Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I was about to jump on Facebook to share my latest project when I stopped myself. I really must stop neglecting my blog. I'm getting so lazy!
I now have four knitting projects in the works. I'm pushing myself to become a confident knitter. It's rather amazing to go on Ravelry and look up free knitting patterns. What a world! This my latest and I'm enjoying this pattern so much. I love the look of it and the stitches have a fun rhythm. It's called the Lava Lace Scarf by Evelyn A. Clark if you want to look it up. Mine looks a little less open as I am using a DK weight rather than a lace weight yarn.
This is the first time I've used TOSH DK by MADELINETOSH hand dyed yarns. It's 100% superwash Merino and comes in a nice 225 yard skein. This colorway is called Ophelia which I think it a pretty cool name for yarn.
The scarf itself is a short neck scarf that ties in the front. The shape is basically a trapezoid which I find to be a clever way of shaping. I also like the edging. Each row begins with a yarn over creating a pretty open loop edge. I'm sure with every comment I reveal myself to be the novice knitter than I am, but that's part of the charm of learning something new. Everything seems interesting and even the simple things delight!
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Blogs are a wonderful form of procrastination. I have company coming tomorrow and I really should be tidying mi casa, but here I am blogging. ¡Lo siento casa!
Earlier today, the sun was my excuse for not doing chores. It is freakishly gorgeous here in the Phoenix valley. It's almost 80º, breezy with wispy clouds dancing across the blue. How can one be expected to make a bed on a day like today? I grabbed my knitting and went out to cop a squat in the middle of my grassy backyard. My cat, who is also a sun worshiper, followed me and the two of us soaked up the sun together.
This ribbon is a painted, 3/4" nylon fiber with gold thread running through. It's so pretty out in the sun where the light sparkles off the thread illuminating the colors. The dropped stitches are forming these fabulous bubbles and I love the way the colors are moving across the piece. Sometimes it's hard to know how variegated fibers will turn out. A slightly different width and I could have a scarf where the colors are split down the middle. I like this so much more. It's like they are traveling in waves to compliment the pattern.
I should tell you what ribbon I'm using. The truth is I pulled it from my stash and I had already removed the label. I believe it is Segue Yarn in the color Peacock. I linked to the free pattern in my post entitled Knitting Waves. Okay, I guess I can't avoid my house any longer. I hope everyone is having a lovely Saturday!
Friday, February 15, 2013
I'm getting a little sleepy, but I thought I'd pop on and show you my dyed infinity scarf. I was planning to make the teal and pewter colors darker, but then as I was dyeing, I decided to go with a more muted look. I literally had all of the colors painted and in place and then I poured a couple cups of water right over them, my own version of white washing. I like that the colors look weathered as though this is an old favorite scarf rather than a newly knitted one. It seems a little summery, like something you would throw on for a walk on the beach one cool morning.
I've started working up this same pattern in a painted, wide nylon ribbon. The look is completely different, sort of whimsical and fun. I want to get a few more rows done and then I'll share. As for now, I wish you a good night!
Thursday, February 14, 2013
A novice knitter, I experience waves of enthusiasm toward the craft in which I immerse myself utterly. Then, at some point, I get frustrated and go rushing back to crochet. At the moment, I'm playing in the waves again. I would love to be as comfortable knitting as I am crocheting, so to keep myself inspired, I've been on the lookout for fun little projects.
I happen to be on Facebook last night when a page I follow posted Spinning Daily's Free eBook offer. The book includes five free scarf patterns, so I thought, why not? Among the designs was a wavy scarf pattern. I've seen similar ones and have always liked the look. Plus, I have this chunky thick and thin yarn that I spun and I've been wanting a pattern that would show it off. Inspired, I grabbed my size 9 needles and set to work.
I probably shouldn't admit this, but I struggled with the yarn overs at first. Basically, I was trying to wrap the wrong needle. After scratching my noggin' for a few minutes, I realized my error. After that, it was easy to yarn over along one row and drop the stitches on the next. Actually, it was more than easy, it was fun. I have to say, this little scarf is the most fun I've had knitting so far. The pattern was easy and the resulting waves and bubbles so satisfying, that I was a happy little knitter last night. I woke up anxious to finish off my skein this morning. I had just enough yarn to make a short infinity scarf.
Can you picture it? The top half would be teal, the bottom pewter with just a thin line of chartreuse. What? How can you be silent at a time like this? Color choice is critical you know! Okay, this is me, walking away to dye my scarf... I'm going now... really I am...
Friday, February 8, 2013
For the last six weeks I've been taking care of the rather boring, business end of having a small fiber shop. I've played accountant, I've ordered supplies, I've replenished my inventory. Now, at last, I can return to the fun stuff.
I started off today by dyeing a little Firestar. I haven't done much dyeing recently and Firestar is a nylon that takes dye with ease. Basically, it was just something fun to do to get my mojo back. I'm not superstitious, but when it comes to dyeing, a working mojo is important. Otherwise you may become absent minded and neglect your wool. Even worse, you may overcompensate and agitate your wool too much. Neither of these scenarios produces a nice finished product.
*Note: Tongue in Cheek :D
After I finished painting my Firestar, which dried in about an hour on this blustery day, I was still itching to do more. I remembered the planed wood pieces I have stored in a closet. My brother is a carpenter and he offered to rescue some wood shavings for me. This was very nice of him as I am sure he generally does not sort his wood waste by type.
I've dyed with wood before, but never with large shavings like these. I decided to pack them into a jar and cover them with water. I'll wait for about a week and see how much color I've extracted. Right now I have one jar of Dark Walnut and one of Honduras Mahogany. The different types of wood looked so pretty to me, that I filled a bowl with them and set it out as a centerpiece.
I think the colors of the wood will be soft and pretty, but I felt the need to do a third jar with something more vibrant. I grabbed a bag of dried peppermint that I keep for making Tea. Then I decided to add even more green and went out to my garden. I picked a couple of lemon leaves off my lemon tree and cut a handful of parsely. Parsley, mint with a touch of lemon seemed like a nice idea. I covered my greens and mint with water and will let that steep too.
So now I wait. In the meantime I can mordant my wool and get ready. I'm contemplating an entirely cool dye method this time. I usually use heat when dyeing, so I think it will be interesting to try something new. I'll keep you posted!
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
I've had a steady stream of boxes coming into the studio. It feels so good to rebuild my inventory. Now that I have all of the fiber I need, I can start dyeing some of it. Before I head down to the kitchen, I thought I'd share some of my favorites. Not all of these are new to the shop, but a few are. You can visit their listings to find out more about these interesting breeds and blends: Yak, Wool/Flax Blend, Carbonized Bamboo, Manx Loaghtan, Baby Camel/Silk Blend, Honey Tussah Silk, Yak/Silk Blend and a very light Fawn Alpaca.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Since last week, I've been busy loading up my shop with all sorts of lovely fibers. I seem to be particularly drawn to the silk blends. They are just so soft and pretty and of course silky. I love the quality silk adds to everything!
If you would like to take a look at all of the new fibers, here are their links. I'm going to link you to the 2oz sizes, but if you visit the shop, you'll find other amounts available as well. So here goes: Black Alpaca/Cultivated Silk 80/20, Fawn Alpaca/Tussah Silk 70/30, Mixed Bluefaced Leicester, Cultivated Silk, Fawn Alpaca, and Baby Camel/Tussah Silk 50/50.
Not all of these fibers are new to Wind Rose, but they are all newly replenished with plenty of gorgeous ounces waiting for good homes!
Friday, January 11, 2013
I managed to make a little progress today and as a result I have two new products to share with you. I've added Polwarth Wool Top to my inventory this year. Polwarth is a lovely breed of sheep that was developed from a stock of 75% Merino and 25% Lincoln sheep. The result is a fine, 23 micron wool with a longer staple length.
I'm also very excited to introduce Angora Rabbit Top. I love Angora. It's like spinning a cloud! It's a superfine luxury top (11-13 Micron), with a staple of about 2.5 inches. If you've never tried it, you can buy just 1oz to experience this gorgeous fiber.
This is the time of year when I like to rebuild my inventory at Wind Rose Fiber Studio. It's no small amount of work, but it's fun. I love to add a couple new fibers each year, and like other businesses, sometimes I let a couple go.
Yesterday was grey here in the Valley of the Sun, so I wasn't able to photograph any of the new fibers. I'm hoping I'll be able to get started with those today. In the meantime, I began packaging and listing some favorites back into the shop.
Silk Hankies are back. Just before Christmas, the last of my silk was swept away in the holiday rush, so it's nice to have these beautiful, delicate Silk Hankies back in the shop. I've also replenished my stock of Thick & Thin Highland Peruvian Wool Yarn. This is by far the most popular yarn I carry. It's perfect for making baby blankets or cocoons or any thick and quick project. It's so soft and dyes beautifully. I also replaced Deschutes Heavy Worsted Merino/Silk 60/40 yarn. I have to admit, I pillaged my own inventory in this case. I sent one skein to my mom along with a pretty snood pattern for her birthday. She remarked on how much she liked the yarn. I like it too and recently crocheted an entire lacey vest from just one skein. There's a lot you can do with a 500 yard hank!
Well that's all for now. I should be back tomorrow with more to share. The sun is shining and beckoning me to take nice photos of fiber!
Saturday, January 5, 2013
I never used to make resolutions, not in earnest anyway. At present however, I have many. I thought I had recognized each one and paid it homage, but now I have one more. This is the year I let my past creations out of the closet!
My studio closet is stuffed full of things I have made, some dating back more than 6 years. They are scattered around the room too, like this fulled hat and scarf set nonchalantly adorning my mannequin. This year I resolve to photograph and list everything into my shop.
This feels awkward because some of the items are outdated. I still have a few ponchos from when they made their comeback in the early 2000's. I have things that no longer reflect my style or focus and therefore don't represent me in the present tense, but I'm going to put all this aside. It's all just ego anyway. I am going to list them and if they are a bit outdated, I'll just offer them at a great price.
I think this will be a good thing. Not only will it potentially free up space, but hopefully my mind as well. In with the new!
Friday, January 4, 2013
Happy Friday everyone! I hope the first week of 2013 is treating you well. It's been a busy one here at Wind Rose. I've been wearing my accountant hat and summarizing my numbers for 2012 while at the same time gearing up, or should I say fibering up, for 2013. I have a big shipment of beautiful fibers trucking their way to my shop including a couple new additions. I'll be sharing those with you as soon as they arrive. In the meantime, I had to take a little break from the numbers today, so I made up a few new Top Whorl Drop Spindle Kits. Did anyone resolve to learn to spin this year?
Monday, December 31, 2012
|Leicester Longwool Locks|
I couldn't let the year come to a close without one last post. My blogging has waned over the last 12 months, but certainly not my devotion to fiber. The irony is, that after putting off starting a Facebook page, I now find myself going there more often than not. I can't help but feel that my blog asks a bit more of me when I write each new post. I feel I should have something interesting to offer whereas Facebook doesn't seem to mind if I just check in and say hello. It's silly isn't it?
Now, on the precipice of a new year, my mind seems to be devoted to resolutions. It's quite out of my control. I'm on autopilot and personal pledges appear like clouds drifting through my brain. One such cloud is circling, promising to linger until I devote myself once again the my Wind Rose Fiber Studio blog. I'm determined to do so, but I want to make a special space for Facebook as well. I'm setting a goal to blog once a week, more of course if the muse strikes. Facebook will take over as a more daily exchange of thoughts and ideas. I would love to have your company there as it seems a more interactive and intimate place. I like to share my works in progress and, not to be a tease, but it is also the place where I am more likely to give away a new pattern or post a special offer at the shop.
Speaking of the shop, I just listed some lovely Leicester Longwool locks. This fleece was my last splurge of the year. It was rather greasy, so it has taken some preparation, but I am pleased with the results. It's so bright and pretty with a long staple and gorgeous curl. I have more to make ready, so for now I have just 4oz listed. I can't wait to spin up a few ounces myself. I'm trying to decide what sort of yarn these locks would like to become.
Before I close, I want to thank everyone for a wonderful 2012, for the community you provide and the positive energy I feel flowing. Creativity is a sustaining force in my life and your company is a big part of that. I only hope that I also provide a good and useful spirit. It is my sincere wish that 2013 will bring you joy and prosperity. Happy New Year!