It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like North Pole …

Some of you already know Kathryn Olson, our Travel Turtle 2022 host for the month of June, with her very creative, unconventional, colorful projects of many fiber crafts. But not everybody knows that last year she moved to North Pole, Alaska!

Meet Kathryn, who lives with her daughter’s family, and a dog Pua, eight cats, and two birds, Mellow and Little Foot. When asked, Kathryn described herself as “I do yarn”, which includes crocheting, knitting, tatting, weaving and pretty much anything that involves yarn.

Her favorite projects are shawls and dolls. For TT22’s stay Kathryn hopes to explore the surrounding fiber world and maybe make a box turtle.

Charlene is a bit jealous that TT22 will see Alaska, but – and I quote Charlene – “I’m looking forward to hopefully see many pictures of the state where the sun in the summer doesn’t go down, and where they have rather unusual wool from cows …”

You are invited to follow TT22’s and Kathryn’s adventures in North Pole on Instagram account @kathryn1160.

(Photo credits: All photos by Kathryn Olson. Title photo by Stephanie Cannizzaro. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

Travel Turtle ’22 – Announcing the June Host

Congratulations!
Kathryn Olson from North Pole, Alaska,
will be our host for the month of June!

Charlene fainted almost instantly on the news that TT22 will go to (the) North Pole. We will introduce Kathryn as soon as Charlene has recovered …

Before she fainted, Charlene asked me to quickly make a scarf for TT22, out of her favorite alpaca yarn from Winterstrom Ranch.

And it should be like the lozenges scarf that Cocoa Bear had in the Little Looms magazine!

Her biggest concern however is that she thinks that there can be only white yarn in Alaska … and that it is all frozen … and that TT22 will get frozen pins!

I tried to convince her otherwise, but … I think she just wanted to faint …

A scarf for TT22 (great for dolls and bears, too!)

Welcome Tempe Yarn & Fiber!

There is a rumor that one enthusiastic TURTLE loom lover (Hi, Melinda!) significantly influenced this: Welcome to our new TURTLE retailer, Tempe Yarn & Fiber in Tempe, Arizona!

In Germany, toadstools are a symbol of good luck, so I decided to design a toadstool mug rug (or stuffed toadstool!) for the occasion, to wish the team at Tempe Yarn all the best.

Let’s celebrate all together! Read on for the toadstool instructions!

Use any worsted weight yarn. Tempe Yarn offers a broad variety of high quality commercial yarns, but they also feature a line of unique to the store “Dyelicious” yarns. I used their Desert Oasis, a worsted weight wool that works perfectly with regular sett TURTLE looms, for the toadstool mug rugs.

I used the new Original Jewel R loom that you can now buy at Tempe Yarn, or online in our Etsy store if you’re not within driving distance to Tempe. The “dots” are optional, but if you wish to add them, I used the BabyTURTLE™ loom for those.

How to make a toadstool mug rug:

Weave 3 jewels in the “cap” color.
Weave 1 jewel in the “stem” color.
(Optional) Weave 3 – 5 Baby hexagons for the “dots”.

Layout the three cap jewels as shown and sew them together, using the tail ends.

Sew the “stem” jewel into place as shown.

Weave in all ends.
Optionally, add the “dots” to the right side of the toadstool.
The finished toadstool mug rug measures about 9.5″ tall and 8.5″ wide.

Serve with a beverage and cookie of your choice.

You can also make a stuffed toadstool …

Make two toadstools.

Right sides facing, sew them together, leaving a small opening. Turn. Stuff. Close the remaining opening.

It doesn’t have to be a toadstool! Use different yarn colors to make different mushrooms, for example an all natural “Steinpilz” (porcini mushroom) with a brown cap and beige stem, or choose your favorite colors to create your own mushroom, dotted or not!

If you live in or near Tempe, stop by the store. If you travel through Arizona, consider adding a visit at Tempe Yarn to your itinerary! Either way … Happy weaving to all!

Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for June Host

Charlene and I hope that you’ve been following TT22’s stay at Laia’s in Oregon on Instagram this May … Laia treated TT22 to weaving and relaxing at stunning cultural places and to yummy indulgences … superbly photographed!

But now it’s time to determine where TT22 will spend the month of June… If you are interested and available to “entertain” TT22 for a month, please leave a comment in the comments section.

Signup is open now, and will end Monday, May 30th, 12 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.

Charlene and “her” donut wish you a relaxing Memorial Day weekend.

A Jewel Christmas Tree Ornament

As a teacher or parent, you may be familiar with “writing prompts”. Well, consider today’s project suggestion to be a “weaving prompt”! In short, two jewel weavies make a perfect base for a Christmas tree ornament, and I leave it up to you to decorate yours any way your imagination will lead you …

How to make a basic tree ornament:

  • Weave two jewels on the Original Jewel R loom.
  • Use the starting tails to sew the sides together, leaving a small opening to stuff the ornament.
  • Slightly stuff the ornament with Polyfil, yarn ends, or any stuffing that you have at hand. Do not overstuff.
  • Close completely.
  • Thread the end tails of the jewels in a tapestry needle. Make a couple of securing stitches through the tip, so that the yarn doesn’t pull in. Knot the tail ends together … this loop can serve as the hanger for your ornament.
  • Decorate the tree any way you like with charms, beads, embroidery (you could also embroider before sewing the jewels together), ribbon, mini ornaments, …

The first example ornament is slightly stuffed with Polyfil. I left it largely undecorated, but threaded a wooden star bead onto the end tails for a topper.

For the second ornament, I used a fairy light string as stuffing!

Everything, including the battery pack, is inside the ornament (you can feel for the switch through the fabric).

Consider also use just one jewel and stiffen it!

Christmas craft items don’t seem to be in the stores just yet, but I think it is never too early (and never the wrong time) to think of holiday crafting. I hope you agree!

… humming “Oh, Tannenbaum!” …

Morning Coffee Pocket Pig

Yes, I’m one of those people to whom yarn occasionally “speaks” as to what it wants to become … Cleaning up some yarn remnants this morning, a small amount of pink, ugly yarn crossed my path and went straight into the cat pad bin. “No, no, no!” it called out. “Pig me, pig me!” With a chuckle, and remembering the mention of pocket pals in the most recent post, I picked up that yarn and went to work.

15yds of any worsted weight yarn is all you need, and some black for the eyes and the nostrils. And if you don’t have all looms that I used, just substitute … you could even use all squares for a “square pig”!

Here is what to make:

Assembly:

  • Sew the two hexagons together along four sides to prepare the head.
  • Attach the two ears along the top as shown.
  • Weave in the ends of the Baby hexagon. With black yarn, attach it as the nose with two cross stitches.
  • Embroider eyes.
  • Gently stuff the head and close the remaining two sides.

Have another coffee and enjoy your pocket pig!

Weaving Triangles on the Jewel Loom

The Jewel loom is so full of potential, it is hard to keep up with writing about it … consider this an “emergency” post, to help out some desperate fellow weavers in need, and to inspire others!

As previously mentioned, the jewel shape can be seen as a regular hexagon, with an equilateral triangle attached to it. An equilateral triangle is a triangle where all sides have the same length.

What if you just want that triangle piece, or that piece of the jewel in a separate, solid color? The answer is easy: Use a weaving needle as “bar” across the loom, then use a normal continuous strand weaving methods for triangles for the weaving. If you need some help with that, you can take a look at “Weaving a Triangle on a Square Loom” which follows the same idea.

Put the “bar” across the pins with the circles for a small triangle that will match in length the short sides of the Jewel loom.

Put the “bar” across the pins with the lines for a larger triangle that will match in length the long sides of the Jewel loom.

These two positions are a match to the jewels woven on that loom, but you can really place the bar anywhere you want for other projects.

What to do with those triangles? Well, the small triangle gives you the tip of a jewel shape in a different color.

Quickly join the pieces together, using the mattress stitch.

But you can use those triangles also on their own … six triangles make a hexagon!

You will also see in future projects how you can use the large triangle as a “filler” in certain designs.

If you have any questions about weaving triangles on the Jewel loom, please contact us!

Happy triangle weaving!

Off to Oregon!

When Laia sent me a few pictures for her introduction, I was spellbound by the beautiful colors, the crisp fibers, and the meticulous crafting …

Meet Laia, who will be hosting TT22 during the month of May!

Laia lives and works in Portland, Oregon, and her two cats Westley and Rory are very generous and share their apartment with her.

And yes, Laia loves photography!

From a fiber perspective Laia is best known for her inkle and tape loom weaving, but she also knits, spins, and weaves tiny tapestry.

She added pin loom weaving during summer 2020 “because of pandemic boredom”, and since then she has made numerous projects from flower dish cloths to a flower cowl and a butterfly blanket. One of her ongoing projects is her “epic” sock scrap yarn blanket …

Coming up next … Laia plans to welcome TT22 with some yarn from Portland-based dyers …

You can follow TT22’s stay with Laia this month on Instagram (Whaledaughter), and also get inspired by some of Laia’s beautiful handicrafts on Ravelry (Saberpirate).

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

Travel Turtle ’22 – Announcing the May Host

Congratulations!
Laia Robichaux from Portland, Oregon,
will be our host for the month of May!

Charlene is all excited … is TT22 going to see that HUUGE mountain?

And will TT22 be traveling across the country in a covered wagon like during Oregon Trail days?

Dreams are popping up …

But Charlene is a responsible turtle … she uses one of her Audible credits so that she can listen to a story about the Oregon Trail, thinking of TT22, while helping with polishing more Jewel looms … she knows that a lot of people are waiting. She does her best that there will be more looms ready soon … VERY soon …