Tag Archives: Yarn & Fiber

And the winner of Truckle is ….

Thank you all for entering my recent giveaway featuring Hunter Hammersen’s beautiful pattern, Truckle and Kim Hartman’s hand-dyed fingering weight yarn,  “You have fine eyes, Miss Bennett”.  

The winner was chosen by Random.org, and with that being said, the winner is …..

Maria of Elegant Economy!

Congratulations Maria, you will love your new sock pattern and gorgeous yarn!

A special thank you to knit wear designer Hunter Hammersen for providing the winner with a copy of Truckle and a special thank you to fiber artist Kim Hartman of At Knits End for providing the winner with a skein of squishy fingering weight yarn. 

Be sure to check to visit me next week for another review with a fantastic giveaway!

Until then…. happy knitting, hooking, spinning, quilting and crafting!

Casting On and Casting Off: It’s under wraps and booties!

At the end of December I received 100% silk yarn to create a design that I am preparing to send off as a submission to a magazine.  This design is a 100% southwestern inspired wrap that  I’m very excited about it.   The silk is very drapey and phenomenal – more about that soon.  January brought another wave of fun with a joint project with fellow fiber artist Alecia and Maya.  Designing a shawl (shawlette) is very challenging and I truly enjoyed coming up with a pattern that reflects the elements in the fabric that was chosen for project kits – more about that soon too!

So, today is under wraps so to speak but I’m sharing a tiny tease with you ….

My dearest friend in the east, Sara Beth ,has inspired me to start a new project for a friend of mine who is expecting back in Kentucky.   Soon to be on the needles will be a pair of  Saarje’s Booties by Saartje de Bruijn.

These baby booties are adorable and per Sara Beth, are quick and super easy, and even a great way to use up small amounts of scrap yarn.   This delightful pattern seems to be quite popular on Ravelry too,  as over 9,300 pairs of them have been made!  Can’t wait to cast on this fun little project …..

Courtesy of HelloYarn

Fiber Friday Spotlight: A Few Favorites

I love yarn and yes, I do admit it’s an addiction.  Yarn to me is dreams, designs and possibilities in the making, not just different weights or colors of fiber sitting on a shelf.  When I see certain colors I start to envision what that yarn can turn into and next thing you know, I’m designing. 

There are so many companies that offer great yarns to knit with and so many Indy Dyers to tempt us but for me personally, there’s a couple of dyers that really make me “drool” when I see their latest and loveliest creations.

So, here’s a few favorites to share today that you may or may not know about:

  • Sanguine Gryphon  specializes handpainted yarns, unique one of a kind patterns, and many other goodies. 
  • Blue Moon Fiber Arts is known for the Rockin’ Sock Clubs and specializes in handpainted yarns in a variety of fibers.
  • Indigo Moon specializes in handpainted yarns in wool, wool blends, silk and silk blends.  They also have many yarns that are hand-dyed using natural dyes.
  • Sunshine Yarns specializes in hand-dyed yarns in a wide array of tempting colors and weights.  This small yarn company is known for movie inspired colorways such as the line for Harry Potter and Twilight.  Yarn clubs are available.

Happy knitting all!

Fiber Friday Spotlight: An Arizona Yarn & Fiber C.S.A.

I’m all about showcasing how truly wonderful alpaca and merino fibers are to the core and sustainability, large and small scale.   In this terribly challenging economy, I’ve become even more passionate about the real meaning of ‘sustainability’ and not just living ‘green’ for the environment, but working smart for our own financial and economical sustainability. – Wendy

Courtesy of Peaceful Prairie Ranch

This weeks Fiber Friday Spotlight features Wendy Dittbrenner owner and operator of Peaceful Prairie Ranch, a 10 acre ranch that is home to 60 Alpacas and 6 merino sheep in the high plains of Prescott Valley, Arizona.

Wendy is excited to announce that this year she will now be offering  a Yarn and Fiber C.S.A. (Community Supported Agriculture Shares) to anyone who loves to spin, knit or just wants to own a “piece of the farm”.  

Many of us do not have the ability of owning a farm, especially if we live in the city,  so to make it feasible to see this dream become a reality, a C.S.A. becomes the next best thing.     By purchasing a share of a C.S.A, you are investing into the farm,  you are aiding the owner with the feed, the care of their flock and the processing of their fiber and in return you receive fabulous produces for spinning and knitting.    This truly is a win-win partnership that brings a small piece of the farm to those who otherwise would not have the ability to own one.

For those interested in this particular C.S.A.,  you have the ability to purchase one share for $100.00 and in return for your share purchase,  you receive $100.00 worth of products, of your choice, from their store.  This means for every “share” you purchase, you are entitled to receive either raw fleece, roving, yarn or even a combination of all.    You not only will have option of receiving soft Alpaca, but even merino fleece products.  Each shareholder will receive their very own certificate of participation, a monthly newsletter,  receive special invitations to the C.S.A. members evening at the ranch and be able to participate in the C.S.A. Members Shearing Day Event. 

For more information on purchasing your share of Peaceful Prairie Ranch, visit Wendy online or on FaceBook.   If you are local in Arizona and want to visit the ranch or interested in purchasing Alpacas, please click here for contact information.

Fiber Friday Spotlight: Caring for Cashmere

During the holidays many are drawn to the luxurious cashmere sweaters, hats, scarves and gloves as thoughtful gifts.  Even knitters find themselves knitting with a bit of cashmere here and there for someone extra special.  But often one asks, how should a cashmere garment be taken care of?

Cashmere is still one of the most expensive and much sought after fibers today, even in a down economy.  This luxurious fiber is pure heaven and takes up to four years for a single cashmere goat to produce enough down for just one sweater.   Unlike many other exotic fibers, the more you wear cashmere,  the softer your garment will become.  

To care for your cashmere, simply start by turning your garment inside out and hand-wash in lukewarm water, using a specially formulated cashmere shampoo for cleaning.  Once soaked, gently swish your garment in the water, then rise thoroughly in lukewarm water.  Next, gently remove from the water and roll in a towel to remove any and all excess moisture.   Cashmere, like wool, needs to be re-shaped to the garment’s original size and laid flat to dry.  While drying, make sure to keep away from direct heat or sunlight and never place your cashmere garment in the dryer. 

To keep your cashmere garments looking fresh and new, wash and store them inside out, make sure you wash each garment separately and protect them when stored.   To avoid creasing, fold the arms over the front of the sweater and then fold the top down to meet the bottom.  Never hang cashmere on a hanger as this will cause your garment to loose shape and can cause hanger “bumps” in the shoulder area.  If you are putting your cashmere away for the summer, make sure to store your garments in an air tight container and layer with clean, plain white tissue paper.

So, after spending a small fortune on cashmere yarn, make sure to care for your garments through proper storage and laundering.  For further information on caring for cashmere, visit the Laundress online.

Stash Enhancement from Black Friday Specials

When I called my hubby yesterday to tell him I was on my way home from work, his answer, “well someone made out like a bandit”.  As innocently as possible I replied, “I don’t understand.  What do you mean someone made out like a bandit?”.  I was then informed he was looking at four packages on the counter, and they were all from yarn companies.  I couldn’t believe that my yarn had already arrived, especially since I just ordered it on Friday.  Talk about excellent shipping service!

I was giggling with delight as I opened each package and hugged the luscious  fiber that was carefully wrapped inside.  As I laid each skein out on the counter, my hubby peeked over my shoulder and commented that they were indeed “very pretty”.    I was in awe at the gorgeous fiber that was in front on me and started thinking about what projects would be best suited for the yarn or color.  

My hubby then started picking the skeins to really look at the colors.  He was amazed that the yarn was so soft and told me that I really should buy more if it was still on sale, afterall a knitter is only as good as the yarn she has to knit with.   Can I just say right now to the whole world, I love my husband!!!

I really did get good deals from The Fiber Fix, Eat.Sleep.Knit, The Backwards Loop and One Planet Yarn and Fiber.

From top to bottom:

  • Handmaiden Casbah Sock Yarn – Casbah Boreal  (still 30% off at the Backwards Loop)
  • Handmaiden Casbah Sock Yarn – Casbah Cedar  (still 30% off at the Backwards Loop)
  • Malabrigo Sock Yarn – Rayon Vert
  • Malabrigo Sock Yarn – Indiecita
  • Malabrigo Sock Yarn – Candombe
  • Fleece Artist Sock Yarn – Boreal
  • Fyperspates Sheilas Sock – Orange Pansy 

So, did you score any good deals!  If so, please share … I really would love to know.

Fiber Friday Spotlight: Evergreen Yarns

Hanna’s Dyeing Philosophy:

I try to infuse my dyeing with environmental mindfulness. The base yarns are certified organic merino wool. Most of the dyes are plants that I grow or locally gather, such as juniper, marigolds, pomegranates, pecan hulls, walnut hulls, oak galls, eucalyptus, creosote bush, and African sumac leaves. I also purchase whole cochineal insects and madder root. For mordants, I use alum and cream of tartar, which are the safest mordants possible. I also use recycled iron for my “Iron Green” color; this is not as benign as alum but is safe with a few precautions. The plants are all composted after dyeing. The mordant and dye baths are reused a few times, after which they’re used for watering my dye garden and compost heap.  Both of these ladies carry an excellent choice of specialty yarns.