A Few Corrections

I’ve just published updated versions of a few charts to correct errors; in one case it was merely a typographic mistake but in others I had reversed either the loop colors or the over/under weaving pattern in a way that garbled the charts.

My thanks to Allie Hoffman, Brie Zobel, Kathryn Kelly, and Teri Stratford for writing in to let us know about these issues.

If you’ve previously run into problems with any of the “Parallel Chevrons” or “Floating Double Circle” patterns, please accept my apologies and grab a fresh copy from the charts page so that you have the corrected version.

Unfortunately, occasional mistakes like this are hard to avoid in “live” projects like this, where we don’t have a separate editorial team or dedicated test-weavers to double-check our work — so we’re very grateful to those of you who are willing to try out the charts that are marked as “New!” and let us know when something has gone wrong.

If you spot a problem, please do drop us a line, either in a comment on the relevant blog post or by using the Contact Us form — and thanks for being part of our team!

Friendly Loom Loop Pack Pricing

Someone recently asked about the numbers of cotton potholder loops included in the various package sizes available from Friendly Loom.

I put together the reference list below based on the current prices as of June 2024. Each package size has a rated number of potholders it can make, which we can multiply to estimate the number of loops included, and the price per loop.

Traditional / 7″
Mini272$9$0.13Multicolor, 34 Solids
Lotta6216$20$0.094 Multiples, 2 Solids
Party18648$48$0.074 Multiples
Studio481,728$100$0.064 Multiples
Pro / 10″
Mini2108$17$0.16Multicolor, 34 Solids
Lotta6324$40$0.124 Multiples, 2 Solids
Party18972$90$0.094 Multiples
Studio482,592$200$0.084 Multiples

You’ll notice that there is a significant discount for volume purchases; the Studio packs are half the price-per-loop of the Mini packs, and the Party packs are close to that.

On the other hand, when buying the larger bags you’re limited to choosing from the four multi-color palettes they offer: rainbow (9 brights), botanical (7 pastels), earthtones (7 darks), and neutrals (8 beige/grays). And as they note, the multi-color bags don’t have perfectly even numbers of each color, and the proportion will vary from one bag to the next; in extreme cases you might get twice as many loops of one color than another.

Three colors are not included in any of the multi-color palettes and are thus only available in Mini packs: peacock, purple, and salmon.

Not shown on this chart art the “exclusive” colors: cayenne, sea glass, denim, skillet, lipstick, and lichen. These are sold in the “lotta loops” size (enough for 6 potholders) and cost an extra $1 (traditional) or $2 (pro) more than the other colors.

There are also “bundles” which contain 3 or 4 different solid-color “Mini” packs; these are mostly useful if you’re having trouble choosing color combinations, and most of them aren’t any cheaper than just buying the individual colors separately.

There’s also one “exclusive bundle,” called “spring thaw,” which includes two “lotta loops” bags, one of white loops and the other the botanical mix, which is discounted to a few dollars less than buying the two independently.

I hope this information helps folks make informed purchasing decisions!

Potholder Videos by Margie Duffy

Over the last year, Margie Duffy has created a collection of dozens of videos showcasing a wide variety of potholder weaving patterns and techniques. Some of the videos feature patterns found on our website, but lots of other creators’ designs are featured as well.

Her “weave along” format lets you watch as she works a project from start to finish, buoyed by her cheerful commentary, and because it’s shown in real time, you can weave your own at the same time as you watch the video, without having to repeatedly pause and rewind to keep it in synch.

You might find these videos especially useful if you’re trying to learn a new technique, like doing your first shadow weave or clasp weave project — being able to see someone’s hands working through the process can provide an “a-ha” moment that’s missing from just reading descriptions or looking at charts.

Visit Margie’s channel on YouTube, and consider using the “subscribe” option to get notified when she posts new videos.

More Split-Loop Twill Charts

For the fans of split-loop twill, I’ve posted some additional charts including more zig-zag variations and some new traditional-size charts for designs which previously only came in pro size.

Twills and split-loop techniques have circulated in the potholder world since at least the Nellie Bee days, more than eighty years ago, both because they have been repeatedly imported from the wider world of weaving — where twill and varying weights of warp and weft have been commonplace since before the the invention of writing — and because they have independently been reinvented by uncountable numbers of people sitting at their loom and deciding to try something new.

As much as we appreciate the many people who have shared their work as inspiration for our community — I think the first time I ever saw a split-loop twill zigzag potholder was in a post by Susan Lockhart in the Potholder People group on Facebook back in August 2021, but a bit of searching turned up split-loop diamond and zigzag twills being sold on Etsy in 2016, and no doubt there are innumerably more examples I haven’t found — these designs are too simple and common to think that anyone “owns” them; they’re indisputably in the public domain and the shared heritage of humanity as a whole.

With the benefit of that foundation, there’s room for limitless creativity and craftsmanship — choosing colors and materials, combining multiple techniques, and incorporating your own effort and intentions into your work. We can’t wait to see what you create with these elements!

Visiting the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center

I’ve been remiss in not posting about our visit to the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center last month. We were introduced to the center by Lucy Morris’s touching article in Handwoven Magazine, and wanted to learn a bit more about their unique program to make weaving accessible to the elderly and visually impaired.

The center’s staff were incredibly welcoming, and we loved getting a tour of the facility with their director Ann Kollegger and geeking out about weaving structures with their designer Tara Patrina. Their studio space was really impressive, with numerous looms in operation as their artisans were hard at work creating impressive lengths of fabric.

Although most of their work is done on big floor looms, it was great to see that they also had a space in their shop filled with dozens of potholders woven by Gene Morris from the charts on our site.

We were happy to have the chance to help to support the Center’s programs by buying a sample of Gene’s work, which now hangs proudly in our kitchen.

Although Gene’s potholders are only sold in-person, you can support the weaving center by ordering one of their larger items, including scarves, towels, table runners and rugs.

An Affordable Wood Peg Loom

For folks who are looking for 19-peg looms, or who would prefer a wooden frame, we found one being sold on Amazon that worked out pretty well.

There are multiple vendors selling these as “knitting looms,” but I think they’re all coming out of the same factory. The quality is pretty decent, especially given the price: you can have a 19-peg loom delivered tomorrow for $25, or for $18 if you don’t mind waiting a few weeks for it to ship from China. (The same factory is also making a 30-peg loom that might fit pro loops, but we haven’t tested it yet.)


A couple of months ago I put together a list of sources for potholder looms by reading through multiple conversations in Facebook groups, which kept rehashing the same half-dozen vendors, and having done so I figured the list was complete — but then Piglet announced that she’d found an affordable new loom on Amazon that looked like it would work, even though it wasn’t explicitly labeled as for woven-loop potholders.

We had to wait two weeks for it to ship from China, but now that it’s here it’s turned out to be totally serviceable. I’m always a little cautious about ordering unbranded products from low-cost overseas vendors, but in this case it turned out fine, so I figured I’d write up some notes for anyone else who’d like to give it a try.

The Looms

Looking at the listings on Amazon is confusing, because there are numerous vendors all selling similar-seeming items with confusing descriptions, but after studying them for a while, I think I’ve confirmed that there’s a single factory turning these out (in three different sizes) and then a dozen different middlemen are listing them on Amazon with slightly-different awkwardly-phrased names and varying selections from the same set of promotional photos.

The looms are available in three sizes, equivalent to the “mug rug,” traditional, and “pro” sizes we use for woven-loop potholders. In addition to the pins along each side, these looms also have pins in the corners, which are generally not useful for potholder weaving, so I’ve counted them separately:

  • 10cm (4″): 8 pegs per side plus 4 corners: 36 total.
  • 20cm (8″): 19 pegs per side plus 4 corners: 80 total.
  • 30cm (12″): 30 pegs per side plus 4 corners: 124 total.

Our Experience

We ordered the middle size, and confirmed that the distance between the rows of pegs was just a little bit over 7″ — perfect for traditional potholder loops. We have not yet tried the large size to confirm it fits pro loops — it might be slightly too wide. If you do decide to roll the dice and test this, please let us know how it works out![Update, April 22:] Thanks to Pamela for posting about her experience; she ordered the 19-peg and 30-peg looms and reports that the 30-peg loom is wider than the Harrisville Pro loom — around 11″ between pegs rather than 10.25″ — but confirmed that the “pro” loops do still fit across it, albeit with a bit of extra stretch which can make weaving slightly awkward.

The wood frame feels nice; well-rounded edges and solid-seeming joints. The pins are solid and have round ball heads that help to keep the loops in place. The placement of the pins is not perfectly precise — a few are angled just a little bit askew — but they’re still entirely usable. (I used a pair of pliers to nudge a few of them into better alignment with their neighbors, but this was more for aesthetics than any practical benefit.)

Product Links

As noted above, all of the below Amazon listings appear to be for the same product line, being produced in three sizes by a single factory but sold under multiple names and at different prices. They were all added to Amazon over the last couple of months starting in February.

Most of the items ship in 2-4 or 4-6 weeks. Most vendors ship for free, but one charges $3 for shipping. One vendor has shipped their products to Amazon warehouses in the US, so theirs are available via next-day Prime delivery. [Update, April 14:] The handful of looms that were in stock at Amazon warehouses have now been sold, so next-day delivery is no longer an option.

The table below is likely incomplete, and is just a snapshot of a particular moment; as with all such offerings, the prices, availability, and shipping times are all subject to change without notice, so be sure to verify the details before placing your order.

Note that I don’t have any special knowledge about these products beyond reading the Amazon website, and I can’t guarantee that they’ll suit your needs, but hopefully if you do run into any problems, or if one of the vendors turns out to be unreliable, Amazon’s refund policies should protect you.


[Update, April 22:] Thanks again to Pamela for pointing out that these same looms are available through Ali Express at even lower prices. Shipping is generally not included in the price, although several vendors will waive the cost of shipping for your first order, which keeps the total price under $20.

All three sizes are available from these vendors, and probably others:

As far as I can tell, all of these vendors are selling the exact same product, probably all coming off a single factory line.

As with all such purchases from unknown overseas vendors, there’s less assurance than from buying at a reputable local supplier, but I suspect that more than 99% of orders are filled successfully, and at these prices it’s worth taking a bit of risk.

Visiting Harrisville

We took a brief family vacation this week to see the eclipse, and on the way home we detoured through Harrisville, NH to visit the folks at Harrisville Designs, makers of the Friendly Loom potholder-weaving loops.

We had a lovely conversation with Nick, the managing director at HD, and Hope, their creative manager, as well as the team that runs the retail shop. It was great getting to talk to folks who are so deeply engaged in this field, and to express our appreciation for their work.

We look forward to visiting again in the future, and perhaps taking a tour of the production facilities.

[Postscript:] A few people asked about the shop, so I figured I’d add a note about it here. The retail store fills nearly the entire first floor of that building, and it’s spacious and bright.

Potholders are just one part of their business, so the loops are all over in one corner, while the rest is filled with various kinds of yarn for knitting, crochet, traditional weaving, and so forth. The staff is all super friendly, and they host various kinds of local crafter gatherings.

The product offerings and prices are all basically the same as what you’d find on their website, but seeing them in person was nice — if you find yourself in southern New Hampshire, it’s definitely worth the visit!

One of the original Cheshire Mills buildings, now home to Harrisville Designs.
The Friendly Loom potholder section of the store.
Obligatory selfie in front of the old mill.

Fret Knot

Continuing our series of shadow-weave knots, the next pattern is the fret, a pattern formed by two bands crossing within a loop. (Chart posted for 19 pegs.)

The simplicity and symmetry of this design are also reflected in the attractive reverse side. As with all shadow-weave, there are plenty of two-floats, along with just four triples on the back to produce the square boxes which draw up so nicely on the front.

Woven on a newly-purchased Chinese-made weaving frame, using red and white traditional loops from Friendly Loom.

Paired Key Tiles

Here’s another new weaving chart, adapted from a printed fabric pattern incorporating a square spiral / greek-key motif.

The design on the back is completely different, but also striking, with a bold rotational symmetry.

As with many of our new designs, in the course of weaving the first example Piglet identified a few places where floats could be tweaked to improve the results, and those improvements have been incorporated back into this 27-peg chart.

Traditional-Size Shift Twill Rainbow

Another four-four shift twill rainbow, in traditional size with FL brights as the warp and skillet in the weft.

I love the “spectral confetti” effect, and the false impression that it might be woven with multi-color loops. (The pro version is even more impressive.)

Given how much this weave shrinks up when taken off the loom, I suspect an industrious weaver could continue the pattern and pack in a couple more weft rows.

Charts available in pro and traditional size.