Walk in the Woods

Can I tell you about my perfect type of knitting? It’s a pattern that has some interest to it and I learn something new… but it’s not so complicated that if someone calls my name, I completely lose track of where I am and I need to rip back 2 rows.

I mean, I dream of knitting a Shetland Lace shawl. They’re gorgeous! It’s just that, like most of you, I squeeze my knitting into a busy life. And I’ve gotta just be practical about my projects.

I’m in love with Walk in the Woods by Lisa Hannes of Maliha Designs. Isn’t it gorgeous?

The complicated-looking colorwork pattern is created by slip stitches, so that you’re only knitting with one color per row. And on the purl rows, you’re copying what you did on the right side. It’s like a little mini-vacation every other row. Love it.

The pattern is written as well as charted, which is awesome. Can I tell you what I did with my pattern? I printed out the chart (it’s 1 double-sided page) on paper, and took it to a copy shop and had it laminated (it was about 2 bucks). That way, I can throw it in my bag and easily use a sticky note to remind me what row I’m on. Because, you know… life.

Check out my progress! I started a week ago, and I’ve become obsessed.

I’m knitting mine in Louet Gems Worsted in Aqua and Pewter.
But so many color combinations would be awesome… like Marine Blue and Gold. Or Eggplant and Champagne. Oooh.

Head on over to the Ravelry listing of Walk in the Woods to purchase, and grab your yarn either on our site or at your favorite local retailer!

LoftyFiber Studio in New Hampshire

Retailer Spotlight: LoftyFiber

Location: Rochester, New Hampshire not far from the Massachusetts and Maine borders.

Website: www.loftyfiber.com

LoftyFiber Studio in New Hampshire

LoftyFiber began in 2015, and is a large and well equipped weaving studio. Situated in a comfortable home, the studio has plenty of classroom space as well as yarn, supplies and equipment for sale.

LoftyFiber Studio in New Hampshire

Looking to take a road trip to New England? The studio is 20 minutes from Portsmouth NH, a very popular tourist destination near the coast.  LoftyFiber is also right off the major highway that leads to the Lakes Region and beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire.

LoftyFiber Studio in New Hampshire

In addition to hosting classes and having local weavers and knitters stop by, LoftyFiber also has an online store at www.loftyfiber.com which offers personalized service and fast shipping.

LoftyFiber Studio in New Hampshire

And in case you thought LoftyFibers was just a studio, shop and classroom (which is amazing enough!), they’re also innovators! As the developers of TempoTreadle, a computing device that attaches to non-dobby floor and table looms, LoftyFibers is making weaving even more accessible and pleasurable. Dawne of LoftyFibers says, “we’re devoted to helping weavers achieve excellence in their weaving, while relaxing and enjoying the process. Our motto is “Inspired Craftsmanship”.   We feel this refrain echoes through everything that we and our customers do.   It’s so inspiring to see what people create with the products we sell!”

The Tempo Treadle attaches to many Louet Looms, including the David, Jane and Spring. Dawne says, “Speaking of craftsmanship, Louet quality is unsurpassed.  Louet products are a natural fit for the fiber artist who is serious about their craft.”

LoftyFiber Studio in New Hampshire

When asked to reflect on the role of technology in weaving, Dawne says, “Many weavers are interested in entering and designing weaving drafts by computer.   We enjoy helping them obtain the skills they need.  Whether it’s basic computer skills or learning the intricacies of weaving design software, we tailor learning programs to the individual.”

LoftyFiber Studio in New Hampshire

“I do feel that weaving is becoming increasingly popular.  Whether it’s the ease of designing by computer and the options to make it simpler to weave those designs using TempoTreadle or looms such as Louet’s Megado, it’s an exciting time to create unique fabrics that would have been too complex to imagine in the past. ”

LoftyFiber Studio in New Hampshire

Address: 16 Pierce Drive, Rochester, NH 03867

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/loftyfiber 

Website: www.loftyfiber.com

 

This blog post is sponsored content, featuring a shop that retails our products. Opinions and text are our own.

Yarn Barn of Kansas

Retailer Spotlight: Yarn Barn of Kansas

Location: Downtown Lawrence, KS

Website: http://www.yarnbarn-ks.com/

Yarn Barn of Kansas

The Yarn Barn of Kansas downtown shopping area of Lawrence, Kansas. Massachusetts Street is an old-fashioned shopping street, with lots of locally-owned stores and restaurants… visitors to the shop can easily send their tag-along family members to the science store, toy store, British-goods store, European market, or one of several clothing stores (and that is just on the same block!)

Lawrence is a beautiful college town that’s home to the University of Kansas, a mecca for basketball fans. Just slightly farther afield from the shop, James Naismith’s original “Rules of Basket Ball” are on display. There are art and natural history museums on the campus as well as a local history museum downtown. It’s easy to find many excuses to visit Lawrence!

Yarn Barn of Kansas

But I know why you’re reading… it’s to hear about the shop and their yarn and spinning/weaving supplies, right?

The Yarn Barn has been open for 46 years (with the same owner!) and is well-known as one of the country’s best stocked yarn and fiber equipment shops. The photos only hint at the abundance of yummy products in the shop!

Yarn Barn of Kansas

But when asked about the driving force of the shop, owner Susan Bateman points to her shop’s focus on customer service. “We believe that the best thing we can do for customers is to give them the skills and knowledge they need to complete a project successfully. When they are investing money in yarn and time in knitting or weaving something, they deserve to have a good result.” Helpful staff are available to guide customers through the abundance of yarn choices.

The service doesn’t stop there. Susan says, “In addition to the many classes we teach in knitting, weaving, spinning, and crochet, we help customers daily with their projects: correcting mistakes, explaining techniques, and interpreting patterns. We also love getting people off on the right foot when they are planning a new project.”

Yarn Barn Louet S17 spinning wheel

Although the shop draws customers every day from the general northeastern Kansas area, including Kansas City and Topeka, the community isn’t just local. Susan is proud to point out that a number of “weavers and spinners come from surrounding states to our classes, and we have mail order customers who have been with us for 25 years or more. They keep us posted by phone and e-mail on their lives and projects. In the summertime, we are often a destination for these long-distance customers, who stop in on their travels across the country.”

Kansas is in the heart of America (literally. The exact center of the US is located near Lebanon, KS!), and having done drives through Kansas myself, I can attest that the Yarn Barn and the town of Lawrence are a treat worth planning your road trips through!

Yarn Barn of Kansas

Even though the shop has been open for nearly 5 decades, you’d be wrong to think it’s a shop that’s just standing still. Yarn Barn is constantly looking for new trends to help it’s customers connect with projects they love. Susan tells us her customers are going crazy for the “American raised and spun Brooklyn Tweed yarns! The yarns are beautiful and the patterns are incredibly well written.” Unique fibers are striking a cord with customers in the shop. “We carry Tencel from two different companies and are constantly finding uses for its luminous colors, beautiful sheen, and great drape having many of the qualities of silk but at a fraction of the cost!”

Susan also notes that small floor looms, like the Jane, are steady sellers, especially as tapestries are very hot right now!

If you’re anywhere nearby, I recommend putting Yarn Barn on your list of detours well-worth it! Get help selecting the perfect project (or new fiber hobby!) from their friendly staff!

This blog post is sponsored content, featuring a shop that retails our products. Opinions and text are our own.

Louet Gems Fall 2017 Skeins

Fall Yarn Trend: Jewel Tones

Now that we’re in October, it’s definitely fall. The leaves are turning and crunching and apples are abundant. (by the way, I’ll be making this Apple Crisp Recipe, the secret ingredient being boiled cider which is supposed to make it super-especially-apple-y. Yum.)
And in shops, the fall-wardrobe is in full swing. Have you noticed lots of rich cranberry, hunter green and delicious mustard colors? It’s the season of jewel tones!
Fall Yarn Trend: Jewel Tones
Our new Fall 2017 colors of Louet Gems captures this luscious palette of colors!
Look for these new fall colors to be hitting shops, soon!
I’m planning to cast on for Hatcher in our new Gold…. the great stitch definition of Gems means that cables knit up fabulously!
These rich colors add to our Gems (100% merino wool) yarn line some of the the gorgeous jewel tones that were already available in Cottolin (our 60% cotton/40% linen weaving yarn)!
I’ve also been thinking of a woven piece combining Deep Plum, Dark Purple, Autumn Red and Rich Red combo… yummy!
What are the colors you’re feeling inspired by this season?
The Woolery in Frankfort KY

Retailer Spotlight: The Woolery in Frankfort, KY

Location: Historic Downtown Frankfort, KY

Website: https://woolery.com/

The Woolery in Frankfort KY

The Woolery is carries an outstanding array of everything fiber: we carry a wide range of spinning, weaving, and rug hooking tools, accessories, supplies, and parts. From floor looms to rigid heddle looms, your dream spinning wheel and wool processing tools like drum carders, hand cards and combs- they’ve got it all!

The Woolery Spinning Wheels

Though their stock is amazing, The Woolery prides itself most on its customer service. Of their stated goals, The Woolery says, “We strive to handle every order and issue personally, quickly, and with the lowest possible cost to the buyer.” The shop’s YouTube channel is well-known for detailed and carefully-explained tool comparisons. And there’s no shortage of ways to reach the shop: phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the website even has a live chat feature! Of course, you can also stop by the store in person to ask a question.

The Woolery weaving yarns

The shop began in 1981 when Marianne Horchler decided to offer retail wool, basic supplies, and spinning lessons at the family farm in Genoa, NY.  In 1995, The Woolery became one of the first fiber arts suppliers with a website. After selling the farm, Tim and Marianne moved the business to Murfreesboro, North Carolina in 2001. Chris & Nancy Miller bought the business in 2009 and moved it to historic Downtown Frankfort, Kentucky where they expanded locations twice.  In 2015, current owners Wave & Perri McFarland purchased The Woolery, upgraded and expanded retail space yet again, improved the online experience, and expanded the classroom accommodations!

The Woolery Weaving Shuttles

A visit to the shop and the surrounding Downtown Frankfurt, Kentucky makes for a delightful day. So many amazing historical places are right next door; the Old Statehouse, the Kentucky Military History Museum, the Capital City Museum, and the Old Governor’s Mansion. The downtown area features cute shops and restaurants. There are even free Kentucky River Boat tours along the Kentucky River that give a great view of Frankfort! Plus, it never hurts to be so close to Buffalo Trace Distillery, bourbon and Kentucky are two peas in a pod!

Louet David Floor Loom

The Woolery carries many Louet Weaving Looms and Spinning Wheels, but I asked them to tell us about some of their favorite non-equipment items right now. There are so many… they couldn’t pick just one! “Our new Merino/Silk Top has stolen our hearts. It’s a blend of extra fine 19 micron Merino Wool and Tussah Silk. Most Merino/Silk blend are a 80/20 blend but ours is 70/30, so it’s extra soft and fabulous. Colors wise, it has 25 beautiful solids and 15 very special marble striped blends. For the weavers out there, we love our Bluegrass Mills 6/2 Cotton Yarn. We love that it is 100% USA cotton, spun and dyed right here in the states. It’s super versatile for weaving wonderful items for the kitchen, home, or clothing.”

Yum!

The Woolery

If you’re looking for a little slice of fiber happiness, here’s the place!

 

Address: 859 East Main Street, Frankfort, KY 40601

Website: https://woolery.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWoolery/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thewooleryshop/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheWoolery

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheWooleryTeam

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/thewoolery/

Blog: https://thewooleryguy.wordpress.com/author/thewooleryguy/

 

This blog post is sponsored content, featuring a shop that retails our products. Opinions and text are our own.

 

Kollage Square Needles of the Month Club

Announcing the 2018 Needle of the Month Clubs!

Our 2017 Kollage Square Needle of the Month Club has been so popular that we’re introducing 3 clubs for 2018! Hooray!
All of our Kollage Square Needle (or Hook) of the Month Clubs gives you a uniquely-colored and custom-etched needle (or hook) monthly! How cool is that?!?
Here’s a video overview of the club options:

And here’s what’s included in each of the clubs in read-able format. Click through the link for each club to get the full details!

Interchangeable Needle of the Month Club

In the Interchangeable Needle of the Month Club, you’ll receive a pair of short interchangeable tips AND a pair of long interchangeable tips every month, as well as a storage case, 4 soft cables (in various lengths), 4 long cables, the interchangeable tool and ends in the year.

Double Point Needles of the Month Club

In the Double Point Needle of the Month Club, you’ll receive 14 sizes of double point needle sets (one per month with 2 ‘bonus’ double months) as well as a Della Q storage case! You choose 5″, 6″ or 7″.

Crochet Hook of the Month Club

In the Crochet Hook of the Month Club, you’ll you’ll receive 14 sizes of crochet hooks (one per month with 2 ‘bonus’ double months) as well as a Della Q storage case! You choose the pointed or rounded tip!
 
Which one will you choose? These sets are a perfect gift for yourself or a crafty friend. A limited number are available of each type, so order while they’re available! All prices include monthly shipping to the US and Canada.

Upcoming Events

Fall is an exciting time in the fiber world! Here is an (incomplete) list of some fiber festivals happening in the US & Canada. If a vendor has confirmed with us that they’ll be carrying Louet product, we’ve listed them!

For the most complete list of fiber events we know of, check out the Knitter’s Review List of Events!

Rounded and Pointed Kollage Square Crochet Hooks

New Kollage Square Crochet Hooks + Fave Links

We are super-excited to announce the launch of the new Kollage Square Crochet Hooks!
Medium Rounded Crochet Hook Kollage Square Louet
Kollage Square Crochet Hooks have an ergonomic, square handle that makes for comfortable crocheting!
The inline hook is available in either a Pointed or a Rounded Tip, so you can pick what suits your crocheting style and project, best!
Rounded and Pointed Kollage Square Crochet Hooks
The Pointed Tip is great for tight stitches (either because you crochet tightly, or are doing a hard-to-get-into stitch pattern). Having a pointed hook allows you to slip into tight stitches more easily, reducing wrist and hand pain.
The Rounded Tip is fabulous for splitty yarns, as the rounded tip easily slides between the loops of the stitch, and not the plies of your yarn!
Kollage Square Crochet Hook
Both feature a square, ergonomic handle with a thumb rest which allow for comfortable crocheting. Less hand and wrist pain mean more crocheting!

Which one will you choose? Or maybe you need both, depending on the project! Check out the selection of Pointed Tip and Rounded Tip Hooks!
 

Fave Links

Here are a few links that I hope you’ll enjoy!

How to Measure your Spun Yarn

Are you spinning for Spinzilla? Or just spinning for fun?
No matter your spinning goals, there may come a time when you want to find out how much yardage you’ve spun! I’m including a few resources to help you out!

Yarn

Step 1: Skein it Up

Step one of measuring your yarn is usually taking it off of the bobbin and putting it into a skein. A handy tool for doing this is a niddy-noddy. If you’ve never used one before, here’s a little video: https://youtu.be/VqGgqOzVNGg

Step 2: Start Measuring

There are many different ways to measure how much yarn you’ve spun. Here are a few tutorials that I think you’ll find useful… you’ll have to tell me which one is your favorite!

Wow… that’s a lot of options! But just as you discovered your favorite bobbin and plying technique, I’m sure you’ll discover your favorite measuring technique as well!

Let’s get spinning!

Upcoming Events!

Fall is an exciting time in the fiber world! Here is an (incomplete) list of some fiber festivals happening in the US & Canada. If a vendor has confirmed with us that they’ll be carrying Louet product, we’ve listed them!

For the most complete list of fiber events we know of, check out the Knitter’s Review List of Events!

how to select a weaving shuttle

How to choose a Weaving Shuttle

Weavers love their yarn… but I think it’s safe to say that (perhaps more than other fiber artists), we’re absolutely in love with our equipment!
So many choices… and so many variations that seriously impact the ease with which you weave.
Today, I’m going to talk about a few different decision points you’ll run across when choosing a shuttle and why you might prefer one style over another! And of course… I’m not even covering them all!
The best way to decide which shuttle is right for you is to hop into a store and try it out in person, if you can. That’s why we love our local yarn & weaving shops: they allow you to see an item in person and really see if it’s right for you. So, if you’re lucky enough to live near a shop you love, pay them a visit when shopping!

Factors to consider when selecting a shuttle

Boat shuttles allow the yarn to wind off easily and come in a number of variations (which we’ll get to in a moment!). These are easiest to use if the loom has a race that guides the shuttle.
End-delivery shuttles tension the yarn (which comes out at the ‘end’ of the shuttle), which allows for more even selvedges.
Boat shuttles can have either a closed or an open bottom. A closed bottom shuttle allows the shuttle to glide more easily over the warp threads. Open bottom shuttles are lighter, and some weavers like the ability to control the yarn by holding the bobbin from underneath.

Does the shuttle have a guard that allows the yarn to unwind smoothly from the bobbin? That’s one feature of the Flying Dutchman, which also sports a bowed metal wire that keeps the shuttle from sticking in warp threads.

How heavy is the shuttle? While the open vs. closed bottom is one variation that impacts weight, so can overall size and type of wood used. Depending on the size of your loom, a heavier shuttle may give you some ‘oomph’ when throwing.
How much yarn does the shuttle hold? Holding more yarn means that you need to refill the bobbin less frequently, but holding a lot of yarn usually means a less narrow shuttle, which can get easily caught on the shed.
And of course… budget and finish and appearance are very important factors!
I LOVE spending time browsing handmade shuttles on Etsy or vintage shuttles in antique stores (but don’t forget function… many antique shuttles are crafted for industrial looms and may be too heavy/large for your loom).

You may also be surprised to find that your local yarn shop carries a selection of shuttles from artisans (and not just the ‘big names’). Bluster Bay Woodworkers is one maker available in select shops.

The Woolery has a fabulous video tutorial on weaving shuttles you may like to watch.
There’s no best shuttle! Only the shuttle that’s best for you and your loom! I encourage you to give multiple shuttles a try to see which features you like best!

Fave Links

Upcoming Events!

Retailer Spotlight: Nezinscot Farm in Turner, ME

Meet our Featured Retailers!

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite hobbies is visiting new yarn shops. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love knitting, weaving, crocheting and spinning… but there’s nothing like browsing and shopping in a store that has curated delicious fiber supplies and equipment in a way that leaves you feeling invigorated and inspired!

That’s why we’ve started a new series of featured retailers to share with you! We’ll be highlighting shops that are unique and awe-inspiring… and definitely worth a visit!

Go ahead and bookmark these gems, and if you want to plan the ultimate yarn-y road trip, check out this blog post about how to find a yarn store when you travel. It’s not hard to come up with an entire itinerary!

Nezinscot Farm

Location: Turner, Maine

Website: https://www.nezinscotfarm.com/

Nezinscot Farm began 30 years ago the first Organic Dairy in the state of Maine. The Farm is located in the picturesque town of Turner, Maine surrounded by 250 acres of Organic Farmland.

Over the years, with a passion for good food and a deep sense of love for sustaining and enhancing the beautiful land surrounding them, Nezinscot Farm has expanded to include a Gourmet Food Shop, Cafe & Bakery, Fromagerie, Charcuterie, and… yes, a Fiber Studio! 

Nezinscot Farm Yarn

The grounds contain acres of veggie gardens, rolling fields, the Nezinscot river and farm animals.

The Nezinscot Farm yarn & roving comes from their own flock of Cormo and Shetland sheep, llama, alpaca, and goats. The wool is blended and spun at New England spinneries into 2 and 4 ounce skeins.

Nezinscot Farm

Look at those little sheep faces!

In addition to their own yarn and roving, the shop stocks a full range of yarn & roving from top brands across the U.S. (including Louet NA’s lovely yarns!), knitting, spinning and weaving accessories as well as hand crafted items from local artists.

Nezinscot Farm

Is this place some kind of dream? Kinda seems like it! But wait, there’s more!

Nezinscot farm store

A cafe with meals, fresh-baked goods and tea… yum!

Nezinscot Farm provides the quintessential New England experience, and with Fall coming up, there isn’t a better time of the year to visit!

 

Address: 284 Turner Center Road Turner Maine 04282

Website: www.nezinscotfarm.com  & www.etsy.com/nezinscotfibers

Facebook: Nezinscot Farm Fiber Studio

Instagram: NezinscotFibers

 

This blog post is sponsored content, featuring a shop that retails our products. Opinions and text are our own.