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.
One useful application of pin loom weaving is that you can test a new yarn for weave-ability in just minutes. It will not replace proper sampling for a project, but it is a quick way to find out what a yarn looks and feels like when it is woven, and it provides an instant piece of cloth for blocking.
Take for example this collection of scrumptiousness, which was part of my haul from this year’s Yellow Rose Fiber Fiesta where I “discovered” Winterstrom Ranch, a full service mill, with an intriguing variety of yarns in different blends, weights, and colors.
My conclusion is that all yarns weave up and block beautifully. The yarns have only little stretch, perfect for weaving. The yarns are smooth and not stiff. I wove a hexagon each and sewed them together into a flower shape prior to blocking, just for fun. I blocked in cold water with a little bit Eucalan, for about 20 minutes. All fibers gently fulled, minimal shrinking, all color fast.
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’.
I was collecting hexagon pins on Pinterest when one picture caught my attention: A crafter was holding up her quilt top, and the sun was shining through the fabric.
“Oh, wouldn’t a woven hexagon sun catcher be grand,” crossed my mind.
But common sense reminded me that yarns are typically not translucent. Weaving lace weight would be an option, but I really had my mind set on something like a stained glass effect. Continue reading Some Jelly Yarn is Spooky