Monday, September 29, 2008

Revision on one of my patterns

I spent the day rewriting one of my older patterns, which meant dragging out my notes and knitting up the item (it's an earwarmer, so not a huge job). If any of you have my Ergonomic Earwarmer pattern, be aware that there's an update that's much easier to read and to follow. It looks like this:

If you've purchased this patten from me, please get in touch and I'll be happy to send you a revised copy. I can be reached at carol (underscore) mcfadden (at) verizon (dot) net--replace the words in parentheses with the appropriate symbols. In the meantime I'll be going through my records for customers who bought this pattern and sending them a new one.

On another front, I've been busy spinning up the recent purchases and posting some of my new sock fiber on etsy. The most recent additions are American Beauty (looks just like the rose when spun up) and Sweet Peas......

I love that sheep, don't you? He was a very-much-appreciated gift from a good friend who understands me only too well. Speaking of sheep, I'd also like to report that No. 55 (the speed-limit sheep from the mattress company commercials) is quite happily hanging out with his kin here at my house. Thanks, guys!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I just LOVE fiber shopping....

We just returned from Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival. It was our chance to leave the work behind and just go have a good time in upstate New York. Talked with wonderful fiber folks like Maggie Alexander of Maggie's Farm, Bob from Winderwood Farm (look for him on eBay and Etsy) and Jonathan Bosworth who worked his little miracle on my Journey Wheel and with whom we solved the world's problems during a couple of discussions. We also went wine shoppping as we always do when in the region. We picked up a really nice Concord grape wine and a couple of ice wines which I ADORE for sipping after a nice dinner. Saturday night we stopped at the local Tops grocery store, bought some lovely cheese, olives, veggies and a multigrain bagguette to go with the wine. We had quite the picnic in our room, munching Brie/bread/olives, sipping good wine and reading our respective books. It was just the break we both needed.

And now for the good stuff. Some dyed BFL from High Bid Farm (no website but you can find them if you do a search):

The photo just doesn't do it justice, it's much richer than this shows, but what more can you do with the lighting in a motel room?
The always-incredible dyed fiber from Winderwood:

And from Spinners Hill, some combed top and complimentary-colored pouffy fiber (okay, so the technical term is carded cloud, but 'pouffy fiber' sounds exactly like the fiber feels):

I haven't included the fiber I bought this morning, cause there just isn't space for all those photos--once it's spun up I'll do the photography. Trust me, it's luscious! I guess I'm gonna be busy the next couple of weeks. Hopefully most of these will be appearing in the etsy store--except for the Purple Pouffy Fiber, which is mine, Mine, MINE! (I may allow Martha to pet it but, IT'S MINE!)
Many thanks to the Genessee Valley Handspinners Guild who do all the work of organizing this lovely festival.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Someone remind me that I shouldn't work weekends?

Between teaching, working on Mom's house, family obligations and working on my business, I'm bushed today. Saturday I had 2 students for spinning, which I love teaching. It's all about that "aha moment" when they realize that twisting loose fiber makes YARN--what a revelation, and what fun to see that spark in someone's eyes!

Then we were off to northern parts to take our nephew to the bookstore and the ice cream shop for his birthday presents. Unfortunately, he's recovering from a nasty cold and had developed a bit of a fever by the time we left the bookstore so we took him home. Fortunately, he was entranced with his 2 books on sports cars and motorcycles, both of which have wheels (who knew that books on vehicles were now driveable?). I have to admit, the sports car book was something I pushed for--once upon a time there was a sports car rally near the LYS where I teach, and as I drove to class I followed a Ferrari F430 Spider and was beside a Shelby Cobra remake. When I arrived at the LYS I had to sit and spin for 10 minutes to calm down enough to teach. What I really wanted to do was follow the cars to the rally! I wonder why our youngest son owns 2 models of these:

(EDIT: I cannot get this photo to rotate back to it's original orientation and Blogger is no help at all. You'll just have to turn your 'puters sidewise to view son's 1992 MR2)

and was sent to college on condition that he buy me a purple 350Z when he got a job?

Sunday was for working at the other house shoveling mulch around the fruit trees that are left after the deer onslaught, watching football (Go Steelers!), and shooting the items to go in my store this week while shooing away the cats. Y'see, when it's near Dinnertime At The Cat Ranch the boys are merciless in letting us know that they are starving and need sustenance. It's a whole process involving pitiful meows, rubbing against the camera tripod, and pointed stares directed our way. Then hubster appeared at the door and they went after HIM.....

"We saw you, yeah, we did! Open the darn door NOW!"

"And I'm gonna be the first cat in the door--don't get in my way Mercury, or it's curtains for ya!"

And now I am, on Monday, incredibly tired and dragging my butt around the house, trying to be effective and productive.....oh well.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Handspun Delight Scarf pattern

Handspun Delight Scarf by Feistywoman Designs©
(Beginning Knitting Skills)
In this scarf, you have the opportunity to use up those little bits of handspun yarn to create a unique, reversible and easy scarf.

Finished Size: Approximately 4" wide and 72" long
Yarn: approximately 100 yds each of 4 different Worsted weight yarns at 12 wpi. Mark them as Colors A, B, C and D. I like to use a variegated yarn, a textured yarn, and two solid color yarns.
Gauge: 4 sts & 9 rows/inch in Garter Stitch.
Check your gauge before beginning, although exact gauge isn’t necessary in a scarf.
Needles: 40" US #8 & 9 (5 & 5.5mm) or size needed to obtain gauge and/or make a fabric YOU like.

You will be knitting the scarf longways, making knots at the end/beginning of each row to form the fringe. To do this when the next row uses the same color, simply make a loop about twice the length of the desired fringe (8-1/2" loop for 4" fringe), make an overhand knot snug up against the knitting, and continue back with the working yarn. To do this when the next row uses a new color, cut the yarn to the desired length (4-1/4" for 4" fringe), tie a knot with this strand and the end of the new yarn.
The bind-off leaves one lonely strand of yarn–you may leave this end as is, or add it to the last knot, making that knot a 3-strand one.

Row/Color Sequence:
Cast On and Rows 1 to4--A
Row 5--B
Rows 6 to 8--C
Rows 9 to 13--D
Row 14–A
Rows 15 to 17--B
Rows 18 to 22--C
Row 23--D
Rows 24 to 26–A
Rows 27 to 31–B
Row 32–C
Rows 33, 34 and Bind Off–D

With larger needles and Color A, cast on 250 stitches. Turn work, switch to smaller needles, pull out a loop for the fringe, make the knot and knit back across the row. Turn. Pull out a fringe loop, make a knot, and knit back. Continue in this manner, making knots either with the same yarn or the new yarn, and following the Row/Color Sequence chart. When you complete Row 34, switch back to the larger needles for the bind off. Cut the fringe loops if you want or leave them as is. Hand wash the scarf, lay flat to dry (Garter Stitch will stretch lengthwise if you hang it), and give the scarf to someone you love. Better yet, give it to someone you like and make them your new best friend!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sewing up stuff and sneak peak

I've been making scarves for the last week or so, and having a
blast choosing color combinations for these. All I have left to do
is add the appliques and finishing touchs, stitch my labels in and photograph them for the shop. These are just too much fun to knit and I think I'm addicted! This is today's pile of scarves to be finished--->

And this is the original scarf I designed last year to use up scraps
and sale bin skeins--->

I was too lazy last week to type out the free scarf pattern mostly because the table showing what color to use on which row just won't format for the blog. Hopefully, this week I'll have the time to sit down and reformat the pattern so it can be uploaded here and be easy to access. What I really, really need is someone to be my office manager/IT administrator so I can spend more time creating fiber and yarn and garments!

Speaking of creating fiber, here's a sneak peak of the
wool/nylon/bamboo sock batts I've been working on lately.
They should be up in the shop in a few weeks. This colorway is Morning Glories, one of the 10 colorways in my Posy Toes Bamboo line of sock batts. I've spun up several of these and they spin like buttah! And we all know how good bamboo is for our feet and for the environment! Now I just need to decide how many of the spun skeins will go to Natural Stitches for sale, and how many will stay with me--it's like selling my babies, y'know what I mean?

I also have a neckwarmer pattern in the works but it's still in it's embryonic stage. Very easy to knit up, very elegant to wear, and different from other neckwarmer patterns I've seen. I'm pretty excited about it. As they say in the advertising industry, watch this space for future developments......