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.

For a limited time we are providing a digital version of the Hope Vest Project Guide free of charge, but please consider making a small donation to the Handspun Hope organization.

Weave the magic, share your thoughts!