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!
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)
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!
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!
Each side measures 1″, a hexagons only takes 1.6 yards of yarn, and you can weave it up in a matter of minutes.
Perfect for prototyping ideas, making “mini” versions of anything, and just the right size for doll clothes and accessories, … or quick gifts!
One example are these personalized coasters. With the holidays coming up, make one for each family member, loved one, colleague, or friend, and choose their favorite colors or color themes. And if you won’t be able to have an in-person gathering, those coasters ship very easily!
Weave and sew some thoughts about each recipient into each coaster as you make it!
Here are instructions:
For each coaster, you will need a total of about 14 yards of worsted weight yarn, about 7 yards in two colors of your choice. I used Universal Yarn Uptown Worsted, a super soft, fun to weave, anti-pilling acrylic yarn with a delicate sheen, available in many colors.
Weave 4 hexagons each in two colors. Weave in the end tails (see pictures below), but save the starting tails for sewing.
First, sew the inner set of four hexagons together. Use the following pictures to guide you: Starting from the center, sew each side with about 5 stitches. Do not weave in the ends.
Next, add the remaining four hexagons: Use the tails to sew in each hexagon as shown. Use about 5 stitches per side. Weave in the ends. Your coaster is now complete!
Here are some color suggestions for your inspiration, and … reversing the colors instantly allows for two different coasters.
You can’t go wrong with classic red and green holiday colors. Play with different shades of red and green to achieve different moods, from jolly to calm and rustic.
If your recipient is a little human, maybe a super hero color scheme will do the job, like Spiderman or Superman. Choose soft pinks and purples for the little unicorn or princess lover!
For a newly wed couple, make a set of “his” and “hers” coasters in their wedding colors.
Choose colors according to a recipient’s hobby, for example hunting.
Match a holiday decorating theme, for example “peppermint”, or a recipient’s home décor colors, like this Norwegian Blues example.
If all else fails, patchwork is a very adorable option: Use different colors of the same yarn or different yarns all together, to make each coaster unique.
We hope you feel inspired … Don’t forget the hot cocoa, and Happy Weaving!
Projects that look interesting on both sides are the theme of Handwoven November/December 2020. Weaving hexagons with two colors and changing colors after every row creates a unique pattern where the right side of the fabric shows the opposite pattern to the wrong side … two opposite faces, like Janus. (Meriam-Webster, Janus, “: a Roman god that is identified with doors, gates, and all beginnings and that is depicted with two opposite faces”)
The weaving pattern will work on all TURTLE hexagon looms. For this demonstration and for the Janus doily project we used the Original TURTLE Loom™ and Universal Yarn Uptown Worsted, a quality acrylic yarn that is super soft and comes in many colors.
Weaving a Janus hexagon is not complicated, you just have to look out for a few things. Even better, we’re explaining a different, speedy method to fill in the center of the hexagon: Instead of the traditional back-and-forth weaving, we are using what we call the Afterthought Layer Weaving Method™. Everything is explained in the following video.
Using a different loom? You can! The weaving method is the same for all TURTLE hexagon looms, but you need to adjust the number of wraps: Use a little bit more than half of the recommended wraps for your loom to weave the last “layer”.
What to do with Janus hexagons? Here are just a few ideas about arranging those hexagons differently. Add to that using different colors!