By now we have to say that “as usual” the new Easy Weaving with Little Looms Summer 2023issue is filled with top quality project ideas and informative articles. It is my honor to have contributed two projects, the Queen Bee Table Topper and the Lemon Drop Kitchen Towel.
Working with small hexagons opens the doors to play with colors and create artful drawing-like designs, almost like in ancient mosaics. The Queen Bee Table Topper features a bee on a honeycomb background, all in natural hexagon shapes. Weaving the hexagons on the PennyTURTLE™ loom is relaxing and fun. The tried and tested Scheepjes Catona cotton yarn provides the perfect colors and fabric character for the project.
Inspired by Vintage fabric patterns, the Lemon Drop Kitchen Towel features an “all over” display of lemons with leaves.
The pattern repeat invites to adjust the size of the towel if desired, and you can even make just one lemon with its leaf and a border for a nice hot pad or dish cloth. The Lemon Drop kitchen towel can also be worked on the Original TURTLE Loom F-fine sett, using a thinner cotton yarn … like the Scheepjes Catona!
Stay tuned for one more story that we will share with you in just a few days: We will launch a rewards program where our customers can earn an honorary Weaving Buddy badge for completing TURTLE projects! More information will become available here on the blog … sign up to be notified about new blog posts (in the right column) so that you don’t miss it!
It was during one of the Covid lockdowns when our CNC Meister and I were bored and decided to tackle a question that had been on our minds for a while: How “fine sett” can we get?
Our pin supplier joined in and provided a variety of thinner steel wires, and the testing began.
The CNC router kept routing and drilling until it got to a point where we had to use a magnifying glass to see the holes.
Trying thinner pins convinced us very quickly that what we’re currently using for the Square fine sett looms is the closest to what can be woven comfortably, without having to add a supply of band aides for pricked fingers to each loom kit.
We decided to settle on a loom that is “fine” enough to weave “finer” sock and fingering yarns, like this Lion Brand Sock-Ease.
Several popular sock and fingering yarns list a gauge of 30 sts/4″, which weaves up a nice but light fabric on the fine sett looms. We wanted an “extra fine” option, where the fabric is dense enough for clothing and similar projects.
Another example is Lang Jawoll, shown woven on the XF extra fine sett on the left, and the F fine sett on the right.
The Original TURTLE loom XF expands the use of thinner yarns without jeopardizing the comfort of weaving.
6/2 cotton yarns like the popular Bluegreass Mills, available through the Woolery, now enter the category of yarns that weave well on TURTLE looms at about 12 epi, and with that the doors open to create a new range of beautiful kitchen items like hand towels and accessories.
Weaving single stranded Size 10 crochet thread on this loom still generates a light fabric, but it now generates a nice, light density for curtains or lacy table toppers.
When will the Original TURTLE Loom XF be available?
The Handweavers Studio in London is now fully restocked … and there’s more! In support of the store’s tag line “A treasure trove for textile creatives” we decided to do a treasure hunt that is open to all TURTLE friends in the UK … and anywhere else.
Store owner Dawn and Alan and their team are now carrying the 1″, 2″, and 4″ Square looms, either to be used together with Elongons or on their own. They have also added the new, unique Jewel loom!
However, that’s not all … There is a new treasure hidden on the Handweavers Studio website, and if you find out what it is, you can enter to win that treasure! Entering for a chance to win is easy: Leave a comment on the blog when you find the treasure.
ETA: Denise CP was the first to find the treasure: It’s the Original TURTLE Loom XF – extra fine sett. I will tell the story of the loom in the next blog on Monday, but in a nutshell, this loom weaves finer sock yarns (knitting gauge 30sts/4″, weaving gauge about 12 epi) and will most likely be the finest sett loom that we will have in our product line.
YOU CAN CONTINUE TO ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THAT LOOM … just enter a comment below. Ask any questions that you may have about the new loom, write what you’d do with such a loom, or just say that you want to win it!
How it works:
Leave a comment on this blog.
One entry per person please, multiple comments from the same ID will count as one entry.
You can enter now until Sunday, November 20, 2022, 6 pm CT.
We will raffle off one (1) of “the hidden treasure”; the winner will be determined by random drawing.
The winner will be announced some time on Monday, on our blog.
No purchase necessary. No substitutes, no cash.
This giveaway is conducted by Bluebonnet Crafters, LLC. It is open to pin-loom lovers internationally unless there are any legal restrictions in your country that prevent us from shipping to you. (Note: In case you win, we will pay for USPS International First Class shipping or contribute to the postage in the equivalent amount of that. You will have to pay for any extra shipping cost and any custom and/or tax incurred by your country.)
We will use the contact information only to determine the winners. We do not share that information.
In case you win, we will ask for your permission to post your first name, state or country.
Did you get the new Little Looms Summer 2022 magazine yet? If so, was it almost like it stops time and gets you in a slow, comfortable, relaxed, soothing, time-for-yourself kinda mood? It sure did for me.
The magazine includes 18 projects to make your vacation a better one, whether it’s staycation or going places.
Two of those projects are made using TURTLE hexagon pin looms …
There is the Summer Breeze shawl, a lightweight piece, woven on the Elongon 2″ F. It’s an easy weave that keeps interest with special fiber … or have you woven banana fiber before? The Uneek Cotton yarn and its non repetitive color development within a skein is used to “frame” the shawl.
WE ARE SORRY! Most of the first batch sold out in half a day … there will be more! Sign up to be notified(click on “Let me know when it’s back”). If you have special requests, please contact us.
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:
Being able to weave jewel shapes, however, goes far beyond that. Let’s take a look at this list:
Two jewels make a heart shape, and because of their geometry you can combine those hearts in all kinds of ways into all kinds of items…
Six jewels make a full circle, or wheel. Now just think about how using colors will make those wheels look different: All in a different color, two iterating colors, three … hearts! Add to that some interesting effects that variegated yarns will add …
Weave a jewel in two colors …
Now go 3D … make a little basket … ta-da!!!! Surprised?
Combine jewels with other shapes like hexagons and diamonds … for example, you can use the new Original Jewel together with the original TURTLE Loom!
How to weave it? It is true that just because you can build a shaped loom doesn’t mean that you can weave it. However, in case of the jewel, it actually turns out to be very easy (once you know how to do it):
You begin by weaving a hexagon, continuous strand in the round, until you have the hexagon shape with the triangle at the top and bottom and the warps in between.
Now you switch to the continuous strand method that is used on triangle looms, weaving in “U” swings.
The last row “locks” the weaving, and you can take the finished jewel off the loom without doing anything else.
The first, Original Jewel loom for worsted weight yarn (R-regular) will start selling in April (on our anniversary, April 19th). Don’t miss the announcement, right here on the blog.
In the meantime, enjoy some of the sample projects below …
We’re doing a “Quick Release” to give this loom the best chance possible to be with you for the holidays. Shipping speed and timely delivery cannot be guaranteed, that is out of our control. But we can get the first batch on its way asap.
If the looms are sold out, you can sign up to be notified on Etsy so that you will know right away when we list more. Please note that the sign-up features is not available on the Etsy app. Just go to the shop through a browser app.
The TexaTURTLE™ is currently the largest TURTLE, measuring about 6″ side to side. The loom kit ships as usual with everything you need: The loom, weaving tools (Afghan crochet hook, 8″ weaving needle, packing comb), and instructions.
Just add yarn! The fine sett pin spacing allows you to use thinner yarns of sock/fingering weight. Yarns with a knitting gauge of 24-28 sts/4″ typically work well. Like all of our fine sett looms, the weaving results in a fabric with about 10 epi (ends per inch).
A note about the larger amount of yarn that is needed to weave the center section (about 6.4 yards):
Default TURTLE method: Wrap the full amount of yarn (11 times for the TexaTURTLE F, see stamp on loom back), then weave back and forth as usual. In the beginning you will have a lot of yarn to pull through, though!
Partial weave: Wrap 6 times and weave up the yarn. Then wrap a little bit more than the remaining 5 times and weave the remaining part. For the first row, overlap the the new and old yarn by weaving one row where both yarns have the same over/under movement, “sharing the same shed”.)
Use the weaving method as shown for the Janus hexagons (just all in one color). We plan to provide photo-guided instructions that will show how to use the method on the TexaTURTLE F here on the blog.
There is no locker hook option for this loom. Aluminum hooks that long won’t be sturdy enough to stay straight. If you like to use a locker hook and don’t mind weaving the longer rows in sections, the 2.75mm locker hook (6.5″ long) works for all TURTLE fine-sett looms.
Ready, set, loom! We’re looking forward to seeing your creations!
The new Square has the same pin spacing as the tips of the Elongon 2″ fine-sett. This means that the squares result in a very similar fabric that will match nicely when both shapes are used in one project.
The pins are thinner than the hexagon looms (but without beeing too thin), to allow to work more comfortably in a tight space.
The beginning pins are marked with lines like on the hexagon looms. The widest point of the square has a convenient, wider space between the pins that will allow you to weave comfortably to the last row.
The weaving is easy: Just start weaving bias, as if to begin weaving a hexagon, until you “run out of space”. Lock the weaving with one last woven row, and the square is done. Not sure how it works? The following video shows how to weave a Bias Square: