Thursday, July 05, 2012

Baby turtle shell

Loom Knitted "Baby Turtle Shell & Hat" made by Darlene Bordon. Photos courtesy of Roxanne Marie Photography.

Darlene Bordon, one of my blog readers, contacted me at the end of April and said that someone wanted her to make a turtle shell back and matching hat for a photo prop - similar to this picture. Since she doesn't crochet, but does loom knit, Darlene thought my Baby Gran Hexagon pattern would work just fine and she mainly needed advice on how to seam the hexagonal motifs together. I suggested that she use either the mattress stitch or whip stitch. Lion Brand also as an excellent photo tutorial that has become my favorite on How to Invisibly Seam Granny Squares


As you can see, Darlene's loom knitted Baby Turtle Shell & Hat worked great! A big "Thank You!!!" to both Darlene and Roxanne Marie Photography for sharing these precious photos and their creativity.

Here is an overall shot of just the Baby Turtle Shell & Hat:


If you have pictures of projects you have made from my patterns that you would like to share, please contact me.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Lovely loopy flowers

Red Loopy Flower with leaves added as a hair accessory.

Yahoo's LoomClass Group
is just finishing up a class that features my Patriot Pin from last year and I thought I would share with you a pattern that sort of evolved from that pattern called the Loopy Flower pattern. I made a couple of these for my husband's mother and aunt for Mother's Day brooches in white Homespun and lavender worsted weight.

Loopy Flowers as Mother's Day brooches

Then I got carried away experimenting with different techniques, yarns and alternate color combinations. Originally, I called this particular style of flowers "Hawaiian Star Flowers" because of the pretty color combinations and shape.
Hawaiian Starflowers

I was going to include the instructions in this blog post, but I decided to write it up as Loopy Flower PDF. That way I can actually find it when I get ready to make more.

Now, go out and loom a yarny garden! 

Pink & White Loopy Flower

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Watermelon koozie


My Quick Can Koozies and Patriot Pin are currently being taught on the Yahoo LoomClass Group by Pat Hathaway, a friend and fellow loom knitter. She has done such a wonderful job and inspired me to knit myself a new koozie using a "watermelon" theme for my water bottles.
When I first designed this little project, I had no idea how useful a koozie would be. These things will keep a drink cold even when left in a hot car for half an hour or more. Since they are made with acrylic yarn, they do not absorb the condensation from the bottle. The condensation is contained evenly by the knit stitches on the surface of the bottle, held inside or partially evaporated through the stitches, so your koozie stays dry to the touch with absolutely no water rings. As you can see I had no qualms about sitting the koozied bottle on my $26 art book to snap a quick picture in the front seat of our SUV.
For the watermelon koozie, I followed the Quick Can Koozies pattern with the following changes:
  • Rnds 12-13: knit in Buff
  • Rnds 14-38: knit in Pixie Pink
  • Rnds 39-40: knit in Buff
  • Rnds 41-46: work garter stitches as described in the pattern for Rnds 38-43.
  • Bind off with the "Basic Bind Off using Holding Pegs" as described below. This is identical to the basic bind off, except after binding off a stitch you place it back on the peg. This holds the stitch in place and prevents the bind off edge from becoming too tight.    
 Basic Bind Off using Holding Pegs
  1. Knit pegs 1 & 2 (I use a flat knit stitch for this method, because e-wrap stitch is too loose).
  2. Shift the loop from peg-2 to peg-1; knit the bottom loop over the top loop.
  3. Lift the loop from peg-1 and place it on peg-2. Use the loom hook to grab the outer strand of yarn on the stitch just beneath the stitch on peg-2 (this is the stitch created by the bind off you just did on peg-1) and place this stitch back on peg-1. For this pattern you will leave the stitch on peg-1 and work the bind off again after peg-24. This prevents a gap from forming along the rim.
  4. Tighten the stitch on peg-2 (where the working yarn is located) and proceed to the next peg.
  5. Knit peg-3.
  6. Place the loop from peg-3 on peg-2 and knit the bottom loop over the top loop.
  7. Return the loop to peg-3; as in step 3 above, grab the outer strand of yarn on the stitch just beneath the stitch on peg-3 and place it back on the peg-2 - which becomes a "holding peg". 
  8. Repeat the same procedure as outlined in steps 4-7, but this time after placing the loop on the "holding peg" (peg-3) you will remove the loop from the holding peg-2. Originally, I left all the loops on the holding pegs until the end of the row, but discovered that it stretched the bind off edge too much. By placing the loop on the holding peg and simultaneously removing the previous loop from the holding peg you will have just the right amount of stretch.    
  9. Repeat Step 8 until the end of the row.
  10. After binding off the last stitch, in this case it will be peg-1 again, wrap and knit once more; cut yarn and pull through the last loop to tie off bind off edge.
  11. Use a crochet hook to tidy up the ending yarn tail.

    I promise that you will absolutely love the way this bind off works - not too tight, not too loose
  • To finish up, I embroidered "seeds" using one strand of the chunky weight black yarn and the duplicate stitch. There should be three rows of six seeds per row, but I messed up and ended up with five seeds per row which threw everything off. Below is a chart that shows the correct placement of the seeds. You may decide to adjust spacing between the rows depending on how tall or short you make your koozie.

This bottle koozie is just a bit taller than the original, because it was made to fit the tall 17-20 ounce water bottles. This pattern is easy to customize for cans and smaller bottles by decreasing the rows. You can also make this same pattern using the 30-31 peg large gauge looms to fit 2-liter bottles and even add an I-cord or knitted handle similar to the this Lion Brand pattern, Americana Knitted Evaporative Beverage Cooler.

Complete pattern is available as a PDF by clicking below:
Watermelon Koozie PDF

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bookmark exchange


Yahoo's Markman Looms Group recently hosted a bookmark exchange for it's members. My exchange partner was Yvonne Westover, who sent me not one, but three lovely bookmarks that she knitted on a loom she made herself. I absolutely love these bookmarks and wanted to share a photo of them with my blog readers (pictured above).

Pictured below are the two bookmarks that Yvonne received from me.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pile-o-puffs

  
The "Hexagonal Geopuffs" will arrive as a project on Yahoo's LoomClass, Monday, May 14-26, 2012. These little motifs, designed for the 12-peg large gauge flower loom, were inspired by the beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs, a needle knitting design by Stephanie Dosen of tiny owl knits. Both the Geopuffs and the Hexipuffs are reminiscent of Victorian Era biscuit or puff quits, which were made with individually stuffed square "puffs" and sewn together to make a quilt. Also, they can be left unstuffed and used a coaster.

Other than being six-sided puff motifs, the geopuffs and hexipuffs are a bit different. The original needle knitted hexipuffs are made from the bottom to the top on the knitting needles using sock yarn and require seaming. The loom knitted geopuffs are made from center-to-center using regular worsted weight yarn and require no seaming. Also, since the latter design is formed from the center outward, it tends to be more consistently symmetrical, and is a good alternative design for those of us who are not needle knitters. 

The term "geopuff" comes from the basic geometric shape. The hexagonal geopuff is the first in a series of geometric puff motifs that I hope to develop. These will include squares, rectangles, triangles and trapezoids.

Currently, the pattern will only be offered in outline format through LoomClass to accompany the explanations of the techniques which will be posted via the LoomClass message board. The complete tutorial pattern, which will include all the geometric puffs, will be available at a later date.

Hope to see you in class!! 

June 2012 UPDATE: 

 Hexagonal Geopuff Pattern with links to the YouTube video tutorial series is now available by clicking the pattern link in this announcement and in the Pattern Box in the right sidebar.

Monday, April 16, 2012

LoomTech column in LKC

The 2012 Spring edition of the Loom Knitters' Circle (LKC) e-zine is now available and packed full of creative patterns, features and other invaluable information. We even have our very own "loomy comics" called, Side Stitch, by a very talented young lady, Megan Dailey. (Note: past issues of LKC are available here.)

I'm always excited with the publication of each issue of LKC, but this current issue was very special to me. It was not only published on my birthday, April 15, but includes a new column that I will be writing called LoomTech. In each issue, I will focus on specific knitting techniques as they apply to the knitting looms and include a pattern that will allow the reader to "loom & learn" the featured technique. The current LoomTech article is "An introduction to slip-stitch knitting" as an easy way to add color to loom knitted projects. The slip-stitch technique is demonstrated with a project pattern dishcloth designed especially for the large gauge looms called "Bunnies in the Garden" (shown above). Once you get into the rhythm of the stitch pattern for this dishcloth, you can easily make one in about two hours (more or less). 

I would love to hear feedback and/or suggestions for future topics for the LoomTech column.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Wild hares

Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochi Land is the master of tiny knit creations and one of my favorite amigurumi artist.  Winners from her recent Tiny Baby Bunny Contest are currently being featured on the Mochimochi Blog. I did a loom knit version of her free Tiny Bunny pattern for the contest, but my time was limited and the competition was fierce. Never-the-less, these were such fun to make and easily converted to the loom.

My loom knit Tiny Bunnies were made using the 10-peg CindWood Thumb Loom and one strand of Red Heart Super Saver in assorted Easter colors. For the bunny's body, I used the drawstring cast on, flat knit for ten rounds and did a gathered bind off. The I-cord ears were also done on the same thumb loom using two pegs. Otherwise, I basically followed the original pattern.

These are great if you need a quick "basket-stuffer" for Easter. 


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Autism Awareness Day, April 2nd


As usual, I'm always late, but I just discovered this last Friday "Light It Up Blue" as a symbol for World Autism Awareness Day. I had a battle with food poisoning over the weekend, so we only did simple LED blue light lanterns for the doorway this year. Next year will be better - I hope.

A sign of the times??

About.com states that, "Autism was first described as a unique disorder in the 1940s. In the early 1990s, autism diagnoses began to soar. In the 10 years between 1993 and 2003, the number of American schoolchildren with autism diagnoses increased by over 800%."

The CDC Data and Statistics for Autism Spectrum Disorder indicates a rise in autism prevalence from 1 in 150 children in 2004 to 1 in 88 as of 2008. Please note that the data is for children whose birth year is 8 years prior to the surveillance year. So if I'm understanding this correctly, this does not include children born after the year 2000. If this is the case, the statistics may be an even higher ratio than indicated on the CDC data. Never the less, this is a tremendous increase from 1 to 2 in 10,000 in 1980. To sum it up, autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States.

Get all the facts about autism from Autism Speaks.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lucky leprechaun mug hug

"To-go" coffee cup lids have always reminded me of little hats and when I saw this houndstooth-check stoneware cup with the little black "top hat" lid at Michaels, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, what better way to drink your Irish coffee than in a mug wrapped in a leprechaun mug hug in colors of the Irish flag

Lucky Leprechaun Mug Hug
Size: 4 inches tall for a 16 oz. mug
Materials
  • 24-peg round Knifty Knitter loom
  • Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Paddy Green, White and Pumpkin; Black for embroidering face
  • Yarn needle
Instructions
(Decrease rows in each section for a smaller cup or mug)
  1. With two strands of green held as one, cast on using chain cast on method.
  2. Work garter stitch pattern (alternating between flat knit rows and purl rows, ending on a knit row). The green area should measure between 1 inch and 1.25 inches, or about 4 garter stitch ridges.
  3. Change to white and flat knit for about 12 rows or 2 inches
  4. Change to orange and work the garter stitch pattern as in Step 2. (You should have the same number of garter stitch ridges in orange as you did for the green, but I got sidetracked and added an extra one on mine...oops!)
  5. Work a loose basic chain bind off by knitting peg-1 and peg-2 to begin; move the loop from peg-1 to peg-2 and knit the bottom loop over the top loop; return the loop to the original peg. *Working with pairs of pegs and the working yarn at the first peg, knit the second peg and return it to the first peg, knit the bottom loop over the top loop and return it to the second peg.* Repeat between *'s until all pegs have been removed from the loom.
    (Note: When using this method to bind off, I immediately replace each "bind off stitch" back on the empty peg as a "spacer loop" to avoid a "too tight" bind off edge and continue the bind off procedure. After completing the bind off, I remove all the "spacer loops" from the pegs. This results in a bind off that closely matches the cast on edge tension.)
  6. Finishing:
    Beard: Use 12 pegs, one strand of orange and chain cast on, work the following modified chain bind off:  *flat knit three times on first peg, one time on the second, return the loop from the second peg to the first and knit one-over-one; return the loop to the second peg; tighten the stitches after each bind off. Repeat from * until bind off is complete on all pegs. Using the picture as guide, whip stitch the beard in place.
    Face: With black, embroider two French knots for eyes and a "V" shaped mouth. Thread the yarn needle with white and embroider a "puffy" nose by working loosely back and forth in the ladders between knit stitches.
    Tie off and secure all the yarn tails.

Little Hearts Shamrocks
Here's another quick little St. Paddy's Day project based on the Little Hearts pattern from the previous post.

All you need for these sweet little shamrocks is the directions for the Little Loom-knit Hearts with the following modifications:
  • Use one strand of green on any of the following: 12-peg Flower Loom or either end of the Knifty Knitter or Boye spool loom. 
  • Make the hearts following the general directions for the Little Hearts, but to prevent curling work purl stitches on the odd rows and knit stitches on the even row. Also, on the purl row you need to flat knit the last stitch to retain a nice chain edge when slipping the next row. 
  • If you are using the 8-peg end of the spool loom, you will need adjust the bind off edge so the point of the heart is formed between pegs 4 and 5. When making these on the 5-peg end of the spool loom, I leave off the extra chain stitches near the beginning and end of the rows and work the heart point between peg-2 and peg-3. This results in a shamrock leaf that is a little off-center, but they still look pretty good (see center shamrock pictured above).
  • Make three "heart-shaped" leaves. Turn the leaves upside down and place them back on the loom using the small opening at the point of the hearts and three pegs on the loom. Attach a new strand of green yarn to the pegs and work a 3-stitch I-cord, tightening the tension after each stitch, until the stem is about 1 to 1.5 inches long. Shape the leaves and secure all yarn tails.
  • Add a pin or a magnet to use as a fridgie to the back.
Now, wear your shamrock and pour yourself some Irish coffee in celebration! I leave you with this toast:
May your troubles be less,
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness,
Come through your door.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Little loom-knit hearts


Here they are, under the wire for Valentine's Day, I give you my "Little Loom-Knit Hearts".  I have admired all those cute little crocheted hearts that I've seen out there on the Net and just knew there must be a way to create them on the loom. I kicked that thought around for a several years, but the more I tried to "think" it through, the more elusive the solution seemed to be. So, yesterday when I wasn't consciously thinking about much of anything (a habit of late), I had an "loomy heart" epiphany. I had to wait until bedtime to try it out, but as evident from the little red heart in the middle of the above heap, everything worked to my "heart-felt" satisfaction. I'm sorry these arrived so late, but epiphanies seem to ignore scheduled appearances. 

To proof my instructions, I whipped off about ten more of these bad boys to go with the two initial red hearts I made last night. However, once you get started, you are sure to have a "heart-attack", because these things are habit forming. I kept wanting to make one in pink, another in yellow, lavender, or white, etc. and the next thing I knew I had a dozen little hearts in no time at all. I'm including the general directions in this blog post with hopes your enjoy these as much as I have.

Little Loom-Knit Hearts Instructions

Size: 2 inches (size can be altered 1/4 inch in either direction by adding or decreasing rows)

Materials
12-peg Knifty Knitter Flower Loom
Small amount of worsted weight yarn (use two strands as one)
Crochet hook - size G 

Instructions
(Note: These instructions are written from the perspective of the pegs being numbered in a counterclockwise direction.)
  1. CO using drawstring cast on method. (Note: The original instructions for the drawstring cast on are listed in the right sidebar. I do this a bit differently now, but the original instructions should work.)
  2. Rows 1-2: Flat knit both rows in rounds.
  3. Row 3: With the working yarn at peg-12, slip the current peg and flat knit from peg-11 back to peg-1.
  4. BO: Begin bind off by slipping peg-1, flat knit peg-2 and move the loop to peg-1; knit bottom loop over the top loop and return the loop to peg-2.
  5. Bring the working yarn counterclockwise in front of peg-2 and across peg-3 to flat knit both pegs; move the loop from peg-3 to peg-2, knit the bottom loop over the top loop and return loop to peg-3.
  6. Continue binding off pegs 3-5 as outlined in Step 4 and stop when pegs 1-5 are empty and the working yarn is at peg-6
  7. With the working yarn at peg-6, bring the yarn in a clockwise direction from behind the peg, flat knit one stitch and repeat for a total of two stitches. Tighten the stitch and reverse the yarn in a counterclockwise direction (still on peg-6), flat knit two more stitches. (Reversing the direction creates the bottom point of the little heart.)
  8. Proceed with the bind off again following the basic procedure outlined in Step 4. Stop when the working yarn is at peg-10 and pegs 1-9 are empty.
  9. With the working yarn at peg-10, repeat the procedure in Step 5 to add a little extra stitch to the curved edge of the heart top.
  10. Finish the basic bind off on the last peg and flat knit an extra stitch before cutting the ending yarn tail and pulling it through the last stitch.
  11. Finishing: Cinch the drawstring cast on opening shut with the beginning yarn tail on the right side of the heart. Use a crochet hook to pull the drawstring tails to the wrong side, then bring the yarn tail over the top indention and back through the center to the wrong side again and tighten to close the cast on edge. (You may want to leave a small opening or cinch it completely shut - it up to whatever appeal to you. You can see examples of both methods below.) Next, hook the ending yarn tail at the base of the ending stitch and pull it to the wrong side. Finish by tying the beginning and ending yarn tails in a square knot. Trim and secure the yarn tails.
Now, make a whole garland of these cuties in all the colors of the rainbow or just make one or two to wear as a pin and a token of your love! Happy Valentine's Day!


UPDATE: Lucy Earle (aka darkfaewitch) has made a YouTube video demonstrating this pattern from start to finish. Thank you, Lucy, for making the Little Loom-Knit Hearts video!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hot lips tawashi...showered in kisses

My hubby had to take a business trip to Uruguay last month and since most of the hotels there do not furnish bath cloths, I decided to make a special tawashi for him so he could remember how much I love him while he was away. The results is my "Hot Lips Tawashi", which was inspired by my daughter's Hot Lips Phone that she had as a teenager about twenty years ago.


This tawashi was was designed in garter stitch for the 24-peg large gauge round loom using two strands of Red Heart Super Saver in Cherry Red. In lieu of a written pattern for this project, I decided to do a chart; however, I will try to clarify a few things in the following notes:
  • The numbers at the bottom of the chart represent the pegs and go from left to right.
  • The numbers along the left side indicate the rows. It is strongly suggested that you print off the chart and check each row as you complete it so you don't get lost.
  • Cast on is done using a crochet or chain cast on starting on peg-8 and ending on peg-16.
  • The first stitch in each row is slipped (sl1) leaving a nice chained effect along the edge.
  • Shaping is done by lifted increases (li), slip slip knit (ssk), and knit two together (k2tog).
  • The embroidery and hanger loop, done in white or pink, is a crocheted chain. The lip line is formed by pinning and stitching the chain in place.
  • To further accentuate the "heart-shaped" upper lip, a strand of yarn is used to gather the mid-top of the lips as indicated on the chart. 
The "Hot Lips Tawashi Chart" may be accessed by clicking on the title at the beginning of this sentence or from the Pattern Box in the right sidebar. Once the project is underway it works up very quickly. So, knit one up for your sweetie and "shower your Valentine in kisses" on this special day!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 projects at a glance

 
Taking the lead from June Gilbank from PlanetJune, I decided to make a photo montage of most of the projects I have completed during 2011. I say "most" of the projects, because this montage does not include eight baby hats I designed for Simplicity Creative Group. Also, not included are three UFO projects (Christmas Hat for my grandson, a baby blanket, an adult turtleback shrug) and another project that I have initiated in the past few days. 

As you may have noticed, many of the projects pictured have not been featured in past blog posts. Copyright issues have become such a problem, that I refrain from posting many things that I would have gladly shared in the past. While I have never charged for anything, I do expect to be given credit when credit is due.

So, what's in store for 2012? I have no idea! I quit making resolutions many years ago, because I tend to be a "spontaneous" person who works on whatever inspires me at any given moment. If I make resolutions, I feel locked into a predetermined set of goals, laying inspiration aside, and then when the year is over I feel like a complete failure when I don't meet my original expectations.

So stay tuned and see what "mania" Loom Lore's wild ride will take in 2012.