Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gansey #1

I finally have my gansey finished. Although I probably wouldn’t call it a traditional gansey for two reasons. First it was knit with a 2 ply yarn and second it wasn’t knit at a really fight gauge. The reason for this was more practical then tradition. After I gave it some thought. I don’t think I would wear a super heavy sweater so I make it more wearable for me. None the less I am pretty happy with how it came out. My next one I think I will make the gussets a bit smaller. After knitting for years and years this is my first real attempted at knitting a sweater without a pattern or even a clear idea of what I was going to do when I started. I was really hoping to have it completed by the end of the Olympics but it was so hot here (108 for several days) that I wasn’t able to even touch it.
Now I just have to have the weather cool down a bit more so I can wear it.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Another crazy idea or two

Sometimes I stop and think to myself, “What the heck am I thinking?” Have you ever done that?  It all started with the idea of knitting a gansey. This year my fiber arts have the theme of getting around to it. This is the year that I get around to making all the projects that I have always wanted to get to be for some reason or other I have never been able to get to them.  On the list is to knit a gansey.  From there the idea was to spin for that very gansey. From there the thought well it’s just about time for the Tour de Fleece so I think I will spin for the gansey during that. Well a week later the Olympics start so hey I can knit my gansey during that. Not a problem. Right! In the mean time I have signed up to attend  SOAR, so again the thought came to me that I could wear said gansey at the fashion show.

  Because of weird events (space being open, like who wouldn’t want to attend a 4 day retreat with Judith) I have the opportunity to attend another fiber retreat a week before SOAR. The topic is designing with Judith Mackenzie.  We are to have our yarn all spun up or at least mostly spun to bring to the class. So my next wild idea was to spin for a Fair Isle sweater, another one of those get around to it on the list. Then I got to thinking heck I seem to be working my way around the British Islands, so maybe I should knit and aran,too. In the mean time I have been working on getting a website built to start promoting my fiber arts. So I have been busy working on samples and designs to get the website up and running by Aug. 1.

Again I am thinking what the heck!

So today I have been working on my yarn for the Fair Isle sweater. I would like to have it all done before the tour starts (2 pounds). I was gone for most of the morning teaching a weaving class, so I wasn’t able to get as much as I wanted. The fiber is Falkland that I had in my stash for a while. I think I bought it from Spunky Eclectic. It’s spinning like a dream.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Now for something a bit different

I thought I would pass along a great interview from an author I found. Please check out her books.

The Eleanor Series

Eleanor Clark, author

Leaving a Legacy for Your Children

People from north to south, east to west are celebrating the summer months in a variety of ways: leisurely days at the neighborhood swimming pool, a family vacation to the beach, camping out with loved ones. In the midst of this fun season, don’t forget to give your kids the very best sort of vacation—the kind they can take in their imagination!

Today I’m interviewing octogenarian, Eleanor Clark, a vibrant woman in her golden years who has written a lovely series of books for girls called The Eleanor Series. The books released a few years back in hardback, but she’s in the process of putting them out as e-books. Exciting news for parents on the lookout for great literature for their kids!

Eleanor, welcome! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Perhaps I should start by telling you that I just celebrated a very important birthday—my 80th! And yes, I’m still very active! I’ve spent years researching my family’s lineage. After discovering some exciting stories, I decided to write them down in The Eleanor Series. I spend every day telling others about my books and sharing my love of faith, patriotism and godly character. What a wonderful life I lead!

So, the stories in this series are based on real-life experiences?

Yes, loosely based, anyway! I’ve fictionalized several very real stories, going back to my 8x great-grandmother! My family instilled a wonderful legacy in me and I want to pass that on to my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and to all of my readers, as well.

Can you tell us about the book you're featuring today?

Today I’m featuring the first book in the series: Mary Elizabeth, Welcome to America. I’m so tickled to announce that this book is now available in e-book form! I’ve waited for this day for some time, so I’m very excited. Here’s a little tidbit about the story: Mary Elizabeth's life undergoes a dramatic change when she leaves the only home she has known for another world far away in a place called America. The journey aboard the ship not only teaches her about perseverance but also that making a home in a new world has its share of challenges. Join Mary Elizabeth as she lives one of the greatest adventures of a lifetime and learns the importance of family and the value of perseverance.

So this book is already out in print?

Yes, the entire series released in hardback a few years back. Hardback copies are still available. All seven books are available at or by contacting me through my website.

Will the other books in The Eleanor Series release as e-books as well?

Yes, and I'm so excited about the adventure ahead! The books will release one per month over the next six months with the final story, a Christmas story, releasing in early December. Here's a list of the titles and release dates:

  • Mary Elizabeth: Welcome to America (June 15th )
  • Victoria Grace: Courageous Patriot (July 15th)
  • Katie Sue: Heading West (August 15th)
  • Sarah Jane: Liberty's Torch (September 15th)
  • Eleanor Jo: The Farmer's Daughter (October 15th)
  • Melanie Ann: A Legacy of Love (November 15th)
  • Eleanor Jo: A Christmas to Remember (December 1st)

What sets these books apart from the American Girls series?

The American Girls series is a wonderful collection for girls, but my stories have something those books do not: faith elements. The salvation message is evident in every story, as well as a deep love of God and country. Not only will children get a comprehensive history lesson through the exciting stories, they will also receive a greater understanding of the role their faith plays in modern-day life.

I seen the book is intended for girls. What about my son? Well he enjoy it too?

I’m thrilled to report that some of the series’ biggest fans are boys! And adults, too. I’ve been tickled to see people young and old, male and female, enjoy these stories. Here’s what one reader had to say: We purchased four of the Eleanor Jo books for Christmas gifts for little girls on our list and after reading the book, we intend to order several more. We will be proud to give this book to any young children. We began reading the book, just to review the content and could not put it down. (Ella & David Lott, A reviewer, 11/07/2006)

How do I order a copy of the book?

Mary Elizabeth, Welcome to America is immediately available on kindle or in hardback (through my website).

What are you offering my bloggers today?

One lucky person will have an opportunity to win a hardback copy of Mary Elizabeth welcome to America when they leave a comment at the end of this blog!

You’ve been a delight to interview, Eleanor! How can we stay in touch with you?

Thank you so much for having me! Readers can reach me at:

My website:

My Eleanor Series facebook page:

Friends, please check out Eleanor’s series. I think you’ll love it. The Eleanor Series will be a wonderful addition to any library. It will also inspire parents and grandparents to research their family’s history. So, this summer, as you’re setting your sites to the school year ahead. . .take a moment to look back at where you’ve come from. Then, be prepared to leave behind a legacy of love!

About the Author:

Eleanor Clark lives in central Texas. She is the matriarch of the family that includes 5 children, 17 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. Born the daughter of a Texas sharecropper and a child during the Great Depression, Eleanor was a female pioneer in crossing economic, gender, educational, and corporate barriers. Eleanor was an executive for one of American's most prestigious corporations and founded her own highly successful consulting firm. The appreciation of her American and Christian heritage comes to life along with her exciting and colorful family history in the youth fiction series, The Eleanor Series.

About the series:

There are seven books in the series that highlight the lives of young girls throughout American history. The stories are based on the true-life accounts of author Eleanor Clark’s family history. Each book focuses on a particular character trait and is laced with the pioneering spirit of one of Eleanor’s true-to-life family members. Twenty-first century readers are sure to relate to these amazing, character-building stories while learning Christian values and American history. Modern parents will be blessed as their children learn countless lessons from the pages of each book in the series.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Spring time in the Rockies

Well I spent the afternoon getting all the kits together for the classes I will be teaching at the Snake River Fiber Fair this next weekend. My tatting class is fill to the brim. We will be learning how to make this card. We will also talk about how to buy threads and shuttles. I will also be teaching beginning knitting and rigid heddle weaving. There is still room in those classes and I'm sure if you showed up on Sunday you can join in on. For more info check out the web site.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Wikipedia defines Linsey-woolsey as a coarse twill or plain-woven fabric woven with a linen warp and a woolen weft. Similar fabrics woven with a cotton warp and woolen weft in Colonial America were also called linsey-woolsey or wincey.

I define is as fun. So yesterday I spend a couple of hours playing around on my loom. I had it warped for finger towels but after I got started I found I had a major threading error and it really wasn’t easily fixable so I decided to just weave off the warp in plain weave.

Last weekend I spent a day demonstrating spinning. I had 4 ounces of Cotswold wool in a light grey that I was spinning as a singles at about 40 wpi.  I was able to get about 560 yards out of the bump. My warp was about 6 yards, so I just sat at the loom and wove plan weave.  I have to say there is something to be said about plain weave. There is such a calming rhythm to it.

Linsey-woolsey was used during the Colonial times and even through the Civil war and later part of the 19th century as a basic cloth for clothing and household needs.  When linen was not readily available cotton or hemp was substituted.  In my case I used 10/2 cotton from Henry’s attic as the warp. I really love this yarn and how the fabric turned out and plan to make more of this cloth for a pair of pants for my husband as some point. Because the loom was set for finger towels the piece is a bit wide for a scarf and maybe a bit narrow for a shawl. But for an afternoon of just playing around on the loom it’s pretty cool.

Looking towards the new

It’s been a super long time since I have had them time to blog. For the past couple of years I have been really busy with life. I basically took some time away from most things fibery. I stopped teaching and working in a yarn store. I think I needed the break but I am happy to say I am back and what I love to do. Although I am not teaching as much as I did before and I'm not sure I will ever teach every week like I did before but it’s enough to keep it fun and keep the creativity going.
I am also happy to say I have started to design again. A few years back I did a lot of work for a local yarn store and sold some of my patterns in the store to later find out they were making copies and selling them without paying me. I must say when I found out I was really hurt and burnt. So I stopped designing.  I think that was about 5 years ago.  This time I plan to keep control a bit better on my patterns. I will be selling them on Ravelry and on a new website I plan to launch later this summer.  So please stay tuned to announcements on where and when it starts. I also plan to sell handmade items and hand dyed fibers.
I also plan to attend a few events through the summer and fall where I will be demonstrating the fiber arts in some manner. Below are the events that I will be at during the rest of the month of May.
May 19-20 the Snake River Fiber Fair in Idaho Falls.
I will be teaching tatting, beginning Knitting and beginning rigid heddle weaving. I will also be judging the skein contest. If you are in the area please stop by and say hello.

May 27 the Fiber Train in Nampa Idaho
Even though this will be a two day event I will be able to attend only Sunday. I will be in the Puffy Mondeas booth weaving, so if you are interested in learning to weave please stop by and say hello. By the way my husband will be attending the same event blacksmithing.  I do plan to attend the memory yarn class on Monday night.

Coming in June I will be attending the ye olde renaissance faire in Eagle Idaho. Please check back for more information and what Items I will have items for sale and will be donating some things totally cool to raffle off.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Summer Fun!

I know in some places it doesn't really seem like its summer but here in Boise school is out, so I am on summer vacation. Although there are no plans to take any trips. So I will have to find some fun things to do around here. Its kind of funny when you only work a few hours a day you would think you would have all the time in the world to get things done. Not so. Now that I have the month of June, July and bits of August to fun things to do. I have made a long list of TO Do's

*Dye and knit a natural dyed tam
*Natural dye Saxon green hat
*Knit mariners socks
*Knit Tamarack socks
*Knit blue hand spun socks
*Spin and weave natural colored shawl
*Weave organic cotton towels
*Weave Huck lace shawl
*Make bobbin lace for Civil War dress
*Spin BFL scarf
*Spin Angora samples
*Write up three patterns that have already been designed.
*Spin for sweater ( Tour de Fleece)
*Knit socks with self striping yarn
*Spin for sweater from Tour de Fleece roving
* Knit cable shawl collar sweater
* Tat some snowflakes for Christmas gifts
*Crochet a doily
*Weave coaster sets for Christmas

Yes, Yes I know its a long list. You will have to keep checking back to see how much I can get done before I go back to work. I will let you know that I have a few of these things either almost done for at least half done. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I did I just see a UFO?

Call me crazy but I have a plan. OK more like a goal!
I am now working on finishing all my UFO's ( unfinished objects).
For the past month or so I have been diligently working on getting everything off my needles, wheels, hooks, and looms.
What I want to do is get everything all done before school gets out so that I can start with new projects for the summer.
So far I have finished
a crocheted afghan, mini pillows to match.
My February ladies sweater
placing a zipper in hubby's sweater

Things to be finished
Lent scarf KAL
needlepoint seat cover
towels on the loom
gold knee high socks
cream alpaca/silk sweater
green lace weight yarn on spindle
multi color socks

I am really hoping to get this all done by May 20. That day I am leaving to teach at a fiber fair and I would like to go shopping for a new project to start.
So yes I have and will be busy for the next month or so.
Stay posted for progress and pictures.