Monday, April 16, 2012

Yes, I's been a very long time...

Hi everybody!  Sorry I've just quit on my blog this last year!  Excuse...not really, just life keeping me busy.  I've decided that I really need to get busy and share my projects and fun little tidbits of information again.  So I plan to work again on this blog on a more regular basis.  I have been doing a little looming this last year and will update a few of my links and add a few more websites that I've found this last year. 

My big news this weekend is that I'm "published" in the current Loom Knitters Circle magazine, which is the Spring 2012 issue.  I hope you enjoy my article "Display and Store Your Heirlooms" in the Features section.  Plus this issue is loaded with information on stitches, looming friends, reviews and great patterns by other loomers!  Plus they are having a special give away entry if you purchase your pdf copy of the magazine between April 14th and May 15th.  You could win an "All-In-One Loom" from the knittingboard company, which is the newest in their line of looms.

Well it's very late...I should've went to bed hours ago!  Night all...have a great week. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Looming Demonstration @ Girlfriends

On February 18th I did a demonstration for the local Girlfriends group in Trenton.  I think everyone enjoyed it and I might even have a few converts to try out looming soon.  I'm planning on having some craft meeting get-togethers in the near future besides looming maybe we can work on crocheting and knitting (for whichever craft they know or want to learn) and maybe scrapbooking or card making.  I'm hoping that eventually we can come up with a charity project that we can work on together or all make the same thing to send somewhere, that it is needed.  They are alot of good projects out there to choose from, so when it comes time to make a decision I think I will put up a list of possibilities.

I first talked a little bit about the history of loom knitting, which is thought to have started back with the early North American Indians with finger knitting, and then on to sticks with short sticks in a row.  In fact the earliest knitting rake was found made in Germany in 1535.  (This is information I've found on the internet and in loom knitting books).  Then I talked about the many different looms available now and how I got started.  I first started with the Knifty Knitter Round Loom set of four brightly colored looms.  Then I moved on to their set of Knifty Knitter Long Board Looms and then slowly branched out to handmade looms from Decor Accents and CinDWood Crafts.  The differences in the different looms such as the Knifty Knitters are plastic and the others are usually made of wood.  There are also differences in the gauges of the looms, which is the size of stitches that they make.  The Knifty Knitters are more of a large gauge, wider stitch and can use bulky yarn easier too.  Where the others come in a wide range: small gauge, fine gauge and the really small extra fine gauge (which is what they use alot for socks).  Then I had to show them my attempt of a sock on the extra fine gauge XL loom...which I've decided I need more patience and time to actually ever get one done, I can't even imagine a pair! Ha! ha!  But I do plan on trying to make a pair of socks sometime this year on one of the larger looms instead and see how that goes.  And there are also a few weblinks with instructions on how to make your own looms...which I have been lucky to have a woodworking neighbor to make me a few too!

I showed the many different knitting looms I have (which if you look back at one of my past entries you can see all of my looms that I've stored on a door).  We talked about the different looming that you can do on the Round looms, which you can either do a full circle (which makes a tube) or back and forth (which they call flat panel looming).  Then on the Long Looms which are board looms or sometimes rakes.  Board looms usually line up the pegs on both sides of the two rows and you can loom stitches back and forth which makes a double knitting thickness, or you can loom in the round or like you do on the round looms.  Rake looming is what I usually do when I'm doing a flat panel on a long loom.

Plus I showed the many different tools that I have accumulated through the years, alot of the tools are the same that you might use for needle knitting or crocheting.  Some of the tools I have are:  Row counters, Scissors, crochet hooks, tapestry needles, stitch guides, stitch markers, measuring tapes, picks or hooks to use for your knitting loom.  My favorite hook is actually a tool that my husband says is a O-ring pick, but there are several out there and the different loom makers also have different picks of their own too.

I showed several of the books and booklets that I have accumulated over the years and a few DVD's that I have.  Plus I had some of the patterns that I have got over the internet too.  Then I did more of a show-n-tell of some of the many projects that I've made:  hats, scarves, potholders, purses, prayer shawls, swiffer pads, scrubby-o's, etc...  Plus Jean K. and Sonya T. also had some of their projects to show that they had made too.  Jean shared her experience with using "any" yarn that you have on hand to start with.  Her first hat I had told her she could use whatever yarn she had on hand...we didn't realize it was probably rug yarn...very bulky and thick, but it still was a great learning experience for her.  And I think one of her sons really liked the warm hat that she came up with!  Sonya had alot of different hats she had made her grand daughter and also an afghan she had made for her son.

I ended my demonstration by giving out some handouts of "Grammie's Newbie Links" from 10/22/06 and then also a handout I had made with links called "Video Help for Looming Stitches and Pattern Help" (which I ended up updating it and making it into a PDF file, so it was easier to go to the links).  The the lucky participants got to put their names in for a drawing of prizes.  I had a Swiffer pad & Scrubby-O; a washcloth & soap sack; and then I also had a Beauti Control little sample set in a zip-up back with a relaxation CD (for their own personal spa) and I had three more Scrubby-O's too so gave them away too.

We had a fun night, Jean K. also had a very nice devotional on Joy...having joy and sharing joy with others.  And now that I'm typing this up finally I'm thinking maybe I should maybe put my demonstration online...with pictures of what I showed.  Maybe that would help others too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Looms, Looms everywhere looms!

This last year I decided I needed some way to store my looms. And since the last few years I've acquired several looms for different projects, I was puzzled on how the best way for me to store them would be. Because they are all different sizes and shapes they don't seem to fit well in boxes that I have to store things. But since I have been making one of our extra bedrooms more of a craft room I decided I could use the door of the old toy closet. I first thought of peg board, but I really didn't want to buy something new and then I would've had to figure out how to install it. Then I saw the commercial for these hooks, that are easy to take off as well as put on. They don't leave marks on your walls...and since this all may be moved soon I didn't want marks where they weren't needed.

You must first have a clean surface. I had a friend help me put the hooks & looms up. So we would wipe our surface, dry it and then get the hook ready. I also kind of laid out how I wanted to put them up, on the I kind of had a plan. I decided the Knifty Knitter Looms are the most colorful and thought they would look neat on the out side of the door.

The hooks I used are called "Command" hooks by 3M, they come in several sizes: Small, Medium and Large. I used some of each, but mostly I used the Medium size, especially for the Knifty Knitter looms. The large one's I used on the heavier wooden looms and sometimes the looms used two hooks, especially the Infinity Board looms. The Medium size holds up to 3 lbs and I think the Large size would hold up to 5 lbs (I don't have the instructions now, but it says on the front of the box). I bought the value packs that had 6 hooks and 12 strips (which basically gives you an extra strip if you make a mistake on where you want your hook).

After we wiped our surface down with Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol and let it dry. Kelly would get the strips ready on the hook, and I would hold the loom up to where I wanted to put it. Then we would take the black liner off of the mounting strip and mount the hook...holding it in place for 30 seconds. Then you need to wait an hour before you put the looms on the hook to store...otherwise they might fall off and you have to restart the process. Also if you end up putting one in the wrong place, they are easy to take off. You just slide the hook cover up to reveal the base and removal tab. Hold base and pull straight down on the tab slowly. You will probably stretch about 12 inches and the base should release from the wall. Throw the old sticky tab away and put your hook either in storage to reuse later or get one of your extra adhesive strips and reinstall your hook on the wall.

You can find these hooks at several places besides Walmart & Target I also found them at all of the lumber/home stores like Home Depot, Lowes and Menards. At the home improvement stores I also found that some of them put them on sale every so often. Plan ahead if you are going to use these hooks and count all of your looms so that you have plenty of hooks on hand for when you go to putting them up.
After you get done with the front of your door, now it's time to do the back of your door. My other looms which some are homemade from my friend Kirk and other's from Decor Accents Looms & CinDwood Crafts and some miscellaneous, are all wood so I put them all together on the back of the door. The door has space between the door and the shelves, so I had plenty of space for the looms to hang without hitting the edge of the shelves.

Well hope this gives you some ideas on how to store your looms! You could also do something like this with peg board and peg board hooks. We have one room in our house that one wall was covered with peg board...I use to store some things on it. But since it is more a dining room/office/music room I really didn't think my looms would look that great there.

I'm also going to show you my yarn you can see I need to stay away from the yarn stores for awhile! Ha! ha! I like the boxes that are see through, makes it easy to see your different colors and yarn pretty good. But I also use duct tape and mark both ends of my box as to what kinds of yarn are in the boxes. For example: Dishcloth cotton yarn, homespun, chunky, Red Heart yarn, sock yarn, Simply Soft yarn, etc... That way when I'm needing a specific yarn I can find it a little easier. But as you can see I need to either get more projects done or get my clothes out of the rest of the closet! I guess I better get busy looming!!!

Now if I can just get my scrapbooking supplies and albums organized too. Now that would be an accomplishment!

Have a good day...stay warm and Happy Looming! or maybe I should say Happy Crafting!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Knifty Knitter's new Promotion...

I forgot to tell you about the new promotion that Knifty Knitter from Provo Craft has released just this last month in December of 2009. You can purchase their new "kit" which has the flower loom, the red round loom, the green round loom, pink long loom (10 inch), finishing needle, knitting hook tool, project booklet and a FREE Project DVD (which is only available with this offer so far) for $19.99 + s & h. If you click on this picture you can go to their website and watch their infomercial and read all about it. I've ordered one...don't know why, except I want to have the DVD! I already have the looms, but you never know when you might need an extra one or two. LOL After all sometimes I have 3 or 4 projects going at one time...and more then one need the same loom...that's when an extra one is called for! It's supposed to take 4 to 6 weeks to get here by regular shipping (although you could pay a little more and get it faster if you want), so I'm patiently waiting to look it over.

Some of our wonderful looming ladies got asked to be in the infomercial and also have been the author's of some of the patterns offered on the DVD. Isela Phelps, Bethany Dailey, Jenny Stark, and Shannon Erling, all got to help with this project. Isela & Bethany tell all about it on their own blogs "Purling Sprite" and "GettingItPegged" (which you can find their links here on the right of my blog). Once I get mine, I will give you a little more detail about what the DVD holds, and what I think about it.

So if you don't already have your own looms yet, this would be a good time to get some! Especially now that they are including a DVD with it! I'm hoping that some of my friends will become more we can loom together! Until then...I still have alot of "loomy" friends from the internet. And oh...the projects they all make! There are so many to choose from it can just make your head spin on which one to make next. I suggest for those who are new to looming to start with hats and then scarves...then start venturing out from there.

Today was another cold day, starting off with a little bit of snow again. It's 8 degrees now this evening around 10 p.m., but they say it could get down to -12 to -17 degrees overnight. Brrrr! I guess we better bundle up good with some extra blankets! I've been keeping the laundry and dishwasher busy today, just in case the freeze would freeze up our pipes!

DH came home tonight and decided he would go ahead and open up his Christmas present afterall (he was going to wait a little longer to use it, but decided he couldn't wait). Curious about what he got? He got a Kitchen Aid Classic Mixer, with all the ingredients to make his favorite cookies..."Chocolate Chip". So...we've just had a very yummy dessert! Now he's planning on mixing all kinds of food! Who knows...maybe I won't have to cook for awhile! he! he!

Well, it's getting late and tomorrow will be another busy day. Have a good week and Happy Looming!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Start of a new year...2010

Today has been a very cold day! When we got up the temperature was -10 degrees and this afternoon when we went to town for a little while it had went all the way up to 9 degrees...whoo hoo! And it looks like the rest of the week is going to be cold every I guess I'll just have to dress warm.

I have been working on a baby afghan for a friend of mine's first grandbaby on the DecorAccents 30" ADJL Small Gauge. I am using only 1 strand and using the loom as a board loom. I am using the Caron Jumbo Prints 10 oz. yarn with the Baby Rainbow Ombre colors (which is a light pastel colors of blue, green, yellow & white). So far I only have 41 rows and it's about 9 inches long, so I have a ways to go yet. I am using the Honeycomb Knit Stitch (which is found in the Provo Craft booklet "Knitting with Knifty Knitter III" on pg. 3.) This stitch really isn't hard, but you just have to keep track of your rows to help you remember which way to do your wrapping.
Pictures of it so far...

Yesterday we celebrated a belated Christmas with my mother and mother-in-law. We had a pretty good afternoon and since we already had spent Christmas day with my mother-in-law...we just did gifts with mom. Our big surprise is what we got her from my sister & her husband and us...a fake fireplace...or rather an electric heater that looks like a fireplace. She seemed surprised and liked it, but poor hubby had to put it all together. He's here with all of the pieces and then of course with the final product, now if mom can figure out where she wants it!

Then I also gave her a prayer shawl for Christmas, which I made on the DA Prayer Shawl loom using the original prayer shawl pattern. I used Homespun yarn from Lion Brand, the color is called "Nouveau". The yarn is very soft and when it's wrapped around you I think it's nice & warm. It is 98% acrylic with 2% polyester, so it should wash good in the laundry, but I'd still put it in a large laundry back so that the yarn wouldn't catch on something and pull apart. I also gave her a heart shaped pin to use to fasten it if she wanted to.

Next time I will try and recap some of the things that have went on in 2009 and some of the looming projects that I've done. Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Happy Looming!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I know I've been absent this year...

Hi all...I hope you have had a good year in 2009 and are getting ready for a wonderful year in 2010! I apoligize for being absent all's not that I haven't had several things to blog about, it's just making myself sit down long enough to put down my words and load my pictures. But that's my New Year's start updating you more on what is going on.

I have pictures of several projects that I have made this year and want to show them all to you, so the next few weeks I will start adding those in. I also have been trying to figure out ways to store my looms and my scrapbooking supplies and I will show you some of that as well.

I will be giving my second "talk" or "demonstration" on Loom Knitting in January at the local "Girlfriends meeting. So I may practice some of it on you ahead of time and see what you can send comments or suggestions to me.

It's very cold here and snow is on the ground everywhere. Luckily they do have the highways clear and most of the local streets in the town I have been able to get out and around where I needed to.

Happy Looming everyone...I'll start some pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sorry...been way to busy with family & holidays

Hi all...
I really need to catch everyone up on what we've been doing the last month. But even now I really don't have the time. Although I will try and make time soon and put several of our pictures on my page as well. I was able to finish up a few of my looming projects for Christmas, so I will tell you more with my pictures, hopefully sometime this week.

Right now I've been trying to get caught up on the many emails that I have missed on several of the email loops that I'm on. One of them had a very interesting link to helping with frogging a project. They called it their "Lifeline" or rather insurance for knitter's. While I haven't used it yet, it sounds like it would work out pretty good on the loom as well. Here is the link for the site: Lifeline on Heartstrings FiberArts. I'm printing it out for future reference and also bookmarking it...maybe you should too. Anyway it sounds like it would be better then ripping everything out.

Have a great day and don't give up on me...I'll update everyone soon.