I am also bringing along a couple spindle projects. Supported spindles are really wonderful for using as a passenger as long as you don't punch the driver in the side of the head hehe. I have decided to bring my GhstWorks spindle as it is a great travel spindle in both size and durability. I am spinning some Wacky Windmill BFL (Owl Eyes) on it. I am also bringing my Capar Tiny Turkish which is a wonderful, wonderful little spinner. You can also find these and others in larger sizes at the Manitoba Fibre Festival.
If you are like me, lists are one of your favourite things. In my Midori Traveler's Notebook, have a list of items I usually pack for shows, classes and road trips. These are all very important items as a fibre worker, because there is nothing worse than being unprepared.
For starters, I usually bring at least one knitting and one crochet project. Something that is easy enough to work on while talking to others, singing along to the radio and easy enough to pick up and put down without losing your place. Socks are always a great option. Since fall is around the corner, I am on a shawl kick and have decided to crochet Blurre. I have picked a few skeins and wound them into balls (very important) to prepare. I make sure I have a few hooks on hand in case my gauge is out. I am also really wanting to use a skein I bought from Dye for Ewe at the Blue Hills Fibre Fest. I decided to start Liplatus. I think it will show off the yarn beautifully and I can always adjust as I go. Both of these projects are in their own bags which I bought from Dragon Fibre Bags (who will also be at the Manitoba Fibre Festival!) Make sure you have a pair of scissors and all the appropriate notions as well. If you have any WIP's these are also great road trip projects to get them finished and off your needles.
This should have me covered. Of course, there will be souvenir yarn and fibre purchased, as well as a few tools I'm sure. What do you bring on a road trip? Am I missing anything?
Have you been knitting one of the beautiful 13 designs from the Flatlands Collection is support of the Manitoba Fibre Festival? There is a KAL (knit-a-long) happening now until the festival Sept 15 & 16th. If you knit one of the designs you will be entered to win some great prizes like Festival swag and a luscious skein of the limited edition colourway by Cloud 9 Fibreworks. If you wear one of the designs to the festival you can get in for free! Not only that you are supporting both prairie designers, dyers and artisans who have all been part of this years' inaugural collection.
I knit up Bandana by Joanne Seiff. It was a very fun, relaxing and fast project and I am SO happy with it. A beautiful soft pink, not normally one of my go-to colours but I can hear my grandma saying "it will brighten up your face" haha. There is a paisley design in the stitches and the texture it creates is super cool. This design can be worn in so many ways; as a bandana cowl, shawl, hood and even to keep your hair out of your face. I can't get enough of multi-use projects. They are a must in my wardrobe. I attached a bright, butterfly button to the end of the tie. This was the choice of many of my Instagram friends.
I finished a crocheted shawl this week that I wanted to share with you. The pattern is Doris Shawl by Kat Goldin. I had started with a G hook and felt the shawl was going to be too small... that's when I actually did a gauge swatch and realized I needed to go up to a J hook. I also didn't work in the back loop of the stitch as I wanted to make this shawl slightly larger without going through too much yarn. I used The Wacky Windmill Tough Stuff Sock yarn in the colourway "Remnants" and Knit Picks Stroll in Butternut. I was working on this with two friends of mine; Donna and Kim, who's shawls are beautiful.
My next project is the Degreenify Shawl by Josh Ryks using Knit Picks Hawthorne Sock yarn in these colours <3
I am also heading to Carberry, Manitoba next weekend for the Blue Hills Fibre Festival. I will be judging the wool show and selling some of my handspun, and other goodies. If you see me, say hi!
After knitting an unbelievable amount of brioche when I worked on the 2 projects I knit for Dean Renwick and Sask Fashion Week last year (which I just realized now I didn't really post about my process.... new blog post idea) I picked another brioche project to work on. I chose the Basic Brioche Loop Cowl by Handmade by SMINE. It is a great pattern because it has instructions for a longer, skinnier version or a shorter, wider version which is the one I made and all using just one skein of sock yarn.
I had this luscious blend of Merino/Silk/Cashmere in my stash that I picked up from Kim of The Wacky Windmill and it was the perfect yarn for this cowl. This is her Ethereal sock yarn and it is so cozy and soft around my neck.
I cast on using the long tail cast on and bound off in my normal way. For seaming the edges, I used a crochet hook and single crocheted the edges together. I could have done a provisional cast on but thought of it after. I would like to make the other longer version of this cowl and will do the provisional cast on next time and a three needle bind off.
I used up the majority of the yarn and only had a couple yards left. I always worry about running out of yarn and I could have knit a couple extra rows - darn!
This cowl took me about a month to knit but I was only working on it periodically to start. I got down to business when I saw Kim's Brioche Challenge posted in her group which gave me some extra incentive.
The colours of this yarn are hard to capture. I have edited these photos to get a more accurate representation of its beauty. It is mostly fuchsia with a bubblegum pink spotted throughout and a bit of yellow every now and again. The colourway is called Cherry Cobbler :P
I have been eyeing up all the brioche patterns from Stephen West. Especially the Askews Me shawl. If you want to give brioche a try this is the site and the video that made it all clear to me. Sometimes new terminology and weird symbols on a chart can make a new project look pretty daunting. I am a huge advocate of just jumping in and trying out new techniques even if they scare you because in most cases, the technique wasn't hard at all and you avoided a pattern you wanted to try. It is relaxing to knit, it makes a nice cushy fabric and can be done in one or two colours. Here is a good starting point if you want to try it out.
I updated my Etsy shop with some new handspun this week. The top skein (Between Generations) is a gorgeous mix of jewel tones on top of a natural oatmeal BFL base. The very neutral and so incredibly soft skein on the bottom right (Milk Mustache) is spun from some very luxurious Superwash Targhee into a delectable gradient going from white to grey to brown and black. The third skein (Ambient) surprised me - I LOVE it and I am not a red person. Luckily I have 8 more ounces of that fibre to keep for myself :D
I also listed this super cozy infinity scarf I crocheted from 100% baby alpaca. It is such a gorgeous colour and can be worn many ways. These cowls/scarves are a must have accessory in my wardrobe. One main benefit of this one is that it isn't bulky, so you can wear it at work without feeling like you left some outerwear on. Classy and warm <3
I am working on a new spindle challenge for myself. I have these wonderful rolags I got from Natually Knitty on Etsy and I am spinning one a night. As I mentioned on Facebook, I am using this time to unwind and relax after a long day of work. I have 5.5 oz of fibre and it will take me about a month to complete spinning all the rolags. The fibre content is Shetland, Merino, Falkland and Polwarth - what a great blend!
I started out using one of my Glindles which I reviewed in this post, and I have 9 rolags spun on this spindle so far. 22 more to go.
I have been taking pictures every night and posting my progress on my Facebook page. Its hard sometimes because night pictures are never that great, so I thought I would post an weekly update on my blog here.
At the end of spinning, I will 2 ply the singles and I'm not sure what I will do with the yarn ~ project wise. Probably a shawl :P I have been inspired by a couple people and their spinning to shawl projects.
Rolags are great to spin with, they are easy to transport and spin on the go as you can throw a couple in your spindle bag - no need to bring them all. They are easy to spin from and will create a nice woolen yarn.
I found this spindle bag at the Fibre & Finery sale I participated in last November. It was made by Kathy Woodcock, who is well know in the city here for her unique hand stamped bags with flowers from her garden. She is a fellow guild member and an amazing weaver. Her bag fits my spindle and rolags perfectly.
So far I am quite enjoying the process which is different for me as I am usually a product spinner. It feels nice to take it slow.
What spindling projects are you working on?
I have been working hard the last month or so on a project involving wool. Well of course :) BUT this project spans the country. I have been working with a couple Sheep Producers, Rare Breeds Canada and Wool Growers Co-op to bring the wool industry into the light. I have seen first hand how wool has be pushed aside and it has come to the point that many sheep producers don't even realize that there is a value in their wool. I've talked to people who are genuinely interested in the wool show but then say "that wool is nice but I only have Suffolk wool and its not good for anything." SO not true!! All wool has a value.
Sheep need to be sheared at least once a year, so not only is wool a natural, renewable resource it is self sustaining as well. With a little bit of work and breeding for good fibre, producers can make money on their wonderful fibre. Entering fleeces into wool shows is a great start. Producers receive the judging card back, so they can see areas they did well on and possibly areas that they can improve on for next time. Depending on the show, there is a good chance of their wool selling to an artisan who is looking for their product. They can also send their wool off to a mill for production and those who can't spin can buy the yarn spun from their flock. I often get asked about sources for local wool, yarns and wool products.
If I went into the many benefits wool provides, I may be here all night. It is hypoallergenic, wrinkle resistant and fire-resistant and it makes a wonderful insulator - both in the cold and heat. Wool is elastic and extremely versatile. It really is perfection found in nature. Each month leading up to the show, we will be profiling a different breed so you can see how vast the sheep world is. We are planning a lot of great events which we will be showcasing at the All Canadian Classic Sheep Show in Winnipeg on June 24 - 27, 2015. With the Campaign for Wool in full swing all around the world, I'm excited to share this experience with you. You can keep up with all our plans on ourwebsite at www.all-things-wool.ca, Facebook, Twitter andPinterest.
I did get some knitting done this weekend. I finished my chevron cowl which I knit with 8 oz of Merino. Its got some weight to it and is super cozy! I need to take pictures in the daylight, (which can be hard this time of year) it's much more vibrant than it looks.
I knit this hat for my sister last year and wrote down my pattern. I tested it this weekend and I will be publishing the pattern here and on Ravelry ASAP. It's quite nice because its double thick, especially with the super bulky wool and its almost impenetrable. Perfect for the Canadian winter - and according to the Farmers Almanac, we could be in for another doozy again this year. I promise - writing out my hat patterns are next on my list. I have 3 to share with you.
I have some wool on my wheel right now, and I am hoping to finish that off this week. I've been itching to get a whole bunch more skeins done. I've been working on a lot of projects in my head, I need to get them out and in wooly form.
I was a guest co-host on the Entirely Crafty podcast this week. You can check it out here if you are interested. It was a lot of fun!
If you are on Ravelry, you can join her group and keep up with new episodes :)
I am working on the patterns for Speargrass, Wally and Un-named. They will make wonderful accessories for fall and winter. I am working on handspun versions of the last two as well.
I met Carla in my Learn to Crochet class at Cindy-Rella's. Her fun attitude and genuine interest to learn new skills was very encouraging. She also took a spinning wheel class from me and was very determined to give it her best shot. She did awesome. She bought a wheel from our friend Susan and took off running. She joined the Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild and we have been hanging out at many of the monthly Fibre Nights as well.
Carla is about to have her baby any time now. I wanted to make her something nice for her son and knew the perfect handspun to use. This yarn is a superwash Corriedale so it will be easy to take care of yet will stay durable and last until long after her baby grows out of it. The colours are baby blue, light green, orange, gold and a sage-y green. Great boy colours.
I chose to knit a vest because it is a great layering item, and it will keep her baby warm without being too hot. The pattern is called Pebble by Nikol Lohr. It's wonderful project to showcase handspun because it is a simple looking pattern with a garter stitch border and yoke. The vest buttons up down the side and on one shoulder so it will be easy for him to get in and out of. My friend Hilary made one of these for her son when he was born and it just looked so cute on him! It's an easy pattern and you can adjust the size pretty easily.
It is super nice to give a handspun, handknit item to someone who really appreciates it. Can't wait to see the little cutie wearing his new vest.
I have a list of goals this year:
1) knit a sweater for myself
2) crochet a sweater for myself
3) learn to sew
4) make a few projects that have been in my queue for a long time like Wurm, Hitchhiker and Sheep Heid, Morning Surf Scarf with handspun
5) challenge myself each month on something crafty
6) spin 4 oz on a supported spindle
7) Finish as many WIP’s as I can
8) Wear more of my hand knits on a regular basis
I've started working on a few items and cast on for the Hitchhiker shawl this past week. I am using a Merino/Tencel blend which is the Jan 2014 club shipment from Spunky Eclectic. I spun the fibre straight from the braid without splitting it up. I wanted to have longer colour runs which of course "make" this shawl. The other nice thing about this pattern is you knit until your run out of yarn so I can use up every last inch of my precious handspun.
I'm really liking the gradation of colours, looks like a sunset to me. It also makes for great work knitting.
**Warning, this post will keep you up!
I have been yearning for a project that has no deadline. Something where I can pick up a spindle, create any yarn and knit a project that I can wear whenever and wherever. One of my goals this year is to actually get around to knitting a few projects this year that have been in my Ravelry queue for a few years. Specifically the ones "made" for handspun. Like the Morning Surf Scarf, Hitchhiker, Wurm, Simple Yet Effective Shawl, and all the amazing handspun fingerless mitt patterns out there (not to mention the million shawl patterns in my queue) Right now the one I'm thinking about is the Helix Scarf by Stephanie Gaustad. My friend Deb knit one of these a few years ago with her handspun. It's simple, beautiful, and just what I'm looking for. I was looking at the projects on Ravelry and this one really caught my eye.
If you are looking for spinning with shawls in mind, just join this group! Looking for crocheting handspun? Here you go :)
And if that's not enough... look at the projects/stash of Marihana
Now you can see what I'm talking about! Add a few projects to your queue now? YEAH! Now you can understand how I feel haha. Which projects are you thinking of starting this weekend?
Lots to do this weekend as the hours fill up with work that I've got planned in my mind and the need to create takes over. I'm sure you know what I mean ;P
I am teaching my Learn to Knit class which lasts two weeks. I
teach students two common cast on's, the knit and purl stitches, simple lace knitting and two bind off's. Students get to try out different needle types (circular, straight, wooden, metal etc) to see what they prefer. It never hurts to try before you buy and many new-comers to knitting are overwhelmed with the choices. I will also go over important tools/notions, how to read simple patterns, blocking and even laundering advice. I find it to be a very relaxing class, as we have fun chatting while practicing each stitch and isn't that what knitting is all about? Creating while having fun. If you are interested in taking this class, I will be offering more throughout the year. You can check the "Classes & Workshops" tab to see the schedule and if there is something you would like to learn that isn't on the list, please let me know. I am very accommodating and will offer private lessons as well.
I have been working on a lace collar from May's Piecework Magazine. It is based on a great story called "Of Heros, Hooks, and Heirlooms” by Faye Silton, about a girl who learns to crochet to share a portion of her family's history. Children in her class are asked to bring in a family heirloom and discuss it. The girl in the book's family was in WWII and had to leave all their belongings behind. She did have a photo though and decided to make the lace collar her mother was wearing and bring that to class as her heirloom piece. I'm still looking for the book so I can read it in more depth.
I have also been crocheting buttons, they add a unique finishing touch to many projects. I have also been making buttons from polymer clay and find them so much fun!
I have been spinning a Romney sample for June's Sheep Study on my Forrester sheep spindle (how fitting!). I have processed it from its raw, dirty form to this shimmery beautiful form.
The Cathedral Village Arts Festival is coming up next weekend (May 25th) and I have one week to get ready. I plan on spinning as many skeins as I can and working on some odds and ends. I need to finish making some felted soap, market bags, food baskets and mandalas.
I have been knitting the Stripe Study Shawl with some handspun Masham wool and alpaca yarn. I'm loving the contrast.
I have been crocheting some wash cloth gift sets. They are a nice take along project. Great to work on during breaks and when I'm stuck waiting for a train
I have been spinning up club fibres as they arrive. I of course have more fibre than I can spin in a lifetime but it's what makes me happy. I am having a bit of a destash as well, my loss is your gain.
Here is a picture of my sister Nancy of Landlocked Design and I taken by the QC photographer at Sask Fashion Week last weekend. More to come on that later ;)
Knit Natural has had a great year so far and there is so much more coming! I have been working very hard in the past month and a half making one of a kind items for designer Riley Lawson for Sask Fashion Week. I attended her photoshoot on Sunday and saw my items in action. It was very emotional for me because all my hard work paid off and everyone had such nice things to say about me and my knitwear. I can't wait to show you the amazing photos of her collection but you will have to wait until after May 11th when she showcases her work on the runway! Its a surprise :D You can still get tickets at the Cornwall Centre or through the Sask Fashion Week website.
The Cathedral Village Arts Festival is fast approaching (Sat May 25th) you will find me there on Retallack Street with most of my stuff along with some new items that I will be adding to the shop shortly. I have been making crocheted mandalas (pictured above) as a way to use up bits of handspun. They are also fun to make and look really nice. They are just another project that can be made with my mini skeins I have for sale.
I am going to be taking a spindle class at Olds fibre week this June and will be helping out with the wool show along with my friend Val from Newland Ranch. I can't wait!
I have also been invited back to judge the wool show at the Grassland Sheep and Wool Exhibition in Drake Sask this summer. I will be promoting the wool industry as a vendor as well. I will have lots of items available as well as SOAK products which work wonders on wool. I'm really looking forward to attending this year and I can fully immerse myself in all there is to see and do. I'm interested in watching the sheep shearing, and would like to take a course one of these days.
Classes at Cindy-Rella's have been a big hit! I am usually there every weekend and it makes me very happy to see such an interest in fibre arts. If there is anything you may be interested in learning or would like a one on one lesson just drop me a line and I will add the class to my line up. If you haven't already been to Cindy's it is well worth a look. She has some very unique items and a great selection of yarns. She stocks everything from sewing and quilting to scrapbooking supplies and embroidery and everything in between. She has a beautiful store and you won't be able to leave without feeling crafty or inspired in one way or another.
I hope to see many of you at the upcoming events. Stop and say hi and tell me what projects you're working on, and don't forget you can find me on Facebook and Twitter
Thanks to everyone who came out to The True Knit Art Show today! I had loads of fun and talked to a lot of great people! It's so amazing to see how creative people are in our city. I will see you at the next one :)
I also made this gift set for my moms birthday; 4 spa cloths and some olive oil soap my friend Michelle helped me make. I'm loving simple patterns lately, you can do so much with them. These are totally my moms colours. I will have some gift sets like these for sale at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival on May 25th.
I found this pretty cool idea on Ravelry near the beginning of the year. The designer has separated up temperatures in 5 degree increments and she suggested colours to represent these temperatures. So what you do is knit a row depending on the high of the day. I am making this for my great uncle and he lives in Weyburn so I have been checking the high's everyday and knitting his scarf. I am using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes yarn in 15 colours. I have to say that so far the pattern has been surprising me because we have been having really weird weather. As you can see in my uncles scarf it was from +1 to -19 in one day! The months are separated with white and I think at the end I will add the year. I am knitting this in garter stitch so each ridge counts as one day. Even if my uncle never wears this scarf, he will like the history and that I will have worked on it everyday for a year. This scarf tells a story and if I make one next year it will look different. You can customize this scarf in so many ways if you are planning on starting one. You can use any yarn, any needle size and any stitch pattern, you can even crochet it if you want. I'll be interested in seeing how it comes along, its like a mystery and it writes history one row at a time.
I decided a while ago that I love handspun more than commercial yarn. I love the process, the uniqueness, the surprise and the finished product. I love how the yarn when spun can/will look a lof different from the fibre sometimes and other times it looks pretty much the same. I love the handmade look of handspun items and I especially love how much better the item feels on. I even told Jeremy that if he was choosing between fibre and yarn for me, always choose the fibre.
I have made a new years resolution to spin at least 4 oz of fibre a month.... on a spindle and try to make a pair of socks a month. I have been doing well so far in this first week of the year. I am going through one of my Phat Fiber boxes and I am going to spin every sample with my little sweetheart golding
I also received this gorgeous "Sheep to Shoe" kit from my friend Hilary and I spun it up into 2 ply yarn and I am making plain socks. I love them. It is so rewarding to finally make handspun socks. I specifically learned toe up socks for this, and only this. Thanks Hilary <3 such a thoughtful gift
So this is all I worked on today