I will be at Nottingham Yarn Expo at the Nottingham Conference Centre which is held over Saturday & Sunday. I will have lots of items on show and I will demonstrate how to make pom poms and daisy patterns and using crochet to join your squares together.
The Knitting & Stitching Shows are always popular and they are expecting a great turnout as usual, the Notts Yarn Expo is on its maiden voyage, but it has been very well received and looks like it will become an annual favourite!
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!
I will be at the Marlborough Town Hall Craft Fair on 22nd March 2014. Marlborough is a lovely market town full of gorgeous shops housed in beautiful buildings and on Wednesday and Saturdays there are well stocked markets along the High Street, the second widest in Britain.
I will be selling Butterfly Looms, knitting looms and accessories to make blankets and scarves, I will of course be sitting along side showing passers by how to use the looms.
So if you are in Wiltshire and fancy a stroll around one of the prettiest towns, in an area full of pretty towns, visit Marlborough on Saturday 22nd March.
Marlborough Town hall
5 High Street
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.
Following on from the yarn I bought last week from Wool Warehouse, these are a few squares I have made to check the thickness. They have all been made on the Magic Butterfly Loom, 4 complete rows (8 strands) and give very different results.
Drops Lima white (1101) and grey blue (6235) 65% wool and 35% Alpaca.
A soft finish but with more body than just Alpaca, I used a piece of thin chenille for the centre of the daisy.
I am going to give this a whirl as a scarf, maybe use cross stitch knots for the body and then a daisy panel on each end.
Drops Alaska Light grey mix (03) 100% wool
This is an Aran weight and is still lovely to touch but is more substantial than the Lima. This would be great for a throw for your settee (especially useful at the moment) It is a very sturdy and would take a bit of rough and tumble.
This square is about 20g, the throw I have over my knees at the moment measures 1m x 1.6m – working on that ratio, 5 x 8 squares = 40 squares and I calculate you can get 5 squares out of 2 50g balls, which means you need 16 balls and a contrast to make one throw – this would cost less than £35.
Drops Alpaca Boucle Off White (0100) Light Old Pink (3250) 80% Alpaca, 15% wool 5% polymide
Soft, soft, soft – gorgeous to touch, but not my style, I afraid. The finish is not distinctive enough for me, it might be that I chose the wrong colours, or maybe it is that boucle is not my thing. I used the two colours on the right hand square and the white on the left hand, with blue contrast, which used a total of 30g for the two. For me this would be better being knitted with, however I am going to try and make some pompoms on the Medium Butterfly Loom, see how they turn out – might be mega fluffy?
As a positive, this really is a lovely soft, delicate and I guess warm finish so if boucle is something that appeals to you, this would be super as a summer pram blanket.
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.
And a quick photo to show what you can make with a large, a rectangle and a small loom.
I used one large back and one large for the front I then had a rectangle for each side, the bottom and the two tops. I used a further rectangle to make the handle and one either side at the top to build up the height. I attached the handle at the sides so it almost made the handle a continuation of the side and gave a nice rounded shape.
Now this example is not perfect! I like the overall shape but there is an issue with it; I have used a chenille yarn and the end result has turned out very heavy – not ideal for a shopping bag! I am going to give it another go, I think my next one will be one I am happy with and then I will do some detailed instructions if anyone is interested. In the meantime here is the layout if anyone wants to have a go. Bag layout
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.