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Need some quick stocking stuffers?

So I developed a quick tutorial to make felted soap. This is a great gift to have on hand. They can be hostess gifts. They have be stocking stuffers. They can be gifts that your children make for their aunts, uncles and grandparents. They take about 10-15 minutes to make.

So you can find the tutorial on my youtube channel. Click here to watch.

I have kits that include directions, roving and a knee hi. You just have to add soap and water. You can find the kits here.

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Holiday Knitting Part 3: Cowls

Cowls are a perfect gift. You don’t have to worry if it will fit. They always fit.

Lacy Cowl made with 1 skein of Zephyrette

And they are really quick.

Interlaken cowl made with 1 skein of Zephyrette

And typically they take just one skein. And some can come as a set.

Yseulte Cowl, hat and mitts made with Trasna or Livily

Some take mini’s.

Weaverly Cowl Kit made with mini-mini Zephyrette

Unless they are a little bit bigger or a two-color cowl.

suburban warrior cowl flying goat farm yarn
Suburban Warrior Cowl made with Livily or Trasna
knitting in the wild
Birch cowl made wit a skein of Livily and a skein of Synergy
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Holiday Knitting Part 2: Hats

Alright….last blog was mittens and gloves and fingerless mitts. Today it’s hats. That’s right, hats. They are cute. They are SUPER fast. You can have one, or you can one that matches every outfit. You can have a slouchy hat. You can have a ponytail hat. You can have a tight hat too.

Cabla Hat made with our Livily yarn

This hat pattern is pretty simple but it is striking with it’s cables. The Livily yarn makes these cables pop. And there are many, many colors to choose from. The pattern is available on Ravelry here.

Our Synergy yarn makes a great hat. Shown below in Hunter Hammersen’s Correlation hat. I love they feel of this yarn on my head. I also love the gradients that this yarn naturally has.

And finally there’s Wormwood’s Rhinebeck hat. This is made with 2 skeins of Trasna. This is our super squish cormo X BFL yarn, that is a DK weight. It comes in tons of colors and makes such a fun slouchy hat.

Rhinebeck hat using Trasna yarn
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Is it too early?

I know I’m always asking this question: Is it too early to start thinking about the holidays and gift giving? It’s 72 days until Christmas and it’s only 57 days until Hanukkah. That isn’t much time at all. It’s Amazon Prime day today and I just saw an executive from Walmart talking about how they are going to handle Black Friday deals. (hint: it will be rolling deals starting really soon).

So NO! It’s not too early to think about holiday gift giving. I know that I’ve already started my list. All of my family is out of state, so I have to think about mailing gifts. But these days, mailing gifts might be what most people do.

I always include a hand made gift. I enjoy making presents for my family members. I enjoy thinking about what would be appreciated by them as well.

So this year, I will be making some hand painted dishtowels and felted soaps.

I have lots of quick gifts and quick kits in the store. First up I have kits for mohair handwarmers. They are available in 5 colorways.

I have kits for cowls made with Zephyrette for that relative that will appreciate the softness and luxury of this yarn.

I have kits for shawls including a gradient shawl and one made with Zephyrette.

gradient set shawl

If you are local, you can come and do your shopping here. I have hand dyed silk scarves. I have lovely dyed napkins and dish towels. And of course for that yarn lover, how about some fun yarn to add to their collection.

If you don’t know what to get your special person, you can get a gift certificate and let them pick out their own kit or yarn.

So let’s get making!!

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Thankful

What am I thankful for?

Love seeing my yarn in the wild.

Kira’s wonderful new shawl made with Alto yarn

Meeting new people at trunk shows and fiber festivals.

Wonderful shawl made with Zephyrette and Chinook yarns Rhinebeck festival

students in all our classes

Gnomes made at our class taught by Dawn Viands

unconditional love of dogs, cats, sheep and goats

Panchia on duty

wonderful food grown right here

squishy yarns made with love from the sheep, goats, mills and me

wool marled yarn
Synergy yarn

creativity all around me

Indigo dyeing of napkins and kitchen towels

friends and family, visits with those I love.

Friends and family awaiting our escape room adventure!

and you dear readers! I’m so grateful!

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holiday knitting? Too Late?

Is it too late to start knitting for Christmas? Maybe, but maybe not. How can you figure that out? Well let’s do some math…it’s simple math.  

  • How long can you knit each day? For me, it’s realistic to say that I could knit 1 hour a day for at least 6 days a week. That’s 6hours a week.  
  • How long until the holidays or when I have to mail presents?There are 6 weeks until christmas and hannukah week. So that is 36 hours of knitting.  
  • And so how long would a project typically take? Well that depends, right. So we have to think strategically. Use a bigger yarn and bigger needles or a smaller project like hat, cowl, mitts.  I know that I can knit a fingerless mitt in about 2 hours. And so that is 4 hours for a pair.  I could probably do a hat in that time as well. And I’ve timed myself on my Lacy Cowl made with luxurious Zephyrette and I know that takes me about 3 hours of knitting. So let’s go with 4 hours.  I could make 9 projects in the time left.  9?!?!?!

But is that reasonable? I’ve already told you all that I am the world’s slowest knitter. But still I could conceivably get some presents knit for some very special people.

Need some ideas? Well a Zephyrette cowl makes a very luxurious gift with very little knitting time. The Lacy cowl below took me 2-3 hours of TV knitting to complete. The other cowls will take slightly longer. The yarn is so soft and warm and beautiful that it is a pleasure to knit and it will be a treasured gift for that knitworthy friend or relative. Pick a skein of Zephyrette and let me know what pattern you are interested in and we’ll get you started on this gift.

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Handmade Holiday

I may be too late or I may be too early, but nevertheless, I’m working on my holiday gift list. And at this time of year, I think back to all the wonderful childhood Christmas gifts that I received over the years. I remember the anticipation to see what Santa brought for me. I remember the ritual of opening presents…not all at once, but one at a time around the family circle. And I remember the gifts that I made for my aunts and grandparents, mom and dad. Sometimes I cringe when I think back to those homemade gifts made by my small hands. But at the same time there was a nice exchange involving the whole family.

My first presents for adults were pot holders. My mom had taught me to use the sewing machine and I think that I made these when I was 10 or so. I used leftover fabric from clothes mom had made for us. And I stuffed them with old worn out towels. They were cute and functional and I could replace them year after year.

When I was in high school and knew how to type, I made a salad cookbook. I used carbon paper to make the multiple copies and so you know that it was less than neat…. I had gelatin salads and tuna salad and egg salad all the favorite salads that my family liked to make and eat.

shibori

One of my favorite presents each year was the dress that my mom sewed for me. I don’t remember being mortified by handsewn clothes as some people talk about. I loved these outfits. My mom was really good at keeping these hidden and so they were really a surprise.

Do you make handmade gifts? A tin of cookies or a knitted hat? Or do you shop for special items at a free trade store or a small business? I have 2 suggestions for you. First, if you are local you should come out for our Fiber Art Studio Holiday Tour on December 7th and 8th from 10-5. At each stop we will have indie yarn of course and we will have many finished goods ready to be wrapped and labeled for gifts, such as jewelry, felted figurines for your mantle or your tree, hand dyed scarves, napkins and tea towels, hand knit hats and shawls and many other fun items. At each stop there will be a free pattern for a small item to make for a gift. So come out and get in the holiday mood with us.

Secondly, if you are busy that weekend or live far away, you can get a quick cowl kit to make with zephyrette yarn. My Lacy Cowl is a really quick knit. By making it with Zephyrette, you will have a luxurious gift for a special friend or family member.

What am I making? I’m going to do some shibori tea towels dyed with indigo and/or walnuts that I’ve found around here. I also found some awesome handmade necklaces made by a fellow fiber farmer and I snagged a few of those for presents as well. What will you be making?

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10 Great Gifts for the Spinner in Your Life

Here are some of the wonderful gifts that would be perfect for the spinner in your life.

sonoma harvest3

1. Spanish Peacock spindle–This craftsman makes the most beautiful spindles in many different styles: top whorl, bottom whorl and supported. Check out his gallery to find a great gift for the spinner you love.

2. Sarah Anderson’s book– Have you always wanted to spin cocoons and boucle? This book is informative and stunningly beautiful.

3. A cup holder for a spinning wheel–This is definitely for the spinner who has everything! I found it at The Woolery.

4. Gradient dyed roving–One of my guilty pleasures is buying wonderful roving to spin, even though I can dye it myself. Melissa at Wild Hare Fiber Studio dyes wonderful gradients that are so fun to spin. Check out her latest offerings here.

5. A blending board by Clemes and Clemes is a really fun tool to have. The spinner you love can use it to make unique color and fiber blends.

 

6. Spinner’s Control Card–This tool is great for the spinner who is working to make different weights of yarn. With it, a spinner can check the weight of their yarn. It will make a good stocking stuffer! You can find it here.

 

7. An art batt or two!  You can make unique and beautiful yarns with an art batt.  There are lots of ETSY makers. One of my favorites is JazzTurtle. You can find her shop here.

 

8. A McMorran balance–This is another great tool for a handspinner. With it you can measure how many yards per pound your yarn is. This measure will let you calculate the yardage you have made as well as help you to translate your handmade yarn into commercial yarn lingo, such as sport or worsted weights. I found it at The Woolery.

9. Subscription to Ply Magazine–This magazine is merely 2 years old. I love the photos and the information presented. The articles are written by a wide array of spinners.  A gift subscription will be enjoyed all year!

10. A gift certificate to FGF–We have wonderful natural colored and dyed rovings for the spinner you love. If you don’t know which one might be most loved, give him or her a gift certificate and let them pick.

What’s on your wish list? Please share your favorite gift idea for a spinner in the comments!