So, your loom is set up and you’re ready to go. Now what?
The first thing you do is to open a shed so you can pop some scrap yarn in as weft, and then an alternate shed so you can do another pick of scrap yarn. You will start to see your warp threads even out (they’re usually bunched from being secured at the cloth beam). Note: you can also use paper/ card strips to do this.
Now you’re ready to start your pattern, so you grab your shuttle/s and work out what comes first in the “treadling order” i.e. which shaft/s get lifted first and which weft colour/yarn goes into that shed. If you’re doing a complicated or varying pattern, it’s good to put the instructions somewhere easy to see and where you can easily to mark off progress.
You might leave a nice long tail of weft sticking out on the first pick, if you want to use it to hemstitch the raw edge later, but for each pick of weft, you pass the shuttle through the shed and out the other side, leaving it at an angle (about 45 degrees seems to be recommended). This is so there is enough thread there to get pushed into place when you beat, without pulling at the edge where the weft entered the shed.
You bring your beater forward and push the thread into place.
Then you use the next treadle/lever to be pushed and wrap the weft around the selvedge and pass the weft through the “new” shed in the opposite direction, again leaving an angle of thread. Beat.
Repeat according to the pattern and when the “fell line” (i.e. where you are laying in new weft) gets too close to the reed, or the shed gets too shallow to pass the shuttle through comfortably, wind the bit you’ve woven onto the cloth beam. That is weaving!
When you use all the warp on the loom, you are generally going to hemstich the raw edge at both the warp beam and the cloth beam ends to stop them fraying.
Finally, you’ll take the cloth off the loom, which I have to say is a very nice feeling.