What’s New At The Woolery – March 2018

It’s been an exciting month so far at The Woolery, we have all kinds of awesome new stuff to share with you. Let’s get right to the goods!

Calico Farm Stone Drop Spindle 

Calico Farm Stone Drop Spindle

You know we love a gorgeous handmade spindle, and these are no exception. These beautiful drop spindles are handmade by Anna Anderson. She uses the proceeds from the spindles to fund her organization, Wooly Rescue, which helps fiber animals and horses suffering from neglect. These spindles weigh 1oz to 1.25oz and each are tested for smooth and balanced spinning. We have five different stone options for you to choose from.

The Supplementary Beater

The Supplementary Beater

This is a great way to mix up your weaving and add some uniqueness to your next project. The Supplementary Beater comes in two sizes, Large and Small. These are expertly crafted out of hard maple in Rhode Island and are lightly oiled for a smooth finish.

Rosie’s Bobbin Speed Winder Insert

Dani shows you exactly how to use this awesome tool in the video above, it’s a super economical way to have a bobbin winder at home! Use with your cordless screwdriver / drill (not included). Place your boat shuttle bobbin on the end and go. Makes bobbin winding fast, easy and efficient. Made specifically to fit Schacht and Leclerc bobbins; it will not fit Ashford boat shuttle bobbins.

The Woolery Dining Room Set Weaving Kit

The Woolery Dining Room Weaving Set

Designed by Nancy Reid, Woolery’s own weaving teacher, this kit has everything needed to weave 4 placemats, a table runner and 4 napkins using Cestari’s Monticello Collection, a blend of 75% Virginia cotton and 25% linen.  The placemats and table runner are in plain weave and the napkins are huckle lace. We have 4 different color schemes for the kits, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.

Zoom Loom Swatch Critter Kit – Sidney the Sheep

Zoom Loom Swatch Critter Kit

We have loved the Zoom Loom Swatch Critter Kits from DJE Handwovens for a long time, they’re the perfect answer to the question, “What do I do with these little squares from the Zoom Loom?” We’re super excited to have some new critters for you to weave! The kits come with the yarn and all the instructions to make the cute little critters.

Jenkins Turkish Spindles

These aren’t actually a new product, but we did just get a brand new shipment of them in and they always sell out quick. Plus, we just dropped a YouTube video explaining all the different shapes and sizes of Jenkins spindles that we carry. Ed Jenkins’ life passion is working with wood, producing items with creativity, ingenuity and years of experience. Each spindle is made one at a time by Ed’s hands without computerized machinery. Each of Ed’s spindles is a one-of-a-kind work of art. Please note that the pictures shown are a representation of the colors and grains typical of the various wood types. Some spindles will also have hand-drawn designs or decorations on them. If you have questions about a particular spindle, please contact us or call the shop at 800-441-9665.

 

 

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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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We Love Conservation Breed Wool!

Conservation Breed Wool Heart

Part of the fun of working with wool is that there are so many unique varieties of sheep. Wool from different breeds work better for different projects and having a choice is fun! In order to make sure we have choices in our wool fibers for the future, we need to work on conserving rare sheep breeds. Choosing to work with Conservation Breed Wool helps support the farmers and organizations who are working hard to preserve these breeds.

At The Woolery, we make an effort to provide a variety of Conservation Breed Wool options for you. We want to raise awareness and keep these rare and native herds around, so we thought we’d share a spotlight on some of our favorite Conservation Breed Wool!

Cotswold sheep

Cotswold Top
The Cotswold originates from the Cotswold Hills in the west of England. These sheep have a long history. They are thought to be descended from the white sheep that Romans brought to England over 2,000 years ago. They began to face extinction shortly after World War I due to cross-breeding and low demand. Largely due to increasing interest from fiber artists, the Cotswold population has been growing in recent years. Cotswolds have a distinguishing forelock on the front of their faces, almost as if they have bangs. The Cotswold is known for its heavy, wavy, lustrous locks.The fiber diameter ranges from 33-42 microns. It’s a great fiber for projects that need some extra durability like outerwear, rugs, and bags. We carry this fiber in 250g bags of top!

Jacob Sheep

Jacob TopNext up we have an American conservation breed! The Jacob does exist in Britain as well, but they were bred for different optimizations, so the populations are very different. The Livestock Conservancy lists the American Jacob population as “Threatened”. They are named for the biblical figure Jacob, because he bred spotted sheep. Jacobs are small and horned, with most having 2 or 4 horns. Unlike most other medium wool breeds, the Jacob has been bred with fiber quality in mind, making their wool sought after by both spinners and weavers. Also, because of their spotty nature, there are more natural color options than other sheep breeds can provide. We sell this 33-35 micron fiber in 250g bags of top in white, grey, and black.

Lincoln Longwool Sheep

Lincoln_Top_-_8oz_4The Lincoln Longwool was very popular in the mid 1800’s because the value of wool was high and they have an impressive appearance. They were exported in large numbers all over the world and have been crossbred with many different varieties. The original Lincoln breed is now very rare globally due to breeders favoring mutton production sheep over wool production. Part of this breed’s uncertainty is that breeder communities disagree as to whether or not darker colored animals should be considered registered Lincolns. These sheep produce one of the heaviest fleeces and their fiber can be used to make heavier sturdy items. We carry white Lincoln top in 250g bags.

Navajo Churro Sheep

Navajo-Churro TopThe Navajo-Churro has a long and complicated history in North America. The Churro was the first domestic sheep to be brought over from Spain in 1540. They were a main source of meat for explorers and missionaries in the region that is now Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Later, they became incorporated into Native American flocks for their meat and wool. The Navajo-Churro developed out of the Native American desire for quality weaving wool and the natural selection of the Southwestern climate. During the 1860’s, the Navajo-Churro was nearly destroyed due to the United States government’s efforts to subjugate the Navajo people.  Over time, very few scattered flocks remained. Dr. Lyle McNeal founded the Navajo-Churro Sheep Association in 1977 and worked with traditional weavers and herders of the southwest to protect the animals. The yarn produced from the wool of the Churro is very durable and long lasting with a beautiful sheen. Churro yarn produces excellent tapestries & rugs. The slight fuzziness of the yarn gives lines a gentle blur. Good for those who want to spin their own sturdy yarn and perfect for authentic Navajo weaving. We carry this 10-35 micron wool in 8oz bags in a mix of colors; black, brown, tan, grey, and white.

 

Teeswater sheep

teeswater-topTeeswater sheep have a very fine long curly fleece. They are native to the Teesdale area of County Durham in England.  Their main use today is crossbreeding to create the Masham ewe. Their long-stapled fleece is perfect for hand spinning, hand felting, doll making and many other craft uses.  A wonderful weaving yarn, Teeswater is extremely durable without the scratch or stiffness.  Knitted or crocheted items will have excellent stitch definition and will drape very nicely. We have Teeswater top available in 250g bags.

These five breeds are just a small selection of the Conservation Breed Wool we have available; head here to see the rest! If you’re interested in learning more about Conservation Sheep Breeds, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and The Livestock Conservancy are both great sources of information! Sign up for our newsletter if you want to know when we add new Conservation Breed Wool.

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What’s New at The Woolery – January 2018

It’s a new year and that means it’s time for… new stuff! We’re always getting fun new items here, but there is something extra fun about getting new things while we’re just starting out in 2018.

Rosie’s Dyed Bamboo Top

Rosie's Dyed Bamboo Top

We’re really excited about our new Rosie’s Dyed Bamboo Top! Bamboo fiber is made from bamboo pulp obtained through a process of hydrolysis and bleaching bamboo stems. This pulp is then wet spun in the same way as other pulp based fibers. This fiber is dyed in seven different vibrant colors.

 

Akerworks Swatch Gauge

Akerworks Swatch Gauge

This is the only swatch gauge tool you’re going to need! It offers both inches and centimeters and allows you to check both row and stitch gauge. The gripping teeth keep the tool in place so it doesn’t slip around while you are measuring.

 

Studio Craft as Career: A Guide To Achieving Excellence in Art-Making

Studio Craft as Career

If you’re thinking about turning your fiber art into a career, this could be a great read for you. Paul J. Stankard offers advice on self-directed learning as well as featuring 50 different art masters with their own works and advice for making a career out of art.

 

Wrist Ruler

Wrist Ruler

How cute are these? This is a handmade leather bracelet that is also a functioning ruler featuring both inches and centimeters! You’ll never be kicking yourself forgetting your tape measure again. They are super useful and stylish.

 

Erica Loom Stainless Steel Reeds

Erica Loom Stainless Steel Reed

Stainless steel reeds might not sound that exciting but if you are an owner of the Louet Erica Table Loom then they definitely are. We had these specially made for The Woolery and they offer the ability to weave with 6, 8, 12, or 15 dents. Previously the Erica was only able to weave with 10 but this makes it much more versatile!

 

Cestari Ashlawn Collection Yarn

Cestari Ashlawn Collection Yarn

New yarn is the best yarn. This new 75% cotton 25% wool yarn from Cestari is a 3ply DK weight. It’s Virginia cotton and merino wool and it comes in 8 different beautifully muted colors.

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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!

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

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