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Halcyon Yarn News, Notes, & etc.

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Fiber artists are invited to enter the Handweaver’s Guild of America’s annual Small Expressions exhibit. This is an annual, international juried exhibit featuring small scale artwork of the highest quality. All works must not exceed more than 15″ in any direction. Featured fiber arts include techniques such as tapestry, felting, twining, braiding, embroidery and beading. With the possibility to incorporate multiple techniques.

Winning entries will be exhibited from May 28 – July 4, 2015 at the Textile Center, a national textile center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA . Entry deadlines are February 17, 2015 for non-US entries and February 24, 2015 for US entries.

Visit the Handweaver’s Guild of America’s website www.weavespindye.org for detailed information about the Small Expressions exhibit.

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Brave the wintery weather in style with our new Chill Chaser Scarf 2-shaft project as a kit or pattern. It’s ideal for all you rigid heddle weavers! Super simple with stunning results. So brave the wintery weather in style!

The  Chill Chaser Woven Scarf (also downloadable:  Chill Chaser Woven Scarf - Pattern Download ) is an eye catching, simple to weave scarf that combines the gorgeous self striping colors of Plymouth Gina  in the warp with the softness and subtle shimmer of Juniper Moon Moonshine  in the weft. Once woven and fulled they blend into a snuggly and oh so scrumptious fabric you’ll happily reach for on those chilly days.

Gina, a self-striping yarn, in the warp allows you to have a variety of soft transitioning colors, with the ease of direct warping your loom. When I decided on Moonshine in the weft I envisioned the yarns coming together to create an inviting, cozy fabric. The result surpassed my expectations. Moonshine’s luscious hand softens the fabric and it’s little bit of silk creates just a hint of sheen. The fabric has great drape and after fulling the fabric becomes a match made in heaven. I must say I love the Chill Chaser scarf and can easily see weaving larger pieces of fabric for wraps, ponchos, throws and blankets.

Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the colors in Gina and Moonshine pair beautifully. It was pure pleasure creating our 5 color combinations for the Chill Chaser Woven Scarf Kits. There’s a color combo for every taste. So choose your favorite and get weaving. Let us know what you think. Will you weave a larger project?

Here are the kits:

   

 

Finished scarf approximately 7.5″ by 72″. Project requires 2-shaft loom at least 10″ wide, 8 dent reed, stick shuttle & tapestry needle.

  

Finished scarf pictured with Botanica Twisted Stitch Slouch Hat (also available as Botanica Twisted Stitch Slouch Hat - Pattern download ) knit with one skein of Moonshine.

 


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We love Swans Island Yarns and so do our customers, so when we decided to carry their Swans Island Organic Merino Ecowash Sport it was cause for celebration. Well, it’s finally arrived and now gracing our walls. What a sight to see and a wonder to touch.

   

To quote Beth here at the shop, “It’s as smooth as a baby’s ….” well you know. Beautifully hand-dyed in collaboration with Maine’s own Saco River Dyehouse. You’ll love the subtle shading variations, just exquisite. The stitch definition is fantastic. So let’s see, organic, super soft, gorgeous colors, great stitch definition. Could there be more to love? Why yes!

Swans Island EcoWash treatment produces machine washable wool in a more gentle process than tradition Superwash treatments. Instead of using chlorine to strip the wool scales and prevent felting, organic EcoWash leaves the scales on the fiber and coats it with a mild compound which enhances the wool fibers and prevents the fibers from felting. Simply a better process for everyone and everything.

So when it comes to getting the very best for your baby, look no further than Swans Island Organic EcoWash Sport. But don’t just think babies for this lovely yarn. It’s ideal for any pattern calling for a sport weight wool. Each 50 gm skein has 175 yds with an average gauge of 6.75 sts/in on US size 3 needle. Currently available in soft palette of colors, with deeper, rich colors arriving later this year.

Need a little inspiration? Check out Swans Island patterns designed just for Organic EcoWash Sport.

 


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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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

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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!

 

Be ready to measure any knitting gauge, anywhere, anytime with the Key Ring Knit Gauge . Keep on your key ring or tuck it in your knitting bag. It’s the cutest thing you ever did see.

   

Add a package of Stainless Removable Stitch Markers by Kelbourne Woolens to your next purchase. You’ll love these economical, lightweight, coil-less, easy to use stitch markers. Comes 10 to a packages. Sure to be appreciated by knitters and crocheters, but also a great product for weavers. Attach to your woven selvedge in even increments to easily and conveniently keep track of your yardage as you weave.

   

 


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PsstPly, The Magazine for Handspinners, has built a stellar reputation for being one of the highest quality magazines within the craft industry. It’s no wonder every new issue is eagerly anticipated. So without further hype, we’d like to announce the arrival of Ply - The Magazine for Handspinners -Worsted - Winter 2014 - Issue 7 . It’s every bit as good as its predecessors, so order your copy today.

   

This issue delves into all the ins and outs of worsted preparation, drafting and yarn creation. Packed with interesting articles on lock flicking, combs and combing, using hackles for color and texture, how to control your diameter and evenness, spinning from locks and for a gansey. The whys and wherefores of the Wensleydale sheep will have you eager to experiment with this long lustrous fiber. Worsted drafting is the topic of conversation in the ever popular “Hot Button” section. Carson Demers’ ergonomic tips will keep you spinning at your best. Oh the list goes on and on. So get your bookmark ready. The Worsted issue of Ply is another issue you’ll want to read front to back.

Remember Halcyon Yarn carries all available back issues of Ply, The Magazine for Handspinners. If you’re new to this fantastic magazine check out!

Psst… Order a few ounces of Wensleydale Longwool Top Ecru color 000 and you’ll be ready to experiment the moment you’re inspired.

   

 


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The Best of Handwoven Color - Technique Series - eBook Printed Copy is hot off the printer and getting multiple thumbs ups from staff and customers alike. Color is the number one topic about which weavers want to learn more. It’s no wonder. Most of us know which colors we like and dislike, but when it comes to choosing which colors work well together, it’s not so easy. In weaving the task of choosing colors becomes even more complicated when colors aren’t simply side by side, but intertwined in the woven structure. Knowing how colors work together is a skill developed through knowledge and practice.

   

This new printed ebook on color is packed with information that will help demystify the language of color for weavers. Couple the ebook with the Kangaroo Dyer's Colorgrid (such a handy tool for any fiber artist) and your color confidence will soar. The ebook includes several articles on color theory, as well as 12 projects that will put your new found color knowledge to the test. Projects include table linens, scarves and wraps.

   

Just a reminder, Halcyon Yarn is your exclusive source for “printed” versions of  all the popular Handwoven eBooks. They are printed in full color on acid-free coated stock, saddle-stitched and ready for immediate browsing and convenient posting next to your loom. Booklets focus on a specific yarn, weaving technique or type of project, providing several patterns from previously published Handwoven magazines, each with detailed instructions and illustrations.


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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:

What about limiting results to Silk, Mohair, Cashmere?

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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:

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Please do let us know what you think of Marsala, the yarn color tool, and what you plan to make.


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