My friend Nicole will be opening a new yarn shop in Regina here in the next couple of weeks. I am very happy to get a real LYS again in my hometown. It is called The Naked Sheep Yarn & Fibre Emporium and it is located at 104 College Ave E. She will have a great selection of yarns and fibre from a lot of local dyers as well as all your favourite brands. I have sent her some Knit Natural handspun recently and will add a few more skeins as well in the next week or so. Keep an eye on her Facebook page for more info on opening date, upcoming classes and more goodies arriving daily.
I finished my Liplatus Shawl on the drive home for the Saskatoon Etsy Made in Canada sale last month and just got around to blocking it this weekend.
I knit it in Dye for Ewe's Snug sock yarn in the colourway Growing Pansies. Isn't it such a pretty colour scheme? I started this shawl on the way to the Manitoba Fibre Festival and really enjoyed it as it was quite a relaxing project. I really wanted a simple looking shawl to show off the yarn as best as I could. If I had a lime green yarn I might crochet a fancy border along the bottom one day.
Many of you have likely heard of a recent movement called "Slow Fashion October", and if you have been following me on Instagram you may have seen some of my handmade wardrobe projects. A couple of my goals this year was to wear more handmade clothing and wear more of my handknits. I have been learning to sew and make my own clothes with the help of friends, my mom and Jeremy's boss. Even though I know many of my dresses, tunics and shirt have been faaaaarrr from perfect they make me so happy. I feel great in them and I get a lot of compliments which makes me want to continue. I can also pair this with another love of mine - thrift shopping.
When you are a bigger gal like myself, sometimes it is hard to find nice clothing that fits properly. I have been leaning towards a more minimalist style with what I wear, simple designs, neutral-ish colours, something that I can pair in a number of ways etc. I have found peace in a few designs and designers who make it simple for beginners like myself who are looking for something to make them feel good AND look good in (no matter what size you are).
I have gained a lot of inspiration by going through #handmadewardrobe and have been making a list of items I would like to make. The fun part is changing them up with the addition of hand knits; cardigans, shawls, scarves, and more! Here are a couple patterns that I have in my queue that I want to add to my Handmade Wardrobe
These are just a few examples, you can understand now why my queue and unfinished projects list is so large. There are so many hats, skirts, and fingerless mitts you can add, and don't forget all the handknit socks you can wear with each item!
You don't have to be an expert to participate in Slow Fashion October,
@slowfashionoctober writes that it is “A celebration of the small-batch, handmade, second-hand, well-loved, long-worn, known-origins wardrobe.” I have been finding myself going back to the traditional ways of doing things and making my own clothes has been very rewarding. Just one more aspect of my life I am trying to make "handmade". If you need further inspiration you should check out these wonderful women who have really inspired me
Jessica Lewis Stevens
So why not play along? Anything you make this month that you post online, use the hashtag #slowfashionoctober. Challenge yourself, share your work with others and have fun! If you don't have time to play along, there is always #MeMadeMay :)
My goals this month are to sew a few more dresses/tunics, finish my shawls in the works and a pair of socks. What have you got planned?
Jeremy and I had SUCH a great time at the Manitoba Fibre Festival this past weekend. From meeting new people, teaching fun classes and seeing old friends, Winnipeg was the place to be. Since I was teaching during the set up, Jeremy was in charge of getting my booth up and running. He is my main man when it comes to shows as he supports me in all aspects.
The Flatlands Collection was available for all to see and I was happy to see that Aura was so well represented. Thank you to all who purchased kits and patterns. Ally and I still have a couple more if you are interested!
I was SO looking forward to being able to wear my Aura for the first time at the end of the festival. I have plans to knit another.
I also got lots done on my Liplatus shawl with some of Ally's yarn as well.... just a few more rows to go!
Of course I had to make a stop at Wolseley Wool as well. They have a superb selection
Some knitting time at Baked Expectations (a must see)
Thank you to everyone who came to the festival, supported us all and continue to. You are what make all the difference. I appreciate you all and can’t wait for next year!
My treasures from the festival: Flatlanders Soap, Raiment Resource, Natural Knot Woods, Feet of Clay, Hilori's Magical Yarnorium, Wolseley Wool, Mandyz Moon. There was soooooo much more I wanted <3 SO many amazing artists.
Manitoba Basset Walk 2017
Jeremy and I were invited to attend the Manitoba Basset Walk (#mbw17) as we have been meaning to go for the past few years now. As some of you may know, we have a basset hound named Jenny, and meeting other basset owners and seeing their dogs is something we love to do. They are all so different yet all the same haha. There were even 2 basset puppies that were adorable! We adopted Jenny when she was 2 so we never got to see her extra-long ears hanging from her domed head as a baby. We had a great time petting every dog and soaking up the drool. There are a couple basset rescues that raise funds for other dogs in need. You should have seen the great prizes! We are trying to plan next year to bring Jenny so she can do the walk with her as we really wish she could have been with us. She was sleeping over at the best friend Harley’s house and this is the state she was in while we were away….
That’s our girl, classy all the way but look at that smile. She is always pretty tired out from having fun with Harley but was excited to see us when we got home.
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.
After several months of not spinning due to my chronic pain, I have finished a couple skeins for a fellow Guild member to use in weaving projects. Both are BFL, dyed by Sharon of Golden Willow. The one on the left is dyed with indigo in a gradient from white to dark (218 yards)and the skein on the right transfers from purple to blue to green (178 yards).
I am hoping to spin 40 new skeins for my upcoming sales in September (Manitoba Fibre Festival and Etsy Made in Canada) and I will likely have to take a bit of a break from spinning for a bit. This hurts my heart a lot as spinning is my life but I don't want to make things worse before they get better. You can always follow me on Instagram as well for handspun updates.
As some of you may know, I teach knitting at Red Fox Creative Studio which is a great place for combining well-being, art, creativity and support. Today I was featured on their blog as the Maker Monday post. I am also going to be teaching another Learn to Knit Class this fall starting in October. It is a 4 week class where you will learn all the basics of knitting including casting on, binding off, knit and purl stitches, simple decreases and increases as well as reading a pattern and using stitch markers. I hope you will join me :)
Alex Richards of October Evening made a beautiful Lookbook featuring all the artisans involved in this collection, click on the cover photo above to check it out
The Flatlands Collection has officially launched! This inaugural collection includes 13 designers from my local fibershed in and around the Canadian Prairies supporting the Manitoba Fibre Festival. All of these designs have been made using yarn/fibre from vendors at this years Manitoba Fibre Festival.
Join us on Ravelry, Facebook and instagram (using the hashtag #flatlandscollection) for a KAL. Official FO posts can be made on the Manitoba Fibre Festival Forum to qualify for a prize. Join us and purchase your patterns between August 1st and 6th to receive a 30% discount (automatic at checkout)
Thank you to U&i / perspective for modelling. photos by Hilori Thompson, Ash Alberg, and Mandy Furney.
The Flatlands Collection has officially launched! This collection includes 13 designers from my local fibershed in and around the Canadian Prairies. All of these designs have been made using yarn/fibre from vendors at this years Manitoba Fibre Festival. I have been waiting to show you my design and here it is! I love versatile patterns that can be worn in a variety of ways. I wanted a meditative pattern that is also very functional yet still stunning with a nice drape.
Aura is part of the Flatlands Collection featured at the 2017 Manitoba Fibre Festival. Join us on Ravelry, Facebook and instagram (using the hashtag #flatlandscollection) for a KAL. Official FO posts can be made on the Manitoba Fibre Festival Forum to qualify for a prize. Join us and purchase your patterns between August 1st and 6th to receive a 30% discount (automatic at checkout)
This generously sized rectangular shawl will become your new go to accessory. Knit on the bias with 3 different skeins, you can play up colours, maximize yardage and wear it in a number of ways!
Aura: is the ever-changing flow of life energy around one’s body, the essence of an individual, an invisible force surrounding a living creature, a breath of air
The stitch patterns lend themselves well to solid colours, stripes, gradients, speckle dyed, tonal, hand painted yarns and handspun!
I am proud to partner with local prairie artisans with this design, including Ally of Dye for Ewe and Ash of Sunflower Knit, in support of the Manitoba Fibre Festival.
- 3 skeins of fingering weight yarn approximately 465 yards each
Dye for Ewe – Fingerlicious 465 yards (425.2 m) 115g Single Ply 100% Merino
Colour A: Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
Colour B: Fall Shadows
Colour C: Plum Dandy
18 stitches X 24 rows = 4” (10 cm) over stockinette unblocked using size US 9 (5.5mm) needles
Before Blocking: 63” (160 cm) length X 21.5” (55 cm) depth
After Blocking: 69” (175 cm) length X 33” (84 cm) depth
Basic knitting and purling, increases and decreases, slipping stitches
Abbreviations and stitches used:
k – knit
k2tog – knit 2 stitches together
kfb – knit into the front and the back of stitch
p – purl
rs – right side
sl – slipped stitch
ssk – slip, slip, knit
ws – wrong side
yo – yarn over
This year, in support of the Manitoba Fibre Festival, they have come up with the great idea to start a pattern collection using designers, dyers and artisans in the Prairie fibreshed. This is the first year and you are in for a treat. 13 designs will be available for purchase starting Aug 1st and I have been following the sneak peaks and I'm super excited to be a part of this project. It is called the Flatlands Collection and if you knit one of the designs and wear it to the festival you get in for free! All weekend!
I am really looking forward to sharing my design with you and will post more about it after the reveal on Aug 1st but it is called Aura and I teamed up with dyer Ally of Dye for Ewe and just LOVE how it turned out. This pattern uses 3 skeins of fingering weight yarn and Ally will have kits available at the festival for purchase as well. These designs will be available on Ravelry as well as at the festival.
Are you interested in learning more about wool fleeces and how to choose a fleece at an auction or wool show?
In this workshop you will learn how to choose a fleece with an end project in mind. We will go over the judging card to see what the judge is looking for in a fleece and what the different wool classes entail. Methods of storing and washing will be discussed as well as different ways to process fleeces. This is a hands on class and will involve a few example fleeces to gain greater insight. Bring a fleece if you have questions! Please bring an apron to protect your clothes.
Cost to register: $35/person
Payable in advance by paypal to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Golden Willow Alpaca Farm. Thank you to Sharon for providing the perfect backdrop ♥
Time: 1 - 4pm
Class size will be up to 15 people
Join in on the Facebook Event Page
This design is part of Hilori’s Magical Yarnorium Cross Country Canada KAL July 2017 #xccroadtripkal. Head on over to her group to sign up and join in on the fun
From now until my birthday (July 20th) please use coupon code LANDOFLIVINGSKIES for 30% off of this design
This 6 layered cowl is a map of sorts taking you across my province of Saskatchewan. Knit your way along grid roads, passing canola and flax fields, and dipping your toes in one of our abundant freshwater lakes. Travel through the glacier carved valleys and up through the Canadian Shield nestled amongst the trees in the boreal forest up north. The scenery wouldn’t be complete without chasing the never ending horizon and the wide open skies watching the weather roll in.
Hilori’s Magical Yarnorium has dyed up a special colourway for this road trip. This cowl is kit in the round using 6 different stitch patterns to keep your interest, but simple enough to make the perfect travel project.
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!
I have restocked on Unicorn Power Scour in my Etsy shop - Professional Grade Wool Wash for cleaning your fleeces & raw fibre. 16 oz bottles
Use Power Scour for wool washing and wool cleaning fiber with heavier burdens of grease, wax, suint, dirt and clay, typically found in sheep, goat and bison fibers.
Use lower temperatures, 40°-50°C (104-122°F), for fibers such as Cashmere, Alpaca, Bison ,etc. Use higher temperatures, 50°-55°C (122-131°F), for fibers with more oil/wax or oils (sheep, etc.)
This is the product I use to wash all my fleeces because it is the BEST!
I will be bringing it with me to Blue Hills Fibre Festival next weekend
May 5 - 7 was the Regina Weavers & Spinners Guild Fibre Shindig. It was full of fibre enthusiasts, vendors and a great line up of workshops. I was lucky enough to teach my Fleece to Finish class to a group of fellow members. Some participants had sheep of their own while others wanted to learn more about processing fleeces and what to look for when buying wool at an auction. We went over both judging cars and 3 breeds together and then students judged their own fleeces. It was a great afternoon that just flew by. Thanks to everyone who came out, I love talking about wool and was happy to share my knowledge.
Here are a few more pics taken by Sparkling Medusa Creative Services
After taking a much needed break due to my chronic pain which has been keeping me from doing what I enjoy, I have listed some handspun skeins into my Etsy shop this weekend.
I am also heading back to Toronto this month for my 3rd Etsy Captains Summit with Erin and Elaine. We came home with a lot of new ideas last year so I'm excited to see what this year brings.
My shop was featured on the Etsy SK blog this month! You can read my interview here.
I hope to share some exciting news with you soon regarding some upcoming projects this year so stay tuned for more.
My monthly newsletter will start to show up again in your inboxes soon, thanks for your patience!
I finished my crocheted shawl this week and after blocking took pictures. It turned out just as I had hopped. I wanted a relaxing project, crescent shaped that could be adjustable, using a skein of sock yarn. The pattern is currently in the testing phase and I hope to have it out near the end of September, just in time for fall weather. The pattern will be both charted and written out.
I used Hilori's Magical Yarnorium Cosmic yarn (which has sparkles!) in the colourway "You Remind Me of the Babe". Such a gorgeous gradient! I picked this yarn up at the Manitoba Fibre Festival last year and plan on getting more this year. I am making another and started it last week as soon as I finished this one. I am using a tonal sock yarn (Tough Stuff Sock) dyed by Kim from The Wacky Windmill in a beautiful blend of pinks. It has a bit more yardage so I shouldn't have to worry about playing yarn chicken this time around.
We had so much fun last year that we are at it again! I am organising this market with the help of Marjorie, Angela, and Jeremy. 3 amazing partners will be joining us this year including The Wren, Paper Umbrella and The Blue Rooster Cafe. We have 38 vendors bringing you their handmade work from baby items, pottery, jewellery, fibre, paper, art and skin care just to name a few. We also have sellers and 3 vintage shops this year like Burlap Linen & Lace, The Dress Form and Your Aunties Panties. We have 2 vendors travelling from Manitoba (Periwinkle Designs) and Alberta (The Wacky Windmill). You can follow the details on our Facebook event page. I will be bringing some handspun and finished handknit items with me as well as putting on an Etsy Start Selling workshop. I hope you will join me!
I have been very busy the last while spinning up a storm. I am sending off 20 skeins to Wolseley Wool in Winnipeg today. This yarn shop is my LYS away from home and guess what? They just moved into a bigger location which is absolutely gorgeous, you must check it out if you are in or around Winnipeg. They offer lots of really awesome classes and have a great selection of yarn, fibre, notions and more. I gain a lot of inspiration just seeing all of their pattern samples throughout their store.
These are just a few of the skeins I'm sending. Lots of wool types from SW Merino to Wensleydale and BFL and some really amazing blends like Polwarth/Silk. I hope you find a skein that calls to you (they all call to me) haha!
Well I didn't get what I had planned spun (at least on my support spindles) but that's ok. I did get these skeins spun and plied. 22.75 ounces and 1090 yards. Colourways are (from L to R): Skating on Thin Ice, Emotional Intelligence, Sagebrush, Google Doodle and Bon Voyage.
And look what I won! 390g of Merino/Silk in this pretty mix of reds and purples. I'm thinking it would make a nice shawl.... but don't I always say that? How did you do this Tour?
If you are going to Winnipeg this fall to attend the Manitoba Fibre Festival then you are in for a great lineup of workshops! I will be teaching two classes, one on each day. You can see the schedule and list of workshops here, but don't wait too long as they are filling up fast! The festival runs from Friday September 30 (5-9) and Sat October 1 (10-4). I will be judging fleeces and helping with the wool show and auction as well as selling my handspun and other items in the vendor market. I hope to see you there!
FLEECE TO FINISH
In this class you will learn how to choose a fleece with an end project in mind. We will go over the judging card to see what the judge is looking for in a fleece and what the different wool classes entail. Methods of storing and washing will be discussed as well as different ways to process fleeces. This is a hands on class and will involve a few example fleeces to gain greater insight. Bring a fleece if you have questions! Please bring an apron to protect your clothes.
Friday September 30 2:00 – 4:30 pm 2 1/2 hours
Registration fee: $25
No materials fee
HANDSPINNING WITH A DROP SPINDLE
Ever wanted to learn how to make yarn by hand? In this class you will learn the time honoured tradition of spindling. We will be using a top whorl spindle to learn how to create your own leader, manage twist, understand the drafting zone and draft continuously, build a cop and prepare your spun singles for plying. We will also discuss spindle types, fibre preparations, and finishing techniques. Perfect for beginners.
Saturday October 1 9:00am – 12:00 noon 3 hours
Registration fee: $30
Material Cost: $20 (payable to instructor) includes drop spindle and 4 oz of fibre
I have been wanting to tell you all about a podcast you need to add to your list (if you don't already subscribe). There is no doubt why The Bakery Bears podcast hosted by Dan and Kay Jones is so popular!! Each episode is full of inspiration to get your needles clicking, funny moments that will make your cheeks hurt and interesting trips through their UK countryside including history and more are a feast for the eyes. Dan and Kay have such chemistry and have captured the attention of many around the world.
They have recently posted up Episode 53 so if you haven't watched, they are seriously binge-worthy! This latest episode was a special one for me because I make a guest appearance - or shall I say, Dan and Kay make an appearance in my studio!
I "met" these two a few years ago when they first mentioned my Bankhead hat on their show. Since then, it has been knitted over 2200 times! I wanted to do something as a bit of a thank you and sent them over a box of Canadian goodies including 2 skeins of handspun specially spun for them.
Kay knit these gorgeous mitts and Dan knit... a Bankhead!!
These were my FO for their show, I knit these socks for my new nephew on the way and finished them just in time the night before while at a Sask Rider football game. It was so much fun to talk to Dan and Kay and we had to coordinate it so that we both had daylight, so I talked to them on Canada day in the morning which was around suppertime for them. We talked on Facetime for quite a while and I was sad to have to say goodbye. Seriously awesome people <3 They have a patreon program for people who want to keep them going and also get in on some extra goodies like tutorials, monthly prize draws, discount codes, behind the scenes videos and more! While you are at it, you should find them on Facebook, favourite their Etsy shop and join their group on Ravelry so you can keep up with all the news and happenings on the way!
Every year at the time of the Tour de France, spinners around the world spin their wheels and spindles in a challenge to accomplish a goal or goals. If you like there are teams you can join to help support you along your way and often there are prizes to go along with it. This years' tour began on July 2 and runs until July 24th. My goal this year is to spin 4 oz on some support spindles as I have really enjoyed the slow process of support spindle spinning in the last year or so.
The fibre I chose is Corriedale, dyed by Amy of Spunky Eclectic. It was the club fibre for Sept 2016. The spindles I chose for this project were merely on the fact they haven't been used too much and deserve more love. From left to right you have; Antique hybrid, Gripping Yarns Thorn, Bristlecone Glindle, and an antique Russian. I am spinning with my guild in Team RWSG.
I have also been spinning for another great shop which I will post about soon. At the end of the first week I had 5 bobbins spun. Plying will come next so I can free up some room for more spinning. Are you spinning in the Tour this year?
As some of you may know, I am one of the Team Leaders for Etsy SK and i the month of June we decided to try an Instagram challenge. I came up with these topics of the month and played along for each day. If you don't follow me on Instagram, you can see my story below. If you want to check out others' posts be sure to look up #EtsySKTellYourStory to see more.
Click on the pictures for descriptions :)
To start the day off here are a couple pics of me during the last 4 years of judging wool shows at fibre festivals across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. It's one part of my business that doesn't get shown on Etsy. I took the wool judging course at Olds College in 2012 and have enjoyed learning about wool as I go. I've judged 100's of fleeces using both the commercial and artisan styles.
Day 2 of #etsysktellyourstory this is my studio. It used to be the master bedroom of our house until my husband went to a football game and I switched rooms. My office is in the walk in closet (top). I was hoping to use this challenge to make me clean up and organize my studio but that didn't happen lol. Selective pictures. The ensuite is where I wash my skeins and hang them to dry. I store my yarn stash in the cupboard but of course this explodes out into the house. My fibre stash is not pictured (it's like an iceberg). The couch is where I knit or crochet (usually with a cat) and this is my main spinning wheel.
Day 6 of #etsysktellyourstory these are my tools/equipment that help me be productive. The top left are a few of my support spindles. I have quite a collection of spindles in general (probably over 100). My Kessinich Jack Loom and the majority of my spinning wheels. My Kromski is my production wheel and I also have a country spinner and Spin well wheel which aren't pictured here
Day 8 of #etsysktellyourstory a video of my process. I was trying to think of what to show in 20 seconds and I thought to show a bit of spinning on my tiny Capar Turkish spindle and winding on the arms. Usually I will spin for longer before winding but I wanted to show all the steps including the half hitch #spindlespinning
Day 10 of #etsysktellyourstory. The prompt for today is orange. I wanted to share about one of my cats - Watson. Our only ginger kitty. Her mom (Mrs Hudson), her brother (Sherlock) and her showed up one day a few years ago and started living under our front porch. We took care of them and I raised money from my sales at the first ever Made in Canada sale in Saskatoon that @glassyeyed organized to pay for them all to be spayed/neutered. Mrs Hudson has moved on and Sherlock still lives around the neighbourhood and we have a shelter and leave food out for him on our porch. We adopted Watson as she wanted our affection and we were able to get her inside. She is a wonderful cat and is getting along with our other cats and dog. We had help from Regina Cat Rescue and I volunteer for them. We love Watson □ and as you can see she's quite relaxed with us #feralcat
For day 11 of #etsysktellyourstory it was very hard but these are some of my Etsy SK favs: @entirelycraftylindsay who makes the best project bags and needle cases as well as my supplier of knitting needles, @mytrueluminosity who makes super one of a kind and really cool jewelry using old clock parts and other vintage collectables, @moirannsu who's thoughtful cards are SO BEAUTIFUL and the care put into each one is obvious and @tooaquarius who is like Michelangelo to me. I can't get enough of her polymer clay creations and the detail in each bead is like - woah. You all inspire me
For day 13 of #etsysktellyourstory most of my works in progress are gifts for others so I don't want to spoil the surprise but this is a wip for me I started a couple years ago and have a lot of help with it from my friend @entirelycraftylindsay. It is a chain reaction quilt using moda fabric this is just the quilt top, I still need to learn how to finish it.
Here are a few of my "helpers" for day 14 of #etsysktellyourstory. Rider, Xena and Watson share a room together and I often find Watson rubbing her face on my wool judging bag and Rider is usually in my office sleeping with a tufft of fibre and Xena just likes to grab yarn and generally be with me as much as she can. These are old pics of Rider and Xena but they haven't changed. FYI the fibre both Rider & Xena are on is fibre I spun for myself. I keep my cats away from anything not for me.
My biggest helper for #etsysktellyourstory is my husband Jeremy @riderpride75. We do everything together which means he runs my booths at shows, he shears sheep with me, he comes up with my colourway names and drives me all over and attends everything I do. He is my biggest supporter and I couldn't do it without him. He is the other half of Knit Natural
For day 15 of #etsysktellyourstory the prompt is texture. I wanted to share a few pictures. At the top left is a very perfect example of the crimp in a fine wool (Cormo) which you can see will have a lot of elasticity. Under it are some Lincoln locks which show the typical long wool waves. Under that I have some handspun that is woven, knit and crocheted. To the right I have a sweater I knit in brioche for Dean Renwick for Saskatchewan Fashion Week and my favorite - garter stitch
Found a treasure trove of postcards - thanks Moose Jaw. I joined a community called postcrossing where I send postcards to people all over the world and I also get just as many back. It's a nice surprise in my mailbox every week. I like to share pictures of Saskatchewan as we have quite a nice landscape and people in more conjested parts of the globe don't usually see as far and wide as we do. I'm also learning how to say hi in several different languages. It's a fun pastime. #postcrossing #etsysktellyourstory #saskatchewan
Day 20 of #etsysktellyourstory hands... □ well my hands cause me a lot of pain but it's mostly self inflicted. The first picture in the top left is the hole I dug into my finger after a month of non-stop knitting (I had to wear tape around it to continue - the things you do for a deadline lol) I have a knitting callous on my right ring finger and I am also a nail chewer/ripper and do both of these quite constantly when anxious. I also have cats so there is usually a scratch h or two (or three) present as well lol
Day 21 of #etsysktellyourstory my mentor. I was waiting for this day to tell you all about my dear friend and mentor Deb Behm. This is her on the cover of Western People in 1983. She was a bit younger in this picture than I am now and she was collecting stories about spinning and fibre work from people around the prairies and she even published a book about the memories people shared with her. She was the artist in residence at the Neil Balkwell for many years and had people traveling from the states to take her fibre arts classes. She taught me everything I know and shared her love of spinning and spindles with me. She was a master knitter and taught in the master spinners program at Olds College. She is widely published for her work in tapestry weaving, spinning, knitting and more. She passed away on Dec 10th last year and has left a huge hole in the fibre community and all the hearts she entered. □
Day 23 of #etsysktellyourstory Inspiration. I find I get a lot of inspiration from Piecework Magazine. It's combines tradional fibre art (knitting, crochet, tatting, embroidery, quilting, and beadwork just to name a few), history patterns and interesting stories. I remember one where after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle passed away, his wife couldn't stand the thought of him going to his grave wearing cheap socks so she ripped them off his feet as he lay on the funeral bed and replaced them with handknit socks to keep him warm. Now that's love! Lol (Pic from google)
Day 24 of #etsysktellyourstory my first listing sale was this handspun hat I knit in the best colourway ever called Whiskey & Whiskers. This is a song by Thom Dudley who is a good friend of Jeremy's birthdad who is a musician in Portland. We visited him in 2011 and went to every gig. He was playing fiddle in Thom's Scottish band and it was such a fun time. My sister was my first customer on Etsy lol. She bought this hat Pattern is "Anchors and Ropes" by my friend Síle
For day 25 of #etsysktellyourstory I wanted to share with you about my business name and logo. My husband @riderpride75 actually came up with the name (as he does with my colourways) and he said it sounded like a call to arms "Knit Natural". It is also simple enough, I don't have to worry about spelling it out and it was available. I wanted to use a venn diagram as the logo because I am combining ideas and concepts to come up with different variations of finished objects. Like combining spinning and knitting, weaving and crochet, warmth and strength, wool prep and fashion etc and making a quality product. The colours used are taken from pictures of sheep - so they are actual natural sheep colours! My sister @nancy_morrison came up with that nugget. I am quite happy with my business name as I feel it defines me. #knitnatural
Day 26 of #etsysktellyourstory display. This was my table setup at the EtsySk Bring on Spring market earlier this year. I have an old truck for my handspun that I was able to convince my mom that I needed it more haha and I use wooden crates to fit into the natural theme. My table cloth I got at Fabricland. It's just a length of upholstery fabric so it's nice and heavy. I brought part of a spinning wheel with me this time and liked it. I also use baskets, glass heads and try to put lots of images of my successes around (wool judging, Sask Fashion Week and magazines I've been published in). My husband usually runs my booth for me because I am most often doing other jobs at shows but my setup usually stays the same.
Day 28 of #etsysktellyourstory tunes. I normally prefer peace and quiet but when I am in my studio I usually listen to Tonic on CBC (jazz) my cats like it and they like to relax listening to it. I also really like The Conspiracy Show. Richard Syrett's voice is soothing and even though some of his guests are a bit on the wacko side he let's them have their say. Other than that I might listen to Chill on Spotify. But my main music choice is 90's alternative otherwise.
Day 29 of #etsysktellyourstory collection. This is a portion of my support spindle collection. I love each one and some are limited edition or one of a kind or the spindle makers have passed on. It's a very relaxing way to spin yarn, very portable and fun! You can even do it while traveling in a car. For this year's Tour de Fleece I will be spinning a 4 Oz skein on my support spindles. The TdF is a yearly challenge for spinners which coincides with the Tour de France. I will be spinning with friends and fellow guild members starting this weekend □
Final day of #etsysktellyourstory why do I love handmade and fibrework? Well I have several reasons. It ties me to the past and to many many cultures around the world. It really is better than commercially made items. I can use knitting/spinning/crochet etc to relieve stress and relax while being productive. By spending time to handmake items for my family and friends I am giving them a portion of my life in everything I make. I am promoting the craft for others to keep it alive. I can make anything I want and it is very rewarding to start with animal fibre and end up with a usable garment that will serve a specific purpose for a very long time. I can use it to send a form of love to those I care about. I have met so many amazing people though fibre and made lifelong friends. I can take it anywhere and it's fun! Thank you to all the EtsySk members who posted throughout this challenge. It was nice to read all about what you do and connect with you all on a more personal level. You are all an inspiration. Why do you love handmade?