Schacht Spindle Co. Cricket Loom
Available on purlsoho.com
Price: $175-$195 (depending on size)
The Cricket Loom comes in two sizes, the 10" and the 15" models. I got the 15" loom for my birthday, and with only a $20 price differential, I would recommend going with the large size (you can always make a smaller project on a larger loom, but you can't make a larger project on a smaller loom). It is a fixed heddle loom with the option to change out the reed for a smaller or larger dent size. This means there is some rigidity in the potential patterns you can think up, but it certainly does not diminish the charm of this little loom. The loom comes with the 8 dent reed, which is good for a worsted weight yarn. There are also 5, 10 and 12 dent reeds available to accommodate other yarn weights. The loom is well made and sturdy and has other accessories available, including a travel bag and a stand.
The size and price point of this little gem are really what caught my eye. I am not a weaver, but I have interest in the craft. I cannot justify spending the money or allocating the space for a large loom. There aren't many people with the space in their homes to set up a floor loom on a whim, unlike a pair of knitting needles, weaving is a bit more of a commitment where equipment is concerned. This Cricket loom allows the user to get their feet wet and create some wonderful projects while not taking up the entire family room or breaking the bank. In fact, this loom fits on a coffee table, a kitchen counter, a desk...really anywhere. It's easy to move and easy to use. The loom comes with, as mentioned, the 8 dent reed as well as two shuttles, a warping peg, clamps, a threading hook and two balls of yarn. It provides you everything you need for your first project. (The instruction booklet is also very helpful.)
Bottom Line: If you have a birthday coming up or little stash of cash, this is totally worth the small splurge. It is super easy to use and does not take up a lot of space. There are a ton of possibilities, and the projects you can whip up move quickly and look great when finished. It is fun and very satisfying.