Monday, October 29, 2018

Vicki Bennett is perfecting pin loom gnomes

Vicki Bennett agreed to share these pictures of her incredible pin loom gnomes. She has made some great additions to the basic gnome pattern --which is still available at the link. After seeing her wonderfully thematic gnomes, I asked if she was going to do a calendar, with a different gnome for each month.

She replied, "I’ve found that doll house items are a good size for accessorizing the gnomes.  I have ideas for a calendar but haven’t finished all of them  and need to get back to it."

In addition to her artful gnome accessorizing, Vicki has added feet by, I think, using wire or chenille stick wrapped with yarn.

I, for one, cannot wait to see a calendar. Can you imagine? St. Patrick gnomes, Valentine gnomes, Christmas gnomes, you could go on and on!

Monday, October 15, 2018

A multitude of pin looms

This is a blanket, called "All Hands" that appears in Pin Loom Weaving To Go. As you probably notice, not all of the woven pieces are square, about half of the blanket was woven on a variation of the 4" pin loom-- it was woven on a fine gauge adjustable knitting loom.  The book includes complete directions with many pictures for weaving on an adjustable knitting loom.

Making that blanket was really fun and at least part of the enjoyment was learning that I could complete a perfectly good pin loom weaving on any type of frame that had pins all the way around (if the pins are close enough).

This style knitting loom turned out to be particularly fun because you can use the normal pin loom techniques of winding on three layers of yarn, you can achieve the same looped edge so that you match the 4" pin loom PLUS you can change the sett of your weaving by how many warp and weft threads you wind on and can therefor weave with very fine yarn or very thick yarn.

From a PIN LOOM WEAVING TO GO purse pattern.
The samples to the right show a bunch of different thread weights, all woven with ease on the same little loom. The plaid looking sample in the bottom left corner was woven with sock yarn, the pale tan sample is very fine linen, the grey sample at 11:00 was woven with extra chunky yarn-- and they all look great! 

Keep in mind that you need to use a Fine Gauge Knitting Loom for these results, the regular size does not work unless you are only going to be weaving extremely bulky yarn, and if you're going to do that, you probably want to use a larger loom.

Having an adjustable 2" loom made it possible to piece the weavings, for example, in the simplified log cabin quilt pattern to the right. The 2" squares were made on the 2" pin loom that you can build from the pattern in the book. The other pieces were woven on the adjustable loom.

After completing all the items for Pin Loom Weaving To Go, my thoughts turned back to the thrill of having an adjustable pin loom and I decided that if a little loom was fun, a big one could be even more fun. So I special ordered a fine gauge knitting loom that lets me weave 4.5" wide with an adjustable length, the maximum is 12".

I ordered this loom with two sets of cross pieces so that I can weave either 4.5 inches wide or 2.5 inches wide. I like being able to weave a thinner strip for blankets. This loom came from Cottage Looms on Etsy. The pins are made with a small size cotter key, which works beautifully and they are set up specifically to work for a right-handed or left handed person.

This is the only finished project on my new loom that I have available to show. I did weave a bunch of long 2.5" strips for mug hugs for Christmas presents last year. The tablet bag was woven in two pieces, each 4/5" x 9". The bag is still waiting for a leather edging on the flap, which at my present rate of work, may take a while. 

I do hope you have as much fun with knitting looms as I have. If you've got questions, write a comment or let me know, my email is in the bottom right column of the home page.  Happy weaving!

Monday, October 8, 2018

1960's Pin Loom Afghan

One of the most fun parts of going to fiber fairs is meeting and sharing with other pin loom weavers. While I was at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Fair (aka. OFFF), I met Nancy Mills-McHaffie, who was willing to share these cool pictures of a pin loom creation from the 1960's. To quote Nancy:

This embroidered pin loom afghan was designed and made in the 60's for a fundraiser by the South Dakota Eastern Star, Bryant chapter. It was won by Hattie Schanck and, over time, handed down to her granddaughter, Karen Schanck. 

Here is is lying flat on the floor, it is 15 squares wide by 22 squares long, (5" by 7.3").

By the look in these pictures it is in exquisite shape. I am astonished by the amount of work that was put in to the cross-stitching, but if you look at the early patterns for pin looms* many of them have this type of embellishment. I showed the pictures to a weaver friend who thought that it had likely been made from a purchased pattern. Since the old books were all in black in white, I may have seen it before but just didn't recognize it.

I'm really glad to see that the pin loom has its own tradition. I have heard from a number of people about special warm, woven blankets that had been passed down the family for years but nobody knew how it had been made. Now that knowledge is coming to light.

FREE PATTERNS-->  *If you are interested in the old pin loom patterns, check out, the ultimate site for all the old pin loom pattern books. (let me know if you see this pattern among them). In addition to being able to download personal use PDF's of the 30's to 60's pattern books which include interesting historical elements such as pin loom woven women's business suits from the 30's, bedjackets and kid's sailor suits, you will find some great books of weaving patterns, which are just as fun and usable today as ever.

Here's an addition to the story of this classic blanket. Suzanne Eakin of pin loom angel fame as well as swakins note below have found the pattern in WEAVE-IT AFGHANS, Book 4, by Anne Orr. This book of is one of the many available at It looks like the weavers of this particular blanket chose to change the color way from autumn tans, orange and browns to reds.

One more item. This is a picture that was sent to me a long time ago, I don't have a name attached to it.

The interesting thing is that it is probably about as old as the 1960's afghan above, but its kind of a transition piece, with a carefully cross-stitched piece in the middle, surrounded by the lavender/purple squares that are perfectly balanced to a  much looser, more open and lively pattern.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Introducing Suzanne Eakin, pin loom weaver, crocheter, creator

The entire title of this post is "Introducing Suzanne Eakin, pin loom weaver, crocheter, creator with a special shout out to Noreen Crone-Findlay, the ultimate weaver and artist" but I didn't have room for it.

Suzanne has been making some incredibly creative little characters that could light up the day for many. I so appreciate that she agreed to share some of her creations with me.

These incredible little teddies are made with 2" and 4" squares using Noreen Crone-Findlay's teddy bear pattern that she demonstrates using a woven potholder square. Suzanne noted that she did add a line of single crochet to the ears to give them greater definition. You can see Noreen's original pattern here. Not only are the bears really cute, but I love the clothes (can you believe it... lederhosen!?) she has designed for them. 

Suzanne shared her take on my pin loom rabbit pattern. You can get a free copy of rabbit pattern, complete with carrot, here. Suzanne made a wonderful touch by adding black beads for the eyes, and I love her little crocheted leaf bed as well. 

Here's another use of black beads on a woven frog. Suzanne explained that she used much the same technique as with the rabbit, changing the shape a little and adding crocheted frog legs. But that's just the beginning.

Suzanne suggested more great items to get ready for Christmas. 

Confetti yarn!  Weave your own decorated tiny Christmas tree. Weaving with gold lame thread - just the touch for an angel's wings. (I once made angel's wings by weaving in microfilament, i.e., fishing line, and I do mean just once. It was the hardest thing I have ever woven and Suzanne's idea of using gold thread is way better. )

Angels and Christmas trees and the beginning of some exquisite presents. 

I think this one is my personal favorite. Crochet and pin loom weaving go together like peanut butter and jelly... or at least like peanut butter and bananas.  A round of applause for Suzanne! Thank you so much for sharing. 

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