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What's New ? Sheep gif
What's New at STRAW.COM & Crystal Palace Yarns

THIS PAGE covers 1995-2010

For "What's New" 2003 click here

For "What's New 2004" click here

For "What's New 2005" click here

For "What's New 2006" click here

For "What's New 2007"  click here

For "What's New 2008" click here

For "What's New 2009" click here

For "What's New 2010" click here

For the most Recent What's New,
click the link at the top of this page for "What's New"

This started as a "scratch pad" for me to keep track of what I was working on, but I realized that return visitors to STRAW.COM would find a list of changes and additions helpful in finding what was new. The earliest entry in 'What's New?' is from Dec. 1995 when this web site first opened. This web site is maintained by Susan Druding. [ last additions made to page: 28 February, 2011 ]


Squeezing it all out - gif

Dec 28, 2002 - Added scanned Sample Cards of Shimmer and Mikado Ribbon (both printed and solid colors).

Dec 26, 2002 - Added 2 new scarf patterns: A Bias Knit in Waikiki and a Merino Frappe cabled scarf. Added a cute Teddy Bear photo knit with Shag eyelash to the Gallery.

Dec 14, 2002 - a new scarf pattern using Mikado Ribbon and Splash eyelash (Mikado will be available in February)

Dec. 2002 - a new Labrador scarf pattern shared by a San Francisco knitter (Erica) is up with photos. A complete handmade color card for Choo-Choo yarn.  A Gallery photo of Betsy in her fun Labrador hat that lets her ponytails escape.

November Trip to Taiwan! A wonderful time seeing the factories and dyehouses where our new yarns are being spun and dyed. Plus seeing a lot of Taiwan, a very interesting and wonderful place. I'll be putting photos up soon.

Nov. 2002 - 4 new colors each for: Fizz, Splash and Deco-Ribbon (all prints)

Nov 10 2002 - New yarn previews: Choo-Choo (railroad style ribbon) and Mikado Ribbon (the return of an old favorite). We are adding 4 new yarns, the other 2 will be shown soon.

Oct 2002 - Vegan Fox kit online at FuzzyGalore - we love all the colors these foxes can be made it. (combining Splash, Fizz and Merino Frappe)

Oct 2, 2002 - Added photos of the 3 new colors of Waikiki HERE and a Labrador Pillow to the Knitters Gallery HERE.

Oct 1, 2002 - Put up photos of the 2 new, top whorl spindles from Ashford Handicrafts. Great for fast spinning of all types of fibers.

Sept 29, 2002 - Started a new GALLERY for showing photos of projects knit, woven, crocheted or any technique using our yarns. We hope that customers using Crystal Palace yarns and fibers will submit for showing off their work here.

Sept 26, 2002 - added two new free knitting patterns for either Iceland or Tekapo doubled. A Large Collared Jacket and a Lattice Patterned Pullover.

Sept 27, 2002 - Added scans of 11 new printed colors of Labrador wool (thick and thin, handspun look) due at the end of the month. The same 16 prints from Labrador will also be available in Iceland Merino wool yarn.

Sept 22, 2002 - added a new free knitting pattern, Lattice Pullover knit with Iceland (Australian Merino wool) or with Tekapo New Zealand wool doubled. An easy to knit pattern.

Sept 3, 2002 - scans of the 33 colors of Ashford's NZ dyed, carded wool sliver for handspinning and felt making.

Sept. 1, 2002 - Added page of photos showing 15 of the 50 steps of manufacturing of Crystal Palace Bamboo Knitting Needles - photos show cutting bamboo and many hand steps done in the factory in Japan.

August 22, 2002 - Added a free knitting pattern for a felted scarf of Fizz and Tekapo Wool. And a baby hat pattern in Baby Georgia for a cute, easy pixie hat.

August 10-12, 2002 - Added new Merino Frappe cardigan and Baby Teddy Bear sweaters in Breeze mercerized cotton.

August 1, 2002 - Added a color card for super soft Merino Frappe yarn.

July 28, 2002 - Added 3 more Waikiki patterns: 3 different vests, see the Free Patterns list.

July 26, 2002 - Added a new Tips section to the site - knitting, spinning, weaving tips will be collected here. We hope visitors will send in suggestions, too. Added a free knitting pattern for a Waikiki drop shoulder, VNeck vest pattern. Also can knit in Breeze cotton.

July 22, 2002 - Added Montery card, updated Waikiki, Cotton Chenille, Tekapo all to the newest shade cards.

July 21, 2002 - Added a new Index to Online Yarn Samples to help visitors find visual samples of Crystal Palace Yarns here on the site.

July 20, 2002 - on a roll.... added free knitting patterns for a Waikiki vest and 2 Cotton Chenille patterns. See the Free Patterns list. Also a new Fizz sample card scan and new Deco-Ribbon sample card scan.

July 18, 2002 - added free knitting pattern for Monterey pullover, a tumbling block pattern taken from a quilt pattern

July 16, 2002 - Added sample page for SixTwo mercerized cotton on cones.

July 14, 2002 - Happy Bastille Day! And, I've started adding photos of the fun and easy-to-make Fiber Designer Necklaces. Using Crystal Palace Yarns you can make them wild or tame. And we distribute the Ann Norling Finding kit that has instructions and metal findings for making these fashionable necklaces. We also have the Cone Nosed Pliers if you don't have a local bead or craft shop that carries them.

July 11, 2002
Added a free knitting pattern for a Cotton Chenille Sampler Stitch vest - easy to make and teaches a variety of stitches.

June-July 2002
New crocheted and knit purse patterns added for Deco-Ribbon. An Index Page of Free Patterns started to make finding projects easier.

April - May 2002
We've been so busy adding 7 new yarns that I haven't updated with page in a few months. You can see the new yarns for Spring (Fizz eyelash and Deco-Ribbon HERE, plus link to free knit scarf patterns). I'm just adding samples and free knitting patterns for scarves for the 5 new Fall 2002 yarns, too. See Splash page and links to Labrador and Shag - HERE. Shag and Splash are both eyelash yarns. Labrador is a thick-thin 100% wool.


December 2001
CPY Bamboo Knitting Needles with new, added sizes, including 17s and 19s. Crystal Palace Bamboos now include Crochet Hooks.

November 2001
2 new exciting Crystal Palace Yarns for Spring 2002! Deco-Ribbon and FIZZ - both in many colors. See photos and details posted as well as  free knitting patterns for scarves knit in Deco-Ribbon and in FIZZ combined with Waikiki.

October 2001
A Free Cotton Flamme vest pattern
Updated with a new 2-page Sample Card of Cotton Chenille
Added a sample card for Cotton Flamme yarn.
New Free Madeira Cascade Lace Knit Scarf Pattern.

August 2001
Added photos of two new double treadle models of Ashford Wheels: Joy and Traveller. See photos here.

late July 2001
Added a page of photos and prices for Point Protectors and Stitch Holders from France.


early July 2001
We are starting to do a major overhaul on the pages here - since this site was opened in 1995 things have just been added as we went along and it's time to organize and make some things easier to find. So, as they say, watch this space.

June 2001
New Ashford product photos up - Mini Niddy Noddy - a cute and functional new tool.
Added 6 pages of Straw Into Gold Retail mailorder price pages in PDF (Adobe) format for printing out from the site. PDF Retail Price Pages are here.

May 2001
More photos posted of new Richmond warehouse on Bissell (now 3 pages up)
Revised prices of various products on site.

March 2001
Began posting photos of the new location in Richmond as we started moving in.

Feb. 2001
Announced that Straw Into Gold, after 30 years in the textile arts retail business will be closing its doors forever. We simply are priced out of the retail market for real estate. We will be mailorder only for retail (plus some 2-3X a year outlet sales) and moving to Richmond, Calif. as Wholesale Only (Crystal Palace Yarns - Ashford USA) in April 2001.

Dec. 2000
Added photos of Straw Into Gold from Berkeley location and news about the upcoming move.

Nov. 2000
coming in late winter 2000 - we are adding crochet hooks to the Crystal Palace Bamboo Needle range.

Oct. 2000
Free knitting pattern for Tekapo Wool yarn - turtleneck sleeveless top, Easy to Knit.
New history and use of fiber reactive dyes and about their chemistry pages added from old TAN issue - Textile Artists' Newsletter. All about Cibacron F dyes.

Sept 2000
Straw Into Gold - Crystal Palace Yarns lost our lease after 20 years in our building on San Pablo! Sign up for news of big sales and where we will be moving (the present location will be left in Spring 2001)

August 2000
Inventory Cleanout of old Cibacron F and other dyes. Sale list posted.
Straw will no longer be offering the Japanese Quilting Magazines - contact to ask about them.

July 2000
New photo added of the Ashford Country Spinner, now with a double treadle.
Announcement of beginning a closeout sale of old warehouse inventory of dyes from Spectrum Dyestuffs inventory.  Added color sample card for Tekapo Wool Yarn - 26 colors.

June 2000
Andy and Susan attended the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene and lots of photos are going up.

May 2000
Added a new free knit pattern for Italian Tee Shirt here and a sample card for Crystal Palace Yarn's Breeze cotton yarn here.   A sample card of Waikiki rayon/cotton printed yarn is here.

April, 2000
Added information about the "Spinning & Weaving the Ashford Way" Video. Recent additions are links to Messages on TAF (Textile Arts Forum). 

July 6, 1999
A scanned set of Cotton Chenille color cards - showing 60+ colors, names and numbers

July 4, 1999
Lots and lots of new Ashford Weaving and Spinning Product Photos up. Weaving Here and Spinning Here.

July 1, 1999
Started putting up the Photo Gallery of digital photo taken at Maryland Sheep and Wool 1999.

June 1999
Added a chart showing the folded sizes of the new Ashford Table Loom. Links being continually added to photos of products from the Ashford Products Price page.

May 1999
Added link to my new Quilting Forum message boards (located on Delphi, but attached to the Quilting at site)
Just for fun (and handy for myself) I added a page which will have travel links on it - feel free to use it.

April 1999
Straw no longer selling Kaffe striped fabric when current stocks are gone, set new links to Glorious Patchwork web site as referral.

1st Quarter 1999
Added new images and links to the Ashford-USA pages. New photos of Ashford's folding table loom and updated other images linked to the Ashford product descriptions. Revised the Ashford Dealer links and updated page.

December 1998
New Free: Lace Scarf Pattern - "Arches & Columns". An easy lace pattern for those new to lace, fun for experts, too. Uses Crystal Palace's 100% wool "Lace Yarn"

November 1998
Added Loom information to Ashford-USA section, including new folding table loom, and price list of looms & accessories.

Sept 11, 1998
Added some links and removed some dead links from the Straw Links page.

Sept 2, 1998
Added to EBHQ pages an article about members' trip to Sisters, Oregon Outdoor Quilt Show.

Summer 1998
I haven't been keeping this listing completely updated - so here is a summary: Added new Aluminum (HOBI-Pearl) knitting needle price list, added photo of Cotton Chenille yarn taken with my new Nikon Coolpix digital camera, added updates to WILPF pages, updated Swallow Casein knitting needles (6" dp needles added) and added some new links here and there.

June 1998
Updated the entire Ashford Dealers' Listings with drops and adds in all USA.
Adjusted Search Engine - it will now be found at the top in small line of links on 80% of pages on the site. It allows searching for any term or words.

May 1998
Finally got the Kaffe Fassett striped fabric swatches up (more to come) these are scanned from the fabric Also information on buying Kaffe & Liza's Kits and Patterns for quilts from their Glorious Patchwork book.

March 5, 1998
New BOOKSTORE started here. For now just a search engine link to Barnes and Noble, but book reviews and recommendations to arrive soon.

Feb 28, 1998
Last day of the almost 3-yr old Ashford-Spinners Mailing list, sponsored by Crystal Palace. Move to the Web for customer support (see items below). Ashford-Spinners Wisdom started, a collection of topics from the archives of the A-S List.

Feb 24, 1998
Opened signups for two new Free Email Newsletters for Crystal Palace Yarns - Ashford-USA: one for spinners and one for wholesale customers.

late Jan - Feb 1998
Many major revisions in the CPY pages: new Ashford-USA page linking to Spinning-Fiber Clip Art, Ashford-Spinners Collected Wisdom, a FAQ of spinning information and Links to Spinning.

Jan 17. 1998
Added a page to the Quilting pages showing an art quilt I recently finished. Added new links to the SIG Links page. Added new feature article links to the list of Quilting articles on my Mining Co. Quilting site.

Nov-Dec 1997
Added page about the new Kiwi Spinning Wheel from Ashford. Did assorted housekeeping and updating of pages. Added announcement of Mo'fessionals winning the MUSICIAN Magazine contest as "One of Best 12 Unsigned Bands in the World"!

Sept 14, 1997
Added Mo'fessionals' information, including link to SF Bay Guardian Review

July 27, 1997
Added a Free Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille Pattern, revised the Ashford "Just in Case" Manual, added a page of Daddy Goddus pictures from a gig at the Claremont Hotel, Berkeley - June 1997. Corrected a typo on date of DG gig - July 31 not Aug 31 !

July 18, 1997
Added new Quilting articles link page, updated gig dates for Mo'fo and Daddy Goddus pages, fixed small typos. Updated the Table of Contents (TOC) page. Now using the new Beta version of FrontPage 98.

June 27, 1997
Added pages to Straw Mail order on how to place standing order for Japanese Quilt magazines: Quilts Japan and Patchwork Quilt Tsushin. Updated the Table of Contents (TOC) page.

June 3, 1997
Added WILPF-Tucson pages, Swallow Casein Knitting Needles Prices, East Bay Heritage Quilters, updated odds and ends of things on various pages. Put link on page to my new Quilting at site. Updated the Table of Contents (TOC) page.

April 28, 1997
Added dates to Mo'fessionals and Daddy Goddus pages and Birth Announcement on Bee.Jones page for Marco Walker Bloom, born April 27.

April 27, 1997
Added link to my new Quilting Topic site at (formerly called the Mining Company) at

April 18, 1997
Updated font style on the main front page to Georgia font, one of the Microsoft "designed for the Web" fonts (get them free at in the Font Collection area). This page is, by the way, set in Trebuchet from that same collection.
Added new links to the WebLinks page (having to do with linen, Bayeaux tapestry, Cotswold sheep, the Mining Co).

April 4, 1997
Mo'Media: A New Mo'fessionals' Page with a video .MOV (1600K) of part of a performance of "Slow Down" filmed at Great American Music Hall by OM-Records, San Francisco - spring 1997. Included 3 still photos from video on this page.
Revised Mo'fo pages to make finding How-to-Order "Finally Over" CD instructions more easily.

March 6, 1997
Posted Announcement of Winner of World's Longest Thread Contest, Terri DeHetre
Added Table of Crystal Palace Bamboo Knitting Needles, shows all sizes & prices
Updated links and added new dealers and new email addresses to
Added new dates for gigs and links to Mo'fessionals' Page

January 1, 1997
Posted Ashford Handicrafts Spinning Related Products retail price list (in US Dollars)

December 27-28
Specifically added: Mo'fessionals' Scrap Book: 3 pages of photos from Record Release Party at Slim's, a Table of Contents for STRAW.COM, added Review of new Mo'fo CD-Finally Over, How to Buy CD's, created new Mo'Media page, cleaned up Ashford Spinning Wheels lineart, new header for Summercorn page, and general clearn up of links, mail-to addresses, new artwork for banners of Straw.Com, Mo'fessionals, added new information on TAF-Textile Arts Forum, made an easier-to-find link for my History of Dyes: 3500BC-1970's and more.

December 26-29, 1996
I'd been planning and designing new banners for a major re-working of STRAW.COM and decided, with the help of Front Page, so I spent 4 days re-doing it and using FP to check and find bad links and fixed them all. FP will also make and keep updated a complete Table of Contents for this site. (see above)

December 14, 1996
The Mo'fessionals had their Record-CD Release party at Slim's in San Francisco and I took lots of pictures which I sent to Seattle Filmworks for processing and to get digitized pics to make creating the Scrapbook easier. For $3.95 a roll you can go get your pictures from the Seattle FW web site.

November-later 1996
Delphi (where I started TAF, Textile Arts Forum, now hosted by Rita Levine) has moved to the Web as well as keeping a text interface. Rita and I decided it was time to give Front Page a whirl. Wow! The whole site was organized in an intense week of work.  This couldn't have been done without FP (and I'm not a big fan of Microsoft, but they've got a winner going for complicated site maintenance.) Check out TAF at .

November 1996
I downloaded Microsoft's Front Page program to give it a try. I'd been using HTML Assistant Pro and Home Site for HTML and liked working with the coding directly, but the links and details of STRAW.COM were getting harder and harder to deal with and Hank Haquist, who maintains a great site at and does Web pages "for hire" had been recommending Front Page.

December 1995
STRAW.COM was first opened as a very basic web page!

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