We couldn’t believe the string of personal and environmental health news items that came in over the last month. Wonderful innovations, great good deeds, and healthful habits from across the knitting and weaving fiber arts communities. Take a gander!
Quite literally: Weaving a healthy environment in Nigeria.
Use of invasive river plant in weaving is clearing up waterways. Though pretty, the water hyacinth clogs navigation for fishermen, displaces fish populations, and causes trouble with water supplies. A win-win start-up is training and marketing diverse, beautiful woven hyacinth based items. The hyacinth vines are plied into fine ropes, or braided, and then used to make mats, baskets, vases and other items. Achenyo Idachaba has a wonderful interview at Elle SA about leaving her corporate career in the US, and starting a (socially responsible) business in Nigeria. See the website of this award winning woman-owned social enterprise here: MitiMeth.
Better living for those with diabetes through woven silk test strips.
Unbelievably accurate, and up to 75% more affordable than traditionally manufactured test strips (at least in places where silk is not imported), these woven wonders are poised to make a real difference in the world. They can be produced locally by independent weavers!
Knitting for health
Knitting keeps you healthy, according to 104 years young Doty Patterson. Dotty says it perfectly, and is an inspiration to make knitting an ongoing part of life routines. Oh yeah, don’t forget to read up on the published medical literature which supports what Dotty already knows!
Careful with those needles!
A word of caution however, careful where you put those needles! An amazing (but chilling) story of how a papillon puppy survived knitting needle crash, which included injury to the heart.
Habits for success
And as if personal and environmental health are not enough… With a rash of famous folk, knitting for fun and health, it could help your social standing too? (Granted, this last piece is tongue-in-cheek, but check out this link and it looks like pretty much all famous folk knit: Kate Middleton, Julia Roberts, Dakota Fanning, Kristen Stewart…).
We resolve: more fiber arts in 2015 and beyond!
We carry many, many yarn colors. Picking colors is one of our favorite pastimes, even if we do feel overwhelmed at times. That’s why it’s fun to have a starting point, and can be fun to listen to experts. Some love, and some love to make fun of, Pantone’s color of the year. This year, we’re not making fun of the trendy color to be: Marsala!
We think that Marsala is an unusually nice choice: It can be earthy, rich, soothing, and equally welcoming to women and men. Inspired by delicious Marsala wine (yes, we want to go to Sicily!), Marsala is remarkable in how nicely it plays with other colors…
What would you knit, weave, crochet with Marsala colored yarn? Ready to find yarns that give that Marsala-y-feeling? Behold: our find yarns by color tool to the rescue. Now, finding yarn colors is as fun as Marsala itself!
Some short cuts to Marsala yarn goodness:
- Marsala matches from all yarns / fibers
- Bulky & super bulky Marsala matched yarns
- DK, Medium, Marsala matched yarns
- Fine, super fine Marsala matched yarns
What about limiting results to Silk, Mohair, Cashmere?
Pantone provides some suggested pairings for Marsala. Using those color codes, here are some interesting palettes:
Could you dye your own earthy marsala yarn? You bet – Earthues to the rescue! We haven’t tried it yet, but we’re itching to, and would love to hear from you if you get there first.
Wondering how to use the color picker? Here’s a quick video example to get you started:
Please do let us know what you think of Marsala, the yarn color tool, and what you plan to make.
Our Cozy Kiddos hat and mitten collection is in full swing here at Halcyon Yarn! We’ve been fortunate to receive some lovely cozy items but we’re always looking for more.
Make sure to come by the shop this Saturday December 13th, we’ll have free patterns and refreshments if you’d like to stay and knit for this great cause. Bring your stash yarn and needles and whip up a little something warm! Event hours are 10am – 2pm.
Can’t make it in – we’ll gladly accept items through the mail as well as in the shop during regular hours at the address below. Please join Halcyon Yarn’s effort to knit and collect hats and mittens to be distributed to local schools and facilities this winter. Chilly kids come in all sizes from toddlers to teens, let’s work together together to keep them warm!
12 School St
Bath ME 04530
Mon – Fri 9am – 6pm
Sat 9am – 4pm
Sun 12pm – 3:30pm
If you haven’t already, you have got to try rug hooking – the design flexibility and creative freedom it affords are intoxicating! Already “hooked”? Either way, we are so excited to offer you a 3 day workshop with Meg Little, who has been energizing hookers with her bold designs. She’s coming to Halcyon Yarn, don’t miss out!
This 3 day workshop explores contemporary rug design using a punch needle. Although it is listed as a beginner level class it will encompass all levels of punch hooking experience. Students will construct a frame and work on designs for a small rug that can be used as a chair pad. There will be ample time to learn/hone the technique, complete the project and plan future projects. Emphasis will be on exploring color and developing original designs. Open to all.
A question often asked about Meg Little’s work is, “Do I put it on the floor or on the wall?” Despite her fine arts background, Little herself shrugs off the labels of utility vs. decoration. Her one-of-a-kind, hand-tufted rugs are part of the long tradition which creates a celebration of the everyday, marrying beauty to functionality in what may be the ultimate luxury of art. She has won accolades, awards, and national media attention over the past two decades. Justly praised for her powerful, sensuous use of color, she has recently broken through to a new level with the complexity and depth of her patterns. Little is also one of the rare textile artists who design and make each rug themselves. “The work reflects the hand,” she believes. And through her hands, the age-old languages of color and symbol appear new again.
(See more of Meg’s work on her web site www.meglittle.com)
Not a tremendous amount of detail, but it looks like this poet-turned-weaver has patented (in India) a compact loom that he uses to weave very complicated sarees, while also finding inspiration for his poetry.
Closer to home, some beautiful work from another poet-weaver. It seems that poetic thinking and weaving are related?
|Temari Balls class with Angie Olson is THIS WEEKEND Saturday, November 15, 10 am – 4 pm. Learn to makethese colorful and decorative balls for gifts or to decorate your own home. They are beautiful hung from the tree, in a glass bowl, or scattered among seasonal greens of the dining table. All sorts of color combinations are possible. This is always a favorite class.PSSSSST – don’t tell anyone but the holidays are fast approaching – also known as the gift giving season! We know time is precious this time of year so here at Halcyon Yarn we’re offering a fantastic selection of classes that will do double duty in this busy time of year. In each of these classes you’ll have fun and relax(so needed this time of year) and at the end you’ll walk away with a finished product, or nearly finished product, that you can give as a gift plus the skills to make more.|
|Noodling with Nuno with Marianne Dubois is THIS WEEKEND Saturday November 15, 9:30am-3:30pm. Learn to make felted silk and wool scarves with the technique of Nuno felting. Merino wool top and lightweight silk gauze will be combined to produce one-of-a-kind felted scarves. You’ll be amazed at how Nuno felting enables you to create felt with flexibility and drape. Students will go home with a completed scarf and ideas for many more projects.|
|Hooked Flower Brooches with Susie Stephenson is Saturday, November 29, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. These flower brooches can embellish your outfit or hat, decorate a package, attach to the limb of the tree or brighten a bowl of greens for a beautiful centerpiece that will last the whole season.|
|Make It and Take It – Felted Dryer Balls is scheduled on Tuesday evening, December 2, 6-8 pm. Felted dryer balls may not seem exciting but they are very useful particularly as they reduce your drying time. They are also colorful and easy to make: a wonderful, thoughtful and useful gift for friends, neighbors, teachers or you knitting group. Kendra will show you the ins and out of making the dryer balls in this 2 hour class and you will be off and running making holiday gifts.|
|Intro to Lucet Braiding with Eileen Antell on Saturday, December 6, 10 am – 12 noon. This class will show you how to make simple lucet braids. These make fun, colorful friendship bracelets or they can be used as garlands and for wrapping packages. Can you think of other ways to use them? The class fee includes yarns, notes and a cherry lucet for you to take home. Get ready to braid!|
|Stuffed Mittens / Two Pairs / Two Ways with Ruth Slagle on Sunday, December 7, 12 noon – 3 pm. Ruth will lead you through the process of making these wonderfully warm ‘stuffed mittens’. These mittens have been a favorite of Halcyon Yarn customers for years – kids and adults alike. Choose your materials before class and take advantage of the 10% class discount. Get two pairs of mittens started in class and be well on your way to two wonderful and warm gifts.|
|Festive Felted Soaps with Kendra Rafford in Tuesday evening, December 9, 6 – 8 pm. Felted Soaps are another colorful and practical gift you can make for several friends and family. Match their color scheme, use the colors of the season, use different colors together. These will brighten any soap dish and make kudos for your thoughtfulness. Bring 1/2 dozen cakes of soap, some old nylon stockings and a couple of old towels and you”ll be ready to go. Plenty of fiber will be provided.|
Although not project oriented classes, you might also enjoy Spinning Revisited on Saturday, November 22, 10am-4pm or Advanced Beginner Knitting on Thursday, December 4, 10am-3pm.
For more information about these classes and to see our complete offerings visit our classes on the web. Sign-up on line or call 207-442-7909 or 1-800-341-0282 to register.
Wow – Halcyon Yarn’s Annual Open House was fantastic! THANK YOU to everyone who was part of this special day. We so value the expertise of our demonstrators and the time they spent exhibiting their skills and sharing their knowledge. It was amazing to see the shop filled with so many loyal customers, as well as new faces. It also goes without saying, the continued support from those of you who shopped with us on-line and over the phone is appreciated beyond words. We’d like to take a moment to share photos from the day. If you weren’t able to be part of our annual Open House this year, mark your calendars for next year. It comes just once a year and it’s always the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend. See you October 10, 2015!
We’ve been testing out various automated “news alerts” for weaving over the last several weeks. It’s been quite interesting – though there is a lot of chaff, there have been some very interesting articles as well. We thought it’d be fun to pass some along, and see if others find them interesting as well.
Here are some recent noteables:
A passion for weaving endures
An inspiring story of a family that has upheld, and even revived an age-old tradition of Sari weaving. The Salvi family has shunned modern dying in favor of collecting natural dyes themselves, and found that the youngest generation is returning to weaving even after success an architect, civil engineer, and physiotherapist. Interestingly, we saw some similarity in a travel blog post from Peru about the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco.
Now hiring: Dovecot Studios!
What a refreshing item this was: Get hired and paid (well!) to weave artistic tapestries in Scotland. Their demand outstrips capacity, and so they have begun an internship program. Photo above is curtesy their jobs page. Unfortunately, the deadline for applications just passed. We’ll keep an eye out for this type of opportunity, and hope to see more! …and we’ll get our resume in order, that looks cool!
Weaving is of course practiced world wide. It’s practiced as an art, hobby, passion, job, cultural preservation tool, career, and all mixes thereof. It has been very interesting to see weaving in the “news” in other countries, where the role of weaving may fall heavily in favor of generating necessary income. These twins caught our attention, and pulled our heart strings. Hard work, beautiful work, and dreams for the future. Although there is not a link to donate to help this inspiring pair directly, the WEAVE NGO does great, related work, with refugees in Burma and Thailand.
Not Cotolin, Cot-a-Loom
In India, working and living conditions can put a premium on space. Producing large works would be tricky given the size of loom needed. What better solution than to create a transforming loom that doubles as a cot!
Portugese Rug weaving – Constraints of tradition make for bold design
We were struck by the bold design that emerged from artist / designer Celia Esteves when she tackled rug weaving with traditional Portugese hand looms.