We had a very hot summer here in the Pacific Northwest but there were cool mornings and evenings that were perfect for knitting and lots of time for other fun fibery activities. This summer was a bit of a busman’s holiday with lots of spinning and weaving and dyeing and designing and knitting!
Spinning There was an amazing week of spinning “silk and friends” with ~20 of us enjoying a fabulous array of silk, blends, and great camaraderie… the stinkiest part was silk cocoons–we boiled them so we could reel the silk and they are beautiful, but oh the smell! There was tussah and muga and bombyx and white eri and red eri (gorgeous!) and that was just the first day! Then we moved into blends: silk + baby camel, silk + cashmere, silk + merino, and even a special one-of-a-kind blend of Finn + baby camel + tussah (there’s a sweater in the future from this blend). It was an inspiring week! I didn’t spin much last year but got so inspired at the retreat that I’ve been spinning about 20 minutes every day since and filling up those bobbins with luscious 50/50 silk/merino from the amazing Abstract Fiber (full bobbin shows “bonfire” and “sunset” is in progress).
Weaving After spinning there was glorious weaving! A week of weaving camp with a small group of weavers and concentration on household linens. My favorite weaving projects are yardage and kitchen towels. I love instant functionality of kitchen towels and I’m promising myself that the yardage will become garments (I learned to sew long before knitting or spinning or weaving). I was so busy weaving that I didn’t take a lot of pictures, but here’s what the room looked like in the warping stage. We started with the same basic materials (unmercerized cotton, cotton boucle), added some extras like cotolin or handspun, put our creativity to work for individual designs and were rewarded with some absolutely gorgeous projects that came off those looms.
Color We’ll leave dyeing for another day, but the garden was the inspiration for a lot of natural and acid dyeing on wool and silk this summer, and also a lot of tasty meals!
Designing This was a summer of shawls with two new pattern releases. They’re both designed for knitting on the go: knit night, road trip, or walking around fall festivals.
Paperlace was released as a collaboration with YOTH Yarns and what a joy that pattern was to design. This breezy shawl was designed especially for YOTH Yarns Big Sister puppies–gorgeous limited edition gradients hand-dyed at YOTH HQ. It has an easy-to-memorize pattern and can be made with or without fringe; a perfect wrap for cool evenings.
Finished Measurements: 72” wingspan x 24” deep (180 x 60 cm) after blocking, not including fringe. The non-fringed version using 2 full skeins of Big Sister measures 78” w x 26” d (195 x 65 cm).
Yarn: YOTH Yarns Big Sister Puppies (1 gradient stick) or 2 skeins of YOTH Yarns Big Sister (462 yds / 200 g)
Gauge: 13 sts & 16 rows = 4” / 10 cm in pattern stitch on US 7 (4.5 mm) needles after blocking
Available as a downloadable pattern: Paperlace e-pattern
Venturesome was designed as a knitting adventure…as unique as the knitter that creates it. All about fun and choice, there are two sizes as well as multiple inset and border options for endless customization. Simple patterns allow for a variety of yarn choices — this shawl works well with gradient, tonal, semi-solid, self-striping, or patterned yarns. The cut-out-in-a-square shape stays in place and will provide great warmth for the next adventure. Choose a favorite yarn, pick a stitch pattern (or patterns), and have fun!
Finished Measurements: large 36” x 36” (90 x 90 cm); small 28” x 28” (70 x 70 cm)
Yarn: Fingering/sock yarn, 2 skeins for large and 1 skein for small
Gauge: 20 sts & 26 rows = 4” / 10 cm in stockinette stitch on US 5 (3.75 mm) needles after blocking
Available as a print pattern: Venturesome print pattern, or a downloadable pattern: Venturesome e-pattern
Fall Fiber Festivals After a summer of fun Fairs (the Lynden Fair is my favorite), it’s time for Fall Fiber Festivals! here are so many choices, but we hope you’ll come see us next weekend, September 26-27, at the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival (OFFF) and November 6-8 at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival with Black Sheep Creamery. There will be books, patterns, yarn, and of course cheese! Hope to see you there!