Welcome back! I hope you are all staying warm out there on these frosty mornings. While the temperature outside is getting colder in Ohio, things are nice and toasty here in the mill as we continue to process over 20 pounds a day. The carder is back up and running after a couple days of battling technical issues, so we are working our way back into full production.
In last week's blog I mentioned a couple of events we have coming up in November; the Barn & Bunk Craft Show and the the Edgewood High School Craft Show. We will have booths at both of these Saturday events, so be sure to stop by and visit us! You can find out more information about both of these events here.
But since last week, we have added a new class to our agenda!
Yep! A Christmas Ornament Needle Felting Class!
Liz Worley is organizing this class, which I am super excited for it because its all about the basics of needle felting (a very versatile fiber skill.) Plus it gives you the opportunity to take something handmade home with you! In this case, cute little felted Christmas Ornaments like the ones in the photos above and below.
The class will be held here at The Yarn Barn @ Blessed Criations on Saturday December 2 (you have plenty of time to mark your calenders!) from 1pm to 3pm. All ages are encouraged to participate and have fun making ornaments and socializing with other crafters. The materials you need to create your ornaments, as well as refreshments, will be provided during the class. So bring your loved ones and come enjoy a day of craft making with us! Find more information and sign up for the class on our website or Facebook Page.
Also a reminder that we are still hosting our Yarn of the Month Club, and all are welcome to join in at any time! As a member of our Yarn of the Month Club program, you will receive a kit containing a surprise skein of yarn, a 100 yd. sample of complimentary color yarn, and a pattern, every month. There are no rules, no pressure to finish on time, just inspiration and encouragement for you to knit with us and finish a project every month! You can purchase a month, six-month, or year membership. To find out more info on our Yarn of the Month Club, check out the link right > here.
If you live in Southwest Ohio, our Open Craft Nights the second and fourth Thursday of every month, are a great way to connect with other local fiber enthusiasts. We are hosting Craft Nights from 6 PM to 8 PM. After tonight's meeting, we will meet again on November 9th, so bring those CHristmas gifts in the making and come make things with us!
Thanks so much for checking in! I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week, and the coming weekend. Stay warm out there, and as always ~keep crafting~
Stay tuned next week for more from us here at The Yarn Barn :)
Hello from The Yarn Barn!
Its been a while since I've done an update on the happenings here at our little shop and mill, so I'll take this opportunity to fill you in a little bit!
Our main focus in October has been powering through customer orders in the mill. With winter coming and fiber festival/craft fair season in full swing, this is our peak production time. We've all been helping out in the mill to keep things running quickly and smoothly, and despite a little trouble from the carder, things have been moving along well!
Since the Wool Gathering, there's been some down time in the store to start preparing for upcoming craft shows. So far, we have two weekend shows planned in November.
The first will be at the Barn-N-Bunk Christmas Open House on Saturday November 11, from 10 am to 4 pm, where we will be selling our yarn and hand crafted gifts and accessories. For more information about this event check out the Barn-N-Bunk website at www.barnnbunk.com/.
The following Saturday, November 18th, we'll be taking our goods to Edgewood High School for their 33rd annual craft show fundraiser. The craft show is hosting 200 booths this year and admission is only $1! Come check out our booth and support the local high school! We'll be there from 9am to 4pm. You can find out more information on our Facebook Event Page.
In preparation for these shows we've been building our inventory of knitted and crocheted accessories and working on a few new patterns. Emma's pattern for the Eclipse Scarf has been perfected and is finally available for purchase on our website as a downloadable PDF or paper copy here in the store.
Check out the online version here > Eclipse Scarf Pattern.
In between making wall hangings and working on blog posts ;) I've been working on a hat pattern using our new Nora yarn. I hope to have it available in time for the craft shows coming up, so stay tuned for that!
Liz has been very busy as well creating patterns and building our inventory of knitted and crocheted accessories for the holiday season. The Striped Fingerless Mitten Pattern and the Fabulous Fall Scarf Pattern (below) are both available on the website!
As far as inventory, we all know that Liz is constantly knitting and crocheting up a storm! She stopped by today to drop off some of her new creations, so I'll give you a little sneak peak of what kind of winter goodies we have stocking our shelves now. I paired together the pieces I thought were complimentary, but they certainly are just as lovely on their own!
This is just a sampling of what Liz has made for us, and she's working on even more projects as I write. Be sure to come see what gift ideas we have, either in the shop, online, or at one of the upcoming craft fairs!
As for Robbie and Carrie, they are, of course, the masterminds behind everything we do at The Yarn Barn. Thanks to Robbie, the mill is able to operate smoothly and with very little malfunctions. Carrie is what keeps everything together in terms of customer orders and organization. They are both constantly working hard to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. Without them, none of us would be here!
Last weekend Carrie celebrated her birthday, (so be sure to wish her a happy birthday when you see her) and Robbie got his first deer of the season, so be sure to congratulate him too!
Thanks for checking in with us, and stay tuned next week for more from us here at The Yarn Barn.
As always ~keep crafting~ and have a lovely week!
The other day when I was tidying up the store, I came across a surprisingly large amount of yarn scraps and ends lying around collecting dust from the mill. Refusing to throw them out, I set them aside in a little pile, noticing that all of the colors actually matched very well. I decided I needed to put these scraps to good artistic use, so I took them home and spent the day free-style weaving them into a wall hanging.
I was delighted at how simple, inexpensive, and satisfying this project was. Not to mention, it was a great way to use up random yarn scraps (which I know everyone has!!)
So if you are looking for something crafty to do on a rainy day, or a fun group activity, give this little project a try. I've put together a full tutorial and materials list you need to make your own! Keep reading below :)
To Get Started:
Step 1: Prepare the Warp
To get started, I prepared my materials by laying them out on a table (or floor) and mapping out which colors and textures I thought looked good together. You don't have to stick to this plan, but it's good to have an idea of where you'd like your design to go. I tried to separate the thicker materials with thinner ones to keep the weaving from getting too bulky.
Once you have a rough plan of your design, you can begin the "warping" process, which will untimately look like this:
The first step is to separate the inner ring from your embroidery hoop. Set aside the outer ring and tie your 5 yd. warping yarn onto the inner ring with a tight, secure knot.
Once the knot is secure, bring your yarn to the opposite side of the ring, pull it taught, and loop once around rim.
Bring the yarn across the ring again and loop around rim about an inch to the right of your starting knot. Then cross the yarn across the ring and loop again, one inch to the right of the first loop you made. Always make sure to pull the yarn as tight as you can to create a tight warp.
A star shape will start to form as you continue to cross the yarn and loop around the opposite rims, always moving an inch to the right as you go. If the middle of your star isn't perfectly centered, you can either adjust the strings to make it even, or leave it asymmetrical for an artsy effect. (Mine ended up a little off, but I decided I liked the uneven look.)
Once you've made your way around the ring and back to the starting knot, secure your yarn with another knot on the rim and trim the yarn. Place the outer ring back onto the hoop and tighten to keep the yarn from moving.
This will leave you with a base to weave your yarn scraps into.
Step 2: The Weaving Begins!
I know right now your warp might seem a little unorganized and intimidating, but once you start weaving, the strands will become more defined and the piece will start to come together.
Start by choosing the first yarn scrap that you want to use and make sure it is secure in the middle of the star either with a knot or a twist. Begin to weave the yarn, alternating under and over every strand. Since the strands aren't crossing perfectly, it might be a little difficult at first, but try to get under and over every other strand. This over/under technique is what creates a fabric.
When you get back to where you began the round, it's time to start a new round, this time weaving under all the "over" stitches of the last round and over all the "under" stitches. At this point you will start to see the strands become more defined. You can continue with the same yarn for as long as you like, alternating your "unders" and "overs" every round, until you want to switch to a new yarn. To switch yarns, cut the one you're using and either tie a new yarn onto it or leave a long tail to tuck in later.
As you weave, you want to make sure you're pushing your stitches in toward the center to eliminate gaps in the fabric. For this you can use a knitting needle, your finger, or any other small pointy object you have lying around.
Continue weaving and working your way outward from the center. Again the materials you use are entirely up to you. I like to alternate different weighted yarns to create texture. The brown yarn above is our super chunky core-spun yarn and its awesome for adding bulk and texture.
The more texture you add, the more you're wall hanging will pop and stand out. You can use fun yarns like boucle, brushed mohair, thick and thin, or fun fur to play around with different looks.
Step 3: Get Creative!
It's totally up to you how much you'd like to experiment with your weaving. As long as you follow the basic weaving techniques, you will end up with something beautiful. So if you are comfortable weaving stripes, then continue on that way. If you'd like to experiment, feel free to try out new things! The photos below show some of the patterns I tested on my wall hanging.
I started straying away from the basic stripes and began constructing a section with roving. Weaving sections is very easy, you just start a new round and weave as normal, but instead of doing a whole round, you pick a point where you want to turn your work and start going back the way you came, making sure to do the opposite "under" "over" pattern than the last row.
Adding an extra section can change the shape of the work and also give it some asymmetry. Tying roving ends around a couple of the strands and trimming them to make little bows (above left photo) is another simple way to add flair to your work.
You can also play around with different colors to change the look of your weaving. I wanted to keep my wall hanging pretty light so I used mostly white, light gray, and soft pink yarns, but contrasted those colors with pops of darker tones to add some dimension.
At this point, I got a little ambitious and tried some knotting. I'm not even sure what kind of knots these would classify as, but they actually made some cool little pockets to weave yellow roving into. You don't have to know what you're doing to make interesting designs. Just try experimenting and if something doesn't look good, take it out and try again!
Step 4: Finishing Your Work
There's no "right" place to end your work. If you're like me and like the way the strands look peeking out, then you can finish before you get to the edge. However, it's completely up to you where you'd like to stop and tie off.
[ Design Idea: If you decide to leave some empty space between your work and the rim, try weaving bird feathers or dried herbs into the strands for a more natural look ]
To finish your work, cut off the yarn you're working with and tie a secure knot onto a strand, leaving a long enough tail to weave into the back of the work. Find any tails and loose ends that you may have left while you were working, and weave them into the fabric making sure they don't show through on the front of the work.
After all tails are tucked in, take a final look at your work to see if there are any adjustments that need to be made.
Once you're happy with the way the wall hanging looks, just tie a little string of yarn onto the rim or adjustment screw of the embroidery hook and you're ready to hang your artwork or give it to someone as a gift!
Thank you for crafting with me! Hopefully this will inspire you to use up all of those pesky yarn scraps you have at home. If you decide to make one of these wall hangings, be sure to send us pictures on our Facebook page or by email so we can see and share them! Also if you have any questions or need help with any aspect of this project, please ask and we will get right back to you!
Thanks again and enjoy your week! Stay tuned next Thursday for more updates and ideas from The Yarn Barn! As always ~keep crafting~
Fall foliage may not be at its peak yet here in Ohio, but I am certainly ready to start celebrating my favorite time of year. Each year around this time, I am (without fail) filled with the urge to take country drives and visit every coffee shop I can find. On these fall trips, I plan out knitting projects and Christmas gift ideas that I want to work on once it's too cold to leave the house (Coincidentally, this weather makes me want to do nothing but knit!)
So in my search for knitting patterns, I decided that I would share some of my favorite patterns that I've found, in hopes that you will find some crafting projects to last you through winter :)
Most of the patterns I found were free, either from Ravelry or Knitty, and I've included both knitting and crochet patterns, so enjoy and be sure to check out the links to the patterns :)
Patterns for the Home
With Halloween just around the corner and the holiday season not far behind, here's some cute ideas to decorate your home and your loved ones homes for the holidays. These are quick, inexpensive projects that can be loved by everyone! To access the patterns, just click on the photos you are interested in and they'll take you right there.
Cute and Quick Gift Ideas
I love hand-making all of my Christmas gifts, and sometimes I just need something small to give. Here's a few of my favorite little gift ideas that I would make for nieces, friends, or coworkers.
I don't know a single person who doesn't enjoy receiving a hand knit scarf as a gift. Here's a few simple ideas, and you can always change up the colors of these to make them unisex!
My favorite accessories are those that look sophisticated but are actually very quick and easy to make. Here's a few free patterns that I think fit the bill perfectly!
Similar to accessories, I'm a fan of simple yet sophisticated sweater designs. I don't think it takes a lot of fancy stitches or colors to make a statement, and these sweater patterns, though simple, pack a lot of personality.
Well there you go! Hopefully these designs helped you plan some fall crafts or at least inspired you to break out the needles and start researching some projects you want to start. Stay tuned next week, I will be talking about ways to use yarn without needles!
Thanks for reading and ~keep crafting~ Talk to you next week!