Category Archives: inspiration

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!

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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.

Craft Room Inspiration: Getting Organized

IMG_1631Chances are, you have probably amassed a lot of supplies if you’ve been spinning, weaving, knitting, hooking, or doing anything crafty for a few years. How do you keep it all organized? Do you have a dedicated craft corner, or perhaps even an entire room to house your supplies? Just how unwieldy is that fiber or yarn stash?

Keeping your fiber supplies organized and easily accessible can serve a number of purposes. It can keep them safe from children, pets, or unwanted pests who could cause damage (if stored properly). It can save you time later on, when you don’t have to spend hours searching for that special skein or specific tool that you need to start a new project. Plus, a well-organized craft room or nook just looks lovely!

We’ve collected some of our favorite ideas over on Pinterest to keep your craft supplies, work areas, and WIPs tidy and organized – not to mention, safe from harm! Below are a few of our favorites – click here to see more on Pinterest.

Yarn & Fiber Storage, keeping everything safe in plastic bins - via Must Stash Podcast.

Yarn & Fiber Storage, keeping everything safe in plastic bins – via Must Stash Podcast.

Drop Spindle Storage Idea (Via Ravelry)

Drop Spindle Storage Idea (Via Ravelry)

Mason Jar Storage for Knitting Needles - via Sew Liberated blog.

Mason Jar Storage for Knitting Needles – via Sew Liberated blog.

All About Moths - Via KnitDarling.com

All About Moths – Via KnitDarling.com

All the Best,

Wave, Perri & the entire Woolery team

Color Exploration with Leftover Yarn & Singles

We all have leftover bits of handspun singles or yarn from weaving, knitting and crochet project. Put those little bits and bobs to work by using them to experiment with color schemes you might not normally try in a full-scale project – you may just find a winning combination along the way!

The Schacht Zoom Loom is a fun way to play with color combinations, color dominance, and color placement. 

Explore color for your next project with the Schacht Zoom Loom!

If you’re not sure how to choose colors to experiment with, one of our favorite sources for inspiration is Design Seeds. We chose this summery palette for our first example on today’s post:

ColorPop_150

These Zoom Loom squares were woven using the same three colors of yarn, inspired by the above palette. You can experiment with which color is used for warp or weft to see how the dominance of a particular color affects the finished square.

Explore color combinations & color dominance with the Schacht Zoom Loom.

Another fun way to use the Zoom Loom is to weave with a variegated yarn; if the colors are repeated in a pattern, you can get some interesting results!

Try weaving on the Schacht Zoom Loom with hand-dyed variegated yarns!

Best of all, you can use all of your finished squares to create fun projects – click here for free patterns using Zoom Loom squares!

Most spinners probably have a lot of leftover singles from past multi-ply projects. Here is another opportunity to pair up unlikely colors to see how they look plied together, without having to commit your time and resources to a full-scale project!

Got leftover singles?

Sometimes, the most unlikely color combinations look the best. Dare yourself to try the thing that you are certain won’t work. Since you’re using leftover bits, you have nothing to lose, and sometimes the results can be surprising. All of these skeins were created using leftover bits of singles spun with dyed yarns.

Handspun yarn - all of these projects were made with leftover singles plied together at random!

You can also try pairing up a natural-colored single with a dyed yarn to create a marled effect:

Handspun yarn - pair up a natural single with a dyed single to see what happens!

For more colorful  inspiration, click here to check out our new Color Exploration board on Pinterest!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri & the entire Woolery Team

On Making a Mood Board

Sometimes, starting a new project requires a little bit of planning. Mood boards are a fantastic way to organize your inspiration, and in the process you might think of a creative approach that you wouldn’t discover otherwise. Taking this extra step can also ensure that you have everything you need for a successful project from start to finish.

A corkboard can be used to make a real-life mood board. Visit the Woolery blog for more ways to plan your next weaving, spinning, or other craft project!

A cork board can be used to make a real-life mood board – the neutral background is great for helping your eye perceive color.

You may simply collect objects from around your craft room or household to create a real-life mood board, or perhaps you turn to Pinterest to find beautiful images, color combinations and projects to whet your creative appetite. While both of these options are great, there are still more ways you can make mood boards work for you!

By using a specific website or app, you can create digital mood boards quickly, leaving more time for actual crafting once your idea has come together. Another bonus is having easy access to your past mood boards, whereas a collection you create in real life is ephemeral (unless you have a LOT of storage space!).

Visit the Woolery blog for ideas on creating your own mood boards to plan your next spinning, weaving, knitting, or other creative project.

Here are five of our favorite websites and apps for creating digital mood boards:

  1. Pinterest. This popular free website is easy to use, and it allows you to create collections of images with a few clicks of a button. It’s quite easy to search by themes, and you can invite collaborators to your boards or create private boards which are visible only to you (and anyone else you’ve invited to the board). There are some drawbacks, however: for instance, the layout of the pins on your boards is not customizable – that is, you can’t move pins around  to see how different images look next to one another.Using pinterest to get inspired. Visit the Woolery blog for more ways to plan your next weaving, spinning, or other craft project!
  2. Moodboard Lite. This iPad app allows users to create customizable boards from a blank canvas, to which they can add photos, text, color swatches, and other special elements. There is a lot more creativity allowed here, and it also allows for easy sharing and export via email, social media channels, and iTunes. Moodboard Lite is a free version of Moodboard, both of which are available in the iTunes store.
  3. Evernote. Surprisingly, this popular notetaking app can also be used to create mood boards! This blog post describes how to make a mood board in greater detail; if you already use this app to organize your day-to-day life, it’s a great option to consider since you’ll probably have the least amount of learning curve.
  4. Canva. This user-friendly graphic design website is geared towards designing presentations and social media graphics, but it can also make eye-catching moodboards using its pre-made templates and editing tools. There are many free templates available for use, with other options requiring an upgrade to the paid version.
    Mood board created with Canva. Visit the Woolery blog for more ways to plan your next weaving, spinning, or other craft project!
  5. Niice. This website is similar to Pinterest, but without the social sharing element. The free version allows up to 3 free mood boards, and users will see banner ads, while paid options allow for more boards and other bells & whistles. Paid users also will not be shown ads. User boards are private, and any images uploaded/shared will not show up in a public search – so this is a great option for designers who are concerned about keeping their ideas under wraps.

For more mood board inspiration, click here to follow us on Pinterest. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to have inspiration and ideas sent your way each month – click here to sign up (you will also get a FREE Fair Isle Coloring sheet when you do)!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri & the entire Woolery Team