Posts Tagged ‘weaving’

The Buzz at WEBS – April 5, 2013

Friday, April 5th, 2013
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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?

 

Getting Creative with my Floor Loom

Friday, October 5th, 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, 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
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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, 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!

National Spinning and Weaving Week at WEBS

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
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October 1 – 7 is National Spinning and Weaving Week and WEBS is celebrating with a week of events, special activities and discounts! WEBS was founded and grew out of Barbara Elkins’ passion for weaving and we hope to share and spread that enthusiasm to weavers and spinners from novice to experienced (and perhaps entice some others to try their hand at it for the first time!).

In the spirit of sharing these time-honored arts, we will be featuring daily demonstrations of both weaving and spinning in the store from 11 am – 1 pm. These demos will be free and, we hope, will spark questions and conversation between the weavers and spinners and those watching. A great variety of techniques will be presented – both wheel and drop spindle spinning, floor looms, frame looms, rigid heddle and more. If you’ve ever wanted to see fleece spun into yarn or watch yarn woven into cloth, come on over and check it out!

In addition to the daily demos, we are also offering mini workshops to present a sampling of different techniques so that people can try something new and add to their toolbox of skills. If you’ve been curious about trying something new or just want to expand your skills, this is a great way to start. All mini workshops will run from 2 – 4 pm and cost $5. The schedule will be:

Monday: Spinning Exotic Fibers – Musing about mohair? Confused about cotton? This mini-workshop will explore several different exotic fibers like camel down, silk and cotton. We will also look at the different drafting styles that may suit each fiber.

Tuesday: Hand Techniques for Rigid Heddle Looms – Looking for some new techniques to add some pizzazz to your rigid heddle weaving? Join us for this workshop as we look at both hand-manipulated laces and pick-up stick patterns. We will also cover how to hemstitch your weaving while it is on the loom.

Thursday: Inkle Weaving –In this inkle loom workshop, you’ll see how to make heddles, dress the loom, start and end weaving, and, of course, how to actually weave.  If time permits, we’ll talk about how to plan a warp. There will be an opportunity for a little bit of hands-on work.

Wednesday is our big Meetup Day as we encourage weavers and spinners to come together and celebrate the beauty and joy that these crafts bring. We will have a space to hang out (with refreshments!) and socialize with others who understand what it means to weave at 56 epi or drool over handpainted BFL roving. There will be goodie bags plus the allure of the warehouse and store (have you seen the new Valley Yarns 5/2 Bamboo and the spinning fibers that have recently arrived?). Bring show and tell and share your stories of fibery adventures and inspirations.

Also on Wednesday, Barbara Elkins will be doing a computer loom demo from 1pm – 3pm.

In addition to all of the fun things happening at the store each day, throughout the week we will be offering a 10% discount in-store (in-stock only) on weaving and spinning tools and equipment.

So join us for a fun week as we celebrate the richness and diversity of spinning and weaving. Whether you’ve never tried it before or have been spinning and weaving for years, there’s something for everyone.

– Leslie Ann

The Buzz at WEBS – July 20, 2012

Friday, July 20th, 2012
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The Buzz at WEBS

This week the staff at WEBS is buzzing about a beautiful, lightweight shawl that’s perfect for warm weather knitting. Also, a warm and cozy cowl for when winter finally returns! And two fantastic book reviews from our weaving expert Barbara and our spinning expert Ashley.

For my first mystery shawl KAL, I decided to be good and went stash-diving. I unearthed a forgotten skein of Ella Rae Lace Merino and gave it some love by knitting up this airy lace shawl. The Lace Merino blocks out better than I dreamed, soft and drapey with crisp stitch definition. And as luck would have it, the autumnal red tones and lacy leaf motif go together perfectly! > Emma W.

It might be 100 degrees out right now, but we can’t forget that winter will come again eventually. Cowls are my favorite accessory and I wear them outside under a warm coat, as well as around the office on chilly mornings. The Valley Yarns Bell Lace Cowl is the perfect length. I can wear it long as an accessory, or wrapped around twice to be kept extra warm. It’s knit in super soft Northfield so its perfect to be worn up against the sensitive skin on your neck and face. > Grace H.

I like to spin on my Ladybug in the summer while I sit out on the deck in the evenings and I realized the other day that all my bobbins were full so I’ve been plying up a storm! From Left to right: Creatively Dyed Yarn fiber in the colorway Goat, Optim Merino from Ms. Gusset (a gift Kirsten H. brought back from Sock Summit last summer) and a batt of mystery fiber from Kathy Elkins massive destash event back in May. Now I have 7 empty bobbins to fill with singles! > Sara D.

The weavers among us are excited about a new book that just came in. It is Custom Woven Interiors, by Kelly Marshall, a Minnesota weaver and the owner of a production company of the same name. The book is part pictures of the warp rep rugs, throws, blankets, pillows, curtains and table fabrics in her home and part instructions for those projects. The drafts are mostly for 8 shafts, with some 6-shaft and some 10-shaft projects. Because the fabrics use a lot of colors of 5/2 cotton, but not a lot of each color in the warps, this seems like a great study group project. If each participant provides a few colors, the cost can easily be shared and everyone would come out with a great fabric. Sturdy looms required for the sett of 48 epi! > Barbara E.

Entering the complex world of natural dyeing can seem daunting, but Jenny Dean welcomes her readers to the exploratory process with clear and engaging information in Wild Color. All the equipment you’ll need and how to make sure your choice of dyepot doesn’t change your color results, how to mordant different types of fiber and choose the safest one to use for the color results you want, and how to safely work with toxic chemicals and plants without worry for your family or the environment. Color modifiers, Ph charts and a cool recipe for achieving 25 different color results from one dyebath! My favorite feature of this book is the copious information on the dye plants themselves, from flowers and leaves to barks and roots, with how to grow and/or harvest for the best color results, how much plant material is needed and the many different colors that can be drawn from the same plant. Last year’s dye experiments, guided by this wonderful compendium, yielded great results. I’m already harvesting new plants to add to my dyepot and looking forward to exploring all these wild colors. > Ashley F.

The Buzz at WEBS – June 29, 2012

Friday, June 29th, 2012
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The Buzz at WEBS

It’s been a very busy start to the summer here at WEBS! We’ve just moved into our new warehouse, and we’re working on getting everything settled. Fall yarns are already starting to arrive, and the staff at WEBS is buzzing about some of the new goodies we’ve received so far. Amy learned a new skill and managed to turn her first project into a fantastic zippered bag! Kathy’s buzz reminds us of why we love our Knitter’s Pride Dreamz needles and Dena shares one of her favorite new books.

I had the privelege of taking LA’s weaving class this winter. Our second project was a twill sampler out of 2/10 Merino Tencel.  I was not happy with mine until I realized I was weaving cloth that could be cut up to make things like zippered bags.  (I can be a little slow sometimes) I made seven bags out of my sampler and have plans for many more! > Amy S.

Frog Tree Ewetopia – As a spinner, I love to examine the new yarns and how they are constructed, and this one caught my interest. One single strand of superwash treated Merino wool is plied with a single of untreated Merino wool, giving a slightly marled quality to the yarn as both plies have absorbed the color a little differently. The superwash treated ply has a subtle shine against the matte quality of the untreated wool. The different treatments will add a unique texture to this yarn after blocking and the finished fabrics it works into will have a lovely squishy softness. A really interesting yarn, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the amazing projects folks will create with it! > Ashley F.

Imperial Yarn Columbia 2-Ply – I am in love with this yarn! The big 4oz hanks are so squishy and soft, I can imagine knitting a sweater I’d have forever. And I really like the fact that this yarn is from American wool, spun on old-school mule spinners, in a tiny town in Oregon. Imperial Stock Ranch is dedicated to sustainable land stewardship, so this yarn reflects my values. The colors are great, too– most of them are subtly heathered, and deep. I want a sweater in every color! Maybe it’s time to learn fair isle… > Kendra C.

I am so excited that our new 5/2 Bamboo has arrived! This yarn will be great for weaving all sorts of projects. The colors are vibrant and shimmery and the hand is soft and fluid. I think it is going to make wonderfully drapey fabric and can hardly wait to get it on my loom. I have been planning a rigid heddle project – a scarf with some lace details, I think. And speaking of lace, I think this will knit up into some beautiful lacework. The colors choices are incredible. > Leslie Ann B.

Dreamz Needles from Knitter’s Pride – We’ve had these needles for several months but after using them for my latest project I was reminded how great they are. These beautiful wooden needles are smooth and the yarn slides easily along and over the joins. I love the points – not to dull but not too sharp. If you’ve yet to try these needles, consider them for your next project! You can also check out a great video review here. > Kathy E.

I was impressed by how much information was packed into The Handknitter’s Yarn Guide book – all things yarn weights, yarn fibers, and yarn construction. If you enjoy shopping our yarn closeouts or are curious how different fibers such as camel or alpaca will knit up, this book is the perfect guide to helping you make yarn substitution decisions when choosing a yarn for your next project. > Dena C.