Category Archives: Fiber Events

Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival 2018

Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival 2018

One of our favorite festivals of the year is approaching fast! The Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival will be May 19th and 20th at the Masterson Station Park in Lexington, KY. The festival has classes, competitions, and of course shopping! The Woolery will have a large booth set up with wheels, fiber processing equipment and other fiber goodies for you to try out. We will also have a special guest with us!

Deb Essen of DJE Handwovens

Deb Essen of DJE Handwovens will be teaching classes at the Festival on Saturday and then hanging out in The Woolery booth all day on Sunday. She lives, weaves, and runs her business in Bitterroot Valley, nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Western Montana. Deb completed HGA’s Certificate of Excellence, Level 1 (2004) and is and inducted member of the Montana Circle of American Masters in Folk and Traditional Arts (2011). Her passion is teaching the wonders of weaving.

Sidney the Sheep from DJE Handwovens

Deb creates some of our favorite kits for handweavers (like the Zoom Loom Swatch Critters!). Come meet her and learn from a master of weaving!

If you swing by our booth you’ll also find some fantastic show only specials and we’ll have these adorable “Proud Member of The Woolery Fiber Flock” stickers on hand so you  can show your Woolery pride! They’re nice vinyl stickers so they are really durable and great for sticking on water bottles, laptops, or wherever you need some Woolery swag.

Fiber Flock Sticker

If you don’t already follow us on Instagram, now would be a good time to get on that. We may or may not be giving away some prizes at the show, but you have to follow us to find out about them!

Also a quick reminder that because we will all be having fun at the Festival, our shop will be closed on Saturday May 19th!

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Weaving Retreat in Historic Berea, Kentucky

Berea Weaving Retreat

Weaving classWe like to offer a weaving retreat in beautiful historic Berea, Kentucky twice a year. It’s a make & take experience taught by our veteran weaving instructor, Nancy Reid. She brings over 20 years of fine weaving instructing & experience to the table. You can learn to weave or perfect a new skill on a beautiful Schacht Wolf Pup loom.

The location of the retreat is Boone Tavern, which is owned by Berea College. Part of Berea College’s requirements is that students are required to work at least ten hours per week at any one of the 140+ college departments and work areas across campus. Boone Tavern is one of these establishments. Students earn money for books, room, and board at the College – but pay no tuition – thanks to the generosity of donors who support Berea College’s mission of providing a high-quality education for students primarily from Appalachia who have high academic potential and limited financial resources. Berea students make up about 50% of the staff at Boone Tavern.

Historic Boone Tavern

Weaving on the Schacht Wolf PupThe retreat is a two day class; on Day 1, students weave and complete a sampler, and on Day 2, students create a set of mug rugs or scarf. In addition to learning a ton you’ll have a lot of fun and make new fiber friends. Nancy is a fantastic teacher and even if 4-harness weaving intimates you, you’ll feel like a pro by the end of the retreat.

 

The class costs $475 and includes: cost of class, materials, breakfast, daily beverages/afternoon snacks, a copy of the class text Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler, and use of a Schacht Wolf Pup loom (room and meals besides breakfast not included). The class size for this experience is extremely limited (we only accept 6 students for each session) so you will have lots of individual help from our instructor, Nancy.

Berea Weaving Retreat

Our next Weaving Retreat is going to be over Memorial Day Weekend on May 27th and 28th, 2018. We do still have space available but it fills up fast so give us a call at 502-352-9800 to book your spot as soon as possible. If you want you could also book for Labor Day Weekend on September 1st and 2nd, 2018. These two weekends will be the only times we will have this experience available for all of 2018, so call us to reserve your space now. We’re so excited to weave with you!

 

 

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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

Sneak Peeks from TNNA

We have lots of exciting news coming down the pike, and our recent trip to the Summer TNNA (The National Needlearts Association) Trade Show is the perfect opportunity to give you a sneak peek into what’s to come!

TNNA in Washington DC

Perri and Taevia both journeyed to Washington, DC to walk the show floor, take classes, place orders, and spot industry trends.

Perri & Taevia at TNNA

There was quite an emphasis on products which were Made in the USA, and we were glad to stop by the Brown Sheep booth to say hello and view the newest colors of some of our favorite sustainably-produced superwash yarns.

BrownSheep

Of course, we were on the lookout for the latest weaving trends. We spotted many lovely samples throughout the show floor, and look! There are some exciting new Zoom Loom Critter Kits:

Zoom Loom Critter Kits

We also spent some time in the lovely Purl & Loop booth; in the photo below from their Instagram feed, you can see several products which will be coming soon the Woolery (hint, hint)!

purlandloop

Speaking of new products which will be arriving soon at the Woolery, we happened by the Wool Buddy booth, which had an impressive display created by needle felting. They have many, many fun kits to make various creatures and critters, and we’re excited to be adding them to our shop soon.

Wool Buddy TNNA booth

One of the great things about attending the show is to be able to visit with the people behind the brands we love so much. We were able to chat with Dave and Pam from Louet North America, and check out their lovely spinning fibers, wheels, yarns, and more!

Now pouring: Louet Spinning fiber

We also got a chance to stop by the Ashford booth, where there were plenty of live spinning and weaving demos. We couldn’t resist this beautiful arrangement of spinning fibers waiting to become rolags, and rolags which were ready to become yarn!

Ashford spinning wheel, fiber and hand carders

We also got a chance to see the Strauch ball winder and swift along with various models of hand cards and drum carders in action, all while visiting with Otto and Joanne Strauch. It was their first time exhibiting at the show, but you sure couldn’t tell – check out their professional booth setup!

Otto Strauch at TNNA

Another fun aspect of the show is to be able to see what’s new – and we happened to spot the new Schacht Flat Iron spinning wheel in the Spinning & Weaving Group booth. This item is not yet on our website, but we are now accepting preorders. You can find the details below; this wheel is already receiving rave reviews from all who try it!

New Schacht Flat Iron Spinning Wheel available for preorder.

To preorder your Schacht Flat Iron spinning wheel by phone, please call us at 800-441-9665. Cost is $795 and we offer free shipping within the continental USA; you’ll also receive a $25 Woolery Gift Card. Our anticipated ship date is mid-August of 2016.

Wheel details:

Double treadle
Spinning modes: Scotch, double drive, bobbin-lead
Spinning ratios: 4.6:1 to 26:1
Weight: 15 pounds
Drive wheel: 22 1/2”
Orifice height: 26”
Dimensions: 33” wide x 33” tall x 18” deep
Comes with 3 bobbins, medium and fast whorls, cotton and poly drive bands, threading hook.
Special features: Can be assembled with the flyer on the right or the flyer on the left. Packs flat for shipping.
The Saxony style Flatiron comes with everything you need to spin. Just add fiber!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri, and the entire Woolery Team

The Woolery Team Gets Ply-ed Away

Last month’s first-ever Ply Away retreat in Kansas City was an exciting adventure for Team Woolery! Perri, Taevia, Jesse and Lacy loaded up a truck with all kind of spinning wheels, fibers and other tools and supplies with Kansas City, MO as their destination.

Team Woolery Goes to the Ply Away Retreat!

The retreat took place in a gorgeous hotel downtown that had a waterfall in it – how cool is that?

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We had several different types of spinning wheels set up for folks to try in our booth – and of course, lots of spinning fiber to play with, too!

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Our friends Otto and Joanne of Strauch Fiber Equipment were conveniently located next door, which ended up being quite fun – both Otto and Joanne are wonderful people we enjoy spending time with any day of the week! As an added bonus,  we were able to borrow their swift and ball winder, as Lacy did here with an impromptu live demonstration as she winds off some yarn!

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Both Lacy and Taevia took full advantage of the excellent classes offered at the event; when they weren’t learning from some of the best spinning teachers around, they could be found helping out in the booth and giving live demonstrations. In particular, Taevia gave live demonstrations as part of her 3-Day PLY Away Mobius Project. For Day 1, she demonstrated fiber blending using the Rosie Blending Board:

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For Day 2, it was all about spinning! Here is some of the progress:

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Taevia had some company  when Joanne Strauch stopped by to enjoy a few quiet minutes of spinning time together!

Taevia spins with Joanne Strauch at Ply Away.

When Day 3 rolled around, the yarn was spun and it was time to start weaving, with the resulting cowl looking quite marvelous!

finishedmobius

Perhaps most exciting of all, we got a first look at the protoype of a new spinning wheel which will be arriving later this year from the Schacht Spindle Company! The Flatiron was inspired by the iconic Flatirons rock formations which tilted up from a horizontal position millions of years ago. Below, Barry from Schacht and Taevia spin on the two Flatirons which were on display in the marketplace.

Coming soon to the Woolery: The Flatiron from Schacht!

As you can see above, the Flatiron is a Saxony-style wheel, but it is anything but traditional! Fully customizable, it can be built to your spinning preference, with the flyer on the left or on the right. You can choose from Scotch, double drive or Irish tension, and the Flatiron features a clever quick release lever to make changing out bobbins fast and trouble-free. Other features include self-aligning bearings in the maidens, a fully adjustable drive wheel, and an innovative threaded tension control. The wheel comes with everything you need to spin, even the tools to assemble it – just add fiber!

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The consensus at Ply Away? The Flatiron should be on your must-try list for fall…but you don’t have to wait til then to try it!We were lucky enough to bring home on of the prototype wheels, which is now on display in the shop. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of more Flatirons in the shop and will keep you posted about their ETA!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri & the entire Woolery Team

Ply Away With Us!

This spring, we’re excited to sponsor (and attend!) the first-ever Ply Away Retreat in Kansas City, Missouri. As you may have guessed by the name, this retreat is being put on by the folks who publish PLY Magazine, a wonderful community-driven quarterly publication that’s all about handspinning. Recently, PLY’s Editor-in-Chief (and wearer of many hats, including event planning!) Jacey Boggs Faulkner took a few moments to give us a preview of the retreat. For more information,  please visit www.plyaway.com.

If you plan on attending the retreat, be sure to stop by the Woolery booth in the marketplace to say hello, we look forward to seeing you there! 

All the Best,

Wave, Perri and the entire Woolery Team

ply-away-lg-logo

PLY Magazine is holding its first annual PLY Away retreat April 21, 22, 23, and 24, 2016 in Kansas City, MO at Crown Center’s Westin. We chose this location because it’s near lots of great restaurants and attractions, yet still provides us with that tucked-away feeling of being at a private retreat with a cozy group of spinners and fiber folk.

We’re thrilled to welcome many esteemed teachers such as Beth Smith, Deb Robson, Jillian Moreno, and many more. Christina Pappas is consistently mentioned as our readers’ favorite writer and she’s so knowledgable. She’ll be combining her job as an archeologist and her love of spinning and teaching a half day class about Twist and Twine – how ancient yarn was made. It should be fascinating and one of those classes that’s fun and educational while kind of feeling like a break.

We are welcoming two teachers from Canada, both regular teachers in the Old’s master spinning program (and there are still a few openings in their classes for those who dare!). Coleen Nimetz is teaching a Silk Tasting Class that will be amazing — all the different kinds and preparations of silk in 3 hours. If you’ve been wanting to experiment with silk, she’s the expert you want!

Michelle Boyd, aka the most technical spinner we know, will be teaching 3 classes about twist, grist, and combing fiber on mini combs. Just being around her will make you a better spinner!

As for the retreat in whole, all of the 2-day classes sold out very quickly, as did most of the 1-day classes. However, are a few spots remaining in the Technically Twisted class by Michelle (again, a mind-blower of a class) and just a few in Patsy Sue Zawistowski’s Illegal Yarns class, which is a great way to spend a day – breaking the rules of spinning and learning a ton each time you do.

Downtown Kansas City, as seen from the Westin Crown Center. Imagine yourself spinning here!

Downtown Kansas City, as seen from the Westin Crown Center. Imagine yourself spinning here!

All of the classes are great: they were picked, curated, and built especially for our first ever PLY Away and correlate to the first 2 years of the magazine – and if you need a refresher on all of the amazing topics PLY has covered in that time, click here to check out our back issues.

In short, these aren’t classes that will be offered next year – classes for Ply Away 2017 will be all new!

If spinners want to come just for the weekend, there are enough half day spots open to accommodate a few more people, though we expect the number of available spots to decrease as the event draws near. Even if you don’t plan on registering for any classes, you can still join in the fun by attending the free-for-all spin-in on Saturday night and the free-to-the-public marketplace from Thursday at noon to Saturday night!

jacey boggs faulker - get the scoop on the ply away retreat on the woolery blog!Jacey Boggs Faulkner has spent the last decade falling in love with fiber, writing a book (Spin Art, Interweave, 2012), writing for various fiber and spinning magazines, producing a spinning DVD (Sit & Spin, 2009, self), and teaching all over the world. She is the editor-in-chief of PLY Magazine, which is putting on the eagerly-anticipated Ply Away retreat this spring!

6 Ways to Get Ready for Spinzilla!

Spinzilla will be here in just a few short weeks, and all of us on #TeamWoolery are gearing up for a successful event! As we all know, practice makes perfect, and Spinzilla is the perfect way to challenge yourself to take your spinning to the next level!

Last month, we shared some suggestions for goals to set during Spinzilla; today, we’d like to share our top 6 suggestions to help you prepare for a monster of a spinning week!

Ravtar-spinzilla-transparent_FAQ-answers1. Check out the Spinzilla Blog Tour & FAQs. This year’s blog tour topics include plying, estimating how much fiber to have on hand, photographing your finished skeins of handspun yarn, and more. We also recommend reading over the Spinzilla FAQ‘s to make sure you are familiar with the rules, especially since there have been a few changes since last year’s event. Most notably, spinners who choose to ply their yarn this year will receive a plying credit to count towards their total yardage (more on that here). You can review the entire Spinzilla FAQ here.

2. Clear Those Bobbins! Now is a great time to make sure that all of your bobbins are free of leftover singles and ready for use. Depending on whether or not you plan on plying your yarn during the event, you may also wish to stock up on extra bobbins or storage bobbins to accommodate all of your singles. For those of you who plan on plying throughout Spinzilla, click here to read our blog post from earlier this year which discusses various plying options!

3.  Prepare Your Fiber. Doing your prep work ahead of time will make it a breeze to spin like the wind! Here are some common preparations you may wish to try:

  • Predraft Roving: Perhaps the easiest of these three options, predrafting your roving ahead of time will allow you to run it through your wheel quickly. There is a fantastic photo tutorial demonstrating 3 ways to predraft roving here on the Craftsy blog.
  • Hand Cards

    Hand Cards

    Rolags or Punis: An ideal preparation for woolen-style spinning, rolags or punis can be made with the use of hand cards or a blending board. Another benefit of spinning from rolags or punis is that they are easy to take on-the-go!

  • Batts: If you have access to a drum carder, batts are a rather versatile option to explore for spinzilla. There are number of ways you can spin with the resulting sheet of fiber created, and they are also a great way to use up leftover bits and bobs of fibers from your stash (click here for an excellent article from the KnittySpin archives to explore this topic a little more).

 

4. Be a Master of Measuring Yarn. There are many ways to efficiently measure your handspun yarn such as a yarn meter,  yarn balance or niddy noddy. Below you’ll find each of these three options, plus links to tutorials to help you learn how how to use each one to measure your yardage!

5. Perform Routine Maintenance. You’re about to ask your wheel to do a lot more work than it’s probably used to, so make sure it’s up to the challenge by performing a little routine maintenance beforehand! We have an easy-to-follow guide to spinning wheel maintenance here in our blog archives; at the very least, we recommend oiling your spinning wheel throughout the week of Spinzilla to keep things running smoothly – watch our video below for a quick demonstration!

6. Clear Your Schedule! Before Spinzilla starts on October 6, make sure you’ve taken care of as many chores and other tasks as possible. Clean the house, prepare some meals in advance, or arrange to have planned activities for the kiddos to allow maximum spinning time during the week of Spinzilla.

Avec Joie,
Chris, Nancy and the entire Woolery team