Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wonderloom meets Boo-Boo Bear

Wonderloom….the name rings of fantastic endeavors in loom knitting: magnificent afghans, unique sweaters, designer hats and scarves. So, what’s the first thing I wanted to create on this magnificent Cadillac of looms? Well, I have a dark secret that I’ve never told anyone. Ever since I first saw some tiny little knitted finger puppets in a basket near the check out counter of a local book store many years ago, a flame was lit inside me to learn to knit just so I could unravel the mystery of these tiny creations. However, the gauge of the Knifty Knitter looms was much too large for producing finger puppets, therefore, when I received the Wonderloom with a 3/8 inch gauge, I figured I would give it a shot. I even located a needle knitting pattern, called Finger Puppers, which I could easily transfer to the looms. Casting all sensibilities aside I bravely went were no knitter should go – I knitted without creating a gauge swatch (GASP). When I finished the body of my first finger puppet using 14 pegs on the Wonderloom, I immediately christened him, “Boo-Boo” Bear, the accidental test swatch. Poor Boo-Boo, the only person’s finger that he would ever stay on would have been a giant with a finger the diameter of two of my fingers and at 5 ft. 10 in. I’m not a small person. So, it was back to the knitting board, where I adjusted the Wonderloom down to 12 pegs (you have got to love the versatility of this loom) and knitted finger puppet number two. This time the finger puppet fit much better and looked more like the picture in the Finger Pupper instructions.
My only dilemma now was what to do with poor Boo-Boo: should I toss him in the garbage or do a make-over? Being raised not to waste anything, I opted for the make-over. I took the Knifty Knitter spool loom and created arms & legs; crocheted two ears and a muzzle; cut a knee-high hose to a shorter length, stuffed it with fiberfill and inserted inside Boo-Boo’s knitted body; finally all this was put together and stitched in place. His nose was embroidered and his white button eyes had black sequins glued to them. A yarn bow and hat which was made on the spool loom were added. Voilà, Boo-Boo Bear went from plain finger puppet to dazzling Christmas tree ornament, instant trash to treasure!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The story of three little bells...

Once upon a time there were three little bells: Papa Bell, Mama Bell and wee little Baby Bell. A couple of weeks ago I knitted some bells using the Knifty Knitter flower loom. Recently, Kansas, another loomer, posted some mini bells on her Canadian Crafter blog that she created using her 8-peg thumb loom. Someone on the Knifty Knitter Yahoo Group asked where they could get a thumb loom like the one Kansas used to create her mini bells, so I decided to see if the Knifty Knitter spool loom would work for this project since I had one on hand.

The Knifty Knitter spool loom is a dual loom. On one end there are 8 regular sized pegs spaced ¾ inch from center to center of each peg. The other end features 5 small pegs spaced at approximately ⅝ inch from center to center of each peg. Since I was testing the 8-peg end of the spooler, I decided to try the 5-peg end, too. Here’s what I did:
  • Papa Bell The “Papa Bell” was made on the 12-peg KK flower loom following the directions in My Pattern Box on the right for Knifty Christmas Bells.
  • Mama BellThe “Mama Bell” was made similar to Kansas’s mini bell with a little variation at the top of the bell. Using 2 strands held as one on the 8-peg end of the KK spool loom, I did e-wraps and knit for 8 rows. On row 9 I did a flat knit stitch. On row 10 I decreased every other peg by combining the loops on pegs 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 & 7-8 (this leaves double sets of loops on pegs 2,4,6 & 8); and then did a flat knit stitch on the remaining 4 pegs. I did a gather bind off and finished the bell using the same method outlined in the instructions for the Knifty Christmas Bells.
  • Baby Bell
  • “Baby Bell” was done on the 5-peg end of the KK spool loom using one strand of yarn, e-wrap and knit for 6 rows. Rows 7 & 8 were done in a flat knit stitch. Finally, I decreased the pegs by placing the loop from peg one onto peg 2, then placing the loop from peg 3 onto peg 4 and leaving peg 5 as is. I used a gather bind off and finished similar to the instructions for the Knifty Christmas Bells, except I was working with only one strand of yarn instead of two.
The picture of the three bells shows the outcome and comparison in size of the bells. Height measurements are approximately as follows: Papa Bell – 3 inches, Mama Bell – 2¼ inches, and Baby Bell – 1¼ inches.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Mama's gotta brand new loom...

Saturdays here are pretty much the same around the old dome and yes, I live in a dome house (see right). It’s my DH’s only day off. (Also, just in case you’re not familiar with the DH abbreviation, check out Did you Know? The Use and Meaning of Internet Slang. A handy little bit of information in case you still live in the dark ages, like me, and have computer savvy kids communicate using these cryptic terms on IM). Anyhow, every Saturday we trek to Centre, Alabama where we hang around our cabin by the creek before journeying on to Cedar Bluff and over-eat at a place called Fibber’s, the best country buffet on the face of the earth. BTW - some of my best loom knitting has been done during the car trip from GA to AL and back. Today, the excitement of the usual routine was interrupted upon my arrival back at the dome. There on my doorstep was a package from DALooms containing my brand new ESG (3/8" Gauge) Wonderloom. I can hardly wait to test drive this baby on some of the projects that are dancing in my head. Yes, Christmas came early for me this year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Say "hello" to my little friends: Looms & tools

Now it's time to meet the real stars of this loom knitting blog, the looms and loom tools. I have created an album to display the looms & tools I have so far. As we speak, a brand new Wonderloom from DALooms is on its way (I can hardly wait). I'll update my photos when it arrives. In the meantime you can look at my loom related tools by clicking on the album link to the right.

I have only been looming part time since late August 2006 (just a few months), so my collection pales in comparison with many other loomers. Also, I've only had a chance to use about half the looms in my collection, but they are their waiting patiently for me.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Welcome to Loom Lady Land!

Today while I was giving thanks and eating turkey, I decided what this world needs is another blog........not just any blog, but a LOOM KNITTING blog. I'm fairly certain no is really interested in the mundane events of my everyday life, but I'm constantly asked about loom knitting by all those who see me drag my looms practically everywhere I go. So, I can now direct them to this "knifty" blog (no pun intended) for further investigation into a hobby that has become my latest mania. I've always been lousy at maintaining diaries and journals, so I've been very hesitant to blog. However, there must be an author in me that is struggling to escape. If you don't believe that, you should see my stash of blank books which exceeds my stash of yarn - so far. The blank books are yet another obsession that I'm clueless to understand, but this blog is about loom knitting so the issues surrounding the blank book addiction will need to be put on hold for the time being. For now, I'll just say "Welcome to Loom Lady Land!

Loom Lady