the Intrepid Fiberwizard

adventures in spinning, knitting, gardening and life

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Does this count as 'stash'?

I've had some fun lately reading other people's blogs about their "stash" of fiber and yarn! and it got me wondering - does the fiber I dye for our business count as stash??

There's about 110 skeins of pencil roving here-although they don't all show in this photo, they are lined up three deep! Yes, I am fortunate that I get to play with all of it, but for the most part I have it ready and awaiting orders!

Here's a bit more - in process - its drying, and getting ready to be skeined off. Each batch (8 skeins) takes about 2 hours to dye, 3 hours for the dye to 'set' on the fiber, and then a day to dry in this format, then another day or two to dry once its skeined. Its a fun process - despite being time consuming ! and the smell of white vinegar (the mordrant) eventually does fade :)

I found a great pattern by Sidair to knit a cardigan out of the unspun pencil roving - I'll be starting that soon.

One of these days, I'll get brave and take a picture of my fiber and yarn stash! Hah!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Love that Bamboo

I absolutely LOVE knitting with bamboo yarn. Last year I made a cute little summer top. It got lots of use through the summer months - as the bamboo 'breathes' nicely and never felt too hot.

It turned out so well, that I decided to try another project. I searched all over for a kimono style jacket, and ultimately settled on this pattern. The bamboo yarn is designed to knit on a size 5 needle - and the new pattern I chose called for a size 8 needle, or worsted weight yarn. Being the brave fiberwizard that I am, I selected two colorways to knit together. Here's what I came up with:

And here's the close-up of the knitted sample. I am excited about the lovely drape that the bamboo yarn has! I'm looking for a jacket that will flow.
Although I am not so sure about the "tweedy" look for myself, I think it will shape up nicely once its blocked - and look pretty nice over a black blouse. It's a fast knit - fairly mindless, and easy to sew together. Definately my kind of pattern - simple design, great yarn.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Tribute to Tobi

Yesterday, our beloved Grandfather goat, Tobi, passed quietly from this plane. Tobi was 15 years old.

Here's a recent photo of him "posing" for our business cards. (and yes, he REALLY did pose!) Tobi had been standing in the barn when I approached with my camera - I asked.. "would you mind going out into the light, I need a photo of your great horns." Tobi casually walked out, and turned sideways as I captured this fabulous shot!
To many people, goats are just animals that nibble at the grass, and get into all sorts of mischief... Tobi was different. He was always entertaining us with his delightful antics - like climbing into the feeder to get just "one more" nibble of hay..

Tobi and Klaus (my husband) had a special connection - in a way, you might say that Tobi was psychic. One of the many stories about Tobi is a time when Klaus went out to feed, and noticed that one of the flock was missing. Kashi, another male goat was no where to be seen. Klaus looked and looked yet could not find him. Finally, Klaus turned to Tobi and said "Where's Kashi?" Tobi walked across the field and just stood in one spot. Klaus walked over to see what Tobi was looking at , and sure enough, Kashi had somehow gotten himself stuck in a hole in a remote part of the fields. Needless to say, Tobi was the grand protector of the flock and indeed King of the Herd! Kashi was rescued without injury due to Tobi's communication.

Here's a photo of him in his 'heydey' in 2000.

My favorite shot of Tobi was taken just after shearing, when he stood and gave me his lopsided grin - almost as if he was saying "oh my gosh - this is embarassing!"

Tobi greeted Klaus everyday, ignoring the food that was just put out, wanting only to connect and get his nose rubbed.

We will remember him with great love and respect. He is now buried on top of the hill, in the pasture where the goats will graze again next year. He will remain, our friend, The King of the Mountain.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Happy Birthday Michelle!

Happy Birthday to yooooooouuuuu....

and many hugs to our fabulous webmaster! We could not have done it without you!!

And so, (holding my breath) I post her photo and hope that you all hear the sounds of hands clapping wildly with joy that she has become a part of our lives. She has worked countless hours in the past year, tweeking and fine tuning our site, to help us make it the grand success that it is!
Michelle is a bit modest, and refuses to "toot" her own horn, so I will do it for her here. If you think I am exaggerating in any way, just go and look at our great site
You will not be disappointed! Here's a shot of her in action: (she's using her fancy-whiz-bang-digital camera with its macro lens to shoot the new raku buttons.)
There have been many days we spent hours on the phone with her, making small yet important changes - and while you will usually find her at home behind her computer monitor, she's been known to "surface for coffee!"

and another photo of her talking with Klaus, sorting out the next days work.

thank you, to our friend, Michelle - we are glad you are a part of our lives!
Teyani and Klaus
P>S> if you'd like to do a site of your own, and want the best, just post a comment here and I'll forward her email address to you!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sunday Spinning

A typical fall sunday in our house goes something like this:

football (notice the kittens sleeping on his feet)
dyeing fiber

and more football (Seahawks won last week! the Vikings are playing now as we speak)

The fiber I spun is Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks, colorway Juniper Berry - in a blend of 50/50 Bombyx Merino. It is spectacular. One of the delightful fringe benefits of owning a fiber business is the fact that I can spin "samples" of all of it! I usually end up using the yarn in our booth, and as photos for the website.
Lucky me!
I'm considering spinning a bunch of it and making a sweater (specifically one from called: Cinixia) for myself.. we shall see.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Pac NW Beauty

There is something very awesome about living in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the fall. The trees evolve into a wild array of color - from the deep greens of the cedars and firs to the incredible yellows of the maples and alders. The hills surrounding our home are a perfect example of the natural beauty that I love.

then there is Mount Rainier - it stands as a noble giant in the distance. During the fall, the early morning hours provide enormous entertainment each day. Here is the view we saw four days ago:

and then yesterday, Oct 14 we saw this view at 6:00 am from our deck. At certain times, when the curve of the earth is just right, the mountain casts a shadow on the sky. amazing! We live about 1/2 hour (as the crow flies) from this mountain.. and what would be about a 2-3 hour drive by car. I never tire of looking at it. It has provided many ideas for colorways in my hand dyed fiber.

Sunday, October 9, 2005


Hello to all you sweet people who have emailed me asking to see the finished sweater!
Well - here it is!
I've already worn it - and enjoyed it thoroughly!- my husband wanted to take a photo of me wearing it, but I'm not much into posing . call me shy. It's delightful to wear, loose fitting, and sort of flowing.. great with jeans or that deep green velvet skirt that I love. It is definately my favorite sweater of all my current ones!
I ended up sewing the inside of the sleeves together with one of the dark green and blue glitter yarns - at least I had enough of my hand spun to finish the sleeves.
The buttons were the original inspiration for this gem.. some of my favorite Raku buttons from Rama.
Today was spent spinning and doing a photo shoot with our webmaster. We got a whole new bunch of buttons that we'll be adding to our site within a week.. hurray!

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Silly questions flying around blog-land

Someone sent me this list of questions, and I kept resisting playing this crazy blog game, but finally I dove in. I saw a friend's blog the other day, and she'd answered these same goofy questions.. I realized I actually enjoyed reading her answers - the crazy things you'd NEVER ask someone...

Those pesky questions …

1. What is your occupation? Mental health therapist

2. What color is your underwear? pink

3. What are you listening to right now? The purring of my kittens

4. What was the last thing you ate? Comfort food- meat loaf and mashed potatoes

5. Do you wish on stars? always

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? purple

7. How is the weather right now? Perfect autumn, crisp 65 degrees, sunny with great clouds

8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My dear friend Alta

9. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Of course, or I wouldn’t do this silly test!

10. How old are you today? myob

11. Favorite drink? Coffee

12. Favorite sport to watch? football

13. Have you ever dyed your hair? The better question would be when did I last NOT dye my hair!

14. Do you wear contacts or glasses? No, not if I can help it

15. Pets? Hmmm, indoors: 2 kittens; outdoors: 1 cat, 46 goats and sheep

16. Favorite month? September

17. Favorite food? chocolate

18. Favorite day of the year? thanksgiving

19. What do you do to vent anger? Go for a walk and stomp my feet

20. What was your favorite toy as a child? A doll I named Annie

21. Fall or Spring? Fall

22. Hugs or kisses? From whom..? that would determine the answer

23. Cherry or Blueberry? Neither; then again if we’re talking jam, then it would be strawberry-rhubarb

24. When was the last time you cried? When my cat Gracie died

25. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes, fiber and more fiber, a bag of beads and my 35mm camera

26. Who is the friend you have had the longest? MaryBeth

27. What did you do last night? Spun some Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks Bombyx merino in colorway Juniperberry… hard to stop and go to sleep

28. Favorite smell? Homemade bread baking

29. What inspires you? Colors, deep and rich

30. What are you afraid of? Not too much actually, you get old, you get less fearful.

31. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? The WORKS

32. Favorite dog? labradors

33. Number of keys on your key ring? Which key ring?! I have three – car, house and office.. each have about 3 keys on them

34. How many years at your current job? 23 years, but I’ve done other jobs as well as this one during the past 15 years.

35. Favorite day of the week? Sunday – usually I play.

36. How many states have you lived in? 10

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Almost finished !

I bought some amazing green roving about 2 years ago while at Oregon Flock and Fiber - and began to spin it with a luscious sweater blooming in my mind's eye - a garter stitch cardigan that had a simple pattern to show of the wonderous yarn!

I had about 1 1/2 pounds of the roving, and some great buttons (by my friend Rama). Needless-to-say, my spinning went by the wayside, as I knit samples for our booth, dyed roving for the website and generally became distracted. I would eye it longingly and sigh.. awaiting the day I would "have time" to finish.. and often alluded to friends that my "favorite sweater" was complete!
( I think I was hoping to make this reality by stating it as a fact already! Hah!..or hmm, maybe it worked!)

But then, a year ago I met Fontelle, the owner of Great Yarns in Everett when she also had a booth at Seattle Knitter's Expo.- She helped me to select some glittery yarns to mix in with my roving - and the sweater came alive again! Fontelle told me that once someone asked her if she ever knit anything without glitter in it, and her answer was "whatever for? !" good answer ! Here's the pattern I came up with for the yarn layout:
Four rows of my green handspun, two rows of a glittery multicolored mohair, then four rows handspun, followed by two rows of a combo yarn made up of my handspun and a small shimmer yarn.
Liking this combo, I began to knit, and it went quickly due to the simple pattern. I realized about halfway through the two front pieces that I might not have enough green handspun.. hmmmm, oh dear. I bravely continued to knit, alterning the sleeves slightly from the pattern, to accomodate the lack of my handspun (since I was long ago out of roving).

FINALLY! I finished the sleeves and here's what I had left.

I laid out the sweater, and held my breath..did I have enough to sew it together?
Unsure, I continued.. ever the intrepid fiberwizard that I am!!

HURRAH! Success ! I finished with only tiny little scraps left.

I've now added the beautiful buttons, and the sweater is drying after its bath. Pictures of completion will follow shortly!