Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Pink Pearl Wrap

The Pink Pearl Wrap pattern for the loom. A lovely lace confection made from lace weight yarn. The pattern offers two sizes (photos show the small size.) This pretty wrap is perfect for warmer weather, and is made with lace weight mohair and silk yarn on a 1/2 inch gauge loom with 30 or 44 pegs. The pattern is a large print pdf download. If you need a plain text version, please leave a comment with your email in it (your email will not be posted.) Please let me know you like this pattern. Pink Pearl Wrap $4.50 US  
Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved.

The Right Tools for the Job

Needle knitters have their tools by needle size, in US and European, and by millimeter. They have needles in different textures such as plastic, glass, bamboo, wood, nylon, metal etc. Crocheters have their hooks in the same wonderful array of sizes and materials , and a choice between Tunisian style and conventional hooks. Pattern designers and stitchers alike recognize that there is a tool for every stitch and yarn combination in these needle arts, and as a result, they have a bounty of patterns to choose from, and the choice of yarn is unlimited. Why then, are some loom knitters and some pattern designers resistent to loom knitters having the right tools and access to the same variety of patterns and yarns as needle knitters and crocheters?
Do loom knitters have a choice of tools? Yes, we do, although it may take more than a trip to the local yarn or craft store to find them. Currently, (just a sampling here) there are metal pegs made by Authentic Knitting Board, Kiss and Markman Looms; nylon pegs made by CinDwood, DA Looms, and Knifty Knitter; Wooden Pegs by Markman Looms; hard plastic by Knifty Knitter and Martha Stewart, and soft plastic by In The Attic. In sizing, there are fine/extra fine gauge looms made by Markman Looms, AKB, Kiss and DA Looms; 1/2 inch made by CinDwood, DA Looms, Markman Looms, Martha Stewart, and Kiss; Large and Extra Large made by Knifty Knitter, Martha Stewart, Markman Looms and CinDwood; and super size for rug making by Markman Looms. Plus, many more looms are made by wonderful small loom crafters. Do loom knitters have a wide variety of tools to choose from? Yes, we do.

Do loom knitters have a choice of patterns? Not as many as we should, but one look at the design files on Ravelry shows that the variety of pattern design has and is continuing to expand for loom knitters, and that many loom pattern designers offer their patterns for free. Do these patterns use a wide variety of yarn? Again, not as much as is possible. There is room for improvement, because we have the tools.

So, back to the original question. Why are some loom pattern designers now claiming wrongly that patterns should only be designed for one brand of loom? Why are they trying to limit loom knitting to only large gauge looms? Some of them are or have recently been employed by manufactures of those looms to promote them. They have had books, phampletts, and patterns published by manufacturers of those looms, and will be continuing to promote and write for those companies. But, they are not saying this. I hope loom makers and pattern writers who work for them will be more forthcoming before they disparage other brands and sizes of looms and worse yet, claim that any stitch or pattern may be made on their gauge of looms. How disappointed will the loom knitter be who believes this and tries a pattern only to have it fail? Stitchers know that there are a variety of tools and yarn, and with the right tool, the right yarn, and the right pattern they will make a beautiful creation. There is no reason that loom knitters should be told anything different.

Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Looming Up Hill

The uphill loom. Yes, it seems I was due for a round of challenges. First, most sadly, an allergic reaction to two lovely yarns. They both had Angora (bunny, I'm so sorry) and I had hives all over my face and neck. I was able to finish the second project with the help of a very strong cortisone ointment, and by being careful to wash my hands as soon as I stopped looming. No more soft, pretty Angora yarns for me!

My second challenge is in the photo above, a new pattern I'm working out for a pretty V shaped shawl. I used a nice chunky wool called "Garden Party", all shades of pink and green stripes. While most of the shawl is beautifully stripped, the left side has a large pink pool. Blocking has helped some, because the pink pool is distributed over the shoulder, and less obvious when worn. The pattern is coming together nicely, and the next version will be loomed in a solid color, lighter weight yarn.

I hope your looms are being more cooperative than mine!
Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On and Off the Loom

It is all about size this week. Spring is here, and my loom knits need to shrink to fit the weather.

On my loom this week is a little sister to "Jane's Shawl". I scaled the pattern to fit two very pretty skeins of Noro yarn that were a birthday gift. The yarn is more of a bulky weight, but the tweedy look fits the pattern well, and the colors give an entirely different take on the original. Just off the loom, the "Vive La Difference" from the May Ravelry Loom-a-long. I made a narrow scarf version, again scaling the pattern to the yarn. When blocked it made a very pretty lace scarf, which I wore on Mother's Day.

Next? Another version of the "Pearl Wrap", and then the pattern will be available. I'm testing the new "Aloft" yarn from Knit Picks for this wrap, in a sky blue, and debating about having two sizes as well. The first few tries for a larger size wrap did not go well, so I may stay with the original size after all.

What's on your loom?

Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May Looming on the Net

Oops. There is an errata page for Jane's Shawl. The corrected version is number 4, and both the needle and loom version have been corrected.

May is a wonderful month for looming. The Ravelry loom-a-long group is hosted this month by Helen Jacobs-Grant
myheartexposed . The pattern is the beautiful "Vive Le Difference", a lacy shawl or scarf consisting of 3 sections that may be loomed in any combination you like. The photo above shows the start of mine, a narrow scarf version made out of "Sylph" from Artfibers in a deep plum color. I cannot wait to finish it and block the lace to see it open up. The loom-a-long will also be hosted in the Knifty Knitters Loom Group and DA Loom Group at yahoo groups.

Made by Telaine has finished her beautiful "Friendly Scarf Project" with a wonderful stitch conversion, the "Lacy Wasps Nest Stitch." I love this project, and hope that there will be more like it. Anyone up for a round-robin friendly scarf project? Thank you for all the beautiful stitches, Tanya.

Working Out Kinks and Fingering Yarn continue to amaze me with their wonderful tutorials and articles. A must read is the article about the Hyperbolic Crocheted Community Reef displayed at the Smithsonian. Although this is not a loomed project, it is a beautiful needle art display, and the article is a delight to read. Thank you Crystal and Ana!

Loom Class at yahoogroups has two great May projects: The Mother's Day Illusion Cloth taught by Brenda, The Loom Lady, and The Needle to Loom Bunny, taught by Pat Hathaway.

And last ... I'll be teaching the loom class the last part of June with my "Seaglass Wrap" pattern, and the Ravelry Loom-a-long for July, with the "Leafy Sea Dragon Scarf". I hope you will all join along.
Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.

Monday, May 2, 2011

From Loom to Needles

A funny thing has happened to "Jane's Shawl for the Loom". The needle knitters wanted the pattern.
A well meaning Ravelry member thought it was wonderful to see a loom knit shawl pattern in the "Jane Eyre Fans" knit-a-long, and she posted about it in the main discussion group - with 9000 readers. Needle knitters began grabbing the loom pattern without reading the notes, and then were baffled by such strange terms as "peg" and "loom". Some were very nice and asked if the pattern could be converted. Helen Jacobs-Grant (
My Heart Exposed) was kind enough to write a wonderful conversion of the pattern for them. "Jane's Shawl for Needles" was created and offered as a companion to the loom pattern.
Apparently, loom patterns are just as good as needle patterns, because the needle knitters went crazy for it! Helen and I were surprised and delighted. The needle knitters are telling me they like the pattern because they feel it is the closest pattern to replicate the shawl from the movie.
Now, a few needle knitters have not been so kind in their comments. They cannot understand why the pattern is made on a "machine", why it has the words "peg" and "hook" in it, or why it is a "conversion", and they need to look at the loom pattern for photos and complete information. Apparently, our loom knitting is too complicated for them! One needle knitter even wondered why they could not convert it themselves. Yes, finally, we loom knitters can have a smile at the needle knitters. No longer is our loom knitting "not real knitting", "too easy", and "only for hats."

I would like you to know, I have on the official "I told you so" smile. I hope you are all enjoying "Jane's Shawl for the Loom." Jane's shawl for the Loom has been updated to include two more patterns, a small and large version of the original Jane. $4.50 US  
Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.