Posts filed under ‘Ravelry’
Does February feel slower to you? We’re not running around for the holiday season anymore and depending on the weather in your area you might be experiencing a touch of cabin fever, having to stay inside to avoid the bitter cold and snow. What can you do to keep those creative juices flowing? We’ll turn to the Winter Olympics for a bit of inspiration!
- The Ravellenic Games are a virtual “competition” to work on projects that are a personal challenge for you!
- Work from the comfort of your own home – connect with others on Ravelry.
- During the Olympic Games (Feb.7 – Feb. 23., 2014) Spin, Weave, Knit or Crochet!
- Continue the momentum after the Games end: make your own challenge to follow March Madness or practice for this year’s Spinzilla event!
Have you woven lace yet? The Atwater Bronson Lace Scarves uses our best selling Bambu 12 yarn, in 4 seasonal color combinations. The interesting texture and warp floats are created by using 8-shaft weaving. When we look at this we are reminded of Pantone’s 2014 colors, so trendy!
We’re here to cheer you on! You can spin cotton, weave cotton, knit and crochet with cotton and have fabulous results! If you have a project you’re proud of let us know – share a link to your blog in the comments here or post to our Facebook page!
It’s almost time! In just a couple short days, spinners from across the country will jump into a fast and furious week of fiber fun as Spinzilla’s spinning week takes off. Team Cotton Clouds is about 25 members strong and represents spinners from 12 different states!
Our team members range from cotton spinning novices to tried and true expert spinners, and we love how much information is being shared in our official Spinzilla Ravelry thread. We can’t wait to see how people “spin without limits”!
If you’re new to spinning cotton, here are 7 of our favorite things to remember about cotton spinning:
- Cotton is short stapled–ranging from 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches.
- Cotton wants to be a fine lacy yarn so spin it thin and ply as needed.
- Cotton does not have the rebound of wool. It compresses easily which means the less handling the better. Hold cotton with a light touch.
- Cotton adheres to itself very easily so drafting a fine yarn is effortless.
- Cotton needs a lot of twist to hold together as a usable yarn.
- Cotton is almost impossible to over twist–good news for beginners that tend to over twist their handspun.
- Sit back and relax while spinning cotton. It loves you to flow with it!
You can find lots more handy tips, tricks, and insider know-how on our website, where we’ve gathered up our favorite links into one handy page.
Prefer a video? Try the short video below from our YouTube channel for tips on how to spin cotton on a wheel (you’ll also get to meet Irene’s cat!):
With all this frantic spinning about to begin, it’s important to remember to take good care of your body. And kind of repetitive action can lead to stress, so you should make sure to treat yourself right all week! We found a useful post on Liat Gat’s Knit Freedom blog, and though it’s about stretches for knitting, we think it applies to spinning too.
If you have limited time, try a simple forearm stretch:
- Make sure you don’t have on any hand lotion that might make your arm slippery.
- Unlike most massage techniques, you want the skin to “grab,” not slide.
- Grasp your left forearm with your right hand. Squeeze just tight enough to prevent your skin from slipping, and push down towards your wrist.
- Note: If your right hand is too sore or weak to get a good grip, you can stabilize your left forearm between your legs (still hold onto the fascia with your right hand) and pull your left arm towards you.
- Maintaining your hand grip, now push your hand towards your elbow. Your skin (and fascia) will move, about an inch. That’s how much room your fascia have.
- Work down your forearm (just a few places will do), holding each stretch for 90 seconds.
If you have more time, try the full set of 5 fascia stretches from Liat’s blog post and you’ll stay nice and limber.
With that, let the Spinzilla rumpus begin! Be sure to share you photos during Spinning and Weaving Week in our Spinzilla Rav thread so we can stay inspired along the way. I wonder how many miles of yarn we can make!
Spinzilla is a community-wide challenge to see who can spin the most yarn during Spinning and Weaving Week (October 7-13, 2013).
We’ll be spinning up a storm with Team Cotton Clouds, and we’d love to have you join us!
- Who: Team Cotton Clouds
- What: Spinzilla 2013
- When to register: Register between now and September 23.
- When to spin: Spin, spin, spin during Spinning and Weaving Week, from October 7-13.
- Where: Wherever you want! Get creative and try to fit spinning into your routine as much as possible!
- Why: Why not?! Can we make enough yarn to reach from one side of the U.S. to the other? Maybe around the globe, or even to the moon?
How Do I Join A Team?
Joining a team is easy. Simply click here to visit the TNNA website to sign up anytime between now and September 23rd. We hope you’ll join our team!
Though you can spin any type of fiber you’d like, our goal is to make Team Cotton Clouds the place for cotton during Spinzilla. We’ll be sharing cotton spinning tips and tricks, giving away cotton fiber and other goodies, and having a whole lot of fun along the way!
You can keep up on the action in a variety of ways. Each team has:
- An official Ravelry thread in the Spinzilla group where we can talk and share photos.
- A board on the Spinzilla Pinterest account
- An official hashtag (ours is #teamcottonclouds) to coordinate the discussion on other social media channels.
- We’ll also be sharing group photos and other fun on our Facebook page.
There’s a $10 registration fee to join Spinzilla, and all of the funds raised go toward starting a spinning program as part of the National Needlearts Mentoring Program (NAMP).
How Is The Winner Determined?
During Spinning and Weaving Week, participants will share photos of their spinning and submit their yardage to their team captain. At the end of the week, each captain (ours is the wonderful Connie Peterson) will calculate their team’s yardage and submit their spinning results, and the inaugural Spinzilla winning team will be crowned and inherit the Spinzilla trophy along with bragging rights for the next year. Can Team Cotton Clouds take the prize? We sure hope so!
In addition to the official Spinzilla prizes, we’ll be giving away goodies throughout Spinzilla. If you’re part of our team, you could win:
- A $25 Cotton Clouds gift certificate
- A package of our hand-dyed cotton sliver
- A brand new copy of Hand Spinning Cotton by Harry & Olive Linder. This book is currently VERY expensive and hard to find because it’s out of print, but Cotton Clouds will be re-printing it so a new generation can appreciate this fabulous resource!
Stay tuned for more info about Spinzilla, team Cotton Clouds, and all the activities we have planned. Whether or not you join our team, we hope you’ll join in the fun during this exciting week!
Rigid heddle weaving has been gaining in popularity recently, and we couldn’t be more excited! The rigid-heddle loom is a great entry point into the world of weaving. These little looms are portable, relatively inexpensive, and offer you the flexibility of being able to try out a large amount of weaving projects and techniques without the investment of a larger loom.
Even if you’ve never touched a loom before, Craftsy’s Rigid Heddle Weaving class with Angela Tong will have you creating new projects in no time. Once you’ve caught the weaving bug, there’s a whole new world of projects and inspiration to explore!
CHOOSING A LOOM
The increase in interest in rigid-heddle weaving means that shoppers have more options than ever before when it comes to purchasing a loom. You can choose from several sizes, different features, and many other options to get the loom that best suits your projects and lifestyle.
- Schacht’s FLIP Loom comes with an optional stand and folds quickly for storage or transport. This loom has been specifically designed to allow for two-heddle usage for more intricate projects, and the optional FLIP Trap can attach to hold all of your tools for easy access. The FLIP is available in 15″, 20″, and 25″ widths, with reeds varying from 5-12 dpi.
- For smaller projects, the Sample It loom from Ashford has an 8″ weaving width and weighs only 2.5 lbs. This loom is perfect for experimenting with different colors and techniques, weaving small blocks for modular projects, or creating scarves or narrow runners. It comes with a 7.5 dpi reed, but reeds from 5-12.5 dpi are also available.
- Another smaller loom, the Schacht Cricket is available in either a 10″ or 15″ weaving width. Both Cricket looms weigh under 5 lbs, so you can still make a variety of projects without sacrificing portability. Their size and ease of use means that they’re also great for kids to use! The Cricket comes with two balls of yarn and reed sizes vary from 8-12 dpi.
Planning your color choices and picking out yarn might be one of the most exciting parts of a new project. Luckily, there’s a wealth of great yarn perfectly suited for use with a rigid heddle loom. Your pattern will suggest appropriate yarn for a project, but there are several great yarns that work in a wide range of projects and are easy to substitute. You can even double a finer yarn in both warp and weft with great results. Here are our favorites:
More and more great patterns are being released as rigid heddle weaving gains in popularity. From beginner to advanced weaver, there are plenty of options to stretch your imagination and keep you inspired.
For beginners, our Rigid Heddle Studio Special is the perfect complete package. It includes a 15″ Cricket Loom, the Slots and Holes DVD, a copy of Weaving Made Easy, and the Complete Table Setting kit. We have free shipping on this Studio Special until May 31st! You can also explore our whole collection of rigid heddle kits for even more patterns to try – each one contains the yarn and instructions you’ll need for a great project!
Once you’ve mastered the basics, try one of Interweave’s Best of Handwoven e-books. The Rigid Heddle Pattern Book #1 and new Rigid Heddle Pattern Book #2 will teach you how to create leno designs, borders with warp-float stripes, eyelash-pile fabrics, Bronson lace, petit-point with a supplementary weft, and more. Our Rigid Heddle Kit of the Month Club will provide you with all the yarn you need to make the projects from Pattern Book #1, and you get free shipping! For even more pattern inspiration, try Interweave’s Rigid Heddle Ultimate Collection. It includes both Best of Handwoven e-books, as well as The Weaver’s Idea Ebook and Weaving On A Rigid Heddle Loom workshop video by Jane Patrick, and Liz Gipson’s Slots and Holes DVD.
We truly love the rigid heddle loom, and we hope you do too! To help get you started (or expand your knowledge if you’re already weaving), we’re giving away a copy of Weaving Made Easy AND a copy of the Slots and Holes DVD in our Ravelry group. Head on over to enter – we’ll announce the winners on June 15th!