Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Monday, May 26, 2008

Summer Projects

Summer. It's finally here! There were days last winter when I thought it would never arrive again.

Heading up my summer priority list is the garden. Besides the herbs and salad garden, I'm planning an all pink flower border. But, even all pink flowers have peeks of other colors. I love how these lime green buds look with the pink flowers on my fuchsia hanging basket.
And, one of the men in brown delivered this box last Friday. I've been wanting one of these for a long time and now that it's here, haven't had a spare moment to play with it.

Well, I did find time to unpack it.
A Strauch Petite drum carder. It was purchased from Copper Moose but came direct from the manufacturer. Such an excellent, quality machine and carefully packed. It's available as a kit but I opted to have it assembled. Can't wait to get carding.

And, the yarn for my first big summer knitting project arrived last week, too.
This is Touch (5% Cashmere/10% Tencel/85% Merino) from Yarn Place. This may well be my favorite yarn of all time. Absolutely perfect color! It's called Rose Pink and it's sort of an orchid pink. Very, very soft and springy with a slight shimmer from the tencel component. I'm hoping the tencel will give some drape, because I'm making a shawl with it.

Not just any shawl, a Lyra shawl.
This is my start. I used Emily Ocher's circular cast on but it hasn't been pulled closed yet. And, I worked the beginning section on 2 circs and have just gotten to the point where I can switch to one circ. It is a most fun pattern to knit.

Now, if the weather will cooperate so the garden can get planted, I'll be able to move on to knitting and carding.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


It's been fiber festival time the last couple of weekends. Here's the accumulated loot.

First, from Shepherd's Harvest where I got to see my fiber buddy Kerry, a trio of berry colored rovings--three bumps of Coopworth in the Secret Garden colorway from Hidden Valley Farm, 2 bumps of 60/40 Wool/Mohair (the wool is .75 BFL/.125 Romney/.125 Suffolk) from Morning Sun and one bump of dyed Tussah from Carpool.

Next up:
a couple of bags of Bluebells & Periwinkle from Fae Ridge Farm in Iowa. It's a cloud preparation composed of Wensleydale lamb/Mohair/Tussah/Silk noils. The cloud stuff from last year was so fun to spin; someday I want to send a fleece out and have it processed like that. The natural colored roving is Romney/Silk/something else I can't remember. It's from Morning Sun, too, and so very, very soft! Plus, I couldn't resist a painted roving from Rivers Edge Weaving Studio. Carol's fiber braids are absolutely scrumptious. Need to find just the right way to spin this one up, though. My first crack at it tended to look a little muddy.

Once again, I couldn't pass by the Tall Tale Basket shop without getting one of their baskets.
This one is called a bicycle basket (see the little loops meant to hang on the handlebars). Instead, I plan on hanging it from some of my wire storage bins for additional room.

And, of course, it wouldn't be a fiber festival without a little fleece.A very little fleece--just a one lb. bag of luscious Cormo from Riverwinds in Boyd, WI. This is from a girl named Alice and is delightfully soft and crimpy.
Kerry also surprised me when she handed me a bag of Cheviot that she'd brought to have processed. Yes, just gave it to me! Already washed, too! She'd just picked up the other half of the fleece (this was one she'd gotten in the silent auction last year and dyed one half--see her blog) and decided she'd had enough of it. I just filled out a new processing form and off it went to Morning Sun. Watch your mailbox, Kerry, fiber is winging it's way to you as I write. :)

Then yesterday, it was the very small Shepherd's Market at Whitefish Bay Farm up in Door County. The place was packed and much of the good stuff seemed to have been sold before I got there.
My main shopping was in one booth--Goathill Farm. Found some lovely soft wool/mohair roving in a plum colorway. Also, some natural Red Mohair locks (no, the locks aren't red but that's what the goats are called) that I plan to use for those Mohair mittens from the cover of a long ago Spin-Off. For kicks, I got a package from a Fiber Sandwich with mainly black/white/pink colors. Should be fun to spin. And, because I drove way up there, I ended up getting the little sample Niddy Noddy. It's Mahogany and has a stem on it so as to be easier to use. I kinda regret that last purchase because I already have 2 little niddy's so I'm putting it up for sale--$23 including shipping. If interested leave me a comment or e-mail me vsever AT

Both festivals were much busier than they were last year. Don't know if it's an increase in spinners or chatter on Ravelry about some of the other festivals that have knitters searching them out. Either way, it's fun to support the local fiber folk and catch up with friends.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Fiber Delivery Day

I love fiber delivery days. The mailman, probably feels differently after lugging the boxes around. This was a good week in the fiber delivery department. First came this smallish box filled with not one, but two Corrie fleeces from Whitefish Bay Farm. They always give the previous year buyers the opportunity to purchase the fleece of the same sheep this year. Fortunately, I contacted them before I left for Hawaii because their fleeces go very quickly once they're listed for sale and that happened while we were gone.
I loved Hope's fleece last year and at first I was worried that it wasn't quite as white this time around. Luckily I'd saved some raw locks from last year and it looks just the same. In fact, the staple length seems about a half inch longer--maybe it was that snowy cold winter that made her grow more wool to keep warm. It is extra fine and crimpy beyond belief.
And, half of Misha's fleece. This one looks even more silvery than last year. I love, love, love it!
Here's Hope's fleece all bundled up ready to be washed.

I also got a package from Lisa! Last Dec, I wrote to her to order some Wensleydale roving as I'd finally decided to make a stranded yoke cardi with my handspun Jonquil Wensleydale (spun in 2006). She said her supply was gone and she wasn't able to get any more. :( After swatching a bit with my yarn trying to figure out something else for it, I finally put it aside.
And then...Lisa wrote and said she'd found another source! So, we have Wensleydale in Elektra, and Wild Things! And a skein of Sock! in Wild Things for good measure. Let me tell you, that roving is as gorgeous as it looks in the photo! I could hardly wait to dive in and get spinning with it.

But first for a little non-fibery diversion, I took my mom to the African Violet show in town. They're big around here. When I was in college, I tried growing them in my dorm room, always nearly killed them and would end up giving them to my Aunt Vi. She had such a magic touch with them, (she would have called it benign neglect, though).

Anyway, I thought maybe I'd pick up one plant to see what happened nowadays--after my cotton growing success last year, maybe my thumb has gotten greener.

One plant...
turned into five! Who knew there were so many different kinds of violets. The large one was promised by the grower to never go out of bloom. We'll see! It has a really pretty pink blossom with violet purple around the edge. I also got a white/pink miniature (so cute!) and a deep purple double semi-miniature with leaves that will get ruffly. A tiny pot with a rooted leaf which will be a double speckled flower. The single leaf came from a prize winner and has now been potted up. All the baby potted plants have a piece of yarn coming out the bottom that's used as wick so they only draw up the amount of moisture they need. Anyway, the breeder that sold me the leaf, wanted to know if I needed a piece of yarn. No, I'm pretty sure I could rustle up a piece of yarn. ;)

In yarn making news, I've been spindling with my little shell spindle. This is the Plumaria batt shown last week.
Figured I needed to get going on some spindling (spinning and knitting, too!) as Shepherd's Harvest is only one week away. So, the post may be a few days late next week, but it's pretty good odds that they'll be some good fiber loot photos. Please c'mon back then.