Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for February Host

Are you enjoying the Travel Turtle report on Terry’s Instagram account? Lot’s of looms, pretty yarns, unusual “freeform” project inspiration, nice people, good food, and stunning Arizona sightseeing make it a perfect vacation retreat! Terry is an amazing host, and I think we’ll probably have to rope Travel Turtle ’22 out of Arizona.

That said, TT22’s visit to Arizona will be coming to an end next week, so it’s time to look for a host for the month of February.

If you are interested in hosting the Travel Turtle 2022 during February, please leave a note in the comments section of this post.

Sign-up is open now and will close Sunday, January 23rd, 9 pm US CT. The winner will be announced after I had a chance to talk with the future host.

Do you have a question about this adventure? You can see what the Travel Turtle adventure is about in the January post. If you have further questions, please contact us.

While you’re waiting … here are some highlights from TT22’s travel report so far (All photos are courtesy of Terry Neal, all rights reserved. See full report on Instagram):

Travel Turtle ’22 en Route to First Destination

Travel Turtle ’22 is all packed up and on its way to Gilbert, Arizona, a small farm town that grew into a city on the outskirts of Phoenix. There, it will meet our first host Terry, a dedicated fiber enthusiast.

January host Terry is an indie dyer by profession, and her hobbies include knitting, spinning, and art weaving. Terry has been pin loom weaving for long enough that she doesn’t remember when and how it started. And yes, she has woven on TURTLEs before and has several fine-sett hexagon looms in her collection, and Squares, too. When asked what she’s made with those looms so far she replies:

Mostly I have been experimenting with all the different yarns, including some of my hand dyed yarns.  It’s fascinating to see how the squares and hexagons work up different when you change yarns.
I am currently working on making enough elongated hexagons to do a scarf or cowl of some sort.  The way I work my projects is to collect a lot of the pieces and let them tell me what they want to be.
The best part of using the Turtle looms is that I make one piece and something is completed, a finished piece. I get instant gratification by making one hexagon.”

Asked about her plans for TT’s visit Terry contemplates that she is still thinking about it (but there are already rumors that she might engage her husband in some small sightseeing around Gilbert):
“I have some wonderful small skeins of worsted weight yarn that I have been stashing in great colors.  Since this will be my first experience with a regular sett loom, I want to make as many hexagons as I can, and then let them become something more grown up over the next year.”

I think we are now ALL looking forward to following along! Terry will be reporting TT’22s travel adventures directly through her Instagram account, you can follow her here: Spinfiber on Instagram. Also, look for hashtag #travelturtleloom2022 on other social media.

Last not least, I certainly felt happy to have Charlene around to help with the travel preparations …

Travel Turtle ’22: Announcing the First Host

Congratulations!
Terry Neal from Gilbert, Arizona
will be our first host, for the month of January!

Our new mascot Charlene instantly started to help Travel Turtle to learn a little bit about Arizona, while I work on travel arrangements … it is all very exciting.

The interest in hosting Turtle has exceeded our expectations … if your name didn’t get drawn, please follow along Turtle’s journey, and we hope that you will sign up again for hosting Turtle in upcoming months.

In a few days we will share a little bit about our January host and also report about Travel Turtle’s departure … stay tuned …

2022 Travel Turtle Adventure

Let’s work on some fun, good times for 2022! We made a one-of-a-kind TinyTURTLE that we will send on its way to travel across the United States this year. And you can become part of the adventure! Here’s how …

The Plan

  • Every month, the Travel Turtle 2022 will visit a new pin loom weaver.
  • The “Travel Turtle host” will be determined via a random drawing every month.
  • The “Travel Turtle host” will at least weave one hexagon (but make as many as you want), post at least one picture during that month (but post as many as you want), autograph the travel host page in the instructions booklet, and then send the Travel Turtle off to it’s next destination.

How It Works

  • Each month on the 20iest (except for this first drawing) we will hold a signup here on the blog to enter to win to be the next host.
  • You do not have to be a TURTLE customer, and you can be new to pin loom weaving, as long as you are willing to learn (we’ll help!)
  • The loom is not for keeping … the loom will travel all year and (hopefully) come back to Texas in the end. If you’re a host, we’d like to ask that in the interest of all you’ll do your very best to take good care of the Travel Turtle. If something happens (lost, stolen, damaged) you are not held responsible, though. We’ll work on our end to keep the adventure going, if possible.
  • The first year’s adventure is limited to hosts in the United States … we’ll see if we can manage international shipping time in the future.
  • The Travel Turtle 2022 kit includes a unique TinyTURTLE “R” for worsted weight yarn, a locker hook weaving tool, and an instructions booklet. The new TURTLE mascot Charlene that’s in the picture (from our Little Looms Spring 2022 ad) will not travel along … she will be busy telling her own story later this month.
  • Paying for shipping to the next host … if you wish to help with that, fine. But we’ve set a budget aside to pay for it, so no worries … you can participate as a host either way.
  • Yarn … any worsted weight yarn is fine. If you don’t have any, we’ll work it out when your name is drawn.
  • Sharing on social media … Yes, please! I suggest hashtag #travelturtleloom2022 to make it easy for others to follow the adventure. Positive, on topic vibes only, please … if you have any problems or concerns, please contact us directly.
  • We will moderate the travel adventure through the turtleloom blog (I suggest that you sign up to be notified about new blog posts).

This is indeed an adventure, but I hope that it will be fun for many, and that you will all enjoy following the journey. Since this is the first time we’re doing this, please ask any questions that you may have, and I’ll update the information on this blog if needed.

Ready, Set, Enter for January!

If you would like to be the first host for the month of January, leave a comment on this blog, indicating that you are interested in becoming the January host for Travel Turtle. Enter before Tuesday, 01/04/2022 6pm US CT. We’ll use random.org to determine the winner. I’ll contact the winner, and when everything is set, the first journey will be announced here on the blog.

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!

It’s Here: TexaTURTLE in Fine Sett

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.

You can buy the loom in our Etsy store: TexaTURTLE™ Hexagon Pin Loom Kit – 6″ F – for Fingering/Sock Weight Yarn

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 by the end of this month.

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!

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.

Raffia Danish Medallions Ornaments

It is showtime for the TURTLE Elongon 2″ R in this issue, with Edith’s adorable Foxy Birch Blanket in one of her favorite yarns, Blue Sky Fiber Woolstok, and my Painted Pillow, in one of my favorite “doodle” yarns Noro Kureyon.

And there is so much more (including my article about joining pin loom squares, may the TURTLEs forgive me)! Get the printed copy right here, or check out the digital or subscription offers directly from Long Thread Media.

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.

Get your Original TURTLE Loom “R”, then download the pattern and have a wonderful time!

Harvest Hues Winner

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.

Happy fall weaving!

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!