Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Crocheted a Cover for my African Basket!

 I love African baskets.  I discovered them years ago at a craft show in which I was one of the vendors.  Two booths down from mine was a man from Ghana selling hand woven baskets and I went home with two or three.  Since then, I see them more often.  I don't know if they have become more popular or if they are just on my personal radar, but they are beautiful and perfect for us yarn lovers.

In my home I have a studio which is a pet free zone, but when I dare to venture out into the rest of the house, I have two cats with whom to contend.  They would like nothing better than to find an unattended basket and it would take them seconds to shred the yarn therein.  As a result, every time I need to put a project down for a few minutes, I have to find a high perch or some place that is cat safe.  One day last week I was thinking how nice it would be if one of my African baskets had a lid.  That way I could easily take my projects anywhere and tuck them safely inside the basket when I needed to take a break.

Last night I set to work crocheting my new basket cover.  The crocheting took no time at all and then I devised a way to attach my cover.  I was pretty happy when I came up with my button and elastic joins.  There are six spaced evenly around the basket and it's easy to open a couple and fold back the cover to gain access inside.  When the cover is on, it can be used as a mini basket to hold other items you may need at hand.  The cover can also billow up to stuff the basket full if so desired.  

 I know I haven't given all the details, but I'm thinking of writing it up as a pattern.  It would be easy to adjust for any round basket and it's a fun little project.  Before I sign off for today, I just wanted to share a great online store for purchasing African baskets.  Their shipping is fast and the baskets come in great condition.  It's called Baskets of Africa and they have a gorgeous selection of styles available.  Wouldn't a basket stuffed with yarn and topped with a crocheted cover be a great gift idea?  Hmm... maybe next Christmas.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Talkin' Revolution Circular Scarf ~ The Pattern is Almost Here!

Happy Festivus!  A friend just wished me that in an email.  My son had to remind me it was from Seinfeld.  Poor George!  I hope your holiday is going better than his did that year!

This is a busy time, but somehow I have a sense of calm this year.  Have I finally grown up?  Have I achieved a true state of mellow?  I can only hope that it's not a one time anomaly.  In the midst of the usual holiday milieu, I have been working on my latest creation and I'm about one free afternoon away from having the pattern complete. 

I call this scarf Talkin' Revolution as a mixed homage to the time period that inspired me and the general annular nature of this 30" circular scarf.  I was really playing off those swirly 70's textile designs and the whole modular thing.  I began with the outer layer using hexagons as my building block and then yoked them together with curvy lines.  I went with a classic chevron for the back layer, but it has an updated feel made from this gorgeous hand painted yarn by Manos Del Uruguay.  The two layers are joined with a short latch hook style fringe which also takes me back to my youth.

In this photo, the sunshine and natural rock really bring out the earth tones and you can see the pink has a touch of flamingo.  This is actually a challenging piece to photograph.  I'm hoping I can find a model so you can see it on a human.  After all, that's who I made it for!

So that's what I've been up to and I admit I'm a little nervous about this one.  Just because you get an idea in your head, doesn't mean it will appeal.  Sometimes I sit back and look at my designs and think how quirky they are, but they also just make me happy. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cyber Monday at Wind Rose Fiber Studio

In just a couple short hours, it will be Cyber Monday!  This has become my favorite day to shop, but I can't forget that I also am a shop.  Please enjoy 15% off your purchase at Wind Rose Fiber Studio using coupon code CYBERFIBER3.  There's no minimum purchase required and you'll also receive an email with a coupon for 10% off your next purchase.  Thank you so much for shopping at Wind Rose and have the happiest of holidays!  

Saturday, November 30, 2013


I've been blogging for a few years now, so "Welcome" seems like an odd name for a post.  It's actually the name of the video I just made for my YouTube channel.  In their recent updates, they have been spiffing things up by encouraging everyone to have a greeting video on their channel, so from me to you, welcome to Wind Rose Fiber Studio!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happy Christmas Hat ~ New Crochet Pattern!

Early this year, I had a nice reader ask me if I would be writing a pattern for my Happy Christmas Hat.  (I think I shared a photograph in a post once upon a time.)  I promised her I would and that I would have it done in time for the holidays.  

That promise has kind of haunted me this year.  It's so easy to have our days and weeks fill with commitments and distractions.  Now, with November here and Christmas right around the corner, I had to make good on my promise.  

The great news is that this pattern is very quick and easy.  You can have whimsical hats made for the whole family in no time!  The pattern includes sizing for infants to adults as well as a choice between flowers or loopy pom-poms and a scalloped or straight brim.

The yarn for this hat is easy to find at the big craft stores like Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.  I enjoy making this hat in Bernat's Soft Bouclé.  I love the texture and that it blurs the stitches together.  You can also use Bernat's Boucle for the brim, but in this version I used Sensations Beautiful.  It's so fluffy!

The pattern is for sale at a special holiday price.  Right now you can buy it for just 99¢ on Etsy or on Ravelry.  In both places it's available for instant download.  This hat is super cute on babies and kids, but it's pretty fun to see it on Grandpa too!  Happy Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Layers of Lace Wrap Around Scarf - New Crochet Pattern!

Today I am excited to share my new crochet pattern.  Here's the Layers of Lace Wrap Around Scarf!  I've been working on this pattern for quite a while now, so it feels great to have it completed and available both on Etsy and on Ravelry.  

As a side note, isn't Instant Download great?  I love designing patterns, but I enjoy buying patterns just as much.  There's nothing quite like the immediate gratification of purchasing a pattern, downloading it, and never having to leave your office chair.  In fact, I went on to Ravelry today to upload my latest, and couldn't help purchasing a beautiful pattern from another designer.


This pattern came to me as I was designing another scarf.  I was going to bundle it with my Free Falling Scarf, but then I decided it was unique and should have it's own billing.  I got so excited about this one, that I haven't finished the Free Falling pattern yet.  I guess I'm designing out of order, but when inspiration calls, you must answer!

I have always loved the affect of layering.  The Layers of Lace scarf uses two different yarn weights to take full advantage of the colors and open stitching.  The lighter, lacy purple takes on a transparent quality allowing the darker layer to show through.  I was thrilled with the way these purples and plums came together, but of course there are endless color possibilities.  Right now I'm working on one in earth tones with blues and greys.  I'll be sure to share that one when it's complete.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Spinzilla 2013 ~ Days 6 & 7

We have crossed the Spinzilla finish line.  My final tally for the week:  3,136 yards!

I am ready to spend a day doing something other than spinning, but I had a great week.  These events are so awesome because they remind me that there is an amazing community of spinners.  It's easy to lose sight of that when you are the only one in your neighborhood with a wheel.

Just to recap the last two days, on day 6 I finished up my thick & thin Boots & Jeans.  Then, because I had so much fun spinning that, I spun some more thick & thin using Merino rolags and South African top as my ply.  It all made for a relaxing day.

On the final day I decided I would finally spin my remaining mountain of German milk sheep wool, all 21.7 ounces of it!  I spun and spun and spun, and I swear it wasn't until the end of the day that the pile finally started to look smaller.  I spent the last couple hours of Spinzilla spinning like a maniac trying to get it done.  In the end, I finished all but about an ounce.  I had to stop and weigh my spool for my official Spinzilla count.  Then I put the spool back on and spun the rest of that wool!  It felt so good to finally spin what was originally 36 oz of fiber!

What a week!  I feel like I learned a couple things about my spinning self.  First, I am not a production spinner.  I am a spin for fun kind of girl.  Second, I have a love/hate relationship with competition.  I love that it motivates me to do more than I would ever normally do.  I hate that it makes me worry that I am not doing enough and the fear that I may let my team down.  Would I do it again?  Yes, I think so.  It was fun to submerge into my own world for a week.  It's an indulgence that I don't typically allow myself.  Some women go to the spa, but as for me, I'll take a week of fiber arts!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Spinzilla 2013 ~ Day 5

I thought I'd change things up and post in the morning.  I haven't spun an ounce yet today, but I have taken a photo.  Here's the yarn that I made from yesterday's fiber pic.  I wish you could photograph softness because the most awesome thing about this yarn is how it feels.  It also has fabulous drape.  I only have 150 yards, but I will have to figure out something fun to do with them.

Time to pillage my studio for more fiber and get spinning!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Spinzilla 2013 ~ Days 3 & 4

The days are starting to blur into each other as Spinzilla week heads into the weekend.  I'm walking around with with multicolored fibers clinging to my clothes and that's nothing compared to the bits of wool, silk, alpaca and yak all over my favorite spinning chair.  I am living and breathing spinning and starting to feel a bit crazed.  I look up from my wheel and it takes my eyes a minute to focus on the external, non-whorling world.

All madness aside, I feel like I'm only just beginning to get my mojo back.  What this week has taught me is that I need to spin more regularly.  I spent the beginning of the week feeling very rusty.  for all of my hours at the wheel, I wasn't very excited about the yarn I was producing.  Today I feel my old creativity and comfort coming back and it's such a relief.  I raided my studio earlier today for this yellow Merino, black alpaca, and this super soft yak/silk blend.  The resulting yarn is my favorite thus far.  Tomorrow, when the sun returns, I'll share a picture.  As for now, it's back to the wheel!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spinzilla 2013 ~ Day 2

I just stopped spinning to wrap this niddy noddy full of yarn.  The spool was starting to feel heavy on the wheel, so even though there was a little room left, I decided to go ahead and call it a skein.

I went outside to take advantage of the day's fading light for a photo.  I was looking around for nice place to lay my yarn and decided on this bush.  This is the first time I have photographed yarn on a bush, but I think it looks rather groovy.  

This is a fat singles or my version of one at least.  It's probably just a little heavier than a DK, but that's about as heavy as I like to work with living in a warm climate.  I have 266 yards on this niddy noddy and enough rolags left to make a comparable skein, but I think I'm going to take a break from woolen spinning.  

 I received this gorgeous South African Top as an early registration gift from Team Louet.  I'm thinking about making a nice thick and thin, nothing too bulky.  I just want to show off this superfine wool. 

I'm feeling a bit sleepy, but it's early yet, so I think I'll do just a little more spinning before I call it a night. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Spinzilla 2013 ~ Day 1

It's 5pm on Day 1 of Spinzilla and it's been a very pleasant day.  It's rather rare that I devote myself completely to spinning.  I tend to divide my time among many interests which means none of them get the attention they deserve.  This week however, that is not the case.  This week I am a spinning monster ascending the Empire State Building one yard at a time!

That last sentence would be more powerful if I had a picture of the Empire State Building, but I am a desert dweller.  This is my spinning spot, so perhaps a diving analogy would have been more appropriate.  

I actually began spinning last night at 9:00 because the event began at midnight EST.  I know I wasn't alone.  Scattered across North America, several hundred spinners were doing the exact same thing.  The thought of so many spinners, sitting down with their wheels and spindles, all at the same time, is what makes this event so much fun.  

 What have I spun so far?  Hey, thanks for asking!  I started off spinning a Bluefaced Leicester and Tussah silk blend.  After spinning 4oz of lace weight, I had to take a break.  Now I'm working on this fat singles from a hatbox full of rolags I carded last week.  This is Merino that I also dyed last week come to think of it.  I mixed a little Firestar into each rolag to give it a hint of sparkle.  It was very pretty to work with out in the sun by the pool.

Now it's time to take a break and feed my family.  I'll probably spin a little more tonight, but I don't want to burn out on the first day.  I'll be writing updates through the week.  I wonder how many yards I'll manage to spin?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fiber Fiber Everywhere!

I'm sitting at my desk with my shirt front covered in wool, bamboo, silk and yak.  I have spent the afternoon unpacking, photographing and listing luxurious fibers into Wind Rose Fiber Studio.  I'm tired, but feeling rather contented.  There's nothing like replenishing the studio with a variety of gorgeous top.  I think my favorite of the day is this 50/50 Merino/Yak I have pictured here.  I can already see myself raiding this fiber during Spinzilla.  Oh, by the way, there's just four more days to register for this monster spinning event.  I'm on Team Louet if you want to hang.

I added a few other fibers today too.  There's a Merino/Bamboo/Silk which I like to call Merbamsi.  Let's see, there's also some Bamboo Viscose, Baby Camel, Tussah Silk and Cultivated Silk Hankies.  For the most part, I've linked to the 2oz portions, but you can find other quantities available in the shop. I guess that's all for my fiber roll call.  Have a great night everybody!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tasseled Miser's Purse Pattern - Part II Help

Hi, Today I'm sitting down with Part II of my Tasseled Miser's Purse pattern.  It is by far the hardest part and so I want to see if there are any additions or clarifications I can make that will help.  The first time I made a miser's purse, it was a two-sided design from the 18oo's and I almost gave up.  I kept started over because it just looked wrong to me.  I could not imagine how the crochet in front of me would become anything like the sketch in the old publication.  Finally, I just kept going.  I figured if I was wrong, then I was wrong, but I was going to keep crocheting to the bitter end.  To my surprise and delight, it all worked out.  The crazy thing about these drawstrings is that they just don't seem to make sense until they are just about done.  The good news is, that I have made the top portion separate from the body of the purse, so the time investment is less that what it could be.  So here I go.

Here is my completed part one.  I want to take a moment to respond to a question I received about this part of the pattern.  Here are how many chains you should have after each row:
Row 1 - 3, Row 2 - 5, Row 3 - 7, Row 4 - 9, Row 5 - 11, Row 6 - 13, Row 7 - 15.

Now moving on to Part II.  I don't really know where people are getting thrown off, so I'm just going to follow my own pattern and see if I can add anything to make it more clear.  If you look at my picture of Part I, with the right side facing up, what you see are the drawstrings and the inside of the front of the purse.  What we are creating in Part II is the front flap and the back of the purse.  When Part II is completed, the right side or what I refer to in Part I as (front facing) will become the back side of the purse.  I can see now that it might be easier to just not distinguish a right vs. wrong side.  I made the distinction in Part I because I think it's easy to get your chains twisted if you're not careful.  

When the pattern says:  "sc in next 7 sts, ch 1, without removing loop from hook, lift next drawstring over the remaining sts of the row, sc in next _ sts", the chain 1 is creating space for the drawstring which will make it easier to pull the purse open and shut.  When you sc in the remaining stitches of the row, you will be working over the drawstring thus trapping it in that ch 1 space.

 When you finish Row 15 and you look down and see something like this in your hands, don't be alarmed.  That's exactly what your purse should look like at this stage.  I'm trying to think of anything else I should add.  By now you know that each row has you working up and back down again.  I hope this doesn't bother anyone.  I realize it's like working two rows, but when I wrote the pattern, it seemed more clear to write it this way.  I know this makes it harder to go back and count to see what row you are on.  Try marking the pattern at the end of each row, or if you are working in front of your computer, highlight the row you are working on and change as you go.  

Uh oh, Houston I found a problem.  There is a mistake in my pattern.  I guess I should say there was a mistake because I have now fixed it, but I feel terrible!  No wonder people had difficulties.  So this is where I went wrong in my pattern writing.  I basically had one row too many.  To correct the error, Row 22 has been removed and Row 21 has been changed to what the former Row 22 directed.  Row 21 is the last row of Part II.  I am soooooo sorry for my goof up.  To make it crystal clear, in Row 8 you work in the first chain, Row 9 the second and you continue on so that when you reach Row 21, you have two chains left unworked.  Row 21 takes care of those last two chains.  

Well, I guess all I can say is a big thank you for bringing this to my attention.  I am a perfectionist at heart, so I am glad to have this correction made.  To anyone who lost precious minutes over my pattern error, please accept my sincerest apologies!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Let's go for a spin!

Hey hey, so I was surfing around as people do, and I came across this link for Spinzilla.  What this?  A spinning event of which I have not heard?  No!  As it turns out, Spinzilla is a brand new, monster week of spinning being put on by The National Needle Arts Association.  Like the Tour de Fleece, there are teams and prizes and plenty of comradery.

You can spin along on Ravelry in the Spinzilla group.  I'm on team Louet North America if you want to hang out with me.   Registration for the event is open until September 23rd and the spinning week begins on October 7th.  This gives you plenty of time to prepare a fun stash of fiber which is what I have begun to do.  The dyed mixed BFL pictured here is just the first 4oz of the fiber I'll be spinning.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Falling Leaves Scarf - Missteps = Modifications

One of the great things about blogging is that you get to share everything, including your mistakes.  While it's always a little disheartening to finish a project only to find that there are some things you need to fix, it helps to write it all down.  It's how we learn, is it not?

I was really excited about this scarf.  I loved the colors and the shape of the leaf I designed and I still love those things, but I need to make some corrections.  From a strictly visual perspective, I should have staggered the colors differently.  I also need to add length as the stripes have taken some of the stretchiness out of my scarf.  

I ended up, yesterday afternoon, on the floor of my studio with a notepad, my laptop and a few versions of the scarf in front of me.  I tend to write patterns on my computer these days, but whenever I get stuck, I always have to break out the pencil and paper and start writing and drawing.  I just cant process with a keyboard the way I can with a pencil.  It's must be a generational or visual learner thing, but I felt so much better after filling up a couple pages with notes. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Header, New Post

A few weeks ago I noticed that my header, the photo at the top of this blog, wasn't always loading.  Sometimes it was there, and sometimes it wasn't.  Today I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and do something about it.  At first I was planning to recreate what I had before and then I changed my mind.  I scrolled through my photos and found a skein of yarn I spun a couple years ago.  There it was, colorful and sparkling in the sun, a very happy looking skein of yarn.  After a little sizing and doctoring, I have my new header.  

In the meantime, I'm still working on my Free Falling Scarf pattern.  I keep coming up with more ideas.  I think when all is said and done, it will be a pattern that comes with 3 variations of a similar scarf design and 5 different motif options.  Here you can see that I am playing with leaves at the moment.  It will more like a pattern bundle, really.  I hope that people will enjoy the flexibility of being able to mix and match with motifs and colors that inspire them.  I'm excited because my favorite patterns tend to be the ones that offer versatility like this.  I hope I'll have it ready in a couple more weeks.  I have one more pattern I've promised to write before the holidays this year, so I need to stay focused.  Not my forte!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Free Falling Scarf Necklace ~ The Pattern is Coming!

It's August.  It's hot.  It's muggy.  It's also the time of year when I think about what I still want to accomplish.  On the top of my list is pattern writing.  I have a couple pieces that I have committed to making into patterns and I am happy to have started the process.

I am well on the way to completing my Free Falling Scarf Necklace.  I just finished this version in blues and greys yesterday afternoon.  Before publishing, I want to make up a couple more.  I want to have pictures with only five flowers rather than seven and I also want to design two more motifs to show how the scarf can be personalized to different styles and tastes.

For example, this Hyperbolic Mobius Motif will also be included on the pattern.  I thought an abstract, three-dimensional shape would be fun.  I haven't quite decided what the third motif will be.  Perhaps something tubular, or geometric.  I just want to show a few choices.  I think most crocheters have favorite leaves, flowers and other basic shapes.  I'm hoping they will enjoy embellishing this design.

This scarf reflects my new focus on lightweight accessories.  I love the idea of wearing fiber pieces like jewelry no matter what the season! 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Four Months in One Day

This afternoon I found myself dressed and ready for a happy hour event with time to spare.  There I was with a whole hour an nothing to do.  I sat down at the computer and realized that this would be a good time to finally get back to my blog!

I've taken such a long break from blogging that I was stumped as to how to make my comeback.  Four months have gone by.  How could I possibly make up for four months?  Then that Crowded House song popped into my head, "Four Seasons In One Day".  I jumped into iPhoto and grabbed pictures from the last four months.

Here I am with four months worth of fiber arts in one day.  Since my last post I have traveled to Alberobello, Italy where I found a  counter balance loom on display in the Trullo Sovrano.  I made scarves that I wore through the grottos of Grottaglie.  In the spring, I entertained myself by making other people's patterns like the sleeveless vest in the upper left hand corner from PartPixyDesigns.  

I also indulged in a few Doris Chan innovations.  I wore the cute, lacy black sweater over a tank top while in Stockholm, Sweden.  I savored castles and countryside in this beautiful place and also discovered some fiber folk art, but I'll save that for another post. 

I've also been spinning and I have my first skeins of German Milchschafe prepared.  I used the Navajo ply on these and I enjoyed refreshing my muscle memory on this technique that I have not used in some time.  

There it is.  My last four months, not in great detail, but it feels good to finally post something on my beloved blog.  If you like details, my facebook page tends to be more up to date.  Until next time... which will be less than four months...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Still Knitting

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

Knitting Ribbon Waves

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

Dyed Waves

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

Knitting Waves

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.

I spun the yarn out of a wool/silk blend.  It feels so cozy, that I started to fantasized about making an entire afghan.  That would be a lot of spinning!  For now, I'm going to focus on giving my scarf a little color.  I have it soaking at this very moment.  Instead of just one color, I thought it could be fun to dye stripes that run the length of the piece.  I'm thinking 3 colors with the outer stripes being wider than the center.  Committing to colors is hard.  Right now I have teal, chartreuse and pewter on the brain.  I like the idea of a thin band of chartreuse separating the darker colors.   

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

Preparing to Dye

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

All The Pretty Fibers

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

Beautiful Silk Blends!

 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

Two New Fibers!

 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 TopI 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.  

Restocking Wind Rose

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

One More Resolution

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

New Top Whorl Drop Spindle Kits

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?