Category Archives: inspiration

Perfect Travel Projects

Perfect travel Projects

We’re getting into the tail end of Spring here which means we’re about to enter full Summer mode. A lot of us and probably you will be taking Summer trips. It seemed like a great time to do a rundown of some of our favorite projects to take in planes, trains, and automobiles. Plus, a few of them aren’t bad for distracting bored kiddos who are home for the Summer.

Of course, knitting and crochet are great projects to come with you on-the-go but we’re going to feature a couple lesser known options in this post! Also most of these options are super quick to learn so if learning to knit or crochet seems like an impossible task to you, this might be more up your alley.

First up let’s look at some options for extremely portable weaving:

Schacht Easel Weaver

Schacht Easel Weaver

This new Easel Weaver from Schacht is a great travel tapestry loom option. It features a kickstand so you could easily set it up somewhere like an airplane tray table. Or you can just hold it in your hand to weave too. It comes in three sizes; 6″, 8″, or 10″ so you have a little wiggle room in terms of the size of project you can make. This little loom is made out of sturdy maple/apple plywood with strong warp teeth so it’s durable enough that you can stick it in your travel bag and not be concerned about it breaking or losing your warp. We also have a YouTube video up featuring this little loom if you want to get more details on it!

Purl & Loop Wee Weaver

Purl & Loop Wee Weaver

Really, we love all of Purl & Loop’s products and they would all make excellent travel projects. We decided to focus on this Wee Weaver because it comes with everything you need to weave teeny tiny tapestry projects on the go! You get the loom, two needles, a pickup stick, a comb, and a carrying pouch. So just add some scrap yarn and you’ll be all set to weave on the go. This one is also so tiny (4″x4.5″) that it can be carried around in a purse quite easily.

Schacht Zoom Loom

Schacht Zoom Loom

If you want to weave, but tapestry weaving is not your thing, then the Schacht Zoom Loom is a great choice for a travel loom! Like all Schacht products, it’s very sturdy so you can take it with you without worry. It’s a 4×4 pin loom so you can create coasters or collect several squares and then sew them together into a bigger project. We have a few different kits available for this loom so you can also have some ready made project ideas!

Weaving isn’t the only travel project option, there are lots of different things to try like braiding!

Lucet Braiding Tool

Lucet braiding tool

This nifty tool lets you make a square braid out of a single strand of yarn. As you can see above, we also think it’s fun to use up fabric scraps to make big chunky braids. This can be a neat way to make ties or belts for other projects.

Spinning can be a good on the go project too! If you have a wheel that doesn’t travel well, or can’t quite get the hang of using a drop spindle in the car then you’re not completely out of luck.

Support Spindles

Woodland Woodworking Spindle

We have several different support spindle options, which will be a little easier on the spinner for car ride spinning than a drop spindle. If you’re not familiar with a supported spindle, it’s very similar to a drop spindle except instead of you letting the spindle hang free, it rests in a little bowl or stand. We think a lap bowl works best for the car because you can easily hold it in your lap and keep it secure without it moving around from the car. The spindle shown above is a bead spindle from Woodland Woodworking.

There is no reason why kids wouldn’t love some of the options we have above but we also have some projects that are specifically suited to younger travelers.

Loome Tool and Knitting Nancy

Kids travel projects

We like the Loome because it is an all in one tool for pom poms, tassels, friendship bracelets, cords, and small weavings. If a kid gets bored making pom poms they could switch over to making some bracelets for the pom poms to go on. Knitting Nancy is another good option for kids because she is colorful and fun. It’s basically a tool to create a knitted icord that could be used for belts, bracelets, or doll scarves. Knitting Nancy also uses a very simple repetitive motion so it’s an easy project even for kids with low attention spans. Both of these are small enough to tuck into mom’s purse for emergency entertainment situations.

It’s also important to have a place to put all of these tiny tools and projects when you’re traveling so don’t forget a great bag!

Guatemalan Shoulder Bag

Travel projects in a bag

These bags come in three sizes; small, medium, and large so there should be an option for any size project you have. They two zippered compartments in the front that are great for keeping notions. They’re great to stay organized on the go but they are padded so they will also offer your tools some protection. Also, they feature a panel of unique woven fabric so they are pretty and functional.

Are there any travel projects you love to bring with you that we missed? Let us know in the comments. Also we’d love to see your summer projects! Share them on social media with #wooleryshop

 

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Grow Your Own Natural Dyes

Grow Your Own Natural Dyes

Here in Kentucky we’ve been having some winter weather stay a bit past its welcome, but it seems like Spring is finally starting to settle in. With all the nice sunny days ahead we thought it would be a great time to put a spotlight on some of our Dye Seeds! This line of seeds will produce a garden that is both beautiful and useful, all of them can be used to grow your own natural dye.

When starting your dye garden we suggest having a good variety of the primary colors (Red, Yellow, Blue) so you can mix them together to get a whole rainbow. Most people know about Indigo for blue so we’re going to skip thane and move on to some lesser known plants. Here are some of the different plants you can grow with our dye seeds!

Red – Amaranth

Amaranth

This was originally grown by the Hopi Nation to be used as a red food dye for their piki bread. The flower clusters, leaves, and stems are used to create the red dye. This plant does best in warm weather, so plant your seeds after you have no more chance of frost, or start your seeds indoors and transplant outside. These plants can get big, up to 8 feet tall!

Red – Bugloss/Alkanet

Bugloss/Alkanet

It’s good to have different options of the primary colors because different plants will yield different shades. The roots of the Bugloss/Alkanet plant will produce a maroon hue.  A bonus of this plant is that honeybees love it, so if you’re a beekeeper or you just want to help out bees this is a great option.

Yellow – Golden Marguerite

Marguerite

Sometimes referred to as Dyer’s Camomile, Golden Marguerite can be used to achieve a yellow dye. The flowers, leaves, and stems are used. Their daisy-like appearance makes them a pretty addition to your garden.

Red/Yellow – Safflower

Safflower

Fun fact, safflower was used to dye the red cotton tapes of legal documents and is the origin of the phrase “red tape”. You start growing these plants in the Spring but they won’t flower until the Fall. Different shades of the flowers can produce a red to yellow dye.

Black – Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet

These get their name from their sweet smell, but their biggest claim to fame is in the pharmaceutical industry. They contain salicylic acid which is the key ingredient that was synthesized to create aspirin. The roots of this plant can produce a black dye.

Gardening

If you’re new to natural dyeing or just dyeing in general, we have some book suggestions for you to get started on your colorful journey! Harvesting Color by Rebecca Burgess features some great information on harvesting natural dye plants from nature and also how to extract the color from these plants. If you’d rather watch a DVD we suggest Natural Dyeing by Dagmar Klos, which is a 60 minute workshop to give you a great foundation of knowledge.

Remember that you will need to use a mordant to get color to stick to your wool. Before you start dyeing make sure you take all of the necessary safety precautions!

Send us pictures of your garden, we can’t wait to see what you create!

NOTE: Certain U.S. states do not permit the growing of some of these seeds, viewing them as “invasive.” Please adhere to the regulations in your area.

Weaving Selvedge Rug Project

Weaving Selvedge

Weaving Selvedge Rug ProjectWe love weaving selvedge! What’s weaving selvedge you ask? It’s the leftover bits they cut off of the ends of commercially woven fabric. They were just getting thrown away, but then some geniuses said, “I wonder what would happen if we wove with these?” Turns out, that was a great idea! The selvedge can add lots of fun texture to a scrappy tapestry project, but our favorite thing to do with it is make a nice fluffy rug!

Our very own Dani made her own selvedge rug project on a Gilmakra Standard Countermarche Floor Loom. We thought we’d share how Dani made her rug so you can make your own rug!

Warping the Gilmakra Standard Countermarche Loom

Dani warped her loom 30″ wide at 6 ends per inch with 6 feet of warp in Maysville 8/4 Cotton Rug Warp Yarn. She used the Ivory color. Her weft was made entirely of weaving selvedge and she used about 1 bag (5lbs). The selvedge Dani used was particularly fluffy so you might need 2 bags to weave a similar sized rug depending on your selvedge. The 24″ Hockett Stick Shuttle was the easiest shuttle to pass the weft through the warp.

Weaving Selvedge Project

After you’re all warped up, just plain weave away. Once you get going with this project it really flies by because each pass of weft gives you about 1/2″ to 3/4″ of rug! You can see just how quickly this project goes by in the YouTube video below:

The rug ended up being 30″ by 40″ and is so thick and textural! Dani finished the ends of her rug with a Damascus edge. She demonstrated it last week on Facebook Live if you want to learn how to do it yourself.

We’d love to see your weaving selvedge projects! Send us pictures on Facebook or Instagram!

Selvedge Rug Project

DIY Home Decor: Free Tutorial Round-Up

Now that warmer weather is here, we’re on the lookout for fun ways to keep crafting this spring! Most crafters have a lot of leftover bits and bobs from previous projects taking up space in their craft rooms – if the urge to spring clean has taken hold, you may find that you have more than you realized!

Luckily, there are plenty of clever ways to put these leftovers to good use. In the process, you can also give life to other everyday objects you may have lying around the house such as old jeans, empty plastic jugs, etc.

Here are a few of our favorite free tutorials for upcycling home decor this spring. Enjoy!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri and the entire Woolery Team

DIY Upcycled Fringed Basket

Add a splash of fringe to your craft room, or anywhere in your house! Our free DIY tutorial will show you how to upcycle an empty plastic jug to make a fun fringed basked with leftover yarn. It’s available for free to our newsletter subscribers, click here to claim your free PDF download.

Fringed Wall Hanging

Can’t get enough of the fringe trend? Learn how to weave a trendy fringed wall hanging with this free tutorial on the Schacht blog.

Upcycled Denim Rug

Rag rugs are a classic way to give old garments new life, and there are tons of great tutorials out there for weavers, hookers, and knitters to try. This blog post showing how to weave with strips of old denim piqued our interest; it would be a great technique for making one your own version of the gorgeous denim rag rugs spotted on Apartment Therapy!

Free tutorial - hygge handspun candle holder DIY upcycle home decor idea

Hygge Handspun Candle Holder

Hygge season may be long gone, but you can update your candle holder with bright, sunny colors of handspun yarn with this free tutorial!

Make Do & Mend: How to Give New Life To Well-Loved Garments

When your favorite garment has more holes than a slice of swiss cheese, do you toss it in the rag pile or trash can? Rips and tears near a seam are easy to repair invisibly, but a hole that’s front and center requires a little bit of ingenuity – here’s where the visible mending trend can come in handy.

Visible mending has become an art form unto itself by using a variety of materials and techniques to highlight what was once an imperfection in a garment, turning it into something unique.

Below, you’ll find some creative ways to reinvigorate your wardrobe with visible mending!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri and the entire Woolery crew

Fixing a holey sweater with embroidery - great visible mending idea from Hunter Hammersen!

Image by Hunter Hammersen, used with permission.

Knitwear designer Hunter Hammersen has been chronicling her process for repairing a holey sweater using colorful embroidery techniques.

Here, a pair of torn jeans have been mended using Sashiko, a traditional Japanese embroidery technique that employs repeating geometric designs.

A combination of fabric patches and Sashiko were used to mend these children’s garments on the Swoodson Says blog.

Find loads of visible mending inspiration here on the Tom of Holland blog; this excellent tutorial on the Sew Mama Sew blog will help you master the sewing techniques needed to embark on your own visible mending adventures with needle and thread.

Bonus: You can combine any of the techniques listed above with our latest tutorial, using Zoom Loom squares to patch holes in any garment – click here to download our free PDF!

Free PDF tutorial to mending holes using Zoom Loom squares as patches.

What are your favorite tutorials or techniques for visible mending? Leave them in the comments, or share your photos with us over on Instagram using #thewooleryshop in your post!

Winner + Free Printable Gift Tags

Congratulation to Erin R., you are the lucky winner for our special blog giveaway this month! We will be in touch with you shortly to arrange for the delivery of your prize, a copy of Jillian Moreno’s Yarnitecture: The Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want.

In the spirit of the holiday season, we’ve created printable gift tags which you can use for all of your handmade gifts this year – click here for a free PDF download! These tags feature cute designs and allow to to customize fiber content and care instructions for the recipient.

Free Printable PDF Gift Tags for Handmade Gifts from The Woolery

Please note, you will need to sign up for our newsletter to receive our free PDF; if you are already a subscriber, check your inbox! We included a link to download the labels this month.

Once your handmade gifts are complete, it’s time to add the final finishing touch with some of these beautiful gift wrap ideas – click the image below to view more info:

Gift wrap inspiration & free printable gift tags for handmade items on the Woolery blog.

Gift wrap inspiration & free printable gift tags for handmade items on the Woolery blog.

Gift wrap inspiration & free printable gift tags for handmade items on the Woolery blog.

We have still more DIY gift wrap ideas here on Pinterest to inspire you this holiday season!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri & the entire Woolery team

 

 

Mug Rugabilities – Pillow Cushion Tutorial

The beautifully-made portable weaving looms from Purl & Loop have arrived at the Woolery! We’re pleased to introduce the Swatch Maker 3 in 1 Portable with optional stand, which is great for using up leftover yarn in your stash to create a variety of projects. To celebrate, we asked Angela, founder of Purl & Loop, to share a special tutorial with our blog readers. 

All the Best,

Wave, Perri & the entire Woolery Team

Our Stash Blaster® portable weaving looms (mug rug size) were inspired by the problem of what to do with all my yarn stash. In some cases, I had no way of identifying the yarn or knowing if there was enough yarn for a particular pattern. The little looms solved that because I could mix and match my yarns to make all the mug rugs I wanted. Since I found weaving to be very meditative, I accumulated those mug rugs quickly. I decided it was time to expand my mug rugabilities with a pillow cushion.

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

I sorted through my stash of finished rugs and chose four very similar in size.  The type of fiber used was not a factor in the choices. The four rugs put together measured 10” x 12.5” and I chose a piece of natural linen measuring 11” x 13.5” for the backing. The four rugs were all positioned with the less pretty sides (aka more mistakes) all facing the same direction. In the photo below, the less pretty sides are all facing down into the linen. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

I had already decided that this project was going to be done all by hand because I wanted a work in progress I could carry around in a big purse and I was not sure how machine sewing would interact with the yarn. Also, I have been partial to hand sewing my whole life. My grandmother owned a cleaning and tailoring business in Chicago and I hand sewed all of my Barbie clothes while hanging around her shop as a child. Using Appleton crewel wool, just because I liked the texture, I attached the pieces using a mattress stitch. Using mattress stitch is not a must, it was just what I thought, after watching a variety of videos demonstrating how to attached knitted pieces together, might be the least visible and most effective at the same time. Surprisingly, this was completed in about one hour. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

Below is a photo of all four mug rugs stitched together.

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

Next, I attached the mug rug piece to the linen.  In this case, the less pretty side faces up because once the pillow is turned right side out, the less pretty side will be inside. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

Continuing with the crewel wool and using a straight stitch, I attached the rugs to the linen backing on three sides.

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

This is a photo of what the backside (what will be the inside of the pillow cushion) looked like. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

I gently turned the pillow casing inside out so the good sides were facing outward.  You will see there is a good amount of extra linen on this edge that is here on purpose.  This will be explained a little bit later.

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

The pillow was stuffed with pillow stuffing from a craft supply store.

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

I folded the extra bit of linen in toward the inside of the pillow and used pins to hold it all together.  I brought my needle from inside so my tail would not be visible and continued using a straight stitch to close this final side.  I worked from the mug rug side but only attached to the folded in linen facing the inside so my stitches were not visible. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

This cushion was quick to finish with already completed mug rugs and we look forward to trying to make a larger one. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

We hope this inspires you to think of all your mug rugabilities!

Angela and Audrey Pearl, one of our two studio dogs.

Angela and Audrey Pearl, one of our two studio dogs.

Angela Smith is the owner of Purl & Loop.  Purl & Loop specializes in needlecraft kits and supplies with a focus on needle felting and weaving.  Purl & Loop is the creator of the Stash Blaster® and Swatch Maker 3-in-1 (patent pending) weaving looms.  Purl & Loop sources all of their materials in Houston based businesses where possible or from other North American suppliers.  All human staff (Hector, Missy and Liana) are paid a living wage and canine staff receive deluxe housing and organic food and treats.  All products are designed and manufactured in the Houston, Texas studio.