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Halcyon Yarn News, Notes, & etc.

Ahh, March is national craft month, the perfect reason to take a class and learn something new.  Here in Maine it’s almost mud season  – too yucky to garden or play outside  – so play inside with Halcyon Yarn.  The bottom line is it’s a great time to learn something new and inspiring and Halcyon Yarn is the best place for learning all things fibery.
Indigo Dyeing for Fiber Artists
Indigo Dyeing for Fiber Artists with dye maven Jackie Ottino Graf on Saturday, March 28 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm is an opportunity to learn from the creative color force behind the artisanal dyeing at Swans Island Company.
Spend the day being inspired by the intriguing world of indigo. You’ll learn the basics from start to finish of indigo dyeing using powdered indigo and stock solutions.  This method is the commonly used method of production indigo dyers and avoids the unpleasant aspects of indigo dyeing.  Learn to make a concentrated solution,”read your vat”, layer your indigo colors to make different shades of beautiful blues, and over dye other colors to make even more colors and shades.  (If you are registered for the Natural Dyeing class the day before you might want to over dye some of these colors).
We can assure you creativity will abound. Bring 1 pound of clean yarn, unspun fibers, fabric or a combination of all to ‘play’ in the vat.  It’s a perfect opportunity to cull your fiber stash and transform “old” into “new again”. Create plenty of samples for reference and plenty to try in new fiber projects.  Learn all about indigo dyeing without the hassle of doing it all by yourself.
There’s nothing quite like the fun of felting. Join Marianne Dubois on Saturday April 4th from 10am-2pm for Fabulous Felted Jewelry. Learn to make brilliant jewelry from merino wool. This fast paced class takes you from beads and baubles to bracelets, necklaces and beyond. The versatility of felt is as unlimited as your imagination when it comes to wearable art. From sophisticated to silly, you’ll adore your new adornments! Suitable for ages 11 and up, beginners and beyond.
Call to register, 207-442-7909 or 1-800-341-0282 or go to the website www.halcyonyarn.com/classes.
Halcyon Yarn is the your source for fiber classes of all kinds. Be sure to check out our website www.halcyonyarn.com for the latest spring offerings.



Yes, spring is coming and Weave Share is back! Calling all weavers:  floor loom weavers, rigid heddle weavers, inkle weavers, tapestry weavers, card weavers, backstrap weavers, basket weavers – have I forgotten any weavers? Come share your weaving or just your knowledge.

The first meeting of 2015 is next Wednesday, March 18th, from 6-8pm in our Halcyon Yarn 3rd floor classroom. The group will continue to meet the third Wednesday of each month – same time, same place. ALL ARE WELCOME, regardless of ability!  It’s a fun time to meet other weavers, share tips and ideas and generally converse with like minded folks.

Hope to see you on the 18th!



Mad Horse Theater Company in S. Portland is premiering “Alligator Road” by Maine playwright Callie Kimball. With local themes and twists that are sure to delight fiber lovers – this is performance you’ll want to catch!





Back in January we touted the arrival of Swans Island Organic Merino Ecowash Sport. Our first installment had us fawning over a pastel palette of gorgeous, buttery, soft yarn.  Now, the second installment of deep, rich colors has hit our walls. Just gorgeous… Suffice to say there’s a color for everyone now.

In our initial post we highlighted Swans Island patterns designed specifically for the Organic Merino Ecowash Sport. You might also consider…


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Fitzgerald Cardigan - FlyWHEEL PatternFlywheel Yarn by Harrisville Designs color 945 (YFS945Farwell)

Shortly after we finished hanging the last skein of Harrisville’s new Flywheel Yarn by Harrisville Designs, a bundle of new patterns arrived. It wasn’t long before chatter ensued amongst the staff here at Halcyon Yarn as to which pattern each of us was going to make and more importantly which of the gorgeous heathered colors did we each favor. There’s nothing like new yarns and new patterns to raise the excitement level at a yarn shop. I, myself, am partial to the Fitzgerald Cardigan – FlyWHEEL Pattern and the color farwell, Flywheel Yarn by Harrisville Designs color 945 (YFS945Farwell). How about you?

Designed exclusively for flyWHEEL, this collection of stylish patterns has a little something for everyone. Choose from two super cute cardigans, a hat, a cowl, a scarf/shawl, mitts and a child’s vest!

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We’ve just added the Lacis Yarn Ball Winder - In-Line. It’s a great addition to our extensive selection of fiber arts equipment. The unique in-line design with moving guide and large spindle base allows you to effortlessly wind your yarn into a coreless center pull ball without any chance of your yarn tangling or getting caught in moving parts. Will wind up to a 1/4 lb ball. Easily clamps onto a table.

Pair the In-line Ball Winder with a swift for optimal yarn management. Consider the Economy Yarn Winding Combo - Swift and Ball Winder Set. When purchased as a set you’ll save over $9. It’s a great value.

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Whether young or old, every gal can use a little sparkle now and then. With that thought in mind Barbara designed A Bit of Sparkle Evening Bag using Gatsby from Katia. This quick to knit bag will glam up an evening look in no time.  Just the right size to carry your essentials for a night out, or take it anywhere for hands-free ease and a little pizzazz. A great gift…or treat yourself to some sparkle! It takes just 2 balls and the pattern is FREE when you order the yarn.

So remember, Gatsby hits the spot when you need a little glitz in your knitting, crocheting and weaving. This smooth blend of viscose, polyamide and metallic polyester works up into a glittering fabric with a bit of stretch and a whole lot of fun.  Surprisingly soft and elegant in six rich colors you have to see to believe!

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Natural Dyeing for BeginnersIndigo Dyeing for Fiber Artists

Who said there’s nothing to do in the winter in Maine? Halcyon Yarn’s classroom has been humming with activity.  Let’s see… in January nationally known rug puncher extraordinaire, Meg Little, lead a 3 day all inspiring, show stopping class! The ever popular, Denice Sharp, has been continually educating spinners and knitters with stellar instruction. The wildly popular Locker Hooking class with Susan Watson was bursting at the seams with folks on the wait list hoping to attend. So join the crowd, get out and come take a class at Halcyon Yarn. You’ll be glad you did!

Learn to tat using the shuttle method with international award winning tatter Elaine O’Donal of Tatted Webs. Beginning Tatting is scheduled Friday and Saturday, February 20 & 21. In this class you will learn everything you need to know to get started tatting from the basic tatting stitch to reading a pattern to how to finish your work. Tatting is a fun, different craft and is easy to carry around with you.

Spinning Revisited with Denice Sharp on Saturday, February 21st filled so quickly we added another session on Thursday March 5th from 10am-4pm. This is a great class to help you get started spinning again without fear. Denice will cover the workings of your wheel, treadle control and fiber properties. It’s everything you need to get back into spinning. Sign up quickly. We only have 2 spots left in this second session.

Join Jackie Ottino Graf on Friday, March 27th for Natural Dyeing for Beginners. The class will cover dye history, fiber preparation, mordant selection, and the making of dyes from natural materials looking at both ‘humble’ dyes made from garden plants, weeds, and foraged materials as well as ‘exotic’ dyes such as minerals, insects and other sources not locally available. Jackie will also cover how to use commercially available pre-made dye extracts. A great start for working with natural dyes.

Jackie Ottino Graf will be back on Saturday March 28th to teach Indigo Dyeing for Fiber Artists. Dyeing with Indigo has a long history, dating back to at least 2500 BC. There are many methods and techniques for using indigo. The method commonly used by production indigo dyers involves making a stock solution from powdered indigo. Learn how to make a concentrated stock and use it to add beautiful layers of blues to your fibers! We will cover proper procedure for working with indigo, making stocks, how to “read” a vat and adjust it for proper dyeing conditions.

There are many other classes too! All are listed on the Halcyon Yarn web site class listings page, so check them out. Preregistration is necessary to reserve a place in class. Hurry – you don’t want to miss out.

Please don’t hesitate to call for more information (1-800-341-0282 or 207-442-7909). New classes are added all the time so check back often.

Don’t see just the class you want to take? No problem. Halcyon Yarn offers private lessons too. Give us a call  (1-800-341-0282 or 207-442-7909) and let us set up a class just for you.

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