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!

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!

Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for May Host

Did you see the awesome loom party that Debbie organized for TT22? Just wow!

Another WOW for the lovely Heart and Flowers Mat that Debbie and TT22 crafted this month.

Debbie in her own words: “Hearts and flowers are my theme”, and with that she makes the chart for her project available to all fellow pin loom weavers who would like to make this project.

Debbie used scrap yarns from her stash, but you can of course use any yarn and colors to your liking. Thank you, Debbie!

But now it’s time to determine where TT22 will spend the month of May … 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 Thursday, April 28th, 6 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.

Meanwhile …
Charlene seems to be a little bit pre-occupied (or should we say distracted) by Bonnie’s new Jewel gnome, but more about that later. For now she did do her duty and added Debbie’s adorable heart hexagon to the map.
Charlene thinks that the heart is from TT22 to her … JUST her …

(Photo credits: All Heart and Flowers Mat photos by Debbie Shelmidine. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

The Spirit of Summer 2022

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.

Shopping resources:

A hexagon seahorse had been on my mind for a long time, and finally all things came together in the Horsing Around Toddler Towel: The yarn, the project, and the seahorse.

Shopping resources:

Want more? … Sign up to this blog and be the first to hear about more great pin loom ideas.

Carol Made A Sheep Pillow!

TT22, as usual, is having a blast. He now would like to be called “TURTLE in residence”, because he spent quite some time in Carol’s studio in Colorado. He made friends with Nico, a poodle/west highland terrier mix that in Carol’s mind ended up with the hyper from both. TT22 doesn’t mind at all (and Charlene is jealous again)!

Carol and TT22 were busy and created a super cute sheep pillow!

Carol used some leftover stash acrylics, and embroidered random sheep onto the hexagons. She also wove half hexagons and triangles, for straight pillow edges, then crocheted everything together. The finished pillow measures about 10″ x 10″.

Carol suggests that you let your imagination run free when you make the sheep. While she provides some of the sheep patterns for embroidery, she also encourages you to just go with the flow and make some on your own.

Why a pillow, I asked? The brilliant answer: You don’t have to weave in ends or worry about ugly backs because they are hidden. 

Thank you, Carol, for this cute March madness fun-spiration!
And y’all … stay tuned for the April sign-up early next week …


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

My 2022 No-Stress Patchwork Project

I’m a little late in chatting about my 2022 no-stress patchwork project because I needed some lead time to be able to show the idea … all no-stress, of course!

This year’s project idea is a culmination of my love of yarn cakes … and getting stuck out of town a few weeks ago. I “had” to stop at JoAnns to find something to do, and I discovered Freelance yarn cakes by JoAnn’s Big Twist yarn line. These cakes feature pleasant color combinations in worsted weight acrylics. While the knitting gauge says 14 sts/4″, it certainly looked and felt “just right” for a regular sett TURTLE . Later sampling confirmed that indeed this yarn is pleasant to weave. It creates a dense but not stiff cloth.

The yarn comes in 10 color combinations. I got “one of each”.

Doing less than one cake per month should be doable, even if life gets hectic. The idea is to do some relaxing weaving just off the cake, then put the hexagons together to make a blanket.

The first cake resulted in 43 hexagons on the original TURTLE Loom™. The design will be in rows of 14, which will yield about three rows per cake, enough to get a good impression of the color run of that cake.

The “First Cake”

  • Yarn is Big Twist Freelance, color Purple Red Orange Multi.
  • One cake yielded 43 hexagons on the original TURTLE Loom R-regular.
  • I wove off the cake, but I cut the yarn to make solid colored hexagons, except for some white/purple sections where the colors just changed too frequently.
  • Leftover yarn ends that I cut out be fore color changes will make nice tassels.
  • The yarn is fun to work with, but it changes sometimes from thinner and shiny to slightly thicker/puffier and dull. Those changes do not affect the weaving, though.
  • Based on the yield of one cake (43 hexagons) I plan the blanket to have 3 rows for each color with 14 hexagons per row. The spare hexagon is saved in case another color is one short, or it will be used in another patchwork project.
  • I did block my work, because a reviewer of the yarn had shared the concern that the yarn bleeds. I do not detect any color bleeding in my piece.

The next color – randomly selected – will be “Blue Green Multi”, which is a nice combination of wintry pastel colors.

I’m excited to see how this will work out.

Will you join in this year? What are your plans for a no-stress patchwork project?

2021 No-Stress Patchwork Project … Concluded

How has 2021 worked out for you? Quite a roller coaster, wasn’t it? But here we are.

My 2021 no-stress patchwork project has been repurposed to become a regular project . I’ve enjoyed weaving up single skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, and I still have one and a half skeins to go. I will keep it “no stress”, weave up the remaining yarn for more hexagons to join the 200+ that I have so far. Then … I think those hexagons will become a “cape blanket”: A round blanket with an opening along the radius, so that it can be worn like a cape.

With that, my “official” 2021 projects turned into one-weavie coasters! These coasters are also meant as an encouragement to those of you who had big plans this year, but then life happened. Whatever you have, and even if it is just one weavie, call it your 2021 project and enjoy!

What about 2022? Another no-stress patchwork project … absolutely! I will start by putting together sample hexagons from yarns that I tried out, and leftover hexagons from some projects.

But there has also been increased interest in doing more temperature blankets. If you would like to learn more about that, consider joining us on Facebook (any pin loom is fine!)

2022 promises to become a good pin loom weaving year with lots of inspiration. This will be the first year with four (!) Little Looms publications, and each of them will contain at least one hexagon pin loom project. The first one might already be in your mailbox, so fasten your seatbelts!

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.