Our turtle mascot Charlene has been capturing the hearts of stuffed animal lovers of all ages, everywhere, and now we are making the pattern available so that you can make your own!
This pattern includes three sizes … the instructions are the same, just different looms are used.
Explore possibilities … thick or thin yarn … one color or many … medium head on a large turtle … make your turtle(s) unique! Use the “tummy” to embroider a name or date to make it extra special for the recipient.
Spring is springing these days, isn’t it? A friend wrote me that it is sunny and warm today where she lives, and 29F and snow in the forecast for the next day. The good thing is that any weather is weaving weather! This month we have two projects, a how-to tip, and an announcement or two …
I hope that you saw my mosaic Bee Queen table topper in the new Little Looms Summer 2023? If you’re not up to making that many hexagons right now but want to “bee busy”, you could make something like Susanne Eakin’s bee hive wall hanging, using the Tiny TURTLE F … and don’t forget the adorable (PennyTURTLE) flower!
I always like when people contact me and share their weaving stories, as Linda Aprin did! Linda watched the video “Weaving with one hand” and then shared a few ideas about things that she did differently. I appreciate that she allowed me to spread the word to others who may find this useful!
Linda writes: “Instead of clamping the loom, stabilize it with Dycem, the blue stuff in the picture. That lets you easily turn the loom. Also, instead of a clothes pin, use a clip like the one in the picture. It lets the yarn slide and helps the work flow instead of starting and stopping.”
Jane Grogan has for many years made Christmas tree ornaments for her family and friends. One year she made 30 adorable little turtles! Jane wove two TinyTURTLE R hexagons and added felted feet, head, and tail. She decorated with a little ribbon, added a hanger, and ready is a cute turtle ornament!
ETA April 30, 2023: Jane saw your comments! She provided a pattern – with template for the body – for you all to make your own adorable turtle ornaments. Leave a shoutout thank you in the comments section of this post if you plan to make some turtles! Here is the pattern for you:
That said, there is a “Turtle Weave-Along” coming up this May! The WAL will be from May 1-23, and ALL turtle makers will be welcome. More details will become available shortly on the TexasGabi blog.
One more announcement … I’d like to invite you to come back and read our blog on April 19 (hint, hint … signing up on the right to be notified about new blogs will make it real easy). We will celebrate our 6th TURTLE anniversary with launching a Weaving Buddy program … see you then!
(Photo credits: All project photos are by their respective project owners. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)
I owe you several blogs, for example an update on the 2023 temperature blanket, the next customer projects showcase, more info for the Garment WAL, but how do I explain this blog? … You can call it a confession of an addict.
Fellow pin-loom weaver Glorian posted a picture of the cutest little purse that she discovered at a thrift store, and she added that she bought it because it reminded her of pin-loom weaving.
A closer look at this stunning little treasure revealed that it is a “summer and winter” pattern, something that has enchanted “big loom” weavers for centuries.
What is “Summer and Winter”?
Weavezine explains it well … “Summer and Winter is a block weave. This means that you can create designs by building up blocks of pattern against a background cloth. Summer and Winter uses four warp threads for each unit of design. These four threads comprise both tie-down and pattern threads.”
On occasion it had crossed my mind to see how such complex patterns like “summer and winter” do on pin looms. Glorian’s post however made me decide to try it out “right now”.
This blog summarizes very humble beginnings. Unlike my usual blogs, this is more a WIP notebook. I hope that sharing my ideas and observations may inspire others to try it out as well, and that together we may bring this beautiful pattern approach to the smallest of looms.
How I Wove my “Summer and Winter” Sample
Block patterns require 4 warps. To achieve that I wove two hexagons on top of each other: The first hexagon is in the pattern colors rose and lavender, the next hexagon on top of that is in the “background” color gray. I used the TexaTURTLE R-regular loom to have enough space in the center for one framed flower. I used DK weight yarn to make it easier to move the threads between layers (I used Yarnspirations Caron Little Crafties, which proved to be perfect for the job). For both hexagons, I wove the first part in rounds as usual, to establish the “warped” centers of the hexagons.
Sorry, no pattern … I counted the threads on the picture and tried to get as close as possible. There is enough space for one framed flower, and I added some sidebars.
Each row is woven twice. First, using the pattern color thread, I worked the pattern by bringing the threads from the underlying hexagon to the top and wove a regular plain weave for each patterned area. Each second weave is done with the “background” color … filling in the background, and diving down under any pattern threads to proceed with a plain weave there for the areas where the background should not be visible.
“Further Research Required” …
The sample is merely a proof of concept, a lot can be improved. For example:
Proper “over/under” needs to be worked out, particularly when changing colors.
Pattern writing and charting options need to be explored.
For the next samples, simpler patterns than a flower in a wavy frame will help to better understand the mechanics.
A Few More Thoughts
If you are a knitter, you may know the concept of double knitting or reversible colorwork, where you knit two layers of fabric in different colors, and switch the colors between the layers to work reversible patterns. The knowledge that you may have from this knitting approach may come in handy for “summer and winter” weaving.
This method will work well on square or rectangle pin looms. When weaving, use any traditional warp/weft method (wind the warp only before you weave). Just wind the warp threads to get ready to weave. I suggest to weave 2 rows of plain weave before starting any patterns.
Usage: Because this method requires a lot of concentration and patience, it is unlikely to expect a lot of people making king-size blanketsl However, as the sample shows, just one simple weavie can be a welcome treat. It’s a great learning experience, and … any “summer and winter” project will certainly make people wonder how you made it!
If you like the pattern but don’t want to deal with a complicated weaving pattern … you can always embroider it!
Did you enjoy reading this very different type of blog? Leave a comment below!
I just finished this “new baby” gift. Easter is right around the corner, but as we know, stuffed bunnies are appreciated year round … by all ages.
All it takes is any square pin loom and some yarn (scraps are welcome). I used the Square 2″ R-regular loom, which has become my go-to loom for so many projects, from testing out design ideas to making fun things in little time. I used Yarnspirations O’Go Big Donut yarn, color 29008 Mint Julep, from my stash. This yarn is discontinued, and you can substitute any worsted weight yarn you like.
If you use the Square 2″ R loom you will need about 140 yards of worsted weight yarn for the bunny, and about 3 yards in black for the face.
You can embroider the eyes, use safety plastic eyes or little pieces of felt, or use your BabyTURTLE loom to weave them.
Here is the bunny chart …
You will need to weave 64 squares (32 for the Front and 32 for the Back).
Blue Bunny measures 13″ (ears down) and 18″ (ears up).
Assembly: Layout the squares according to the chart. If you work with multiple colors, move the squares around until you like it. Sew the squares together. I sewed the squares into long strips first as shown in the second picture, then sewed those strips together.
(left picture) Put the Front and the Back on top of each other – right sides facing each other – and sew along all sides, but leaving an opening at the side for turning and stuffing. For the paws, when you come to the small end sides, sew a straight seam (center picture). For the ears, sew along the edges and pull to close (right picture).
Turn the bunny right side out. Sew tight the ears as shown (they will stay unstuffed). Stuff the bunny as desired and close the opening.
Face: Use this close-up photo to guide you for stitching the face.
Optional limb shaping: Sew through all layers along the arm and leg joins (straight for the arms, diagonal as shown for the legs). This will add a little bit more shape to the body.
Quick variations: Use only 1 square length to make a bear, dog, or cat.
I hope that Blue Bunny has gotten hold of your heart and that you will help to multiply this rare species. Post if you do!
Happy Valentine’s Day to all! My gift to all of you is this pattern for a heart-shaped heart blanket that I call “Hexie Love Blanket”. And it’s not just for Valentine’s! Make it to welcome a new baby, as a wedding shower gift, or a “Thank you, Mom” blanket for Mother’s Day. The centers of the flowers offer a great space to embroider a name, a date, or a little message!
A reason why I designed this blanket is that I want to show how using hexagons in different directions can effect shapes: Depending on how you turn the hexagons, you’ll get a “slim” or a “wide” heart. I wrote about this in the article “Designing with Hexagons: Basic Concepts” … and now you have a project to try it out!
Yarn: I used Hobby Lobby “I Love this Yarn” in colors 466 Drizzle Me This (2 balls) and 950 Pink Neon (1 ball). Of course you can use any colors of your choice … the design would also be great in patchwork colors or colors of the 1960ties or 70ties!
You will need about 500 yds of the background/border color and 250 yds for the hearts and flowers.
Weave: (55) white hexagons (38) red hexagons (4) white half hexagons (Half A, click here for instructions) (2) red half hexagons (Half A)
Use the chart to assemble the blanket. I recommend that you turn the chart and begin at the right side. Sew the hexagons into rows first, then rows to rows. A simple whip stitch will be fine. You can see how I sew hexagons together in the Elf Basket video on YouTube.
Sew in any remaining ends and clip to about 1/4″ (the ends will settle during blocking, after which you can do a final clip if needed).
You can add the half hexagons right away, or insert them into their spaces when the rest of the blanket is assembled, as shown here:
Optionally, add a nice touch with a crocheted border. I used the same yarn and a crochet hook G-6/4mm.
The first round is single crochet (sc) stitches. Start anywhere, joining the yarn with a slip stitch. The next picture shows how many stitches to work … along the sides where the yarn makes complete turns, work one stitch in each turn. Along the sides where the yarn makes wavy turns, work 2 sc, skip the next yarn turn, work 3 sc, skip the next yarn turn, work 2 sc. Work 2 sc into each corner, work sc2tog into each bend.
At the end of the row, join with a slip stitch into the first sc.
For the second round, work scallops as follows: Skip 2, then work 5 double crochet (dc) into the next stitch. Skip 2, work 1 sc into the next stitch. Repeat all around the blanket (adjust with sc at the end if there’s not enough space for another scallop).
Join with a slip stitch into the top of the first dc. Break the yarn, weave in remaining ends.
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!
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When we launched the first TURTLE loom on this day in 2017, our business advisor said that “small businesses that make it to five years, are going to make it”. Well, here we are, and we sure hope that many more years will follow.
We’re by far not done with hexagons, but there was that jewel shape that kept itching us, so we decided to add that to the mix. Are you ready?
“Original”, because it matches the size of the Original TURTLE Loom. Those looms can be used together to make even more projects. “Jewel”, because of it’s special, five pointed diamond shape. “R” means that the first Jewel loom is designed to work with worsted weight yarn. (Yes, Bonnie, there will be a fine sett Jewel later this year!)
Grab a cup of coffee or tea and watch this introduction that tells you a little bit more about the loom, how to use it, and what you can do with it (trust me, the latter is just the beginning).
Yes, weaving a Jewel is totally easy. If you are already familiar with weaving TURTLE hexagons, you may find this Quick Start useful, which focuses just on the differences between weaving a hexagon and a jewel shape:
If you are a complete beginner, here are some row-by-row instructions:
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 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.
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!