GLOSSARY of Pin Loom Weaving Terms


BS = Bernat Satin
CSS = Caron Simply Soft
DNE = Deborah Norville Everyday
ILTY = I Love This Yarn
LH = Lion Brand Heartland
RHS = Red Heart Soft
RHSS = Red Heart Super Saver
VC = Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice
YBSS = Yarn Bee Soft Secret



1-2 side of loom — “1-2 side” is an example of the way I refer to the sides of the loom. 1-2 is the side extending from Cr1 to Cr2, or the bottom of the loom. 3-4 side (or edge) extends from Cr3 to Cr4. 1-3 extends from Cr1 to Cr3 and is the left side of the loom. 2-4 is the right side of the loom, extending from Cr2 to Cr4.

Corner and side designations shown on a Weave-It

2LW —Two-Layer Warping, but it can also refer to two-layer weaving.

313 — U3, O1, U3 (313 is shorthand I use when handwriting patterns. It shows up when I photograph pattern instructions rather than typing them.)

3LW — Three-Layer Warping, or traditional Weave-It style warping. (3LW can also refer to three-layer weaving.)

CC — contrast color (also referred to as Color 2 or C2)

Cr — corner, e.g. Cr1 means corner 1, the lower left corner of the loom.

L — layer, i.e. one of the warp layers in preparing the loom for weaving; e.g. L1 means layer 1, or the first stage of loom prep

L2M — layer 2 manipulation (see Layer 2 Manipulation Instructions)

LQ — refers to the upper left quadrant of the loom, containing Cr3 (see Split Center Technique)

MC — main color (also referred to as Color 1 or C1)

O — Over

P — Plain weave: taking the needle over, then under (or under, then over) one stitch at a time. Some people use W to indicate plain weave, but I don’t like it as it gets confusing with W also referring to warp and weft.

R — row

Rpt — repeat

RQ — refers to the upper right quadrant of the loom, containing Cr4 (see Split Center Technique)

RWM — Reverse Warping Method (see Reverse Warping Method)

St — Stitch; plural is Sts

U — under

W — weave or plain weave (see P above)

WfL1, WfL2 — Weft-Layer-1, Weft-Layer-2. These abbreviations appear in the “Houndstooth Check” pattern and are used to clarify steps in the process of weaving half of the weft with one color, then returning to the beginning and weaving the other half with another color.



BIAS — Or bias grain, runs at 45 degrees to the straight grain of the fabric; it’s oriented 45 degrees to the warp and weft threads. Don’t want to get too technical, so I’ll just say it’s where woven fabric is stretchiest. A square that’s bias woven has the stretch on the outer edges. A non-bias-woven square has its stretch crosswise, i.e. from corner to corner. A woven right triangle has one bias edge: the hypotenuse. See also Wikipedia “Grain.”

COMPANION SQUARES — when combined (joined), the squares form a continuous pattern. Companion squares generally form a pattern from top to bottom and/or side to side, e.g. “Diamond Back,” “Paper Towel Pattern,” “Sizes — A, B, C, and D.”

ENDS — This is a weaving term that refers to the number of warp threads, i.e. on a Weave-it 4-inch square there are 31 warp ends. I rarely use this term, instead referring to warp and weft threads as strands. To me “ends” means the strands have been cut as they would be when warped on a conventional loom.

EVEN AND ODD — Frequently when I give instructions, I’ll refer to the edge of the loom by its two numbered corners: bottom edge is the 1-2 edge, top is 3-4; left side is 1-3 (sometimes also called the “even side” if you have a loom with numbered rows); right side is 2-4 (also called the “odd side” if your loom has numbered rows).

FELL LINE — the horizontal weaving line. You want to keep it straight across, not wavy, not angled. Try to pack your weaving evenly in each row. Use the tug technique.

The needle shows the correct appearance of a straight fell line. Notice how each row below it is horizontal and evenly packed with the stitches all around it. You want to avoid uneven gaps between the threads.

The needle shows the correct appearance of a straight fell line. Notice how each row below it is horizontal and evenly packed with the stitches all around it. You want to avoid uneven gaps between the threads.

FLOATS — A float is a thread that should have been woven over (or under) as in plain weave. Instead it’s left to “float” above the weaving as part of a pattern. In the pink ribbon all the vertical pink strands that make up the ribbon picture are warp floats; on the back, the white floats are weft floats.

HALFTONE — Particularly noticeable in plaid weaving, a halftone occurs in opposition to a solid colored space. Solid sections have all the warp and weft strands the same color. In halftone, the warp and weft strands are half of one color, half another. The Nine-Patch Plaid square is an example.

HYPOTENUSE — The long side of a triangle. Pieces woven on the right angle loom will have a stretchy (bias) edge along the hypotenuse. You can alleviate the stretch by working the yarn tail in along that edge.

Hypotenuse, or 2-3 side of the loom

LAYER 2 MANIPULATION — Fiddling with the 3LW method to change the appearance of the second weft layer without requiring  full-scale two-layer warping and weaving. (See “Hourglass Pattern” and L2M Instructions.”)

LAYERS — There are 3 “warping” layers in 3LW (though technically L2 is a weft layer); the fourth layer is woven with the needle. E.g., L1 refers to the first layer of warping on the pin loom. In 2LW there are two warping layers, one weaving layer.

REVERSE SLIP KNOT — This knot enables you to manipulate tension from the cut end of the yarn rather than the working end. It’s demonstrated in this video.

SLIDE — The needle slides between the warp layers rather than going Under the L1 warps or Over the L3 warps. The L4 weft thread will be sandwiched between the warps alongside the L2 threads below and above it. When I count slide stitches, I tap the warps with my needle to keep track as I slide through them. (Wall Bars designs use the slide technique. )

Left: needle position with needle sliding through warps. Slides typically begin and end with two U2 stitches.
Right: finished square with two “slide” rows in the pattern.

TAKE-UP — This refers to the way yarn bends during the weaving process. Warp and weft threads bend slightly when woven. Thinner yarns bend less than thicker yarns. In PLW we accommodate for take-up by loosely warping the loom. Loose warping is particularly vital when using less-stretchy yarns (usually cotton and acrylic; I don’t recommend linen or hemp yarn for the pin loom) or larger looms. The stretchier the yarn, the tighter you can warp. However, if you warp tightly the yarn will still bend, weaving may become difficult, and your finished piece may be significantly smaller when it comes off the loom.

3-PIN CONFIGURATION — This refers the way the pins are laid out on a Weave-It style loom: in groups of three separated by a space. Three-pin configured looms are the “opposite” of looms such as Loomette, Jiffy Loom, Bucilla Magic Loom, and looms with equidistant spacing (sometimes referred to as bias looms).

Left: Three-pin configured Weave-It
Right: Equidistant pin-spaced Loomette (the Loomette warps and weaves like a three-pin configured loom though; how’s that for confusing?)

TUG TECHNIQUE — Demonstrated in this video, and repeated in all my videos, the tug technique is used to pack weft rows as you weave so you don’t run out of room at the top of the square. It keeps rows looking uniform throughout the weaving instead of having the last few rows crammed together at the top. The Side Tug Technique means to give an extra pull to the thread after you’ve woven the row. I use it more in 2LW, but it’s also useful in 3LW.

WARP — The vertical strands on the loom. The warp strands must be in place before you can weave. Sometimes we refer to preparing L1-3 as warping the loom. This is a term of convenience because, in 3LW, L2 is a weft layer.

WEFT — The horizontal, or woven, strands in the fabric, taken through the warp. Sometimes called woof or filling.

YARN WEIGHTS — You can TRY any yarn on the pin loom, but I don’t recommend super fine or super chunky yarn. Super fine can be doubled or tripled or combined with another lightweight yarn. If you use yarn that’s too heavy you may damage your loom. See Bulky Yarn Revisited.

yarn weight chart