Monthly Archives: June 2012

Working with handpainted handspun yarn in tapestry

My daughter-in-law spins gorgeous yarn. Which makes me very happy.

Because, sometimes a skein or two finds its way into my studio.

Recently, she spun Merino and silk and dyed it turquoise and purple, separated by short sneezes of sunshine yellow.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I love it, and have been puzzling over how to use it in one of my new tapestries in a way that keeps the integrity of the colorway, while working across the entire width of the tapestry. Weaving narrow bands of it in vertical columns would not be a problem with maintaining the colors as units… but… horizontally- ah, well… that’s another cup of soup entirely.

I didn’t want to have the colors end up in little splats of one color arguing with another.

That meant working in short segments, weaving small blocks of each color.

I could have woven little squares of each color, with little slits that would need to be stitched or interlocked. Myech…

I sat down with my trusty little pencil and thought about this conundrum….

and came up with this:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

If I started at the left hand edge, and wove a little triangle with one length of turquoise, then, I could use the little bursts of yellow to tell me when to nip down, and start a slanting wedge of purple.

This completely worked for me! I wouldn’t have any joins to deal with, and I could work each little section of color in order, so the colorway of the yarn stays intact.

It’s a happy solution to an interesting problem!

Tapestry weaving is full of nifty little voyages of discovery 🙂

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

My first little purple patch was not so perfect, but by the time I had woven across to the right hand side I was pleased with it.

Here’s the video:

Working with handpainted handspun yarn in tapestry

My daughter in law will be uploading some of her new yarns and batts and braids to her website soon.  LINK

Leave a comment

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

A pin a stick and a loop of string to open the shed

If you have a loom that doesn’t have a shedding device, picking up the warp strands for every row you weave can be a tedious process.

I like to use a stick,  a pin and a loop of string to open the sheds. It’s a huge time saver!

I’ve made a video tutorial on how to do this for narrow bands, but this technique also works on wider pieces, too.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Pick up every other warp strand with a weaving stick (even a popsicle/craft stick or a paint stick will work).

Push that stick up to the top of the loom.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Now, use a knitting needle to pick up  the ~remaining~ warp strands, to open the second shed.

You’ll be going over the strands that you went under in the first shed, and under the ‘overs’.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Take a loop of string (in this case, I used 2 string heddles from one of my inkle looms held together for more strength, and to make it easier to see in the video) through the open shed.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Pick up the end of the loop with a kilt pin, and then lift the loop strings between each warp strand onto the pin.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Take the second end of the loop up onto the pin, and close it.

Adjust the length of each section of the loop.

And, Voila! you now have a handy, dandy way of opening both sheds!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Here’s a pic of the shuttles that I make by upcycling old rulers and bits of decorative trim:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

HOT TIP that I mentioned in the video: If you use a file folder as the separator/background thingie between the front and back of your loom, you can use the pocket of the file folder to park your shuttle and beading needle when you’re not weaving.

And, here’s the video tutorial:

1 Comment

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

Angel of Compassion

I have just finished designing the newest crocheted healing doll- The Angel of Compassion:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Like the Angel of Healing doll, you can make them any size you want, using any combination of threads, yarns, cords, fabric strips, string, cord or whatever strands appeal to you.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The Angel of Compassion is meant to be a reminder of being kind to each other, and to ourselves- as compassion is one of life’s greatest gifts!

You can order the pattern for the Angel of Compassion from my website:



Leave a comment

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

Sweet little heart loom

A couple of weeks ago, I designed a tiny pinboard loom to weave little hearts- Here’s the link to that post HEARTS

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I just loved the little hearts that I wove on the pinboard loom, but didn’t really like holding the foam in my hands while I wove.

I asked Donna and Gary at Dewberry Ridge Looms if they would make some heart looms, using my design, so other people could weave wee perfect hearts, too.  (Gary’s work is FABULOUS!  I love their looms) 🙂

They said sure, so Gary set to work and they now have lovely little heart looms!

I am just enchanted with the little heart loom- it’s beautifully made and is a treat to hold in my hand, and a pleasure to weave on.

I am thinking of all the wonderful ways of using the woven hearts… ooooooooh yes!!!!

I won’t be selling them, so you’ll have to go to their website to buy one. Here’s their link:  HEART LOOM

I have some fun projects in mind, and will post pics as soon as I get them done.

I think that I will probably make a video tutorial specifically about weaving with this little loom.  (One more thing for the ‘to-do’ list!)

Happy Hearts!



Filed under Heart Loom, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

Angel of Healing dolls

Recently, friends of ours experienced a tragic loss. At the same time, some close friends and family members have been facing some health issues.

I wanted to show my concern, my love, my empathy and my wishes for healing, so I reached for my crochet hook.

I designed a new Angel of Healing doll, and have been crocheting them up for the dear ones that I am wishing healing and wholeness.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

You can order a copy of the pdf pattern from my website if you would like to make some Angels of Healing for those that you love, and also, while you are at it, do make one for yourself!


Here’s how I describe them on my website:

Love is the most powerful medicine.

And, that is what this Crocheted Angel of Healing doll is all about.  The Angel of Healing is meant to be made in a contemplative, meditative, prayerful way, so that it is filled with wishes for healing, wholeness, peace, harmony and happiness.

The crocheted  Healing Angel doll can be made small enough to fit  in your pocket (or the pocket of someone that you care about) to remind you (and them) that you (and they) are loved and cherished.  Or, you can make it larger.

When you crochet your Healing Angel, you can express your creativity in endless ways with your choice of yarns or threads. (It’s a great stash buster, as it takes only tiny amounts of yarn, and it’s also a great way of upcycling by using tarn and other ‘alternative’ yarns).

The Healing Angels are meant to have treasures included in them,  so the pattern tells you how to do that.

The wings are shaped into a sideways ‘8’, which is the symbol of infinity, because this Healing Angel is a reminder of love, which is “to infinity, and beyond….. “

Make Angels of Healing for yourself, or for the ones you love. They are a beautiful way to express the wish for healing and wholeness!


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

A neat variation on Card stock bobbins for storing threads and yarn

I love buying vintage crochet cotton at the thrift shop. It speaks to me of the hands that it has passed through, and the pleasure it has brought to other thread lovers.

I like to use it in my weaving, crochet and tatting, as it gives me a sense of connection to needlewomen of the past.

BUT… storing balls of crochet cotton can be a problem. Those hollow cores take up a LOT of space!

So, for many years, I have been upcycling old credit cards or pieces of cardstock to make bobbins like this:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Because, storing yarn or thread on a small flat bobbin is so much more efficient than leaving it on the cardboard tubes:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Last night, I had insomnia, and was thinking about winding off a pile of vintage crochet cotton, when I had a flash of inspiration!!

Instead of making chubby little embroidery style bobbins,  if I made ‘dog bone’ shape bobbins, I could use my bobbin winder to speed up the process of winding them. AND, they’d take up less room, as it would be a longer, leaner shape.

I jumped out of bed, and started cutting the new shape bobbins:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

And, winding up balls of cotton:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

In a twinkling of an eye, I have compactly wound bobbins that won’t tangle with other bobbins, as the thread is taken through a slot and secured. Another bonus! No snaggles!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

This shape of bobbin is great for warping the Mirrix loom, as it’s so compact.  Yep – it’s a win!

And, they can be easily stored in unusual containers, like this:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I made a video to show how quickly and easily this works:

I haven’t tried using these bobbins for tapestry weaving, but I will, and will let you know how I like them.

I love making tapestry bobbins from wood- especially upcycled wood, so I will be showing you how I do that in an upcoming post.

Happy weaving, and here’s to creative ways of storing yarn and thread stash! 😀


Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Mirrix loom, tutorial & how to, weaving & handwoven