Fiber Arts Education

Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

In the news: Where the fiber arts take you…

Thursday, April 21st, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education | No Comments »



Where will fiber arts take you? For  Michelle Schwengel-Regala, the middle of the Pacific Ocean! Building on her education as a scientific illustrator, and her passion for fiber arts, Michelle became a resident “artist-at-sea” on the research vessel FALKOR out of Hawaii. She knit binary codes, temperature and salinity profile graphs, and sent yarn creations down thousands of feet below the surface. Checkout her wrap-up post here!

Did you have a Street Weaving Day in school?!


Well, we tip our hats to Cyprus for organizing and celebrating a Street Weaving Day for students! In preparation for World Art Day and the city of Paphos’ upcoming role as Cultural Capital of Europe next year, students all across Cyprus took to the streets to create woven and other fiber-arts installations. Ah, super jealous! We need more people weaving in the streets…

Speaking of Yarn and education…


The ways that knitters and other yarn lovers share and inspire others is… well… inspiring! Here is a wonderful example from the UK, where a group of knitters organized to knit internal organs for educational models. The fun-to-handle organs are used to teach primary school students about their bodies and healthy living… Turns out the knitters learned a thing or two too! If you can stomach it, no kidney, it’ll warm your heart :-)

Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

What if your weaving… could play music? Cool craft competition. 100 years and weaving.

Thursday, April 14th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education | No Comments »


Does your weaving, knitting, cross-stitch, tapestry, crochet, or other fiber arts object sometimes seem to sing to you?

The work of Zsanett Szirmay is fascinating, and it turns out your designs may sound as interesting and as beautiful as they look. How could that be? Ms. Szirmay’s inspiration was to turn designs into music using punch cards, similar to those used on Jacquard looms! Working initially with traditional Hungarian cross-stitch designs, and subsequently in traditional Afghani rug motifs, the exhibits are interactive and allow visitors to reel the design cards through music boxes while admiring the patterns as full works. You can see photos of the works, and play samples of the music for both the Hungarian and Middle Eastern exhibits. Keep an eye out for this show to tour the US later this year!

Craft & fashion competition


We have some of the most wonderfully creative customers in the world. So, we figured it’d be worth passing along the newly announced Loewe Craft Prize. This is a call for submissions from all fields of crafts – with special mention of textiles – for works with exceptional fashion and artistic appeal and that utilize traditional crafts. The reward is valuable, 50,000 euros!

Weaving happiness at 100 years old


Trust Esther James, it’s never “too late” to take up weaving! Ms. James, in Kalamazoo MI, has been weaving for almost 50 years, nearly half her life. In this inspiring story and video, you’ll enjoy a wonderful glimpse of the fulfillment that comes from a long time passion for weaving. Esther is a member of the Weavers Guild of Kalamazoo, where creativity and good company go hand in hand. It seems that some of Ms. James’ remarkable vitality can be attributed to the art of weaving, so be sure to order your yarns and loom today!

All of us at Halcyon Yarn wish this inspirational weaver a very happy 100th birthday this April!


Portrait of Gretchen
by: Gretchen

FiberMe Tour updates

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education | No Comments »


Dear Friends and Fans of FiberME,

This year brings some big changes to the store and we’re looking forward to sharing those developments. However, due to these changes we will not be running our annual FiberME tour this year. We’re truly sorry that we can’t ask you to join us this year, but we would never want to provide you with a less than ideal experience! We are asking for your understanding and patience as we make some improvements here at the store so that we can offer the best possible experience to all our visitors. We do plan to offer fiber arts tour and retreat events here in Maine again next summer and we will be sure to keep you posted as the plans evolve. We’d be so glad to have you visit anytime and we look forward to bringing you even more exciting, creative, fiber arts adventures soon. We appreciate your  interest and hope you’ll join us in the future here in coastal Maine!

Portrait of Beth
by: Beth

Try weaving, felting, knitting and creative trellis making this April!

Monday, March 28th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »


Our April class schedule has something for everyone.  This month at Halcyon Yarn students will expand knitting skills, delve into floor loom weaving, get creative with Nuno felting and build a garden centerpiece by weaving a twig trellis.  Registration is easy – simply give us a call, resister on-line or stop by the shop.  We hope you’ll join us in April!

Building Blocks Toward More Successful Knitting meets 6 Wednesday evenings with instructor Debra Foster.  Students will expand their techniques while knitting a series of “blocks” which can then be sewn together into a small blanket. Building Blocks by Michelle Hunter is included in the registration fee, students are responsible for additional materials.  First class meets Wednesday, April 6.

It’s a Wrap! Intermediate Nuno felting class on Saturday and Sunday, April 9th & 10th.  Develop your wet felting skills and explore Nuno techniques for making wraps, shawls, scarves or yardage in this two day workshop.   Nuno is the process of applying wool roving to natural fabrics such as cotton and silk to create lightweight yet durable felted pieces. Students are encouraged to bring yarns and fiber to incorporate into their pieces and will purchase backing material from the instructor the day of class.  

Looking for something different?  Build a Twig Trellis on Saturday, April 23rd teaches traditional folk art techniques to weave and build a sturdy trellis of maple, beech, birch or ash twigs.  Create a garden centerpiece in an afternoon!  Materials are provided although students should bring work gloves, hand clippers and an electric screwdriver (optional).

Delve into weaving with instructor Sybil Shiland in Weaving 101: Weaving on a Floor Loom. During this three day intensive course students will learn and experience the basics of warping on a 4 shaft loom, will weave different weave structures, and use a variety of materials.  No experience is required and all materials are included.  Class meets Friday, Saturday and Sunday April 29th – May 1st.

Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

International Women’s Day, Make way for ducklings, fiber arts news

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education | No Comments »

Iconic statues get shelter from spring weather


Ah spring, a roller coaster of snow followed by t-shirt weather here in Maine. One of our favorite children’s books, “Make Way for Ducklings”, is a spring-time favorite, and the iconic statues in Boston have been given a little protection from our erratic spring weather recently. Nicely done #makewayforstik!

Reflections on International Women’s Day: Crafts hold huge potential for empowerment


For a thoughtful perspective on a wonderful and hopeful effort to empower women though craft, we enjoyed this Huffington Post article. Part of a series for International Women’s Day, it focuses on the opportunity that crafts hold for empowerment world-wide. Turns out, particularly in rural areas, crafts are second only to agriculture. Wait, crafts, second only to agriculture? What tremendous potential! It’s so wonderful to see that change is possible, and that in this case it’s brought about through crafts that are so near and dear to our heart (and the hard work of great social enterprises).


More specifically, we were also reminded of a program we’ve featured before: Weave, a program that supports education and social entrepreneurship for women and children along the Thai-Burma border. The great work that Weave has done with empowering refugee populations is inspirational (enabling many women to become the “bread winners” through weaving, despite transient living conditions). Of course they’re also weaving beautiful works. Also on Facebook, worth a “Like”!

Isn’t it great to be addicted to fiber? It’s humbling to see the different beautiful traditions that are maintained around the world, including our own, to see their positive power, and to be a part of a world-wide shared cultural identity. Keep up the great work and wishing all a (belated) empowering International Women’s Day.

Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

Handwoven silk and wool bears you won’t believe

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 Posted in Events, Fiber Arts Education | No Comments »


We had a delightful visit in our store the other day from Lynn Foster. Lynn has made some of the most amazing polar bears we’ve seen. These bears are special on many levels…


First, Lynn designed the weaving pattern for the fabric for these bears herself – a fun but time consuming endeavor. Next, she selected some amazing yarns for weaving: 4/8 JaggerSpun Wool-Silk, and our very own 2/5 Gemstone Silk. Working with these fibers in natural colors she created a fabric that is subtle yet stunning as the patterns emerge.


Finally Lynn stitched a mother and polar pup from her yardage, and wrapped up a project that came together over the course of two years.  As if simply having these wonderful bears wasn’t enough reward, Lynn has been recognized for her creations by the New England Weavers Seminar for best 3D creation, 2015.


We thank Lynn for sharing these wonderful creations with us, and are so looking forward to seeing what she makes next!


Portrait of Beth
by: Beth

Books: New titles, must haves & clearance

Thursday, February 25th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News, New arrivals at Halcyon Yarn | No Comments »

Inspiring new books have hit the shelves at Halcyon Yarn.  What a great time of year to freshen your collection and start planning Spring projects.   BONUS: Regular priced titles are discounted 15% when you buy 5 or more books!  Suggestions to get you started:

Malabrigo Book 9 – Ninos is packed with bright and bold knits for kids, sizes range approximately 2 – 12 years with stylish selections for both guys and gals.

Sock Knitting 18 Innovative Designs Knitted from Every Which Way will take your sock knitting to the next level.  Eighteen Ann Budd designs using a variety of techniques including double knitting, intarsia, multidirectional knitting, mirrored patterns and more. Fun!

Bigger is better! Malabrigo Book 7 - In Brooklyn, Rasta  Super soft super bulky Malabrigo Rasta Yarn is featured in patterns for sweaters and accessories.

Lace and cables unite in  Refined Knits a stunning collection of elegant, modern designs for women.  Patterns for cardigans, pullovers, shawls and accessories.  Charted instructions.

It’s hard to resist the cheerful knits in Sweet Pickles - 27 Adorable Knits for Babies and Toddlers.  Norweigian designers Anna Enge and Heidi Grenvold combine whimsy with function in 27 patterns for babies, toddlers and beyond.  If you have young ones to knit for don’t let this book pass you by.

eBooks? You bet! We have been publishing a steady stream of re-issues: these are printed versions of resources that are otherwise out of print. Printed exclusively by Halcyon Yarn on our heavy-weight acid-free coated stock:


The following titles aren’t brand new but they are essential.  Browse these staff favorites, trust us they’re great.


Check out our bargain books as well. Titles are reduced up to 50%, quantities are limited and no additional discounts apply.


Related items of interest:
Portrait of Beth
by: Beth

Classes – Register & Save through March

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 Posted in Events, Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »


There’s still time to save on classes with savings code HYCLFM16.  Register for any February or March class and save $10.  Space is limited, call to register today!  See additional information and classes in our complete class schedule.



We’re so excited to welcome Jessica Peill-Meininghaus for Needle Felted Wool Painting on Saturday, February 27th.  Learn to “paint” with wool starting with a piece of pre-felt as your base and layering colors and shapes to create your tapestry. Jessica’s infectious energy and talent will inspire you to create beautiful needle felted works of art.  Everyone is an artist and needle felting is fun and easy to get started with!

You will needle felt the layers of wool together as well as needle felt the fine details on the top of the piece. Jessica will lead you through the basics: layering the wool, techniques for shading or making an object ‘glow’, and building foreground detail. Students will get the chance to use single needles as well a multi-needle tools. Working from an image you provide, such as a photo or drawing, you’ll leave class with a beautiful 10”x12” felted work of art!

Enjoy Jessica’s class on Saturday and still make it to Freeport in plenty of time for the SPA fashion show and evening festivities!



Only one space remains in the Weaving 101 session Fri – Sun, March 4th-6th.  This intensive beginner class covers the basics of weaving with a 4-shaft loom.  This is a great hands on opportunity if you’re considering floor loom weaving. Those of you who already have some floor loom experience will also want to check out Sybil’s Next Steps In Weaving, April 15-17.



Don’t miss out on Intro to Rigid Heddle Weaving on Fri & Sat, March 11th and 12th.  No weaving experience is required and you can arrange to rent a classroom loom or bring your own.  Rigid heddle looms are lightweight, compact and a great first step into simple (and fun) weaving.



Now is the time to learn to spin!  Begin to Spin meets two consecutive Saturdays, March 19th & 26th.  Learn to treadle, draft, spin, ply and set the twist.



Continental Knitting is designed for experienced knitters who want to speed up their knitting with this left handed technique.  Saturday March 26th from 10-12:30pm.

Learn something new at Halcyon Yarn and use savings code HYCLFM16 to save $10!



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