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!
I joined 6 together in 3 rows and then joined these rows together to give a 6×3 strip. I then joined 2 of the 3 rows together on the short edges, giving me a back and front of 9 motifs each with the top squares open to form the armholes. The 2 remaining motifs I attached to the top to create shoulders. To finish I simply used butterfly braid to tidy up the edges around the neckline, the armholes and the bottom.
I am going to see if I can make some sleeves using the rectangle loom.
Butterfly Looms are available from my shop Croft Looms.
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
After practicing with the Baby Loom I have made a couple of scarves.
This one is made with the Small & Baby Looms and is made with one 50g ball of Drops Alpaca Camel Beige
I made 10 motifs on the Small Loom with 3 rows and 10 motifs on the Baby Loom with 6 rows. I joined the motifs together by slip stitching, leaving the loops on the front to make the frill.
This one is made with the Rectangle & Baby Looms and is made with one each 50g ball of Drops Alaska light olive, olive and dark pink. The flowers take only a few grams of wool so a great way to use up odd bits of leftovers.
I made 3 motifs on the Rectangle Loom, using the two green yarns together I wrapped once (making 2 rows). I knotted with some odd pink wool and then I made 6 flowers on the Baby Loom wrapping 2 rows. I joined the rectangle motifs together using the butterfly twist technique and tidied the edging using the butterfly braid technique. I cut 16 25cm lengths of each yarn to make the tassels, 8 for each end – I forgot to cut mine level!!
Photography isn’t my thing, as I always say, these are much prettier than they look!
Add passionate reds, cool blues, vibrant limes and deeply dark indigos to make a stunning throw.
When you finish other project simply make motifs with the small or baby Butterfly Loom out of your left overs and see this wonderful throw grow!
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!
Wiltshire is home to Stonehenge & Avebury, ancient stone circles where the Druids meet on the winter and summer solstice. On Midsummer’s Eve this year we went down to Avebury which is about 10 miles from where we live in Swindon. Whilst walking around the stones I picked up a few pieces of fleece that had moulted off the sheep that roam in and out of the circles, I put these together with some pieces of flint and local chalk (not picked up at Avebury – it is a World Heritage Site after all!) and made this collage. I hope it gives some idea of what Wiltshire is like to those who do not know the area.
The collage incorporates small pieces of weaving; the yellow is Alpaca wool which surprisingly enough Wiltshire has in abundance, the climate and lush fields being an ideal home for these lovely animals. The weaving was done on Butterfly Looms and Peg Looms both of which can be bought off my website Croft Looms.
These are two baby blankets made using the same materials but on different looms. They both use Inca Cloud Lemon Alpaca for the main body and the cream contrast is 50% British Falkland Merino and 50% Tencel.
This one is made using the Magic Butterfly Loom. I wrapped one row per square and made 6 squares. I joined the squares using the braid joining method. As this is for a baby I thought the open weave might be too lacy for little fingers to get wrapped in, so I decided to put a backing on it. I edged a piece of lemon flannelette with blanket ribbon and attached it to the back. I braided one short edge to make the top of the blanket and trimmed the other 3 edges to create a fringe. Where the squares meet I needed to put a few extra fringes in.
This one is make using a Peg Loom, I used single thread and used the fine pegs. As the peg looms leaves you with tassels at each end I cut the one end short and then cut a piece of flannelette and blanket stitched this along the top to make a nice smooth edge. I then added extra fringing to the bottom edge to finish this off.
The colours haven’t come out very well on my photos but these are lovely pale yellow.
Butterfly Looms and Peg Looms are available from my website Croft Looms.
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.