When my grandson was visiting this summer, he discovered I have a weaving loom. I had purchased a used loom a year before and my grandson had not seen it nor did he know that my new interest was weaving. My loom is a 32" Herald 4H jack loom, most likely made in the 1960's. My grandson was very fascinated by the loom, crawling all around on the floor checking all the moving parts to see how they all worked. The project on the loom at the time was an overshot pattern and my grandson was pleased to discover that the reverse pattern occurs on the underside of the weaving compared to the top. I let him throw the shuttle a few times to see how the loom worked. His excitement was the kind that young children can experience without reservation; the magical discovery and joy kind of excitement. After he wove a little while he ran out of the room to tell his mom. I smiled when I heard him say to his mom "Do you want to weave? I can show you how!". My grandson was so excited about making fabric that he asked while he was weaving if I could make him a shirt. Of course I had to try. My husband suggested a baja hoodie.
It takes me a while to warp the loom and I am not a very fast weaver, so it took a while to get things going. Here are a few pictures of the loom and the hoodie fabric in progress. The first photo of the loom was taken in our house that we sold a year ago, the next photos were taken in the home we live in now and show the warping in progress and the beginning of the weaving.
I followed the general instructions for the pattern for an "Alpaca Jerga" from the premier issue of Handwoven magazine, fall/winter 1979. It was a bit of a challenge to find a pattern for the hoodie. I could find all sorts of Baja Hoodies for sale on-line, but not a pattern for making one. I posted a request on Ravelry in a weaving forum and asked if anyone knew of a pattern to suggest. Ravelry.com is a great place to find just about any information ever needed about the fiber arts, and through my request I learned of the Handwoven magazine article. I was then able to find the used magazine for sale on-line and purchased it. I scaled down the adult size pattern to fit a child. If I did this over again I would make the hood a little bigger, the sleeves a little wider, and the pocket a litter deeper. Overall it turned out OK. I made a card woven band to add to the top of the pocket to make it a little deeper. I used a 3/2 cotton yarn for the hoodie and wove it at 12 epi. The same cotton used for the warp was used for the weft. I wove random stripes in the weft in a simple twill weave pattern. This was my first clothing article made from my handwoven cloth, and while it isn't perfect, I am pleased that it was successful and I learned a lot in the process. I think I'd like to make a baja hoodie for myself one day, and my husband would also like one. Someday I may be brave and make one for both of us. I finished the hoodie for my grandson in time for Christmas.