Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Year End Wrap-up

And so we come to the end of another year. One in which I feel I truly moved from thinking of myself as a knitter to a spinner. Or, at least a spinner wannabee. I won't share with you the dismal list of finished knitting projects. A couple of years ago there were nearly three times as many of them. But, I did manage to get a website up and running and that was HUGE for me.

One of my goals for next year is to keep the blog updated more regularly. I'm aiming for a weekly post with maybe a few extra ones snuck in occasionally. So, with this last post of the year I'll try to catch you up with pics from the last couple of weeks.

For most of November I experimented with spinning silk. Here are my results. The bobbins from left to right--Tussah 2 ply; Silk Hankies singles; Silkworker dyed Tussah singles; Bombyx Silk Brick singles and the skein on top is carded Cinnamon Tussah singles. The Cinnamon Tussah was spun on the Lendrum Saxony, the rest on the Traveller. I managed to ply the natural Tussah from a center pull ball but I'm scared to death to take the other ones off the bobbin. The Bombyx singles are 55 WPI. I'll wait to set the twist on them until after the Patsy Z workshop at the Folk School in Feb. That class was my main reason for trying all these different silk preparations. I thought I might be better prepared with questions if I had at least a bobbinful of experience behind me.

This cute little fella is a felted llama from the Fiber Trends pattern. I made him to go along with a book called Llamas in Pajamas for my little great-nephew, Keegan. Yeah, he's still really little for it but books are big in our family. His daddy learned to read when he was three. Anyway, it may be a long time before I see him again after this week so I wanted to give it to him now. I was worried about the fuzziness from felting the Lamb's Pride yarn but after taking Sam's advice and giving him a little shearing, think it will work out just fine.

Had to show this gorgeous merino dyed by Blue Moon. I bought it the first time I went down to The Fold to try out wheels. When you walk in the door there, you're hit by this bookcase exploding with handpainted fiber. This one immediately caught my eye. It's called Fire on the Mountain. I plan to spin a variety of novelty and regular yarns with it and use them to make a hat and mittens.

Lastly, I owe pictures of the first skein spun on the new Lendrum Saxony. This is handcombed Polwarth from my first fleece (from Treenway) last winter. It bloomed nicely into a fingering weight yarn and is very soft so I plan on knitting a pair of fingertip-up gloves with it.

Next year I hope to continue to s-t-r-e-t-c-h my spinning skills. And, to get up to date with all the backlogged Heartland Knits patterns waiting in the queue. Hopefully, I'll be able to take in a couple of fiber festivals. MS&W last May was probably my favorite memory of the year and that was mostly because I got to meet so many FT'ers (my online fiber guild) in person. I so wish I'd been able to get to Convergence to meet Lisa and definitely wish the end of summer and entire fall hadn't been consumed with dental visits. Yuck! That was a surprising development but so was falling under the spell of the big Saxony wheel--totally unexpected.

So, here's looking forward to a new year. One in which, hopefully, the good surprises outnumber the bad.

Friday, December 15, 2006

For Sale

Knitting and spinning items for sale from my non-smoking pet free home. Prices do not include shipping.

Fiber Trend Needle Felting Kit $5 (brand new, never used)
Includes 4 felting needles, Foam pad and instructions.

Knitter's Handbook $10.

Urban Knitter by Lily Chin $5.
Signed (to me) by the author.

Two Sweaters for my Father by Perri Klass $5.

8 oz. Corriedale Roving from Stoney Pond Farm in Caledonia, MI
Springy and soft wool, includes photo of Barney the sheep.

2 Skeins Plymouth Eros $5

One skein has been partially knit into a simple triangle shawl pattern but knitted piece is still attached. Finish the shawl or rip it out and start something new.

If you are interested in any of these items, please e-mail me at vsever AT mac DOT com or heartlandknits AT yahoo DOT com. Paypal preferred (cash or check only, no credit cards).

Thanks for looking! :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Finally! Google found me! Well, it found my website. :) It only took 6 weeks, she says with an exasperated sigh. MSN and Yahoo indexed the site in half the time. But, I'm not complaining, they finally found me and I'll be able to work on raising my place in the ranking now.

Big thanks to everyone who stopped by and congratulated me on the new wheel. There's been some real bonding going on. The wheel had been given a protective coat of tung oil but I decided to take care of some rougher places on the wood by sanding them and then applying some Wood Beams over the whole thing. It's really giving a lovely finish. If the fog and rain ever lift and the sun comes out, I'll try to take a better photo.

As for the what to spin suggestions, (cause even if I'm sanding it, I had to start spinning, too) I decided to take Angela's advice and spin up enough of my Polwarth fleece from last winter to make a pair of gloves. I'm combing it and aiming for a worsted spun fingering wt plied yarn. I plan to knit the gloves using Joyce Williams recipe from the fingertips down.

Thanks again for the comments. I love hearing from all of you! Please keep it up. :)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Resistance is Futile

Lendrum Saxony in Black Walnut!

The color is a little off in the pic since I took it last night when I got home from The Fold. I was hoping to get a better one this morning but the sun doesn't seem to be cooperating and I'd rather be spinning than working on color correcting photos. It is more of a rich brown without any orangey-ness.

So, what would you do--dive right into a big project or do lots of mini-skein experiments to try out different fibers on it?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Disappearing Act

Yes, I know. I abandoned the blog again. But really, I'm betting you wouldn't have wanted to hear all the in's and out's of having wisdom teeth pulled which is about the only thing I've been fixated on for much of the time I haven't been writing.

So, look what arrived the day of my oral surgery. It's a Tracy Eichheim spindle in the overlay style. The craftsmanship is impeccable! For those of you unfamiliar with Tracy's spindles, all the cut out work is done with a scroll saw. At first I was worried that the hook was going to be a little small but at 1.2 oz. I'll probably always use it for a finer thread anyway. It hasn't bothered me at all so far. The spindle spins very true with no wobble at all.

And look, on the underside of the whorl, it is signed by the maker. A very nice touch.

Currently spindling some of Lisa's Merino in her Petroglyph colorway. Mmmm!