Posts Tagged ‘spinning’

Spinning & Weaving Week: Blending Fiber for Spinning

Thursday, October 10th, 2013
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Bonnie Lemme, our Assistant Store Manager has a great recommendation for prepping small amounts of fiber.
Colonial Needle Co. Fiber BlendersThe Colonial Needle Company Fiber Blenders are used mostly for preparing fibers before you needle felt. I have used them many times in my spinning process. They are a great tool for preparing a raw fleece to comb out the locks before you spin. It will help remove some vegetable matter and align the fibers before you spin. They are like having a mini hand carder. I also recommend these Fiber Blenders for a newbie. They are an inexpensive and great for beginners who may just want to try their hand carding before purchasing an expensive pair of hand carders. Great for young children to handle too!

Spinning and Weaving Week Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
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Spinning and Weaving WeekOctober is filled with fiber-related activities from beginning to end, which makes us very happy at WEBS. We kick off the month with Spinning & Weaving Week October 6 – 12. This annual celebration gives us a chance to showcase the beautiful creations being made on looms, wheels and spindles. The week will feature demonstrations, mini-workshops, a day-long gathering of weavers and spinners and special discounts on weaving and spinning tools, roving, coned yarns, and more.
Each day we will have demonstrations of these time-honored arts in the store from 11 am – 1 pm. These demos are free and a great chance to see techniques close up and ask questions of the artisans. Have you wondered how yarn gets from the fleece of a sheep into the fine threads we work with? Or how someone creates a pattern that becomes a beautiful woven shawl? We will present a great variety of techniques – from drop spindle to wheel, floor loom to rigid heddle and more. Join us and be amazed at how so much beauty is created by tools so simple!
Also on the schedule this year are mini-workshops, which will offer a taste of techniques for both weavers and spinners. Try something new, or deepen your understanding of a specific area. All mini-workshops will be from 2 – 4 pm and cost $5 each. You can register online, by phone or in the store.

The scheduled line up is:
Monday: Creating Texture on the Rigid Heddle Loom
Try your hand at manipulating the weave on the rigid heddle loom to create some interesting textures. We will explore using a pick up stick to create lace weaves, Danish medallions and techniques to add beading to your work.

Monday: Plying Mini Workshop
Explore the basics of plying – joining multiple strands of yarn together – and learn how the different creative choices made in this step can yield amazing results, increasing the strength and durability of your handspun yarns, while also adding unique textural possibilities. Both wheel and spindle techniques will be discussed. Bring yours or practice with one of ours.

Tuesday: Clasped Weft
Clasped weft is a weaving technique that emphasizes the weft. Using this technique you can create unique color patterns and design as you go. It is great for creating block, stepped and zigzag patterns. Paula will teach the technique using a rigid heddle loom, but it can be woven on multi-harness looms as well.

Thursday : Fun with Zoom Loom
Weaving on the go! Have fun with this great little hand loom. Portable, easy to weave on and capable of creating all sorts of projects. Everyone will learn how to warp and weave and then get crazy making fun squares with an assortment of scraps (each square only takes 8 yards!). This workshop is suitable for kids (age 8 & up) and adults.

Friday : Fiber Preparation for Spinning Unique Yarns
Get a quick lesson in hand carding fibers for color and texture in preparation to spin. Using pre-dyed and natural roving we’ll mix up the wool and other fibers to make new blends and create some fantastic yarn.

Wednesday is our Gathering/Meet Up day and we invite weavers and spinners to join us as we celebrate our community. From 10 – 3:30 we will gather in one our classrooms to share stories and inspiration, show and share the beautiful things we have made this year and generally just have a good time with those who understand fiber obsession. We will provide refreshments and a comfy space to hang out and look forward to meeting friends old and new.

So join us for a week of festivities and fun and rejoice in the richness and diversity of weaving and spinning. From the novice to the experienced, we hope to share with you a taste of what the spinning and weaving world has to offer.

How are you celebrating Spinning and Weaving Week?

 

 

Ready, Set, Knit! 328: Kathy talks with Leslie Ann Bestor

Saturday, September 28th, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with WEBS Store Manager Leslie Ann Bestor about the upcoming National Spinning and Weaving Week.

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National Spinning and Weaving Week

Kathy and Leslie Ann discuss the free demonstrations running from 11am – 1pm each day and  all the great mini workshops you can participate in over the course of the week:

Monday: Creating Texture on a Rigid Heddle Loom or Plying Mini Workshop, 2-4pm

Tuesday: Clasped Weft Mini Workshop 2-4pm

Wednesday is the Big Meet-up day from 10-3:30pm! Come on in and spin or weave and bring show and tell projects. We’ll have snacks and lots of fun!

Thursday: Fun with the Zoom Loom, 2-4pm

Friday: Fiber Preparation for Spinning Unique Yarns, 2-4pm

There will also be special deals and sales on select weaving/spinning tools and supplies – in store only. Remember the mini workshops are only $5.00 and you must pre-register.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Note:

The Cover Sweater from our Fall 2013 Catalog has been hugely popular and has cleared out ALL stock of the yarn available in the US! WOW! Noro has actually put this one yarn color at the top of their production list because of your demand! and new shipments of Obi color #05 should be in stock by mid-November. If you don’t mind the wait, feel free to place an order for this color that will remain on back order until it is restocked, or check out some of the other color selections in the Obi yarn.

Reminder:

Ready, Set, Knit! Listeners get ready for a challenge!   The KnottyGirls Knitcast issued a challenge and started the Ravelry Podcaster Throwdown. They claimed that their listeners will turn in more hats for Halos of Hope by the end of Stitches West 2014 than any other podcast out there. You all know that Kathy has a competitive streak a mile wide and can’t resist a challenge! Steve has even stepped in and said that he will ship all the collected hats to Stitches West! Here’s what you need to do:

Make as many knit and/or crochet hats as you can (check here for preferred fibers and free patterns) and get them to us by February 1, 2014. Make sure each hat and package is labeled with “Team RSK!” Please mail all packages to:

We are no longer accepting donations of hats – please send all hot donations to 

Halos for Hope

20987 N. John Wayne Pkwy

#B104-432 

Maricopa, AZ  85139

If you’re posting about your progress on Facebook or Twitter please use #PodcastThrowdown. And please join the Podcasters Throwdown Group on Ravelry and show your support in the Team RSK thread!

Upcoming Events:

Our 10th Annual Knit & Crochet for the Cure event is happening in store October 6 from 1-4pm. Please register!

WEBS is open regular hours on Columbus day weekend, closed on Sunday and open on Monday, while you’re here you should check out the Paradise City Arts Festival Oct 12-14 at the 3-County Fairgrounds.

Registration is open for our 7th Annual Bus Trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck on October 19th! Are you on the bus?

Stitches East is coming up! November 8-10 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT. There are still lots of open seats in classes and the Market is not to be missed!

 

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Ready, Set, Knit! 326: Kathy talks with Rita Petteys

Saturday, September 7th, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with Rita Petteys, owner of Yarn Hollow and chair of the Spinzilla event.

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Working with TNNA members, Rita has put together a great event to celebrate Spinning and Weaving Week, October 7th through the 13th.

The goal of the Spinzilla event is to spin as much yardage as possible during that week. You can join one of the teams on the website or you can be a rogue spinner and work on your own. There are trophies and prizes to be had and all proceeds benefit TNNA’s mentoring program, NAMP. Sign-up to join a team by Sept. 23rd. And check out the stops on the Spinzilla blog tour for more information.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Reminder:
No show next week but we’ll be back on September 21 with Ben Levisay of XRX and the Fiber Hooligan podcast.
Upcoming Events:

Our Fall class schedule is live on the website and should be arriving in mailboxes soon, classes begin in mid-September.

Check out the Nimblestix Mountain Retreat October 4-6, on Graves Mountain in Syria, VA , there are weekend packages and day-tripper options as well.

Registration is open for our 7th Annual Bus Trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck on October 19th! Are you on the bus?

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Yarn Cake

Friday, August 2nd, 2013
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In the retail store, customers sometimes look at our ball-winder-and-swift set-up and ask us if we can wind their skeined yarn for them. “No,” we say gently. “We can show you how to do and you can get right on it.” There’s usually a look of panic, or a plea (“just for me? I can’t possibly.”) but we’re firm–because the beauty of a ball winder and a swift is that you can wind up any skein of yarn with less than three minutes of instruction, and it will usually take about 17 seconds for a long, twisty skein to turn into a firm, compact yarn cake. In my first years of knitting, I used to make my husband hold his arms out like a robot to wind a skein into a ball, and when he wasn’t around, I’d have my kids do it. However, it didn’t take long for them to become bored and annoyed at the constant demands on their time (very important things to do! Pokemon cards to look at! Legos to leave on the floor so that I step on them, barefoot, and cry!), and I’d start bribing them with candy, and then with cold, hard cash.

A tasty skein of Northampton Sport, wound into a cake!

A friend and co-worker convinced me to invest in a ball-winder and swift combo. I was really hesitant about doing this, because for some reason I thought that once I had the tools, I was expected to be a SERIOUS KNITTER. But the first time I hooked a skein onto that plastic swift and twirled the handle of the ball winder around for less than a minute, I was hooked. It was amazingly simple and the results are instantaneous. Ball winders, by the way, have a hilarious instruction manual in the packaging that is translated from Japanese and makes it all worthwhile. I have the plastic and metal swift, but we also sell a beautiful wooden swift that is much larger, and will probably be around when you teach your granddaughter or grandson how to knit. Spinners, weavers, dyers, and knitters can all benefit from a little fiber help, and these two indispensable tools will make your life a billion times easier.You can use either of these products separately–swifts can be used to wind spun fiber, and ball winders are great for coned yarns. Webs offers a fantastic deal on the two if bought together.

Now you can eat the M&Ms by yourself without having to parcel them out to the child who complains about how itchy the baby alpaca feels.

The Buzz at WEBS – May 17, 2013

Friday, May 17th, 2013
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The Buzz at WEBS

This week, the staff at WEBS is buzzing about…

I have been frantically knitting another supply of these Ruffle Washcloths for thank you gifts, Mother’s day and end of the year Teacher gifts. I knit a bunch every year and every year they are out the door as quickly as I can knit them!  They pair nicely with a fun bar of soap and pretty ribbon. I have found that they knit up nicely in almost any cotton but I think they would be beautiful in Bristol Yarn BradfordClassic Elite Seedling, or Rowan Handknit Cotton. Back to washcloth knitting! > Amy S.

The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs by Sarah Anderson – This fantastic compendium of spinning delights began to excite and inspire me as soon as I cracked it open. I sat down with it recently, began poring over its well organized chapters, and then immediately dove into my stash of handspinning scraps and started to combine them in new ways. The book is beautifully photographed and thoughtfully designed for easy reference. It includes a set of handy cards that can be used right at the spinning wheel to check your work during spinning, like the angle of twist or the structure of a multi-stranded yarn. This is a must have smorgasbord of inspiration and juicy tidbits of information that will bring new textures and dimensions to your handspun yarns! > Ashley F.

The inviting aroma of lavender drew me in to the Milk and Honey Lotion Bars as I walked by them in the warehouse one day. I had to buy one! Molded into decorative cakes, these all natural lotion bars are a compact alternative to liquid lotion bottles. Made from beeswax and infused almond oil, they not only moisturize your skin, but leave a heavenly lasting fragrance. I love the calming scent of lavender, and use this lotion at my desk whenever I need a little pick-me-up. The lotion bars are great to toss in your project bag, as some fibers will dry out your hands when you work with them. Snagging yarn on dry cuticles is the worst! A little does go a long way, your body heat will melt the oils and absorb into your skin. This lotion bar doesn’t leave my side! > Deb S.

Schacht Ladybug and Sidekick spinning wheels.

Monday, December 3rd, 2012
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With their characteristic solid construction and unique design that is both functional and charming,  Schacht Spinning wheels make great gifts.

The Ladybug Spinning Wheel is friendly to entry-level spinners, easy to treadle and easy to take with you. Carrying handles built into the legs and light weight make the Ladybug easy to pick up and transport.

Included with each Schacht Ladybug Spinning Wheel are:
a poly drive band
threading hook
three bobbins
medium and fast whorls
double drive band

The Sidekick Spinning Wheel is designed to fold easily, to 21 1/2″ H x 8 1/4″ W x 15″ D, yet be a solid spinner with long, comfortable treadles. Integrated storage of bobbins, flyer, and whorls makes for easy transport.

Included with each Schacht Sidekick Spinning wheel are:
a poly drive band
threading hook
3 bobbins
2 whorls
an adjustable carrying strap

Holiday Gift Ideas for Spinners

Monday, November 26th, 2012
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If you have a longtime spinner in your life or someone excited to get just started we have some great gift ideas for you.

 

 

Gifts for the spinner:

Spinning Wool by Anne Field, Abstract Fiber Targhee and  Blue-Faced LeicesterAshland Bay multi-colored merino topGreat Adirondack mulberry silk rovingSchacht dizzy yarn gaugeSchacht Hi-Lo spindles andLavihsea Lotion Bars

Spinning and Weaving Week – Wrap Up

Saturday, October 6th, 2012
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We had such a great time this year with National Spinning and Weaving week, we wanted to share some of the fun with you! Spinners and weavers came out for great demonstrations and to enjoy each others company while crafting away.

Barbara demonstrates weaving on the Spriggs Triangle and Square loom.

During an Inkle Loom workshop, students got an up close look at how to make heddles, dress the loom, start and end weaving, and, of course, how to actually weave!

Drop spindle spinning on handmade drop spindles! These two used a wooden dowel and CD to create their spindle.

What did you do to celebrate National Spinning and Weaving week?

 

Spinning on my Ladybug

Monday, October 1st, 2012
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In celebration of National Spinning and Weaving week, we’re highlighting four different WEBS staff members and their spinning or weaving tool of choice. Here, Sara tells us how the Ladybug changed her thoughts on spinning for the better.

I learned how to spin one night with my knitting group 9 years ago. One of our members brought in drop spindles made from dowels, rubber bands and old CDs. We spent a few hours laughing, growling,learning the basics of spinning and plying and we all went home with remarkably wonky mini skeins. At the time I was a busy working mom with 2 toddler girls and not a lot of time to sit still so I thought it would be perfect for me. Unfortunately, I was ignoring how much I detest stop/start progress on any project. I don’t sit down to work on anything unless I can dedicate some serious time and brain resources to it. After a few dismal tries I gave up on the spindle and decided that spinning just wasn’t for me. 

About a year later Schacht introduced the Ladybug. They are adorable and compact, the wheel is the same color as my VW Beetle, I instantly wanted one. A spinning wheel can be quite an investment when you are wholeheartedly interested in spinning and I had already abandoned the craft once so I waited. I would try the wheel out in the store occasionally and think how much I liked it and that I would totally use it but then I would remember the spindle and I’d go back to waiting. Two years ago a friend of mine got a Ladybug and made the mistake of telling me to take it for a spin, I was in love and a few short weeks later my Mathilde came home. (Yes, I named my new Ladybug!)

I spun my way through a pound of fiber the very first evening. I had no plans, no technique to speak of just a desire feel the fiber move through my fingers and become something new. I spun through 3 braids and 1 bat of fiber the next week and watched as the yarn I produced became markedly more consistent and even. I explored long-draw, worsted and spinning from the fold and I liked them all. I liked the WHOLE process because it was a whole process. With a little bit a prep work to the fiber I could sit and spin 1, 2, even 3 whole bobbins in one sitting and with the attached Lazy Kate I could swap a full one for an empty and just keep going! When I was ready to ply all my bobbins were right there ready to go.

I love the compact style and portability of my Ladybug but I love MORE that I can complete the whole process in one spot and almost all at one time.

Check out Sara’s review of the Ladybug in the video below!