Monthly Archives: March 2010

Video Tutorial of how to wind a center pull yarn ball on nostepinne

One of life’s great pleasures is to be found in mastering techniques that  may be simple, but take practice.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

One of those very useful and satisfying skills is winding a center pull ball of yarn on the nostepinne.

I like to wind a ball of yarn on the nostepinne in 2 stages.

Here’s a little video that I made, showing how to wind lovely flat, stackable flat balls of yarn.

The nostepinne is contemplative and portable, and to be honest, I much prefer it to my ball winder.

Here’s the link to the video: LINK




Filed under tutorial & how to

New Video Tutorial for how to weave a rectangle on potholder loom

Potholder looms may be square, but! you don’t have to just weave squares on them!! I have figured out ways of weaving other shapes, too.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Last week, I decided to make a video of how to weave rectangles on the potholder loom.

We were in the middle of a nasty springtime cold snap. March was really doing it’s lion in winter routine. brrrrrrrrrrrr.

It was so cold that we had amazing icicles on the prayer flags outside the studio window.

I wimped out of going with my husband to walk the dogs and opted to work on making a video of how to weave a rectangle on the potholder loom.

I was just about finished the video when my Best Beloved burst into the studio, and with great gusto cussed out the cold weather.

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I instantly cracked up, and when he saw that I had been making a video, he blushed and apologized profusely.

I deleted the video and started over.

I was still laughing my head off when I started the next take, and it took me a minute to get myself composed again.

I went off and did something else, and forgot about the goofiness on the video, and hit upload.

It took hours and hours to upload it, and when I checked it… oh no! there was my chortling about my hubby’s little out take!

I asked him if he wanted me to take it down and start over and he said, nah… that it was fine, and he was sure that people wouldn’t mind….  so without further ado, here’s the ‘cold and wintery day’ video tutorial:  Here’s the link to the video: LINK



Filed under potholder loom, weaving & handwoven

New video tutorial- how to weave with yarn on potholder loom

How long can it take to make a 10 minute video?  LOL…. all day!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

First of all…. you need to plot out how many looms you need to have on the go, and then get them set up so they can be grabbed quick like a bunny to keep the video flowing.

This means that each stage of the video has to be figured out, and just ‘that much’ weaving done on each of the looms.

I had a total of 6 looms on the go for this video.

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So… let the taping begin….

Takes 1, 2 and 3 all were about 42 seconds long as I went… flubbadubba dubba…. cut…

Take 4 :

I bang into the camera stand and send it for a spiral dance, and drop everything as it goes ‘ga-doy-yoi- yoi-yoing’…


Start over… (which does indeed mean, starting over! Unweave whatever I did in the video, and get all the looms back to their proper starting point…. EACH TIME – for EVERY TAKE!!!!)

Take 5   went really well, until  I was baffled at why the weaving suddenly just seized up.

Oh… duh… I was standing on the yarn. sigh.

Takes 6 and 7 each had unique little moments….

I snipped the yarn on one of the squares,…… that earned me a re-start.

I BROKE the weaving hook  in Take 7…. I have NEVER broken a weaving hook before, and Clever Clogs, I managed to do it in the middle of a video take.  Throw that for a lark.


Go out to workshop and carve a new hook.

Start over….

Take 8: The greyhound sees deer in the yard.

He yodels at deer.

He barks at deer.

He rushes to the door and pounds on it to take his barking and yelping outside.

He knocks me sideways….


Start Over….

Take 9: Small dog decides to join the fray….


Start Over…..

Take 10…. Brain locks up and tongue does a tap dance.


Start Over…..

Take 11…

By this point, the light is fading and I am clenching my jaw in grim determination-

I AM GOING TO GET THIS VIDEO DONE! and that is that…..

Take a deep breath…. forget about Takes 1 – 10…. oh please oh please, may my brain stay in motion, may my hands go where they are meant to, may my feet stay off the yarn, may the dogs puhleeeeeeeeze not go daft again….

And then, it’s done…. take a deep breath… and attempt to upload the video!  Fingers crossed… and…. yes! it’s a go!

Here is the link to the video: LINK

Please note: Everything on this blog is Noreen Crone-Findlay’s original, design, concept and work, and is copyright. Please do not copy without Noreen Crone-Findlay’s permission. Thank you!


Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, potholder loom, tutorial & how to, weaving & handwoven

Celebrate Springtime with adorable doodled paper eggs

I love making little presents that I can just pop in an envelope and mail to family and friends.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Yesterday, I had a flash of inspiration…. well, really it was several flashes of inspiration that came together ever so nicely!

Lately, I have been blogging   about doodling, Link and Link , so that’s kind of noodling around in the outer reaches of my brain.

And, a week or so ago, my daughter blogged about very cute embroidered Easter Eggs: Link

And, then  Linette blogged about some papier mache Easter eggs that she had just made: Link

These all got me thinking about threads all came together and inspired me to design and make some oh so sweet paper eggs that can hang in a houseplant, a tree or be used as a bookmark or in scrapbooking.

Here’s what I did:

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First of all, I drew an egg shape, and then I made a tracer or template from a piece of plastic from the recycling box.

Then, I traced around it on a used envelope (gotta love being green! re-duce, re-use, recycle, reclaim, upcycle!) and cut out 2 eggs. (Front and back).

Then I cut out an inch diameter circle of white paper (use whatever color works best for your choice of skin tone).

I snipped about 4 inches of embroidery floss for the hanger.

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Draw the  face on the circle and glue it on the front egg.

I doodled merrily away on the front of the egg, and then, because this one is going to my mom, I wrote a message on the back.

Glue the thread in  a loop to the inside of the back and then glue the front to the back….. and Voila!

Adorable paper eggs to celebrate springtime!

Variations: I had brunch with 2 friends yesterday, and I made them eggs, but didn’t do the doodles. I took my colored pens with me, and they doodled happily on their eggs while we visited. Fun!  Here are their eggs:

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I also love to use fragments of tatting to decorate and embellish, so I used some scraps of tatting on 2 more eggs…

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This tutorial is Noreen Crone-Findlay’s original concept and design. Please DO NOT COPY the text or photos. Please do share the link! Thanks so much!!!


Filed under eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents

Out takes from The Woven Bag

Yesterday, I posted pics of some of the bags that a reader said she really liked (after I posted pics of bags that she didn’t like) 🙂  Link to yesterday’s post: Link

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I also said that I would share a few bloopers with you.

Well… I don’t know if this qualifies as a blooper, but I have to confess that I was gobsmacked by discovering that the bag in the middle of the photo above, didn’t make it into the book.   I was taking pics of the bags, and wanted to show how neat it is that the inside of a couple of the bags is different from the outside:

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I checked the book to see what the final name of the bag on the right was (it started out as ‘Market Bag on the Square’).

I couldn’t find it… I checked again…. eh? (I’m Canadian, and yes, we actually ~do~ say ‘eh?!’ sometimes, especially when baffled and perplexed….). I went page by page…. and …. um… it’s not in the book…

Then I cracked up, because, I have done revision after revision, and re-reads, and checks and checks and proof read after proof read, and I just noticed ~NOW~?!?!?!!? that this bag got bumped? eegads and little fish.

I don’t know why that struck me as being so funny, but it did.

So, The Market Bag on the Square isn’t so much an ‘out take’ as a ‘take out’….

Now, there’s another bag that I have done some ‘take out’ on, too…

It’s the Knotted Fabric Market bag:

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Having eco and green and upcycled components to the book was really important to me.  I am really pleased with the reclaimed fabric torn into strips, and used instead of yarn in the body of the bag.

What I don’t like, is that I was experimenting with the handles for the bag, and I don’t much like the fabric handles.

Yes, they are soft, and yes, they feel nice in the hand.. and they are in the spirit of upcycling…. but- BUT –

they just look clunky….

So… I have done some revision.

I had a pair of handles that I bought at a thrift shop- they were on a hopelessly worn out bag. I bought the bag, and cut the handles off, and have re-used them on the Fabric Strip Market bag:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I stitched them on with the same fabric strips that I made the bag from, and I am much happier with the look of the bag:

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It’s still in the spirit of upcycling, as the handles were re-claimed and are being re-used, and I am much, much happier with it now.

So, there you have it… a few ‘out takes’ and ‘take outs’ from The Woven Bag!

Oh yes! I forgot to say yesterday, that I have started a group on Facebook for The Woven Bag, and people are starting to post pics of the bags that they are weaving. You are MOST welcome to join and post pics of your bags, too!

Link to Facebook group for The Woven Bag; Link

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Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving

Show us some more bags she said

Last week, I got the nicest letter from a lady. She said that she had pre-ordered a copy of The Woven Bag…. BUT….

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When I showed

some pics of

a few of the bags

on the late hankering blog,

she didn’t like them.


she canceled her order.

Eegads and little fish!

THAT’s not good!


she noticed on



that you can search

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inside the book

and take a peek

at some of the

other bags in the book.

So, she did that,

and loved what she saw.

She ordered the book,

and when it came,

she was THRILLED!

She loves all the neat

techie stuff in the book

and that it’s like having

a workshop at her fingertips.

I asked her if I should

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try this again,

and show more pics

of the woven bags.

She said, ‘YES!’

I asked her which ones

she thinks I should

show, and she listed

off these ones,

so I pulled them

out of the trunk

where I am storing them,

and got the camera out….

so, here’s another look inside the book!

woven-bag-patchwork-princess copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

woven-bag-happy-dancer copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

woven-bag-tandem copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

woven-bag-woven-roving-posy-bag copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Tomorrow, I am going to share a couple of little blooper secrets from the book… stay tuned….


Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving

Tottie and the Teddies Take Tea

Tottie Tomato is always up for a tea party. Today, she’s sipping tea with a group of teddy friends.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Some of her teddy friends are really tiny. One little mischievous fellow decided to go for a little dip in his teacup, which raised a few eyebrows. Other than that slight social faux pas, the tea party was a great success.

What’s the story behind Tottie’s  tea party today?

Well, the other day, a lady asked me if I still had copies of my Crocheted Teddy Bears book. I checked on my shelf, and realized that I did, but only had 2 copies left and that I had tagged it to transpose it into pdf format.

So, I spent the day and evening working on re-building the book as an eBook.While I was working on building the pdf’s, I wondered what had happened to the original teddies from the book.  I had crocheted a really enormous one, and knew that I had given that one away, as I just don’t have room to store it.

I knew I had several of the tinier teddies from the book scattered around the studio, but it took some searching to find them.

Some of them completely eluded me, but I just remembered that there is a collection of them in my workshop boxes, so I will have to see if I can lay hands on them.

I love crocheting teddies with unusual materials. Do you see the teddy bear that I crocheted from wire?

He’s the one who’s whispering secrets into Tottie’s ear. Because he’s kind of see-through, I put some precious objects inside him, which then makes him even more special.

I have stitched pins on the backs of the other really tiny bears, and I wear them as pins.

A  friend made me the naughty little one in the teacup, and spool knitted a cord onto it to turn it into a fine little bookmark.

So, you see, teddy bears can do more than just sip tea!

They can do all manner of important things.

But, when you think about it, really, all a teddy bear REALLY needs to do, is to just be him or herself.

A lesson that we all could learn from, yes?

PS: If you are interested in the pdf patterns for my crocheted teddy bears, they can be ordered from:

crocheted teddy bears

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Filed under crochet, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making

Doodle Dolls and Friends who Zentangle

My friend, Pirk, posted a note to the International FreeForm Fiber Arts group, that has triggered all kinds of  inspiration for the members of the group- me included!

Pirk posted the link to the Zentangle website: Zentangle (a delightful  system of creating spectacular doodles based on working with constructed patterns.)

and a link to her flickr pics of her Zentangle drawn doodles and how she has interpreted them as crochet scrumbles (freeform pieces).  Pirk’s links:  Flickr and Blog

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Doodling has long been

an important part

of my design process.

In fact, for lots of years

I taught workshops

about using doodling

as inspiration in doll making.

I even included a whole

chapter on the importance

of doodling, in my book:

Soul Mate Dolls: Dollmaking as a Healing Art.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

This doodle doll

is a collaboration

between my husband

and myself.

We made it 4 years ago.

He turned her on the lathe

and I doodled and burned the

patterns onto her.

I love using twigs

for arms and legs on


I didn’t realize how much

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influence the doodled lathe turned doll was having on me,

when I was working on

my newest Doodle Doll.

After making the

Doodle Doll with

spool knitted arms and

legs for this post:

Link to first Doodle Doll post,

I assumed that I would

be spool knitting the arms

and legs for this Doodle Doll,

who I have named: ‘Potentianna’

(in honour of new possibilities)

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I was just so

wrong about

spool knitted arms and legs

for Potentianna!

I spool knitted several

cords, with different colors,

different weights…

but, nope.

Potentianna simply refused


I tried tatting them.

I spent hours spool knitting

and tatting.

To no avail.   Same response.

A polite but firm, ‘No thank you!’

She was very firm about what she wanted, but it took me awhile to hear what she had to say.

What she wanted was: Twigs.

Yep. Twigs and only twigs. Thank you very much.

As soon as I , pardon the pun, ‘twigged’ to that, things went swimmingly!

Same thing with her hat. I was sure that she needed a crown.

No way.

Several color combinations and different thread versions later, I finally got it that all she wanted was a little piece of something natural.

And, a fragment of abalone shell was perfect thank you very much.

And, so, Potentianna is now happily completely herself and is hanging on the wall of the studio, beckoning me to pick up my pens and start doodling her some sisters and friends and family….

Oh yes! speaking of friends! I need to mention some other friends who are seriously into doodling….

My friend, Margaret Bremner and I went to art school together a million years ago, and she’s just wonderful in every way. Her art is meditative, contemplative and just plain gorgeous: Link to Margaret

Margaret is so delighted with the Zentangle system of drawing that she is about to become a certified teacher.             How neat is that?

And, one of my Artsy Blogger buddies, June, is also a champion doodler… definitely check out her beautiful work:

Link to June’s blog (and I REALLY do mean beautiful!)

So, whether you like to freeform in your doodling, or use your doodles for dollmaking, like I do,or your crochet, like Pirk, or your mandalas,  or are intrigued by the delightful possibilities of the Zentangle system, I encourage you to pick up you pens and pencils and get doodling!

Happiness awaits…. it’s right at the tip of your pencil….


Filed under Uncategorized

Tottie and the spool knitted doodle doll

Do you like to doodle?  I do. I always have.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

A friend mentioned that she’s been using

her doodles to inspire her in her

crochet design, (I’m going to be writing more about

this soon, with links)

and that got me thinking…

Why not doodle on wooden dolls?

So, I got out my Faber Castell  artist pens

(link to where my husband bought them for me

for Christmas: pens

and did a little doodling on

a small wooden peg doll body.

Here’s the front of the doll body,

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here is the back.

Because the doll is


and this pic

is wildly blown up

it looks much coarser

than in real life.

I varnished the doll

body after I doodled on it,

and then

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made little


hands and feet.

I varnished them

as well,

and then

drilled tiny

holes with a

very fine

drill bit.

That’s so I

could sew

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the spool knitted

cords that

I made with


Cordelia  cord maker

Link to Cordelias

for the doll’s

arms and legs

to the hands

and feet.

For the legs,

I spool knitted

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

a cord that  is

6 inches long.

As you can see,

the cord goes

through the body.

I drilled larger

holes through the

body for the arm and

leg cords.

For the arms,

I spool knitted a

cord that is 4 1/2 inches long.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The hands and feet

are stitched to the

arms and legs,

and then the extra yarn

is wrapped around the

wrists and ankles,

stitched through

and woven into the

arm or leg.

Here’s the Doodle Doll,

cuddling with Tottie Tomato’s

puppy, waiting for Tottie to pour tea….

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Tottie is a little distracted,

because she’s busy admiring

the new Cordelia cord maker

that I just made, with a

portrait of her on it.

Tottie is pleased with it,

and has suggested that

I put it to work,

making another Doodle Doll

to keep her new friend company.

I will have to do that,

but first, we ought to pour tea….

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Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, spool knitter & spoolknitter & spool knitting & spool knitting, tutorial & how to