Meet Laurel the Lion

Growing up my mom had a big loom. In fact, she still has it. I have no idea what kind it is or how it works, I just know that it’s comparable in size to my upright piano and that it makes rugs if used correctly. While as a fiber artist I’m definitely interested in weaving, space is a real issue for me with my crafts. I don’t have a designated craft room just random spots where I stow my tools, library, and stash around the house. For this reason, weaving has always just been off the menu for me. I know there are a number of wonderful smallish looms, but I have just resisted falling down that rabbit hole.

Then a few weeks ago, I was asked if I’d be interested in trying Schacht’s Zoom Loom, a 4×4 pin loom. I popped onto The Woolery‘s website to see what it was all about and was immediately intrigued. A loom that could easily fit into my life — perfect! It also helped that my 9-year-old son has been showing a lot of interest in the fiber arts and was equally excited to give this loom a… well, to give this loom a zoom.

Within the week, I received my very own Zoom Loom. zoomZoom! Zoom!

To try it out, I got one of The Woolery’s insanely adorable Swatch Critter Kits. These awesome little kits come with everything you need to create your selected critter save the stuffing.

Photo courtesy of The Woolery.

Photo courtesy of The Woolery.

Comprised of beautiful Mountain Colors yarns, these kits are the perfect way to take your Zoom Loom out for a spin. For my first kit, I got Laurel the Lion. I say my ‘first’ kit because I have two kids, so at some point there will most likely have to be a second kit, probably the dragon — a fact about which I’m not complaining!

In any case, after a few squares made out of my own scrap yarn (of which I have plenty from Socks with Sarah!), I started in on my squares for this majestic little loveable lion.

loom in actionBelieve it or not, I did most of the work on this project outside in my Adirondack chair. This loom is such a great little tool for beginners as well as those on-the-go — the instructions are even molded-in the loom’s frame making it super user-friendly, especially for newbies like me.  The folks at Schacht really thought of everything with this portable little loom!

When it came time to wash & full-up my squares, as usual I had a helper.

helper She decided to name each of the 16 squares while we were washing. For the record, she named all of them Nigel (no joke).

dryingWe reshaped them and laid them out to dry in the evening sun. I certainly could have made this blocking process more exact and I did straighten them a bit more after this photo, but I was anxious for them to dry quickly and since I knew I’d be sewing them up I wasn’t too concerned with the appearance of the edges.

And once they were dry, I got to the business of forming a lion out of 16squares of woven wool.

20140728-190448-68688486.jpgI started with the body & the head.

20140728-190449-68689925.jpgThen there were the legs & tail.

backAnd then all those little details.

20140728-190451-68691942.jpgAfter all, it’s the details that make these little toys special. See that long tail on his left eye? Well, it led to a little inspiration…

eyesLion-lashes. Yes, my Laurel the Lion has luscious lashes. I’m not usually much of a toy maker, but at this moment I fell in love with Laurel. How could I not?

meow Isn’t this little guy just adorable?

maneater smallWhen I showed him to my husband, he thought he should definitely pose on the “Maneaters” book. He does look mighty fierce!

I’d promised this toy to my son and his reception was slightly different.

boy&hislionHe just gave Laurel a big hug.

For anyone interested in trying the Zoom Loom, The Woolery is hosting a Zoom-Along during the month of August with the Swatch Critter Kits or even a critter of your own design! This Zoom-Along is being hosted on The Woolery’s Ravelry Thread — share your experience, take your Zoom Loom for a zoom, and enter to win prizes.  Not only will you get to try this awesome little loom, when you’re done you could have a face like this looking back at you.

eyes How can you say no to this face?

6 responses to “Meet Laurel the Lion

  1. Super cute! Almost makes me want to do it. Except, I would not be ok with the sewing and embroidery. The kids look like they really enjoyed the process.

    • The kids loved it! My son is all ready to try his hand at making his own (which he said he’d give to his sister because he’s awesome like that).

      I’m totally in your boat about not really enjoying the sewing and embroidery, BUT this went fairly quickly and especially seeing how much the kids loved it made it a worthwhile time investment. 🙂

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