I used to knit A LOT. Every day. I had projects with me at school, at work, getting my oil changed, sitting in church, in the evening, etc. But my hands and wrists started to protest, so I slowly transitioned away towards other things. Also, I got bored. I felt bad for not wanting to do it anymore.
In the last two years, since opening the Shop, I’ve come back to knitting. Not just that, but I’ve been exploring crochet much more too. And I’m loving it again! My latest FOs have been more for my own enjoyment and curiosity. My new favorite yarn is ENID, the DK weight Blue-Faced Leicester that I’ve been dyeing. I’ve made three shawls and a hat so far.
Last April I finally started a Fiber Club, something I had been wanting to do for years. They had been all the rage for quite some time – sock clubs, yarn clubs, swaps — anything that allowed someone to pay for a box to appear on their porch each month. But how could I make it work with the way I work? No recipes, no plans. No two things the same. It didn’t seem to be the way these clubs worked. Dyers send an “exclusive colorway” to their subscribers. I don’t even have colorways! After discussing with a fellow fiber artist (that I respect and trust), it seemed that a surprise batt club would be the best route. Blammo!
The first group was a bit of an experiment. I’ve worked out details through the course of the year, figuring out better ways to make it function. I’m pleased to say that I’ve settled on something that seems to make sense?? Ha! I suppose I’ll never stop doubting myself about these things.
There are so many awesome things to which you can add color! Wool, silk, mohair – locks, top, yarn. Each fiber and prep works a little different with the color. Luster, staple length, breed. These factors effect how the fiber takes the dye.
For quite some time I’ve been offering ecru combed top in various breeds. Basically whatever I’m currently dyeing is available for you to dye too. When I get a new 22 lb bump, I set aside two to three pounds and offer them in 8 ounce bags.
Now that I’ve started dyeing yarn more regularly, there’s yarn in the shop! Right now you’ll find 4 ounce hanks of Targhee in heavy worsted weight.
The fibers can be dyed before or after spinning. I like to do both. Dyeing the fiber first gives you a lot of options if you don’t like the way the color comes out. You can card the fiber or rearrange the layout as you spin. However, spinning ecru fiber and dyeing after is fun too! There are so many ways to experiment and play, it never gets old.
What goodies can you pick up at the Studio?
Blue-faced Leicester Wool/Silk combed top (8 oz bag)
Targhee Wool/Silk/Bamboo combed top(8 oz bag)
Cheviot Wool combed top(8 oz bag)
Ecru Sampler combed top (6 oz bag)
Natural colored domestic roving (2 oz ball)
Firestar nylon (1/2 oz bag)
Mohair combed top (2 oz bag)
Mohair roving (30 g bag)
Heavy worsted weight Targhee Wool yarn (4 oz hank)
One of my primary goals for 2019 is to schedule activities more than two weeks in advance. I started in December by planning out the first quarter of the new year. January is almost gone now, but we are quickly coming up on February. Dates and times subject to change.
After the rush of the holidays, we could all use a little break. The Studio+Shop will be closed for Winter Break from December 23 through January 1. Business resumes Wednesday, January 2!
— Last day to shop in 2018 — Saturday, December 22 from 10 am to 3 pm
When we come back, posted hours will be changing slighting. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday will be expanding an hour. Thursday will be for appointments and workshops only. You can still schedule appointments for classes and private lessons any time Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.
Tuesday + Friday : 11 am to 4 pm Wednesday : 11 am to 7 pm Thursday: Appointment only Saturday : 10 am to 3 pm
Celebrate the end of another great year by helping me clear out old shop samples! Starting on Small Business Saturday and running until December 22, select tools and samples will be on sale for 15-20% off list price. When I say “supplies are limited”, I mean it. There is only one of each available!
RENTAL TOOLS & FLOOR SAMPLES
Schacht Ladybug Spinning Wheel + Onboard Lazy Kate
Schacht Sidekick Spinning Wheel
Schacht Cricket 15″ Loom + Stand
Schacht Flip 20″ Loom + Stand
Schacht School Loom
Schacht Hand Carders
Valkyrie Hand Combs
Louet Blending Board
Lacis Umbrella Swift
KNIT & WOVEN SAMPLES
Child’s vest, knit
Phos shawl, knit
Adult hat, knit
Holiday Hours: Thursday, November 22 >> Closed Friday, November 23 >> Closed Saturday, November 24 >> 10 am to 5 pm
Recently Schacht released a new loom called the Easel Weaver. It’s cute, compact, easy to use, ready for fun, and ready for travel. You can hold it in your hand, lay it flat on the table (it’s got little rubber feeties on the back to keep it from sliding around), or use the kick stand to have it standing up. These are now sold with a great range of tools including a beater, shuttle, and weaving stick. Choose between three sizes: 6″, 8″, or 10″.
If this looks like something you might be into, that’s great! These are available for you to take home or give as gifts this holiday season. But maybe you want to play around without making a commitment. Perhaps you and your friends are looking for a new crafty endeavor to share.
Join us next month for a Mini Weaving Session! We’ll be working with a 6″ Easel Weaver and lots of different types of materials. Just $35 per person and that includes your supplies and nibbles.
Celebrating 11 years, the Yarn Discovery Tour provides fiber enthusiasts the opportunity to visit 19 amazing yarn shops throughout Northeast Ohio. This will be the first time Gwen Erin Natural Fibers is participating! We are the most eastern stop on the tour and easy to find just off I-80 (exit 234). If you are coming from Pennsylvania, we’re a great place to start.
During the tour, September 4 thru September 22, the Studio will be open special hours: Tuesday 12 PM – 4 PM Wednesday 12 PM – 7 PM Thursday & Friday 11 AM – 6PM Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM
How does the Tour work?
Purchase a $8 passport at any
participating shop & receive a free souvenir tote bag. Passports
available for purchase beginning Tuesday, August 21 and continuing
through the 2018 YDT.
2018 Yarn Discovery Tour begins Tuesday, September 4 and concludes Saturday, September 22.
a minimum of $10 from any participating shop and receive that shop’s
free YDT pattern and entry into that shop’s Prize Basket drawing ($100+
When you make your purchase, receive a passport stamp
from that shop as well as their pin for your souvenir totebag. Visit a
few shops or visit them all!
Collect 5, 10, 15 or all 19 passport stamps and be entered into YDT Prize Basket drawings as well.
YDT will draw 4 winners from all shoppers with 5 passport stamps, 2
winners for all shoppers with 10 and 15 passport stamps and 1 Grand
Prize Winner from shoppers with all 19 passport stamps. Shoppers with 5,
10 or 19 passport stamps not already winning a YDT Prize Basket, will
be entered in a Last Chance Drawing.
Shoppers with all 19 passport stamps will also receive a free I Did It All souvenir.
winners will be drawn and notified the week after the YDT concludes.
Winners of shop prize baskets pick those up from the shop itself.
Winners of YDT Prize Baskets may pick those up from their shop of
Winners will be posted on the website as soon as possible after the YDT concludes.
I find myself at the end of the spring show season already. This year I traveled to Pittsburgh, PA in March for Indie Knit & Spin. With new organizers and a new venue, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, it ended up being a pretty good day. Next I popped up to Ann Arbor, MI for Fiber Expo. I always love going to this show mostly because Ann Arbor is a really nifty town. We go to Zingerman’s Bakehouse for breakfast both days and usually end up at the Deli for dinner on Saturday. I think I’ll just have to plan a visit for fun some time since it’s only about 3.5 hours away. The show itself went pretty well considering we had an ice storm Saturday night! Also in April I went to Salem, OH for Knitter’s Delight, a smaller event that has taken the place of Knitter’s Fantasy. Traffic was rather slow and most shoppers weren’t interested in fiber. I rounded out the tour with one of my favorite events, the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster, OH. I realized that this was my ninth year as a vendor! How can that be?
It doesn’t seem possible that I’ve been building this business for almost 10 years. Overall it’s progressed very slowly. Some people start their businesses and shoot right to the top. Everyone just faints at the sight of them. Not for me. My graph has a very mild incline. With a few dips along the way. I have some devoted customers, but in general I’m not on anyone’s mind. I can’t quite say what keeps me going. I’ve devoted myself to this and gosh darn-it, I’m sticking to it. Whether you like it or not.
Many years ago – I’m thinking about 10, maybe more – I got it in my head that I needed a new spinning wheel. I already had an older Ashford Traditional that I bought used, but I felt that I was ready to move on to something else. It came down to two wheels: the Kromski Sonata or the Schacht Ladybug. Why these two wheels? I can’t say now what attracted me to them. They were in my price range, easy to take on the road, and charming. In the end I bought the Sonata, but the reason wasn’t profound. It came down to me doing the thing that I always do. Making a decision based on the path of least resistance. When I was car shopping, I bought the first one I found because I wanted to stop car shopping even though I hated the color. I bought the Sonata because my local yarn shop was a Kromski dealer. She had one in stock, so I spun on it, and then I took it home.
Fast forward to last year. Schacht comes into my life with full force. I have the Cricket, the Flip, the Matchless, and of course, the Ladybug at my fingertips. I’ve been using the Ladybug for the bulk of my spinning and I LUUUUURV IT. I find it difficult to describe the differences between it and the Sonata. It just runs so smooth and works just right. What would be different now if I had found this wheel 10 years ago? Buying that Sonata sent me down a Kromski path. I bought the Harp too. Now I’ve completely switched to Schacht. My Sonata is gone. My Harp is gone.
These tools have been replaced with a Ladybug and Flip. I like how solid they feel, how effortlessly they work. The wood is so smooth; the lines are simple and clean; all the parts have a purpose. It appeals to my design tastes and practicality.