Author Archives: thewooleryguy

Ask Nancy: Weaving Patterns

Ask NancyWe have a very topical Ask Nancy post this month if you’re thinking of participating in our Woolery Weave-Off!

Question:

I have just ordered a bunch of the Bluegrass Mills 6/2 Cotton Yarn to make dish towels. Do you know of any patterns using 6/2 weight yarn? The only patterns I have found are for 8/2. I’m not experienced enough to know if I can use an 8/2 pattern with 6/2 yarn. Any help would be appreciated.

 

Answer: 
The 6/2 yarn works up in a plain weave structure very nicely at 15 or 16 ends per inch (EPI), and in a 2/2 twill at 18 EPI, and a 1/3 twill at 20 EPI.

Patterns in a book like Dixon’s Handweaver’s Pattern Directory or in the Davison book, A Handweaver’s Pattern Book, don’t give you a size of yarn; they just give you a draft, which is usable in any size yarn as long as you use the appropriate sett for that yarn and that structure.  So for instance in plain weave, if you want to start out with 18” in the reed, you would wind a warp that is 18” X 15 EPI, or 270 ends.  If using 16 EPI as your sett, your calculations would be 18” X 16 EPI, or a warp of 288 ends.

If you are weaving any sort of 2/2 twill, you’ll need to consider the number of pattern ends in each motif, and adjust the number of total ends slightly to accommodate whole pattern repeats so you don’t cut a pattern off in the middle at the edge of your towel; that always looks odd!  But any pattern is just a draft, and any draft can be woven in any yarn, as long as you are willing to do the multiplication yourself.

As in anything woven, it’s always wise to make a sample first, and see how it looks and feels, and what your shrinkage rate will be.  Depending upon the weave structure you pick, your shrinkage might go from 10% on the low end (in a plain weave) to 30% on the high end (waffle weave shrinks like crazy).

I hope this helps!

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Postponed: Angora Rabbit Shearing at The Woolery!

Angora rabbit and yarn

Update: Postponed Until Further Notice
This event was scheduled for January 13th but has been postponed until further notice due to inclement weather. We will let you know the new date as soon as we have it set. Thank you for understanding!

Angora sweaterCome see an angora rabbit shearing! This is a free event at The Woolery. Open to anyone with an interest in either angora rabbits or angora wool. These are beautiful animals that produce on of the softest and warmest fibers in the world! They are gently shorn every 90 days.

Rabbit club members will be on hand to answer your questions. Samples of angora garments and accessories will be on hand so you can feel the softness for yourself.

 

Sponsored by the International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders – IAGARB.com

angora rabbits

Announcing our very first Woolery Weave-off!

Woolery Weave-Off

The Woolery is excited to announce our very first Woolery Weave-Off!

We’re having a Weave-Off to celebrate how well our Bluegrass Mills 6/2 Cotton Yarn has been received. Weave a dish towel with Bluegrass Mills to compete for prizes in four separate categories.  Here’s the thing though, you don’t get your towel back, because we’re donating them all to the local women’s shelter (Simon House, here in Frankfort Kentucky), because women in crisis need the special energy that handwoven textiles provide, too!

Grand Prize Winners in each category will get Spectrum Packs of our BGM 6/2 — that’s 20, one-pound cones of yarn in a whole array of colors!
Second and Third Place Winners in each category will get $50 Woolery gift cards

 

Woolery Weave-Off Prizes

 

Now through January 31st all Bluegrass Mills Yarn* is

25% Off!

You need to use our Bluegrass Mills 6/2 Cotton Yarn to weave your entry, so we’re offering 25% off the price of this yarn from January 3rd – January 31st! 

*Please note offer excludes already discounted clearance colors.

Here’s the fine print – we ask that you read completely before deciding to enter:

The four divisions will be:
1) Beginners; those who have been weaving less than one year. Please use the honor system when determining your beginner status!
2) Rigid heddle weavers (remember, 6/2 is great in plain weave at 15 or 16 EPI; you can do that on a rigid heddle loom!)
3) Color: here’s the chance to be outrageous; remember, you’ll never need to wear it.  Be bold and inventive, and knock our socks off!
4) Pattern: stretch yourself.  Do you have 4 extra shafts on your loom that have just been looking at you funny?  Use them, be brave and inventive; learn something and get out of your comfort zone!
 
Entries must be mailed to: 
The Woolery
c/o Katherine
859 East Main Street, Suite 1A
Frankfort, KY 40601

 

  • The minimum size for each towel is 15” x 24”, washed and hemmed.
  • One entry per person – entries must also contain the name, phone number, email address, and address of the entrant.
  • Contest entries MUST be postmarked by April 1st, 2018, to be considered. Entries postmarked after that time will not be entered in the contest, and will not be returned.
  • Entrants acknowledge they will not get their submissions back. In the event that we receive too many towels to donate to one place, sister residential shelters/organizations in nearby Lexington and Louisville will receive the ‘spillover’ .
  • Winner agrees to have her/his towel and name used in photos and on social media platforms.
  • You MUST use Bluegrass Mills cotton to weave your towel – All non-clearance colors will be 25% off through the end of January!
  • Odds of winning change with number of entries received.
  • Winners will be notified on or around April 15, 2018. Winner has 14 days to claim her/his prize.
  • Lists of winners and runners-up in each category will be available by request in writing after May 15th, 2018.
  • Contest is open to entrants aged 18 years and over.
  • Woolery employees and immediate family members are welcome to participate, but they are not eligible to win.
  • Woolery suppliers are welcome to participate, but they are not eligible to win.
  • Entrant assumes the cost of shipping the towel.
  • Winner of prize assumes responsibility for all and any taxes/tariffs/duty fees incurred.
  • No ghost weavers! Towels must be woven by the person entering the contest.

Please direct any questions about the Woolery Weave-Off to katherine@woolery.com

Handmade Gift Giving at The Woolery

You probably already know this, but we have some talented people working here at The Woolery. Not only are they talented, they’re generous too! So many of our team members have made beautiful handmade gifts this holiday season, that we felt we had to share them with you. Theses gifts span all sorts of different fiber arts including; needle felting, weaving, knitting, and crochet.

Handmade plaid scarf

Some absolutely beautiful woven gifts have been floating around the shop. Our Customer Service Manager, Dani, has been weaving some plaid scarves on our floor model Schacht Wolf Pup.

We love the color schemes Dani is working with for these scarves! Also, the plaid patterns all all Dani’s own unique designs. How lucky are the members of Dani’s gift list?

Weaving on the Schacht Wolf Pup

Then, of course, our own Weaver Nancy has her own woven gift to show off! This beautifully textured towel was made on her Schacht Mighty Wolf using Maurice Brassard Cottolin Yarn in the Natural Lave color. The texture is a 5-thread huck lace 4 shaft pattern. The final effect is so stunning.

Gifts-11

We don’t just weave here, Business Manager Mistene made a whole collection of incredibly intricate crochet doilies as a present for her mom and sister. The detail work on these is fantastic. They are so tiny and lacy!

Group of three crochet doilies

Detail of Mistene's Crocheted Doily

Handmade crochet cup cozy

Debbie, our Shipping Manager, has also been crocheting up some gifts. How adorable are these little canine inspired cup cozies? Debbie makes all sorts of different custom styles based off of different dog breeds. We are obsessed with the fuzzy eyebrows on the Yorkie one in the photo to the left. Too cute.

 

Debbie with her crochet dog cup cozy

Handknit shawl with tasselsOur knitters are not to be outdone, they have been working on some gift projects of their own. Annie, our newest Customer Service Representative, knit up a cozy shawl and cowl for some lucky recipients. Annie is going to be teaching some beginning knitting classes next year at the shop so if you’re wanting to make some gifts like Annie’s check out our class schedule!

Annie modeling her cowl

Socks are one of our favorite gifts this time of year and David, who is also a Customer Service Representative, has been knitting up some fabulous socks for his daughter. What an awesome dad! They aren’t quite done yet, but we’re confident he’ll finish in time for Christmas.

Handknit socks

Gradient Knit ShawlEmily, who works on our Creative Marketing (including writing this blog) has also been knitting away to finish some gifts in time for Christmas! The shawl to the left is for her grandma and if you’re curious, the pattern is Shaelyn on Ravelry.

Emily also has branched out into weaving since starting working at The Woolery (you can’t work here without wanting to try ALL the fiber arts)! And even wove up a scarf or two on her new Schacht Cricket Loom.

Handwoven scarf

And finally, our Customer Service Representative Anna, worked some needle felting magic to create gnomes for some of her Customer Service co-workers! They are one big happy gnome family!

Needle felted gnomes

Have you already made some gifts this year, or did any of our projects inspire you? We would love to hear about any handmade gifts you have been working on this season! Share your projects below or in our Raverly Group! We can’t wait to see your creations!

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. Dissolve both jello 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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