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June 21, 2011

Lily Speed-O-Weave

Or Adventures in Vintage Crafting, Vol. 1

By Andrea

I am a total collector when it comes to anything crafting related that’s vintage. So, when I happened upon this strange looking box at a garage sale last summer, I had to snap it up:


It definitely intrigued me, as I’d never seen one before, and it was only 10 cents! I can’t pass anything up that’s a dime!


Not to mention, it promised to be easy! No skill required – can’t go wrong with that!


So, I dug it out the other day, and opened it up. Inside I found this note, which baffled me a little. I personally thought that the Speed-O-Weave looked like a good thing to pull out and attempt in bad weather, seemed like the perfect rainy day activity to me. I guess Kerry disagreed!


This was the instruction book that was inside. To say that it was lacking in instruction, would be a bit of an understatement. It basically had directions on how to complete a luncheon set, but no actual directions on putting the frame together, how to weave, etc. Googling didn’t get me a lot of info, other that other people looking for instructions. However, eBay to the rescue!


I snagged this booklet, which not only had directions, but all sorts of patterns in it, too. If you do come across a Speed-O-Weave, definitely try to locate this booklet, too.


These were all the bits and pieces inside, and everything was there, too! I was expecting more parts, or more screws at the least, but that’s all you need.


I assembled the frame and practiced winding the yarn on how the booklet specified. Initially, I had a lot of problems with the yarn popping off, as shown here. However, I discovered that if you use your finger to keep the yarn held down on one side, it makes your life a LOT easier.


Once I felt relatively competent at winding the yarn, I selected a pattern from the book. This one is called Oriental Fantasy. I haven’t the slightest idea why, as it does not evoke thoughts of the Orient in me. Especially considering the colours they called for it to be made from were forest green or aqua and ecru. I could maybe see if they were using red and gold or something? No idea where they got the name from. I decided to make it out of avocado green and black, as that’s how I roll. The pattern book did caution me that I should be starting with the luncheon set, as it is easier, but I decided to live on the edge and throw caution to the wind.


After the first row was wound on. I was feeling good at this point, this seemed as easy as the box promised it to be!


And with all of the rows wound on. Easy as pie, I thought I would have this done in no time. All I had left to do was tie it.


And then I looked at the instructions in the booklet on tying, and was greeted with this rather ambiguous looking drawing.


And my first attempt at tying was a total failure. As were the second, third and fourth. I was now beginning to disagree with the "no skill required" promise from the box …


However, eventually I did get the hang of it, and once I settled into a bit of a rhythm, the tying went pretty smooth.


My doily freed from the frame.


And after it’s trim, it’s complete! It turned out pretty good after all!


Action shot!


And, just for Eartha, another action shot, this time featuring my whole china cabinet. This is a family heirloom, it houses my depression glass, and salt and pepper shaker collection, among other things. It’s definitely more art deco, than MCM, but I love the red detailing on it. It dates back to the very early 50s.
My final verdict on the Speed-O-Weave: Pretty fun! A bit of a learning curve, but once I got the hang of things, it was pretty easy. Also would be very useful if you want a very vintage looking doily or placemat, or something along those lines, but perhaps in a different colour scheme. If anyone’s decides they need to give this a try, there’s several on eBay.

Anyone else out there tried one of these? Or maybe you can remember someone using one? Let me know in the comments!

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21 Responses to Lily Speed-O-Weave

  1. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Wow! I’ve never tried the Speed-O-Weave or even heard of it but it looks fun! Good on you for searching out the instructions. Yours turned out great. You’ll soon be Speed-O-Weaving on sunny days AND cloudy days!

    And wowee…that china cabinet! I knew that it was going to be glorious! I just love the shape, the color and that red detailing. Thanks for letting us see! πŸ™‚

  2. Becky Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I had an aunt who made us a set of placemats on one of those…I always thought they were so pretty, my mom kept them and used them until they were worn out. I had no idea what they were made on, it’s neat to see it!

  3. Christina Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I’m pretty sure that my grandfather used to make these, or something very similar. I still have a couple that he had made for me when I was a little girl that I treasure to this day.

  4. Betty Crafter Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I was just telling a friend yesterday that my home design objective is to have a total granny house complete with doilies. I love your modern twist to it!

  5. Andrea Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Eartha – Yes, the Speed-O-Weaving was definitely quite fun, once I got the hang of it. And thanks on the china cabinet, I love it, too!

    Becky – That’s very cool! I knew someone out there must have had something that was made on a speed-o-weave, they definitely do make a very pretty product.

    Betty – that’s too funny! Maybe you should start making some of your doilies, to customize your “granny house” look πŸ™‚

  6. Karen CA Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I just to make these when I was a kid … actually still have a few around here that I made and can never bear to give them away. Amazing I have been able to keep track of them this long. Also, in the same vein, I made potholders out of the loops on a metal holder (the name escapes me now). I actually tracked one down on Etsy or Ebay and made some new potholders! What memories. I was always doing something crafty as a kid and still do. Love this vintage stuff!

  7. Karen CA Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    that should be “used to make … ” πŸ™‚

  8. Erika Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    The doily turned out great! I’m almost tempted to buy a kit. I can’t crochet or knit so this is a great alternative for making doilies.

    I just wanted to say that I love your hutch. Before I got into the Mid Century stuff, I was collecting pieces for an Art Deco Waterfall style bedroom set. I just got a vanity a few weeks ago off Craigslist and have the full set now. Even though I love Mid Century style, I can’t give up the Deco pieces. It’s really beautiful furniture. Even if its not MCM, your hutch has lots of charm and awesome lines. A real MCM house back in the day probably wouldn’t have had just have Danish-inspired pieces anyway. I imagine it would have had cool family heirlooms and different era pieces too. πŸ™‚

  9. Andrea Reply

    June 22, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Christina – that’s very cool that it was your grandfather who made them – it’s always good to hear of men being crafty!

    Karen – I totally know what you’re taking about, I had one of those when I was a kid, too! I am another one who’s been crafting since I was a kid, I can totally relate πŸ™‚

    Erika – Thanks! I am another one who loves Art Deco as well. Lucky you for having the full waterfall set now, those are gorgeous! I agree completely about the mixing of the styles – especially back in those days, people were definitely not going out and refurnishing their entire house just because a new style came in, so I agree that the periods can definitely be mixed. In many cases, it’s still mid-century, just not modern!

  10. RetroRuth Reply

    June 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    This looks really awesome, Andrea, especially because I don’t have the patience or dexterity to knit or crochet. I am keeping an eye out for this kit!

  11. Sara in AZ Reply

    June 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Great doliy Andrea, super pretty! I LOVE those colors too, and you were really living on the edge, making that doliy, weren’t you! πŸ˜‰

    PS – Gorgeous hutch!!! We have to see the contents next time!

  12. sablemable Reply

    June 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Andreaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!! I’ve never heard of Speed-O-Weave before! Thanks for showing us!

    I love that china cabinet, girl! Very cooooooool!

    Great post, Andrea!

  13. Andrea Reply

    June 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Ruth – thanks! Definitely give one a try if you do come across a kit! Very easy.

    Sara – Thanks! Yes, I was feeling super daring with my exciting colour choice, haha! I could probably do a whole post on the contents of my china cabinet, it’s pretty full, LOL

    Saaaaable – Thanks! πŸ™‚

  14. Bonita J Reply

    January 11, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Does anyone have the directions for the Speed-O Weave? My mother has the box but no instructions or patterns.

  15. Heidi Reply

    April 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Hi. Wow this is exactly what I just bought today! I found mine at a flea market. After I got to looking at it I realized it is basically the same concept as the butterfly loom that hobby lobby used to carry but this is made a lot better and will last a long time. I prefer this vintage loom over any modern gadget!!

    • Andrea Reply

      April 3, 2013 at 10:49 am

      Hi Heidi – yes, these are definitely super well made, with their metal construction! I am pretty sure mine is at least 70 years old!

  16. Dawn Reply

    August 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    I just found 3 different sets of the Speedo weave on a free site. I went to pick them up and the yellow box was given to someone else. However I did get two free with some yarn so I am very happy. I have the Twin in a blue box and a hexagon kit in the red box. I can hardly eait to see what I can make using these. They both had a magazine same one included with different ideas and patterns. I really want to make one of the bedspread in the near future. By the way you dolly looks great.

  17. ellen Reply

    August 14, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    My super-organized mother-in-law just gave me her Speed-o-weave with instruction booklet and all. Looking at the photos in the instruction booklet gave me NO motivation to even try to put the thing together. But seeing what you made and talked about makes me think about taking it out and giving it a try.

  18. El Reply

    January 30, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    I have been trying to find one of these frames for the longest time. Would really appreciate if someone could please help me. Thank you

    • Cathy bujakowski Reply

      November 3, 2016 at 12:53 am

      They sell them on eBay price difference but basically same thing in every box

  19. Mary Espinoza Reply

    January 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    My Mom has this same Book No. 95-S, she also has the looms but does not have the shuttle tool. Anyone know where I can find one for her? She’s 82 and still loves doing crafts. We still have some doily’s from way back when. I’d love to find the shuttle tool for her. Thanks

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