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.

Flatirons Starting to Ship!

We know that many of you have been waiting for this day to come, and we are nearly there! The new Flatiron Spinning Wheels are starting to ship this week, and we couldn’t be more excited!

Not only is the wheel itself unique in its construction and appearance, we have done something new with our instruction manual for the Flatiron. 3D renderings, labeled images, and full instructions for assembling the wheel with the flyer on the left or the right will make the assembly process a breeze. We are also well underway on the assembly video which is meant to act as an aid to the instructions, should you need a different visual. It has taken our testers here at Schacht about 1 – 1.5 hours to assemble the wheel from start to finish, with no sanding or oiling necessary!

While you’re waiting for your new wheel to arrive, please check out our promo video below. For more detailed specifications on the Flatiron Spinning Wheel, read all about them here.

If you haven’t placed an order for a wheel yet, please contact your local Schacht retailer, and they can assist you. Orders placed now are scheduled to ship in late September/Early October. Order soon to ensure pre-holiday season shipping!

Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

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.

The Flatiron Spinning Wheel

The flat-packed Schacht

flatiron-front

The Flatiron Spinning Wheel rises from a flat-packed box much like Boulder’s iconic Flatirons tilted up from a once horizontal position. Sit down and feel the majesty of this rock-solid wheel. The elegant design of the formed maple, apple-ply body calls upon the same drama that makes the Flatirons so striking. This unique Saxony style wheel is anything but traditional, much like our Boulder, CO.

Just as the Colorado landmark is recognized all over the world, the Flatiron, with its ingenious, compact packaging can be shipped anywhere with ease! With nearly all the tools necessary for assembly in the box, you can set this wheel up in just a few hours.

The superb Flatiron spinning wheel is customizable; you can build it to your preference, with either the flyer on the left or the right. With self-aligning bearings in the maidens, and a fully adjustable drive wheel, the whole system is sure to spin true. The clever quick release lever makes changing out bobbins trouble free.

The Flatiron can be set up in all three tensioning systems combined with our thoughtfully designed fine threaded tension control. All of our current whorls can be used with the Flatiron, allowing you to spin the yarns of your dreams–from frog’s-hair fine to art yarn.

Specifications:

Double treadle

Spinning modes: Scotch, double drive, bobbin-lead

Spinning ratios: 4.6:1 to 26:1

Weight: 15 pounds

Drive wheel: 22 1/2”

Orifice height: 26”

Dimensions: 33” wide x 33” tall x 18” deep

Comes with 3 bobbins, medium and fast whorls, cotton and poly drive bands, threading hook.

Special features: Can be assembled with the flyer on the right or the flyer on the left. Packs flat for shipping.

The Saxony style Flatiron comes with everything you need to spin. Just add fiber.

Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

What’s New??

The Wolf Pup and Wolf Pup LT have been gaining in popularity and new Pup owners are asking for more accessories. We’ve responded with three new products to make your Pups even more wonderful.

Wolf Pup High Castle Tray You can now order this for your current loom or a new one. The tray can be fitted on both the Wolf Pup and Wolf Pup TL. FL3095 Retail price: $135.00

Wolf Pup Section Beam (serial number needed). The sectional beam comes as a kit and can be added to any new or existing Wolf Pup or Wolf Pup LT. Use with our Schacht Tension Box and Spool Rack. FL3040 Retail price: $120.00

Wolf Pup LT 4-shaft with Height Extender. If you are 5’6” or taller (or with long legs), you might consider ordering a height extender with your Wolf Pup LT (it is not available for Wolf Pups). This will raise up your loom 2”. It is most economical to order the height extender with the loom. FL3009 Retail Price: $1,533.00

Wolf Pup LT Height Extender for WP LT. When adding to any existing Wolf Pup LT, you can order the height extender for the WP LT. It is not available for the Wolf Pup. For looms built before March 30th, 2016, you will need to drill some holes for the attachment. FL3084 Retail price: $284.00

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

This Winter Warm Up With Weaving

When the snow starts to fly, the urge to weave follows shortly thereafter. Whether you have a Standard Floor Loom or Zoom Loom, we have a collection of cozy projects to get you started. Here, too are some recommendations for gifts to add to your holiday gift-giving list–whether for yourself or your favorite weaver.

Cherry Wolf Looms are still available (limited edition) and if you order from your dealer by November 11th, chances are it’ll arrive in time for the holidays! Choose from: Cherry Wolf Pup LT, Baby Wolf 8H, and Mighty Wolf 8H. We have a range of accessories available for the cherry looms: ask your local dealer for more information!

Once in hand, warp your new Cherry Wolf Loom with a warm wrap or shawl!

Wrap on the loom

Looking for something smaller? The Cricket Loom is still a hit with weavers of all ages! The 15″ Cricket Loom is friendly and easy to learn on–a great first loom. This versatile, rigid heddle loom is ideal for the knitters in your life–and uses up stash yarn in a flash! Below is an example of a scarf that uses leftover lengths of yarn that would normally be too short for a knitting project.

Four scarves made from leftover knitting yarn

It’s easier than ever to carry your weaving loom with the  Cricket bag. Woven for us by Mayan Hands in Guatemala, our Cricket Bag is available in three colors and two sizes (10″ and 15″). Purchase of the Cricket Bag helps support weavers and their families, as well as sustaining a traditional weaving tradition.

Weaving is just as portable as knitting when you travel with the Zoom Loom, a fantastic gateway into the craft of weaving. Have you heard of the “Cozy Memories Blanket” that is so popular with knitters these days? Using 8 yards of sock weight yarn (just over 2 grams) you can use up all of those small bits of yarn in woven squares and join them together. This makes for a lighter weight blanket and a faster project!

Blanket made using many different yarns

Here’s a list of the “last date to order” for our products in order to receive them before the holidays. Share this list with your loved ones to ensure pre-holiday shipping.

Product Last Day to Order
Wolf Looms, Floor Looms, Table Loom Nov 11th
Matchless, Ladybug, Sidekick Nov 18th
Accessories, Small Looms, Bulky Packages Nov 25th
Crickets, Cricket Accessories, Zoom Looms Dec 2nd

 

Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Personal Stories Contest Winners Announced!

We want to thank you all so much for giving us the opportunity to consider your stories for our 2016 ad campaign. We had over 49 entries, and all of them showed us what a rich and vibrant community surrounds us.

We were teary eyed by some stories, tickled by others, and deeply impressed with how weaving and spinning have affected your lives. We will be publishing stories from our winners and runner ups over the next few weeks, and we think you’ll understand how we felt when reading these very personal stories.

Our winners and entrants have been contacted, and our winners are:

Grand Prize Winners:
Kyle Kunnecke
Monica and Abigail Spooner
Lynn Zimmerman
Nancy Nowak
Chris Gustin

Second Prize:
Joy Jensen
Patricia Y, Honda-Nations
Pamela Palma
Regina Talandis
Susan Elliot
Deborah Zeitler
America Smith
Demarie Jones
Julia Sull
Julia Weaver
Bev Felton
Susan Broadhurst Werrin

Third Prize:
Ann Slind
Carla Day
Frauke Erichsen
Olga Jamieson
Mary Piontek
Claire Warren
Wendy Hakala
Pamela Harwood
Kathy Zola
Mog Bremmer
Amanda Migoski
Lydia Kendrick
Maggie Heilmann
Wendy Cappetta
Nicole Gurnee
Kathleen Pease
Corene Crouse
Debbie Drake
Debbie Heilig
Sara Armstrong
Kathryn Olson
Birgit Greer
Sherry Phillips
Joy Sherburn-Reed
Allison Cantwell
Laurie Bruce
Jill Kettler
Sony Hartley
Kathleen Brookes
Dawne Wimbrow

Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Eight Pieces of Equipment Everyone Needs for Spinzilla

We are but two short months away from Spinzilla, (Oct 5-11), To help you prepare, here is a list of must-have equipment for you and your team! Order early so you’re ready to go by Spin Day!

1. Wheel or Spindle

The Sidekick will travel

wherever you may go!

Though this may be obvious, there is a different wheel/spindle for the type of spinning you want to do. Check out this blog by Denise on how she chooses a spinning wheel depending on what she wants to spin.

2. Oil Bottle

“Where is my oil bottle?”, “Do you have an oil bottle I can borrow?”, “I think I need to oil my flyer…”

These are all common questions and phrases that we hear when we spin–especially during Spinzilla. Visit your local Schacht dealer and pick up a bottle or two and keep them on hand. While you are at it, check out this video on the proper oiling techniques for your Schacht wheels.

3. Lazy Kate

Whether you get the on-board lazy kate for your Ladybug, or the Tensioned Lazy Kate, it is imperative that you have proper yarn management. A lazy kate is perfect for plying, or just holding yarn as you let your singles rest.

4. (Fiber Storage) Spinning Wheel Bobbins/Cardboard Spools/Plastic Bobbins

We only have so many spinning wheel bobbins available to us, and when we are spinning the large quantities of yarn that we do for Spinzilla, those bobbins fill up fast! To get around this, order more bobbins for your wheel, or use this tip to maximize the use of your bobbins. Transfer your yarn onto cardboard spools or 6″ plastic bobbins to free up those spinning wheel bobbins for more spinning!

This Ladybug is fully equipped with

the Bulky Plyer Flyer.

5. Bulky Flyer Package

Whether you’re spinning Bulky, plying massive amounts of yarn, or need a large bobbin for storage, a Bulky Package for your wheel is a must have! The sliding hook and large capacity bobbin is also helpful when spinning art yarns! Note: In helping you prepare for Spinzilla, we are offering in the month of August, the Ladybug, DT Matchless, and Sidekick with a Bulky set up.

6. Bobbin Winder

Whether you are a weaver or a spinner, bobbin winders are such a great help in the studio space. Transferring yarn from one bobbin or spool to another is much easier with a bobbin winder. The single ended winder is great for plastic bobbins, but the double ended winders are great for spinning wheel bobbins and cardboard spools. Upgrade to an electric bobbin winder to save your energy–and time–during Spinzilla.

7. Ultra Umbrella Swift

This is THE TOOL for Spinzilla! With an optional rotation counter, this swift will make counting yardage a snap! We used our Ultra for our team last year, and it sped up our measuring process significantly! Check out our video on all of the other cool features that the Ultra Umbrella Swift has to offer!

8. Hand Carders/Flick Carder

 

Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Personal Stories Contest

Everyone has a story and we want to hear yours! Tell us what inspires you to spin or weave, what got you started and what keeps you going. We also want to know how Schacht has played a part in your craft. What Schacht tool, be it spinning wheel, floor loom, cricket or drop spindle helps you to do what you love?

We are looking for diverse stories from all over the world that we can share with the spinning and weaving communities at large through our print advertising, on-line ads, newsletters, and blog posts. Share your story – and get a little fame in the process.

Who can enter: Anyone!

Requirements + How to Enter:

Write a 350-500 word story about yourself and the role weaving and/or spinning has played in your life. Send in 1 recent photo of yourself with a Schacht product and 2 high quality photos of your recent or best work. Fill out the entry form, and email it to us. Questions to think about when answering can be found on the entry form. Send your completed entry to:

schacht@schachtspindle.com

Deadline: October 1st, 2015 by 11:59 pm

Our Fabulous Prizes:

Grand Prize (2-4 winners) – Expense paid trip* to Boulder, Colorado and a visit to the Schacht factory. Your story in our upcoming ad campaign. $500 Schacht cash.**

Second Prize (12 winners) – Your story on our blog.

Third Prize (up to 30 winners) – an excerpt of your story on our blog.

All prize winners will receive exclusive Schacht merchandise.

Judging: Our team at Schacht will review the entries and select the winners based on the photos, work, and how engaging a story it is.

Here’s our ad from our last contest which appeared in the 1989 April/May issue of Handwoven featuring Louise Bradley.

*Package includes: Airfare from a major airport from within the 48 contiguous United States, lodging (3 days, 2 nights), food, and transportation while in Boulder, photo shoot and interview, and great times with the Schacht folk. The trip will take place somewhere between Nov 5th and Nov 12th 2015.

**Schacht Cash can be used at Schacht Spindle Company towards the retail price of a product.

Schacht employees and family members of employees are not eligible to participate in this contest.

Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Meet The Ultra Umbrella Swift

If you asked me what my favorite piece of Schacht equipment is, I’d have a tough time deciding. However, if I had to choose what my most used, most versatile and most helpful piece of equipment in my studio is, it would be my Ultra Umbrella Swift!

As a hand-spinner, I am able to easily wind from my freshly plied bobbin into a skein. Wash the skein, then when it’s dry, pop it back onto my swift, wind it into a ball and work with it! The advantage to the Ultra Umbrella Swift with a rotation counter is that I can quickly and easily measure my yardage.

As a weaver and a knitter, some of my favorite yarns come from the shop as a skein. I don’t want to spend my precious time hand winding a ball trying not to get my skein into a tangle. After a skein or two, my wife’s arms get tired from holding them up while I wind. Some skeins that I order are huge, and many other commercial umbrella swifts don’t have a large enough capacity to hold the larger skeins.

My space is precious in my studio, and the Ultra doesn’t take up much more space than a traditional swift. The convenience and flexibility to easily position the Ultra in a horizontal to vertical position, increases it’s options. The adjustable clamp which adjusts to many different kinds of table tops, opens up the possibilities of where I can set up my swift.

There are so many more reasons to love my swift, many of which can be found in the following video!

-Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)–so he’s a great mix of data and creativity–all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You’ll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you’ve probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager–the main reason you’ve seen more activity on our Blog, Facebook, Ravelry, and Pinterest. To see what’s happening, click on the links below.

Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Interview With Beth Smith – Author of The Spinner’s Book of Fleece

Recently I had the pleasure to sit down with Beth Smith, the author of The Spinner’s Book of Fleece, and ask her a bunch of questions. Beth Smith is an accomplished spinner who has written many articles and now a fantastic resource book for every spinner. Her book takes the reader on a tour through different breeds and types of wool, and shows her recommendations on how to process each kind. It’s full of examples and beautiful photography.

Find the interview here.

Join me as I ask Beth questions in this interview where we cover more than her book, and delve into some harder questions like “What is your favorite ply?”

-Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)–so he’s a great mix of data and creativity–all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You’ll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you’ve probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager–the main reason you’ve seen more activity on our Blog, Facebook, Ravelry, and Pinterest. To see what’s happening, click on the links below.

Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Schacht e-Newes – June 2015

Yesterday we released the June issue of e-Newes! In this issue, Melissa talks about monks belt, a versatile block-weave structure and explores the possibility of this particular structure.

Other items in this issue:

  • Cherry Matchless are back for a limited run!
  • Spinzilla 2015 – are you ready?
  • The new teacher directory from SWG
Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Spinning and Weaving Group Offers Teachers Directory

SWA-headerF2

Spinning and Weaving Group Offers Teachers Directory to Connect Students, Teachers, and Venues—Sign Up Today!

Columbus, OH (May 15, 2015) – The lure of the spinning wheel and the call of the loom is palpable. These tools enchant potential learners, who often stumble when it comes to realizing their dreams of using them. Key to learning to spin or weave is the guidance of an enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher.

The Spinning and Weaving Group’s (SWG) New Teachers Directory connects students with teachers. “In my forty year career as an editor, author, and loom and spinning wheel manufacturer I see teachers as our most valuable resource in growing the community,” says Jane Patrick, author of The Weaver’s Idea Book and creative director at Schacht Spindle Company.

Many specialty retail shops that cater to crafters want to offer products for spinners and weavers, but they don’t have the expertise in-house to support the products. This directory is a resource for those shops and other venues looking for qualified, experienced teachers.

“As an organization, we place a high value on the teaching community,” says Spinning and Weaving Group Chair, Cheryl Nachtrieb, owner of The Recycled Lamb, a yarn store in Golden, Colorado. “Cultivating the skills it takes to be a good teacher takes time and commitment. A knowledgeable student is a great customer, and guest teachers bring new energy to my shop.”

Social media has been a great boon for spinning and weaving education. It enables more potential spinners and weavers to group mentor each other, and many experienced teachers often chime in to offer tips. Even so, this is no replacement for the hands-on guidance that an experienced teacher can offer. The key to successful learning—online or in person—is great educators.

The Teachers Directory is managed by the Spinning and Weaving Group, a product segment group of The National Needlearts Association (TNNA). TNNA is a trade association for independent needlearts businesses catering to stitchers, knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, and related yarn craft. SWG strives to promote the joy of spinning and weaving and advocate for these crafts in the larger market.

All spinning and weaving teachers are invited to sign up. At least two references are required. Individual teachers are listed along with their shop or business affiliations. If your shop offers spinning and weaving classes, encourage your teachers to sign up for the list. Listings are free for a limited time. For more information, visit spinweave.org.

-Liz Gipson

Spinning and Weaving Group Marketing Coordinator

​We’d love your help in spreading the word! Please share this in your guilds, groups and on your social media platforms!

Thank you for your help!

-The Schacht Team

 

Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Simple Woven Garments

It’s here! The book we have all been waiting for, “Simple Woven Garments” by Jane Patrick and Sara Goldenberg is off the press!

From a classic capelet to an ode to Coco Chanel, this book is chock full of stunning new designs. Sara and Jane will take you from simple, elegant projects and give you the resources you need for more complicated garments. Jane and Sara have created over 20 designs for all occasions and seasons.

This book uses mostly knitting yarns that you can find at your local yarn shop and some that are likely in your stash. A few of the projects utilize accent stripes which are a great way to use up some of those leftover bits of yarn. Overall this book is a fantastic resource not just for weaving techniques, but also for garment design, inspiration, and construction.

My personal favorite is the hoodie. I love the modern style of this wardrobe staple, and can’t wait to warp up my loom for my own! Keep an eye on our blog in the coming months for designs made by the office staff inspired by the book.

Grab your own copy of “Simple Woven Garments” from a Schacht Dealer near you!
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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Fiber Art by Denise Renee Grace

The purpose of the Schacht blog has been and always will be to share and inspire ideas about weaving and spinning. Looking at all the weaving patterns, yarns, and colors, the possibilities really are endless. All of us could do projects for the rest of our lives and technically, we will never do the same thing twice.  We have shared projects and patterns in the crafts of weaving and spinning, but this week we want to share something less “functional”…art. FACE of Fiber in the Rockies is a juried art show that is scheduled this year to accompany the Estes Wool Market. A few weeks ago Denise applied for the show, and just received word that all of her pieces were accepted! Here are a few images of her work, and a brief statement about her art.

“I find it fascinating to see people’s different expressions in art or music or life in general. We have “voices” that evolve over the years from one style to another, but for the most part still seem to have a similar thread. Looking back on the art I made in college, I can tell that it was made by the same artist, but there are subtle differences in the techniques and execution of the art. I love working in a simple style and allowing the material speak for itself. I am just the instrument that molds it into what it wants to be. I hope this will inspire you to step outside the box a little and explore your voice.” – Denise Renee Grace

Peak Ascension

Peak Ascension, 29″ X 14″ – Fabric, handwoven fabric, photographic print on fabric.

Ancestors’ Garden

Ancestors’ Garden, 14″ X 29″ – Fabric, handwoven fabric, turitella agate.

Emerald Sea

Emerald Sea, 29″ X 14″ – Handwoven fabric, fabric, glass marbles.

 


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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

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!

 

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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
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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.

Connecting with Traditional Textile Makers

Today we want to highlight textile good works around the globe that you can help support through your purchase of hand-crafted products for your holiday gift giving. We’re including a link to the WARP Artisan Textile Resources: Your Guide to Global Handmade Textiles. Reading through the Guide you’ll find heartwarming stories about projects worldwide, along with many dedicated folks helping support traditional textile making in parts of the world where handcrafting goods is a means of supporting families—as well as maintaining age-old textile traditions that we here at Schacht are passionate about the importance of helping to sustain.

Mayan Hands is one of the featured groups highlighted in the Guide and is a textile community that we help support with our Cricket Bag, designed especially for our Cricket Loom. It all came about several years ago when Deborah Chandler, then the director/president of Mayan Hands in Guatemala, was visiting us here in Boulder, Colorado and mentioned that her weavers needed more outlets for their products. At the same time we were looking for a sturdy bag for our Cricket Loom. As a way to support the weavers, we commissioned Mayan Hands to weave bags for us, which are then sewn by another woman/group in Guatemala before shipping to the US. These bags are offered in several traditional colors and patterns. The weavers and sewers are paid a fair trade wage and their purchase truly makes a difference in sustaining the weavers’ families and their traditional way of life. The Cricket Bags are available from Schacht dealers.

I asked Deborah to write a piece about some of the weavers of Mayan Hands so that we can know them better and the impact weaving makes on their lives. This story of Mayan Hands is similar to the other stories you’ll read in the Artisan Textile Resources Guide. – Jane Patrick

Mayan Hands and The Story of the Cricket Bag 

Looking at the finances of a typical Mayan family, it can be understood how important weaving is to their family income. For example, a Mayan family consumes about two pounds of corn per person per day. So a family of six needs 12 lb/day or 84 lb/week or 4,368 lb/year. Maria Ana Lajuj and her husband Paolino Sarpec and their four children are blessed to have their own cornfield, which in a good year produces enough to feed the family. But 2014 was not a good year. A wide-spread drought killed almost the entire corn crop in the “Dry Corridor” of Guatemala, which means that at the current price of $.24/pound, it would cost a family like Maria Ana’s and Paolino’s $1,048.00 for their most basic staple. To put that in perspective, at minimum wage, working full time, it would take three months to earn enough to buy that much corn.

Cricket Bag fabric in Bronze – Look at that roll fabric!

In the 1980s the country of Guatemala was in the throes of an internal conflict that affected every person in the country. During that decade Guatemalan anthropologist Brenda Rosenbaum lived with different communities of Mayan women while conducting her field work. She was profoundly impressed with the strength and beauty of the women, including and especially their attachment to weaving on the backstrap loom, an important part of Mayan life that has been passed down from mother to daughter for thousands of years.

Equally profound was the awareness of the difficult lives the women faced, from both the “Time of the Violence” and staggering poverty. Combining Brenda’s heart with the business skills of Brenda’s husband, Fredy, the couple founded Mayan Hands, a fair trade organization that for a quarter of a century has provided Mayan women with a way to earn a living with their greatest skill – weaving.


With the passage of time Mayan Hands has branched out and groups now include basket makers, felters, crocheters, embroiderers — and foot loom weavers. Since 1996 Mayan Hands has worked with the group Flor de Algodón – Cotton Flower – in Chuaperol, Rabinal. The women started out in life as backstrap weavers, then as adults learned how to weave on much faster and therefore more lucrative foot looms. In many cases, once the women learned, they taught their husbands, and now couples work as teams in their own homes. One big advantage of working at home is that it makes caring for children much easier. While many of the families also have parcels of land and/or other lesser sources of income, as a “steady job”, weaving is their best option for earning a living – at least as long as they have a fair trade client like Mayan Hands. Selling locally is a climate of fierce competition. Of the 15 million people who live in Guatemala, more than 40% are indigenous Maya. Of these, more than half a million are weavers.

Flor de Algodón, Cotton Flower, a group of foot loom weavers.

Maria Ana is the leader of Flor de Algodón, Cotton Flower, a group of foot loom weavers in the village of Chuaperol, outside of Rabinal, Baja Verapaz. As a child Maria Ana traveled with her family as migrant workers within Guatemala, picking cotton and other crops. Even so, she learned to weave on a backstrap loom, as did most Mayan girls. Maria Ana is smart and a hard worker, and as an adult she became a public health promoter, traveling to small villages throughout the area. Then the opportunity came to learn to weave on foot looms through a program sponsored by the Center for Integrated Families in Rabinal. Maria Ana jumped at the chance. In time she founded Flor de Algodón and has been weaving ever since.

The worldwide economic crash that began in 2008 had a big impact on the group. In an effort to keep the group working, Mayan Hands has designed new products made from the same cloth: leather-edged shoulder bags, assorted pouches for electronic devices, notebook covers, and smaller pieces like coin purses and coasters. The structure of the cloth itself stays constant; what changes are the colors, for which Guatemala is famous among the textile cultures – and tourist destinations – of the world. In Guatemala, it begins and ends with color. The family histories of the women and men of Flor de Algodón are tales of being migrant workers within Guatemala, losing too many family members to violence, lack of education, droughts that kill off crops, the pain of watching children suffer with terrible health problems, and the circumstances of daily living that drag people down. But their stories also include tremendous resilience, hard work, strong families, a determination that their children’s lives will be better, and a deep faith that the seemingly impossible is in fact possible.

To learn more about Mayan Hands visit: www.mayanhands.org

To learn more about the Cricket Bag visit: www.schachtspindle.com
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Deborah Chandler

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Electronic Textiles, Prof. Barbara Layne, Studio subTela, Concordia University, Montreal

We break our normal posting style to announce a local event. We are excited to sponsor this event, as it expands the world of textiles and brings the historic industry into the 21st century. Join us this Thursday, December 4th at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, CO for this special event.-Schacht Spindle Company

Previous Handweavers Guild of Boulder member, Barbara Layne, will present a special lecture on e-Textiles at The Dairy, December 4th, Thursday, 7:00 pm. This event is sponsored by a gift from Schacht Spindle Co. and the Luminescence Project. It’s free and open to the public.

Photo Courtesy of subTela

Barbara Layne taught weaving at The Weaving Shop back in the 70’s and has gone on to teach Textile Arts at Concordia University and found the Hexagram Institute in Montreal. She will discuss her creative research in electronic textile arts at her Studio subTela.

At subTela, natural materials are woven in alongside microcomputers and innovative sensors to create surfaces that are receptive and responsive to external stimuli. Wireless transmission systems have also been developed to support real time communication. In both wearable systems and installations, textiles are used to address the social dynamic of fabric and human interaction. Video clips and images will be shown.

Luminescence is installed at the entrance to The Dairy. The digital LED illuminated handwoven installation intersects the traditional craft of handweaving with the 21st technology of programmed LED lighting. The Lighting Design Team, Dan Julio, Eric Miller and Mike Bissell will also be in attendance.

Barbara Layne is a Professor of Studio Arts at Concordia University and the Director of Studio subTela, one of the Hexagram Institute’s media arts labs. The Studio is focused on the development of intelligent cloth structures for the creation of artistic, performative and functional textiles. Professor Layne has lectured and exhibited internationally, most recently in the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, Mexico, The Kaunas Biennale of Textiles in Lithuania, Sensual Technologies at the International Symposia of Electronic Arts in Istanbul, and This Pervasive Day at the Edinburgh Science Festival. The research has been supported with numerous grants including the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, The Canada Council for the Arts, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Conseil des arts du Quebec.

When: Thursday, December 4th  at 7 pm

Where: The Dairy Center for the Arts, 26th and Walnut, parking in the back, off Walnut

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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Happy Halloween!

We are wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween, from all of us at Schacht to you!

Christy made these adorable and delicious cupcakes!

Little Red Riding Hood (Kate) is bringing her grandmother some yarn! Watch out for the bat!

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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Spinzilla Final Tally!

Benjamin has spent the better part of a two days measuring the yarn, and fielding e-mails from our “off-site” spinners. We are finally ready to announce our final yardage for Spinzilla! 61,671 yards!!!

All the yarn from our “Schacht-based” spinners!

That is 35.04 miles, or more than enough yarn to reach from us to the Denver Art Museum, where 5 teams (including ours) spent Sunday the 12th spinning until our bobbins were full. Over 70 spinners showed up to this event, which was a major hit with the patrons of the museum.

For our team, the spinner who spun the most yardage was Denise Renee Grace. She spun 7,032 yards (~4 miles) of yarn using all four of her wheels!

Here is a closer look at everybody’s yarn.

Lara – 1,163 yards

Melissa – 2,586 yards

Beege – 1,229 yards

Caron – 2,767 yards

Stephanie – 4,496 yards

Deb B – 2,386 yards

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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Spinzilla Guest Blog – Deb Brandon

Long Distance Relationship

Schacht and I have a long distance relationship. We see each other no more than two or three times a year, yet, our ties are still close, even after these long seven plus years. When I visit, Lupe welcomes me with a hug, as do Kate and Denise. Jane and Barry greet me with a smile. And they all ask me when I’m planning to move to Boulder. Last year we took our relationship one step farther, when I participated in the first Spinzilla as a Schacht team-member. And here I am, once again, spinning away with my Schacht community for Spinzilla 2014. This year, we have taken another step. Though I am spinning here in my home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylavania, and my team-members are close to fifteen hundred miles away, in Boulder, my sense of being a part of the Schacht community is even stronger—this year. We even have team T-shirts.

I sit here wearing my T-shirt, treadling away, clouds of fiber flowing between my fingers, entering the twist, winding onto the bobbin as a lofty yarn that will become a scarf, or a hat. Perhaps a shawl, or a vest.

As I treadle, images flow through my mind—a chocolate alpaca being sheared, work-worn fingers picking vegetable matter out of a fleece, suntanned hands carding fiber into fluffy clouds. I envision knitting needles in my hands, clicking against each other, a scarf growing row by row. I see a shuttle, shooting from selvedge to selvedge, trailing creamy yarn. I recall past projects, a hand knit tomten hat for my father made of handspun Romney, a lace scarf that now resides in India that I knitted with yarn I’d spun from an angora/wool blend.

I picture other spinners, from near and far, creating yarn during Spinzilla week. Bolivian women walking to market, packs on their backs, hands busy spinning, their spindles swinging to and fro with every step. I imagine Irene Schmoller of Cotton Clouds, sitting at her wheel, a colorful scarf around her neck. Her legs, encased in matching leggings, are a blur of color as she treadles. I visualize a group of women sitting in a circle at Natural Stitches, a local yarn shop, treadling away as they chat and laugh.

And in my minds eye, I see the Schacht spinners, my teammates, Denise, Jane, Kate, Paul, Cindy. They’re sitting outside under the trees during break, with Ladybugs, Sidekicks, Reeves, or Matchless spinning wheels, spinning away, just like me, on my own Ladybug.

For more of Deb Brandon’s work, you can find her in the following places:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter

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Deb Brandon

Spinzilla – Why We Spin

Top row left to right: Maria, Kou, Gail, James, Benjamin, Barry, Deb F., Denise, Stephanie, Betty, Beege, Judy, Cindy.
Bottom row left to right: Brianna, Paul, Donna, Kate, Pam, Jane, Constance

Our “satelite” spinners on Team Schacht top to bottom: Deb B, Lara, Melissa, Nora
Not Pictured: Caron Wilson

There are many reasons why we spin here at Schacht. I could go on for pages on why each of us on team Schacht Spindle sit down at our wheel and spin.

Enjoy these selections of “why we spin.”

“… it’s a calm center … a continuation of an ancient craft, connecting us to all of civilization …”

“It’s the ‘doing’ of it … ‘making’ … the promise of the end project … potential”

“It’s complete control. From fiber to yarn to finished project I have control over the whole process … there is nothing like using my handspun.”

“There’s a meditative quality to spinning … making something ‘real'”

“The entrainment of the rhythm resets my body and spirit.”

“Spinzilla gave me an opportunity to learn something new. It’s soothing, calming, and gives me focus.”

“It’s soothing … easy to pick up and put down, and just relax. It’s another fiber-y thing to do. Using my handspun is satisfying.”

“I find it enjoyable … relaxing …  calming. I wanted to learn when I first started working at Schacht because I found out spinning wheels weren’t just in fairy tales.”

“It’s calming … I go to another place when I spin. I wanted to learn since I build the wheels; I was curious.”

“It’s soothing … a great way to get centered. It’s my own world.”

“I wanted to learn because I was curious. Anytime I am offered an opportunity to learn something, I take it.”

For more updates during Spinzilla, find us on our social media!

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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Spinzilla Guest Blog – Lara Neel

Why you are doing Spinzilla?

I’m doing Spinzilla this year as a way to kick-start my spinning. It’s had to take a real back seat to my knitting and online activities in 2014 since I was finishing my book, Sock Architecture, and, now that it’s out, I’m spending a lot of time letting people know about it! Last year, I had a pretty good rhythm going, spinning at least once a week. I hope this week of really committed spinning will help get me back to that.

What you plan to spin that week?

I know I should spin from my stash, and I guess my most recent purchase counts as stash, since I bought it 6 months ago! It’s a gorgeous art batt from a local shepherdess. The colors are autumnal, but there’s also some bright pink in there. I can’t wait to get it open and see how it spins up.

What do you plan on doing with the yarn you spin?

If I can get a nice worsted-weight yarn out of the batt, and I think I will, I will probably weave it up on my Flip into a scarf. Weaving and handspinning go so well together. I like to knit, mostly, relatively plain yarns. With weaving, I feel I can get a little more “out there”. If I don’t find the right warp for it, right away, I’ll just display it in my home. A lot of my former art batts are now art skeins. They look lovely just resting on a bookshelf.

What do you like about spinning?

It is super-relaxing, but still creative. I avoided spinning for a long time because I thought I wouldn’t want to give up my knitting time to do it, but I’m really glad that my friend finally loaned me a wheel and talked me into trying it. When everything is set up just right, and the fiber is just flowing over my fingers like water, that’s just heavenly.

What are your thoughts on Spinzilla?

Spinzilla is so much fun because I love seeing what other people are doing with their spinning. Unless you happen to live somewhere that has a spinning group, it’s rare to really see other people’s work in an up-close and-personal way. Spinzilla makes it easy to feel really connected to other spinners. There’s that competitive aspect to it, too, and I hope I don’t let my team down too much! I was a “rogue” spinner last year because I wasn’t sure I could really put in the time. I’m still not sure, but I guess I can’t resist the invitation to be a part of the team!

Where you can find me online:
Blog
math4knitters.blogspot.com

Twitter
math4knitters

Instagram
laraneel

Etsy
laraneel


Thanks Lara! Other spinners out there, what are your answers to the questions above? Let us know in the comments!

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Lara Neel

Spinzilla 2014 Day 1

Spinzilla is officially here, and teams from around the world have hit the wheels treadling. Our team here at Schacht had our first lunch-time spin-in today, with many of us filling our diet with fiber (ha, ha).

Our new spinners are hard at work, and it is amazing to see the transformation that has taken place in such a short amount of time! Not bad for half an hour!

Donna – Day 1

James – Day 1

Kou – Day 1

Pam – Day 1

Our veteran spinners are also spinning their way through ounces (soon to be pounds) of fiber.

Benjamin – Day 1

Betty – Day 1

Bri – Day 1

Cindy – Day 1

Constance – Day 1

Deb – Day 1

Denise – Day 1

Jane – Day 1

Judy – Day 1

Kate – Day 1

Nora – Day 1

Paul – Day 1

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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Spinzilla Training Camp – 3 Weeks Out

 

We are 17 days out from Spinzilla, and we are gearing up to spin!

Every Thursday our team meets at lunch to brush up and hone our spinning techniques. Some people are practicing long draw, others are trying different whorl and treadle-speed combinations. With a full team and high spirits, we hope to pull out some large numbers!

Each week, more of our team shows up for our spin in. Not only is this creating a a stronger team for Spinzilla, it is creating a stronger team at our factory.

How are you preparing for Spinzilla? Are you part of a team, or have you gone rogue? Let us know in the comments below and on our various social media outlets!

 

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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

The Monster is Coming!!

The second annual Spinzilla is right around the corner–one month from Saturday to be exact. Before we get into the fun and the fury of Spinzilla, its good to remember why we are participating in this event. Spinzilla, at its core, is a fundraising program for the Needle Arts Mentoring Program to “promote and encourage relationships between adults and youth, fostering curiosity, creativity and a feeling of achievement through the teaching of needle arts.” Your registration fees are what fund this amazing program. We believe in this so much that we are one of the three Yak sponsors of the event.

Now a global event, Spinzilla is connecting over 50 teams representing 1400 spinners from around the world. We are keeping an eye on the team from Bolivia, filled with life-long spinners. We are sure they will be major contenders. Last year as a spinning community, we raised over $6,000 and spun 1,373,175.06 yds (780.2 miles) of yarn; we can’t begin to measure the amount of fun we had.

You have a month to get ready, and it is never too early to prepare. Here is a brief checklist to keep in mind:

Is your wheel in working order? Tune up your wheel to make sure that it will spin with ease.

Do you have the right equipment? Spinning wheel oil, whorls (high-speed), threading hooks, niddy noddy, yardage counter, Ultra Umbrella Swift, etc. Check in with your Schacht Dealer for supplies.

Enough bobbins? During Spinzilla if you choose not to ply, you can transfer your yarn from your spinning wheel bobbins to cardboard spools or 6″ weaving bobbins, an effective and wallet-friendly way to store your yarn.


Tip: Weigh all of your bobbins when they are empty and make a note of each one before Spinzilla. This makes the measuring process more accurate later if you are weighing your yarn.

Do you have enough fiber? You don’t want to be caught short of fiber during the week. To help assess whether your fiber will be enough for the week, test how long it takes to spin an ounce of fiber close to the type you plan on spinning, and then realistically think about how many hours you might spin during the week. After a little bit of math, you’ll know about how many ounces you can spin.

Are you physically ready? When spinning for long stretches, be sure to stretch and take breaks at regular intervals to prevent injuries to wrists and hands.

Are you mentally ready? Though highly meditative, spinning for hours in front of the wheel can be monotonous. Keep interested by listening to books on tape, watching movies or t.v. shows, or have some friends over and chat while spinning. Whatever you do, make it fun!

Is your family ready? If they don’t already know, you might want to prepare your family by informing them that you might not be able to be interrupted…for a week. Tell them it’s for a good cause (which it is!) if they are skeptical.

If you have any tips or tricks to be more efficient for Spinzilla, post them in the comments below, or share them with us on Facebook! We will be blogging more often that week, so subscribe and keep up with the news!

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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Jillian Moreno

 

Jane Patrick, Creative Director at Schacht Spindle, left, and Jillian Moreno, Spinner, Knitter, Editor of KnittySpin

Barry (Schacht) and I took the opportunity to dine with Jillian Moreno when she was in town filming her plying class for Craftsy. Between teaching trips, Jillian is busy working on her next book on spinning to knit for Storey, due out in 2016. You know Jillian particularly through Knitty and KnittySpin–both great sources for inspiration.

It’s always great to get together with fiber folk, especially when they are as passionate as Jillian. Check out her classes on her website for your next guild or shop class.

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Winner of the Spring Zoom Loom Doll Challenge

We asked Spring Zoom Loom Doll Winner “HotAfricanQueen” a few questions about her Doll!

What a relaxing scene

What is your name?“Chantal Hoareau”

Where are you from? “Born in Africa, I now make Los Angeles, California my home.”

How long have you been weaving?“I have only been weaving since March 2014. This is the 1st loom I have ever worked with consistently.”

What drew you to the Zoom Loom? “I am a tool-gal. I am always looking for new tools to use or hone a skill. When I saw the Zoom Loom at Stitches West 2014, I immediately saw the potential it had—so I had to get it. I am glad the vendor selling it had a partially worked project on it. That is what drew me to the loom.”

What other fiber arts do you do? “Knitting & Crochet”

What was the inspiration behind this doll?“I ended up working on the environment first, then the doll much later. Inspiration happened while I was on a coffee run one spring morning. I stopped to observe a newly planted flower bed that was facing the sidewalk. Their classic spring colors were a welcome sight from the dreary winter colors. Even in California. Tall and short flowers, some open and others still, others partially open, yet others almost shyly, closed shut. The still-shut flowers reminded me that Mother Nature un-folds flowers to show them off. It occurred to me that I could possibly reverse the process by folding a flower into place. I thought this would be a good experiment to try some origami using the Zoom Loom squares. My experiments revealed that regular yarn did not match my perception—it created too much bulk for what I had in mind. So I moved onto finer, thread yarn and came up with a lace origami flower! It took me a weekend to fine-tune the process as I wanted to include as many flower components as possible from 1 (one) completed Zoom Loom square. In the end, I succeeded in making them small enough to include petals, stamen, pistil and stem. To keep the idea fresh, I wrote up a pattern that is now posted among my Ravelry projects. The flowers were done by April. These served as inspiration for the dress for the doll when I decided to use the same yarns as the flowers. Fun project!”

What yarns do you prefer to use? “Cotton”

Do you have plans for the next doll?“I am still toying with ideas for the summer doll. There are so many sources of inspiration. A friend even gave me the idea of a dancing Hawaiian girl!”

If you could have one super-power what would it be? “Erase all hatred and greed”
Thank you to everyone who participated in this round! If you would like to participate in the Summer Doll Challenge, pop on over to the Ravelry thread!

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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Welcome to the Gardens at 6101 Ben Place

Welcome to the Gardens at 6101 Ben Place

A bunny’s eye view of the front door of Schacht.

Since this upcoming Saturday marks the “start” of summer, we wanted to share a little piece of Schacht that people rarely see. We like to garden here at Schacht, both for the flowers and for the food. When guests arrive, they are greeted by a delightful front entry bed with gorgeous flowers. A brief stroll takes them along a verdant strip of vegetable gardens.

As an employee, we have the privilege and opportunity to have a garden plot in our community garden. It all started several years ago when our assembly manager, Shoua, wasn’t happy with the terms of the City’s community garden. We thought, “why not garden here?” We then had a strip of grass along our southern border that was begging to be of more use in our semi-arid climate. We dug it all up, added a bountiful amount of compost, and divided it up into individual plots. Most any summer day you’ll find employees in their gardens during breaks, lunches, or early in the morning before the heat is up.

Betty’s garden is filling up quickly with delicious greens.

Jane and Barry share a plot, too, planting peas on St. Patrick’s day along with cucumbers for pickles and of course tomatoes galore.

Potentially pick-able pea pods.

We hope you enjoyed this brief stay at the grounds of Schacht Spindle Company, and may your summer be as bountiful as ours.

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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.