Author Archives: thewooleryguy

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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The 12 Fiber Gifts of Christmas Are Back!

The First Fiber Gift of Christmas

That’s right, this Friday, October 13th our First Fiber Gift of Christmas is coming to an email inbox near you!

If you don’t know what The 12 Fiber Gifts of Christmas are, it’s a promotion we do every year leading up to the holiday season. Each week for 12 weeks we have a special deal on a Fiber Gift. This deal is available for one week only, and we have a limited amount of the items available for the deal so you need to act fast!

In addition to the sale we also giveaway one of the Fiber Gifts each week to a lucky winner! Here is how to enter: First, if you aren’t subscribed to our Newsletter then sign up now! Then after the email goes out on Friday, October 13th at 10:00am you can enter by doing one of the following:

It’s easy, you just need to do one of the options above and follow these simple rules below:

  • No business accounts – personal accounts only.
  • One entry per Fiber Gift per person, we will not count multiple entries.
  • If you are selected for a week’s prize, you can’t win again this year.
  • Winner recognizes that prize will be shipped after all paid orders of the item are fulfilled.

We are also doing a very something very special on YouTube this year! Every Thursday we will be releasing a special Fiber Gift Unboxing video, giving you a sneak peak of what the Fiber Gift for that week will be a whole 24 hours before the sale actually goes live! This will give you the edge in snagging some great deals, so if you haven’t already now would be a great time to subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

Meet The Creator of Loome: Vilasinee Bunnag!

We get to work with so many amazing and inspiring creators here at The Woolery. Vilasinee Bunnag is one of the co-creators of the Loome. We recently started to carry some of the Loome tools and we love how accessible they make weaving for everyone! Vilasinee was nice enough to take some time to answer some of our burning questions about her life as a creator.

Vilasinee Bunnag creator of Loome

Tell me the story of the Loome, when and how did you first come up with the idea for it? 

The design of the original Loome tool was inspired by the medival tool called the lucet. This tool was used to make cords and braids. The Loome tool’s co-inventor and I took this ancient device and evolved its functionality so it could be used beyond making cords. This was the starting point, revisiting the past to create some thing for today’s makers.

What is the design process like for Loome tools? Do you have several shapes that you tried that just wouldn’t work out?

 I’ve always been drawn to design, particularly modern design for every day living. I love when design is married with utility to bring beauty and practicality together – it’s the best. The design process of the Loome tools included five steps: sketching, digitizing, prototyping in cardboard, testing (look and feel, user feedback, sizing) and prototyping. After each test, I go back to the drawing board to make adjustments based on the feedback and repeat the design steps. Designing is such a rewarding process and it’s taught me to be open-minded to every thing. What looks good on the computer can feel off in 3D and vice versa. This was particularly true for the rectangular and round shapes which didn’t make it to production. There has been nine designs altogether and we settled with four which offers a little some thing for every one depending on the aesthetic you like. I usually tell people, it’s like the iPhone, there are different colors but they all do the same thing. In this case, it’s the shape.

Overall, it took three months of prototyping plus twelve months of on-going refinement the tool from design to production.

 

Vilasinee Bunnag working on designing Loome tools

 

Are you a crafter yourself? What fiber arts do you practice (aside from Loome)? Absolutely! I love making things, especially when I can add them as a special touch to a present. I really enjoy making keepsakes for friends and family. For example, recently I made a housewarming gift for a friend that included a candle, a knotting book and a bundle of tassels made of vintage linen yarn that’s can be hung on a door knob, bed post or mood board. I also love mixing mediums so to keep learning new crafts and techniques, I like taking classes with artists at local studios like Handcraft Studio School and Makers Mess.

Fiber arts wise, weaving and knot making are some thing I really enjoy. I find that they help me focus and reconnect with making things with my hands.

The Loome can also be converted into a slingshot. Was that intentional or just a really excellent side effect? Also who came up with that so we can give them a high five?

This is hilarious isn’t it? I told you I’m totally into multi-functional designs. You can slingshot all the pom poms you make! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people beeline to my booth at craft shows becaus the slingshot was the first thing they saw. I appreciate that the tools evoke a nostalgic toy for people.

Inspiration sources at theloome.com

 

We love all of the inspiration resources for Loome you have on your website, what inspires you personally?
Thank you so much! My biggest inspirations come from other Loome users and artists plus my motivation to use my yarn and craft stash which I have a lot of. All of my Loome projects start one of two ways: to make some thing fun for Loome users or some thing special for a friend or family member. For instance, I made ten woven friendship bracelets for a friend I’ve known for ten years, I picked her favorite colors, pull my yarn, incorporate beads from my craft stash, add in techniques like French knots and start cracking. One of the nicest thing about crafting with the Loome tool is it’s low time commitment and high satisfaction. You can make experiment and some thing sweet in a short amount of time and if it doesn’t work out, you try it with a new yarn, etc.

 

What part of your business are you the most proud of?

I’m so grateful that people like the Loome tools and find them useful. This really inspires me to keep making and sharing. On the business side of this, I feel extremely proud that we’ve been able to provide employment and contribute to the economy as a small business. Loome is also donating 10% of our sales until the end of the year (and possibly longer) to hurricane and flood relief. At the end of the day, these things are the most satisfying outcomes of having a business.

Which is your favorite Loome Model? Or is this like asking you to choose your favorite child? 
Indeed…and I’m so happy there are four to choose from!

 

Vilasinee Bunnag loves pompoms

 

Okay, another hard hitting question: tassel or pom pom?

Oh no! Don’t make me choose. I’m seriously obsessed with both. To me, pom poms are instant happiness and tassels are the best detail that you can add to just about any thing. They can be made with any fiber and they’re always special.

 

And since we are The Woolery, if you could only work with one type of fiber for the rest of your life, which would it be?

Hands down, wool. And I feel like there is a major renaissance going on in the fiber world. I’m in awe of the artists and producers who are spinning, dying and innovating to give us such a stunning array of beautiful wool. There is no better time to work with wool than now. There is so much to learn, enjoy and try.

What are some new things on the horizon that you are excited about?

I have a book coming out in March 2018 with Abrams Books called “Loome Party.” It’s a combination of fundamentals (for 15 types of pom poms, tassels, friendship bracelets, cords and small weavings) and projects for your yarn stash by 15 artists and makers. This is a dream project for me to be able to work with so many wonderful people from Maryanne Moodie to Arounna Khounnoraj to Courtney Cerruti. Second, I’ve been working on tools with prints on them, they’re finally here!

Coming soon, Loome Party

Thanks so much to Vilasinee for taking the time to chat with us. We are super excited to see all of the new things happening at Loome! For now you should definitely check out:

Are You Ready for Spinzilla?

A monster of a spinning week returns this October 2-8, 2017, as spinners throughout the globe come together to see how much yarn they can spin! The Woolery is pleased to sponsor this fun-filled event, and today we want to share a few of our free guides to help you prepare for Spinzilla.

Routine Maintenance Check

You’re about to ask your spinning wheel(s) to do a LOT of work in not a lot of time! Make sure that they are up to the task by performing a little routine maintenance ahead of time. Click here to get our free guide to spinning wheel maintenance to ensure happy spinning in October! 

We also have a handy maintenance kit to make check-ups and repairs fast, easy and painless.

Prep Ahead of Time

Make more time for spinning by prepping fiber ahead of time! You may wish to create easy-spinning batts or predraft roving or top prior to the start of Spinzilla. It’s also wise to employ a little strategy when selecting which fibers you will be spinning, such as the easy-spinning corriedale found in our 2017 Spinzilla Fiber Pack. Our guide to fiber preparations is also good to keep on hand; click here to download a free PDF version of the infographic below!

Yes, You CAN Drop Spindle Your Way Through Spinzilla!

Whether you’re totally new to spinning, or just want to find a way to fit more spinning into Spinzilla week, our free guide to drop spindles will help you choose the best one for the task at hand!

Label it Now, Don’t Forget it Later

Print out plenty of our free handspun yarn labels so that you can label your handspun yarns as you go. It’s so easy to skip this step in the midst of so much spinning, but you will thank yourself later when you don’t have to do lots of sleuthing to determine the yardage or fiber content of that mystery skein!

Create Your Self-Care Routine

Over the years, we’ve heard a few stories of Spinzilla spinners overdoing it and injuring themselves in their pursuit of the Golden Niddy Noddy. Don’t let that happen to you – get our free guide to healthy hands so that you can create a self-care routine that works for you and is easy to follow!

Whether you’ll be spinning on a team or spinning rogue, we wish all of our fans a fun and fibery Spinzilla!

All the best,

Wave, Perri and the entire Woolery team

Weave With Kids: Resources & Free Tutorial!

Teaching kids a craft is a great way for them to practice fine motor skills, their ability to focus, and – most importantly – patience!

Give them a break from their screens, and get them doing something tactile with their hands with our list of the best kid-friendly weaving products.

Harrisville Designs Potholder PRO

Taking one last road trip before school starts? Grab a potholder loom and a five-pound bag of sock ends to keep small hands busy while you drive!

Run out of rainy day activities? Small looms such as the Purl & Loop Wee Weaver and Schacht School Loom are perfect for learning the basics of weaving while making fun, small projects.

Free tutorial: weaving with kids - tooth fairy necklace project

Learn how to weave a toothy fairy necklace with our new free tutorial, which includes tips for helping kids in various age groups complete this project using the Wee Weaver!

Click here to get the free tutorial PDF when you sign up for our newsletter (if you’re already a subscriber, simply enter your email address to confirm & claim your free download).

We’d love to see your little one’s creations  – be sure to share photos using #thewoolery in your post!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri and the entire Woolery team

Project Inspiration: Christmas in July!

It’s never too soon to start preparing for the holiday season, and today we’re rounding up some of our favorite small projects for felting and weaving holiday decor! Each one is perfect for beginners, and we even have a free step-by-step needle felting tutorial to get you started!

Free needle felted mitten ornament tutorial from The Woolery

These cute mittens couldn’t be any easier – you use a cookie cutter to create their shape! Click here to get our free tutorial PDF when you sign up for our newsletter (if you’re already a subscriber, simply enter your email address to confirm & claim your free download).

Needle felt Christmas ornaments and decor with these cute kits!

When you’re ready to expand your needle felting skills, try one of our everything-you-need kits to create festive decor and adorable ornaments! Shown clockwise from above left: FELTastic Santa Charm, WoolPets Ski Sheep, FELTastic Snowmen Charms, and WoolPets Snowmen. Each kit includes wool, a felting needle, and complete instructions to ensure stellar results.

Christmas Ornament Zoom Loom Kits

Create a trio of jolly ornaments with the DJE Handwovens Christmas Ornaments Kit. If you can sew a button, you can make these ornaments! Kit includes yarn and detailed instructions; Zoom Loom sold separately. Stuffing is not included so you can use the material of your choice: wool fleece, cotton fill, or even old nylon hose.

Find more quick Christmas projects here on our Pinterest board!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri and the entire Woolery team

Handspinning Inspiration: Adventures in Plying

Have you ever wondered what happens when you ply a commercially-spun yarn with handspun singles? This can be a fun, quick way to give new life to your handspun creations. Experimenting with leftover singles and yarns from your stash is a great way to see what works, without committing your time and resources to a bigger project. You might be surprised with what you discover!

Here are just a few ideas to try –  you can click the images below to enlarge!

1. Natural 3-ply: 1 camel/silk single + 1 mixed natural fiber single + 1 strand of commercially-spun cotton yarn (plied):

2. Sparkly 3-ply: 1 natural fiber single + 1 hand-dyed single + 1 commercially-spun sparkle yarn

3. Choose-your-ply Merino: 1 hand-dyed commercially-spun single ply merino + desired number of handspun merino singles. Below left is a 3-ply; below right is a 2-ply.

There are so many more possibilities you can explore, these are just a few ideas to get your creativity flowing!

You can also experiment with adding buttons, beads, sequins and other additives during the plying process to create unique art yarns. Click here to get our free tutorial PDF!

Whether you’ll be competing in the Tour de Fleece next month or just want to try something new, we hope your summer is filled with lots of sun and spinning!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri and the entire Woolery team