your loom. 😀

  6. hi, I have one of these looms too. I got it back in about 1980 or so.
    I lost my booklet long ago but, i remember I think the twill weave is 1 3 5 7
    for the warp and then it is turned that way with the cylinder as well.
    i think also if you turn the cylinder 1 3 5 7 5 3 1 then it will be diamonds?
    it’s been a long time since i’ve used mine. if you could put the booklet online, I would love to download it to use again.
    oh, and beautiful warp on that loom too. 😀


  7. I’ve also been given one of these, it was destined for firewood! I have an instruction booklet. I may be able to scan it and email you a copy. I would love to know how you have got on with it. Mine only joined my family yesterday and I’ve never done any weaving before

    • I’ve mostly figured out the basics (I alternate the disks 1-3-1-3-1-3 and just make due). I haven’t got a clue how to do anything more complex than that, but basic weaving is fine for now. 🙂 Are you having any luck with it? 🙂

    • It is 2016 and I just found this site. I need a manual for my Master Weaver Loom. Do u still have yours? Do you know where I can find one? Thanks, Nancy

      • Hi, Nancy,
        I don’t have a manual. I never did. The loom came to me second-hand with no instructions. I’ve tried googling “Master Weaver Loom Manual” and what comes up is screen shots of an old magazine (or possibly a news letter) called “Master Weaver”.

        You’ll need to loosen the bolt that holds the plates tight together in order to turn the plates on their axel,then re-tighten the bolt to keep them in place.

        You warp it by wrapping your warping yarn around and around the frame, slotting one pass of the yarn between each plate. I tie the ends off to the pass next to them, but have no idea if this is a good technique or not.

        Pass your shuttle between the warping threads as per any other kind of loom.

        Turn the “stearing wheel” (along the side) after each pass. How far you turn it depends on how many different settings you’ve incorporated into the plates. (I do a basic “up-down” kind of thing, so I turn the wheel to position “5” and position “1” alternately, but a more complicated pattern is going to involve more settings. Maybe 1, 3, 5, and 7 in a repeating cycle, or 1, 3, 5, 7, 5, 3, 1, 3… etc.

        My suggestion would be to adjust your plates in one pattern, warp your loom with, say, cotton kitchen string (or soemthing else cheap and plentiful), and then use scrap yarn to do a weaving sample. Change the setting of the plates part-way through (maybe make notes of the setting in a journal?), while keeping the warping as-is, and change the colour of your wefting yarn. Experiment. See what patterns you devise on your own. ❤

        Good luck! 😀

      • I found a manual for the Master Weaver III, email ….or call218525-5778

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