Tag Archives: spinzilla

Make Your Fall Extra Fibery!

With Spinzilla just around the corner and cooler temperatures on their way, we’ve got spinning on the brain! Team Woolery is already full for this year’s Spinzilla event, which takes place October 5-11, 2015. We’re excited to welcome spinners near and far to our team, and will be sharing details about our team events and the grand prize drawing for a $100 Gift Certificate here in the Team Woolery thread on Ravelry. Each of our team spinners on will also receive a lovely spinning apron as a gift from the Woolery and Strauch Fiber Equipment!
The Woolery is proud to host a team for Spinzilla 2015!Even if you won’t be spinning with us, we have some Spinzilla specials you may wish to take advantage of, such as our specially priced Monster Mile Fiber Packs and our Rosie Spinning Wheel Maintenance Kits. We also recommend stocking up on extra bobbins for your wheel and ensuring you have the necessary tools to measure your yarns and wind them into tidy skeins for future use. We have niddy noddies, yarn meters, ball winders, swifts and more to make your craft room complete.

How to Wind Yarn on a Turkish Spindle
Today’s tutorial is the second installment in our Turkish spindle series – click here if you missed our tutorial for getting started with a Turkish spindle! Once you’ve started spinning, you will need to periodically stop to wind your yarn onto the arms of the spindle. There is a special method to create a center-pull ball of yarn as you spin!
How to Wind Yarn on a Turkish Spindle on the Woolery BlogBeginning as close to the shaft as possible, wrap your yarn under the first arm and then over the next two arms:
How to Wind Yarn on a Turkish Spindle on the Woolery BlogAnd that’s really it! You will continue in this manner, wrapping the yarn under one arm, then over the next two in a clockwise fashion. Each wrap will be shifted to the right as you go, and you will build from the center out til your spindle looks like this:
How to Wind Yarn On a Turkish Spindle on the Woolery Blog (image via creative commons, click for source info).Once you have filled the space between the arms with wrapped yarn, it’s time to start the next layer by once again wrapping the yarn close to the shaft and working from the center out.

When you’re done, you can easily remove your yarn by removing the shaft and then sliding out the smaller of the two arms first. Once both arms are removed, you will have an easy-to-use center-pull ball of handspun yarn!

All the best,

Wave, Perri & the entire Woolery team

The Fiber Toys of Christmas will return to the Woolery in October! Stay tuned for amazing deals on your favorite fiber toys!The Fiber Toys of Christmas are returning for another year! Stay tuned for more details; we’ll be revealing the first fiber toy on Friday, October 16. We recommend signing up for our newsletter or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Ravelry to be notified of each weekly deal!

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Measuring & Keeping Track of Spinzilla Skeins

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How much yarn will you spin during Spinzilla?

Spinzilla is here! The spinning frenzy has begun as each team vies for the Golden Niddy Noddy. We’d like to take a few moments to share some of our best methods for measuring handspun yarn during this week’s event; there is sure to be an option listed below which works best for you!

Some common ways of measuring yarn include:

Also, don’t forget that that this year, plying will count towards your total yardage. The formula for calculating your plied yardage is:

plied yardage + [plied yardage x # of plies] = yardage for which you can claim credit

Note: chain plied and navajo plied yarns count as 3-ply. 

IMG_7887Label those skeins!

We’d like to make it easy for our fellow spinners to keep track of their finished Spinzilla skeins by providing some handy free printable labels for your finished handspun yarns! Not only can you view the yardage and number of plies at a glance, which will make it easy to calculate your grand total at the end of Spinzilla, but you can also make note of the tools, settings and fibers you used for future reference!

SpinzillaLabelsClick here to download your printable PDF labels!

Join us for the 2014 edition of the Fiber Toys of Christmas

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Have you heard about our annual holiday promotion, the 12 Fiber Toys of Christmas? Each Friday, we will 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

Setting Goals for Spinzilla!

Spinzilla is returning this fall, and we’re counting down the days til the festivities begin on October 6. Spinner signups are happening now through September 22, and the proceeds benefit the Needle Arts Mentoring Program (NAMP), which provides volunteer mentors with supplies and educational materials to share the joy of handspinning with children. In 2013, the event raised nearly $6,000 for NAMP to fund the addition of a spinning component to their program; this year, they seek raise even more funds to double the number of children served in the years ahead.

The Woolery is proud to be a Yak Sponsor for Spinzilla this year; sponsor donations such as ours help to underwrite the costs associated with running the event. This ensures that spinner registration fees go directly towards supporting NAMP, and that will help them reach their goal of doubling the number of children served in 2014.

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In addition to fundraising, Spinzilla’s goal is to empower spinners to learn more about the craft through hands-on experience. By spinning as much yarn as possible, Spinzilla aims for each participant to surpass their own expectations and break down the their inhibitions about spinning yarn, giving them a sense of accomplishment and perhaps even mastery!

Last year, #TeamWoolery spun a total of 74,593 yards and was in the top 5 teams for most yardage spun. We offered some fantastic, fibery prizes for our team members last year, and this year we’re planning even more exciting events and prizes for those of you spinning on #TeamWoolery!

Team Woolery 2013

Team Woolery 2013

It’s never too early to start preparing for Spinzilla. If this is your first time doing this event, it may seem overwhelming. However, we’re all about setting manageable goals to ensure spinning success this fall! You may choose to set your Spinzilla goals by distance, by weight, or by the clock:

niddynoddySpinning the Distance
This year, each spinner is being challenged to join the Monster Mile Club, which is a new award category for 2014. Any participant who spins a mile of yarn (1,760 yards) will be automatically entered in a special prize drawing for Monster Mile Cub members! Many of our teammates from 2013 spun more than a mile of yarn, so rest assured that this is a very attainable goal! For added insurance, we have created special Monster Mile Spinning Fiber Packs which include 2 pounds of high-quality, easy-to-spin fiber at a great price!

fiberscaleSpinning by Weight
For those who are concerned about running out of fiber during the event (or for anyone with an extensive fiber stash they want to spin through), setting daily goals for Spinzilla by weight is the way to go! Whether your goal is to spin through a 4oz braid of roving or a pound of fiber, outlining these goals now will help you stay focused during the event.

clockSpinning by the Clock
For those of you who are concerned about time management, setting a daily goal in hours or minutes is a stress-free approach to spinning sanity! Weaver and spinner Sara Lamb recently blogged about her experiment with spinning for one hour each day and found that she was able to spin 2,000 yards in that time. Now is a great time to do your own experiments to see how long it takes you to fill a bobbin or spin through a braid of roving, all of which will help you plan your spinning schedule for Spinzilla.

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

Spinnin’ and Zoomin’

Spinzilla has drawn to a close and the members of Team Woolery are tallying up their yardage to submit this week. While we anxiously await the results of this competition to see who can spin the most yarn, we’d like to say that we’ve been quite impressed with the spinning skills and variety of projects our team members have exhibited. Here are just a few of the many great photos they’ve shared with us last week during Spinzilla!

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Team Woolery Member jdeshera’s mixed BFL.

alainncaora

Team Woolery member AlainnCaora’s Alpaca/Merino single.

jenaus0524

Team Woolery member JenAus0524’s BFL/Silk drop spindle single & handpainted BFL roving on the bobbin.

Another fun obsession for fall is pin loom weaving – it’s a great way to use up leftover yarn while learning a new skill. You can even use your handspun! Pin looms come in all shapes and sizes, but share one common characteristic: portability! The Weave-It loom is one of the better known pin looms (you can read more about the history of pin looms here on the eLoomanation site), but the hand-held pin loom recently received a modern redesign from the folks at Schacht when they created the  Zoom Loom, a new shop favorite here at the Woolery!

zoomloomKnitters and crocheters who are curious about the wonderful world of weaving will find the Zoom Loom to be an engaging introduction, and Schacht has plenty of free weaving patterns to put your woven squares to good use. We’re also starting to see some interesting ideas crop up on Pinterest, which we’re collecting here on our Weaving inspiration board. Later this month, we will be sharing a few of our favorites with you right here on our blog!

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team

Skillbuilding for Spinners

Spinzilla will be here before you know it, and if you’re planning on spinning with Team Woolery, we’ve got a few tips to help your hone your skills this month!

BFLfleece

BFL Fleece

If you’re new to the  world of spinning, you might be wondering what type of fibers you should try first. Prepared tops are the easiest to manage, and there are a few breeds we recommend for beginning spinners such as Blue-Face Leicester (BFL), Polwarth and Merino. Experienced spinners may want to try their hand at something new, and we have a new video in our Ask the Woolery series this month showing our easy-to-follow tips for washing raw fleece. With the abundance of wool festivals and other fibery events this fall, it’s a great time to give spinning raw fleece a try!

If you have just graduated to wheel spinning, you might be wondering about the differences between single and double drive systems or, similarly, the differences are between Scotch and Irish tension. Have no fear – we explain all in our Ask the Woolery series, or you can click here to read our informational Spinning Wheel page on our website! If you’re still getting the hang of wheel spinning, you’ll want to spend some time this month getting more familiar with each option to see what works best for you.

doubledrive

Spinning Wheel Set Up for Double Drive

Another important skill to have is the ability to properly maintain your wheel. This will not only make spinning easier and faster, it will make your investment last longer! You can check your manufacturer’s instructions or click here for our maintenance tips here on The Woolery Blog. Before you give your spinning wheel a workout for Spinzilla, you’ll want to make sure everything is ship-shape!

Finally, all spinners will want to become pros at measuring their yarns since the goal of Spinzilla is to see which team can spin the most yardage. There are several ways to do this: you can use a Niddy Noddy (below is our easy video tutorial), a Yarn Balance (featured last month on our blog) or a yardage counter.

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team