TT22 is Going to Maryland!

Congratulations!
Reeves “Deetzie” Walker in Maryland
will be our TT22 host for August.

Meet Deetzie, a retired Latin teacher who now works part time at the Black Sheep Yarn shop where she teaches rigid heddle loom classes.

When she is not at the store, she loves to spend quality time with her husband, her three daughters, her grandchildren, and her two dogs.

In addition to weaving, she likes to knit (like this adorable balloon elephant), crochet, and garden. The latter she jokingly refers to as an “euphemism for weeding”!

Deetzie got her first TURTLE loom in 2020 and has made several beautiful projects since then, like this turtle in its nest, or the Elongon scarf below.

She does not know yet what she’s going to make when TT22 arrives, but she’s definitely ready to have a great time!

You can follow Deetzie and TT22’s adventures this month on Ravelry, where Deetzie is known as FactaeManu. Very fittingly for a fiber loving Latin teacher, this Latin phrase means “Made by hand”!

Meanwhile … Charlene enjoyed reading the comments of the host applicants. She loves the story of the turtle rescue, and she got the band aids out to “tape up Pam’s finger, so that it heals faster”.

All this said, we hope to see you all again when we are looking for the next host!

(Photo credits: Photos 1 – 4 by Reeves Walker. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for August Host

Are you ready for the next Travel Turtle 2022 chapter? We’re looking for a host for the (most likely) hot month of August … spend some quality time with a small craft and invite TT22 to your home!

 If you are interested and available to “entertain” TT22 for a month, please leave a comment in the comments section.

No hexagon weaving experience necessary … if you have a friend who is new to (hexagon) pin loom weaving, please share this post and invite them to host TT22!

Signup is open now, and will end Sunday, July 31st, 6 pm US CDT. I will contact the new host and make the announcement shortly after I hear back from him/her.

If you would like to know more about how this challenge works, please see the plan.

Meanwhile … TT22 has been having a great time exploring bright colors at Beth’s house this month …

Welcome Elongon and Square in 3″ R!

The new Little Looms Fall 2022 magazine is stealing the show! It makes it difficult to squeeze in the announcement that “Hey, we have a couple of new looms!”

First, there is the new Elongon 3″ R … a larger elongated hexagon loom with regular pin spacing for worsted weight yarns.

With 3″ side length this loom is great to make quick progress on larger projects, like the Cathedral Window blanket, but it is still very comfortable to hold and to work with.

Next, there is the new Square 3″ R loom, to match the above Elongon and also with regular pin spacing for worsted weight yarns.

The squares work up quickly and can be used on their own or together with any other looms that work with or complement a side length of 3″.

I enjoyed making the Cathedral Blanket with these looms, using a wonderful wool, Berroco Lanas.

I hope to chat about working the “stained glass” effect a bit more in the near future, because I think pin loom weaving is naturally perfect for that.

Of course the usability of the new looms goes far beyond stained glass effects. You can use them for pretty much any other project on any other Elongon … the results are “just a little bit bigger”!

Side by side hexagons woven on the Elongon 1″ and Elongon 3″

Little Looms Fall 2022 Magazine – A Giveaway!

Did you see it? We’re tickled pink and humbled to see that the Cathedral Window blanket made the cover!

To share the happiness, Charlene suggested to give away three printed issues of “Little Looms Fall 2022”, one each day of this (long) weekend.

THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Thank you for your participation!

All you need to do is leave a comment below and name your favorite projects in this issue (and there is no wrong answer, if you ask us).

We will randomly draw a name, once a day, this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, at random times, out of all comments available at that time and post your name right here if you win.

How it works:

  • Leave a comment below. What are your favorite projects in this issue?
  • Leave only one comment. Multiple comments do not increase your chance to win.
  • You can enter now until Monday, July 4th, 2022 when at some point of our choosing we will draw the last winner.
  • The giveaway is for (3) Little Looms Fall 2022 magazine issues, one per day.
  • The winner will be determined randomly from comments left on this post.
  • The winners will be announced every day, here on the blog.
  • No substitutes, no cash.
  • This giveaway is open to fiber enthusiasts internationally, unless there are legal or other restrictions in your country that prevent us from shipping to you. (Note: In case you win we will pay for USPS International First Class shipping or contribute to the postage in the equivalent amount of that. You will have to pay for any extra shipping cost and any custom and/or tax incurred by your country.)
  • We will use the comments/contacts information only to determine the winner.
  • In case you win, you agree that we may post your name as stated in the comments here on this blog when we announce the winners.
Charlene wishes you good luck!

And the winners are:
Day 1: Linda Canton
Day 2: Tammy
Day 3: Jessie (please check your email for details)

TT22 is Going to Iowa!

Congratulations!
Beth Seedorff in Iowa
will be our TT22 host for the month of July!

Beth lives with her wife Sarah, her two little sons, and a friend in the part of Iowa that is south and north of Illinois (look at the map and see the “nose” in the east that explains how this is possible). Beth teaches  junior high and high school band at the school, but still finds enough time to “dabble in all kinds of crafts”, preferably when they involve fiber.

Sure enough, her social media accounts show plenty of beautiful crocheted, knitted, and woven projects, like this Ginny’s Meadow Cowl.

Her “How did she do that?” Isafarmo socks (all slip-stitch crochet) even won the grand prize at the county fair!

TT22 is on his way, but with the holiday it will take a little time. In the meantime you can check out Beth’s work (and sign up to be notified when TT22 arrives) on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Ravelry.

Can you believe that we’re half through the year already? I enjoy looking at what the first half has brought to us, and I will say that everything exceeds my expectations. There are still six more stories to be told … well, five more, after Beth, so if you want to get a chance, don’t give up! Sign up at the end of the month!

(Photo credits: Photos 1 – 3 by Bethany Seedorff. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

Charlene is already going through her stash, looking for baby friendly yarns, since Beth said that she plans to make something for her little boys!

Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for July Host

Can you believe it? We’re starting the second half of the year! And Charlene now firmly believes that there is a Christmas in July …

Let’s determine where TT22 will spend the month of July… If you are interested and available to “entertain” TT22 for a month, please leave a comment in the comments section.

Signup is open now, and will end Thursday, June 30th, 12 pm US CDT. I will contact the new host and make the announcement shortly after I hear back from him/her.

If you would like to know more about how this challenge works, please see the plan.

PS: Did you see Kathryn’s adorable patchwork turtle Tanana? Kathryn and Charlene are working on writing up instructions for how you can make your own precious memory turtle … they want to share those instructions with you in a few days, right here on the blog …

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like North Pole …

Some of you already know Kathryn Olson, our Travel Turtle 2022 host for the month of June, with her very creative, unconventional, colorful projects of many fiber crafts. But not everybody knows that last year she moved to North Pole, Alaska!

Meet Kathryn, who lives with her daughter’s family, and a dog Pua, eight cats, and two birds, Mellow and Little Foot. When asked, Kathryn described herself as “I do yarn”, which includes crocheting, knitting, tatting, weaving and pretty much anything that involves yarn.

Her favorite projects are shawls and dolls. For TT22’s stay Kathryn hopes to explore the surrounding fiber world and maybe make a box turtle.

Charlene is a bit jealous that TT22 will see Alaska, but – and I quote Charlene – “I’m looking forward to hopefully see many pictures of the state where the sun in the summer doesn’t go down, and where they have rather unusual wool from cows …”

You are invited to follow TT22’s and Kathryn’s adventures in North Pole on Instagram account @kathryn1160.

(Photo credits: All photos by Kathryn Olson. Title photo by Stephanie Cannizzaro. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

Travel Turtle ’22 – Announcing the June Host

Congratulations!
Kathryn Olson from North Pole, Alaska,
will be our host for the month of June!

Charlene fainted almost instantly on the news that TT22 will go to (the) North Pole. We will introduce Kathryn as soon as Charlene has recovered …

Before she fainted, Charlene asked me to quickly make a scarf for TT22, out of her favorite alpaca yarn from Winterstrom Ranch.

And it should be like the lozenges scarf that Cocoa Bear had in the Little Looms magazine!

Her biggest concern however is that she thinks that there can be only white yarn in Alaska … and that it is all frozen … and that TT22 will get frozen pins!

I tried to convince her otherwise, but … I think she just wanted to faint …

A scarf for TT22 (great for dolls and bears, too!)

Welcome Tempe Yarn & Fiber!

There is a rumor that one enthusiastic TURTLE loom lover (Hi, Melinda!) significantly influenced this: Welcome to our new TURTLE retailer, Tempe Yarn & Fiber in Tempe, Arizona!

In Germany, toadstools are a symbol of good luck, so I decided to design a toadstool mug rug (or stuffed toadstool!) for the occasion, to wish the team at Tempe Yarn all the best.

Let’s celebrate all together! Read on for the toadstool instructions!

Use any worsted weight yarn. Tempe Yarn offers a broad variety of high quality commercial yarns, but they also feature a line of unique to the store “Dyelicious” yarns. I used their Desert Oasis, a worsted weight wool that works perfectly with regular sett TURTLE looms, for the toadstool mug rugs.

I used the new Original Jewel R loom that you can now buy at Tempe Yarn, or online in our Etsy store if you’re not within driving distance to Tempe. The “dots” are optional, but if you wish to add them, I used the BabyTURTLE™ loom for those.

How to make a toadstool mug rug:

Weave 3 jewels in the “cap” color.
Weave 1 jewel in the “stem” color.
(Optional) Weave 3 – 5 Baby hexagons for the “dots”.

Layout the three cap jewels as shown and sew them together, using the tail ends.

Sew the “stem” jewel into place as shown.

Weave in all ends.
Optionally, add the “dots” to the right side of the toadstool.
The finished toadstool mug rug measures about 9.5″ tall and 8.5″ wide.

Serve with a beverage and cookie of your choice.

You can also make a stuffed toadstool …

Make two toadstools.

Right sides facing, sew them together, leaving a small opening. Turn. Stuff. Close the remaining opening.

It doesn’t have to be a toadstool! Use different yarn colors to make different mushrooms, for example an all natural “Steinpilz” (porcini mushroom) with a brown cap and beige stem, or choose your favorite colors to create your own mushroom, dotted or not!

If you live in or near Tempe, stop by the store. If you travel through Arizona, consider adding a visit at Tempe Yarn to your itinerary! Either way … Happy weaving to all!

Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for June Host

Charlene and I hope that you’ve been following TT22’s stay at Laia’s in Oregon on Instagram this May … Laia treated TT22 to weaving and relaxing at stunning cultural places and to yummy indulgences … superbly photographed!

But now it’s time to determine where TT22 will spend the month of June… If you are interested and available to “entertain” TT22 for a month, please leave a comment in the comments section.

Signup is open now, and will end Monday, May 30th, 12 pm US CDT. I will contact the new host and make the announcement shortly after I hear back from him/her.

If you would like to know more about how this challenge works, please see the plan.

Charlene and “her” donut wish you a relaxing Memorial Day weekend.

A Jewel Christmas Tree Ornament

As a teacher or parent, you may be familiar with “writing prompts”. Well, consider today’s project suggestion to be a “weaving prompt”! In short, two jewel weavies make a perfect base for a Christmas tree ornament, and I leave it up to you to decorate yours any way your imagination will lead you …

How to make a basic tree ornament:

  • Weave two jewels on the Original Jewel R loom.
  • Use the starting tails to sew the sides together, leaving a small opening to stuff the ornament.
  • Slightly stuff the ornament with Polyfil, yarn ends, or any stuffing that you have at hand. Do not overstuff.
  • Close completely.
  • Thread the end tails of the jewels in a tapestry needle. Make a couple of securing stitches through the tip, so that the yarn doesn’t pull in. Knot the tail ends together … this loop can serve as the hanger for your ornament.
  • Decorate the tree any way you like with charms, beads, embroidery (you could also embroider before sewing the jewels together), ribbon, mini ornaments, …

The first example ornament is slightly stuffed with Polyfil. I left it largely undecorated, but threaded a wooden star bead onto the end tails for a topper.

For the second ornament, I used a fairy light string as stuffing!

Everything, including the battery pack, is inside the ornament (you can feel for the switch through the fabric).

Consider also use just one jewel and stiffen it!

Christmas craft items don’t seem to be in the stores just yet, but I think it is never too early (and never the wrong time) to think of holiday crafting. I hope you agree!

… humming “Oh, Tannenbaum!” …

Morning Coffee Pocket Pig

Yes, I’m one of those people to whom yarn occasionally “speaks” as to what it wants to become … Cleaning up some yarn remnants this morning, a small amount of pink, ugly yarn crossed my path and went straight into the cat pad bin. “No, no, no!” it called out. “Pig me, pig me!” With a chuckle, and remembering the mention of pocket pals in the most recent post, I picked up that yarn and went to work.

15yds of any worsted weight yarn is all you need, and some black for the eyes and the nostrils. And if you don’t have all looms that I used, just substitute … you could even use all squares for a “square pig”!

Here is what to make:

Assembly:

  • Sew the two hexagons together along four sides to prepare the head.
  • Attach the two ears along the top as shown.
  • Weave in the ends of the Baby hexagon. With black yarn, attach it as the nose with two cross stitches.
  • Embroider eyes.
  • Gently stuff the head and close the remaining two sides.

Have another coffee and enjoy your pocket pig!

Weaving Triangles on the Jewel Loom

The Jewel loom is so full of potential, it is hard to keep up with writing about it … consider this an “emergency” post, to help out some desperate fellow weavers in need, and to inspire others!

As previously mentioned, the jewel shape can be seen as a regular hexagon, with an equilateral triangle attached to it. An equilateral triangle is a triangle where all sides have the same length.

What if you just want that triangle piece, or that piece of the jewel in a separate, solid color? The answer is easy: Use a weaving needle as “bar” across the loom, then use a normal continuous strand weaving methods for triangles for the weaving. If you need some help with that, you can take a look at “Weaving a Triangle on a Square Loom” which follows the same idea.

Put the “bar” across the pins with the circles for a small triangle that will match in length the short sides of the Jewel loom.

Put the “bar” across the pins with the lines for a larger triangle that will match in length the long sides of the Jewel loom.

These two positions are a match to the jewels woven on that loom, but you can really place the bar anywhere you want for other projects.

What to do with those triangles? Well, the small triangle gives you the tip of a jewel shape in a different color.

Quickly join the pieces together, using the mattress stitch.

But you can use those triangles also on their own … six triangles make a hexagon!

You will also see in future projects how you can use the large triangle as a “filler” in certain designs.

If you have any questions about weaving triangles on the Jewel loom, please contact us!

Happy triangle weaving!

Off to Oregon!

When Laia sent me a few pictures for her introduction, I was spellbound by the beautiful colors, the crisp fibers, and the meticulous crafting …

Meet Laia, who will be hosting TT22 during the month of May!

Laia lives and works in Portland, Oregon, and her two cats Westley and Rory are very generous and share their apartment with her.

And yes, Laia loves photography!

From a fiber perspective Laia is best known for her inkle and tape loom weaving, but she also knits, spins, and weaves tiny tapestry.

She added pin loom weaving during summer 2020 “because of pandemic boredom”, and since then she has made numerous projects from flower dish cloths to a flower cowl and a butterfly blanket. One of her ongoing projects is her “epic” sock scrap yarn blanket …

Coming up next … Laia plans to welcome TT22 with some yarn from Portland-based dyers …

You can follow TT22’s stay with Laia this month on Instagram (Whaledaughter), and also get inspired by some of Laia’s beautiful handicrafts on Ravelry (Saberpirate).

(Photo credits: All photos by Laia. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

Travel Turtle ’22 – Announcing the May Host

Congratulations!
Laia Robichaux from Portland, Oregon,
will be our host for the month of May!

Charlene is all excited … is TT22 going to see that HUUGE mountain?

And will TT22 be traveling across the country in a covered wagon like during Oregon Trail days?

Dreams are popping up …

But Charlene is a responsible turtle … she uses one of her Audible credits so that she can listen to a story about the Oregon Trail, thinking of TT22, while helping with polishing more Jewel looms … she knows that a lot of people are waiting. She does her best that there will be more looms ready soon … VERY soon …

Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for May Host

Did you see the awesome loom party that Debbie organized for TT22? Just wow!

Another WOW for the lovely Heart and Flowers Mat that Debbie and TT22 crafted this month.

Debbie in her own words: “Hearts and flowers are my theme”, and with that she makes the chart for her project available to all fellow pin loom weavers who would like to make this project.

Debbie used scrap yarns from her stash, but you can of course use any yarn and colors to your liking. Thank you, Debbie!

But now it’s time to determine where TT22 will spend the month of May … If you are interested and available to “entertain” TT22 for a month, please leave a comment in the comments section.

Signup is open now, and will end Thursday, April 28th, 6 pm US CDT. I will contact the new host and make the announcement shortly after I hear back from him/her.

If you would like to know more about how this challenge works, please see the plan.

Meanwhile …
Charlene seems to be a little bit pre-occupied (or should we say distracted) by Bonnie’s new Jewel gnome, but more about that later. For now she did do her duty and added Debbie’s adorable heart hexagon to the map.
Charlene thinks that the heart is from TT22 to her … JUST her …

(Photo credits: All Heart and Flowers Mat photos by Debbie Shelmidine. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

Happy 5th Anniversary, and Welcome Jewel!


WE ARE SORRY! Most of the first batch sold out in half a day …
there will be more! Sign up to be notified (click on “Let me know when it’s back”).
If you have special requests, please contact us.

When we launched the first TURTLE loom on this day in 2017, our business advisor said that “small businesses that make it to five years, are going to make it”. Well, here we are, and we sure hope that many more years will follow.

We’re by far not done with hexagons, but there was that jewel shape that kept itching us, so we decided to add that to the mix. Are you ready?

Meet the Original Jewel R! (shop)

“Original”, because it matches the size of the Original TURTLE Loom. Those looms can be used together to make even more projects.
“Jewel”, because of it’s special, five pointed diamond shape.
“R” means that the first Jewel loom is designed to work with worsted weight yarn. (Yes, Bonnie, there will be a fine sett Jewel later this year!)

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and watch this introduction that tells you a little bit more about the loom, how to use it, and what you can do with it (trust me, the latter is just the beginning).

Yes, weaving a Jewel is totally easy. If you are already familiar with weaving TURTLE hexagons, you may find this Quick Start useful, which focuses just on the differences between weaving a hexagon and a jewel shape:

If you are a complete beginner, here are some row-by-row instructions:

Jewel looms are now available in our Etsy store, and don’t worry if they sell out … they are here to stay, just like our small business!

Soo Much History!

TT22 arrived safely at his April host and was welcomed with an instant weaving session. TT22 and his new host Debbie then got to chat over a cup of fiber coffee …

Meet Debbie, who lives with her family in Norfolk, NY. Debbie is a multi discipline fiber crafter, but her pin loom resume alone is one of the longest you can imagine. It’s like an amazing NOT BORING history lesson of pin loom weaving!

Debbie’s projects on Ravelry go as far back as 2007, the early years of names like Jana Trent and her eloomanation website and blog, early days of the Looms to Go group (Debbie is one of the admins), and the years when Weavette looms were THE 4″ square pin looms of the day …

It’s difficult to pick just a picture or two of Debbie’s pin loom creations, so here is a little slideshow:

Debbie recently picked up pin loom weaving again, has been teaching classes, and got her first TURTLE loom earlier this year, which brought TT22’s travels to her attention.

Follow Debbie and TT22 during their April weaving adventures on Instagram and on Ravelry.

Hope to see you there!

Meet Jewel!

New loom time! At first, it looks like a hexagon with an extra triangle on the top … It makes a special pentagon shape that in the quilting world is often referred to as “jewel”.

Meet the Original Jewel, R, our first jewel shape pin loom!

Take a look at some examples of how quilters have been using jewel shapes: Ideas for Jewel Shape Pin Loom Projects (Pinterest)

Being able to weave jewel shapes, however, goes far beyond that. Let’s take a look at this list:

  • Two jewels make a heart shape, and because of their geometry you can combine those hearts in all kinds of ways into all kinds of items…
  • Six jewels make a full circle, or wheel. Now just think about how using colors will make those wheels look different: All in a different color, two iterating colors, three … hearts! Add to that some interesting effects that variegated yarns will add …
  • Weave a jewel in two colors
  • Now go 3D … make a little basket … ta-da!!!! Surprised?
  • Combine jewels with other shapes like hexagons and diamonds … for example, you can use the new Original Jewel together with the original TURTLE Loom!

How to weave it? It is true that just because you can build a shaped loom doesn’t mean that you can weave it. However, in case of the jewel, it actually turns out to be very easy (once you know how to do it):

You begin by weaving a hexagon, continuous strand in the round, until you have the hexagon shape with the triangle at the top and bottom and the warps in between.

Now you switch to the continuous strand method that is used on triangle looms, weaving in “U” swings.

The last row “locks” the weaving, and you can take the finished jewel off the loom without doing anything else.

The first, Original Jewel loom for worsted weight yarn (R-regular) will start selling in April (on our anniversary, April 19th). Don’t miss the announcement, right here on the blog.

In the meantime, enjoy some of the sample projects below …

All rights are reserved.

Travel Turtle ’22 – Announcing the April Host

Congratulations!
Debbie Shelmidine from Norfolk, New York,
will be our host for the month of April!

Charlene had been reading all the comments, and was dreaming of shopping at 5th Ave in NYC, and having birthday cake in Oregon, and she LOVES making infant items … it was good to have Mr. Random at hand to make a neutral choice.

Now Charlene wants turtle pancakes with maple syrup, since she learned that the state tree of New York is the Sugar Maple!

Thank you to all who signed up for a chance to be the next Travel Turtle host … for those who didn’t get a turn yet, please try again next month!

Coming up next … It looks like our April host Debbie has a lot of pin loom history to share, so stay tuned for her story …

Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for April Host

Charlene and I are amazed how different the first three months of Travel Turtle have turned out to be, each month with a completely unique, interesting approach!

Now it’s time to determine where TT22 will spend the month of April … If you are interested and available to “entertain” TT22 for a month, please leave a comment in the comments section.

Signup is open now, and will end Tuesday, March 29th, 6 pm US CDT. I will contact the new host and make the announcement shortly after I hear back from him/her.

If you would like to know more about how this challenge works, please see the plan.

In the meantime …
Charlene has completely taken ownership of the travel map.
She adored the beautiful soft, red hexie that Angela sent from Pennsylvania.

And at first she was puzzled when she receive this “hexie” from Carol, which shows the state flag for Colorado … how did Carol do that?

Of course, TT22 had the answer. Carol wove the hexagon in pieces! TT22 says it tickled quite a bit, particularly when Carol wove the triangles, but the results are certainly worth it.

But now … READY, SET, LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW IF YOU’D LIKE TO APPLY TO BE TT22’S HOST FOR APRIL!

(Photo credits: Last photo by Carol Dowell. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

Carol Made A Sheep Pillow!

TT22, as usual, is having a blast. He now would like to be called “TURTLE in residence”, because he spent quite some time in Carol’s studio in Colorado. He made friends with Nico, a poodle/west highland terrier mix that in Carol’s mind ended up with the hyper from both. TT22 doesn’t mind at all (and Charlene is jealous again)!

Carol and TT22 were busy and created a super cute sheep pillow!

Carol used some leftover stash acrylics, and embroidered random sheep onto the hexagons. She also wove half hexagons and triangles, for straight pillow edges, then crocheted everything together. The finished pillow measures about 10″ x 10″.

Carol suggests that you let your imagination run free when you make the sheep. While she provides some of the sheep patterns for embroidery, she also encourages you to just go with the flow and make some on your own.

Why a pillow, I asked? The brilliant answer: You don’t have to weave in ends or worry about ugly backs because they are hidden. 

Thank you, Carol, for this cute March madness fun-spiration!
And y’all … stay tuned for the April sign-up early next week …


(Photo credits: All photos by Carol Dowell. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

TT22 in March

Hi, Charlene here … there are quite some developments with Travel Turtle going on right now …

Terry (TT22 January host) is working on a gorgeous shawl, made of differently sized and shaped hexagons, joined together with crochet … and all of that in those beautiful colors.

Angela (TT22 February host) sent TT22 on his way to his next destination, and she is keeping us on the edge to see what her hexagons will be turning into … did you see that beautiful red color?!?!?

Carol (TT22 March host) informed us that TT22 arrived safely in Colorado!

He probably needs a little rest, which will be just enough time to introduce his new host, Carol Dowel.

Here is her story:

“My name is Carol Dowell.  I live on the plains of Colorado.  My husband and I are retired and recently moved from the country to town.   

I learned to knit and crochet before I started school.  Watching a lady spin yarn from an angora rabbit’s fur while it sat on her lap at the Stock Show made me want to learn to spin. A gift of a small floor loom gave me the tools to learn weaving.

My current passion is weaving on “pin” looms. I started on the Zoom loom and now have many different sizes and shapes. The stained glass table runner was to see if I could make all of the shapes using only my Zoom loom  The sheep vest is my latest project and was made using my Turtle loom.

I have a studio called “Two Barns”, behind our home, where I spin, weave, knit, crochet, tat, quilt, paint, do beadwork and anything else fiber related. It has been a fun place for our grandchildren and great grandchildren to learn and play.” 

Gabi here … Charlene is off pouting, because the “Two Barns” sounds like a perfect, huge fiber playground for TT22 to spend the month … we are all looking forward to hear more about it, soon!

(Photo credits: 1, Terry Neal. 2, Angela Tong. 3-6 Carol Dowell. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

Travel Turtle ’22 – Announcing the March Host

Congratulations!
Carol Dowell from Yuma, Colorado,
will be our host for the month of March!

Charlene could hardly wait to pull out her book to see some pictures of Colorado. Colorado is closer to Texas, so maybe she can have a tea with TT at some point? Oh, Google says it’s still 893 miles … which means “no tea”.

When Zoom heard Colorado, she instantly crawled out from her project to come over and chat with Charlene … Zoom thinks that SHE is the most important State Fact of Colorado, since her home, the Schacht company, is right there in Boulder!

TT’22 is getting ready for the trip, and if you haven’t already, take a look on Instagram at his time with Angela.

Coming up next … we will share a little bit about our March host … stay tuned!

Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for March Host

We all know that February is a short month, but it seemed extra short to me! I hope you all enjoy following TT22’s stay with Angela on Instagram.

Charlene is excited to find out where TT22 will go next … It’s time to determine our next host, for the month of March. If you are interested and available to “entertain” TT22 for a month, please leave a comment in the comments section.

Signup is open now, and will end Sunday, February 27th, 6 pm US CT. I will contact the new host and make the announcement shortly after I hear back from him/her.

Meanwhile … if you have noticed that the shop is low on stock on several looms … we are making looms as fast as we can, but right now the weather is not cooperative. We like the temperature in our workshop to be above 50F for lacquering … and there hasn’t been much of that recently. But the weather will get there soon … we’re confident!

TT22 Update: Good bye, Arizona — Hello, Pennsylvania!

TT22 said his goodbyes in Arizona and is now in Pennsylvania to meet Angela … and a lot of snow!

TT22 made a lot of friends during his January stay in Arizona, and the month just seemed to have flown by.

Lots of loom hugs for Terry, who has been a fabulous first Travel Turtle host.

Ice and wind and snow don’t make it easy to get to the next destination, Pennsylvania, where TT22 will meet our new host, Angela.

Angela is a well-known fiber arts designer and instructor who has published many knit and pin loom designs in a broad variety of publications. In her free time, she loves to craft beautiful pottery.

TT22 feels honored to be able to spend some time with her.

About pin looms Angela writes “In 2010 I got my first pin loom and loved weaving with it immediately. It was a 4 inch pin loom. I seamed the squares together to make a doll blanket. And I continue to collect different sizes and shapes of pin looms.”

TT22 got very excited when he heard that Angela may want to make a coaster or a hot pad during his visit. His favorite from her previous work has always been this one, with the tiny little embroidery heart.

Oh, he can hardly wait to get started!

Charlene is very jealous that TT22 will meet Angela in person! But she knows that the next-best-thing-to-do is to follow Angela’s amazing social media posts. If you wish to follow Angela and TT22 during his February visit, look for Angela on Instagram and/or visit Angela’s Facebook page.

(Photo credits: 1-3, Terry Neal. 4-7, Angela Tong. All rights reserved.)

Travel Turtle ’22: Announcing the February Host

Congratulations!
Angela Tong from Yardley, Pennsylvania,
will be our host for the month of February!

Charlene is already studying the next destination … There is so much history!

… and she loves the pretty color of the Mountain Laurel …

… and she is also very concerned about the long journey, and … it will be so much colder in Pennsylvania than in Arizona!

For the next few days, TT’22 is still in Arizona at his host Terry, and you can follow his January travel journey on Instagram.

Coming up next … we will share a little bit about our February host … stay tuned!

Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for February Host

Are you enjoying the Travel Turtle report on Terry’s Instagram account? Lot’s of looms, pretty yarns, unusual “freeform” project inspiration, nice people, good food, and stunning Arizona sightseeing make it a perfect vacation retreat! Terry is an amazing host, and I think we’ll probably have to rope Travel Turtle ’22 out of Arizona.

That said, TT22’s visit to Arizona will be coming to an end next week, so it’s time to look for a host for the month of February.

If you are interested in hosting the Travel Turtle 2022 during February, please leave a note in the comments section of this post.

Sign-up is open now and will close Sunday, January 23rd, 9 pm US CT. The winner will be announced after I had a chance to talk with the future host.

Do you have a question about this adventure? You can see what the Travel Turtle adventure is about in the January post. If you have further questions, please contact us.

While you’re waiting … here are some highlights from TT22’s travel report so far (All photos are courtesy of Terry Neal, all rights reserved. See full report on Instagram):

My 2022 No-Stress Patchwork Project

I’m a little late in chatting about my 2022 no-stress patchwork project because I needed some lead time to be able to show the idea … all no-stress, of course!

This year’s project idea is a culmination of my love of yarn cakes … and getting stuck out of town a few weeks ago. I “had” to stop at JoAnns to find something to do, and I discovered Freelance yarn cakes by JoAnn’s Big Twist yarn line. These cakes feature pleasant color combinations in worsted weight acrylics. While the knitting gauge says 14 sts/4″, it certainly looked and felt “just right” for a regular sett TURTLE . Later sampling confirmed that indeed this yarn is pleasant to weave. It creates a dense but not stiff cloth.

The yarn comes in 10 color combinations. I got “one of each”.

Doing less than one cake per month should be doable, even if life gets hectic. The idea is to do some relaxing weaving just off the cake, then put the hexagons together to make a blanket.

The first cake resulted in 43 hexagons on the original TURTLE Loom™. The design will be in rows of 14, which will yield about three rows per cake, enough to get a good impression of the color run of that cake.

The “First Cake”

  • Yarn is Big Twist Freelance, color Purple Red Orange Multi.
  • One cake yielded 43 hexagons on the original TURTLE Loom R-regular.
  • I wove off the cake, but I cut the yarn to make solid colored hexagons, except for some white/purple sections where the colors just changed too frequently.
  • Leftover yarn ends that I cut out be fore color changes will make nice tassels.
  • The yarn is fun to work with, but it changes sometimes from thinner and shiny to slightly thicker/puffier and dull. Those changes do not affect the weaving, though.
  • Based on the yield of one cake (43 hexagons) I plan the blanket to have 3 rows for each color with 14 hexagons per row. The spare hexagon is saved in case another color is one short, or it will be used in another patchwork project.
  • I did block my work, because a reviewer of the yarn had shared the concern that the yarn bleeds. I do not detect any color bleeding in my piece.

The next color – randomly selected – will be “Blue Green Multi”, which is a nice combination of wintry pastel colors.

I’m excited to see how this will work out.

Will you join in this year? What are your plans for a no-stress patchwork project?

Travel Turtle ’22 en Route to First Destination

Travel Turtle ’22 is all packed up and on its way to Gilbert, Arizona, a small farm town that grew into a city on the outskirts of Phoenix. There, it will meet our first host Terry, a dedicated fiber enthusiast.

January host Terry is an indie dyer by profession, and her hobbies include knitting, spinning, and art weaving. Terry has been pin loom weaving for long enough that she doesn’t remember when and how it started. And yes, she has woven on TURTLEs before and has several fine-sett hexagon looms in her collection, and Squares, too. When asked what she’s made with those looms so far she replies:

Mostly I have been experimenting with all the different yarns, including some of my hand dyed yarns.  It’s fascinating to see how the squares and hexagons work up different when you change yarns.
I am currently working on making enough elongated hexagons to do a scarf or cowl of some sort.  The way I work my projects is to collect a lot of the pieces and let them tell me what they want to be.
The best part of using the Turtle looms is that I make one piece and something is completed, a finished piece. I get instant gratification by making one hexagon.”

Asked about her plans for TT’s visit Terry contemplates that she is still thinking about it (but there are already rumors that she might engage her husband in some small sightseeing around Gilbert):
“I have some wonderful small skeins of worsted weight yarn that I have been stashing in great colors.  Since this will be my first experience with a regular sett loom, I want to make as many hexagons as I can, and then let them become something more grown up over the next year.”

I think we are now ALL looking forward to following along! Terry will be reporting TT’22s travel adventures directly through her Instagram account, you can follow her here: Spinfiber on Instagram. Also, look for hashtag #travelturtleloom2022 on other social media.

Last not least, I certainly felt happy to have Charlene around to help with the travel preparations …

Travel Turtle ’22: Announcing the First Host

Congratulations!
Terry Neal from Gilbert, Arizona
will be our first host, for the month of January!

Our new mascot Charlene instantly started to help Travel Turtle to learn a little bit about Arizona, while I work on travel arrangements … it is all very exciting.

The interest in hosting Turtle has exceeded our expectations … if your name didn’t get drawn, please follow along Turtle’s journey, and we hope that you will sign up again for hosting Turtle in upcoming months.

In a few days we will share a little bit about our January host and also report about Travel Turtle’s departure … stay tuned …

2022 Travel Turtle Adventure

Let’s work on some fun, good times for 2022! We made a one-of-a-kind TinyTURTLE that we will send on its way to travel across the United States this year. And you can become part of the adventure! Here’s how …

The Plan

  • Every month, the Travel Turtle 2022 will visit a new pin loom weaver.
  • The “Travel Turtle host” will be determined via a random drawing every month.
  • The “Travel Turtle host” will at least weave one hexagon (but make as many as you want), post at least one picture during that month (but post as many as you want), autograph the travel host page in the instructions booklet, and then send the Travel Turtle off to it’s next destination.

How It Works

  • Each end of the month we will hold a signup here on the blog to enter to win to be the next host.
  • You do not have to be a TURTLE customer, and you can be new to pin loom weaving, as long as you are willing to learn (we’ll help!)
  • The loom is not for keeping … the loom will travel all year and (hopefully) come back to Texas in the end. If you’re a host, we’d like to ask that in the interest of all you’ll do your very best to take good care of the Travel Turtle. If something happens (lost, stolen, damaged) you are not held responsible, though. We’ll work on our end to keep the adventure going, if possible.
  • The first year’s adventure is limited to hosts in the United States … we’ll see if we can manage international shipping time in the future.
  • TT22 will visit a state more than once! If you live in a state that TT22 has already visited, NO PROBLEM!
  • The Travel Turtle 2022 kit includes a unique TinyTURTLE “R” for worsted weight yarn, a locker hook weaving tool, and an instructions booklet. The new TURTLE mascot Charlene that’s in the picture (from our Little Looms Spring 2022 ad) will not travel along … she will be busy telling her own story later this month.
  • Paying for shipping to the next host … if you wish to help with that, fine. But we’ve set a budget aside to pay for it, so no worries … you can participate as a host either way.
  • Yarn … any worsted weight yarn is fine. If you don’t have any, we’ll work it out when your name is drawn.
  • Sharing on social media … Yes, please! I suggest hashtag #travelturtleloom2022 to make it easy for others to follow the adventure. Positive, on topic vibes only, please … if you have any problems or concerns, please contact us directly.
  • We will moderate the travel adventure through the turtleloom blog (I suggest that you sign up to be notified about new blog posts).
  • Our travel map shows where TT22 has been. As the host, please send in a hexagon, woven on TT22. Please note that throughout the year it is ok to have more than one host in the same state.

This is indeed an adventure, but I hope that it will be fun for many, and that you will all enjoy following the journey. Since this is the first time we’re doing this, please ask any questions that you may have, and I’ll update the information on this blog if needed.

Ready, Set, Enter for January!

If you would like to be the first host for the month of January, leave a comment on this blog, indicating that you are interested in becoming the January host for Travel Turtle. Enter before Tuesday, 01/04/2022 6pm US CT. We’ll use random.org to determine the winner. I’ll contact the winner, and when everything is set, the first journey will be announced here on the blog.

2021 No-Stress Patchwork Project … Concluded

How has 2021 worked out for you? Quite a roller coaster, wasn’t it? But here we are.

My 2021 no-stress patchwork project has been repurposed to become a regular project . I’ve enjoyed weaving up single skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, and I still have one and a half skeins to go. I will keep it “no stress”, weave up the remaining yarn for more hexagons to join the 200+ that I have so far. Then … I think those hexagons will become a “cape blanket”: A round blanket with an opening along the radius, so that it can be worn like a cape.

With that, my “official” 2021 projects turned into one-weavie coasters! These coasters are also meant as an encouragement to those of you who had big plans this year, but then life happened. Whatever you have, and even if it is just one weavie, call it your 2021 project and enjoy!

What about 2022? Another no-stress patchwork project … absolutely! I will start by putting together sample hexagons from yarns that I tried out, and leftover hexagons from some projects.

But there has also been increased interest in doing more temperature blankets. If you would like to learn more about that, consider joining us on Facebook (any pin loom is fine!)

2022 promises to become a good pin loom weaving year with lots of inspiration. This will be the first year with four (!) Little Looms publications, and each of them will contain at least one hexagon pin loom project. The first one might already be in your mailbox, so fasten your seatbelts!

It’s Here: TexaTURTLE in Fine Sett

We’re doing a “Quick Release” to give this loom the best chance possible to be with you for the holidays.
Shipping speed and timely delivery cannot be guaranteed, that is out of our control. But we can get the first batch on its way asap.

You can buy the loom in our Etsy store: TexaTURTLE™ Hexagon Pin Loom Kit – 6″ F – for Fingering/Sock Weight Yarn

If the looms are sold out, you can sign up to be notified on Etsy so that you will know right away when we list more. Please note that the sign-up features is not available on the Etsy app. Just go to the shop through a browser app.

The TexaTURTLE™ is currently the largest TURTLE, measuring about 6″ side to side. The loom kit ships as usual with everything you need: The loom, weaving tools (Afghan crochet hook, 8″ weaving needle, packing comb), and instructions.

Just add yarn! The fine sett pin spacing allows you to use thinner yarns of sock/fingering weight. Yarns with a knitting gauge of 24-28 sts/4″ typically work well. Like all of our fine sett looms, the weaving results in a fabric with about 10 epi (ends per inch).

A note about the larger amount of yarn that is needed to weave the center section (about 6.4 yards):

  • Default TURTLE method: Wrap the full amount of yarn (11 times for the TexaTURTLE F, see stamp on loom back), then weave back and forth as usual. In the beginning you will have a lot of yarn to pull through, though!
  • Partial weave: Wrap 6 times and weave up the yarn. Then wrap a little bit more than the remaining 5 times and weave the remaining part. For the first row, overlap the the new and old yarn by weaving one row where both yarns have the same over/under movement, “sharing the same shed”.)
  • Use the weaving method as shown for the Janus hexagons (just all in one color). We plan to provide photo-guided instructions that will show how to use the method on the TexaTURTLE F here on the blog.

There is no locker hook option for this loom. Aluminum hooks that long won’t be sturdy enough to stay straight. If you like to use a locker hook and don’t mind weaving the longer rows in sections, the 2.75mm locker hook (6.5″ long) works for all TURTLE fine-sett looms.

Ready, set, loom! We’re looking forward to seeing your creations!

Black Friday at the Woolery

I love traditional Black Friday sales … well, except standing in line at 3 am in the cold rain (which – for the records – I never did). Therefore I was really excited when the Woolery chose to take on another TURTLE loom and celebrate that with a Black Friday deal!

I assume you don’t have much time to read at the moment, so here is everything in a nutshell:

I made a sample project with this yarn, a Super Easy Sock Yarn Cowl, and recorded a project walk-through that shows how to make it:

You can find written instructions for the cowl on the original blog post for the Super-Easy Sock Yarn Cowl.

I also want to show that many patterns that work on one TURTLE loom will work on another TURTLE loom. I used the Elf Basket from last year’s 12 Fiber Gift of Christmas at the Woolery as showcase. For the sample I used URTH Uneek Cotton yarn:

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving ... 
I'm thankful that I can share my love for weaving with people like you.

Raffia Danish Medallions Ornaments

It is showtime for the TURTLE Elongon 2″ R in this issue, with Edith’s adorable Foxy Birch Blanket in one of her favorite yarns, Blue Sky Fiber Woolstok, and my Painted Pillow, in one of my favorite “doodle” yarns Noro Kureyon.

And there is so much more (including my article about joining pin loom squares, may the TURTLEs forgive me)! Get the printed copy right here, or check out the digital or subscription offers directly from Long Thread Media.

But because this is a “holiday” issue, we also decided to treat you to a free project, as it was announced in our advertisement: The Raffia Danish Medallions Ornaments are an interesting way to explore a classic hand-manipulated weaving method that looks great on both sides.

Universal Yarn’s Yashi raffia is the perfect fiber for the ornaments, because it creates an instant stiffened fabric that stays flat without further treatment.

The ornaments are designed so that once you take them off the loom, they are (almost) ready to go onto the tree.

Get your Original TURTLE Loom “R”, then download the pattern and have a wonderful time!

Harvest Hues Winner

It was so much fun to read the comments! Cat toy (with catnip or … a bell!) seems to be the most popular suggestion, but dish scrubby (Hobby Lobby carries the hedgehog scrubby holders again this year!), acorn, pin cushion (good one), gnome (yes, we really should have another gnome), pumpkin , dryer ball (hmm … haven’t made one of those yet), shower loofah (yass!), potpourri sachet, soap sack, pot scrubber, or hacky sack. All of the above would work! Click on the links to see some examples.

But before we go any farther, let’s congratulate Melinda Crittenden on winning the skein of I Love This Cotton in Harvest Hues! Melinda, check your messages for some more information.

The project in the picture is a little sponge puff, made of the leftovers from the one skein of “I Love This Cotton” that I used to make the Leaf Pile Hand Towel.

When I weave hexagons, I measure start and end tails as recommended in the instructions, so that I have enough yarn to sew the hexagons together. This does leave clip ends that can be used as stuffing for something, or to make a “leave no ends behind” hexagon: Just knot the clippings together and weave away! It will be fun and funky, and is very functional.

I also had enough of the cotton to weave one more “normal” hexagon, and while the lavender sachets are extremely popular and the idea for a soap sachet invites itself because of the cotton yarn, I wanted to do something different.

I decided to make a little sponge puff: Sew the two hexagons together along five sides with simple whip stitch. Get a sponge pouf made of netting (or any other type of netting, even some plastic produce netting will do). Clip the thread that holds the netting puff together, then stuff the hexagon pouch as desired. Cut the netting (depending on the pouf, you will be able to make 2-4 sponge puffs). Close the remaining side of the sponge puff.


It feels soft to the skin, will lather soap nicely, and it will dry out reasonably well after each use.

Happy fall weaving!

Leaf Pile Hand Towel

I had some “yarn research” to do at Hobby Lobby last week, and I discovered a new color of “I Love This Cotton” named Harvest Hues (362) … what an inspiration to ring in fall crafting!

This cotton yarn works perfectly on all “regular” TURTLE hexagon looms, and the Original R was at hand, so I started weaving right away.

As with all variegated yarns, each hexagon will look differently so that you always want to know what the next one will look like. The smooth and soft yarn is therapy to the hands as you work with it. No surprise, the one ball that I bought wove up quickly.

The stack of hexagons started to look like a pile of leaves.

Laying them out randomly, it turned out that 24 hexagons make a great hand towel for kitchen or bath. Just about one ball of yarn!

The towel is worked sideways. Use this chart to randomly layout your “leaves”.

Use mattress or whip stitch to join hexagons into rows.

Use whip stitch to connect the rows with each other.

The finished towel measures about 21″ x 16″ before washing.

Crochet a hanger at the top of the towel as follows:

Are you ready for fall? Happy fall, all y’all and a GIVEAWAY!

Let’s have a little fun: To celebrate fall crafting, we’re giving away one ball of “I Love This Yarn” in 362 Harvest Hues (Just the yarn, no loom), enough to weave one hand towel, three dishcloths, or make anything else your heart desires. To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post … what do you think is the project shown in the top left corner of the following picture? Post by Wednesday, September 8, 2021, midnight CDT! Mr. Random will determine a winner, which will be announced Thursday morning after 10 am CDT.

Six Ways to Make Half Hexagons

If you put multiple hexagons together to make a project, you may notice that the edgings are in most cases not straight, but more or less zig zag. While this can be a nice design element, there are times where you just want to have that “straight line”. This is where half hexagons come to the rescue, to fill in the gaps. But … why six ways?

As with hexagons, half hexagons also have their own geometry story to tell. For example, there are two ways to half a hexagon:

Hexagon A folds along the longest diameter, which makes a shape that is shown here. We call it Hexagon A, because it seems to be the more commonly used half hexagon form in fiber arts.

Hexagon B folds along a side of a hexagon, which makes a shape that is shown here.

You can weave these two shapes of half hexagons in different ways:

  • Weave a full hexagon and then fold it in half. It’s not cheating! This approach can add strength to a border where you want it, for example around a blanket or for a garment opening, like the front of the Hope vest.
  • Weave half hexagons on your TURTLE loom and use a tool to bridge the missing side. This is a great when you need a small number of half hexagons to complete a design, for example for the Wings Shawl.
  • Use a TURTLE half hexagon loom. Having a special half hexagon loom for weaving comfort makes sense when you want to make projects that require a lot of half hexagons.  The first half hexagon looms will become available in 2022.

Two ways to half a hexagon, three methods to weave them … six ways to make half hexagons!

This blog includes instructions for weaving the two forms of half hexagons on current TURTLE looms. The weaving method is the same on all TURTLE looms, no matter how big or small your loom is, or if it’s regular or fine sett, or if you are weaving regular or elongated hexagons.

Download the guide to weaving half hexagons on TURTLE hexagon pin looms:

There are many more stories to tell about half hexagons, and we will do so here on this blog, over time. Sign up to be notified about new blog posts so that you don’t miss anything!

All rights reserved. Contact us if you have any questions.

Did you find the bonus treat?

Weaving A Triangle On The Square Loom

Weaving fellow Deborah Carpenter Bagley recently started a “2021 Mystery Weave Along – Quilt Edition” in the Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group. It’s a three week weave along towards a small quilt-style project, made of triangles and squares that can be woven on any pin loom(s) that make those shapes.

I decided to participate in this relaxing event. I chose the Square 2″ F-fine sett loom that weaves up quickly, and some Paintbox Cotton 4-ply yarn from my bucket with yarns that I want to sample. Deborah offers 2 – 4 color options, and I chose the two color option to keep it doable as a small project aside.

Weaving a triangle on a square loom with equidistant pins (pins are distributed evenly along the sides) is like weaving a continuous strand triangle … all you need is a spare needle along the hypothenuse (the longest side of the triangle) to support the weaving process.

While there are many, good instructions for that type of triangle weaving available on the Internet, I received several requests from fellow pin loom weavers who wanted to see a triangle woven on the Square loom. For all of you who asked …

Weaving squares goes fast, and weaving triangles goes faster. No surprise that the desire to weave more is taking shape. Deborah’s three color version might make a seasonally timely “red, white, and blue” theme, and the four color version makes me think of Amish-style quilting …

You can still join the weave along on Facebook. Great opportunity to practice your new triangle weaving skills. See you there!

(S)Watch This!

One useful application of pin loom weaving is that you can test a new yarn for weave-ability in just minutes. It will not replace proper sampling for a project, but it is a quick way to find out what a yarn looks and feels like when it is woven, and it provides an instant piece of cloth for blocking.

Take for example this collection of scrumptiousness, which was part of my haul from this year’s Yellow Rose Fiber Fiesta where I “discovered” Winterstrom Ranch, a full service mill, with an intriguing variety of yarns in different blends, weights, and colors.

For my sampling, I used the Original TURTLE Loom™ R-regular (about 7.25 epi) for the thicker weight yarns, and the Original TURTLE Loom™ F-fine-sett (about 10 epi) for the lighter yarns.

My conclusion is that all yarns weave up and block beautifully.
The yarns have only little stretch, perfect for weaving. The yarns are smooth and not stiff.
I wove a hexagon each and sewed them together into a flower shape prior to blocking, just for fun. I blocked in cold water with a little bit Eucalan, for about 20 minutes. All fibers gently fulled, minimal shrinking, all color fast.

But see for yourself!
Winterstrom Ranch is one of the vendors at the CHT 2021 Conference Marketplace this weekend …

Swatch … Always …

A Fiber Runs Through It

The theme of the CHT conference 2021 is “A Fiber Runs Through It”. It reminds of the river walk that meanders through San Antonio, TX, but it also inspires to think of fibers and how they “run” through our weaving.

This post shows a quick project that was inspired by the theme: A little lavender puff with small pieces of fiber randomly running through it.

The project uses fibers that will be available from vendors at the CHT Marketplace!

The puff front is woven of a Windmill Crest Farms custom blend alpaca yarn Trilogy ( 75% Alpaca, 15% Bamboo, and 5% Silk waste) in strawberry pink. The back is woven of Morning Glory/Titan (80% Alpaca, 20% Bamboo), a marled yarn in natural colors that weaves up into a cloth with a vivid effect. Both yarns are fingering weight that weave up beautifully on the Original TURTLE Loom™ in fine-sett.

The “fiber that runs through it” is organic Texas cotton sliver from Conserving Threads, who offers a wide variety of natural fibers.

Weave the lavender puff hexagons:
– Following the loom instructions, weave one hexagon in Morning Glory/Titan for the back.
– Start weaving the front hexagon in Trilogy until you switch to weaving back and forth.
– Prepare 4-5 sliver pieces (see below) and weave them in randomly:

Prepare the sliver pieces:
– Pull an end of sliver off the rope, about 3″ long.
– Split that end into 2-3 pieces.
– Gently twist each piece, so that it doesn’t fall apart when handled.

Use a crochet hook to gently pull a piece through the shed from the previous row. Continue weaving, pack well.

Each front will look unique! When finished, lift the hexagon off the loom.

Sew the puff:
– Turn the front hexagon. The “right” side will be the side without ends. This will lock in the sliver pieces and prevent fraying.
– Put front and back hexagons on top of each other – wrong sides facing – and use the tails to sew along five sides (use simple whip stitch).
– No need to turn.

Stuff the puff:
– Use a small amount of stuffing (we used polyfil, but you could even use some of the leftover cotton sliver).
– Add about a teaspoon of dried lavender flowers to the center of the stuffing and fold close.
– Insert the stuffing into the puff and close the remaining sides.

Give a lavender puff to a friend. Put one under your pillow.
Gently squish the puff to release more lavender aroma.
Enjoy!

Come Visit Us at the CHT Conference!

All TURTLEs are busy preparing for an appearance at this year’s Contemporary Handweavers of Texas conference in San Antonio, TX. The great news is that the vendor market will be open to the public, so anyone can come!

We will not just bring all TURTLEs, but also exhibit some of the projects that have not been on display before, including the Wings shawlette, the Indian Blanket flower afghan, and the Hope vest. There will be more on display, as space allows … let us know if you want us to bring any other specific project that you’d like to see!

Besides the TURTLEs, we will have all currently in print Little Looms magazines available for purchase, as well as the current Handwoven May/June 2021, SpinOff Summer 2021, and PieceWork Summer 2021 (all published by Long Thread Media).

The hours for the Vendor Hall (Grand Ballroom E and F) are:
Thursday     4 pm – 7 pm
Friday 11 am – 5:30 pm  AND  7:30 pm – 9:30 pm (“Moonlight Madness”)
Saturday 10 am – 12 noon  AND  1:30 pm – 7 pm

Make it a road trip … the conference offers free access to the remarkable CHT weaving exhibit, which is an awesome opportunity to get inspired by an exquisite variety of masterly handwoven treasures. And if you have not been to San Antonio before, add a visit to the historic Alamo (One of the tour guides is a fellow pin loom weaver … ask for Laurel!) and the River Walk.

While exercising good COVID habits (wearing masks and cleaning hands and tools frequently), we will have a sample table to try out the TURTLEs, and we will be there to answer any questions that you may have.

As simple as that … hope to see you, soon!

Happy World Turtle Day!

This year’s World Turtle Day (May 23, 2021) is presented to you by Shelldon and Shellington, who are both creations of fellow pin loom weaver Susan Pihl.

Susan wrote recently that she was inspired by our turtle mascot Charlie, the first ever stuffed turtle project that we made, using the only TURTLE loom that was available at the time, the Original TURTLE Loom™ for worsted weight yarn.

Now that our hexagon pin looms come in multiple sizes, Susan used several to make her own turtle … meet Shelldon!

As it is the nature of stuffed turtles, you can’t just have one turtle, so Shelldon quickly got a friend, Shellington.

Here’s a brief anatomy of (or you could say instructions for) Shelldon and Shellington. All credits go to Susan, with a big thank you for sharing!
Susan used Loops & Threads Impeccable on regular sett TURTLE looms:

– The body is made of two Original TURTLE Loom hexagons, sewn together and gently stuffed.
– The head is made of two TinyTURTLE™ hexagons, sewn together and gently stuffed.
– The front flippers are made of TinyTURTLE hexagons, folded in half.
– The back flippers are single hexagons woven on the BabyTURTLE™.
– Join all pieces as shown in the picture.

Susan used small black beads for Shelldon’s eyes and French Knots for Shellington’s: Work one eye, then stitch through the head to work the other eye, holding the yarn in a little bit, which adds a touch of perfect shaping to the head.

Shelldon and Shellington are best buddies and decided to decorate with TURTLE looms this year, to celebrate their favorite holiday, World Turtle Day.

Mishell prefers to watch the events from the sideline, resting comfortably on her turtle pad.

We understand that not all turtles can be woven, but they can still celebrate! Vogue street fashion has it that this year it is “in” to “wear” a turtle loom if you are not made of woven hexagons.

Whether you consider to make a Charlie, or a Shelldon, or your own creation, we all hope that you will have a wonderful World Turtle Day!

Photo credits, except the “Charlie” project photo, Susan Pihl. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Did you make a turtle? Send us a picture, and we’ll add it here to the Turtle Gallery:

Designing with Hexagons – Going 3D (Part 2)

Ready for more 3D? Handwoven posted the next blog article about designing with hexagons … Part 2 of Going 3D covers sharing hexagons between layers, fun ways to gain volume and change width, and a few handy tips.

Read the article: Designing with Hexagons: Going 3D (Part 2)

For your convenience, here is a list of all projects mentioned in the article.
Please note that if you are now a subscriber to Little Looms magazine, you will have access to all projects that were published in previous issues!

Forget-Me-Not Pillow
Cocoa Bear, in Little Looms Holiday 2020
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20180929_163151_resized.jpgAspen Clutch, in Little Looms 2019
20180512_123357_resized (2)Grape Table Topper, in Little Looms 2018
IMG_3494Grape Pillow
Stuffed Toys A Sheep and a Pig Hexagon Pin Loom image 2Stuffed Pig Toy
Flower Power Emoji Meter
GVt 22nd century hat22nd Century Hat
sloth GVTWell, you already know him, but here’s the link again …
Take it Like a Sloth!

Go ahead, go 3D!

Dreams Come True

I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to take these pictures for years …

When we first moved to Texas more than a decade ago, I was inspired by seeing the Indian Summer Blanket wild flowers in this little field. A real blanket like this would be awesome … “I want to make this!”

It took many trials and errors to find a way to express the shape of the blooms, and in the end, hexagons were the answer.
I sampled many yarns, because I wanted the colors to be as close as possible to the “real thing”. I found Scheepjes Catona, a cool summer cotton, that seemed perfect for the purpose. It comes in over 100 colors, including shades that were close.

Then … the opportunity to make the blanket for Easy Weaving with Little Looms Summer 2020.

Finally, this spring, the Indian Summer Blanket flowers are blooming again, and Texas weather is at it’s best. The blanket that looks and feels like a field of Indian Summer Blanket flowers … in the field that provided the inspiration.

Never give up on ideas that inspire you.
Dreams come true.

The Hope Vest

It has been a great privilege to tell the story of Diana and Handspun Hope in Handwoven May/June 2021. A story of “stepping up” to help widows and orphans in Rwanda. A story of building a way to live in peace, with food and shelter. And a story of reaching out to the rest of the world, through fiber.

It is our wish that the Hope Vest will encourage weavers to explore the all natural, handmade fibers from this country far away. See and feel the pride that the women in Rwanda put into their work.
You can call it a weaving adventure in may ways, filled with hope for a better life.

Handspun Hope provides three lines of beautiful yarns: Ethiopian Handspun Cotton (top left), a precious Angora and Merino Blend (top right, used for the Hope Vest), and Organic Merino Wool that comes in different weights (bottom left in worsted, bottom right in bulky) . Visit Handspun Hope online to learn more and shop these yarns.

The project guide for this vest is available on the Handspun Hope website: Buy the pattern.

Weave the magic, share your thoughts!

Honey, It’s A Spring Wreath!

I happen to spot hexagons almost everywhere (and I hear you all laughing!) Therefore it is no surprise that the “beeing kind” spring theme at JoAnn Fabrics pulled me right in. A laser cut wooden honeycomb décor caught my eye: Those holes needed fabric … woven hexagons! Conveniently, JoAnn Fabrics also carries Lion Brand’s Bonbon yarn minis which are perfect for hexagon pin loom weaving, so a pack of “601 Nature”, a honeycomb wood décor, and I checked out the store minutes later.

The TinyTURTLE™ hexagon pin loom in fine-sett is the perfect weaving companion to weave the “bonbon” cotton and create hexagons that are exactly the right size to cover the hexagon shapes in the wooden template.

Feeling inspired? Read on for instructions!

I decided to only fill the full hexagon shapes on the wooden template (16).
I wove a bunch of hexagons and moved them around until I liked the looks: With the colors at hand I simulated the looks of a honey comb, and the hexagon shapes behind “leaves” would be backed with green. The pink and purples would serve as flower centers (5).

Go ahead and create your own, or follow along to make what I made!

For extra fun, I used all colors. For the honeycomb I wove:
(2) natural
(6) light yellow
(3) beige
(2) brown
Add (3) green hexagons for the leaves areas.
Use the photo to join the hexagons. Hexagons to rows first, then rows to rows will work best.

Great assembly practice, and the seams don’t have to be pretty, because they will be covered by the wooden template!

I stapled the sewn hexagon patch to the back of the wooden template.
Note: Don’t press the stapler too hard, because otherwise – even with 6mm staples – the ends may show through (if that happens, just pull the staple back with a knife carefully). You can also hot glue the hexagon patch in place.

For the flower centers I wove:
(2) pink
(1) lavender
(2) purple
Weave in the ends.

PS: There is still plenty of time to finish this project in time for Mother’s Day.
PSS: I left the wooden template untreated, but you could lacquer it or even paint it for additional effect.
PSSS: As of this writing (4/24/2021) all place & time items are 50% off at JoAnn’s.
PSSSS: I’m really done now. Thank you for reading!

Enjoy making it! Enjoy decorating with it!

Earth Day 2021

The idea started yesterday when I was reading an article by Handwoven editor Susan Horton, “WIFs for Earth Day Weaving”, with a call to plan or weave a project that’s good for the planet.

I realized that If I make one hexagon every day until Earth Day (April 22, 2021), I will have seven hexagons to make a flower table topper! I will use this post to track the daily progress on my earth friendly weaving for the week to come …

For Day 1 I raided my yarn ends bowl, which yielded just enough to make my first hexagon … the classic “Leave no ends behind” hexagon, edition 2021.

For Day 2 I decided to try a new yarn. Lion Brand features a “Sustainable Stitching” yarn collection, and I was curious to try out their “Just Hemp” (100% hemp) yarn. It is a 5-Bulky weight yarn, but it weaves up nicely into a dense fabric on the Original TURTLE Loom™ R – regular. I recommend using a locker hook for the weaving and packing after each row.

Day 3 is a recycle day, using pretty ribbons that remind of blissful chocolates.
Use a locker hook and take your time for the weaving. Skip pins as needed to accommodate the thicker ribbon.
Day 3 derailed a little bit … once I took the hexagon off the loom … it looked like a holiday ornament, so that’s what it turned into: My first holiday gift for 2021 is done.
Will have to make up a day for the Earth Day flower …

Day 4: To compensate for yesterday’s repurposed hexagon, I chose to weave two hexagons today, of different Berroco yarns: Remix Light, which has been one of my favorite, 100% recycled yarns for years, and the new Chai, which with 56% linen and 44% silk deserves to be called a sustainable yarn. Both yarns get two thumbs up for weaving on the Original TURTLE Loom in fine-sett!

Day 5: Feedbag ties come in handy when you need something thin and strong to tie something. But those ties also weave very well! For today’s recycle hexagon I held two strands of ties together, which creates a nice basket weave on the Original TURTLE Loom™ in fine-sett. Extra bonus for having more than one color!

For Day 6 I consulted my yarn sample basket once again, and Lion Brand’s shiny Nuboo won the “pick me!” contest. Made of sustainable 100% Lyocell (bamboo pulp), Nuboo is listed as worsted weight. However, the yarn is more on the thinner side and very smooth: It weaves up beautifully – with a great sheen and drape – on the Original TURTLE Loom™ in fine-sett.

For Day 7 I wove “plarn”, plastic yarn, a rather popular way to recycle plastic bags. About half a bag from an 8-pack of HEB hamburger buns, cut into 1/2″ strips, is sufficient to weave one hexagon on the Original TURTLE Loom™ R – regular. Take your time, weave loosely, and skip a pin or two as needed. Weave in the ends anywhere back into the hexagon and use a different yarn for sewing.

And here is the Earth Day Flower! … Table topper, wall hanging, backyard yarn bombing, …

I hope you feel inspired by the things you’ve seen. Earth friendly doesn’t mean that it has to look cheap or won’t be any fun. There is no need to suffer or miss out on anything. We have so many options these days that living earth friendly every day is very possible and does not have to be a burden.

When the Easter Bunny Steals the Elf Basket …

Remember the Efl Baskets? It only takes a few more steps to turn that pattern into an Easter bunny basket … and more …

You can never have enough baskets (particularly those that hold treats). To make your next basket, try the Elongon™ 2″ R-regular loom (because that will give you extra tippy ears). You will need about 20 yards of yarn. I used a variety of Caron Simply Soft, Caron Cakes, and Caron Latte Cakes yarns. Leftovers are awesome for this project!

Follow the instructions for the Elf Basket: Start weaving the “ear” color (I used off white), then weave the stripes in any contrasting color that you’d like. Fold two tips on opposing sites and sew them into place with just a few stitches. These sides will be the back and the front of the bunny. The remaining two sides have the tips which are now the bunny ears!

Add a pompom tail (wrap yarn around 2 fingers 20 times and tie off and trim; or use a store bought pompom). For the eyes, I used 12 mm safety eyes (or embroider, use buttons, or felt). Two leftover ends of yarn may serve as whiskers.

Adding handles is optional … Join two strands of yarn in one corner. Crochet about 25 chain stitches. Slip stitch into the next corner (on a side with a “ear”). Fasten off.

And who is this? Easter … Yoda?!

For a Yoda-style basket, weave two hexagons like for the Elf basket, and two hexagons in solid green (these will be the “face” and the back of the head). Assemble the basket as usual.

Flip and sew the tips of the solid hexagons.
Hold in the “ears” with an extra piece of yarn and shape into style. Add eyes … fill with your favorite candy … all year long!

Happy Easter!

Wings

The “Wings” shawl shown in a recent Handwoven Reader’s Gallery article comes with a special story … please allow me to share …

Fellow pin loom weaver Carolien and I like to go yarn shopping together … virtually, since we live a few thousand miles apart. Two years ago on her birthday, Carolien visited “Stephen and Penelope” in Amsterdam, and “we” bought a skein of Qing Fibre Merino Singles.

The yarn created a fabric as light as a feather, and I decided to make a shawl. When I needed a little bit more yarn, I took my inspiration from Stephen West’s love for bold colors and unusual shapes, very much stepping out of my comfort zone.

The finished shawl felt perfect. I decided to name it “Wings”, reminding of long distance friendships without borders. Wings that envelop the wearer with soft and gentle comfort. Wings that free.

It was a precious moment when I was able to show the finished shawl to Stephen during a knitting event and share the story with him. Perfectly Stephen, he did not hesitate to model the shawl. (Thank you, Stephen, you rock!)

Last not least, Wings encouraged me to enter new territory and have it professionally photographed. I’m a big fan of Gale Zucker … The way she saw Wings through her camera lens is second to none. Thank you, Gale Zucker, let this just be the beginning!

Ready to make your own Wings?

The hexagons are woven on the Elongon 2″ fine-sett TURTLE loom. The shawl requires one skein of Qing Fibre Merino Single in Cuttlefish and added accents are worked in small amounts of Chaos Fiber Co Tonal Elite Sock in Hot Green and Purple Pop (the latter is also used to crochet the border).

Follow this chart to layout and assemble your “Wings” shawl:

The observant weaver will notice that the design includes four half hexagons … do not worry, by the time you will get to weaving those … you will find the instructions right here on this blog!

Happy birthday, Carolien!

Designing with Hexagons – Going 3D (Part 1)

The next article from the “Designing with Hexagons” series is now available on the Handwoven website. The title is “Going 3D”, and the article will come in two parts, because there is so much to tell about making things with “just hexagons”.

Read the article now:
Designing with Hexagons: Going 3D (Part 1)

We hope that you will enjoy the article and find it useful.

“Do you have instructions for those projects?” – Yes, we do, for most of them. Here is a list of links …

Sloth
Bear Ornament
Flower Petals (just follow
the instructions in the article
and use as shown).
Turtle Mascot
Mouse
Pickle Ornament
Motorbike
Amulet Pouch
Coin Purse
Paint Drop Toss Game
Coming soon …

The Lozenges Scarf – A Bias Study Project

If you have that one skein of precious, beautiful worsted weight yarn, here is a project suggestion for you … You can use the bias fabric feature, as it is described in the article “Designing with Hexagons: Basic Concepts”, to stretch your one skein supply and make a cool scarf on your TexaTURTLE loom!

Here is how it goes: Weave up your skein into hexagons, then watch the following video that shows you how to connect hexagons on the bias for maximum stretch:

The Lozenges Scarf as shown is made of 14 TexaTURTLE hexagons and results in a scarf that is about 80″ long, unstretched. You can adjust the length by using more or fewer hexagons.

Wear your scarf wrapped twice or three times for volume, open as “duster” accessory, double for a warming and decorative effect.

You can use different TURTLE looms and yarns, too … the first Lozenges Scarf was actually featured by Cocoa Bear in the Little Looms Holiday 2020 magazine. That scarf was woven on the TinyTURTLE fine-sett loom, using sock yarn.

Struggling with joining hexagons? This project is great “first time” joining exercise that is as easy as it can get. Watch stitch-by-stitch instructions here:

Go ahead and give the Lozenges Scarf a try! Easy to make, lots to learn, fun to enjoy.

TURTLE customer Lynne B. made this TexaTURTLE scarf earlier this year (see her comments below). While the joining direction for her hexagons is random, the scarf turned out to be lovely! And … don’t miss those humongous pompoms! Brava, Lynne!
(photos posted with permission)

Thank you, Lynne for sharing!

Lozenges Scarf, wrapped around a tree, showing stretched and un-stretched hexagons.

Turtles are Back!

After an “interesting” week of rolling blackouts, frozen water pipes, and cold coffee, we are very happy to say that all turtles made it safely through this record breaking winter weather in Texas. There’s still cleanup and repair work that needs to be done, but we will start shipping and making looms again.

Thank you, all, for the many kind words and comments that we received!

Turtle Will Go Hibernate for a Little While …

Long story short, Texas is in an extremely cold and long stretch of winter weather, and our workshop has no heating. If “winter” is just a couple of days, as usual, we can make up for that time, but right now it looks like there won’t be any lacquering possible until the end of the week.

What that means … Our Etsy store will look empty, but:

Be assured: While loom production will hibernate, we’ll still be chatting hexagons and projects and answer any questions that you may have!

To hibernate, Turtle chose one of Beth’s flower scarves made of 100% wool Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok which creates a light, soft, and warm fabric … perfect for a good cuddle.

Stay warm, be safe!

Designing with Hexagons

Late last summer, I received and email from Handwoven editor Susan Horton … if I would be interested to write an article about designing with hexagons. I checked twice to make sure that she really meant me, and she did.

Of course I’d love to! My enthusiasm resulted in a table of contents that exceeded the word count that was allotted for the planned article.

Long story short, over the next few weeks you may expect three articles that will cover a selection of topics around designing with hexagons. While those topics apply to all fabric hexagons, the examples are taken from experience with pin loom woven hexagons.

The first article covers basics concepts, including observations on arranging hexagons, some ideas on shapes that you can make when you put hexagons together, how you can integrate fabric direction into your designs, and lastly a list of sources for inspiration.

Also, the article includes a link to download free hexagon design templates, so that you can start drafting your own designs!

Read the article: “Designing with Hexagons: Basic Concepts”

I want to thank Long Thread Media for this opportunity, and it is my hope that many readers will find these articles useful and will benefit from them for years to come.

Hearts! … or How To Tame Bias Woven Squares

It’s the time of the year where it’s cold outside and warm, pink, and red everywhere else. Valentine’s Day is approaching! While it’s still about a month to go, this is the time to start crafting for it!

In this blog we will take a look at “shaping fabric”. Bias fabric can be tricky to understand, but if we master its properties, we can put those special features to work and make beautiful things … like hearts!

We are going to make a little Heart Wall Accent. Instructions are below, but if you prefer, you can watch this how-to video:

We used the new Square 2″ fine-sett loom for this project. However, the instructions will work for any square loom of any size that allows you to weave the continuous-strand bias weaving method.

SUPPLIES
One square makes one heart. A Square 2″ fine-sett woven motif needs 2.7 yards of any sock/fingering weight yarn. We used Scheepjes Catona in colors 114, 222, and 238. Have some extra yardage for the hanger and the optional tassel.
The base (holding 3 hearts) is about 2.5″ wide and 9″ tall. We used chicken wire ribbon, but you can also use felt, fabric, wood, or any other material of your liking.

MAKE A HEART

Weave one square and take it off the loom. Have one yarn end facing up/away from you, the other one to the right.