DIY Zoom Loom Holiday Flower Lights

A few years ago we collaborated with Interweave to create a project for the “DIY Holiday” special issue. We are thrilled share this project with you now as we head into 2017.

The Schacht Team pulled together to create another community project, with each of us choosing a color of embroidery floss and weaving a number of squares in that color. The resulting project can be easily customized for the holidays or any color scheme you prefer. The options are endless!

beauty-shot

Holiday Flower Lights

Designed by Benjamin Krudwig – Woven by the Schacht Team

Equipment: Schacht Zoom Loom and 6″ weaving needle.

Yarns: Two 27 yard skeins each of size 5 DMC embroidery floss in the following colors: Snow White, Medium Blue Violet, Rose, Coral, Peacock, Medium Forest Green.

supplies

Accessories: LED light string (be careful not to use any other variety as the heat could create a fire hazard).

Weaving: Weave enough squares to cover each of your LED light bulbs. The string we used had 30 lights, so we wove five squares in each of the 6 colors. Depending on your color scheme and number of lights, you may need more yardage of embroidery floss.

Assembly: Make each square into a flower using the detailed instructions below, and start attaching them to the string lights. Push the LED bulb through the center of the flower, tie the excess threads (from pulling) around the string light. Secure with a little super glue or a dab of hot glue. You can click on each picture to make it larger.

Repeat this process until all of the lights are covered.

Plug in and enjoy!

If you make this project, share it with us on Instagram and tag your post with #SchachtSpindle and #ZoomLoom.

 

Learn something new in the New Year!Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom with Jane Patrick

If you’ve mastered the Zoom Loom and want to expand your weaving horizons, try rigid heddle weaving!

Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom is full of finger controlled and pick-up techniques to help you create stunning projects with lots of texture and visual interest!

Here’s the class overview from Craftsy!

“Turn your fabric dreams into woven realities with longtime weaving instructor Jane Patrick! During class, Jane will teach you versatile methods that open up new design possibilities for weaving on a rigid heddle loom. You’ll start with skills for stripes, open-weave fabrics and brilliant textures. Then, go beyond the grid to create curves and more, as Jane guides you through working with deflection, pulled threads and differential shrinkage. Want to take the fuss out of working with finer yarns? You’ll discover techniques for working with two heddles at a finer sett. Plus, you’ll end class with fun double-weaving techniques you can use for more complex, layered fabrics that look different on either side.”

Select courses on Craftsy from Jane Patrick are 33% off until March 14, 2017 when you use this link. This cannot be combined with any other coupons.

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

3 Handmade Gift Wrapping Ideas

The holidays are right around the corner, and when you’ve spent so much time and effort making your handmade gifts, it would be a shame not to have the same handmade touch for the packaging.

In this post, we share three ways to add hand-crafted wrapping to your special gift.

Sugar Pines Band, woven by Jane Patrick

cards-on-loom

Adapted from Belt No 12, Sugar Pines in Card Weaving or Tablet Weaving by Russell E. Groff. Look for a collection of designs by weaver Russell E. Groff in an upcoming book from Schiffer Publishing.

Equipment: 25 Schacht Cardweaving Cards, Schacht Belt Shuttle, Schacht Inkle Loom.

Yarns: 5/2 Pearl Cotton. 125 yd #152 Pistachio, 175 yd #91 Flaxon, 15 yd #12 Red, and 30 yd #99 Dark Sienna.

Warping: We wove this project on an inkle loom, winding 4 threads, one card at a time, following the pattern diagram. (We warped all of the pegs on our Schacht Inkle Loom.)

Threading: All of the cards are right-threaded. That is, all of the four threads can be seen on the right side. For this project, the printed side of the card is facing to the right.

threading-pattern

Sugar Pines Threading Graph PDF

Weaving: Wind a Schacht Belt Shuttle with 5/2 Pearl Cotton in #152 Pistachio. Make sure that the A-D (red) side is on top and then weave 4 quarter turns towards you, 4 quarter turns away from you. Repeat for the length of the belt.

sugar-pines

Zoom Loom Bow

This project is a quick and easy way to create a small bow for a package.

wrapped-log-scarf

Equipment: Schacht Zoom Loom

Yarn: Any sport weight yarn.

Weaving: First, weave a square on your Zoom Loom. Before taking the square off the loom, weave your ends into the square, leaving the long tail coming from approximately the top center of the square.

Remove the square from the loom, and with your 6″ weaving needle, weave the long tail through the center of the square as shown.

Gently pull this piece of yarn while gathering the square into a bow shape. Gently wrap the leftover yarn around the center of the bow and tie it into a knot. Then with another piece of yarn, attach the bow to your package.

Handspun “Twine”

dropspindle-ornament

Show off your spinning prowess by using your drop spindle to spin some home-made twine to tie up your packages!

wrapped-present

We hope you enjoy these ideas for your special gifts this holiday season!

 

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

5 Last Minute Handmade Gifts to Make

By the time you read this blog post, there will be 36 days left until Christmas.

Don’t Panic! Many of us try to get our gifts made early, but it is inevitable, there are always a few that fall through the cracks.

Here are five of our favorite quick and easy projects from the Schacht Blog to help you this holiday season.

1: Weave a speckled yarn scarf on your Cricket Loom

This project is an easy one to make, though it is plain-weave, the color of the yarn makes this project POP!

loop

 

2: Make a custom wall hanging on your Mini Loom

This is a great gift! Make one using your leftover yarns (who doesn’t love that?) in colors that the recipient loves!

 

3: Give the gift of snowflakes on your Cricket Loom

Another plain-weave scarf that gets spruced up by discharge dye! The snowflake motif is perfect for the winter season.

4: Make a twisty cowl (or a skirt) on your Cricket Loom

Though you probably don’t have time to weave the skirt featured in this blog post, the cowl is a perfectly manageable project to make between now and Christmas.

 

5: Make a Sugar Plum Fairy on your Zoom Loom

This convertible toy has been a hit amongst Zoom Loom weavers and is topical for this holiday season! You can hide small toys or candy in the plum, when the kids open them, they will get the added surprise of a new plush toy.

 

What are some of your favorite holiday projects? Let us know on social media by using the #schachtspindle hashtag.

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

Time to Level Up – Holiday Product Gift Guide

The holidays are right around the corner, and it seems like time is speeding along. Have you left your wish list posted on the front of the fridge for your loved ones? If not, it’s not too early to start putting the bug in their ear about what tools you’re most longing for!

Here’s a list that will help you take the next step in weaving or spinning with products that educate or help you grow in your craft–or even learn a new one!

For weavers

Don’t under estimate the power of the pick-up stick. This, along with a great book like The Weaver’s Idea Book by Jane Patrick can accelerate your weaving potential.

 

Also for rigid heddle weaving:

More stick shuttles (you never can have too many!)

9″ mini boat shuttle (with a bag of 4″ bobbins). The 9″ mini is great for weaving on the Cricket Loom!

Mini-boat Shuttle
Mini-boat Shuttle

Extra reeds – Each of our rigid heddle looms comes with a reed, but did you know we have four available dents (5, 8, 10, and 12), as well as a special reed called the Variable Dent Reed? This special reed has mix and match sections that allow you to weave different densities in the same project. It’s great for sampling, too. Want to try double weave on your Flip Loom? All you need is two reeds of the same dent–everything else is already built into your loom.

We are seeing some rigid heddle weavers, especially if they enjoy pattern weaving, upgrading to a shaft loom. Our Wolf Pup line of looms is ideal for small spaces and workshops. We’re especially excited about our NEW Wolf Pup 8.10, an 8-harness loom with an 18″ inches weaving width and built-in wheels for better portability. We are currently taking pre-orders for looms which will ship in late December and January.

 

For spinners:

If you are a spindle spinner and want to upgrade to a wheel, the Ladybug is a great option for a beginners with plenty of room to grow as your skills progress.

For the traveling spinner we recommend the Sidekick! This folding wheel can stow it’s own bag and is so easy to take along. We also know spinners who love the Sidekick as their go-to wheel, whether they’re traveling or not.

We know that many spinners are hoping to find a Flatiron Spinning Wheel under their tree. Just out this fall, the Flatiron is getting rave reviews for it’s easy treadling, broad spinning capabilities, versatility–and unique design. This KD wheel can be assembled with the flyer on the left or the flyer on the right–another thing we adore about this new wheel. Because it packs flat for shipping, this wheel is easy to ship worldwide.

 

For the fiber enthusiast:

Hands down, the Ultra Umbrella Swift is one of the best swifts on the market. It costs more than most, but there’s a reason: it answers all the shortcomings of the other swifts on the market we wanted to improve upon to make a swift that’s head and shoulders above all the rest. Watch our video and fall in love with this beautiful accessory that will revolutionize your studio!

These products can be found at a Schacht retailer near you! Use our find a dealer page to find the nearest weaving or spinning store to you!

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

New Wolf Pup 8.10

wolf pup 810

Coming to you in late fall is our new Wolf Pup 8.10. For years, weavers have been asking for an 8-shaft Wolf Pup LT. They loved their pint-sized loom for workshops, but wanted 8 shafts. We liked the idea, too, but how to get 10 treadles in such a narrow space—with room for feet? Weavers kept asking, so finally we decided to take on this design challenge. And once Barry started investigating ideas, he and his design team came up with ingenious design solutions for a small loom without sacrificing the features weavers love in their Baby Wolfs. To make ample room between treadles, the team narrowed the treadles, added outrigger legs, and moved the brake release to the outside of the loom. Like on the 8-shaft Baby Wolf, the Wolf Pup 8.10 sports a treadle aid.

Wolf Pup 810 with high castle tray

The Wolf Pup 8.10 has an X-frame design, providing a sturdy base while allowing the loom to be easily folded up to a depth of 19”. Folding the loom is a cinch, with or without a warp on it. For stability and sturdiness, we employ barrel nut construction and traditional woodworking joinery. The Wolf Pup 8.10 is super compact with a foot print of just 28” wide x 35 ½” deep when open. The Wolf Pup 8.10 is the perfect loom for schools, small spaces, and travel.

wolf pup 810 with wolf trap

 

You can accessorize your Wolf Pup 8.10 with an 8-shaft Wolf Pup High Castle Tray, Wolf Pup Trap, and a sectional beam. If you are a taller weaver, you might consider ordering your Wolf Pup 8.10 with a Height Extender, raising the loom up 2”, allowing for more leg room. Visit www.schachtspindle.com for more on the Wolf Pup 8.10.

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

Prep for Spinzilla

We are just about 2.5 weeks away from the 4th annual Spinzilla competition. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Spinzilla is a global spinning competition that raises money for NAMP (Needle Arts Mentoring Program) to get various fiber arts kits into the hands of children. We are happy to say we have another full team this year comprised of Schacht employees and alumni.

This year, we wanted to give you a checklist to help you prepare for Spinzilla.

[ ] Are you signed up for Spinzilla?

Signing up for Spinzilla is easy. You can either join a team or go rogue – the choice is all yours! There is a small fee associated with signing up, but all proceeds go to NAMP.

[ ] Are your bobbins clear?

You don’t want to be removing old yarn from bobbins while you should be spinning during the week, so take the time between now and October 3rd to ply all of your singles or remove your plied yarn from all your bobbins. Future-you will thank past-you. If you need more bobbins, contact your local Schacht dealer to purchase more before the contest starts!

[ ] Do you have fiber?

This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes we forget how much of our stash we have used. Head over to your nearest fiber source to grab enough fiber for the week. Also, there are many Spinzilla sponsors who are hosting deals for the competition. Check out this Ravelry board to see them all in one place!

[ ] Is the fiber prepped?

This is important. If you are spinning raw wool, be sure to clean it and card it before Spinzilla week. If it’s in another format, be sure to check that it is in suitable spinning shape!

[ ] Is your wheel properly lubricated?

We believe that it is essential to make sure that your wheel is all oiled up each time you sit down to spin. We have a handy video on how to properly oil your flyer for smooth spinning!

 

[ ] Do you have a goal?

Having a yardage goal for the week will help motivate you to spin each day! If you participated in Spinzilla last year, take that goal and maybe add 5-10% to encourage you to spin more this year.

 

These aren’t all the things you can do to prepare for Spinzilla; what is your favorite thing to do? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram how you get prepped for the big week!

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

My Story: Debbie Heilig

Debbie Heilig – The Cricket Loom – A “Gateway” Loom

debbie at loom

After more than twenty-five years of being in business, ten years of attending college as an adult, and raising a daughter, I found myself seeking a creative outlet for the next stage in my life. Now, four years later, weaving not only calms me after a hectic business day, it also provides me with unique homemade gifts for family and friends. Weaving, hopefully, will be the way I stay relevant after I retire!

Five years ago, I received a used Schacht rigid heddle loom as a gift. Because I couldn’t wait for a class at the local guild, I signed up for a private lesson. I learned that the heddle was missing and that I didn’t understand any of the terminology!  I rented a Cricket loom to complete the private lesson. I think the instructor humored me, but didn’t think I’d be back. I found instructions for different weave structures on YouTube, in books, in Facebook groups, in classes at the guild, and from a weaving mentor from Arizona. I learned a lot, from alpaca yarn to Zoom Looms!

I love my Cricket Looms because I can direct-warp them and begin weaving within an hour. My 10” Cricket fits nicely in my lap (although I do struggle when there are cats in my lap, too!) It is also small enough to be my personal travel companion. The 15” Cricket is great for creating wider scarves that can be folded in half to keep friends and family warm during our Minnesota winters. I like weaving with wool and cotton, but also enjoy adding fun fibers for flare.

Each year, my local guild holds demonstrations at the Minnesota State Fair. This is the second year I have used my Cricket Loom for my volunteer presentation. I enjoy showing both children and adult fair attendees alike how easy it is to weave on the Cricket, as well as its portable nature. I hope to begin teaching rigid heddle classes in the future, especially on the 10” Cricket.

My favorite weaving moment was taking a three-day rigid heddle class with Jane Patrick at the Midwest Weaving Convention in St. Paul, last June. I learned so many weaving techniques that I don’t think I’ll ever tire of rigid heddle weaving.

I gave my original loom to my young niece in hopes of keeping the art of weaving alive in youngsters.  The following Christmas, I gifted her with a 10” Cricket Loom. I know the Cricket is a “gateway” loom that will lead to larger looms, but I’m okay leading her down this path!

I have recently purchased a Zoom Loom and look forward to discovering what I can make on a pin loom.  If I had to choose but one loom as my exclusive, inanimate companion, my Cricket would be my hands-down favorite.

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

Convergence 2016 – Shuttle Races!

This August, Schacht is returning to Convergence in a big way! We hope you’ll stop by to check out our looms, our new Flatiron Spinning Wheel, and chat with Jane, Barry, Michael, Judy and Ben! We will also be collecting stories. We’d love to know how you started weaving, what you love about it, and how it fits into your lives. So, look for Benjamin who’ll be doing the interviewing and collecting of your stories. In addition to collecting your stories, we will have the stories from our Personal Stories Contest Winners on view as inspiration!

Mini-wp-loom

We’re gearing up for the shuttle races! This year, we are hosting the races at Convergence on Thursday, August 4th at 7:30 pm. We hope that you will build your own racer and enter it in either the decorative category, or the speed category. The details can be found on the Convergence website.

We had our very own shuttle race here at Schacht at our summer company picnic–what a blast it was! Check out the videos on our Facebook page to see the kind of fun you can expect to see at Convergence! See some of these racers, built by our employees here, at the show!

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

My Story: Debbie Drake

Debbie Drake – The Call of the Fiber

Debbie photo

When I was a young woman, my grandmother taught me to tat and I became proficient and passionate about it over the years. Eventually, I found a wonderful group of friends on-line that shared my passion and learned of their many other fiber-related hobbies, such as bobbin-lace, knitting, weaving, spinning, and so on. They were constantly trying to expand my horizons and infect me with their passions. Though I resisted (really I did), I gradually relented to the call of the fiber that runs deep in my soul.

When my mother passed away, I inherited her seldom-used knitting needles and taught myself to knit. My fiber-friends saw my new enthusiasm and suggested spinning my own yarn. I bristled, telling them I didn’t need yet another passion. With a twinkle in their eyes, they just smiled, knowing that the allure of our craft was more compelling than their words could ever be.

One of my fiber friends eventually tempted me with the gift of some fluffy rich green merino fiber and the loan of a drop spindle to get started. The hook was set! It didn’t take me long to spin through that, search out local fiber sources, and begin the search for a spinning wheel.

yarn

I found an ad for a beautiful Schacht Matchless (1988) and my wonderful husband bought it for my birthday. We brought her home, oiled her up, and named her “Bella.” Despite her age, she spins with the easy handling and drive of a finely crafted automobile. I was so impressed with the quality of this wheel that it became impossible to resist adding both a Sidekick and a Ladybug to my “stable” when the opportunity presented itself.  I don’t really need three wheels, but can’t bear to part with any of them.

Many fibers have been transformed on these wheels – cotton, alpaca, wool, cashmere, silk, and even yak. I, too, am transformed with every rhythmic treadle and every bit of fluff that passes through my hands. What a thrill to create lovely yarn with my own hands and then to knit or weave it into another form altogether. The things we, as humans, learn about ourselves through tactile experiences (such as these) are truly invaluable.

-Debbie Drake

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

My Story: Julia Weaver

Julia Weaver – Healing Trauma Through the Gift of Weaving


thereverend_small-200x300

I began to weave in the midst of a painful coming-of-age experience. Instinct led me to pick up yarn and weave it, under and over, over and under, in a healing rhythm. Later, I would learn that my paternal grandfather was a weaving apprentice and that my maternal grandmother worked in a weaving factory from 14 to 17 years of age. Both would later emigrate from Germany to the United States.

My grandmother taught me, as a young child, to weave on a small metal potholder loom. Five years later, I would take my first weaving class during my undergraduate studies. After twelve years of practicing the craft of weaving, I was equipped to begin weaving as an art form. In 1991, I created a collaborative Peace Weaving in response to the invasion of Iraq. Since that first weaving, twenty-seven visual woven intentions/prayers have been delivered around the world.

Since 2002, I have served as a chaplain for the women at the Dane County Jail (madisonjailministry.org). The Jail Tapestry Project forms a part of our Women’s Spirituality Group, which meets three times a year. Each group writes a prayer, does an imaging meditation, and then designs a weaving. In addition to the three hangings we have woven for our chapel, we also donate liturgical stoles and small hangings to fundraise for the jail’s ministry.

studio9_small-300x225

The catalyst for my most recent passion was the donation to our project of a used Schacht Floor Loom. With the help of a professor of weaving at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the very kind phone assistance from Schacht’s own Mike Cooley, we were able to get the loom up and weaving. When incarcerated women receive work-release privileges, they are able to participate in the Backyard Mosaic Women’s Project (BYMWP – backyardmosaicwomensproject.org). Thanks to the space provided to us through the generosity of St. John’s Lutheran Church, we meet every Wednesday.

An extremely high percentage of women who are incarcerated are victims of trauma, such as incest, domestic violence, rape, or abuse. Recently, we began a prevention project to reach young women who have been involved in the sex industry or are the victims of human trafficking. Our efforts include developing tools to help identify these women (and to help them to self-identify); providing individual spiritual care through the healing activity of weaving; and connecting them to resources and safe places in the community. Finally, a long-term goal is to provide financial reimbursement for the weavings and mosaics created and donated to the project by the participants. These works of art become part of our fundraising shows for the BYMWP.

My youthful impulse to heal myself through the gift of weaving has become a part of who I am. In 1993, I legally changed my name to Julia Weaver. Today, I share weaving with those who are seeking creative healing throughout the world.

-Julia Weaver

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

My Story: Pam Howard

Pam Howard – Resident Weaver and Keeper of Looms

PH1

In 1967, my mother gave me my first loom, a rigid heddle. A home economics teacher who had learned to weave in school, she instructed me on my small loom. I was only 13 years old and knew then I wanted to be a weaver. I wove on that rigid heddle loom for years.

It was not until the 1980s that I got my first used floor loom. I lived near Atlanta so I could participate in meetings and workshops at the local guild.  After learning to weave, I decided I needed to spin and, of course, I needed to have a spinner’s flock of sheep. There is something special about raising the sheep to get the wool, then spin it into a yarn that I could weave with. I worked a full-time job and raised a daughter during this time, but never did I stop my weaving and spinning. They kept me sane! My husband, daughter, and I moved to Brasstown, North Carolina, in 1999. Spinning, weaving and dyeing for 15 years helped me to get my current “dream” job.

Today I am the Resident Weaver at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. I have held that position for 16 years. As the resident weaver, I am the keeper of 28 looms, a wonderful fiber library, loads of weaving tools, and a room full of yarn. I also teach weaving and dyeing, as well as find weaving instructors to teach at the school.

When I first took on the position of resident weaver, I realized my job was going to be tough. Many of the looms were worn out, had missing parts, and were not suitable for heavy student use. Soon I had to move out the old and find something that would withstand constant use. As I see it, the Folk School’s weaving program needs two types of looms:  heavy rug looms and what I call fabric looms. When I first arrived at the Folk School, they had plenty of heavy rug looms. But, we were in need of more fabric looms. This answers the question of what my favorite Schacht products are. They are the Baby Wolf and the Mighty Wolf Looms. These looms are smaller, portable, and the students love to weave on them! They are great for beginners and can hold their own with respect to constant use.

Over the years, we have increased our number of Schacht looms to five Baby Wolfs, two Mighty Wolfs, and a Wolf Pup. My goal is to buy five more 8-Harness Baby Wolfs for the studio. Of course, at home I have lots of Schacht products: an 8-Harness Baby Wolf, Pup, Cricket, Flip, and my favorite, a double treadle Matchless spinning wheel.

-Pam Howard

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

My Story: Birgit Greer

Birgit Greer Pacific Wool and Fiber

It’s all my daughter’s fault! I began spinning many years ago when my daughter gave me a fleece from her Future Farmers of America summer project. The fiber was way too short to spin, but I did not know that and loved the way it felt. Soon, I was looking for a spinning wheel. Garage sales and second-hand shops scoured, I had nearly given up when my husband surprised me on my birthday with a spinning wheel. Oh! My! God! I had wanted a spinning wheel for a long time, but having a huge box plopped in front of me, I was happy but also afraid that I would not be able to figure out how to spin at all.

I had never seen a spinning wheel up close, nor did I have any friends who spun yarn. But learn I did, from books and through trial and error. In the beginning, I was just happy if my yarn did not fall apart, spinning a lumpy and bumpy novelty yarn. With time I learned to treadle evenly, steadily draft the fibers in my hand, and more.  Most of all, I had fun!

That day was the beginning of a long-time love affair with spinning, yarn, and fibers. Not only did I fall completely in love with the soothing rhythm of the spinning wheel and the textures of the various spinning fibers, but spinning led me to work for a local fiber store which, in turn, led my husband Jim and me to open our own business. Small at first, Pacific Wool and Fiber has grown from an eBay seller to a national online retailer, as well as a retail store in Newberg, Oregon. As our business grew, so grew my interest in the fiber arts. Soon, my growing stash of handspun yarn led me to learn to weave first on a rigid heddle loom and later, hooked again, on a floor loom.

Dishtowel on Baby Wolf

Our spare bedroom, called “the studio,” now also houses two looms, one of them a Schacht Baby Wolf with a High Castle Tray (a “must-have”); a Schacht warping mill that lets me whiz through warping; and a double-ended bobbin winder that not only winds my bobbins, but does double-duty for rewinding yarn when I need to split cones for weaving. Instead of buying two cones of the same yarn, I simply use one of my (sometimes) empty spinning wheel bobbins to wind off yarn from the original cone. In this way, I can warp with two ends instead of one. Do it with a second color and I can warp with four ends.

With over a decade in the fiber arts business. I still get excited when new spinning fibers and yarns arrive. I love planning new projects. At this stage of the process, the possibilities are endless and the dreaming can begin!

-Birgit Greer

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

My Story: Pamela Harwood

Weaving Aboard a Boat

IMG_1277

I began my textile journey as a knitter. My first project was a scarf for my husband. While I found knitting hats and sweaters to be quick and ever-changing, as I gained proficiency, I realized that I felt bogged down by the sameness of knitting scarves. It wasn’t until I discovered weaving that I realized this was the craft for me.

I acquired my first loom when I responded to a group email, “Free to a good home.” It was a standard 36″ Schacht Floor Loom, which came with all its pieces and parts, plus a ton of 3/2 cotton. I took several lessons and found weaving to be a delightful and productive activity! Three years later, I attended The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) trade show, where I met Denise and Jane of Schacht. I also happened to be the high bidder on their 15″ Cricket Loom in the silent auction.

The Cricket Loom has allowed me to bring my weaving to the local farmer’s market and to fiber events. Weaving is fascinating to the uninitiated, even on a simple loom. Children are especially drawn to the Cricket Loom. Scarves, scarves, and more scarves have come off my Cricket, and I have barely scratched the surface of what can be done, as showcased in Jane’s book, The Weaver’s Idea Book. Next, I learned how to weave rugs, since the floor loom had been freed up by the Cricket. I use corespun alpaca yarn that I have made locally.

Two years ago, my husband and I sold our herd of alpacas and bought a 46′ powerboat. I decided to sell the floor loom, and at TNNA 2014, I bought the 25″ Flip Loom, so that I can continue to weave rugs, even aboard the boat. It stows so easily in the carry bag! Handwoven rugs and scarves, as well as knitted hats and mittens, will help fill the “cruising kitty” as we prepare to simplify our lives living aboard a boat.

-Pamela Harwood

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

My Story: Amanda Migoski

amanda wheel

Fiber therapy

My Ladybug spinning wheel didn’t save my life, but it did help save my sanity. In the fall of 2014, I was about to start my 23rd year of teaching elementary music when I was diagnosed with a rare and serious autoimmune disease. The treatment? Almost two weeks in the hospital and six months of chemotherapy. Teaching? Not that year. The chemotherapy would weaken my immune system and make it too risky to be around my 400 students, ages 5-11. A school year at home it was.

I had no idea how to fill my time without teaching. Sleeping filled many hours. Watching my long dark hair fall out to be replaced with short grey curls took up some time. TV grew tiresome very quickly. That’s when I turned to my hobbies of spinning and knitting.

yarn

I purchased my Ladybug spinning wheel in 2008 after attending my first fiber festival in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I laugh now about how much roving I bought that year before I even owned a wheel! I tried several different spinning wheels before falling instantly in love with the Ladybug. I brought the Ladybug home and taught myself to spin with the help of YouTube.

Creating yarn on my Ladybug and knitting gifts for my friends and family filled my long, lonely days during treatment. By spring, I was able to teach a couple of half-days a week, and now I am back full-time with my students. (I am asked at least once a day what happened to my hair − there’s nothing like the brutal honesty of a five year old!) I love being back at school even though it means less time for spinning and knitting. I am very thankful for the “fiber therapy” that my Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel provided during a difficult time.

-Amanda Migoski

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

My Story: America Smith

“Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, arriba, abajo . . . “

IMG_0751

When I took a job teaching English to 400 students whose first language was Spanish, I made a commitment to learn their language in order to communicate with their families. I packed my bags and went in search of the Spanish language, having no idea then that I would learn a great deal more.

Becari, the school I attended in Oaxaca, Mexico, offered a variety of cultural classes in addition to Spanish, including dance, cooking, and weaving. Although I tried them all, my weaving class, taught by a Zapotec master weaver, was a life-changing event. My teacher’s tools consisted of a back strap loom with the same belt and beater her grandmother had used years before. “Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, arriba, abajo” (one, two, three, four, up, down), she sang, as she taught us to weave.

Immediately upon returning home to the Seattle area, I enrolled in weaving classes at The Weaving Works. Once I realized that weaving was no passing fancy, I bought a Schacht Mighty Wolf 8-shaft loom, bench, and warping board. I was in heaven! That was 2005, and I have been weaving daily ever since. Rugs, shawls, dishcloths, table runners—I could not weave them fast enough.

While recovering from multiple surgeries on my feet, I wove belts on my Schacht inkle loom from my bed. In addition to my Mighty Wolf, I now own an 8-shaft Baby Wolf. These looms are so beautifully made, efficient, and fit my 5’2” frame so well. The smaller loom is perfect for scarves, and with two looms, I always have at least one project in the weaving stage.

My husband, an architect, designed my weaving studio. French doors open to an amazing view of the Puget Sound, where I weave to the sound of birds and ducks. It is very inspiring and I realize how fortunate I am − I love my weaving life and my beautiful looms. Nevertheless, maybe, just maybe, if my husband relocated the fireplace, there would be room for another Wolf. You never know!

-America Smith

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

My Story: Olga Jamieson

Spinning on the Schacht Reeves in the Highlands of Scotland

PICTURES 075

I am of Russian nationality and met my husband in Scotland some five years ago. We live in Loch Ness, famous for its monster sightings.

My passion for craft work runs through my veins. My ancestors were experienced spinners, and I have my grandmother’s spinning wheel safely tucked away in my studio. Amazingly, however, I am a self-taught spinner. My Scottish husband secretly purchased a spinning wheel for me and encouraged me to develop my skills. I was excited and soon became a confident, natural spinner.

Over the years, I have purchased a variety of spinning wheels, but I continued to search for the best wheel for me. I found it in a 30” double treadle Schacht Reeves, with a right hand flyer, made of cherry wood. Ooh la la!

My Schacht Reeves is mine, all mine, and sits in my home with a five-foot perimeter fence around it (protection from my husband, God bless him, my son, and my dog). Spinning on the Schacht Reeves is effortless and satisfying. How better to spend one’s days spinning on what I consider to be the best spinning wheel ever produced (and believe me, I have spun on them all)—and to do it in the Highlands of Scotland.

Having caught the Schacht “bug,” so to speak, I decided to become an authorized dealer of Schacht products in Scotland. Allowing my customers the experience of spinning on a Schacht wheel gives them confidence when making the decision to purchase. I also import fiber and yarn (Shetland Super Fine is my favorite). My next project is to move on to weaving and looms, which will, in the very near future, take place of pride in my studio. As I always say, “Happy Spinning!”

-Olga Jamieson

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

My Story: Kyle Kunnecke

Kyle was one of our grand prize winners for the Personal Stories Contest, you can see his story in the Spring 2016 issue of Spin-Off. Kyle has released the free knitting pattern for the Hayden Cowl that can be seen in the advertisement. Here are the photos that you won’t see in the article, and you can see what a joy he is!

 

A curious learning journey

My alarm buzzes and beeps, and as I snooze my way into a new day, I see my Wolf Pup loom waiting patiently. My Sidekick greets me with anticipation, anxious to go on a trip; knowing it fits perfectly into my luggage when we journey cross-country to a fiber arts retreat.

Kunnecke-Schacht

When I first learned to knit, I found its repetitive rhythm meditative and knew I wanted to learn more about other fiber arts and how they might influence my knitting. In the beginning, spinning and weaving felt complicated and unattainable, but I was continuously reminded that the textile arts hold a never-ending opportunity for creative expression—if I just give myself the gift of time, seek guidance, and am patient with myself. As I learned more, my interests expanded to dyeing yarns and roving, to weaving, and eventually, to spinning. I found the processes of spinning and weaving, like knitting, created a feeling of comfort, meditation, and calm. I find at each turn new curiosities about fiber herds, processing fleece, and the preservation of rare breed sheep.

In other cultures the story begins at the beginning, with caring for a flock, cleaning and carding wool, then progresses to spinning, weaving, and/or knitting. This dichotomy fascinates and inspires me. I think about the talented hands of other civilizations and how knitted or woven pieces are used to show rank, convey emotion, and tell stories. I find the process of spinning meditative, and am hypnotized by the magic of twisting singles into a plied yarn.

Kunnecke_Handspun-Handwoven Scarf

My most recent obsession has been learning about rare and threatened sheep breeds, the symbolism in Navajo tapestry weaving, and how cultures use knitting and weaving in their traditions. I’m lucky enough to have a craft studio where my reference library, collection of tools, and bountiful materials provide inspiration. I learned early on to invest in quality tools so the process is as lovely as the finished product. My favorite tools and most treasured artifacts, however, take residence in my bedroom. My Sidekick and Wolf Pup are among the last things I see each evening; standing guard as I doze off to sleep after another day of discovery.

-Kyle Kunnecke

Kyle Kunnecke is a designer, maker, teacher, author, and volunteer. He believes that creativity has the power to heal and has been involved in using fiber arts as a tool to combat depression and anxiety. Kyle lives in San Francisco.

www.kylewilliam.com

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

Ravelry Project Page Update

We have been busy here at Schacht improving as much as we can; from our processes and products to our projects and posts!

You may have already noticed that we have been updating old blog posts to make the projects associated with them easier to access, and to make the style of the blog posts more congruent with what we already have. We are also in the process of adding each of the projects to our Ravelry projects page!

Having this page allows other users (like you) to sort through the projects to find exactly what you’re looking for!

Over the next few weeks we will be updating this page and organizing it as more projects populate the space. We hope you find these project pages helpful! Give us ideas of what kinds of projects you would like to see, and you may see them on our blog!

 

  google+  pinterest  ravelry  twitter  youtube

 

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

Throwback Thursday – Drop a Note!

Every Year, Jane and Barry design a new card for use around the holidays with a re-designed logo. As we have been doing our Spring cleaning here in the office, we stumbled upon a few of them from years past. We hope you enjoy the artistry behind these cards as much as we do!

Top to Bottom: 2000, 1996

Artists Unknown

Top to Bottom: 1999, 1998
Artist: Tatjana Krizmanic
  google+  pinterest  ravelry  twitter  youtube

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.

Zoom Loom Flower and Leaf Tutorial

Zoom Loom Flower and Leaf tutorial

This is a quick tutorial on how to make flowers and leaves with Zoom Loom squares.

The Flower:

Find the crossing threads in the center of the square by folding in half twice.

Put the needle through the cross threads.

Pull threads.

Tie with a square knot.

Fluff.

Voila, a flower!

The Leaf:

Find the pointed corner (pointed works better than rounded corners).

Pull the cross threads at the corner.

Tie in an overhand knot.

Fiddle a little and you have a fabulous leaf!

Look out for a project using these methods on Friday!

  google+  pinterest  ravelry  twitter  youtube

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company has been producing hand-crafted weaving and spinning equipment in Boulder, CO since 1969. We are committed to producing the tools for the crafts we love.