What a year 2020 has turned out to be! I don’t think any of us had a clue when we started our “No-Stress” 2020 Patchwork Project last year as to how much we would need that “no stress” aspect for our crafts!
But here we are, at the beginning of a new year. Those of you who participated in last year’s project and those who have been watching the progress from the sideline have indicated a clear “Let’s do it again”!
We mentioned last year that any loom is ok, but this year I want to put more emphasis on that: I will have two “no stress” patchwork projects to work on, one on the Original TURTLE Loom™ in regular and fine-sett, and one on a Schacht Zoom loom, as an example for “any other loom”.
Let’s review what this project is all about: This is a pin loom project that carries on throughout the year. Work on it as time allows, but without stress or frustration.
Keep it simple and flexible, because … life happens!
The idea is to weave motifs and sew them together into a project as you go (see project ideas below).
Use sample/swatch weavies, leftover weavies from other projects, or weave one in a pretty yarn that you like.
Use any loom you like. I do suggest, though, to just use one loom size, because that makes it easy to add to your project as you go. Examples: I will use the original 4″ hexagon looms in both, the “regular”and “fine sett”, because they create the same size hexagons. I also will use a Schacht Zoom loom for a second project, as an example for a non-hexagon loom.
Weave as time allows, until December 31, 2021. Maybe one a day, but most likely less, because there will be busy times throughout the year when there’s just no time to weave.
Start late (you don’t have to start January 1st), end early (if you reach a point where you like the project and the year is not over, just consider it done).
(Optional) Keep notes in a little notebook, but keep it simple: Date, material, optional brief comments (for example for a special occasion). With or without writing down notes, the patchwork project will have stories to tell!
(Optional) Take a picture once a month to record progress throughout the year.
Unless you know what you want to make, start with the first motif in the middle and work around that center. This way, the resulting project is determined by how many weavies are woven. That will make it “no stress with guaranteed success”: Just make one motif, the 2021 project will be a coaster. If you make some, it may be a trivet, shawl, or table runner. If you go crazy and make 2 or more every day … here is your king size bed cover!
At the end of the year you will have a project that you can call your 2021 Patchwork Project and that you can be proud of, no matter what it turns out to be. Take a look at some of the projects from 2020:
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:
If you have heard of the phrase “The 12 Fiber Gifts of Christmas” you most likely heard it from The Woolery, a company who has been serving the needs of fiber artists for over 30 years. During the holiday season, the Woolery features a different fiber related product each week for 12 weeks.
Our Original TURTLE Loom™ for worsted weight yarn is the 5th Fiber Gift of the 2020 season!
The Woolery does not only have a scrumptious selection of weaving equipment and accessories, but they also offer a great variety of not-so-typical yarns.
I could not resist to make … a basket (!) with one of their yarns, the Cestari Mt. Vernon.
I hope you will find it entertaining and useful to watch me make an Elf Basket in this new project video:
I am a big fan of Handspun Hope yarns, whose 100% Organic Merino wool was the Woolery’s 4th Fiber Gift of Christmas this year! I quickly grabbed some Rich Salvi and Voca Peach from my stash and made another Elf Basket …
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!
May I begin with sending a round of applause to the Little Looms editor team for this amazing inaugural holiday edition of Little Looms! In just a few months the team crafted an amazing magazine with incredible content in superb quality! I can hardly wait to try Anne Merrow’s interesting Tree Scarf or Angela Tong’s Rigid-Heddle Bread Bags … Oh? Yes! There’s pin loom weaving, too! And there’s so much to tell …
First, there are the Scandinavian Stardust Doilies, our daughter’s first very own published design. She used one of her favorite yarns, Woolstok by Blue Sky Fibers, one of her favorite Elongon looms, the Elongon™ 2″ R, and another loom that was not even released yet! Long story short, please welcome the new Elongon 1″ R loom!
Thenew Elongon 1″ R hexagon pin loom allows you to weave small elongated hexagons using worsted weight yarns. For the Scandinavian Stardust doilies these hexagons are appliqued onto the base fabric, but of course you can use them for many other projects as well … I think they are the perfect size for doll accessories!
Beware … making those teddies is VERY addictive! I’m currently working on my fourth teddy and will present them in the upcoming blog posts. The first “friend” is Mrs. Cocoa, made of the same yarn, but in very ladylike colors, and featuring a cape and a purse (stay tuned for details).
Here’s one more “spooky” project: Make two candy monsters for your little puppeteers! When I went to JoAnn Fabrics this summer I noticed a Red Heart “mini” yarn display. For pin loom weaving, I like to have a variety of coordinated colors, in small amounts, in one unit. I couldn’t resist to sample the yarn, and with Halloween coming, the “Monster” color run seemed to be a great choice.
I used the Original TURTLE Loom™ R for worsted weight yarn for my weaving. The yarn is very pleasant to weave, it is very smooth and has little stretch, which is perfect for weaving. Each color yields two hexagons and some leftovers, (you might get three by keeping the tails just a little bit shorter than suggested).
One “mini” is enough to make two child-size puppets, a Frankenstein monster and a ghost! Each puppet measures about 3.5″ wide and 7.5″ long Read on for instructions.
For the monster head, take a purple and an orange hexagon and sew them partly together, as shown.
Fold the orange hexagon in half, then sew the second purple hexagon to the other half of the orange and to the rest of the first purple hexagon, as indicated.
For the monster body, put the two green hexagons together and sew the two sides shown, this will shape a sleeve.
Fold the body as shown, then sew the body to the head.
Decorate the puppet as desired with eyes and some hair. Think of the age of the recipient to make safe choices.
Work the ghost the same way, use the photos to guide you with the color choices.
VARIATIONS: – Red Heart offers many different color runs, you can make puppets for different seasons, occasions, and themes: Yes, there is a “Holiday” color run, so that you can make some mischievous elves. And you could also make some playful unicorns (“Rainbow”), or fairies (“Rose Bud” or “Spring Mix”) and princesses (“Princess”), or how about “Americana” for Elmo and the Cookie Monster? – If you have a grownup puppeteer with larger hands, you can use the TexaTURTLE loom and two “Mini”s to make a larger puppet. – On the topic of larger “puppets”… the TexaTURTLE sized project in wool would make a great oven mitt, just sayin’.
The Spooky Cat hot pad uses the same “I Love This Cotton” yarn in 102 Glowing and 02 Black Sparkle (Please note that the Black Sparkle contains 3% Metallic Polyester which most likely is not heat resistant. You could use a plain black instead.)
Using two strands of yarn, embroider the faces on each large hexagon. Use the photos for details.
Fold the “ear” hexagons in half and whip stitch them to the two layers of the head.
Using the orange yarn, starting at the bottom tip, work one round of single crochet, connecting both fabric layers. Work 2 sc on each tip. For the hanger, work a loop with 20 chain stitches between the ears. Weave in ends. Enjoy!
Last week, I stopped at Hobby Lobby to take a look at their new yarns. Taking a “shortcut” through their fall decoration department turned out to be not a shortcut, though, particularly when an adorable little hedgehog, holding a scrubbie pad, caught my eyes. “It needs some color, though …”
On to the yarn department, to find some seasonally colored scrubbie yarn. The plan to make a scrubbie cover was confirmed!
Back home I wove two hexagons on the Original TURTLE Loom™. It goes so fast, you probably won’t need more than one cup of tea or glass of wine to finish the job.
Using any of the tail ends, sew the two hexagons together along four sides, insert the scrubby that comes with the hedgehog, then close completely. Weave in any remaining tails.
I call this a pin loom doodle project … a project that just happens by chance, low key, no stress, but a lot of fun.
When this scrubbie is used up, I’ll get a utility sponge and cut it to shape, and maybe the next scrubbie will be – very seasonal – in red, for the holidays!
Hobby Lobby offers the hedgehog with scrubbie online, but they seem to be very popular and at the time of this writing the item is sold out. Check with your local Hobby Lobby if you have one (and don’t forget to bring your coupon). If you are out of luck, Hobby Lobby and many other home decoration and crafting store are great (or dangerous) places to find a substitute to display your seasonal scrubbie, for example a pretty little plate or dish. Or consider using a “last one of the set” dish that is collecting dust in your cupboard!
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!