In my previous posts, I shared the unboxing and setup of the Cricket Quartet. Now I'm finally weaving on it, and I have a few thoughts to share!
Overall, I am very pleased with how the Quartet works. It's a small and compact table loom, which was exactly what I needed. Even though you can see it shakes in the stand while I'm weaving, it's sturdier than expected and holds tension well. The swinging beater took some getting used to, but has a big benefit: it gives you more room to weave. This is super important given how compact the loom is. The shed size is also impressive for such a small loom - it's big enough to use a slim boat shuttle.
For all the nitty gritty details, be sure to watch the YouTube videos - there's one full video of me explaining everything, plus a series of short clips that give close-ups and process shots. Everything is collected into a playlist here. Or, read on!
The Secret Shelf!
Working with a Brand-New Reed
The reed comes brand-new. I have to admit, this is a new experience for me, since I've always had used looms, and therefore used reeds!
A new reed comes with a little bit of oil on it left over from the manufacturing process. The instructions say to wipe it off with a soft cloth, or to add a few inches to your first project. I did the first, but found slight discoloration on the loom in the area where my first project has been. This tells me that the warp did a better job of removing the oils than my soft cloth did.
What I'd recommend is to wind a short sample warp in the full 13.5". Not only will this help you clean off the reed, but it will also help you to get acquainted with the loom!
The Reed & Reed Hooks
The Reed & Weaving Width
The Reed and Shed Size
The Reed & Warping
The Swinging Beater
Advancing the Warp
Using the Cricket Quartet with the Cricket Stand
I really like this little loom!
In general, I prefer working on floor looms. Treadling with my feet turns weaving into a full-body action that keeps my mind engaged better. Any table loom is going to sacrifice that, so I tried to not let it color my review of the loom too much.
Having said that, the Cricket is great at what it does - offering a small footprint 4-shaft loom without sacrificing much functionality, if any. It perfectly fits my needs for a small 4-shaft loom for sampling/workshop/demonstrations. It's a little pricey if you don't already have a 15" Cricket, but if you do, and have been interested in trying out 4-shaft weaving, it's a nice place to start.
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