We sell a lot of superwash wool in our store, so we thought it only made sense to share these tips with you for keeping your hand knits looking fabulous! Our very favorite no-rinse wool wash is Eucalan because of the gentle ingredients, lovely scent, and unparalleled results. 3 Tips for Caring for Superwash Wool Ample Water * Eucalan Wool Wash * Tumble Dry Low Many knitters and crocheters enjoy working with Superwash yarns because they are easy care. It is nice to know that you can knit a child’s garment or a cozy afghan and not have to worry about someone ruining it in the washing machine. Or do you? Superwash wool is easy care-not zero care. Here are a couple of pointers for caring for garments and blankets made from Superwash wool: Use ample water. Friction is the enemy of any natural fiber, especially merino wool. 100% Superwash merino wool has a short fiber staple length which give the yarn incredible softness, but also makes it more susceptible to pilling. A lot of energy efficient washers use low levels of water. Large projects need ample water to allow the piece to swish and not rub up against itself repeatedly, causing undue friction. A mesh bag, available at Silk Road Textiles, is also helpful in preventing friction. Use the right soap. Superwash yarn is safe for the washing machine, but not necessarily for all of the chemicals found in regular laundry detergent. Many laundry detergents contain enzymes to attack protein based stains. Wool is a protein based fiber, which means the enzymes in your detergent can harm the wool. Instead of a conventional detergent, we recommend using Eucalan wool wash, available in 5 different scents, in bottles or individual pods, at Silk Road Textiles. Use the dryer. But check the label first. Superwash yarn has been processed to remove the scales on the fibers. These naturally present scales are responsible for the adhering of the fibers during felting. Without the scales the fibers lose their gripping properties. When yarn is wet, it becomes heavy and in the case of Superwash wool it will stretch if given the opportunity. Superwash wool springs back into shape in the dryer. We strongly recommend that you tumble dry your projects to prevent overstretching. Ample Water * Eucalan Wool Wash * Tumble Dry Low Feel free to share these three tips and a Eucalan Individual Pod with the recipients of your Superwash wool creations!
One of the most popular new products in the store, Artfelt is quickly becoming our favorite felting method. This clever paper allows you to control your felting design as precisely as needle felting, yet get that amazingly smooth wet felt finish without the time and physical labor of either method. Artfelt paper was invented in Germany by Gerhard Schoppel, a name already familiar to many yarn lovers. He enjoyed felting with his daughter but wanted an easier method. Here’s how it works – You start by designing your felt. Whether it’s a pouch, coasters, scarf, or something totally different, the process begins when you lightly needle felt fibers onto the special Artfelt paper. Because the needle felting will not be the only thing holding the fibers together, there’s no need to spend a lot of time attaching firmly, a light tack will do. Once you are happy with your design, you wet the fibers and roll up the paper with a sheet of plastic to keep the layers from felting to each other. Using a couple rubber bands and a knee high stocking to secure the roll, the felt then gets tossed into any standard dryer. The agitation from tumbling in the dryer encourages the fibers to wet felt together, while the needle felting and paper hold everything in place so your design stays intact. When felting is complete, pouring boiling water over the project quickly dissolves the Artfelt paper, leaving you with a great piece of felt to use in all kinds of projects. Of course, that’s just the beginning. By layering your fibers differently you can encourage highly textural, ruffle effects. Playing with negative space in your design is a snap with Artfelt paper. Sewing the paper into a specially shaped base lets you create three dimensional projects. Even extremely detailed portraiture is possible because of the needle felting step. We can’t get enough of Artfelt, and we’re sure you’ll love it too! We have starter kits available if you just want to try it out, and we also sell large pieces of the paper for your own creative concepts.
Some of the fabrics we love are the Aboriginal prints from M&S Textiles. Each fabric is based on a painting done in the traditional style by talented Aboriginal artists. Typical Aboriginal art is characterized by the use of many small dots of color to form the pattern, reliance on familiar animal and wildlife motifs, and a utilization of a vibrant color palette. These artists, most of whom are women, have profiles and statements hanging in the store; be sure to ask to see them! We also have charts detailing the motifs used in the fabric, telling what they mean. If you just can’t get enough information and inspiration, we carry a whole book devoted to the meanings behind the fabric and amazing project ideas. Whether it’s an abstract design or something more literal (we love the turtles and platypuses!), we’re sure you’ll find a way to work these unusual fabrics into your projects. The fun prints are perfect for quilts, wall hangings, garments, and more.
“Falling Branches”, “Mistral” (a cold wind that blows through parts of France in the winter), “Wings” and “Birdsong” are just a few of the fabric names in this Free Spirit pack for November. Designed by Melissa White, these moody, dreamy prints are sure to inspire one to retreat to the sewing machine as the warm hues of fall turn into the cool dark tones of winter. For our 6-pack club subscribers, we included a bonus 100% cotton velveteen fat quarter in anticipation of the cooler days ahead. Suggested uses: Make a velveteen lined jewelry pouch or gift bags for tiny presents. Piece them all together and make a lap quilt for the fall season tournaments. Create some quilted Mug Rugs for hot cups of cocoa and wrap them together with special drink mixes or chocolate spoons for a truly indulgent gift.
One of our favorite yarns in the shop is our collection of Noro. Noro is made in Japan and is known world-wide for its striking colors. We thought you might be interested in learning more about the production of Noro yarns and the process that goes into designing the signature stripes. Eisaku Noro contemplated going to art school to become a painter, but instead he turned his amazing eye for color to yarns for both hand and machine knitting. Silk Road Textiles carries Kureyon, Silk Garden, Taiyo, Koromo, Kibou, Shiraito, Silk Garden Sock, and Taiyo Sock from the hand-knitting line. Noro is committed to leaving as much of the production hand-done as feasible. This is part of what makes Noro yarns so distinctive. The thick and thin effect is due to the hand picking of the fibers, the variation in stripe length is because no two people lay out the fiber in exactly the same way, and the knots that you sometimes find are because these prep techniques lend themselves better to shorter spinning runs. If you want to learn more, there is an interesting video (about 6 minutes long) produced by an English-speaking channel in Japan about Noro yarns. There is also an amazing book excerpt in PDF format available here. It details where all the fibers are sourced, what the special properties of each are, and it includes lots of pictures of the entire process. We have lots of samples made with Noro yarn in the store, and we are pleased to carry Noro pattern books and the new Noro Magazine. If you need inspiration or just want to see what it possible to be done with these amazing yarns, please stop in and ask us!
Tuesday: 10AM to 6PM
Wednesday: 10AM to 6PM
Thursday: 10AM to 8PM
Friday: 10AM to 5PM
Saturday: 10AM to 5PM
Sunday: 12PM to 5 PM
6106 Hamilton Ave.
Cincinnati OH 45224