Fiber Arts Education

by: Kate Comaskey

Look Who’s Coming to Halcyon… Ann Budd!

Thursday, July 14th, 2016 Posted in Events, Fiber Arts Education, General News, Knitting | No Comments »




Ann Budd, the wonderful freelance knitting editor, teacher, designer, and author of more than a dozen books, will be at Halcyon Yarn August 28, 2016 and August 29, 2016. We are excited to offer two full days of workshops with Ann, which will include four different classes. CLASS SIZES WILL BE LIMITED SO BE SURE TO REGISTER NOW. This will be an exciting and fun weekend with the one and only Ann so don’t wait too long to register.


The available classes are:

Sunday, August 28


Knitwear designers use gauge and body measurements to create the perfect fit in a sweater, hat, or other knitted piece. Learn the magical formulas that will allow you design your own garments or adjust existing ones with ease! No more puzzling over how to increase or decrease evenly in a single row or gradually over many rows—you’ll have the answers in moments. You’ll also learn tips and trick that simplify the knitting and finishing process.

Skills: Advanced-beginner knitting skills.

Materials: Please bring note taking materials.



In this class, we’ll examine how the basic stitches look in a piece of knitting, and practice fixing common mistakes, including ripping out, picking up dropped stitches (even edge stitches!), reversing the direction of a cable turn, and correcting a snag that breaks the yarn.

Skills: Advanced-beginner knitting skills; must know how to cast on, bind off, knit, purl, and turn a cable.

Materials: One partial ball of your choice of yarn (tightly twisted worsted-weight wool or wool blend recommended); knitting needles in a size appropriate for your yarn; cable needle, crochet hook.


Homework: (required)

CO 18 sts.
Row 1 and 3: (RS) K4, p2, k6, p2, k4.
Rows 2 and 4: (WS) K6, p6, k6.
Row 5: (RS) K4, p2, slide 3 sts onto a cable needle and hold in front of work, k3, k3
from cable needle, p2, k4.
Rows 6 and 8: (WS) K6, p6, k6.
Rows 7 and 9: (RS) K4, p2, k6, p2, k4.
Row 10: (WS) K6, p6, k6.
Rep Rows 1–10 once more (20 rows total). Place sts on a holder.




Want to make socks that fit perfectly, no matter what yarn or needles or stitch pattern you use? This workshop will teach you how to measure your foot, knit a swatch, and devise a standard top-down pattern for any size foot and any gauge of knitting.

Skills: Advanced-beginner knitting skills and experience knitting socks from the top down.

Materials: Included (but bring your ideas for stitch patterns!)



Variously called “Japanese fine knitting” and “optical knitting, “shadow knitting” is the term introduced by Vivian Høxbro to describe a technique in which purl ridges define a pattern on a two-color striped stockinette-stitch background. The right-side ridges cast a “shadow” pattern that comes and goes depending on the angle at which it is observed. When viewed straight on, the fabric resembles simple two-row stripes. When viewed at an angle, the garter ridges predominate and a different pattern is visible. Learn this ingenious technique by knitting a swatch with a heart motif.

Skills: Advanced-beginner knitting skills; must be familiar with reading charts.

Materials: Included




*Extra yarn is included for each class, other than Fixing Mistakes, but we encourage you to bring your own needles. Needles are available for purchase in-store at Halcyon with the class discount*


The more you knit the more you save!


A single class is $65.00 so feel free to mix and match with what interests you the most or join us for all four! Save when you register for more than one:

  • 2 classes for $120 when you use code ABCLASS2 at checkout
  • 3 classes for $165 when you use code ABCLASS3 at checkout
  • take all 4 classes for $200 – save $60! when you use code ABCLASS4 at checkout

Make a weekend out of it by enjoying not only the exciting classes at Halcyon Yarn, but by experiencing Maine in the Summer time! We’re two blocks from downtown Bath and just a short drive from various State beaches. Check out what the City of Ships has to offer at You will also receive 10% off of any Halcyon purchase in-store or online for the month following your class. What a wonderful way to wrap up your summer with a new project and some newly honed skills.

Because Ann is a special instructor our rules on class sign up will be different. To register in the class we must have full payment at the time of registration. If for some reason you cannot take the class after signing up, a refund will be made only if we can fill your space. We have made a commitment to the instructors and are liable for costs.

Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

Far away places and twists on common tales – fiber arts news

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education | No Comments »

SheepView360 – happiness returns to the web


Oh Faroe Islands – remote home to amazing knitting and fiber arts culture… and adorable sheep… could you get any more awesome? When we saw this in CityLab post on the islands efforts to get Google Street View to cover their land, we were interested. Then we hopped over to SheepView360, where you can watch videos taken by sheep who are doing Google’s work in the mean time, and our faith in the goodness of the internet was restored. Be sure to click-and-drag in 360-degrees while the videos are playing!

Yarn bombing, mind bending


We see a lot of news posts on Yarn Bombing these days. This post, featuring Julia Riordan, based in Stockholm, caught our eye with some particularly creative street art. High-concept 3D, yes please! Gets us thinking…

10-year old empathy for the win!


We are also amazed by the steady generosity of the fiber arts community; it’s difficult to choose sometimes among the wonderful efforts world wide we’d like to share. This HuffPo post on Garett Lowery, and the video by the local news station, are just so powerful. Garett knit 50 hats for children battling cancer. His words are moving, and his hope for helping others is hopefull for us all!

Kyrgyz Felting


Finally, Kyrgyzstan. Specifically, we came across a post on Selvedge about the efforts of Aidai Asangulova to support both traditional and modern felting arts in Kyrgystan. We also found an earlier, wonderful interview and story here: It’s a wonderfully complete tale of melding tradition and progress in the fiber arts, while holding on to what’s important about fiber arts and community. Round out this far-flung felting tale with a visit to Aidai’s own website for her socially responsible business… And then dream about a visit yourself!

Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

Yarn: the movie. Fiber arts news!

Monday, June 20th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education | No Comments »

Yes “Yarn” the movie is touring, and we can’t wait to see it!


We came across a wonderful lengthy review on Slate of the currently touring movie Yarn. Before we slip a stitch in excitement: here is the trailer courtesy of SXSW.

Tinna Þórudóttit Þorvaldar Stars Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 2.43.07 PM

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 2.43.56 PM yarn-the-movie-still-2


The movie looks to focus on four people who work with yarn around the world (Canada, Cuba, Iceland, Japan, Spain, Sweden and USA) who use yarn in unique ways for artistic expression. While we may not personally be crocheting full sized playgrounds, knitting camo jumpsuits, giving yarn-supported-acrobatic performances, or yarn-bombing in areas of governmentally restricted speech… we’re pretty excited to watch others do so! Closest to us is Boston, check for a screening near you.

[Update!] Yarn (the movie) is playing in Waterville, Maine next Wednesday at Railroad Square Cinema at 7:15 pm.  [thank you to L Rockwell, “Queen Bee” at Queen Bee Knits, Belgrade, for the update]

Portrait of Beth
by: Beth

Summer Projects for Kids

Thursday, June 16th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »

Keep your crafty kids busy this summer with our selection of kits and projects designed with kids in mind. These items are perfect for travel or home and will keep kids of all ages busy, productive and having fun during summer break.  Don’t wait for a rainy day, stock up now!



Kids of all ages (parents and grandparents too!) love making potholders.  The larger sized Harrisville Potholder Pro Loom makes a generous 8″ potholder, make sure to order the appropriate loops Harrisville Potholder Loops - Pro Size Yarn.  We also have the original, smaller Harrisville Cotton Potholder Kit and loops Harrisville Potholder Loops - Standard Size Yarn making the 6″ potholders.


Invite a crowd and make it a party with the Tie Dye Kit.  The kit is complete with supplies and pre-measured dye (magenta, yellow and blue) to make 15 cotton t-shirts (you supply the shirts).  Purchase additional dye colors and squeeze bottles to customize your party!

Woolbuddy felting kits have everything you need to create fun, whimsical creatures.  Safety first – felting needles are very sharp so adult supervision is a must with younger kids!  



Related items of interest:
Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

Fiber arts news – reaching across ages and cultures

Thursday, June 16th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »

10 years old, pro knitting instructor


With 5 years of knitting experience (thanks grandma!) and at the wizened age of 10, all reports indicate that Jack Kashork is fantastic instructor. This window into a group of adults being brought into the knitting community was delightful. It also got us thinking about how the fiber arts are such a great connector of people – across generations, cultures, and even epochs. Once in that vein, our news feed came alive…

Ancient and contemporary


Next up is a delightful review of a gallery exhibit that looks wonderful – and should be on anyone’s visit list if you’re in the vicinity of New Haven, Connecticut, and the Yale University Art Gallery this summer: “Weaving and the Social World: 3,000 Years of Ancient Andean Textiles”. According to Brian Slattery’s account of the exhibit, the designs feel at times strikingly modern, and you’ll have a hard time not connecting with the artisans from thousands of years and miles away.

A universal language?


Finally, for those of you lucky enough to be traveling to someplace new and needing to make connections in another language – consider trying fiber-arts. This tale of making friends in San Miguel de Allende (knitting, in Mexico and in Spanish, in this case) sure did make us want to travel with knitting needles! What a great gateway to connections and learning. A great reminder to be open to connections where ever you are, and that a shared fiber arts passion, or a sharing of your passion, is a time tested delight!

Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

Fiber arts news, inspiring fiber artists

Thursday, June 9th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »

Indigo community shines:
Natural dyeing, fibers, fabrics, smiling fiber artists


“Thailand’s Independent Newsletter” brings us a story of rich colors and smiles, royal visits and royal blues, and fiber arts bringing people and passioins together. The Wat Phrathat Prasit Community Enterprise, founded with support from Royal funding in 1978, has grown steadily over the years. It is enjoying faster growth these days due to the “organic” process, and the beautifully woven goods. What struck us was the power of dyeing and weaving to put a smile on so many folk’s faces, while also contributing to the economic health of a vibrant community!

Mixing Egyptian Cotton and…  Trashed plastic bags?


We’ve posted on the very cool trend of “up-cycling” plastic bags by weaving – but this might be the most elegant implementation we’ve seen yet. These fine wares were born of the ideas of two young Egyptian designers, who were inspired to tackle Egypts enormous trash problem. They were also aware that Egypt was ripe for change beginning with the social movements of 2011. Now, with stores stocking the beautiful woven pieces in Cairo and London, the business is providing employment opportunities for a mix of men and women in bright spaces while reducing plastic bag input into land fills. Whoa!


Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

Rectification: none is possible

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »


Towels of a feather? Not after one was washed…. But first of all, we were not aware of the fine journal “Laundry and Cleaning News International“. Now that we are, we’ll have to check back, even if it is really for cleaning professionals… or is it? Anyway, some wry writing, some interesting back story on fibers, mixing fibers, moisture, and who’s to blame when cleaning goes wrong can be found in this article that is well worth a gander.

A moving and beautiful display from passionate fiber artists:
300,000 hand made poppies strong


What do you get when you coordinate the efforts of 50,000 people, from ages 2 to 102, knitting and crocheting toward a common goal? A beautiful and moving exhibit, through this June, of over 300,000 hand made poppies, in front of the Royal Hospital in London. The exhibit returns to Australia in July. Well worth a visit here to get the full story and see more photos.


Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

Island arts: Labors of Love

Thursday, May 19th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »

Orang Ulu weavers, on island of Borneo, weave way into World Records Book


As quoted in the Borneo Post: “When we were born, we were laid on a mat during the naming ceremony. When we die, our bodies will be wrapped using a mat. It symbolises our entrance into this world and also our departure from this world.” With the collaboration of a number of Orang Ulu tribes, the weaving tradition is being kept alive and even growing. Case in point? Participants from 30 different “longhouses” have made worlds longest woven rotan mat at 1128 meters (0.7 miles). There is a documentary on this culturally cool creation in the works, we’ll let you know when it’s out.

Love socks or “Love Socks”? Remotest island says yeah!


We know that many knitters love to knit socks. But have you knit “Love Socks”? The inhabitants on the world’s most remote island, Tristan Da Cunha, half way between South Africa and South America, have a tradition of showing their affection and intentions with Love Socks. Whether you love to knit socks or not, this story is sure to inspire. If you don’t love to knit socks, you can order them directly from the island.  (Just be prepared to wait, the only way to the island is a once-monthly, 6-day ferry, so shipping is slow). According to the Tristan Da Cunha website:

“In the old days the community of Tristan was rather shy and so were people of few words. Love and affection was often shown by gestures and one particular gesture was the knitting of socks, which held a special significance.

“When a young man wanted to court a young lady he would visit the parents house bringing a small gift and sit with the family in the kitchen. The father would know this was a sign that the man had an interest in one of his daughters. The young lady in question would in turn knit a pair of socks for her young admirer, depending on the number of colours and stripes on the socks, the young man would know how fond she was of him. If the young man was happy with the message his socks showed, he would take this as a sign of the young lady’s affection and make her a pair of moccasins, which was always previously done by her father. The young lady would then offer to wash his clothes and this was a sign that they were formally engaged and a marriage would follow shortly.”

Or, if you’re up for knitting your own (or get impatient while waiting to propose to your love) their website also has a “key” to the meaning of the stripped socks… Knit up some sock love! Oh, and please, pretty please, if you propose with socks, write back to us and let us know!




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