a little for a monday

This picture of a butterfly has nothing to do with knitting/spinning/sewing. I've just been weirdly seeing a lot of gorgeous butterflies lately and wanted to share!

Well,  we've made it through another weekend! This week mine included a bunch of car knitting en route on a day trip, and spinning on Sunday. Right now I'm spinning some BFL/Silk from Walnut Farm up in Pennsylvania and finished the first 2 oz this weekend for making a 2 ply fingering weight. It's taking forever, but the colors are gorgeous. The weather here is starting to hint at fall and I couldn't love it more. The Mr. and I have coffee on our porch swing often and my first soup is already in the crockpot, thanks to some butternut squash from Benevolence Farm . I am going to miss tomato season, but wouldn't trade a million tomatoes for what the trees are about to start doing around my house. (This is where I would insert all of the fall-related emojis I could find, if I was typing on my phone.)

Monday often comes with a lot of wishing for the weekend, but a lot of promise for me, these days. Here are some things I am loving and looking forward to this week: 

  • I knit a hat this weekend and I love seeing everyone's Laurus hats pop up on the #fringehatalong tag on Insta. Hopefully I can take pictures of mine soon and post!
  • I'm deep into spinning wheel research and comparison right now. What I wish I could find is a huge chart with all the major spinning wheel brands & models and direct comparisons of their major functions and capabilities, but this article, this video, and this class have been a good place to start. 
  • Rebekka Seale has a beautiful Pinterest
  • The most perfect pink yarn I've ever seen. 
  • I spun a little alpaca so far I got from my trip to Asheville and I would love to make something simple like this with it. 
  • Thinking about upcoming travel and I love this idea for a travel blanket by A Girl Named Leney.

Happy Monday everyone!

Woolful feature

image source


Just wanted to pop in for a quick note to say that I'm being featured as a "Man on the Street" for this week's Woolful podcast, episode 15. The question this week is, "What advice would you give someone starting out on their fiber journey?"

I've been thinking a lot of big-life thoughts recently, so this question couldn't have come at a better time. I'd love if you would listen to this week's podcast and let me know what advice you would give to someone just starting out.

And if you've found this blog because of the podcast, welcome! I'm sad to say that my blogging here has been sporadic at best over the past few months, but thanks for coming by and I hope to make my writing here a MUCH more regular thing this spring.

Love from Durham!


Knit Year Resolutions

Hi ho! Took a bit of a break over the holidays but hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year. 

As is the case with the new year, and with a good break from work, I found myself doing a lot of thinking on what 2014 meant to me, and what I want to work for in 2015. Movin' and shakin' and all that. It's good stuff. As a knitter, I grew SO much in the past year. December of last year, I was working on my second ever colorwork hat. I knew very little about wool or any of the other fibers I was knitting with, I just knew I loved knitting. The more I learn, however, the deeper love and appreciation I have for the craft. I'm grateful to have found this thing that I love to do so much and I cannot wait to see what 2015 will bring. 

With all that in mind, here are some of my knit year resolutions fo 2015: 

1. Knit my first (and maybe second) sweater. 

I have been thinking about this elusive "first sweater" for a while now, and just like with socks last year, this is the year of the sweater. I have a few wonderful options lined up and hopefully will share that with you all soon. 

2. Go back to Rhinebeck

It was truly amazing even knowing so little about wool, and going back this year would be such an awesome experience knowing so much more. Plus, you know I would love a chance to fan girl so much at the Ravelry meet-up, which somehow I missed last year. 

3. Buy local

I've really felt some great convictions about buying American-made in the past few months, and I'd love to apply that to my saving and purchasing habits when it comes to the yarn I buy this year. Suggestions on great American yarns would be welcome!

4. Get connected. 

There are so many wonderful fiber folk that I have the opportunity to be connected to, but so often I am shy when it comes to making connections and reaching out. This year, I want to just ask and see what happens. 

5. Be brave. 

In life (see above), but in knitting particularly. Don't know how to do that cast on? Figure it out and forge ahead! This year I want to channel my inner EZ. 

6. Goodstitch: the handmade business

A big dream in the making. More to come soon!!


I've been scoping out everyone else's resolutions, and I'd love to hear yours?

Love from this side of the world!

Another sheep related post


Hi hello hey there. 

The closer that the holidays get the shorter the days seem. Does anyone else tend to feel that way? Lots of knitting in my life, not so much picture taking because the sun has been setting at 4:30 PM. Wut. 

Anyhoo, last night the hubs and I were hanging out, browsing iTunes U, which has lots of great resources for post-college individuals like myself, and found a course from the University of Glasgow about, wait for it - "Hand Knitted Textiles and Economies of Craft in Scotland". It includes lessons on the history of sheep farming in the highlands, Shetland wool production, Shetland lace and a few other topics on Shetland history, all which were recorded during a seminar in 2012 at the University of Glasgow. In addition to getting caught up on the newest Knit.fm and Woolful podcasts, my super nerdy side is very excited to dig into that resource. 

There were a few other courses I was looking at as well that were non-knitting related, but thought I would share that with the world in case anyone else was interested in learning more about Shetland's knitting and textile history. 

Hope your Wednesday is just wonderful!

Thoughts: being fiber-conscious

I've been doing a lot of knitting lately, to be sure, but on top of the projects I'm working on for Christmas (which is approaching much more swiftly than I'd like), I've also been doing a lot of research. Two weeks ago the first Woolful podcast came to be, and I was so excited to listen to it, and also so challenged. This happened again with the second podcast, and again as I read Ashley Yousling's post about superwash wool. 

I feel like there has been a pretty natural progression the more serious that I become about knitting and other fiber arts, that I just sort of naturally have started to gravitate towards more natural fibers & yarns, but all the research I've been doing has been bringing those feelings into much sharper focus. In Kylie Gusset's interview with Woolful, she talked a lot about her company, Tonofwool, but even moreso towards the end of her interview about the wool industry in general. That 80% of the merino wool in the world, regardless of where it is produced, is processed in China. That chemical dyes that are used to dye the yarn are often harmful to the environment and the people living in the communities where the factories reside. That superwash wool gets that way because the fibers are actually coated in plastic to resist felting in the wash. I realized that as far as sourcing goes for the wool that I knit with, I had very little idea about where it came from originally or how it was made.

As a knitter, my most important questions about the fibers I work with have been, "How does it feel?" and "what colors does it come in?" and "do I have enough of it to finish this shawl?". But with as with being a conscious consumer in all things, I'm trying to become more fiber-conscious about the fibers that I'm buying, and asking for this Christmas. 

Before I read the history of Brooklyn Tweed and how their two yarns came to be, I had no idea that finding wool that was sourced, dyed and processed all in America was so rare. Or even, finding wool and other fibers that are processed in their country of origin at all, or act transparently about where their fibers are processed at least. And I think at the end of the day, that's really what I want: transparency. I want to know that the money I'm spending on these fibers are going to companies that support sustainable practices for the environment, that treat their workers fairly, that treat the animals they come from with respect, and that strive to connect the consumer with their process as much as possible. 

This summer, I was pleasantly surprised when I went to my local farmer's market and discovered that a vendor there not only brought vegetables from her farm, but had brought wool yarn from sheep on her farm native to NC! I made a hat that week and it was one of my favorite projects to date. My most recent project was knit in O-Wool, a company that has a real commitment to organic and sustainable fiber processes. Every time I knit with these natural fibers, it's so rewarding. And as tempted as I might be by the acrylic blends that go on super sale this time of year, I'm trying to remember these projects as I shop, and how the money I spend on yarn sends a real message this holiday season about what I value as a consumer. 

I suppose I just needed to ramble about all this for a bit, and get my messy thoughts out of my head to process them in a way that makes sense. To get them out there. But I'd love to hear thoughts that others have about choosing the fibers they work with in their knitting, and what kinds of factors influence those decisions. 

Bye for now.