Come Visit Us at the CHT Conference!

All TURTLEs are busy preparing for an appearance at this year’s Contemporary Handweavers of Texas conference in San Antonio, TX. The great news is that the vendor market will be open to the public, so anyone can come!

We will not just bring all TURTLEs, but also exhibit some of the projects that have not been on display before, including the Wings shawlette, the Indian Blanket flower afghan, and the Hope vest. There will be more on display, as space allows … let us know if you want us to bring any other specific project that you’d like to see!

Besides the TURTLEs, we will have all currently in print Little Looms magazines available for purchase, as well as the current Handwoven May/June 2021, SpinOff Summer 2021, and PieceWork Summer 2021 (all published by Long Thread Media).

The hours for the Vendor Hall (Grand Ballroom E and F) are:
Thursday     4 pm – 7 pm
Friday 11 am – 5:30 pm  AND  7:30 pm – 9:30 pm (“Moonlight Madness”)
Saturday 10 am – 12 noon  AND  1:30 pm – 7 pm

Make it a road trip … the conference offers free access to the remarkable CHT weaving exhibit, which is an awesome opportunity to get inspired by an exquisite variety of masterly handwoven treasures. And if you have not been to San Antonio before, add a visit to the historic Alamo (One of the tour guides is a fellow pin loom weaver … ask for Laurel!) and the River Walk.

While exercising good COVID habits (wearing masks and cleaning hands and tools frequently), we will have a sample table to try out the TURTLEs, and we will be there to answer any questions that you may have.

As simple as that … hope to see you, soon!

Turtles are Back!

After an “interesting” week of rolling blackouts, frozen water pipes, and cold coffee, we are very happy to say that all turtles made it safely through this record breaking winter weather in Texas. There’s still cleanup and repair work that needs to be done, but we will start shipping and making looms again.

Thank you, all, for the many kind words and comments that we received!

Turtle Will Go Hibernate for a Little While …

Long story short, Texas is in an extremely cold and long stretch of winter weather, and our workshop has no heating. If “winter” is just a couple of days, as usual, we can make up for that time, but right now it looks like there won’t be any lacquering possible until the end of the week.

What that means … Our Etsy store will look empty, but:

Be assured: While loom production will hibernate, we’ll still be chatting hexagons and projects and answer any questions that you may have!

To hibernate, Turtle chose one of Beth’s flower scarves made of 100% wool Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok which creates a light, soft, and warm fabric … perfect for a good cuddle.

Stay warm, be safe!

Designing with Hexagons

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!

Read the article: “Designing with Hexagons: Basic Concepts”

I want to thank Long Thread Media for this opportunity, and it is my hope that many readers will find these articles useful and will benefit from them for years to come.

The Squares are Coming!

We are happy to announce that the new Square 2″ fine-sett loom is now available.
The new Square 2″ fine-sett loom is a perfect companion to the Elongon™ 2″ fine-sett hexagon.
Learn more about this new loom in our launch video:

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:

The Square 2″ loom kit is now available at our Etsy shop.

Not sure what to do with such a loom? We invite you to explore the possibilities with a table topper pattern and a free worksheet.

The 5th Fiber Gift of Christmas

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!

While the special is over, the Woolery continues to offer the Original TURTLE Loom kit. Here’s where you can find it at the Woolery. Click here to see the kit at THE WOOLERY.

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 …

Inspired? The Woolery carries Handspun Hope 100% Merino Yarn in many colors!

DON’T MISS! Learn more about the 12 Fiber Gifts and enter weekly to win the fiber product of that week on the Woolery website: FOLLOW THE 12 FIBER GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS

RAFFLE TIME: Here is the link to enter the raffle for this week’s Woolery Giveaway (you can win an Original TURTLE Loom kit): ENTER THE RAFFLE

Welcome, Elongon 1″ R!

While the new Elongon™ 1″ R loom for worsted weight yarn has its stellar premier with the Scandinavian Stardust Doilies in the new Little Looms Holiday 2020 magazine, the possibilities for this little loom of course go far beyond applique.

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!

Little Looms Holiday 2020

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!

The new 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!

Then, there is the Cocoa Bear, a very huggable species of teddy bear, made of Berroco Ultra Wool Chunky on the TexaTURTLE™, Original TURTLE Loom™, and optionally the PennyTURTLE™.
The Little Looms editors included very detailed instructions, including photos, which makes it very easy to follow.

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).

Lastly, for your convenience you can now order the print edition of the Little Looms Holiday 2020 issue along with your looms from our Etsy store. If you don’t want to wait, you can get the digital edition instantly and directly from Long Thread Media.

Fasten your seatbelt and get ready for a winter-long craft excitement!

Trick or Treat!

Hurray! It did not take fellow pin loom weaver Teresa very long to find the “Coming soon” message for our new Square 2″ fine-sett loom! Teresa will receive one of the first Square looms as her treat, congratulations!

The new Square fine-sett looms are perfectly matched to our fine-sett Elongons. Simply weave the continuous strand method like you would when you start weaving a hexagon … until the square is complete. Joining is a breeze, since the edgings are the same between the looms.

The combination of elongated hexagons and squares allow for even more design possibilities, but you can of course use the squares on their own for other projects that require sock/fingering weight yarns.

The Square 2″ fine-sett loom will become available in November 2020.

Previously published Trick or Treat message:

A secret message to TURTLE loom followers … We’ve hidden some unusual news on our blog website … if you find it, describe what you found in the comments section of this blog. The first correct answer gets a “treat”!