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

Materials:
  • 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
Directions

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


Materials:
  • 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)
Directions

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.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ms. Santa Towel Topper

Need a helper for the holidays? Ms. Santa Towel Topper is handy in the kitchen or she can just hang around and brighten your day. All you need is a 12-peg Knifty Knitter Flower Loom, 5-peg end of the Knifty Knitter Spool Loom, a small red towel, small amounts of yarn in red, white and flesh tone and about an hour (more or less).

This towel topper was designed about three years ago, but I never posted the pattern. Before she was forever lost, I decided to add the pattern to my Pattern Box on the right, or you can click here to download. Ms. Santa has always been a favorite with my grandchildren, so I hope she brings a little happiness to you, too.

Update: Here is a Ms. Santa Towel Topper knitted by Tina in St. Augustine, FL. I love the contrasting green towel.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tiny Tim Turkey

Althea Burger, who designed the Ghost Angel, has created "Tiny Tim Turkey" just in time for Thanksgiving. She also wanted to share the directions with other loom knitters who read my blog. Thank you, Althea, talking the time to write the instructions and send me pictures of your crafty projects. We will be seeing more of Althea's projects in the future.

Talking turkey (pattern instructions)
(PDF version here)

Materials

  • Spool loom or 2 pegs on any loom for I-cord
  • 24 peg loom (KK blue loom)
  • 12 peg loom(KK flower Loom)
  • Small amounts single strand 4 ply yarn (gold, dark brown, black, red and variegated fall colors for tail feathers)
  • 1" Styrofoam ball for head
  • Low temp glue & gun
  • Google eyes
  • 12" chenille stem (brown or black) for feet
  • Fiberfill stuffing
  • Size G crochet hook
  • Yarn Needle

Body
  • With the 12-peg flower loom and gold yarn do the drawstring cast on.
  • Knit in the round for 31 rows.
  • Draw up and close the cast on edge.
  • Work a gathered bind off on the last row; tie off and remove from loom leaving an 8” yarn tail at end.
  • Stuff and close up bottom end; thread yarn tail onto yarn needle and stitch up thru middle of body and back down several times. Pull tight to make indentation. Tie off.
Fan Tail
  • Using variegated fall colored yarn and the 24-peg large gauge loom work a drawstring cast on.
  • Knit for 12 rows.
  • Cinch the drawstring yarn tail to close the cast on edge and tie off.
  • After completing row 12, cut the working yarn leaving a yarn tail long enough to wrap around the loom plus about 4” extra. Bind off by threading a yarn needle with the long yarn tail then sewing up thru the loops and taking them off the pegs. Tie off very loosely.
  • After removing from the loom, stretch out other end (see the Ghost Angel wing directions) to make a flat circle shape; fold circle in half to make crescent shape; sew up open edges loosely and sew completed tail to back of body above the center bind off indention. Spread out like a fan.
Neck
  • Using the spool loom or two pegs of any loom and dark Brown yarn make an I-Cord for 8 rows.
  • Bind off and leave yarn tails at both ends.
  • Sew one end to center of body where indentation is and other end to top of body where the head will go.
Head
  • With the 12 peg loom and dark brown yarn work a drawstring cast on.
  • Knit for 6 rows.
  • Cinch the drawstring yarn tail from the cast on edge close and tie off.
  • Do a gathered bind off after finishing row 6 and leave a yarn tail at end. Remove from the loom, but do not close the bind off edge shut.
  • Insert 1" foam ball into the head and draw up the bind off yarn tail tight around the ball and sew whole thing to top of body at top of neck.
Legs
One 12" chenille stem. Fold a little bit of the stem so you can hook it to a big yarn needle and thread it thru the bottom of the body (with the needle) for the feet. Bend both the ends of the stem to look like toes (see photo below).

Beak
Using a crochet hook and the gold yarn, chain 3 and double crochet three times in third chain from hook. Slip stitch into top of chain three. Leave yarn tail and sew to front of head. (Note: If you cannot crochet, you can work a 3 row I-cord and shape it to make the beak.)

Waddle
With the crochet hook, chain 4 with red yarn. Sew to side of beak. Glue on eyes to each side of beak.

Wings
Make long loose stitches with YARN NEEDLE in dark brown yarn 6 or 7 times in same spot on either side of body. Spread stitches out to look like wings.

Beard
One short length of black yarn (about 5 1/2 " long) folded in half and sewed to front of neck.With yarn needle,separate the 4 ply stands of the yarn, fluff a little, and trim. Pull the beard into position in the center front of the turkey.

Finishing
Make a “back support stitch” with yarn needle and dark brown yarn several times at the bottom back of body to make ledge to support the body and keep it from tipping over. (Note: I use Poly Pellets, which is available at most craft stores where stuffing is sold, in the base when stuffing toys for added base weight.)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Ghost angel

When my good friend Althea Burger wanted to make a little loom knitted angel, she decided to modify Boo-Ella, my little Halloween ghost, and I just love what she did. Pictured above is Althea's ghost and angel, which sort of looks like a knitted version of your good & bad conscience. Here's how Althea took the pattern from being "bad to good":

The angel is knit from the head down using the 12 peg KK flower loom and a single strand of 4 ply yarn. To begin, work a drawstring cast on and knit 28 rows; this forms the head and the body.

Close the cast on edge by cinching the beginning drawstring. Bring the yarn tails to the inside and tie off. When I made Boo-Ella, I did a picot bind off. However, Althea didn’t do anything fancy, just threaded a needle thru the loops, took them off the pegs, and tied it off very loosely.(Note: If you wanted to add a little more ruffle to the skirt edge, you could work a basic flat bind off and add one or two extra chain stitches to each peg by knitting off the same peg once or twice during the bind off procedure.
)

After removing the angel from the loom, stretch the bottom to shape it into a flared skirt or let the edge curl up just a little; the effect you get here depends on the type bind off you used. If you did the needle thru the loops bind off, then the skirt will curl just a little. If you did extra stitches between the bind off stitches, the skirt will flare out just a bit.

The head is just a 1 "Styrofoam ball stuffed up inside and some yarn threaded thru the neckline on a yarn needle, which is pulled tight and tied off. Embroider eyes and mouth.

The wings are made in two pieces and stitched together. To make one wing, use the 12-peg flower loom and do a drawstring cast on. Knit for 6 rows; finish the cast on and bind off edge the same way you did the angel’s body. After removing from the loom, stretch out the open edge (step 1, pictured below), mash the bell shape flat to form two halves and sew the open edges together matching the stitches (step 2, pictured below). This completes one wing (step 3, pictured below). Make another wing and sew the two wings together where the cinched cast on edges meet. Sew the wings onto the back as one piece along the center-line.
The halo is simply a plastic wedding ring used as a party decoration from Wal-Mart. It has a cut in it which allows you to spread it apart, attach it to the stitches of the head, and snap shut so it stays there.

The arms are knit as one piece using two pegs to create a 13 row I-cord. Use the drawstring cast on for it, too. Be sure to leave about a 3 inch yarn tail at both ends. Thread one tail in a yarn needle and push it thru the body below the head on one side and out the other side. Adjust the arms so they are both the same length and tie the tails so it looks like praying hands.


This is optional, but you can tie a jingle bell up inside the angel or make some angels in pastel colors, too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mr. Bee Happy

Jennifer Coldren has created the cutest little bumble bee pattern for the Knifty Knitter 12 peg flower loom. Thank you, Jennifer for sharing your talent!

Now, here's all the info:
"Mr. Bee Happy" Knifty Knitter Flower Loom Pattern"

The cutest miniature bee knit entirely on the Knifty Knitter Flower Loom. Easy to do, knit as one piece on the loom.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Granny's rose

The recent Hexed Granny Motif was such a hit that the loom knitted granny square tutorial is in the works. This post is a quick glimpse of the upcoming tutorial. In an effort to keep the tutorial as simple as possible I thought it best to start with a basic generic granny square instead of the more complex hexagonal granny. While unable to physically knit over the past week, I've been mentally knitting the loomy granny motif. Today, I finally had a chance to sit down (if you don't count jumping up every three minutes to extract my granddaughter from countless "no-no's") and test knit the tutorial square. The result is the Granny Rose Square pictured above.

Colors: When selecting colors for these squares I've found that nature provides the best color combinations. The color scheme on the square above reminds me of a rose bud pattern woven into a beautiful bedspread that my Grandmother used on special days when I was a child - thus the name, Granny's Rose. By substituting a different floral color (coral, violet, yellow, blue), the square acquires a new look. By the way, my initial impression of granny squares was not a good one, mainly due to the hideous color combination in outlandish projects of the seventies (example). While this is a good stash buster project, please think before you randomly pick up the lavender, chartreuse and florescent orange yarn. For a visual treat in color planning, visit Attic24 and click on the Crochet Category in the left sidebar.

Size: Basic granny squares are typically six inch crocheted squares with five concentric rows. For the loom knitted version, I decided on a smaller three row square utilizing a super bulky weight yarn which resulted in a four & one-half inch square when knitted on the large gauge Knifty Knitter Looms. However, by using the basic granny square formula, it would be very easy to add two more rows if you want a larger square.

Yarn: By using the super bulky Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick only one strand of yarn was necessary to produce the desired look of the motif. You could substitute two strands of regular worsted weight yarn, but this technique requires picking up & placing stitches back on the pegs which makes it easier in the beginning if you are working with just one strand.

Looms: The red center of the motif above was made on the Knifty Knitter 12-peg Flower Loom. The remainder of the motif was knit using two pegs of a Hobby Lobby version of the Knifty Knitter 24-peg Round Loom. The Flower Loom could have been used for the entire project, but as the motif gets larger it is cumbersome to work through the small center of the Flower Loom. Since you are only using two pegs, any of the large gauge looms can be used for everything but the center.

Every time I use the crochet techniques on the loom, I make new discoveries and correct previous errors. Hopefully, this will make it better for others who decide to attempt this slightly fiddly technique. The two five & three year old grandchildren that live with us start to school Monday, so the tutorial should be ready in a few days.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hair today, gone tonight

Every have one of those days when you look in the mirror and just can't take it anymore? Husband's out of town; three year old is climbing everything in the house; five year old is running wide open with a barking Chihuahua in pursuit; house needs cleaning; knitting to be done; and a fifteen year old Maltese follows and watches my every move in case my lap becomes available. Oh, there's plenty more, but I'm sure you get the picture. Today was a day of drastic measures - the hair had to go before I pulled it out. I usually avoid cameras, but decided on a whim to snap a before and after picture so you could see the "lady behind the loom".
Noon today (before)


Tonight (after)

Also, I discovered two or three months ago that I have a severe gluten allergy, in addition to being diabetic. This has prompted another major lifestyle change in dietary habits since I not only have to limit sugar and carbohydrates, but I'm now eating a gluten free diet. However, this has all been for the better, because I have lost close to 4o pounds over the past few months; dropped from a 2X to a 16 in clothing so far (I had gotten much larger than I was in this picture here); and I've had to cut back more than half on the amount of insulin I was taking.

I'm feeling better and better every day! Now, I just need to work on the makeup & exercise. Getting older sure requires a lot of maintaince.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Hexed & perplexed

More experimentation - this is becoming "The Blog of the Mad Loomer." However, I think I've totally slipped this time and blurred the indelible line between knitting and crocheting. Oops, I forgot some folks don't consider loom knitting as "real" knitting; oh well, I laugh in the face of restrictive labeling and enter forbidden territory with careless abandon....ha, ha!! With that I present to you Hexed, a loom knitted hexagonal granny square based on crochet instructions.

Now you might ask, "Why not just crochet this little motif?" The answer to that started about three years ago, when I gradually got to where the numbness, tingling, cramping and pain became unbearable every time I tried to crochet. It was at this time I discovered the knitting looms and a alternative instrument for crafting yarn became a new passion. Even though it was love at first stitch, the looms do have some limitations that must be overcome or worked around, which for me is half the fun.


Hexed is one of those designs that was born out of an attempt to overcome the limitations of the loom. It is not my original design, but my translation of a crochet pattern from Attic24: Hexagon How-to as applied to the knitting looms. Since it is not my original design, I will not go into specifics regarding how it was made on the knitting loom, but I will give you some general guidelines.

Hexed was made using one strand of worsted weight yarn throughout in four different colors (Red Heart Super Saver in Aran white & lt. gold; Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in brick; Red Heart Soft in tangerine). The loomer's magic circle (see Watermelon Tutorial Pattern) made on the KK 12-peg Flower Loom formed the center. The remainder of Hexed was knitted on two pegs of the DA Loom's Regular Gauge Set Sampler. I used this loom because of its compact size and ease of use. Also, the gauge was compatible, though smaller, than the large gauge KK Loom. However, two pegs of any of the KK looms could have been used. Most of the stitches were made very similar to those used in the August Sun motif, except all the stitches were made through the whole stitch instead of just the back loop. When knitting through the whole stitch, both the front and back part of the stitch has to be picked up and placed back on the peg. If you have not used a fairly loose tension, this will be the most difficult part of knitting this design. I came close to giving up at this point, but finally worked through it with a mental note to keep the stitches looser the next time.

In order to get a side-by-side comparison, I had to endure the numbness and agony to crochet the counterpart. Here's quick visual comparison of the loom knitted motif (left) and the crocheted motif (right) made using the same pattern:
The loom knitted version took just a little longer to make, but most of that was because I had to work through the stitch translation. The crocheted version at 4.5 inches across is a bit larger compared to the loom knitted version an even 4 inches. Finally, the crocheted design is more defined than the knitted version, but this may be due to my faulty translation.

As for being perplexed, I'm not really sure how you classify a technique that is made entirely on a loom using knit stitches translated from a crochet pattern. However, if you are interested in learning this technique, plus it makes a great coaster. All comments are welcome. If there is enough interest, I'll work up a tutorial.

Monday, August 03, 2009

August sun motif

My next blog post was going feature the brim I added to my short row hat, but things change. I had what's know as an epiphany regarding the edging techniques. This idea sort of grew out of several other edging experiments, but so far this one is my favorite. Most all the other techniques were based on I-cords in some variation or other; however, this one is not. In addition to the "shell stitch" petals, the center was revamped to form a more perfect circle.

To make this sun motif, I used two strands held as one of Red Heart Super Saver in Aran for the center and one strand in Gold for the petals. The twelve stitches of the LMC are doubled on the third row differently from the Watermelon Coaster. The Row 3 stitch sequence for each of the twelve stitches in the LMC are knitted as follows on two pegs of any large gauge Knifty Knitter Loom - I used the 48-peg Purple Hat Loom and worked in the back loops of the stitches:

Center
  1. Rows 1 & 2: The Loomer's Magic Circle (LMC) as described in the Watermelon Coaster Tutorial forms the first two rows.
  2. Row 3: Add the beginning loop to the right peg, wrap and knit off three times. This forms the beginning stitch.
  3. Still working in the first base stitch, place this loop on the left peg, wrap and knit off three times. Work a lifted bind off stitch as described in the Watermelon Coaster Tutorial. You now have completed two stitches in the back loop of the first LMC stitch.
  4. Lift the back loop of the next LMC stitch and place it on the left peg. *(Wrap and knit off three times; work the lifted bind off.) Place the same LMC stitch back on the left peg and repeat (*) once for a total of two stitches in the first LMC stitch.
  5. Repeat Step 4 for the remaining ten LMC stitches. End by hooking the last loop through the back loop of the first stitch. You should have 24 stitches for this row.
  6. Row 4: Work as for Row 3, but only increase every other stitch for a total of 36 ending stitches. End row as in Step 4 and tie off.
Petals
  1. Form a slip knot with one strand of the gold yarn and attach it in the back loop anywhere along the white edge. Wrap and knit off once.
  2. Lift the next back loop and place it on the left peg. (Note: The next five stitches will be worked in this same loop): *Wrap and knit off 3 times; work a lifted bind off. Repeat from * five times, but wrap and knit off 5 times on the third stitch - this forms the pointed petal.
  3. (Lift the next back loop, wrap and knit off once) repeat once.
  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3, ending with one single wrap stitch and tie off. There should be thirteen petals (lucky, lucky).
Just in case you're wondering what the backside looks like (we sometimes wonder about stuff like that), here you go:

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Sunflower trio

I love sunflowers! One of my first loom knitted flower projects was a sunflower. Since I've been on a coaster kick, I thought I would update the original sunflowers into coasters. Actually, these could be used not only as coasters, but also for decorative trim on other items as well. I intended to post these pictures a couple of weeks ago, but I just haven't found the time to blog lately. I've already moved on to several other projects, but I wanted to share my sunflowers with you. The center of these were made using the same technique I used for the first four rounds of the Watermelon Coasters. After that, I experimented with several different I-cord edgings for the yellow petals. The edging in all these were knitted directly on the edge of the brown center using two pegs on the Knifty Knitter Flower Loom; however, any large gauge loom could be used. Caron Simply Soft in yellow and brown were used on these three flowers.

Single edging
This is the first sunflower coaster with the simple single edging:

The first petal was created by using two strands of yellow yarn as one and attaching it to one of the back loops on the brown edge to create the first loop. I then picked up the back loop of the next brown stitch and attached it to the adjacent peg to create the second loop. Using these two loops, I worked a five stitch I-cord and ended the petal by wrapping the second peg, knit off, lift and place the this loop on the first peg and knit off. To complete this petal and start the second one, count the next three free stitches from the I-cord stitch, lift the back loop of the third stitch and place it on peg next to I-cord bind off stitch. Repeat the five stitch I-cord sequence for the next petal. If you counted correctly, you should end up with twelve yellow petals.

Ruffled edging
The second flower has an extra full ruffled edging:

Again I started with the first four rounds as used with the Watermelon Coasters. This will give you thirty-six chain stitches along the brown outer edge of the center. The petals were a variation of the previous sunflower, but much fuller. This was accomplished by using a three stitch I-cord, which makes a dense petal and attaching the petals on every second free stitch. If counted correctly you should end up with twenty-four petals - I have twenty-five and refused to frog it.

Double edging
This flower started the same way as the others, but has a double I-cord edging:

I started this flower by recreating the single edge flower as described above. The second I-cord edging was created exactly the same as for the single edging, but instead of a five stitch I-cord I did a seven stitch I-cord before the bind off stitch.

I've really been enjoying the two-peg knitting technique. As soon as I get a chance, I'll show you a variation of this technique as applied to the brim of my Autumn Skullcap. I just know that you're gonna love it!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Watermelon coaster

This loom knitted coaster was inspired by the many crocheted watermelon coasters I've seen floating around the net. Also, this is the perfect summertime knitting project: small, fast and practical for those iced hot weather drinks. I completed the first of these coasters during a car trip on our weekly trek to the Marcus Institute in Atlanta. In case you're wondering, my husband was driving :-)

This felted coaster was made using the Knifty Knitter Flower Loom and two strands of medium weight Lion Brand Wool in rose, green, white & black. The completed coaster was hand felted on the stove top. This is the coaster before felting:

This coaster was made very similar to the Patriotic Coaster (see previous post), but dramatically updated. The picture above is my second watermelon coaster, since the first one had too much fullness. The increase method had to be modified so the coaster would lay flat. That is one reason I've not published the pattern yet, because I'm still refining and editing the pattern before making it available. However, it will be available shortly.

My next blog post will include a tutorial on the new technique I used to create these round coasters, so stay tuned.

Note: The tutorial pattern for the Watermelon Coaster has been added to the Pattern Box on the right, or the PDF file can be downloaded by clicking here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Patriotic coasters

Nighttime is the right time! It's that wonderful time when everyone in the household is in bed, except for me. It's a time when I can finally sit down, uninterrupted and test a project that I've been knitting in my head all day. Last night that project was the patriotic coaster pictured above. This coaster was actually a test of techniques that I had theorized about over a year ago, loom knitting edging directly onto a project and creating a perfect circle on the looms without using short rows or seaming. I'm pleased to say that these techniques are indeed possible.

The four inch diameter coaster was made on the Knifty Knitter 10" Long Loom using KK Loom Clips and Red Heart Super Saver yarn in White, Soft Navy and Cherry Red. Attaching the KK Loom Clips to the Long Loom, I knit the center of the coaster (white star & navy background) in the round using ten pegs. The last row of the navy background incorporated an I-cord bind off technique I developed to allow for increases. Once removed from the loom, the outer white & red borders were knitted directly onto the outer edge of the coaster using two pegs. Two strands of yarn held as one were used throughout the project, except for the red edging which used a single strand.

This pattern, along with many more, is part of a project on which I'm working, so it is currently unavailable, but hopefully will be in the future.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Contest winner announced

WOW!! After reading all those wonderful comments, I'm feeling pretty special! Thank you for all the nice compliments and your continued support. Also, as promised, today we find out who won the book, Tiny Yarn Animals. The contest officially closed at midnight last night with a total of forty-five comments to Win this book! The comments were numbered in the order in which they were received as follows:
  1. Jenni J
  2. Mari
  3. Scarlett a.k.a. kittyred
  4. AngelaJ
  5. Robin McCoy
  6. Jen Spilker
  7. kelly
  8. Deeners
  9. wellie
  10. MARIA EUGENIA
  11. Tiffany aka: mieljolie
  12. Bethany @ Gettin' It Pegged
  13. westie-mom
  14. Stacie
  15. guppygirl
  16. jpirkle
  17. Angelbeader a.k.a Mari
  18. Just Me
  19. LindaJ
  20. Michele
  21. Kelly Croasmum
  22. Angel
  23. Laura
  24. Marlys
  25. karmicraft
  26. Renee
  27. MELINDA
  28. Nel
  29. Rayann
  30. KathrynJB
  31. Helen J.
  32. Anonymous
  33. Andrea
  34. sevenstars7
  35. Karen
  36. dlandlrd
  37. keeper
  38. Aurora
  39. wormlynn
  40. Laura
  41. Dianne Carroll
  42. Linda M
  43. LoomLady June
  44. nugatorytm
  45. Elizabeth S.
After assigning numbers to each comment, I went to Randomizer.org and had it to select two numbers out of the 45 comments. The first number is the winner and the second number is the alternate. The following is a screen shot of the winning numbers showing the winner as number 15 and the alternate as number 17:


Congratulations number 15, guppygirl! You have until April 27, 2009 to claim your prize. If I do not hear from guppygirl by April 27th, the prize will go to number 17, Angelbeader aka Mari. Guppygirl, please contact me to claim your prize!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Win this book!

The Loom Lore blog began it's journey on Thanksgiving, 2006, but I somehow never remembered to host a blogiversary. Since my birthday is April 15th, the day we Americans show our love by paying income tax (lovely day for a birthday, huh?), I decided to bring a little joy into this otherwise depressing day by having a little blog contest just to celebrate two and a half years of sporadic blogging.

Being a certified bibliophile who just happens to love loom knitting, I thought I would turn my recent mistake into my blog readers' good fortune. When I'm buying books, I sometimes forget that I already have one just like it at home and end up with duplicate copies of a title. That is just what I did when I ordered Tiny Yarn Animals by Tamie Snow (click on the title to read a description of the book from Amazon). All the best amigurumi patterns available seem to be crocheted; however, even though the patterns in Snow's book are crocheted, loom knitters can get plenty of inspiration from this book!

OK, this is how the contest works:
  1. Leave a comment to this post telling me which projects from Loom Lore you have enjoyed the most and what types of projects you would like to see included in the future. This will count as an entry. Only one entry per person please. Also, if you are an Anonymous commenter, please include your name at the end of your comment so I'll know who you are in case you win.
  2. At the end of the contest, each comment to the "Win this book" post will be assigned a number in the order they are received. One winner and an alternate will be selected using Randomizer.org based on the total number of comments listed to the contest post.
  3. The contest begins on April 15, 2009 and ends on midnight April 24, 2009. The winner will be announced on April 25, 2009.
  4. The winner will need to contact me with mailing information for their prize delivery at my email address located in the Loom Lore About Me page within 48 hours of the announcement notification. If I do not hear from the first winner by the April 27th deadline, the alternate will be declared the winner. The same procedure will be followed until we have a final winner.
  5. The contest is open to all Loom Lore readers, both domestic and international.
Best of luck and thank you for putting up with me for the past two & a half years! Loom knitters rule!!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Fireman to the rescue

My grandson is happy - I finally finished his fireman. He is so obsessed with firemen & firetrucks that the entrance to the library off from the living room has become a fire station. A table and a floor lamp with a brass pole near the library doorway is now the station house. Every night he places three little firemen face down (one on a tissue box, one on the DVD remote and the other on the TV satellite remote) so they can slide down the lamp pole and head for the firetrucks in case of an emergency. When he's not battling a blaze at his sister's dollhouse, he's watching his "Lights & Ladders" DVD. Sometimes I think if I hear that DVD one more time I'll scream.
As you might have guessed, when I started making the little loomy amigurumis, I immediately got a request for a fireman so I immediately started designing one for my very special customer. My loomy arigurumi fireman was made very similar to the leprechaun, but with a few modifications. The following looms were used for this project:
Two strands of Red Heart Super Saver yarn were use for everything except Vanna's Choice in beige for the head. The fireman accidentally ended up a bit taller (6.5 inches) than the 4.5 inch leprechaun due to several yarn color changes. Also, I decided to put arms on this one. However, after he was finished my grandson immediately asked, "Where are his legs?" I tried to explain to him that he was made that way so he could stand in the firetruck bucket at the end of the ladder (see photo above). He replied that the fireman would have problems fighting fires, so I guess the next one will have to have legs. There's always a critic in every crowd.
The hat posed the greatest challenge on this little fellow, since the back of the brim is elongated from the rest of the hat. To meet this challenge, I cast a 4-stitch I-cord circle onto 18 pegs of the 10" Knifty Knitter long loom and used the Knifty Knitter loom clips to decrease along with a couple of short rows toward the back of the hat. After that, I finished the hat as usual on 14 pegs and ended with a gathered bind off at the top. You can see that the shaping on the back brim worked rather well in the above side view photo.

Other finishing details included button eyes, an embroidered mouth and felt trim on the hat and shirt collar. This is so habit forming that I can't wait to start on my next little project.

Monday, April 06, 2009

My first awards

My first two awards have recently been presented to this blog, so I figure I better get crackin' and post them before they fall into the crevasses of time. The crevasses of my time are becoming pretty full with all things momentarily put aside or completely forgotten - a habit that I must break.
The first award, KreativBlogger Award, was presented to Loom Lore back in March for "Great Patterns for Loom Knitting" by Tiffany at Mini Mischief. (Tiffany shares my passion for all things small. ) Thank you, Tiffany, for this wonderful award.

The rules of this award are to list seven things I love and then pass it on to another seven KreativBloggers. OK, here are seven things I love:
  1. Family & friends
  2. My dogs
  3. Home
  4. Books
  5. Yarn, looms, gourds & crafts
  6. Travel
  7. Quiet moments
The following seven blogs are among some of the most "creative bloggers" I know. They are innovative in many different ways and share their creative lives through their blogs. In doing this, they have made this world a brighter place to live. Here are my nominations for the KreativBlogger Award:
  1. My Heart Exposed
  2. Gettin' It Pegged
  3. Hankering for Yarn
  4. A Knifty Knitter Journal
  5. Rockin' the Loom
  6. Guppygirl
  7. Made by Telaine
The second award is the PROXIMITY Award. Robin from Rockin' the Loom has graciously bestowed this award to Loom Lore. This is Robin's criteria for nominating Loom Lore for the PROXIMITY Award:
"Brenda is a very busy grandma! But she still has time to make the cutest quickie projects and her patterns are always very clear and easy to read. She developed the ‘drawstring cast on’ for the looms and it is a very useful technique that I have used a lot. :) Brenda may not have much time to blog like she used to, since her granddaughter moved in, but she still helps out others when she can. She’s pretty special!" Thank you Robin, I think you are pretty special, too.

The PROXIMITY Award is defined as follows:
“This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!” With this definition in mind, I am nominating the following eight blogs for the PROXIMITY Award:
  1. Y-2K Hippie
  2. Canadian Crafter
  3. Twitchy Fingers
  4. Whimsy Kitty
  5. Knitting Without Needles
  6. Creative KJ's Corner
  7. Loom Knitting and Something Else
  8. Cheryl's Loom & Crochet Projects
Please check out all of the wonderful blogs that have been nominated for both awards. Thank you ladies for sharing your time and talent with everyone.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Knifty Leprechaun

After sharing a picture of my little "loomy amigurumi leprechaun" made on the DA small gauge Mini-WonderLoom, several folks on one of the Yahoo loom knitting lists wanted to know if he could be made on the Knifty Knitter Looms. The answer is: "Yes, Virginia, there can be a Knifty Knitted leprechaun!" Since the Knifty Knitters are large gauge looms, I thought they might not be the best choice for knitting amigurumi. However, I'm very pleased with how well the KK leprechaun turned out. Of course, the KK version is about six inches tall - an inch or an inch & one-half taller that his four & one-half inch small gauge cousin, but much of that is due to the oversized top hat.

Modifications had to be made to the original pattern. The first thing was to use two strands of yarn held as one instead of the single strand that was used on the small gauge loom. Two different Knifty Knitter looms were incorporated for the KK leprechaun above. The 8-peg end of the spool loom was used for the body and the I-cord hat brim. The 12-peg flower loom was used to make the head and the main part of the hat. Also, I used some different stitch techniques to shape the bottom of the body and the top of the hat. This time around I remembered to use black when knitting the hat brim and added a yellow chain stitched buckle. As for the beard and hair, I used two strands of carrot colored Red Heart yarn instead of the copper colored fun fur and loosely crocheted an eight inch chain, which was whip stitched in place. I decided "fun fur" is an oxymoron, because it really isn't much fun to work with. To me, the fun fur is a bit too fussy for the amigurumi style. Another change was the use of buttons for the eyes. Of course, this would not be recommended for use with small children, but I just wanted to see what they would look like on this one.

At the rate I get things done these days, the pattern might be available in time for next St. Patrick's Day. In the meantime, I plan on making other amigurumi characters on the Knifty Knitter Looms since they are quick knits and such a hit with the kiddos.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Loomy Amigurumi

Amigurumi is the art of knitting or crocheting little stuffed softies and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite pastimes. These little creations are so quick to do and children love them. Since I have limited time, four grandchildren under the age of four, and enjoy small creations on the knitting loom, amigurumi is perfect for me.

The little leprechaun pictured above was made during one of our Saturday day trips. Of course, I had to wait until I returned home to embroidery the face and stuff him. (That's the bad part about working on projects on the run, you always leave some of the stuff you need at home.) This little fellow is about four and one-half inches tall. He is made on the small gauge DA Mini-Wonderloom, which is the prefect loom for this type project. I used one strand of worsted weight Red Heart yarn and copper colored fun fur clipped short for the beard. He was worked in three separate parts (body, head & hat), then stitched together. I really liked the way the little hat turned out. I tried a new I-cord technique that worked really well on the hat brim, however, I forgot to change colors and add the hat band - oh well, maybe next time.

Since I used a specialty loom, instead of the Knifty Knitter, I won't be writing the pattern for this one. If you plan on getting into loomy amigurumi, I highly recommend using an adjustable small or fine gauge loom. If you decide to experiment with large gauge looms, I would recommend the Knifty Knitter Long Looms with loom clips and two strands of worsted weight yarn. However, the biggest problem I've found with doing stuffed toys on the Knifty Knitter looms is the stuffing shows through the stitches and this is easily corrected by using the small or fine gauge loom.

Now I'll leave you with an old Irish quote in time for St. Patrick's Day:


Leprechauns, castles, good luck and laughter
Lullabies, dreams, and love ever after.
Poems and songs with pipes and drums
A thousand welcomes when anyone comes.
~Author Unknown

Note: Since this post, I have written a general instruction sheet for making the Loomy Amigurumi Leprechaun. It has been added to the Pattern Box on the right, or by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tom-Tom the Leprechaun

It seems Tommy Turkey has a new cousin, Tom-Tom the Leprechaun. This new creation is compliments of April Taylor, one of the creative members of the Yahoo Knifty Knitter Loom Knitting Group. April has morphed the turkey into a leprechaun in time for St. Patrick's Day.

Here are April's modifications (thanks April) to the original pattern in case you want to impress your Irish friends on March 17th:

Leprechaun Hat
by April Taylor

(Adapted from Tommy Turkey Hat by Brenda Myers which is available from Loom Lore at
http://loomlady.blogspot.com).

Materials:

KK 48-peg Adult Hat Loom
Peach, cream or light tan yarn (for face)
Green yarn (for hat)
Black yarn (for hat band, nose, eyes & mouth)
Orange yarn (for beard)
Knitting tool
Plastic yarn needle
Crochet Hook

Instructions:
Using the Knifty Knitter purple adult hat loom, cast on using a peach or flesh colored yarn and knit 14 rows. Change yarn to paddy green (Redheart) and knit 12 rows. To form the leprechaun’s hat brim, bring the first row of green up to the pegs and knit that row off. Form the “hat band” by changing to the black yarn and knitting 8 rows. Change back to green and knit 14 rows. Work a gathered bind off.

Finishing:
Work a single crochet edge around the bottom to prevent it from rolling.

For the eyes, use black yarn and chain 2; work 6 single crochets in the 2nd chain from hook, and join to form a small circle. Make two of the circles and sew to the hat.

For the mouth, use black yarn and chained 14. Sew this chain on with a yarn needle into the smile shape.

For the buckle, using yellow chain 32 and sewed it into a square shape centering in the front over the black “hat band”. (If I would have had a yellow pipe cleaner I might have tried to figure out how to shape it into a buckle and sew it on.)

For the beard, I use a size F crochet hook and chain 50 in orange. Work a single crochet in the 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across. Chain 1 turn and work a loop stitch by wrapping the yarn around the index finger and complete a single crochet while holding the loop.