Saturday, May 29, 2010

June Looming

June has crept up on us quickly, and I am hosting the June Loom-a-long. You can find the pattern here on the blog, or in a pdf down load on Ravelry:

This is a very easy loom pattern, and a great first step into lace. The wrap is made with worsted weight wool, but could also be made with a cotton blend for summer weather. You can join the loom-a-long on Ravelry, and also at the DA Accents yahoo group. Hope you will come loom with me!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Looming Up Hill

While needle knitters call it "visiting the frog pond" or "frogging", because you "rip-it", I think of the less successful loom adventures as looming up hill. For me it feels like there is always a period of "up hill" before I find the rhythm of a project, and slide down the hill to completion.
My up-hills take on many forms. Recently, it has been finding the right loom for the yarn. I had the yarn, "Comfy Bulky" cotton for a baby blanket. But, cotton can be tricky, and I had to try two looms before I found the downhill. I had my hopes pinned on the new Universal S Loom. The cotton did not have the "spring" needed for this loom, and the stitch was loose and sloppy. I can see the potential of the loom - with the right yarn - but this was not it. I tried the CinDwood small round afghan loom next. Right loom, but wrong stitch pattern. Finally, an "ah-ha" moment, and a lovely ribbed pattern made this all come together. Three inches down, I could see the pattern, I could feel the rhythm of the yarn and the loom, and we all work together to slide down the hill, smiling all the way.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On and Off the Loom

All of a sudden, projects are everywhere! The first photo is a peek at my almost finished afghan. It is on the CinDwood large round afghan loom.

The second photo is of the shawlette I am making with the lovely hand-dyed yarn from My Heart Exposed Yarns. This has been just incredible to work with, and the shawl worked up very quickly. It is off the loom now, and I am finishing up the edging.
Also on the loom is a "Baby Cozy" for a baby shower coming up in June. I'm using James C. Brett Marble Chunky yarn for the cozy, and it is just so soft and babyish - a nice switch off from the afghan, which has become heavy as I reach the end.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tea on Tuesday - on Wednesday

The pdf files of my loom patterns seem to be well received over at Ravelry. I have almost all of the patterns available now. Let me know how you like them.

For our tea table today, one of my favorite cookies. From the herb garden, Chocolate Tarragon Biscotti. Enjoy!

Chocolate Tarragon Biscotti

You will be delightfully surprised how the tarragon brightens the chocolate in these biscotti. These are a softer biscotti, but if you like a very crunchy dipping cookie, extend the bake time of the second bake another 5 -10 minutes.

2 cups flour
1/4 cup dutch process cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. (kosher) salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 TBSP. finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 TBSP. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and tarragon. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, extract and oil. Add liquids and chocolate chips to dry ingredients and stir with a fork until all are combined. Turn dough out on to a sheet of plastic wrap, and divide in two. Knead each portion a few times, and place on the baking sheet. Form each portion into a log 8 inches long, 2 inches wide, and about 3/4 inch thick.

Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes. Place on a cutting board and trim off the ends. Slice the logs into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay biscotti on their sides on the baking sheet, and return to the oven for 5 minutes (longer for a very crispy cookie). Cool on rack. Makes 20 biscotti. These will keep several days in a well sealed container.
Copyright 2000 -2010 by Renee Van Hoy, Invisible Loom and Craft. All Rights Reserved. For Personal Use Only.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Miss Maddy's Capelet

The San Francisco Ravelry meet-up was a delight. I wore my "Miss Maddy's Capelet", and was treated to making 3 wonderful new friends. We sat and knitted - and LOOMED! Yes, a sweet lady from San Jose was there with her loom. We hit it off right away, and the afternoon flew by. Everyone drew chairs into large circles, and knit and talked. A very nice afternoon indeed.

Miss Maddy's Capelet Pattern
This loomed capelet has a Victorian feel to it. The eyelet lace pattern gives it a pretty elegance, yet it sits and drapes nicely around the shoulders of a denim jacket. Size can be easily adjusted to the shoulders by adding more or fewer rows, making it a lovely gift pattern. The finished size here is about 9 inches long, and 68 inches wide measuring the bottom edge.

Copyright 2010 by Renee Van Hoy, Invisible Loom and Craft. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.

Friday, May 14, 2010

San Francisco Ravelry Meet-Up

The San Francisco Ravelry meet-up is this weekend. These photographs are of my shawl for the "Sport Your Shawl" part of the meet-up. We were asked to make a shawl from local yarn and a local designer. Well, this is my design, called "Miss Maddy's Shawl." The yarn is from Artfibers in Pinole California. It is called "Cheesecake" and is 70 % extra fine merino wool, 30% silk. It has a bulky weight, but a wonderfully soft drape. The edging is from a hand-dyed ribbon yarn. The photos were before I added a small crochet edging at the collar.
I made the shawl on a 1/2 inch gauge 55 peg round loom.

Monday, May 10, 2010

More patterns on Ravelry

I have been able to add several more of my free loom patterns to Ravelry in pdf format. I hope you will enjoy them.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Patterns in PDF

Go Team! A Hat for Him or Her

Carolyn Origami Purse $1.oo

Spring Cotton Ruffle Scarf

Cozy Baby Cozy $1.00

These four patterns are now available as downloads at Ravelry. The patterns are all large print pdf format. See the pattern pages on the right side of the blog for links to all my patterns. I hope you enjoy them! If you need a plain text version for your screen reader, please contact me and I will send one to you.
Copyright 2010 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Loom Lady and Loom Dude

Flowers for your Mothers' Day Tea
Two amazing designers have created patterns for loom knit flowers , just in time for your Mother's Day tea table.
Brenda, the Loom Lady has a pattern for the lovely, dainty pansies. I can just see these embellishing hats, sweaters, scarves, and purses. They are just wonderful!
The Greg, the Loom Dude has daffodils and tulips on his blog

What I especially enjoy about The Loom Dude is he creates the patterns he wants, from his own imagination, without trying to transcribe from needle knitting, or even conventional loom knitting. The results are very unique, fresh loom patterns that are just a delight!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Month of May

California is not the best place for planting a Dogwood tree, but we have a small Dogwood that puts on a lovely show of creamy flowers this time of year.
There are some fun loom activities in May. If these flowers are inspiring you, join the Loom-a-long group on Ravelry to make a very pretty felted rosette clutch. I am also looking forward to the meet-up of Ravelry members in the San Francisco area on May 16th. The group has planned a "Sport your shawl" a-long, encouraging members to make and bring a shawl from local designers and yarns. There is a wonderful list of patterns from Northern California designers, and they were gracious enough to include my Peony Cape. The event has generated a very impressive group of door prize donations from local yarn stores, and everyone is volunteering to help with a potluck, set up, prizes, as well as charity drop offs of yarn and hats. It is going to be a wonderful afternoon! There is a Ravelry group set up for the meet-up if you are interested.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On and Off the Loom

This pretty Blue Rose Shawl is my entry for the 2010 Spring Pattern Contest at Markman Looms.

I must be in a Violet mood, because this Spring Violet Shawl is my latest project. It has a simple but pretty eyelet pattern. Look for the pattern next week.