Category Archives: Weaving

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!

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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

Handmade Gift Giving at The Woolery

You probably already know this, but we have some talented people working here at The Woolery. Not only are they talented, they’re generous too! So many of our team members have made beautiful handmade gifts this holiday season, that we felt we had to share them with you. Theses gifts span all sorts of different fiber arts including; needle felting, weaving, knitting, and crochet.

Handmade plaid scarf

Some absolutely beautiful woven gifts have been floating around the shop. Our Customer Service Manager, Dani, has been weaving some plaid scarves on our floor model Schacht Wolf Pup.

We love the color schemes Dani is working with for these scarves! Also, the plaid patterns all all Dani’s own unique designs. How lucky are the members of Dani’s gift list?

Weaving on the Schacht Wolf Pup

Then, of course, our own Weaver Nancy has her own woven gift to show off! This beautifully textured towel was made on her Schacht Mighty Wolf using Maurice Brassard Cottolin Yarn in the Natural Lave color. The texture is a 5-thread huck lace 4 shaft pattern. The final effect is so stunning.

Gifts-11

We don’t just weave here, Business Manager Mistene made a whole collection of incredibly intricate crochet doilies as a present for her mom and sister. The detail work on these is fantastic. They are so tiny and lacy!

Group of three crochet doilies

Detail of Mistene's Crocheted Doily

Handmade crochet cup cozy

Debbie, our Shipping Manager, has also been crocheting up some gifts. How adorable are these little canine inspired cup cozies? Debbie makes all sorts of different custom styles based off of different dog breeds. We are obsessed with the fuzzy eyebrows on the Yorkie one in the photo to the left. Too cute.

 

Debbie with her crochet dog cup cozy

Handknit shawl with tasselsOur knitters are not to be outdone, they have been working on some gift projects of their own. Annie, our newest Customer Service Representative, knit up a cozy shawl and cowl for some lucky recipients. Annie is going to be teaching some beginning knitting classes next year at the shop so if you’re wanting to make some gifts like Annie’s check out our class schedule!

Annie modeling her cowl

Socks are one of our favorite gifts this time of year and David, who is also a Customer Service Representative, has been knitting up some fabulous socks for his daughter. What an awesome dad! They aren’t quite done yet, but we’re confident he’ll finish in time for Christmas.

Handknit socks

Gradient Knit ShawlEmily, who works on our Creative Marketing (including writing this blog) has also been knitting away to finish some gifts in time for Christmas! The shawl to the left is for her grandma and if you’re curious, the pattern is Shaelyn on Ravelry.

Emily also has branched out into weaving since starting working at The Woolery (you can’t work here without wanting to try ALL the fiber arts)! And even wove up a scarf or two on her new Schacht Cricket Loom.

Handwoven scarf

And finally, our Customer Service Representative Anna, worked some needle felting magic to create gnomes for some of her Customer Service co-workers! They are one big happy gnome family!

Needle felted gnomes

Have you already made some gifts this year, or did any of our projects inspire you? We would love to hear about any handmade gifts you have been working on this season! Share your projects below or in our Raverly Group! We can’t wait to see your creations!

Make Your Own Zoom Loom Pumpkin

Pumpkin Zoom Loom Project from The Woolery

Fall is here and that means, Pumpkin Spice everything! We’re adding some pumpkin to our weaving with this Pumpkin Zoom Loom project! The Schacht Zoom Loom is a great way to get started with weaving. If you don’t know how to weave on a zoom loom, no worries, we have this YouTube video that will tell you everything you need to know:

Now that you know how to weave on the Zoom Loom, here are all the materials you’ll need to make your pumpkin:

Materials needed to make Zoom Loom Pumpkin

First we need to weave up our squares using the Zoom Loom, so get weaving! We will use the ends to sew up our pumpkin, so skip weaving in your ends.

Weaving with the Zoom Loom

Weave up a total of 6 orange squares and 1 green square. Remember, don’t weave in or snip your ends.

ZoomLoomPumpkin-4

It’s time to start sewing our pumpkin together. Place two orange squares on top of each other with one end at each corner, sew one side of the squares together using a Backstitch. Make sure you are sewing one warp thread in from the outside so your stitches stay put.

Sewing your squares together

Continue sewing orange squares together in the shape below. You are basically attaching a new square to every side of one middle square. Be sure to keep all of your seams on the Right Side (outside of the pumpkin). If you run out of yarn because your end is to short, just attach more yarn and keep sewing.

How to sew your orange squares together

Next we are going to make our pumpkin 3D by sewing up the sides. Line up the sides of your “cross” above and stitch them together so you have an open cube. The square that is in the middle in the photo above will become the bottom of your cube.

Sewn up cube

You can now sew your last remaining square to close the top. Just line up your edges and start sewing. Leave one side open so you can stuff your pumpkin.

Stuffing your Zoom Loom Pumpkin

Once your pumpkin is stuffed you can close up your last edge. Pull any remaining yarn tails to the inside of the pumpkin to hide them.

Orange Zoom Loom Cube

We pretty much just have an orange cube, now we need to make it a leaf so it actually looks more pumpkinish. Grab your one green Zoom Loom square and pinch a bit of one of the sides towards the back. Make a stitch along the backside to make the fold stay put.

Pinch your green square and make a stitch

Now do the same thing to the side to the the left of the side you just folded.

Your green square with the two folds

Flip your leaf over so the back side is facing you, then fold the top corner down to the middle and stitch it there so it stays.

The final fold for your leaf

Trim all the ends  on your leaf and flip it back over and it’s all finished.

The finished leaf

Our leaf needs a vine to connect it to the pumpkin. You can make a vine however seems best to you, you could make a crochet chain, braid, or tie knots like a friendship bracelet. We chose to do a knitted I-cord, our I-cord is 3 stitches on US Size 3 needles and is 3.5″ long.

Sew one end of your vine to the very middle on the top side of your pumpkin.

Sew your vine to your pumpkin

Then sew the other end of your vine to the top middle of your leaf.

Sew your vine to your leaf

Give your vine a little twist to make it curly and your pumpkin is ready for Fall! Folks around The Woolery have been calling our pumpkin the “squmpkin” because it’s a square pumpkin. Happy squmpkin making to everyone! If you have ideas for future Zoom Loom tutorials you’d like to see, please let us know in the comments!

Finished pumpkin Zoom Loom Project

 

Meet The Creator of Loome: Vilasinee Bunnag!

We get to work with so many amazing and inspiring creators here at The Woolery. Vilasinee Bunnag is one of the co-creators of the Loome. We recently started to carry some of the Loome tools and we love how accessible they make weaving for everyone! Vilasinee was nice enough to take some time to answer some of our burning questions about her life as a creator.

Vilasinee Bunnag creator of Loome

Tell me the story of the Loome, when and how did you first come up with the idea for it? 

The design of the original Loome tool was inspired by the medival tool called the lucet. This tool was used to make cords and braids. The Loome tool’s co-inventor and I took this ancient device and evolved its functionality so it could be used beyond making cords. This was the starting point, revisiting the past to create some thing for today’s makers.

What is the design process like for Loome tools? Do you have several shapes that you tried that just wouldn’t work out?

 I’ve always been drawn to design, particularly modern design for every day living. I love when design is married with utility to bring beauty and practicality together – it’s the best. The design process of the Loome tools included five steps: sketching, digitizing, prototyping in cardboard, testing (look and feel, user feedback, sizing) and prototyping. After each test, I go back to the drawing board to make adjustments based on the feedback and repeat the design steps. Designing is such a rewarding process and it’s taught me to be open-minded to every thing. What looks good on the computer can feel off in 3D and vice versa. This was particularly true for the rectangular and round shapes which didn’t make it to production. There has been nine designs altogether and we settled with four which offers a little some thing for every one depending on the aesthetic you like. I usually tell people, it’s like the iPhone, there are different colors but they all do the same thing. In this case, it’s the shape.

Overall, it took three months of prototyping plus twelve months of on-going refinement the tool from design to production.

 

Vilasinee Bunnag working on designing Loome tools

 

Are you a crafter yourself? What fiber arts do you practice (aside from Loome)? Absolutely! I love making things, especially when I can add them as a special touch to a present. I really enjoy making keepsakes for friends and family. For example, recently I made a housewarming gift for a friend that included a candle, a knotting book and a bundle of tassels made of vintage linen yarn that’s can be hung on a door knob, bed post or mood board. I also love mixing mediums so to keep learning new crafts and techniques, I like taking classes with artists at local studios like Handcraft Studio School and Makers Mess.

Fiber arts wise, weaving and knot making are some thing I really enjoy. I find that they help me focus and reconnect with making things with my hands.

The Loome can also be converted into a slingshot. Was that intentional or just a really excellent side effect? Also who came up with that so we can give them a high five?

This is hilarious isn’t it? I told you I’m totally into multi-functional designs. You can slingshot all the pom poms you make! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people beeline to my booth at craft shows becaus the slingshot was the first thing they saw. I appreciate that the tools evoke a nostalgic toy for people.

Inspiration sources at theloome.com

 

We love all of the inspiration resources for Loome you have on your website, what inspires you personally?
Thank you so much! My biggest inspirations come from other Loome users and artists plus my motivation to use my yarn and craft stash which I have a lot of. All of my Loome projects start one of two ways: to make some thing fun for Loome users or some thing special for a friend or family member. For instance, I made ten woven friendship bracelets for a friend I’ve known for ten years, I picked her favorite colors, pull my yarn, incorporate beads from my craft stash, add in techniques like French knots and start cracking. One of the nicest thing about crafting with the Loome tool is it’s low time commitment and high satisfaction. You can make experiment and some thing sweet in a short amount of time and if it doesn’t work out, you try it with a new yarn, etc.

 

What part of your business are you the most proud of?

I’m so grateful that people like the Loome tools and find them useful. This really inspires me to keep making and sharing. On the business side of this, I feel extremely proud that we’ve been able to provide employment and contribute to the economy as a small business. Loome is also donating 10% of our sales until the end of the year (and possibly longer) to hurricane and flood relief. At the end of the day, these things are the most satisfying outcomes of having a business.

Which is your favorite Loome Model? Or is this like asking you to choose your favorite child? 
Indeed…and I’m so happy there are four to choose from!

 

Vilasinee Bunnag loves pompoms

 

Okay, another hard hitting question: tassel or pom pom?

Oh no! Don’t make me choose. I’m seriously obsessed with both. To me, pom poms are instant happiness and tassels are the best detail that you can add to just about any thing. They can be made with any fiber and they’re always special.

 

And since we are The Woolery, if you could only work with one type of fiber for the rest of your life, which would it be?

Hands down, wool. And I feel like there is a major renaissance going on in the fiber world. I’m in awe of the artists and producers who are spinning, dying and innovating to give us such a stunning array of beautiful wool. There is no better time to work with wool than now. There is so much to learn, enjoy and try.

What are some new things on the horizon that you are excited about?

I have a book coming out in March 2018 with Abrams Books called “Loome Party.” It’s a combination of fundamentals (for 15 types of pom poms, tassels, friendship bracelets, cords and small weavings) and projects for your yarn stash by 15 artists and makers. This is a dream project for me to be able to work with so many wonderful people from Maryanne Moodie to Arounna Khounnoraj to Courtney Cerruti. Second, I’ve been working on tools with prints on them, they’re finally here!

Coming soon, Loome Party

Thanks so much to Vilasinee for taking the time to chat with us. We are super excited to see all of the new things happening at Loome! For now you should definitely check out:

Weave With Kids: Resources & Free Tutorial!

Teaching kids a craft is a great way for them to practice fine motor skills, their ability to focus, and – most importantly – patience!

Give them a break from their screens, and get them doing something tactile with their hands with our list of the best kid-friendly weaving products.

Harrisville Designs Potholder PRO

Taking one last road trip before school starts? Grab a potholder loom and a five-pound bag of sock ends to keep small hands busy while you drive!

Run out of rainy day activities? Small looms such as the Purl & Loop Wee Weaver and Schacht School Loom are perfect for learning the basics of weaving while making fun, small projects.

Free tutorial: weaving with kids - tooth fairy necklace project

Learn how to weave a toothy fairy necklace with our new free tutorial, which includes tips for helping kids in various age groups complete this project using the Wee Weaver!

Click here to get the free tutorial PDF when you sign up for our newsletter (if you’re already a subscriber, simply enter your email address to confirm & claim your free download).

We’d love to see your little one’s creations  – be sure to share photos using #thewoolery in your post!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri and the entire Woolery team

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!