Monday, December 21, 2009

Little snowmen and an angel finger puppet

Althea Burger send this cute little snowman picture and instructions to me a month ago, but things got a little busy so it didn't get posted at that time. However, I wanted to make sure I shared this quickie design with my blog readers so you can have this little trio ready to sing Auld Lang Syne by New Year's Day.

Little Loomed Snowman

  • 12 peg KK flower loom
  • 5 or 6 peg spool loom.
  • White 4 ply yarn,( and small amounts of red & green for hat)
  • 7 Giant seed beads (4 black & 1 orange) for eyes,nose & buttons
  • Black pipe cleaner or chenille stem for arms
  • Yarn needle
  • Tiny pompom for hat (red, green or white)
  • Low temp glue & gun
  • White heavy hand quilting thread and bead needle
  • Craft or pillow stuffing
  • One 1" Styrofoam ball for head
  • 7 clear glass beads, small stones, or Poly Pellets for weight

Head & Body: With the 12 peg flower loom and white yarn, starting at head and working down, do drawstring cast on; knit for 36 rows. Cinch the drawstring cast on edge closed. Insert 1" Styrofoam ball up inside for head. (Note: I used the ball for the head on all my snowmen even if I used stuffing for the rest of their bodies for a neater appearance.) Stuff the rest of the body lightly and add about 7 glass beads or poly pellets for weight before you close the bottom opening. Thread white yarn onto yarn needle and thread it thru neck area and cinch it up to form the neck. Do the same with waist area.

Face & other features: Thread bead needle with white hand quilting thread and sew giant seed beads on head for a face: black for eyes and orange for nose. I didn't do a mouth. Sew black beads on body for buttons down the front.

Arms: Bend a tiny part of black pipe cleaner to hook into yarn needle eye and push needle and pipe cleaner thru middle section & out the other side of snowman for arms. Adjust arms until they look even and bend ends to look like fingers.

Scarf: Green or red yarn on 2 peg spool loom. Make a 30 row I-Cord.Tie off. Wrap & tie around neck area.

Hat: Using green or red yarn on 5 or 6 peg spool loom (I used a self made 6 peg Ioom), work a drawstring cast on and knit for 6 rows. Bind off loosely to make it look like a hat (Note: One suggestion would be to chain a stitch between each bind off stitch). Glue pom pom on top. Sew to top of snowman's head.

OPTIONAL: Add string to create a snowman ornament for your tree.

Angel Finger Puppet

Robin McCoy, from
Rockin' The Loom blog and several Yahoo loom knitting lists, recently emailed me about an angel finger puppet she made which was inspired by Althea's Ghost Angel pattern.
Here are her notes in case others would like to make one:
  • CO with drawstring cast on to the 8 peg end of the spool loom.
  • Knit approximately 6 rows; cinch the cast on edge closed; knit 14 more rows for a total of 20 rows.
  • BO with crochet bind off, chaining 3 stitches between each bind off stitch (Note: The ruffle look is cute for girl angels, but might just take it off with a loose gathered bind off and let it curl for boy angels).
  • Tear a tissue in half or use a small amount of fiberfill and form a ball, stuff this down into the tube, toward the cast on edge. Use a yarn needle and thread to cinch up the neck of the angel.
  • To make the wings, follow the same general instructions outlined for Althea's Ghost Angel, but use the 8 peg end of the spool loom and knit for the same 6 rows as the larger angel.
Robin states that she loves this little finger puppet and plans on making one for each child in her Sunday School class.

Thanks for sharing, Robin!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Snowman's Secret Towel Topper

This little project was worked up at the request of my friend, Tina, who lives in St. Augustine, FL. She made the Ms. Santa Towel Topper and challenged me to make a snowman topper. If you know me, you know that I love a challenge! So, on our weekly trek to our Alabama cabin near Centre, I designed the Snowman Towel Topper pictured above. While the actual design and knitting took a little less than two hours while riding in the car, adding details and finishing up took another hour or so at home. Now that I've worked out the pattern, I'm thinking you could make the whole thing in about an hour or so.

Now, what secret is this little Snowman hiding? Most towel toppers are physically attached to the towel , or they feature a decorative motif at the top of an exposed hook. This little fellow's towel is interchangeable, but the towel holder is completely hid beneath the topper body so you can switch the towel when it needs to be washed - or when you want to change the look of the snowman.

Towel holder ring on the underside of the snowman's body

If time permits, I'll try to write the PDF pattern up in the next few days. However, here are the general steps I used to make Snowman's Secret Towel Topper:
  • This topper-holder was knitted from the bottom up using two strands of white and black worsted weight yarn and the Knifty Knitter Flower Loom.
  • With the white yarn, work a three stitch picot cast on, then e-wrap knit stitches for twelve rows for the body. The e-wrap creates a looser knit in order to accommodate the towel.
  • Flat knit fourteen more rows to form the head.
  • Change to black yarn and knit seven e-wrap rows.
  • Using the hang hem technique, reach down to the first black row and place those stitches on the corresponding pegs and knit off this row to form the hat brim.
  • Flat knit six rows for the body of the hat, plus one e-wrap row for a total of seven rows.
  • Purl one row, then using the hang hem technique again, reach down two rows below and pick up the stitches from the e-wrap row. Knit off to form the crown edge of the hat.
  • Flat knit three rows to finish the crown.
  • Decrease the twelve stitches to form pairs from pegs (1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12); lay the working yarn across the pegs & knit off two over one; and shift the finished six stitches so there are no empty pegs between stitches. Tighten working yarn to remove slack, then flat knit a row without decreasing.
  • Decrease again by placing three of remaining six stitches onto the corresponding adjacent stitch to form three pairs of two loops. Lay the working yarn across the top of the two combined stitches and knit two over one. Shift these three stitches to consecutive pegs so no empty pegs are in between.
  • Using the three pegs from the previous step, work a four inch I-cord and finish with a decreased bind off.
  • Loop the end of the I-cord back about half way on itself to form a buttonhole.
  • Finish the face & hat by sewing a button to the edge of the hat crown to form the hanging loop, and adding beads, buttons or embroidery for face decorations. Add a very small amount of stuffing to the hat to shape - if necessary. Also, after shaping the hat, use a yarn needle and close the inside opening at the base of the hat with a few tack stitches.
  • Push a white shower curtain ring (or a large cabone ring - I couldn't find these, but the shower curtains are readily available and sturdier to boot) inside the head to shape. Run a gathering stitch around the neckline, cinch and tie off to form the neck.
  • Make the body towel hanger by pushing a second white shower curtain ring inside the body and whip-stitch to the base of the neck.
  • For the arms, using two strands of white yarn as one work a drawstring cast on using the five peg end of the Knifty Knitter Spool Loom. Knit using all five pegs until the I-cord is approximately eight inches long and work a decreased bind off leaving six inch yarn tail. Use a crochet hook and pull the arms through the "shoulder area" stitches on the body. (I pulled my in front of the ring). Even up the arms and tie them together in front. If necessary, tack them in place on the lower body.
  • For the scarf, work an alternating red & white (or the colors of your choice) I-cord using one strand of yarn on four pegs of the Knifty Knitter Spool Loom. Tie and tack in place around the neckline.
All you need to do now, is hang your favorite holiday towel in the body ring and attach the hanging loop on a cabinet drawer pull. Your finished towel should look something like this:
Hopefully, I'll add the PDF file in a few days and send a message to Loom Lore readers through Notify (see upper right of sidebar) to let you know when it is available for download.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Silly Santa

My friend, Althea Burger, has designed "Silly Santa", a decoration that she wanted to share with Loom Lore readers for a touch of holiday whimsy. Also, keep in mind when March rolls around, "Silly Santa" can become "Loony Leprechaun" for St. Patrick's Day by substituting green yarn for the red yarn and black for the bag transforms into a "pot o' gold". (Please note that this is for decorative purposes and not intended to be used with small children.) Here is her pattern, along with several Santa pics.

Silly Santa Claus Pattern

  • 12 peg Knifty Knitter Flower Loom
  • Knifty Knitter Spool Loom
  • Small amounts of 4 ply yarn in white, red, black, pink & green
  • White tiny buttons for coat
  • White and black craft foam or heavy felt
  • Bead needle and yarn needle
  • Crochet hook size E
  • Tiny white pom pom
  • Fiber fill stuffing
  • 1 " Styrofoam ball
  • Giant seed beads in black and red for eyes & nose
  • Heavy thread in white
  • Something to weight the bottom of Santa and his bag (I used glass stones)
  • Low temp glue and gun
  • Stick on Velcro (optional)

Head: Using the 12-peg Knifty Knitter Flower Loom work a drawstring cast on with pink yarn and knit for 7 rows.

Body: Change to red and knit 9 rows. Change to black to form a belt and knit 4 rows. Change to back to red and knit 15 rows. Put Styrofoam ball up inside for head and stuff body lightly. Add weight to bottom and draw string bind off.

Neck: Thread pink yarn in yarn needle and go thru last row of pink (in and out) to form a gathering string. Pull up tight and tie off.

Waist : Follow the same procedure used for the neck with black yarn at the waist, but do not pull too tight since Santa is on the plump side. Tie off. If you want a "fuller figured" Santa, just omit the gathering string at the waist.

Collar: With crochet hook E and white yarn, slip stitch into last row of pink and chain 3.Half double crochet around neck.Slip stitch to top of ch 3, then fasten off. If you are not comfortable with crocheting, you can work a two peg I-cord long enough to reach around the neck and whip stitch it place.

Hat : With red yarn on either the 5 or 8 peg end of the Knifty Knitter Spool Loom (Note: a self-made 6 peg loom was used in the sample), work a drawstring cast on and knit for 7 rows. Close up beginning cast on. Stretch out bottom of hat and bind off very loosely leaving a long yarn tail (approximately 12 inches). Stitch hat to the top of Santa's head and slip stitch all around bottom of hat to make a brim. Glue or sew white pom pom to top of hat.

Beard: With white yarn and crochet hook size E, slip stitch into one side of face up high just under the hat, where an ear should be. Continue working 9 more slip stitches in an arch down to bottom of face and around face to other side where other ear should be for a total of 10 slip stitches (5 on either side of the face). Turn, skip the first sl st, and sc in second stitch, hdc in third st, dc in the fourth st, tr in fifth st. Continue to the other side of the face working the same stitches in reverse: tr in the sixth st, dc in the seventh st, hdc in the eight st, sc in the ninth st, and slip stitch in the last st. Chain 2, turn and work a sc (or 2 sc) in stitches 2-9 along the edge. Slip st. to the tenth st and fasten off. Once again, if you are not comfortable crocheting the beard, you could work a 2 or 3 peg I-cord for about ten to twelve rows and whip stitch it to Santa's face.

Face : With white thread and beading needle, sew black seed beads for the eyes and red bead for the nose to the face.

Arms & legs: Using either the large pegs on the Spool Loom or the Flower Loom, make two 2 peg I-cords in red yarn for 36 rows or about 10 inches, one will be the arms and the other will be the legs.
Both the legs and arms are all one piece and can be pulled (gently) one direction or the other to position them. The length of the arms and legs can vary, depending on how silly or normal you want Santa to appear. Leave short yarn tails at both ends of the I-cords to attach the hands & feet. Pull the arms and legs through the corresponding locations on the body. Cut out hands and feet from craft foam or heavy felt as shown in the pictures below. For both the hands, thread yarn tails at the fold of the foam; and through the front for the feet.
Attaching hands to one end of I-cord arms

Attaching feet to one end of I-cord legs

Finish by gluing folded foam pieces together hiding thread ends inside. Optional: Glue tiny pieces of both sides of Velcro on hands (optional).This makes it easy to stick his hands on his hat, toy bag, etc...but it is hard on the yarn if you pull it off and on a lot.

Finishing: Sew buttons to front of body.

Santa's Toy Bag
Using the 12-peg Knifty Knitter Flower Loom and green yarn, work a drawstring cast on. Knit for 21 rows on 12 peg loom.Tie off beginning cast on and leave other end open. Bind off loosely and stretch out open end of bag.Stuff lightly with fiber fill (or chunks of stryofoam) and put weight in bottom of bag (optional). With a short length of green yarn,thread it thru the bag at about the 5th row from the open end . Pull tight and fasten off leaving tails for Santa to hold on to.

Silly Santa celebrating, because his PDF pattern can be download from here.