Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Pin Loom Ruana

Here is the finished pin loom ruana.   I have found it to be comfortable and warm. I am amazed by the difference in the feel of the fabric after a very light washing/fulling. Before it was fulled, there was a feeling of it being a bunch of squares sewn together, afterwards it just felt like a supple fabric.

My method of assembly closely followed the directions in the Pin Loom Weaving book. I joined the squares in strips using a double overcast stitch. I left several inches of yarn dangling on each side of the joined squares so that I could tie the strips together in order to keep the corners of the squares lined up. Before I washed it I went back over the lines of stitches to make sure that I hadn't skipped any stitches and left holes (I had). Once the holes were closed up, it was easy to finish.

Since I still have yarn in the same color, the next challenge will be making pin loom mittens to match.

My local yarn store expert pointed out that I didn't have to wash the ruana by hand in my tub. I could use the spin cycle in the washing machine if I was very careful not to let it go too long.  I actually agitated it a little by hand and then let it spin out. Taking most of the water out with the spin cycle made a great difference in drying it.

The ruana dimensions are 12 squares across by 14 squares long.  This number would likely need to be increased for taller people.

I wanted to leave enough room at the neck to make a comfortable opening so this is a sketch of the ruana front shown sideways. The two squares at the front of the neckline are folded diagonally and stitched down. I used the edging yarn to single crochet an edge all the way around the ruana.

Here's the original information on my latest project, a pin loomed ruana... which is the name given for a poncho that is split open down the front. I am going to be adding pictures of the finished project in the next week or so. These pictures show an earlier stage, with most of the outfit still in piles of squares.

It is now finished, but I need to full it slightly before there are more photos. I'm going to swish it around in the bathtub with a small amount of Neutragena basic shampoo to full it and then it using my steam iron to pull and flatten the seams while only very lightly touching the fabric.

I found the yarn for the body of the ruana at a local church flea market. Someone had purchased six skeins of Germantown worsted weight wool yarn in "Glen Heather" and then carefully stowed them away for twenty years or so. Germantown may not be a currently available product but I think there is still an awful lot of it around, still waiting to be knitted, woven or crocheted.

The Minnesota winter has been so cold this year that the idea of a cozy warm wool blanket shaped to fit my body has sustained me while weaving all the squares. Pattern details will be forthcoming but just to let you know, the finished piece in a size that works for my short stature has 168 squares.  One problem that I ran into was that the Glen Heather fabric needed some contrasting color.  I found several skeins of Raggi worsted weight on clearance and it turned out to be an incredible match. I love the way that the bits of dark grey assume an almost Celtic pattern in these edging squares.

Finished pictures will go up as soon as the ruana is dry and blocked.  I figure it will take a week or so for it to dry.  In the meantime, this is a behind the scenes illustration of trying to take a picture of the woven squares with some unsolicited help.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Pin Loom Mug Rug and Mug Hug (and news of a new book)

It may not surprise anyone to learn that people in my family often get pin loomed presents for Christmas. It's after Christmas now so I won't be ruining the surprise by sharing some pictures and ideas with you.

You have probably guessed that the Mug Rug part of the combo is our own favorite 4"x 4" pin loom square. The Mug Hug aspect is a new pin loom project that I have been experimenting with.  I have found that it is both easy and fun to make pin loom rectangles on a fine gauge sock knitting loom.

Here are some examples of weaving on the sock knitting loom. You'll notice that the one in the middle has a loop crocheted on the end, these were woven and designed as fiber cuffs.  You may have also recognized the loom, its a fine gauge adjustable knitting loom. Which means that it is not only possible to weave rectangles for mug hugs and fiber cuffs, its possible to weave rectangles in a bunch of different lengths all on this one loom!

Which brings me to the second part of the story, that the newest book on pin loom weaving, Pin Loom Weaving To Go, will be available in March, 2017.

Pin looms have always thrilled me. I love their ease and portability. I love the fact that each square is complete in itself, that when you take them off the loom they don't ravel or unwind.

In Pin Loom Weaving To Go we will explore using that same pin loomed approach to weave on a sock knitting loom and on a regular old potholder loom.  But in each case you will be able to weave a completed square that pops off the loom without the need for any type of locking edge.

I am really excited about this book and I hope you enjoy it too!

Here's a couple more mugs with rugs. :-)