Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for December Host

Here we are … 2022 is coming to an end … there is one more opportunity to host TT22 during the final month of the year, December !

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

No hexagon weaving experience necessary … anyone who wants to weave hexagons is welcome.

Signup is open now, and will end Thursday, December 1st, at 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 … In case you’re wondering why we’re running a little bit late … TT22 is currently on a 4-day cruise, visiting Catalina! TT22 and Charleen want to share this photo with us, and they write “The tile and the turtle card were two things we purchased on Catalina, and the towel animal is something that the cabin stewards make for the guests and put in the cabins. Tomorrow we’re going to see Ensenada …”

Photo credits: All photos are by Charleen Rice. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

The “Extra Fine” is Coming!

It was during one of the Covid lockdowns when our CNC Meister and I were bored and decided to tackle a question that had been on our minds for a while: How “fine sett” can we get?

Our pin supplier joined in and provided a variety of thinner steel wires, and the testing began.

The CNC router kept routing and drilling until it got to a point where we had to use a magnifying glass to see the holes.

Trying thinner pins convinced us very quickly that what we’re currently using for the Square fine sett looms is the closest to what can be woven comfortably, without having to add a supply of band aides for pricked fingers to each loom kit.

We decided to settle on a loom that is “fine” enough to weave “finer” sock and fingering yarns, like this Lion Brand Sock-Ease.

Several popular sock and fingering yarns list a gauge of 30 sts/4″, which weaves up a nice but light fabric on the fine sett looms. We wanted an “extra fine” option, where the fabric is dense enough for clothing and similar projects.

Above pictures show the yarn example Rico Design Superba Bamboo Uni, available through Universal Yarn, on the new XF loom (left); fabric comparison XF (left) and F ( right); hexie off the XF loom. The header picture also shows that yarn, woven on all three Original TURTLE looms.

Another example is Lang Jawoll, shown woven on the XF extra fine sett on the left, and the F fine sett on the right.

The Original TURTLE loom XF expands the use of thinner yarns without jeopardizing the comfort of weaving.

6/2 cotton yarns like the popular Bluegreass Mills, available through the Woolery, now enter the category of yarns that weave well on TURTLE looms at about 12 epi, and with that the doors open to create a new range of beautiful kitchen items like hand towels and accessories.

Weaving single stranded Size 10 crochet thread on this loom still generates a light fabric, but it now generates a nice, light density for curtains or lacy table toppers.

When will the Original TURTLE Loom XF be available?

The loom is now available in our Etsy store: “Original TURTLE Loom™ XF “extra fine sett”

Also at the handweavers studio in London,


Congratulations to Meredith and Denise CP (check your emails, please)! They are the winners of our treasure hunt contest and will be the first to receive a new Original TURTLE Loom XF.

Treasure Hunt!

The Handweavers Studio in London is now fully restocked … and there’s more! In support of the store’s tag line “A treasure trove for textile creatives” we decided to do a treasure hunt that is open to all TURTLE friends in the UK … and anywhere else.

Store owner Dawn and Alan and their team are now carrying the 1″, 2″, and 4″ Square looms, either to be used together with Elongons or on their own. They have also added the new, unique Jewel loom!

However, that’s not all … There is a new treasure hidden on the Handweavers Studio website, and if you find out what it is, you can enter to win that treasure! Entering for a chance to win is easy: Leave a comment on the blog when you find the treasure.

ETA: Denise CP was the first to find the treasure: It’s the Original TURTLE Loom XF – extra fine sett. I will tell the story of the loom in the next blog on Monday, but in a nutshell, this loom weaves finer sock yarns (knitting gauge 30sts/4″, weaving gauge about 12 epi) and will most likely be the finest sett loom that we will have in our product line.

YOU CAN CONTINUE TO ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THAT LOOM … just enter a comment below. Ask any questions that you may have about the new loom, write what you’d do with such a loom, or just say that you want to win it!

How it works:

  • Leave a comment on this blog.
  • One entry per person please, multiple comments from the same ID will count as one entry.
  • You can enter now until Sunday, November 20, 2022, 6 pm CT.
  • We will raffle off one (1) of “the hidden treasure”; the winner will be determined by random drawing.
  • The winner will be announced some time on Monday, on our blog.
  • No purchase necessary. No substitutes, no cash.
  • This giveaway is conducted by Bluebonnet Crafters, LLC. It is open to pin-loom lovers internationally unless there are any legal 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 contact information only to determine the winners. We do not share that information.
  • In case you win, we will ask for your permission to post your first name, state or country.

Ready? Go hunt!

Autumn Greetings from California

TT22 traveled all across the States (again) to California, where Char’s Liquid Amber tree provided the proper autumn welcome.

Char had not woven on a hexagon pin loom before, so she and TT22 spent some quality time watching the instructions video on YouTube together, after which the first hexagon – using the pretty yarn that October host Chris had sent along – was a breeze.

All excited, Char decided to visit her local yarn store The Knitting Tree, LA, where she found some Malabrigo Rios in beautiful autumn colors.

She writes: “It was so much fun making hexies that so far I have made five more, with a start on the sixth. I have a project in mind to use them in but want to make a few more hexies before seeing if it will work.”

It looks like the November team is off to a good start. Well, we all know that this is because Saphire is supervising! Keep up the good work, and have fun!

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

TT22 is Going to California!

Char Rice in California
will be our TT22 host for November.

Char lives with her husband and certain feline pets (see below) in southern California.

Her very broad crafting skills and interests include working with beads (wirework, off-loom bead weaving and a little loom work), and she knits (mostly lace, aran, and fair isle), weaves (she has a floor loom, rigid heddle, and a plethora of smaller looms), and braids (kumihimo). She also likes to travel and is interested in photography, fresh flower arranging, and rose and Epiphyllum gardening.

Char says about herself that she “[has] been interested in fiber arts for quite a while but didn’t really learn and become interested in weaving techniques until I was in college.”

Asked if she has worked on TURTLE looms before, she answers “Not yet but will be this month!” She plans to make “something having to do with fall and/or flowers.”

You can follow Char on Ravelry, but TURTLE mascot Charlene (yes, she’s so proud to have a namesake!) wants to be in the picture, so we’ll probably do a blog or two this month, right here …

Meanwhile …

TT22 is currently on its way to California … October host Chris put TT22 to work one more time before packing up, to get enough hexies for this adorable table runner (Chris is not only speedy in court transcription, but wove up a weaving record with this one!)

(Photo credits: All photos except title and last are by by Charleen Rice. Last picture by Chris Thornton. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)