Friday, April 30, 2021

Weave a ridiculously cute Pin Loom Owl Bag

Introducing an extremely cute companion for Spring. As you may have noticed I love making animals and owls are a particular favorite. I also love small bags and bags that have secret pockets in them, so the Pin Loom Owl Bag hits the trifecta. 

It is a great size to carry a phone and has extra little pockets in the wings. Each owl takes six squares for the body, two for the wings, and two for the eyes. This makes it a great project for those special leftover yarns-- too little to use on a regular weaving project, too precious to give away. The Owl Bag is made using only a 4" pin loom (except for your choice of purse strap) and features hand felted pin loom eyes.

Follow the illustrations below to make your own Pin Loom Owl Bag. 

A)  Lay out the six squares for the body and join together using a double overcast stitch. You can find further information about the double overcast stitch HERE. Fold the two bottom squares in half on the diagonal and tack them in place to the inside of the bag.

B) Fold the two sides of the bag in and finish joining the bag together. Whip stitch the bottom front and back of the bag together, first tucking in the corners to create a more rounded, owl-like bottom.

C) Weave two squares for wings. This is a great place to use your fancier yarns. Take each wing square and turn down the top corner and tack the corner to the inside. 

D) Line the wing up with the body so that the bottom tip of the wing is close to the bottom of the owl body. Tack the wing in place to keep it stable while you whip stitch it. Using the wing color, stitch around the two sides of the wing, leaving the folded-in top open to create a small pocket. Repeat this process with the second wing.

E) Make the owl eyes. The colored portion of each of the owl eyes was made by cutting a 1 1/2 inch circle from a felted pin loom square. See directions for felted squares below. I used yellow and pale blue for the owl's iris, but you can use whatever color you want. The owl's pupils were made by cutting a one inch circle from a black felted pin loom square or using a 1 inch button.  I stitched the iris on to the bag but found that glue worked much better for attaching the pupils. 

F)  Add the owl beak. Using a tapestry needle with your choice of color, use satin stitch to create a beak that is approximately half inch wide at the top, tapering to a point over its three-quarter inch length.

G) Attach your handle. These owl bags were made using small bamboo rings and lightweight faux leather straps.  

Since first making the Owl Bags I have found that the lightweight straps work beautifully and the bamboo rings really don't work at all. Using the bamboo rings was a fun experiment but the only place they are really handy is if you want to hang your owl bag on a doorknob, maybe as a catch-all for pens or scraps of paper. If you want to use it as a purse, I recommend a manufactured or handmade strap. 

Making felted squares. Squares used for felting need to be constructed from 85 to 100% wool or they will not felt satisfactorily. Since you will only be felting one or two squares, you can do it easily and quickly by hand. Submerge the squares in hot water, add a small amount of shampoo or mild dishwashing soap and rub and roll them vigorously between your hands. They will very quickly begin to shrink and thicken as the fibers pull together. They only need to shrink by about 25%. When the squares measure about 3ins, rinse them out and lay them out to dry. When they are dry you will be able to cut out the circles for eyes with minimal fraying. I think a little fraying looks good because it softens the eyes, so don't worry if they are not perfect.  

There is another great reason for making Owl Bags. As the world starts to get moving again and craft shows open up, Pin Loom Owl Bags make a really cute craft to sell. 

While the copyright says that you are not allowed to make copies and sell my patterns, you are always welcome to make and sell your own hand woven goods. 

I do hope that if you decide to make some Owl Bags that you will share some pictures with me.  Margaret Stump

Monday, April 12, 2021

Weave Pin Loom Carrots for Spring

Spring is in the air and the time is right for making pin loom carrots. Brighten up a counter or add them to a package as an extremely unique embellishment. These were so much fun to make that I'm going to end up with a big bunch. The larger carrot was made using a 6" loom, smaller carrots from a 4" loom. It would be totally possible to make a gorgeous giant carrot by joining four 4" squares, but I'm okay with these sizes. 

The carrot greens are made with lime green scrubby yarn, which has a wonderful organic look. I added the root texture with stitches in light brown yarn and used the same color for some straggly roots.  These directions are repeated below along with my attempts at illustrating the making of a pin loom carrot. I hope you'll try a few carrots of your own.   Happy Spring Carrot Day!