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:
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!
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.
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.
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 cottonsliver 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!
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 beautifulyarns: 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.
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. Alaser cut wooden honeycomb décor caught my eye: Those holes needed fabric … woven hexagons! Conveniently, JoAnn Fabrics also carriesLion Brand’s Bonbon yarn miniswhich 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!