Workshopping in the USA

Workshopping in the USA

My first post from my first visit to the US about my first US workshop 🙂 I have to say right off that this is going to be one of those gushy ‘everything is amazing’ posts, because it really is amazing! We landed  in Washington DC, and were scooped up by the lovely Arlene, and after all our weekly Skype sessions and our collaboration over the past year on the FiberyGoodness development, it was the best thing ever to be finally sharing the same space and the extra ease that comes with actual proximity rather than virtual. We travelled up to Pam’s farm in Oxford Connecticut, my first US roadtrip, which you can read about soon on the Fiberygoodness blog (complete with Dunkin Donuts and waffles with chipped beef..) Needless to say, it was an epic trip and the warmest of welcomes at Pams LOGHOUSE – yes a real loghouse! Complete with a porch among the treetops (it was like being in a treehouse!) which was decked with Zen making wind chimes and, by Saturday morning, women with wheels and lots of yummy fiber. And the workshop. It was a bit of a squeeze to start with, but after I did some talky stuff and explained our plan for the day, we were able to spread out again. The goal was that everyone would try some multiple plying, taking some risks and playing around with putting singles together in different ways.   The porch was well used, Nicole watched by the (not real) sheep and the table out there used to demo some hackle blending too. Some amazing yarns were created, and one of the highlights was seeing Ashly master the Silk Wrapping Shelob technique and create this beautiful yarn. She added in those amazing golden silk cocoons using the ‘Wrap and Trap’ method that I figured out can work so well with the strong silk fibers, I hadnt thought of adding in actual cocoons so this was an inspiration for me too, they looked all gold and luxury texture in the yarn, really cool! I think that for me, the best best part of the day was meeting so many wonderful people, most of whom I knew already from Facebook, and/or had exchanged messages with, and I’ve been following their photos and yarn adventures. There were some Golden Fleece students there too and I feel like I really made some good friends and connections, and seeing some of the Golden Fleece yarns ‘for real’ was just awesome,  I left with a very special gift from Marti that really touched me, a ‘friendship’ yarn that gives an even greater connection between absent friends when distance parts us. There were...

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Woolwench Neckwear Tutorial

Woolwench Neckwear Tutorial

This week I am excited to finally be able to bring you the woven Neckwear Tutorial for use on the Majacraft Circular loom! I have been working on this for months, and just shared it with the wonderful participants at the SWAY art yarn guild Festival in Florida, where some really amazing pieces were created using this technique. The secret? Is in the warping! This is a method that was prompted way back when we had just made the very first prototype of this loom at the Majacraft mothership in Tauranga. We were sitting on the porch and putting  warp on it and Andy suggested making a hole in the middle by using a loop. So of course I had to try this out 🙂 My first one was quite simple, and I embellished it with some Dr Who Gallafreyen text.. I found out that this was a fun way to warp the loom, and I tried a few variations on it until I found the one that I have used in the tutorial, which to me seems the simplest and it also creates some nice weaving possibilities for both thick yarns and finer threads. Making the ‘hole’ in the middle of the circle weave was the key. Its just a short hop from there, to making something you can wear around your neck, simply by not continuing to weave around and around but making an opening by turning the weaving and going back in the other direction! These can be made lacey and delicate, with beads, shells, pearls.. Or they can be made thicker and more wooly and warm for a really bold statement! I am really really excited about being finally able to make the tutorial available! I had been saving it as a special treat for the SWAY weekend participants, with the plan for releasing it here on by website at the same time. I cant wait to see what people start making with this pattern, and yes it IS a pattern, but it is one that leaves it very open for you to make what you will of it, your choice of materials, your embellishments, the kind of edging you make on it, please feel free to add or change anything you like to make this work in whatever unique and ‘you’ ways you can find. In the tutorial I have included sections on design, warping, weaving, and embellishments, all suggestions and creative starting points rather than something to be followed exactly. I think this is an idea that together we can all grow and develop and I really hope you will share your creations and discoveries with me and others! Please feel free to...

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Weaving with Circular Looms

Weaving with Circular Looms

In the last few days I’ve been surrounded by circles, warped and wefted, beaded and braided cut and pasted, and clipped and edited. Really! This week has been a busy one, preparing some stuff to take and present at the SWAY Art Yarn Guild Festival in Sarasota Florida, coming up in just a few weeks. And there are so many reasons why I am excited about attending this festival! Firstly, it is my absolute honour to be there as the ‘headliner’ for the weekend, two days to teach and share and meet everyone, and finally to be able to put real faces to names, as I know there will be many coming along who I know only through Facebook. What a wonderful opportunity, and I am really looking forward to sharing  this weekend with some incredibly creative people. It is also the first ‘outing’ for Arlene Thayer and myself as ‘FiberyGoodness’. We have the Friday evening planned as a Golden Fleece Course get together, along with a special activity we have imagined up for the event. We will also be releasing one of our new courses over the weekend! Both online AND at the festival itself. All I can tell you is it DOES have a fiber kit with it 😉 We will have some goodies and SWAY Swag there on sale, not only the new Course but also some pretty things to decorate your fiber space with that I hope everyone will really love. Is that cagey enough? I know I know! Its all surprises! And another reason I am really excited about this weekend is that I have been waiting to share something especially at SWAY for the very first time. It involves circular looms and the neckwear I have been developing. This past week I have been creating a tutorial for it, I just exported the PDF, and made a video to go along with it! I will have a few copies of the tutorial to use at the workshops and will give all participants the download link so they can download their own copy  after the event too. I am hoping to have an ibook version available as well, for those with an ipad, and that will have the video embedded in it as well as a couple of other snazzy interactive features. I am really excited about this possibility and I hope to be able to offer more of these kinds of things via the ibook store in future too. (I will continue to make PDF versions of everything though!) So back I come to the weaving. I just posted the link to Majacrafts circular loom on my facebook page, because they have recently brought out the large...

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