Travel Turtle ’22: Announcing the February Host

Congratulations!
Angela Tong from Yardley, Pennsylvania,
will be our host for the month of February!

Charlene is already studying the next destination … There is so much history!

… and she loves the pretty color of the Mountain Laurel …

… and she is also very concerned about the long journey, and … it will be so much colder in Pennsylvania than in Arizona!

For the next few days, TT’22 is still in Arizona at his host Terry, and you can follow his January travel journey on Instagram.

Coming up next … we will share a little bit about our February host … stay tuned!

Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for February Host

Are you enjoying the Travel Turtle report on Terry’s Instagram account? Lot’s of looms, pretty yarns, unusual “freeform” project inspiration, nice people, good food, and stunning Arizona sightseeing make it a perfect vacation retreat! Terry is an amazing host, and I think we’ll probably have to rope Travel Turtle ’22 out of Arizona.

That said, TT22’s visit to Arizona will be coming to an end next week, so it’s time to look for a host for the month of February.

If you are interested in hosting the Travel Turtle 2022 during February, please leave a note in the comments section of this post.

Sign-up is open now and will close Sunday, January 23rd, 9 pm US CT. The winner will be announced after I had a chance to talk with the future host.

Do you have a question about this adventure? You can see what the Travel Turtle adventure is about in the January post. If you have further questions, please contact us.

While you’re waiting … here are some highlights from TT22’s travel report so far (All photos are courtesy of Terry Neal, all rights reserved. See full report on Instagram):

Travel Turtle ’22 en Route to First Destination

Travel Turtle ’22 is all packed up and on its way to Gilbert, Arizona, a small farm town that grew into a city on the outskirts of Phoenix. There, it will meet our first host Terry, a dedicated fiber enthusiast.

January host Terry is an indie dyer by profession, and her hobbies include knitting, spinning, and art weaving. Terry has been pin loom weaving for long enough that she doesn’t remember when and how it started. And yes, she has woven on TURTLEs before and has several fine-sett hexagon looms in her collection, and Squares, too. When asked what she’s made with those looms so far she replies:

Mostly I have been experimenting with all the different yarns, including some of my hand dyed yarns.  It’s fascinating to see how the squares and hexagons work up different when you change yarns.
I am currently working on making enough elongated hexagons to do a scarf or cowl of some sort.  The way I work my projects is to collect a lot of the pieces and let them tell me what they want to be.
The best part of using the Turtle looms is that I make one piece and something is completed, a finished piece. I get instant gratification by making one hexagon.”

Asked about her plans for TT’s visit Terry contemplates that she is still thinking about it (but there are already rumors that she might engage her husband in some small sightseeing around Gilbert):
“I have some wonderful small skeins of worsted weight yarn that I have been stashing in great colors.  Since this will be my first experience with a regular sett loom, I want to make as many hexagons as I can, and then let them become something more grown up over the next year.”

I think we are now ALL looking forward to following along! Terry will be reporting TT’22s travel adventures directly through her Instagram account, you can follow her here: Spinfiber on Instagram. Also, look for hashtag #travelturtleloom2022 on other social media.

Last not least, I certainly felt happy to have Charlene around to help with the travel preparations …

Travel Turtle ’22: Announcing the First Host

Congratulations!
Terry Neal from Gilbert, Arizona
will be our first host, for the month of January!

Our new mascot Charlene instantly started to help Travel Turtle to learn a little bit about Arizona, while I work on travel arrangements … it is all very exciting.

The interest in hosting Turtle has exceeded our expectations … if your name didn’t get drawn, please follow along Turtle’s journey, and we hope that you will sign up again for hosting Turtle in upcoming months.

In a few days we will share a little bit about our January host and also report about Travel Turtle’s departure … stay tuned …

2022 Travel Turtle Adventure

Let’s work on some fun, good times for 2022! We made a one-of-a-kind TinyTURTLE that we will send on its way to travel across the United States this year. And you can become part of the adventure! Here’s how …

The Plan

  • Every month, the Travel Turtle 2022 will visit a new pin loom weaver.
  • The “Travel Turtle host” will be determined via a random drawing every month.
  • The “Travel Turtle host” will at least weave one hexagon (but make as many as you want), post at least one picture during that month (but post as many as you want), autograph the travel host page in the instructions booklet, and then send the Travel Turtle off to it’s next destination.

How It Works

  • Each month on the 20iest (except for this first drawing) we will hold a signup here on the blog to enter to win to be the next host.
  • You do not have to be a TURTLE customer, and you can be new to pin loom weaving, as long as you are willing to learn (we’ll help!)
  • The loom is not for keeping … the loom will travel all year and (hopefully) come back to Texas in the end. If you’re a host, we’d like to ask that in the interest of all you’ll do your very best to take good care of the Travel Turtle. If something happens (lost, stolen, damaged) you are not held responsible, though. We’ll work on our end to keep the adventure going, if possible.
  • The first year’s adventure is limited to hosts in the United States … we’ll see if we can manage international shipping time in the future.
  • The Travel Turtle 2022 kit includes a unique TinyTURTLE “R” for worsted weight yarn, a locker hook weaving tool, and an instructions booklet. The new TURTLE mascot Charlene that’s in the picture (from our Little Looms Spring 2022 ad) will not travel along … she will be busy telling her own story later this month.
  • Paying for shipping to the next host … if you wish to help with that, fine. But we’ve set a budget aside to pay for it, so no worries … you can participate as a host either way.
  • Yarn … any worsted weight yarn is fine. If you don’t have any, we’ll work it out when your name is drawn.
  • Sharing on social media … Yes, please! I suggest hashtag #travelturtleloom2022 to make it easy for others to follow the adventure. Positive, on topic vibes only, please … if you have any problems or concerns, please contact us directly.
  • We will moderate the travel adventure through the turtleloom blog (I suggest that you sign up to be notified about new blog posts).

This is indeed an adventure, but I hope that it will be fun for many, and that you will all enjoy following the journey. Since this is the first time we’re doing this, please ask any questions that you may have, and I’ll update the information on this blog if needed.

Ready, Set, Enter for January!

If you would like to be the first host for the month of January, leave a comment on this blog, indicating that you are interested in becoming the January host for Travel Turtle. Enter before Tuesday, 01/04/2022 6pm US CT. We’ll use random.org to determine the winner. I’ll contact the winner, and when everything is set, the first journey will be announced here on the blog.

Black Friday at the Woolery

I love traditional Black Friday sales … well, except standing in line at 3 am in the cold rain (which – for the records – I never did). Therefore I was really excited when the Woolery chose to take on another TURTLE loom and celebrate that with a Black Friday deal!

I assume you don’t have much time to read at the moment, so here is everything in a nutshell:

I made a sample project with this yarn, a Super Easy Sock Yarn Cowl, and recorded a project walk-through that shows how to make it:

You can find written instructions for the cowl on the original blog post for the Super-Easy Sock Yarn Cowl.

I also want to show that many patterns that work on one TURTLE loom will work on another TURTLE loom. I used the Elf Basket from last year’s 12 Fiber Gift of Christmas at the Woolery as showcase. For the sample I used URTH Uneek Cotton yarn:

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving ... 
I'm thankful that I can share my love for weaving with people like you.

Weaving A Triangle On The Square Loom

Weaving fellow Deborah Carpenter Bagley recently started a “2021 Mystery Weave Along – Quilt Edition” in the Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group. It’s a three week weave along towards a small quilt-style project, made of triangles and squares that can be woven on any pin loom(s) that make those shapes.

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!

(S)Watch This!

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.

For my sampling, I used the Original TURTLE Loom™ R-regular (about 7.25 epi) for the thicker weight yarns, and the Original TURTLE Loom™ F-fine-sett (about 10 epi) for the lighter yarns.

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.

But see for yourself!
Winterstrom Ranch is one of the vendors at the CHT 2021 Conference Marketplace this weekend …

Swatch … Always …

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!