Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat 2014

I really did keep it together this time. I only made two purchases (!) and one wasn’t fiber or yarn. Every time I was considering a yarn or fiber, I just thought about the too much untouched stuff I have at home (most of it purchased at previous Madrona retreats), smiled, and moved on.


I got these lovely buttons from One of a Kind.

The two buttons will end up in a garment, yet to be created.

button framed

I liked the square button so much, I put it in a little frame once I got home. I may or may not use it as a button at all. :)


I purchased this lovely 2 ounce package of Tibetan yak fiber from MacKenzie Textiles. This is Judith MacKenzie, Fiber Goddess. I was not able to find a website dedicated to the fiber, but she is easy enough to find. It is so soft. You can’t even be sure you are touching something, it is sooo soft and light. Really delicious.

I’ll leave you with some random pictures of general fibery goodness:


I got to take home my own colorful fiber worm as a sample rolag from the good folks at Clemes & Clemes Inc.  They were demonstrating their blending board. A very cool thing. They have links to YouTube videos on their website if you’d like to see how to use one.


Luscious batts created by the Artful Ewe.

LOOK AT ALL THOSE SPINDLES! So pretty. Thanks to Spindle Wood Co.


Juicy braids of fiber from Chameleon Colorworks.

More beautiful buttons from One of a Kind.


And finally some brilliant hand painted skeins from Abstract Fiber.

Thanks for reading this far.

I won! I won!

Mrs. Fox

So,I got an email in mid January from Yarnarchy informing me that I was entered into a drawing because I subscribed to her blog and won a $25 gift certificate to her shop.

How cool is that!?!? I rarely win stuff when I try to win. This was a total accident. :)
I got myself over to her etsy shop and started perusing all the goodies. I couldn’t decide between two colorways so I had to get one of each.

The colorway above is Mrs. Fox, the one below is Poison Apple. Yummy, no? Of course the pictures on her website are way better than mine.

Poison Apple

I don’t any have plans for them yet, but am quite happy looking and musing about them for now. It turns out I consider them a lovely blogiversary present. Today marks the third year of my fibery ramblings and as usual it also coincides with the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat. It starts today! I’ll tell you about it next time. I didn’t sign up for classes this year, but plan to visit the marketplace.

Thanks for reading this far.

The show so far…

If any of my readers are Monty Python’s Flying Circus fans, you may recognize the phrase as the title of one of their skits. One unwitting announcer, played by Terry Jones, begins reading from a sheet of paper describing the previous skits until he gets to a part he doesn’t recognize. It’s the part when the announcer describing the previous skits gets hit on the head with a giant hammer. So we know how that skit ends.

What I mean by this long explanation is that as I look back on the last several posts and throw in the two month absence I mentioned in my previous post here, I realize I haven’t updated you on what I’ve been actively knitting since August or so.

yarn swap sweater

I started this top-down yoke sweater from yarn swap yarn, this is the sweater I showed you already. Do you think I am going to run out of yarn? Of course I am. It’s obvious, isn’t it? This blatant deficiency does not deter me in the least. I’ll just forge ahead and figure it out later. Actually, I do have a plan. The dark olive yarn is Lanaloft Worsted and pretty easy to find. I don’t think I’ll have a problem matching the color or at least get it close enough. I currently don’t plan on spinning up some fleece and dying it to match one of the other colors- lets call that plan B. So I’m thinking the yoke, cuffs and hem will be made up of these three yarns and the Lanaloft will fill in the space in between.

blue bolero

I finished the bolero. Which, as I look at it, isn’t really a bolero, but that was what the pattern called it. I modified it so it’s really kind of a cardigan. I am going to sew a hook closure to the top edge.

blue tank

This blue lace tank top was a UFO I mentioned here. I am pleased with it and looking forward to trying it out in public this summer.


The hiatus knitting included these leg warmers, not quite completed.

new thing

and this thing, which I will call a shrug-sweater hybrid. I can also potentially run out of yarn here. We’ll see. :)


I also made this capelet mostly from yarn I got as a gift :) and the last bits of the bolero yarn I had left over. The gray yarn is also handspun and came from here.

Thanks for reading this far.

Unplanned hiatus

yarn swap sweater

Goodness! I am back from an unplanned hiatus. For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably realized that those happen to me every so often. As, I suppose, they happen to many folks. Several things just rolled into each other and months have gone by before I knew it. I managed to get myself hitched (!) by mid November, soon followed by Thanksgiving, some home renovations and finally the double whammy holidays. Now that I am past the bleary-eyed New Year regroup, and the days are a smidge longer, it is time for me to seriously re-focus.

This wacky time has also been filled with too many mostly stockinette stitch projects. Above is one of them. More details on that and the others later; I’ll be back with a proper post soon.

Thanks for reading this far.

The Seattle Weavers’ Guild Sale


I have been going to this event every year for at least seven years, but for some reason I never mentioned it to you guys. What is wrong with me??

I really enjoy this sale. I look forward to it every October. Fall is in the air and I am so close to to some unique, handcrafted yarny goodness. Real close. Walking distance close. What could be better? Well, it happening more than once a year WOULD be better… but I digress.


I picked up some lovely chunky handspun yarn this year. It was spun by Molly Gerhard. YUM.

I’ll leave you with photos of some of the various handmade goodies I saw.







Thanks for reading this far.


A false sense of accomplishment

full bobbin

The thing about spinning projects, at least for a little while, is that when they are in mid-process you feel like you’ve accomplished something. More importantly, if you are short on space like I am, you feel like you’ve made something disappear.


For instance, a big braid of fiber like this gets spun up and disappears on to a bobbin. A bobbin essentially takes up the same amount of room either empty or full. Once you take it off the bobbin it blooms into this big pile of yarn and you have to put it some where. Do you see what I mean?

There is a magic in-between place when the new yarn is tightly packed on the bobbin that gives me a false sense of accomplishment.
I’ve been avoiding taking the tweedy yarn off the bobbin for exactly that reason. It’s been sitting like that for months.

handsome man thickn thin

I started spinning the braid of fiber just to make more room in my cupboards. It will probably fill a couple of bobbins. I’m sure it will sit like that for a while. I won’t take it off until a space currently occupied by a wip* is completed and moved to its final destination: my closet.

My closet has its own storage issues, but that’s another story.

Thanks for reading this far.

*work in progress

EEK! A steek?

OK, or the closest I’ve come to making a steek.

corrugated sweater

Remember this? Well, it has been unceremoniously stuffed in a zippered plastic bag since that post. It falls into the ” I will deal with you later!” (with an angry exclamation point) category. I’ve got a few projects like that lingering around the place.


Anyway, I’m not exactly afraid of steeks, they just seem wrong somehow.  Oh well, I’ll get over it. Besides, even if this doesn’t qualify as a typical steek, I’ve never cut my knitting before. It’s a somewhat stressful knitting experience, but I believe it’s the easiest and quickest solution to the sagging neckline. Once I jump this hurdle I can start wearing the thing.

safety pin
I turned the sweater inside out and pinned the shoulder section to the right fit by pinching the extra fabric.

safety pin inside out

I turned it right side out again

after seam

and sewed the seam as I normally would when attaching two pieces of a garment together.

folded fabric

This is the fold of extra fabric on the inside after sewing.

cut seam 2

Then I cut the fabric open along the fold.

Before I started this process I checked out some steeking videos on YouTube. In one technique you crochet a couple of stitches away and parallel from the cutting line to stabilize the stitches before cutting. I did that after I cut the fabric because I already sewed my seam. I know, I did things in my own weird, often backwards way, as usual.

crocheted seam

My crocheting is a bit wonky but I think it will do the trick.

Finally, I gently felted the very edges of the cut fabric, just in case. This might be overkill, but I’ll see how I feel after I wear it a few times, I may cut away more of the excess fabric. I am pleased. Another UFO down!

Thanks for reading this far.

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