Fiber Arts Education

Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

Yarn: the movie. Fiber arts news!


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

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

yarn-the-movie-poster

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

10-year-old-knitting-instructor-pro

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

Feathers_textiles_720_480_88_sha-100

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?

San-Miguel-de-Allende-Mexico-578x360

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

indigo-weaving-and-dyeing

“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?

egyptian-cotton-and-trash-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 »

case-study-shrinkage-cleaning-fibers

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

300-000-knitted-poppies-2

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.

300-000-knitted-poppies

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

the-borneo-post-world-record-weaving

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!

tristan-da-cunha-knit-love-socks

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!

 

tristan-da-cunha-love-sock-key

 

Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

Something about weaving: from dhaka to thermocromatic threads


Thursday, May 12th, 2016 Posted in Fiber Arts Education | No Comments »

chameleon-weaving

Scanning the news this week, couldn’t help but notice the juxtaposition of two weaving adventures: First, there was the high tech color-changing threads (watch the awesome video here) that are part of a research project at UC Berkely in conjunction with the Google funded Jacquard Project. (We should mention that the Jaquard Project is interesting in it’s own right!) Then, the simple but imagination-inspiring story of one Nepalese journalist who spent days venturing far, far afield in Nepal, via creaking buses, to help a visiting friend to find authentic dhaka weaving.

dhaka-weaving-nepal

What ties these articles? From ancient to modern, weaving of course – it’s fascinating, has been for millennia, and will be for millennia to come. We certainly haven’t gotten bored yet!

Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

Learn to Weave, Knit and Spin this Spring


Thursday, May 5th, 2016 Posted in Events, Fiber Arts Education, General News, local news | No Comments »

Spring is the time for new things to grow – why not a new fiber art skill! In May and June we’ve got some great basic classes coming up.
Socks are the perfect summer knitting project. Even better, skip the double points and learn to make them on two circular needles! They’re quick and easy to bring with you as you head outside in warmer weather. With so many fun yarns to play with, you’ll want to make a new pair every weekend. Deb’s two session class meets Saturday June 4th and 18th. Deb will show you how to cast on and get your socks started on June 4th, then give you a little time to practice and work some length on your socks before meeting back up on June 18th to complete the heel and gusset, or troubleshoot any tricky spots. You’ll be cruising on two circular needles before picnic season is underway!
If you already have a little spinning experience, now is the time to hone your plying skills with Linda Clutterbuck in her Why Ply? class on June 11th. Linda is a terrific teacher and she’ll cover 2-ply, 3-ply, Navajo ply, and cabling. She’ll guide you through the fundamentals of creating a balanced skein, and explore when to over-ply or under-ply depending on what yarns you want to create. You’ll leave ready to take your handspun yarns to the next level!
More and more people are discovering (or rediscovering) how much fun it is to weave! If you love yarn (and who doesn’t?) you’ll be thrilled by what you can create on a loom. It’s easier than you think and our step by step classes offer plenty of personalized attention and hands on practice so you’ll leave ready to keep weaving on your own!
Intro to Rigid Heddle meets Saturday June 25th and Sunday June 26th. All materials are provided and you can bring your own rigid heddle loom or rent one when you register. Sherry will teach you how to elect yarns, warp your loom and get started weaving, as well as how to finish your piece. You’ll leave ready to try more projects on your own. You can make beautiful scarves, towels, and yardage for small projects like a bag or pillow cover all on a loom small enough to carry under your arm.
Weaving on a Floor Loom opens up a world of fiber arts possibilities! You’ll learn all the fundamentals of weaving on a loom with four or more harnesses. Instructor Sybil Shiland will cover planning your project, reading a pattern draft, selecting the right yarns, warping your loom, and lots of tips for successful weaving. Plus you’ll learn finishing techniques and troubleshoot common challenges. Our “round robin” style weaving class moves students through several different techniques on an array of looms and materials so everyone gets a chance to see what they like and try out a wide range of styles. A great class for anyone who has ever bee intrigued by weaving, or by the beautiful textiles you’ll learn to create.
Feel free to email with questions, and register early, as weaving classes often fill up fast!

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