When I was in college I spent a January break deeply ensconced in a weaving studio in Maine learning the ins and outs of heddles, warps and wefts. I became fascinated with the beauty of woven fabric, but once the month was over, I faced the same dilemma as many aspiring weavers before me: even if I could have afforded a room-size loom, where in the world would I put it? My dorm room? Or later, my first New York City shoebox apartment?
And so, about a million years later, I'm so excited to be back at the loom! This time with Schacht Spindle Co.'s perfectly engineered Cricket Loom. About the size of a record player, this rigid-heddle loom turns out beautiful woven fabric without requiring its own room. The Cricket is also super easy and insanely satisfying!
For this Woven Scarf I worked a plain weave, choosing yarns that would add their own complexity and depth. Habu's Dyed Bamboo forms a strong, smooth and wonderfully lustrous warp. And the hand dyed subtlety of Anzula's Squishy gives the weft a gently variegated beauty. The result is a stunning lightweight scarf with all the classic simplicity of woven fabric!
As a lover of all crafts that involve my hands and some yarn, the Cricket Loom is my new best friend. It swings open the door to a whole world of fiber arts whose inspiration is truly endless!
Get the Woven Scarf how-to's right here, and be sure to also check out our Cricket Loom Tips here. Happy weaving! -Whitney
I’m someone who needs a large bag. I don’t understand how people can carry dainty little purses! Where do they put their stuff? My ideal bag needs room for a whole lot of life’s supplies: a sweater, wallet, book, notebook, cell phone, and laptop, plus some baby toys, my current craft project and tonight’s dinner. It also needs to be sturdy, easy to carry, and good looking! The Everyday Tote fits the bill… and all of my things as well!
I’ve made many bags for the Purl Bee, but I feel like they’ve all been leading me to this Everyday Tote. Using techniques honed on my 40 Minute Tote and Inside Out Bag, I think I’ve finally created my ideal carryall! Since it’s made from Cotton Duck, this bag is strong and utilitarian but also attractive with accents of Neon Bias Tape and yarn dyed fabric.
The Everyday Tote is a blast to sew. It uses lots of different sewing techniques so it’s never boring, and the result is so refined and professional looking, no one will believe you made it yourself! Best of all, the finished bag is totally modern and totally functional. You really are going to want to carry it everyday!
I don’t know if it’s just a New York thing, but it seems as though the appearance of muslin tote bags is as sure a sign of spring as blooming flowers and chirping birds.
As the wintery skies lift and coats are shed, so too are those heavy leather bags. So in true New York spring fashion, I started digging around for my freshest, cleanest tote, and as I often do, I wondered how it was I didn’t have a knit version of this object, this thing I love and use every time the sun shines!
I dressed up this simple sack with Louet’s Euroflax, a naturally chic 100% linen yarn. This hearty, elegant linen pairs perfectly with Tunisian stitch for a gently textured fabric with a whole lot of simple grace. Use this pretty Knit Tote for your shades and a lipstick or even for the early spring peas and radishes you’ll be grabbing at the market.
There’s still a bit of bite in the air here in New York, but I am yearning for the warmth and levity of spring. As soon as I can, I’ll be rocking a tote bag, just like so many of my neighbors! -Laura