Tag Archives: recycling

Upcycling a little box into a band loom

I can’t share photographs of the weaving that I am doing for my new book, nor can I say anything about it, but, I can tell you about something else I have been up to.  🙂

I absolutely love weaving Scandinavian style woven bands, using different styles of rigid heddles.

Many people weave narrow bands by using backstrap looms, which I find to be a complete misery to work with. ugh.

I love using my Norwegian cradle loom and other rigid heddle looms.

Weaving with a Norwegian cradle loom

Weaving with a Norwegian cradle loom

I’ve been mulling over the idea of making a smaller, more portable box loom based on the Norwegian cradle loom.

A few weeks ago, as we were cleaning and clearing in preparation for our big move, we found some sweet little drawers that my father in law had made many decades ago.

He had reclaimed some tiny little wooden butter boxes and made wee drawers for his workshop with them:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

And, since then, the idea for building a tiny, oh so portable band weaving box loom has been gestating in my mind….

After much trial and error, I have built the little loom, and absolutely adore it!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I have made a small video that shows what I did to build this little charmer:

This is the ratchet and pawl that I designed for my loom.

I made them from a scrap of marine plywood, which allowed me to curve the pawl.

I am going to make the next one from a piece of purpleheart that we’ve been saving, so I am going to make the pawl straight, to make it stronger and not risk breaking it by cutting a curve against the grain.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

If you are interested in learning more about weaving Scandinavian style narrow bands, definitely seek out the work of the marvelous weaver extraordinaire, Susan Foulkes:

And, if you’d like to see some of the ways that I use narrow bands please click:
Note: I have upgraded the little box loom…. it’s even better!  I will post photos of it soon.

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

Weaving with recycled & upcycled fabrics for Green Window City

For the last 6 weeks or so, I have been weaving up a storm, working on an installation for the Green Window City project in Edmonton Alberta.  Link to Green Window City

I wove 7 banners ( each 5 yards long) from cut up clothing and t shirts cut into t shirt yarn (tarn and ‘Farn’- fabric strip yarn) on my Saori loom.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I rescued a warp chain that an angry weaver had cut from the loom and tossed in a box at the Reuse center:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

It wove up beautifully:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I figured out how to weave stars for the ends of the banners:

Green Windows April 7 update 5 (c)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I built a mannequin, a cat,

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a dog,

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a stool, a loom and a stand. LINK

I made gigantic balls of yarn…. I wove a tapestry of the earth, using cut up fabric strips- whew… so many new things to figure out!  LINK

copyright  Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

And, then, yesterday, I installed it all in the window of a beautiful little boutique in Edmonton, ‘C’est Sera:

Weaving the world 10 (c)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

And, today…  I clean the studio and work on new projects.

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Filed under eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Saori weaving, tapestry, weaving & handwoven

How to build an upcycled loom and stand from recycled stuff

For the last month or so, I have been building and weaving up a storm.

I am part of a project in Edmonton, Alberta, called, Green Windows City, that has partnered 13 artists with small shops in the arts district.

The artists are creating installations built from upcycled or recycled stuff, and are creating magic!

Today is installation day, so I will take photos after I complete my installation and post them.

One of the really fun things that I have done is to design and build a tapestry loom (although it can be used for other things than tapestry) and stand from trash.

I built the loom from a picture frame and the stand for the loom using heavy cardboard tubes thrown away by the fabric store, an old broomstick and a few nuts and bolts.

It has ingenious ways of tensioning the warp strands, and opening the sheds for ease of weaving.

All it all, it is a wonderfully functional loom and stand that is almost no cost.

To my delight, I have found it to be a loom that I love and will be using for years.

I liked it so much that I have built a second one to be weaving on while this one is busy being in the installation.

I made a video showing how to make the loom and stand, and how to warp it (including the warping device that I messed up on and then replaced LOL)

Here’s the video-  it’s a cheap and cheerful way of creating a really great little tapestry loom.

I love it, and hope you will, too!

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

Introducing 2 new Peg Looms from Dewberry Ridge Looms

A couple of months ago,  I published my new eBook on weaving jewelry with stick looms: See LINK

My friend, Donna McFarland of Dewberry Ridge Looms was looking at the photos when her husband, Gary, walked by the computer.

Donna told me that he said:’ Those have to be Noreen’s designs, right?’ and she agreed.

He then mused that he would like to make stick looms.

Well… I was delighted, and immediately asked if they would consider building peg looms.

I have a couple of peg looms, but felt that they could use a re-design with improvements that I knew Gary could build.

After lots of conversations, Gary and Donna have created the most wonderful peg looms!

Here’s the link to order them LINK

They are truly the Rolls Royce of the Peg Loom world!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Here’s what I asked for, and they have designed and created:

1: Taller pegs so I could see more of the weaving emerging before having to advance the warp. This is especially important in weaving tapestries on the peg loom.

2: Fine wooden pegs that are slimmer and closer together to give a firmer, tighter weave. A close sett avoids too loose, loopy fabric.

Another important note about the pegs: I asked for close grain wood for the pegs, as smooth pegs that don’t catch the weft are essential. Gary has found the perfect wood for the pegs that is smooth as silk. He also carefully shapes the top of the pegs to make them guide the yarn beautifully.  His attention to detail is exquisite!

3: A really nice threading tool – I came up with a rather crude one, and Gary totally surpassed my concept.

4: Legs that would stabilize the looms- Gary’s design for the legs is so elegant that it knocked my socks off!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Donna and Gary came up with some neat ideas, too.

They suggested tilting the looms backward slightly.  This is brilliant, as it improves the ergonomics of the loom enormously and makes the loom more comfortable to work with.

They also decided to offer a loom with 3 sizes of pegs, for people who want to work with larger pegs.

Personally, I am so smitten with the thinnest pegs that I probably will just be working with them and not the larger pegs, but Gary and Donna wanted to appeal to the widest possible group of weavers.

Gary also decided to make the base of the loom removable in case a peg gets stuck. What a great idea!

Peg looms are  eco friendly, as they are great for using t shirt yarn, or tarn, or fabric strips torn from discarded clothing.

And, I am working on a new book for peg loom weaving, so do stay tuned for that 🙂

I have made a little video that introduces the Dewberry Ridge Peg Loom:

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Weaving a placemat with fabric strips

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Our placemats (is that a Canadianism? Does the rest of the world say ‘table mats’?) are all looking shabby, so I decided to weave up some new ones.

I love upcycling, so I am using fabric strips to weave the placemats.

I decided to weave the placemats on my 14 inch Dewberry Ridge ‘Lil Weaver’.

I know that this is slightly narrower than conventional placemats, but I figured that when we have the whole family around the table, that the squares will fit better than rectangles.

Because fabric strips are hefty, I decided to work over 2 nails at a time. The nails on the loom are too close together to work well with fabric strips, are lovely when you use 2 at a time.

Also…. there are a couple of secret tips that make weaving with fabric strips go so much more easily….

Here’s the video tute, and happy weaving!

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More little looms from recycled stuff part 2

If you are teaching a child to weave, or just want an impromptu, no cost small loom for sampling yarns and colorways,  this little loom is very handy.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The project on the foam food tray loom is a bookmark, but you can weave amulet bags,  rug mugs, small dolls and toys,  doll house rugs or squares that you stitch together to make larger projects.

It’s great for traveling, as it’s light, and if you use a plastic darning needle for weaving, it’s fine to take through airport security.

Yesterday, I posted part one of the recycled and upcycled looms: Here’s the link:  PART ONE

I think that one of the most accessible looms for beginning weavers is the  weaving stick loom.

I am doing a lot of designing for it – here’s my post about the mermaid to weave on the stick weaving loom: LINK

Happy Weaving!!!!

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Little looms from recycled things for teaching weaving or sampling etc part 1

Yesterday, I posted about teaching children to weave Link

One of the pleasures of weaving is that it can be done with tremendously complex machines, but, can also be done with small bits of this and that from around the house.

Today and tomorrow, I am going to be posting little how to’s on making recycled and upcycled looms that are great for teaching kids how to weave,  or just for noodling about with sampling yarns and weaving little bags, or hacky sacks or bookmarks….

So, here’s today’s installment:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

If you make each grid square 1/4 inch, then the loom is  business card size, which is a charming size to work with, and to pop into a pocket or bag.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

If you weave 2 tiny rectangles on the loom, and stitch them together, then add a beaded fringe, it makes a very pleasing little amulet bag.

I think that one of the most accessible looms for beginning weavers is the  weaving stick loom.

I am doing a lot of designing for it – here’s my post about the mermaid to weave on the stick weaving loom: LINK

Happy weaving!

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Upcycled jeans become denim dress

Whoosh! Summer raced by, with renovations on our house, and helping out on renovations at our daughter and son-in-law’s house and weaving, weaving, weaving, weaving, weaving!

I’ve been working HARD on new books and am hunkering in and am  ~FINALLY~ getting them closer to completion and  releasing- oh my!

I took a little break from my looms the other evening to indulge in a little bit of upcycling.

My daughter in law gave me some of her torn blue jeans a few months ago.

Suddenly, the other evening, I felt the urge to take the scissors to them:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I have a couple of dress patterns that I am besotted with these days, and find myself making them over and over in various configurations.

In my previous blog post, (link to post) I showed how I used my fave dress pattern with fabric that I had woven on various narrow looms.

Snipping up the bluejeans to fit the pattern pieces was a touch tricky, and forced me to bend a few ‘good seamstressing’ rules, but what the heck, why not?

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I am fanatical about pinning the living daylights out of the sections of garments when I am stitching them together, but I don’t pin my pattern pieces to the fabric when cutting out.

I like my rock collection that I have gathered up over the years. 🙂 They hold things in place without damaging the pattern tissues.

And, of course, I HAD to save and re-use the bum pockets!

I also saved a little pocket from the inside of one pair for a cellphone or glasses mini-pocket, too.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Unfortunately, when I picked the pockets off the backside of the jeans, there were 2 dark blue pocket shapes. Drat!

I thought about attempting to bleach them out, but then thought: Ah, why not consider them to be ‘design elements’? 😀

I am tickled pink with my upcycled denim dress, and am so happy that a couple of pairs of torn jeans have come back to life as a fun and comfy tunic that I am going to enjoy enormously! Whee!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

 

I really should show you the dress that I made from a garage sale tablecloth… it’s great! I wove the neckband…. okay… must take pictures and get back into the habit of blogging again!

And, by the way…. Happy September!

 

 

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Upcycled tunic new life for old clothes

Last summer, I bought a really frumpy skirt and a too small dress at the thrift shop.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Why on earth would anyone in their right mind do that?

Because I intended to ‘harvest’ the fabric

from both the garments and

upcycle them into something new and oh so much fun for myself.

The skirt was long enough,

and full enough

to be able to provide the body for this fun tunic.

And, the skimpy dress provided the pockets,

lower bands, and upper neck band-

and I just love it!

I wear it with leggings, and a t shirt

underneath, because my days of wearing

shortish dresses with bare legs are long gone.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

As I was taking the pic of the tunic,

I remembered another upcycling

project that I did recently:

I took a favorite old dress and cut it up

and turned it into a fun and floatie

overshirt…..

it just hit me that they would work well together!!!

Hurrah!

So, think twice before you toss old clothes,

and don’t let the frumpiness or too smallish-ness

of a garment put you off…

cut them up and re-configure them into something

that you will enjoy!

Hurrah for re-purposing, reclaiming, recycling, re-fashioning, re-using, re-creating, restoring, renewing and upcycling!

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How to weave a square on the bias on the potholder loom

For weeks and weeks, I have been meaning to get my video tutorial of how to weave bias squares on the potholder loom posted to YouTube.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

What with one thing and another, I haven’t gotten around to it.

One thing that was odd, was that I simply couldn’t upload videos for awhile. I just gave up on YouTube. Anyone else having trouble with uploads? Weird.

And, since it took me so long to get the video uploaded,

I decided to re-shoot it, using ‘Tarn’, since I am working with Tarn so much, lately.

Fun!

Here’s a link for how to do one kind of join with Tarn:

Tarn Join

I didn’t have a potholder loom when I was a child, so when I was introduced to it when I was a grownup, I didn’t have any preconceived notions about what it could or could not do. So… I have been designing all kinds of magical and wonderful things for it ever since (for decades, in fact- my love for the potholder loom is a long standing one!!!)

You can see some of the things I have designed for it here: Potholder loom.

Over the years, when I was designing for the Potholder loom, I realized that I needed to be able to weave different shapes and in unusual ways with the looms.  So, I have done a lot of experimenting with it.
I have worked out a bunch of ways of weaving triangles on it, and this is how I twigged to how I could weave a square on the bias on the potholder loom….  after all, a square is just 2 triangles that happen to be in love.

The pesky gaps on the potholder loom were a challenge – but I have solved the mystery of how to deal with them!

How? Well..  check out the video!

Here is the YouTube video tutorial on how to weave a square on the bias on the potholder loom : LINK

Happy Weaving!

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