the Intrepid Fiberwizard

adventures in spinning, knitting, gardening and life

Saturday, March 10, 2007


I am FINALLY moving my blog - to a typepad account.
click here to go to the new, improved Intrepidfiberwizard.

Please be sure to update your bloglines - as this old blog will now be retired.

Farewell, dear blogger. It's been fun.

Monday, March 5, 2007

12 New Pencil Roving Colors

I've been busy again; playing about with the colorways on our website (perhaps I have a tiny bit of the 'wild scientist' in me?)
This time, it is the Corriedale Pencil Roving colors that have changed. (picture heavy post ahead)
We've deleted some of the old colors and added 12 new ones! By popular demand, I've added these semi-solid colorways.
The colors are less "striped" and more flowing as they change throughout the hank of fiber.

Blue Skies

Chocolate Bar

Cranberry Sauce

Grape Jelly

Green Olives


Orchid Bouquet



Promise of Spring


Toffee Crunch

What do you think?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

As the sweater grows

There's been quite a bit of knitting going on here - Hervor, to be exact.

I finished the sleeves and the back, and will cast on for the front this afternoon.

I am enjoying the pattern quite a bit, watching the cables bloom above a sea of pebbled purls. After I knit my swatch, and the gauge matched exactly what the pattern requested, I selected the size and bravely knit on.
The question is: will it fit like I hope it will?
I was quite pleased with how effortless it has all seemed thus far; the pattern segments ending at precisely the 'right' moment (or so it appeared given the directions) 'when the work measures 13.5 inches, begin decrease for armhole, at the same time finish the outside panels... etc' The changes in shape were exactly at the end of a pattern. Thus I bravely concluded, that although no row gauge was listed, I was on target. (grin)

At the crucial moment after casting off the back, I held the sweater up to my chest, with that ever so proud feeling of success in the back of my mind....... and gasp... it was snug. Yeah, that kind of snug (as in form fitted, showing every single curve)

Err, ummm, what to do?
I came home and blocked the back, the dimensions are exactly what the pattern suggests they should be - yet still I ponder; will it look the way it does in the photo? (it's the one on the cover) Blocking helped a bit, and it no longer appears glued to my body, yet still.....

I opted to knit a size "large" (45 1/2" bust measurement) since I wanted it loose fitting. Now mind you, while I am not what one would call 'flat as a board', neither am I carrying a ginormous rack... and typically, when I buy clothes, I buy a size 'small'. Okie-dokie then, this should be fine eh? definitely not snug; or so we hope. Yet, then again, perhaps the model wearing the sweater is only 80 pounds, and is wearing an extra large size sweater? (let's hope not!)

And so, with blinders on, and wild hope that it will all unfold as I imagine, I knit on, repeating my newest mantra "it's the right size, gauge doesn't lie....."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Day to Celebrate

Yesterday was a very special day here at Crown Mountain Farms.......
the handsome guy in the photo is Klaus ( my sweetheart) - and for the few of you who have had the pleasure of speaking with him on the phone, you would know that he is a native to Germany (that wonderful rich accent of his, gives him away every time - grin)
He's lived full time in the United States for many years, and made his home here with me...... AND, he is now an official US Citizen ! He was sworn in yesterday, so it is finally official.


Much celebrating going on here. And although my dear pal Amanda suggested we celebrate with hot dogs and apple pie, (which was a great idea btw) we dined last night in a lovely local restaurant on a thick sirloin with gorgonzola crust and martinis. (apple pie to come this weekend when I have time to bake)
The ceremony was actually quite simple, yet given the magnitude of this event, very profound. At one point they showed a video that played the song "Proud to be an American" - with incredible photos of our America. I loved this song when it was written shortly after 911, and it is even more emotionally touching now.
Indeed, he is very proud - as am I. This is a great country that we live in, and so often I take for granted all the freedom we have.... not so today. Let's all send up a rowdy cheer of hurrah for Klaus - and remember that we were fortunate to be born here.

Amid all the splendor of these recent events, I have also been spinning and knitting. Here's a tiny bit of eye candy - (sorry about the blurry photos, the sun hasn't shown its face very often these past few days.... and they are even predicting snow for tonight. wow.)

I finished spinning up these two new colorways for our Sock Hop yarn -

Do you Wanna Dance (and to see even BETTER photos of this particular colorway, click on the link to Amanda's blog above.... she spun it up as well - and took way better photos of her work - grin)

Here's yet another new colorway - Glad All Over

I think that this is my most favorite yarn thus far. The rich greens and subtle tans are reminiscent of the moss on trees, deep in the forest. (and yes, I held back two skeins of this one to knit a pair of socks for my daughter who went gaa-gaa over this color :-)

Currently on my wheel tonight is some of the singles for the colorway "Happy Together" I am anxious to see how the brilliant yellow/blue/white and subtle greens look when plyed. I need to spin up the second 8 ounces before I will know..... I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 26, 2007

February - 007 snapshot

February:A time of birth and renewal. Beginnings. This is the month of my birth, and signifies the promise of spring yet to come. Pictured here are the buds of our magnolia trees, forming during the harsh cold reality of a February day. The sky is deep blue, yet the air is chilly. The rains pound down most days, and yet these blossoms are growing. Quietly, steadfast. They thrive beneath their protective outer coats.. and await the warming days of spring.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The socks are Bloomin'

The sun has peeked out for the first time in what feels like weeks - so I thought that I would snap a quick photo of my Bloomin' Feet Sock in progress.
Guess what? yup - it's got cables (grin)
I'm using a pattern from the books Socks Socks Socks - called Tipsy Knitter,
The design was taken from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of knitting, a pattern called Tilting Ladder. It will most likely turn out to be a slouch sock, as the lace/cable combo doesn't make for a very tight fit.. This particular pattern holds great appeal because I have to pay attention for every single row. The combination of lace with alternating cables shows the yarn quite well - don't ya think?

I am heading out today to stock up at the grocery store - the weather forecasters are saying that the sun won't last, and that snow levels are dropping. We could be in for another storm (but then again... who knows) Yesterday was full of bizarre changes - from rain to sun, then rain to ice pellets. Temperatures dropping ten degrees in a matter of minutes. Not quite a typical February.
Friday I am going to spend a day of 'girl time' with my oldest daughter in Seattle. It's my birthday. What better way to celebrate than being with one of the very best parts of my life. Although you might think it's impossible, my love for my daughters grows every year. I watch them creating their lives, full of joy and excitement and I could not possibly be more proud. When she asked me what I wanted for my birthday, it was an easy answer.. just to spend time with her.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Enchanted by Cables

I have long wished to knit a cabled sweater. Many moons ago, I purchased a copy of the book Viking Patterns for Knitting by Elsebeth Lavold. I would linger over the photos and dream about the day I would be able to understand the small hieroglyphics .
The day has arrived.
I have been knitting cables like a woman possessed! Here's a sock knit from Do You Wanna Dance Sock Hop Yarn - knit up in Rib and Cable pattern by Nancy Bush.
And I am working on a wild pattern that includes cables for my Bloomin Feet Sock swap ( that's a post all unto itself soon)

Perhaps I could back up for a moment here and share yet another class I took at the Madrona Fiber Arts Fair.... yes - another one (actually there is yet one more, after this, that I will share at some future date.. ahem) The class was titled "Morphing Cables" with Fiona Ellis.
What did I learn? (you mean aside from the fact that I can make very ugly class samples?) I learned that I have absolutely no desire to become a designer. The class was very free-form, and many students simply took off with their designs. Not so, this wizard. I just messed about a bit, moving one stitch over 3 (not so pretty) moving one stitch across row after row (also not too pretty) etc. Ultimately I came to appreciate and love my knitting books even more! You might also notice in the photo that the sample is off the needles, and momentarily going to be ripped out!

And here, I have evidence that I spent a bit of time in our fiber booth (hee hee) a blogging friend, Marisol, stopped by to say hello - and Klaus snapped this photo of us. It's one of my favorite parts of fiber fairs (to have people stop by and say hi) - me? I'm the red-head wearing the swallowtail shawl.

Once we got home from the show, I awaited a special order that I had placed ...... it arrived about a week ago (could you hear the loud applause all across the land?) - I ordered this dk weight merino to be hand dyed by Jessie (the queen of subtle dyeing!) The color has been difficult to photograph in its true likeness - I would call it a dusty rose, or maybe even a soft raspberry sherbet... whichever - it's glorious.

I quickly got out my ball winder, made cakes of four skeins, and cast on for the sweater that is featured on the book's cover. It is knit with size 4 and size 5 needles.
The more I knit with it, the more I love it. I wanted soft changes in the color, that would move throughout the sweater, adding depth to the eye. And Jessie gave me exactly what I had hoped for. Isn't it wonderful! Jessie has a great blog, and also an online store, A Piece of Vermont. Hop on over and check out her yarns.

In order to avoid becoming marooned on the fabled "Sleeve Island", I started the sleeves first! I've completed even more than this photo shows - and am only about 20 rows from finishing both sleeves. I'm hoping to begin the front of the sweater later on today.

Celtic cables have captured me with their charm.

On a final, yet unrelated note: SusannaHansson (who taught the Lapland Mittens class) has announced that she will be teaching this class at Webs (in Massachusetts) in Sept. 2007, and perhaps even at Stitches East. She will also be at the Nordic Knitting Conference in Seattle, as I mentioned on my earlier post. This is an amazing class - I highly recommend it!