Tag Archives: fiber festivals

A Fibery Start to 2014

IMG_5272Later this month, the Woolery will be heading to the Fiber Frenzy Retreat in Lexington, KY (February 21-23) ! We’re excited for this fiber-tastic event – it’s a great way to start the new year! If you’re new to the fiber festival scene, you may want to check out our  blog post from last year which has some great tips for getting the most out of your fiber festival-going experience.

When you’re not immersing yourself in fleece and fiber, we highly recommend checking out some of the excellent classes offered to build your skills! Three members of Team Woolery will be teaching workshops at the retreat, so we’d like to take a moment to introduce you to some of the friendly faces you’re likely to see at the Fiber Frenzy Retreat:

nancyreidNancy Reid
Nancy has been knitting since the age of 5; since then, she has added spinning and weaving to her repertoire. For the last 12 years, she has taught spinning and weaving classes at festivals and retreats as well as privately. Nancy’s expertise is a valued asset on Team Woolery: she even has Blue State Fair ribbons for weaving, spinning, and knitting!

Nancy will be teaching a free workshop demonstrating how to safely and effectively use a wool picker to process fiber.

taeviaTaevia Magee
Taevia first started playing with yarn when she was six.; since then, she has learned  how to knit, spin yarn, weave, tat, and hook rugs. As a part of Team Woolery, Taevia combines her love of fiber and teaching to help others learn about rug hooking so that they will come to love wool and other fibers as much as she does!

Taevia will be teaching an intermediate class on spinning cotton with a Tahkli Spindle.

annaAnna Latek
Anna is fortunate enough to have been taught sewing, knitting, crochet, and embroidery by her mother and grandmother. It’s no wonder that a career in the textile and fiber arts was a given, and Anna studied costuming and textile history in college to enrich her fibery pursuits. In recent years, she has explored felting and loves to share the magic of the fiber arts with the world at large.  

Anna will be teaching a beginner class on Kumihimo braiding, an ancient Japanese weaving technique used to create lengths of beautifully-detailed cording for the Samurai, geisha, and every class in between

If you’re lucky enough to be in attendance, be sure to say hello to Nancy, Taevia and Anna if you see them, or stop by our booth to say hello!

Guild-Rewards-Banner
The Woolery strives to be a part of the fiber arts community and it is part of our mission to strongly support guilds and its members, who work so hard to keep the crafts alive for future generations.

In support of these efforts, the Woolery offers the Woolery Guild Rewards Program (WGRP), which has two main components:

1) Participating Guilds will receive a yearly cash reward based on purchases made by its members.

2) Participating Guilds can receive a Grant from the Woolery through our Woolery Humanitarian & Community Outreach Grant.

Click here for more information or to apply!

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team

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Crafty Resolutions for 2014

Happy new year! As winter plods on, it’s a great time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the new one at hand. We’re excited to make 2014 the craftiest year yet at the Woolery, and we hope you’ll join us! There are plenty of ways to get crafting and STAY crafting – below are just a few ideas to consider. We’d love to hear about your own crafty resolutions!

Find your community. Whether it’s online or at your LYS, finding a group of fellow crafters is a great way to exchange ideas and stay inspired. If you’re fortunate to have a local guild, they may have a  group which meets regularly (or they may know of one to refer you to). Ravelry is another great spot to check for knitting, spinning and weaving groups in your area.

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Mark your calendar. There are plenty of special events to enhance your crafting in 2014! Fiber festivals, craft conventions, and workshops make great day trips (or destinations to dream of).

In fact, there is an exciting event happening in our neck of the woods next month: The Fiber Frenzy Retreat in Lexington, KY, which is taking place February 21-23! The Woolery will have a booth at this fiber-licious event, and we hope to see you there.  If you aren’t able to travel far and wide, consider joining a virtual event this year such as the Tour de Fleece, Spinzilla or Halloweave!

saoriweavingTry something new. The great thing about the fiber arts is that there is always something interesting to learn. Perhaps you already have something in mind, or you can add one of these suggestions to your crafty to-do list:

  • Try a new type of fiber. Spinners have access to all kind of breed-specific fleece, roving and top, but fiber artists who don’t spin can still get in on the fun! Make it your mission in 2014 to be on the lookout for interesting fiber combinations when shopping for your next project, it’s a quick and easy way to make crafting lively in the new year!
  • Expand your skillset. You can delve deeper in your chosen area by learning advanced techniques for spinning, weaving, felting, knitting or crocheting. There are plenty of books and DVDs for those who prefer to learn at home (or you might want to check out our YouTube channel for free tutorials); hands-on learners may wish to sign up for a class or workshop.
  • Try a totally new-to-you craft. Weavers, knitters and crocheters may be interested in adding spinning to the mix, while spinners may like to give needle felting a try…what a great way to use up those odd bits of fiber in your stash! If you find yourself with too much yarn on your hands (is that even possible??), weaving is a great way to destash quickly – knitters and crocheters take note!

If you get stuck, we have a support thread right here in our Ravelry group where you can ask your questions and get help from our team of experts (as well as our knowledgeable group members)!

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team

Fibery Goodness

Since our last blog post, the results for Spinzilla have come in and the golden niddy noddy has been awarded to Team Fancy Tiger, who spun an impressive 94,939.73 yards. We’re quite proud of our own Team Woolery, who placed in the top five, spinning a total of 74,593 yards!

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Bravo Team Woolery!

We’ve just returned from the SouthEastern Animal Fiber Fair in Fletcher, NC brimming with even more fibery inspiration! One of the great things about fiber festivals such as SAFF is getting to interact directly with fiber producers. We often return to the shop with beautiful fleece as you can see in our tutorial video on washing fleece!

Though each fiber festival is a unique experience, you can expect a few things no matter which festival you’re attending:

IMG_52241. Animals: You’ll definitely get your fill of sheep, and you might also get to see alpacas, llamas, goats, or angora rabbits, too!

2. Education: Each fiber festival provides ample opportunity to learn more about the wide world of fiber. Many festivals have shearing demonstrations and sheep dog trials, workshops, or you can sit in on the showing of animals as each breed is judged for specific characteristics as established by that particular breed’s association.

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3. Sensory Overload: In addition to everything we just listed, there is also a vendor marketplace! Seasoned attendees of fiber festivals usually study the vendor list beforehand and make a list of booths they want to be sure to stop by; it’s also a good idea to make a list of items you’ll need for projects you’re planning. For instance, if your goal is to knit a sheep to shawl project, you’ll want to be sure to come home with fiber prep tools, wool wash, and your fleece!

Though fiber festival season is winding down for 2013, there are still plenty of ways you can experience breed-specific fleece and fibers this fall. We’re big fans of Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarious’ Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook (excerpted here on a previous blog post), and you can also check out this comprehensive guide to fiber festivals from the Knitter’s Review archives. Then, be sure to mark your calendars for the 2014 Fiber Festival Season!

12-fiber-toys-advertorialcHave you heard about our annual holiday promotion, the 12 Fiber Toys for Fiber Lovers? Each Friday during the celebration, we will feature a favorite fiber toy with a special deal and a chance to win that particular toy (tool).

Now through December, 27th we will post on the weekly special and giveaway on our Facebook pageTweet it, and include it in our newsletter.

These are weekly specials which expire every Friday (when the new one starts), so be sure to check the links above so you don’t miss out!

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team

Where the Sheep Are

sheepshearingSpring is here! In the fiber world, we know that means more than just warm temperatures; spring is the time that many sheep are shorn, giving us their beautiful fleece to spin, weave, knit, or crochet. It’s also a great time for fiber artists to branch out and try working with a new-to-them breed of sheep. If you’re wondering how to get started, here is a handy guide to begin your journey in to the wonderful world of sheep:

Fiber Festivals

Your local fiber festival is a great place to start! You might be surprised at how many sheep are raised in your region, and fiber festivals are an excellent way to support small farms and purchase fleece and fiber that you might not encounter anywhere else. You can often find breed-specific yarns in addition to raw fleece or prepared top, many of which can be purchased directly from the producer. We have several upcoming fiber festivals listed here on our website.

borderleicesterSheep Breeder Associations

If you’ve encountered a breed of sheep you’ve never heard of, chances are there is an association dedicated to that particular breed which can be found with a simple web search. For example, if you came across a Border Leicester fleece, the American Border Leicester Association would be a great place to see photos of the sheep, learn about the breed’s history and read up on the characteristics of the fleece. Some association websites have classified sections where members can post sheep or sheep products for sale; you can also check for upcoming events to find out when and where the sheep will be shown!

FleeceandFiberSourcebookBooks

There are many wonderful books dedicated to all things sheep, but one of our favorites is The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook by Deb Robson and Carol Ekarious.  This comprehensive photographic encyclopedia features more than 200 animals and the fibers they produce, covering almost every sheep breed in the world from the longwool breeds of the United Kingdom to the Tasmanian merino, the Navajo churro, the northern European Faroese, and dozens  more. bookofwoolAnother fantastic book is Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Book of Wool, which focuses on how to best use the yarns created from specific breeds of wool and gives an excellent introduction to many breeds of sheep along the way.

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team

Simple Ways to Welcome Spring + Upcoming Events

Spring is Just Around The Corner!

We’ve got spring fever at The Woolery! Hop over to Pinterest to see what’s been inspiring us this season on our new Welcome Spring inspiration board. There are plenty of ways you can spruce up your home decor with simple projects to knit, weave, felt or hook, ranging from practical projects to whimsical accents. Bright colors and lightweight, easy-care yarns such as cotton, bamboo or linen are perfect choices for your next ‘home improvement’ project. Below are just a few ideas that will give you a bright outlook for spring!

To view all of these projects (and more!), click here to visit our 'Welcome Spring' inspiration board on Pinterest!

To view all of these projects (and more!), click here to visit our ‘Welcome Spring’ inspiration board on Pinterest!

Upcoming Fiber Events

We’ve got plenty of exciting classes and workshops happening at The Woolery in 2013, but now we’ll be keeping you updated about the latest fiber events happening throughout the country (and beyond!) with our new Upcoming Festivals page, too! Though The Woolery will not have a booth at the festivals listed,  we are providing this information as a service to the Fiber Arts Community in our efforts to support guilds, festivals and the fiber arts people who work so hard to keep crafting alive for future generations.

If you have an upcoming festival to promote, let us know! Simply email webmaster@woolery.com with the dates, location, a short description, image or logo along with a link to your website to be included on our page. There is no charge for this service; click here for more information!

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team