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How To - Woven Linen Ribbon Pillow Cushion April 14, 2016 16:08

 Our Stash Blaster® portable placemat size weaving loom is a great tool for blasting through yarn, fabric and ribbon stash. You may want to keep your finished piece as a placemat or perhaps turn it into something else. In this case, we had loads of beautiful Shindo linen ribbon and we decided to turn it into a decorative pillow.

 Purl & Loop Linen Ribbon Pillow_1

We made our placemat using 1/8” cotton twill tape for the warp and 3/8” linen ribbon for the weft. This makes for very quick weaving (quick stash blasting) and we purposely made this project without fringe to eliminate any bulk. Our finished placemat measured 16” x 11 ¾” and we used a piece of 17 ½” x 12 ½”of cotton twill fabric stash we had lying around for the backing.

Purl & Loop Linen Ribbon Pillow_2 

 We decided to do this project entirely by hand because we wanted a work in progress that you could carry around in a big purse or small tote bag.   Since we just have a personal thing for the textured look of crewel wool, we decided to sew with some stash of our Appleton crewel wool in a light brown color. We placed the less pretty side facing up since this side will be facing inside once the pillow is turned right side out. Here, we use a basic straight stitch to sew the backing and the placemat together.

 

This whole process progressed very quickly even though we were doing it all by hand. We sewed around three sides of the placemat and backing. This is a view of the backside.

 Purl & Loop Linen Ribbon Pillow_4

Next, we turned it right side out. You will notice that we have a lot of extra fabric at the unfinished edge and this is on purpose.

 

Purl & Loop Linen Ribbon Pillow_5

Next we stuffed the pillow with some stuffing from a local craft supply store. We used just enough to fill in all the inside space but you could make it as full or not per your personal preference.

 

 

 Purl & Loop Linen Ribbon Pillow_6

 

Our next step was to close the open end. We folded that extra bit of fabric down toward the inside of the pillow and we switched to white crewel wool.   We brought the needle up from inside the fold so you cannot see the tail.

 Purl & Loop Linen Ribbon Pillow_7

Then we used a basic backstitch but only penetrated the inside fold of the fabric backing. The texture of the linen helps hide our stitches on the front side.  

By stitching only from the inside of the folded fabric, stitches are virtually invisible.

 Purl & Loop Linen Ribbon Pillow_7

This cushion was quick to finish with an already completed placemat.

 Purl & Loop Linen Ribbon Pillow

 We hope this inspires you to think of ways to expand your weavabilities!


Meet the Swatch Maker Looms January 27, 2016 16:01 1 Comment

Weaving is everywhere! The rising popularity of simple frame looms has folks looking for more tools. The new Swatch Maker looms from Purl and Loop let you explore new ideas with very little risk before investing time and yarn in setting up a larger loom. Simply slip a Swatch Maker loom in your bag and you can take weaving with you wherever you go. It's a sketchpad for your yarn!

Most frame looms in the market today are primarily designed for tapestry weaving and mostly available in wide spacings of 6 ends per inch or less, limiting the yarn size you can use. With new manufacturing technology, it is now possible to create simple frame looms with closer warp spacings. The Swatch Maker Looms' clever construction allows the weaver to swatch virtually any sized yarn!

Sett is the weaver's gauge. It is expressed as warp ends per inch. For instance, a sett of 8 has 8 warp ends per inch. The Swatch Maker Looms are designed to mimic the most popular setts for weaving, ranging from 4–24 ends per inch.

Meet the Swatch Maker Looms

Weavers can now easily test their sett, sample color combos, and evaluate finishing techniques. Handspinners can test their handspun without fear of wasting precious yarn and be sure they are spinning the right grist for their project. Add a pick-up stick and the weaver can create any structure they want. The little swatches are satisfying as they are even if they never grow up to be something larger.

“The Swatch Maker Looms have dramatically changed the way I work” said weaver Liz Gipson of Yarnworker who collaborated with Purl & Loop in developing these looms. “Sampling is no longer a dirty word!”

The Swatch Maker Loom is available in two styles: The Swatch Maker and Swatch Maker 3-in-1.

Swatch Maker Looms

The Swatch Maker looms are warped via slots spaced in three setts—8, 10, and 12. These are the most popular setts for rigid heddle weavers—one of the fastest growing and most popular segments of the loom market. You can skip or double thread slots to achieve a sett range of 4–24! These looms are available individually or as a set of three.

The Swatch Maker Looms are made of a creamy acrylic that has a translucent white matte finish on the front and a glossy finish on the back. Included with the Swatch Maker Loom is an acrylic and metal tapestry needles, cotton carrying bag, and photo instructions. The loom measures approximately 7.5" x 6" and has a work space of approximately 5" x 6". The slots are raised .25'' from the base, making it easier to weave.

Swatch Maker 3-in-1 Loom

The Swatch Maker 3-in-1 is designed with a clever slot-and-hole constructions that allows the weaver to have all three setts on one loom—8, 10, and 12.

It is available in birch wood or creamy white matte acrylic. The loom measures approximately 9.25" x 6.5" and has a work space of approximately 6" x 7" along with a ruler on the side so the weaver can keep spacing consistent. The slot-and- hole assembly is raised .25'' from the base, making it easier to weave.

The Swatch Maker 3-in-1 Loom comes with a loom, an acrylic or wood tapestry needle, a metal tapestry needle, a threading needle, cotton carrying bag, and photo instructions.

The Swatch Maker Looms allow you to take your creativity anywhere. 


Little Baby Nesting Owls June 10, 2014 17:15 1 Comment

Just wanted to share this photo of these tiny little nesting owls.  They were inspired after a conversation with the owner of Nesting in the Heights LLC.  These little guys are just miniature variations of the owls from our kits.  The "nest" is a variation of our needle felted bowl kits.


The Sassy Acorn Custom Made Wool Bowl June 01, 2014 16:30

This 100% wool (8.5 ounces) bowl is approximately 5" wide and 2 1/2" deep. We hand needle felted this precious creation in about 8-10 hours. We then hand sewed a Purl & Loop tag to the bottom. Is anyone interested in a custom made bowl like this for $165 (includes $15 for shipping) of $150 if you pick it up at our studio? We have the wool to make 2, possibly 3, more bowls and they will take about 2-3 weeks to create. If you are interested, just send us your email address, name, mailing address, phone number, and if you want it shipped or will pick up and we will send you an electronic invoice. That's it, no other action steps required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you who have purchased one of our needle felted bowl kits, taken one of our classes, or seen our needle felted bowl video tutorial, you can easily make this on your own.   You will need:

 

  • SMOOTH 5” foam ball (like Styrofoam) from your local craft store for shaping
  • 8.5 ounces wool roving or batting plus additional colors for the flowers
  • Felting needles
  • Optional: multi-needle felting tool

 

Unlike our instructions in our kits or on the video, we did not go all the way up to the halfway line on the foam ball when we started the process. We wanted a shallower bowl so we started felting the wool about 1” from that line.

 

Once about 25% of the base wool was used, we started working with the multi-needle felting tool and the process sped up considerably. We find that sculpting with one single needle in the beginning is necessary to create a base. After that the multi needle tool is very effective. At the end, we tidy up everything with the single needle again.

 

We then added the flowers just like we add the dots in our instructions and on our video. We admit, it took several attempts to achieve the desirable shapes but after awhile, creating the flowers became very easy. We now have a unique business card or car key holder!


Purl & Loop Needle Felted Bowl for Empty Bowls Houston 2014 May 21, 2014 15:52 2 Comments

A Purl & Loop designed bowl was presented to Mad Potter, a sponsor of Empty Bowls Houston 2014. 100% of Empty Bowls proceeds benefited the Houston Food Bank. The event was held at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.  

 

The bowl is 8" and 100% handle needle felted.  This design used 8.5 ounces of wool.

 

This was the first time I tried such a large bowl.  My hands are a bit tired.

 

The Empty Bowls Houston 2014 committee asked if Purl & Loop would demo how to make the bowls.  We worked on a variety of sizes for four hours and talked until we were tongue tied about the process.

 

So many wonderful organizations supported this event.  We are proud to be in their company.  

 

 

 

 


Purl & Loop has a new studio! May 06, 2014 18:58

We are so excited to have a new studio space at 2315 Commerce St., Ste 20, Houston, TX 77002.  We can see customers by appointment Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am - 4pm.  To schedule an appointment just call 713-545-2450 (Angela) or email info@purlandloop.com.

 

The new studio has loads of natural light that fuels our inspiration.  The studio space is located in Art Square Studios just east of downtown Houston in the EaDo district (www.eadohouston.com).  


Washcloth Knit Kits May 05, 2014 10:00 1 Comment

Knitting is a great excuse to watch TV!  Our washcloth knit kits are a great way to get started and have all the supplies needed, down to mini scissors and a darning needle for weaving in the yarn tails.  We like to use them as hand towels in our guest bathroom but they also make great hostess and baby gifts when paired with a delightful handmade soap.  Being a slow and easily distracted knitter, I make one of these in about 4 hours.

As of now, we have Ivy, Ochre, Teal and White available but more colors coming soon!

 

 

 

Group with teal, baked red and ivy made with Rowan Cotton glade and white and ochre made with Rowan Handknit Cotton.

 

Finished washcloth in Ivy.

 

Rowan Cotton Glace in Ivy with 10" US 4 straight birch needles

 

Rowan Cotton Glace in Teal with 10" US 4 straight birch needles

 

Rowan Handknit Cotton in Ochre with 10" US 7 straight birch needles

 

Rowan Handknit Cotton in White with 10" US 7 straight birch needles

 

All components of the kits are reusable but each ball of yarn makes only one washcloth.  The needle sizes in the kits are per the recommendations of Rowan.  If you were to use the US 7 needle with Cotton Glace yarn, it might have just a little bit looser stitches and if you were to use the US 4 needles with the Handknit Cotton, the stitches might be tighter. The mini scissors have a rounded nose and I keep a pair in my purse.  Inadvertently, they have made it through airport security.  Not sure if they met the standards because of their size and rounded nose or if they were missed by the agent, but I was pleased they were not confiscated.  They come in real handy at times.  

With my obsession about making these washcloths, I can now have to something to show for all those Netflix shows I watch.


Needle Felted Bowl Video Tutorial February 07, 2014 18:31

We are so excited to launch our new needle felted bowl tutorial.  We hope this inspires folks to try needle felting once they see how simple and quick this project can be.

 

This video demonstrates how to get started with the wool roving and foam ball and all the way to finishing with the dots.  No fingers were hurt during the production of this video!

 

But, we did not create this without some incredible help from our professional video editor and Audrey Pearl.  Below, Audrey is hard at work last night putting the finishing touches on the video.  

 

Audrey Pearl hard at work for Purl & Loop

 

Audrey Pearl is requesting these bowls be made into food bowl size......

 

Icy Java, Court Jester, Pebble and Nuts Over Olives


Comparing Rowan Yarns September 03, 2013 16:59

We really fell in love with the Dovetail Cowl pattern by Carina Spencer and decided to try it with two different yarns.  For both projects, we knit the small version with US 7 needles.  The pattern also gives the knitter the option to knit a version with a rolled edge and one without the rolled edge.  The first one was knit with Rowan All Seasons Cotton in Organic 178 and without the rolled edge. 

 

The pattern called for approximately 220 yards of worsted weight yarn and each skein of All Seasons Cotton is approximately 98 yards.  To complete the pattern with All Seasons Cotton, we used about 2 ½ skeins of yarn. This met our expectations.  A photo of the finished cowl made with Rowan All Seasons Cotton in Organic is below.

 

 

Our next version used Rowan Belle Organic DK in Garnet 021.  The Belle Organic DK balls are each approximately 98 yards and we expected to need three balls of this yarn to finish the project.  Also, we decided to add the rolled edge to the top and bottom of the cowl and that meant 10 more rows of knitting than was done in the All Seasons Cotton version.  What a pleasant surprise when we ended up using only two balls of yarn and had about 1/3 of a ball leftover.  See this version below.

 

 

We will have this yarn and the pattern available for sale at the Georgia Quilt Show.  We had a lot of fun knitting these two projects and our Audrey Pearl loves to model them.  Her going rate is one triangle of Laughing Cow Cream Cheese per photo so she brings a lot of value to Purl & Loop in the model department.

                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Remember Making Doll Accessories? August 21, 2013 15:07 1 Comment

When I was very young and before becoming self-conscious about being called "Suzy Homemaker" in those mildly condescending tones, I loved to sew by hand.  My grandmother owned her on cleaning and tailoring business in Chicago and some folks in the area might remember Rosa's Cleaning and Tailors on Belmont.  I usually stayed with her one or two weeks out of every summer and spent a good of my time in her shop.  I was in awe of all the colors of thread and endless scraps of colorful fabrics.  I was intimidated by machines but I did learn to sew Barbie Doll clothes by hand.  I made great use of mini rubber bands for elastic waist bands on skirts, colored thread to create cross stitch designs on tiny pillows and rick rack for purse and bag straps.  Other than pillows, home decorating for dolls never crossed my mind.  I grew older and learned that being called "Suzy Homemaker" was not always meant as a compliment.  I put away the dolls and allowed my sewing and needle craft skills stagnate and recede for many years until experiencing a creative volcanic eruption and launching Purl & Loop in early 2012.  How I regret those lost years of creativity but I am trying to make up for them today.  Now, with these little "coasters" from the mini loom, I can only imagine what a Barbie Doll house filled with handmade "carpets" would look like.  What a great use for those leftover bits of yarn just too precious to throw away.  Instead of life size human projects, those leftovers can translate into beautiful home decorating for doll houses.  I don't have Barbie Dolls anymore but I do accumulate the little whimsical creatures made from the Woolbuddy needle felting kits and they now have a magic carpet.

 

These little frogs are holding on tight for a magic carpet ride.......

 

This little sheep is enjoying the comforts of his own fiber.....

 


Mini Looms Continued August 20, 2013 17:32

We finished our project and just want to show you the rest of the photos.  After we finished weaving the coaster, we flipped over the loom and cut the back yarn in the middle and then lifted the coaster off the loom.  To secure the ends, we tied two fringe pieces together.  At the end of one side, we had a two fringe pieces and a tail left to secure.  We tied the last fringe piece with the tail and then tied that piece to the second to last fringe piece.  We repeated this on the other side and then cut down the fringe pieces to about 1 1/2 inches or so on each side.  We really love how the colors of this yarn displayed.  


Mini Weaving Looms August 19, 2013 18:50



What is a felting needle? March 26, 2013 17:34

What makes a felting needle different than other needles?  Felting needles are about 3” long and have almost invisible barbs at their points.  These barbs help bind the wool together as the wool is poked with the needle.  Felting needles come in various sizes with either a triangular or star point.   A triangular point has three sides and a star point has four sides.  Star points are ideal for quick felting.  The sizes (gauge) offered by Purl & Loop range from 36 to 42.  The 36 gauge triangular point needles are ideal for deep felting and felting with coarse wool. The 38 star point is ideal for deep felting, felting with coarse and quick felting due to the barbs on four sides.  The 40 and 42 gauge needles are ideal for fine finishing details.  Purl & Loop offers a variety of sizes and all of the needles come in a protective case.

 

Rowan Chickens March 25, 2013 17:37 2 Comments

Rowan (www.knitrowan.com) has a free pattern on their website for these adorable chickens.  You must join (for free) their website but it is well worth it for all of the yarn inspiration and free patterns.  Rowan is great about sending out only relevant email blasts once or twice a month.



Texas Fiber Arts Festival March 23 March 21, 2013 14:31

The first Texas Fiber Arts Festival will take place this Saturday, March 23 at Norris Conference Center in Austin, TX.  The organizers have put together an array of classes and workshops to appeal to a variety of fiber artists and enthusiasts.  Some topics include spinning, learning to knit, knitting lace, Tunisian crochet, and fiber photography.  There is also a free class on how to start a fiber business on $500 or less taught by Harrison Richards. Purl & Loop will be there and we hope to see you, too!



My Felted Herdy needle felting kits March 20, 2013 18:33

We have these new My Felted Herdy needle felting kits just in from the UK.  The kit contains wool, felting needles and photo instructions. We tested one out this past weekend and made this little gal.  She still needs a name and buddies.  We understand sheep like buddies so  we are working on getting one for her.  This kit is a bit different than our other needle felting kits.  Herdy uses a rustic wool yarn for the main body shape unlike typical wool roving.  The yarn is poked with the needle just like we would do with more typical wool roving.  The kit indicates it takes about 8 hours to complete but we finished in about 4 hours.  The illustrations were helpful for making the feet but we struggled a bit with the head and ears.  However, we like our gal a bit unique.

 


3" Felted Bowl in Sunset Swirl September 14, 2012 14:38

We have a new product, Sunset Swirl Felted Bowl Kit, now available on our website.  This kit contains all of the supplies needed to make a needle felted 3” bowl in just a few hours or less.  The wool roving is shaped around the 3” Styrofoam ball by continual poking with a felting needle.  The poking binds the wool fibers together and the Styrofoam creates the shape of the bowl.  If there are some “thin” spots, simply lay more wool over the area and slowly poke into place.  Detailed instructions demonstrate how to remove the felted bowl from the Styrofoam.  The Sunset Swirl wool roving is in limited supply for now.  We will be adding more bowl kits in different colors and designs in the near future.  Let us know if you have any colors you would like to see!


          


Purl & Loop at Shop Til You Drop September 10, 2012 18:01

We had our very first show ever this past Saturday, September 8, 2012.  Cy-Fair Women's Club organized "Shop til You Drop" here in Houston and we really enjoyed our experience.  We met lots of really nice people and had fun sharing our enthusiasm for quick gratification and contemporary needlecraft kits. 




Learning about sheep and wool in Ireland July 30, 2012 16:24

On a recent trip to Ireland, we were able to check out Killary Sheep Farm where we received a personal tour and demonstration from the owner, Tom Nee, and his trusty border collie, Sweep.  Sweep showed us how he herds sheep and what a typical working day is like for him.  Tom gave a shearing demonstration and we were able to bottle-feed the lambs.  Killary Sheep Farm is located near Leenane in Galway County and it overlooks a spectacular fjord.  Leenane, in the Connemara area in Galway County, also boasts the Sheep and Wool Centre.  The Sheep and Wool museum offers insight to the rich history of Connemara’s sheep and wool industry.  Check it out at www.sheepandwoolcentre.com.



Be Happy! May 31, 2012 15:11

 


"How To" Video on Basic Needle Felting Techniques May 01, 2012 15:47

Purl & Loop has a short video now available demonstrating simple needle felting techniques.  We hope this video demonstrates the simplicity as well as the abundant creativity options available within the craft of needle felting.  Happy Felting!






 


Felted Necklace in Argentina April 23, 2012 19:05

I am kicking myself for not buying this necklace at Cardon when I saw it in Buenos Aires.  We were on a plane back home a few hours later so no time to rectify the dilemma.   It is a simple design but the color combination is very unique.  Constructing each individual component would be time consuming but not difficult.  The fiber jewelry world is getting ever more creative and inspiring!



Fall 2012 Color Trends April 04, 2012 17:23

Check out the Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2012 at: 

http://www.pantone.com/downloads/support/FCR/PANTONE_FCR_Fall_2012.pdf 

Please know it is 29 pages if you decide to print it out. Fall fashion color trends will be inspired by colors such Tangerine Tango, French Roast, Ultramarine Green, and Olympian Blue to name just a few.  This color packed, creativity sparking report includes commentary from designers such as Bill Blass, Nanette Lepore, Betsey Johnson, BCBG, Tommy Hilfiger and many more.

Pantone LLC is the world-renowned authority on color.   Pantone’s founder, Lawrence Herbert, understood that the color spectrum is seen and interpreted differently by each individual and this understanding led to the innovation of the PANTONE® MATCHING SYSTEM®.   Today, PANTONE is recognized worldwide as the standard language for accurate color communication, from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer, across a variety of industries.  Pantone’s standards influence the creative community everywhere and impact colors around us in fashion, interior and graphic designs.



Extra Felting Wool April 02, 2012 13:32

We had some leftover wool from our needle felting frog kit and we made this little junior frog.  Audrey Pearl was not sure what to think about it.  At least she did not eat it.