Category Archives: Celebrity

It’s Fiber Festival Season!

Can’t get to a fiber festival, but looking for some locks? Check out ours!

Spring is here and so are all the lambs, baby bunnies, cuddly kids, and cute crias (that’s a baby camelid!)  We are getting ready for the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Festival .  If you are out and about stop by and say hello. Otto and Joanne Strauch will be back to hang out in the booth,  as will Liz Gipson, author of Weaving Made Easy and fiber festival fan.

If you are like us, you are looking forward  fiber festival season. There is nothing like going to the source.  Before you go, check out the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook to get and idea of what kind of fleeces you might want to be looking for. Maybe this is the year you decide to do your own sheep to shawl. Once you get that fleece you might wonder, “Now what?”  Start by visiting our website where we have tips for washing fleece in five easy steps.  Our best advise—don’t agitate and don’t shock (dunking fiber in hot then cold or vice versa).

Coopworth comes in lovely natural colors!

If you don’t have a fiber festival nearby and just want to get spinning, make this the year you try spinning something new. For instance,  Coopworth has nice staple length and is a great fiber for weaving woolens.  (We love the roving that we have in stock.)

Did you know that this fiber was named after Ian Coop, who cross bread Border Leicesters and Rommeys in the 1950’s to create a hearty breed with a high yield (lots of fiber and not as much waste).  That is the kind of thing you can learn when you go to the festival and talk to the shepherds.  It makes your spinning so much more interesting!  See you there!

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery Team


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Which Loom Is Right For Me?

We hear it all the time:  What looms should I buy?  The answer depends on what you want to weave. Different looms do different things well. We have a guide to looms on our website that you will want to check out if you are contemplating a loom purchase.

If you are in the market for a loom with shafts—as opposed to an inkle, rigid heddle, or peg loom—check out Tom Knisley new DVD The Loom Owner’s Companion.  It is an awesome guide to learning the differences between jack, countermarch, and counterbalance looms.

Voted Handwoven‘s Teacher of the Year, Tom will keep you entertained as he walks you through the various looms and their features.

Warping With Jane

Chris puts his back into it while Jane Stafford (at left) and Andrea Marquis of Yarn Superhero look on.

Speaking of great teachers, Chris is just back from an awesome retreat on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia with Jane Stafford.  Sponsored by Louet, Chris spent four days learning all the marvels of the Louet loom line.  He and other dealers warped looms, swapped stories, and wallowed in the luxury of Jane’s impressive studio.  (I bet you can guess why Louet’s table loom is named Jane!)

If you are looking for a good learning experience check out our upcoming classes. We have some great teachers, including felter Leslie Samson and weaver Joanne Hall, lined up in the spring and fall, and of course our marvelous staff is always cooking up something interesting for you to learn.

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery Team

Get Hooked: Rug Hooking 101 + Master Felter Pays A Visit

The one thing that all spinners, weavers, dyers, felters, knitters, hookers—need I go on—share is a love of our base material.  Perhaps that is why we are so nutty about rug hooking around here.  The materials and designs so enticing! If you aren’t familiar with the process (and even if you are) you will enjoy the resources on our rug hooking  how to get started page.  In particular, check out the video by Gene Shepherd, who gives a great demonstration on the beauty and basics of the craft. 

We want to give one lucky reader/fan/follower a chance to win an adorable beginning rug-hooking kit featured in our last blog.  Simply post a comment about any rug hooking expereinces you have had even if it is none! We will pick a winner a week from now (no foolin’).  It’s time to get hooked!

Leslie Samson Workshops

Speaking of beautiful, enticing materials we are thrilled to host the marvelous felter Leslie Samson in May. Leslie has taken felting to another level with her exquisite approachable designs. Leslie is a master at wet, needle, and nuno felting. Felt wool and beyond, by making wearables to wall pieces. Leslie will teach three workshops: Botanical Felting, Scribble Lace Scarf, and Felted Tapestry. (You might even spot a bunny or two hopping around.)

We would love to see you here in May or any other time! Of course we can visit   online anytime.

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team

Get To Know The Drum Carder: New Video!

Abby (center) talks about twist.

Last Saturday was one of those days that makes us feel very lucky to do what we do. Hosting Abby Franquemont, one of spinning’s greatest treasures; and Otto and Joanne Strauch, makers of Strauch drum carders had the store hopping. We all learned something new.

Many of our regulars joined us for the day. Among others, were Liz with her new Sidekick; Tavia with drop spindle in tow; Moe who is a regular in classes. It is such a pleasure to watch students emerge from a class brimming with excitment and new knowledge.

While Abby was teaching a very full house, Otto and Joanne were giving demos on their Petite and Finest Drum Carders.  We know that many of you were not able to make it to the shop. We wanted you to still be part of the day.  Here is a video of Otto and Joanne giving us an introduction to the drum carder.  It is brimming with information on how to turn use a drum carder including lots of tips and tricks.  They show us how to transform fleece into light and airy batts ready for the spinning wheel.  Whose in?

Chris, Nancy, and The Entire Woolery Team

Shuttling In A New Year + Loom Specials, Classes with Abby and Drum Carding Day!

It’s happened again.  We are starting a brand new fresh year.  Our resolve is to play more and worry less!  One way to take the worry out of our weaving is the humble shuttle.  Picking the right one makes our weaving breeze by.

There are three basic types of shuttles.  The boat shuttle uses a bobbin and pin system that allows the weaver to store a lot of yarn and wind it off quickly.

End-delivery shuttles tension the yarn—great for fine yarns and wide warps. Instead of a bobbin this shuttle uses a pirn that that allows the yarn to wind off the end of the storage system.  The yarn is then thread through a tensioning devise so that you have perfect control of your yarn and your selvedges.

The stick shuttle is both inexpensive and easy to use with small looms such as inkle and rigid heddle.  The larger stick shuttles such as ski and rag shuttles are great for bulky yarns.

You simply can not have too many shuttles! Check out our full line of shuttles on our website. To help ease into the new year and get your weaving off to a great start we are offering 5 FREE Schacht shuttle bobbins with the purchace of any boat shuttle.  Just put “Free Bobbins” in the comment section of your order. (Small print: Limit 1 per customer.)

Schacht Cherry Looms: Limited Time Only!

They are back for a short time only!  The cherrylicious Wolf Pup LT and Baby Wolf. Save $50 off the Pup LT and $125 off the Baby Wolf.   We will ship either loom to you for free!  Package includes trap and stroller.  Other cherry accessories are available. Looms start shipping in February.  Only a few looms are left. Call today, to reserve yours!  800-441-9665

Drum Carding Day Febuary 25!

We are excited to host one of the best spinners in the business, Abby Franquemont, to The Woolery.  She is teaching two half-day spinning classes on Saturday, February 25–Silk Singles and Self Striping Yarn.  There is still room left in her classes, but not for long so sign up today!

Otto and Joanne Strauch were so excited that Abby was coming that they decided to pay a visit, too.  From 10-3 on Saturday, they will demo their line of drum carders giving you helpful tips on blending techniques and more.

Whether you are a local, traveling in the area, or make The Woolery a destination, join us for this jam-packed day.  We’d love to see you!

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team!

Oodles of Wool + Visit with Author Deb Robson

Jacob Sheep offer three colors for the price of one! Check it out in our Pushing the Limits Kit. Photo (c) American Livestock Breeds Conservancy: Jeanette Beranger, from The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook (c) by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

What do fleece and tomatoes have in common? Stick with me here, both are better if they are allowed to grow in their own unique way under the watchful eye of a caretaker. No waxy, hard, barely edible tomatoes for us! And, because variety is the spice of life, we want lots of different kinds of tomatoes depending on what we are cooking for dinner.

Spinners know this to be true about their fleece, too. With The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook at our side, we have the ultimate guide to finding the perfect fleece to make that perfect pair of socks. From the many, many, many breeds of sheep to the exotic yak and bison we have the world of fibers at our fingertips through this book.

What makes one sheep’s wool different from another?

Author and rare breed advocate, Deb Robson.

According to The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, “A breed is a group of domestic animals with identifiable characteristics—visual, performance, geographic and/or cultural—that allow it to be distinguished from other groups with the same species.” For the handspinner, this means that each breed’s fleece has distinctive characteristics that call us to prepare and spin it in just the right way to bring out its unique character.

But really does it matter that much? Why not find out for yourself. The Woolery has consulted with Deb Robson co-author of The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook to bring you a number of kits that contain a selection of fibers that vary from one another in significant ways.

  • Breed Specific Kits allow you to explore the world of wool from fine to lustrous. From bouncy Cormo to long and lovely Wensleydale delve into ten varieties of wool. A smaller selection is also available
  • Breed Specific Wools Pushing The Limits is for adventurous sprits. With The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook as your guide explore six storied wools. Learn why Herdwick is a great choice for tweeds and Gotland is the pick of hobbits.
  • Wool and More Kits includes rovings from several different types of animals including sheep, goats, camelids, and rabbit. A kit with just non-wool fibers is also available.

A rare treat: visit with the author!

Spinning Rare Wools

Deb Robson co-author of The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook is passionate not only about the unique characteristics of breed-specific fibers, she cares deeply for the breeds that are classified as rare or endangered. You can get to know Deb a little better by watching her introduction to her new DVD Spinning Rare Wools. But don’t settle for just watching the video, join us for a live chat with Deb on The Woolery’s Ravelry site Tuesday, September 27 from 9-10pm EST. Deb will be handy to answer your questions and talk about the our common Bonds—the breed and our love of fleece!

Chris, Nancy and the entire Woolery Team!

Kit and Kaboodle + We Have a Winner!

Long before summer officially turns to fall the seasons change. The hurry-up-and-have some-fun days of summer turn to the frenetic BACK TO SCHOOL DAZE. As you watch the kids drift back to school with their new backpacks, doesn’t it give you the itch to learn something new? You can always come by The Woolery to take a classbut if you aren’t heading our way there are other ways to tackle a new fiber skill from the comfort of your own home.

How about checking out one of our spindle kits? Just out, is Maggie Casey’s Get Started on a Drop Spindle DVD. We have kitted it up with a Schacht 3 ounce (4-inch) hi-low drop spindle,1/2 pound of Blue Faced Leicester, 50 grams of Skacel pencil roving (seriously all you have to do is add twist!), and a free pattern from Schacht to make your first knitted project with handspun. With Maggie at your side, a beginner-friendly spindle (no need to worry if you drop it—that is built into the name!), easy-to-learn-on fibers, and a first project you can hardly go wrong.

BUT if you are like me I jump in with both feet. The Woolery has teamed up with Weavolution to help support some of their Cyber Fiber classes. Starting on September 19, Kentucky’s own Traci Bray will teach you all you need to know to transform sheep’s fleece into a handwoven shawl—all from the comfort of your own home! We have kitted up all the supplies you need for the class. If you aren’t familiar with Weavolution’s Cyber-Fiber classes check them out here.

Hey and speaking of winners, Elizabeth and Elaine are our Woolery Gear T-shirt winners.  Says Elizabeth, “Wow it’s really cool that there is now Woolery Gear and even cooler that proceeds go to charity.  I’m excited to shop!”  Elaine is planning her first trip to The Woolery in September. Why don’t you come too?

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team!