Monday, December 21, 2020

2020 Mini Sweater Pin Loom Day

It's finally arrived, the perfect prelude to the holidays, Mini Sweater Pin Loom Day. Thanks to Florencia Campos Correa for challenge of organization and photographic work. Check out Gary the Wolf modeling this year's entry in the post right below this. 

If you didn't get an entry in this year-- plan for next year. Heck, you could just make up a great mini sweater over the holidays and have it all ready for 2021. (I bet you could even send the picture to Florencia now, though there is probably no prize for having the first entry in for next year's mini pin loom sweater day.)

Hope your holidays are great. Here's the link to the mini-sweater instructions, just in case you want to get started. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

There's still time to weave something for Pin Loom Mini Sweater Day

There are just two more days before the Mini Sweater deadline on December 18. Check out all the details HERE and join in with your own pin loom Mini Sweater. Then check back after the 20th to see everyone's contributions. 

I am not comfortable making a mini sweater without also making a creature who can happily wear the sweater. So this is Gary, who I believe is a wolf, but keeps introducing himself as a coyote. 

In addition to the sweater, Gary is wearing matching board shorts. He reports that he is an outdoor kind of guy and enjoys talking about his feelings and taking long walks on the beach. Considering his report, I'm pretty sure that he is really a wolf. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

New Felted Purses; use pin looms to create new patterns

Felted pin loom purses have become a new passion for me. They combine all my favorite things, being relatively quick to weave, allowing me to use small bits of yarn (all wool, so they will felt) and then getting to experience the alchemy of felting. Seeing the woven squares, rectangles and triangles meld into perfect objects. 

 Okay, none of them are actually perfect, but they were each very fun to make and will go on to become handy bags around town, or possibly bags that hang in my yarn room, holding yet more yarn or accessories. 

My original plan was to produce bags that could be carried in a folded over shape. But if I had wanted that I should have made them plainer or made a pattern that worked better in the folded position. As it was, these look far better as pictured, so the whole "folded over" idea will have to wait for a future project. 

I am still struggling with adding straps and hardware. I am just learning how important the right leather work is to the piece-- but I find it easy to ignore that work because weaving is so much more fun.  

You may have noticed the woven triangles in the purse on the left. This was my first project with the Wunderwag 4" triangle loom and it worked out really well. (There is a link for Wunderwag Looms in the links list in the right column.) It is so much fun to see the range of patterns that become super doable with the use of squares, rectangles, triangles... plus extra shapes like hearts and the six sided turtle looms. The decorative section on the bag on the right was made with 2" x 4" rectangles to make 2" x 8" rectangles. The edging of each the bags was made using twelve 4" x 4" squares. 

Once sewn together, the bags were felted (actually fulled) by hand using hot-ish water and a little shampoo, agitating them until they got about 20 to 25% smaller and thicker. 

These have proven to be a fun and versatile project, I am definitely going to be making more since it is so easy to make new, different patterns each time. And because it is getting very close to Christmas, I am pretty sure that at least two of these bags will end up as presents, hanging in other people's yarn room. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

The 2020 Pin Loom Commemorative "Dumpster Fire" Christmas Ornament

2020 has been a pretty challenging year. What with a pandemic and politics and quarantines, unemployment and some super-weird theories about what has been going on (yep, I'm looking at you, Q-Anon) this is not a year that many would ever want to experience again. 

But even a terrible year needs to be remembered, and what better image to commemorate the year 2020 than a dumpster fire? 

Here is my take on a special pin loom Christmas ornament made especially for this strange, terrible year. It is easy to make and, considering that you are only going to weave one-third of the flame squares, pretty quick to finish. 

The Dumpster Fire ornament is made with three 4" squares and one 2" x 4" rectangle. If you do not have a 2" x 4" loom, weave another 4" square and fold it in half.  I used two shades of green for my dumpster, you can choose whatever color you want, perhaps a deep blue, to match the local dumpster color. After weaving, I made a single crochet edge on both of the dumpster squares. 

Weave the flames for the dumpster fire. The easiest way to do this is to wind the yarn for a two layer weave rather than the usual three layer weave. Choose some flame colored yarn. I used variegated red yarn alternating with yellow yarn. You are going to make two layers of flame, I used darker reds for the back layer and more yellow in the top layer. 

Warp the first layer as in the normal pin loom instructions. Then turn the loom 180 degrees. Go around the first pin and warp this layer as in the pin loom instructions for the third layer.  This will give you a solid warp, you will be weaving each line (not every other line as with the normal pin loom weaving pattern) one third the way up the square, then stop and tie off your yarn. 

Once these squares are off the loom clip the yarn to better represent flames. Stack the flame squares on top of the 4" back of dumpster and stitch in place. I added a 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" piece of cardboard on top of the flame squares to stiffen the ornament and stitched the cardboard to the woven portion of the flame squares.  

Before adding the front of the dumpster, use a white or light grey yarn to stitch "2020" to this rectangle.  The stitching should not look too perfect, which worked out really well considering my embroidery skills. Use a whip stitch to stitch the top of the dumpster to the back of the dumpster.  Add an 8" crocheted chain to the back as a hanger for the ornament. 

These Dumpster Fire ornaments were so easy and fun to make that I wove a couple more so that several relatives will get their own special remembrance of this very special year. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Pin Loom Angels

I was going to call this "Pin Loom Angels for the Holidays" but angels are good for any time of the year. 

Four inch pin loom squares make surprisingly good wings and my plan was to make some angels with sparkly wings by adding sparkly material woven into the squares. The two angels on the left have silver zigzag laid into the first layer finished off with soft, white yarn for a sparkly, fluffy look. 

However making angels is a little like eating chips for me, and I have found that there are lots of angel wings on the market that compliment a pin loom angel. So there is also an angel with rusty, tin wings and one with some sort of sparkly, plastic wings. 

Here is the short form for directions to make the angel, there are more extensive directions for making people in two of my books- Pin Loom Weaving and Adorable Beasts

Each angel is made with six 2" x 2" squares (or one 2" x 4" rectangle for the head and four 2" x 2" squares for the arms and legs) plus one 4" x 4" square for the gown and two 4" x 4" squares for the wings. Fold the square for the gown in half and stitch closed to make a long tube. 

The head is made by stitching a circle on two of the 2" squares, leaving a corner open and turning, and then stuffing. Stitch the head into one end of the gown. Stuff the body with a few layers of quilt batting or other cloth. I used several layers of fleece as stuffing for the body to make these angels. 

Make the arms and legs by rolling the two inch squares and stitching along one side. Attach the arms to the outside of the gown securing with the same color as the gown. Attach the legs by stitching to the bottom of the gown.  Weave two wings using any combination of sparkly and fluffy yarns that you want. Keep in mind that you can wind any difficult to weave yarn on the loom first and then weave through with a smaller, more supple yarn. Tuck in one corner and fold on the diagonal. I choose not to make a perfect triangle because I wanted the two corners to stick out from one another so that each angel is flying with double wings. Stitch the wings to the angel's back as shown in the illustration.

I used a variety of feathery yarns for angel's hair. The hair was added using a small crochet hook, looping a 4 to 6" length of yarn under the scalp and pulling a loop through and making a larks head knot. The final step is adding a little more glittery or colorful yarn for halos and other embellishment. 

One of the fun aspects of making pin loom people or pin loom angels is that yarn comes in lots of colors, just as people, and angels, do. I used wool and acrylic worsted weight yarn for all aspects of the angel body and gown except the hair, which was a lighter, feathery scarf yarn.

These particular angels are going to be visiting several different family Christmas trees, sending love and comfort in a year when I can not take the message in person. But then, that has always been the purpose of angels. 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Take flight on Pin Loom Wings

These pin loom wings are the product of my background as a mythology geek along with the knowledge that you can make a pretty good little woven wing using a 4" square. The result is a super cool (or super weird?) set of winged hat and heels to meet any occasion, whether you are tasked with bringing a message from a Greek god or just want to lighten your mood. 

This headband/ear warmer style works great in Minnesota winter weather -- and I am pretty sure that it makes you faster on ice skates or cross country skis. 

Other parts of the country may prefer  a cute hat or simpler headband to keep their wings in place. 

The wings on hat and heels is a nod to Hermes, also known as Mercury in the Roman myths. He was known as a message bringer and one who traveled between realms. 

If you want to lighten someone's day, I am pretty sure that their own set of wings for head and heels will do the trick. 

I need to make a slight correction on the above drawing. You may also want to turn in the bottom corner of the wing to make it slightly more aerodynamic as is shown in the wing image below. MS

Have fun with your wings! May they take you on many flights of fancy. 

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 

For more information about Florencia, see her website at:

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. 


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

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.