Monday, April 29, 2013

Part 3: More Zoom Loom Yarn Explorations

More squares, for your perusal:

Baby Twist, 100% Baby Alpaca, from Alpaca with a Twist. Lovely and soft, fulls nicely! We created a plaid by winding half way across the loom with one color, changing to the next. This was repeated for the second and third layers and in the weaving as well. You could have a lot of fun mixing and matching these squares in a pillow or bag design.
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Above, the grey/tan is color 0284, the orange/red is color 3008.

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Above, Knitted Wit superwash wool, worsted weight.From left to right: Her Majesty (purple), French Kiss (pink), Rainbow Magic (multi), and Cupid's Arrow (red/pink/white). The multi-colored yarns offer so many ideas for "naturally occuring" plaid patterns without having to do anything special except weave!

Below we've woven several squares in Barlettyarns, Inc., Fisherman 2-ply, 100% wool. This yarn has lovely handspun appearance. It weaves up nicely, and fulls or felts readily. Because it felts so well, this yarn would be good in projects that would benefit from a firmer fabric such as a bag fabric or outerwear garment.
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The colors are left to right, Plum Heather, Lilac Heather, Spruce Heather and Garnet Heather.

Part 2: Zoom Loom Yarn Explorations

Here's another installment of our Zoom Loom yarn explorations. 

First, some squares made with Zealana Rimu, (distributed by The YarnSisters Inc. in the U.S.) a double knit weight blend of 60% fine New Zealand merino and 40% brushtail possum. (If you want to learn more about the brushtail possum, click here.) The colors are brilliant, and the yarn is soft and could be worn against the skin. The middle square was woven by winding three layers of Kiwi Crush (the gold-green color) on the Zoom Loom, then weaving with Powiwi Pink.

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(If you haven't used a Zoom Loom, here's a brief explanation of how it works, and why we call it the Zoom Loom: you start out by winding a layer of yarn on the loom, then you wind a second layer perpendicular to the first layer. Wind a third layer in the same orientation as the first layer, measure out a length of yarn to weave with, then using a long weaving needle, weave a final layer to pull it all together. Wind, wind, wind, weave, and you're done, hence the name. Very quick and very portable. If you are curious, the instructions are on the Schacht website, so you can see exactly how it's done.)

Here are some squares woven from Jojoland Tonic. Top left is a square woven with color AW292, a heathery tan/green; next to it is a square using AW324 (a medium heather brown) and woven with AW292; just below and right is a square woven with only AW324.

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The bottom middle square is color AW280, and up and to the left is a square using AW280 for the first three layers wound on the Zoom Loom with AW292 to weave. Tonic is a blend of 85% acrylic/15% wool so these squares did not full at all when washed, something you would need to take into account to have a project come out the right size.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Zoom Loom Zippy Bow Tie

This super easy project, our second in our Zoom Loom project series, requires just 3 Zoom Loom squares. A neck band is crocheted and slipped through the back of the "knot" and secured with a snap fastener. This Zippy Bow Tie is created by our very own Benjamin Krudwig. (Benji's checkered hat and scarf were the project featured in our Fall 2012 newsletter.) Download the PDF with complete instructions.

Here's Benjamin all dressed up and ready to pack looms!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Part 1: Zoom Loom Yarn Explorations

We are gearing up for TNNA - The National Needlework Association trade show in Columbus, Ohio this coming June. We are partnering with yarn companies to showcase a variety of yarns woven on the Zoom Loom which be displayed in these companies' booths. We are so excited by all of the scrumptious yarns available from such great companies.

Zoom Loom Display
We will be posting sample squares here for all the yarn companies that are participating in this special project, so check back frequently to see all of the latest squares!

Below are squares woven with yarns from Mountain Colors,
Mountain Colors always has a wonderful selection of yarns and colors perfect for weaving! 

Mountain Colors - various yarns
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Yarns shown are:
Top row, left to right: Wool Crepe, 100% Merino Wool, color Spring Eclipse. This yarn is really springy and has a great drape. Bearfoot, 60% Superwash Wool/25% Mohair/15% Nylon, color Logan Berry. The third square is one strand of Wool Crepe Spring Eclipse and one strand of Logan Berry, woven together in all 4 layers.

Bottom row, left to right: Bearfoot, 60% Superwash Wool/25% Mohair/15% Nylon, color Harmony Aspen. Weaver's Wool Quarters, 100% Worsted Wool, color Juniper. Merino Ribbon, 80% Superfine Merino Wool/20% Nylon, color Winter Sky. We recommend the Ribbon yarn to more advanced Zoom Loom weavers because it is a little bit more of a challenge to weave on the Zoom Loom--it's worth it, though, for the wonderful texture it produces. Twizzle, 85% merino wool/15% silk, color Gold Rush. We love how the Twizzle weaves up!

It would be fun to mix and match different yarns with the same colorway to create coherent pallets with different textures. Another interesting experiment would be to use the same yarn type (ex. Weavers Wool) in different colorways. 

Below is a lively swatch from The Alpaca Yarn Company,

The Alpaca Yarn Company Swizzle yarn
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Yarn: Swizzle, 100% Superfine Alpaca, in color 07 Tiger Lily. Of course since this is Alpaca, it is SUPER soft and feels great to touch. Swizzle in this colorway is a black ply spun together with a tonally-dyed red/orange/gold ply. Due to the combination of colors and plying, the woven structure of the square is not obvious, so it creates an interesting visual texture which mimicks tracking. If you want to make a project where the outlines of the squares are less obvious, this yarn and colorway would be a good choice.

Stay tuned for yarns from Karabella, Knitted Whit, and Bartlet Yarns.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Zoom Loom - the pin loom with a difference

Here's the first in a series of projects designed just for the Zoom Loom. This bag is created from 55 squares sewn together and felted to make this smashing, generously-sized bag. The Malabrigo yarns felt easily to create a thick, sturdy fabric, and the JUL handbag findings are the perfect finishing touch. For the complete instructions for this bag, download the PDF.

Squared Uptown Bag by Constance Hall