Saturday, October 24, 2020

Mini Sweater Pin Loom Day 2020

 Yes! Finally! It's back! The day we have all been waiting for, the great mini sweater celebration of 2020! Florencia Campos Correa has put together the directions below- I am hoping that we will have mini-sweater pictures flooding in from all over the New World and the Old. 


Start planning now. The last day for entries is December 18, 2020 with the pictures of all the mini sweaters coming out on December 20th, 2020. 

Send your pictures (check out the instructions below) to florencia.campos@ullvuna.cl 

For more information about Florencia, see her website at: https://www.ullvuna.cl/

Check out last year's incredible collection of mini-sweaters here! 



Saturday, October 10, 2020

Pin Loom Monster Softies for Halloween

 It may be a strange Halloween this year, less trick or treating and LOTS MORE MONSTERS! 


These Monster Softies represent so many of pin loom weaving's best features. They are made of bits of whatever yarns and embellishments you choose, they weave up and zip together in no time, and each one is a unique creation. 

Right now my favorite is the Vampire Bat. He has a pocket in front to carry his flashlight...which he has apparently lost.  I am also rather partial to the Ghost Monster. 

The diagrams below show the basic dimensions for these Monster Softies but keep in mind that there is no limit to what you can create. 


A few notes about construction: With the exception of the vampire bat, all of the seams on the softies are turned to the inside and then the bodies are stuffed. Also, I used two 2"x 2" squares for each of the feet/legs but it is important to make each foot/let narrower than 2" or there will be no space between them, the two legs will take up the entire width of the body, which looks weird. I also found that the hands/arms looked better if, after stuffing and attaching to the body, I put a couple stitches in the "palm" of the hands to flatten them out a bit. 

Let me know if you have any questions. 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! LET'S MAKE OCTOBER PIN LOOM MONSTER MONTH!

Monday, October 5, 2020

Update on Felted Pin Loom Purses


I am not always good at going back and repairing problems but this is an actual follow-through regarding my somewhat over-felted but fun pin loom purse. You can see the whole Felted Purse post HERE with this new picture of the Felted Bucket Bag added. 

I originally added large hoop handles which made it look like it had time warped from 1969 -- as well as making it extremely difficult to get in to. 

I removed the hoop handles, I think they might be fun to weave with, and I found a manufactured strap that picks up the orange highlight on the bag and works beautifully. Now I have a bucket bag that is super easy to use, great for quick trips where you want to just throw a few things in a bag and go. 

The felted material feels very strong and I like that it is roomy enough to keep everything secure. 

Making felted purses has a certain addictive quality to it, there is such alchemy in the felting process. I already have plans for a new series and can't wait to show you!  

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Weavette® Looms is now up and running

Licia Conforti, the woman behind the Weavette® pin looms and the author of Textured Patterns for the Weavette® & Weave-It Looms, is now back on line at Weavettes.com


I was really looking forward to her site. Up until Licia started producing her extensive series of Weavette® Looms, there was only the 4" and the 2" square pin loom available anywhere. For me, the opportunity to weave in a variety of rectangles opened up many of the ideas and patterns that led to the Pin Loom Weaving book series. 

Licia, it is so good to hear from you!! And a big welcome back to Weavettes. 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Felted Pin Loom Purses

I am definitely not the first person to discover that pin loom squares can felt up wonderfully. All you need is yarn that is about 95 to 100% wool and some time on your hands and you can make any number of strong, usable felted bags.* 

The bag examples below are the first two in a series of experimental bags that will hopefully encourage you to try an even better one of your own at home. The smaller felted bag on the left was made from a trove of wool squares that someone gifted to me, probably woven by an elderly relative a long time ago. Unfortunately, perhaps because I had not put in the time to weave them myself, I did not take proper care when I felted them, blithely throwing the bag into the washer and dryer with a load of jeans and towels. The result was that the bag is too tightly felted, overworked to the point that it looks weird and fuzzy. 

* A quick footnote (right here in the middle of the page). As any fiber expert will tell you, the process of "felting" a knitted or woven cloth is actually called "fulling". The true definition of felting is making cloth straight from the fiber without spinning or weaving. However the term felting is more understandable and better known, which is why I am using it here. 



Also, I designed the bag to have big hoop handles, thinking that it would be a fun tribute to the 70's style. The problem is that the hoops don't work well. They are awkward to carry and they don't allow easy access to the purse interior. So here is my updated bag with a long, flexible strap that makes the bag work beautifully!
 
The second bag is quite a bit bigger, the finished size is 12" x 12" x 2". I was much more careful when felting it and am pretty happy with the result. I think that when felting, it is optimal to reduce the 4" square to about 3". That gives a nice, sturdy fabric without becoming overly fuzzy. To make sure that I didn't overdo the felting I decided to felt this bag by hand. Which means that I put the bag in a sink with hot water and a little shampoo and agitated it by hand until the squares had shrunk to about 3" across.  


The other thing that made finishing this bag possible was my increased confidence on the sewing machine after making a whole bunch of masks. I had enough confidence in my sewing ability to stitch four loops to the top of the bag. 

These loops, which are just visible in the photo to the left, allow you to turn any type of belt or strap into purse handles. You can use the belt to make two shorter handles or you can slide it through the loops to make one long shoulder strap. 

The top picture shows the bag using a 38" belt for handles. This bottom picture shows the bag with a 50" pink strap forming two long handles. 

The other challenge in creating this bag relates to the yarn choices. I have managed to accrue an incredible selection of really old yarns and decided that it would be fun to make a bag that featured the oldest of the colors, an Iced Coral Heather from about 1967. 

Not only do I have enough of this yarn color to make everyone in my family some sort of bag for Christmas (note to family- be prepared) I also have equally ancient wool yarns for contrast. So this bag has been woven in Pantone Bizarro colors, which means that it is either terribly dated, perfectly in style...or both. 

Be aware, there are more felted items coming. If there is one problem with felting pin loom squares, it is that it is just as addictive as all the other forms of pin loom weaving.  Happy weaving and stay tuned!

Monday, August 31, 2020

Pin Loom Weaving on a Flexee Link Loom


One of my recent interests has been a practice of pin loom weaving on fine gauge knitting looms. My second book, Pin Loom Weaving To Go, has a whole section of projects and techniques using a fine gauge adjustable sock loom. You can see more information on that process on the Weaving on a Knitting Loom page. 


While I will never give up my favs, the traditional groups-of-three-pins pin looms, it is so much fun to begin to realize that if you can find some sort of frame with pins all the way around, you can wind on the yarn (or rope, I guess, if it was a really big frame) and create a piece of woven cloth with a finished selvedge all the way around. 

After working on the article for Kb Looms about making a cool zippered bag on a knitting loom, they were kind enough to send me their newest product, the Flexee Loom Links. As you can see they are links, some straight and some rounded, with a couple knitting loom pins on each and they snap together to make whatever size knitting loom the knitter wants. They remind me a bit of the old pop beads that were popular a looong time ago. 

One of the cool things about them is that the kit contains 16 straight links which fit together in a nice, rigid manner so that you can shape a small pin loom with them, which means that you can shape a number of different small pin looms depending upon your pin loom needs. 

These are the four looms I formed using the straight Flexee Links, three of which were used to make a Loom Bloom because pin loom flowers are such an easy, fun project. As soon as Kb Looms posts the complete article online - including a weaving video! - I will add the link RIGHT HERE. 



Here are some shots of winding yarn on each loom shape, keep in mind that they all weave up exactly like the adjustable sock loom






Now I am going to guess that a lot of you are already thinking about the fact that this kit contains both straight and rounded links and while the straight links give you a straight, rigid loom, the rounded links would allow you to make a rounded loom. If you add straight and rounded pieces you could make all sorts of shapes including a heart.



Here are my first heart pin loom attempts. I will be adding material on making two sizes of heart looms and weaving heart shapes, including new video, in the very near future. Let me know if you have any questions and I will try to address them.

So take care, stay tuned, I will be back with the completed links and more information soon. MS

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Pin Loom Mistletoe - Yes I am going to be ready for the holidays this year!

If you have seen any of my past posts about the holidays, you may have heard me bemoaning the fact that I had waited too late and all my great ideas for holiday gifts/embellishments/decorations would have to wait for another year. Well, the year is upon us and I am going to do my best to start sharing some thoughts and ideas about the holidays starting right now. 

Bunch of hanging pin loom mistletoe

I've been thinking about pin loom mistletoe for years, mostly because I love the idea of using little pearls for the mistletoe berries. The leaves that I have created are really a rounder than the actual plant, which has much more oval leaves. But I am very happy with the overall look of the bunch of mistletoe and it was fun and easy to make. 

Start with a 2" x 2" square, turn in three corners and use a single crochet edge to make a leaf. You might want to turn in the side corners more than I did to create a more oval leaf. 


Then use a crochet chain to turn the leaves into pairs and thread two or three or more small pearls between the leaves as mistletoe berries. 
Here is a picture of the bunch of pin loom mistletoe spread out so that you can see the berries better. 

Mistletoe bunch

I know that it's early yet, but so far the year has zoomed by in ways that I never expected (did you notice my pun there?). So if you are thinking about a special lap blanket or decoration or just making a whole bunch of mistletoe for packages, this would be the moment to begin. 

One more idea, and this one definitely needs some editing, how about some funky Winter/Christmas stockings?.. either for actual winter indoor footwear or possibly to hang by a chimney with care? Here's my idea for a basic winter stocking/soft boot made with 4" squares. You could make them as tall or short as you like. You could add some lining and possibly a leather sole for a pair of really comfy soft boots. And of course you could change the colors to something more jolly or more subtle. What do you think? I would love to hear any questions or if anyone gives these stockings a try.



Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Pin loom weaving on a knitting loom






Make this zippered bag using a Kb fine gauge knitting loom. All the directions for weaving and creating these bags are at the Kb Loom site. 




Plus you can find directions for weaving on a knitting loom on a new page - Weaving on a knitting loom. 





Get way more information on knitting loom projects, potholder loom projects, make-your-own 2" pin loom projects and a lot of other stuff in Pin Loom Weaving To Go. 

One of the (many) things that I like about pin loom weaving is that when I get bored with one form of it, I can move on to another. I have recently taken a deep dive into weaving on a knitting loom, which has been extremely fun and has opened up a relationship with pin loom people and knitting loom people who have now have the opportunity to see their looms in a whole new way.
More projects to come. The two scarves below were both made using Kb's All In One Loom. This first stripey look was woven with the All In One loom in the narrow set up. The second scarf was woven using the loom extenders.  Details on both projects will be available soon.

In the meantime, check out Pin Loom Weaving's new page - Weaving on a knitting loom - and have a whole new pin loom weaving experience!






Friday, June 19, 2020

Pin Loom Sunflowers for Summer

It is extremely hot this week in Minnesota, this is the third day with temps over 90 degrees. Which makes it a perfect time to stay inside and weave sunflowers.

These sunflowers are part of a larger project that I'm working on for an article and usually, if there are plans for future publication, I just keep the project to myself. But these sunflowers look so great that I wanted to share them with everyone.


As with many pin loom projects, the flowers are easy to make. The brown middle on both flowers was woven on a 4" loom in a variable brown acrylic by Red Heart. I sandwiched it with a green square for the back, crocheted around the edge to make a circle and turned the seam to the inside. The smaller flower was made the same way but I slip-stitched a smaller, 3" circle.

The flower petals are 2" squares with the corners turned back. They offer a surprisingly life-like, floppy appearance.

I found a really effective material for stuffing the flowers, foam packing. It comes in sheets and I was able to cut several circles of it to place inside the flowers. The foam packing gave them just the right amount of stiffness without being too heavy.

The stems are a chenille stick/pipe cleaner that was run through the fabric, wrapped in yarn and further stitched to the back of the flower.


I can't think of a better project for the summer than making a few sunflowers. This is one of those projects that can utilize almost any yarn you have on hand and will let you make a flower to bring you, or someone you love, a sunny mood. 


Happy Weaving!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Pin Loom Shark Mittens in Little Looms 2020

Easy Weaving With Little Looms 2020, the principal magazine for small looms, is now available and features FIVE super cool pin loom projects including one that I am really proud of, the Pin Loom Shark Mittens-- because I made them. 





Easy Weaving with Little Looms has been published for several years now. It is interesting to note that the issues have grown, offering more unique patterns for small looms, and that the number of pin loom patterns continues to increase. [Sending a celebratory high five to pin loomers everywhere.]

If you haven't seen the magazine yet, please follow the link above and check it out. In addition to these three items, there is an incredibly cute pin loom raccoon pillow and a charming baby onsie, as well as a whole bunch of extremely cool rigid heddle, inkle, and other small loom projects. 

It was never my plan to identify as "the pin loom person who makes animals" but I am very proud of these mittens because they are warm and comfortable as well as funny and cute. I am also pleased to find that its possible to create a variety of mitten patterns using pin looms. As we are all learning, there are incredible worlds beyond scarves and blankets using these little looms.


Dum-dum, dum-dum, dum-dum, dum dum dum dum dum dum ... [background shark music]  

Be well, happy weaving!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Weave a Pin Loom Lovey in velvety yarn


So here is another post about something that I was pretty darn certain that I couldn't do. Shortly before the "sheltering at home" began, I was roaming wildly through Joanne's looking for interesting yarn. I grabbed up one of those enormous skeins of Bernat's Velvet yarn because it was so soft and lovely that I could not resist it--assuming that I would be using it on my rug loom or potholder loom.

I decided to try it on a regular 4" pin loom with no expectation that I could manage it and something wonderful happened. This lush beautiful yarn squashed easily to create a thick, perfect velvet square.


This is not a yarn that I would suggest for first-timers because it is very difficult to see where you are weaving. But if you have woven on a pin loom for a while and know the feel of the weaving pattern, you will find that the yarn's thin core gives the needle very clear feedback so that you can weave with some ease. I found that I had to hold the loom up to a light to make sure of where to start some of the lines, but that the lines were much easier to weave than expected.

One weaving note: I habitually use a fork to tamp down each line before weaving the next and that becomes even more important when weaving with such a thick yarn. But unlike most bulky yarns, this velvet yarn stays tamped down to produce this amazing velvet cloth.



Once I found that I could make these soft velvet squares, I decided to turn them into cozy velveteen loveys. A lovey is a small blanket, often with an animal head, that serves the same purpose as a teddy bear or other comfort object for a baby or small child.

Each lovey is made using sixteen 4"x 4" squares to make a little blanket with the animal head attached on the diagonal to one corner. I used a double overcast stitch to make as seamless a look as I could. The arms and head are made with 4" squares, the rabbit's ears are 4" squares and the bear's ears are 2" squares. I used a square of cream colored cotton chenille to make the animal muzzles. 

The bear's eyes and nose were cut from a 2" x 2" black wool square that I first felted. After cutting out the pieces I stitched around and over them with more black yarn. The rabbit's eyes are small buttons which I would NOT recommend if a lovey is going to a baby or child under three. 


These squares have been so much fun to produce that I can see more and bigger projects down the line-- like an Amish or Navaho inspired lap blanket made with this velvet surface. I can think of a number of people in my life who would appreciate it and its going to be so much fun to make!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

A Pin Loom Scarf with woven tape and a unique join

A Mother's Day pin loom scarf for all seasons with a rich woven texture and woven tape ties to lighten the look and feel.


After completing the tape woven place mats and experimenting with another combination of tape and yarn, I decided to keep weaving these lovely squares, 25 in all, and turn them into a scarf. 

The squares turned out to be of a medium weight and I did not want to add what could be a stiff, tight join between them.  I spaced out the join by using a 10 mm knitting needle, looping the join around it. Deciding that I wanted something still more frivolous, I then added ties to the joins, bundling the joins into groups of two or three and simply tying them with short lengths of the tape.

Because of its length (113 inches) I decided to close the loop and create an endless scarf. That keeps it from dragging on the ground and makes it easier to loop around neck and shoulders. 
The top image shows a section of loops before tying them with the tape. 

Diagram for scarf join using whip stitched loops and ties.





I am constantly amazed by the variety of ways that you can weave on a pin loom. While I have really enjoyed being able to weave consistent squares using a single source of yarn, there are amazing riches to be found in experimenting with a variety of fibers. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Pin Loom Placemats, a little weaving, a lot of reward.

I recently completed some very usable, resilient placemats by adding in tape-type yarn. I nearly gave this yarn away on the basis that it probably wouldn't work on a pin loom. Luckily instead I misplaced the skein in my yarn room. It turned out that if you just use one layer of the woven tape, it is perfectly weave-able and makes a heavy cloth perfect for a placemat. 


Staying home has offered some wonderful opportunities to rummage through my yarn selection and carry out some simple weaving projects. These placemats were made primarily with worsted acrylic yarn. The secret ingredient that makes them heavy and usable is one layer, about two yards, of the tape-like yarn that is woven into each of the squares. Because it is only one layer of the tape yarn it has proven not that difficult to weave with while maintaining all the merits of this eye catching yarn.

I am going to assume that this particular yarn is no longer being manufactured- on the basis that yarn companies seem to maintain a pretty tight schedule of planned obsolescence. The upside is that, according to Ravelry and other sites 1) there is still a decent amount of this yarn available, 2) even if this yarn isn't available, there will always be other new, wacky yarns to make your placemats unique.



Each placemat was made using twelve 4" squares. I had originally planed to to weave them all using a deep red acrylic yarn for the other two layers and to weave through. However I wanted a little more interest and contrast and the use of the cream yarn for the middle squares added that. The light colored yarn also better highlights the "dots" of woven yarn as shown in the inset of a square above. 


After discovering so much joy in the yarn combination for the placemats I returned to the yarn room to see what other strange or seemingly difficult to weave fibers I might have hidden away. I used one layer of the Lux yarn in two test weavings and really love them both. Again, the secret was only using one layer of the fancy yarn instead of trying to pile too much of it on the pin loom and causing myself all sorts of difficulties. Right now I am working on a scarf using this weaving style with the coffee colored yarn that I can't wait to show everybody in a few weeks. 

That pattern is now available at this Scarf Link!


I couldn't resist adding this final picture of the placemat with matching tea mug. They matched perfectly! Staying home has given me the opportunity to think about and treasure some the simple acts in our lives, like taking time for just hanging and a tea break.

Be well, happy weaving!