Weave America Warm!

The Craft Yarn Council has been doing The Great Yarn Challenge for several weeks now, and it has been fun to submit knitted, crocheted … AND WOVEN projects for each weekly theme. However, this week, woven contributions seem to come to a screeching halt, since the “Stitch Your State” challenge asks for a 7″ x 9″ rectangle. That’s not a typical pin loom size … but I decided that this should not be a reason to stop the dedicated pin loom weaver!

The traditional Weave-It weaving method can be easily adjusted to almost any size, and when I asked a few loom makers who make custom looms (Joe at Wunderwag and Brian of bigfam15 on Etsy), they did not hesitate to step up to the task. Please note that I also made some sample looms myself, but we will not make/sell these looms.

If you don’t want to buy a loom, below you can find full size templates available for download, so that you can make your own loom! All you need is a piece of wood or a frame, about 8″ x 10″ in size, and wire brads (for example 18 gauge for regular or wide sett, or 16 gauge for wide sett), at least 3/4″ long. Tape a template to the wood, then hammer a pin in each black dot. It does not have to be perfect to function, pin loom weaving is very forgiving!

If you would like a slightly thicker weave, of thicker yarn, you can use a template that I specifically designed for this project. The loom has wider pin spacing to accommodate Weight 5 “Bulky” yarns.

Here is some handy weaving information and resources for both looms

Loom7″ x 9″ regular sett7″ x 9″ wide sett
Download templateDownload the template for 7″ x 9″ regular settDownload the template for 7″ x 9″ wide sett
epi (ends per inch)8 (like the Zoom loom)5.3 (similar to the Skipper looms)
Wraps 8.56
Total yarn needed per rectangleAbout 30 yards. About 20 yards.
Yarn weight Weight 3 DK or 4 WorstedWeight 5 Bulky
Compare to knit gaugeYarns with a knit gauge of 20-22 will work bestYarns with a knit gauge of 12-14 will work best
Warps/Wefts available for pattern development55 warps x 71 wefts33 warps x 47 wefts

Each rectangle is almost as big as four classical 4″ x 4″ weavies, so be prepared to do some weaving! Make sure you wind the first three layers loosely, so that the weaving doesn’t get too tight on the last rows.

Please crochet one round of single crochet around your finished weavie. That will make it easy to use them with other rectangles when the volunteers at WUA assemble the blankets.
I suggest that you start anywhere along a side. Crochet one single crochet into each yarn turn along the edgings. For each corner, crochet up to the corner, work two chain stitches, then continue with single crochet in the first available yarn turn of the next side.

Did you know … You can contribute to Keep America Warm with finished blankets in any size. This means you can use up your stash of weavies and turn them into comforting blankets. (We may use this option in future projects!) You can find more information on the Warm Up America website.

While I call it “Weave America Warm”, I like to extend it to “Weave the World Warm”. In other words, don’t feel excluded if you are anywhere else in the world. Blankets are needed everywhere, and I’m sure that you can easily find a way to give if you cannot or don’t want to contribute to WUA.

I hope that this is only the beginning of making rectangles for Warm Up America. It might be a little bit tight to get things going in time for this week’s challenge, but we can always weave to keep America warm. Please ask any questions that you may have in the comments section below!

How to Bias-Weave on the Zoom Loom

May the TURTLEs forgive me, but this is important! Occasionally, somebody in the pin loom community weaves a bias square on a Zoom or equivalent loom, usually several people ask if there are any instructions, and then … the world moves on.

I decided it may be a nice summer contribution to provide instructions, so that everyone can try it out. And if you get the hang of it, at the end of this post is a free pattern for a table topper that will allow you to put the newly learned skills to good use.

You can use a Schacht Zoom loom (Yay! Bluebonnet Crafters now carries Zoom looms) or any other loom with 3-pin grouping. If you are new to pin looms, the 3-pin groups were invented almost 90 years ago for weaving the Weave-It method, where you wind three layers of yarn, then weave those together in a fourth layer.

For the yarn choice, I really enjoyed using Caron Simply Soft Speckle for this project. The speckles develop into very different effects when weaving the two methods, which adds instant, visual gratification with no extra effort.

But now to the bias weaving, where you turn the loom on its tip and start weaving diagonally in rounds … don’t worry, the videos will explain!
The first video gives an overview and introduces the concept of bias-weaving on a Weave-It style loom:

The next video provides step-by-step instructions:

Lastly, I decided to add a short video with tips to sew the squares together. It’s really easy:

I hope you will give the bias weave a try … and then feel inspired to make something. How about a Nine-Patch Table Topper, which is easy to weave, not too big of a project, but turns into something that you can use and enjoy … or give as a gift?

“Speckle” or stash dive, if you want to get started on your table topper, you can download the instructions here:

Please contact me if you have any questions, and let’s chat in the comments section of this post about your experience!

And the Winners Are …

Deborah and I both think that it must have been a difficult task for the judges to pick the top three out of 15 amazing 2021 Pin Loom Cake-Off Challenge projects! The variety of ideas was simply stunning. However … here is what the judges have chosen …

1st PlaceBy Diane OConner, using Caron Cake FunfettiFlower Garden Scarf
By Diane OConner, using Caron Cake Funfetti
2nd PlaceBy Carol Dowell using Lion Brand Mandala (Gnome colorway) and Mandala Sparkle cake (Crux colorway)Stained Glass Table Runner
By Carol Dowell using Lion Brand Mandala (Gnome colorway) and Mandala Sparkle cake (Crux colorway)
3rd PlaceStarflower Table Runner
Anne Holmstrom … I used a DK Colors cake yarn. I wanted to do something that included quilting and pin loom weaving.

And wait, there is more! Here are the winners of the random drawing:
– Eleanor Chute
– Donna J. Farrell Brown
– Kathryn Olson

Congratulations to all! We will contact the winners to discuss the details.

If you missed the challenge, go ahead and get inspired by visiting the Pinterest board to see all entries.

A special thank you to all who participated. And a very special thank you to the judges for their time and effort.

Shall we do it again next year? Let us know!

Countdown for Cake-Off Contest!

The countdown for our 2021 Pin Loom Cake-Off contest has begun. There are 10 more days to enter your project(s)!

No need to wait to the last minute, you can see the current submissions already on the contest Pinterest board. If you don’t see your picture on the board, but have posted your submission, please contact us! We want to make sure that we get them all.

Haven’t started yet? It’s not too late … read what it takes to participate in the contest description blog.

Happy weaving, and good luck!

Launch Day!

It’s launch day for our 2021 Pin Loom Cake-Off Contest, and that means that you can now start posting pictures of your contest projects. Here are a few things to know:

WHAT TO DO

  • Post ONE picture of your project (but you can submit as many projects as you want).
  • Please include a brief note about which cake yarn you used, and if you used a pattern, it would be great if you mention which pattern you used or link to where you found it.

WHERE TO POST

Please post your project picture at any of the following places:

WHAT TO EXPECT

All submitted projects will be added to our 2021 Pin Loom Cake-Off Contest” Pinterest board unless you ask us to not post your picture on Pinterest. This Pinterest board will be the source that the judges use to determine the winners of the judged contest. All submissions will be entered into the random drawing.

WHEN TO SUBMIT

Any time from now on until March 10, 2021, midnight US CT. This means you have plenty of time to craft!

QUESTIONS?

Please feel free to post any questions that you may have in any of the groups, or contact Deborah or Gabi

2021 Pin Loom Cake-Off Contest — FAQ

Questions are a good thing! In this post we will continue to add questions that have been brought to our attention, with answers. And … if you have any further questions, please contact Deborah or Gabi!

Q: What is the 2021 Pin Loom Cake-Off Contest?
A: You can read about the contest in this post.

Q: Where can I get more info about the contest?
A: You can read about it on the blog, or you can download the info sheet.

Q: Can I only use cake yarn for my project?
A: While the majority of your project should be made of the cake yarn that you chose, you can combine your cake yarn with other yarns in your project.
Examples: You can use other yarns together with your cake yarns as needed for your design. You can use other yarns to crochet around your weavies and/or join your weavies together. You can add a border that is not cake yarn. You can make tassels, cords, or other embellishments using other yarn.
These are just examples, but we think that you get the idea. If you’re not sure … please ask!

Q: Which cake yarns can I use?
A: Any cake yarn that you can buy is fine: Any company, any quality, any colors (gradient cakes are fine, too).

Q: What project can I make?
A: You can make almost any project that you wish (see blog or info sheet for details): You can follow a pattern or make up your own. Take a look at this Pinterest board for inspiration.

Q: Can I use a potholder loom?
A: We decided that a potholder loom is ok, as long as you use cake yarn.

2021 Pin Loom Cake-Off Contest

Last year, the Yarnspirations company ran a Caron Cake Contest where people could post pictures of their projects and win … yarrrrrn!

Some of us participated, but honestly, there were so many submissions that it was pretty much impossible to even find one’s own submission photo! So … Deborah and I decided that we will do our own cake contest, just for pin loom weavers:
Welcome to the 2021 Pin Loom Cake-Off Contest!

Here is how it goes …

WHO

Pin loom weavers around the world.

WHAT

To participate (in a nutshell, more details below):

Make a pin loom project, using any cake yarn. Post a picture of the final project.

Our definition: “A yarn cake is a self-striping yarn that comes in a flat ‘cake’ shape.”

You can:

  • Use any loom or looms you want.
  • Make any item that you want. Your project(s) needs to consist of at least three weavies, but it can have as many as you wish.
  • Enter more than one project.
  • Use any pattern or no pattern.
  • Combine pin loom weaving with other crafts like crocheting, knitting, embroidery, … as long as the majority of the project is pin loom woven.
  • Use embellishments like buttons, ribbons, …
  • Submit past projects that you made for the Caron Cake Contest, or any other projects you made in the past, using cake yarns.

If you don’t have access to cake yarns, please contact Gabi. We have a limited supply of yarn that we can make available at a decent cost.

WHEN

January 21, 2021               Announcement. Take time to prepare.

February 1st, 2021             Kick-Off! Get weaving! Posting final project pictures is now allowed.

March 10, 2021                 Submission/Posting deadline is at midnight US Central, no excuses.

March 15, 2021                 The winners will be announced!

WHERE

Please post your final project picture at any of the following places. These are also good places to ask questions … and just chat!

We will add (unless you ask us to be excluded) all posted final project pictures to our 2021 Pin Loom Cake-Off Contest” Pinterest board. The judges will do their evaluations based on the pictures posted on that board.

PRIZES

This is a 2-part contest! We will have a judged contest, conducted by Deborah. She has lined up 5 judges who will determine 3 winners, based on the pictures on our Pinterest board.

Judging criteria:

  • Neatness
  • Construction
  • Use of color
  • Creativity
  • Overall appeal

Grand Prize: A set of 6 Caron Cakes in “Funfetti”.

2nd prize: A set of 3 Caron Cakes in “Pistachio”

3rd prize: A set of 2 Caron Cakes in “Rainbow Sprinkles”

There will also be 3 prizes drawn randomly from all participating projects: 2 matching Caron Cakes each, colors are our choice.

You can only win once.

QUESTIONS

If you have any questions, post in participating groups mentioned above or contact Deborah or Gabi

DOWNLOAD

The information in this blog is also available for download in this info sheet:

DISCLAIMER

This is a voluntary effort that Deborah and Gabi conduct as a courtesy to the pin loom community. We will do our best to make it fun. If you choose to participate you accept that the organizers cannot be held liable for anything related to this event. 

The event is open to pin loom weavers worldwide, but in case you win, we can only ship where legally possible, and you are responsible for any additional customs/tax/mail fees in your country. No substitutes.

2020 Pin Loom Mystery Weave-Along — Week 5

Welcome to Week 5!

We’re getting close! Watch our photo presentation on Pinterest grow, and look at some of the Mystery Guess contributions … bags of all sorts are a very popular pick, but we also had some very “interesting” ideas, from apron to walrus!

Goals for this week:

This week’s theme is to “getting things right”. Besides taking time to check our previous work, we will optionally explore the “right” and “wrong” side of a pin loom project. While the mystery project is designed in a way that it comes out “right” without paying much attention, this is a good opportunity to look at the basics of fabric sides, and we are using Saori-style weaving to help us easily identify what to call the “right” side.

Download the worksheet for more information: 2020MysteryWALWeek5   

If you have any questions, you may check the FAQ frequently asked questions , ask in the groups, and please don’t hesitate to contact me!

In this week’s video you will find the story of some Mystery Guess contributions, and also examples for how to weave-in the yarn snippets for our Saori-style weaving:

Let’s chat and discuss in the groups!

Here are the Week 5 samples … remember that yours don’t have to look exactly the same:

Enjoy and Weave On!

2020 Pin Loom Mystery Weave-Along — Week 4

Welcome to Week 4!

Can you believe it? We are half way through our weave-along! Our Pinterest board shows the progress in pictures, and if you want to see very long strips of beautiful colors and joins and even more very long ropes – a variety thereof – check out our Week 3 Pinterest Board for review.

Goals for this week:

This week’s theme is to “go over and up”. We’re starting to add weavies using horizontal joins, like joining rows to rows.  Optional, there’s a little bit silliness when I ask you to draw a picture of what you think the mystery will be!

Download the worksheet for more information: 2020MysteryWALWeek4

If you have any questions, you may check the FAQ frequently asked questions , ask in the groups, and please don’t hesitate to contact me!

For your enjoyment, there’s been a lot of show-and-tell worthy material from Week 3 that I’m sharing in this week’s video, along with a walk-through of Week 4 instructions (partly blurry … sorry):

Let’s chat and discuss in the groups!

Here are the Week 4 samples … remember that yours don’t have to look exactly the same:

Enjoy and Weave On!

2020 Pin Loom Mystery Weave-Along — Week 3

Welcome to Week 3!

By now, we have used each of our colors at least once. It was so interesting to see the different effects of all the weavies, sewn together, during Week 2! And then there are of course the optional 2020 squares and hexies …Take a look at our Week2 Pinterest Board.

Goals for this week:

This week’s theme is to “make long things”, we’re going to put all six weavies into one long row, and there’s an optional assignment to make … a rope.

Download the worksheet for more information: 2020MysteryWALWeek3   

If you have any questions, you may check the FAQ frequently asked questions , ask in the groups, and please don’t hesitate to contact me!

For your enjoyment, there’s been a lot of show-and-tell worthy material from Week 2 that I’m sharing in this week’s video, along with a walk-through of Week 3 instructions:

Let’s chat and discuss in the groups!

Here are the Week 3 samples … remember that yours don’t have to look exactly the same:

2020PLMWAL-Wk3-SquaresAndHexies

2020PLMWAL-Wk3-Optional2

Enjoy and Weave On!

Doors are Open!

I would like to invite all yarn lovers to our first Berroco “Virtual Yarn Tasting” for the new Spring/Summer 2019 yarns and patterns collection.

virtualyarntasting avatar 010519“Yarn tasting” means sampling new yarns and talk about them, discuss the new patterns for those yarns … and prepare for a great season of scrumptious warmer weather knitting and crocheting. Most importantly the goal is to have a good time together.

It is my honor to moderate this conversation in a Facebook group, co-hosted by Berroco’s Media Director Amy Palmer.

The group is now open. Over the next 2-3 weeks there will be videos and chats to introduce and explore the new yarns.

Please join in, and also feel free to share this invitation with anyone who loves yarn!

Click here to get to the Facebook “Virtual Yarn Tasting” group

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