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.

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!

Happy Valentine’s Day … every day!

“No Stress” 2021 Patchwork Project

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:

Will you join in this year? You can follow along here on the blog, or in the Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group, or in the Ravelry “Looms to Go” group.

The Squares are Coming!

We are happy to announce that the new Square 2″ fine-sett loom is now available.
The new Square 2″ fine-sett loom is a perfect companion to the Elongon™ 2″ fine-sett hexagon.
Learn more about this new loom in our launch video:

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:

The Square 2″ loom kit is now available at our Etsy shop.

Not sure what to do with such a loom? We invite you to explore the possibilities with a table topper pattern and a free worksheet.