Friday, May 27, 2011

Love the Hana-Ami Flower Loom!

I love all the cute notions that Clover designs for knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, etc. I recently discovered the Hana-Ami Flower loom and I love, love, LOVE it! Firstly, it is just adorable how they managed to package six different loom sizes in one compact kit! And the flowers are so sweet, on a pin, as a hair ornament, etc.

Here is a pin I made with mohair and boucle yarns. The pompom in the middle was made on another clever Clover tool, the tiniest pompom maker!

To make the flower into a pin, simply glue felt to the back (I used two layers) and attach a pin back.

I originally found the Hana-Ami loom because I was looking for small weaving looms. I did an internet search for small looms, and this wonderful website came up that is all about flower looms, past and present, with lots of instructions for lots of different flower designs.

Weaving on the loom takes a long time, simple flowers are much faster!

I'm not weaving in all those ends......glue is my friend.

Another pin with beads in the center:

I tried using a sparkly yarn, but the flower is kind of floppy (attached to a headband):

The beautiful hollyhocks outside my studio door:

I went to a wine and wind evening at the knitting shop. About 15 ladies, and one gentlemen, spent two hours playing with the Hana-Ami looms. There were a lot of good suggestions for using them: decorate flip flops (use plastic cording, or plastic raffia), baby blanket & sweater, use to decorate gift packages, school colors, wind two or more colors at a time.

'Yarn Bombing' Headbands

The knit shop owner did some yarn bombing with the kids at the Boys & Girls Club and asked me to help with it. I came up with the idea of 'yarn bombing' headbands and adding a little yarn flower, pom-pom or other decoration.

The kids really liked it, the little ones and the older girls too. Even a couple boys made headbands, for their girlfriends of course.

They are quick and easy to make. We used fabric covered head bands, which I found at the dollar store (six in a pack for one whole dollar). First thing I do is drop the ball of yarn on the floor (a basket would work too). Take the yarn tail and hold it down with your thumb at one end of the headband. Start wrapping the yarn, and wrap over the tail. When you get to the other end, thread the yarn onto a tapestry needle and go back under several wraps. You can also just use glue, which we did at the B&G Club for speed.

To add a little interest to the band, go back over it with the yarn in both directions, making large cross-stitches, as on the band below.

The yarn flowers were made with the Hana-Ami flower loom from Clover. The headband below was wrapped in a vintage ribbon, with mohair flowers made on the Hana-Ami loom.

Some firemen were visiting the B&G Club, and one of them made a pretty headband for his wife! The others watched but weren't game for crafting a headband. They were good sports, though!

You can wrap all kinds of yarns around the headbands, and I have experimented with using different yarns in the Hana-Ami loom too. Here is a ribbon type yarn.

Lastly, a pretty rick rack using the flower loom.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Beaded Button Brooches

We did the first part of a two-part beaded button brooch workshop at my EGA chapter Saturday. I think it went pretty well. If anyone has any questions or anything, please e-mail or call me.

Here is a brooch I made out of a keyhole I found at a flea market in France three years ago. I made the pin in the same way I make the beaded button brooches. I miniaturized a photo of Lulu taken at Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in Hartford, about 90+ years ago. When my sister and I went to France last year, Lulu went with us in the form of a pin!

Here are a couple diagrams for some of the beaded edgings I have used on my beaded button brooches. There are many more diagrams on my Flickr photostream. Students can click on the picture of the beaded cat button (on the right) to go to the Flickr photostream.  When you get there, click on the set "Beaded Button Instructions."  Here you will find a 3-page handout of directions, plus diagrams for all the beaded edgings I have created. You can download the instructions, diagrams and pictures and then print them.

The button below was the second one I made after learning the technique from a Bead & Button article. (My technique is pretty different, and all the edgings I use were created by me.) The small buttons are called "calicos" and were made in the mid-19th century. There is a nice article about them in Bead & Button magazine online.

Here is a beautiful reproduction Czech glass button: