Learn How To Weave with Tom Knisely

There’s no one I’d rather have teach me how to weave than Tom Knisely. Unfortunately, miles and miles of inconvenient geography prevent most of us from taking a class from him—until now! Tom’s new course, Beginning Weaving with Tom Knisely, is a weaving class you can return to again and again for thorough, insightful, and humorous instruction on planning, warping, weaving, and wet-finishing your first weaving projects. Here’s Tom himself to share a little more about the video! ~Andrea

Tom Knisely demonstrating weaving techniques for warping a loom, one of the trickiest parts of beginning weaving.

Tom is demonstrating two fantastic warping tricks in this image. He has removed the top support beam and propped up the shafts to give himself a better view of the heddle eyes.

I love weaving, but maybe even more than weaving itself, I think, I love teaching others how to weave. New discoveries at any age are exciting and I love, just like anyone else, finding a new structure or way of weaving. I’ll sample it and weave dozens of examples with many different threads before I feel confident to teach this new discovery. As I write this, I look around my desk on both sides to find graph paper with drafts for future projects.

When I am teaching a class, I am often asked, “What is your favorite thing to weave?”

“Oh that’s easy: rugs,” I tell them.

“Then what is your favorite class to teach?”

“That is also easy: beginning weaving.”

For me there is nothing more rewarding than helping a student realize their dream of weaving. Time and time again, I have heard the story of how someone has waited years to get to this point where the children were grown, or maybe they have waited until retirement to finally have the time to dedicate a space and the time to their passion for weaving.

When the last child has headed off to college, you walk down the hall to Junior’s room and slowly open up the door. A choir of angels sing into your ears, “AH, YOUR NEW STUDIO FOR WEAVING!”

I teach a week-long beginning weaving class. Monday morning is always full of excitement, a little apprehension, and sometimes fear of doing something wrong, making mistakes, or asking silly questions. In my classes there is no “wrong.” Mistakes happen, and it is an opportunity to learn how to correct them.

A beginning weaving class is a great way to learn weaving basics and get you going on your new adventure. Then weave, weave, weave. Warp again and weave some more. The more you weave and the more classes you take, the more information you obtain and the confidence just builds inside you.

For me, teaching a beginning weaving class is an honor. To allow me to help you take your first weaver’s baby steps is my privilege. It’s just as exciting for me as it is for you getting started. I want to help guide you in the purchasing of the correct loom and tools for your needs and interest. I want to show you how to read a pattern draft, and I want to help you to choose the correct materials for that first solo project.

This beginner weaving project is great for learning how to weave on a loom!

Learn how to weave a wool scarf like this. Check out the difference wet-finishing and brushing makes!

Calculating the warp sett and figuring the amounts of material you will need seems overwhelming to beginners. When I look into their faces and see a smile as they come to understand why, for example, you calculate plain weave differently than twills, well, it’s a rewarding feeling for me as well.

When I was approached to film a beginning weaving video, I could have jumped for joy. This is just the subject that I love the most. I would love to have you all come to the studio, but that will not be possible for many people. For people who have difficulty finding a teacher or class in their area to learn how to weave, this is the perfect solution to their problem. The idea of helping someone realize their dream of weaving is heartwarming for me.

I realized that it’s impossible to teach you everything I know in a 90 minute course. But, here are the basics and a step-by-step beginning weaving project for you to follow and get started. I hope this video will be helpful to you and please let me know sometime how you are coming along. I wish you good luck, tight warps, and a lifetime of happiness weaving.

—Tom Knisely


Learn more from Tom Knisely in his popular videos The Loom Owner’s Companion, Weave a Good Rug, and The Weaver’s Yarn Companion. Tom teaches at Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center, along with his daughter Sara Bixler, after teaching for many years at The Mannings Handweaving School.

Posted October 19, 2016. Updated July 5, 2017.


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