Stash Into Gold: Ring in the new year with Handwoven

A note from Kathleen: I was filling in for a sick friend at my LYS the other day, and a gal came in wanting to see all of our novelty yarns. We have one stacking basket full of these yarns and some in drawers under the wall of beautiful, subtle balls of cashmere-merino blend, all in muted, understated shades. So I opened the drawers for this lady, and oh, the sparkliness! Shiny! Textured! Colorful! Exciting! Upon seeing all of these different yarns lined up in front of me, I remembered how much fun it was to work with novelty yarns. In fact, I think they started the knitting craze several years ago—thank God! I wanted one of those thin scarves, and it's what got me wanting to learn to knit. Anyway, this customer was buying yarn for weaving scarves, not knitting scarves. So imagine my surprise when I talked to Anita Osterhaug, Associate Editor of Handwoven magazine and Editor of Weaving Weekly, about the upcoming January/February issue, and she mentioned that the Yarn of the Hour feature is on weaving scarves with novelty yarns! I've had a rigid heddle loom on my wish list for quite a while, and this feature might just push me over the edge into purchasing one. Even though my sister loves to say that my favorite colors are "dull, drab, and dreary," who doesn't love a bit of the sparkle in novelty yarns?

Now here's Anita to tell you more about this wonderful issue of Handwoven.

Weave Your Way into the New Year

A new year has dawned, fresh and full of possibilities. We have resolved to shed our burdens and bad habits and to enrich our lives with new skills and purpose. So here’s a possibility for you that tips both sides of the resolutionary scale: weaving!  Weaving is a fun and satisfying way to alleviate stash guilt, make beautiful and useful things in a jiffy, and indulge your creativity in a whole new way.

What if you could burn through miles of stash in a single weekend? What if you could combine yarns, paper, fabrics, and even wood in strange new ways? Can you imagine knitting 10 or 20 rows a minute? Nope, not even with that whole Scottish needle-under-the-arm speed-knitting thing—but it’s all perfectly achievable with a loom.

If we’ve piqued your curiosity, Handwoven magazine can show you how to perform amazing feats of textile-digitation with simple weaving tools. In the January/February issue our theme is Our World is Not Flat. You’ll experience the many dimensions of woven textiles: velvet, pile, crazy 3-D flower power! You’ll learn how to make lovely novelty scarves on a rigid heddle loom. Ribbon, eyelash, textured, and smooth yarns, all cohabiting in joyous profusion!

Our regular feature Yarn of the Hour is packed with information on weaving with novelty yarns, from beaded to bouclé. Gloria Mitchell's eye-catching scarf puts novelty yarns back to work.

For armchair travelers, we take you to fabulous fiber destinations at home and around the world. The current issue features down-home Decorah, Iowa, home of the Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum, with its rich Scandinavian textile heritage, thriving arts community, lovely LYS, and all-American charm. From woven coverlets to stranded colorwork, there’s lots to inspire your textile adventures.

For more inspiration, read about 95-year-old Amy Preckshot, doing charity fund-raising, publishing her charming animal designs, and mastering new textile skills with passion and humor.

See what weavers’ guilds are doing to help their communities and read studio tips about how weavers manage their stash. (And believe me, you haven’t seen stash until you try to store cones!)

We are so fortunate to live in this time and place, where the whole, rich world of textile arts, heritage and human connection is open to us. As a lifelong knitter and fiber enthusiast and a slightly more recent weaver, I’ve found that each new skill and exploration deepens and enriches the others. So I hope you will ring in the new year with an eye toward weaving. Welcome in!


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