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.
Hold the center of the square down, then slide the yarn end that is facing away from you towards the center.
This will gather the fabric of the top half together.
Secure the gathered fabric with a few stitches in the back of the heart.
Stretch the sides of the remaining square to round the sides into a heart shape. The “shaping” will work for most yarns. If your yarn slides or bounces back, block/stiffen it after completing the heart.
Gently pull the other yarn end to round the sides of the heart.
Slide in the fabric on the other side to match both sides.
Secure the tail, weave in and clip the end.
Your heart is now ready to use. Keep the remaining tail to attach the heart to a base, or use it as a hanger if you want to use the heart the way it is.
Optionally you can use your Square loom to make a tassel . We used 15 wraps of yarn. Tie it at the top loop, clip the bottom loop. Wrap and secure the tassel head and clip the ends even. Done! If needed, the video shows the making in more detail.
ASSEMBLY For the base, cut a 9″ piece of chicken wire and carefully bend the ends. Use three strands of yarn to make a hanger (you can also use a piece of ribbon or make a string using crochet, lucet, or any other craft of your liking). Attach the tassel to the bottom of the wall accent. Enjoy!
The hearts can be used for many other crafts: Make Valentine’s cards, for example. Or applique them to a pillow. Stiffen them and make a hearts mobile!
What a year 2020 has turned out to be! I don’t think any of us had a clue when we started our “No-Stress” 2020 Patchwork Project last year as to how much we would need that “no stress” aspect for our crafts!
But here we are, at the beginning of a new year. Those of you who participated in last year’s project and those who have been watching the progress from the sideline have indicated a clear “Let’s do it again”!
We mentioned last year that any loom is ok, but this year I want to put more emphasis on that: I will have two “no stress” patchwork projects to work on, one on the Original TURTLE Loom™ in regular and fine-sett, and one on a Schacht Zoom loom, as an example for “any other loom”.
Let’s review what this project is all about: This is a pin loom project that carries on throughout the year. Work on it as time allows, but without stress or frustration.
Keep it simple and flexible, because … life happens!
The idea is to weave motifs and sew them together into a project as you go (see project ideas below).
Use sample/swatch weavies, leftover weavies from other projects, or weave one in a pretty yarn that you like.
Use any loom you like. I do suggest, though, to just use one loom size, because that makes it easy to add to your project as you go. Examples: I will use the original 4″ hexagon looms in both, the “regular”and “fine sett”, because they create the same size hexagons. I also will use a Schacht Zoom loom for a second project, as an example for a non-hexagon loom.
Weave as time allows, until December 31, 2021. Maybe one a day, but most likely less, because there will be busy times throughout the year when there’s just no time to weave.
Start late (you don’t have to start January 1st), end early (if you reach a point where you like the project and the year is not over, just consider it done).
(Optional) Keep notes in a little notebook, but keep it simple: Date, material, optional brief comments (for example for a special occasion). With or without writing down notes, the patchwork project will have stories to tell!
(Optional) Take a picture once a month to record progress throughout the year.
Unless you know what you want to make, start with the first motif in the middle and work around that center. This way, the resulting project is determined by how many weavies are woven. That will make it “no stress with guaranteed success”: Just make one motif, the 2021 project will be a coaster. If you make some, it may be a trivet, shawl, or table runner. If you go crazy and make 2 or more every day … here is your king size bed cover!
At the end of the year you will have a project that you can call your 2021 Patchwork Project and that you can be proud of, no matter what it turns out to be. Take a look at some of the projects from 2020:
The new Square has the same pin spacing as the tips of the Elongon 2″ fine-sett. This means that the squares result in a very similar fabric that will match nicely when both shapes are used in one project.
The pins are thinner than the hexagon looms (but without beeing too thin), to allow to work more comfortably in a tight space.
The beginning pins are marked with lines like on the hexagon looms. The widest point of the square has a convenient, wider space between the pins that will allow you to weave comfortably to the last row.
The weaving is easy: Just start weaving bias, as if to begin weaving a hexagon, until you “run out of space”. Lock the weaving with one last woven row, and the square is done. Not sure how it works? The following video shows how to weave a Bias Square:
If you have heard of the phrase “The 12 Fiber Gifts of Christmas” you most likely heard it from The Woolery, a company who has been serving the needs of fiber artists for over 30 years. During the holiday season, the Woolery features a different fiber related product each week for 12 weeks.
Our Original TURTLE Loom™ for worsted weight yarn is the 5th Fiber Gift of the 2020 season!
The Woolery does not only have a scrumptious selection of weaving equipment and accessories, but they also offer a great variety of not-so-typical yarns.
I could not resist to make … a basket (!) with one of their yarns, the Cestari Mt. Vernon.
I hope you will find it entertaining and useful to watch me make an Elf Basket in this new project video:
I am a big fan of Handspun Hope yarns, whose 100% Organic Merino wool was the Woolery’s 4th Fiber Gift of Christmas this year! I quickly grabbed some Rich Salvi and Voca Peach from my stash and made another Elf Basket …
Each side measures 1″, a hexagons only takes 1.6 yards of yarn, and you can weave it up in a matter of minutes.
Perfect for prototyping ideas, making “mini” versions of anything, and just the right size for doll clothes and accessories, … or quick gifts!
One example are these personalized coasters. With the holidays coming up, make one for each family member, loved one, colleague, or friend, and choose their favorite colors or color themes. And if you won’t be able to have an in-person gathering, those coasters ship very easily!
Weave and sew some thoughts about each recipient into each coaster as you make it!
Here are instructions:
For each coaster, you will need a total of about 14 yards of worsted weight yarn, about 7 yards in two colors of your choice. I used Universal Yarn Uptown Worsted, a super soft, fun to weave, anti-pilling acrylic yarn with a delicate sheen, available in many colors.
Weave 4 hexagons each in two colors. Weave in the end tails (see pictures below), but save the starting tails for sewing.
First, sew the inner set of four hexagons together. Use the following pictures to guide you: Starting from the center, sew each side with about 5 stitches. Do not weave in the ends.
Next, add the remaining four hexagons: Use the tails to sew in each hexagon as shown. Use about 5 stitches per side. Weave in the ends. Your coaster is now complete!
Here are some color suggestions for your inspiration, and … reversing the colors instantly allows for two different coasters.
You can’t go wrong with classic red and green holiday colors. Play with different shades of red and green to achieve different moods, from jolly to calm and rustic.
If your recipient is a little human, maybe a super hero color scheme will do the job, like Spiderman or Superman. Choose soft pinks and purples for the little unicorn or princess lover!
For a newly wed couple, make a set of “his” and “hers” coasters in their wedding colors.
Choose colors according to a recipient’s hobby, for example hunting.
Match a holiday decorating theme, for example “peppermint”, or a recipient’s home décor colors, like this Norwegian Blues example.
If all else fails, patchwork is a very adorable option: Use different colors of the same yarn or different yarns all together, to make each coaster unique.
We hope you feel inspired … Don’t forget the hot cocoa, and Happy Weaving!
May I begin with sending a round of applause to the Little Looms editor team for this amazing inaugural holiday edition of Little Looms! In just a few months the team crafted an amazing magazine with incredible content in superb quality! I can hardly wait to try Anne Merrow’s interesting Tree Scarf or Angela Tong’s Rigid-Heddle Bread Bags … Oh? Yes! There’s pin loom weaving, too! And there’s so much to tell …
First, there are the Scandinavian Stardust Doilies, our daughter’s first very own published design. She used one of her favorite yarns, Woolstok by Blue Sky Fibers, one of her favorite Elongon looms, the Elongon™ 2″ R, and another loom that was not even released yet! Long story short, please welcome the new Elongon 1″ R loom!
Thenew Elongon 1″ R hexagon pin loom allows you to weave small elongated hexagons using worsted weight yarns. For the Scandinavian Stardust doilies these hexagons are appliqued onto the base fabric, but of course you can use them for many other projects as well … I think they are the perfect size for doll accessories!
Beware … making those teddies is VERY addictive! I’m currently working on my fourth teddy and will present them in the upcoming blog posts. The first “friend” is Mrs. Cocoa, made of the same yarn, but in very ladylike colors, and featuring a cape and a purse (stay tuned for details).
Hurray! It did not take fellow pin loom weaver Teresa very long to find the “Coming soon” message for our new Square 2″ fine-sett loom! Teresa will receive one of the first Square looms as her treat, congratulations!
The new Square fine-sett looms are perfectly matched to our fine-sett Elongons. Simply weave the continuous strand method like you would when you start weaving a hexagon … until the square is complete. Joining is a breeze, since the edgings are the same between the looms.
The combination of elongated hexagons and squares allow for even more design possibilities, but you can of course use the squares on their own for other projects that require sock/fingering weight yarns.
The Square 2″ fine-sett loom will become available in November 2020.
Previously published Trick or Treat message:
A secret message to TURTLE loom followers … We’ve hidden some unusual news on our blog website … if you find it, describe what you found in the comments section of this blog. The first correct answer gets a “treat”!
Here’s one more “spooky” project: Make two candy monsters for your little puppeteers! When I went to JoAnn Fabrics this summer I noticed a Red Heart “mini” yarn display. For pin loom weaving, I like to have a variety of coordinated colors, in small amounts, in one unit. I couldn’t resist to sample the yarn, and with Halloween coming, the “Monster” color run seemed to be a great choice.
I used the Original TURTLE Loom™ R for worsted weight yarn for my weaving. The yarn is very pleasant to weave, it is very smooth and has little stretch, which is perfect for weaving. Each color yields two hexagons and some leftovers, (you might get three by keeping the tails just a little bit shorter than suggested).
One “mini” is enough to make two child-size puppets, a Frankenstein monster and a ghost! Each puppet measures about 3.5″ wide and 7.5″ long Read on for instructions.
For the monster head, take a purple and an orange hexagon and sew them partly together, as shown.
Fold the orange hexagon in half, then sew the second purple hexagon to the other half of the orange and to the rest of the first purple hexagon, as indicated.
For the monster body, put the two green hexagons together and sew the two sides shown, this will shape a sleeve.
Fold the body as shown, then sew the body to the head.
Decorate the puppet as desired with eyes and some hair. Think of the age of the recipient to make safe choices.
Work the ghost the same way, use the photos to guide you with the color choices.
VARIATIONS: – Red Heart offers many different color runs, you can make puppets for different seasons, occasions, and themes: Yes, there is a “Holiday” color run, so that you can make some mischievous elves. And you could also make some playful unicorns (“Rainbow”), or fairies (“Rose Bud” or “Spring Mix”) and princesses (“Princess”), or how about “Americana” for Elmo and the Cookie Monster? – If you have a grownup puppeteer with larger hands, you can use the TexaTURTLE loom and two “Mini”s to make a larger puppet. – On the topic of larger “puppets”… the TexaTURTLE sized project in wool would make a great oven mitt, just sayin’.
The Spooky Cat hot pad uses the same “I Love This Cotton” yarn in 102 Glowing and 02 Black Sparkle (Please note that the Black Sparkle contains 3% Metallic Polyester which most likely is not heat resistant. You could use a plain black instead.)
Using two strands of yarn, embroider the faces on each large hexagon. Use the photos for details.
Fold the “ear” hexagons in half and whip stitch them to the two layers of the head.
Using the orange yarn, starting at the bottom tip, work one round of single crochet, connecting both fabric layers. Work 2 sc on each tip. For the hanger, work a loop with 20 chain stitches between the ears. Weave in ends. Enjoy!
Last week, I stopped at Hobby Lobby to take a look at their new yarns. Taking a “shortcut” through their fall decoration department turned out to be not a shortcut, though, particularly when an adorable little hedgehog, holding a scrubbie pad, caught my eyes. “It needs some color, though …”
On to the yarn department, to find some seasonally colored scrubbie yarn. The plan to make a scrubbie cover was confirmed!
Back home I wove two hexagons on the Original TURTLE Loom™. It goes so fast, you probably won’t need more than one cup of tea or glass of wine to finish the job.
Using any of the tail ends, sew the two hexagons together along four sides, insert the scrubby that comes with the hedgehog, then close completely. Weave in any remaining tails.
I call this a pin loom doodle project … a project that just happens by chance, low key, no stress, but a lot of fun.
When this scrubbie is used up, I’ll get a utility sponge and cut it to shape, and maybe the next scrubbie will be – very seasonal – in red, for the holidays!
Hobby Lobby offers the hedgehog with scrubbie online, but they seem to be very popular and at the time of this writing the item is sold out. Check with your local Hobby Lobby if you have one (and don’t forget to bring your coupon). If you are out of luck, Hobby Lobby and many other home decoration and crafting store are great (or dangerous) places to find a substitute to display your seasonal scrubbie, for example a pretty little plate or dish. Or consider using a “last one of the set” dish that is collecting dust in your cupboard!
Projects that look interesting on both sides are the theme of Handwoven November/December 2020. Weaving hexagons with two colors and changing colors after every row creates a unique pattern where the right side of the fabric shows the opposite pattern to the wrong side … two opposite faces, like Janus. (Meriam-Webster, Janus, “: a Roman god that is identified with doors, gates, and all beginnings and that is depicted with two opposite faces”)
The weaving pattern will work on all TURTLE hexagon looms. For this demonstration and for the Janus doily project we used the Original TURTLE Loom™ and Universal Yarn Uptown Worsted, a quality acrylic yarn that is super soft and comes in many colors.
Weaving a Janus hexagon is not complicated, you just have to look out for a few things. Even better, we’re explaining a different, speedy method to fill in the center of the hexagon: Instead of the traditional back-and-forth weaving, we are using what we call the Afterthought Layer Weaving Method™. Everything is explained in the following video.
Using a different loom? You can! The weaving method is the same for all TURTLE hexagon looms, but you need to adjust the number of wraps: Use a little bit more than half of the recommended wraps for your loom to weave the last “layer”.
What to do with Janus hexagons? Here are just a few ideas about arranging those hexagons differently. Add to that using different colors!
Ladybugs are a timeless, year round design, but since the German nick name is Junikäfer (meaning June bug, pronounce similar to “you-knee-k-fur”), we wanted to make it a point to release the pattern this month. Continue reading Junikäfer (Ladybug) Blanket
January 1, 2019 … You plan to start in August and knit (real) hats for all your relatives for Christmas. December 20, 2019 … You are on your way to the family Christmas gathering … the hats didn’t happen (and not much else, either).
We would like to let you know that all items on our Bluebonnet Crafters Etsy store are “ready to ship”, so for the remainder of this year we will do our best to have your purchase in the mail the next USPS day, with the shipping option of your choice.
Here is a link to the USPS “Holiday Deadlines” chart so that you can determine if your order will still arrive in time for Christmas: 2019 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
We constantly relist looms as they become “ready to ship”, but don’t procrastinate … it is first come, first serve.
THANK YOU for all the kind comments, and that you are sharing the excitement about the new “Little Looms 2019” magazine!
I think this 4th edition of the “Little Looms” magazine is the best so far: Seven pin loom projects contribute to a nicely balanced representation of little looms. Projects from shawls to bags to home decoration and more. Techniques from simple to intricate. Yarns that surprise in their effects. Beautiful photography, excellent instructions, and informative articles. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!
But now, drum rolls for our winners:
On our blog: Susan P. from North Carolina
On Facebook: Alicia W. from Maryland
Congratulations! We will contact the winners and send out their “Little Looms 2019” copy as soon as it becomes available.
PS: Photo credit for the Happy 2nd Anniversary hexagon goes to fellow pin loom weaver Carolien. Used with permission. Thank you, Carolien, and I think you started another tradition!
Spring time is a good time to fix things, maybe paint the house or a garden fence. Here is a game to get painters of all ages into gear: Practice tossing some paint drops! Continue reading Paint Drop Toss Game
Fellow pin loom weaver Suzanne is moderating a “Spring Fling” challenge, encouraging all pin loom weavers to make projects in celebration of spring and Easter. The first thing that comes to my mind is “chocolate!” which of course needs a basket … Continue reading Easy Tassel Basket
Just a few days ago I saw a picture circulating on social media, featuring a knitted “ankle scarf”. It looked photo-shopped, but I had to chuckle about the idea, and the idea didn’t leave me. Today I discovered the first ankle shawl knitting pattern on Ravelry, and I decided that maybe the idea is not as ridiculous as it initially seemed … Continue reading Feeding a Fad …Weave an Ankle Cowl
Meet Cat Gnome, our gnome of the month October. Since she still looks like a cat, rumors have it that she ate the October gnome and now comes in disguise, like the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, to go for the neon mice, a delicate treat only available during the month of October. Continue reading The Cat Ate the Gnome!
Crafting My Chaos will be bringing a new color-run called “Christmas Time” to the Yarnivore on Texas Yarn Crawl opening day. And we will bring the new TURTLE Loom™ “fine sett”. Here’s a project idea to help you try them out right away. Continue reading Did Somebody Say “Christmas Time”?
When I asked Caryn at the Yarnivore about worsted weight gradient or long-run-colored yarns I received a list of the most scrumptious options like Cascade 220 Wave, Melilla, Tangier, Pinwheel, Encore Colorspun, and several indie dyed like Mountain Colors Twizzle … oh choices! Continue reading Come and See – (3) Leafy Scarf
I love yarns that are put-up in “cakes”. The colors are guaranteed to work together, it’s fun to weave instantly off that “one big thing”, it’s exciting to work towards the next color to come, it’s a mystery to the end to know how many hexagons you actually will get in each color. Continue reading Come and See – (2) Car Seat Baby Blanket
In Week 5, we started a special project , making little purses for a charity group “Stitches of Love” who provides handmade back-to-school items to needy children in Arizona. A few questions have been asked that may be of general interest, so here’s a special blog for this special project! Continue reading Weave & Stitch Along – Charity Project FAQ
It has been wonderful to see anticipation building up for this Weave & Stitch Along, and I hope that it will become a fun filled adventure that will end in a pocket full of new skills. Continue reading Weave & Stitch Along – Week 1
Memorial Day … Remembrance Day … Decoration Day … are names for a holiday that reminds of those who have given their life in wars. There are many traditions that developed along the history of this holiday … one of them is to wear a poppy flower. Continue reading Memorial Day Poppy Flower
Interweave returned the projects from the new “Easy Weaving with little looms 2018” magazine to their homes, and since our Grape Table Topper came home, I am taking that opportunity to celebrate with some weaving time on our shady porch. Continue reading Homecoming
It’s really “First Lessons in Lace Weaving”, but the “Pantone Color of the Year” receives an honorable mention for providing the perfect backdrop for this hexagon pin loom lace project. Continue reading Pantone and Lace
The holidays are so close together that the next two Gnomes of the Month will debut together. No March without St. Patrick’s Day, so here’s a “little green Irishman”, as our customer Kim B. puts it very fittingly. And “no fooling” that Easter is early this year and causes Bunny Gnome a lot of stress to get all eggs colored in time! Continue reading Gnome Friends
Don’t you like it when ideas just fall into place and things come together? A holiday, and the desire to make something pretty and practical for a loved one. Yarn that inspires you to make something rustic. A tradition that you want to cherish … oh, and yes, pin looms! Continue reading Country Valentine
When I was a child, Onkel Otto, a great-uncle, was known as the inventor in the family. I don’t recall that he ever invented anything, but the secrecy that he maintained around his hobby fed many conversations during family gatherings.
After we released our 2” and 6” looms in August last year, my children just wanted to keep going with “new sizes”. One of them was … a 1” hexagon loom. My son proudly presented the technical drawing, and my daughter stood right next to him, anticipating her prototype in a jiffy. Continue reading 01-01-1″
I think most people own at least one jar with buttons. But then, “weaving something with buttons” serves as the perfect excuse to go and buy some of those little button collections that depict a certain scene. Continue reading Button Banner
When I was thinking about weaving something nature, I thought of weaving a leafy garland, or using little wood twigs for snow man arms, or to weave something with straw (still thinking about that), or weaving something with angelically white feathers … (rabbit trail) … angelic … (rabbit trail) … angels … (rabbit trail) … can I make an angel? Yes! And it’s SO EASY! Continue reading Angels …
It is difficult to even imagine the holiday season without a decorated tree, isn’t it? Therefore, let’s get started on weaving a tree wall hanging now, so that we have something to decorate in upcoming weeks. Continue reading O Tannenbaum
I get the notion of “Baby’s First Christmas”. However, the first Thanksgiving of each of our children has a very special place in my heart, as this was the first time for many of our relatives to meet our new additions. Continue reading Baby’s First Thanksgiving