by: Kate Comaskey

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It’s still sunny and warm in Maine, but those crisp hints of fall are making an appearance. Help us celebrate this Back-To-School season with a 10% discount off everything! Time to try some felted kits and other projects? New fibers? Get a loom?!

It’s our way of making the transition back a bit easier and adding some creativity to your fall routine. We’d especially like to say thank you to those who make the fiber arts a part of the classroom. Whether it is through arts and crafts projects, felted figures, or knitted blankets that you might cuddle up with in a reading (or knitting) nook, fiber arts for students are a great addition. But this sale is open to all – grab some great supplies and share the warm fuzzy fun!

Now, whether you teach or not, it’s important to have something just for you. Teachers, be sure to get a lil somethin’ to work on that has nothing to do with writing lesson plans… For those without a classroom, now that the kids or grandkids are back in school and things are suddenly bit quieter around the house – it’s time for a project!

Maybe (like me) autumn is your favorite time of year and you want to celebrate with something different and new… Or maybe you want to distract yourself from the fact that certain seasons beyond fall do, in fact, exist (I’m looking at you, winter). Check out some of our favorites, or see where the autumn wind takes you!

My favorite? These kits get me every time:

Some more great kid-friendly supplies:

 

P.S. Attention all educators: Keep an eye out this winter for some new ways we’ll be helping you bring the fiber arts into your classrooms!

*Code details: Valid through Monday, Sept 5th, 11:59:00pm EST, excludes gift certificates, special orders, and bulk price three items.

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Why am I smiling? My new hooded scarf knitting pattern – with pockets – is here! Check out my video for some tips and and tricks for the Gimme Shelter - Hooded Scarf with Pockets Download.

It might not seem possible right now, but soon enough it’s gonna be winter. Especially here in the Northeast, where our summers are always so very short and sweet, we don’t really like to be reminded of the whole winter thing.

I can’t speak for every knitter out there, but I can look forward to the impending cold a lot more cheerfully when I have fun projects to stitch up. My wish list is constantly being added to and I never seem to make a dent in it. Today, though, I can proudly cross off an item that I’ve been “hank”-ering to make for some time now:  A big, snuggly hooded scarf!

I’m not exaggerating – I have wanted to make a Little Red Riding Hood scarf since my early teens. Nothing is more appealing to me than the idea of wrapping a bunch of soft, warm fabric around my head and shoulders and hunkering down into my homemade turtle shell. What always deterred me from making my own, however, was that I didn’t ever want to tackle the hood shaping. That, and the fact that I was a teenager and didn’t have the patience to spend any length of time working on one solitary project.

Well, I’ve come a long way since I was a teenager (much to my parents’ relief). At the request from my lovely coworker Kate, I decided to finally tackle the elusive hooded scarf project. We grabbed our picnic basket and skipped down to the store, full of excitement at the thought of all the yarn possibilities. After spending a long time browsing shelves upon shelves of potential colors and fibers (have you ever been to Halcyon Yarn?  It’s very big!), we landed on the Halcyon Signature Victorian Boucle Yarn.  It has such a lovely drape when knitted up, and despite the mohair it is surprisingly silky – not itchy like you might expect. And because of that mohair, it is wonderfully warm and lightweight.  I immediately dove for the most “Red Riding Hood” red I could find (our color 3560), and it was decided.

 

 

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In designing this piece, I wanted the scarf and the hood to really be continuous. So, the hood is actually fashioned after the scarf is complete. It seems like cheating but it totally works! You just fold the scarf in half (with the narrow ends together) and put a small seam from the center fold down one side, about 12.5” long. The center fold is the part that will sit on your noggin and the seam will be in the back, thus closing up and creating the hood. This makes the scarf wearable with the hood down, as this style of hood won’t be clunky and hang below the rest of the scarf with it’s pushed back.

But wait, there’s more – pockets! Who doesn’t love pockets?  These are done the easy way too, in a manner that I like to think the teenage me would approve of. Once the scarf is complete, you fold about 9” of each end up and stitch the side seams, creating a little pouch on each side. Whether you use them to store snowballs or just to keep your hands warm, I think these pockets add just enough detail to give the scarf some dimension and structure.

There you have it – a modern, fun and easy accessory that makes a great gift for yourself or a loved one. When winter storms are threatening, warmth and style are just a hooded scarf away.

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Get ready for Fall, yes it’s coming, with the always-just-right The Wonderful Wallaby: A Hooded Sweater for All Ages.  The Wonderful Wallaby is written in sizes for entire family beginning with size child size 2 all the way up to adult 2XL.  The roomy fit, hood and hand “pouch” keep you cozy make it the perfect grab and go layer for outdoor festivities and chilly nights. Seamless construction is always a bonus. The Wonderful Wallaby is knit from the bottom up, the sleeves are knit up from the cuff, it all comes together at the yoke and finishes with the hood. Detailed instruction makes the “pouch” a breeze. All sizes call for worsted weight yarn, shown in our Signature Botanica Yarn on Gracious in a size 8.  Casco Bay Cotton Worsted * 630 yds/lb. Yarn and Plymouth Encore Worsted Yarn are both easy care, machine washable options.

 

 

 

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Fall fiber arts magazines are arriving and there’s something for everyone!


 

Vogue Knitting Fall 2016 is a gentle transition into Fall featuring designs in shades of blush and coral for her, and sophisticated accessories for him. Settle in with a colorwork project like this stunning Fair Isle Ruana wrap or start small with the hat shown on the cover. This issue is packed with twenty-four projects, as well as articles honoring the history of Shetland Knitting, and the important role of wool in Viking culture.

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Rug Hooking Magazine Sept/Oct 2016 includes a call for entries for their Celebration of Hand Hooked Rugs 27.  Enter your best rug completed in 2015/2016 for consideration, deadline for entries is Nov 30, 2016 and Celebration 27 will be published in August 2017. Try your hand at sculpting topiaries with your wool strips – a great way to upcycle!  “Tackling Tessellations” explores techniques for designing with repeating shapes and patterns. Shelley Lencioni’s design “Ottoman Tulip” is the featured pull-out pattern.

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The latest issue of the Scandinavian Weaving Magazine    is all about tapestry weaving.  An artist profile of Gunilla “Nillan” Holmgren delves into her creative process of painting, sketching and hand dyeing materials for her tapestries. Studio profiles include Dovecot Studios and The Studio at HV, and corduroy is the featured Weave School textile. Add this stunning issue of VAV to your weaving collection.

P.S. If you’re interested in tapestry weaving, look for wonderful tapestry weaving classes here at Halcyon Yarn early in 2017. Dates are TBD, so check our calendar later this fall as we prepare to share into some terrific tapestry techniques!

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Spin Off Fall 2016 is all about spindles this time around – techniques, tips & tricks. Engage with featured articles on spindle spinning in Turkey, spinning on a tiny takli spindle, the fascinating bead whorl spindle, the oh so fun kick spindle, rare and exotic wood spindles plus spindles & the 3D printer. Also included are the fine points of spinning angora, a focus on Bluefaced Leicester Crossbred Wool, and Gotlands Journey to the United States.


 

Get ready to celebrate with Handwoven Sept/Oct 2016. Weave gifts and decor for any occasion. Projects include a festive table runner, friendship towels, a patriotic blanket, ninja star wedding runner, “shalom” tallit, hugs & kisses clutch, mardi gras table runner, starry sky placemats and hail to the hostess bottle bags. This great selection of projects will keep you happily weaving all season long.


 

Browse our stock of back issues as well!

 

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It’s just like Christmas each time a new batch of Pulled Sari Silk Fiber, 1/4 lb bag color 0000 arrives. Every box unveils silky fibers galore in an array of colors. We never know what to expect. What fun! This time around we have a subtle fiber base reminiscent of pinky, gray granite in which a whole host of other colors are intermixed. It’s sometimes tricky to envision just how these fibers will play out in different mediums so we’ve done a bit of experimenting. Take a look, see what you think, and then get creating. Need a little incentive? Pulled Sari Silk Fiber is on sale, regularly $8.75, NOW $6.75 per 1/4 lb bag. Remember, fiber doesn’t spoil so grab a bag or two to put away for a rainy day of playing with silk.

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We carded the Pulled Sari Silk Fiber with black, grey and white wool, spun a few yards, then knit tiny swatches. Those of you familiar with Peace Fleece Yarn will see similarities. A great yarn for cool weather accessories like hats, mitts, scarves and cowls. Up next… felting. A fine layer of silk on the outer layer of balls and beads produces wonderful results. How perfect for felted jewelry. My favorite felt sample is a thin layer of silk on top of magenta wool. I see gorgeous felted bags and hats in the future. Now that we’ve got you started, what will you create?

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Does your feline companion deserve a little something special?  Whip up a catnip toy with the Maine-Ayuh! Catnip Mouse Kit.  Each kits contains Bartlett wool yarn (from Maine), pattern, needles, tapestry needle, wool stuffing and catnip for one mouse toy.  The finished toy measures approximately 4.5″ in body length and the main color will vary in each kit.  Catnip Mouse Kit is packaged in a nifty cheese wedge box, the perfect presentation for gift giving.  It’s not too early to think “stocking stuffers”!

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Don’t worry animal lovers it’s not all about cats, check out these other pet and animal related items and projects:

 

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Weaving with feeling

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There is so much to love in this article about the Weaving Center, in Hartford, CT. The Weaving Center is a non-profit devoted to providing space, looms, education and camaraderie centered around weaving. Programming is particularly focused on teaching weaving to people with low or no vision, as well as those 55 and older, but also has programs for children and the broader community. For those who commit to regular participation, the Weaving Center provides looms, materials and instruction free of charge. The Journal Inquirer quotes one participant, “This is my favorite place in the world”… Sounds like it to us!

5000 years of weaving under one roof

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We came across a wonderful interview in Peru This Week with the CEO of the Amano Museum. What follows is enough to inspire ticket purchase to Lima. Mario Amano is the inheritor and CEO of a private museum that has been visited by US presidents and Japanese Emperors, and with good reason. Through the lens of weaving, the museum provides a window into pre-Columbian history and culture of Peru and beyond. For those of us in the grips of fiber-arts obsession, it’s kinda cool to have stories like this trigger such an immediate connection and to be a part of such an enduring art!

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Juniper Moon Farm Herriot Fine Yarn is every fiber lover’s dream, combining alpaca’s undeniable softness with added durability from nylon. To make it even more enticing we’re offering a sale price of $19.75* now through Thursday, August 25th (regular price $21.95). Herriot Fine is 461 yards of fingering weight bliss, 75% alpaca and 25% nylon. Create luxurious socks, shawls, sweaters and accessories. Weavers: Herriot Fine is suitable for both warp and weft with a tabby sett 10-12, twill sett 12-15.

 

Suggested projects:

Wrap up in Herriot Fine,  Heirloom Lace Cashmere Wrap (download version) requires 2 skeins and the pattern and is FREE with the yarn purchase (make sure to add it to your cart). Double strand one skein for Cashmere Cowl with a Twist (download version), another FREE pattern with yarn purchase. Alpaca socks? Yes please!   Classic Socks - Yankee Knitter (or as download).

 

Are you a bookworm – these titles will have you knitting Herriot Fine over and over!   Sock-Yarn Accessories - 20 Knitted Designs with Style and Savvy, Sock - Yarn Shawls, Sock-Yarn Shawls II - 16 Patterns for Lace Knitting

 

Plus, keep your eyes out for more patterns coming soon!

There’s endless possibilities with Herriot Fine, so stock up now for holiday knitting at the sale price $19.75* now through August 25th.

*no additional discounts apply, price expires August 25 11:59pm EST

 

 

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