Fiber Rhythm Classes

Our in-person classes for May have been scheduled!  these are held at the Fiber Rhythm Studio in Portland, OR.  Signup on the website. See the calendar here.

We are offering:

  • Beginning Knitting – Saturdays at 1pm starting May 3 – three sessions
  • Basic Cable Knitting – Thursday May 8 at 6:30 pm – one session
  • Basic Sock Knitting – Thursdays at 6:30 pm starting May 15 – three sessions
  • Entrelac Knitting – Tuesdays at 6:30 pm starting May 20 – two sessions
We are also setting up a email list just for the classes. Sign up to be notified of both in person and web-based classes here and you’ll get our new Whimsy Hat pattern for free!  
Bambu yarn twist

Bambu yarn twist

Another customer question I thought I would share.  
Q: I’m a weaver and interested in your yarns. For weaving the “twist” of yarns is important. What is the twist of your bamboo yarns?

A: This question can be very important for both weavers and knitters.  If the yarn is a single ply, the twist can make a knitted sample lean one direction or another– you can end up with a skewed parallelogram rather than a square or rectangle.  For weavers, the light and shadow can change the fabric drastically– creating a crepe when none was intended.

When this question came up for the bamboo yarn we carry (Silk City Fiber’s Bambu 7 and Bambu 12) I decided to take a closeup of the yarn and split the ends a bit so that we could see it better.  You can zoom in on the photo to see the strands even better.  (The dime and threaded needle are there for scale)

In the photo the red yarn is Bambu 7 (this yarn gets wound with another strand for our Double Bambu).  It is made up of 6 ‘S” twist yarns, plied  together with the opposite twist (‘Z’).  The yellow yarn is Bambu 12.  It is made up of 2 ‘S’ twist yarns, plied together with the ‘Z’ twist. 
Spinning a yarn in one direction and then plying with another is a fairly common technique used to counteract the tendency of yarn to pull in one direction or another in whatever project you are doing.  
The other factor for this discussion is how tightly the yarn is spun and plied.  The bamboo we carry has a soft twist– not too tight.  I have seen this vary a bit over the years– most likely as our supplier changed their manufacturing vendors.  
Hope this helps folks!

Studio Meetups scheduled

For those local to Portland, Oregon folks:

I’ll be hosting an open studio / meetup on Monday evenings from 7:30 until 9:00 pm and again on Wednesday afternoons from 1:30 to 4:00 pm.  Starting next week (April 14th and April 16th).  You are welcome to come and bring whatever project you are working on.

The building is on the SE corner of 18th and Ash.  There is parking at the side of the building off of 18th and to get to the studio you enter from the parking lot side and go downstairs and to the right. (You may have to knock on the window if the door is locked).

I’ll be there, hope to see you!

Reflective Yarn Closeup

Reflective Yarn Closeup

I’ve been asked to provide a close up photo of the Retroglo® yarns to help a customer decide whether or not to buy it and so thought that likely more of you folks might be interested in seeing a closeup of this fun, somewhat ‘magical’ yarn

Retroglo without Flash (no retro-reflective light)

This first photo shows the three widths that we carry.  From left to right, the 1/69″, the 1/32″, and the 1/23″.   It’s funny how its a bit hard to mentally picture the sizes, even though its spelled out for us in the name.

I’ve placed them over a wooden ruler to help illustrate the actual sizes.  If you look closely you can see that these just look like a grey strip of fabric– and that’s true. These are cut from a 3M product called  Scotchlite. It is a reflective material that is laminated to a polyester film for strength and then cut into thin strips by Metlon corporation which manufactures this yarn (made in the USA!)

You may be familiar with this, but Retroglo® has 50,000 minute glass beads to the square inch.  This is what give it the ‘magical’ quality of retro-reflectivity.  The glass beads work to shine the light directly back to the source and is why it provides that all important safety quality to your hand crafted outer-wear.

My second photo is with the flash on. This illustrates the retro-reflectivity we just spoke of.

Retroglo with Flash (retro-reflective light)

If you are interested in trying out these yarns, we suggest that you carry them along with another yarn as even though they are flexible, they are not as flexible or strong as most yarns you might use.
I’ve used them in hats and scarves with good success.  
I have more projects in the works and will be coming out with an ePub later this year with multiple craft projects using this great yarn.  The working title is “Be Seen! Craft Projects with Reflective yarn”
If you would like to hear more about the ePub and be notified when it comes out, please subscribe to our email list to be kept up to date!