Sunday, March 30, 2014

First look at Pin Loom Weaving book

I have been on pins and needles, counting down the days until the Pin Loom Weaving publication date and waiting for the return of the items that will appear in the book. Many of the items are now back and I have started taking pictures to share, you can see some below. However, the publication date has been moved back a month, it is now June 1st, 2014.  AAAAAUGH!

I know that in the larger scheme of things it won't make that much difference, but I am really looking forward to sharing the book with everyone. In the meantime, here is a beginning sample of the Pin Loom Weaving items.

This is my most recent take on a yarn bag. I wanted to make something very simple, very usable. I like the idea that you can make them as deep as needed by adding on extra rounds of weavies.

Dogs and cats... The dogs came first, the rest of the farm animal set (sheep, horse, cow, pig, cat, chicken, house and barn)  followed. The design is variable enough so that you can create your dog favorites and put together your own dog show.

Animals Toddler Blanket... one of my favorites. It offers a number of features including soft, cuddly edges, a colorway and illustrations that will work for little boys or girls. The illustrations are applied with black crochet cotton and are reasonably easy to apply. The heavy lines are made using a crochet hook, fine details added with a tapestry needle. All the instructions and illustrations are available in the book and the book will be available June 1, 2014.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pin Loom Yarn Bags

There is no rule, as far as I know, that says that all yarn bags must look like something that your Great Aunt Harriet or that scary old lady in the Wizard of Oz would make, but that seems to be the prevailing idea. The upside is that yarn bags are so old fashioned and usable that they never really go out of style.

I think that we are on the verge of a great Yarn Bag Renaissance- at least I hope so. After all, there is an enormous amount of fabulous yarn around these days, we need a few good yarn bags to carry it.

I will modestly confess that I have a pattern for a truly marvelous yarn bag in my book Pin Loom Weaving, now available for purchase. Pictures of all the Pin Loom Weaving items can be found under the page heading, Pin Loom Weaving; The Book.

Here are some other great yarn bags including this vintage bag highlighted on Eloomination.  You can find the pattern for this classic bag at the Eloomination site:

This next bag is crochet but wouldn't it would look great woven with a pin loom? The pattern is available at: 

My first yarn bag was the product of falling out of love with an earlier project and having a bunch of weavies already made into right triangles. This bag strikes me as the epitome of ugly but useful. It is nice and heavy and will handle all sorts of weaving items. See a simple pattern below. I left out the part about turning the weavies into triangular pieces first, that seems a lot of work for no purpose, but I have posted notes on how to make dual colored weavies to recreate that effect.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

My original title for this article was "DON'T MAKE THIS" but I have made too many goofy things myself to be lecturing anyone else on what they should or shouldn't weave.

On the other hand, tastes do change over time and while these patterns may have seemed like a good idea when they were published, I don't believe that time has been kind to them.

For example, was there ever a good time to wear a woven bathing suit? I'm thinking not. This was one of two suits introduced in the very first book of Weave-It patterns in 1936.

If you are curious about what the other swimsuit looks like, or you want to copy out the directions so that you can whip something up for this summer, you can see a copy of the entire Weave-It Book at Eloomanation.

The embarrassing aspect of the next entries is that I remember people (me, my friends) wearing fashions like these with great enthusiasm. I don't remember why, maybe it was the drugs.

There is very little excuse for these outfits. The colors are weird, they don't drape well and the multiple rows of crochet between each square takes away from the woven squares that they were supposed to be promoting. (I'm pretty sure that I had a dress just like the one on the lower right and thought it was incredibly cool. We called it a maxi-dress.)

There may be someone reading this today who finds these fashions to be just right. Which goes to show that every style has its day. My personal fashion rule is, "If you wore these fashions the first time, you don't have to do it again."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Soft Boxes - An assembly for 4" pin looms


Soft boxes combine the fun and creativity of pin loom weaving  in a medium size project. A lovely little 3-D box that comes with a canvas on each side.  These boxes were made as gifts. The attached jungle animals and cats are buttons that are usually available at fabric stores.

Each soft box is constructed from twelve 4"x4" squares. The squares were woven on a pin loom, then a single crochet edge was added. The exterior squares were finished with free stitching, buttons and yarn pulled through using a crochet hook to create loops.


After completing the embellishment, an exterior weavie is sandwiched with another weavie for the lining (I usually weave a lighter matching color for the interior) with several layers of quilt batting in the middle.

The two woven layers with batting are whip-stitched together. The sides and bottom are whip-stitched to create a box. The top edge of the box is finished with a single crochet row to give it extra structure and to carry the color that was used for joining around the top.

The soft boxes were made primarily with medium weight worsted wool.
You may notice that the background of the "Winter" side of the Four Seasons box is woven with stripes of white and a cream color. This is accomplished by winding one color on the pin loom for the first two layers, then knotting on the second color to use for the third layer of winding and to weave through.

The top of the soft box was made by the same process as the sides with the addition of an extra row of single crochet, chain 2 at each corner, then two rows of half-double crochet with no  added chain stitches to create a box lid. 


The boxes have proved to be very lasting and reasonably useful. Most end up being used primarily as ornaments and holders for jewelry or other personal items. I use one when I travel to protect a glass cologne bottle. They are soft and crushable and easily straightened out at the end of the trip.

One thing that surprises me when making a soft box is just how much weaving and work goes into it. That may sound like an unfortunate admission but what you get out of the work is a small but treasured prize.