Northeast Fiber Arts Center

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As we have new class photos, fun new show and tell ourselves, or special projects our customers bring in to share, we'll post them here!

August 13th....

I had a chance last week while my sister was here watching the store to dye up some new colors of the NFAC Fingering Merino which was starting to look a little picked over. So now with the 35 colors I dyed to refresh the selection, you now have 87 colors to play with for your next color-work project! You'll notice from the first photo of the "brights" I dyed that I included the "muhu" colors in anticipation of knitting some muhu-inspired mittens this winter! And of course, jewel tones and a range of greys that I was getting low on. Since I still had a nice selection of autumnal colors and deeply saturated colors, I worked in a range of lighter value neutrals (middle photo). Anyway, we're busy winding this into the 90 yard skeins that color work knitters appreciate for accents, as well as 135 yard skeins for Main Colors!

And if you haven't done a lot of colorwork but are interested in exploring it, why not join me for the Baltic Wristlets (or you could finish them into mittens if you like!) workshop this fall! You'll learn an efficient way to manage your yarns, a couple of decorative cast ons and cuff embellishments, and a little something about the tradition of mitten knitting in Latvia!

July 30th...

I'm working up another store model to illustrate the Project Bag and Credit Card/Business Card holder we'll be making in the Japanese Textile Techniques workshop starting at the end of Sept. I used a variegated sashiko thread on the outside of this bag for an example of how that type of thread works up. Tonight - sewing in the lining and stitching the drawstring channel in place! Then onto kumihimo for the drawstring itself!

July 25th...

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

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!!!

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....

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.

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.

! 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.



June 18th...

Whew....can't believe it's been a month since I last updated! But between vacation and lots going on here, it has been kind of crazy.

First off - Anne brought by her latest and I wanted to share photos of her gorgeous shawl. I can't remember what yarns she used - she stops in most Fridays and often picks up some Malabrigo or Zauberball. AS I recall, she had a couple of skeins at home to use up and came in looking for a few more colors to work with them for this shawl.

Secondly, I had offered an Eco Print a Scarf day here last Saturday and so in preparation for it I was testing out a few new techniques for adding background color to the prints and use some coarse cotton my sister had left over (the first 3 photos in the animation) and then, since nobody registered for the Eco Print a Silk Scarf event, a friend came by and we did some further trials of various new mordants and some natural dyes using up the silk scarves that I had purchased for the event. So I made up this little animation for you to get an idea of our results from playing around last week!

Lastly, I thought I'd share a few photos of some inspiring knittings and weavings my sister and I came across when on a recent trip to Norway and Latvia, but I'm running out of time - so next week! For now, here is the Nalbinded hat I made while in Norway - The Beehive Hat. I added a cardwoven band that I picked up in Riga for a bit of embellishment...

Nalbind hat - be sure to enlarge to see how pretty the stitch is (try to ignore that my tension is still a bit wonky!)






May 14th...

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!

May 7th...

The participants in the recent Silk Paper Making class had a lot of fun and made some gorgeous papers - not enough time to show them all, but here are a few. Becasuse it has been rainy, the papers didn't dry in enough time on Saturday to bind notebooks with them, but the instructor showed them how and Deb just sent along a photo of a book she bound using part of 2 different pieces of silk paper she make in class. I've shown these two photos after the 4 of just paper.


Apr 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 on this page!! So much fun and creative stuff happening here....


Apr 16th....

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!!


Apr 9th....

Here's an idea for the new baby on the way....instead of knitting yet another baby afghan, hat or sweater, why not pick up a couple of needle felting kits (we have birds, sheep, bunnies, penguins, etc) and needle a bunch of lovely little animals to make a sweet mobile for the new one! Lots of kit choices here

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!

Apr 2nd

Using some of the shibori fabrics that I indigo dyed a couple of weeks ago, I starched and origami folded several wallets. And along the way, discovering a couple of different folds and positionings that result in a few more dividers and compartments! If you're interested in learning some basics of shibori, indigo dyeing, sashiko stitching, kumihimo and origami this fall, be sure to check out our new class offering!

Mar 19th...

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!



Mar 5th..

I've been chanelling my Viking roots (I assume any of us of Irish/Scottish/English roots have some Viking in there somewhere!) by learning nalbinding. I was first inspired about 12 years ago when my sisters and I went to Gotland and visited lots of Viking sites. Then my interest in nalbinding was rekindled on my first visit to Iceland about 8 years ago, which is where I snapped the photo of this nalbind mitten in the Reykyavik museum. Then another trip to Iceland and one to Newfoundland all with Viking routes and still I didn't make time to figure it out. But when my sister visited the site in Newfoundland this past fall she picked me up a nalbinding needle and some instructions for XMAS. So between knitting, spinning, felting and lots of dyeing over the last couple of months, I have managed to get the nalbinding going in both the round and flat forms and using 2 different stitches. It feels good to finally do something I set my sites on over a decade ago! Anyway, if anyone is interested in learning the basics, I will be happy to share with you what I've picked up (and I'll have some show & tell too) during the June 8th Knitting Social at the store. See Events for more info on that event here.


Feb 26th...

I had a bunch of friends over on Sunday for a play day! We experimented with "mud cloth" and printing with natural dyes as well as gelli printing and doing some more indigo dipped shibori pieces for the various scarves, coverlets, and bags we all seem to have in progress! I threw in a few pieces to the indigo vat that I had prepped with tannins for some block printing and got some unusual colors. There are more pieces "curing", so I'll post those next week. Apparently I ddn't get any photos of the stitched shibori pieces that both Jules and Chris dipped.




FEb 5th....

Cindy brought by some show and tell Saturday. This is the FABULOUS quilt she made using pieces of various shibori techniques we learned in the workshop here last August. Be sure to click on the photo for a closer look - from arashi to katano, ori nui to kumos! Pretty amazing to be able to put together such a gorgeous piece from samples in a workshop! Well done, Cindy and thanks for sharing.

If you're interested in natural dyeing in general, or indigo in particular, I just posted a 2 day Natural Dye Workshop for this July!. Register today and have something fun to look forward to this summer! And if you don't have 2 days to spend exploring the possibilities of dyeing from the garden out back, I hope you can join us for the half day Saturday June 22nd Eco Print a Scarf/Shawl class!

Jan 29th.....Wanted to share some photos from the most recent Intro To Felt class here last Saturday. I got so caught up in teaching I neglected to take photos, but Susan was kind enough to pass some along to me (tho' I was only able to open 2 of them) and then Grace shared a couple of photos of little vessels she did at home after taking the class. There were several participants in class who had done some felting on their own and still learned quite a bit, as well as rank newbies who had never needle, wet or nuno felted before! Everyone did really great with their envelope style purses that we made to learn the technique. I use these for knitting needle accessories.

These first two photos show the piece Susan made to practice working around a resist so she can now go on and make vessels, hats, slippers, boots - anything 3-dimensional she knows how to approach now. The first photo shows her in the midst of laying it out and the second photo shows it after some fulling. The next two photos show pictures that Grace shared from her practicing the resist method at home after taking the class - two very sweet vessel.

I have another Intro to Wet Felting workshop scheduled for Sat. Feb 9th -

you can find details here if you'd like to join us!


Jan 22nd...

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 class here.


Jan 15th...

What a nice group gathered for the Instant Run Off Yarn Tasting, Social Knitting event here in Dec and again this past Thursday night.

Lots of swatching was done by participants who joined us to knit with the new yarns I'm stocking, but Jess really put the yarns I gave out to full use! She almost finished a crocheted hat using the Juniper Moon Patagonia (her sample was a tad short of what she needed so I gave her enough to finish off the hat), a mitten using the Noro Ito, a small bag using the Cozy Alpaca, a headband using the Umina......and she swatched this lovely piece using the Eco Puno!

Three lucky participants won interchangeable needle kits, 2 went home with lovely linen project bags, a couple won kits (silk shawl, alpaca baby hat/booties, and a kit for a shibui cowl!) .

Joany put her Umina swatch into the washing machine to see how it felted. We had just heard from a friend who had used the Herriot Great to felt a hat (based on my recommendation that it would be warm and soft and is popular for felting mittens) and she thought it was a bit thicker than she had wanted. So thinking that the Umina (50/50 wool/alpaca and a lighter gauge than the Herriot) would offer a lighter weight and more pliable felting wool, Joany decided to test it out. After just one cycle, it had felted 25" in height and about 12% in width and produced an interesting, almost boucle, surface texture. It is really soft, very pliable/bendabe still, and actually still has quite a bit of elasticity! So I think it would make for a fabulous felted mitten - still pliable enough to bend in the ways you need and want your fingers to bend and also soft and warm!



Jan 8th....

Joany starched some shibori dyed pieces of cotton fabric and origami'd them into little credit card holders!

I used up all my ends of shibori pieces to make kits for sashiko - a pocket holds the sashiko thread and the top part is stuffed to be a holder for sashiko needles. These kits fold in half (tho' I photographed them open so you could see the pocket) and are held closed by a kumihimo silk braid and button. I had enough fabric to make 6 of these and had fun playing with mixing and matching the different shibori samples - and especially liked using up the fabric ! Now that I feel like I've used up what I have, I can start fresh with some new cotton and actually "plan" a shibori project. prospectively rather than make up projects to "fit" my sample swatches!!

Oh, and I practiced some sashiko stitching on an indigo dyed silk scarf and made an obi to complete my kimono inspired "happy coat".


Nov 20th...

I finally finished this lopi-lite sweater. I started it last February but also had 3 other sweaters going at that time and that's when the "frozen shoulder" hit. So it feels good to be finishing these old projects off! It is a tunic length, A-line for generous hips and on the funnel neck I substituted a skein of Absolu Angora for the last skein of lopi lite contrast color! It is very cozy!

Here are some photos from the last 2 classes held at the shop to share with you : Silk Paper and Needle Felted Bird Tapestries. I also offered a free Learn to Knit class but was so busy teaching that myself I didn't get any photos of the newly addicted converts!

10 participants in this past Saturday's Silk Paper Making class created over 60 pieces of silk paper. Using 4 different mediums and both dyed and naturally colored silks of both cultivated and wild types of silks, they explored different designs and thicknesses so they could do everything from bind books and making lampshades to weaving baskets with the silk paper.

We had sheets of silk hanging outside as well as indoors with fans running trying desperately to dry them in time for the group to bind and weave. Unfortunately, the pieces were still wet so the final use of the silk in finished products will be done at home and so all I have for show and tell at this stage are some of the pieces drying.

Be sure to click on the photos for a closer look. This last picture shows the pile of silk choices left after they had all made their 6 pieces of silk paper.....guess I'll need to schedule another class for the spring so I don't have to store the leftovers!

I also had 10 come to design and needle felt a bird tapestry with Neysa the Saturday before....I only snapped a couple of the tapestries in progress, but here is the group working away.

And here are two of the designs in progress: I wish I could find the other phtoos just so you could get an idea of the range of designs done - from fantastically colorful birds you might imagine in the rain forest to barn owls depicted in a typical VT landscape.....they were all amazing!



Nov 6th....

The mosaic cowl shown left that I designed a couple of years ago was a huge hit - and still is popular today - but since then I've been exploring other stitches that are interesting to knit and which provide striking results and I'm working up a shawl that is both striking and also a great learning tool for advanced beginner and intermediate knitters. So I've put some dates in the Class schedule to host a workshop to guide customers thru the shawl and hope to have it complete and on display in December. But as I've been working on it, this new Kureyon 30 Years book arrived and is full of interesting projects featuring inventive stitches. So if you can't wait for the Commuter Shawl class in March to learn some new stitches, come in and check out the new Noro Book OR, better yet, mark your calendar for Sat Nov 17th for the Noro Trunk Show and come on by for the feast this show will be for the eyes!



Oct 30th...

So Chris is having some technical difficulties sending me the photos of the shibori napkins she dipped last week so instead I'll share photos of a couple of shibori samples my sisters did here on Sunday during a "play day". And hopefully will have both some new knitting and Chris's shibori to share next week! Sorry about the last photo - I took it on my phone and I need a new lens!



Oct 23rd...

I opened the indigo vat for customers to dye on Fri & Sat. Here are some pics of what they dyed.

This is something I was going to offer once quarterly to customers - for a nominal fee to cover a portion of the indigo cost I would open the vats and my workshop space to customer use on a defined day. The ladies who took the workshop here and came by to dye had a great time on Friday. Those who registered to come on Saturday either didn't show, or, came by but not when I explicitly said on the Events page and in the promos for the event to come. So....

I will offer it again after the New Year, so stay tuned to the newsletter for the upcoming dates, but if you are interested in joining the group, please read here for more details.

Cindy untying a kumo by the pellet stove and revealing it for one of those "oooh, aah" moments. It was a cold day so I'm glad I moved the vat indoors and had the pellet stove going for a cozier experience!

Linda revealing her indigo over a red aniline dye (so the background is purple because blue and red make purple!) while the kumos remainied red. My camera needs a new lense (on order!) so the pictures are really foggy for now.

One of Cindy's clamped linen shawls. I think she dipped 4 or 5 of them~

Another Kumo revealed

a pole wrapped indigo over rust mordanted safflower - so the shawl is actually teal (indigo over yellow) with an olive background - but the camera couldn't make sense of the colors with my broken lens, I guess!

A leather hide that Linda tied and dipped in the indigo is shown far inspired me to go back to the lamb's hide I had tied and dipped in August. I didn't like the original color of the hide I dipped (it was undyed and naturally tanned and a momento of my trip to Morocco in April) so I tied and dipped it in indigo thinking that would help. It didn't! I've tried rubbing in several dyes with oil - I tried Coquilot flower, Mogador blue, and green nut and didn't like any of them either. But inspired by Lindas hide, I decided to see what simply oiling the hide would do. What a difference! As I worked in the safflower oil from Shaws into the hide using a sponge, the sort of pale flesh color took on a deep rust color. I took the photo shown right before finishing the entire hide so you could see the before and after! Now I might actually do something with the leather!

And because it sounded like they were having such fun back there in the workshop on Friday as I was busy helping customers in the shop, I took a chartreuse green shawl I had in my stash and tied some quick kumos Friday night to dip along with Ginny & Jen who had registered to come on Saturday. They didn't show, but I put the shawl in for a quick dip anyway - just enough so I could shift the chartreuse to teal!

And Chris had to work on Friday so couldn't join Linda and Cindy....and then her kids kept her busy on Saturday, brought her stitched pieces to work yesterday and dipped them after work. She did a first dip on a set of napkins that she has been stitching away on since the class in August! She's going to do another dip on them tonight before she leaves and I'll have that show & tell for you next week! But you can see what a deep blue th vat is with only 1 dip on her napkins. Check back to see her "reveal" next week!


Oct 16th...

At this time of year, everyone is drawn to the autumnal colors! We see it all around us and it inspired our creativity. This gorgeous shawl is knit using Herriot Great. It is so lovely and soft I know I will wrap myself up in it many nights as I sit down to read or knit! I'll buy the pattern for any customer purchasing the yarn to knit it - it takes 5 skeins, so it is an investment. But what a lovely and cozy wrap to have this winter!


Oct 9th...

WEll, I didn't get the Boro jacket finished - class Wed night, friends of dinner Thursday, brother and sister in town visiting for dinner Friday and then the annual apple cider pressing party all day Sunday! Whew. That probably explains why I also only got 1 of the 2 inches I have left on the last sleeve of the Arranmore Light sweater done!

But here is the first kumo I Boro'd (taking license to make that a verb, I think?) to the shibori kimono jacket. If you click on the photo you'll see the stitching. Hopefully by next Tuesday the last Kumo will be Boro'd on and I can check the Shibori Jacket off the ever growing to-do list!!

Oct 2nd...

I'm so disappointed that I didn't get more photos from the Sashiko and Boro classes - my camera got stuck on the "video" mode and so all of Ginny's, Deb's, and Laura's show and tell got mixed into a blurred mess!

But here is a bag that Jan made with her indigo dyed fabric featuring a wave sashiko pattern that she enjoyed. And next to it, a photo of a sampler that Kim is working on. Next week I hope to have my samples of the Boro finished to share!


Sept 21st...

It's that time of year again when we start thinking about knitting small projects for holiday gift giving. Here are a couple of new cowl projects that are simple, won't break the bank, and that you'll enjoy knitting!

Sept 11th...

Lots of show and tell this week from customers!

First, Elizabeth started using up ends of pima cottton for this wrap and came in to get a yarn to bring together her odds and ends. Then after she knit most of it up in big blocks of colors and was unhappy with it, we discussed possibilities for how to put the solids and the Calico Jack variegated which she purchased to "bring them together". Using Fibonacci numbers is always my go-to technique for working stripes - whether for knitting or weaving. It always works beautifully and with ease. So that is what Elizabeth ended up doing and she is very pleased with the results. For those of you who don't know what Fibonacci numbers are or how to use them, you can click thru to this page I posted years ago for one of my Fiber Challenge groups here at the store.

Then Kelly, afghan knitter extraordinaire, came in with several afghans and shawls to share!

This second afghan is a ball of the Encore Paint (not online but at the store) that she knit up for a gift for a little boy - its machine washable and works up beautifully in the self striping long repeat pattern. Each of these "cakes" is the equivalent of 3 sks of Encore - so a little over 600 yards. I believe she purchased 2 of them to make this afghan.

This next two projects she shared are ones she got at one of my First Friday Clearance Bins so I wanted to share them particularly to inspire creative ways of you thinking about how to approach a sale bin. The afghan is knit using Swan Island merino - naturally dyed. It was originally $31/sk and she got it at the sale for at least 50% off but there wasn't quite enough of the "Fig" color, so she purchased one hank of a "pop" color (I think they called it Tiger Lily) and popped it in there periodically to give her enough for the desired size she wanted and to break up a lovely color, but one which needed a bit of "punch". The shawl is knit in a lace weight (Findley by Juniper Moon) but she held 3 strnads (or was it 2?) together to get to a needle size and gauge she wanted to knit. So many times in the sales there are great yarns at super prices that may be too thin a gauge for your intended project, but it is so simple to double or triple and even to combine different yarns for a more interesting fabric that will achieve your desired gauge!

Next is a shawl she knit using our favorite color of Manos' Maxima - Ion. All of Manos' "tonally dyed" yarns (so not mixes of colors like most variegateds, but light and dark of the same hue) are so gorgeous knit up. They make a much richer fabric, but are not so "busy" as the variegateds can be....check out Maxima and their popular Fino lace weights to see what I mean.


Sept 4th....

The lovely stitch in this baby blanket that 2nd time grandma Kathy knit using Juniper Moon's Cumulus, is a free download from Berocco. This gorgeous cotton yarn makes a baby blanket so soft and cuddly - either/both (?) new baby Ainsling or her older sib Holly will love it!



August 24th...some photos from the recent class here - we folded and clamped, discharged and stitched and kumo'd and katano'd....I didn't use all the photos I had of the gorgeous pieces everyone did and I couldn't find the animation I did of the katanos, but here is a sampling -

August 23...

This was apparently the week for baby sweater show and tell! Chris knit the modified Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise model using 1 ball of Zauberball Crazy and a customer (my apologies for forgetting your name) who lives a couple of blocks away just got back into knitting this summer and finished this cute pullover for her grandson (an adorable red head) using the popular Knit Col.


July 31st....

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!

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...

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...

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!

June 19th...

Joan knit this lovely chevron shawl using just a single skein each of Silk Cloud (kid mohair/silk) and Lunar (silk/merino) - both by Shibui. It is light and lovely - perfect to throw over the shoulders if you have a wedding on the lake or in the mountains this summer and need a little something to protect you from the cool evening breeze off the lake or in the mountains!

May 29th...

BJ brought by some show & tell this morning. She hand spun the Malabrigo Nube (extrafine merino) as a singles (hence the clear color definition since she didn't ply it for a tweedier/marled look) and then when knitting, she alternated stockinette and reverse stockinette stitch for this zig-zag effect, taking advantage of the natural bias of unblocked singles to track either S or Z direction based on how they were spun!

May 22nd...

Joan has been knitting a lot of mittens this spring and summer. The horse mitten was knit using NFAC Kettle Dyed fingering and the sheep mittens were knit in Rialto 4 ply. Both patterns were from the Big Book of Mittens we have available here at the store. If you're interested in learning some tips and tricks for 2 color knitting, check out the Events page for a free, upcoming Skill Building session in July!

May 8th... I took some lousy photos here! I think I need a new camera - the buttons aren't working properly anymore.

Anyway, I hope you'll click on each photo to enlarge it so you can see close up what I wanted to draw attention to. Kathy knit this Heiki Kirmaier pattern Vitamin A using the new Noro cotton yarn. When you click on the closeup picture you'll see how interesting the color variation is in this yarn. And while you can't tell from the photo of the finished garment what a lovely drape the yarn has, I can tell you that it is really nice. Kathy has knit this pattern before in other yarns and is very happy with how this one turned out.

Apr 17th...

faroese knits sweater pattern sheep mittens Three or four new books arrived last week featuring both traditional knits from our northern cultures (Lithuania, Norway, Faroe Islands, etc), as well as some fun contemporary twists! If you have kids who love animals, in particular, one book offers a series of fabulous mittens featuring zoo animals, farm and even wild animals. There are a few traditional mittens in the book, as well as a pair of mittens with a keyboard cuff, guitar on the front and skull on the palm side! I still can't decide for myself if the owl or giraffe will be my first pair!

Oh, and some of the sweaters in the Faroese book are fabulous - some long sweater/coats for women and some great family knits like that shown on the child above!

If you're tempted to try some Norwegian mittens, check under Events for several upcoming gatherings that will help prepare you to knit some mittens this fall!


April 10th.....

Lots of show and tell today. Anne stopped in this week to pick up more Baby Cashmerino for a project she's working on and brought in her Swoncho for show and tell. It looks great and using the two tones of orange gives it so much depth.

And I 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.

Apr 3rd...

Jody brought by a scarf that she knit using the LaJolla merino superwash. It is a colorful skein of what I refer to as "Skittle" colors - I can't even remember what they call it! Jody knows I tend to like the more saturated colors and am not a big fan of "pastels", so she brought it by to show me and it really is quite lovely knit up. I think it is perfect for this time of year - bright and cheerful! And it serves as a good reminder of some basic color theory - this skein is actually very bright but when knit up it looks more subdued (probably why I like it more knit up!). That's because there are several colors from opposite sides of the color wheel on this skein and when opposites are knit up next to each other, they grey each other out a bit. So the actual scarf is more subdued than you might expect it to be if you just looked at the skein!

Mar 27th...

With all the spring babies expected, you'll want to get knitting! Here are two hot off the needles new baby projects and yarns!

This top down baby sweater is designed for Bliss Baby Cashmereno and uses several colors which you stripe in the yoke. But since I had several models at the store already knit up showing off the Baby Cashmerino, I chose to use the Calico Jakur (which self stripes) and the Calico for the solid color. These yarns are by the same mill and are both dk yarns that are cotton/acrylic. Super soft and lovely to work with, and using the Jakur for the yoke makes the knitting simpler than worrying about striping several colors! One skein of each!

All eight ladies in the Top Down Sweater workshop here last Tuesday were oohing and aahing how sweet this lacy-sleeved tunic is! Knit in Debbie Bliss's organic Eco Baby 100% cotton, it is a lovely design. And I have the pattern for babies as well as adults! So you could knit one for the baby on the way and another for the mom!

Mar 13...

Melissa Arnold will be here in August for a 5 day workshop to share her techniques for several traditional shibori techniques as well as several more contemporary approaches she developed as a professional dyer for a couture designer over several decades. In addition, she will share with us all how to start and maintain a NON-fermented indigo dye vat. This is probably NOT what you have learned if you took a natural dye class and learned to use either urine or RIT dye remover to ferment the tank. This method that she will share is one that you can keep going (and without the smell) and it never dies like the fermented bath!

And even if you don't like blue and never want to dye with indigo again (although when you see how gorgeous the indigo dyes can be in conjunction with eco-printing, I think you will change your mind!) , the techniques you will learn in class can be applied to other natural dyes as well as with the acid and MX dyes.

I hope some of you can join us....although there aren't many spaces left in this class since I am keeping the class size small so the atmosphere is relaxed!

Mar 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.

Feb 27th...

Addi Flexi-flips are an option for those of you who don't like knitting with dpns or doing magic loop. I am comfortable using both magic loop (if I want to knit 2 socks at once) or dpns if I am doing a multiple color mitten or sock and therefore only knitting one at a time. But if you don't like either of those options, these new needles by Skacel may be right for you. Essentially you are purchasing 3 very short circular needles - so short they could never individually be used to knit anything in the round because the cord is so short you could never form a circle. But using the three as you would a set of dpns allows you to knit small circumferences (as in a cuff, sock or mitten) in the round, but because of the cord you can bend the needles a bit and so perhaps they will feel easier to use than the unyielding straight dpns.

I have heard a couple of knitters say that even tho' they are comfortable knitting on dpns, that when they use these Flexi-Flips they do not get the looser stitch at the junction between needles. So if that is a problem you have struggled to rectify, then perhaps these are worth a try. They are $23.95 a set. I do not have them on the website - but you can stop by to get them or call to order and we will ship.

Feb 20th...

This scarf was knit using a skein of a hand-dyed yarn called a Dipped & Dappled. Half of the skein is dyed a solid color and the other is speckled/splashed against a white backdrop. If you cast on 42 sts, you will get this "planned pooling" effect that a lot of people have fun with. Check out La Jolla hand dyed by Baah Yarns.


Feb 13th...

Kelly stopped by for the Shibui Yarn Tasting (and left with 4 lovely skeins of the new Lunar merino/silk yarn!) on Saturday and brought some show and tell. Here is a lovely afghan she knit using up yarns she had from several Colinette afghan kits she had bought over the years! I took a close up of one of my favorite sections....although it was hard to pick!

Feb 5th...

Here's a bit of inspiration for you! This is a closeup of one of Kathryn Alexander's fanciful and colorful sweaters. I've had Kathryn here for workshops a couple of times in the past and they are always fun and colorful and definitely geared for the adventurous knitter. Which Jody (who knit this) is! I think this may be the third or fourth of Kathryn's sweater kits that Jody has knit. I no longer stock them, but I know you can purchase them directly from Kathryn. And if you want to just play with some color, the yarn I have which is similar in gauge and also available in about 80 colors is the NFAC Fingering merino. I have many more and different colors available at the store than you'll see on the website and I sell it in individual 90 yard skeins - perfect for playing around with color on a small project if you don't feel ready to take on one of Kathryn's sweaters!


Jan 30th...

Lots of great slippers came out of the felted slipper workshop last Saturday. Here are some shots of the felters "in progress"


Jan 23rd... lots of customers brought in Show & Tell - both during the week and also to the Thursday night spinning social. But I'll save some for next week and just highlight two projects for now!

Kathy knit another of the Wolkig pattern (scroll down to see the original in Fino) - this time in Mechita to show how a variegated yarn works up in this intriguing pattern.

And BJ was in to share some show and tell too! She spun the yarn (using my dyed Corriedale) and then knit this lovely patchwork afghan using her handspun.

Jan 9th...Kathy discovered this cowl pattern (Wolkig by Behm) on Ravelry and she is having a blast knitting it up. She said it is really intriguing how the stitch makes both the spiral and the gathering! This first one she knit was done in Manos' Fino merino/silk blend. It has a lovely cozy drape - warm because of all the pockets of trapped air in the gathers, but really lightweight because of the fine yarn that was used.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch I was wearing a lot of cowls last week because of the deep freeze and several seemed to catch customers' attention a lot. So I thought I'd share another one here-

This one was knit using Moonshine by Juniper Moon (one of the store's faves) and it is a free pattern from Canadian Living magazine. It is called the Whistler Cowl. Just 2 skeins and it is warm and soft.



Dec 5th


The online Felt Boot Workshop will be running from Dec 15th 2017 - April 15th 2018. If you're interested in registering or learning more about it, follow this link. You can work thru at your own pace and make the boots all in a very intensive weekend or two....or you can do a bit each week and use the entire 4 months to make a pair!

Nov 21st...

I rarely knit the "in" projects from Ravelry. Not that they aren't great patterns - it's just not what I choose to do. I understand why many knitters do - and even appreciate why they might knit them multiple times.

I just figure if everyone is knitting them , I don't need to ! The recent exception is that I've been drawn into knitting a Find Your Fade shawl - mostly in response to needing to look at the hand-dyed yarns I stock in a different way. Going thru the exercise of putting together groups of yarns for this project, as well as a Stephen West KAL my sister enrolled in helped me to see what color groups I might be missing.

Anyway, this is a very subtle yarn grouping I've chosen - it moves from oranges to maroon/burgundy in hue and from high to low value. Since another shawl I am working on involves high color contrast (lime, pink, etc) as well as high value contrasts, I decided to keep this one very subdued - also because I'm thinking of it as a gift for someone who would hate the lime/pinks!

. I've only just begun the second color and so have a long way to go, but it is a nice no-brainer break from some other projects I have going. Although 2 of the yarns shown in this group aren't arriving until December (Rustic Silk and Cassowary), the majority of the yarns depicted are either Claudia Handpaints or Mechita by Malabrigo (lots more colors of this yarn arriving shortly). I did have one ER Lace Merino in there that I loved, but it didn't work into this "fade" as well as the Claudia I ended up using in its place.



Nov 18th...

I know that some customers shy away from a "singles" yarn (one that is not plied) because they think it will pill easily. And while there are a lot of "singles" yarns that do pill, I wanted to take the occasion of having just finished this Fino Shawl to let you know that, in my experience, the Manos del Uruguay singles yarns that I stock and have knit models from (Maxima and Fino) are both a pleasure to knit with and have withstood tons of frogging!

So I just point this out because if you have been disappointed in a "singles" yarn before because it pilled, a lot of that has to do with the fiber length that the yarn is spun from as well as the twist angle in spinning - so I hope you'll not write off all singles yarns just because you might have had a bad experience with one!


Oct 24th...

The needle felted bookmark class has come and gone (but we have kits available if you'd like to try some on your own) but this Saturday there are openings in the wet felted wristwarmers class if you'd like to make a lovely pair of soft merino wool wristwarmers and learn the basics of wet felting.

I just got a new shipment of white pre-felts in. So if you're looking for a base to needle felt into for some quick XMAS gifts - or want to wet felt some quick fabric for bags or wall hangings, this new product is great for both needle and wet felting.



Oct 17th...

These lovely cowls alternating a thick yarn with a very thin yarn produce an interestingly textured fabric and were popular knits last year, so I knit up a fresh model showcasing a free pattern I can offer at the shop using 1 skein each of Kureyon Air and Silk Garden Sock Solo. Where last years models were more monochromatic and knit from lovely soft alpaca, this year's take on the same theme offers a more colorful alterhnative!


Oct 10th...

When Kelly came for the Arranmore Light Trunk show on Saturday, she brought along several projects she has going using Freia Merino Shawl Balls. I forgot to get a picture of the afghan in color River, which was just gorgeous! But here is a shawl she has half done and we were both admiring the depth of the rich green section she just finished and how great it looks with the browns and rusts - if this colorway isn't called Earth, I'd be surprised although the name is escaping me at the moment!

And for those of you who aren't local and want to enjoy a bit of our fall are some shots I snapped on the way over to the Northeast Kingdom Sunday for my sister's annual cider pressing party - you can see the difference in the brilliance between when it was raining (fortunately just for a short time) and when the sun later came out!




Oct 4th..

Some family and friends came over last weekend and we did some felt collaging and some shibori dyeing. Those of us that dyed were trying to wipe the cobwebs out of our brain and remember the steps of tieing a snake off and this piece of silk here is the result of my first piece. I love the edge and although I had planned for this piece to be the lining for a felt bag, because of the lovely edge I think I am going to nuno felt a tunic or vest with it instead! I believe that sometimes, one must "go with the flow" and let the piece tell you what it wants to be instead of forcing it into some pre-conceived notion!

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

I've been on a hat knitting craze, but when Herriot Great arrived in some new lovely colors, putting it on the shelf reminded how luxuriously soft it is and I had to take a break and knit a pair of mittens!



Sept 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

The "Wedgie" cowl was knit using 2 sks of Noro Silk Garden - pattern free with the yarn purchase. Features short row shaping.

This cowl is crocheted using the new Fourteen by Juniper Moon - Featuring side buttons and optional fringe.

This cowl I knit using 1 skein of Absolu French Angora - for when you REALLY need warmth this winter!


Sept 7th...

The morning chill is always a sign to me that fall is here and winter is around the corner! So something to keep my ears warm while walking Winnie is a "must-knit" for the coming seasons. Here are a few new and simple ideas for knit headwear this season.... we have classes scheduled for those of you who want to learn to knit and for those who might like to make a felt hat - or fascinator for your holiday festivities! So be sure to check out Classes out - NEXT WEEK (sorry, I ran out of time today getting the site updated). Click on the photos below to get more information on any of the new knit hats I'm featuring below!



August 29th...

Kelly has been on a roll knitting up a storm of afghans in Tennen by Noro (seen here) and in Maxima by Manos (shown below). For this Tennen afghan she used a US 13 needle and the beautiful drape, soft hand (there is a bit of angora in the yarn) and the subtle shading of this monochromatic Noro yarn make it really exquisite.

August 15th...

For those of you who don't like hats, a headband is a great alternative to keeping the ears warm while you're out walking the dog or cheering on your favorite team this fall! I have several free patterns for different gauges of yarns -

This big chunky headband is knit in Rasta by Malabrigo.

These two headbands are knit using Manos Maxima. I did both with 1 skein of yarn.

This cabled headband I knit using Eco Duo alpaca/wool. With 1 skein, you can knit 2 of them.


July 25th...


great fun was had by all who felted with Maria while she was here visiting from Germany! I taught her to knit and she shared her felting techniques with us! And we were all so inspired by the felting and dyeing techniques Melissa shared with us while she was here for classes in May!

And I finished a few hats....




July 5th...

This wool wouldn't be my go-to wool for felting hats (or bags or boots, etc) but I was in an experimental mode so decided to try it out. And I was actually impressed (of course I set the bar pretty low to begin with :)) with the structure it had for this purpose. And with lots of heavy blocking, it actually firmed up quite nicely. I usually put this wool into my "good-for-needle-felting, only " category. But I may have to rethink this!

I do still prefer the surface texture of this wool for hats (it is my own blend) and it is easier to block to a good structure (I prefer not to use stiffener in my hats - I like to use as little chemical as possible in my life).


And talk about structure! Whew. This breed (if you don't mind a bit of hairiness on the surface) takes a crease like 400 count pima to an iron - with so little effort compared to how I had to work at the shaping on my hedgehog fascinator below!


June 27th...

Kathy stopped by with some show and tell this week. This gorgeous shawl she hand spun and knit from some handpainted Frabjous Fibers (I'm a bit low on stock right now, but it is on reorder). We think it was color "Atlantis". The yarn is beautifully spun and, as always, her knitting is perfection. Not to mention, abundant!

June 12th...

This shawl is knit from an easy-to-knit-great-summer-project kit, Manistique. It is knit in stockinette stitch using two textured silk yarns and striping them from predominantly MC thru equally MC/CC to, ultimately, mostly CC. Resulting in a gentle gradient of stripe configurations and colors. Shown here, it is wrapped around the neck twice (it measures 72" long) and that gives you a chance to see both the "right" and "wrong" sides. I happen to like both sides and think seeing them both adds interest to the garment since they are obviously related, but different - the wrong side being more blended and subtle in the stripe pattern but still getting the big textural elements from the CC. So the reminder here is that while stripes are less distinct on the reverse stockinette side, often textural elements in a yarn are more prominent on the reverse stockinette side. I remember one of the first garments I knit using a highly textured yarn some 35 years ago was SOOOO disappointing to me because as a new knitter, I didn't realize that the doo-dads on the yarn were going to all show on the "wrong" side of the garment! And I had spent the money on the textured yarn thinking it would add great dimension to my really simple pullover pattern. And all the "good stuff" was on the inside!


May 30th...

Roby had to leave early so she and her collages are not seen here, but the rest of us posed for a photo showing the two pieces we made during the 3 day collage workshop here last week! We are all so inspired with the possibilities - stay tuned for what is to come!!! Here's a closeup photo of one of my pieces so you can get an idea of the complexity of the pieces we made!-


May 9th...

I have to admit that for the 20 years I have been in business, I'm finally really happy with a yarn I have to offer to those knitters seeking a good yarn for "chemo cap" knitting! You wouldn't think that would have been such a difficult SKU to fill, but since I'm not a fan of 100% acrylics/poly/nylon and since many chemo patients are ultrasenstive to wools, and since cotton is usually spun quite dense and therefore not as soft as I would has actually been a challenge to find a soft and cozy, natural fiber, non-wool to recommend for this purpose! Cumulus by Juniper Moon fits the bill perfectly. And it is also a FABULOUS yarn for baby blanket knitting too! With just 1 skein, Chris made 2 hats - one knit and one crocheted.

Apr 27th...

Years ago we put together a kit for an entrelac hat featuring my dyed NFAC Fingering merino. My sister just knit this version using that yarn that we dyed using natural dyes when we got out the pots last month. It is adorable on....this version features a bit of a "slouch" - updated from the previous skull cap to reflect the looser fit these days!



Apr 13th...

A few weeks ago I posted some photos here on the gallery of several experiements that some customers and I did using Thermofelts during a "play day" here at the store in February. (you can scroll down to see more or read the latest newsletter which explains more about Thermofelts). I had experimented using a flat 10 x 10 square of thermofelt to maked a small hat with a big twist in the middle to see if it would hold its shape. And because I can't leave an experiment alone without bringing it to some sort of closure (although I struggle to justify the time spent on it, I usually do learn something from it), I took the little hat I twisted and baked and added some trim to it using up some scraps of silk fabric I had left from an old hat I had.

Mar 14th...

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!





I'm still playing with the Thermofelts a bit and will have some new show and tell to share regarding them in the email newsletter next week. But on the side, I've been working up a few hats using up some fleeces I had in my stash! Here's a cute little Trilby I felted from some American Gotland fleece I purchased at Maryland Sheep & Wool two years ago....quite a bit hairier than the Gotland fiber I brought back from Gotland a few years ago, but boy-oh-boy does this hat have structure! I'm still playing around with the trims...what is shown may well not be the end result but .for now I braided this leather hat band using some camel hide I brought back from Morocco and I stuck on a dragonfly pin I had so I can wear it while I decide what trim fits the hat. And until I can find where I put my lining material! I don't always line hats, but in this case since it is quite hairy, I thought I would. I actually like the rustic nature that the hairiness brings to this sporty hat, but I don't want the hairy fibers next to my skin so a headband and lining will take care of that!

Feb 28th... I had invited some felters to come over on Sunday to experiment with Thermofelts with me. I didn't get photos of everything we did...and we really were just exploring to discover what the possibilities of this medium are....but here are some photos of some of the samples we ended up with. We experimented with steaming, boiling and with heat setting in the oven. We tried different amounts of time and we did some shibori samples, some cuffs, earrings, vessels and hats, trivets and foldings. This seems like a really quick and easy way to create some shibori in felt if you are thinking about embellishments for bags or hats. It certainly is a quick and easy way to make a fascinator or vessel in a jiff, and has some potential for jewelrr. I think we are all stilll pondering the possibilities of how we might (or might not!) incorporate Thermofelts into our traditional felting. But it was a fun excuse to get together and play and get to know some of the customers who participated in workshops here last year, in a more social setting.

It was pretty amazing how the felt holds its twists, tucks, and pleats and curlies soooo easily!

Feb 21st...

After teaching a nuno felt scarf class on Saturday (sorry to not take pictures of the class results!), my sisters and a niece came for a "play day" on Sunday. We felted, wove baskets and did some natural dyeing in between. I had some natrual dyes I'd picked up in Morocco to play with and Roby had some chlorophyll to experiment with. So we dyed up some lovely greens, teals, and blues (not indigo, but crushed seashell gave me that Moroccan blue you see there) a very bright yellow and a brighter-than-I'd-like tangerine which I dulled down to a couple of lovely shades of ochre by aboth mixing in a bit of grey, using iron as a mordant and overdying some gray fiber. The brioche cowl one sister is shown wearing here was knit by another sister, using yarn naturally dyed at another "play day" hosted by a different sister this past summer! Notice what a huge range of shades one can achieve with natural dyes - from the very muted and subtle colors in Wendy's cowl to the bright and saturated ones I dyed Sunday! So much fun.


Feb 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.



Jan 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!





If I recall correctly, it was Liz Alton who felted this sweet heart ornament for friends last Valentines day. Every year and every holiday she comes up with some lovely fiber-related decoration to share with co-workers, friends and family..

So while packing some mixed fiber bags with lots of pinks and reds the other day, I started thinking about other simple projects one could needle or wet felt as tokens to share this Valentines day. How about needle felting a heart shaped pin cushion for someone who does a lot of sewing or stitching? Or wet felt a heart shaped trivet or set of mug rugs-heck, everyone can use those. You could needle felt miniature hearts and hook them up to posts or dangles for a pair of earrings for a young niece or daughter who recently got pierced?. Or knit beer coozies and needle felt heart embellishments on it for your friends.

And since I didn't want to leave knitters out in the cold, I ordered a new color of Alegria Sock in all sorts of great Valentine inspired pinks so you can knit a lovely pair of socks?, fingerless mitts? scarf or cowl? for your Valentine.

Here are some other knit/crochet ideas I found on Ravelry:

Here is a knit heart placemat (free pattern)

Here's a fun pattern by Zen Merry I found on Ravelry that is a couple of cute, crochet heart characters.

knit heart scrubbies:

Join me for 3 days of Felt Hat Making at Felter's Fling

Jan 17th...

Marie Friese sent some new photos along of some of her felted vessels and surface design work and I wanted to share it. Her classes are scheduled for July and are going to be amazing! I hope you can join us for what will be a spectacular set of workshops. More details can be found here


Jan 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!




Jan 3rd....

Here are 2 easy projects you can knit for about $30. Each takes 2 sks of Louisa Harding Amitola. Both are simple projects and colorful enough to lighten up even the grayest of January skies! The left shawl is a Ravelry pattern (Hitchiker) and the right hand shawl is a free pattern I will send out with the yarn purchase.


Dec 20th....

Here are a few pics from the recent Marjolein Dallinga sculptural felt workshops here at the store. I don't know who did what, but 9 participants from around the country enjoyed 3 days of creative felting with this wonderful artist!



Dec 13th....

Brian knit this gorgeous cowl using Mecha by Malabrigo. The colors he put together are fabulous and he chose a really good needle size - the scarf has a lovely drape the combination of stockinette stitch and seed stitch makes for a really interesting fabric that shows off the subtle color changes in each color.

Nov 15th...

BJ spun up and knit a hat using the cherished fiber from her beloved dog that passed last year. And doesn't smell like dog! That's what a lot of people assume will happen. But the "dog smell" is the dog's body and not the fiber. So once the fiber is washed it does not smell like dog. Motivated by seeing BJ's finished hat, I used dog shampoo to wash some of Chloe's very fine undercoat that I had collected while she was with me and I'm hoping to blend it with a fine light gray fleece (only because it is so short) over the XMAS break.


Nov 8th...

I've got more than a dozen brand new needle felting kits in stock. All beautifully packaged for "gift giving" ready! Many new animals and birds to sculpt, as well as a couple new wall hanging/tapestries. Perfect gift ideas for the holidays because everything the recipient needs is included and they are all nicely packaged for a professional look.


Oct 26th...

My sister knit this model for the store earlier this fall and I'm not sure I got to feature it yet! It is a great pattern from the spring Noro Magazine. Knit in Silk Garden and featuring a solid with a variegated....there are so many fabulous combos you could do! I have a lot more solids in stock now (not online yet) and several new colorways of the "original" long repeat Silk Garden. So if you are one of the many customers who start thinking now about what sweater they might knit for themselves after the holidays....I thought I'd share a few ideas here in addition to the Herringbone Silk Garden above! Each week I'll show a few more...for now, consider indulging in the new Debbie Bliss Falkland Aran - this 3 color sweater with 3 different stitch patterns is a simple knit that would be fun in any number of color combinations and is the sort of sweater that you will be able to comfortably and casually wear (knock about in) for years! The Poncho-sweater in Shibui shown below is an investment, but will also be a garment you can get a lot of wear out of. Dress it up or throw it on with a pair of jeans - it can go either way. So cozy and warm but without feeling like you have anything on it is so lightweight!

Oct 11th...

Chris knit this adorable sweater using my NFAC Kettle Dyed Sport Merino. I just updated that page with some colors from the dyeing last week. This pattern is from a fabulous baby knits pattern book we stock that is by Fiber Co and originally designed for Acadia)



Sept 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.

Sept 15th...

While downloading pics from our trip to Iceland yesterday, I found the photos I took of some of BJs latest show and tells that I couldn't locate last month! Isn't that always the way. If I can't find something I usually start looking for something else and lo and behold, the original item I was in search of turns up!

Lovely weavings that BJs been doing. I can't remember which fiber she said she used? But I recall that on the photo left, she handspun the lighter gray - it may have been either the VT Border Leceister or the VT Romney? could take a protractor to that blanket and it would be a perfect 45 degree angle she is so consistent and perfect! Both were beautiful. I've always loved Monk's Belt/Cloth weave structure. It is very "northern European". I think it is originally considered Swedish, but we saw some samples of it in Iceland from the turf village which dated back to the 1700s, too. And I found a lovely handspun/handwoven Monk's cloth blanket in an antique shop in Norway years ago. So I think it was just generally popular throughout the northern/Scandinavian countries. Below is a photo I took of a Monk's cloth blanket in a bed in the Turf Village in Iceland....



August 30th....

We're off to Iceland tomorrow (my niece Neysa is helping Chris hold down the fort here at the store - so the store will be open all but Labor Day Sunday and Monday while I'm gone). As much as I enjoyed visiting Iceland before, I didn't expect to go back, but this time the annual "rettir" or roundup of the sheep will be happening and we're getting to the northern part of the country. So between the roundup, the Textile Museum in Blonduos, meeting with a fellow felter Anna Gunnasdottir, and I'm sure getting back to the wonderful museum in Reykyvik and to the Alafoss mill, there should be some fun things to discover.

Several customers asked over the last couple of weeks for me to give a slide show when I return. But since the fall is kind of tight, I decided instead to just post pics and highlights on my much neglected Blog while I'm gone. So if you're interested, check in there daily, starting Sept 2nd, to see what fiber related fun stuff we find there!

I'm not sure we'll get to Gudrun's again. She's the natural dyer there and this is the Icelandic hood pattern I knit using some of her "viking moss" dyed yarn after our last trip. The photos aren't great, but they're enough for you to appreciate the earthy colors she dyes.


August 23....

I've stocked "chainette" yarns in the past and, despite featuring their advantages in numerous newsletters, I've never done well with them. It's been interesting to overhear or watch customers reaction to them, which typically was one of unfamiliarity and then dismissal! So I almost didn't order Bliss's new Lhasa cashmere yarn because my past experience demonstrated that most knitters didn't buy them.

But now chainettes are so much more common that I'm hoping there will be less resistance to trying them now that more knitters are familiar with their construction. Lhasa is SO LOVELY to work with I decided to give it a go even tho' it is a "chainette"!

So here's my quick and dirty spiel of why chainette constructions are particularly good for some yarns:

A chainette yarn traps lots of air pockets, producing a warmer and more insulating yarn to keep you toasty and warm!

A chainette yarn is constructed from multiple thinner strands so that the resulting yarn is bulkier, but not dense! So you get a quicker knit at a bigger gauge, but your garment doesn't weight a ton!!!

In the case of a cashmere/yak yarn such as Debbie Bliss's new Lhasa shown above, a chainette is a really smart way to construct a yarn because where cashmere and yak are expensive fibers, you make less go further. If you were to purchase a traditionally spun cashmere yarn that knit at 4 sts/inch like this yarn, you'd pay twice as much because there would be twice as much fiber in it - it would also be a denser heavier garment and might even be too warm to wear!


August 16th...

Debbie Bliss's new Falkland Aran arrived at the end of last week. It takes 12 sks to knit this roomy 3 color pullover. The yarn is so classic and the the twist in the 3 ply combined with the type of wool used is such that I believe it will wear really well. Still, at $24.95/sk, that would be a $300 sweater to knit! So I've gone back and forth about such an indulgence - even if it doubles as a store model - all weekend!

But finally, in remembrance of some words of wisdom a former customer (MD Huddlestein since moved to Texas after retiring here for several years) once shared with me -

it's not about the initial cost but about the "CPW". CPW is "cost per wear".

She had been a buyer for Saks 5th Ave before retiring and moving to VT and she always reminded me about this concept. Spending $75 on the wool for a sweater that I wear for 1 year is not as cost effective as spending $300 on a sweater I still wear 5 years later!

It is hard to keep this in mind - gulp - when making the initail investment. But I know she was right. I only recently passed on to Goodwill a dark green cabled sweater (similar in style to this, but 1 color) that I knit about 20 years ago. It still had great stitch definition, was not pilling and still fit (nothing else in my closet made it from my 30s to early 50s!) and it was still my go-to for banging around the house on a weekend. So remembering her words and the long life of my hunter green cabled sweater, I'm going to dive in to this one. Now my only question is do I knit the cream, gray and yellow? Or use some of the "aran" color to dye up my own unique 3 colors?

August 12th...

Here are some photos from a couple of the latest felting workshops held here with Katia Mokeyeva last week:

Here are a few of the vests from the first of the 2 Felted Hooded Vest classes we held. A couple of paople weren't quite finished and another had already left. And I completely missed (I was busy at the shop) the photo op from the second of the two Felt Hooded Vests and also from the Goddess Shawl class!

Some of the participants in the Textures of the Forest (they made both cowls and a pair of wristlets) were happy to share their finished projects!

July 26th...


I finished this mosaic knit cowl last week...forged ahead with the colors even tho' at times I didn't like them together. Sometimes, I find, you have to finish a project and live with it and look at it from different angles to decide whether you are going to stick with it - or rip it out and redo it! Looking at it here on the computer screen, I don't love it. But I have to say in person I do. So I will probably live with it. I was going to move on from mosaic knitting (I think this is #3 in 3 months?), but as I was working on this all kinds of ideas came to mind for other projects I'd like to use the green/eggplant combo in! I still haven't had time to put this yarn up on the website and now I'm down to just 84 skeins of it left (in person, this looks like crushed velvet!) so it may be one of those yarns that never makes it to the website?

July 12th....

I've been knitting up samples in the Gems merino that I dye here at the store. The Moroccan Blue shawl is a great no-brainer knit and took just 2 skeins. This swatch from a cowl I'm knitting up uses only 2 skeins worth of yarn but because I'm using 4 colors it isn't the most efficient use of yarn....but then I'll have enough left to knit a hat or something!


June 28th...

Chris has been working on a needle felted mobile for a baby shower. Here is the hedgehog she did and shared last week. She brought in the octopus, seahorse, and narwhale for show and tell as well, but I didn't get photos of them. She promised a photo of the finished mobile, so I'll post that at a later date. They are sooooo cute!

June 7th....

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.


MaY 31ST...

Last week, sisters Linda and Carolyn stopped by and brought show and tell. I shared Carolyn's nuno shawl (see below) last week and now want to share the silk paper notebooks that Linda made after taking a workshop with my sister. I love the embellishments to the silk paper that Linda added- a butterlfy that she found (already dead) on the ground near her house, a key and button , and a dessicated leav. And she did a great job with the binding too! Look for another silk paper making class at the shop in the fall/winter schedule to be posted in August if this looks intriguing to you!


May 26th...

Felting sisters Carolyn and Linda stopped by yesterday with some show and tell and to restock on some merino top. This is the shawl Carolyn made in my reversible nuno felt shawl workshop this past December. The colors are gorgeous -emerald on one side and a lovely spring green on the other - and they are perfect on her. She did such a great job getting a nice even and lightweight fabric! Next week I'll share some gorgeous silk paper notebooks that sister Linda made after taking a silk paper making workshop with my sister.

May 17th...

I found Morocco very inspiring from an arts and crafts standpoint so my head has been spinning since I returned with all sorts of ideas! But since I never got the dyeing done before vacation, that is how I've focused my 2 weeks since returning. I'm still not done, but here are a few pics to show some of the colors I've done for the NFAC Kettle-Dyed Sport. Today I just ordered 450 skeins of the fingering yarn to dye up next!!!

The last photo are the colors I dyed last week. The first photo shows my usual bent toward the more autumnal colors, the second photo shows one of the "gradients" I dyed (7 colors in a sequence), and the third photo shows a palette I'm not usually associated with! But since vacation I've been obsessed with blues and cobalts and periwinkles! And brighter greens than I usually go for. So I had to dye up some of the "blues of Morocco" and the greens in the zellij tiles there. Anyway, stop in next week and see all the colors done and out on the floor!



Apr 12th...

Felting sisters Carolyn and Linda stopped by to resupply for their weekly felting "play days" and they brought along some show and tell to share!

They've been making lots of slippers (Gotschaf) and these fun and colorful vessels (using CC Wool). Since Linda bought some of the lovely CC Tussah top as well, I'm guessing I'll have some silk paper to show after their next visit! Beautiful designs and really well made felt! Thanks for sharing.

Apr 5th...

My sister has knit several of these tank tops over the years. It is a fun knit (I knit one a few years ago) since you work it in different directions so both the stitch (and the variegated yarn, if you use one) add figure flattering directionals to the fabric. This one Joany knit using 1 skein of Blue Heron organic, handpainted cotton. Each skein packs a whopping 630 yds and she had enough in one skein for one niece, but was afraid she was going to be a bit short knitting this larger size for the other niece. To "extend" her yarn without having to buy another huge skein, she picked up 1 skein of Hempathy by Elsebeth Lavold and worked a complementary stripe into the neckline. As it turned out, she would have had enough yarn to knit the entire top without the Hempathy, but having the accet adds an interesting design element. The tank is smaller than this mannequin, so it is not the most flattering photo since it kind of distorts the fabric to fit over this model's bigger body, but I wanted to share a creative idea for troubleshooting if you think you're running short on yarn and either can't get it anymore!


Mar 29th....

I was so glad that Susan sent me a photo of the bird house she felted in this past weekend's Felter's Play Day! I zoned out and totally forgot to take pictures of the hats that participants needle felted, of this birdhouse which Susan wet felted or of the needle felted racoons that Joan was working on! Susan was the lone wet felter who attended, but she had a chance to try out the Gotschaf fiber which she hadn't used before and in between customers I was able to give her some pointers on felting with it. And the participants who needle felted hats did well between the instructions I wrote up for them and the tips I could share between helping customers on Saturday. I ran into Joan in the grocery store yesterday and she was still talking about how much she enjoyed spending the afternoon felting with the others.


I am really behind in sharing the photos of some of the coats that came out of Linda's felt jacket workshop here this winter. Everyone came back for the final sewing and fitting March 13 & 14th and I got photos of most of the finished (or nearly....some still had to find buttons, etc). I've never timed myself when felting fabric to cut and sew a coat or when doing a seamless nuno tunic or dress, but Jules did (thanks Jules!) and she said it took her 31 hours to layout and felt the fabric for her coat. Keep in mind....that doesn't count the 2 full days they did the cutting and sewing here! Or the time they took to sew the muslin and make adjustments! Anyway, they all came out great!!


Feb 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.

Feb 9th...

Allison stopped by for the First Friday Clearance Bin last week and brought some show and tell. She does a lot of weaving at her studio in Huntington - teaches kids too - and wove this sweet bag using up the end of a warp and then weaving an inkle band for the strap! She also showed a couple of her blankets - woven to grade subtly thru so many colors in both the warp and weft that your eye enjoys this lovely gentle transition thru the color wheel. I wish I'd taken photos....she had 2 with her that were just spectacular in the golds and orange spectrum!

Jan 26th....

We have lots of adorable new knit and crochet ideas for babys/kids stocked since the New Year. From individual leaflet patterns to soft cover books chock full of great designs and from diaper covers to onesies, jackets and vests to cute little stuffed animals! Stop by to check them are photos of some of the new stuffed animal patterns.....

plus we've got a boy and dog, a hedgehog, a sheep......and just a few of the kids/baby patterns that are new.....



Jan 5th....

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.

Dec 8th...

Susan Robey-Bond, who joined us for the free evening for Needle Felting XMAS Ornaments here last Wednesday, sent in a picture of her completed ornaments to share. I love the plaid scarf! As much as I love snowmen made out of wool, I hope that at some point this winter - preferably before XMAS - we'll have enough snow to make one of snow!

Dec 1st....

There are 2 spots open in this weekend's Nuno Felt workshop. I originally planned to teach a shawl-as shown in the second photo from the left - but have also developed a "poncho" design a person could do. Since I'd taught scarves so many times I didn't think there was anybody left who wanted to learn that, but it seems like 3 of the participants who have registered want to make 2 scarves instead of a shawl.

So....if you are interested in making 2 scarves and didn't register because you didn't want to make a shawl....know that there is still room and I'm happy to show a couple of scarf styles!

You might want to knock off 2 scarves (aka, holiday gifts!) this weekend while you learn a new technique!



Nov 24th....

Marjolein Dallinga's sculptural felt workshop here last weekend was great fun for everyone! Ten lucky participants spent 3 days exploring color and structure in felt thru Marjolein's unique approach to the medium. It was a lovely group of felters that epitomized the saying that my father shared with me (in a poster which hangs at the shop):

There are no strangers here, only friends we haven't met.

The10 participants came from NH, CT, MA, UT, NC, WI, VT and CO and only a couple were previously acquainted at the start of class. But the congeniality and creative energy shared amongst them was great to experience and I think everyone ended the 3 days with new friends to keep in touch with!

Nov 17th...

I just finished this simple wrap/poncho and wanted to share it as a possible post-XMAS project for any of you interested in a simple pattern that you can knit on "auto pilot" or for those of you maybe newer to knitting that may be looking to expand your repertoire and lean cables but not take on an allover aran project! The pattern is by Plymouth and was designed for Homestead (4-5 skeins at $8.50/sk) but I knit it in 220 Aran Superwash by Cascade ( 5 sks at $12.50/sk) because I already had a Homestead model knit. There are several other yarns it would be great for. The neckline doesn't show as nicely on my wooden shoulders, but on a live person, it has a lovely drape and can be played with to achieve slightly diffferent looks.


Nov 3rd...

I spent the last couple of weeks, on and off, dyeing up some gorgeous yarns....from local wools to cashmere to alpaca/silk!

The new Vermont Coopworth yarn is all out on the floor and has been receiving lots of oohs and aahs. In fact one of the colors is just about sold out. I also dyed up a couple new colors in the Vermont Border Leceister to round out the color range of what is left of that local yarn. Both these yarns are from sheep known for their length and lustre so these yarns are really great options for durable accessories like mittens, gloves, wristwarmers, boot toppers. Even hats.....I line them with a bit of angora so what is next to the forehead is soft and cozy.

Be sure to click on the hat so you can see what lovely variation there is in a color when I kettle dye here!

The Cuzco alpaca-Silk laceweight (shown right) and the Cashmere Passion (shown left) are both so incredibly lovely to feel! This orange cashmere passion looks really bright in the photo, but it is actually a deep and dark orange with so many shades going on it is really gorgeous. It is a cashmere-merino blend that is heavenly soft. I have it in black and grey, and now 5 hand-dyed colors that it is sometimes hard to find cashmere in: deep orange, cobalt, marsala, kiwi, teal. And I


Oct 22nd...

If you're looking for a fun project to do with the kids for Halloween, pick up a Needle Felted Pumpkin Kit -or two- and schedule an evening to sit down and do this together! It's simple and lots of fun and every jack-o-lantern has such personality! You'll love it. Each kit has enough fiber to make a couple of pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns, plus instructions and 2 felting needles.

Oct 11th...

I haven't had many customers in looking for vest patterns lately, but since I've had this vest (knit in Tundra by Fiber Co) out on display, it stops everyone at the front door and has become a very popular knit this season. Simple, classic, elegant but sporty.

And this Andorra Cape pattern continues to be popular with every age group...there are just so many ways to wear it and the neck is so fun to play with!

Sept 28th...

Ponchos seem to be pretty popular right now.....not the fringed point in front and back. But both the rectangles folded and seamed for an asymmetrichang and the "capelets" that keep the draft off the shoulders and neck without the dangling ends that shawls annoy us all with.

I'm knitting up this rectangle poncho right now for a store model. The pattern is designed for Homestead, but since I already had a store model knit in that yarn, I chose Cascade's Aran for this project. It is a simple knit with a bit of interest in the cable that runs along the bottom you don't go completely batty knitting the same thing for 48"! Great project if you want to learn a basic cable!

This capelet is another really popular project - so easy to wear around the house and even over a coat when the weather gets a bit colder! No seaming as it is knit from the neck down and although the pattern features a bit of garter and lace stitches, you really could just do stockinette stitch and let Noro's Cyochin yarn take care of the design if you really wanted to simplify it!

My perennial favorite is the Andorra Cape knit in Imperial Ranch's Columbia yarn. The big neck is fun and dramatic and can swoop down in front or lay asymmetrically off to the side. Sometimes I wear it with the point in front...sometimes in back....sometimes to the side. It is warm and cozy, but never hangs in the way of cooking or cleaning, knitting or spinning!


Sept 10th...

My sister Joan knit up this beautiful Brioche Stitch cowl and had a lot of fun with it. And several customers have been in lately asking about Brioche stitch patterns, so I added a Brioche Knit=A-Long to the fall line up. You can find mroe details about it on the Events page.

Sept 2nd...

Sara brought in her latest color creation for show and tell this morning. She has worked on it for over 3 years! It is crocheted in a lovely fine lace weight and this shawl/scarf has the loveliest drape to it! Every square is unique in pattern and color. It brings back such fond memories of a granny square afghan my sister Roby did for me when I was around 6 years old, I think. I still have it and cherish it. I remember during sleep-overs my friends and I spending hours looking at every square and picking out which were our favorite color combinations!

July 28th...

A customer who just started spinning on a spindle and stopped by to show us her first skein. I wasn't here at the time, but Carol snapped this shot and said the skein was beautifully spun. She (I think Carol said her name was Melanie - or Marilyn?) spun the skein using various colors of our Merino Top and rightly so, she was excited about her outcome! Those of you who have tried drop spindling....well... you probably remember how exciting that first skein is after sticking thru the stops and starts of learning to drop spindle! Well done!

Since I had to clear out the workshop in advance of Jean Gauger's Butterfly Shawl class the second week in July, I laid out and felted this reversible nuno felt dress (shown far right - and, yes... the way the sides bow out heading toward the knees is intentional-it is the way the pockets work which makes the dress both reversible (this is actually shown inside out!) and they way they fall actually makes it a flattering design despite what one would ordinarily think about what looks like a sack!). Anyway, while in the "nuno mode" of felting and while the 3 tables were set up (since I generally prefer to do traditional felting and make accessories and I'm not much into nuno felting myself), I figured I may as well work on some shawl and scarf designs I had been thinking about. So I worked up a couple of shawl and scarf designs for classes this fall (one shown in the left photo) ....and then having been inspired by the butterfly shawls participants made in Jean's class (tho' I wasn't lucky enough to take it myself....too busy making lunches for the group!), I decided to lay out a "butterfly shawl" to be worn as a skirt over leggings this winter. I realized just now that these photos were taken before the final pressing/steaming of the garments, so if you click on them to enlarge them....sorry that they don't quite have the finishing steps done yet! Oops!


July 21st....

So my sister Joany has been knitting - well that's nothing new! But she stopped by and here are a few of her show and tells...

She knit this shawl using an Icelandic laceweight yarn that is similar in gauge to Findley Lace. I can't remember which book she got the pattern from, but the latest lace book off the press (and I only have 1 copy left) is a new Hapsalu shawl book by Aasa "I'll butcher her last name" if I try to add it here. It has GORGEOUS patterns all nicely charted out for you! Stop by to check it out!

She knit these socks using Nordlys as a special request from a grand-daughter.


July 16th...well, I obviously have been busy since I haven't had a chance to update this page in a much show and tell today that I've been accumulating, but I only have time for one so I'll start with Aubrey's latest sweater! She knit this new Ravelry pattern using an aran weight Imperial Ranch Columbia. She loved working with this yarn and it shows off the pattern nicely. She did a great job and it fits her beautifully! I think the big smile is a combination of being happy with her sweater and also because she's a teacher and enjoying a little summer off!

I'm blanking on the name of this Ravelry pattern, but I'll find it and post more completely next week!


June 17th...

Jude got some fun yarns at the last First Friday Clearance Bin and put them to use in a new way that she's been having fun with.....coiling baskets. She shared this photo to show one of the Colinette (Point Five, I believe) that she picked up last month.

If you aren't aware of these....the First Friday of every month I put clearance yarns at discount in the back workshop. So come on by Friday July 3rd and enjoy some great savings!

April 21st...

My sister knit this simple garter stitch handkerchief scarf using just 1 skein of Revel (alpaca laceweight). The pattern is free with the yarn purchase. I don't have this yarn online yet....its been in the store for a few months and is available in 5 colorways. I'll try to get it online next week when I update the site again.

April 7th...

Spent some time on Easter Sunday starting to clean out the garden beds....what a mess it is this time of year! And , as usual, I got to one corner of the garden and began cursing myself for I having accepted a start of Japanese Lanterns from a friend years ago who had them in her garden and raved about them.....without warning me about how intrusive and hard to get rid of they are!

But on Sunday as I was enjoying being out of doors and digging around in the garden I experienced one of those "aha" moments, seeing these (now dessicated from the winter) little pods in a new light. Anyway, aren't they lovely? I'm going to try felting (the structure left behind is quite leathery and tough) the casings into wool....I have felted in dessicated leaves to felt garments in the past and think this should work. And I think I'll work some into silk paper too! Check back in 2 weeks to see how these experiements worked out!

March 23rd....

I'm out of floor space so I'm hanging from the ceiling! These photos show some of the 23 colors of tussah silk that arrived....just $7.99/2 oz.

March 17...

Participants in this past weekend's Felt Tunic workshop made some beautiful garments. One participant had to leave early on Sunday, so we're missing her from the shot, but here are the other 5 with teacher Linda. Hopefully Robin will come back with "show and tell" when she is done!

March 3rd....

Here are 2 close-ups and one overall photo of examples of the shawl (or as in the photo far right, if you place some buttons strategically it can become a vest or armed cardigan of sorts) you can make if you join us for Jean Gauger's Butterfly Shawl workshop here July 9, 10 and 11th!

If you are local, you just must stop by to see the live samples of both pieces from both Nancy Evan's (below) and Jean Gauger's upcoming workshops.. As Lindy and Carolyn commented on Saturday when they were in the shop and decided to register for Nancy Evans Felt Lariat and Shibori Felt Pin classes in April, seeing the "live" pieces (Nancy sent in examples for her workshop as well) is so much more inspiring than the photos online. That is the case for both these upcoming person they are so much better even than the photos I am able to take and show thru the website, that you really must see them in person to appreciate the artistry in them all.

And here are photos of the Lariat and Shibori Felt Pins/Brooches that Nancy Evans will be teaching on April 18th and 19th. Lots of great techniques here that can be applied to the making of closures for bags, lids for felt vessels, wall hangings and sculptures! So many possibilities !


Feb 22nd...

I forgot to snap a photo of some adorable kids boots that my sister made, but she gave me one of the felt birds she's been making for a baby mobile, so I had that to share with you. So beautiful and light....they will make a gorgeous mobile for Lyra.

This is a kit she put together which is a fun kit for learning basic felting with a makes a different sort of bird than I picture above. It is also lovely and fun for alll ages to make. Check out this page to purchase the felting kit for these birds shown below....


Feb 17th....

At the Open House this past weekend, several attendees chose to play with blending colors and fibers on the drum carder. Only Aubrey, who came by at the end of the day took the batt she made home (sorry to those of you who came by earlier that you didn't realize it was yours to keep...I didn't recognize that you left them behind until you were gone)!

So after putting away all samples from the Silk Table and repacking my felt and handspun samples from the Wool Fibers Table, I turned to the drum carding station and saw the pile pictured above of odds and ends of batts and fibers left. So since the drum carder was out and I hated to throw these bits out or try to find a plaace to put them, I ran them thru the drum carder and ended up with the batt shown below, which I spun into a 2 oz skein (shown on the niddy noddy) and then had only the few bits you see pictured in the far right photograph below to find a home for!

Even tho' these aren't the colors I usually work with, it was fun to take 10 minutes of "play time" on the drum carder and now I have enough yarn for a kid's pair of mittens! And, importantly, I had less fiber to find a home for!

Feb 10th...

Martha stopped by this morning to pick up another color of my Kettle Dyed Merino for a fabulous (sorry the photo doesn't show the colors off well because of the blue background I shot them on) hexagon pin cushion she is crocheting. OMG....the colors are so gorgeous together. I'm just about to dye up a new batch of this yarn to replenish the store stock....hope to get to that next week. She has 3 more (actually 4 more since she is going to rip out the hexagon I clipped out of the photo - from a design standpoint she decided she didn't want two of the same color hexagon next to each other) units to knit and then she will fold it, stitch the seams and stuff it with Corriedale fiber. Can't wait to see the finished cushion!

FEb 3rd....

I finished the leather trim around this eco printed wool bag I made. I love combining leather with wool and felt and was so psyched that my brother had the perfect color orange leather to compliment the eucalyptus I used to print the fabri!


Jan 27th...

Just finished this coat I sewed using wool I "Eco-printed" with Japanese Maple leaves from my friend's yard! If you're interested in learning the basics of this technique, it will be covered in the Dye Lab scheduled here in May.


In the meantime, here are some more projects that BJ brought for show and tell, as well as a couple that I have.

BJ spun the wool (I think it was my Vermont Coopworth?) and knit these adorable traditional slippers from a pattern in the Icelandic Handknits book. She even knit and felted the insole like they did traditionally (here is a photo of a typical pair which I took at the museum in Reykyavik, for comparison). Traditionally, they make the outside out of fishskin and then felt and knit the insole.

BJ spun and knit both the sweater and the scarf. If I remember correctly, the sweater is spun from a gorgeous llama/wool blend fiber that I had for a while and the scarf is spun from the Corriedale by the Yard. Few spinners think about this fiber....I sell it by the yard for felters who are looking for small amounts of lots of colors...but it is a great fiber to spin too!

Jan 20th...

BJ brought in lots of show and tell last week and I finally decided on a collar for that felt vest!

I love the waffle weave tea towels BJ wove inspired byt he colors in a Frank Lloyd Wright sketch! Just gorgeous colors and a terrific interpretation from print to woven design.

This shawl BJ spun from the Nuble merino I am stocking. Tho' she said she loved the feel of the fiber, she apparently wishes she had not kept the color sequences so distinct when she spun and plied the yarn. I think the stripes look lovely but her comment is a reminder to spinners that when working with a hand-dyed roving/top, you control whether you get stripes in the final yarn or a tweed effect, and so it is worth taking a few minutes before you begin to think thru how you will strip, draft and ply the yarn.

If you've been in the store in the last year, you may have seen this vest (shown left, with a detail of the felt shown middle) hanging around here or there without a collar on it. Or perhaps with a different collar altogether, since this vest has had 5 different collars before the one shown!

This vest has been quite a project and although in many ways I think this final choice of collar (tibetan lamb) is fitting given the fabric I felted, it is a bit over the top for me and I may never wear it. But I am considering it done and after 2 years am finally taking it of my "to finish" list!

If you want to see the rather remarkable transformation of the bits and pieces shown in the right photo above, into the final vest, click here for the account of this felting journey!

Jan 6th...

BJ is on here way here with show & tell, so I'll have some fun things to show next week! For now, the only photo I have to share of a newly completed project is the eco-printed skirt I made over the holidays using some wool I printed with eucalyptus leaves in the fall (scroll down for those photos). This week I am making a leather and wool bag using the last piece of the eucalyptus printed fabric. I'll use the bag much more than I'll ever wear this skirt, but it works on the mannequin! Here's a closeup of the fabric, as well.

Dec 9th...

Unfortunately, I forgot to shoot a photo of the needle felted ornaments that participants in Saturday's workshop made before they left, but they all made some wonderful ornaments like these few that I made to give them some ideas ....

One of Neysa's monochromatic needle felted tapestries.....if you live locally and haven't had a chance yet to check out her exhibit and sale at Bagitos Bagel shop in Montpelier, it has been extended thru the end of the year. Check it out if you are looking for something really special to gift to a loved one.


Nov 19th....

I've had this woven wool fabric hanging around here since May when I started to play around with Eco-Printing. But after lots of experimentation this spring (scroll down for earlier pieces on silk) and realizing how arbitrary the results from my back yard can be (notwithstanding my Lancastershire geraniums which always give me something good but aren't blooming right now!), I was afraid to risk the (expensive) fabric on an unknown. So the fabric sat here, getting moved from shelf to cabinet and generally "in the way" when a felting buddy provided me the impetus to do something with it this week. She brought me a bouquet which included some Eucalyptus and I decided it was now or never to (at least start to) put an end to this 6 month old project!

And as it turned out, Chris was doing some Eco-Printing with her kids last week (she got some gorgeous results too, but the battery was dead on my camera the day she brought in the show and tell). She and the kids had been using maple leaves with great results, so while I had the iron bath going I went to a friends house and picked up the last of the maple leaves on her ground - ice chunks and all! So now I have printed 3 yards each in maple and in Eucalptus. I'm still not really sure what I'll do with the yardage....originally I had thought about a couple of jackets, but the fabric came out a bit "too busy" for that. And I can't bear the thought of making bags.....I've got so many felt bags going right now. But I feel good that at least this project is one step closer to becoming "something" and ultimately getting off my "to-do" list. And that counts for something!

Oct 30th...

Finally finished (well, as much as I'm going to finish could use more time fussing to make the edges crisper and the felt harder, but since it is going to a 3 month old and I've already put in I-hate-to-think-how-many-hours, I'm calling it a day!) felting one of the interesting origami-inspired felt pieces we made when Andrea Noeske-Porada was here for a couple of workshops this month. Everyone enjoyed her and the felting techniques she shared with us, tremendously. If you ever get a chance to take a class with her, you should! is the toy in action:


Oct 24th...

Neysa started and we've all added to this little portrait to test out the new Addi Quick electric needle felting tool!

Sept 16th...

One of the techniques we're covering in the Skill Building Workshop this fall is "intarsia". Most people think of it for kids garments....knitting cats and dogs, frogs and dinosaurs into a background....but it has other interesting applications. Here is a wrap I knit in Kureyon using the technique. You can find out more about the class here.

August 28th...when it rains it pours. Lots of Show & Tell was shared this week and I probably should dole it out slowly....but since I sometimes then lose track of what I've shared and not, I figured I'd post all three beauties this week.

My sister Joany knit this sweet drawstring bag for me using some naturally dyed Laotian Silk I used to sell at the store. This bag says a lot about my sister Joan....besides the obvious that she is a skilled knitter. The bigger reveal is this: I gave her the Laotian silk skeins so she could knit herself something special ( she helps me out so much at the store). And then she knits this beautiful bag for me! I guess she had enough to knit several bags and so also has one for herself. Still. The speed and volume of her knitting and her generous spirit always impress me.

My niece, Neysa, has gotten bitten by the knitting bug in the last year since she started working here (she is an amazing needle felter). These fingerless mitts were her first foray into multicolor knitting as well as the first time she knit a thumb....she is very excited about them, as she should be! She used my NFAC Fingering Merino that I dye here for the store. Not sure why the picture is so dark...I think if you click on the enlarge, you can see the colors better.

Joan Hathaway took my Intro to Felting class this last winter or fall and has had fun playing with it ever since. She entered this swan into the Charmplain Valley Fair's Mixed Media Art contest and won 2nd place and is thrilled. Congratulations, Joan! It's beautiful.

July 15th...

The weather has been great for dyeing so that's what I've been doing! I've dyed up the last 30 pounds of NFAC Fingering Merino (some of it seen drying here). Every time I walk past the bins of this yarn at the store my heart races! I've put aside a pretty assortment of colors to use in some mittens and gloves I have planned to knit over vacation.

July 2nd...

Jan just stopped in this morning with a gorgeous wrap to show off. Knit using Swans Island worsted in color Lupine (my camera really washed out the color). She used a size US 8 needle and both the stitch definition and the drape are lovely. Pattern is by Jared Flood.

June 25th...

Using up odds and feels good to clear out some fiber and it reminds me once again how challenging it is to be forced to use and combine colors you ordinarily wouldn't think of.

So last night some friends came over and between munching eclairs and catching up on each other's news, we started drum carding all the crazy bits and pieces of fiber that I felt like I was drowning in. We had such fun putting together this and that to creat new batts to felt and spin. I can't wait to see what we each do with the batts we made.... The first photo shows the table of scraps as we got started, the second photo shows one of the batts Linda was working on in progress and the thrid photo shows the 13 batts we made rolled up and waiting to be used for felting and spinning projects! It was lots of fun, but kind of depressing to still see what a big pile of scraps is still left even after we made 13 batts!!

Then, another scrap using project I finished this week was to embellish this pair of slippers I felted while testing out a new fiber I am considering for the store. I used up some bits and pieces of an odd assortment of colors of a great felting wool that were left over when we bagged the last shipment of CC Wool (a blueish teal, a pale orange, a light green, a brown, a faint salmony-white). I can't really say I like the end result - I don't hate them, but the slippers don't "speak" to me - , but the process was a good reminder of how much neighboring colors can affect each other (toning down, pumping up)! The first 4 photos show the evolution of the design and the change of colors while needling and the last photo shows the left slipper at the pre-fulling stage and the right slipper done (well, I'm calling it done since I got out of the exercise what I wanted - testing the new wool and using up fiber that was laying around - even if the design and colors still bother me and I keep seeing things I want to needle more or change! )


The pre and post!


June 17th..

I've been working thru some Eco-Printing on silk fabric and scarves since Eva' workshop here in April....trying to get some "predictability" and "control" into the technique, but also trying local plants (in class we worked a lot with eucalyptus...which I love, but can't grow in my yard!). Despite that these don't photograph at all well, I thought I'd share some results I've gotten using plants from my own garden, since it is a great time of year to be in the garden!

The scarf to the far right is an "everything but the kitchen sink" tests a leaf from absolutely every flowering shrub and plant in my back yard except bloodroot (that leaf is so ugly I knew I wouldn't want to use it even if it gave good color). Once I test the plants and conditions (other variables of getting a good print), I then have been printing "cleaner" scarves using what I like best (i.e. left and middle photos). Eco-Printing has been a love-hate experience from the get-go! I've got a bunch of silk fabric and quite a few charmeuse scarves that I've done that I absolutely LOVE the pattern and colors in, but then I've also created some of the ugliest pieces of silk you can imagine! So it's been a few months of trial and error, but I guess that's the nature of it. Fortunately, I have had enough successes with the technique that I've sold several scafves, have loved enough of them to gift quite a few to family and friends, have now made 6 or 7 into cowls and infinity scarves and I will do more in the fall when the maple and oak trees are at their best! Quite a few of the silk scarves and cowls that I've made you can see here at the store like the one below, shown on the right just after taking it out of the pot and then on the left after curing it for 2 weeks, washing it and sewing it into an infinity scarf.



June 5th...

Just knit up this snood, based on a pattern from Icelandic Handknits. Instead of knitting equal stripes in sequentially darker natural shades of wool, I used Fibonacci numbers as the basis for my striping sequence and I used some naturally dyed Icelandic wool. Apparently, reviving my Icelandic wristlet pattern last week (scroll down for photo, free pattern link ) from the Vermont CSA Yarn Club I offered a couple of years ago got me binge-knitting on my stash of Icelandic yarn and on working wavy/chevrony patterns! It also got me perusing various books we sell on Icelandic knits, which I recommend you check out next time you're in the store!

May 22....

Carol snapped some great photos of show and tell a customer shared of some crocheted amigurummi creatures she has been having a blast making , but Carol forgot to get the customer's I'll post those in the gallery as soon as I get a name to attribute them to!

In the meantime, I resurrected a pattern I designed for one of my Vermont Yarn CSAs of years past, in honor of Spin Off's feature article on Icelandic wool which came out this week. I had this Vermont Icelandic wool spun locally from wool I purchased at a Vermont Icelandic farm and I designed this simple pattern based on the fact that "wave" motifs are popular in many of the north Atlantic countries in which fishing is a big industry. I have now posted the pattern under Free Patterns and the yarn is available here

Apr 22nd...

I'm afraid in the month I've been dealing with computer problems and neglecting the website, I've lost some photos that customers have brought in for show and tell! But here are a couple of shots from the recent Eco-Printing workshop here, plus a few show & tells of felt and knitted projects that have been shared recently!

Some Eco-Prints on silk, silk, and felt (in order)...the felt piece is folded and pinned since I'm making it into a bag. The print on the far left came from a geranium leaf I picked out in the back garden!

Some lace wristlets knit using my NFAC kettle dyed merino and a pattern from the most recent Findley Dappled book.

A turtle pin cushion that was felted for me by a sister using the KAP wool!

Mar 18th.....

Because of time limitations, we had to call an end to our flower felting. So the window boxes are not quite as full as in years past, but they herald spring in a whimsical and colorful way!

I was so caught up in visiting with everyone who joined us for the Felter's Meet & Greet on Saturday that I forgot to get out the camera to take photos during the event....but I did snap a photo of Neysa's chair before everyone arrived and I took a photo of Carol's rug the day before when she dropped it off for Show & I have these 2 creations to share with you. Both so gorgeous.

Mar 8th...

Sue Johnson stopped by last week to show me the shawl she knit using my kettle dyed NFAC merino. The pattern is Sundry, from Ravelry, and knit in my merino it is absolutely gorgeous! Almost velvety and with such a great hand. I only have about 20 pounds of it left to dye but I'm trying to get another run of it because the customers who have knit with it come back for more...and more...and more!

Feb 25th....


Neysa knit this shawl using some naturally dyed icelandic lace weight yarn I picked up in Iceland this spring.

Feb 5th....

My niece, Neysa, knit this beautiful pin cushion for me using my hand-dyed NFAC Fingering. She always picks such great designs!The cushion is so soft and the dyed colors knit up so beautifully....almost like least that's what customers say in the store when they see the various samples I have knit using this yarn. I kind of hate to think about sticking pins or needles in it!

jAN 27TH... I'm a little behind! Kathy brought this gorgeous shawl in for show and tell before the holidays. She spun and knit it up using the Cormollaca fiber I had here in the store last year - sorry, it's sold was so gorgeously silky and soft to spin that it didn't last long!

But...I just got back 35 pounds of new fiber from the mill and have a gorgeous VT BFL/Kid mohair blend in a creamy white and a pretty grey VT Romney/BL cross available now.


Jan 20th....

Elizabeth brought in some show and tell when she was in this week for more fiber. She spun up the Merino Gradient in the jeweltones colorway and then knit this wonderful scarf. She did a great job spinning it and the fiber is so soft and lovely, she came back for more!

Dec 10th....

I've been shooting and uploading some new technique videos (see the Tutorials button mid way down the blue menu bar to the left of this page) over the last week or two and will have another three to load up Thursday based on this hat I worked up based on a particular piece of music. This is the "prototype" in which I worked out some kinks and got lots of practice working duplicate stitch.Riddled with little issues, like spacing between notes and forgetting to duplicate stitch in the timing (9/8) I'm afraid this one will be relegated to teaching purposes and I've started fresh knitting the actual hat I'll be gifting (the baby is now too big to fit into this newborn size!)

duplicate stitch

eliminate the jog!

two color knitting

So check back Friday for some more new ones and be sure to keep your eye on Tutorials page in January for more new ones as Carol, Chris, Lynn & Ariel have compiled a list of about 30 different "how-tos" they frequently hear and I'll be working on those each week thru January. Most knitting tutorials, but some felting and spinning too.

Nov 13th...

Carol, Susan & Muffy all gave me permission to share their samples from this past weekend's Layered Resist Dye workshop. We all learned a lot, had fun, and ended up with some really interesting pieces.


Oct 24th...

When my sisters & I were in Iceland this spring I purchased 8 colors of Icelandic fleece with the intention of felting some rugs. I've only finished one of them....a house warming for one of my nieces (a gentle nudge, since she's thinking about raising Icelandics!). It looked better in my mind than it turned out in reality. I was rushing, and well, that's never good. So I'm relying on "it's the thought that counts"! The star shape I used is typical of the designs for the knitted insoles we saw samples of in the Reykyavik museum.

Oct 17th..

. Pam knit these hats using my Vermont Shetland and using a pattern from Williamsburg. She knit one for her mom and one for her dad.

Jan brought by some lovely beaded wristlets she made using Swan Island Fingering. They are so lovely and to our heads, I think the second place we lose most heat is thru the inside of our wrists....the skin is so thin there and there are so many blood vessels at the surface. So all the traditional costumes from the Scandinavian countries that featured wristlets really made sense...not just beauty!


Sept 26th....

Chris, whom many of you know from managing the store on Mondays & Tuesdays, enjoyed one of the perks of working here and joined in on Dagmar's felting class last month. Earlier this week, she wore the vest she made in Dagmar's class to the shop. It came out beautifully and has apparently has garnered lots of oohs and aahs about town when she's worn it. It is a great testament to both Chris's creative aesthetic and Dagmar's teaching....

Sept 16th...

Just wanted to draw people's attention to a special pre-XMAS offer on Juniper Moon's Herriot alpaca. Because the first design pattern book has SO MANY wonderful patterns that require multiple colors, and that requires a significant upfront investment in the yarn, I'm trying to make it easier for you all to enjoy some fair isle knitting with this luxurious yarn by offering a Baker's Half Dozen. 6 and you get a 7th free! With 7 skeins you can knit up multiple projects, as I have been doing, which makes the cost per project really reasonable (even if the initial outlay of cash doesn't seem it!).

Although this photo shows the cowl knit as per the pattern, it could easily be half the width (since it is a tube and therefore doubled in thickness) and still provide a luxurious and warm covering for your neck this winter. So after knitting the hat and the cowl and seeing how much yarn I still had left, I figured I could either knit 2 more cowls (at half the width), 1 more hat AND the mittens OR I could do 1 more cowl at the full width and another hat OR I could knit 3 more hats and the mittens (with a spare)! Anyway, the point is that although it seems like a large outlay to use all of this yarns gorgeous natural colors, it actually ends up being a pretty reasonable cost per item when all is said and done (around $23-$28/item).

Sept 12th...

BJ brought in a lot of show & tell two weeks ago and I haven't had a chance to edit those photos yet to share with you...and I'm short on time right now, so I'm jumping this next show & tell ahead of BJ. Here is a wonderful shawl Kathy knit from a pattern in the last KnitScene using Silk Garden Sock - or did she say she used Taiyo sock? Hmmmm....well, either would work! Anyway, she said it was fun to knit!


Sept 2nd....Dagmar Binder's workshop here last week was a great success. Check out this group shot of the happy felters (from Montreal, Florida, Rhode Island, Boston, NY State, NYCity , Arizona, & a couple of locals!)showing off (at various stages of completion) their wonderful nuno wristlets or tops.

Since Dagmar's class closed and I had to turn several customers away, I decided I needed to add a seamless nuno project into the fall schedule so those of you interested in learning this approach to felting would have another chance at it. But for space and time issues, we are not offering a garment, but a smaller project.

Since I had taught these nuno wristlets a couple of years ago and since last year's nuno scarf class was popular and customers have been asking me to repeat it (but I hate repeating exactly the same thing), I've designed a cool new scarf and a nuno cowl that will teach the nuno seamless technique. So if you're interested in learning the seamless technique without undertaking an ambitious 3 day project such as those who participated in Dagmar's class this past week did, join me for this fun & easy scarf/cowl class. And in case you're wondering how/why a scarf needs a doesn't, but to learn the technique I've worked a clever seam into the scarf to create a you learn the technique and have a cool closure. Or join us and make a cowl (which does require a seam). For more details, check out the Classes page.


Aug 15th...

I enjoyed a few days of uninterrupted felting this past week. What a joy! Since there are so many distractions here at the shop, even if I close the curtain and try to create in the workshop space here, I get drawn into the store for something. So I find taking a workshop is sometimes the only way to "be one with the felt". And since Dagmar is coming here for a seamless workshop in a couple of weeks, I registered to take her class at Sharon's. I've worked a lot with resists in the past ...between the 3-D bags I make a lot of and some scarves I've done (the last scarf I did required 125 resists!). But I've been doing more nuno felting lately, and working on that series of Stitched Felt Bags more recently, so it was fun to get back into resist work. And although the technique was not new to me I always find there is something new to learn in every workshop. Whether it is a different approach to layout or a new "appreciation" of some design element, or the types of wools used for different applications, there is always something. My take away from this workshop was the element of "repetition" in the design process. I was just beginning to appreciate this recently when working my Felt Quilt Bags, and this workshop drove it home. The repetition of the same unit or same design over and over and over, makes for a very dramatic effect. So you can see from the two closeup photos I loaded above and from the (still wet) leaf collar below, that this was all about repetition. I've always resisted this in the past because I get bored easily and so hate repeating myself. But I've enjoyed the Stitched Quilt Felt Bags I've been doing and in some ways it is easier to just repeat elements than try to work in different ones, so there is definitely merit in this.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to Dagmar's workshop here the week after next She is a wonderful teacher and has an incredibly beautiful aesthetic in her work! If you're local and want to see her work, stop by Aug 30th in the afternoon.....she has brought pieces to sell (if they don't all sell at Fling!).

July 30th....

Seems like I've either been "deconstructing" or "reconstructing" felt projects lately! So I'm looking forward to returning from vacation with all these odds and ends out of my way so I can start a fresh project that doesn't involve tearing apart or building up!

The Orikiri Cape (scroll down to June 18th for a link to the experience of that piece!) and this pillow are my latest "deconstructions". This pillow was made from a piece of felt that I did using up all these leftover scraps of fiber and silk that kept getting in my way in the workshop. On the premise that 1 piece of felt is easier to move and keep track of than many little baggies of scrap fibers, I laid it all out and felted a big sheet (see top photo of it drying on the line). It looked like a galactic meteor shower to me and I didn't think it attractive...not that I was too critical since it was all about using up odds and ends, bits and pieces! Still... this week I cut it up into pieces for fun. Then at my sister's annual Felt Play Day on Sunday, I reconstructed the pieces into a pillow front and back...and added a little machine embroidery. Now, of course, I like the original flat piece better! Oh well, it was scraps, I learned some new things working thru the process, and I have a fresh pillow for the green wingback in the store. AND...most importantly, all the little baggies of fiber are out of my way in the workshop!

July 27th....

So much to share....BJ came by...need I say more! She is so prolific I'm always in awe. Thanks for sharing BJ.

And she wove a series of waffle weave tea towels using up bits of colors she had left from other projects.


And Genie shared a sweater she knit for Eamon (my latest great nephew, which makes me "great" Aunt Jenny for the 17th time!) using an adorable pattern from one of the Sublime baby books (there isn't a bad one in the entire series) that she knit using Sublime Extrafine Merino The sweater (and yarn) is so soft and has a lovely sure to take a closer look at the detail photo (click on it to enlarge) to get a sense of how rich the colors are and how lustrous the yarn is. Wish you could feel how especially soft and plush this feels.

June 18th....

BJ stopped by last week with some show & tell and I finally worked thru finishing a couple of very old projects!

BJ wove this lovely scarf using a crepe (enregized) yarn as weft giving it that crinkled/seersucker looking effect that also results in a great drape. If you enlarge the photo you can see how she worked in beads to the weaving as well!

Over a year ago, I was playing around felting fibers with differential shrinkage to create texture in the felt and I worked this bag up using black karakul lamb on the inside and some border leceister cross I had dyed a gold color on the outside. When carding the gold, I specifically left some locks uncarded to add to the texture and when it was all felted, I loved the texture and the mingling of colors, but thought it kind of dull. So I added a bunch of stitching on it using some gorgeous gold silk embroidery floss my sister had dyed for me. To mimic the texture in the bag, I chose to work all French Knots in the shrub design. The back side also has a bunch of vine motifs embroidered on it now.

And I finally forced my way thru to "complete" (as much as I plan to, anyway!) a shawl from Sachiko's workshop here last summer.....the progression of this piece from gigantic rectangle thru vest to shawl/cape is documented on the blog if you're interested.


Apr 16th...

BJ wove this lovely basketweave blanket and brought it in for show antodayd tell a week ago or so. I had to laugh because, as happens to us all (and I have felt particularly prone to this lately) it is a project that BJ apparently kept second guessing herself know, hemming and hawing at...not quite sure of the pattern or the colors was quite right? We've all been there. And kind of like the proverbial "analysis paralysis", we can get stuck in the abyss of the second guessing. So when she stopped by a few months back and told me she couldn't quite get thru this project I passed on what my sister Joanie sometimes tells me when I get stuck in that place - "just do it and move on". So she did. And when she brought it in for show and tell, it reminded me to take some of my own advice and so I have buckled down and am "just doing and moving on" with some stymied projects....not that any are done yet, but at least I'm beyond the paralysis stage....

I must be in a "neutral" mood! I rarely work in whites/tans but both felt projects I'm working on finishing up now are just that!

I have begun machine embroidering a series of felt squares I made for a second "quilt bag". And I finally cut up the long strip of fabric Christine made from scraps of felt I had leftover from some jackets I made a few years ago using I camel, angora, llama, alpaca, cashmere, merino, and yak. I cut out vest fronts and back and the plan is to use some of the lovely Eco-Duo alpaca yarn to knit a shawl collar and button bands?

And finally, the only jewelry I finished after Renate's class here a couple of weeks ago! A jewelry designer I'm not! But I'm having fun and I've got lots of other pieces "in the works", but only this ring done. The ring is felted using the new KAP wool and then I stitched on a crocheted ruffle and a crocheted silver bauble into the center!

Apr 3rd...


BJ stopped by today to share a whole bunch of show & tell....but I'm going to stretch it out a here is the first! She spun my Vermont Border Leicester/Wenslydale mix fiber and then knit this garter stitch cardigan....I so wish you could feel it and that I had the skills/camera to do it justice (the yarn is so rich and lustrous even tho' the picture may look dull and gray!)! It is soft, silky, lustrous and has such a great drape and weight to it. This fiber is sold out now, but the fiber I have in it's place which is very similar in hand but a medium brown instead of charcoal, is my Vermont Border Leicester/Blue Faced Leicester/Pygora blend.

Mar 6th....

Kathy started working on this Silk Garden headband on our last Downton Abbey Knit-Along. The pattern is from the most recent Noro Knits Accessories book....lots of other great patterns in it too. She brought it in for Show & Tell....and to find a button for it!

My sister has been exploring using her silk paper for binding notebooks, in anticipation of a silk paper class here later this summer/early fall. Here are a couple of her gorgeous trials. She's also worked out the right formula for making silk paper for basket weaving, so both she and another sister and I have been weaving baskets from the paper.....also in prep for the workshop here later this year. I can't believe how much fun it is!

I've shown some of Sara's fingerless mitt knits here before....each one is unique and shows off my own hand-dyed merino so well! Sara's got such a marvelous sense of color. Be sure to Friend/Like (not really sure the difference) on Facebook for access to a Facebook only contest for some of this yarn next week!

Feb 28th...

Sue Johnson has been knitting mittens like there is no tomorrow.... a couple pair for her grandkids using Baby Alpaca Grande (which I didn't get a photo of) and this pair using Noro Silk Garden as the pattern color and Vermont Border Leicester (she raises them here and I have about 70 pounds of her fleece just back from the mill and I'm dyeing it up right now for the store....but I also have about 20 pounds still left from the first batch) as the background. Great way to use Noro!

Aubrey brought this lovely shawl for show & tell at the last of the Thursday night knitting socials (Downton Abbey Knit-a-longs). She knit it using the yarn I kettle dye here and she worked beads into every yarn over! Lovely.

I finally finished the last of the handstitching on this felt bag I started almost a year ago! It's all lined in silk and was fun project I used to practice some machine embroidery (I got a new machine) and work out the kinks on this bag design I had wanted to make for so long! In various stages of completion, it has been photographed like a Hollywood celebrity by felters visiting from near and far... which I take as the highest of compliments. It wasn't a pretty process, since I was working out the dsign as I went, but I'm pleased with the results and have a second one in the that I know what I'm doing! Ironically, the felting was the easy was all the hand and machine stitching that gave me angina.

Feb 21st....

Marjorie Lemay knits so many beautiful one of a kind garments for her 8 (?) grandchildren.Her unique designs, wonderful color choices and gorgeous knitting are always a treat to see and share. This new series she is working on using Sublime Extrafine Merino is in preparation for next XMAS (wish I could plan that far ahead!). Two down, 6 to go!

Jan 24th...

Sara shared her latest colorwork creation.....wristlets knit using my own hand-dyed NFAC fingering merino. As always, they are so beautiful and rich in color.


Dec 13th.....I haven't attached the strap yet, and I can see now that I've taken the photo that I really need to trim my "generation tails", but since I posted Joany's bag last week, I thought I'd share mine this week....just so you can see the variation in yurt bag interpretations. I hope Janet, Roby, Bill or Helen will share photos of their when they're done.

Although my sister's and my color choices were quite different, it is interesting that we both chose ram horn and mountain motifs (one symbolizes the "lifeblood" and the other "protection"). The other interesting commonality is that we both, unbeknownst to the other, pulled out all our "quilting". Technically, the entire bag gets "quilted". This makes it really durable. But I thought it looked like poc marks on mine since I had used a dark color. So after quilting 1 full side and half of the other, I pulled it all out. So mine is not truly traditional, but I don't need to store pots and pans in mind and it won't be dragged around the steppes. So I decided to forgo this step for aesthetic reasons. Apparently, Joan had pulled all hers out too.

I went with big bold colors....I think that happened becuase Annimie kept telling us what different colors meant in the nomadic tradition and each symbolism sounded important to include so I ended up with "hope", "strength" "life" and, well, 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.

Dec 7th....

My sister Joan completed her yurt bag and brought it over on Saturday for show and tell. She worked her sides differently, so I've shown both here. I love her elegant color selection. We learned when Annimie was here for the workshops that the nomads make these (much larger) and use them as cupboards! Makes sense since their life is nomadic (well, I guess now they just move the yurt twice a year...still it's a lot to pick up and move!) they hang yurt bags around the inside of the yurt to hold things like plates, linens, etc. As you can see from the next set of photos, they really do use these. BTW....the tufts of fiber hanging from the bag is yak hair (tho' any beast of burden is used) and these tufts represent the generations of the family. The central motif, featuring rams horns is a big motif for them....representing their livelihood since sheep give them wool, meat and dairy!

So I went back into the photos I took at the Ethnographic museum we visited in Russia last year and, sure enough, the yurt they had set up does have yurt bags hanging about it! In the left hand photo, if you look just to the right of the standing person, you'll see one and in the photo on the right, the bag is hanging over the head of the left most seated man.

My yurt bag is quite different in color choices...I'll get some pictures of it this week and post it next week.

Nov 5th....


.most of our foliage was past at that point (Oct 17th), but there were still a few pockets as you can see from the photo of Annimie.

And I've included some pictures of the farm we visited so you can see some of the great colors the Shetland are known for!


Here are some of the locks....I'veI bought over 100 pounds of Shetland now from several different farms and am excited that I'll be able to offer 7 distinct, natural colors here in the shop (sometime after the holidays) for knitters to play with....shaela, emsket, moorit, fawn, moosket, light grey, charcoal...can't wait.


And this hooded cowl (aren't these popping up everywhere now.....there's a great pattern in the new French Girl Accessories book that arrived on Friday and we've got a really simple one on display here in the store that's our own pattern) BJ handspun and then knit using up odds and ends of several of the natural colored wool rovings we sell here.

My niece, Neysa, whom many of you may have met on Mondays when she works the store for me and most of you know as the artist behind the incredibly needle felted wall hangings I have around here, is on a knitting binge! She said yesterday that she needs to work up a couple more pieces for the galleries she's in, but all she wants to do at night right now is KNIT! She worked up this popular shoulder wrap pattern from Noro Knits and wore it the other day. I think she's already purchased yarn to make another! If you love working with color and are interested in some small projects to work up this fall, you really should check out Noro Knits, Noro Accessories, the latest Noro Magazine....they all have some really easy and fun projects to make and we have all of them here at the store.


This shawl is knit using a handpainted Rayon by Blue Heron and since there are a lot of colors in the skein, as there was in the Balder, I chose a pattern that is simple for the eye to see - no fancy lacework or cables - and so having so much color in the handpainted yarn doesn't compete with the pattern for your eye's attention.


August 30th....I can't believe I didn't take any photos of the New England Felting Group Meeting Show & Tell. About 22 of them met here this past weekend for a little workshop I did on Felting Beyond Merino. And after that, we did a Show & Tell and you would have been so impressed by the creativity and productivity of the group. Although I forgot to get pics of the Show & Tell, I did work a "trade" with Gloria Bilodeau from the group and so I am the fortunate owner (until my friend's birthday next Tuesday!) of this lovely clutch she felted using scraps of silk and her own handwoven fabric as embellishments! What a lovely sense of color!

August 13th,

Sachiko's workshop consumed the better part of the last 3 weeks.....1 to get ready, 1 to host it, and this last week to digest it and clean up after it! Here are a few photos of participants in action (top two)and my original layout (left bottom) and a detail of the ONLY part of my wrap that I like! I clearly don't have the knack for putting all the ori-kiri, colors, and weavings together yet!

July 21st....

This isn't done yet, but some of you have asked what ever happened to my orange felt squares, so here is an update....

May 21st...

One of my nieces asked me to post my hats online so she could see what I'd been working on for the last few here are some of them. A couple of new felt designs and 4 fabric covered buckram hats that literally drew blood as I learned to work with this medium!

felt 3 tiered beret This felt hat was fun to make. It needs a little I'm considering a bit of needle felted design on the underside of the bottom tier and making a large felted button to put on the top in place of the little ring....shades of turquoise for a little contrast!

flowered felt cloche A really basic felt cloche that, that as a felter was totally uninspiring to shape, but I really wanted a basic shape so I could practice millinery flowers and I had great fun putting the silk ribbon flowers on.

felt cloche green What a shame I made this in a small size, because the color is just right for me and I love the little velvet flowers.

felt leopard print cloche This felt was originally an experiment for my felting group challenge....dyeing on felt. I was trying to mimic a leopard print. Then, it was so busy, I wasn't quite sure what, if anything to do with it! So I decided to go right over the top and accentuate it with a big black ribbon.

little house on the prairie bonnet in buckram The bonnet was a great learning experience, tho' it's hard to imagine ever wearing it!

This one was about ruching the fabric on the underside. I had this done in time for the Derby, but we were at Maryland Sheep & Wool, so I had no chance to wear it to my friend's Derby party!

ascot hat This one was sort of about learning to work concentric rings on the interior....probably my one and only time doing that!


victorian riding hat This was fashioned after a Riding Hat designed by Elsa Schiaparelli in 1938.


Felted from Cormo and using your Dad's rooster feathers!



May 13th....

Kathy, Chris and I have been using time between customers to card up some new and interesting custom batts for spinners (and felters?). Made from a mix of romney, border leceister, blue faced leceister wools hand dyed to a riot of colors and then blended with dyed kid mohair, silks or various forms (tussah, bombyx, reeled,etc) or even flax, these batts are not too outrageous, but offer some texture and lots of color and are really nicely suited to a wrapped or corespun yarn. See here the pile we started with and some examples of the process and end result!

spinning of this one is in progress! A few examples of green custom batts available....

This kids vest was spun from the "fall" colorway shown left.

This bag was felted from one too!

We have lots of them at the store....just a few online at this point. Since every single one is unique and some of them are subtle, it's hard to show them all. Plus, I'm excited to announce that we'll be stocking the Bricolage Studio Art Batts soon.....very exciting!

Come on by next Tuesday for our Fiber Tasting and you can try some out yourself!

April 22nd....

Thought I'd share a picture of the Silk Paper class a couple of weeks ago, as well as a photo of a supersized dragon rug my niece needled. Also, here are some gorgeous monochromatice felts Neysa has done recently that she's selling at a gallery in Waitsfield and a photo of some fabulous felt & beaded earrings that Laura has for sale at the gallery in St. Johnsbury.....


Here are the fabulous felt/beaded earrings Laura has for sale at the artisans gallery in St. Johnsbury, VT.

Here are a few of the monochromatic felt series that my niece Neysa is working on right now....she uses the dyed felting batts for these...and just to contrast is a photo of a dragon rug she did before these!



Christine, whom many of you know from her help in the store on Tuesdays and Thursdays, needle felted onto a commercial hat to make a Monster Hat....I believe for her nephew? If you look closely you can see all the textural elements....they got a little lost in the background noise of the photo!


Jennifer, who loves to make pins, took the last introductory felting class here and is now incorporating felt into her pins and so she brought by some holiday pins she made for show and tell. They are wonderful.


Lastly, I went over to help my niece raise the yurt she has been building so she could get a final measure on the canvas for the top and wanted to share some photos. It is such a beautiful structure....even without the felt.


Leila knit this adorable doll using up odds and ends. It reminded me of a doll my sister did for one of the fiber challenges we held here. My sister Joanie's pattern can be found free here


nov 16th...I'm sorry not to have photos of the pieces done in this past weekend's workshop Interpreting Nature in Felt.....they were amazing!

Joan Hathaway brought in an interesting hat she knit with Encore. This Klein hat is a pattern from Schoolhouse Press's blog. It is a mathematical figure and quite fun as a hat.....and it looks like fun to knit too! On the Schoolhouse Press site they show pictures of several variations of this single sided, but double thickness hat.....not unlike the infinity scarves which are so popular right now, this hat has only 1 surface to it!

Nov 2...

Lou-Ann brought in this cool hat she knit for her daughter using our exclusive, superwash, kettle dyed merino wool. Knit here at a d.k. gauge she used less than 1 full skein ($18) for the hat.


Oct 17th..

.A few people came by last night to make "art batts" for spinning. I didn't get photos of each of their batts, but they promised to bring back their handspun skeins when they're done. In the meantime, here are a few photos of some batts/yarns from art batts that I've had fun spinning this week.

Also, Donna Piro (who always comes up with fun and creative ways to put to use her knitting and felting skills) stopped by last month with some new projects she's been having fun with and the colors of one of them just reminded me of one of my nieces, Ella (who also enjoys needle felting), so I purchased this cuff from Donna to send to Ella.

My sister Joany must knit in her sleep because she knocked off these 5 hats (which all have "I survived Irene" knitted into them) in the last couple of days! They are being gifted to some Vermonters who were so terribly affected by the storm (we hardly even had high winds in this area).

My "kiwi" scarf has had lots of felters intrigued and non felters asking me "how much". Since I've been designing quite a few so I have inspiration for the workshop participants (I'm offering a class on felting scarves in December) I decided I will post the finished scarves for sale here next month. So if you're looking for a one-of-a-kind silk scarf for a holiday gift, check back in a couple of weeks or sign up to get our newsletter and you'll be notified and given a link to the site where similar scarves can be purchased.


Oct 12th.....

I just started stocking my nieces needle felting designs....she's packaged them up in a lovely kit which includes a design template, fiber, partial felt canvas, instructions, needles and even a board to needle onto. They (there are 6 different designs to choose from) provoked lots of oohs and aahs both at SOAR (a spinner's retreat that happened last week in New Hampshire) and here at the store since we put them out this morning!


August 11th....

I'm pretty selective about what books I buy these days for my personal library....there are just so many out there. But the Noro Knits book that came out this past winter is full of lots of great projects. These gloves are knit using 2 different colors of Silk Garden buy 2 sks at about $44 and you can get 2 adult pair of gloves....yes there is plenty left after this first pair to knit another adult pair and perhaps even a kids pair of mittens. So For $44 you get 2 great gifts (possibly 3!- check back when we're done with the additional pairs). In addition to these gloves, there are scarves (see the hint of one behind the glove), several fantastic afghans, hats, etc.

July 19th..

.I'd lost my felting mo-jo for months, but inspired by some doors I'd seen in Tallinn and the need to use up and get rid of some fibers I had collected, I felted this rug for my brother Eric last Monday. It's honestly not very well done....I didn't pay much attention to details so it's rather askew and I had wanted the center squares to look as tho' they were jutting out and the larger squares to appear receeding (and I'm not sure that worked) but I am just so glad to actually have felted something and I'm hoping I don't lose steam since I have several jackets and a top I really want to make.

And it feels good to have cleared out a few bags of fleece! And despite it rather falling below the quality I expect from myself, I think it shows off some beautiful natural colors of fleece really well. The outer edge of jet black is Karakul (2 twin lamb fleeces). The gray border is Gotland. The back side is also Karakul, but it is an adult fleece and of a fawn color, which I also used in the boxes. The lightest of all the colors is an Icelandic fleece and the reddish-brown color is a shetland fleece. I choose these fleeces because they are quite coarse and I purchased them specifically for a rug (not the Shetland, but the Icelandic and 2 Karakul fleeces, anyway) and they will wear really well. It is firm and dense..



June 14th...

This white shawl is a great example of how "finishing" affects a product. In the skein, most linens (including Euroflax which this shawl is knit from) feels stiff and a little harsh. But once knit and washed several times, it softens tremendously without losing the crispness that is so nice and fresh. Historically, linen was subjected to a process called "beetling" to finish it. Beetling involves actually hammering the cloth against a rock....this breaks down the fiber and results in a nice sheen too. We didn't "beetle" this shawl, but put it thru 2 hot water cycles. You can't tell this from the website of course, but it has a really nice hand and drape!



March 22nd.....Nancy Bush was here this past weekend for 3 days of workshops: Estonian Lace, Estonian Mittens, and Vintage Socks. So of course, this has to be the show & tell this week! Pictured below is a mini-shawl (I guess it is perfect for the American Girl Doll) that Betsy did in the Friday workshop; then you see the wristwarmer I did in Saturday's workshop; and since I the little sock sample we did on Sunday didn't photograph very well, the third picture is another Estonian Lace photo....this scarf my sister Joany knit for me and presented to me on Friday (she also knit one for my sister Wendy, my sister Roby and my sister in law Genie...aren't we all lucky!)

betsy shawl sample my estonian wristlet my estonian scarf by joany


1/18scarves,....except now I'm back in my comfort zone of colors!

new warp


11/30 sled dog wimple I worked up this wimple/cowl pattern using Vermont Sled Dog yarn for this month's Vermont Yarn Club participants....just got their color choices so I'm off to custom dye the yarn for them. Since the yarn is spun from Vermont Samoyeds, I figured it appropriate to use the "paws" lace pattern in the cowl. Next month, the participants get a handspun beaded skein of Vermont mohair from Bennie (as in the Jets), Mick Fleecewood, and Morgaine, pictured above! That will keep me busy next month!


This past Friday a couple of felting friends and I got together for dinner and "catch-up". Afterwards, we went into the workshop and laid out the quick little "group" sample.....all three of us simultaneously were adding our own colors and embellishments. Our objective was to test out a new toy Linda bought for felting....the Maxi-Rub! After much conversation - sprinkled with lewd jokes, embarrasing references and lots of laughter - we wet it down and went to work with the Maxi-Rub. In the end, I think we all thought that for a small piece of felt (this sample ended up being maybe 16" x 20"), we think its faster to just roll. BUT, for a large or thick piece of felt...when you just need to change up the muscles used....using this tool might be a nice break from rolling. And, the benefit is that after your felt is done, you can give yourself a professional massage! I haven't purchased one yet (the vibration was a bit much for my hands) but I know Linda found it online....don't look under felting equipment is a tool for massage. I definitelyl preferred it over felting with a sander, for those of you who like that method.



felt mask10/26- Happy Halloween! In preparation for this festive and frivilous holiday, I finished my felt mask and we hosted a free tutorial on needle felting a pumpkin/jack-o-lantern here last night! Here are a few in progress and some of the completed pumpkins/jack-o-lanterns....What personalities!