Today was the big day, or first textiles class of the year in a different format than usual. First of all, the kids usually weave on individual frames where the woven piece stays attached and they take it home at the end. This was the first time I had attempted to teach them loom weaving. Then I had my trials and tribulations of figuring out the Beka looms which I detailed here and then I wasn't sure the kids were going to be able to do it. I was sort of right, it was much more fiddly than the Cricket loom but the kids handled it fine and most of them didn't get very frustrated or anything. I think it helps that I was only expecting them to work on it for a few minutes so if they were having too much trouble I just sent them back to the other projects.
One thing I didn't expect was that they wove all they could on the Beka loom pretty quickly. There's a fairly large space on there that is unusable, as far as I can tell. I'm going to warp it longer for the next group. I also can't figure out how to get it to hold the warp snugly enough. You have to push the heddle up and down yourself (There's no up and down spot to rest it) and it pushes the warp threads loose every time. Maybe it's the warp but maybe it's just the way the loom works. Who knows. I think the piece on the Cricket looks better but it might be that the other is pulled out of shape right now by the loom. I need to weave a couple of waste yarn picks and then cut it off and see how it looks.
My sweater is also progressing. It's now 12 inches long and I have started the increases on the waist shaping. Four more inches to the armholes then I'll have to divide it up for the two fronts and the back. Exciting! I love watching a sweater grow.