Author Archives: thewooleryguy

Woolery Favorites – Christmas Recipes

Christmas Recipes Woolery Favorites

We love the holiday season, aside from it finally being cold enough to wear all our woolies, it’s so great to spend time with family and friends. And while we visit with our loved ones we tend to be eating, or making delicious things to eat. Our Woolery team members wanted to share some of their favorite holiday dishes with you this year.

First up we have Natalie with her favorite Monkey Bread recipe. Natalie notes that the original recipe called for raisins but, “No raisins are in my recipe because that is poison.” Fair enough Natalie, we’ll keep them out.


Natalie’s Christmas Morning Monkey Bread 

Ingredients:

  • Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
  • 2 cans large size biscuit dough
  • Brown sugar – 1 cup firmly packed
  • Butter – 3/4 cup melted

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 cup large fluted tube pan.
  2. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a large plastic food storage bag.
  3. Separate dough into 16 biscuits, cut each into quarters. Shake in sugar bag to coat. Arrange in the pan.
  4. In a small bowl mix brown sugar and butter. Pour over the biscuit pieces.
  5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn upside down on to serving plate, pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

 

Next up we have Nancy, who loves to make candy this time of year. Nancy is sharing her Buckeyes recipe with us, which are a local favorite. She insists that hers are the best around, and it’s all in the chocolate. Let’s find out her secret!


Nancy’s Best Buckeyes

Ingredients:

  • Butter – 1/4 pound
  • Peanut butter – 1 1/2 cups
  • Powdered sugar – 1/2 pound
  • Vanilla – 1 teaspoon
  • Semi-sweet or bitter chocolate – 8 oz

Nancy would like to note that because there are so few ingredients, it is really important to make sure that they are the very best quality. Nancy suggests natural peanut butter (just roasted peanuts and salt), very good butter (no margarine), and the best vanilla. It’s also important to pick the finest chocolate you can find according to your taste, (Nancy likes to use 70% dark).

Instructions:

  1. Mix the butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. Chill after mixing, then shape into balls about 3/4″ in diameter. Chill again while you melt the chocolate.
  2. In a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water, melt the chocolate.
  3. Impale the centers of the peanut butter balls on a toothpick and dip into the chocolate, leaving a penny sized circle uncovered at the top.
  4. Transfer these to a parchment covered sheet and when you are done dipping smooth over the tooth pick holes.
  5. Chill until firm and store in an air-tight container in a single layer.

 

Finally we have a family recipe from our owners, Wave and Perri. This recipe has been served at every McFarland Family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner since 1977. It belonged to Perri’s mother, Carolyn Gaertner Patberg.


McFarland Family Christmas Cranberry Salad

Ingredients:

  • Raspberry jello mix – 2 packs
  • Hot water – 1 cup
  • Cold water – 1 cup
  • Whole berried cranberries – 1 can
  • Sour cream – 8oz can

Instructions:

  1. Dissolved both yellow mixes in hot water. Add cold water. Add cranberries
  2. Place in refrigerator and when the jello is just beginning to solidify, add sour cream.
  3. Place entire mixture into jello mold pan or serving dish of your choice. Refridgerate until firm.

McFarland Family

Happy Holiday wishes from our family to yours!

Wave, Perri, and the entire Woolery team

 

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What’s New at The Woolery – December 2017

It’s still the beginning of December but we’ve already got lots of really fun new items to share with you this month! Also, we’re getting close to a lot of our Christmas Shipping Deadlines so we wanted to share all these cool things with you as soon as possible.

Ashford e-Spinner 3

Ashford e-Spinner 3

This is one that we have been excited and waiting patiently for it’s arrival. It’s one of the smallest lightest and most versatile electronic spinners on the market. No treadling required! Nancy has been taking some time to get to know the e-Spinner 3 and made this video to show off her new favorite toy:

 

KCL Woods – 6″ Shuttle

kcl-6-e_1_1

Is there anything better than using a beautiful handmade tool to create your own beautiful handmade project? We’re completely head over heels for these gorgeous shuttles made by Ken Ledbetter of KCL Woods. Aside from being beautiful they also have a comfortable placing for your thumb and a low profile to make throwing easy and quick.

 

Natural Cinnamon Cotton Sliver

Natural Cinnamon Cotton Sliver

Cotton doesn’t have to just be white! This beautiful cinnamon colored Sliver is completely natural and dye-free. It’s easy to spin up and a great cotton for those just starting out spinning cotton. This comes packaged in 8oz bags.

 

Nistock Skein Winder

Nistock Skein Winder

Designed and manufactured on an upstate NY sheep farm, this is the last skein winder you will ever purchase. The sturdy design can be used as a swift of skein winder and there is an option to include a counter that keeps track of each revolution of the arms so you can keep track of yardage.

 

Rosie’s Premium Wool Dryer Balls

Wool Dryer Balls

Add some wool to your laundry! These 100% New Zealand Wool eco-friendly dryer balls will reduce your drying time by up to 25%! They last for over 1,000 dryer loads and control static cling and wrinkles.

Plus, we have another favorite use for them aside from laundry, they make great starters for needle felting projects! How adorable is this ornament Perri made in our November class taught by Pat Pawlowicz? That’s a dryer ball at the center of the ornament!

Felted ornament using a dryer ball

Woolery Favorites – Thanksgiving Recipes

wooleryfavoritesthanksgiving

We love this time of year, the leaves are changing and we are all anticipating eating some delicious food for Thanksgiving. Some of us here at Team Woolery are impressive chefs so we’re sharing some of our favorite side dishes to go with your turkey!

Our first recipe comes from our resident weaving expert, Nancy! Story time; NPR’s Susan Stamberg used to call her mother-in-law, on air, every year to get this recipe for Thanksgiving and her mother-in-law would read it to her. The first time Nancy heard it she was on a construction job site (she was an electrician in those years) and she grabbed a handy chunk of 2×4 to write it down. Later she copied it down on an index card so it would file more easily; this was before computers. Still later, Susan’s mother-in-law confessed that she had actually gotten the recipe from Craig Claiborne, so it has a long pedigree!

This really is a delicious relish and it compliments the turkey beautifully. Nancy notes that it does have a kick, so be sure to warn your diners of that. Nancy’s brother nearly choked after taking a large bite of it and, eyes watering, he gasped out, “But it looked so pink and innocent!”


Nancy’s (and Susan Stamberg’s and Craig Claiborne’s) Cranberry Relish

Ingredients:

  • Fresh cranberries – 2 cups
  • Small onion – 1 onion
  • Sour cream – 3/4 cup
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Horseradish – 2 tablespoons

Instructions:

  1. Put the cranberries and onion through a food grinder or use the food processor; chop finely.
  2. Combine the mixture with the sour cream, sugar, and horseradish; mix thoroughly.
  3. Refrigerate until serving time.
  4. Stir again before serving.

Our next offering is a very festive and delicious soup from our Business Manager, Mistene! Pro tip: this will go great with one of our recipes from last month, Perri’s Favorite Sweet Potato Cornbread.


Mistene’s Fall Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • Bacon, chopped – 1lb
  • Celery, diced – 2 stalks
  • Onion, chopped – 1 onion
  • Garlic, minced – 3 cloves
  • Red potato, cubed (peel if desired) – 8 potatoes
  • Chicken stock – 4-5 cups (enough to cover the potatoes)
  • Butter – 3 tablespoons
  • Flour – 1/4 cup
  • Heavy cream – 1 cup
  • Dried tarragon – 1 teaspoon
  • Chopped fresh cilantro – 3 teaspoons
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • Optional cheese and green onions – for garnish
  1. In a dutch oven cook bacon over medium heat until done. Remove bacon and save 1/4 cup bacon grease.
  2. Cook celery and onion in bacon drippings until onion is translucent.
  3. Stir in garlic. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add cubed potatoes, toss to coat. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add just enough stock to cover potatoes, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  6. In a separate pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  7. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Whisk in cream, tarragon, and cilantro.
  9. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  10. Stir cream mixture into potatoes. Puree 1/2 the soup and return to pan.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with bacon, cheese or green onions.

Natalie, our Purchasing Manager, has an adorable story to go with her recipe. Natalie’s niece sent Natalie a random text that read, “Aunt Natalie, I would love to bring your Sweet Potato Soufflé to my friend’s Thanksgiving, it’s my favorite! Would you be willing to make it for me?” Natalie was very flattered that her niece wanted her to bring the dish that she obviously loves so much, and she was excited she thought of her when they don’t see each other often.

Just before Natalie was going to fall for this sweetness, it hit her; her niece is 21 years old AND went to culinary school! After Natalie’s big head came back to reality, she turned the tables. The new offer was Natalie would buy all the ingredients and cook it at her house but her niece had to come cook with her! Natalie says “It was so nice to have her there and do something with just the two of us. We never had that before. It was a memory we made together and hopefully she enjoys sharing this story as much as a I do!”

And for even more sentimental value, this recipe is from Natalie’s own aunt who she misses dearly and the dish brings her memory back each time Natalie makes it!


Aunt Natalie’s Sweet Potato Soufflé 

Soufflé Ingredients:

  • Sweet potato – 3 cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Butter – 1 stick
  • Eggs – 2
  • Milk – 1/3 cup
  • Vanilla – 1 teaspoon

Topping Ingredients:

  • Brown sugar – 1 cup
  • Butter – 1 stick
  • Flour – 1/3 cup
  • Optional pecans
  1. Cook potatoes and mash them.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well.
  3. Pour into baking dish.
  4. Mix all topping ingredients together and pour on top.
  5. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Turkey

We hope you enjoy your holiday! Let us know if you use any of our recipes, we’d love to see your creations. Also a reminder that our store will be closed on Thanksgiving day so our staff can enjoy the day with their friends and family.

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What’s New At The Woolery – November 2017

We’re starting something new on the blog, every month we’re going to give you a run down of some of our favorite new products! We are always getting so many new items that it’s easy to miss some great things, so this will give you the chance to stay in the loop. Let’s get to it!

Felted Acorn Kit

Felted Acorn Kit

First up we have this completely adorable Felted Acorn Kit. It arrived just in time for Fall decorating. This is a wet felting kit so it’s great for kids (no sharp needles involved) and it comes with instructions and materials that are perfect for the beginner felter. If you are looking to start needle felting we also have a new Needle Felting Starter Kit!

Guatemalan Shoulder Bag

Guatemalan Shoulder Bag

The day these came in everyone working immediately flocked to them and started picking out their favorites. They come in 3 different sizes so they will work for any bag need you have. Plus they have a super useful pocket on the back side that is the perfect size to keep your phone safe. Also if you’re giving Fair Trade this year, this would be a fantastic present!

Tubular Spectrum Cotton Yarn

Tubular Spectrum Cotton Yarn

You know we love yarn so we are always excited when a new one comes in, but look at those colors! These are really special cones of 100% mercerized cotton. They come in over 25 colors that are vivid, intense, and very color fast. Keep your hand woven projects looking great even after several washings by choosing the right yarn.

Ivory Tussah Silk Top

Ivory Tussah Silk Top

If you’re a spinner who hasn’t tried silk yet, this is for you! Tussah silk is regarded to be easier to use for handspinning than bombyx silk because it is slightly coarser (but still will make very silky smooth yarn) which makes it feel less slippery. This light color will be perfect for dying and you’ll have your own beautiful handspun silk skeins in no time.

Schacht Lilli Loom 

Schacht Lilli Loom

Weave on the go! This new travel sized tapestry loom from Schacht is the perfect loom to accompany you while you are out and about. You can set the warp to either 6 or 12 ends per inch so it is versatile as well as portable. It also features no slip teeth so your warp isn’t going to go anywhere while you take your project with you.

Ask Nancy is Back!

Ask NancyWe haven’t heard from our resident expert, Nancy Reid in a bit. We’re happy to report that Ask Nancy is back!

Got weaving problems? Stumped by your spinning? Nancy will answer all of your burning questions with her expert advice. In this edition, we look at how we label our yarn weights; to ask your own question, email weavernancy@woolery.com 

 

 

 

Question: 

I’m a knitter and a crocheter and I feel like I’m in foreign territory because I’ve never done wraps per inch, and I don’t understand 10/2 etc. Is there a chart that explains the equivalents to say lace yarn, sock yarn, sport weight yarn, etc?

Answer:

In this case, I truly think it will be easier for you to learn the way we do it, rather than me translating; and I will explain why.

 

Going back to the Guild system in Middle-Ages Britain, each of the spinning guilds (flax, wool, silk) developed their own unique measuring system for the grist of their yarns, and those measures have persisted to this day.  So 10/2 cotton (for crochet, for example) does not equate in size to 10/2 wool (for fine knitting) or to 10/2 silk (a yarn usually used for weaving), or to 10/2 linen.  In all these yarns, the 10 is the gauge of the singles (for that fiber) and the /2 refers to the number of plies at that gauge.  These sizes run like wire sizes, in that the smaller the number, the bigger the wire; #10 is dryer wire and #22 is telephone wire, and #10 yarn is skinnier than #5 yarn.

 

So, each of these sizes is very precise; 8/2 cotton is 3360 yards per pound, period.  8/2 wool is 2240 yards/pound, period.  And because wool yarn is fluffier than cotton yarn, the diameters don’t match. either.  BUT: things are precise.  Worsted yarn, the way that the knitters talk about it, is a range of 900-1200 yards per pound; that’s a huge range, and lacks a lot of precision.  And since only the wool (and wool-ish, like wool blends and acrylic) yarns can be compared in the lace-fingering-sport-worsted-bulky system, the yards per pound system is the way that industry talks about them, and that system enables us to talk about all the yarns, made of all the fibers, in a common language.

 

Wraps per inch is a tool that some spinners, knitters, and weavers use to compare yarns; but it too lacks precision, and is just used for rough comparisons and is a starting place for sampling.
The standard knitting sizes are defined in the ranges of their yards per pound, and there is pretty good agreement there, though of course cotton, silk, and linen can’t be looked at with this yardstick.  Luckily, these fibers are not often knitted with, either!

 

Bulky is 600-800 yards per pound
Worsted is 900-1200 yds/#
Sport is 1200-1800 yds/#
Fingering (sock weight) is 1900-2400 yds/#
Lace is 2600+ yds/#

 

These equivalents should enable you to use the weights that we give on our wool (and alpaca) yarns to choose what you want to try to knit with.  For crochet purposes, when using cotton, #10 crochet cotton is 10/2; #5 crochet cotton is 5/2, #3 crochet cotton is 3/2.

 

Make Your Own Zoom Loom Pumpkin

Pumpkin Zoom Loom Project from The Woolery

Fall is here and that means, Pumpkin Spice everything! We’re adding some pumpkin to our weaving with this Pumpkin Zoom Loom project! The Schacht Zoom Loom is a great way to get started with weaving. If you don’t know how to weave on a zoom loom, no worries, we have this YouTube video that will tell you everything you need to know:

Now that you know how to weave on the Zoom Loom, here are all the materials you’ll need to make your pumpkin:

Materials needed to make Zoom Loom Pumpkin

First we need to weave up our squares using the Zoom Loom, so get weaving! We will use the ends to sew up our pumpkin, so skip weaving in your ends.

Weaving with the Zoom Loom

Weave up a total of 6 orange squares and 1 green square. Remember, don’t weave in or snip your ends.

ZoomLoomPumpkin-4

It’s time to start sewing our pumpkin together. Place two orange squares on top of each other with one end at each corner, sew one side of the squares together using a Backstitch. Make sure you are sewing one warp thread in from the outside so your stitches stay put.

Sewing your squares together

Continue sewing orange squares together in the shape below. You are basically attaching a new square to every side of one middle square. Be sure to keep all of your seams on the Right Side (outside of the pumpkin). If you run out of yarn because your end is to short, just attach more yarn and keep sewing.

How to sew your orange squares together

Next we are going to make our pumpkin 3D by sewing up the sides. Line up the sides of your “cross” above and stitch them together so you have an open cube. The square that is in the middle in the photo above will become the bottom of your cube.

Sewn up cube

You can now sew your last remaining square to close the top. Just line up your edges and start sewing. Leave one side open so you can stuff your pumpkin.

Stuffing your Zoom Loom Pumpkin

Once your pumpkin is stuffed you can close up your last edge. Pull any remaining yarn tails to the inside of the pumpkin to hide them.

Orange Zoom Loom Cube

We pretty much just have an orange cube, now we need to make it a leaf so it actually looks more pumpkinish. Grab your one green Zoom Loom square and pinch a bit of one of the sides towards the back. Make a stitch along the backside to make the fold stay put.

Pinch your green square and make a stitch

Now do the same thing to the side to the the left of the side you just folded.

Your green square with the two folds

Flip your leaf over so the back side is facing you, then fold the top corner down to the middle and stitch it there so it stays.

The final fold for your leaf

Trim all the ends  on your leaf and flip it back over and it’s all finished.

The finished leaf

Our leaf needs a vine to connect it to the pumpkin. You can make a vine however seems best to you, you could make a crochet chain, braid, or tie knots like a friendship bracelet. We chose to do a knitted I-cord, our I-cord is 3 stitches on US Size 3 needles and is 3.5″ long.

Sew one end of your vine to the very middle on the top side of your pumpkin.

Sew your vine to your pumpkin

Then sew the other end of your vine to the top middle of your leaf.

Sew your vine to your leaf

Give your vine a little twist to make it curly and your pumpkin is ready for Fall! Folks around The Woolery have been calling our pumpkin the “squmpkin” because it’s a square pumpkin. Happy squmpkin making to everyone! If you have ideas for future Zoom Loom tutorials you’d like to see, please let us know in the comments!

Finished pumpkin Zoom Loom Project

 

Woolery Favorites – Tailgating Recipes

 

Tailgating Recipes Woolery Favorites

We aren’t just fiber fans here at The Woolery, we’re sports fans too! We love tailgating to support our favorite teams. And you can’t really tailgate without having some delicious snacks! This week we’re sharing three of our favorite recipes for tailgating/game watching parties with you.

Woolery Owners, Wave and Perri, both love the Auburn University Tigers. They can often be seen sporting orange and blue on Fridays and shouting, “War Eagle – Hey!” Perri wanted to share her favorite cornbread to serve with the BBQ they cook up at all all their tailgating festivities.

Perri & Wave McFarland rooting for the Auburn University Tigers


Perri’s Favorite Sweet Potato Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • Self-rising white cornmeal mix – 2 cups
  • Sugar – 3 TBSP
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – 1/4 tsp
  • Large Eggs – 5
  • Cooked Mashed Sweet Potatoes – 2 cups
  • Sour Cream – 8oz
  • Melted Butter – 1/2 cup

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stir together cornmeal mix, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Whisk together eggs, sweet potatoes, sour cream, and butter; add to cornmeal mixture, stirring until just moistened. Spoon batter into a lightly greased 9″ square pan.
  2. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Our next sports fan is Anna, who is one of our wonderful Customer Service Representatives, she loves the Green Bay Packers, so appropriately she has chosen to share her Beer Cheese Soup! This is enough to feed 12-15 people, so for tailgating at Lambeau Field, it needs to be doubled.  Or possibly tripled. Guaranteed to warm you up on a blustery day at the Frozen Tundra!  Alternately, it can be frozen very readily and keeps like a dream.  Freeze in ice cube trays and pop 3-4 in a mug or bowl and microwave for a quick and tasty lunch!


Anna’s Green Bay Packer Beer Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

  • Onions, minced – 5
  • Carrots, minced – 5
  • Celery, minced – 3 stalks
  • Butter – 1 1/4 lbs
  • All-purpose flour – 3 cups
  • Dark beer – 5 bottles
  • Chicken stock – 1 gallon
  • Heavy cream – 2 quarts
  • Dry mustard – 2 tbsp
  • Worcestershire sauce – 1/3 cup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Smoked gouda cheese, grated – 2 cups
  • Aged white cheddar cheese, grated – 2 cups
  • Popcorn or croutons for garnish, if desired

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot over low heat, cook the onions, carrots, and celery in the butter until the veggies are translucent, stirring frequently so that little to no browning occurs.
  2. Add the flour. Stir until combined, then cook for 2 minutes over low heat.
  3. Add the beer, chicken stock, and heavy cream. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the dry mustard and Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Slowly whisk in the grated cheese until thick and creamy.
  6. Immediately before serving, garnish with croutons or fresh popcorn.*

*Note: Popcorn is the traditional topping and it adds nice texture and flavor to the soup. Croutons are great if you have bad luck with microwave popcorn or just want more crunch. Feel free too add additional or alternate garnish (maybe Italian parsley or fresh chopped chives?).


We asked our next recipe contributor, Taevia, who is also a fantastic Customer Service Representative, if there was any team she would like to shoutout and she said, “I’m a native New Englander so the Patriots, of course.” A tailgate wouldn’t be complete without lots of tasty dip for chips, so here is Taevia’s contribution!

Materials needed for Taevia's Yogurt Cheese Dip


Taevia’s Easy Yogurt Cheese Dip

Ingredients/Materials:

  • Greek Yogurt – 32oz
  • Your favorite dip spice mixture or other spice mix – 2 to 4 TBSP
  • Mesh sieve
  • Cheese cloth

Instructions:

  1. Place your mesh sieve over a bowl.
  2. Put a doubled square of cheese cloth in the sieve to cover the entire surface of the sieve with enough hanging over the edges to cover the yogurt once it is in the sieve.
  3. Spoon yogurt into cheese cloth lined sieve then cover with the excess cloth or with plastic wrap.
  4. Keeping the sieve in the bowl, put the yogurt into the fridge to drain for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
  5. Lift the yogurt cheese out of the sieve with the cheese cloth then transfer to a new bowl.
  6. Add your favorite dip spice mixture or there spice mix. Herbs and chives, French Onion Dip, or my favorite , Mural of Flavor from Penzeys all work well when mixed with the yogurt cheese base.
  7. After mixing put the dip back into the fridge so the flavors can meld for about 2 hours
  8. Enjoy with your favorite dipping items.

Taevia's Yogurt Cheese Dip

Thanks to all of our Woolery Team Members who shared such tasty recipes with us! We hope you got plenty of ideas for your next sporting event’s menu.

We’re going to be sharing Woolery Favorites with you every month. If you have suggestions for a topic you would like to hear some of our favorites for, please let us know in the comments! Next month we should have some mouth-watering Fall recipes for your Thanksgiving dinner.

 

And we have an exciting bit of news to share with you this week! You can now buy your own Woolery shirt! The Woolery long sleeve t-shirt is printed on Glidan Ultra Cotton T-shirts. All proceeds from shirt sales will support The True Vineyard Ministries Handspun Hope Rwanda Project. So you can get some fun Woolery swag and help out an awesome project!

Woolery Shirts Are Here!

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