Posts Tagged ‘weaving’

Spinning and Weaving Week Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
Share Button

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
Share Button

 

This week Kathy talks with WEBS Store Manager Leslie Ann Bestor about the upcoming National Spinning and Weaving Week.

Play Now:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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:

WEBS
Attn: TEAM RSK!
6 Industrial Pkwy.
Easthampton, MA 01027

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!

 

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

Yarn Cake

Friday, August 2nd, 2013
Share Button

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 – April 5, 2013

Friday, April 5th, 2013
Share Button

The Buzz at WEBS

This week, the staff at WEBS is buzzing about…

I have been loving my Schacht Zoom Loom over the last week! I used Tahki Cotton Classic for a coaster and a Noro yarn that’s been sitting in my stash for a while to make a coaster and then a trivet by sewing 4 squares together. The Zoom Loom is easy to use, and the finished squares are versatile. You can use them as coasters, pockets, tech cases, or washcloths. Then, sew them together to make potholders, blankets, purses, scarves, or even add a knit or crocheted border to a finished square! > Jackie V.

(Left) I have been having a lot of fun crocheting coasters with the 8/2 Warp Linen. It works up such a nice rustic and sweet little project. It would be kind of fun to go even further with this idea and make a couple doilies or placemats. They’re perfect for coffee coasters because it doesn’t show the stains. You can find the pattern here or at www.greenkri.com  > Kristin L.

(Right) I have a new cowl pattern, Fluvial, that I’ve been working on for a bit and I had to try it in a few different yarns to find the right one. I was most happy with the Rowan Felted Tweed in the Peony. It’s a DK weight with a great halo and tweedy pops of color and just enough body to hold up in an open stitch pattern. > Sara D.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Weavers

Friday, November 30th, 2012
Share Button

If you’re still wondering what to get the weaver in your life Leslie Ann has some great ideas for you.

Gifts for the Weaver:

The Weavers CompanionThe Weavers’s Idea BookCustomer Woven InteriorsInterlaced 90The Schacht Cricket loom,  the Schacht Inkle LoomSchacht Cherry Boat ShuttlesValley Yarns 5/2 Bamboo, and Jade Sapphire Cashmere yarns

Schacht Cricket, the perfect starter loom.

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
Share Button

Are you thinking about buying a Schacht Cricket loom for yourself or as a gift this year? Let WEBS Assistant Store Manager, Leslie Ann show you how easy it is to assemble.

Available in a 10″ or 15″ width, the Cricket is made of high quality apple ply and hard maple, and it’s left unfinished. Both sizes come with an 8-dent reed (sorry, no substitutions), a threading hook, warping peg, table clamps, two shuttles, and two balls of yarn.

The Weaver’s Idea Book by Jane Patrick is an amazing resource for weaving on a rigid heddle loom and there’s a free weaving draft from S. Charles to try once you’ve got your loom assembled and you’re ready to weave.

The Buzz at WEBS – November 9, 2012

Friday, November 9th, 2012
Share Button

The Buzz at WEBS

This week, the staff at WEBS is buzzing about…

This angler fish was a very special birthday present for a dear friend’s six year old.  He loves deep sea creatures and saw an angler fish that my oldest daughter knit and loved it.  This was really fun to knit and put together.  The pattern is from Amigurumi Knits.  The book is full of all sorts of sea creatures, food and other knit animals.  The yarn I used was Valley Yarns Berkshire, for the fins and “lips”, and Cascade 220 for everything else.  He also needed a card to go with it, so I painted a miniature version of his knit angler fish.  His mother says he loves it! > Amy S.

I saw this scarf as a sample in the store, and had to make one for myself.  It’s feather light, but warm!  The yarn is Superior by Filatura di Crosa, and the pattern is Modera Mesh Scarf which was adapted from a Barbara Walker lace motif. It looks like an intricate spider web.  There’s a P5 repeat in there that I had to do with a pin, since the Superior is so fine that it was difficult to pick it up with regular needles. > Andrea V.

I recently knit the Arctic Circle Cowl from the Tundra Collection from The Fibre Company. For starters, the yarn itself, Tundra, is heavenly. It is soft and luxurious and the color is tonally rich, almost iridescent. I loved the feeling of it in my hands as I knit! The pattern was well-written and easy and because the yarn is bulky, it was a quick knit. The stitch pattern gives it some nice texture and it’s just the right size for a sweet, cozy cowl.  > Leslie Ann B.

(Left) Schacht Flip Trap – A perfect addition to either the Flip Rigid Heddle Loom or floor looms from Schacht. Use the sling to put shuttles and bobbins that you’re not using when you’re weaving. Great gift for the weaver in your life. > Gail C.

(Right) These wrist warmers are for a friend who loves just cuffs to keep her hands warm while she is working. The pattern is the Sokkelo half mitts and cuffs designed by Anna Nilsson. I chose some Madelinetosh Sock in the Tart colorway.  I knit them on our new Karbonz needles, which were a dream to knit with.  Great needles, great yarn!  One Holiday knit down, one hundred to go! > Amy S.

Spinning and Weaving Week – Wrap Up

Saturday, October 6th, 2012
Share Button

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?

 

Getting Creative with my Floor Loom

Friday, October 5th, 2012
Share Button

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, Amy tells us how weaving on her floor loom has lead to endless creative possibilities! 

I have been knitting for about 12 years and I love it.  It’s portable, versatile, and provides endless opportunities for creative expression. It’s what led me to Webs and now working at Webs has led me to weaving.  Last winter, I was straightening the weaving display and came across some dishtowels woven with cotton.  I fell in love.  I noticed that whenever customers would show any interest in weaving, I would take them right to the dishtowels.  My small obsession with these dishtowels happened to coincide with the start of Leslie Ann’s seven-week beginning weaving class.  As much as I loved those towels, I was hesitant to sign up.  I was a little intimidated by weaving, but I was curious, particularly about weaving on floor looms.   There was something about all the threads lined up, the clacking of the shafts going up and down, and the finished woven fabric (dishtowels) wound neatly onto the cloth beam.  So, I took the class. 

Luckily, our first project was dishtowels.  Thank goodness.  I ended up with three lovely dishtowels and the ability to make more!  We also learned how to weave twills.  Which I promptly made into zippered bags lined with fabric and gave to friends as gifts.  After that, I was in.

Now that I know enough about weaving to be dangerous, I have started to experiment with different ways to use the yarn that I have left over from other projects. (Ahh, the glory of stash busting)  I have also started over-dyeing finished objects and adding fabric/felt details.  I already have a long list of projects planned including rugs woven with our old jeans, and some fabric that I just happen to have lying around.  Of course, every time I go into the warehouse I come up with a new yarn to try and a new project.  The possibilities are endless.

I am a new weaver.  I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of what you can do with raw materials and a floor loom.  That’s the exciting part.  At the end of the day, weaving on my floor loom gives me another way of exploring what I can create with yarn, fabric and color.  Oh, and dishtowels, lots and lots of hand woven dishtowels!

Weaving on my Rigid Heddle

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
Share Button

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, Heidi tells us how the rigid heddle brought her into the world of weaving.

I first started weaving when I took Leslie Ann’s rigid heddle class.  Weaving always intrigued me, but using a rigid heddle as opposed to a floor loom seemed more approachable.  Since then I have taken several rigid heddle classes.  I love using my rigid heddle loom, and it gave me an insight into and familiarity with weaving that encouraged me to try Beginning Weaving, where a floor loom is used.

WEBS sells the Schacht flip loom or rigid heddle in three sizes: 15,” 20,” and 25.”  The 20” and 25” are the most versatile in what you can make with them.  I own a 20” rigid heddle.  These numbers refer to the width of the loom and determine how big projects can be.  Rigid Heddle looms are so named, because the warp yarn is threaded through the heddles, which are rigid and part of the reed.  As a point of interest, the heddles on floor looms are mobile and separate from the reed.  In the floor loom weaving scenario, the threading of heddles determines the pattern, and the reed allows for consistent tension so your project isn’t wavy gravy in one area and wired tight in another (an extreme for illustration purposes).  On rigid heddles, however, the “heddle-reeds” determine pattern and tension since the reed contains the heddles.  These “heddle-reeds” eliminate some steps of warping since there are less parts!  Warping my rigid heddle, which is putting yarn on the loom in a longitudinal direction, takes me about an hour or so, and the weaving part can be done pretty quickly as well.  If I want to make a scarf that wraps around my neck twice, I can warp and weave in about 5-6 hours.  This means you could make a scarf for someone for Christmas or Hannukah in one afternoon!  I don’t know how fast you knit or crochet, but this beats my time for knitting a scarf with interesting detail.

It is so much fun to pick different yarns for the warp and weft.  On the rigid heddle, the reeds come with different dents.  The reed that comes with purchase of the rigid heddle is called a 10 dent reed, and this is good for yarns that are of DK or double knitting weight.  Since I wanted to experiment first before buying additional reeds, I spent a lot of time selecting from the lovely DK section at WEBS.  Some of my choices that worked really well included Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light, Noro yarns, Madelinetosh Tosh DK, Abstract Fibers Alto, Rowan Felted Tweed, and even Valley Yarns Northampton, which is a worsted weight but fine enough to use.  Recently, I bought the 8 dent and 12 dent reeds, which are great for worsted weight yarns and fingering weight yarns, respectively.  My options have opened up, and I am very excited to experimenting with more yarns.

Weaving on the rigid heddle can be in plain weave or with a pattern, making use of a pattern stick.  One positive aspect of rigid heddle weaving is that plain weave, where there is no “pattern”, is very quick.  In contrast with floor looms where you must go through a longer warping process whether or not you have a complicated pattern, warping for and weaving plain weave on a rigid heddle is very efficient!  By plain weaving I do not mean your project will be boring.  In fact, plain weave can be very exciting, because not only can you pick from many yarns for warp and weft, you can introduce one weft pick (like a row in knitting) of fiber or yarn as well.  This means that you could have several weft picks then one of a different texture popping up every so often.

I have done a lot of exploration with scarf-making on my rigid heddle.  Scarves are always a good place to start.  There are a myriad of lovely projects to weave besides scarves, such as place mats, table runners, pillows, or fabric for clothing like a skirt!