I'm still going on the shawl, and am now up to round 282. This is very exciting, because it means that I'm now LESS THAN TEN ROUNDS from finishing the body of the shawl!!! I'm in single digits! I'm loving how each round now puts me nearly a full percentage point closer to completion (there are a LOT of stitches now- 1400 on the last round). I also finished the second skein of yarn a couple rounds ago, which means I've knit 2750 yards so far!
However, a slowly growing lace blob does not an interesting blog photo make. I didn't feel like spinning last night after finishing my two rounds, so I pulled out the little Loomette frame loom that came in with all the stuff for my big loom. I've never tried one of these types of looms before, though I made potholder after potholder out of jersey loops when I was a kid. (And incidentally, I noticed when I was at Dad's house last summer that several of those are still in use! Not bad for probably 25- to 30-year-old potholders!)
Anyway, the Loomette is pretty cool. You take one continuous strand of yarn, and by winding it around the pins a certain way into three layers, then needleweaving a fourth layer, you create a self contained little piece of fabric with selvedges on all four sides.
I just made plain weave squares last night, but you can also make lots of different patterns. There's a great website, eLoomaNation, that has pdf's of lots of old pattern books for this type loom. Each square takes about 10 minutes to make.
I used some coned yarn that I've had around for a while to make these. It's 100% wool, but kind of weird. It's a singles yarn, just one ply, with flecks of lighter fiber spun in. It's also somewhat scratchy and stiff, and it seems to be almost felted. Not a great yarn, but the three pound cone was free, and it's a pretty color. You can see in the picture above how the squares looked after coming off the loom (4" square) and after washing (3.5" square). I was amazed at how the yarn changed with a soapy wash and a bit of fulling. There must have been spinning oil in there, because it bloomed and softened considerably. It also lost a bit of excess dye.
I took two of the squares and pulled up one thread in each direction, from the center, to make this little gathered flower.
I think with some beading and a pin back, this would be a cute embellishment to go on a felted bag or hat.
(edited to make the link work- thanks Leigh!)