Saturday, July 28, 2018

A prodigal weaver returns

I have been out of the loop for months and I am really embarrassed by my ghosting behavior. I have been crazy busy writing a new book detailing the pin loom woven animals. I can never remember when I start these projects that, for me at least, writing about weaving is like 900% harder than actually doing the weaving.

By the way, please don't be concerned about the lack of specifics on the book at this point, you will hear lots more, more than you likely would ever want to know, about the pin loom animals book in the near future.

I also recently returned from Convergence, held in Reno this year. Convergence is the Handweaver's Guild of America (HGA) biannual get-together and if you haven't attended one yet, it is a definite bucket list item for anyone interested in any kind of fiber work. I was able to introduce the pin loom animals to a wider audience at their Leader's Gallery Show and taught two pin loom weaving classes, Introduction to Pin Loom Weaving and Weaving a Spirit Horse, which were both amazing fun.

Some of the pin loom animals by Margaret Stump on display at HGA Convergence at Reno, 2018.

Speaking of classes, I taught the class, Weaving a Spirit Horse, in by far the fanciest suite that I have ever set foot in.

You see the picture to the right? That was just the downstairs reception area...complete with tables, bar and incredible view! The class was held upstairs in another lovely room with bar (I didn't actually get to use the bar), restrooms and multiple bedrooms, (didn't use those, either). Unfortunately, I was so excited about setting up the classroom for the day long Spirit Horse class that I didn't stop and take pictures. ...As you may have guessed, I am a little, or maybe a lot, I'm not telling, older than the selfie-aware generation.

Spirit Horse Workshop, Margaret Stump

So, you will be hearing about more pin loom weaving info as well as getting updates about enthusiastic pin loom weavers, like Suzanne Eakin, very soon.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Loom Blooms for Everybody!

Loom Blooms are one of the many delightful things that you can do with pin loom squares. They are one of my favorite pin loom hacks to quickly make a small gift for a friend. This particular loom bloom variation came about because I was rooting through my stash of already made squares, looking for a few that would work to make a quick loom bloom “thank you” gift. The one I wanted to use had some cut threads on one corner so I decided to take advantage of it and turn it into a casual frayed flower.

This bloom was made with three 4”x4” squares, two in the flower, and one green square folded to make the leaves underneath. A loom bloom is made by pulling on the middle horizontal and vertical thread to gather the square into four petals. Once you have pulled on the two threads and made the square pucker up, tie the two loops together to keep it in that shape. Stack the layers together and stitch them in place with threads to represent the stamen.

In this case, after I had the flower stitched together, I cut around the corners of each petal to make the petal more rounded and to let the fabric fray.  Just for the sake of comparison, see my pin loom tea cozy below, covered with a bunch of single square 4" and 3" loom blooms. You can access the whole tea cozy pattern HERE.

This experiment shows just how many variations you could do with the Loom Bloom pattern. Imagine felting the squares first, or making a bigger stack, or making a pile of 2”x 2”, 4”x 4” and 6”x 6” squares. I think I am going to go back to my stash of squares and do some experimental felting and flower making. I hope that if you decide to do the same you will consider sharing some images. Just send me a note, my email is located at the bottom of the right column.  I would love to add them to this post.  Happy weaving!  MS

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Beary Nice Gift Card Holder

As you may have guessed I am not happy with any gift I give unless it has been at least partially woven.  And while my adult kids regularly receive woven animals whether they want them or not, I decided that the best way to use pin loom weaving would be with a unique gift card holder. My original plan was to make a cat with long arms holding the gift card, but the face ended up much more bear like so I added the bear feet as an extra touch.

You will find directions to make the beary nice gift card holder below. I used an acrylic yarn, Impeccable "Earth" color. However, the colors turned out rather dark and I think that it might look better in a lighter, solid color, like tan or ecru.

It would be easy to change the features and crochet different ears to turn this bear into a dog or cat or rabbit.

I'm afraid my instructions below on the head aren't very clear. The head is made by stacking the 2 - 2x2" squares together, stitching them together by using a running stitch in a circle around the edge of the squares and then turning them inside out and stuffing. Attach the open end to the top of the body.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Pin Loom Travel Tags -or- how to keep a watch on your luggage.

Since about 93% of all luggage carried these days is the same style and color, many people decorate their suitcase with a pink ribbon or bright tag. This makes a great opportunity to add a pin loomed touch to your travel and upcycle a thrift shop find-- like an old watch or bracelet.

This project requires two 4x4" squares and a watch with a band or other jewelry with a strong clasp. Take the watchband off of one side of the watch and attach the two halves of the watch to two squares. Then sew the two squares together to form a pocket. Drop your name and address into the pocket, it will be safe in there in case its needed, and buckle the watchband around the suitcase handle. Now there will be no question about identifying your luggage with ease.

(Though it would be fun if we all did this and then ran into one another at the baggage claim... Finally, a way to identify other pin loom weavers!)

It goes without saying, although I'm saying it anyhow, that you need to choose a watch that is no longer working. If you use one that is still running I can pretty well guarantee that it won't be working by the time you claim your luggage. If anyone is wondering at this point, "why a watch?" I think it would be a fun, funky use for an old watch and it comes with its own strap.

Once your start making these little woven pockets you may decide that they are perfect for gift cards, tree decorations and backpack embellishments. I like the idea that you can make them with some ease and match the gift recipient's favorite colors. If your plan is to give some cash for Christmas, this makes a great way to give them a thoughtful, personal gift and still let people get what they want. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A pin loom Gnome for the holidays!

I'll be Gnome for Christmas... Gnome Sweet Gnome... There's no place like Gnome for the holidays...  


This is a pattern that I worked out with the assistance and  encouragement of a fellow Oregon Flock and Fiber participant.
She mentioned that she wanted to make gnomes and we worked out just how fun and easy it would be to weave up Pin Loom Gnomes for the holidays!

This is a fun little pattern that will have pin loom gnomes appearing everywhere this season.

Add them to every sort of holiday decoration, make a few Gnome Wreaths, use them for that last minute stocking stuffer or have them popping out of every corner.

They are so cute and easy to make that its hard to stop.  So I wish you a very Gnomley holiday season!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Pin Loom Backpack by Linda Wolf

Its been forever since I have posted and that is not because there aren't wonderful things happening in the pin loom world. There is so much happening that its hard to stop and take a breath (and post something). 

Case in point, this backpack was made by Linda Wolf of Oregon. She created it in parallel with my book, Pin Loom Weaving To Go, which just shows that great minds think... about backpacks, I guess. 

Linda allowed me to share her creation, which was shown at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. Here is what she had to say about it:

This little project backpack began life as a rug. When I was a weaving student in 77-78, we were given the assignment to dye the yarns for our weaving project. I dyed commercially spun wool yarn with commercial dyes (manufacturer of dye and yarn long forgotten) and made a rug which I used for many years. 

In the long run the warp chosen was not a good choice and gradually looked pretty ragged. I really didn't want to just toss the rug or give it to the dog so I pulled it apart. Some of the yarn was very tender so to maximize the yarn, I used my pin looms to create the pieces, sewed them together, then crocheted the large pieces together to form the backpack. I found the jingle shell on the beach which seemed like the perfect closure. I twisted a rope of the yarn for the straps using, "The Incredible Rope Machine".

The judges were particularly impressed with the nice color placement of squares, the "upcycle" aspect of the project and the woven patterns in chosen squares, as was I.

I am blown away by someone actually taking the time to pull apart the rug in order to make these wonderful squares. If it had been my rug, it would still be sitting under several bags of other projects where I would point it out to people and explain how I was going to take it apart and turn it in to something wonderful... the difference being that Joyce actually did it and entered it in a competition.

One more item from the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival 

This is a snapshot of my book vendor display with an extra element, Joyce Zaro's hippo frolicking with my pin loom hippo. Don't they look happy together? Joyce pointed out that hippos do have tails, as is demonstrated in this illustration.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

So many many many ways to pin loom

I have to admit that I spend most of my free time either weaving or thinking about weaving or thinking about a different way that I might use pin loom weaving. (You may sense a theme here.)

What I'm not doing enough of is looking around at the phenomenal approaches that others are taking with pin looms. So here are just a few of the wonderful projects I've run across. Each weaver gave me permission to share their incredible work.

Laura Waskiewicz Sapko 

Laura's scarf takes advantage of the repeat in her yarn, with some active input from the weaver. Laura noted, "I used double strand alpaca lace yarn. I had two balls so I could line up the repeat (or not as desired). I used one strand to chain 3 in a zig zag between two squares making two 12 square strips. Then chain 3 in a zig zag to attach the two strips to each other. The edge is chain 6 scallops from bump to bump with two in the same spot at the corners. I did three rows of it."

Katheryn Rider Carras

Katheryn is likely not the first person to look at a 4" square and say, "you know, you could use that as a backing for rug hooking" but she is definitely singular in her range and output. I am blown away by the time, care and artistry in each woven, hooked square.

Karen Young

Karen shared some pictures of her most recent purses. I particularly like her integration of two different loom products in the purse on the right. (And I am thrilled to see that she used some of my ideas in the Light Shoulder Purse.

Karen wrote, "Here is my take on the Light Shoulder Purse.  I used a white warp for 2 layers, one layer red warp and then wove green in chain stitch.  Finished this a while ago, except the snaps and button covers. Made myself get it out and finish it now as this will be my Christmas purse.  Found the Nutcracker pin to cover one of the snaps.  I'm going to keep that in mind as a way to change the look on the more all season purse that is still sitting in yarn balls waiting for three other projects to be finished first.  Enjoyed making the pattern.

The other purse was a combination of techniques.  Wove a (almost) square to finish a warp on the floor loom.  It was approximately 26 x 28.  Folded into a triangle and then folded the ends in. Wove squares and felted them for the cover on the bottom, partly to cover the seam.  Wove small squares to fasten the rings for the handle.  Turned out well.  Want to try this as an all pin loom project in the future." Thank you, Karen. I could totally see this being a fun pin loom project.

Carolyn Flpaa

You may remember Carolyn as the weaver of the astonishing Mother of the Groom outfit as well as the clever and prize winning Prairie Points. Check out some new close-ups of the top and skirt which I added to the original post... which you will find here--
The ultimate Mother of Groom outfit!

All proof of pin loom weavers doing thrilling work. Thank you so much for letting me share!

And one more thing--

Pin Loom Support Group

If anyone out there hasn't checked out the Facebook Pin Loom Support Group yet, I would encourage you to sign up. You do have to request entry into this group but if you know what a pin loom is, you will feel very welcome and at home there.