Tag Archives: gift ideas

Ask Nancy: On Weaving & Baking

Ask NancyIt’s our final blog post of 2016 and we’re saving the best for last: on today’s post, Nancy sprinkles in a little baking knowledge while answering an interesting question from one of our customers.

Got weaving problems? Stumped by your spinning? Our resident expert Nancy Reid will answer all of your burning questions in this new regular feature! Previously only available on our newsletter, we are moving Nancy’s informative column over to the Woolery blog for easy reference. In this month’s edition, we are sharing a few questions about fiber prep; to ask your own question, email weavernancy@woolery.com or click here to post your questions in our Ravelry group

All the Best,

Wave, Perri, and the entire Woolery Team

Q:

I’m looking to weave some soft tea towels from cotton yarn that will to wrap home baked loaves of bread – I would like the towels to be soft and also dense enough to keep the bread from getting too terribly stale. I’m not sure if this is possible, but I wondered if someone might be able to recommend a nice yarn that would work?? It might be a long shot, I’m not sure!

Nancy shares sage advice about weaving & baking on this week's post!

A:

One of the properties of cotton that makes it so wonderful for clothing is that it wicks moisture away from the (skin) surface, carrying it up to the outer surface of the cloth where it can evaporate and cool the body. That precise property of wicking moisture away will create staling very rapidly in a loaf of bread. While a cotton cloth is nice to keep steam from condensing on a fresh-baked hot loaf (unlike plastic, which traps the steam on the surface and causes sogginess), that same cotton cloth will facilitate the further transport of moisture quite well, and make a loaf stale up awfully quickly. For best keeping, allow a loaf to air-cool with good circulation until it reaches ambient temperature, then encase it in nice air-tight plastic. I used to bake professionally long ago…

To answer the non-food textile portion of your question, either 8/2 (found here) or 6/2 (found here) unmercerized cotton will produce the cloth you are looking for.  I set the 8/2 at 20 EPI in a plain weave and the 6/2 at 16 EPI in plain weave.

Including a handwoven tea towel with your home-baked bread is a lovely gift, and we’ve found a few free patterns for anyone interested in a last-minute weaving project this holiday season (hint: this would also be a great hostess gift for New Year’s!):

Free pattern from Louet for handwoven tea towels.

Cornucopia Tea Towels from Louet

Free Friendship Towel pattern from Schacht.

Friendship Towels from Schacht

Free Woven Dish Towel from LeClerc.

Dish Towel from LeClerc

Follow us here on Pinterest for more great weaving inspiration!

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Handmade Holidays

The Christmas Countdown is on! For crafters who enjoy making handmade gifts for loved ones, this can be a busy time of year. Quite often, we have the best of intentions to start our holiday crafting early, but sometimes, a last-minute craft crunch simply can’t be avoided!

Let the Woolery come to the rescue this year! We have plenty of thoughtful gift ideas which are quick to knit, crochet, and weave to keep everyone on your list happy!

Gifts to Knit

rikkeThe popular Rikke Hat by Sarah Young is a simple, unisex beanie that knits up quick in DK weight yarn. It’s available for free here on Ravelry!

leafwashclothWashcloths are certainly useful gifts, but they aren’t always fun to knit again and again. Megan Goodacre’s Leafy Washcloth is a fun, free pattern you’ll enjoy making each time! Click here for the free pattern on the Tricksy Knitter blog.

Image © Jane Richmond

Image © Jane Richmond

A chunky-weight cowl will fly off the needles, and Jane Richmond’s Marian is a mock-mobius which can be worn in a variety of ways. This design would look fabulous knit up in handspun yarn, too! It’s available for free here on Ravelry.

Gifts to Crochet

SONY DSCThe Triangle Christmas Tree ornaments by Sarah Freeman are a cinch to make! Based on the traditional granny square motif, they will stitch up quickly and are great for detashing. Click here for links to the free pattern and video tutorial on the Ravelry pattern page.

urbanslouchIt’s always good to have a few hats on hand for last-minute gift emergencies, and this unisex design is a great choice which is easy to customize. The Urban Slouchy Beanie is available for free here on the Little Things Blogged blog.

stripyStripy Mitts by Sandra Paul are a colorful gift to make for the style maven on your list! This pattern is available for free and is a great way to use up leftover yarns in your stash, too.

Gifts to Weave
When it comes to speedy weaving , Schacht’s portable Zoom Loom is bar none. We have plenty of free patterns (courtesy of Schacht) to put those woven squares to work this year – click here to view them all! Below are a few of our favorite projects for woven tree ornaments which use just 1 or 2 Zoom Loom squares – click each image below to view pattern instructions!

Evergreen Dream

Evergreen Dream

Santa Sock

Santa Sock

Snow Bird

Snow Bird

To add a festive touch, why not embellish your ornaments with sequins, beads, or needle-felted fiber designs? Let your creativity flow as you put your own unique touches on your Zoom Loom projects!

2014 Fiber Toys of Christmas

FT14BANNER

Our annual holiday promotion, the 12 Fiber Toys of Christmas, is in full swing! Each Friday, we feature a favorite fiber toy with a special deal and a chance to win that particular toy (tool). Weekly specials and giveaways will be posted on our Facebook pageTwitter feed, and it will also be included 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