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As we have new class photos, fun new show and tell ourselves, or special projects our customers bring in to share, we'll post them here!
Gudrun, a botanist and natural dyer my sisters and I visited while in Iceland, sells her naturally dyed Icelandic yarn on Etsy. Several of the natural dyes they have to work with there are quite different (except the madder, seen left) than what I've worked with here (some different types of lichen and Icelandic Moss) and although I've always drained the leaf/flower/stalk/root from the dyebath once I extricated the dye into the water (partly so the dye takes up more evenly but also so that the yarn is not full of bits and pieces of vegetable matter), she leaves the vegetable matter in the pot along with the yarn. She gets beautiful colors and doesn't seem to have trouble shaking out the leaves et all after the yarn is dry. Further goes to reinforce the point that there are many ways to "cut the apple"! Check out her site on Etsy - it's called Hespa!
Be sure to Cast Your Kudo for a participant in the "Felt Challenge" we launched in March.
Here are some photos of the goats at Johanna's farm in Iceland (BTW...that is a full size goat she picked up and carried like a baby for about 15 minutes...as if it was a feather!). She is working hard to save the goat population (she collected the last 4 goats that were left in Iceland and now has preserved these unadulterated Viking-era genes in her herd of about 140). She makes soaps and salves using the goat milk and goat sausage and has just had her first small batch of yarn spun (at a mill in Norway...or was it Sweden?). Anyway, the cashmere is lovely and soft but she faces a lot of challenges marketing her product.
BJ wove this lovely basketweave blanket and brought it in for show antodayd tell a week ago or so. I had to laugh because, as happens to us all (and I have felt particularly prone to this lately) it is a project that BJ apparently kept second guessing herself on...you know, hemming and hawing at...not quite sure of the pattern or the colors was quite right? We've all been there. And kind of like the proverbial "analysis paralysis", we can get stuck in the abyss of the second guessing. So when she stopped by a few months back and told me she couldn't quite get thru this project I passed on what my sister Joanie sometimes tells me when I get stuck in that place - "just do it and move on". So she did. And when she brought it in for show and tell, it reminded me to take some of my own advice and so I have buckled down and am "just doing and moving on" with some stymied projects....not that any are done yet, but at least I'm beyond the paralysis stage....
I have begun machine embroidering a series of felt squares I made for a second "quilt bag". And I finally cut up the long strip of fabric Christine made from scraps of felt I had leftover from some jackets I made a few years ago using I camel, angora, llama, alpaca, cashmere, merino, and yak. I cut out vest fronts and back and the plan is to use some of the lovely Eco-Duo alpaca yarn to knit a shawl collar and button bands?
And finally, the only jewelry I finished after Renate's class here a couple of weeks ago! A jewelry designer I'm not! But I'm having fun and I've got lots of other pieces "in the works", but only this ring done. The ring is felted using the new KAP wool and then I stitched on a crocheted ruffle and a crocheted silver bauble into the center!
BJ stopped by today to share a whole bunch of show & tell....but I'm going to stretch it out a bit...so here is the first! She spun my Vermont Border Leicester/Wenslydale mix fiber and then knit this garter stitch cardigan....I so wish you could feel it and that I had the skills/camera to do it justice (the yarn is so rich and lustrous even tho' the picture may look dull and gray!)! It is soft, silky, lustrous and has such a great drape and weight to it. This fiber is sold out now, but the fiber I have in it's place which is very similar in hand but a medium brown instead of charcoal, is my Vermont Border Leicester/Blue Faced Leicester/Pygora blend.
Kathleen Crescenzo, who was here visiting from CT over the weekend for the Felt Jewelry workshop, brought with her the pair of felt boots she made during my Online Felt Boot Workshop. They came out great....thanks for sharing, Kathleen. Others who have taken the workshop have shared photos and comments, so I've posted them here for you to view if you'd like. Since I'm going to run my online Felt Hat & Millinery workshop after I return from our sister's trip to Iceland, I won't be running the Felt Boot again until the fall, but so many are asking about it, I will begin registration for it in May. So stay tuned.
Arielle knit these adorable booties for a friend using the Sublime Extrafine merino....and a pattern from Ravelry.
Some photos of the Felt Jewelry class in action....
Kathy started working on this Silk Garden headband on our last Downton Abbey Knit-Along. The pattern is from the most recent Noro Knits Accessories book....lots of other great patterns in it too. She brought it in for Show & Tell....and to find a button for it!
My sister has been exploring using her silk paper for binding notebooks, in anticipation of a silk paper class here later this summer/early fall. Here are a couple of her gorgeous trials. She's also worked out the right formula for making silk paper for basket weaving, so both she and another sister and I have been weaving baskets from the paper.....also in prep for the workshop here later this year. I can't believe how much fun it is!
I've shown some of Sara's fingerless mitt knits here before....each one is unique and shows off my own hand-dyed merino so well! Sara's got such a marvelous sense of color. Be sure to Friend/Like (not really sure the difference) on Facebook for access to a Facebook only contest for some of this yarn next week!
Sue Johnson has been knitting mittens like there is no tomorrow.... a couple pair for her grandkids using Baby Alpaca Grande (which I didn't get a photo of) and this pair using Noro Silk Garden as the pattern color and Vermont Border Leicester (she raises them here and I have about 70 pounds of her fleece just back from the mill and I'm dyeing it up right now for the store....but I also have about 20 pounds still left from the first batch) as the background. Great way to use Noro!
Aubrey brought this lovely shawl for show & tell at the last of the Thursday night knitting socials (Downton Abbey Knit-a-longs). She knit it using the yarn I kettle dye here and she worked beads into every yarn over! Lovely.
I finally finished the last of the handstitching on this felt bag I started almost a year ago! It's all lined in silk and was fun project I used to practice some machine embroidery (I got a new machine) and work out the kinks on this bag design I had wanted to make for so long! In various stages of completion, it has been photographed like a Hollywood celebrity by felters visiting from near and far... which I take as the highest of compliments. It wasn't a pretty process, since I was working out the dsign as I went, but I'm pleased with the results and have a second one in the works...now that I know what I'm doing! Ironically, the felting was the easy part....it was all the hand and machine stitching that gave me angina.
Marjorie Lemay knits so many beautiful one of a kind garments for her 8 (?) grandchildren.Her unique designs, wonderful color choices and gorgeous knitting are always a treat to see and share. This new series she is working on using Sublime Extrafine Merino is in preparation for next XMAS (wish I could plan that far ahead!). Two down, 6 to go!
France came by yesterday to get some deals on the coned yarns I had on clearance for weavers and brought this show and tell to share. She's been working on it during the Downton Knit Alongs Thursday nights (of course, tonight is cancelled because of Valentines day). The shawl came out beautifully.
Laurie took the Kumihimo class here last Saturday and sent this photo of her completed key chain to me to share. I'm not sure I did a good job adjusting the light (new camera), so the photo doesn't do her lovely work justice! She even worked beads into the braid!
Rhonda, who is one of my most prolific spinners, LOVES spinning this merino/merino superwash/bamboo blend fiber that I stock. She came in for more the other day and brought show and tell of her last batch....all dyed up and ready to knit! It has the most beautiful hand and what a lovely sheen....tho' I'm not sure you can appreciate those qualities thru my limited photographic skills and with an ailing camera, to beat!
Back in the fall, my felting buddies and I had challenged ourselves to experiment by exploring some small (6 inch square) felt pieces. Still wanting to explore some felting ideas inspired by a trip my sisters and I took almost 2 years ago, I chose to kill two birds with 1 rock and use this small scale felting to explore some designs inspired by the blue and white mosaics in the Church of the Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia. The technique I chose to play around with is nothing new and earth shattering.....just layering colors with the intent of cutting down into the felt to reveal colors below. I had first played with this in a vessel class I took with Sharon Costello a decade ago....and some of the 3rd century B.C felts we saw from the Pzyryk burials in Siberia showed they cut into their felt in this same manner even way back then! Still it was something I wanted to play with a bit more and so inspired by the blue and mosaics of the church, I thought I'd make a series of mug-rugs (coasters) exploring this theme. I'm working them free-hand, so I don't really have a plan for cutting and I still have 1 more layer (it should be green) to reveal below the fuschia. This square has been kicking around and every few days I cut another bit of it away. I came across it yesterday and shared it with the group participating in the online felt boot workshop right now as an emellishment idea for their next pair, so I thought I'd share this WIP here today, too!
Couture seamstress and expert felter, Linda Veilleux sent along another photo to show the possibilities of what can be done with a great piece of flat felt and some good sewing skills! So DON"T MISS OUT....Linda is offering a workshop here the weekend of Feb 23/24 to help guide felters thru the design, cutting, and sewing of a piece of felt into a great handbag. She'll even show you how to add leather, pockets, zippers, etc. I'm so excited to be able to offer this workshop... Linda has made some wonderful luggage and bags using felt in the past and really has the sewing and technical skills to guide you thru the process of creating a one of a kind piece!
Sara shared her latest colorwork creation.....wristlets knit using my own hand-dyed NFAC fingering merino. As always, they are so beautiful and rich in color.
BJ stopped by today for show and tell....she handspun, dyed and knit this gorgeous faroese shawl. It has a lovely hand, the traditional long tails (so you can tie them around your waist and not get them wet while you're selling fish in the street) and the shaped shoulders so it stays on! She picked up some red corriedale to spin up a bit to add into a blanket she is planning with 2 shades of Vermont browns and some of the gorgeous Wenslydale she spun up. The natural colors were gorgeous together, but she wants to add a splash of red! Can't wait to see that when it's done.
And, I MUST show off some felting that my grand nieces and nephews did for XMAS...clearly my sisters (and then nieces) have passed on their fiber talents to the next generation!
Solon (7) and Liam (5) clearly spent some time felting lovely logs and geodes to make these gorgeous necklaces for my sisters and I. I wore it to see Les Mis over break and had numerous people stop me to admire!
Meanwhile, out in Michigan, my grand niece Ella (11) who has done some lovely felting in the past, needle felted me this lovely trivet (or it could be a wall hanging, too)....but I'm using it as a trivet, since I spent most of the month of December rolling logs to make a series of trivets and coasters for people for the holidays and I like to think that somehow, Solon, Liam, Ella and I were somehow interconnected on the same wavelength in December since....
I was .using the same technique that Solon & Liam were having fun with, to make some really thick and colorful trivets and coasters.
Sorry the photos are so odd in color, I think I dropped my camera one too many times now!
Dec 19th....I know a customer came by with a fabulous show and tell but I can't remember which customer (so I can't find the picture since I file it by customer!). So in the meantime, I thought I'd share a picture of a wall hanging my niece did that shows off both needle felting and Kumihimo. Since we have a Kumihimo class scheduled for February, I thought I'd share another example of how this Japanese braiding technqiue can be used. Be sure to blow up the images to look close up!
Dec 13th.....I haven't attached the strap yet, and I can see now that I've taken the photo that I really need to trim my "generation tails", but since I posted Joany's bag last week, I thought I'd share mine this week....just so you can see the variation in yurt bag interpretations. I hope Janet, Roby, Bill or Helen will share photos of their when they're done.
Although my sister's and my color choices were quite different, it is interesting that we both chose ram horn and mountain motifs (one symbolizes the "lifeblood" and the other "protection"). The other interesting commonality is that we both, unbeknownst to the other, pulled out all our "quilting". Technically, the entire bag gets "quilted". This makes it really durable. But I thought it looked like poc marks on mine since I had used a dark color. So after quilting 1 full side and half of the other, I pulled it all out. So mine is not truly traditional, but I don't need to store pots and pans in mind and it won't be dragged around the steppes. So I decided to forgo this step for aesthetic reasons. Apparently, Joan had pulled all hers out too.
I went with big bold colors....I think that happened becuase Annimie kept telling us what different colors meant in the nomadic tradition and each symbolism sounded important to include so I ended up with "hope", "strength" "life" and, well, .....you get the idea. I had to use them all!
There wasn't enough yak to go around for the "tails" (which sympolize the generations of a family), but one of the other participants, Jante, had horse mane/tail and was kind enough to share. And since the only tradition on the "generation tails" is that it be from a beast of burden, I traded her some yarn/fiber for some mane/tail!
Oh, and the red circle on the 2nd side of my bag is the hole thru which the soul leaves the universe.
My sister Joan completed her yurt bag and brought it over on Saturday for show and tell. She worked her sides differently, so I've shown both here. I love her elegant color selection. We learned when Annimie was here for the workshops that the nomads make these (much larger) and use them as cupboards! Makes sense since their life is nomadic (well, I guess now they just move the yurt twice a year...still it's a lot to pick up and move!) they hang yurt bags around the inside of the yurt to hold things like plates, linens, etc. As you can see from the next set of photos, they really do use these. BTW....the tufts of fiber hanging from the bag is yak hair (tho' any beast of burden is used) and these tufts represent the generations of the family. The central motif, featuring rams horns is a big motif for them....representing their livelihood since sheep give them wool, meat and dairy!
So I went back into the photos I took at the Ethnographic museum we visited in Russia last year and, sure enough, the yurt they had set up does have yurt bags hanging about it! In the left hand photo, if you look just to the right of the standing person, you'll see one and in the photo on the right, the bag is hanging over the head of the left most seated man.
My yurt bag is quite different in color choices...I'll get some pictures of it this week and post it next week.
Two weeks when Annimie was still visiting from Holland for some felting workshops, we took 1 day off from classes and went to visit a Shetland farm. Annimie wanted to see Vermont and I needed to pick up fleece for the next run of Vermont Yarns. So I thought I'd share some photos from the day....be sure to check out a new event I just posted ....it's a great way for you to test out some of the breed specific local yarns and fibers I stock!
Here are some of the locks....I'veI bought over 100 pounds of Shetland now from several different farms and am excited that I'll be able to offer 7 distinct, natural colors here in the shop (sometime after the holidays) for knitters to play with....shaela, emsket, moorit, fawn, moosket, light grey, charcoal...can't wait.
Oct 30th....several weeks to catch up on!
LouAnn knit this fun baby blanket for a shower for her husband's nieces baby. I think she used Taiyo by Noro? I wasn't here when she stopped by for show and tell so I didn't get a chance to confirm that with her.
Rhonda has been spinning up a storm ... and dyeing too...with a new fiber I've been stocking (at her request). It is a 40% merino, 40% merino superwash, and 20% silk blend. At first the idea of blending merino and superwash merino in the same top didn't make sense to me, since the proportions of superwash to non don't make this yarn machine washable. So why bother with the 40% superwash? Becuase the 3 fibers take the dye differently it makes for a really interesting spun yarn. So if you want to have some fun dyeing and spinning, follow Rhonda's lead and play around with this one.
Oops....I think I forgot to upload this page last week...and now I've added more, so be sure to scroll down for more good stuff!
So BJ stopped by last week with lots of show and tell. First she shared some placemats she did after a workshop with the Vermont Weavers Guild on share drafting techniques. Each of the three placemats shown here (and another 4 or 5 I couldn't fit in the photo) are all woven on the same threading. Lovely subtle effects and a nice way to make a set of placemats that go together, but don't match exactly! I love that!
She also spun (I can't remember which fiber she said she used for it) and knit this adorable sweater for her granddaughter using a Sir Dar pattern I have here and have always loved.
And this hooded cowl (aren't these popping up everywhere now.....there's a great pattern in the new French Girl Accessories book that arrived on Friday and we've got a really simple one on display here in the store that's our own pattern) BJ handspun and then knit using up odds and ends of several of the natural colored wool rovings we sell here.
My niece, Neysa, whom many of you may have met on Mondays when she works the store for me and most of you know as the artist behind the incredibly needle felted wall hangings I have around here, is on a knitting binge! She said yesterday that she needs to work up a couple more pieces for the galleries she's in, but all she wants to do at night right now is KNIT! She worked up this popular shoulder wrap pattern from Noro Knits and wore it the other day. I think she's already purchased yarn to make another! If you love working with color and are interested in some small projects to work up this fall, you really should check out Noro Knits, Noro Accessories, the latest Noro Magazine....they all have some really easy and fun projects to make and we have all of them here at the store.
Sept 20th....lots this week!
Sara stopped by this week for more Harrisville Shetland and my hand-dyed NFAC merino. She's been using these yarns and doing a lot of colorwork making felted bags....here are a few examples that show how she mixes crochet and knitting and works magic with her color sense!
And Chris finished her Taiyo skirt. Using a pattern from Knitty, this skirt came out great! And she wears it so well with black leggings
.Kathy spun up a couple of the newer fibers we're stocking last week while she was here. The first photo shows the cool colors of a Blue Faced Leceister/Silk Gradient (I'm felting the warm colors from the same package....oh it's so soft and lovely in felt) and the second photo shows the Opulence (alpaca blend fiber). She says about her experience:
This week I thought I'd show some gorgeous new handpainted yarns we have and some examples of them knit up, since some customers shy away from handpainted yarns because in the past they didn't like the way they knit up....they striped, pooled or maybe fought with a lace design. For that reason, I generally choose colors that are more monochromatic. However, like the skein on the end here or even the gorgeous blue third over from the left, sometimes I can't resist the more dramatically variegated colorways. The trick is to pick the right pattern for either!
If you want to knit cables or lace or a more intricate pattern, pick a more monochromatic colorway and AVOID the busier (whether like the blue above it is sharply light and dark or the one on the end that has so many colors in it). This swatch shown here (unblocked, since it's still on needles!) is knit using one of Art Yarns handpainted yarns, Beaded Mohair.I didn't want the colors to fight with the lace pattern I'm knitting, so I chose a color that was monochromatic. And further, to avoid any pooling of colors, work from 2 skeins at a time so the colors blend more; just knit 2 rows from 1 skein and 2 rows from the other skein and carry each up on the side. This will blend the colors
This hat was knit using Balder a machine washable merino that has been really popular for kids hats and scarves.,The colors of this yarn are very busy...ramatcially differen...so if you bother to knit an intricate pattern (there is a lacy cable in this hat!) you just won't see it....the pattern and the colors fight. A handpainted yarn that has many different colors in it or extremes of light and dark, or commercially dyed yarns like Balder should be reserved for a simple patterns, like that shown next.
This shawl is knit using a handpainted Rayon by Blue Heron and since there are a lot of colors in the skein, as there was in the Balder, I chose a pattern that is simple for the eye to see - no fancy lacework or cables - and so having so much color in the handpainted yarn doesn't compete with the pattern for your eye's attention.
August 30th....I can't believe I didn't take any photos of the New England Felting Group Meeting Show & Tell. About 22 of them met here this past weekend for a little workshop I did on Felting Beyond Merino. And after that, we did a Show & Tell and you would have been so impressed by the creativity and productivity of the group. Although I forgot to get pics of the Show & Tell, I did work a "trade" with Gloria Bilodeau from the group and so I am the fortunate owner (until my friend's birthday next Tuesday!) of this lovely clutch she felted using scraps of silk and her own handwoven fabric as embellishments! What a lovely sense of color!
Sachiko's workshop consumed the better part of the last 3 weeks.....1 to get ready, 1 to host it, and this last week to digest it and clean up after it! Here are a few photos of participants in action (top two)and my original layout (left bottom) and a detail of the ONLY part of my wrap that I like! I clearly don't have the knack for putting all the ori-kiri, colors, and weavings together yet!
This isn't done yet, but some of you have asked what ever happened to my orange felt squares, so here is an update....
One of my nieces asked me to post my hats online so she could see what I'd been working on for the last few months....so here are some of them. A couple of new felt designs and 4 fabric covered buckram hats that literally drew blood as I learned to work with this medium!
This felt hat was fun to make. It needs a little life....so I'm considering a bit of needle felted design on the underside of the bottom tier and making a large felted button to put on the top in place of the little ring....shades of turquoise for a little contrast!
A really basic felt cloche that, that as a felter was totally uninspiring to shape, but I really wanted a basic shape so I could practice millinery flowers and I had great fun putting the silk ribbon flowers on.
What a shame I made this in a small size, because the color is just right for me and I love the little velvet flowers.
This felt was originally an experiment for my felting group challenge....dyeing on felt. I was trying to mimic a leopard print. Then, it was so busy, I wasn't quite sure what, if anything to do with it! So I decided to go right over the top and accentuate it with a big black ribbon.
The bonnet was a great learning experience, tho' it's hard to imagine ever wearing it!
This one was about ruching the fabric on the underside. I had this done in time for the Derby, but we were at Maryland Sheep & Wool, so I had no chance to wear it to my friend's Derby party!
This one was sort of about learning to work concentric rings on the interior....probably my one and only time doing that!
This was fashioned after a Riding Hat designed by Elsa Schiaparelli in 1938.
Kathy, Chris and I have been using time between customers to card up some new and interesting custom batts for spinners (and felters?). Made from a mix of romney, border leceister, blue faced leceister wools hand dyed to a riot of colors and then blended with dyed kid mohair, silks or various forms (tussah, bombyx, reeled,etc) or even flax, these batts are not too outrageous, but offer some texture and lots of color and are really nicely suited to a wrapped or corespun yarn. See here the pile we started with and some examples of the process and end result!
This bag was felted from one too!
We have lots of them at the store....just a few online at this point. Since every single one is unique and some of them are subtle, it's hard to show them all. Plus, I'm excited to announce that we'll be stocking the Bricolage Studio Art Batts soon.....very exciting!
Come on by next Tuesday for our Fiber Tasting and you can try some out yourself!
Thought I'd share a picture of the Silk Paper class a couple of weeks ago, as well as a photo of a supersized dragon rug my niece needled. Also, here are some gorgeous monochromatice felts Neysa has done recently that she's selling at a gallery in Waitsfield and a photo of some fabulous felt & beaded earrings that Laura has for sale at the gallery in St. Johnsbury.....
Here are a few of the monochromatic felt series that my niece Neysa is working on right now....she uses the dyed felting batts for these...and just to contrast these....here is a photo of a dragon rug she did before these!
...Kathy spun these beautiful skeins using Tutti Fruitti Northern Lights.....
Pat is knitting the Rhythm Baby sweater using Kudo and brought it in for show & tell....it's perfect for a Florida baby...and like the Trendz needles, which are flying out of here, the colros just makes you happy!
3/21 .... Happy Spring! Dee's been playing with some new crochet stitches.....here's a really interesting one called Crocodile Stitch. She worked it up in some Fantasia.....really nice. Be sure to stop by this Saturday for the spring yarn and needle tasting. This yarn is one that will be open to play with!
Pat took my Nuno Felt Scarf class here last Saturday and sent along this photo of her scarf along with the comment "I canít tell you how pleased I am with my scarf, the class was fantastic!" She also had the photo below to share showing the other scarves made in class....
Christine, whom many of you know from her help in the store on Tuesdays and Thursdays, needle felted onto a commercial hat to make a Monster Hat....I believe for her nephew? If you look closely you can see all the textural elements....they got a little lost in the background noise of the photo!
This wonderful wizard was needle felted by using one of the Black Sheep Designs needle felting kits we have here. We've just received some new kits from Sharon, so be sure to check out the updated page!
Feb 15th....oh my goodnesss....so much new to show and tell! From helping to raise my nieces yurt to finalizing the Anniemae Kroenen classes here this fall to lots of customer show & tell!
BJ brought in this sweater which she spun and knit using both Northern Lights and the Merino Top we stock here at the store. I happened to just be updating the Merino Top page to reflect the more than 60 colors we stock when she came in......fate!
Jan brought by a shawl she knit using Cascade's Ultra Pima cotton. It was her first time knitting with this yarn and she loved it. The pattern she chose is beautiful and the yarn was a a great choice for it too.....great stitch definition and a lovely hand.
Jennifer, who loves to make pins, took the last introductory felting class here and is now incorporating felt into her pins and so she brought by some holiday pins she made for show and tell. They are wonderful.
Be sure to check out Anniemae's classes here this October. I'm so excited to be bringing her here for these classes and now that all the details have been hashed out, you can officially sign up!
Lastly, I went over to help my niece raise the yurt she has been building so she could get a final measure on the canvas for the top and wanted to share some photos. It is such a beautiful structure....even without the felt.
Jan 23rd.....I didn't get a chance to take photos of the hat class on Saturday we were so busy stretching and shaping! But here is a photo you can drool over.....a shawl/wrap by Australian artist/felter Sachiko Kotaka who will be here for a week long workshop in August! For more details be sure to check out the class page.
Just as I was getting set to edit photos for the web this week, Pat Peek and Leila Cross came in with show and tell....
Pat knit this hat to match a new coat, using Malizia by Plymouth and a pattern from the book Hip Knit Hats.
Leila knit this adorable doll using up odds and ends. It reminded me of a doll my sister did for one of the fiber challenges we held here. My sister Joanie's pattern can be found free here.
Thought I'd post the photos of some recent felt scarf classes here......all so different and all so fun!
Pat Peek just finished felting (it took over an hour to felt!) this wonderful cat bed for her daughter's cat for XMAS! She used a pattern from one of Cat Bordhi's books and knit it using Lopi yarn.
We have put together some new kits....quick knits for holiday gift giving....some featuring unique yarns from here in Vermont and others not!
This ruffle kid sillk mohair scarf has been catching a lot of attention this fall so we've kitted it with a lovely handpainted rayon boucle from Blue Heron.
We have a couple of fair isle hats knit up at the store that are popular so we've kitted the pattern with some of our very own kettle dyed merino...
This hat is knit using a local Vermont cormo-kid mohair blend yarn and the kit comes with a fantastic button to adorn the side.
These beaded wristlets I offered to the Vermont Yarn Club last fall and then did as a workshop here last winter. They were popular gifts.....they keep your wrists warm and add a little adornment to your outfit. I wear them indoors to keep my wrists warm and out of doors over a pair of plain black gloves for fun. Kit comes with Vermont cormo yarn and coordinating beads and, of course, the pattern.
Nov 16th...I'm sorry not to have photos of the pieces done in this past weekend's workshop Interpreting Nature in Felt.....they were amazing!
Joan Hathaway brought in an interesting hat she knit with Encore. This Klein hat is a pattern from Schoolhouse Press's blog. It is a mathematical figure and quite fun as a hat.....and it looks like fun to knit too! On the Schoolhouse Press site they show pictures of several variations of this single sided, but double thickness hat.....not unlike the infinity scarves which are so popular right now, this hat has only 1 surface to it!
Lou-Ann brought in this cool hat she knit for her daughter using our exclusive, superwash, kettle dyed merino wool. Knit here at a d.k. gauge she used less than 1 full skein ($18) for the hat.
Kathy has been spinning up one of the merino/tussah blends I have here and brought in a skein and a swatch for show and tell. As you can see, the tussah gives it a lovely luster and the gentle blend of colors in each hank yield a nice heathery yarn.
The first of this year's Vermont Yarn Club went out last week.....a beautiful local cashmere.
.A few people came by last night to make "art batts" for spinning. I didn't get photos of each of their batts, but they promised to bring back their handspun skeins when they're done. In the meantime, here are a few photos of some batts/yarns from art batts that I've had fun spinning this week.
Also, Donna Piro (who always comes up with fun and creative ways to put to use her knitting and felting skills) stopped by last month with some new projects she's been having fun with and the colors of one of them just reminded me of one of my nieces, Ella (who also enjoys needle felting), so I purchased this cuff from Donna to send to Ella.
My sister Joany must knit in her sleep because she knocked off these 5 hats (which all have "I survived Irene" knitted into them) in the last couple of days! They are being gifted to some Vermonters who were so terribly affected by the storm (we hardly even had high winds in this area).
My "kiwi" scarf has had lots of felters intrigued and non felters asking me "how much". Since I've been designing quite a few so I have inspiration for the workshop participants (I'm offering a class on felting scarves in December) I decided I will post the finished scarves for sale here next month. So if you're looking for a one-of-a-kind silk scarf for a holiday gift, check back in a couple of weeks or sign up to get our newsletter and you'll be notified and given a link to the site where similar scarves can be purchased.
I just started stocking my nieces needle felting designs....she's packaged them up in a lovely kit which includes a design template, fiber, partial felt canvas, instructions, needles and even a board to needle onto. They (there are 6 different designs to choose from) provoked lots of oohs and aahs both at SOAR (a spinner's retreat that happened last week in New Hampshire) and here at the store since we put them out this morning!
Both BJ and Jody brought show and tell this week...
Jody knit this fantastic argyle vest using colors of our dyed NFAC merino. Owen (the young man who requested the vest!) chose some challenging colors for Jody to work with and she did a great job pulling it all together and had a lot of fun with the stripes on the back. After a couple of false starts....first carrying the colors to avoid intarsia before realizing intarsia was the way to go and another time to reposition the colors and start with half diamonds ....she ended up with a really satisfying result. The tonal nature of the colors makes for a really rich fabric.
BJ brought in these fabulous knee socks (I folded them at a funny angle to get both in the photo) for show and tell. She not only knit them using a Nancy Bush pattern, but she spun the Panda fiber (bamboo and machine washable merino) and dyed it too!
The Pediboo kits which raise money for Breast Cancer REsearch have been very popular. Kathy purchased the Lady Jane Wrap kit and brought what she had knit so far with her the other day for show and tell so I nabbed a photo of it to post!
I spent some time this last week making a few new models.....some nuno felt scarves and some fresh felt hats in anticipation of offering another felt hat class here this January. More details about the Nuno Silk Scarf class and the Felt Hat class can be found on the Classes page.
Kathy spun this Northern Lights up recently. It is the Mulled Wine colorway. I think she's still deciding what to knit with it, but hopefully we'll see it again when she's done with the finished project!
OK, so this isn't very inspiring, but I was knitting this swatch at a concert the other night and my neighbor expressed surprise that this unusual yarn construction knit up the way it did, so I thought I'd share. These "chainette" yarns (you may need to enlarge the left hand photo to see what I mean....just click on it) are all the rage this year....every company has one or two to offer. Many are spun from alpaca, as is the one shown here, Debbie Bliss's yarn Paloma. The advantages of this type of construction are that it achieves a big gauge but without the "bulk" or "density" that sometimes makes the chunky yarns too heavy to wear....either because they feel stiff or are too hot to wear because of all the wool crammed into the yarn. But these chainettes trap a lot of air and so they are not dense and so knit up with a lovely drape and soft hadn. They also wear well because the way the chainette is formed makes a more durable yarn that is less apt to pill. The swatch to the right was knit first on a 11 and then about 1" into the stockinette stitch, I switched to a 13 (you can see where that happens).
Aubrey knit this adorable cardigan for her new nephew, Marco. Knit in Ella Rae's Amity, it is machine washable and easy to care for.
I'm pretty selective about what books I buy these days for my personal library....there are just so many out there. But the Noro Knits book that came out this past winter is full of lots of great projects. These gloves are knit using 2 different colors of Silk Garden Sock....so buy 2 sks at about $44 and you can get 2 adult pair of gloves....yes there is plenty left after this first pair to knit another adult pair and perhaps even a kids pair of mittens. So For $44 you get 2 great gifts (possibly 3!- check back when we're done with the additional pairs). In addition to these gloves, there are scarves (see the hint of one behind the glove), several fantastic afghans, hats, etc.
My sister was using up some of the S'ampa organic cotton that I put on clearance last year and knit this adorable little kid's sweater for a friend's child.
My neighbor stopped by with an unusual plant this week for show and tell so I've had this sprig of it in a vase at the register all week and it has been quite a conversation piece. It is oregano, and although it smells wonderful, it is so beautiful I'd hate to cook with it. I'm afraid I forgot to get a picture the first couple of days so you can't really see the spectacularly bright magenta flowers peeking out from each green petal, nor does the photo I took do even the veining in the leaf justice. So it's not related to fiber in any way....but it is beautiful and so I thought I'd share....it is Kent Oregano.
.I'd lost my felting mo-jo for months, but inspired by some doors I'd seen in Tallinn and the need to use up and get rid of some fibers I had collected, I felted this rug for my brother Eric last Monday. It's honestly not very well done....I didn't pay much attention to details so it's rather askew and I had wanted the center squares to look as tho' they were jutting out and the larger squares to appear receeding (and I'm not sure that worked) but I am just so glad to actually have felted something and I'm hoping I don't lose steam since I have several jackets and a top I really want to make.
And it feels good to have cleared out a few bags of fleece! And despite it rather falling below the quality I expect from myself, I think it shows off some beautiful natural colors of fleece really well. The outer edge of jet black is Karakul (2 twin lamb fleeces). The gray border is Gotland. The back side is also Karakul, but it is an adult fleece and of a fawn color, which I also used in the boxes. The lightest of all the colors is an Icelandic fleece and the reddish-brown color is a shetland fleece. I choose these fleeces because they are quite coarse and I purchased them specifically for a rug (not the Shetland, but the Icelandic and 2 Karakul fleeces, anyway) and they will wear really well. It is firm and dense....I haven't weighed it, but the fiber was piled a good 10" thick before felting! Here is the door that inspired me...
This beautiful baby blanket is knit in Noro's Furisode (cotton blend) bulky yarn. I can't believe I'm blanking on the customer's name right now.....she and a friend were in just 2 weeks ago and picked out this yarn and I was so glad she brought it back for Show & Tell. It is soft and striking....a real show stopper. The customer who knit this is working on another project in Noro's Taiyo....also cotton, but an aran weight and I hope she brings that in too. I'm knitting a pinwheel baby blanket it Taiyo right now and enjoying it....another fun way to use Noro's striping yarns....
A couple of mittens from the Koguva museum on the island of Muhu in Estonia. I couldn't get quite close enough to count the gauge, but it had to be 15-18 sts/inch! Very fine and what was so surprising was how often they used pink (and a really hot pink it was) together with orange and red! And it worked for them!
Shawls knit in crisp fibers are a great summer project.....they are easily portable, not hot on the lap or in the hands and are such versatile garments....well, who can't use several? They perfectly keep the breeze off your neck on an evening out on the town and can dress up a simple summer outfit and yet they are also perfect to snuggle under (or over) your winter coat for another layer in the winter! Both shawls shown here are easy since their pattern is generally repetitive once you get it established so they both fit the bill for mindless and portable summer projects. The shawl kit shown above is knit in Lavold's Silky Wool...a sport weight silk/wool blend and the white one shown below is knit in 100% linen.
This white shawl is a great example of how "finishing" affects a product. In the skein, most linens (including Euroflax which this shawl is knit from) feels stiff and a little harsh. But once knit and washed several times, it softens tremendously without losing the crispness that is so nice and fresh. Historically, linen was subjected to a process called "beetling" to finish it. Beetling involves actually hammering the cloth against a rock....this breaks down the fiber and results in a nice sheen too. We didn't "beetle" this shawl (available as a kit) , but put it thru 2 hot water cycles. You can't tell this from the website of course, but it has a really nice hand and drape!
This little baby vest is knit in Haze, a yarn spun from corn fiber. I show it this week because, like the Diagonal Triangle Tee for adults that I highlighted a few weeks ago, it shows a great way to use variegated yarns that produce a striped effect: knit them on the bias! This not only avoids horizontal stripes from making us look bigger in the girth....it actually puts the stripes on such an angle as to draw the eye inward and give the illusion of more shape to the waist! Who could argue with that!
March 30th.....one last Estonian sample to show. Despite being behind on other projects, I've needed to knit with this color lately so I decided to make the sample lace shawl from last Saturday's class with Nancy Bush....just to practice my nupps! Wish I had used a size larger needle so it was a bit more lacy. To make really big nupps, I made them on size 10 so they are very pronounced. So here (if you can stand seeing it once again!) is the same little Estonian Lace Sampler in the store's kettle dyed merino.
March 22nd.....Nancy Bush was here this past weekend for 3 days of workshops: Estonian Lace, Estonian Mittens, and Vintage Socks. So of course, this has to be the show & tell this week! Pictured below is a mini-shawl (I guess it is perfect for the American Girl Doll) that Betsy did in the Friday workshop; then you see the wristwarmer I did in Saturday's workshop; and since I the little sock sample we did on Sunday didn't photograph very well, the third picture is another Estonian Lace photo....this scarf my sister Joany knit for me and presented to me on Friday (she also knit one for my sister Wendy, my sister Roby and my sister in law Genie...aren't we all lucky!)
The scarf is a pattern from Estonian Lace....available for purchase here.
. BJ brought by another tam for show and tell, which reminded me that I hadn't even shared her first tam yet! So here are both.....the first one showing a lovely and traditional fair isle pattern (knit using some Harrisville Shetland) and the latest one spun out of her favorite hand spinning wool...Northern Lights (berry colorway).
March 9th - seems to be a big week for feather and fan projects! Both Lou-Anne and Pat brought in lap/baby afghans they are knitting.....aren't they fun?
3/1 Lou-Anne brought this adorable child's vest for show and tell at the Cascade Yarn Tasting last Thursday. She knit it using Sublime Extrafine merino. She said it's not for her grandaughter Chloe, so I think she is starting to stockpile in hope of another grandchild!
2/9Sue Johnson, from whom I have purchased lovely fleece in the past for a gorgeous Border Leceister yarn I offer here at the store, has been having fun knitting this popular shawl, which she brought in for show and tell. Often knit in Kureyon sock, the shawl is even more lovely in the Silk Garden Sock yarn as Sue used. Although she needed to buy 2 sks , she was able to knit the shawl much larger. And you can't beat the luminous nature of the Silk Garden yarn for this project....
I knit this vase out of a handspun yarn that was spun around a wire. So the vase can be twisted and reshaped to form different effects. Here it is holding a few of the remaining felt flowers I made for the store window boxes a few years ago. After several winters in the boxes, most of them got rather wind-ragged and faded (I have a wicked sunny southern exposure out front), so I have only a few remaining.
2/4 Here are a couple of hats BJ brought for show and tell last week. These ripple hats have been popular this year (on this one she used up some self patterning sock yarn in the stockinette grooves and a solid sock yarn in the reverse stockinette ridges) and the tam is a classic and "jaunty" hat (at least that's the adjective some crosswords use to describe this type of hat!). I believe the tam is knit from some handspun fiber (Mo Roving?) that she had. Thanks for the show & tell, BJ!
1/26....It's official. BJ is so prolific, I've had to created a new subfolder within my gallery folder just to hold the photos of the show & tell she brings us! Kudos to her for being so prolific.....I can't wait for retirement!
But I'm going to piece them out to you slowly so you can savor each one! Here's the first ... BJ wove this wonderful undulating twill scarf using some Paternaya wool. If you're a weaver, you can appreciate how even a beat she has! I think if we got out a protractor we'd even prove it is a perfect 45 degree angle! Nice job, BJ! Thanks for sharing.
1/25 I should have taken some photos from this past Saturday's Intro to Felting workshop.....I did something a little different and had the participant's first samples be white prefelt cut outs on dark brown batts like some pillows I've been working up. The samples were so striking! But I didn't have the camera handy and we had to move on to our nuno felt samples....so instead... I'm sharing a photo of one of my samples of felt from my Breed's Project (a little 2 year project to felt and spin 28 different breeds of sheep). This is California Red that I purchased at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2 years ago. It is not a very common breed of sheep and as you can see if you blow up the photo....it felts quite differently than you'd expect.....the batt is quite white and the felt quite a bit darker as the reddish outer coat of the breed predominates in the felt sample. When spun, much of the coarser reddish outer coat falls out so the yarn is closer in color to the batt....and much softer like the batt than the felted sample turns out.
1/18 Juanita brought in this colorful felted slipper-sock for show and tell. She used up odds and ends of yarns from other projects and lightly fulled the sock when done so it will be warm and wear well!
1/5 I've been playing with some 8 shaft double weave projects and thought I'd share them this week since we haven't been open and seeing customer show and tells for a couple of weeks. This first scarf I wove for a friend and was worried about it the whole time....colors really out of my comfort range....because all I could think of while I wove it was a childhood candy (maybe they still make it?) called Tutti-Fruity? Anyway, here are pictures of it just off the loom and then after felting it. Fortunately, my friend liked it (so did I after all was said and done, although I've made a few changes to the set and how I'll handle the weft on the next 2!). The last picture shows the loom warped for another couple of similar scarves,....except now I'm back in my comfort zone of colors!
12/15 Tina Hubbard has been buying fiber like crazy so when she was in earlier this week I asked what she was making with it all and she whipped out her camera and showed us pictures of beautiful birds and Swedish horses and ornaments she's been needle felting. She happened to have this pillow with her so I was able to take a photo to share with you. If you haven't felted before, we have numerous felting classes coming up in Jan, Feb & Mar! Also, we're now selling 6-paks of great needle felting fiber.....more colors in a bag for those of you working with lots of color....that have been selling like crazy!
12/7 Kay Vlascik brought by the most gorgeous Lana d'Oro sweater she knit for her daughter for show and tell.....it was that beautiful Cascade red with an intricate floral motif knit in golds, oranges, greens.....just like fall. I took a photo and then inadvertenly deleted it on Saturday when I was taking photos of the Design Your Own Skein workshop here! Ah well....kudos to Kay for a job well done.
Jan stopped by and has been using up her ends to knit hats for charity. Here are a few designs she's had fun with...and Pat wore in her Mushishi wristlets....they look great...and Dee brought in some Ornament Show & Tell!
11/30 I worked up this wimple/cowl pattern using Vermont Sled Dog yarn for this month's Vermont Yarn Club participants....just got their color choices so I'm off to custom dye the yarn for them. Since the yarn is spun from Vermont Samoyeds, I figured it appropriate to use the "paws" lace pattern in the cowl. Next month, the participants get a handspun beaded skein of Vermont mohair from Bennie (as in the Jets), Mick Fleecewood, and Morgaine, pictured above! That will keep me busy next month!
And my sister knit up these sweet "baby legs" for my grand-niece Parker (who just turned 2 last week). I guess leg warmers for todlers is really popular these days as my niece and all her friends find them an important garment for this age group. Knit in Indulgence, they are incredibly soft....the pattern is free with the yarn purchase.
11/23 My grand-niece Ella...could she be eight already?...has been needle felting up a great assortment of fantastic XMAS decorations! It is so exciting to see another generation getting creative with fiber! Go Ella!
If you haven't needle felted before and want to learn some basics, join us Wed Dec 15th to needle felt a snowman!
11/16 -Wow, has BJ been productive!
Here are three hats and a scarf she's spun & knit lately. The first hat shown below she spun and knit using up odds and ends of fiber from earlier projects. The tam she spun and knit and dyed from a gorgeous Cormo fleece I had here this last winter and the third hat (striped) she spun and knit up from some samples she worked up in a Drum Carding workshop here last spring. The scarf must be her third or fourth project spun and knit from her favorite berry color of Northern Lights
Pat is on her second Mushishi hat....she can't say enough positive things about both the way it feels and knits up. Here is her first slouch one....now she's working one in the orange/brown/rust family for herself!
This past Friday a couple of felting friends and I got together for dinner and "catch-up". Afterwards, we went into the workshop and laid out the quick little "group" sample.....all three of us simultaneously were adding our own colors and embellishments. Our objective was to test out a new toy Linda bought for felting....the Maxi-Rub! After much conversation - sprinkled with lewd jokes, embarrasing references and lots of laughter - we wet it down and went to work with the Maxi-Rub. In the end, I think we all thought that for a small piece of felt (this sample ended up being maybe 16" x 20"), we think its faster to just roll. BUT, for a large or thick piece of felt...when you just need to change up the muscles used....using this tool might be a nice break from rolling. And, the benefit is that after your felt is done, you can give yourself a professional massage! I haven't purchased one yet (the vibration was a bit much for my hands) but I know Linda found it online....don't look under felting equipment though....it is a tool for massage. I definitelyl preferred it over felting with a sander, for those of you who like that method.
11/2 I worked this "beaded cuff" pattern up for the Vermont Yarn Club and Laurie brought hers by the store for show and tell over the weekend. I've been wearing mine most days.....I love the way the fancy little beads "peek" out from beneath my coat sleeve and they keep my wrists protected from the cool wind that sometimes creeps up thru the sleeves when I'm out walking Chloe. Given the temps today however, I think I'll be turning them in for something with fingers soon!!
10/26- Happy Halloween! In preparation for this festive and frivilous holiday, I finished my felt mask and we hosted a free tutorial on needle felting a pumpkin/jack-o-lantern here last night! Here are a few photos....works in progress and some of the completed pumpkins/jack-o-lanterns....What personalities! There seemed to be interest among the attendees to hold a "santa" event....not sure if that will work out since I was already working on a knit/crochet ornament event....but keep your eyes on the Events page for details about one or the other of those coming to fruition some night in December!
10/20 Up until this week, I had been thinking that our foliage this year was not as vibrant as in the past....mostly gold and not much red or orange. But then as I was driving back from The New York Sheep & Wool on Monday and then walking my dog yesterday morning I realized that its just that "peak" is late this year! So here is the current view out of the shop window... for those of you who don't live around here...a peak at our fall. Despite the rain today, it still looks beautiful!
Christine Fries stopped by with a few more examples of embroidery she did on some reject felt swatches I gave her. She'll be offering a workshop here in early November to teach several machine embroidery techniques for felt. Here you see she added some lovely flower motifs around a very unfinished neckline on a vest I did experimenting with felting in dessicated leaves. Besure to blow the photo up to see how lovely a finishing this is.
Next pictured, you can see a before, between & after of a batt that I did to demonstrate how to use a drum carder during one of our monthly Felting Group Meetings. That particular night, instead of Show & Tell and a challgenge, we happened to be playing with combining colors on the drum carder. The first picture shows the batt fresh off the drum carder, the second shows it after felting and the third shows it after a bit of "touching up" with embroider on the machine! If you're interested, there are still a couple of spots in Christine's workshop in November....
This month's Vermont Yarn Club just received a lovely Rambouillet yarn in both a natural cream and chocolate brown color. The patterns I worked up for them explored both mosaic knitting and double kntiting techniques.........a trivet and set of mug rugs and a pillow were the projects for the mosaic knitting and they got patterns also for a double knit headband and hat.
And I thought you'd enjoy seeing the wonderful creations from the felted mask class here this weekend....from left to right: Patty with her mask, 4 masks just waiting for embellishment, a bride skeleton mask made by the teacher, Abbot working on his mask, Linda helping Lindsay with her mask, Mason sharing a view of his mask midstream!
9/30...oops! forgot to update this page last week....so here is the blurb about the photo from last week and you'll have to scroll down to read about the photo for this week!
I have these new bundles of yarn in the store that are hand-dyed kits for a cardigan knit side to side (you can see half of it on my trunk here). It's been a big point of discussion in the store since I put these kits out about both their sizing and which color is everyone's favorite. The sizing issue is resolved! The kits knit up to a medium, which, although the pattern says 36", this is a "to fit" size not actual, and the actual finished size is really more like 40-42 (fits me to a tee). If someone wants to knit a larger size, I can get a small bundle dyed to match that will make up to a 48" for an additional $40.
My sister graciously said she'd knit up the store model for me since I'm swamped. I was going to give her the color that most customers have been dubious about, but since it was also her least favorite, and she was going to be knitting it, I chose the one shown. It is much more gold than the bundle would have suggested. I love gold, so its not a problem for me, but I guess the reminder lesson of this is that the color that is highest in value (in this case gold) will predominate, even if it is a smaller proportion of the overall colorway of more neutral browns and tans!
I found some interesting corded (& cheap) fabric in NYC at a store in the fabric district that was going out of business (far left) and bought several yards with the idea of felting into it to make up a door screen. But then I found some other fabulous woven fabric at the next shop I stopped in and decided to use that for the door screen! So this week I worked up a felt swatch (right photo) of the corded fabric just to see what else I might do with it.....the green dye from the fabric spread and was absorbed by the white cord which I hadn't planned on but like. It is quite dense because of the heavy cording in it, even tho' I used very little merino top. Still not so sure what to do with it so I guess I'll sleep on it!
Last week the first of the Vermont Yarn Club's monthly knitting projects went out. This month's feature fiber was Cormo, a breed of sheep with a very fine, springy fleece....perfect for a project that benefits from a little elasticity.
9/1 Both Martha and Kathleen brought show & tell to the last Knit n'Nosh. Kathleen knit this bib set using Sierra and a pattern from the Mason Dixon knitting book which creates a lovely thick fabric and Martha is crocheting another granny square lap blanket....this time using Silk Garden and Lamb's Pride. Both projects are beautiful and inspiring.
8/23 Several customers came by with fiber, yarn, and even a pair of white mittens to put into the indigo dye bath on Saturday! And I learned a lesson about indigo.....I put the dye pot back on the burner to reheat since the morning dyers had left quite a while before the afternoon group arrived and I felt it needed to heat up again. But then several of us meandered up front in the store and got engrossed in a discussion about Kindles vs. Nooks and we lost track of time. By the time I got back to the pot it was boiling....heartily! The rolling boil must have exhausted the reducing agent because the first few things we put in the pot in the afternoon did not take the dye. But I added more reducing agent and a touch more washing soda and voila....great dye pot again! Here are some photos of the range of blues people chose to dye....
The first month's Vermont Yarn Club CSA features the Cormo sheep and I'm sending out 2 lovely Cormo yarns from a farm in the south central part of the state along with a couple of patterns designed for the yarns and influenced by the roaring 1920s fashion. So the 7 colors (brick, violet, charcoal, toffee, gold, teal, and sage - I know the picture looks more chartreuse, but the yarn is actually quite subtle in real life!) I dyed for the participants to choose from are from the palette of colors typical from that era. A little vintage and a lot of fun! I was particularly excited to source 6 incredible beaded buttons to send with the yarn ... the perfect adornment to the hat project.
Donna Piro has been knitting, fulling, and then needle felting embellishments on hats and mittens for kids....this absolutely adorable set she just completed for the child of a friend of her son's! She also brough in a couple of fun hats she'd done using Kureyon and Lamb's Pride, but I didn't get a photo of those. This kid's set was just so much fun, I forgot all about the great hats she did!
I hadn't actually felted anything in about 10 months and needed something for Show & Tell at this past weekend's meeting of the Northeast Felting Guild meeting which met here. So I used the partial felts (since it needed to be done quickly) and an idea for a scarf that came from both an 8 harness weave structure I've woven and my current exploration of "plaids" . The scarf used 125 resists, the result of which you can't really "get" from the photo....but it gives it interesting dimension when it is actually worn.
7/14 A few yarn samples I dyed with bloodroot from the garden that was trampled when a tree was removed a couple of weeks ago....more about the experience on the blog.
I don't know why exactly, but I've had an itch to work plaids for over a year now. I played around a bit with felting plaids last year and now I'm finally scratching that itch and exploring plaid from various vantages, in depth....here's the first ... a crochet pattern I worked up for the fall. Betsy knit up the store sample and fine tuned the pattern....now she's working on the knit version and I'm about to warp the loom this afternoon to explore a really non-traditional plaid experiment that I'm weaving to felt. Stay tuned for this pattern and others for the fall!
BJ, who should be awarded the most productive weaver, spinner, and knitter since she has new show and tell just about every week, brought by this wonderful bag she crafted using some handwoven fabric scraps she had as well as a felt swatch she did when she learned the basics at a little workshop I did for the Vermont Weavers Guild here in the spring! Great way to put scraps and "experiements" to great use!
For those of you who missed the Balloon Tied Knit event here last Saturday, here are a few more pics of the balloon ties we knit up for the show...
In between dyeing up some sample yarns for the Vermont CSA and dyeing locks, I threw in some silk gauze and some soft silk organza to dye up to coordinate with a really old piece of nuno felt I had laying around. I had given the felt swatch (along with a lot of other aborted felt reject samples!) to Christine Fries (art quilter extaordinaire) to play with. She's been working up a class to offer here this fall on surface embellishment on felt using freeform stitching. I decided to use this piece as inspiration in my dyeing last week! I hope to have the class schedule set by July 31st, so stay tuned for more examples of Christine's work!
BJ brought by a sweater she knit from some fiber she spun from the store. It has a lovely soft hand and is a llama/wool blend in a lovely, rich oatmeal color. The pattern she used was from a Rowan magazine.
6/8 I just posted a new free pattern....this crochet sun hat uses 1 skein of Katia Paper and was pretty quick to make. The brim can be turned up or down for a variety of styles.
5/17...Paula Dorfman sent in this photo of the table runner she did in a felting workshop here this winter and three customers brought in socks for Show & Tell during our Sock Extravaganza here this past Saturday....The tractor socks were knit by Cindy Cole, the Turkish socks by Liz Alton and the Fair Isle by David Wasser. To see a little clip of the socks on display here, as well as photos from the little free tutorials we did during the Sock Event, click here.
5/6...just back from the Maryland Sheep & Wool Fesitval...be sure to check out this link for a little recap of the event this year....
A few of the bronze buttons we crafted here last weekend with jeweler Kerin Rose!
4/14 My sister knit up these knee socks for my niece Morgan using a pattern from Folk Socks and in a silk sock yarn by Online that we had at the store but I put in my winter clearance in February. The socks feature a pretty little lace pattern which you can see if you enlarge the photo.
4/6 BJ stopped by to show us the Habu kit she knit to wear to her niece's wedding rehersal dinner, I believe. Anyway, it looks great...she wishes she'd knit the sleeves a bit wider and plans to tighten up the V at the neckline. The furu-furu in it is really fun....gives it lots of interesting surface texture, which the photo may not show off very well, so click on it to see the enlargement!
. And I had to show off the horse my niece felted for me for my birthday...another wonderful piece of horse art to add to my collection (what started with 1 wall, is now pretty much filling up 2 walls....rather like my yarn stash....it keeps taking over more and more room). If any of you are heading to Maryland, she will be selling some of her felted creations there....be sure to stop by Building 5....The Spinning Studio/Vermont Wheel booth to see them.
3/30...Juanita dropped by for some more fiber the other day. She's been needle felting hats since the workshop back in February and brought a couple by for show & tell....
and here are some photos from this Saturday's button making event that Chris did...what fun! I expect these felt buttons will hold up better for all the pushing thru the button hole than others I've made which, over time, wear thin by the abrasion of the buttonhole. Others had fun making buttons with words or photos from magazines....
3/22 new show and tell for spinners and felters....
Dee brought in this hat she crocheted over night out of the new Katia Paper yarn. It's perfect for a summer sun hat, a bag (see the yarn page for my project), or even a garment! Not that it's soft and cozy, but like Habu yarn, it's great for a unique and artistic layer. Betsy's been eyeing an openwork vest from the latest Vogue that is done in a ribbon...big and open....that would look great in the Paper as well.
3/6 My niece brought show and tell by this week when she came to cover the store for me Saturday so I could card more wool (see some works in progress below). She brought several new rugs with her and I forgot to photograph them, but I found a picture of this one which she finished earlier this winter and I never showed here, so be sure to click on it for a closer look! And here's a photo of a closeup of the tree.....
And I continue to plug away at carding up the fleeces I dyed for the store....
Some friends and fellow felters came over last night and we played on the drum carders....carding up test batts to felt and spin....here are some photos and for some insight on our thoughts about the outcome...check out the Blog Here
This was the junk I had collected on the lickerin earlier in the week making some custom batts for spinning .... but I saved it and then put it into a batt itself and felted it last night....here it is post felting It looks better in person, of course, but for waste fiber anyway it was worth the few minutes of felting....I think I'll put a few beads on it and sew it into a little knitting accessories pouch for a friend whose birthday I just missed! It is much darker than the batts from which this waste was culled....here's a picture of the spinning batts and a little vest made from one so you can see the difference!
We all decided Willa's batt reminded us of a southwestern sunset...she didn't felt it yet. Lynn felted up the sample I carded to show them how to use the equipment....I randomly grabbed some hideously bright colors and then we toned them down with some grey...here it is pre and post felting. Linda's reminded Willa of a piece of bacon pre felting (we decided Willa needed to eat something) but after felting we thought it rather looked like a meteor shower ...deep teals and blacks in the background with the shot of gold ... And for those of you who spin...here are a few swatches knit from some batts....(neither have been washed yet....either as yarn or as swatch and they were spun & plied rather quickly on a drop spindle so they bias a bit...but they give you an idea of the colors we played with anyway)
BJ and Marty shared with us this week....
BJ spun and knit this lace shawl and kid's sweater: the former with some merino/silk and the later with the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights is really soft and lovely, as is of course, the merino silk (but you'd expect that)! Both are beautiful.
Marty bought 5 sks of Noro's Transitions last year at my clearance sale and then after the fact decided to make a hooded jacket! So, of course, she didn't have enough yarn. But she brought in the color of Noro she bought and together we chose some complementary colors of Lopi (because it knit at the same gauge) and she worked the 2 types of yarn and 5 different colors together to create this wonde ful jacket. Which she finished just in time to clear her docket of projects so she can take advantage of this year's Clearance Sale!! It's fabulous!
I'm finally getting back to work on the custom batts for spinning and felting....here are a few pics to wet the appetite. Hopefully they'll be done in another week and online then for sale.
Pat stopped by today to show & tell her latest knitting project...a moebius bag from the 2nd Treasurey of Knitting. She knit it in Malabrigo and it felted beautifully.
Dee has been knitting up these chunky snowboarder earflap hats like crazy. She says they're quick and easy. Here she double stranded Lambs Pride Bulky, but others have used Expressions, Big Softee and Encore Mega.
Just wanted to share some masks that Linda Van Alstyne made...she'll be here this fall to teach a felted mask class for those of you interested....just in time for Halloween!
This Sublime hat has been popular this holiday season. Martha knit this one...I believe the pattern is from Ravelry.
I learned to tat decades ago and can't for the life of me remember even how to get started again, but I found these old pieces of tatting around and thought I'd felt them into some lampshades this weekend. Since I have nothing completed this week to show and no customers brought show and tell this week, I thought I'd show a "before" and next week I'll have the "after" photo of what comes of recycling these old pieces. So check back next week to see what comes of my playing around this weekend!
Various clog toppers freeform crocheted in Sara's class last week. I didn't catch pictures of everybody's, but you can see how varied and beautiful they all are. Hopefully once everyone felts them and applies them to their clogs we can all get together for a group shot wearing them! If you haven't done any freeform knitting or crochet, you should treat yourself to an evening of "scrumbling". Get a group of friends together, and maybe a bottle of wine if you like or some good chocolate, and pile all your scraps in the middle of the table and go crazy! I think most people taking this class found it incredibly "freeing" to not be working from a pattern and to just "go with the flow". It really allows you to be creative and step out of the box! You don't have to undertake a huge project. As Susan reflected on the process and one of her pieces, she was thinking what a great patch pocket it would make on a new jacket she bought that had no pockets and is lovely, but plain. A freeform felted patch would be perfect as an applied pocket!
Sharon's felt lampshade class was a great success...shown below is Terry's lampshade... she still had a little stitching to do and was planning some final touches to the base...along with a couple of Sharon's completed examples..
For those of you who missed the Habu Trunk Show, the kits are in and available for sale here as well as online.
Seems to be the week of the felted scarf! And all so different and beautiful!
Judy felted this scarf using Northern Lights
Joan felted this using a mohair boucle yarn on an irridescent silk scarf blank.
Robin felted one of these into an iridescent silk scarf like Joany, but using fiber instead of yarn and the one on the right she felted silk fiber into a Felbi Felt
Martha's crocheting a lap blanket out of 220 Superwash and it's wonderful....I'm so glad she brought it to the Saturday Spin n' Knit. It reminded me of a granny square afghan my sister Roby crocheted for me when I was 6 and I SO remember my friend Terry and I spending hours trying to choose which square was our favorite! We did a bit of the same on Saturday....grown women oohing and ahing over which square we each liked best on Marthas lap blanket! Anyway, it prompted me to share a photo of the one my sister did for me (which I cherish to this day) along with the square I recollect was my childhood favorite! We have a really fun crochet class scheduled for the fall...a really cute pullover vest of flowers that's perfect for layering over a t or turtleneck...so if you're inspired to learn crochet, check the class out.
"Fascinators" (which is just a fun name for a cocktail party hats) in various stages of completion at the hat class at Felter's Fling in Massachusetts earlier this week! This is not the type of hat I'd get much chance to wear here, but because they are so fun and Linda and I want an excuse to don ours, I've decided to hold a Hat party here at the store this November in honor of St. Catherine, who I just learned is the patron saint of milliners! Check Events for more details, but start thinking now about what hat you'll wear! And if you don't have a hand felted hat, check out the classes for a chance to make a Fascinator yourself! Pictured above left to right...the group of felters and fascinators at Fling, me in my fascinator, a hat felted from a custom batt (coming soon to the store), and a cloche felted from the merino top.
BJ brought by 3 show and tells this week. Here's the first. She hand spun 4 ozs of the merino silk blend (color sea mist) and then knit this shawl (the shawl is a pattern Betsy did up for Ella Rae Merino Lace Yarn and which we have available here in the store).This shawl has a lovely hand and although from a distance the shawl looks tan, when you see it close up it is full of suble peaches, greens, etc. You can see how much darker a fiber looks when spun up compared to the top. Hopefully the enlargement does the colors justice! She spun and knit this to match some fabric she found and is planning on making a suit ou of. Thanks for sharing, BJ. It's beautiful!
I had two customer show and tells this week, but the photos must be on my other camera because I could not find them this morning! I did come across this photo when looking for them, however, and decided, in honor or the Fiber Challenge we're hosting this fall, to share it. Each month a group of local felters and I gather and challenge ourselves to experiment with techniques and designs we wouldn't otherwise make the time for. In one of the earlier challenges, we were given photo graphs and our challenge was to interpret them in felt-however literally or figuratively we chose. This corncob is a wet felted example of my challenge results.
Carol brought her felted lidded vessel by for show and tell to the group felt scarf event here this past Saturday. Started in Lisa Klakulak's class here this spring, Carol has since added the shellac and attached the handle and even stitched it...it looks great!
For some reason this spring I got in my head that I wanted to crochet some espadrilles. I think it was all inspired by a photo I'd seen of a pair which sort of coincided with a trip to the garden center where they happened to have 1 ball of this really heavy hemp twine on clearance and of course I love the Patagonia cotton yarn I stock. So it seemed like a project that might be fun for the summer. I think I originally thought it might be a fun class too. But I got sidetracked and it got put on the back burner. But I'm all about finishing things off right now, so seeing this ball of hemp and the skein of Patagonia sitting on my bookcase for 3 months was really getting under my skin so I realized that, even if I never wore them or offered it as a class, I just had to figure them out. So that's what I did Friday night while I was home making sure Chloe didn't scratch her stitches out. Now I hoped that I could scratch this off my list and move on, but of course, doing them just generated all sorts of ideas for improvements, embellishments, new styles!
Kate Castle and Laura Lacroix came over with a friend for the silk demonstration on Saturday and brought some show and tell of the felting they've been having fun with since they were here for Lisa Klakulak's class in April. The first two needle felted wall hangings were done by Kate..she incorporates a wonderful 3-d relief in her work that I'm afraid my photographic skills might not have captured, but be sure to click on the enlarged picture of each and perhaps you'll get an idea of it. Laura has had fun with both wet felting vessels (the fish below are garden ornaments) and with needle felting incredibly detailed paintings in wool. Again, be sure to enlarge each photo to really appreciate the artistry here!
BJ spun 6 colors (3 each of blues and rusts) of Mo Roving and then knit this entrelac bag...she even made the fimo button!
Rhonda spun colorway "icy winter" of Northern Lights as a singles and is knitting this garter stitch shawl. It's got a great drape.
A closeup of a scarf I just finished in a new yarn that is being spun for the store and featuring a design I just did as part of a new series of store patterns for the fall
4/15-lots of customer show & tells this week!
first, Rhonda came in to share her latest spinning...panda-wool that she spun and dyed...the color variation is gorgeous and my photographic skills don't do it justice...and the yarn feels heavenly
then Deborah came in to show her finished baby booties- she felted them in last Wednesday night's free event here...she had never done traditional felting before and she was so excited to have learned she came in to merino top to show her mother and daughter how to make them
then BJ stopped by to post a flyer about the Weaver's Guild show (vermontweaversguild.org) coming up in May and she showed me several scarves she wove out of the handpainted chenille from the store.
just yesterday, Kathleen stopped by and shared her latest spinning: Northern Lights (color Icy Winter) she has been enjoying all year and, on the right, my rambouillet roving. She LOVED spinning the rambouillet - it was her first time trying this fiber.
Our unfinished vessels(left) and mine completed (right) from felted lidded vessel class this past weekend....join us July 25th for a class reunion to see the finished vessels and to work on a group felted scarf project to raise money for Heifer
Willa brought in her "Aretha" hat for show and tell. She felted it in the hat class here a couple of weekends ago and then applied all the wonderfully fun sequins when she got home. Here's another photo, looking straight on, that was taken on a shop mannequin before Willa agreed to model for me!
Inspiration from my niece, Neysa, who has been needle felting these incredible rugs. For pics from her class here last weekend, check this out). Some of these rugs are available for sale.
To see more detail on this rug, click here
Sculptures by Dorian McGowan using Habu linen paper as beard, cap and hair!...
Santa XMAS ornament by Liz Alton....needle felted. Every year Liz comes up with a great new fiber ornament!
Baby Cupcake hat knit by Kathy Bruce.
Kochuron Felted Mittens knit by Martha Sacco.
Check out the scarves in progress that the current Intro to Weaving Class is making...they're fabulous!
Felt Flower Window Box