Fiber Arts Education

Fabric of the universe? Science and fiber – Fiber arts news

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 Posted in Current Issue, Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »

Understand atomic models, complex hyperbolic geometry, and coral reefs?


I won’t deny: You have to focus a little to read this article, but it got us started on the wonderful intersections of knitting, crochet, weaving and fiber in the sciences. It’s on the historic and current role that knitting has played in the lives of some prominent scientists. But it’s really cool, even if you’re not going to knit a tangible version of an abstract mathematical surface.


But if you are inclined to knit (crochet, in this case) a complex hyperbolic surface, check out this TEDx video of Daina Taimina. It’s cool, if nerdy. The wonderful things about this video: a) you may actually gain an understanding of complex surfaces without knowing anything about math and b) you may make your own complex hyperbolic surface because they’re just fun! Knitting pattern here, along with many other mathematical knitting projects… But these are best crocheted, and here is the definitive, mathematically rigorous, pattern and explanation as a pdf (with a nice connection to Maine, where she made the first one!). Turns out, Daina’s creations translate wonderfully into coral reef critters, and many (including the Smithsonian) have participated in a project that has done just that!


We do have two patterns that are a variation on these patterns. While not mathematically rigorous, they make a great scarf that can be knit or crocheted! Check out: Crochet Curlique 2 Ways and  Knit Curlique 2 Ways - two DK/Medium yarns - Pattern download


We bet if you call ’em complex hyperbolic scarves, no body will know the difference!


Fiber arts neuroscience – it’s fun!


For something a little more approachable – here is a wonderful story of teaching kids of all ages neuroscience and brain-health concepts through playing with fiber. Turns out there is a *wonderful* educational resource for brain health and fiber arts in pdf form that anyone can use and adapt.  Great projects for all – from expert crocheters to yarn-wraping-absolute-beginner-kids.

Weaving to the rescue? We hope so.


In Scotland, wild cats are in grave danger, with dwindling populations in peril. Efforts are underway however to provide safe zones where the risk of interbreeding with domestic cats are reduced and habitat is protected. A novel avenue of support comes from a custom designed tartan; hand weaving to the rescue! What other efforts could benefit from hand woven creations?

Meanwhile in Iceland: Grandma, knitting, paragliding?


A glorious-25-second video of knitting while hang gliding. Because!

Related items of interest:

Beautiful Block Island Blend Yarn Made in Maine

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News, Knitting, Videos, Weaving | No Comments »


With its unique fiber combination of 35% Hemp/Flax, 35% Cotton and 30% Rayon, Block Island Blend is a stand out among Halcyon’s Signature Yarns. We’ve been excited about this yarn all along – even more so as we’ve brought production closer to home. If you’re not familiar with this yarn you’re missing out. This stylish 3-ply yarn has one ply of a gentle slub cotton for textural interest, one ply of rayon for subtle sheen and one ply of a hemp/linen blend for added body and strength. You’ll love the wonderful textural dimension it adds to both woven and knitted pieces. Each fiber takes the dye slightly differently creating rich tonal colors and with 29 colors there’s lots to love. Make sure you check out Halcyon’s video highlighting Block Island Blend to see this distinct yarn.


We love it that customers are looking for more locally produced yarns. We’re fortunate that producing yarn to our stringent standards has become possible in Maine.  Block Island Blend is spun by our good friends at JaggerBrothers, just up the road in Springvale. The spun yarn heads back down to the coast to new and wonderful Saco River Dyehouse to be dyed. Finished yarns are stocked in our one-and-only retail location in Bath, waiting for your visit or order!


Long known for its elegance and sophistication in woven wraps and table linens such as the Woven Cowl Wrap - Block Island Blend and the Seguin Sunset Table Set weaving pattern, Block Island is now being discovered and loved by knitters. The new Knitter's Magazine Issue 119 Summer 2015 features Block Island Blend color 211 (8211) in Therese Chynoweth’s Mint Cascade, a gorgeous cardigan with set in sleeves with each side framed by lacey cascading leaves. Of course we’ve always known it’s a fantastic yarn for knitting. We’ve experimented knitting it at multiple gauges with both a single strand as well as doubled. There’s something to love about each swatch. One of our all time favorite sweater patterns is the Very Versatile Neck Down Hoodie / hooded pullover by Knitting Pure and Simple in which we used 2 stands of Block Island knit at 4 stitches per inch. How about lace? Just 3 mini cones is all it takes for the Heirloom Lace Scarf in Signature Block Island Blend. Give Block Island Blend a try and let us know what you think.



Related items of interest:

FiberME tour 2015 – one space available

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 Posted in Events, Fiber Arts Education | No Comments »


We’re eagerly anticipating our sold out FiberME tour and meeting all the wonderful participants (a highlight each year)! We had a cancelation that has opened up one place on the tour. If you were interested but saw that it’s sold out, now is a great chance to join us.

Easiest way to sign up is to give us a call: 800-341-0282. Take a look at the series of posts we put up this spring highlighting various stops along our way to get a sense of where we’re headed or our FiberME page for an overview or to sign up online!

Fiber arts news

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »

Feel good clothing



We love making things with fiber and yarn. It’s a wonderful thing to set aside time to create, and to share those creations with others. Here is an inspiring story of an effort to switch clothing production in Bangladesh from exploitation to empowerment. The key seems to be taking “handmade” seriously – and providing childcare, and education. The result allows the joy of making things by hand to take hold alongside pride in production. It’s an inspiring story – and nice to know that the joy that comes from making things with fiber is felt the world over.

Knit nests needed world-wide; rescued cute critters cuddling

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We’ve posted on knit birds nests before – but it turns out that many different rescued animals need appropriate habitat for rehabilitation. Knit nests, burrows and cozies are a perfect remedy. In addition to a bewildering array of bird species, there are weasels, bats, raccoons, possums… the list goes on and on! Wildlife Rescue Nests has a Facebook page with free patterns, and is connected with over 130 wildlife rescue organizations in 5 countries, there may be one close to you! Thanks to Katie Deline-Ray (background story here) for creating Wildlife Rescue Nests and connecting so many knitters, crocheters, and organizations in need.

Fiber arts news: empowerment edition

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News, Knitting | No Comments »

Papua New Guinae to NY runway: Single mom changes fashions and cultures


This fascinating story follows the fortunes of a single mother in Papua New Guinae. She, along with many women in her community, spins, dyes, and makes fabric. But rather than make traditional bags, she’s making cloths and making waves with her innovations. Worth a read!

Helping moms and babies get a healthy start


Curious about another wonderful way knitters are helping out these days? We hope to see more of this: knitting aids to educate mothers and babies on healthy early feeding. There are some wonderful fun free patterns and info here for anyone looking to undertake similar efforts.

Fiber arts news – free form creativity eddition

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 Posted in Fiber Arts Education | No Comments »

Needle felting photos


So, perhaps others have seen this before – but it popped up on our radar and seemed like an easy, fun, whimsical way to spend a rainy afternoon (we’ve had our fair share of rain in Maine this spring!). Might need a set of 2 ea - 3 and 8 barb 32 gauge felting needles., and perhaps take a gander at a ton of great felting fibers.

Tapestry weaving is so hot right now!

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Well, apparently it is in Toronto according to this thoughtful article…  and Brooklyn where Maryanne Moodie is based, she has 60,000 Instagram followers… And in the UK and Scandanavia as well, according to the Telegraph. Which is very very cool. While holding steady, we haven’t really seen a surge in tapestry interest locally, but are hoping this trend will spread – because tapestry is so wonderfully flexible and creative! It sometimes takes a few years for Maine to catch up with the “latest trends” anyway, hehe! Share with us if you’re having fun with tapestries. Hmmm… thinking I might need a tapestry loom or frame loom?


Related items of interest:

Summer and fall classes – Learn to spin this June!

Thursday, June 11th, 2015 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »

We have a great line-up of classes this summer and fall, and now’s a great time to plan ahead… before the New England summer season sweeps by in a whirl-wind as it seems so often to do!

Why not kick off the Summer right with a great new intro to spinning class? We are so excited to welcome Linda Clutterbuck as a teacher at Halcyon Yarn. We have heard rave reviews and know that this will be a wonderful and fun way to get started spinning. If you’ve had an interest, this is the perfect opportunity to spend two Saturdays (June 20 & 27) with Linda and gain a solid foundation for a life long pursuit. LTS

If you are signed up to receive our good-old-fashioned class mailings, you’ll be receiving a refrigerator-postable list of upcoming classes soon. If your refrigerator is feeling lonely and you’re not signed up but would like to be, give us a call at 1-800-341-0282 and we’ll be happy to sign you up. In the mean time, here’s a preview:


Fiber Craft Fair coming in August to Halcyon Yarn

Thursday, June 11th, 2015 Posted in Events, Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »

We’re eagerly anticipating our August Fiber Craft Fair. We had many requests for information when we were hanging out at FiberFrollic, so we’re posting this info early… We have a lot of customers visiting from out of state (August is a GREAT time to visit Maine) so wanted to give everyone an opportunity to mark you calendars!

The Fiber Craft Fair is run in conjunction with this year’s (sold out, but we have a waiting-list) FiberME tour, can’t wait to see everyone there!


Participating fiber artists:

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