A New Cast On !

I am getting into football, well let me rephrase that, I’m getting into watching the University of Kentucky team.  I have never been a football kind of girl, but I am trying to learn so I can share with my hubby.  Some day I hope to see a live game in Lexington, but until we are able to move back home I will have to watch it in TV.

As we watch football this Saturday evening, I casted on The Photographer Hat by Lavanya Patricella (free download) using my very own handspun, my NBK Superwash Wool that I finished in July.  I know I will most likely need to modify this a bit due to yardage but man oh man my handspun is knitting up beautifully and it’s so soft!


This will be a lot of fun to knit as I created a perfectly striped yarn when I started spinning this fiber back in July.  I am hoping that I will have enough yarn to make this hat slouchy as written, but as mentioned earlier I may have to slightly modify it due to yardage restraints.

I have to also share that today was awesome!  I found new books and magazines at my local Barnes and Nobles, and I got books in the mail!


I am so excited about all my knitting possibilities, as well as art possibilities.  I do have to say that the  Interweave Knits Gifts issue has a wonderful collection of hat patterns.

Until next time, be creative!
Tina


Podcast Love: Something New, Well For Me That Is!

This week started off with me being sick, which means I didn’t do too much other than knitting and catching up with my favorite podcasts.  

I love listening to podcasts, especially when it’s fiberarts related, I am excited about three new discoveries to listen too!

First up is Local Wool, a podcast hosted by Anastasia Williams of Wool & Dye.  This podcast features small producers across the US and the challenges they face when taking care of their flocks.  I have throughly enjoyed listening to this podcast and it has rekindled my love of all things wool.  If you love wool, this podcast is definitely worth listening too.

Second is Modern Wool, a podcast hosted by Lydia Christiansen of Abundant Earth Fiber .  As I have mentioned in several posts, this US small batch fiber mill is a favorite of mine for their awesome Signature Blend Fiber.  While Lydia hasn’t produced a lot of episodes, what she has produced is worth listening too and gives a wonderful insight into her fiber mill.

And last is YarnStories, a podcast hosted my Miriam Felton. This podcast explores all aspects of the fiber arts, including fiber breeds, yarn construction, and dye processes ( which still intrigues me).  This podcast is already in its second year and I look forward to Miriam’s future episodes too!

Do you enjoy podcasts too?  What is your favorites?

Until next time,  be creative.

New To My Fiber Stash and Wheel Collection

As our weather gradually becomes much cooler I find myself gravitating to fall colors, especially when it comes to fiber for spinning.

I recently purchased this beautiful Corridale in the color Sleepy Hollow from one of my all time favorite Indy Dyers, Dedri of Quillin Fiber Arts.



From Dedri’s listing:
Corriedale Combed Top Roving in the Sleepy Hollow Colorway. Gray and Orange with some white pops possible.  Works well for needle felting and hand spinning. Does not wet felt particularly well. May not be considered next to skin soft by some. Good for projects like fingerless gloves and hats. This is an excellent wool for beginning spinners. 
These three beautiful bumps of fiber are destined for a shawl.  I love spinning for shawls, especially if my intention is to spin worsted to bulky weight.  For this particular fiber, I am leaning towards heavy worsted to light bulky, and to spin for either Brookdale by Chrissy Graham  , Wolf Moon by Mindy Wilkes  or The Lonely Tree Shawl by Sylvia McFadden.  I want designs that give me just enough interest but at the same time provides simplicity to show off my hand-spun

Also bought the rest of the fiber I need for my intentional spinning project from Abundant Earth Fiber.  I truly love the rustic nature of this fiber and love the ease of spinning it into three ply yarn.  In the photo below, the Walnut and the Skylight colors will be the main colors, with the Citrine, Blood Orange and Forage as the contrasting colors.



I am hoping to focus on spinning once I finish my knitting projects.  I truly want to concentrate on my handspun projects for the rest of the year, but like all fiber artists and multi-crafters I often wonder off into new adventures and projects.

And new to my wheel collection is a beautiful Danker wheel that I picked up in pristine condition.


There is not alot of information out there on the Danker other than it was made by the Danker 
Clock Company.  I did find this from the Wool Merchants Daughter blog post from 2012 though and 
heard the same thing from Heavenly of Heavenly Knitchet.

This is a Daneker, oft maligned by handspinners as being a bad attempt at reproducing a Colonial saxony wheel. Made by the Daneker Furniture Company in Maryland during the 1960s, this wheel was an effort to accurately reproduce a working model of a flax wheel. Unfortunately, the makers do not seem to have consulted any handspinners and so did make some errors. Like use brass for the flyer shaft, bobbin screw inset, and even the wheel axle. The brass does not wear well and so these parts tend to show the stress they are subjected to. The screw tensioning knob is also problematic, in that it is not long enough. However, construction flaws taken into consideration, the Danekers DO spin, and spin well....

I seem to have a fondness for antique and vintage wheels just as much as I do for sewing machines!

Until next time, be creative!



New To My Fiber Stash and Wheel Collection

As our weather gradually becomes much cooler I find myself gravitating to fall colors, especially when it comes to fiber for spinning.

I recently purchased this beautiful Corridale in the color Sleepy Hollow from one of my all time favorite Indy Dyers, Dedri of Quillin Fiber Arts.



From Dedri’s listing:
Corriedale Combed Top Roving in the Sleepy Hollow Colorway. Gray and Orange with some white pops possible.  Works well for needle felting and hand spinning. Does not wet felt particularly well. May not be considered next to skin soft by some. Good for projects like fingerless gloves and hats. This is an excellent wool for beginning spinners. 
These three beautiful bumps of fiber are destined for a shawl.  I love spinning for shawls, especially if my intention is to spin worsted to bulky weight.  For this particular fiber, I am leaning towards heavy worsted to light bulky, and to spin for either Brookdale by Chrissy Graham  , Wolf Moon by Mindy Wilkes  or The Lonely Tree Shawl by Sylvia McFadden.  I want designs that give me just enough interest but at the same time provides simplicity to show off my hand-spun

Also bought the rest of the fiber I need for my intentional spinning project from Abundant Earth Fiber.  I truly love the rustic nature of this fiber and love the ease of spinning it into three ply yarn.  In the photo below, the Walnut and the Skylight colors will be the main colors, with the Citrine, Blood Orange and Forage as the contrasting colors.



I am hoping to focus on spinning once I finish my knitting projects.  I truly want to concentrate on my handspun projects for the rest of the year, but like all fiber artists and multi-crafters I often wonder off into new adventures and projects.

And new to my wheel collection is a beautiful Danker wheel that I picked up in pristine condition.


There is not alot of information out there on the Danker other than it was made by the Danker 
Clock Company.  I did find this from the Wool Merchants Daughter blog post from 2012 though and 
heard the same thing from Heavenly of Heavenly Knitchet.

This is a Daneker, oft maligned by handspinners as being a bad attempt at reproducing a Colonial saxony wheel. Made by the Daneker Furniture Company in Maryland during the 1960s, this wheel was an effort to accurately reproduce a working model of a flax wheel. Unfortunately, the makers do not seem to have consulted any handspinners and so did make some errors. Like use brass for the flyer shaft, bobbin screw inset, and even the wheel axle. The brass does not wear well and so these parts tend to show the stress they are subjected to. The screw tensioning knob is also problematic, in that it is not long enough. However, construction flaws taken into consideration, the Danekers DO spin, and spin well....

I seem to have a fondness for antique and vintage wheels just as much as I do for sewing machines!

Until next time, be creative!



On My Needles: Sweater and Sock Knitting Time!

So one thing I am not is a monogamous knitter and I love a post made my Truly Myrtle regarding this subject.
A monogamous knitter works on just one project at a time and finishes it before they cast on the next. A polygamous knitter has numerous projects on the go, darting from this one to that, usually simultaneously gathering numerous lovely project bags in which to store all their WIP's (works in progress). - Truly Myrtle 2015

I am definitely a polygamous knitter who prefers to have at least three to four projects going at once to keep me from getting bored.  Variety is key and truly a must for me when it comes to my knitting.  Projects are typically a sweater, shawl and socks.  Then there is spinning for intentional projects, and many other crafty items that tend to come into play as well.

For me this month has been all about casting on as I am so excited that cooler weather is finally coming to us here in the Phoenix area.

This week on my needles....

On a recent trip to Joanns, I discovered a new sock yarn my Lion Brand called Mani-Pedi, a blend of 75% Wool and 25% Polymide.  Of course I had to buy all the colors available to try it out.  I have since casted on Jeck, a free download, in the color Boot.  So far I really like the feel of this yarn and it is knitting up nicely.



I am also working on my Nurmilintu handspun shawl.  I have almost finished the first lace repeat and truly love how my shawl is looking.




This past weekend I casted on a top-down sweater using Patons Classic Wool in Light Grey Marl and I am modifying a favorite top down raglan pattern to try something a bit different.



And of course I am still working on my my Happy Harvest Poncho.  I’m excited about this project and can’t wait to finish it!!




So, what type of knitter are you?

Until next time, be creative!

Let the KAL Begin!

So my Berroco Ultra Wool Chunky yarn arrived Saturday from WEBs, which means I got to cast on my Happy Harvest poncho yesterday!!!


As mentioned in my earlier post  I chose the color Stonewashed and I really am pleased with my choice. The yarn itself is awesome and not only does it provide beautiful stitch definition, it is very squishy soft.
The color is rather hard to photograph but I took a couple of photos outside, one in the shade and one in direct sun.  It reminds me have faded jeans.



Since this project uses an US size 10 1/2” circular needle for he body, it will knit up very quickly.  However, I do plan to stick to the KAL timeline, which means this week I need to finish the front of the body this week. 

Courtesy of Berroco 

I am really excited about this project and can’t wait to see it finished! This will be such a wonderful addition to my handknits for fall and winter layering.

Until next time, be creative!

This Weeks Art Finishes

I am truly enjoying art these days and I am so excited about one particular piece I finished this past Friday, my wreath filled with my favorite Bible verse, Psalms 9:1-4




This piece was created on Stathmore Mixed Media paper (9” x 12”) using a .01 Micron Pen, Caran d’Ache Neocolor II water soluble pastels, a dip pen and Windsor & Newton drawing ink. I am still working on hand lettering but each day I practice I will start to get better.  Like anything new you learn, it takes time, practice and patience.

I am also participating in an Instagram challenge, hosted by Angela of ArtUplifted and Sandra of Tiny Sparrow Designs.

Week 1 Challenge:  Lavender and James 1:17


Week 2 Challenge : Water Lily  and Esphisians 2:8-9


I am also exploring drawing with my dip pen.  I have always drawn my inked pieces with a Copic or MicronPen, so this process is fascinating me, so much so that I plan to continue.


I am also having fun learning to use my Caran d’Ache Neocolor II pastels and tried them our on watercolor paper for a bookmark.


I really love the depth of the colors!


Until next time, be creative!

On My Wheels .... BFL and Merino

I am hopeful that we are nearing the end of the summer heat here in Phoenix as the mornings have been much cooler and truly lovely.  As the morning temperatures drop, I have been in the mood to spin and have been working on two spinning projects,  my Funky Carolina BFL in the color Egg Hunt and  my Frabjous Merino in the  color Cactus.

I started spinning my Funky Carolina last month but honestly I haven’t made too much progress.  This weekend  I am hoping to finish this up so that I can ply next week.


I really love how the colors are becoming soft and rather muted, and this this will be quite perfect for a pair of handspun mits or maybe a cowl. I am spinning this fiber on my Schacht Sidekick, an awesome wheel for travel and small spaces.



I am spinning my Frabjous merino on my Schacht Matchless and spinning for a light worsted weight.  I plan to two ply from a center ball, that way I can use every bit of my handspun.  The colors of this fiber is amazing and I am loving the mix of light turquoise, pink, yellow and green.  This is going to be a fun handspun when finished and perfect for a hat!

Once these two spins are complete I plan to get back to my Abundant Earth Fiber Signature Blend for my intentional spinning project that I started last year, spinning for a Hap Cowl, a design by Ella Gordon.  


So far I have spun three colors, Snap ( 67 yards), Forage(76 yards)  and Citron (70 yards). I also have a braid of mixed colors that came in at 65 yards.  I still need to spin the main color color for the Cowl and one additional color for the lace design.  I also need to make sure I have at least 125 yards of each contrasting color and  375 yards of the main color.  Lots of more spinning to be accomplished!

Until next time, be creative! 



On My Wheels .... BFL and Merino

I am hopeful that we are nearing the end of the summer heat here in Phoenix as the mornings have been much cooler and truly lovely.  As the morning temperatures drop, I have been in the mood to spin and have been working on two spinning projects,  my Funky Carolina BFL in the color Egg Hunt and  my Frabjous Merino in the  color Cactus.

I started spinning my Funky Carolina last month but honestly I haven’t made too much progress.  This weekend  I am hoping to finish this up so that I can ply next week.


I really love how the colors are becoming soft and rather muted, and this this will be quite perfect for a pair of handspun mits or maybe a cowl. I am spinning this fiber on my Schacht Sidekick, an awesome wheel for travel and small spaces.



I am spinning my Frabjous merino on my Schacht Matchless and spinning for a light worsted weight.  I plan to two ply from a center ball, that way I can use every bit of my handspun.  The colors of this fiber is amazing and I am loving the mix of light turquoise, pink, yellow and green.  This is going to be a fun handspun when finished and perfect for a hat!

Once these two spins are complete I plan to get back to my Abundant Earth Fiber Signature Blend for my intentional spinning project that I started last year, spinning for a Hap Cowl, a design by Ella Gordon.  


So far I have spun three colors, Snap ( 67 yards), Forage(76 yards)  and Citron (70 yards). I also have a braid of mixed colors that came in at 65 yards.  I still need to spin the main color color for the Cowl and one additional color for the lace design.  I also need to make sure I have at least 125 yards of each contrasting color and  375 yards of the main color.  Lots of more spinning to be accomplished!

Until next time, be creative! 



Playing Yarn Chicken

This past weekend I shared that I had caked my #spookyspin15 2018 handspun , in the color Witch Stockings ,for a Box Pleated Hat .  The pattern calls for 200 yards of worsted weight yarn and my handspun was only 125 yards.  So, I decided to play a game of yarn chicken and casted on my hat.





Last night I started measuring every few rounds to see if I was going to be able to make this work. As I continued knitting in stockinette, I became quite confident that I would be winning this game.  This morning I continued and guess what, I won with less than 2 yards of yarn left!





I decided to gently wet block my finished hat on a plate.  Blocking hats is just a little finishing touch to make the yarn look really nice and allow the handspun to bloom a little more.

I really love how it turned out !!

Now to decide on what I should cast on next using my handspun, maybe mitts would be nice.

Until next time, be creative!

Time For Knitting.... Happy Harvest Knit Along

You can tell when it is getting closer to fall as the knitting community is becoming alive with wonderful knit alongs, many to encourage those to complete a sweater to show off at Rhinebeck and others to simply bring a since of community, a place to share and encourage each other during the process of knitting a particular design.  

Knit alongs promote a wonderful opportunity to meet knitters at all skill levels, from all over the world and often in our very own back yard.  Sharing is key, as well as asking questions and helping each other along the way.

I mentioned I was joining Carol Feller’s knit along, but I have also decided to join a second knit along, one hosted by Amy Palmer of Berroco Yarn and Elizabeth Smith of Elizabeth Smith Knits

A Snapshot from August 30th Berroco Blog Post.... 


Are you ready to join in the knit-along fun?    We have a few ways for you to chat with us! First, there’s our Berroco Lovers group on Ravelry. You will need a fr
ee Ravelry account to post within the group.Then there’s our Happy Harvest KAL group on Facebook! You will need a free Facebook account to post within the group.
 The Knit-along begins on September 14, 2019, and will run until about October 20, 2019. Elizabeth has a progress outline that she’ll share with us to help keep people on track to knitting success, but as with all of our knit-alongs, we encourage knitters to work at their own pace. If you’re a speed demon and you finish quickly, wonderful! If you’ve got limited knitting time, we totally get that and we don’t care if it takes you a year to finish. We believe it’s all a part of the journey.

I’m very excited about this KAL and have not only purchased my pattern from Elizabeth’s website, but have purchased my yarn from WEBS.  I decided to make my Happy Harvest poncho in the color Stonewashed and hope I can start on Saturday but depending on mail time, it might not be until next week.  Meanwhile, I have joined the Happy Harvest Knit Along on Facebook and I look forward to knitting along with this awesome group of knitters!

Until next time, be creative!

A Perfect Pair !

I am an avid sock knitter who loves using all types of sock yarns and patterns but I  have to be honest, when it comes to self stripping yarn for socks I tend to become a little obsessed with having perfectly matched stripes.  

So, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about my newly finished pair of striped socks.  Not only do my stripes  match perfectly , but my heels do  too!  This was the first time I’ve ever used the Afterthought Heel and I think I may be in love with this heel concept.







Pattern:  Just a plain vanilla top down (or the Prose Basic Sock by Universal Yarn )
Heel:       Afterthought Heel by Laura Linneman
Yarn:       Prose by Universal Yarn in the color Foxy 
Needle Size:  US Size 1 1/2 - I used two 16” circulars and a set of DPNs for the heels.

If you haven’t tried this heel and have been curious about it, I highly recommend watching this video by Carmen of New Leaf Designs. This video really is awesome and shows two methods of how to knit an afterthought heel.




I do have to share that I purchased this yarn at Tuesday Morning for  $4.99 but it is available online at Premier Yarns for $7.20.  I also have a second color called Menswear and plan to make a longer sock and use the Afterthought Heel.

The particulars from Premier Yarns website:


Be bold! Prose's broad stripes make beautiful socks, shawls, and other accessories. Superwash wool with a little nylon makes strong, colorful projects that stand up to plenty of wear.
  • 75% Super Wash Wool, 25% Nylon
  • 3.5 oz/100g, 459yd/419m
  • #1 Super Fine Weight
  • Machine Wash, warm. Do not bleach. Do not tumble dry. Do not iron. Dryclean- any solvent except trichloroethylene
  • Knit: 28 sts x 36 rows = 4" // US Size 2 (2.75 mm)
  • Crochet: 23 sts x 30 rows = 4" // US Size F-5 (3.75 mm)
This yarn knitted up quite nicely and I hope that it wears well as I truly love my new pair!

Do you have a favorite sock heel pattern?  I would love to hear about it, so please share and leave a comment.

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Morning Musings: Knitting With Handspun

Our mornings in Phoenix are starting to cool down, a wonderful sign to those of use who have a love affair with wool and live in this hot desert climate.  This morning was beautiful and after taking our baby boy to the park, hubby and I enjoyed our coffee out on our back patio.

I took my knitting with me, a newly casted on hat project using my own handspun.

As I sat knitting, I started to smile.  There’s something special about knitting with the yarn you create.  It’s so satisfying to spin it up, ply it into yarn and then knit with it.  This particular skin is so squishy soft and bouncy!  I love how the muted tones of green, black, purple and orange are turning into a lovely tweedy looking hat. I can’t wait to wear it.

I am looking forward to the cooler temperatures, the crisp clear blue skies and the ability to bring out my treasured handknits.

This also means I will be on a knitting and spinning frenzy, and will soak in all the goodness that the beautiful fall and winter temperatures bring to the valley of sun.

 Have high hopes of spinning lots of yarn during this cooler part of the year and using my handspun for many projects, especially shawls, hats and mitts, and maybe even socks.  I love using my own handspun in these types of projects as it is so satisfying and so wonderful to know I “made this yarn”.



Have a wonderful day!
Until next time, be creative!

Hello Again.... I Have Missed You!

So much to my surprise I miss my blog.  I think mostly because it’s a place where I can keep track of my fiberarts adventures, as well as my art.  I did close my Instagram account and have decided my blog, and Facebook, is enough for me at the moment. I have a “love/hate” relationship with social media as at times I feel that it is very un-social but  miss those I call kindred spirits.  I have decided to just enjoy my time and share when I feel up to it.

I have been focusing on my art but have been knitting too.  I have almost finished a pair of socks that I plan to try the after thought heel on, a first for me.  I am using Universal Yarn Prose in the color Foxy.  I love this yarn and think it’s rather fitting for Halloween!


Just look at these stripes!  I love them 😀


I am also participating in the #spookyspin15 2019 spin along and love the colors of this years fiber!  This year Sherrill offered her fiber, pin and bag al a carte, so I bought the pin and BFL.  This will be so much fun to spin.



I seem to have a theme going, Halloween.  I have picked up a few fun things this year that I absolutely love, especially my Halloween sheep!  I really can’t wait to start decorating for Halloween!!


I love these new pieces I picked up!


Now to find the time to do all the things I love!

Until next time, be creative!


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