Category Archives: Weaving

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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Woolery Weave-Off Winners

What an adventure! We are pleased to present the winners of the first Woolery Weave-Off! Inundated with over 75 amazingly beautiful, diverse towels, we struggled to keep judging deadlines, and are still working on washing and folding all the entries for delivery! Next week, we will be delivering them to The Simon House, where they’ll go into ‘starter baskets’ that provide basic household supplies to the ladies moving out into their own housing! Without further ado…


Beginners

Third Place – Susan Hadden – Califon, NJ

Third Place - Beginner Category Woolery Weave-Off

Second Place – Susan Harrison – Plano, TX

Second Place - Beginner Category Woolery Weave-Off

First Place – Patti Grammatis – Easley, SC

First Place - Woolery Weave-Off Beginner Category


Rigid Heddle

Third Place – Mary Pat Nowakowski – Freeville, NY

Third Place - Rigid Heddle Woolery Weave-Off

Second Place – Mary Dean – Hackettstown, NJ

Second Place - Rigid Heddle Woolery Weave-Off

First Place – Ellyn Zinsmeister – Allen, TX

First Place - Rigid Heddle Woolery Weave-Off


Color

Third Place – Cathy Kinzie – Owings, MD

Third Place - Color Woolery Weave Off

Second Place – Susan Kroll – Sequim, WA

Second Place - Color Woolery Weave-Off

First Place – Pat Bullen – Centerburg, OH

First Place - Color Woolery Weave-Off


Pattern

Third Place – Sue Briney – Powell, OH

Third Place - Pattern Woolery Weave-Off

Second Place – Lynette Greenwald – Buckingham, PA

Second Place - Pattern Woolery Weave-Off

First Place – Katie Polemis – Indianapolis, IN

First Place - Pattern Woolery Weave-Off


Congratulations everyone, all of your towels are fantastic! We hope you all enjoy your prizes. As a reminder here are the prizes that the winners will receive:

Woolery Weave-Off Prizes

We cannot thank all of you enough – the response has been overwhelming, and the love shown and felt is profound. We look forward to sponsoring this contest again, and working other contests into our rotation! It feels good to give back, and we are delighted that you’re all on board to help out.

“We all do better when we all do better.” ~ Paul Wellstone

Thank you for your support of The Woolery Weave-Off!

As I write this blog entry, it occurs to me that every day, everywhere, we are surrounded by bad news. Wars. Fiscal crises. Crippling poverty. Water accessibility. Hunger. It is a tumultuous time in the world, and it is safe to say that the inundation of upsetting daily news is exhausting to everyone. Compassion fatigue, some call it. When do we get a break from the bad?

For me, the break in the bad has been this contest.

Woolery Weave-Off Entries

Every day since February, we have received envelopes carefully sent to us containing hand woven dishtowels. Some are bright. Some are neutral. Some are from beginners, and some are from experienced weavers. They vary in size, in pattern, in colorway. Some have fringed edges, some are hemmed. Waffle-weaves, crepe-weaves, twills, and plain-weaves. They are all as different as the ways of the wind – there are not two that are similar. What they all have in common, though, is the obvious love with which they were woven. Beautiful notes accompany many of them expressing the delight to have a reason to warp a loom for a good cause. Some entries recount time spent in unsure housing circumstances themselves, and the frustration felt at having next to nothing, and definitely not much ‘nice’. One entry confessed that she wove it oversized so the owner, clearly in a tough time of life, might be able to use it for something other than just dish drying (that one caused me to burst into immediate tears).  A generous donation came from a sweet 12-year-old weaver, who acknowledged that she was unable to officially ‘enter’, but wanted to contribute alongside her mother’s submission. A school in Pennsylvania sent in a box of beautiful towels, despite many of the weavers being under 18 themselves. Some entrants added matching wash rags, some sent duplicates and multiples, just to bolster the donation amount.

The break in the bad.

As a woman and mother myself, I understand how stressful having young children can be, even on a good day, in comfortable circumstances. To add in the enormous stress of being housing insecure, feeling untethered to a stable life, must be overwhelming. As women and their children move out of The Simon House, into new apartments, they often do so with nothing. What they do have is usually donated, having once belonged to another family. Bare bones, and precious little luxury, but a new beginning. So lovely, well made, practical, and prettyare these dishtowels, that despite how utilitarian they may seem, the women who receive them will confidently possess at least one beautiful, brand new, high end thing that is hers. In the mundane tasks of putting away dishes, bathing the baby, wiping down the high chair at the end of a long day, there is guaranteed to be a bright spot when the owner gets a flash of a lovely, fun pattern, pleasing colors, and quality that gets the job done, only softening and becoming better with every wash. How many of us have a favorite dishtowel? I know I do. One small, reliable bright spot in the day.

A break in the bad.

The generosity, and more importantly, the empathy shown in these wonderful donations have been heartbreaking in their beauty, kindness and love, compassion, and obvious understanding of a less-than-ideal situation. One nice item, made just for them, that will last, wear well, and always be something enjoyable to use and look at. A break in the bad.

On behalf of the entire Woolery staff, the McFarlands, and our extended Woolery family, I thank you all from the genuine bottom of my tear-soaked, but now much larger heart. To be reminded of the love and generosity that exists in this chaotic world is a morale boost I desperately needed, and am so glad the ladies they will benefit get to experience, too.

Your true, warm colors all came shining through with this act of generosity. Thank you for this break in the bad.

~Katherine

Woolery Weave-Off Entries

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

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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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!

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