Schedule Update for 2019 Introducing the Jorstad Crew

Announcing two weekends coming up when the Studio will be closed!

We’re going to a trade show in Portland at the end of January, and as a consequence we will be closed January 31, February 1, 2, and 3. We are back to normal hours starting the week of February 4. Then we will be closed February 14 through 17 for the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival.

Both of these events take all of our attention, energy, and focus to achieve, so we hope you understand and can bear with us. We will miss our regular drop-in knitter friends and customers, and ask for your understanding and support.

In sum:

Closed

Jan. 31 – Feb 3
Feb. 14 – Feb

Meet the Jorstad Crew…

We look forward to meeting new friends and having time with returning friends as we attend our two big events in Portland and Tacoma. To make it easier to get to know us we thought it would be fun to post about our crew, who we are and what we do. Jorstad is a labor of love, but for now our folks are all part-time and hoping 2019 will bring us the ability to make it our full-time occupations!

img_0894
Kerry Graber, Owner and Creative Director

Here I am, Kerry Graber, originator of Jorstad Creek! I started my knitting journey at age 4, learned about wool, spinning, and dyeing in my twenties, and in 2010 founded Jorstad Creek, a local and hand-dyed yarn company. My first experiences sharing locally sourced and hand dyed yarn was at the Nordic Knitting Conference and the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival. Knitters loved the yarns, and I am so grateful for the support! The positive feedback encouraged me to keep going. In 2016 I moved the dye studio into a warehouse in downtown Olympia and with the help of my husband Craig scaled up production.   The rest of the crew came on board throughout the last three and a half years. I am so lucky to have these terrific ladies on my team!

 

maddy
Madison Wallace, Lead Production Dyer

Madison Wallace was already an accomplished spinner of yarn and dyer of roving when we met. She is a founding member of “Spinners Anonymous”, a group of spinners who sell handspun yarn. (Come and see, we always have some on hand!) Maddy is enthusiastic and creative – and a talented knitter.  This is helpful to customers when they are looking for the perfect yarn for a project. You will find Maddy at the dye pot or work table turning out our artisan dyed yarns. Maddy also develops colorways, produces fabulous roving braids and spins samples so you can see the amazing yarns you can achieve with our roving. If you want to learn to use a drop spindle or wheel, Maddy teaches at the Studio too.

 

 

pam
Pam Ring, Worker Bee and Dye Artist

Pam describes herself as a worker bee. She takes care of customers when we are open to the public, dyes yarn and fiber, and helps us figure out methods for dyeing our plant-fiber yarns and roving. Pam is an innovator with an eye for new color combinations as well as clever ways to do things more efficiently. Her go-to knitting is cotton wash cloths but she also likes to knit colorful shawls. Pam is well-known in the Olympia community for volunteering at the door of local Traditions, a Fair Trade and music venue. We are fortunate she agreed after much persuasion to join us!

 

 

dawn
Dawn Nelson, Yarn Wrangler

Dawn’s crafting talents are amazing! You will see her excellent sewing skills in her “Bag Lady Bags” seen in our Studio and around local yarn stores in the northwest. She is always innovating a new design and we get to benefit from her ideas. Dawn calls herself the Yarn Wrangler. She manages the freshly dyed and dried yarns with great care and finesse by tidying them into neatly tied and labeled skeins. Dawn provides that final touch to our skeins that really shows them off. She also winds cones of yarn into skeins for dyeing, and handles every deadline with dedication and humor. All of this and she is an amazing crocheter and spinner who spins her Mom’s Romney sheep’s wool!

 

 

leanna
Leanna Saplan, Dye Artist Online Projects

Leanna Saplan is one of the newest members of our team. Leanna started as a customer and big fan of our yarn and fiber. A member of Spinners Anonymous with Maddy, she is a prolific knitter and spinner. She also makes the most amazing knitting project journals, handcrafted from beautiful papers and bound by hand. Her meticulous attention to detail, organizational skills, and enthusiasm for the craft of artisan dyeing is valued and appreciated by everyone on the team! Look for Leanna as a co-instructor with Maddy for our spinning classes.Together they help new spinners get a great start.

 

heather
Heather Williams Fleece Wrangler

 

Heather Williams is currently a hard-working student at Central Washington University.  Heather started working for me when I worked out of my house – she wrangled the yarn into beautiful skeins on the skein-winder in those days. Now when she is in town she wrestles with our stash of raw fleece, preparing it to go to the mill for scouring, carding, and spinning. Her upbeat attitude always lifts us up and makes this labor-intensive task much more fun. Heather likes to crochet, listen to alternative music, and is really a wonderful addition to our crew.

 

Next blog we will introduce our yarn and fiber as well as share our photo gallery!

Knit, Crochet, and Build Skills at Jorstad Creek with our studio classes in 2019

crochet2Introducing new beginning knitting and crochet classes for the complete novice or those who want more confidence in their skills…

March we kick off knitting and crochet instruction here at the Jorstad Creek Studio. We would love to be part of your crafting education! We plan to post more bio information about our instructors in the new year, but for now we’re posting the dates and opening registration for these great skill building classes planned for March 2019. Students get a 10% discount on yarn and needles throughout the month.

Beginning Knitting Class  $45 per session – choose one or both Sat March  9 and 23 – 9 am to 12 pm

Learn or gain confidence in knitting!

Sign up for one or both sessions. Three hours of expert instruction per session to get the new knitter on a solid foundation for learning our beloved craft. Do you know someone who wants to learn to knit? Or maybe learned a long time ago and needs a refresher? This class will provide basic instruction and get you started on your first project. Go as fast or slow as you like, we’ll give you personalized instruction and no pressure! Instructors Ali Hartzell and Dawn Nelson.

Crochet for Beginner’s – $45 per session – choose one or both – March 16 and 30 – 9am to 12pm

There’s more than one way to turn yarn into fabric!  The art of crocheting is nearly as old as knitting and just as versatile.  Use crochet techniques alone or paired with other fiber art skills like knitting and weaving to create original works of art! In this class, we will cover a few basic crochet stitches like chains, single crochets, double crochets, and slip stitches.  We’ll discover how to implement these stitches in straight rows or in rounds to create both flat and 3-dimensional fabrics.  We’ll discuss increasing and decreasing to get your fabric just the right size and shape, and we’ll deal with the fiber artists’ bane–hiding those pesky ends.  Join us for this basics course and you’ll be well on your way to crocheting toys, garments, blankets–whatever you can imagine!

Heather Foster is your instructor. Heather is an experienced crochet teacher and designer. We are pleased to have her join our talented group of instructors!

Yarn Substitution Success! $30 per student
April 13 – 9am to 11am

So many great patterns call for yarns that are discontinued, or are no longer readily available at your LYS. Want to substitute that luxurious hand-dyed yarn for a commercial yarn called for in a pattern? We will talk about yarn construction, fiber content, and something called “grist!” We will share our stories of both substitution successes and disasters. Students will have the knowledge and confidence to substitute yarns by the end of class! Bring a pattern or two to evaluate. Includes handouts and worksheets. Instructor – Kerry Graber, owner of Jorstad Creek

Finishing and Blocking for beautiful project results
March 2 – 9am to 11pm

Every knitter should know basic finishing and blocking.  A packed two-hour seminar! We will show you different techniques for blocking knitted pieces, even pieces that curve. We will discuss different finishes for edges and seams.  Bring scrap yarn and needles for trying out techniques. This is an introductory class for newer knitters. Jann Hoppler, talented designer and instructor, is your teacher.

Coming soon – redux of our spinning classes, new colorwork class, and spring/summer dye classes!

Read More

Spinning Class Schedule is Up!

spindleCorrected dates – see below. Join us for a spinning class in December or January. Madison and Leanna are teaming up to offer our beginning spindle class. We’ve also added a “next step” class on plying that will help you get those singles into a fabulous plyed yarn. Have you moved up to a spinning wheel, or plan to buy one but want to try it first? We have our beginning wheel class in January – bring your own or borrow one of our two Studio wheels to learn wheel basics.

Added to the schedule is a new dyeing/spinning combination with silk hankies! Learn how to dye these fiber jewels and spin them into a beautiful yarn.  Check out our schedule, below, and stop by or email us at jorstadcreek@comcast.net to reserve your spot in class. Space is limited.

Beginning Drop Spindling –      Sat December 8 – 9am to 12pm

Learn to spin yarn! This is the first step to learning how to make yarn. If you are considering diving into spinning with a wheel, we recommend starting with a simple spindle. We’ll show you how! Spindling is a portable craft you can take with you anywhere. Beginner spindles available for at the Studio. Class instructed by Madison Wallace and Leanna Saplan of Spinners Anonymous.

New! Dye and Spin Silk Hankies –Sat January 12 – 9am to 12pm

Silk hankies provide a spark of intense and reflective color as a ply for a plied yarn, or for a unique knitted project. We provide the silk hankies for you to apply amazing color – we let you experiment with two types of dyes, low-acid and procion fiber reactives. Then we show you the technique for getting a beautifully spun yarn.

hankie

Ply Yarn Singles with Spindle Sat December 15 – 9am to 12pm

Class Fee: $40 – sign up for both the beginner spindle class and this plying class, get a class fee discount!

So you learned to spin yarn singles, now what? Come to this class and learn the two basic ways of plying your spun singles. We will demonstrate how to turn your singles in to a 2 ply and 3 ply yarn. Please bring spun singles and your spindles and be ready to make beautiful plied yarn. Class instructed by Madison Wallace and Leanna Saplan of Spinners Anonymous.

Beginning Wheel Spinning Sun January 20 10am-3pm

Have a wheel but don’t know how to get started? Want to try wheel spinning?  In this two-part class, we will provide the basics for setting up your wheel properly and then the techniques for drafting and plying for a knittable or weavable yarn. Limited number of wheels for loan, please make arrangements prior to class. Fiber for spinning is provided as part of the class fee. Class instructed by Madison Wallace and Leanna Saplan of Spinners Anonymous.

More to come! We are putting together a schedule for more dyeing as well as knitting and crochet classes – check back soon!

Basic Mini-Sweater Ornament

minisweater
Mini-Sweater with Fair Isle color work

Jorstad Creek
Basic Mini-sweater Pattern by Kerry Graber

Materials:    Sock Yarn

Needles:      US #1 or #2

Notions:       Safety Pins, darning needle

Instructions:

 Body from the bottom up

  1. Using knitted-on cast-on method, cast on 32 stitches and divide on to 3 needles.
  2. Join by knitting one round in K1P1 rib, careful not to twist. Knit 3 rounds in ribbing.
  3. Change to stockinette, Knit around until the tube measures 2” from the beginning, (the cast-on row). (Optional – begin adding color work or texture stitches at 1”)
  4. Divide stitches on to two needles evenly – 16 stitches each.

Chest and Neck Yoke

  1. In stockinette knit 4 rows or about ¼ “ from the point you divided the stitches.
  2. With right side facing knit 5 stitches. Turn. Knit 6 rows for the right-side shoulder. Slip stitches on to a safety pin and leave a 3” tail.
  3. Slip the center 6 stitches on to another safety pin.
  4. Join the working yarn at the right edge of the remaining 5 shoulder stitches and knit 6 rows. Slip stitches on to a safety pin and cut yarn leaving a 3“ tail.
  5. Repeat steps 5 through 8 for the back.
  6. Slip front and back set of shoulder stitches back on to needles. Using a three-needle bind off, join the shoulders front and back.

Neck Rib

  1. Starting on the left side of the neck pick up 4 or 5 stitches.
  2. Slip the back 6 stitches from safety pin on to a needle.
  • Pick up the right stitches, then slip the front stitches on to a needle from the safety pin.
  1. Now you have all the neck stitches onto three or four needles, knit around in K1P1 ribbing, 3 rows. Bind off.

Sleeves

  1. Pick up 14 or 16 stitches around the sleeve opening and knit around until sleeve measures 1.5” long. (Optional – Add any colorwork or texture on the 5th or 6th) Switch to K1P1 ribbing. Bind off.
  2. Repeat for other side.

Finish by sewing in ends and block

Instead of using intarsia you can knit the basic plain sweater and then duplicate stitch with contrasting yarn to make embellishments like stars or an evergreen tree.

http://www.jorstadcreek.com

IMG_2829

Star Pony free pattern

Make this simple knitted hair band to embellish your summer “up doo”.

 

 

Materials

Yarn:  Jorstad Creek “Moonstruck” – 100% Tencel DK or any yarn with sparkle or shine in a DK weight!

Needles:  US# 7 double pointed needles, set of 4

Embroidery Needle for finishing.

Elastic Hair Band used for pony tails.

Gauge:  Not important! Yes, this is one of those rare times you don’t need to use a swatch…

Directions

Using the long tail method cast on 30 stitches with two double pointed needles. Distribute the cast on stitches on to three needles (10 stitches each).

Join by knitting in the round, being careful not to twist. Knit three rounds of stockinette.

Round 4: *K2tog, YO*; repeat star to star to the end of the round.

Rounds 5 through 14: Knit

Bind off in Knit with medium tension.

Turn the knitted tube inside out. Place the elastic hair band around the tube centering around the middle of the piece. Fold the picot flap over the bind off edge to make the star, and using an embroidery needle whip stitch the flap down to the knitted fabric, sealing in the elastic hair band. You’re done!

Countdown to December

Countdown cover

We know what happens …

You’ve promised a scarf, a shawl, a hat, or pair of socks, maybe a pair of mitts as Christmas gifts.  Now it is December and you wish you had all that time from last summer to get started on your gift knitting!

We’ve got you covered! We are going to get you started months ahead with fantastic knitting projects. You will complete them in time to enjoy the Holidays without that panic of last minute gift making!

Not only will you have fun, but you can enter each month in a drawing to get a gift from Jorstad Creek! Participate in two activities each month, get them “stamped” (marked off by us), and we will enter you into a monthly drawing.  Get your passport stamped with any 8 (or more) activities before the Holidays in December and we will enter you into a grand prize drawing.

Let’s work together to make the Holidays stress free and fun this year!

Get the offical hard copy of the passport at the Jorstad Creek Studio. You can also download a pdf version of the Countdown to December Passport Final Countdown Passport and print it out at home – tell the printer to print double-sided and flip on the short edge! 

You must register your participation with us by sending us an email so we can enter you in the drawings. 

Even if you are not able to drop into the Studio very often, you can earn “virtual stamps” by ordering one of the kits or other projects from the passport – just contact us at jorstadcreek@comcast.net. Passport holders enjoy special discounts on projects in addition to monthly specials that are open to all as we Countdown to December!

Here’s what you can look forward to for July.

July

Flower-shaped felted coasters in this clever free “Java Flower” pattern.

Kits available in Kodiak single ply in 5 colors. Felt these clever coasters as a gift set! The pattern is free on Ravelry at https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/java-flower-coasters. 


IMG_2586
Java Flowers knit up in Jorstad Creek Kodiak, a feltable Alpaca/wool/silk – $24.00 for mini skein kit needed to make a full set.

Simple Christmas Stocking from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

Get started early! Kits available in Camano in solids, multis, and accent colors. Make a striped “Pippi” version, or choose a medium or large in brilliant colors. Later on in the gift-making season we will show options for embellishing your stocking! Pattern is available from Churchmouse at https://www.churchmouseyarns.com/products/basic-christmas-stockings-pattern.

stockings
Three versions of the basic stocking knit in Camano, our superwash Merino single-ply, from left the small, large, and “pippi” version.

Christmas Tree Ornament of the Month

This Stitch Nation pattern by Debbie Stoller is a free download from Redheart. It’s the perfect ornament to start our Countdown adventure. We supply the yarn at our Studio, you bring your needles and knit the ornament! The cost is a voluntary donation for supplies!  Follow this link to the downloadable pattern:  http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/yarn-basket-ornament

basket
This Stitch Nation pattern by Debbie Stoller is a free download from Redheart.

 

We’ll be back with another blog post to highlight the projects for August, talk some more about our knit-along sweater project (starts on August 6), and give you an update on the Countdown. Subscribe to the blog to get notice of our updates!

Happy gift knitting!

 

Jorstad Jaunts and Studio Celebrations

IMG_1901 (002)The Jorstad Creek Dye Studio is a place that morphs from day to day. Sometimes it is a place to create beautiful things. Sometimes it is a place to learn, celebrate, console, or meet up with a friend. I often call it my “public living room.” We love our comfy couch (there are those who have been known to nap on it from time to time!) and find it to be the most pleasant place to spend a morning or liesurely afternoon.

couch
Sunset Gradient

One afternoon earlier last week we brought food and cider from our neighbors, the FishTale Pub, and lifted a glass to commemorate an accomplishment of a friend. Surrounded by beautiful woolie braids and yarn, it seemed like the perfect place to be happy with a group of friends.

When people first enter the doorway of our studio often we see them stand stock still, a bit dumbfounded by what they see. The building isn’t easy to find, and the front door can be elusive. So when a person steps from a rather rough and tumble parking lot into our little wonderland of color they are a little perplexed. This is the “Jorstad Effect.” Local people gaze at us a glassy-eyed and ask, “How long have you been here?” “About three years.” And next they say, “How could I not know you are here all this time?”

I think of about a thousand different things I could say.  “We only appear in this location every three years, kind of like Brigadoon?” Or “You’ve crossed over a dimensional threshold to another world inhabited by color?” The fact is the Studio is one of those places that you find because you stumble upon it, or someone tells you about it. We don’t advertise in the newspaper (many reasons, ask me about it sometime), so we spend our meager advertising budget on Facebook. And we count on visitors to be amazed at our little warehouse that we’ve turned into a knitter and spinner’s Shangri La.

studio
Barbara shows off her handspun and handknit sweater from Jorstad Creek in “Three Forests” colorway.

If you come to find Jorstad from out of town you can find us when you “Google” or search “Safari” on your iphone. We’re also in a yarn shop directory for yarn tourists. In a way it can be easier to find us if you are traveling here from out of town – local people don’t think to search “yarn store” in their own burg. I confess I am conflicted about the Studio being labeled a yarn store, due to the fact it just doesn’t quite fit the formula. We make most of our products here, or we do essential pieces of the process in making what we offer retail and wholesale to other stores. But we also have classes, knitting needles, needle-felting supplies, bags and stitch markers by local artisans, and now buttons!

 

The Studio is a multi-faceted place, and it has to continue to grow and change because we aren’t just a great stop on your summer travels (the pub next door is a great place to park the non-knitters among your group), but it is also part of a local community, this downtown Olympia, with its arts, colorful characters, craft brew, wine, cholocate, traditional music, farmer’s market, boats, and foodie destinations. Folks are passionate about the quality of life here, and having thriving local yarn sources are part of this ever-changing northwest town on the shore of the Salish Sea. That’s Puget Sound for those unfamiliar.

Nancy.jpg
Nancy Mills shows off her beautiful cardigan from Jorstad Creek Kodiak in speckled colorway. We added needles to our stock of hand crafted stitch markers by local artisan Linda Pang.

I wrote about change in a previous blog post, and how we were making adjustments to meet new expectations, and we have. The Studio now has permanently expanded our hours to include Thursdays from Noon to 5 p.m.  You will find Pam and Heather at the Studio ready to help knitters find a new project, pattern, or fiber, or to get help with knitting questions.

What’s the Summer Looking like for Jorstad Creek?

In addition to our classes planned for the rest of May and June (see Class Schedule page), we have some “Jorstad Jaunts” that take us into July.

Black Sheep Gathering in Albany, Oregon. On June 28 the Studio is closed as we pack up most of our inventory and open a pop-up store at the Market at the Linn County Expo Center. This is a “sheep show” with live sheep, sheering, judging, and a sheep-to-shawl event. Classes and a market place with a spinner’s circle is also part of the festivities, find out more at www.blacksheepgathering.org.  Lots of great farm and ranch booths are there selling their homegrown and crafted products, too. These events are important opportunities to support and sustain small land-holders who raise fiber animals and love what they do. We focus on outreach to new customers and returning friends who may not come north to Olympia to find us. The location is a beautiful drive south of Portland.

Stitch and Pitch at Safeco Field in Seattle. Thursday July 26 at 7:10 pm. Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals. We welcome the Northwest Yarns group to Safeco field, all the way from Bellingham to join us at our pop-up booth on the concessions deck. They sponsor our booth, and we show our appreciation for the support! You will find me and my crew ready to help you find something special directly from our Studio to this fun event.

We’re planning more events and trunk shows, and we’ll let you know when and where you can find us as dates are solidified. In the meantime thank you to everyone supporting our company, we love the feedback and appreciate the effort you make to find us wherever we go. Hope to see you soon! Kerry

 

 

 

 

Spring Class Schedule is here! Email jorstadcreek@comcast.net to register.

Overdye Saturdays in April 7, May 5, June 2 – 11 am to 3 pm. Free with donation to Great Steppe Fiber Project!

Bring your tired old unloved skeins! With your input we’ll do our best to make them beautiful and fresh again. Donation to Great Steppe Fiber Project is appreciated.

doodle cake“Doodle Cakes” – April 21, 9 am-12 pm – Cost $95 per student includes 2 undyed blanks. Doodle shawl class available on April 24 at the Ewe and I Yarn Shop in Chehalis, taught by Sherri Hruby, designer!

Instructors Kerry Graber and Madison Wallace

Yarn blanks are pre-knitted pieces you can paint with long stretches of color, and then knit into a new design. We set you up with four knitted blanks and your choice of colors. Then we’ll show you the possibilities of applying dyes to the blanks! For knitters who want to knit two color patterns with a gradient background, or experiment with long color pieces.  This technique offers many creative possibilities for weavers to dye unique warp or weft. This technique works to produce a yarn suitable for the Doodle Shawl.

scarvesBotanical Print Workshop with Hilary Grant – April 29th, 9 am to 4 pm $210.00. Five silk scarf “blanks” included.

This is our second time offering this amazing and fascinating class “ecoprinting.”

Inspired by nature and using natural materials, learn to print on silk scarves. Students print on five scarf blanks and will be able to take them home at the end of class. Intriguing method of transferring very detailed images of leaves and vegetation onto silk! Limited to 8 students.

spindleBeginning Drop Spindling – May 19th – 9am -12pm – $75 per student. Learn to spin yarn!

This is the first step to learning how to make yarn. If you are considering diving into spinning with a wheel, we recommend starting with a simple spindle. We’ll show you how! Spindling is a portable craft you can take with you anywhere. Beginner spindles available for sale. Class instructed by Madison Wallace and Leanna Saplan of Spinners Anonymous.

Hand Painted Skeins with Low Acid Dyes – May 26, 9 am to 12 pm. Cost $95 per student includes 4 skeins of undyed wool yarn

Instructors Kerry Graber and Madison Wallace

Learn the art of hand painting skeins of wool or silk yarn with non-toxic low-acid dyes. We set you up with four skeins of undyed yarn and all the colors you can think of, show you different techniques of applying dyes to the yarn, and set you loose to create!

This is a fun session where the studio staff deal with setup and cleanup, you get to experiment with color. Get a glimpse of what we do to create our own colorways, and come away with beautiful hand dyed skeins of yarn.

Bring extra undyed skeins if you like! Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, bring rubber gloves (the dish washing kind).

Limited to eight students per class to make the most of the experience.  

Ply Your Yarn Singles with a Spindle – June 2nd – 9am-12pm  Class Fee: $40 – sign up for both the beginner spindle class and this plying class, get the plying class discounted to 30!

So you learned to spin yarn singles, now what? Come to this class and learn the two basic ways of plying your spun singles. We will demonstrate how to turn your singles in to a 2 ply and 3 ply yarn. Please bring spun singles and your spindles and be ready to make beautiful plied yarn. Class instructed by Madison Wallace and Leanna Saplan of Spinners Anonymous.

Hand Painted Skeins with Fiber Reactive Dyes -June 9,   9 am to 12 pm. Cost $95 per student includes 4 skeins of undyed wool yarn

Instructors Kerry Graber, Madison Wallace, and Pam Ring

Learn the art of hand painting skeins of cotton or other plant fiber yarn with non-toxic fiber-reactive dyes. We set you up with four skeins of undyed yarn and lots of colors, show you different techniques of applying dyes to the yarn, and you get to play with color.

If you’ve wanted to try dyeing cotton blend, linen, bamboo, or other plant fiber yarn we show you how we do it.Again, we deal with the set up and clean up, you just get to have fun and create!

Beginning Wheel Spinning – June 15th and 16th 9am-11am. Cost $75.

Have a wheel but don’t know how to get started? Want to try wheel spinning?  In this two-part class, we will provide the basics for setting up your wheel properly and then the techniques for drafting and plying for a knittable or weavable yarn. Limited number of wheels for loan, please make arrangements prior to class. Fiber for spinning is provided as part of the class fee. Class instructed by Madison Wallace and Leanna Saplan of Spinners Anonymous.

Changes at the Studio

In November here in Olympia we said goodbye to a Knitting hub and institution, local yarn and fabric store Canvas Works. This past year has seen many long established yarn stores close, sometimes due to financial stress after a long slog through the recession, and sometimes due to life changes for the owners. Canvas Works was strongly supported by loyal customers and we know that financially the business was strong. An opportunity came along to sell their building and move on to other things. We’re all grateful for the many years in the community!

Knitters are a fiercely loyal bunch. I shared a few tears and sad moments with distraught customers who shared with me their anxiety about a future without their special store. Canvas Works was also my place to buy needles and get inspiration for many years! When I started the Jorstad Creek Studio I talked with my friend Amy at Canvas Works who said unequivocally that more yarn in the community was good, it would help us all to bring more visitors to Olympia and continue growing the knitting movement. I will always be grateful for that word of encouragement!

You see it was not my intention to open the Studio for retail business. My plans were to grow my wholesale client list and have a place other than my backyard and basement to make beautiful yarn and fiber. However a condition of getting a business license in Olympia for the Studio’s location included the requirement to have a retail component. So when we opened to the public in July of 2015 we set up a retail display and knitter’s lounge. We established limited hours for welcoming in retail customers and embarked on building up a presence in the knitting community.

Over the past two and a half years many local and out-of-town knitters have found us tucked away as we are between two parking lots, a busy pub, and an apartment building. I am so grateful for the loyal support, the new friendships, and the volunteers that helped us through some critical moments. While the Studio is a welcoming place, it is the people who make it special. My heart is full!

Change can be hard, so how do we make it easier? How do we carry on with resilience? And how can the Studio be a positive part of positive change? I have grappled with this, talking to friends, employees, business partners and colleagues.

In the near term we are expanding retail hours for the holidays. In addition to our regularly established hours on Tuesday evenings, Fridays and Saturdays, we’re staying open on Friday evenings until 8 pm and adding Sunday hours from 1 to 5 pm. Once past the holidays we will evaluate expanding to more days or hours for 2018.

More permanently we are adding a supply of ChiaoGoo knitting needles. We’ve added needle felting wool to our fiber selection and in the coming weeks we will supply needle felting tools. Our class offerings for knitting, crafting, and dyeing will also be expanded as we identify more instructors and instruction needs.

We’re also thinking about better signage and other changes that would make us more visible!

With optimism I hope 2018 brings more crafters to our little corner of the world and that they will fall in love with our Studio. One way or another we hope our fellow knitters find a way to carry on with our beloved craft. We wish for you the best of the holiday season from all of us at Jorstad Creek! Kerry

Mushroom Dye Workshop at the Studio!

Alissa Allen, experienced mushroom dyer and instructor is coming to teach! Join us on October 29 at the Jorstad Creek Dye Studio for a day of instruction on the collection, preparation, and use of mushrooms to dye yarn and fabric. This full day class will show you the techniques and provide skills you can build on to explore mushroom dyeing on your own. To register send at email to jorstadcreek@comcast.net.

Read on to learn more about Alissa and the workshop!

Mycopigments
Exploring Pacific Northwest Mushrooms and Lichens for Dyes

 

Date and Time: Sunday October 29th – 9am to 4pm
Location: Jorstad Creek – Olympia, WA
Cost: $150 – all materials included
Open to all skill levels

 Regional Dye Palette Every region has its own palette of mushroom and lichen dyes.  This class takes an in-depth look at using local, wild fungi as sustainable, safe dye sources. Starting with 10-12 species, with the addition of safe mordants and pH modifiers, we will create about 20 colors in all.

Wild Harvest All of the dyes are ethically harvested, dried, and weighed (using some fresh material if available). Students learn about mushroom safety, identification basics, habitats and ethical harvest. Participants receive a customized color guide to the best regional dye mushrooms and lichens and learn where to go for help with identification.

Working with Fiber We will be working with wool and silk fiber. Yarn for class is pre-mordanted to allow ample time to focus on dyes; however we will discuss the steps for preparing the fibers for the dye bath. This includes scouring, mordanting, and   techniques to avoid felting wool.

Shibori Demonstration Participants will be guided through the steps to create an intricate arashi shibori inspired design. Each participant receives a blank silk scarf for practice.

Takeaways Students will take home a detailed recipe card showcasing the rainbow of samples dyed in class. The recipe card lists both the scientific and common names of the fungi and lichens, the ratios of fungus to fiber, mordants used, and pH modifications required to achieve the colors.  Participants receive a detailed procedural handout, a customized guide to local dye fungi and a beautiful hand dyed scarf. This workshop covers all aspects of getting started with mushroom and lichen dyes and leaves the student with the tools to carry on their own exploration.

©Alissa Allen – Mycopigments – 2017

mycopigments.com

mycopigments@gmail.com

 

News from Jorstad Creek

Speckled yarns were big this past winter and knitters love them. Once you’ve nestled beautiful speckled skeins into your stash, what to do with them? They’re not exactly hand painted variagated, and they are not a gradient yarn by any means. The little pops of color create are stunning in the yarn but how to use them to greatest effect?

Linda Gordon came up with this amazing pattern she named aptly “Falling Stars.” We created three speckled colorways for this great hat; Hello Cupcake, Embers, and Into the Mystic. Paired with either a white, black, or violet solid, the speckles pop out as you knit your way up to the crown of the hat. The yarn is Vashon, our super soft worsted weight four-ply in Superwash Merino.

We are putting together kits with the three colorways.  They will be available soon at our new online store on Etsy as Jorstad Creek Yarns.

File Mar 09, 10 31 52 AM

 

You can shop for Jorstad Creek Yarns and Fiber online!

By popular demand we’ve opened an online Etsy store, Jorstad Creek Yarns, to post our beautiful hand dyed fiber for spinners and select kits for knitters. Keep checking our offerings, we will add more each month. We are putting together yarns and patterns from the BK Collective, Linda Gordon, and other designers to feature our hand dyed beauties and to help customers outside of our local area access our yarns on line. We also continue to work with our good friends at Row House Yarns, an on line yarn, pattern, and help portal, to create yarns and colorways for the beginning and intermediate knitter. Look for BK Collective/Row House designs to be rolled out paired with yarns and colors we created in partnership with their design team!

We’re going on the road, too!

First up, we are invited to attend the Seattle Knitter’s Guild onWednesday, June 7 to display a table and talk about Jorstad Creek. Next is a trunk show on Saturday June 10 at Northwest Handspun in Bellingham, Washington! We will be in the store with a pop-up shop for the day. Later in the month we’re driving down to Eugene Oregon for the Black Sheep Gathering on June 23 through the 25th.

The Nordic Knitting Conference will be back this Fall! I just heard from organizers that this great event will be held October 6-8! More details to come, along with news about KnitFit in November with a new venue at the Seattle Center. Here’s a summary of the schedule as it stands:

  • June 7 – 7 pm at the Seattle Knitter’s Guild (click here for more info)
  • June 10 – Northwest Handspun in Bellingham
  • June 23-25 –  Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene
  • September 1-3 – Olympia Harbor Days with Zonta
  • October 6-8 – Nordic Knitting Conference in Ballard
  • November 10-12  – KnitFit! at the Seattle Center

Meanwhile, at the studio…

File Mar 10, 7 32 45 AM

Classes at the studio were rolled out this spring. We offer both knitting, spinning, dyeing and crafting classes at our spacious and friendly studio in downtown Olympia, Washington. We are almost through our May/June schedule – check on our class page on this blog for upcoming dates and class descriptions.

We had our first dye class! We hand painted silk scarves with dye inks, exploring several techniques with Kathie Adams, local fiber and surface design artist.  This Saturday, along with our once-per-month Overdye Day we have a hand-painted skein class. We’re full this time, but we will be offering it again later in the summer so check back. Email me at jorstadcreek@comcast.net to reserve your space!

We’ve also extended our studio hours to Tuesday Nights.

We’re open from 6 p.m. to 8:30 on Tuesday’s for drop in knitting, spinning, and crafting. There is always a skilled knitter “in residence” to help with knitting challenges. And if you need a skein of something, we’re open for sales, too!

We love our little warehouse…

Knitter’s who come to the studio seem to like the atmosphere and feel the creative energy flow as we work on our dye projects, wool, and talk about everything under the sun in a safe accepting place. Sometimes our little warehouse doesn’t love us back. We’ve had floods from the many rain storms this spring, and now a burst pipe as we plumbed a new hot water heater so we can scour fleece. Not to worry, there was minimal damage  from this latest accident, and things are almost back to normal! Having a storefront has been a challenge, one we’ve been able to rise to with the help of many friends, family, volunteers, and just innocent bystanders! We are so grateful for the helping hand, the understanding sympathy, and the continued visitors and shoppers who are helping us keep “afloat” physcially and financially. You are so appreciated! As you go about your busy summer we hope you will think of us and stop in to say hello, start a project, or see what’s new.

Mongolian Adventures

Some of you know we’ve been stocking cashmere yarns and fiber directly from Mongolia for awhile. We are working on sending one of our own, Madison Wallace, to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in July to help Zola teach friends and family about drop spindling! We are fund raising to help with travel costs and to purchase equipment for this trip. If all goes well Madison will come back to us with amazing samples of intricate felting by Mongolian felt artists, as well as stories of adventures and new friends. This trip is to scope out further opportunities to partner on what we hope will be a new enterprise. We will be sure to share updates here on this blog, including a soon to be established “GoFundMe” campaign.

Until then hope to see you at the studio!

 

 

 

Great Steppe Fiber Project

A scoping project to establish a fiber company in Mongolia based on the principles of Fair Trade

Jorstad Creek

A yarn and fiber company.

whit::knits

(and crochets, and stitches, and is otherwise generally crafty)

The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

Interweaving life with fiber arts! (Photograph by Carly Moskat.)

%d bloggers like this: