Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pin Loom Reboot: Schacht Zoom Loom

It took more than three years, but at last, it is finished!

Schacht Spindle Company is producing a new pin loom I designed.  They are calling it the Zoom Loom.  You can check it out here.  The box even says "Designed with John Mullarkey."

TNNA In Long Beach CA Feb, 2013

This all started at a Midwest Weavers Conference in 2009 when I attended a seminar on weaving with pin looms.  The teacher was very nice.  Had plenty of Weavettes and Weave-it looms to share.  And we all had a great time.  But by the end of the seminar, everyone was complaining about how it was hard to hold, and the first and last rows were really difficult to weave.  And I don't know why, but they all looked to me like I should do something about it.

By October of that year, I decided I would.  No one was manufacturing these looms anymore.  There were some hand made ones being put out with varying degrees of quality, but none had any of the features those students were looking for.  So I hired an industrial engineer, and we got to work.

Unfortunately I re-learned an important lesson.  You get what you pay for, and I had a budget industrial designer.  He was very good at design work, but very bad at schedules.  The other lesson I re-learned was knowing when to cut loose and move on.  I worked with him for far too long.  But he was a really good designer, and I still thank him for helping me get to the point we did.

So when I finally fired him, my good friend Amy suggested that I pitch this loom to Schacht.  They make looms, why not this one?  That was inspired!  I would lose some control, but they already have the marketing and manufacturing experience, and honestly I was more interested in seeing this be produced than it being John's Loom (I was going to call it the Lotto Loom - In a small package).  So thank you Schacht for taking this project on and seeing it through to completion.

So why is this new pin loom so awesome when there are already plenty of hand crafted pin looms out there being made by wonderful husbands hammering nails into squares?  It has a nice wide base that makes it easy to grip.  The interior sides are sloped to guide the needle right to the place it needs to be.  It has measurements right on the loom, so I don't have to dig out instructions to figure out how long a length I need, or how many wraps I need to do.  And it has this wonderful little notch to hold the starting thread, so no knots required.

The loom should be in retail outlets in April.  Let me know if you want one, I think I can get you a deal.

13 comments:

  1. Wishing you great success with this loom. I'm looking forward to using the one I won in last weekend's drawing. I have plans to try integrating woven squares with my machine knitting. I'll keep you posted on the results.

    Nancy

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  2. Thank you for getting these on the market again! Although I have several old Weave-It and Weavette looms, I am looking forward to your new version.

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  3. I have a weave-it loom and enjoy using it but it is awkward. I have ordered the new zoom loom. I had a needle, which I lost, for my weave-it that had a slight bend in the tip. It made weaving easier, I would like to get this kind of needle with my new loom!!!!!

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  4. So much fun! Congratulations! Can't wait to experiment with it!

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  5. How interesting! I'd love to give this a try.

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  6. Super cool! I wish there was a Schacht dealer near us in Western Oz, I'd love to try out the Zoom Loom. I'd made a few myself out of wood and nails, but never liked how they felt.

    Do you think Schacht might make a couple of different sized ones?

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  7. I just received an email from my mom about this loom. I'm really excited about it! I have the Weavette looms in all sizes, but as you noted, they can be difficult to hold.

    I'm not bothered by the price, but the shipping is killer! I hope they're available in stores.

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  8. Thanks so much for improving on my favorite little loom. I still have fond memories of making my great-grandmother a shawl with this loom and have saved it for over 60 years. I wanted to introduce it to my grand daughter, but the threading seemed too complicated for her when I wasn't around to help. (She lives in France.) The directions you have put on the loom and, of course, the video should enable her to do just fine. Thanks again,
    Mary Lee

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  9. I am a knitter and just purchased a zoom loom. I love it. Thank you for making this accessible to me!

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  10. I just discovered your pin loom and I'm really interested in trying it. I'm new to weaving but very excited. I am a knitter, novice embroiderer and sewer, and would love it if you were able to help me get a better deal on one (tight budgets reign supreme!).
    Thanks, Christine

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  11. I have been seeing a resurgence in these weave-it looms. And after a very long internet search to learn more about them, I have found weave-its with different names on ebay. I was very surprised when your "Zoom Loom" popped up and I just had to have this one. I have enjoyed the little video many, many times!The problem is, I wanted it yesterday LOL. My LYS is on a wedding vacation, so I'm going to have to wait....makes me nuts. Love your site and Schacht's. Looking forward to weaving! Thanks

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  12. I purchased the Zoom Loom to use for samples for my loom weaving. I found it tedious to weave, especially in the last 2 rows. It feels awkward to handle. I am dissappointed & wish I had my 39.00 plus tx back. I will prob. Sell it on Craigslist for a loss. Try one out before you spend that much money on one. I wish I had.

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  13. I purchased my Zoom Loom a couple of months ago and can hardly put it down. I've been experimenting with different yarns and now with different patterns. Love it!!

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