I Had a Brainwave! Using Squares, Woven or Granny

Monday really should have been a bad day.  I had to take my car in for unexpected repairs (urgh…  the combination of those two words is always the worst, right?) and I ended up spending nearly six hours waiting for it to be finished.  And then to top it off, I realised that as I left the house, I’d accidentally grabbed the wrong project bag.   Yep, it should’ve been a bad day.

What to Make with Zoom Loom Squares -- Ideas from SpaceCadet

But when I unzipped the bag, I realised it contained my Zoom Loom — which I haven’t used in months — and a set of Mini-Skeins in some gorgeous purples and greens.  So I started weaving  …and suddenly remembered how much I love my Zoom Loom — and just how addictive it is making those sweet little woven squares!

Now, whenever I show people how to use the Zoom Loom, I always get asked, “But what do you make with those squares?”  And on Monday, I started out making little flowers for a cool boho bracelet.  But, let me tell you, you can weave a awful lot of those squares while waiting for your car to be fixed(!), so I started thinking what else to do with them.

Making cool boho flowers with the Zoom Loom

What to Make with Zoom Loom Squares?

And I suddenly realised something…  Something that was patently obviously but which felt like a brainwave because it had just never occurred to me before…   You could use Zoom Loom squares with any pattern that would normally use granny squares!

Now, Zoom Loom squares are much, much lighter and airier than crocheted squares, so the whole feel of the project would change completely in to something far drapier and — woven in fingering yarn — absolutely perfect for summer.  But, in the end, it’s just changing one modular building block for another, so the answer to the question is simple.  What do you make with Zoom Loom squares?  All the same funky, cool things that you make with granny squares!

The Zoom Loom Taught Me How to Make Granny Squares!

Wellllll… not really.  But as soon as I had that brainwave, I went online to get inspiration for granny square projects that I could convert into Zoom Loom projects.  I just wanted to fill my head with ideas, so I went straight to my Crochet Inspiration board on Pinterest and started looking through all the granny loveliness.

Now, I’m not much of a crocheter at all…  Seriously, I can chain and single-crochet and that is it.  But something about those granny squares started calling to me.  I suddenly thought, I really want to learn to make those…   And, even better, I actually heard myself say something I’ve never said about crochet before:  I can do this!

Five minutes later, I was watching this (excellent) video on You-Tube and had started my first-ever granny square.  And not long after that, I had this…

The SpaceCadet's first Granny Square

I have not knit a single stitch all week.  I am totally addicted to weaving on my Zoom Loom and now obsessed with crocheting granny squares.  Yep, Monday really should have been a bad day, but it ended up being the beginning of a week of fiber adventuring.  How fantastic is that?!?

…Ok, so now that you’re thinking of using Zoom Loom squares as if they were granny squares, what modular pattern would you use for them?  Got any suggestions?



But What Do I Make with Them? MidSummer Mini-Skein Magic

August is not always the month for knitting, is it?  Both of my main WIPs (I’m current working on a Vitamin D and The Old Man and The Sea) are at that bulky stage where you have to carry a whole garment around if you want to grab a little knitting time.  And… I don’t want to carry all that around.  It’s mid-summer, I’m hot, and all I want to work on are quick projects that I can grab easily and go.   What’s that?  You too?  Yeah, I figured maybe!

What I’ve been reaching for the most lately are my mini-skiens.  Little tiny bundles of fingering weight yarn seem just right for the season and, on hot days when my concentration is so short, I love moving through quick changes of colour and onto the next yarn.  I’ve been using them like crazy on my Zoom Loom — it’s so addictive!  But more on that in a minute — in the meantime, I’ve also been searching out patterns that are perfect for Mini-Skeins, and I’m dying to share a couple of my favourites with you.

Sweet Hexagon Cowl by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark

The Sweet Hexagon Cowl by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark

First off, be prepared to be knocked off your feet.  At least, I was as soon as I saw Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark‘s stunning Sweet Hexagon Cowl.  I don’t know what it is about it  but I just swooned when I saw it.  And then I tweeted…

The Sweet Hexagon Cowl by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark

The whole thing is created from interlocking hexagons knitted in the round, and I think there is just so much scope for colourplay and creativity here.  You could work it in a soft palette that gently blends from one colour to another and back again.  Or you could go wild, choosing strong colours and placing each hexagon strategically to really play up the intriguing construction.

I kind of have a million possibilities in my head now.   …And, looking at my mini-skeins, at least five different colour palettes all mapped out.   Oooooh! So much fun!

Also, while we’re on the subject of Mercedes… we hung out at the bar at TNNA and I’m now an even bigger fangirl than I was before because  (a) she had the most awesome earrings on, (b) she rocks her gray streak  — and I do love me some gray-worn-bold — and (c) she turned me onto Songza, which I’d never used before but it is magic.  Seriously, go get it.

Burano by Emily Ross

I first came across Burano by Emily Ross when my friend and customer Amy knitted hers using SpaceCadet Mini-Skeins. Knit in garter stitch, it’s got this fabulous multi-coloured border with stripes that you can modify and alter to be anything you want it to be.  Just a few colours?  Perfect.  Twenty colours?  Do it!  Strong contrasts or gentle changes…  this shawl can become pretty much whatever kind of colour combination you can come up with.

Burano by Emily Ross

Here, it’s shown in the bright bold colours that inspired the original design.  But check out Amy’s version (click here to see it) — she chose a much softer palette and it completely changes the end result.  What a fun knit!  And, if you’re as addicted to Mini-Skeins as I am, what a great pattern to use them in.

The Zoom Loom from Schacht

You may remember me saying that we discovered the Zoom Loom at TNNA.  And you probably saw all the pictures of my weaving that I tweeted/FB’d/IG’d.  Well, it’s been a little over a month since TNNA and I haven’t stopped weaving on it since. This thing is seriously addictive!

The SpaceCadet weaves ont eh Zoom Loom from Schacht

And it’s easy.  And quick!  Did I mention easy?  I mean, c’mon, I’m the SpaceCadet(!) and on these hot days when I can’t even think straight, the Zoom Loom is that perfect combination of mindless and intriguing.  I love taking a variegated yarn and watching how the colours play out as they morph over and across each other.  Each little woven square works up differently from the next…  each one a little adventure all of its own.

I’ve been enjoying it so much, I had to get a few for you guys too!  I’ve put them in the shop with two options:  you can pick the Zoom Loom on its own, or with your own little starter bundle of SpaceCadet Mini-Skeins so you have everything you need to get you going for some great summer yarny-goodness.   Click here to grab yours!

The Zoom Loom from Schacht at SpaceCadet Creations


The SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Club

And if you’re dying to cast on one of the patterns you’ve seen here, check out the SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Club.  Each month you’ll receive a fabulous bundle of hand-dyed fun: five 20g (approx) skeins of SpaceCadet fingering yarn in mix of variegated and semi-solid colourways.  The Mini-Skein Club is my chance to really experiment and play with colour, and your chance to try out the different SpaceCadet yarns.  Join anytime and stay in until you have enough mini-skeins for your project.  It’s flexible and tons of fun.  Click here to find out more!

The SpaceCadet's Mini-Skein Club