Posts Tagged ‘weaving’

Tuesday’s Weaving Tip – Using Fishing Line for Your Selvages

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
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Recently my co-worker Sara told me about using fishing line for your selvages to produce straight edges. I’ve always struggled with trying to keep the edges of my weaving even. So I couldn’t wait to try this in my next project.

The green towel I wove without fishing line, producing my usual uneven edge.

For the purple towel, I added fishing line (20 lb) to the selvages and weighted each to keep the tension taut. Not only was I able to easily weave an even edge, I was able to weave a lot faster. I could throw my shuttle across the shed without worrying about my edges pulling in unevenly. Weaving suddenly became a lot less fiddly.


Valley Yarns 4-Shaft Twill Towels

Once you take the weaving off of the loom, the fishing line can easily be slipped out of the finished fabric.

Edit: I’ve had some requests for additional information regarding this tip.

  • Tie the fishing line to the front apron rod.
  • Thred the fishing line along side the first and last warp ends in the reed.
  • Since the fishing line is a floating selvage, it does not go through any heddles.
  • If your pattern is a twill or other weave structure that would result in floats along the selvages, use the fishing line along next to your yarn floating selvage. (Thanks for pointing this out Sandra.)
  • The fishing line hangs over the back beam, weighted to keep the tension tight.
  • If you want to, you can reuse the fishing line for your next project after pulling it out.

I will definitely be using fishing line again for my next weaving project.

Happy Weaving!

-Dena

Tuesday’s Weaving Tip – How to Deal with a Sticky Shed

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
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This week’s tip comes from Barbara Elkins (founder of WEBS) as a result of a call from a customer who is weaving with mohair, but it applies to any sticky yarn.

When weaving with mohair or any fuzzy yarn, it is easier to get a clean shed with a direct tie-up.

Step on the treadle that lifts the first part of the shed, say, shaft 1. Keep that shaft up and then step on the second shaft you want to lift. It is easier to lift one-quarter of the ends in the warp and then join them with the second treadle rather than trying to lift half the ends at one time.

It may also be helpful to reach in back of the shafts from time to time to clear the shed and disconnect any ends that might be too friendly with each other.

Ironstone Yarns Brushed Mohair on Cones available at yarn.com

How do you deal with a sticky shed when you find your shuttle catching the wrong threads?

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Valley Yarns on Ravelry #12 – Charlemont for Accessories

Monday, February 6th, 2012
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I’m wrapping up the Valley Yarns Charlemont series with a collection of great projects, many of them available for free on Ravlery. There are cozy socks, cute fingerless mitts, a lacy shawlette, and two self-designed weaving projects. Really nice work everyone.


Bouton d’or socks
by Nicole Masson, knit by klynnknits
(pattern available for free on Ravelry)


Elm
by Cookie A, knit by chapala
(pattern from The Knitter’s Book of Socks)


Stepping-Stones
by Clara Parkes, knit by tinkrbell
(pattern from The Knitter’s Book of Socks)


Straightforward Mitts
by Simone Draeger, knit by MissusVonkysmeed
(pattern available for free on Ravelry)


Gallifrey
by Velma Aho, knit by Nileinthesky
(pattern available for free on Ravelry)


Holden Shawlette
by Mindy Wilkes, knit by whylion
(pattern available for free on Ravelry)


Waffle Scarves,
 woven by carpeyarnum
(Leslie Ann combined random skeins of fingering weight yarn for the warp and used a single color of  Charlemont in the weft.)


Defense Against the AC Shawl woven by knit4fun972
(Joanne gives details of her shawl on her Ravelry page.)

All of this love for Valley Yarns Charlemont has got me itching to start another project using this yarn. I’ve knit and crocheted with it. I think it’s time to finally trying weaving with it too. Leslie Ann has created some spectacular woven pillows using Valley Yarns Charlemont Hand Dyed. She’s working on writing up a draft for them now. Maybe that should be my next project.

What would you like to make with Charlemont?

The Buzz at WEBS – January 13, 2012

Friday, January 13th, 2012
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Check out what the staff at WEBS is buzzing about this week.

I recently knit a Danger Crafts monster with Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted and I really enjoyed the yarn. It is super soft and I love that it’s machine washable. The next time I’m working on a project that needs to be easy to care for, I think I’ll take a closer look at Shepherd Worsted. I just love the colors too! > Mary K.-H.

I’m really excited about my new pattern Myceria! Both the mittens and hat are made top-down so you can customize the fit and the little ridges at the cuffs and brim have an interesting construction and add surprising detail. I enjoyed working with Valley Yarns Williamstown. It’s so soft, has great drape, even in fairly dense crochet work, and the little pops of tweedy color kept me smiling through the whole project. > Sara D.

I wanted to knit a cowl for a friend and was searching my stash for the softest yarn I could find. Filatura di Crosa Superior was the clear winner with its lofty cashmere. A quick search on Ravelry and I found a simple free cowl pattern by Patricia Scribner and was off to knitting in no time. Now that its finished I know I will need to make one for myself. It’s so light and airy, and crazy soft. It was also a great simple project I could work on if I only had a few minutes. No counting or concentrating required. Sometimes you just need that kind of project. > Dena C.

My New Year’s resolution is to get at least one holiday gift done each month of 2012. For January I’m working on a pair of Gnome Mittens by SpillyJane for my sister. I’m using mostly Valley Yarns Huntington and a few colors in Cascade Yarns 220 Fingering. I’m also using my go-to mitten needles, US size 2 Pony Pearls. I can be kind of rough on dpns and these have great strength as well as flexibility. > Sara D.

Best of Handwoven Technique Series: Twills on Four Shafts – This soon-to-be released eBook from Handwoven features a set of placemats in Valley Yarns 10/2 Valley Cotton designed and woven by Barbara Elkins and originally published in the March/April, 2001 issue of Handwoven. The pattern is an advancing point twill on 4 shafts that could easily be mistaken for a lot more shafts! It’s really easy to weave and takes just one cone each of 3794 Burgundy and 2629 Ink. Or adapt it to a 60/2 silk scarf using 666 Burgundy and 635 Navy.

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The Buzz at WEBS – January 6, 2012

Friday, January 6th, 2012
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Check out what the staff at WEBS is buzzing about this week.

Our Valley Yarns Longmeadow is one of my favorite yarns. It’s a wonderful cotton/acrylic blend that behaves nicely when knitting or crocheting with it. We’ve added two lovely new colors — Winter Lake & Persimmon. There are also lots of pattern choices for this yarn as well! > Kathy E.

The Manos del Uruguay Molly Vest is a wonderful project. My daughter knitted it while she was home visiting for a week. She used the Wool Clasica and the finished garment was great. She wore it home. I have recommended it to many customers and have received only positive reviews. It is high up on my list of knitted projects. If only I can get the time! > Marion H.

I’ve fallen in love with the new natural yarn closeouts we’ve received. Plymouth Yarn Earth Homestead is buttery soft with a lofty twist. I’m toying with the idea of making a cabled jacket out of this. Something that I can run my hands over frequently. Fibra Natura Shepherd’s Own is begging to be made into a blanket, something I can throw across my lap while I’m working with it. Both worsted yarns come in a beautiful range of natural hues, with lovely stitch definition and generous yardage. > Cara S.

Just before Christmas, I found my copy of Tot Toppers Plaid Hatter by Kate Oates and decided to make my kids and grandkids each one. Thankfully I had already stocked up on Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage Limited Edition Short Skeins and they worked out beautifully. Hopefully all the hats will be done by Sunday when we get together to exchange gifts. > Lise G.

I’m so excited that we have Gail Callahan’s new The Kangaroo Dyer’s Colorgrid in stock! The Colorgrid is a variation on the color wheel that really demystifies color for me. It’s a great tool for seeing what colors work together and how to add in other colors for pizzazz. I’m giving them to all my sisters, even the ones who don’t do fiber arts — the flower arranger and scrapbooker will use it as well! > Leslie Ann B.

I’m having fun playing with the Harrisville Designs Potholder Loom. Yes, making potholders with the included cotton loops is easy, nostalgic fun. But I’ve also been using the loom to make small soumac tapestry pictures. > Kirsten H.

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The Buzz at WEBS – December 9, 2011

Friday, December 9th, 2011
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This week the WEBS staff is buzzing about quick holiday knitted gifts, limited edition yarn and more.

1. With just a couple of weeks left for holiday knitting I was looking for a quick project. I had some Cascade Yarns Eco Cloud in my stash and I thought it would work up into a nice cowl. After a Ravelry search I found the Infinitude Scarf to be just the right project. Wow! I was amazed how quickly I finished this project, just two nights. I made the large size (skipping the last repeat) and used 2 skeins. I fell in love with Eco Cloud, so soft and squishy. I can’t wait to use this yarn again. I have a new favorite yarn. > Dena C.

2. Blocking Boards – Most knitters are givers, and don’t usually spend a lot of money on themselves. We use mattresses, carpets, and anything else soft and flat to block our projects on to stand in for a blocking board. But a blocking board is so much easier to use. It folds up neatly to be tucked away when not in use, and it has a grid on it so you can easily block to the right measurements. This would definitely be a treat for the knitter or crocheter in your life! > Grace H.

3. The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center 2012 Calendar – I love the new weaving calendar produced by the Harftford Artisans Weaving Center. Each month features a beautiful close-up photo of weaving which I find wonderfully inspiring. But wait, there’s more! The calendar also lists the dates of the various fiber festivals on the East coast making it easy to plan for fiber adventures! > Leslie Ann B.

4. I am making these Monstah Pants for my 8 month old Grandson, Jack.  What a wonderful, fun pattern to knit.  This pattern is by the Wandering Lady and is a free download on Ravelry.  One of the best things for me was picking wild and crazy colors for these pants.  The pants are knit in Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash and Valley Yarns Valley Superwash for ease of care. > Theresa B.

5. My niece turned 10 yesterday and no matter what I did, I could not come up with the perfect present! An eleveth-hour search on Ravelry brought me to the Shroom Hat from the Winter 2009 issue of Knitty. It’s a great slouchy hat knit in Spud & Chloë Outer. The yarn is super soft and warm and (the best part!) the hat took only two hours to knit! I even tried it on myself and it was super comfortable. I think I might need to whip one up for myself. It calls for two hanks of Outer, and I think I may be able to squeak out another hat with my leftovers if I buy one more hank. If you’re looking for a great, really last minute gift, this is a great choice. > Mary K.-H.

6. CISA Yarn – We have partnered with a local shepherd and our own Kangaroo Dyer to create a very special, but limited edition yarn.  It is 85% wool and 15% nylon.  All sales of this yarn will benefit CISA, which is a non-profit group dedicated to sustaining agriculture right here in Western MA. > Kathy E.

7. O-Wool Legacy DK - I recently used O-Wool Classic for some non-WEBS-related knitting, and fell in love with it. Then, I came in to the store to work a couple of days ago and saw that we had a closeout of O-Wool Legacy DK in some gorgeous muted colors! The hand is similar to the Classic, but it is just a bit lighter weight – for those of you out there planning your early spring knitting, this would make a great light sweater knit at a slightly loose gauge. I know that’s what I’m going to do with it, and I can’t wait until I’m able to pick some up! > Elisabeth P.

The Buzz at WEBS – September 29, 2011

Friday, September 30th, 2011
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This week the staff at WEBS is buzzing about…

1. Craft Activism is a gorgeous book with fun projects representing the many different ways crafters are working to positively impact their environments, create community or support a cause!  The book is filled with interesting stories and colorful projects – I especially like the choose-your-own-chart colorwork mittens, and the tin can flowers are adorable. I can’t wait to see some of these projects in person at the Craft Activism event next week! > Tina M.

2. Cascade Yarns 220 Fingering – The notoriously reliable 220 line introduces another versatile basic in a fingering weight. Soft and lightly plied at 7.5 stitches per one inch on a US 2.  We are carrying a lovely range of 57 shades!! Visions of colorwork are dancing in my head! > Cara S.

3. Swans Island Fingering yarn is a magical combination of soft, sturdy, and sproing-y that you don’t see too often. I just knit up a sweater in it on size 6 needles, and the yarn not only held its own at the bigger gauge, but made an incredibly light, soft fabric – in fact, my boyfriend and roommate now make fun of me every time I pick it up because I’ve raved about it so much!

4. Knitter’s Pride Symfonie Rose Crochet Hook Set – I fell hard for this set of hooks when I first saw them. They are simply stunning and are embellished with Swarovski crystals! Sparkly crochet hooks that look and feel great – what more can a girl ask for? > Kathy

5. I am buzzing with excitement about the National Spinning and Weaving Week here at WEBS. We will be having a wide variety of activities including daily demonstrations, mini-workshops and more. Tuesday night will be a spinning open house and the store will be open until 9pm, with demonstrations of all our spinning wheels. Wednesday we will welcome weavers and spinners from near and far for a meetup day with raffles, goodies bags and more. > Leslie Ann B.

National Spinning and Weaving Week

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
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October starts with a bang this year as we celebrate National Spinning and Weaving Week here at WEBS October 3–8. We have a fun week of activities and events planned to highlight these wonderful fiber crafts. It’s a great time to see just how enjoyable it is to weave and spin and to enjoy the beautiful creations that are possible.

First up we will have daily demonstrations in the store. These are free and will give people a chance to see weaving and spinning up close and ask questions. The demos are from 11am–1pm each day and will be at the front of the store. Stop by and watch the fun unfold, as experienced crafters spin fleece into yarn and turn yarn into woven fabric.

We will also feature a variety of mini workshops for $5 each. If you’ve wondered about getting into weaving or spinning or are looking for a refresher, these workshops offer a taste of these techniques. Workshops offered include:

  • Rigid Heddle Weaving for Knitters (Monday 2–4pm): Dip your toe into the weaving pool with this brief introduction to weaving on a rigid heddle loom. Knitters will learn how easy it is to use the yarns in their stash to create beautiful scarves, shawls and more. Leslie Ann will show how the loom works and discuss how to select yarns and finish projects.
  • Loom Dressing (Tuesday 2–4 pm): WEBS founder Barbara Elkins will lead this workshop on getting your loom set up to weave. This is a great chance to learn (or re-learn) a simple, reliable way to warp your loom. Barbara will start with a wound warp and cover all the steps from getting it on the loom to being ready to weave.
  • Drafting for Spinners (Thursday 2–4 pm): In this workshop, Ashley will teach the difference between worsted and woolen style yarns and how to draft for each. Learn how the way the twist enters the fiber can determine the behavior of your finished yarn.

On Tuesday night we will have a Spinning Open House in conjunction with the monthly meeting of the local spinning group. The store will be open late until 9 pm and we will showcase our spinning wheels with hands on demonstrations of the various brands we carry. This is a great chance to try out different wheels and see how they work. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to meet other spinners and connect with local folks who get together each month to spin together (and talk yarny talk!).

Wednesday is our big Spinning & Weaving Meetup Day because we know how much fun it is to hang out with other people who share our passion. We welcome weavers and spinners from near and far to meet each other and enjoy the company of like-minded fiber fiends. We will have goodie bags, raffles, a room to hang out in (with refreshments!) and more. Barbara Elkins will give a demonstration of weaving on a computer loom from 11am–12pm and Gail Callahan, the Kangaroodyer, will demonstrate dyeing roving for spinning from 12–1pm. We encourage people to bring show and tell and look forward to lots of laughter and fun.

It’s a full week, yet it just scratches the surface of what is possible with these crafts. We look forward to meeting friends old and new, to being inspired by each other and to sharing the richness of spinning and weaving. Come join us!

Leslie Ann

The Buzz at WEBS – September 16, 2011

Friday, September 16th, 2011
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This week the staff at WEBS is buzzing about…

 

1. Wendy Knits Lace – I’m a fan of knitting lace and Wendy D. Johnson’s blog, so when this book arrived, I was super excited. There’s a great range of projects – lots of shawls and scarves, but also hats, mittens, socks, and more that use a variety of weights of yarn. I happen to have a rather large sock yarn stash, so I’m looking forward to knocking some of that down with projects from this book (Esplanade Mittens and Mairi Tam, I’m looking at you!) The Vortex Spiral Shawl or Afghan is stunning! Knit in fingering weight, it’s a lovely shawl, but knit in worsted, it’s a spectacular blanket! The first part of the book also features great information for knitting lace – decreases, increases, joining, picking up stitches, and so much more. > Mary K.-H.

2. Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 4ply – My dreams have finally come true, we have a heavier weight cashmere in a whopping 34 colors. I love everything this company makes, especially their high quality, lustrous cashmere. Customers have long clamored for heavier cashmere in a range of colors, so have at it! > Cara S.

3. I’m excited about Kirsten’s Valley Yarns Silverscape Cardigan. It is such a simple silhouette but with clean, dramatic lace details. I don’t often knit sweaters but I’m working this one up for my Mom for the holidays. > Sara D.

4. Classic Elite Panache pattern book – This is a great pattern book for scarves, shawls and wraps. Different yarns can be used. I made the Grace shawl in Pirouette. It made a lovely lace shawl. > Marion H.

5. When Leslie Ann brought her latest weaving project, I immediately fell in love with her woven set of towels. I love how soft they feel and the beautiful twill pattern repeated in each towel. She put a long warp of Valley Yarns 8/2 Cotton on her loom. And then switched colors of Valley Yarns 8/2 Cotton Linen for each towel. I just happen to have both of these yarns at home and a very lonely loom that would be happy to have a little attention again. > Dena C.

Fall Classes at WEBS

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
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Registration is now open for all of our fall classes. We have our usual great classes to get you started such as Knitting I and II, Crochet I and II, Beginning Weaving, and Spinning with a Drop Spindle.

We also have some new classes never offered before at WEBS.

Design a Pi Shawl with Annie Foley

Design Your Own Knitted Cowl with Kirsten Hipsky

Exploring Tunisian Crochet with Sara Delaney

These classes may fill up fast, so sign up early if you’re really interested.

September is right around the corner, so check out these classes first up in our fall schedule – Stitches II: Terrific Textures, Mix & Match Socks, Crochet IKnitting I and II, Spinning with a Drop Spindle, Helix Knitting, and Bring Out Your Best in Variegated Yarns.

Stay tuned to the blog to hear more details from Tina about guest teachers coming to WEBS this fall such as Margaret Radcliffe, Laura Nelkin, Shannon Okey, Andi Smith, Courtney Kelley & Kate Gagnon Osborn.