The Ditta Vest

From the early beginnings of my pin-loom journey I have been dreaming of make clothing items. Decades ago it was quite the standard for pin-loom weavers to think of making wearables. While there is much less the “need” to make clothing today, it can be fun and useful.

Ditta is a one-size-fits-many vest that will keep your back warm while gradually evolving into a flattering bolero-style front.

It can be worn open, or closed with a shawl pin.

The vest is woven on the Original TURTLE Loom™ R-regular sett for worsted weight yarn.

I used Purl Soho Linen Quill Worsted yarn, a beautiful natural and soft fiber blend that is fun to weave and awesome to wear.

You can use the same pattern with the F-fine sett and the XF- extra fine sett Original TURTLEs as well (and even a mix!) and use different yarns.

The pattern includes a blank chart so that you can create your own designs: Make the vest in a single, pretty yarn, use up scraps to make a patchwork vest, or plan yarns and colors in detail to make it “your” design!

Get the pattern at the Bluebonnet Crafters Etsy shop. We decided to ring in garment weaving with a 50% off sale until February 15th. No code necessary, the discount is automatically applied when you purchase the pattern.

Here is a 360-degree view of the Ditta Vest that also shows a little bit more the one-size-fits-many. I’m 5’5″ and wear size XL/14 clothing, for reference.

Suggestions on how to modify the size are in the pattern, and I’m happy to help with any questions that you may have.

If you decide to make the Ditta Vest, please share pictures! We will be tracking the Ditta Vest on social media with the hashtag #DittaVest.

There’s more to come!

Our ad in Little Looms Spring 2023 also announces that we will conduct a year-long pin-loom garment challenge this year: Weave any garment, on any loom, by Thanksgiving this year, to win an opportunity to have your garment photographed by professional photographer Gale Zucker! The details will be on the TexasGabi blog soon.

Special thanks …

go to Gale Zucker, www.gzucker.com, on Instagram @galezucker, for her amazing ability to bring out the best of a hand-crafted item in photography, and to Josephine Ankrah, Instagram @sweetjsphn, who added so much character to the Ditta vest by the way she models it.

Customer Projects Showcase – January 2023

New year, new ideas! Frequently, customers share pictures of their projects on social media or contact me directly, and this year we would like to start showcasing some of them here on the turtleloom blog. The goal is to post 3-5 projects in a blog on the first of each month. Sounds like a New Year’s resolution? Here’s the start!

Ravelry pin-loom fellow Lynne just finished her Cathedral Window blanket from Little Looms Fall 2022 (project on Ravelry). It was exiting to follow her row-by-row progress in the “Looms to Go” group, and the result is second-to-none! Lynne plans to make another Cathedral Windows blanket in natural tones … we can hardly wait to see it. You can find more information about the Cathedral Windows blanket in this post.

Taking a break from blanket weaving, Lynne also made this Firth of Clyde cowl (project on Ravelry). We introduced the pattern for this cowl as a welcome project for our new retailer Weft Blown in Scotland. You can find the free instructions for this cowl in this post.

One of our Australian customers, Kaye, was inspired by our owl blanket. But she took the idea and some further online inspiration to a whole new level … this is her owl blanket, woven on the PennyTURTLE™ !!!

Greta has been a TURTLE loom customer from the beginning. By now she has not only published her designs in multiple Little Looms and Handwoven magazines, but she also offers amazing patterns in her Etsy store. Here is her “Forest Fairy Capelet”, for example. Add her store to your Etsy favorites for a growing resource of hexagon patterns that are out of the ordinary!

Did you enjoy seeing these customer projects? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think!

And if you have a project that you would like to see shared in an upcoming Customer Project Showcase, please contact us.

How it works:

  • All we need is a picture of your project and a brief description.
  • The project can be after a pattern or your own.
  • You grant us permission to use your photo in our blog; you will be credited by name and you will keep the photo copyrights.
  • Selecting projects for posting will be at our discretion.
  • We will not be able to reimburse you in any way, but there’s a good chance that you will have a lot of fun sharing your work this way!

(Photo credits: All photos are by their respective project owners. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

TO A GRAND 2023!

Welcome, Weft Blown!

Howdy! I would like to share the exciting news that our TURTLE looms are now available at Weft Blown, a weaving and spinning supplier in West Kilbride, Scotland, which is also known as Craft Town Scotland.

Photo credit: Weft Blown. Used with permission.

Some of you know store owner Ange Sewell and her team, who for years have welcomed pin-loom weavers in person at their store near the beautiful North Ayrshire Coast, as well as online. Ange plans to relocate in 2023 , but will still be in West Kilbride.

To celebrate Weft Blown as a new stockist, I designed a quick and easy cowl, inspired by the Firth of Clyde and the impressive island scenery, like the Isle of Arran, right off the shore near West Kilbride.

When Ange and I were chatting about yarns that have something to do with Scotland (but are also available in the United States), The Croft yarns from West Yorkshire Spinners came up. I had sampled those yarns a few years ago and fallen in love with them, and using them in a welcome project seemed a delightful choice.

Whether you use Shetland wool (I used The Croft Shetland Tweed Aran and Wild Shetland Aran Roving), a handspun yarn that you made, or any worsted weight yarn of your liking, the Firth of Clyde Cowl works up quickly on the Original TURTLE Loom R – regular sett, even in time for the upcoming holidays!

Ready to celebrate? Download the free cowl pattern now!

And here are a few suggestions for how to wear your cowl

Thank you for celebrating with us! Maybe some of you will get a chance to visit Weft Blown.
And to those who will make a Firth of Clyde cowl, make sure to share some pictures!

The “Extra Fine” is Coming!

It was during one of the Covid lockdowns when our CNC Meister and I were bored and decided to tackle a question that had been on our minds for a while: How “fine sett” can we get?

Our pin supplier joined in and provided a variety of thinner steel wires, and the testing began.

The CNC router kept routing and drilling until it got to a point where we had to use a magnifying glass to see the holes.

Trying thinner pins convinced us very quickly that what we’re currently using for the Square fine sett looms is the closest to what can be woven comfortably, without having to add a supply of band aides for pricked fingers to each loom kit.

We decided to settle on a loom that is “fine” enough to weave “finer” sock and fingering yarns, like this Lion Brand Sock-Ease.

Several popular sock and fingering yarns list a gauge of 30 sts/4″, which weaves up a nice but light fabric on the fine sett looms. We wanted an “extra fine” option, where the fabric is dense enough for clothing and similar projects.

Above pictures show the yarn example Rico Design Superba Bamboo Uni, available through Universal Yarn, on the new XF loom (left); fabric comparison XF (left) and F ( right); hexie off the XF loom. The header picture also shows that yarn, woven on all three Original TURTLE looms.

Another example is Lang Jawoll, shown woven on the XF extra fine sett on the left, and the F fine sett on the right.

The Original TURTLE loom XF expands the use of thinner yarns without jeopardizing the comfort of weaving.

6/2 cotton yarns like the popular Bluegreass Mills, available through the Woolery, now enter the category of yarns that weave well on TURTLE looms at about 12 epi, and with that the doors open to create a new range of beautiful kitchen items like hand towels and accessories.

Weaving single stranded Size 10 crochet thread on this loom still generates a light fabric, but it now generates a nice, light density for curtains or lacy table toppers.

When will the Original TURTLE Loom XF be available?

The loom is now available in our Etsy store: “Original TURTLE Loom™ XF “extra fine sett”

Also at the handweavers studio in London,

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Meredith and Denise CP (check your emails, please)! They are the winners of our treasure hunt contest and will be the first to receive a new Original TURTLE Loom XF.

Treasure Hunt!

The Handweavers Studio in London is now fully restocked … and there’s more! In support of the store’s tag line “A treasure trove for textile creatives” we decided to do a treasure hunt that is open to all TURTLE friends in the UK … and anywhere else.

Store owner Dawn and Alan and their team are now carrying the 1″, 2″, and 4″ Square looms, either to be used together with Elongons or on their own. They have also added the new, unique Jewel loom!

However, that’s not all … There is a new treasure hidden on the Handweavers Studio website, and if you find out what it is, you can enter to win that treasure! Entering for a chance to win is easy: Leave a comment on the blog when you find the treasure.

ETA: Denise CP was the first to find the treasure: It’s the Original TURTLE Loom XF – extra fine sett. I will tell the story of the loom in the next blog on Monday, but in a nutshell, this loom weaves finer sock yarns (knitting gauge 30sts/4″, weaving gauge about 12 epi) and will most likely be the finest sett loom that we will have in our product line.

YOU CAN CONTINUE TO ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THAT LOOM … just enter a comment below. Ask any questions that you may have about the new loom, write what you’d do with such a loom, or just say that you want to win it!

How it works:

  • Leave a comment on this blog.
  • One entry per person please, multiple comments from the same ID will count as one entry.
  • You can enter now until Sunday, November 20, 2022, 6 pm CT.
  • We will raffle off one (1) of “the hidden treasure”; the winner will be determined by random drawing.
  • The winner will be announced some time on Monday, on our blog.
  • No purchase necessary. No substitutes, no cash.
  • This giveaway is conducted by Bluebonnet Crafters, LLC. It is open to pin-loom lovers internationally unless there are any legal restrictions in your country that prevent us from shipping to you. (Note: In case you win, we will pay for USPS International First Class shipping or contribute to the postage in the equivalent amount of that. You will have to pay for any extra shipping cost and any custom and/or tax incurred by your country.)
  • We will use the contact information only to determine the winners. We do not share that information.
  • In case you win, we will ask for your permission to post your first name, state or country.

Ready? Go hunt!

Travel Turtle 2022 – Call for September Host

We may have difficulties getting TT22 away from Maryland, where he has been playing hide and seek with Deetzie either in the gardens or at the Black Sheep yarn store (… no wonder, with such a yarn selection!)

However, it’s time to determine the next host, for September.

If you are interested and available to “entertain” TT22 for a month, please leave a comment in the comments section below.

No hexagon weaving experience necessary … if you have a friend who is new to (hexagon) pin loom weaving, please share this post and invite them to host TT22!

Signup is open now, and will end Wednesday, August 31st, at noon time 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, TT22 wants to share a few impressions from his August diary on Ravelry

(Photo credits: All photos by Reeves Walker. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)

Welcome Elongon and Square in 3″ R!

The new Little Looms Fall 2022 magazine is stealing the show! It makes it difficult to squeeze in the announcement that “Hey, we have a couple of new looms!”

First, there is the new Elongon 3″ R … a larger elongated hexagon loom with regular pin spacing for worsted weight yarns.

With 3″ side length this loom is great to make quick progress on larger projects, like the Cathedral Window blanket, but it is still very comfortable to hold and to work with.

Next, there is the new Square 3″ R loom, to match the above Elongon and also with regular pin spacing for worsted weight yarns.

The squares work up quickly and can be used on their own or together with any other looms that work with or complement a side length of 3″.

I enjoyed making the Cathedral Blanket with these looms, using a wonderful wool, Berroco Lanas.

I hope to chat about working the “stained glass” effect a bit more in the near future, because I think pin loom weaving is naturally perfect for that.

Of course the usability of the new looms goes far beyond stained glass effects. You can use them for pretty much any other project on any other Elongon … the results are “just a little bit bigger”!

Side by side hexagons woven on the Elongon 1″ and Elongon 3″

Little Looms Fall 2022 Magazine – A Giveaway!

Did you see it? We’re tickled pink and humbled to see that the Cathedral Window blanket made the cover!

To share the happiness, Charlene suggested to give away three printed issues of “Little Looms Fall 2022”, one each day of this (long) weekend.

THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Thank you for your participation!

All you need to do is leave a comment below and name your favorite projects in this issue (and there is no wrong answer, if you ask us).

We will randomly draw a name, once a day, this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, at random times, out of all comments available at that time and post your name right here if you win.

How it works:

  • Leave a comment below. What are your favorite projects in this issue?
  • Leave only one comment. Multiple comments do not increase your chance to win.
  • You can enter now until Monday, July 4th, 2022 when at some point of our choosing we will draw the last winner.
  • The giveaway is for (3) Little Looms Fall 2022 magazine issues, one per day.
  • The winner will be determined randomly from comments left on this post.
  • The winners will be announced every day, here on the blog.
  • No substitutes, no cash.
  • This giveaway is open to fiber enthusiasts internationally, unless there are legal or other restrictions in your country that prevent us from shipping to you. (Note: In case you win we will pay for USPS International First Class shipping or contribute to the postage in the equivalent amount of that. You will have to pay for any extra shipping cost and any custom and/or tax incurred by your country.)
  • We will use the comments/contacts information only to determine the winner.
  • In case you win, you agree that we may post your name as stated in the comments here on this blog when we announce the winners.
Charlene wishes you good luck!

And the winners are:
Day 1: Linda Canton
Day 2: Tammy
Day 3: Jessie (please check your email for details)

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!