Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Baby Blue Squared - A Zoom Loom Project

It must be spring that's making us think about small things being born, and small things to make for them! This blanket is backed and the edges bound with flannel, making it extra cuddly. Pick up your Zoom Loom for a quick yet beautiful project!

A sweet baby blanket just waiting for a little one to wrap up


Download the PDF and get started on your very own blanket project!
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Summer Project Collection

Summer is right around the corner, and many fiber artists worry about their wearable projects being too heavy or warm. Here are a few projects that should keep you weaving and cool over the summer months.

-Benjamin

This lightweight cowl is a fun fashion accessory that won't warm you up. Made in cotton, it can absorb water and keep you cool on a hot summer day.

Click here to go to the pattern
This Summery Shawl makes a perfect accessory for those breezy summer nights at the park. Weave a few Zoom Loom squares in your favorite color palette to create your own shawl.

Click here to go to the pattern.


This simple shrug would be perfect for the summer months if made in an airy yarn. Bamboo or cotton would be ideal choices for this pattern. By covering the arms only, this project can help beat the hot sun.

Click here for the pattern


The eyelets in this shawl along with the breath-ability of the fabric would make this a great addition to your evening wear during the summer. Whether it's a stroll downtown or a night at the opera, this will be the ideal weight and warmth.

Click Here to go to the pattern

Monday, April 14, 2014

Many Ideas on One Warp

Many Ideas on One Warp - Chase Ford

Weaving tabby with only one color of yarn that is the same in both the warp and weft can look a little plain. However, use two or more colors in both the warp and weft and suddenly plain weave is anything but.

The sampler
Making a "color and weave" sampler is a great way to find out how different colors will interact with one another within a weave structure so you can make the best choices for whatever project you’re working on.  For this sampler, we used Brown Sheep’s Nature Spun yarns in worsted weight. In the warp we alternated two threads of 116 Blue Boy and two threads of 146 Pomegranate in a repeating pattern. The colors in the warp stay constant throughout the weaving process and the weft is where the opportunity for play and discovery happens. The number of weft picks and the color order creates the changes in pattern.

We tried several different variations using the same colors we used in the warp, and we used some other colors as well: 157 Boysenberry and 109 Spring Green. Using just one warp we made eight different samples on our Cricket loom.


Sample 1: 2 blue, 2 red - Houndstooth!

Sample 2: 1 blue, 1 red

Sample 3: 4 blue, 2 red

Sample 4: red weft

Sample 5: Purple weft

Sample 6: 3 green, 1 purple

Sample 7: 2 green, 2 purple

Sample 8: 1 green, 3 purple

The next time you warp your loom, give yourself room to try out a few ideas.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Zoom Loom in Creative Knitting Magazine

We've been passing the newly-released Summer issue of Creative Knitting Magazine around the office; we're admiring designer Constance Hall's Woven Scrubby pattern for the Zoom Loom (will we make it from hemp or linen? What will we scrub?). We also love Liz Gipson's crash course in weaving for knitters, which introduces approachable and portable looms like the pin loom and rigid heddle loom, and reminds us that there are many ways to love fiber.

Get your copy from the newsstand today!

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spinning Barber Pole Yarn




Spinning Barber Pole Yarn - Benjamin Krudwig


Every third Thursday of the month we have an office spin-in during our office meeting. At our last meeting I started spinning some hand-dyed merino roving, a variegated light green and a variegated ocean blue. I spun about 500 yards of singles in both colorways. Initially, I thought I would ply each color with itself, but this would yield only about 250 yards of each color. By plying the colors together, I maximized my yardage.

A section of yarn showing the change in contrast throughout the skein


Barber pole plying takes two contrasting singles and plies them together. Normally I do not resonate with barber pole yarn, as it tends to be too busy and rarely looks good in a large amounts. Since this type of yarns tends to make me shy away I decided to test a 2-yard section as a barber pole ply before committing to a couple of hours of plying. I liked the 2-yard sample so much that I took the plunge to ply the whole amount. I ended with approximately 500 yards of worsted weight yarn.





The results were pleasantly surprising, as the variegation in the singles interacted with each other in wonderful ways. Since I am still a novice spinner and my roving was a bit "sticky" feeling as I was drafting, my singles were not terribly consistent. The variation in size of yarn as well as the saturation of color created subtle changes in color density between the blue and green throughout the yarn.
I learned that the blue and green, although they are contrasting in color are not contrasting in value. Value (roughly speaking) is the brightness or intensity of a color. In this example the blue and green are near the same level of brightness, although there are some areas of higher contrast in value throughout the yarn. 


Since I didn't have a project in mind when I spun the yarn, I now needed to swatch it to see what medium it would look best in.






Above, this swatch is hefty and bulky, as is characteristic of crochet. The effects of the barber pole yarn becomes muddled and disorganized due to the mechanics of the stitch, which aligns the yarn in a haphazard way.






The knitted swatch, above, begins to align the yarn in a more structured manner, since the "legs" of the stitches are nearly vertical. Here, the colors "pool" better than the crocheted swatch. The larger needle allowed the yarn to full more and create a lofty fabric full of drape.







Finally, I wove a swatch on the Zoom Loom (above). The strong horizontal and vertical structure of plain weave allows for the colors to seem less disorganized, yet the variation in color density can be seen throughout the fabric. When fulled, the yarn snugs together creating a soft and warm fabric that isn't dense but still has solid structure.



After laying all of the swatches out side by side, I decided that the woven swatch best suited this yarn and will maximize the amount of fabric I get from my precious hand-spun yarn.



I plan on making a woven satchel with Zoom Loom squares. Stay tuned to the blog for the pattern!


-Benjamin



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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Savi's Blankie - A Zoom Loom Project

Here's a small, cuddly blankie from John Mullarkey, that any child will adore. The blankie itself is only 5 squares by 6 squares, with a full ruffle around the edge. Want a bigger blankie? Weave more squares! This blanket can be done in any color scheme; share yours with us on our social media!

The ruffled edge gives this blankie a delicate look.
Download the PDF and get started on your very own blankie project!
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Winter Doll Winner - Susan Inouye

We are taking a brief break from our Variable Dent Reed series to bring you a special post.

Last week we announced the winner of the Winter Zoom Loom Doll challenge; this week we have the inspiration behind the winning doll.

Susan's Doll - Winnie the Winter Doll

We asked Susan what her inspiration was for the doll, and she sent us the following:

"Inspiration: 
I dreamed and constructed the Winter Zoom Loom Doll Challenge one freezing stormy weekend. The winter road conditions pretty much left me snowbound so I stayed in all weekend. I saw the Challenge on the Zoom Loom Ravelry Board. I had a Zoom Loom that I had purchased several months ago and had made a few practice squares dreaming that they would become a blanket some day.
The practice squares became the “clothes and accessories” for Winnie the Winter Doll. I made 8 more woven squares for the body similar to the Schacht Doll Pattern. I embellished her dress with some embroidery and constructed a totebag and filled it with a “weaving” project.
Susan Inouye (the doll maker) lives in rural Idaho. Her interests in the fiber arts range from knitting and more recently, simple weaving projects."

Thank you Susan for sharing your inspiration and imagination! Congratulations on your inspirational win! 

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