Do you have scarves in your gift closet?
Transform your stash into gifts for others
Handwoven magazine's former managing editor Pattie Graver is an accomplished weaver and spinner to boot. In her retirement, she has been offering invaluable help around the Spin-Off office. We have invited her to share with you about our latest eBook as well as a great stash-busting idea just in time for fiber-festival season.
Mary Blanche Morse's felted lace scarf from 8 Handspun Scarves to Felt, Knit, and Weave.
Pattie: The season of wool markets and fiber festivals has arrived. What events are you planning on attending? More importantly, what treasures will follow you home? But wait a minute! Are you fretting because you still have unspun fiber or unknit yarn that you bought last year or maybe two years ago? I know how it goes. You walk by a booth, something catches your eye, and it goes home with you. Before you know it, you have a little of this and lots of that and no clear idea of how you will use it all. After you get home, you gaze at your purchases for a few days and then lovingly tuck them into a closet.
Speaking of closets, have you ever known any of those fabulously organized people who maintain a gift closet? I think this is a lovely idea, and for fiber people, it could serve multiple purposes. We could have beautiful handmade gifts in-waiting, use up our stash, justify additions to the stash because we are "saving money," and have an opportunity to learn new skills. Small projects, such as scarves, would be perfect items in a gift closet.
In the new eBook from Spin-Off, 8 Handspun Scarves to Felt, Knit, and Weave, there are lovely knitted items that use small amounts of our beloved wool and alpaca as well as more exotic blends such as qiviut/cashmere/silk. Maybe you have some buffalo/silk or other combination already sitting in your stash.
Rosalie Dittmann's woven scarf swatch from 8 Handspun Scarves to Felt, Knit, and Weave.
Have you ever considered felted lace? There are detailed instructions from Mary Blanche Morse for using handspun yarn and Merino top to create a beautiful artistic scarf. I have seen some of Mary's felted lace at the Estes Park Wool Market, and it is exquisite. If I ever make one of these, it will go on the top shelf of my gift closet while waiting for its new home.
If you have or end up with a stash of beads, you will love the articles by Judith MacKenzie on beaded yarns. Judith explains three ways to spin beaded yarns: simple plied, cabled, and handknotted. She also provides a list of thread and bead resources. I have always wanted to try this ever since my friend Debi Dodge showed me some beautiful variegated beaded yarns that she created, dare I say, about twenty years ago.
Have dyes ever found their way into your market bag because you were inspired at a festival by a stunning piece with gradual hand-dyed color transitions? Well, wait until you see the gorgeous ombré silk scarf with beaded fringe!
Finally, as a weaver, I was inspired by the article on scarf swatches. I love to sample, but I sure like the idea of sampling also having a second life in my future gift closet. One thing for sure, Spin-Off's 8 Handspun Scarves to Felt, Knit, and Weave will definitely help me use my festival finds—past, present, and future.
Have a fun and safe festival season!