Spencer’s Denali Sweater

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If you’re interested in more of the details, you can read about them on my Ravelry Project Page and, as promised, there will soon be a post about fixing a mis-crossed cable!

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Posted in cables, commissioned project, Denali sweater, FO, knitters, knitting, modifications, seamed sweater, sweater, unicorns | Leave a comment

Episode 30: Sweaterama!

Episode 30 features Spencer in his new Denali sweater . . . and, of course, Tink the puppy! Banter between us covers a CABLE FIX and a SWEATER PILLOW; I have an updated On the Spice Market shawl WIP made from Jennifer Guyor’s new Pace and Presence yarn; sweater test knits and big plans for the new year. Plus, an update on the Re-Make-Along and the Knit Together Project. And a gorgeous GIVEAWAY from Dynamixx Yarns! Come hang with me and my special guests!

To enter the GIVEAWAY, leave a comment HERE, on the YouTube video for this episode, or in the Dynamixx Giveaway Ravelry thread: what would you like to ask Marce and Adachi of Dynamixx Yarns?

FOs: Denali Sweater
WIPs: On the Spice Market and an LB Hand Knits Test Knit
Sweater Love: Laitis and Geiger
Giveaway: Dynamizz Yarn

 

SHOW NOTES:

Ravelry group: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/knittingthestash

 

Posted in cable fix, cables, community, Denali sweater, episode, Geiger cardigan, Jennifer Guyor, knitting podcast, LB Hand Knits, podcast, sweater, sweater surgery, unicorns, video, Wild Lily Artisan Fibers, wool, woolen mill, yarn | 3 Comments

To Learn: 2018 Edition

In the spirit of lists-past and with an eye towards growing and changing and learning more, I present my 2018 To Learn list in all its promising glory:

  • Design a sweater–yep, I said it out loud!
  • Meet more of you fiber folk out there in communities around the world
  • Cultivate the podcast offerings and add more video tutorials
  • Complete the Re-Make-Along with all of you!!
  • Work on a fun collaboration/test knit with LBHand Knits
  • Conquer the Geology shawl that thwarted me in the past
  • Continue the one year, one blanket tradition! I’m talking about you, Persian Dreams Blanket in a worsted weight!
  • Become more adept at drop-spindling
  • Spin 1-2 braids/month on my Ladybug
  • Get my Matchless wheel tuned up and humming!
  • Check out a yarn shop in every city I visit ( . . . if it has a yarn shop)
  • Buy less random yarn and fiber–aim instead for sweater quantities of soulful wool!

What’s on your list? Share a link or give us an update on your plans in the comments! Happy New Year to everyone!

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And, for posterity’s sake, here is the 2017 list with notes!

  • Practice and get more comfortable with colorwork (fair isle) DONE!
  • Be a test-knitter–I have one on the line already!! DONE!
  • Knit at least one practical sweater from my stash: Minthe?  Georgetown? DONE!
  • Conquer the Geology shawl that thwarted me in the past –adding this to 2018
  • Grow the Podcast and add more video tutorials! DONE!
  • Continue to work on lace and cables–learn their construction as much as possible DONE!
  • Continue the one year, one blanket tradition! This time, Feederbrook Farm yarn; the plan: a Persian Dreams Blanket that I have been dreaming about for 2+ years now–there is even a worsted version available! —Blanket started . . . but all those sweaters stole my attention from this project!
  • Keep a pair of socks on the needles at all times DONE!
  • Check out a yarn shop in every city I visit ( . . . if it has a yarn shop) DONE!
  • Spin at least 1/3 of the braids in my stash (whoa–that alone could take a while)          –hahahahahahahhaha. sniffle. hahahahahha.
  • Card or otherwise process at least 1/3 of the washed fiber in my stash                           –hahahahahahahhaha. sniffle. hahahahahha.
  • Buy less yarn and fiber–remember, the sheep will grow more! DONE!

 

Posted in 2018, community, drop spindle, handspun, inspiration, knitting, knitting podcast, spinning, to learn | 9 Comments

Episode 29: Podcasting with Puppies

Episode 29 features Tink the puppy!

And . . . a first sewing project from Zach, an update on Spencer’s Denali sweater; a new yarn from Jennifer Guyor of Wild Lily Artisan Fibers, and help with sweater short rows. Plus, an update on all of the New Year giveaways from Dynamixx Yarns, Three Waters Farm, and LBHandKnits. Come hang with me and TINK!

 

WIPs: Jaws socks, Denali Sweater
Correspondence: Jennifer Guyor of Wild Lily Artisan Fibers
Instruction: sweater short rows
Jan 2018 Giveaways!

SHOW NOTES

Posted in cables, community, Denali sweater, episode, knitting podcast, modifications, Old Crow Art Yarns, podcast, sewing, sock yarn, socks, sweater, video, Wild Lily Artisan Fibers | Leave a comment

Indie Dyer Feature: Three Waters Farm + GIVEAWAY!

Well hello everyone and Happy (almost) New Year! When not wrangling a puppy or spending time with my family, I’ve been enjoying all of the Instagram goodness that so many of you share. That’s how I met my featured dyer for today: Mary Ann of Three Waters Farm. Have you seen her colorways?? Oh my! Her saturation and combination of colors have been receiving lots of double taps from me . . . and so, you know my MO: I got in touch and Mary Ann was kind enough to correspond via email for an interview. You’ll find the results below–and my oh my, she does have LOTs going on in the new year that you’ll want to check out and maybe even get involved in! Mary Ann has also kindly offered a coupon code GIVEAWAY! Wahoo! All you have to do to enter is check out her Three Waters Farm shop and tell me which colorway you like best! That’s it! Share your thoughts HERE or over in the Ravelry group–there is a special “Three Waters Farm” thread 🙂 The GIVEAWAY will close on Jan 6th!

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Where did the inspiration for Three Waters Farm come from?
We live on a farm that is sandwiched between a river and a creek and that includes a sizeable pond; we’ve been here since 1989. For nine years, we were primarily focused on our spring/summer/fall market garden, retailing and wholesaling vegetables and cut flowers. We also had a herd of dairy goats and made and sold cheese — and then goat’s milk soap — along with our garden produce.

We got our first sheep in 1997 as a gift for one our children on his birthday. That same year, we also rescued some orphaned Angora goat kids. I had the thought that if I could just figure out how to spin the wool and mohair, we could sell that too. One of my friends gave me an old Louet wheel and when I asked her if she would teach me how to spin, she said, “Teach yourself!,” so I did! We started selling homegrown-handspun wool/mohair yarn, as well as knitted and woven garments at our market stand. In 1998 I taught myself to dye and before too long we had way more (dyed!) fiber than I could spin and sell, and that is when we started selling dyed wool/mohair rovings.

We’ve grown and changed and changed and grown in more ways than I could mention here; now we primarily dye and sell combed top, which everyone now calls roving! We still raise dairy goats, but not Angora goats, and our flock of sheep is smaller and it is a mixed flock now. We still have some Bluefaced Leicester genetics but we’re primarily breeding our sheep and lambs to grow fast and live well without wormer or much off-farm input.

What’s special about the fiber blends you feature?
Their spin-ability! We are always on the lookout to add more and different fibers and fiber blends to our lineup, but we only take on wools that we think our customers will enjoy spinning and wearing.

Who are your biggest crafting influences/inspirations?
My earliest fiber inspiration was Pat Harder of Kid Hollow Farm. I met her the year we took on the lambs and Angora goats. Pat was breeding Angora goats with integrity and care and she was also a dye artist with a tremendous eye for color. She created irresistible wool/mohair blends for spinning.

Lynne Vogel of The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook fame has had a tremendous influence on me. If you aren’t familiar with her book, you should be: Lynne popularized spindled spinning and sock knitting as lifestyles, decoded dyeing for the faint of heart, and taught a number of different ways to handle dyed top for spectacular results. All the books, articles, and video classes that address how to handle color in combed top that have been published since TSSW have their roots in Lynne’s work.

Lynne noticed us at Maryland Sheep and Wool in the early 2000’s and she asked me to do some dyeing for her under her LV-LTD label. We have had a wonderful collaboration! Working with Lynne, I often had the feeling that I was in a “Color on Fiber” graduate program. Lynne never forgets a color, the way that some people never forget a face! We worked together long enough that she would call me on the phone and say, “Remember THAT color? This is what I am thinking,” and she would describe her color inspiration and we would toss around different avenues to get there and then I would create her colorways from our conversations.

Do you spin? What’s your dream project?
I do spin! Or I should say, I sometimes spin! I don’t have a lot of time for spinning anymore, I’m sad to say! What I miss most about spinning though is TEACHING spinning! I’ve taught a lot of people to spin over the years, and I find it tremendously satisfying.

I’ve actually completed through Level 4 of the Olds College Master Spinner program. I love having the knowledge and technical skills to create the yarns I want. My dream project would be to have time to work on something – anything! – from start to finish!

Any advice for new dyers?
I would tell new dyers that The Groove is in the Heart. Absorb and dissect the color of YOUR world — and dye and dye and dye and dye. The color will tell you what to do — but you have to listen to YOUR muse in order to hear it!

I emphasize “YOUR” specifically because the internet makes it so easy to take the road most travelled. Reproducing someone else’s work is the same as speaking with someone else’s voice. The road to unique, self-expressive dye work does not travel past the work of other artists; original work is a journey into YOUR heart!!

Where can folks find your shop? or find out more about you?
You can find us at Threewatersfarm.com and at  threewatersfarm.etsy.com. You can sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the front page of our website, threewatersfarm.com.

We’ve got a large and active fiber club that we call the Top of the Month Club. Fiber ships during that last week of the month. You can sign up for a subscription here: https://www.threewatersfarm.com/category/fiber-club . We also have three and six month subscriptions available in our Etsy shop.

We have a very active, really fun, and super supportive Ravelry group and we always have something going on over there – we have a SAL every month, complete with prizes, and a few times a year we have designer SAL+KAL’s. We also have a fantastic Tour de Fleece team every year – what a lot of fun that is! This year we fielded a Spinzilla team for the second time and our team placed very well, especially considering that we are a “challenge yourself” team, not a spin-the-most-yardage team!  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/three-waters-farm.

Instagram is also a great place to find us! We make a point of showcasing the incredible yarns and the amazing garments that our customers spin, knit, crochet, and weave. We also post all of our shop announcements there, so follow us!! https://www.instagram.com/threewatersfarm/

What’s new on the horizon for Three Waters Farm?
We’ve got lots of fun things coming up and some of them just launched!!

We are the guest dyers for the first quarter of 2018 for the Completely Twisted and Arbitrary Spinning Group on Ravelry!! CTA is a great group that spins A LOT and has A LOT of fun doing it! We just delivered our prompt yesterday! Group members choose photos that match the prompt, vote for their favorite photos, and then I create colorways from their favorites! The resulting colorways will be available by pre-order for one week only in the beginning of January. Anyone and everyone can order; we will announce the Pre-Order period on Instagram. The group is open to everyone, so hustle on over there and join the fun! https://www.ravelry.com/groups/completely-twisted-and-arbitrary-spinning

We just created some special colorways for the North Country Spinners, a spinning guild in northwest New Jersey; they are celebrating their 35thanniversary this year! You can see the photos and the colorways here: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/north-country-spinners-guild-nj/3690425/1-25  These colorways will be available for Pre-Order on December 28th through January 5th.

The #spin15aday2018challenge! We just did a promotion for the #spin15aday2018challenge because we believe that our spinning skills – and the spinning community — grow when we are actively spinning! Sherrill, @the1764shepherdess is the originator of #spin15aday and she has a lot of fun things planned for 2018, so climb aboard this one everybody: you will be glad you did!

And last but not least, @KnittingSarah and I have created an Instagram event called #wemakeyarn for the month of January. We’ve created 31 prompts to get us all talking and sharing about our spinning journeys; you can see the prompts on our Instagram feed and by searching the tag #wemakeyarn. The event begins on January 1st, so spread the word! (And I’ve attached our prompts!)

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Thanks so much, Mary Ann!

I love meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are an indie dyer, a hand spinner, a shepherdess, a small flock owner, a mill operator, or a wool trader, I would love to feature your work on this site. Please get in touch via email or Ravelry by clicking the “About” tab (above)

Posted in color palette, colorway, community, dyeing, fiber, fiber art, fiber artist, indie dyer, interview, unicorns | 14 Comments

Indie Dyer: Dynamixx Yarns

I am so happy to introduce you all to Marce and Adachi today! They are the mom and daughter dyeing duo behind Dynamixx Yarns ❤ I met Marce through YouTube and IG–she is a fellow podcaster (Hey BrownBerry)–and we got to talking about yarns and crafting. She is often on the go, but manages to fit it all in–and I have to tell you, I love that spirit and thought it would resonate with so many of you. When we started talking blogspot, I knew we had to get both Marce and Adachi in on it, and they were so kind to oblige! The interview below is from both of their perspectives (you can see who’s answering in the [ ] a the beginning of the line). Both have been working on some beautiful natural dyed yarns, as well as some acid dyed colorways, all of which are available in their shop. AND!!! They are sponsoring a podcast giveaway next month!! So, stay tuned to the podcast! I can’t wait to share their beautiful natural dyes with you all! Enjoy the interview and head over to their Etsy shop to check out what’s new!

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Where did the inspiration for Dynamixx Yarns come from?

[Adachi] The idea for our shop came from an instant love of yarn dyeing after trying it as a fun at-home experiment with some Cascade yarn and a Greener Shades dye kit Mommy (Marce) bought from KnitPicks. We saw so many beautiful, original yarns being created by people in our Instagram feeds, and wanted to try the experience for ourselves. Doing it together was a really fun experience, so we thought expanding it by turning it into a business would be fun too. Mommy thought it would be a good way to learn how to turn a hobby into something more public. The name of our shop, Dyenamixx came from the fact that Adachi would refer to us as a “dynamic duo” when we dyed together. The two x’s on the end are two kisses 🙂

What has been your favorite creation to date?

[Marce] It was a great experience to go back through our Etsy shop and look at what we’ve dyed over time.

[Adachi] We picked “What Dreams Are Made Of”

This yarn was dyed on our CashLux (alpaca/cashmere) gray base.  The yarn was true luxury as is, but putting our own dreamy colorful spin on it really brought it to life.  Still a favorite – we’re oooo’ing and aahhh’ing over the pictures all over again.

Who are your biggest crafting influences/inspirations?

[Adachi] Mommy.  She’s very spontaneous with her color play. I happen to be more planned and structured about how I do color. Things in our yard inspire my color combinations pretty often.

[Marce] Adachi inspires me with her courage.  She is definitely more creative than she realizes, and the way she approaches the “business” part of our business motivates me as well.  It was hard for both of us at the start to get into the administrative pieces of an online shop, but she has really taken it on and that pushes me forward.  I take color inspiration from things around me; mostly natural/outdoor themes and fabric patterning.

Can you tell us a little more about your natural dyeing practice–especially the colorway “raw honey”!?

[Marce] Natural dyeing inspiration came from watching some of my favorite Knit Celebs try this technique.  People like Maria of Ninja Chickens and Tammy from Wing and Prayer Farm are some of my favorite wool women. The idea that plant materials are ancient and reusable really appeals to me.  Raw Honey is part of our recent Wilderness Collection, which we started as a way to move toward more sustainable natural practices in our dyeing. This colorway was naturally dyed in simmered croton leaves from our front yard and we added some pomegranate to brighten the color.  The resulting color reminds us of honeycombs and raw honey.

Any advice for young or beginning dyers?

[Adachi] I had to think about this one . . . I would say “less is more” with dyeing.  Resist the urge to add more and more color. Also, work with colors that you already enjoy and yarns that you already enjoy, that will make the process smoother in the beginning when you’re trying to figure out what dyeing methods and techniques you like and want to repeat. On that note, too, try a lot of different methods to find what works best for the colors you want to achieve and for the equipment you have. We have tried hand painting, kettle dyeing, using the microwave, baking yarn in the sun, and more.  Experiment! As with any business, try to find things that are new and different (like our offer of non-superwash yarns), while still accounting for things that seem to sell well.

Where can folks find your shop? or find out more about you?

[Marce] As Dyenamixx we hang out on:

We love to interact on social media, so we hope you’ll come by.  To see our yarns “in the wild”, check out the hashtag #dyenamixxyarns on Instagram.

What’s new on the horizon for your shop?

[Adachi] We are progressing toward a fully natural offering in the shop. For us that means non-superwash yarns dyed with natural materials. We’ll still use acid dyes until they are done (waste not, want not!) and continue perfecting our natural dyeing techniques.  We are also interested in trying new dyes like madder, indigo, cochineal for vibrant colors.

[Marce] We are currently looking at new yarn bases that are not just merino.  During my travels this year, I’ll be sampling other fiber bases for us to begin carrying in the shop.

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Thanks so much, Marce and Adachi!

I love meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are an indie dyer, a hand spinner, a shepherdess, a small flock owner, a mill operator, or a wool trader, I would love to feature your work on this site. Please get in touch via email or Ravelry by clicking the “About” tab (above)

Posted in blogspot, community, dyeing, indie dyer, interview, maker, natural dye | 2 Comments

Re-Make-Along 2018: The Better Sweater

Hello fibery folk!

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As promised on Episode 28 of the podcast . . . we are ready to hit the ground running in 2018 with a Re-Make-Along Project!

The Great Idea: We all have a sweater (or four) that we picked up from a big box store, a thrift shop, or our granny’s basement . . . we love something about it, but there is also something left to be desired: it doesn’t totally fit us, it’s falling apart, or it’s made from some strange acrylic brew. So, let’s Re-Make these gems into something we love!

The Project: Choose a sweater and post a picture in our Ravelry group. I’ve opened up a thread for you to get things started. Here, we’ll discuss what we like, what we hate, and HOW we’re going to make the big change in 2018!

The Process: Beginning in January and then each month of 2018, I’ll post a video about how to Re-Make a sweater. I’ll use one from my own shelves and, hopefully, by the end of the process I’ll have created a step-by-step how to via YouTube. I’ll be taking comments and suggestions, ideas, and questions! We’ll make this happen together!

What about You? You can follow along, work at your own pace, offer suggestions and/or post sister videos about your own process! We’ll have a blast learning from each other. And in the end, we’ll all have a better sweater!

**Anyone can join in at any point in 2018. We’ll surely have some prizes along the way for progress and I’ll do a giveaway at the end of next year for anyone who has finished a garment 🙂

Won’t you join us?

❤ xxoo

~Melissa

 

Posted in Better Sweater, community, custom pattern, design, modifications, pattern, Re-Make-Along, sweater | 4 Comments