Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Baby Cozy (Lighter weight in pink for girls / 0-3 mos.)

At last! Here is the final design of The Baby Cozy. After a lot of tweaking, I can happily say that I am pleased with this creation in every way! I love the feel of the worsted weight merino. It's soft and substantial enough to keep baby warm, but light weight enough to feel comfortable in your arms. I think the sizing is very good for 0-3 months. The baby model in the pictures is a life sized newborn. She can be tucked in so her arms are free or tucked up to her chin so she can be snug as a bug. It's a nice, secure feeling fit and yet still has a little room left for baby to grow.

I've changed the tie from a crocheted chain to a plied string which I like much better because it's easy to handle and less bulky. I've also changed the shaping around the face a little to made sure that baby will not have blanket in her face. She can lay on her back or her side without the cozy falling into her face. Now all I have to do is make one for boys and to make some more color options. This Baby Cozy is already for sale at Wind Rose Fiber Studio. I hope you will love this design as much as I do!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Today at Wind Rose Fiber Studio #9 (I'm dyeing Soy Silk ...LOTS of Soy Silk!)

Or I guess I should say, "This Labor Day Weekend at Wind Rose Fiber Studio".  The plan is to dye a ton of Soy Silk.  I've got two pounds drying outside right now and many more on the way.  Whenever I'm in dyeing mode, I'm always happy to take color requests.  So if you love Soy Silk, now is the time to keep an eye on Wind Rose

The colors I dyed today are Spruce, Chestnut, Bright Orange and Chartreuse.  I'll post pictures as soon as they're ready! :D

Friday, August 29, 2008

Crocheted Baby Cozy - a work in progress

On August 12th I shared my latest baby design which I'm calling The Baby Cozy. The Picture to the right here is the prototype. I was really happy with how the design turned out, but there was one thing. It's too small. It would be a nice fit for a newborn and then in about four weeks there is no way a baby would fit in there. The idea of the cozy is for is to be a little more cocoon-like and close fitting, but I want moms to be able to get more use out of the cozy than that. I'm going for at least three months. Here are a couple more pictures of a newborn sized doll in the prototype. As you can see, she is already completely filling the cozy.

So now I'm working on a new enlarged worsted weight cozy. So far the size is looking much better. I will say that after seeing these pictures which I took earlier today, I'll be ripping out the brown and possibly making both flaps pink. I'm not sure yet. I'll have to see what yarn colors I have in stock. So ignore the brown that doesn't quite match and just focus on the size. I think it's going to be much better. I'll be sure to post pics when it's all done.

I have already made the larger version of The Baby Cozy in a bulky weight for colder climates. I have two in stock at Wind Rose, one in boy colors and of course one for girls. I think the worsted weight will be more popular and I plan to keep a few in stock once I get going. As for the prototype, I will probably list it at a discounted price and make sure people know that it's a smaller size. I think it would be perfect for a premature baby. I also like that the colors are neutral and would work well for a boy or a girl.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Felted Lantern Necklace - A quick and easy crochet project!

This is a fun little design that I created for my crochet students. I call them Lantern Necklaces at Wind Rose Fiber Studio because they have that shape reminiscent of a paper latern, but with my crochet kids I called them Wishing Necklaces. You see, each one has a colored glass rock inside and the kids got to pick out the rock they wanted. Then, before the rock is crocheted into the lantern pouch, they made a wish. If they didn't want to wish for anything, they could just pick their favorite color. Once the rock is inside, it also serves the purpose of giving the necklace a little weight so it lays nice. The necklace is made all in one continuous piece so there is no worry of it falling apart. The tail end has beads strung onto it for added decoration and the finished piece slips right over your head and feels soft next to your skin. The pendant measures 2 to 2.5 inches.

I'm thinking about featuring this pattern in September if there is any interest. Please let me know if this is a project you would like to try. :D

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pink Clouds - Handspun yarn from a beautiful blend of Jacobs, Merino, Angora, Angelina and Firestar!

I love my Etsy store, but there are times when I think it's sad that all I can do is show pictures. It's just not the best way to experience fiber. Fiber is meant to be touched. I made the wool batts for this yarn months ago. There are times when you just know how pretty the yarn will turn out. This is the lightest, loftiest, most cloud-like batt of wool I've ever carded! The grays are the most beautiful Jacobs wool. Adding color is a soft, fluffy pink Merino and an even softer white Angora. Handfuls of white Angelina and Firestar have been added for a generous sparkle. At first I listed the wool batts for sale and I'm sure if people could have seen them in person and touched them, they would have been snatched up. I have found though, at least at my store, wool batts aren't the best sellers. I sells tons of roving, but the wool batts don't get the same interest. Lately I've started spinning up my wool batts because it seems a shame to have them just sitting around, homeless.

I have been enjoying the process of all of this spinning. Watching these wonderful fibers become yarn is a delight. This wool in particular turned out so pretty. Even prettier than I imagined it would. It's has a lovely texture and it's so luminous! Pink Clouds is a worsted weight single ply yarn coming to 130 yards and 2.5oz. I have enough fiber to make a couple more skeins. I wanted to show you pictures of the fiber as well as the yarn, but really, deep down, I'm wishing you could feel it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Felted Upside Down Flower Vase (pink and green)

This whimsical vase is felted from 100% wool. The main color is pink and the accent color is leaf green. It measures 7" tall with a 4.5" diameter opening at the top. The flower shaped base is 7". It comes with a standard glass bud vase enabling it to hold either silk or fresh flowers.

Note: I like to fill the base with marbles, beans or something with a little weight and then arrange my silk flowers.

You can also turn this vase over to reveal a turquoise center in the middle of the green flower. It can stand on it's own even hold a light weight ornament like my felted sheep friend in the photograph.

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Rosie" My newest handspun yarn!

I've mentioned before, that when I opened Wind Rose, I sorted all of my fiber and created fiber batts. I do have all of the batts listed for sale in my shop, but they take up a lot of space in my studio. My plan is to spin them all! It will take me some time so if you like to buy your wool in batts, there will be a selection in the store for a while longer.

I just like to share pictures, so here's "Rosie". This handspun skein includes Merino, Rambouilett, Romeldale and Angelina fibers. "Rosie" is very soft and has a beautiful range of colors. There's light pink and wine as well as a deep purple. There's also some sparkling purple angelina. This skein is a sport to worsted weight and 130 yards or 2.25oz.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yarn In The Sky?

I just wanted to share this picture with you. I've been spinning for the last couple days. This morning I wanted to speed along the drying process of my latest novelty yarn so I put it on my swift and took it outside. I clamped it onto the fence surrounding our pool where it could bask in full view of the sun. The look of it struck me so I had to capture the image. This may be my new favorite way to dry yarn.

"Sky Yarn"  as I decided to call it, is now dry and in the shop at Wind Rose.  Come and see!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Knitter's Basket: The perfect place to keep your latest project!

In 2007 I moved all the way across the country from Virginia to Arizona. It's been a good move, but one of the hardest things I left behind was the group of women and girls with whom I shared my craft. So you can imagine how pleased I was to connect with a couple women in my new hometown who like to do handwork. We formed a little craft group and on the first day two of us showed up with our work in project baskets. The third, our beginning knitter, commented on how she would need to find a basket for her things as well. Of course I couldn't let that go, so I made some baskets from my large inventory of yarn and at our next meeting, I let each of my new friends pick one. It was a nice bonding moment.

Most of the women I know who are knitters or crocheters, have impressive collections of baskets and tote bags, but there are people new to yarn crafting everyday who are just getting started. What a great gift to give them a crocheted basket with handles to keep their work in. You can carry your work anywhere you go or have it sitting out on a coffee table looking cute and waiting for you. I have 8 of them is stock right now at Wind Rose in all different colors. So if you are looking for a gift idea, I thought I'd share this one with you. The basket alone is a nice gift or you could have some fun stuffing it full of beautiful yarn or roving or maybe even something sweet!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Brand New Beads Just Waiting For That Special Project!

Well my friends and I got so wrapped up at Razzle Dazzle, I completely forgot to take any pictures of the store. I'm really sorry. From the moment you walk in there, your brain goes on overload; so many colors, sizes, textures, it is a lot to take in. You have to devise a strategy to navigate the enormity of this inventory. The three of us, my friends and I, made one circle of the store ooohing and aaahing as we surveyed the beads. Then we sort of broke off on our own. We each do different kinds of beadwork so we look for differnt things. We easily spent an hour and a half, maybe two before we finally checked out. Since I forgot to take pictures of the store, I thought I'd show you my stash. The smaller beads will probably be spun into skeins of yarn. As for the turtles and the roses carved from stone or the larger beads? I don't know yet, but I can't wait to figure it out!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Today at Wind Rose Fiber Studio #8 (what this Etsy shop owner does each day to maintain her store)

Today I will be taking two friends down to my new favorite bead store in historic Scottsdale, AZ.  The name of the store is Razzle-Dazzle which I have to admit, I think is a little unoriginal.  That being said, what I love about this place is the fact that you can actually find some beads there that you don't see in every other bead shop.  I don't want to look like a spy, but maybe I'll take a couple pictures with my iPhone and share them with you later today.  

Also today, I'll be dying 22 micron Merino wool to a nice shade of Golden Ochre.  This is a custom job for an artist in Canada who will be needle felting a Winnie-the-Pooh.  I'll dye enough extra to replace my own inventory while I'm add it.  I'll also be dyeing Sun Touched which is a soft skin tone that I just sold out of.  Those skin tones are really popular!

That will probably be it for today.  I have some items coming up for renewal and as I relist, I'm trying to make improvements.  My goal is to make sure everything I sell is well photographed and includes global shipping.  

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pictures of the new shades of Orange Merino Roving

So here are the new shades I dyed yesterday. From left to right: Sunset Yellow, Mandarin Blush, and Golden Orange. The Golden Orange is the closest to the color requested by my customer. I was trying something a little different when I made the Mandarin Blush, but I have to say, this one's my favorite. It's a beautiful shade of orange with blush undertones. I love the way orange and pink look together. This one will definitely become a standard shade at Wind Rose!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dyeing the Perfect Shade of Orange Merino Roving

That's the goal anyway.  I'm dyeing merino this week and I always announce when I'm dyeing that I'll take color requests.  I actually love it when people take me up on it.  It never fails that when I start playing around trying to create a new shade, I stumble onto wonderful new colors.  I'll often dye 3 or 4 batches ( I dye 4oz at a time ) tweaking as I go; a little more of this, a little less of that.  The crazy part is that I never really know if I've met success because people tend to perceive color very differently.  All I can do is try and hope that I make something that my customer will love.  The great part is, there is no such thing as failure.  At least not if you're like me and just love color.  As I go, I always keep a dye journal so that when a new color is particularly appealing, I can recreate it whenever I want.  They become my own secret recipes.  What could be more fun than that?

I'll take some pictures of today's oranges and share them tomorrow.  

Monday, August 18, 2008

Merino/Silk Roving

Here are the pictures I promised. The first two colors are Bright Orange and Crimson Pink . More colors are on their way!

Today at Wind Rose Fiber Studio #7 (what this Etsy shop owner does each day to maintain her store)

Hello there.  Here's another entry in my ongoing series of what this Etsy shop owner does each day to maintain her store.  Today I'll be dyeing merino roving just to keep my inventory built up.  I've started working towards creating an overstock of certain colors so that I can quickly restock my store ( I tend to list 4oz of each color at a time ) and so I can create a few more samplers for the holiday season.  I sell enough roving that it's hard to create a surplus.  I feel pretty busy just keeping my stock looking full.  

I'm also adding a new fiber to my inventory, Merino/Silk (80/20).  As time passes, I want to keep adding to the variety of fibers that I offer.  I tend to introduce them one at a time and then see if there is a market for each of them.  Sometimes it's hard to tell.  I got a good deal on some Masham early last Spring, so I dyed it up and listed it.  It just sat around for a couple months and I began to think about spinning it or carding it with other fibers when suddenly it began selling.  Now I'm almost out of stock.  Still, unless there is a sudden outcry for Masham, I'm not sure I'll be dyeing it soon again.

So that's mostly it for today.  I'll post some pictures of the Merino/Silk when it's done.  As always, when I announce that I'm dyeing, feel free to request colors either here or contact me at Wind Rose.

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Baby Cozy

This is a brand new design here at Wind Rose. The Baby Cozy is a blanket and a protective wrap all in one. It has a built in pocket where your baby can feel all tucked in an cozy. The cross over side panels tie for added warmth and security. It's designed for the first three months and inspired by this mother's memory of wrapping my babies up in their blanket to make them feel warm and secure.

These are made from bulky weight yarn and would be perfect for a fall or winter baby living in a cooler climate than we have here in Arizona. The little boy one is blue, green and orange and and the little girl one is rose, leaf and citron. They both measure 23" long and 14" wide.

I will also be making this pattern up in a worsted weight yarn. To see a sample you can visit my earlier blog post.

The Baby Cozy is machine washable in cold water using the gentle cycle. Please lay flat to dry.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Felted Hair Clip - Free Crochet Pattern

So my husband told me this morning that I've been promoting my etsy store too much in my blog. It's true, when I don't have a lot of time to write, I tend to highlight my recent creations. So today I thought I'd share a Wind Rose original pattern (no pressure to hit the link :+). This is a quick and easy design and can look different every time by changing the yarn and beads you choose. I've made some from handspun yarn that were just beautiful. I do have a few different colors in my shop right now if you want to see a few more pics, but for the purpose of this pattern, I've chosen the natural one with dark wooden beads. It's one of my favorites and I think the simplicity of it lends to its appeal.

Felted Hair Clip

yarn - 50 feet of 100% wool
hook - size J

ch 17 leaving a 12 inch tail.
Row 1: 3 sc in 2nd st from hook. Sc in next 14 chains. 5 sc in final chain. Sc in the other side of next 14 chains. 2 sc in same chain as beginning 3 sc. Join with sl st to 1st sc. Ch 2
Row 2: 2 hdc in same st as joining. 3 hdc in each of next 2 sts. 2 hdc in each of next 14 sts. 3 hdc in each of next 5 sts. 2 hdc in each of next 14 sts on the other side. 3 hdc in each of last 2 sts. Join with sl st to top of beginning ch 2. Ch 1
Row 3: sc in same st and in each st around. Join with sl st to 1st sc skipping beg ch 1. Finish off securing tail with a sewing knot on the back side of the piece and weaving in the tail. Trim excess.

Making the pleats.
Thread a darning needle with the beginning 12”tail. Sewing from the back side, use a running stitch down the center of the beginning chain four at a time(in out, in out) pulling each st as you go to create the pleated affect. Knot and weave in remaining tail.

Fill a large bowl or a sink with water as hot as you can tolerate. Submerge your piece until it is wet through and then use dish or hand soap and lather it up. Rinse off by agitating it in the water. Continue to soap and rinse until it becomes the size you desire. While wet it can be molded and shaped to your liking. Blot dry without creasing the fibers.

When piece is completely dry, embellish with beads and hot glue to a hair clip.

I hope you enjoy this pattern. If you have any questions along the way, I'm happy to help!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Felted Urban Chic Camouflage Hat

This original design combines classic styling with a modern freshness. The hint of camaflauge in this particular hat gives it an urban chic quality. It fits 21" and 22" head circumferences and because it's felted, will stretch to fit 23" with a little more snugness. To see more pictures of this Felted Camouflage Hat and other accessories, click on over to Wind Rose.

Muk Luks or Slipper Socks? Whatever you like to call them, they're warm and toasty!

Inspired by the bohemian knit muk luks, I designed this crocheted version. The Muk Luk reaches just below the knee and has black leather soles sewn on the bottom to provide a safe, non-slip surface. The sole measures 9" from toe to heel and fits a woman's shoe size 6-8 comfortably. They're colorful, stylish and so warm and toasty you won't want to take them off.

To see more colors and designs including the "Mini Muk" visit Wind Rose Fiber Studio.