Fiber Arts Education

Fiber arts news: empowerment edition

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 Posted in Current Issue, 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!

maryanne Moodie8.GarryFabianMiller_DovecotTapestryStudio_GFMtapestrysampl


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:

Fiber arts news

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »

When weaving is a big deal


New Delhi TV has an interesting report on the effort of Sari weavers  and designers to update their wares to compete with global markets. Perhaps most striking, other than the details of the weavers struggles, is the importance of weaving to New Delhi in general. It’s a very different perspective – we just don’t have weavers protesting in the streets here in Maine! (unfortunately, they have been in New Delhi) Weaving really is a bridge across cultures, even if it’s role in individual cultures is tremendously different…

Sorry, we don’t have patterns…


But we do have huge respect for this Aussie knitter! His Instagram feed is inspirational!

Knitting as a lens for language in Iceland


Knitting has been growing in popularity in Iceland of late, sparking a rush to adapt the Icelandic language to modern techniques. This Public Radio piece is a fascinating examination of the ways that languages are a link to the past, how they evolve (or remain static), and the ways that changes can be planned vs organic… All through the lens of knitting jargon, super fun!

Fiber Arts News

Monday, June 1st, 2015 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »

Knitting sheep for fun, for recovery, for education, for inspiration!



Well this is a story that will stick with you: Joyce Herdson, recipient of double lung transplant, has created a community based find-the-sheep game for awareness of organ donation. Knitting helped her to recover from her own transplant. Plus, what a fun sounding game!

If you’re not in pre-school, don’t get too jealous…



This adorable group of Scottish tots were frustrated that their normal hand-made-with-branches “dens” were falling apart in inclement weather… So they worked together for two years to build a yurt of felt. Sorry, enrollment is limited to 3-5yr olds.

A must see in Erbil


For a variety of saddening reasons, it seems unlikely that many of our readers will have a chance to visit the Kurdish Textile Museum, in Erdil, Iraq. Those who have visited have raved about it. There is a resurgence in interest in Kurdish textiles, and the museum has been fundraising to support development of Kurdish weaving programs.

What are we goanna do with these old CD’s?



Well, if you’re Augusta Middle School students, radially weave an art installation! We’re looking at our stacks of old CD’s in a totally different light (how to)

If you only watch one stunningly beautiful video of contemporary Jacqard weaving today…


Make it this one. We found the video from this article about two French designers who are using modern programming to make “unique” pieces in volume via Jacqard… and that’s cool too (below)!



ME sufferer copes by making stunningly beautiful felted birds

19/05/15 Aimee Ball: M.E., me, and my bird sculptures - Doddington, Doddington Doddington   ME Sufferer Aimee Ball and her Birds   Picture: Richard Patterson


By timing herself, sticking to routine, and staying positive, felting has become an important part of coping with myalgic encephalomyelitis. More photos and story here. Also, if you are feeling inspired and want a head-start on felting birds, we’ve got you covered!

FiberME to Visit Susie Stephenson Fiber Arts

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 Posted in Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »


We close out our FiberME 2015 tour with a visit to rug hooking artist, Susie Stephenson’s new studio/gallery, Susie Stephenson Fiber Arts.  Susie and her husband bought the abandoned 1846 one room schoolhouse across the street from their farm in 2014 and hosted the ‘official opening’ late that year. Renovating and updating the building was a labor of love requiring countless hours of ‘elbow grease’.  The studio is now an ideal spot for showing off her original hooked rugs, hosting fiber groups and holding workshops. We’re ecstatic to be able to stop by for a visit during our FiberME tour.


As the author of  Designing and Hooking Primitive Rugs, Susie is an authority in this realm of the fiber arts world.  She is a Primitive Folk Artist who derives her designs from commonplace things around her: her kids drawings, farm animals, coastal and marine scenes.  She recycles materials to create her works:  2nd hand wool sweaters, wool clothing, and yarns, many of which family and friends donate or customers ordering custom hooked designs want incorporated into their pieces. She washes, drys, and sometimes overdyes these ‘leftovers’ to create new colors.  Sometimes she dyes these fabrics in her old iron pot over an open fire.  After washing, drying and dyeing she cuts the fabric into strips.  She also uses ‘non-conventional’ materials such as mohair locks and novelty yarns in her work.  Each of her rugs is a creative expression in which she compiles these once cast-offs, now treasured materials, into a work of art. There’s no doubt her bountiful imagination and whimsical style motivates and stimulates creativity in those around her.

Between her many teaching dates, rug hooking cruise dates, caring for all her animals and working on her next book Susie is always on the go. We’re fortunate to be able to carve out a bit of her time during our FiberME tour. Come join us and experience her infectious spirit first hand!

Related items of interest:

Just 2 Spots Left for Our FiberME 2015 Tour

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 Posted in Events, Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »


Be part of FiberME 2015 and join us on our visit to The Maine Top Mill and Cloud Hollow Farm, as well as other tantalizing fiber excursions. We have just 2 spots left on the tour so sign up quickly.

The tour begins on Monday August 3rd with a stop at The Maine Top Mill in Waldoboro and concludes the day with a visit to Cloud Hollow Farm.  As you’ll learn, these two gems in Maine’s fiber world are intimately linked. The Maine Top Mill’s creation is the result of Bob Weintraub’s daughters’ breeding decisions with their first Alpacas in 2007 at their Cloud Hollow farm. They were producing fiber but they found existing Mini Mills could not spin their fine 18 micron alpaca fiber and the mills that did process the woolen spin fine micron fiber demanded a much larger amount than they produced.  Cloud Hollow Farm’s goal with their breeding program was to produce these very fine fibers but the stumbling block was to find where to process their fibers.

To this end The Maine Top Mill was founded. Bob searched for used textile machines they could repurpose to process these fine protein fibers measuring 20 to 13 microns.  The machines arrived in Maine in 2012 with their Textile Engineer and so The Maine Top Mill was established.  Initially The Maine Top Mill began processing Domestic 18.2 Rambouillet Top, local Merino Top and Cloud Hollow Farm’s own Chiri Cloud 80’s Top.  Hand spinners were the customers for these products.

Now The Maine Top Mill also provides the service of processing small lot Top Making from clean qualified fiber and uniform carded or Pindrafter silver and have added new Blended Top and blending services to fiber producers.  We’ll see their new 2015 offering, the Lightspeed Top Blend, in black and grey as well as 18.5 Merino and 18.2 Rambouillet Blends and other blends using silk, bamboo, and superwash Merino blended top.

Maine Top Mill supports the Nunoa Project in Peru and the US and International Veterinarian Students working to improve Alpaca in Peru with the sale of shawls and other knitwear items made by Quechua hand spinners and at least one weaver.

The Maine Top Mill sprung up from a need to have a processing plant for these fine micron fibers now being grown and produced at Cloud Hollow Farm and other farms in Maine and New England and it has been adding services since it opened.

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