Monday, June 15, 2015

Weaving Frenzy

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of being really, frantically excited about weaving. It all started when my husband, who truly never fails to surprise me, walked into the house with a colorful little coaster he had just made on the Zoom Loom. Although I know that he can knit and make things, he tends to be more focused on other activities like hunting, so I was delighted to see this colorful little yarn creation. Within the evening he had made a set of these fulled (lightly felted) coasters.
The yarn is a unique handpaint in Nature Spun Fingering

The coaster after fulling by hand with a dish scrubber

Then, my 25th birthday happened--I now possess a beautiful Wolf Pup LT, the 4-shaft, 18" wide, foldable floor loom from Schacht. Andrew and I took a quick road trip up to Boulder and saw the impressive facility where Schacht looms and spinning wheels are made.

Andrew quickly warped up a Cricket loom that we had in the mill, then helped me figure out how to warp my Wolf Pup along with help from Peggy Jo. I decided to try a simple plaid in some of my favorite Nature Spun colors.
I can already tell that weaving will be very satisfying for a math nerd such as myself

Andrew's and my finished pieces

My first woven piece. Although the edges have room for improvement, I am happy with how it turned out.

This weekend, my mom came up to visit and pick up her birthday gift, also a Wolf Pup LT. It's clear that weaving is an addiction we will both share. We were basically entranced by the process of warping her loom in a Log Cabin pattern using Cotton Fleece.
Can you believe this is her first ever weaving project?! I should give some credit to Elizabeth Wagner's YouTube videos for helping us out.

Log Cabin close-up. The idea comes from Simple Woven Scarves by Jane Patrick and Stephanie Flynn Sokolov.

It's true that the only thing weaving and knitting have in common is the use of yarn. I think weaving appeals to my husband, and guys in general, more than knitting because of its mechanical nature. There is certainly a learning curve to weaving but I'm feeling plenty of enthusiasm to hurdle it.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Highlights from TNNA Summer Tradeshow

The National NeedleArts Tradeshow is a gathering of all sorts of producers and distributors of yarn-related products. This year the summer show was held in Columbus, Ohio at a convention center that was simultaneously hosting a Haunted House convention. Needless to say, we got used to seeing zombies, goblins, and other haunted creatures creeping around the hotel.
The most glorious part of the city was Columbus's North Market: a wonderland of delicious smells, selling everything from fried chicken to Indian food to elaborate freshly made doughnuts.

Some highlights of the show floor:
GIANT yarn ball from Colinette

Our booth, of course
Amazing needle and wet felted T-Rex from Wool Buddy

An adorable sheep rug crocheted in Brown Sheep yarn
It's contagious to be around a group of people who are really excited about knitting, crocheting, weaving, and spinning. Of course I came back with renewed enthusiasm and ideas (and some new yarn).
We featured the Storm Cloud Tee in our booth--look for it in Midwestern Knits

As far as "work" trips go, I really can't complain. Maybe it could eventually get old but it's hard to imagine. I'm fascinated by all the colors and textures at a yarn show. Not to mention, people who have made their career in the fiber arts tend to be fun and interesting individuals.
It was great to meet some local yarn shop owners and connect with others in the yarn industry. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth!