I visited Avon Stitchers, a group of enthusiastic crafters in Bradford Upon Avon, this week. As the name suggests, they are mainly into embroidery and sewing, so I thought I would try and use fabric on the Butterfly Loom.
Blue Fabric Daisy
Blue Fabric Daisy close
Blue Fabric Daisy closer
I took apart an old blouse and cut the sleeves into about 1″ wide strips.
I knotted the strips together and wrapped around my Small Butterfly Loom – I then unwrapped as I realised the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric would be uppermost when I removed it from the loom.
So, starting again, I wrapped the loom making sure the front of the fabric was face down on my board. I wrapped two rows then used embroidery thread to do the knotting, which I did in a daisy pattern.
Rummaging around in my box of bits & pieces I had small (11″) cushion and, rather conveniently, a piece of navy felt which almost exactly matches the flowers on my fabric.
I attached the daisy to the felt by simply sewing the 4 corners of the knotting (leaving the loops free) and then made an envelope style back for the cushion and sewed it all together.
We had a great time over the week-end at Proper Woolly an event to promote natural wools and yarns held at the livestock market in Holsworthy, Devon. Very well organised, good footfall and plenty of interesting stalls to see.
I am going to experiment with their Blacker Swan range, a joint venture between Blacker Yarns and Andrez and Ali Short who farm at Swan Inlet Farm on the Falkland Islands. I am going to match 3 colours from the range Buttonweed, Seagreen and Seafoam.
I had a good chat with Sharon Driscoll of Newhall Naturals. Sharon spins and sells her own creations. She went off with a Magic Butterfly Loom to experiment, so it will be interesting to see what she comes up with. I also met Lyn Soutar of Aneed2BeadnCraft, she runs lessons in knitting, crochet, Kumihimo and beading and thought the loom would make a nice addition to her repertoire!
The local WI groups and various Brownie and Guide troupes all expressed an interest in workshops and it was great to be invited by a whole range of groups from Brownies to seasoned spinning & weaving guilds to either give talks or workshops to their members, so a busy time ahead!
I came away with a skein of mohair from Julieann at Noteworthy Mohair, beautiful yarn hand spun from their own goats. She had a whole set of the Looms she was hoping they would keep the kids occupied! I am going to use the mohair on the loom and see what I come up with.
All in all, a great weekend, disappointed I didn’t get time to buy much yarn myself; still, there is Yarndale to look forward to!
Here’s a couple of shopping bags I’ve made; they are supposed to be reminiscent of the string shopper from the 60’s & 70’s.
This one is made using the Magic Butterfly Loom for the body, the Rectangle Butterfly Loom for the handles and Baby Butterfly Loom for the flowers. The wool I used is 4 x 50g of Drops Fabel Blue Sea Print from Wool Warehouse.
I made 8 motifs wrapping 4 rows on the magic. I used the wool from the centre of the ball and the outside together (2 strands) to even out the variegated pattern.
I then made:
2 handles wrapped 6 rows on the rectangle.
2 flowers wrapped 6 rows for the string pull.
1 metre (approx) of i-cord using a lucet.
4 stiffeners for the handles from felt.
I will make up some instructions on how to put this together for a later post.
I made 7 motifs on the Rectangle Butterfly Loom, wrapping 2 rows.
This was very easy to make up, I simply joined 6 rectangles lengthwise using the Butterfly Twist, joining the last with the first to create a tube. I sealed the bottom using Butterfly Twist and tidied the top edge using the Butterfly Braid technique. I used the Butterfly Twist lengthwise to create the handle and attached to the top of the bag.
As usual my photography skills do not do these justice – the second bag in particular is very lightweight and slightly stretchy, so holds more than you might expect – but make sure you sew the handle on tightly!
Butterfly Looms are available from my website Croft Looms
Made on the Magic size Butterfly Loom this shopper measures approximately 33 x 33 cm and is made from a sturdy worsted 100% Aran wool. The colour is cherry and has a subtle blue fleck. This has been lined with black felt and finished with a woollen covered button and faux leather handles.
Instructions to make the Troon mini shopper
Troon Tweed Aran Collection
A gorgeous aran weight knitting wool spun in Scotland in a range of tweedy and marled shades, packed full with character
I used Cherry, a deep red with blue fleck.
250g Troon Tweed
Butterfly Loom – magic
Butterfly Loom – small
Piece of felt or fabric for lining 35x70cms approx.
1 pair of sew-in bag handles
1 button form
Needle & thread
Using the magic loom, make 8 Butterfly Loom motifs of your choice wrapping 4 loops.
Using the small loom, make 1 Butterfly Loom motif of your choice wrapping 4 loops.
If you are making daisy patterns lay the motifs out and decide where they need to be placed, 4 back and 4 front.
To join I have used the Butterfly Twist technique – but I have used 2 sets of loops at a time (1 from each motif) to give a more defined, sturdy join.
Take 2 motifs and hold them back to back, starting a one corner put your crochet hook through the loops of both motifs. Put the crochet hook through the second pair of loops and make a butterfly twist (i.e. draw the second pair through the first pair). Continue to the end and put an odd piece of wool through the end loop (to stop it unravelling). You should now have a herringbone patterned join on the right-side of your work. Repeat this for the remaining 3 pairs of motifs until you have 4 pieces, 2 back and 2 front.
To join the 2 front pieces together, hold the 2 front motifs back to back making sure the 2 end loops (with the odd wool through) are together. Using the edge that have the end loops, start at one corner and repeat the twist described above. When you get to the joins pick up the 2 loops and crochet them together through the first loop. You will now have what looks liked 2 bulky loops (16 loops) on the hook, pick up the next 2 loops and crochet through leaving the 8 loops and carry on to the end and again put an odd piece of wool through the end loop. Repeat for the 2 back pieces. Now you have one back piece and one front piece. Using a damp cloth press both pieces and the small motif.
On the edge where the end loops are, use the butterfly braid technique and braid the top edge to make a neat top for the bag, do this for both of the bag pieces.
To make the lining fold the piece of material in half along the longest edge, this should roughly be the size of your bag. Sew the 2 sides up leaving the top open. Turn the open edge over about 1cm to hide the raw edge of the fabric and using the needle & thread slip-stich this to the wrong side of the top edges of the 2 sides of the bag, hiding the raw edge. I used double thread for a bit of extra strength.
Lay the outer part of the bag flat on the lining and put the sewable part of the handles through the outer – I put mine 3 holes down and 3 holes in. Sew the handles in place using the needle & thread, again I used double thread and went round twice for strength.
Join the sides of the bag using the twist technique, when you get to the joins you will come across the beginning join of the original joins, pick up ‘start’ loops and treat them as one (as you did for the end loops). The edge will go in slightly but over time this will stretch out.
Using the Butterfly Braid technique edge the small motif. Find the centre of the small motif and place it on the back centre seam, using the twist technique attach one edge of the small motif to the 1st row.
Cover a button template with a contrasting wool and sew onto the front centre seam lining up with the central hole on the small motif, this will create the ‘button hole’.
Instead of using a covered button you could use a chunky wooden button or leave the top open. If you do not have the small loom but want a closure you could crochet a simple loop for the button to pass through.
If you do not want to buy handles, you could use the rectangle loom to make straps or use a peg loom or weaving sticks to make a handle.
All materials are available to purchase off my website Croft Looms.
If there is a design you want us to try on the Butterfly Loom let me know!
Drops Paris Dark Turquoise (10), Orange (13) and Heather (07) 100% cotton
I absolutely love these colours they are so vibrant but the picture does not do them justice. Soft cotton finish, hard wearing but I am not sure what you could make with it on the Butterfly Loom? I tried making coasters, putting felt underneath but cotton is so soft it does not hold its shape.
Any ideas anyone? It would be a shame to not be able to use this, I am thinking of trying it out as a bag of some sort, maybe a shoe bag?
Made on the small loom, 8 rows, main turquoise and orange wrapped together and heather as contrast.
I’ve had a delivery from Wool Warehouse. I have bought a brand called Drops and so far I am very impressed. They have a large selection of different blends and fibres, cottons, alpaca (my fave) 100% wool, mohair and all the usual weights. The great thing about Drops is the price – Alpaca 50g £2.10 + VAT
The ‘Paris’ cotton is only £1.79 +VAT for 50g and you probably can’t see it in this picture, but the colours are VERY bright!
As I say, I’m going to do a bit of experimenting and will post the pictures when done.
In order to reduce the amount of plastic shopping bags I have around the house I like to use something a bit more eco-friendly. I have make a shopping bag using the large and rectangle looms.
Very reminiscent of the ones we used to have in the 1970’s only this one does not seem to stretch! (yet!)
I used a mix of undyed hemp, wool and mohair wrapping 3 strands at a time and went round twice. I used two large for the sides and attached a rectangle to each at the top to give a bit of depth. The handles are two rectangles sown up lengthways. The rectangles are slightly longer than the square so took a bit of piecing together (17 into 15), but easy enough and gives quite a nice fluted shape to the top. The only place it looks like it is stretching is where the rectangle and the square meet along the top, but I think that is because the edge loops are large than the ones in the body.
It is a bit messy as my inital thought was to line it with calico, but the picture above has 3kgs of shopping in it and hasn’t stretched much at all, so I am going to use it for a few weeks and if by January it’s dragging in puddles I will re-design! The back of this I actually made daisy patterned, but it has left it far too holey – would definitly need to be lined.
I’m going to make another one, paying a bit more attention to detail and see how much is has cost me – I think easily under a tenner. I also have some thicker yarn I might use, see how that turns out.
I have made a double sided cushion cover using the large loom. The fluffy side is made using 100g of Snazzy colour Royal SY041 supplied by Texere (www.texere.co.uk) and the back is 100g Lister Bamboo Navy 774 out of my stash so not sure where this came from and intersected with paradise chenille in Salmon also by Texere
Now, where did I go wrong: I have a habit when sewing and knitting of working too loose and I think this is what I have done here. Next time I will pull my knots tighter, then they will lie more evenly. I also changed what I was making half way through, and back again, I was going the cross knot, then I decided I would try a daisy but realised that I hadn’t left enough rows, so went back to leaving it as just crosses. This has ended up with it being a bit of a mess on the back and with lots of joins – but I think this proves that it doesn’t matter too much because that is all hidden at the back. I think also I should have used a thicker knotting yarn – maybe the same as I did the wrapping in. I have put this round a black cushion so the effect is ok – but not perfect..
But it is very easy to pickup, I had a couple of attempts at first on the small loom to just understand what was what but after a few wraps and knots I feel I have mastered it! A bit of tweaking, but I think I know where I have gone wrong, so eager to make something else
Next project is going to be a ‘string’ shopping bag.
All priced up and ready to go, generally they will be dispatched via Royal Mail but the large ones will have to go via courier as the RM do not take parcels over 61 cm. I had not really appreciated how large the rectangular and the large ones are; though I knew the measurements and I had seen Carolyn’s video on YouTube I had mentally underestimated their actual size – still makes for quicker results!
I have set up an EBay shop, unfortunately as I am ‘new’ I can only post 10 items until I receive a letter in the post from them. Once I have jumped through a thousand hoops I will have a button on this blog to link straight to my shop.
My price list is attached, if any one wants to place an order here and now without going through EBay send me an email using the contact form on the homepage of this blog with your requirement and I can send you a Paypal invoice, if not here is the links to the 3 I have up at the moment: