Northeast Fiber Arts Center

The candy store for knitters, spinners, felters & weavers.


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!



Nov 8th...

I'm suffering from brain fog at the moment and forgetting the name of this lovely customer who brought in this mosaic stitch baby blanket she knit using Tenderfoot, machine washable wool/nylon blend sock yarn. I keep coming up with Anne, but know that's not right! The blanket is a lovely weight to snuggle a baby up in and it is soft and cozy.

Anyway, the blanket is gorgeous and although I LOVE knitting mosaic, I hadn't thought of it before for a baby blanket, but it is perfect for that - you get the fun of knitting a pattern in color without having to struggle with two colors in a row OR with having any "floats" on the back side that fingers or toes could get caught in! While there is a "right" and a "wrong" side to mosaic stitches, the "wrong" side looks neat and is not riddled with floats as you'd find with fair isle knitting. AND...I find mosaic stitches to be very easy to remember and follow so while they deliver an amazing design, they are EASY KNITS!

Here are a few photos of mosaic knit models we've featured over the years at the shop - mostly cowls, it appears!


Nov 8th...

Two customers who both love playing with color, Marjorie and Sarah, stopped by a few weeks ago to share their latest creations. Marjorie was combining several different colors of Malabrigo sock in a lovely and subtle gradient which looked really elegant in this subtle stitch pattern wrap. And Sara was mixing up different yarns - several Malabrigo mechita and sock as well as maybe a sweet Georgia and even some of our own NFAC merino, maybe? I think this Find your Fade shawl might be Sarah's 6th or 7th - she's really having a lot of fun (and finding it a challenge) to work with lots of different colors!


Oct 25th...

The Freia SoleMates have arrived - 2 kits each in 12 different colors to start. I must have missed photographing one of the colorways! You can click on each photo to get a better look at the color gradients.

These kits are made with 100% grown and processed US wool. The wool is Shaniko wool - it is raised in Oregon following strict guidelines for the health of the land and the sheep and it is spun in NC (a nice tight 3 ply for good durability and comfort) and then dyed in New England following environmentally friendly dye practices.

They are hand dyed so that each sock knits up the same and in a lovely gradient.

Because each shipment I get will feature different gradients, I'm not bothering to put this SKU online - so you have to stop by the shop (or give us a call). Prewound into center pull skeins - 1 for each sock so it is easy to knit 2 at once using the magic loop! Each kit is $44.

Oct 18th...

Claire stopped by this morning to share some show and tell. This was her first time knitting mosaic, and she enjoyed it. She used 2 sks of the lovely and soft VIP by Laines du Nord and paired it with a skein of Zauberball Crazy. The original pattern called for Zauberball Perlen (which we have at the shop, but I didn't put online), but the Crazy works just as well. With both options to choose from for the gradation, you have lots of color options to choose from!



Oct 11th...

Chris is modeling the Alaska Hat (pattern on Ravelry) that my sister knit up using 2 different mini Freia balls. I don't have them online, but they are available at the shop. Lovely soft, merino wool in lots of gradient colors. Great for cowls, such as Duotones (also Ravelry) as well.




Sept 27th...

The Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock Blanks have had some customers scratching their heads, so I knit up this shawl last week (Woodland Journey pattern from Ravelry) as an example. The "blanks" are the same yarn as they hand dye for their Tough Love Sock yarn, but they knit the yarn first (in white) into a fabric so that they can hand dye a gradient.

Then the knitter winds the dyed piece of fabric into a ball (just as you would wind a hank) as you can see from the photo above. Then you have a center pull skein hand dyed into a gradient and you can knit any of the wonderful shawl patterns designed for gradients.

I used a Sock Blank each of two colors to knit this mosaic stitch shawl. If you haven't knit mosaic yet, give it a try - it is super simple and creates a nice texture as well as a color pattern. So even beginners can do it as it only requires a slip stitch rather than needing to work two different colors together in a row.

Sept 20th...

My sister-in-law Genie was here last week picking out buttons for a sweater she is just finishing for my brother Pete. She knit this in Santa Cruz by Juniper Moon and LOVED it. It really feels great and shows the subtle stitch definition perfectly. And since it is merino, the shawl collar is soft against Pete's neck. If you haven't knit with Santa Cruz yet, try it out here. She picked up some of Juniper Moon's Blue Faced Leicester while she was here for her next project, but the one after that she is going to go back to Santa Cruz she liked it so much!

Kelly brought in a work in progress that she's making out of the Freia Mini balls (which just arrived last week). She's working on a lap blanket that alternates a feather and fan with a chevron pattern and she's loving the yarn, the colors and the pattern too! I'm not putting the Freia Mini cakes on line, but they are here - 100% merino wool and about 107 yards per cake. Two will make a hat! What a fun way to play with color!!!


Sept 13th...

Mitzi has completed more thrummed mittens for the holiday gift giving season, and sent along photos to share. I think after this batch she decided to move onto stripes for the littlest kids in her family. She's been using the Juniper Moon Patagonia yarn, doubled, for these thrummed mittens. And she's had fun choosing among the various hand dyed tops and rovings I have for the thrums!

Mitzi's focus on learning and making thrummed mittens, along with a Facebook initiative that Judy from Yankee Pride is doing this fall, made me think of hosting a Fall Challenge here at the shop. For details on what this challenge is about, check out our Events page.


Aug 31st...

Kelly brought by some Show N' Tell Saturday. The first grandson of a cousin (have I got that right?) is the lucky recipient of this fantastic Cumulus Cotton (by Juniper Moon) baby afghan. She knit it using a US 8 in garter stitch. It has a great hand and drape. We knit our store model baby afghan (shown below) on a US you can see that this yarn knits up nicely on a range of needles depending on what fabric you like (or size you're aiming for). Check out this lovely yarn here.

And if you want to make a baby blanket with color but keep it super simple, we have a couple of the "gradients" in stock so you can work a great ripple stitch or striped blanket super easy - just let the gradient do its thing!

Aug 21st....

I recently dedicated Tuesday afternoons to practicing "stitching". I have several projects planned but am afraid to start them until I get better.

So I took a dive into my many "bins" of miscellaneous aborted/unfinished projects to find cloth to practice on. I found a white linen dress that I had picked up about 6 years ago at a Toulousse sidewalk sale - all those years ago and I had never worn or done anything with it!! Time to move that along...

So I threw the white dress (after it was scoured and tannin'd) into a natural dye pot that was left over after the last dye class here two weekends ago (it was the exhausts of madder, brazilwood, cochenile and onion skins combined). Because the dress was so plain, I used a few rocks to make a resist pattern around the hemline. Now I'm using some naturally dyed silk threads to stitch into the rock patterns to make them a little more lively. Tho' as I look at it now, it seems really dull so now I'm thinking I need to go find some more colorful threads to amp it up a bit!!

And I also found an old piece of 3-D felt during my "bin dive" so I'm stitching on that too. With no goal in mind for either of these except use them to try to get more comfortable stitching.

I LOVE stitching into felt! I've been adding stitching to some of my recent felting projects at the pre-felt stage lately (a few closeups from one of the felt ottomons I made recently). Between stitching at the prefelt stage to add design to the felt and now discovering how much I LOVE stitching into finished felt, I wonder if I'll ever be able to say anything is "finished" again!! Everywhere I look I see an opportunity to stitch now!


Aug 17th....

Mitzi was in picking up more merino top this past week for the thrummed mittens she is knitting for all 13 (or was it 14?) family members for XMAS! She brought in show and tell - you can see from the first picture how a multi-color merino top works (I believe she used Nube Indecita on this pair) as well as the solid colors of my EFM (extrafine merino) tops from DHG. Her family isn't going to have to worry about cold hands this winter with these beautiful and warm gifts!


Aug 10th....

This fun cowl uses 1 skein each of 2 different Zauberball Cashmere colors. This new, and uber soft and yummy yarn, features a long gradient so it's perfect for knitting colorwork patterns without all the fuss of multiple colors!

Another new oprion at the store for doing the same - getting lots of color from just 1 skein - are these sock "blanks" from Sweet Georgia. Knit by machine into a form in which a hand dyer can dye beautiful gradients, you then unravel these as you knit from them into your sock, hat, shawl, cowl, etc for either a gentle gradient or, as in the cowl above featuring Zauberball Cashmere, working a pattern knitting from opposite ends of the "blank". Or, for even more color, buy two of these blanks and knit a colorwork pattern alternately from them for a glorious riot of color! Lots of fun either way - both easy.


Aug 2nd....

If you thought the colors from natural dyeing were drab, take a closer look at these (click on each photo to enlarge it so you can really appreciate the colors here!)!! This is what we dyed in the 2 day natural dye class here last weekend and this reference library is what each participant went home with (along with notes and also some skeins of yarn and or fabric they dyed in their favorite colors).

I point this out becasuse there is a 1 day Natural Dye Workshop coming up on Aug 13th that has a couple of spots open in it so there is a chance for you, too, to learn the steps to bringing some of these colors into your next knitting project! You can register for that workshop here



July 26th...

Mitzi finished knitting this sweet top using VIP (extrafine merino/yak) and sent me a photo for show and tell. I love the interesting stitch direction detail on the front, as well as the lace cap sleeves.

VIP is a really lovely yarn from the Lana Grasso mill in Italy which prides itself on production of fine quality yarns. VIP is recommended knit at 7 sts/inch which also makes it lovely for colorwork, in addition to lightweight sweaters such as Mitzy knit. Here is a Latvian mitten that Chris knit using VIP.

It is so soft - it would make a great hat for a balding head and a really lovely cowl for anyone who needs really soft around the neck!


And we finished both a 2 day Natural Dye workshop as well as a 2 week Shibori Shawl class here this past week so here are some pics from those days:

We had a lovely tree, a lily, lots of circles and some great, almost cavelike figures, shibori'd in the shibori shawl class here last week.

A portion of the sample book everyone took home with them as well as some of the colors hanging to dry on the racks out of doors.

July 6th...

both Deb and Kelly brought by show and tell last week....

Kelly nabbed some of the gorgeous Swan Island Rambouillet last month when I put the first batch out for clearance (the rest will go out this month as part of The Great Northern Yarn Haul) and she's been knitting up this beautiful shawl -just check out how lovely and velvety the yarn looks in the closeup of the plum color!

And Deb brought by a couple of bags she made using some cotton fabric she shibori'd here. And check out how fun the stitching is that she did on the kumo bag detail! There is still room for 2 in the shibori class that begins next Wednesday, if you're interested. Shibori either a beautiful wool/bamboo shawl, OR, bring a piece of cotton (scoured beforehand) and you can shibori that and work it into a bag or quilt....or whatever!

July 12th...

at the risk of boring you with more natural dyeing.....

Since nobody brought by any show and tell this week and I've been prepping for the upcoming Natural Dye Workshop (July is full, but I added a one day class to the schedule in August), a few more natural dye photos to share. The first two photos I share to illustrate how differently the exact same natural dye, used in the same amount (OWG) and dyed in exactly the same conditions can vary based on where and when the dye was harvested. The two skeins of silk and the two pieces of cotton fabric (on the left in the second photo) were dyed using two different osage orange wood shavings I got from my brother's woodworking shop - one was sawdust from lumber harvested from a dead tree and the other was from lumber harvested from a live tree. This is what you either love about natural dyeing, or you hate because it makes it difficult to repeat EXACT results (unless you use extracts, of course - but if you want to forage and use what is in your neighborhood without the benefit of a lab standardizing it, then you need to "go with the flow"!). And the last photo shows a batch of cashmere I dyed using logwood.

July 6th...

both Deb and Kelly brought by show and tell last week....

Kelly nabbed some of the gorgeous Swan Island Rambouillet last month when I put the first batch out for clearance (the rest will go out this month as part of The Great Northern Yarn Haul) and she's been knitting up this beautiful shawl -just check out how lovely and velvety the yarn looks in the closeup of the plum color!

And Deb brought by a couple of bags she made using some cotton fabric she shibori'd here. And check out how fun the stitching is that she did on the kumo bag detail! There is still room for 2 in the shibori class that begins next Wednesday, if you're interested. Shibori either a beautiful wool/bamboo shawl, OR, bring a piece of cotton (scoured beforehand) and you can shibori that and work it into a bag or quilt....or whatever!

June 21ST...

Purple Corn results on silk, wool and cotton

It's that time of year again.....natural dyeing, shibori, and eco/botanical printing are front and center!

My three sisters gathered here with me on Sunday to do some natural dyeing. We had silk, wool, and cotton to dye and some was yarn and some fabric. Anyway, we did all the usual natural dyes and then experimented with a new natural dye I brought back from Peru earlier this month. This shows the dyebath, a silk scarf dyed in the corn, and then skeins and fabrics of different fibers dyed in the same bath. It's always fun and the weather was great, despite a strong wind that felt like it might lift the Coleman canopies right out of the ground!

And I had a lovely group of customers here on Saturday to learn the basics of eco/botanical printing. Each printed a silk scarf using what they picked from the gardens here at the shop or what I nabbed while walking Winnie that morning up behind the school! I'm afraid I didn't write down immediately who did what scarf, but I think I got pictures of each participant's here. Most chose iron as a mordant (only the two teens went with alum for brighter, clearer colors) and some went with a natural dye background colors (Kaylee even alternated two colors for a fun effect!) and others chose to keep it undyed. It's always so fun to see the different choices made and how each scarf is unique and beautiful. Here are some of the photos....

The intensive 2-day Natural Dye Workshop in July is full, but I did add in a 1 day Natural Dye Basics class for August.

Also, we have 2 spots open in a shibori/indigo dye a shawl (or piece of fabric if you don't want to do a merinop/bamboo shawl) class that is starting Wed July 13th, too!

You can find details on both these upcoming classes here.

June 15th...

It seems out of season to be showing a chunky knit merino hat!! But I was thinking about small projects customers might be interested in working on thru the summer months - small so you get immediate gratification, can easily take them with you in the car, to a kids game, the beach, the park or a picnic, AND, that you might want to start on thinking ahead to the holiday gift giving season.

I know, it seems early to be thinking about that too! But why wait until November for the small projects that we all love to make for family and friends? Start now and you won't have to cram in the fall. That will free you up to undertake a more sizeable project this fall too - like that sweater you've been thinking about but certainly don't want to have on your lap thru the hot days of summer!

So stop by to pick up a skein a week and knock off some holiday gifts now while you only have the time and attention for something quick anyway.

And if you haven't been a knitter that knits for gifts, with the cost of gas and food skyrocketing, maybe this is the year to turn to hand made gifts to help your budget make it thru this year!

June 7th...

This handspun yarn is all dyed with cochenile - the female insect found on prickly pear cacti in Peru! The range of colors here represents how easy it is to modify some natural dyes with acid and alkali, and also how the choice of mordants affects the outcome of color!

Because our 2 day intensive and comprehensive natural dye class in July is already full, I added a 1 day Natural Dye Fundamentals to the class schedule for August. So for those of you who can't take an entire weekend (or could, but missed out on the July class) but want to have fun using plants from your garden and kitchen table scraps to dye your yarn or fiber the beautiful shades, you now have an opportunity to learn the basics here in August and can then explore the plants in your garden all fall!

I also added a beginning spinning class in August - why not learn to spin your own yarns with us this summer and then pick up a fleece or two at the VT Sheep & Wool Festival this fall!

Details of both classes can be found here!

Apr 12th...

Mitzi sent over a photo of her latest sweater (another beauty, Mitzi! Besure to click on for a photo to see the lovely detail stitch work)! She shared some comments with me about the yarn she used - Patagonia by Juniper Moon- that I thought I'd share in case it makes you either seek out or avoid the yarn!

This is her second sweater using Patagonia (so obviously, she likes the yarn). Since the sweater before this one was knit using Aranmore Light, she had a comparison to share. She expressed to me that she felt the Patagonia might have a bit more of the lanolin remaining in it compared to the Aranmore and she thought that might be a quality which some knitters might particularly seek. This impression (since I don't have any data on how each of these yarns is scoured to remove the lanolin) may be less to do with the actually processing (I believe that both Juniper Moon and Fiber Co use a gently scouring process) and more with the fact that Patagonia is 100% merino wool whereas Aranmore Light is a blend of wool and cashmere. Wool has lanolin (and merino a lot of it!) whereas cashmere does not. So it makes sense that the 100% merino wool, gently processed, might retain more lanolin than some of the more highly processed yarns on the market today.

You can find the Patagonia and the Aranmore Light color options by clicking on either yarn name here.

Apr 5th...

Before the eco printing, shibori and natural dye season starts (maybe next week when I get the tents up in the garden?!) I wanted to use up some odds and ends of last year's eco printing pieces I had leftover from projects. So I waxed a few pieces (working this into the fabric makes for a fabric that repels water and is good for bags) and then sewed up this dpn needle case while I had the sewing machine out to make some cork bags.

It was a great reminder that even pretty small pieces of eco printed or shibori'd fabric can make a great gift or project idea. Why not join us this summer for either some eco printing, shibori, or natural dyeing?

All three techniques are wonderful ways to add color and pattern to fabric, yarn or fiber. And they are great fun to do out of doors during the summer.

The class descriptions and details can be found here on our "classes" page

Mar 29th...

Easter is around the corner and a fun way to celebrate is to needle felt Ukrainian style Easter eggs! Stop by to pick up some spring colors of needle felting fiber today!

We had a successful Intro to Felt class here on Saturday-be sure to click on the photos to see each new felter's needle accessory bag - looks like I missed 2 bags in the photo Anyway, eight participants learned to felt around a resist to make a little bag - most with flaps; one without. I was so pleased that so many are teachers or involved in some way with children and hoping to share felting with a younger crowd!

Here are some pics of their finished pieces - they are still wet, so are darker and on some you can't quite appreciate the lovely colors/desings since some of that will not show as brightly until the pieces are dried.

That's it for felting classes until the fall.....but we've got lots of opportunities this summer to partake in some aspect of natural dyeing and/or eco-printing. So be sure to check out this summer's classes thru the link below.

Oh....and because the Learn to Spin class was postponed for a snow storm and the rescheduled date didn't work for 2 people, there are two spots open in the beginning spinning class on Apr 9th!!

The class descriptions and details can be found here on our "classes" page

Mar 22nd...

i'm really trying to encourage customers to consdier taking the Lisa Binkley 4 day stitching workshop here in early May! Here are some pics of Chris' piece from last year's class-be sure to click on the photos to see the lovely stitchwork!!

Last week (scroll down) I shared a little animation I compiled of sections of a sampler that one of the participants in class did (scroll down to last week's post to see that) and this week I am sharing a few photos of the sampler from another participant in last year's class.

The workshop is open to even those who have not done any mending or decorative stitching before. HOWEVER, it is also a great class for those with more experience! Lisa is great at meeting you where you are and taking you where you need to go so there will lots of individual attention to you and your piece.

And this year, instead of samplers, she is organizing the class around a "project". So for those of you who want to "make something" rather than "sample", this is perfect for you too! Choose to stitch fabric for a vest or bag. Or, bring a garment that you already have made (could be something commercial too) and have Lisa's guidance about adding line, motion, dimension, scale, or other design elements to it thru simple but decorative stitching.

The class descriptions and details can be found here on our "classes" page

Mar 16th...

Deb, who took the 4 day workshop here with Lisa Binkley last summer, stopped in this week with some show and tell of a piece she finished after the workshop. So I snapped some photos and put together this montage for you to enjoy. So much fun stitching on top of lots of shibori scraps Deb has done here. Lisa Binkley is returning this spring for more stitching workshops. Please check her classes out and try to join us for the 4 day indulgence! This year we'll be working these stitching techniques into "something" as opposed to just doing a flat piece sampler as we did last year. So pick a bag or a vest as a project and Lisa will meet you where you are with your stitching experience (or get you started if you've never done this sort of stitching before - this class is perfect for newbies!) and she'll guide you thru the stitches and artistic decisions to create your bag or vest. The class descriptions and details can be found here on our "classes" page


Mar 1st...

Betsy stopped by a week ago looking for a couple of colors of Katia's Kid Mohair to use in this "oldie, but goodie" pattern (I think first from a Rowan magazine?). She got it started using up odds and ends she had from earlier projects and just felt like it needed something. So she picked up a light green and a teal/turquoise and brought it back for show and tell yesterday and it looks great. What a difference those two colors make to the overall piece.

I know its sometimes frustrating to have to buy a few new sks when the point of a project is to use up your stash, but sometimes you just need to do it! Thanks for sharing, Betsy! It's going to be beautiful.

And by way of update on my ongoing self-imposed challenge from two weeks ago -to use up all the the colors/yarns from last year's natural dye class before this year's class commences in July - missed the mark I set for myself this week! I thought that this cowl (Recollect, from Ravelry) would be faster than embarking on another pair of Estonian mitts that I design from scratch, but it turns out that the design time is WAY faster than the amount of time to knit the sheer volume of fabric in this cowl!! I'm well past the knitting of a couple pair of Latvian mittens and I've still got at least 33% more to knit!!

I'm hoping to finish it tomorrow night when the final season of Last Kingdom releases on Netflix! I'm taking some liberties with the pattern as of this morning- just to make my time pass with a bit more variety! And I'm looking forward to getting back to more fingerless mitts next week using reds and purples derived from dyeing with woods and insects!


If you're interested in learning to dye yarns with plants and foodstuffs, woods and bugs, join us for the workshop this July! Details can be found on this page:

Mar 1st...

Two weeks ago I challenged myself to use up all the odds and ends of balls of yarn that were dyed in last year's Natural Dye workshop here. So each week I'm knitting some accessory using them. This is the first one - I used 3 colors I derived from madder (by alum mordanting a white and a light grey skein and then iron mordanting another light grey skein and dyeing them all with madder to create the light red orange, the dark red-orange and the warm dark red-brown), plus yellow which I'd thrown in the osage orange vat and the green was taking a skein of osage orange dyed yellow and submerging it for a quick dip in indigo. Anyway, it felt good to put some of the colors to use and it was a great color challenge - the red/green complements are hard for me to work with.

I still have a lot to use! This week I'm knitting a cowl using colors from the garden out back....and I've lined up the following week's project using a bunch of rich reds from lac and cochenile, along with some lovely warm browns from walnut and oak galls....and maybe a splash of green from tansy in the mix!

If you're interested in learning to dye yarns with plants and foodstuffs, woods and bugs, join us for the workshop this July! Details can be found on this page:

Feb 22nd...

Mitzi brought in a couple of sweaters she knocked off this month for show and tell! She seems to be on a Fiber Company binge! She was wearing a gorgeous sweater she knit in some Road To China Light she picked up on her last visit here about 6 weeks ago. At that time, she also picked up the popular Ruari color of Fiber Co.'s Arranmore Light tweed and she knit this gorgeous cabled classic for a family member. She enjoyed the Arranmore so much, she picked up another color of it to knit a sweater for one of her grandchildren.

Feb 1st...

Lisa Nostrand stopped in yesterday to pick up more yarn for a project and brought in some show and tell. This beautiful shawl was knit using Silk Cloud and Lunar. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you migh also notice that she worked in some beads as well - not only do they give the shawl a little flash of gleam to complement the wool and silk of the yarns, but they lend just a touch of weight to the shawl, which adds to it's lovely drape! Thanks for sharing, Lisa. It's gorgeous!

Jan 25th...

I've got to say, we've had some really great classes here lately (scroll down below for 4 weeks worth of updates on this page to see pics/read about some of the other classes). Both new projects and new techniques, being covered - and not the kinds of classes/topics you can just get anywhere! Quite a few classes have included aspects of cultural traditions and history - both local and world- on top of the "hands-on" techniques.

Here I've posted 8 works-in-progress from this past Saturday's Needle Felted Pet Portrait class. Click on any of the photos to see a better image. I took them throughout the day, so some are closer to finished than others - I tried to nab pics when the photograph they used as a model could be shown next to the needle felted piece the participant was working on. Just so you could see how great they were coming out - both a tribute to the participants and the expert guidance of the instructor, Neysa. BTW - we have lots of new Baker's Dozen mixed fiber packs featuring animal and skin tones available online and at the shop!

I don't do it much, but here it is - "toot, toot the store's horn"! I had someone in this past weekend's Needle Felt a Portrait Class say she spent $600 on a workshop recently to stitch portraits of pets and in 6 days they never even put needle to canvas!! And yet on Saturday, she was close to finished with her pet's portrait - and for only $75 plus materials!!

The knitters in the Knitting Around the World in 8 Breeds of Sheep class uniformly voiced their awe at what they learned and how it would impact their yarn choices in the future (scroll down for more info on this class) and a participant in the ongoing Weaving class here made a point several times on Saturday of complimenting me on how good we are at teaching here!

One of the participants in the Felted Glove class who has been felting for years expressed how much she learned and how tremendously proud she felt that she could make them to fit and make them without holes, weak spots, ridges or bumps (scroll down for more about this class to see pics from this class)!

In last weekend's 2 day workhsop, participants got to see Kyrgyzstan via pics from my recent trip while they learned about various aspects of a yurt's textile decorations and the history behind the sheep and nomadic traditions of the land. All while having a chance to learn a bit about spinning wool on a drop spindle, like the nomads, learning about the motif symbols traditional to the area, felting up three lovely pieces of wool, and learning the traditional process of Shyrdak rug making via quilting and stitching je'eks while making themselves a set of trivets (scroll down for last week's post to see pics of this)

If you haven't participated in a workshop experience here yet, be sure to put it on your bucketlist! I'll likely be offering fewer classes in the future and am not likely to repeat classes much, if at all. I'm only going to offer what I'm interested in teaching or hosting. So grab them while you can!


Jan 18th...

Participants in this past weekend's workshop learned all the steps of making a Kyrgyz style shyrdak rug while making 2 trivets. I didn't get shots of everyone's trivets, but got several at different stages of completion.

I gave everyone a choice of either a natural white or grey, plus one of 4 greens, 4 blues, or a maroon for their mosaics. After felting the 3 pieces of felt needed to make the 2 trivets, they chose a traditional motif from my library of typical Kyrgyz symbols....from ones that symbolize hospitality, to friendship, and love and wishes for dreams come true!

Then, after giving their hand a try at spinning the je'eks on a drop spindle, they used S and Z spun je'eks that I had handspun for them over the holiday break, to stitch together their motifs. Everyone then quilted the mosaic to a base and trimmed the edges square, before stitching on more decorative je'eks to the edges.

The Bergschaf wool we used is a new wool I am now offering for sale at the shop. It felts beautifully and is available in 100 gm bags in 8-10 different colors. You can find it here.



Jan 4th...

The week before the XMAS holidays, I offered a Knit Around the World in 8 Breeds of sheep....which really turned out to be 10 breeds! We started with some history going back to the first domestication of sheep and the fat-tailed breeds, then cast on and started knitting samples of each breed while learning about the characteristics of N. European Short tailed, represented by both Icelandic and Shetland yarn options available here at the hsop. Then we crossed the North Sea to spend some time knitting the "long wool breeds" of England that I stock, and their offshoots - Border Leicester, Blue Faced Leicester and Romney - before traversing the Channel to explore the origins of Rambouillet in France and the impact of Rambouillet's ancestors, the merino of Spain, had on world exploration and economics back in the 1500s.

And it's impossible to discuss merino if you live in VT without learning the importance this breed played in our state in the 1800s! So we spent some time here in the US, still knitting breed specific yarns I have at the shop, before heading to the southern hemisphere to explore the differences in merino yarns from both South Africa and South America before landing "downunder" to learn about their focus on breeding for ever finer (ultra, super and extra) stock! Finally, after a hop over to learn about the latest New Zealand wool we're stocking at the store (Huanui by Noro), we ended up in Tasmania, completing our knitting samples with Cormo and Coopworth!

Participants seemed to really enjoy the opportunity to be able to knit and compare the yarn differences side by side - most knitters never have this opportunity and so don't recognize the nuances between breeds and the way yarn is constructed. It seemed like they all learned a lot and enjoyed the opportunity to experience the history, tradition and knitting of these varied breeds! As they said their heads were swimming with so much new information, I guess it's good that they have really comprehensive notebooks so they can refresh their memory before thinking about the right wool for their next project!

Since the topic of how a yarn is constructed came up quite a bit, I'll be putting that class together for later this year - so stay tuned!



Dec 14th...

We had an enthusiastic group of felters here over the weekend felting gloves - here are some pics to share of them both at work and/or sporting their finished gloves! It's hard to see Abbott's black gloves against his black t-shirt, but I wanted to show his finished gloves since I also had a picture of his gloves laid out before felting so you can see the difference in size - the shrinkage rate for this extra fine merino at the density we used is 50%, so before felting, everyone's gloves looked like they were for the Jolly Green Giant! Then Grace hard at work, Mason and Jody's gloves laid out, Owen sporting his finished pair and the last two photos of Sandi and Cindy at work and Sandi wearing her gloves (I think she left with still a bit of felting to do to make the fingers a perfect fit).


Dec 7th...

Sally Hess brought in this great hat for show and tell. She used 2 different colors of Edition 3 (machine washable merino you can find here). I'm not sure if she actually used a pattern from Ravelry called the "shift hat" or if she just employed the idea of "shifting" colors that was made so popular via the Shift and Nightshift patterns on ravelry. I knit the Shift below (or maybe it was Nightshift, I honestly can't remember) also using Edition 3, but I used 3 colors.


Nov 30th...

It's time to pull out the mittens! Our temps have dropped quickly and the leather gloves no longer do the job to keep my hands warm out walking Winnie each morning. This white pair is the pair I've been wearing for 10 years now! They are knit from a heavy gauge homespun mohair, which makes them warm and durable. But you could mimic this durability and soft coziness by carrying a strand of mohair (Katia's Concept Mohair or Shibui's Silk Cloud) along with a strand of wool like Santa Cruz, for example. In fact, because these are starting to wear a little thin up at the fingertips, I'm going to work a duplicate stitch on them using the white Concept Mohair (as soon as it comes in from backorder!!). Then they'll look like new again!

Or, this is a pair I just finished last night for a friend. I'll make this pattern available for free with the purchase of Herriot Great. These mittens are knit on US 6-7 needles at a gauge of 5 sts/inch for a dense and warm mitten. It will take you 2 sks, but they'll be uber soft and very warm.

Nov 23rd...

Jody stopped in to share her WIP, the lovely fair isle scarf pattern featured in the newest Rowan line extension for Felted Tweed, the Felted Colour! Knit in the round so there is no "wrong" side, this accessory is written as a VERY long scarf. But it would be easy to save a ball each of the 2 colors and knit it shorter if you are of shorter stature, like me. And it would be easy to work a provisional cast on and knit it as a "twice around" cowl as well. But no matter how you choose to interpret the pattern to suit your needs, it is specatcular and is "wearable art". And the winter is if you're not a "sweater knitter" and are looking for an enjoyable project to see you thru the holidays and into early January, stop by and pick out your colors today! The pattern uses 2 different of the Colours, but you could also use one Colours with an original solid colored Felted Tweed! So many options!!

Nov 13th...

There are still a couple of spots (or maybe just 1?) open in the Felt Glove workshop in December. I haven't even finished stitching on this pair and I felted another pair Sunday (this purple one below) so now I have yet another project to stitch!

Hmm....I seem to be creating a lot of "canvasses" for stitching lately! I'm going to blame Lisa Binkley for her inspiring stitching workshops here last spring (she'll be back this coming spring for more!). Here are some slippers I felted last week...also a canvas to be adorned!

A friend purchased a pair of red shoes recently and I'd been thinking about them all week, but since I don't need any new shoes, I felted myself some red slippers to quench the thirst I was feeling. I don't really need any slippers either, actually! But it felt time for a new model to refresh the store's felt slipper collection, so there you have it! Now I have another stitching project.....

Nov 3rd...

BJ stopped by yesterday with show and tell. This baby afghan was knit using handspun yarn which she spun using the Dyed Blue Faced Leceister hanks we have here at the shop. This BFL is dyed here in VT - featuring some colors that are more tonal (as BJ used here) as well as some really nice variegated hanks. You can find the BFL here if you're a spinner or felter!

BJ also brought by this felted back which she recently made in conjunction with a couple of young neighbors whom she has been generously mentoring thru their discovery of spinning and knitting! The young girls that live next door carded together lots of fibers BJ had on hand, as well as worked in some dyed locks which they purchased here, and then they jointly spun the yarn and knit and felted this great bag!

Be sure to click on each photo to see them enlarged and appreciate the lovely subtleties to both the carded batt the girls made as well as the sweet kettle-dyed nature of the Dyed BFL!




Oct 26..

Last week I discovered the pieces of this shawl collared pullover that I knit a couple of years ago, all folded up in a bag but unassembled, and decided it was long overdue to be put together! So I finished knitting the shawl collar (the only piece that wasn't finished years ago!) and am now assembling it.

Anyway, I share this for two reasons. Firstly so any of you that have projects languishing away in closets or cupboards don't feel badly about it - it happens to us all (and maybe this will inspire you to take an evening and finish that old project up!). Secondly, because blocking the sweater just now reminded me about how Mr. Noro has imporived the quality of this yarn over the last decade. I wanted to remind you all about that fact since I think it has gone unnoticed! Kureyon now has a very high percent of merino used in it now. And it is all wool that is raised organically and from sheep that are non- mulesing (mulesing is when they cut off/out some flaps of skin in the buttock area of young sheep -without anesthetic- to prevent blowflies and/or other infections from taking hold in this area that can be dark and damp and fester if the extra skin flaps are left there.

As you plan your holiday knitting of hats and mittens etc, think about revisiting Kureyon for a project or two and judge the yarn improvements for yourself! It isn't going to be as soft as alpaca or the 100% merinos on the market, but this yarn has "structure" going for it (great for hats and sweaters) and you can't beat the joy that comes from seeing the colors develop as you knit! It is a happy yarn!



Oct 12th...

One customer missed out on class last Wednesday because she was sick, but the 6 others who came for the Learn to Felt class all did great learning the basics of felting while making a little accessory pouch. Some played with prefelts and some with silk hankies for embellishments while others had fun sticking with wool but playing with lots of color. For the first time felting and learning to use a resist to create the pouch, just as we would for hats, slippers, bags, etc, they all did a great job laying out their wisps and nobody had any ridges or holes in their end product! That's really great for a group that has never felted before - to felt a small bag/pouch around a resist successfully.

We still have a couple spots open in the Intermediate Felting Class where one who has done some felting around a resist can refine their skills of layout and desgin and learn some new techniques such as sizing a piece to "fit" (if they choose to make a hat or slippers) or to plan a bag to a particular size and felt it with a pocket and a strap if a bag is what they choose to make! Find more details about that class in November here


Oct 5th...

Angora, which is the fiber that comes from several types of rabbits (French, German, etc) is 14 times more insulating than wool is! That's why I love to use it to line hats and mittens. And that's why Juniper Moon's Beatrix yarn (which is an angora blend) is so lovely for cozy cowls! Be sure to check out Beatrix here. And if you want to line some mittens or a hat this year (not only does this make them warmer, but if someone is bald and has sensitive scalp, an angora lined hat is really great!), this is the angora I recommend. I use 1 ball of angora per mitten and I knit the angora on the same size needle as I knit a worsted or dk weight mitten. I usually just turn the mitten inside out, pick up the same number of stitches around the wrist at the top of the ribbed cuff and follow the mitten instructions exactly as I did for the mitten. Its so easy and really quick!


Sept 28th

Since my Learn to Felt class filled for October, I added another class for the "overflow". We met on Saturday morning and the four customers who joined me had a fun time playing with color and experimenting with various silk and wool embellishments. A couple of them commented that it was a bit more work than they expected (something I hear often from new wet felters!) but I noticed that two or three of them are already signed up for my Intermediate Felting Class! So obviously they are anxious to make a hat or slippers next! Still wet (so you can't see the designs as well) and without the button added, here are their four very first felt projects! They did great - each participant made a small felt bag while learning how to lay out wool around a resist and the process of wet felting. And they each succeeded without any holes or ridges!


Sept 21st

My sister Roby came by on Sunday and we dyed up more silk to stitch with - she needed more greens to finish a fabulous applique project she's working on and I needed a range of colors (shown left) to work on the suzani design that the master in Bukhara had his son draw up for me when I was in Uzbekistan last month.

It was pretty amazing to watch him draw this up freehand - obviously its not the first one he's done!! I couldn't get the video of him creating the design to load here (it worked on Facebook!?) Each region has its own style and color scheme, much of which is handed down from generation to generation. The Bukhara style of suzani (from the Persian word which means "needle") is fancy with scroll work and pomegranates (which grow abundantly there) are prominent as are birds and whimsical animals (as you can see from the slide show below showing some of the animals stitched into a bedspread I purchased there).

Sept 14th

My sister Joan just finished knitting Very Valerie (pattern on Ravelry) using Mechita, by Malabrigo - the more solid color is one that I overdyed for her, so it is not a color we stock. But we do stock the variegated she used and it is a color that goes with so many of the semi-solids it is really versatile! Mechita always knits up with an almost "velvet" surface - something about the singles superwash that gives it that surface!

July 20th

I've got a date finalized for the Silk Paper Making Class this fall - Sat Oct 30th. There are so many interesting things one can do with silk paper - depending on the thickness of silk laid out and the medium used, it can be made as sturdy as to weave a basket with or as delicate and special as to make lovely wedding invitations with. I've felted it into felt bags and it can be stitched into easily and worked into quilts or collages. I have used it to bind notebooks (as in the picture above) and my sister used it to make up an Uzbeki Bread Basket, as shown here

(she used 100% silk thread to kumihimo the loop and eyes to fold the basket up - this style of bread basket lays flat when not in use).

Another sister uses it in her origami - as in the wallet and earings shown here!

And a customer who took the workshop years ago does a lot of custom lamp shades for people in NH (although the one pictured here is one that my sister made for me!).

If you're interested in joining us for a fun day working with all sorts and forms of silk and lots of gorgeous colors, check out the class details here.


June 29th

I used my first pair of nalbound mittens as a canvas to practice some stitching in hopes it would better prepare me for last week's workshops with Lisa Binkley. I nalbound (?nalbinded?) these mittens (making up the pattern as I went for a perfect fit, I might add!) from some handspun Icelandic fleece and then stitched on a colorful floral design on them using some naturally dyed silk threads.

The embroidery is wonky.... but I've never really done stitching other than Sashiko, so it was a challenge for me. But I worked thru every stitch in this great little pocket guide to embroidery that a sister gifted me at XMAS, so it helped me get familiar with stitch length and spacing. And since the fiber I spun and nalbound the mittens from and the naturally dyed silk threads I used to stitch a design with are both from special trips I took with my sisters to Iceland and then a great friend, to Morocco, I absolutely LOVE the mittens despite how novice my embroidery skills are! And they fit perfectly and are so very warm. So now I can't wait for winter weather -they'll be perfect for walks with Winnie this winter. a great week of classes we had with Lisa Binkley last week!

15 ladies who joined us from around the country for either (or both, for some!!) the Dots & Dashes and Boro Unleashed workshops here. It was a lovely group of enthusiastic fiber artists that gathered to learn and share, laugh and, yes, we did our fair share of cursing when it got to the bead work!!!

But it was a great opportunity for many of us to put to use some old pieces of felt, eco printing, quilting fabric, etc., that was laying around or cluttering our workspace! And we had a fair number of worn out jeans and shorts to boro....and in one case, a great piece of fabric cut from the sleeve of a new blouse!!!

Anyway, we learned a lot of stitching and beading techniques, ways of thinking about collaging fabrics and mending old clothes, shared a lot of laughs and (at least when we weren't beading), relaxed in the garden and enjoyed the zen of stitching. None of us finished anything.....but we got lots of samples started and have new approaches now for looking at our buttons, beads, threads and fabrics!

Below are some photos of our "works in progress" as well as many of us working away or enjoying the camaradery of the event! You can click on any of the photos to see details of the beading and/or stitching.









June 8th...

Margery brought by some show and tell (The Temperance Shawl) when she came by to pick up 3 more skeins of Malabrigo Sock to knit another!

Be sure you click on the photos to see the details better! She hasn't yet woven in her ends - that's how "hot off the press" this is. But if you look closely you can see how wonderfully the colors she chose worked together in ways that the small thumbnails don't reveal!

This shawl project was a Malabrigo KAL in April. Margery's shawl came out great and gave both my sister and I (we are also both knitting this shawl for store models - but using different yarns and different orientations of solids and variegateds so customers have an interesting point of comparison) impetus to finish what we have started!! Thanks, Margery!

It's just been hard to knit in this mid-90 degree weather-so Joany and I are a bit behind!!






May 11th...

We had a fun Eco-Print a Silk Scarf class on Saturday. Two mother-daughter teams and two Miriams rounded out the class! As always, I worked up a sampler scarf the night before class so everyone could see what leaves were giving what colors at the time of class - for those of you who haven't done any eco (also called botanical printing by some) before, the time of year, stage of the plant, weather conditions, etc can all affect what color or even if you get any color out of the leaves! So I like to have a "fresh" sample for participants to see what plants are doing what before they lay out their own design!

So this was the sample scarf I did up the night before. I used logwood (available for sale at the shop, along with osage orange, alkanet, annato, alum, etc) as the natural dye for the background (what you see as purple) and then using the "everything but the kitchen sink" approach so I could provide participants with as much information as possible, I laid down leaves and flowers from the dye garden out back, my morning walk with Winnie and some eucalyptus and carnation/daisy flowers I scored at the nursery! The area shown here highlights the lupine and geranium leaves from the garden.


A And either because I had 3 ladies who like purple or because I did the sample using logwood and that's what they saw, Kelly, Mina and one of the Miriams scarves may look similar at first glance and also look much like my sampler because they also choose to use logwood. But each used different plants - a couple going for large bold motifs and another using many smaller leaves in her design. And while two scrunched up their logwood blankets for a more ethereal/water color background effect (which I'm not sure my lousy photography skills allow you to appreciate here), another laid the blankets flat for a different effect. Each scarf was lovely and unique.

One of the Miriam's in class - we called her Miriam #2- chose to keep her background the original creamy white of the charmeuse silk. And she chose to use leaves I had gathered from a Mississquoi River walk late last fall, creating a bold red and gold pattern against the creamy background.

And Shayna, being in an exploratory mode no doubt a function of her being a freshman in design school, chose to use both osage orange and logwood in her scarf for a really interesting effect. You can see a closeup of her print here as well as a full length view of her scarf.

If anyone is anxious to try this eco/botanical printing technique, I also am offering a class later this summer where we'll print on cotton and then, if you choose to (you can always use your cotton pieces to sew a pillow or bag on your own, instead) I'll show you how to origami a wallet out of the eco-printed pieces you design in class. You can check out the details for this class here.



May 4th...

In any "normal" year, I'd have just returned from a great weekend at Maryland Sheep & Wool! But since it is still not a "normal" year yet, I enjoyed a stitching/dyeing fest with friends over the weekend instead!

One of my friends brought a wonderful piece of felt she created for a wall hanging and asked if I had any fine linen to use to stitch on it. I had not thought about using the Soft Lino by Katia for that purpose - in my head I stocked it for knitters looking to make a great summer shawl/wrap in linen! But one of the colorways worked perfectly with the color scheme Jules had used for the felt piece so she purchased it and wound it into balls by colors of the gradient.

Wow! It was so surprising to look at the Soft Lino cake broken down by color to really appreciate all the gradations within the cake! When you look at it as wound from the mill, it looks like maybe 3 colors with a transition between them. But in the "cake" you can't see all the wonderful colors that make up the transitions. But when Jules opened the cake and wound out the separate colors, you can really appreciate how gorgeous the colors are in this yarn.

So if you're a felter or eco-printer, quilter or sashiko fan looking for a lovely thin linen to stitch with, this is a great option. I'm sorry I didn't get any photos of the stitching in the felt, but at least I got a photo showing the one cake broken down into 7 or 8 colors!

April 28th...

Decorative mending has been a "big thing" for the last couple of years - using both contemporary embroidery techniques as well as the Japanese tradition of Sashiko! The Sashiko Pocket Guide to stitches and the Sashiko Stencil Kit (9 patterns included) just arrived this week and are a great way to make the most of this truly simple running stitch! Both are available, along with threads and needles here on this page!

Here's an example of one participant's outcome of our Project Bag Shibori n' Sashiko workshop here before covid! Oops....forgot that in that class I also taught kumihimo (a Japanese braiding technique) for customers to make the drawstring for their bag! And, origami, so they could use the piece the learned shibori on to make a credit card/license holder! Anyway, you can see from the bag how attractive the sashiko stitching can be for instances where you want to add pattern.

But stitching can also be the perfect cure for a piece of felt or eco-printing that you've done that already has some interesting areas but that you'd like to make more dynamic with stitching! Stitching can add so much interest in the way of line, motion, and dimension and, let's admit it, we all have felt or eco printed pieces that have AMAZING areas that came out PERFECTLY.....but then have areas that need some facelift! So stitching is the perfect way to merge the areas you really want to highlight with less interesting areas. That's why I have Lisa Binkley coming here at the end of June for a week's worth of stitching workshops.

Her classes are all full, but for those of you who may be interested in learning some really inventive ways to add embellishment to your street clothes and/or felted or eco-printed garments, I stock several really great books on creative/inventive stitching (the latest one shown here and the Intentional Thread which I've stocked since pre-covid times!) .

The Intentional Thread shares some amazing approaches to adding various stitches (from simple to complex) and incorporating dimension thru addition of beads too. From picking which stitches to complement or enhance the fabric's design to use of color, you will be in awe of the artistry shared in this book.

Intentional Thread: $39.99

Amitola yarn


Creative Stitches includes all sorts of interesting approaches to adding stitches to create design elements (or augment existing ones) to working in buttons, beads and even washers to amazing effect! Be sure to blow up the pictures above to see a few examples from complex to simple that she shares in this fabulous resource.

Creative Stitches $ 29.95

Amitola yarn


April 6th...

My sister knit a Square Market Bag (pattern on Ravelry) in two new colors of Cairns (cotton/acrylic) I hadn't seen before - which is saying something since Claire has knit 7 or 8 of these bags each using different colors and she's brought them all be for Show & Tell! So the first photo left is my sister's bag using colors 16 and 30. Then the middle photo shows 4 of Claire's bags, and the right most photo shows the store model that I knit (using colors 28 and 10). I'm pretty sure that I have Claire's colors right - they are, reading left to right and top row first: 01 and 16; 33 and 17; 31 and 23; 16 and 17. I believe that the pattern suggests using a size 7 needle. I used size 9 needle for the store model, and although the bag may look small in the photo, it has great stretch-ability so I can actually fit 20 skeins of yarn in it, no problem!





April 6th...

I've been working up some samples of both traditional (as shown here) and contemporary motifs (check back in weeks to come) in trivets, mug rugs and placemats following both the ancient Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan approaches to rug making.

Years ago my sisters, nieces and I did a series of actual rugs in this manner - approximately. Since then, I've learned more about the nuances of their approach and so wanted to explore it further (learning the use of the tambour needle and also using navajo plied (they don't call it that, but the finger braid they do results in the same effect) S and Z yarn in the border. Our series of rugs were featured in Felt Magazine some years back. I had wanted to work this rug class up into a workshop I could offer here, but after finishing this rug, I abandoned that idea figuring it was too big of an undertaking for a workshop.

Then just before covid it occurred to me that we could host a workshop to explore these traditions in smaller scale projects - like making a table runner, placemats, trivets, etc. So that's what I've been exploring on and off, between knitting and shibori, spinning and nalbinding, since we went into shutdown!

The amount of hand stitching one does in this tradition - both to embellish and strengthen the felt- is astonishing! Making the felt is barely the beginning-that's about all I've done so far on 2 traditional motif placemats you see here. And spinning the S and Z singles and "navajo plying" them for the decorative edges is a jif compared to the time stitching, tambour needling and "quilting". After cutting out the motifs and exchanging them as you see here, one first needs to stitch (on the back side which will later be hidden by another piece of felt) the two pieces together to "close the gaps" you see and secure them so they don't slip when doing the next steps. Then using needle and thread, one "quilts" these pieces to another piece of felt (the backing) which adds both a decorative line, some texture, and also it adds an amazing amount of density/strength. And the felt backing hides the stitching from the first step! And of course, if its a rug one is making, this step makes the end product even warmer and more insulating! It is amazing how much "harder" even well felted, "hard" felt becomes after the quilting. Then, using the tambour needle one works a deocrative stitch between the motif and the "background" felt to further embellish and neaten the "juncture". Finally, one stitches on the S and Z spun singles yarns to the outer edge to further seal the motif to the felt backing. Whew!

But all that "zen" time working the decorative & strengthening steps on these two little mug rugs allowed me time to consider the lifestyle of the central asian nomads of hundreds of years ago who absolutely COVERED the floor and walls of their yurts with these strong rugs! I took these photos at the Russian Ethnographic museum in St. Petersburg which show the typical inside of a yurt from the 1800s - they give you an idea of how central these rugs were to their life!

And as I stitched away I imagined how welcome some stitching might have been to help pass the long and cold nights of winter, when before electricity and cell service, the nomads of Central Asia might have had a lot of time in the evenings to huddle around the fire in their yurt at night. The romantic side of me imagined that the elders would perhaps tell stories while the others with good eyesight stitched away while enjoying the community of extended family and/or friends.

Recognizing that this might well be a "romantic" notion, I picked up this great book on the Nomadic Felt Traditions and the people who made them and am bringing it with me on vacation next week so I can learn more about what their life might actually have been like!

Anyway, I've got lots more samples of the traditional and some contemporary approaches to complete. And a lot more to read about the nomads. But the process has already given me ideas about how I might incorporate aspects of this approach into more modern home decor. That's what I love about all of this - whether you are knitting, felting, spinning, dyeing, or whatever, even as you work thru some new approach or tradition, you get all kinds of exciting ideas for projects down the line!



Mar 31st...

I used up some leftover/experimental pieces of eco-printing (botanical printing) that I did last summer to make up a new origami wallet and new origami credit card holder. The origami cc and wallet I've been using are actually shibori dyed and are over 2 years old and they are still in great shape. But since I'm offering a "botanical/eco printing class" this spring with the aim of printing enough fabric to fold a wallet (or make yourself a pillow?), I felt like I needed to have some show and tell that was actually eco printed (using leaves from my garden and a few of my friend's rose of sharon blooms!) rather than showing the indigo dipped one from several years ago! Anyway, the end product is useful - the wallet has a second pocket into which my phone fits perfectly and a front pocket (covered by the flap) that holds bills. And even if you don't want to learn to fold a wallet or credit card holder, you will have the fun of learning the basics of eco-printing if you join us for this class!

Mar 16th...

Chris snapped a shot of this "work in progress" that a customer brought in for show and tell last Monday - so I don't have the customer's name to share. But she stops by most Mondays when Chris is here and always chooses really special yarns for her projects. This sweater she's knitting for her mom and she's using Shibui Nest. We don't stock as many colors of this particular Shibui Yarn as we do of Shibui's other yarns, but we can always special order a color for you if you want to knit a sweater.

Like Shibui's newest yarn, Haven (cashmere/extrafine merino shown here knit in a headband), Nest is a bigger gauge than this company often makes. So unlike Shibui's other yarns (which are often used in combination 2 at a time for most of Shibui's designs) both Haven and Nest are 5.5 st/inch yarns on their own.



Mar 16th...

As I rearranged a few things about the store on Sunday to make room for the anticipated spring yarns arriving, I also cleared out a bit of the back workshop and made my way to the indigo vat and finally dipped one of the gusseted cotton bags that we're using in the shibori class this summer. So I did a different shibori design on each side to give you an idea of some possibilities in the class here. Since the class is only a day and stitching can take some time, I wouldn't expect for someone new to shibori to have time to shibori both sides of their bag, or even to be able to complete 3 of the "flower" motifs. But I wanted to give you an idea anyway of the bag style and some possibilities. I will share some other stitch design ideas in class as well and then you can judge based on your handiness stitching, how elaborate of a design you might accomplish in this 1 day class. For more details about the class, check it out here.



Mar 10th...

I offered a little zoom presentation to the Green Mountain Knitting Guild Monday night on "color theory applied to knitting". While I spent most of the presentation talking about "value" because that is most often overlooked because knitters are focusing on "hue", in the process of pulling out examples of some store models that demonstrate various principles of color theory, I came across a few models knit in "complements". And since most knitters seek out "analagous" colors for their knitting, I thought I'd share some examples of "complements" in knitting, in case it intrigues anyone.

And since this first example (knit using the red-orange - blue-green complement) was "hot" off the needles, I thought I'd start with it. So this shawl here (Nymphadelia, from Ravelry) was knit using 1 skein of Tough Love Sock by Sweet Georgia in a teal (blue-green) and 1 skein of Perth that featured teal (blue-green) along with its' complement, red-orange. This shawl works for me better than a lot of red-green projects of the past - the contrast is good so the design shows off well. And perhaps because this shawl is knit using red-orange/blue-green, rather than the purely red-green complement that I've experimented with in the past, I like it better than projects in the past.

The complement of yellow-violet can be the hardest to work with (because that complement owns both the highest value, yellow, and lowest value, violet!). So when picking colors for this shawl last year, I chose Shibui yarns because that line offered "tones" of both the yellow and the purple ("tones" of a color have a bit of grey added which "dulls" them a bit). Then I chose a medium-light grey (Canopy by Fiber Co) and a skein of Mechita that was variegated and contained both tones of yellow and purple as well as each of the colors you get when you mix yellow and purple (so some lovely rich golds and browns).

But my favorite set of complements to work with has always been the orange-blue family. Whether using a couple of handpainted variegateds by Claudia Handpaint (as in the zig-zag scarf - p.s. Claudia is on clearance and so a great buy right now) or working with solid colors but choosing a tint, tone and shade of a color (in this case orange) and combining it with a tint of blue (as in the Latvian cuff) which I knit using Elemental Shetland.

Feb 24th...

I spent most of last week felting up 4 pair of gloves, in between which I dabbled with some shibori using chemical dyes. Using chemical dyes on some shibori clamp and folds has been on my list of "to-do" list since shutdown last April when I indigo dipped about 70 pieces of shibori. I love the various shades of blue and in combination with white and some sashiko stitching, the traditional can be pretty spectacular. But I've been wanting to start incorporating multiple colors via chem dyes. Obviously, it's going to take a lot more practice and experimenting to get nice pieces. But I figured I'd share one of the "less than ideal" pieces that one gets when experimenting to remind you that all of this takes time and practice. This cotton was too fine and loose a weave, so the dye spread thru it way too quickly for what I wanted, overpowering areas I wanted to keep white! I also noticed when playing at this last week that it may be time to invest in some new squirt bottles! Most of the shop bottles have had so much snipped off the spout that instead of letting a bit thru at a time, the dye comes out like Niagara Falls! But the colors were happy and uplifting.

Stay tuned for some pics of the felted gloves next week!

Feb 16th...

Kristine stopped by to pick up more silk-cashmere to spin and she brought some show and tell for me. Last time she was in I gave her a piece of a silk lapp from my personal stash - she's very interested in different forms of silk and had never heard of this type before and I still had quite a bit of my original lapp left. So she took it home and spun it up - as with all her silk spinning, it is spun on a drop spindle! And look how fine she spun it! This is a 2 ply here and very fine.

BTW - a silk lapp is created from silk cocoons that are imperfect and can't be reeled for the weaving industry. Some of them are used to create mawattas (hankies) or caps and other imperfect cocoons are opened (like for the mawattas) but then carded into big lapps (sort of like a carded batt, but in silk, not wool). I don't stock these at the store (they are about $200 each!) but was happy to share some of my personal lapp with Kristine.

You can see (click on the photo to enlarge it) how lustrous it is (it is, afterall, bombyx silk!) but also that it has some texture/slubs. Since Kristine spun it so finely, the slubs are small, but I can't wait to see what she knits with it - between the lustre and the texture it will be lovely!


Kelly brought by some projects for show and tell. Here is the first one - a triangular shawl knit using Noro Ito. Kelly took advantage of my Progressive February Clearance sale to pick up more Freia Shawl Balls which she loves to knit as well. (Sorry, those are mostly sold out so I removed them from the clearance page - but a few colors are left at the store). Kelly also picked up some gorgeous Jo Sharp Kid Lustre from the clearance bin at the shop and is knitting this lap blanket - her eldest daughter is choosing the color sequence. The unique colors of this gorgeous silk/merino/kid mohair yarn all work together beautifully, so I can't wait to see the blanket when each color is worked in!



Feb 2nd...

My sister Joan used colors that we naturally dyed this last summer and knit up this baby/lap blanket. Because she wasn't sure how far her yarn of the worsted weight variety would go, she knit as many panels as she thought she could and then crocheted them together using a bit of lighter weight yarn that she naturally dyed in the same summer session.

Naturally dyed colors always work well together because they share the same underlying "earthtones".

If you want to learn to naturally dye this summer and make a special project as Joanie did, why not join us for a class! We have several scheduled for the late spring and summer when we can be masked, out of doors and socially distanced in the garden as we dye and eco print!!


Jan 19th...

In need of a simple knit project to share with all the new knitters in the shop and finding I was left with 3 sks of odd Silk Garden dyelots (2 of 1 color and 1 sk of another), I knit up this simple *k1p1 ribbed scarf. So for those not knitting in the round and/or wanting a simple knit project and a scarf that has two "right sides", you'll find that this simple scarf keeps your interest as the colors gradient from one to another! You just let the yarn do the work! But just to show you how differently this same yarn can look in a scarf if instead you alternate two different colors every 2-4 rows (and in this scarf I happened to knit a chevron pattern, but of course, you could just do stripes as well), check out the scarf below! So keep it simple with a gentle gradient or for a bolder look, alternate 2 colors every 2-4 rows!

Jan 6th...

Chris knit these mittens for her daughter Zaela (sp?) for XMAS. They came out great and were well received! I'm not sure, but I think she used the Amore yarn when I cleared it out of the store - I know she picked up a lot of it (like 20+ sks!) and was using it for colorwork wristlets and mittens a lot this past year. I never completely understood why that yarn didn't sell well - it was soft and was offered at a GREAT price point (even before clearance). So I always assumed it was the colors that were a problem for most customers - but you can see from what fun Chris had with them, that with a little creativity, even turquoise, tangerine and orange can be just perfect!

Nov 30th...

My niece has recently introduced 5 or 6 new designs of her needle felted tapestry kits. This one is the latest - the Smokey Mtn Black Bear. These make great holiday gifts for kids and adults alike.

If you have a child interested in needle felting more 3 dimensional designs, this new book is FABULOUS for walking kids (and adults too!) thru the step by step needle felting of wild, farm and domestic animals. I have it at the store and for the holidays, anyway, also available to purchase thru the website on this page (just scroll down to the bottom).

Nov 14th...

Rasta, by Malabrigo, has been hard to get this fall. Fortunately, the last time they had any choice of colors available, I purchased quite a bit. So my customers have had good pickings! This customer has been weaving up a storm using Rasta as the weft and making wonderful scarves.

If you're one who likes to weave or knit with Rasta, I'd advise you to come and get it now since we check their status at least twice a week and for the last 2-3 weeks they have had 0 of it (or this week, just 1 color) available! So what I have in stock today may have to last me thru the holidays! I hope not, but it could be. So don't wait for the best choice of colors - I think I've got about 12 colors in stock as of today - but some of the colors I'm down to just 1 hank of!!!!

Nov 4th...

Kelly has been going crazy (and having lots of fun) making potholders using the potholder loom she got as a kid. Here are the ones she shared for show n'tell when she was in to pick up more Lotta Loops from us! Keep a potholder loom in mind as a holiday gift for the kid - or kid at heart - on your list! We've got both the traditional size potholder looms as well as the PRO size (which makes a bigger one) and we've got brights, pastels, black n'white, "Designer", etc colors of loops!

Oct 24th....

Jan brought by this adorable tea cozy she knit for show and tell. She used a skein of Lopi Lite -the two separate coats of the Icelandic sheep (the tog and thel) will keep her tea nice and warm! The pattern is from Churchmouse Designs. Jan modified it a bit to fit the spout and handle of this new tea pot she has but thought the pattern was well done and an easy one to adapt if your tea pot is slightly different in size or shape.

Kelly stopped by with her latest Noro Ito project for show and tell. The pattern is Letters from Russia (a free download, I believe on Ravelry) and she used 1 project ball of Ito. It is color 17 which has been discontinued....but there are so many fun colors to choose from you won't have trouble finding an equally beautiful one to choose from!





Oct 13th....

I've had a lot of needle felters in lately looking to create some holiday decorations (acorns, gourds, pumpkins) or to keep the kids entertained! With these new tapestry kits featuring either a native American Thunderbird motif or another featuring holiday reindeer, added to the ever popular Pumpking Needle Felting Kits, we offer some great kits to make your fall and winter festive!




Sept 29th....

My sister has knit this sweater (Aileas from Ravelry) twice now. I had originally planned to knit the store model for Homestead using this pattern, but then I really needed a new model for Santa Cruz organic merino by Juniper Moon. And since Joany had knit it once already for a niece, she offered to knit the store model up as well. I love the simple details which show off Santa Cruz's stitch definition well. And I always love a pocket for a tissue, and this pattern has 2 built into the ribbing! The only aspect of the pattern that we didn't abide was that the cable/twisted stitch was supposed to be knit under the arm as well and we nixed that. If you're looking for a classic cardigan, this is a great pattern and you could knit it in Santa Cruz by Juniper Moon as we did, or Homestead by Plymouth.




Aug 25th....

Having been originally introduced to the use of a mustard poultice by a friend who recently passed from breast cancer, I found myself thinking about her quite a bit as I twice daily used the poultice to help clear my lungs last week while I was silk. And that got me thinking ahead to the usual Breast Cancer Awareness activities of October. So over the Labor Day weekend when I finally felt better enough to sit up and knit, I chose to knit up this simple hat in a soft pink using Juniper Moon's newest yarn, Beatrix.

What a lovely yarn to knit with! And the hat is lightweight but insulating and so soft and warm with the bit of angora blended in with the wool. It took 1 sk and I knit it o 10.5 needles. So if you know someone with breast cancer and/or are looking to knit a lovely cowl, wristlets, hat or sweater in the "breast cancer awareness pink" in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I highly recommend Beatrix as a great choice of yarn.

But if you would prefer a yarn that has no wool in it, another great option is Cumulus. This is a cotton yarn also by Juniper Moon. And from 1 skein of Cumulus you can knit (or crochet) 2 hats.


Aug 25th....

I really am knitting - honestly! I knit all the pieces for 2 sweaters last week (worsted & bulky so they went quickly and I did get sucked in following PBS's coverage of the DNC!) and chipped away on the Navelli I have going. So I'm hoping to have a massive session to assemble and finish 3 sweaters this week/end and will have some new knitting show and tell next week. I LOVE how the Tennen by Noro knits up - the colors blend in and out - not striping or grading, but moving like water in a river bed! And I knit the ever-popular Cloud pattern up - again - using Aereo by Plymouth. It is so cozy and soft!!

In the meantime, because the weather has been great, I'm still trying to finish up some eco=printing projects I had in the queue. This linen top I dyed with a sprig of tansy from the garden and an iron blanket. I like the front but am not happy with the back, so in the interest of "experimentation", I am going to cut the front from the back and try re-printing the back! Nothing ventured, nothing gained!!



Aug 18th....

Online Dye Lab registration is open......

Trying to keep to my goal of "doing something" with all of me "experiments" or "sampls" within a year of spinning, knitting or dyeing them, was compelled to finally sew the bamboo/cotton jersey that I eco-printed last August, into something! So now, instead of the 2 54" square pieces of eco-printed fabric being moved from shelf to cabinet and back to shelf or boxes in order to get it out of the way for some other activity, this 3/4 sleeve tunic is now hanging in the closet awaiting some cooler weather! Woohoo....another project checked off the proverbial to-do list. Along with.....

these four "project bags" that I sewed using up a couple small pieces of naturally dyed and eco-printed cotton I did last summer. Out of the "pile that's always in the way" and into the "gifts pile". I'm not muxh for sewing and I didn't have a pattern but this project not only helped me use up these cotton eco print samples, but move a couple pieces of random lining that I had laying around and some pieces of leftover commercial cotton that I had laying around! I love using up and clearing out ..... it feels good.....and it makes room for new projects!

So if eco-printing, natural dyeing, chemical dyeing or block printing is something you want to add to your repetoire, check out the Online Dye Lab workshop that is starting Aug 25th!

Aug 11th....

I had a chance last week to get back to some experimentation of adding pattern to chiffon (thru silk painting) for nuno felting. Now, I just need to get back to some nuno felting! Ah well.....for each passion there is a season and the spring/summer tends to be more for shibori, dyeing, and eco-printing, so felting's time will come - soon!

I just finished knitting up 3 cowls for the winter season= all using US 15 needles and featuring the "chunky" 2 st/inch yarns in the shop. And I chose a range of textured stitches that are fun to knit, provide some pattern interest in cowl and are super easy so customers can knock them off quickly. Patterns are free with the yarn purchase.

Here they are on a neck - I love the fit since they don't add a lot of bulk beneath the coat collar but keep the entire neck warm and protected from wind.

July 28th

Several customers who had registered for the Eco Print a Silk Scarf class enjoyed a beautiful day in the back garden last Saturday. I think a couple are hooked - I had several requests for a more intensive and comprehensive 2 day workshop covering other fibers and more detail on mordanting. So if there are others out there interested in a 2 day workshop in September, let me know ( and I'll put one on the docket!

Since Saturday's class was a really simplified "get acquainted" with the basics of botanical printing class, I limited the choices of natural dyes and mordants and everyone printed on a charmeuse scarf - here are a few pics:


July 14th


Ok - I know! These don't look very interesting. But they are my first pair of Nalbinded (nalbound?) mittens. I honed my nalbinding technique making headbands and hats and moved onto mittens. And, importantly, handspinning the yarn specifically to nalbind. So this is my "trial" pair of mittens. I hand spun the yarn from Icelandic roving my sisters picked up for me on our last trip to Iceland. I spun it S and bulky. Then I nalbound each mitten - working out the pattern as I went so the thumb gussets are a bit different. I hadn't initially intended to "full" them, but after one of my brothers-in-law asked me if I was going to, and then I had trouble doing the decorative stitching on them that I wanted to do, I decided why not? They are a trial pair anyway. So I got a soapy dishpan of hot water out on Sunday and put the mittens on (they fit great to begin with so I was nervous about fulling them and risking any shrinkage) and started rubbing the surfaces of each. Because I was doing this by hand and not "throwing them in the washing machine", I had a lot of control about how I fulled them and so I was able to shrink the length of the cuffs a bit (I had overdone the length of the cuffs anyway). They are now fulled and still fit great (the hand didn't shrink at all - the surface just came together more like a fabric so I have a better surface to embellish now). So this week, I hope to put my miserable stitching ability to practice and make them a bit more attractive. But even as they are, I love them. And they are SO warm. They'll be great for walking Winnie this winter.

Anyway, if any of you are interested in learning to nalbind, I put together a free tutorial that you can access here.


June 30th


Both the Japanese Project Bag and the Shibori Pillow workshops I offered here last year to introduce customers to shibori (a dye technique) and sashiko (a Japanese mending & embellishment approach to stitching) were so popular, that I came up with a covid-appropriate project I thought customers would like for a summer workshop - a Shibori n' Sashiko Face Mask!

In an effort to interest customers in this outdoor workshop I'm offering in July to learn these two techniques, I worked up a half dozen or more face masks last week. If I don't have enough registration by this Friday, July 3rd, the class will be canceled. So if you're interested, check out the details under Classes and sign up soon! We will be masked, everyone will have their own table to work on so we're socially distanced, and we will be working out of doors in the garden beneath the dye tents (in case of drizzle).

June 16th

I knit up this cowl using some merino yarn I hand spun over isolation. I spun this merino up to practice spinning bulky singles for my nalbinding and in order to show customers how easy it is to card wool in a "Noro-esque" way to create long repeats in your yarn-in case I could interest some in a carding/fiber prep workshop this fall! But as I was knitting it up I realized I also hadn't offered a drop spindling class lately and this is exactly the type of yarn that is easy to spin on a drop spindle - so I added an introduction to drop spindling class to the roster for July. I hope some of you can join us!


June 16th

Lots to share today.....

Kelly stopped by on Saturday and showed me her latest. This shawl is knit using Knit-Col. She used 4 sks, and it's a nice size now, but she decided to go for one more skein to make it really wrappable!

Joan used up a bunch of yarns over isolation (some Noro and some solids) to crochet this gorgeous baby blanket. She was going to work in half-hexagons on the end to even out the edge but decided to declare it finished. It's a lovely stitch - I recommend you blow up the photo so you can see it better. It looks really great in Noro. She did end up investing in 1 skein of Tenderfoot (the green outline) to put it all together, but felt good about using up the other yarns from her stash.

June 10th

Kelly stopped by to restock and brought by some Show & Tell. She has been knitting up a bunch of leaves from the Noro Blanket book and having a blast! She really enjoys knitting them and is planning on using them on some pillows. She picked up a skein or two of odd lots of Kureyon in the last First Friday Clearance Bin and the colors are just perfect for a VT fall!

May 13th

Last spring when I used frequent flyer miles and my sister and I went on a fiber and textile traditions expedition to Norway and Latvia, we visited a mill in Norway that I import fiber from. While there, I purchased some "test" yarn they spin thinking I would love to stock it in the store. I still haven't decided - partly because while I love working with the yarn (shown above int he cowl), which is spun from Pelsau sheep, it is not "soft" which is what it seems like most customers want. The other reason is that their labels are not in English and even tho' it is clear that it is 100% wool and the place of origin is Norway, apparently US import laws require the labels to be in English. So I would have to re-label every skein. That seems a daunting task in order to stock a yarn that is more about "structure" and "colors" than "softness". Anyway, I originally intended to knit a shawl, but ended up shortening it to a cowl...and now I have enough yarn to knit another cowl, but this time a twice-around-the-neck cowl. I love the colors and this simple garter stitch zig-zag was about all I could manage those first few weeks of "sheltering in place"!

May 6th

It's spring, so I'm knitting up a couple of the new models for the store using new yarns that have arrived for the spring. But I am also finding great comfort in knitting a few projects in wool and wool blends for next fall because they are colorful, happy , and simple patterns (like this Noro Square-In-Square afghan) that are giving me more immediate gratification. It has been interesting for me to discover the great comfort of knitting colorful yarns in garter stitch or no-brainer stitches that are either small so they are finished quickly, or have points of completion to give me a sense of accomplishment along the way (like this afghan's blocks). Usually my preference would be for knitting colorwork or more complicated stitches becuase they engage me more. But I found my mind couldn't settle down on that type of project this past month and so my Latvian Mittens have sat in their basket and instead I've been working on no-brainers! So if you are looking for a project you can dig your teeth into, get immediate feedback from with each square completed, and find joy in the colors as you work, I encourage you to pick up this afghan kit, the details of which can be found here. And you'll have it done in time to wrap yourself up and cuddle in it this fall when we are likely to still be cautious socially. Six great colorways to consider.

March 23rd

When Allison came for the Fiber Challenge Reveal party two weeks ago, she brought back the shibori pieces she did in the Shibori Pillow Workshop I taught here last month. Since everyone had taken the pieces home still stitched, it has been fun to see the participants bring their pieces back for show & tell. We were so engaged in the Fiber Challlenge creations, I didn't get to ask her what she plans to do with these three pillow covers, but she is creative so whatever she does with them will be fabulous, I'm sure!

March 17th

Latvian cuffs

Chris is having fun knitting Latvian cuffs and brought this pair in for show and tell - she used Cascade 220 sport.

Fiber Challenge

I've posted some pictures of the 2020 Quinquennial Fiber Challenge designs.

March 10th


Kelly purchased the yarn to crochet this gorgeous afghan while I had the Noro Trunk Show at the store and she brought in by this last week for show and tell. She is almost done with the 4th ball of ITO and has 1 more ball to go. It is gorgeous! And HUGE!

Felted Pillow Workshop

I didn't get photos of everyone's finished felt pillow from the Felted Pillow Workshop yet, but here are some photos of the group in action and one photo of the finished pillow sent in to me once dried and stuffed and sitting on the chair it was made for! Lots of great designs and a good time was had by all.

Felted Pillow Workshop Felted Pillow Workshop Felted Pillow Workshop

Felted Pillow Workshop Felted Pillow Workshop Felted Pillow Workshop

Felted Pillow

February 18th

Lots of fun stuff this week was shared by customers -

needle felting

Jody decided to try her hand at some needle felting and has been working on one of Neysa's larger kits and brought it by for some opinion about framing it.


Elaine has been knitting up a storm in Amitola Grande and brought by an example of her project - it is a short row shaped baby blanket pattern that I have here at the shop but modified to have an opening in the center so it can be worn as a poncho/wrap. She has been using a US 13 and making these with 3 balls. As a friend suggested to her, it could as well be a skirt to wear over leggings as a poncho too!

classic sweater

BJ stopped in to show a classic sweater (sorry for the odd angle that I took the picture from!) she knit for a daughter in law using the Juniper Moon Patagonia. Notice the coordinating scarf she hand spun from the Corriedale I sell at the shop. She also brought in a hand towel she spun and knit from the flax I carry.

hand towel

February 11th

Some friends came over for a play day last weekend and we made silk paper. I took some time this weekend to start to turn my silk paper into some notebooks to take on my next trip as "gifts" for locals that I meet. Since this coming trip is a textile tour of the Silk Road, I thought having some little notebooks made of silk paper might be nice to have along to share - I'll post photos of the notebooks next week. We have a silk paper making class scheduled for June, I believe - make lots of papers on day one and then on day two, learn some basic book binding to use the silk paper to make a notebook and also to weave a basket!

silk paper making silk paper making silk paper making

silk paper making silk paper making silk paper making

February 4th


Of course I'm drawing a temporary blank on this customer's name now, but she is both a knitter and weaver and she came in last week for more Silk Cloud by Shibui and while here, she showed me this scarf she wove using Edition Three and Silk Cloud. She said it is her absolute favorite scarf ever and when you feel how soft and silky it feels next to the skin and can feel the incredible drape that this combination of yarns yields in the scarf, you can see why!

January 28th

pattern in two different colorways pattern in two different colorways

Kathy brought by some Malabrigo Show & Tell yesterday and I wanted to share. She worked up the same pattern in two different colorways. Both are so lovely - one for her and one for her daughter! She had also worked a swatch in which she used the variegated as the knitted columns and the solid/tonal in the background garter stitch, but she ended up deciding that the variegated showed off better as the "background" color.

January 21st

I had a great bunch here for the Wet & Needle Felted Wrist Warmers on Saturday. I was so busy I didn't think to get out the camera until a bit late so only caught a few pics, but here are several pics of works in progress! Flowers, geometrics and landscapes seemed to be a theme....

Wet & Needle Fel Wet & Needle Fel Wet & Needle Fel

January 9th

Fiber Challenge art Fiber Challenge art Fiber Challenge art

Fiber Challenge art Fiber Challenge art

Happy New Year...above are a few photos of projects customers worked on in the previous Fiber Challenges held here. Our Quinquennial Fiber Challenge begins this Saturday- materials are picked up Saturday and we go thru a few fun exercises....then everyone goes on their merry way and has 2 months to create something with the materials I give them....then we gather on Saturday Mar 14th for a show and tell. I hope some of you adventurous knitters, felters, crocheters, and weavers can join in the fun! More details.

December 17th

Sue Johnson stopped by this week to pick up a couple of colors of Edition Three to knit The Shift in and she brought in her latest mittens for show and tell. This design is from an old pattern from Fox & Geese or one of the Maine books of knitting from back in the 60s or 70s, I think. Anyway, it has been Sue's "go-to" mitten for years. She has knit it using Noro Kureyon and/or Silk Garden for the contrast in the past (second photo over from a few years ago) , but this most recent pair (first photo in white and greens) is totally handspun using her own border leceister sheeps' wool.

mittens mittens

December 10th

yarns yarns

Tina brought some of her gorgeous handspun silk/merino yarns in for show and tell when she came to restock on a few colors she didn't work with yet! She loves spinning both the hand-dyed hanks of bombyx/merino fiber I stock as well as spinning the dyed tussah silk and the dyed extrafine merino fiber and then plying them together. You can see that she has a great eye for blending the different colors in each skein. I should have taken the bag of "oranges" out of the plastic for a better view, but I think if you click on the photo to enlarge it you can see that she loves to work with slight variations on the same hue. This is a trick that weavers use a lot - instead of choosing 1 green color for the warp, they choose several shades, tints or tones of green and/or a couple of blue/greens and/or yellow greens to the mix and it makes for an end product with so much more depth and interest.

Anyway, Tina shared with me a trick she uses for these 3-ply yarns. She uses the top of an empty spice jar (you know, the thin plastic piece that snaps over the opening just beneath the top and that has holes in it to sprinkle the spice thru?) to keep her three plies separated while she plies. It's a great suggestion that may help some of you struggling to keep the 3 strands separated so you can achieve an even tension while you work out the kinks!

Can't wait to see what Tina knits with all this lovely yarn!


December 2nd

botanical printing bags botanical printing bags botanical printing bags botanical printing bags botanical printing bags

I finished up the handles on a few knitting bags I made last month using cotton fabric I designed while doing some botanical printing this past September before all the leaves died! It was also sort of a test of four different weights & styles of interfacing - jury is still out on which is best for bags- as well as exploring the effect of a few different types of tannin and how the tannin choice affects the colors.

One has been gifted already....I need to sit with the rest a bit before I decide what homes they go to. And, of course, I need to figure out which one I keep for myself!

November 26th


Janet stopped in on Saturday as she and her husband walked home from an interesting program at the library to show me the wrap/poncho she knit using Noro's Kiri! I had given her the free pattern for Noro's Ito because it was just the type of garment she was looking to knit, but she wanted something more subtle. She has not been a "Noro fan" in the past, but this project may have changed her opinion a bit. All the Kiri colors have a background of black and grey with just a hint of a deep jewel tone mixed in.

I'm knitting Kiri up in a briodhe sweater for the store model - using 2 different colors so i can wear it with both sides out for a different look. I chose two colors that are "close" in hue since I also wanted to maintain the more subtle look of Kiri. Stop by to check it out after the holidays

Shibori Pillow Shibori Pillow

 I've added a new class to the winter mix - Shibori Pillows. Here is the front and back of the first one I've worked up - check back over the

November 19th

felt hat felt hat

I'm bummed that I didn't get photos of the slippers made in the Intermediate Felting last Saturday, but here are pics of the finished hats that two of the participants made. Well, they still have to sew on their headbands, but the felting and blocking was done when they took them home. Helen used merino for her brimmed hat and Bill chose Gotland for his trilby. Great job by both Bill and Helen (and the slipper makers in class too!) as every project fit to a tee and was even and well felted!

November 12th

Grace has been felting up a storm since her last two classes here! She took both Intro to Wet Felting and the Nuno Felt Scarf/Cowl class last winter. And as she's been working on projects this fall, she's been forwarding me photos of all her fabulous "tree creatures" and also of the new nuno felt shawl & scarf designs to share for Show & Tell. What a great sense of color and design Grace has - very inspiring and thanks for sharing, Grace!

Nuno Felt Nuno Felt Nuno Felt

November 5th

We had a full house of nuno felters here for a 2 day Silk Painting workshop last week. I made up a little slide show sharing some of their beautiful works in progress as well as a few of them in action!

The two days leading into the Silk Painting workshop, I also held a 2 day Nuno Felt Topper class. I call this garment a "topper" because it is meant for layering, but made a little longer one could call it a vest....and longer still and it would be a "tunic"!

Anyway, here are some photos of the group laying out their REVERSIBLE (that's right - they made this garment with 2 different sides/designs in one), as you can see from one participant modeling her creation inside-out and outside-in! Interestingly, all the participants in this workshop chose my Radiating/Boulders design, but I offered two other design options: Color Blocking Prints (which is a great way to use up odds and ends of silk) and Negative Space, which is a bolder more textural look that isn't for everyone, but is very dramatic!

Nuno Felt Nuno Felt Nuno Felt

Nuno Felt Nuno Felt Nuno Felt

October 15th

Student scarves from my eco-print class this past weekend-three chose to use a natural dye that produces a lively blue for their background (Marjolen Blue I brought back from Morocco) f and the others chose to use a natural dye from my brother's woodworking shop (Logwood sawdust) for a more subdued effect. The close up of Jessica's on the end honored our Ash trees - most of which are being hit hard by the borer that has infested the area.!

eco-print eco-print eco-print

eco-print eco-print

October 9th

Participants in the Paint & Dip a Scarf and Shawl class on Saturday left with 2 new lovely neck adornments each! I was busy checking people out at the end of class so didn't get any photos of the lovely indigo wool/bamboo shawls they shibori'd, but here are a few photos of the group in action painting their silk scarves and samples. Somehow I missed photos of both Deb and Chris...but here you can see the other's works in progress.

painted silk scarve painted silk scarve

painted silk scarve painted silk scarve

September 24th


I figured while I had all the natural dyes out for eco-printing and the natural dye class here, I may as well dye up a new yarn for the store for the fall using natural dyes! Something about this "harvest" time of year gets me in the spirit of it! And I had a generous amount of woodchips from good dye woods from my brother's woodworking shop, so after gathering goldenrod and rudbekia this past week, yesterday I had 6 burners of natural dyes going out back for the yarn while I had 2 burners in the house making applesauce!

Several of the colors are still drying, so I'll add them next week. And I not only dyed up this lovely fingering weight yak/silk/merino yarn, Silky Yak, but also have been dyeing up the last of my Gems merino. I'm so sad that yarn has been discontinued, but I had received 100 skeins right before they announced it, and its been sitting in the back room all summer - so it's about time I did something with it! It will be a nice contrast to the Silky Yak, since it is a clear white base so the colors, even from the same pots, are quite different than the Silky Yaks. It is the brown yak in this yarn that gives all these colors a lovely earhy undertone. Indigo blue and a lovely pine, and a deep red are still drying.

So check out the yarn online or stop by. When it's gone, it's gone and I dyed up only 5 sks of each color. This is a "one and done" project, so don't hesitate if you want to work with it!! It is lovely and would make a fabulous sweater, cowl, or shawl - it is so soft and silky, but the wool gives it some memory!

September 17th

Been busy eco-printing both abroad and here in Williston. Here are a couple of ponchos and a little girl's dress and below is an animation of lots of samples I did testing local plants on cotton. What's different with this batch of ecoprinting compared to those I've shared over the past 10 years, is that these are all on cotton or plant based fabrics (cotton, linen, bamboo, etc) and in the past I've only printed on protein based fabrics like silk and wool. Anyway, it has been interesting to play with different types of mordants and various tannins while printing the cellulose based fibers. And interesting to compare the prints from plants abroad and here - for example hibiscus vs. rose of sharon!

July 25th

natural dye yarns natural dye yarns natural dye yarns

Despite the heat and humidity last weekend, 10 enthusiastic participants in the Natural Dye Workshop here enjoyed learning about natural dyes, mordants, and modifiers while we dyed silk, cotton, and wool skeins for sample books for everyone. And with the leftover dyes, participants dyed lots of yardage of silk for nuno felting, silk for embroidery, some handspun skeins of wool and a bunch of cotton yardage as well! Between what we picked from the garden and gathered on our morning walk with Winnie, to saved from the kitchen scraps the night before and got from extracts of non-indigenous plants to this area, we had rich deep plums to true red, pinks to blues, teal greens to chratreuse, lots of really lovely neutrals from warm taupes to khaki greens as well as several greys and even black.... and lots of lovely yellows, oranges and blues! I see lots of colorwork in my future!

July 16th

stich pattern

Two customers dropped in this week to "show and tell" their latest Cumbria Fingering projects! I'm sorry I forgot to get a photo of Kelly's Letters from Russia shawl she knit using 1 skein of one of the newest colors of Cumbria Fingering. What a lovely drape and silkiness it had! And then Kathy stopped in to share (one of) her current projects - a sweater knit using Cumbria Fingering. See what lovely stitch definition this yarn has. Both projects were so different and both showed off Cumbria's lovely hand really well.

If this yarn isn't on your "to knit with next" list, it should be. And if it is already (as it is for me - balls already wound and all!) it should be moved up the priority list!!!

sweater pattern

And if knitting with a fingering sounds like too much for you to take on right now, this same yarn is available in a worsted - I knit this sweater with Cumbria Worsted 2 years ago and LOVED knitting with it.

July 2nd

shibori examples shibori examples

Because I had a busload of ladies from Minnesota stopping in this past Saturday for an indigo demonstration, a friend and I shibori dyed a lot of 50/50 wool/bamboo shawls, as well as some silk charmeuse scarves. There are still some available for sale ($30 - $60 range). So if you want to get a jump start on XMAS shopping for your daughters, friends or daughters-in-law, stop on by and check them out! They have a lovely drape and vary from simple ombres going from dark to light blue to extensive ori nui stitching, arashi pole wrapping and bold itajimes and kumos.

shibori examples

While dyeing the shawls, we experimented with some new stitches and folds on cotton, too. So now I have some bags to make with some of the experiments and because I cut the wrong size for my origami credit card holders (argh!!!), I now have lots of 6" squares of different shibori designs on cotton ready for some sashiko before working them ultimately into quilts or bags. This is the SECOND time I've mis-cut the shibori pieces for the credit card holders - so the next time should be the charm, I hope.

shibori examples

I did manage to cut the correct size cotton shibori to make several origami wallets - a couple of them are still available for sale as well.

May 14th

headband headband headband

Still working to improve my nalbinding tension! I worked up this headband the other evening. It is going so much faster for me now and I can tell my tension is getting better. Now I just have to remember that working a gauge swatch is really critical, just like knitting!

I worked a row of nalbinding that was long enough to fit my head, with a bit of stretch since I wanted it to fit snugly. Then I joined in the round and by the time I had worked 2 more rows, I could tell it was going to be WAY TOO SMALL! So I finished it figuring I could find the head of a little tyke that it would fit! And I measured my gauge so now I'm taking the same yarn with me on the plane tomorrow to make one I can actually wear!

I think my sister wants to learn to do it too, so we'll be chanelling our viking roots en route to Oslo!

If you're interested in learning the basics, I will be happy to get you started during our first of 3 summer "Knitting Socials". Be sure to check out the Events page for details and come join us!

April 23rd

So much Show & Tell today!

Here are photos of the fabulous felt coats that the 8 fun ladies who participated in the 4 day Felt Coat Class here last week made. And below these pics, be sure to see what gorgeous dresses they made in the 2 days afterwards! Whew...and then....for another 2 days one of them stayed on after the workshops and we were joined by some other local felting buddies and we spent 2 more days indigo dyeing!

I apparently missed a photo of the back of Joyce's coat, but trust me it was gorgeous. And I didn't get to photograph every dress (I was working the store, alas) but 4 garments from this 2 day class are shown below.

Every participant in both classes was lovely to have here and they all were fabulously creative and talented, so kudos to them all!

And if you're not overwhelmed by all my photos of the felt coats and dresses from this past week, I posted some photos from the indigo play day. So much fun and creative stuff happening.

felt coat
felt coat felt coat

felt coat felt coat felt coat

felt coat felt coat felt coat

felt coat felt coat felt coat

felt coat felt coat felt coat

felt dress felt dress felt dress

felt skirt

April 16th

blanket quilt blanket quilt

blanket quilt blanket quilt

Congrats, Cecile! What a fabulous baby blanket quilt featuring 9 great needle felted characters! Each one has such personality (where could that have come from? he he he!). I challenge anyone to look at these critters and NOT smile! I particularly love your story about the pink panther and it's symbolism through your family generations. I can't look at it and not have warm memories of my brother Keith who loved the Pink Panther movies and used to do such a great impersonation of Clousseau in various scenes of those movies!

Thanks for sharing and, I'm sure, inspiring some customers to have fun with their needle felting!!

April 9th

knit hat

And then there is also this perennial favorite - and we have new colors of the yarn in stock so if you want a quicker project for the new spring babe, check Knit-col (free pattern for this newborn hat is sent with the yarn purchase) out!

March 19th

tam yarn

BJ stopped by today to pick up more Shetland Yarn to knit another tam. The tam she knit (shown left) she knit using some handspun BFL she purchased here (see hank of fiber in the colorway she used pictured right). She did a lovely job Navajo Plying the yarn to keep the colors distinct and then she smartly chose to knit the tam in seed stitch because she wanted to "soften" the striping. That all prompted me to share with you some samples I have at the shop showing spinners how differently a handpainted hank of fiber can be spun and knit. In the photo following you see 2 samples of the very same hand painted fiber spun and plied Navajo (far left skein and swatch) or standard 2-ply (shown right, skein and swatch). It is just a good illustration of how your choice of spinning/plying can affect the end results! To keep the colors distinct and the colors bolder, navajo ply and your resulting knit fabric will look like the swatch pctured left. Spin and do a standard 2-ply and the colors get quite muted and the striping is not as demarcated. Both results are great - just different. As a spinner you have the control over which outcome you want for your intended project!


January 22nd

kumihimo braidingkumihimo braiding

I worked up a quick sample of a dog leash showing 2 different patterns that you can use to weave a dog leash in the class starting early February. We will be using a traditional Japanese weaving/braiding technique to make a one of a kind dog leash. Getting a new pup this spring? Why not join us and tailor a leash for something a bit special. And once you know the technique, you will have great fun weaving/braiding other interesting cords and trim. From round to flat, square to spiraling, 2 color to 4! So many options. Check out the details about the upcoming classes.

July 31st

spinner spinner

So after the popularity of the Free Color Games event for knitters, felters and spinners on July 14th, I was disappointed that no felter or spinner showed up for a fun and FREE afternoon (with instruction) to card bits and pieces of fiber into "one of a kind" batts to felt or spin!

So, anyway, I just spent the 3 hours I had put aside to give the free instruction playing myself! And I used a lot of the fibers I had put aside for customers to play with and I turned them into lovely new batts! In the 3 hours I carded about a kg of fiber - about 700 gms of it took a bit longer because I decided to create a grey scale color gradient for my next felt coat (see photos above) and figuring the percentages to blend took a bit longer than carding up the "scrap batts"!

Be sure to click on the photos above so you can see how lovely the gradient is - and also notice that I added just a bit of sparkling white angelina to the lighter end!


When the coat fiber was done, I opened up the bags of glorious scraps that I had pulled out for customers to use and I carded up another 400 gms worth of "scraps" (like that pictured in the photo on the left) into lovely usable batts to felt or spin (see photo below for what came out of this heap of leftovers).

So I had a lovely afternoon - the new British carders I am stocking are so lovely to work on. Wow. Really, what a pleasure they are so easy to use ad blend the fibers so briliiantly - whether you want to maintain some separation of colors as in the batts below or want to fully blend them. In each case, I did just 2 passes on each batt (whether the colors blended or stayed separated is a matter of how you load the fiber). And these new carders handled the "ugly" fibers so well. By ugly I mean that some of the "scraps" I had out were partly felted for being in the bag all winter; others I think were pieces class participants took to use in a felting class got wet and soapy and then put back in my bag! The fibers were a mess and yet the carder drafted them beautifully into gorgeous new batts!

new batts

Truly, I don't know how any felter or spinner manages without a carder! They are so inspirational and, if you're like me and hate to waste fiber and yet have bags and bags of bits and pieces left over, they pay for themselves over the life of your hobby!

July 24th

Oops! I missed last week's updates to the web. I got carried away between hosting a free event here about working with color on Saturday and then becoming insanely obsessed (fortunately, just temporarily) with eco printing papers!

Anyway, I had a lovely group of 8 ladies (not sure where Jennifer and Ceil are - or maybe they were just so quick in their first color choices that they were already sitting down and working by the time I grabbed the camera for this shot!) for the Color Games last Saturday.


Then I got carried away eco printing papers to restock my notecard supply! And I had so much paper that I dusted the cobwebs from my long term memory and used the paper to bind a few note pads. I found printing these papers and post cards much more gratifying than eco printing silk or felt which I did a bunch of years ago - not sure why except that when eco printing fabric and/or felt I was doing much larger prints and there were always areas I like a lot mixed in with areas that were disappointing. With the papers, I am printing just 5 x 7 max at a time so it is hard to get any areas you don't like. And, if you do, its just a piece of paper and doesn't represent a significant investment of time invested already in making the felt or the cost of a large piece of silk!

July 10th

fascinators fascinators fascinators

I finally got around to finishing a few fascinators I had in the works for the last year or more - nothing like a bit of pressure to push one onward! There are two others somewhere in this file, but I can't figure out what I saved them as, so maybe another time I can share those. And nothing like looking at a photo of a piece you think you finished and the photo helping you see how "off" it is! I see now that I need to reposition my pink feather flower lower on the felt fascinator brim as it looks really out of sorts where it is right now. Anyway, I had told the participants of the current Felt Hat and Millinery Workshop that I would add a module on making a fascinator, free of charge as a sort of spring promo. So I had a couple of videos to shoot about the process to add to the page. But between camera issues (I swear that I think they are programmed to die on me after 18 months!) and video editing software problems (I updated my Nikon Viewnx and it was a nightmare - rather like Quickbooks - they update so you feel like you have to buy in and then they give you less features and make you re-learn everything - argh!). Anyway, it feels good to get these long lasting creations off my to-do list!

June 27th

nuno vest/tunic/top class

After taking my seamless nuno vest/tunic/top class here last month, Ceil jumped in head first to the task of making 5 nuno shawls - each using the "seamless" technique to combine different colors of silk fabric - for the series of shawls she envisioned for her daughter's wedding party. They came out so beautifully, she shared this pic from the wedding last week in England. Looks like it was gorgeous all around - bride, wedding party, shawls and weather! And now that she made such a dent in the silk fabrics - paj, chiffon and margelin - that I had dyed for the store last month, I am setting up the pots again to dye more!

April 10th

felting class felting class

Just had 8 seniors leave after finishing a 3 week (once weekly for 3 hours for 3 weeks) felting class. They did so great! None of them had ever wet felted before and didn't really even know what it was about. But one of the organized this workshop so they could make felt hats. I taught them all the basics of laying out and felting the first week while they each make a small bag. Four of them went on in the second 3 hour session to lay out a hat and felt it and then this morning to block it. The others moved on to needle felting.

Anyway, they were a great bunch of very creative ladies that keep young by learning new things. They did really well and I think will be back for more! I wish I had gotten a photograph of the needle felted embellished bags the other ladies worked on, but that group finished a bit earlier and so left while I was sewing some hatbands for these ladies.

March 6th

Each of these scarves was knit with 1 skein of La Jolla superwash merino Dipped & Dappled. The original one which was knit for the store model (far right photo) my sister knit using color Venom. You can see the zig-zag arygle-like pattern develop but since that color way has more "speckles" in the white part of the skein, the design is not quite as crisp as the center photo showing the colorway that Kathy chose to knit up. And as the first photo on the left shows, you get yet a different design if you change the stitch count. So both Kathy and Joany knit the scarves they did on US 6 using 42 sts. Jody knit the green scarf and because she is a looser knitter, she decided to reduce the number of stitches and used only , well of course now I can't exactly remember what she said, but it was on the order of 34 or 36 sts. And the pattern came out differently! Since she is very musical, I thought it appropriate that her design sort of resembled a tuning fork! Anyway, all three kntiters agree this yarn is lovely to work with - soft and springy.

One of my sisters had never felted a collage before so I guided her thru the process and this is her first piece.

September 19th

I think yesterday might have been hotter than any day we had during summer! Ugh! I want "sweater weather". Despite the heat and humidity this week, I know it is coming, so I've been working up a lot of cowls. Here are some suggestions for you if you're thinking ahead to some holiday knitting (and if you missed a "new hat" review, scroll down to last week).

I knit this in Incan Spice yak blend! I give the pattern free with the yarn purchase. Features "mosaic" knitting

And I finished a few hats....

I had some felting friends over for "play days" on Sunday and Monday.We all worked on different things on Sunday and I neglected to get any photos of any of it! But after 3 of us carded up some bits and pieces of wool that were left over from projects last year, I did get a photo of some of the colorful batts (for spinning or felting!) that we made up. I thought we made a dent in all the scraps of fiber I had left....but when I looked at the workshop this morning and saw how much was still there to be done, I realized that we just scratched the surface! So I'll plug away at making up more between customers this week and some of these will be available for sale.....the others will end up in yarns like these!


Febraury 7th

I hadn't used this particular wool for a hat yet and decided to test it made a great structured hat (as I expected given that I love this wool for boots and slippers and bags and rugs) which is what I wanted for this style of pillbox.

January 31st

I forgot to get photos of the needle cases we felted in the morning and only remembered to take a few photos of the wristlets participants in Saturday's Intro to Felt class made in the afternoon, but wanted to share what photos I did take. The three above show wristlets after laying out, but before felting - so they are large and unshaped at this stage, but you can get an idea of the lovely designs and fun the participants had playing with color. And after 1 full day they left with 2 useful items, a great understanding of the felting process, and having had a fun day!

There are still a few spots left in the nuno felt scarf workshop planned for Feb if you're interested, don't delay and sign up today!

January 10th

Been working on some new hats and fascinators in prep for the 3 day class I'm teaching at Fling in August. Check out those pheasant feathers, Jules!

September 27th

Our recent trip to Iceland reminded me how beautiful knits can be using just natural colors. Of course, in Iceland the knits we saw that inspired me were knit with natural colors of Icelandic fleece. But it reminded me that another island breed, the Shetland, also feature lovely natural colors. And I have a 100% Vermont raised and spun shetland yarn in 9 lovely natural colors that you could use for mittens, hats, or sweaters if you are interested in working with natural sheep colors. This photo shows my version of the Walk on the Moon ravelry pattern using all the natural colors of Vermont Shetland we have available at the store.

I hand selected the fleeces from 5 different farms around the state and had it spun here in Richmond. The fleeces I chose were lamb and/or single coated (no coarse kemp hairs) so this shetland is much softer than what most people associate with "shetland" yarns. If you want to see what the Icelanders have done with the natural colors of their wool, you can check out some pictures I posted on my blog - read the Textile Museum in Blonduos post and also the one titled Check out these handknit garments (featuring some handknits worn by the first woman president of Iceland) Both posts can be found here.

This shawl is knit using Herriot Fine, a lovely fingering weight alpaca by Juniper Moon. The company sent the model to me, so I wasn't going to complain or return it! But I never liked the colors they chose to knit together (left photo). So finally I threw it in a dyepot to overdye and see if I could achieve something more pleasing to my eye, anyway. I didn't want to turn it all black, which is the only way I could have made it a single color. So my goal was to achieve a more pleasing 3 colors than the green, orange and mustard that they sent. So I blended up a batch of dye and threw in the shawl and the second photo shows the results. Some may prefer the original, but I find the resulting overdye more appealing to my aesthetics. The shawl only takes 2 skeins if you decide to make it all in 1 color. In theory, too, you could keep it a 2 color shawl and just knit the first color thru the first two stitch patterns until you are out of it and then move on to the second color. Your bottom band might be a bit wider and your middle stitch pattern a bit narrower, but that is another design option! So just wanted to point out that most patterns are "suggestions" of what can be. As a knitter you are in control of changing it up to suit your preferences. They designed the shawl for 3 colors, but you could easily do 2 or even just 1. The pattern is free with the yarn purchase.

February 16th

I've been trying to finish up some felted runes that I started over a year ago and had originally intended for a bag....but now I'm thinking wall hanging? Or maybe multiple smaller bags since I've got about 30 of them? And in between doing the last 15 runes , I worked up a nuno sample with lots of dimension on it.

I didn't get much of what I had planned on done over the store's closure between XMAS and New Years. But that's ok, I read several good books, saw several fun movies, caught up with family and friends and got in some wicked good sledding with a great niece and nephew! So this is all I have for show & tell this week....a jellyfish I felted (and made bioluminescent) for one of my grand nieces who had put "jellyfish" on her list for Santa.

December 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, 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.