Monthly Archives: August 2012

Two more pouches for the Soumak Pouch Weave Along

I’ve been shooting videos for the weave along  that begins on September 2nd.

As I was shooting, I was weaving along on a couple of pouches.

Here they are:

A Stripey one, with some beads and other embellishments:

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and the back:

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I wove it with Lion Brand Bonbon yarn- cotton for the body of the pouch and metallic for the embellishment.

The size 8 beads along the sides are from Mirrix and the bone beads at the lower edge were in my stash.

The medallion on the back of the pouch is one that I snitched from a box of stuff that my daughter in law was going to give away.

(She gave it away, but to ~me~ instead of giving it to ‘anonymous’ 🙂  I can be shameless when it comes to pretty goodies! )

My daughter in law grinned at me when she saw the finished pouch, and said: ‘This one is yours, isn’t it, Mum?’

‘Yes! but how did you guess?’

She just laughed.

I guess it’s because I adore these colors and use them all the time!

I was concerned about this pouch:

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Why?  Well, because both my daughter and my daughter in law declared that they loved it and would love to have SantaMamma leave it in their Christmas stocking.

I didn’t want to make two pouches that were exactly alike, so I had to have a big old think about it.

And, I came up with the perfect answer!!!!!

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TADAH!!!!   I wove it up in the same colorway, but used wool yarn instead of cotton.

 

Here’s the back of the woolie pouch:

Kreinik supplied me with the gorgeous embroidery thread and edging cord for this pouch.

Here are the links for them:

The edging is 3/8 ” trim:  # 170 Natural Pewter
http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17023&cat=0&page=1
The embroidery thread is: Ombre: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=622&cat=0&page=1
1000 – Solid Silver

I love the combination of the soft loftiness of the wool with the sparkle of the metallic embroidery floss.

By the way, the embroidery thread is soft and lovely to work with. Some metallics can be barky and sharky.

This is soft and nooshy.

!AND! 

Happy dance!

and   ~whew~

My daughter in law (who happens to be an incredibly gifted and talented handspinner, so she is naturally inclined to be more drawn to wool),  likes the woolie pouch –

HURRAH! SantaMamma is so relieved!

My girls will have their lovely pouches in their Christmas stockings, and they are ‘sister pouches’…. similar, but each unique!
 

Alright… time for me to get back to editing video…..  🙂

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Furoshiki wrap technique to carry a small loom

I rarely leave home without a small loom.

If I am the passenger in a car, I  weave.

If I have to wait for an appointment, I weave.

When in an airport or flying…. I weave.

If I am sitting, listening to my husband’s Jazz trio/quartette/quintette, I weave.

I like to be able to to port along my small looms in  tote bags, backpacks or baskets.

But…. the warp strands and bobbins and needles can get seriously disarranged by being jostled in transit.

I have been mulling over the best way of protecting them while they are being trundled about…. and then it struck me….

By using the Japanese technique of creating perfect wraps and carriers from a scarf or cloth! :

FUROSHIKI  (link to a ton of ways of doing furoshiki wraps)

3 Mirrix looms wrapped with Furoshiki techniques
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I always carry headscarves in my purse or bag, to use as instant tote bags.

The other day, it struck me that the perfect way to protect my beloved small looms when I am slipping them into bags or baskets for their travels, is to ‘Furoshiki’ them.

It works BRILLIANTLY!

I usually use square headscarves- and any size will work… smaller scarves are great for small looms or bundles of books and tools; larger scarves for larger bundles of looms and stuff.

But, you don’t have to use scarves: This is a great upcycling opportunity!

You can use squares of fabric cut from old shirts or skirts or dresses 🙂

You can also use cloth squares to gift wrap presies. Do check that link at the top of the page. Impressive 🙂

Here’s a video, showing how to use Furoshiki wrapping techniques to make an instant, customized carrier for your small loom:

The models in the video are my 3 smallest Mirrix looms.  I call them the Three Sisters.

I love, love LOVE my Three Little Sisters!  I have renamed them: The Mini is ‘Molly Whuppie’ (you can read her story in my book, Soul Mate Dolls), ‘Vasilisa’ (heroine of a wonderful Russian fairytale) is the name of the 8 inch loom, and the 12 inch is now known as ‘Jane’, after my beloved Jane Austen.

I do believe they quite like their travel wraps! 🙂

Here’s the video that I made to show how I wrap my looms :

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A gift of love-A heart and hands scarf

I wanted to wrap my daughter with love, so I decided to weave her a stole or scarf that has the hand prints of our near and dear.

And in the hand prints, are little hearts that I wove on my heart loom. LINK for how to weave them.

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I wove the triangles on the 14 inch triangle loom from Dewberry Ridge looms LINK

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And showed how to do the chain stitch drawings: LINK

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And, how to weave the flower from hearts: LINK

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Because the scarf/stole/shawl will be seen from both sides, I stitched a heart to each side of the stole :o)

I plan on crocheting an edge around it eventually, but am holding off on that until we are sure that we don’t want more triangles added to it.

I love being able to pour my love into a special gift- with love in every stitch! 😀

In every stitch is a wish for happiness!

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Chalkboards are low tech dandy design tools

Sometimes, I get stuck in the design process.

That’s when I need to give myself nudges that break up the mental and emotional constriction that is keeping me from moving forward in a project.

And, so, I reach for some of my favorite tools that help me to see things differently.

My chalkboards and chalk.

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Eh? as we say in Canada 🙂

Really!  A chalkboard is a fabulous tool for knocking the design blechs sideways!

I have wondered about why they work so well for me and I think that there are a couple of reasons.

The first is that white chalk on a black surface reverses the way I normally see things when I am drawing.

This is invaluable, because it clears the deck of any pre-conceived notions that I had about sketching.

It’s like working with negatives instead of photographs. You really do see things differently.

And, if you are stuck, then that is really helpful!

The second reason why I love chalkboards so much is that drawing on a chalkboard is so playful.

There’s a real feeling of ‘little kid’-ness to them that is definitely very freeing.

You know that it’s not permanent… it’s just a bit of dust on black paint … so wheee…… draw, draw, draw!

If you don’t like it…. whoosh whoosh, wipe it off and it’s gone.

If only the rest of life were so easy!

AND… if you do like it, then grab a piece of paper and a pencil and copy the sketch onto the somewhat more permanent surface.

How did I get such a neat shape chalkboard?

Easy.

I drew the shape on masonite, cut it out and painted it with several coats of chalkboard paint from the hardware store.

I even like the scritchy sound the chalk makes when I am drawing.

Low tech is often a wonderful way of opening the doorways to creativity and imagination.

Try it…. you might like it 😀

PS: Anne, who is one of my online friends in the Mirrix facebook group suggested that you take pics of your favorite sketches and load them into your paint or bead making programs.  I don’t use those programs, so it didn’t occur to me.

Anne’s suggestion also reminded me that I do take ‘archival’ photos of some of the sketches that I really like… sorry… I completely forgot to mention that!  Thanks for the reminder, Anne! 🙂

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How to weave a flower on the heart loom

The Heart loom from Dewberry Ridge loom is such a sweet little loom 🙂 Here’s the Link to order one of them: LINK

I’ve woven some fun things with it:

Here’s the ‘How to’ that shows some of them: LINK

and how to make a butterfly: LINK

And, now, here’s how to weave a flower using the Heart loom:

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The flowers can be used to embellish scarves, stoles, shawls, bags, vests, hats or other garments or pillows, throws, curtains….

 

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To make the flower, you’ll need to weave 5 hearts in petal color and 3 in leaf color:

 

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Fold the leaf hearts in half and stitch the edges.

Then, stitch the petal hearts together with one edge layered a little over the other, then stitch a button on for the center:

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Then, stitch the leaves to the back of the flower.

If you are going to stitch a pin or a hair clip to the back of the flower, cut a circle of felt and stitch it over the messy ends on the back.

If you are going to stitch the flower to a garment or home accessory, don’t worry about the felt circle.

Just stitch the flower on, leaving the tips of the leaves and part of the flower petals free so they are dimensional.

Here’s a video showing how it’s done:

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Mirrix Loom Weave Along Soumak Pouch- 2- Looms, tools, equipment

This is the second ‘Prelude Post’ for the Mirrix Loom Weave Along for the Soumak Pouch.

The pouches are perfect for both business cards:

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or for cellphones:

My cellphone is one of the smaller, lower tech ones  [4inches tall, 2 inches wide, 5/8 inch thick] if yours is larger, then you will want to upsize your pouch, if your pouch is going to be a cellphone pouch.

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Alright… now onto the gathering up of tools and equipment:

First of all, you need a loom:

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Most of the photos and videos for the weave along will feature my 8 inch Lani Mirrix loom. (Although I have ordered a Mini and a Little Guy, so hopefully, they will arrive soon, so I can use them in the photos and videos, too.)

The pouch can also be woven on any of the larger Mirrix looms as well- if you are using one of the smaller Mirrix looms, then warp up one pouch at a time. If you are using one of the larger looms, then you can warp and weave 2 pouches at the same time.

Even if you don’t have a Mirrix loom, please feel welcome to join in the Weave Along.

As long as you have a loom that you can get good tight tension on it, then you will be able to weave the pouches.

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You will also need: A steam iron, a pressing cloth, a good source of light, pencil crayons or watercolors or some other way of coloring your preliminary pattern colorways, 2 clothespins, scissors, needle and thread for finishing, snap fastener and a swivel clip, you’ll also need paper for tracing out your patterns and trying out different color schemes.

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Knitting needles and crochet hooks are very helpful, and  a loop turning tool is  handy (I bought mine at my local fabric store),  a piece of cardboard that is 10 inches tall by 3 inches wide (25 cm tall by 7.5 cm wide),  a weaving stick, small paper clamps, a fork or beater, a hole punch, at least a yard of firm yarn or cord, clear tape (packing tape works well); a black fine tip permanent marker

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You’ll need rods for the top and lower edge of the weaving: 6 inch (15 cm) tent pegs or 6 inch (15 cm) lengths of steel or brass rods 1/8 inch in diameter (I bought a 36 inch long one at the hardware store and cut it to 6 inch lengths with a hacksaw);  velcro straps (I bought mine from Lee Valley:  Link‘S’ HOOKS: 25  “S” hooks, either 7/8 inch or 1 inch- opened or closed :[ I had a huge ‘AHA’ when I bought closed ‘S’ hooks…. having one end closed is just GREAT… so if you buy closed ‘S’ hooks, open one end with pliers.  If you buy open ‘S’ hooks, squeeze one of the ends closed. Having the closed end keeps the ‘S’ hooks on the rod.  🙂 ] ; 1/4 inch Washers: 54 in total; 1 or 2 pairs of pliers for adjusting the ‘S’ hooks; ruler and tape measure.

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Some of these things have shown up in other photos, so I won’t list them again, but the other things are:  A small bowl for holding pins, needles, clamps etc;  a bag or box to store and transport the project (that’s Tottie Tomato’s knitting bag); chopsticks are very handy for several things  besides your Pad Thai 🙂

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You will need at least 5 or 6 blunt tapestry or craft or darning needles. It’s handy to have a needlebook or tin, or cardboard tube or eyeglass case to store them in.

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To line the pouch: Fabric (I upcycled one of my son’s abandoned t shirts for the lining of the first 4 bags), scissors, pins, needle and thread, snap fastener: I used the 15 mm size.

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To make the edging cord: A kumihimo kit

OR a spool knitter: Lion Brand: LINK

or Harrisville:  LINK

CHECKLIST at a glance:

– Loom

– steam iron

– pressing cloth

-a good source of light

– pencil crayons or watercolors or some other way of coloring your preliminary pattern colorways

– paper for tracing out your patterns and trying out different color schemes

– 2 clothespins

-scissors

-needle and thread for finishing

-snap fastener 15 mm size

-swivel snap hook (optional)

-knitting needles & crochet hooks

-Optional:  a loop turning tool is  handy

-a piece of cardboard that is 10 inches tall by 3 inches wide (25 cm tall by 7.5 cm wide)

–  a weaving stick

– small paper clamps

-a fork or beater

-a hole punch

-at least a yard of firm yarn or cord

-clear tape (packing tape works well)

-a black fine tip permanent marker

Rods for the top and lower edge of the weaving: 6 inch (15 cm) tent pegs or 6 inch (15 cm) lengths of steel or brass rods 1/8 inch in diameter

-velcro straps   Link

‘S’ HOOKS: 25  “S” hooks, either 7/8 inch or 1 inch- opened or closed 

–  1/4 inch Washers: 54 in total

-1 or 2 pairs of pliers for adjusting the ‘S’ hooks

-ruler and tape measure

– small bowl for holding pins, needles, clamps etc

– a bag or box to store and transport the project

– chopstick (optional)

– At least 5 or 6 blunt tapestry or craft or darning needles and a needlebook or tin, or cardboard tube or eyeglass case to store them in.

-Lining fabric

– Straight pins

-kumihimo kit  OR a spool knitter

-any other embellishments, beads, buttons, charms or found objects that you wish to use.

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Mirrix Loom Weave Along Soumak Pouch- 1- Warp and Weft

In September, I will be leading a Weave Along, using Mirrix Looms.

I will be posting the  pattern, video tutorials, instructions and step by step photos for the Weave Along here on Tottie Talks Crafts.

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The project is a Business Card Pouch, which also works well as a cellphone pouch, woven in Soumak, embellished with corded edges and chain stitch embroidery.

I have designed it to be welcoming to entry level weavers, but also, with options that will appeal (I hope) to more advanced weavers, too.

Because it can take awhile to get orders cleared and shipped, I am posting some suggested warp and weft yarns, as well as the links for ordering them now.

Hopefully, your yarns will arrive before September first.

Here are a few photos of some of the Business Card pouches that I have woven so far:

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This is the first Business card pouch that I wove, using:

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Harrisville Warp LINK

and: Wool weft:  Harrisville Variety Yarn Pack: Brights LINK

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I wove the second  pouch with the Harrisville warp and for weft:

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Harrisville Variety Yarn Pack Jewels LINK

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I quite like both p0uches, but …. OOPS!

They are slightly too small for their intended purpose!  EEGADS! Business cards don’t fit in them!

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So, I went back to the drawing board, and altered the pattern.

By then, gorgeous yarn had arrived from Lion Brand yarns: LINK TO BONBON YARN

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The photo doesn’t convey the scale of the balls of Bonbon…

They are tiny, perfect little balls of loveliness. Each of them is 2 1/2 inches (6cm) tall.

The cotton is simply gorgeous to weave with.  I love it.

I wove these Pouches in Bonbon cottons, with Metallic chain stitch embroidery:

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I used the  ‘Nature’ colorway for the pouch in the photo above, and ‘Beach for the pouch in the photo below:

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The Metallic yarns come in six packs, as does the cotton. I used yarns from both colorways: Party and Celebrate, for these pouches.

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My daughter in law suggested that I add a swivel snap hook to the upper corner of the pouch.

I thought that it was a great suggestion, and so I have added it.

The swivel clip allows you to clip it to your bag, or the belt loop of blue jeans.

If your cellphone is one of the larger ones, you may need to upsize your pouch if you would rather use it as a cellphone pouch instead of a business card pouch.

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I used Lion Cotton for the warp for these two pouches, because I wanted to use yarns that you can order at the same time to make this all easier for you:

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I wasn’t sure if it would work for the projects, but it does just fine.

I don’t think that I would use it for tapestry warp for a really large project, because it has a cheerful slightly bouncy nature.

Warp for tapestry really does need to be made of sterner stuff 😀  None of that youthful springiness!

Speaking of warp- a couple of my Ravelry friends have asked if carpet warp would be okay for the Weave Along, and yes, indeed, it will work fine.

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I am going to weave some of the pouches on carpet warp, and also on the green linen that’s on that ginormous spool.

In my next post, I will show you the equipment, materials and tools that you will need to gather up for the Weave Along.

Here’s the link to  a post that has all the blog post links, to keep everything quick and easy to refer to : LINK

You are invited to post comments on the blog posts here on Tottie Talks Crafts.

CHECK LIST FOR WARP AND WEFT:

– warp

-weft

-optional contrast yarn for chain stitch embellishment

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Mirrix Loom Weave Along Soumak Pouch- All the links

This blog post is going to be growing, as I will be listing all the links to each of the posts for the Weave Along Soumak Business Card Pouch.

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Mirrix Loom Weave Along Soumak Pouch-  1- Warp and Weft suggestions and links to order them: LINK

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Mirrix Loom Weave Along Soumak Business Card or Cellphone pouch – 2 – Tools, equipment and materials: LINK

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Information about the Kit from Mirrix, and the tools and materials for edgings: LINK

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Two more pouches and links for Kreinik threads: LINK

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Part One: Setting up the Looms: LINK

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Part Two: Design Notes: LINK

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Part Three: Warping the Looms: LINK

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Part 4: Weaving Techniques: LINK

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Part Five: The checkerboard border LINK

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Part SIX: The Edging Cords: LINK

Part SEVEN: Finishing Techniques: LINK

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