Friday, January 30, 2009

Opal 6 ply

I needed some sock yarn to knit up some quick, pink socks for my sister-in-law's birthday, so Shelley helped me pick some out. We came up with this wonderful Opal 6ply sock yarn. This colourway is Flamingo.

6 ply sock yarn knits up so quickly! I'm using 3.25 mm needles (3 U.S.). A straight forward 3x1 rib with 48 stitches and I had the leg knit in one evening! Watching the colours emerge is quite addictive. I'll certainly be using this yarn again.

spinners and handspun....

Another great gathering of wonderful spinners at Fun Knits on Tuesday - attentive and focused on their craft.

One spinner prepares her roving by drafting and rolling it into small rounds -- a quiet, peaceful process to observe.  Another spinner deftly sets in motion her drop spindle to create a delicate strand of natural alpaca yarn.
Below is a photo of one spinner's meticulously calculated, spun and plied colour gradations of the Fun Socks roving (in the bag, top left).  I think there are 12 or 13 long thin skeins.  Beautiful work for one of her weavings.
Here are a few samples of the spinner's woven scarves.

Exchanging techniques and ideas.
Below are a couple of photos of my spinning.  The first is Northern Lights "cactus flower" - the spun yarn is actually much brighter and has more depth than is reflected in this photo.  I'm hoping to weave it into fabric which I'll use to make a vest.  The second photo is Northern Lights "forest glade" which I blogged about a few days ago -- I am especially thrilled with the rich, luscious intensity of this yarn, and am not sure if I'll weave or knit with it.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend full of (take your pick) extra knitting/spinning/weaving time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kauni Shawl KAL

It's time for a knit-along!!

We are hosting a Kauni Shawl knit-along, both here on the blog and on Ravelry. For those on Ravelry, you can find the group here: Kauni Shawl KAL. The shawl we have chosen, with the kind permission of the designer, is called Revontuli, or Northern Lights. It is a fabulous free pattern, perfect for the long repeats of Kauni multi (it would also look fabulous in Kauni solid if you prefer).

The start date for the KAL will be February 8th, to allow people time to get the yarn if needed. There will be a prize or two, and help available along the way.

I know Shelley and I are looking forward to knitting this lovely shawl. There are so many great colourways to choose from, and we have updated the website with some new ones just in time! 

So leave a comment on this post to join in the fun!


I found something to make with some of my leftover ball of Malabrigo worsted. I made an earwarmer. And now I want to make one in every colour!

This yarn is so soft, it is perfect for an earwarmer to wear in the cold. (I am someone who rarely wears 100% wool because my skin is so sensitive. I wore this out and about yesterday and it didn't itch at all - so you know it is really soft!) I get earaches in wind and cold, so often I wear an earwarmer instead of a hat. It used maybe .25 of a skein, if that. One skein could make at least four gifts!

The pattern is my own, a simple twisted rib, knit in the round on 4.5mm (7 U.S.) needles.

Friday, January 23, 2009

more great colours at Fun Knits...

"Sweatermaker" braided beauties are hand-dyed by Judy McLean in Courtney.  This is only a sprinking of the many fabulous colours we have in stock.
Vivian Dorsett's handspun, hand-dyed, and hand knit articles -- a 'must see' area.

This is a delightful section of the shop with dozens of colourful bags of soft, fluffy roving, fibre and silk hankies. We also carry smaller bags full of small amounts of fibre in various colours for embellishment or other art/felt/spinning projects.
Isn't it amazing how a bag of neon bright fibre (bag on left) can translate into a more subtle multi-coloured skein of spun yarn (long thin twisted skein on right).
And finally, a bouquet of dahlias for all!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

northern lights and more.....

Here are some of the glorious colours to be found in the store right now.  The new Northern Lights roving in "forest glade" spins up into a deep dark emerald flow with lighter strands of teal and olive  -  it is absolutely beautiful!
Then there is the "mulled wine" that Shelley was spinning on Tuesday - from a distance the yarn looked like rich burgandy reds with fire shades throughout. Very yummy!!!

"Meadow trail" looks lovely and will no doubt spin up into vibrant tones that will remind us of spring and summer.

We now stock recycled sari silk - it is crazy soft and the colours are iridescent.  These photos don't do justice to the luminous quality of each shade.  Just imagine intense radiance - you have to see it and feel it to believe it.
We have an open bag of this exquisite shredded silk thread on the table by the couch for anyone who wants to experience it's allure.
On Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. several spinners gather at Fun Knits to spin, knit, tell stories, and share beautiful handspun, handknit articles.  I am always struck by the unique loveliness of each piece and the obvious commitment and devotion to the craft whether its creator slants toward meticulous perfectionism, free-form rustic, or one of the endless variations between the two - the item and its maker are amazing!!! 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Free Patterns Now in PDF

I just wanted to let everyone know that Shelley's wonderful free patterns are now available in pdf format on the website, on this page. I'm hoping to get some more of Shelley's patterns up over time as well (she has so many patterns in that clever head).

I'm heading over to Fun Knits tomorrow to hang out with Deb and Shelley for a couple of hours. We should come up with some great ideas and projects (and I may come away with some yarn....) for the next few months!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A few hours between spinners...

What a wonderful time we newer spinners had with the island's original group of spinners who invited us to join them for Distaff Day.  Thank you to Marg for sharing her gorgeous home in the woods. Everyone brought their wheels and fleece, and went to it, happily spinning, laughing, plying, talking, eating, and knitting up the handspun.  (Shelley, you were missed by all - and next time, I'll woman the fort and you can go play.)  I'm inspired all over again and can hardly wait to get to work tomorrow to wiggle my fingers through a new bag of Northern Lights - I think I'll go for the stunning "forest glade." 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Creative sock

Here is a picture George put on my desktop at the store. George is the computer guy that is keeping the store computer functioning. He isn't knitter but I think he gets knitting.

Great picture

Friday, January 09, 2009

Spring cleaning in January

Fun Knits was wonderful today, as was yesterday and Tuesday.  I've been busily and contentedly cleaning shelves, organizing drawers and reorganizing yarn, furniture and fleece.  There's more room now for our spinner's gathering on Tuesdays - I'm looking forward to seeing a visible space between our spinning wheels.  

For all of you felt/fleece/spinning artists out there, we have three new colours of Northern Lights roving in - "mulled wine" and "forest glade" and "meadow trail" -  each bag is full of exquisite shades of absolute loveliness!  (Note - I am new to blogging and don't have a clue how to link you to the photos of our stock but I promise I'll ask Shelley or Kate to teach me soon so that you can see what I'm referring to.) 

Several people have asked for smaller amounts of fleece in a variety of colours - we now offer just that, a small bag containing various colours of wool or a wool/silk blend.

I'm grateful to Shelley for inviting me to add my thoughts to the blog -- I think we have a great team of skilled, inspired women working together to keep a great yarn shop moving forward.  Kudos to Shelley for her dream and the gutsy leap of faith it took to open this knitting sanctuary. 

Wishing all of you an imaginative new year with a ton of finished projects,

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Mmmmmm, Malabrigo

First, a thank you to Shelley for the invitation to be part of this blog. I am so enjoying working with Fun Knits and I look forward to sharing some of the website news here as well. Just to let people know, the website is updated Sunday nights, so a new front page is up on Mondays. One of the things I am working on is getting all of Shelley's great free patterns (in the links at the side here) into pdf format and onto the website, this should be done soon.

Now, one of the great things about this job is that I have to write about yarn. And to write about yarn, I have to see the yarn, touch the yarn, fondle the yarn and, hopefully, knit with the yarn. When Shelley got the last shipment of Malabrigo in at the store, I knew this was my time to knit with this luscious yarn! I already had got some lace weight from her in the summer, and this time I picked up some worsted weight in the same colour way: Emerald.

I am not immune to the trends of the knitting world, and right now it seems one of the big trends is cowls. I love cowls:
 they keep your neck warm without slipping off or needing to be wound about (although I am quite a fan of scarves as well, they are one of my favourite things to knit); they can cover your face or your ears; they are a pretty little burst of colour at your neck. So I used both my worsted and my lace weight Malabrigo to make two different cowls. And I love them! (The colours are the same in reality, unfortunately winter is not the best time for taking photos.)

I'd love to hear what other people have made with these weights of Malabrigo, as I still have some left (and I'm pretty sure there will be more skeins in my future....).

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Year and New changes

Well if anyone still reads this blog you may notice I have been absent from blogging for most of December. I have been incredibly busy with life and have had no time extra for blogging. I love to keep in touch with the blog and feel bad when I just get busy and can't blog. Because of this I am introducing some changes. New year always prompts change for me.
I have added a few new authors to the blog
Deb - has been working at the store for quite a while now - she is my organizer - she is the reason you can find anything in the store and she is a good balance for me because I am not organized. Deb will be blogging about her ventures in the store
Kate - has been working for Fun Knits for a few months now. She is more behind the scenes so many of you may not have met her. She is updating the web site weekly and keep things alive on Ravelry etc. ... Kate will also be blogging
Mom (aka Donna) - she has been on this journey of Fun Knits since the beginning. She is my knitting teacher and mentor and has a lot to share. I hope she will blog also.
I will probably be more prompted to blog with all of this action going on.
I will certainly be checking it daily to see what everyone is saying.
So stay tuned. This blog should get very busy again.
Happy New year to everyone