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.
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.
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 doingmore 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!
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.
But because this is a “holiday” issue, we also decided to treat you to a free project, as it was announced in our advertisement: The Raffia Danish Medallions Ornaments are an interesting way to explore a classic hand-manipulated weaving method that looks great on both sides.
Universal Yarn’s Yashi raffia is the perfect fiber for the ornaments, because it creates an instant stiffened fabric that stays flat without further treatment.
The ornaments are designed so that once you take them off the loom, they are (almost) ready to go onto the tree.
It was so much fun to read the comments! Cat toy (with catnip or … a bell!) seems to be the most popular suggestion, but dish scrubby (Hobby Lobby carries the hedgehog scrubby holders again this year!), acorn, pin cushion (good one), gnome (yes, we really should have another gnome), pumpkin , dryer ball (hmm … haven’t made one of those yet), shower loofah (yass!), potpourri sachet, soap sack, pot scrubber, or hacky sack. All of the above would work! Click on the links to see some examples.
But before we go any farther, let’s congratulate Melinda Crittenden on winning the skein of I Love This Cotton in Harvest Hues! Melinda, check your messages for some more information.
The project in the picture is a little sponge puff, made of the leftovers from the one skein of “I Love This Cotton” that I used to make the Leaf Pile Hand Towel.
When I weave hexagons, I measure start and end tails as recommended in the instructions, so that I have enough yarn to sew the hexagons together. This does leave clip ends that can be used as stuffing for something, or to make a “leave no ends behind” hexagon: Just knot the clippings together and weave away! It will be fun and funky, and is very functional.
I also had enough of the cotton to weave one more “normal” hexagon, and while the lavender sachets are extremely popular and the idea for a soap sachet invites itself because of the cotton yarn, I wanted to do something different.
I decided to make a little sponge puff: Sew the two hexagons together along five sides with simple whip stitch. Get a sponge pouf made of netting (or any other type of netting, even some plastic produce netting will do). Clip the thread that holds the netting puff together, then stuff the hexagon pouch as desired. Cut the netting (depending on the pouf, you will be able to make 2-4 sponge puffs). Close the remaining side of the sponge puff.
It feels soft to the skin, will lather soap nicely, and it will dry out reasonably well after each use.
This cotton yarn works perfectly on all “regular” TURTLE hexagon looms, and theOriginal R was at hand, so I started weaving right away.
As with all variegated yarns, each hexagon will look differently so that you always want to know what the next one will look like. The smooth and soft yarn is therapy to the hands as you work with it. No surprise, the one ball that I bought wove up quickly.
The stack of hexagons started to look like a pile of leaves.
Laying them out randomly, it turned out that 24 hexagons make a great hand towel for kitchen or bath. Just about one ball of yarn!
The towel is worked sideways. Use this chart to randomly layout your “leaves”.
Use mattress or whip stitch to join hexagons into rows.
Use whip stitch to connect the rows with each other.
The finished towel measures about 21″ x 16″ before washing.
Crochet a hanger at the top of the towel as follows:
Are you ready for fall? Happy fall, all y’all and a GIVEAWAY!
Let’s have a little fun: To celebrate fall crafting, we’re giving away one ball of “I Love This Yarn” in 362 Harvest Hues (Just the yarn, no loom), enough to weave one hand towel, three dishcloths, or make anything else your heart desires. To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post … what do you think is the project shown in the top left corner of the following picture? Post by Wednesday, September 8, 2021, midnight CDT! Mr. Random will determine a winner, which will be announced Thursday morning after 10 am CDT.
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 cottonsliver 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!
This year’s World Turtle Day (May 23, 2021) is presented to you by Shelldon and Shellington, who are both creations of fellow pin loom weaver Susan Pihl.
Susan wrote recently that she was inspired by our turtle mascot Charlie, the first ever stuffed turtle project that we made, using the only TURTLE loom that was available at the time, the Original TURTLE Loom™ for worsted weight yarn.
Now that our hexagon pin looms come in multiple sizes, Susan used several to make her own turtle … meet Shelldon!
As it is the nature of stuffed turtles, you can’t just have one turtle, so Shelldon quickly got a friend, Shellington.
Here’s a brief anatomy of (or you could say instructions for) Shelldon and Shellington. All credits go to Susan, with a big thank you for sharing! Susan used Loops & Threads Impeccable on regular sett TURTLE looms:
– The body is made of two Original TURTLE Loom hexagons, sewn together and gently stuffed. – The head is made of two TinyTURTLE™ hexagons, sewn together and gently stuffed. – The front flippers are made of TinyTURTLE hexagons, folded in half. – The back flippers are single hexagons woven on the BabyTURTLE™. – Join all pieces as shown in the picture.
Susan used small black beads for Shelldon’s eyes and French Knots for Shellington’s: Work one eye, then stitch through the head to work the other eye, holding the yarn in a little bit, which adds a touch of perfect shaping to the head.
Shelldon and Shellington are best buddies and decided to decorate with TURTLE looms this year, to celebrate their favorite holiday, World Turtle Day.
Mishell prefers to watch the events from the sideline, resting comfortably on her turtle pad.
We understand that not all turtles can be woven, but they can still celebrate! Vogue street fashion has it that this year it is “in” to “wear” a turtle loom if you are not made of woven hexagons.
Whether you consider to make a Charlie, or a Shelldon, or your own creation, we all hope that you will have a wonderful World Turtle Day!
Photo credits, except the “Charlie” project photo, Susan Pihl. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Did you make a turtle?Send us a picture, and we’ll add it here to the Turtle Gallery:
Ready for more 3D? Handwoven posted the next blog article about designing with hexagons … Part 2 of Going 3D covers sharing hexagons between layers, fun ways to gain volume and change width, and a few handy tips.
For your convenience, here is a list of all projects mentioned in the article. Please note that if you are now a subscriber to Little Looms magazine, you will have access to all projects that were published in previous issues!
It has been a great privilege to tell the story of Diana and Handspun Hope in Handwoven May/June 2021. A story of “stepping up” to help widows and orphans in Rwanda. A story of building a way to live in peace, with food and shelter. And a story of reaching out to the rest of the world, through fiber.
It is our wish that the Hope Vest will encourage weavers to explore the all natural, handmade fibers from this country far away. See and feel the pride that the women in Rwanda put into their work. You can call it a weaving adventure in may ways, filled with hope for a better life.
Handspun Hope provides three lines of beautifulyarns: Ethiopian Handspun Cotton (top left), a precious Angora and Merino Blend (top right, used for the Hope Vest), and Organic Merino Wool that comes in different weights (bottom left in worsted, bottom right in bulky) . Visit Handspun Hope online to learn more and shop these yarns.
The project guide for this vest is available on the Handspun Hope website: Buy the pattern.