Friday, February 27, 2009

Progress and more progress!

I had written half this blog before I unthinkingly restarted firefox. So I will just jump in with my project progress first.

Spinning: My latest is skein of bulky weight wool that I intend for some super cuddly mitts. I purchased the batts from Knitting Grounds, but they are from one of my fave local fiber artists, Denise of Fiber n Ice. I love how the batts blended to form a beautiful heathered yarn. I will defninitely be buying more of these batts!


I have some baby shower knitting on the agenda and I have completed:
  • a pair of suede booties (sans the fluffy yarn called for),
  • A super cute - will definitely be making for my boys - hat pattern by Sweet Mama, Small Sugar. Who, by the way, I think has one of the greatest eyes out there for putting together some of the cutest children handmade outfits I have ever seen. I am just in love with her style. The hat is small on Noah, but I think you get the idea. Her patterns have great size range and I plan on knitting the next size up for him. It was a fast knit, and I some handspun leftover from my Dad's Turn a Square hat and (what I'm thinking is malabrigo worsted) yarn from my grab bag purchase. I had plenty leftover from each and am making a pair of thumbless baby mitts to go with the hat.

  • So this is embarrasing to admit but our Christmas package just went out to my inlaws yesterday, the package was all finished except that it had been waiting on this table runner. I had just been indecisive on how I should quilt it (went the easy route and just ended up doing stitch in the ditch). I finally just sat down to do it. The (machine) quilting took maybe half an hour, but the hand stitching of the binding to the back took around 4 hours. I am glad I did it that way though, and I am just happy that it is finished in general.
  • The other sewing project was a block for my sister's wedding quilt that her MIL is putting together. Again I was two months behind getting this in! Ack. I enjoy sewing, but I am (obviously) much more easily motivated by knitting or spinning. The instruction given to me were that the theme was "Love and Romance" and that the border would be done in a leafy green. My sister loves purple and green and I thought I had some fabrics in my stash that would work together. I ended up doing the design I did because Whitney and her hubby own property in Homer and are currently building their "love nest" cabin there. It took me two hours from pulling out the fabric to putting in the envelope to mail. Again a good reminder to myself that I need to just sit down and do it! "It" being whatever item on my agenda that I am putting off for whatever reason. I am really happy with how it turned out and think Whitney will love it!

Shop Progress:

My base yarns that I ordered more than 2 weeks ago finally got here! (Next time I will upgrade shipping!) I am so excited! I wound over 40 skeins today and still have more to do. I am adding three new yarns to my line - Terino Luxury (50/50 Tencel/Merino Sport weight), Borealis Lite (Superwash Merino Fingering Weight), and Australis (Merino worsted weight). I have a great deal planned in the upcoming months regarding my "yarn lines" and can't wait to share more as it get solidified into reality.

So all in all while I haven't quite been on top of blogging a lot has been going on!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

*Waves Hand*

I so had grand plans for tonights blog. I finished spinning some yarn for mittens, finished a pair of booties, and starting knitting and almost finished a hat. Today. It started off so well, but then I was thwarted by Mommy Duty. My toddler is sick, but what I had thought was just a cold moved into puking mode. In the car. Really, really not fun. Especially when the water in your home is turned off. Without notice. Thank goodness for family in town! So more later on my project progress.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A series of collages...

Thank you ahead of time for putting up with the excessive amounts of collages, and not just in this post, but in the last few as well. They take up much less room however and I am a little infatuated with them.

I finally got all of my desired pictures taken and edited and voila! Here they are (make sure you're comfortable this might take awhile!).....

The first collage is the contents of my Phat Fiber Sampler Box from February. I will describe a few in detail.... Fiber (Left Side):

  • I will start with bottom left first. Angora bunny fiber....I had never felt this fiber before and I am so in love. I ordered more that night....12oz more.
  • I was thrilled to have gotten a sample from Moonwood farms of hand carded alpaca and she included a great informational card with pics of her animals and ways to use the roving!
  • My fave wool is BFL and I got a generous sample of it from Abstract Fibers in a colorway that instantly drew me to it!
  • Wildhare Fiber Studio (whose name and logo I just love) had a light as air and fluffy roving that just lit up once the light hit it (red firestar). I think it would make such a great yarn and can tell just from looking at it that it would be a joy to spin! I love bright colors and
  • From Ewe to You delivered a great example of that! Their roving sample had depth that is hard to capture in photos and I think it would be great for felting, I was instantly wanting to pull out my needlefelting supplies! It had great spring to it as well! They had also tied their sample with what looks like the same fiber spun and it is a lovely crisp yarn that would wear well.

Yarns (Bottom Right Corner):

There were a variety of yarns, some pure silk worsted from Hedgehog fibres (YUMMY), the beautiful pinks & chocolates fingering from sis yarn was lovely too. A generous sample included was from Fire Lizard Studios and while I probably would have never picked this colorway for myself has become a favorite and I keep thinking how nice it would be to have a pair of socks in that colorway. I knit the sample into a phone cozy (pictured in a collage below). Another sample, or set of samples I should say, that stood out were from Oriri Draco Design and it was great to see three different yarns that they carry, my fave was the Sea Squish Lace a luxurious seacell and silk blend.

Other (Upper Right Corner):

  • I felt so lucky to have recieved one of Seven Yaks needle guages! I have already used it several times and am planning on picking up some of their sock blockers in the near future!
  • I also got one of the notecards from Knit it Up, It's a beautiful card and I love just having a beautiful picture of yarn to look at! I also have several friends that I know would like to receive it.
  • A very cute conversation hear stitch marker was in my box from Designs by Tami and I know it will be getting some good use!
  • Another sample was Teat Treat Salve from Desert Garden Farms, it came in an awesome tin and it feels great on the hands! Love!
  • I also received Two patterns, "Under the Rose", a very pretty fingerless mitts pattern and a sock pattern "Berries" that uses a worsted weight yarn, which I could easily see myself making!
Next up are the yarns I spun from a friend's Phat Fiber Sampler (She doesn't spin, so I luckily got the chance to play with that many more samples.)

  • The first is a woolen spun (my first) yarn that weighs in right at 25g with 75 yards (top right pic). I loved spinnging this yarn and know that I will be ordering more batts from Giffordables Folk art and Fibres. It is probably the most enjoyable yarn I have spun in a long time! Her prices are insanely good too.
  • The bright yarn on the top left is a 3 ply(which I done in a long time) with about 60yards, was so much fun to see the variety of colors intermix. It was spun from roving dyed by Kangaroo Dyer, which specializes in unique color combinations, which I think she has a great eye for. I really can't wait to see what Sally knits with it as I think it will look fantastic knit!
  • Bottom left was spun from a Copperpot woolies roving, which was so soft and fun as it was a merino and bamboo blend. It's colorway was rockin' robin, which I thought was a great name for it! I did a two ply and ended up with about 36 yards.
  • Liberty Fibers included a very creatively named Raspberry Truffle Dark Chocolate With Wasabi Cream blended roving and I LOVED it. The named fit it perfectly and it really stretched me as a spinner and I felt there were so many ways to have spun up this fiber. I am happy with how it mixed up and it had a great amount of sparkle! Here is her link for the fiber, I forgot to take a pic before spinning it.
Below are the other projects that have been keeping me busy this week! More about them later!

Wow! You made it all this way! Thanks for sticking it out!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I have so much to post about, but I still haven't gotten my pics off my camera (or my thoughts together enough to make it cohesive) so again this will be a somewhat lackluster photoless post.

I am watching the end of the Academy Awards as I type and thoroughly enjoyed much of it this year, it had many great mini-performances through out and I have to say that I love Hugh Jackman! I am looking forward to the new X-Men movie, though I still can't believe that I haven't seen Australia yet either.

But, back to fiber, I have thoroughly enjoyed some good knitting and spinning this weekend, including working with batts, rovings, wraps, phone socks, and booties....I will try to have pics of it all as well as a review of a couple of my phat fiber items. I am so amazed at the creativity and talent in the fiber community....each new sample I pick up proves that more and more.

Ah well the awards are over and my bed is calling.....congrats to Slumdog Millionaire!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jumping back on the horse

I am doing it. I am blogging tonight so that I don't feel my blog hanging over my head. I keep meaning too, but when my hubby is home for his four days off I have a hard time getting my thoughts together for posting. But, I have been busy!

Monday: Sock blank dyeing! Some friends and I got together to try our hand at dyeing these for ourselves and they turned out great! Leah beat me to the punch at getting a photo of her up on her blog! I will hopefully get some photographs up tomorrow when my dear hubby isn't around again.

Tuesday: Rough start to the day, but I did do a spinning demo at an elementary school. Spinning in front of children always reminds me how much I really wished I could spin straw into gold! (Number one question I am usually asked)

Wednesday: I had a rather quiet afternoon and evening as I mostly got to knit. I cast on the November Ruffle Wrap in a luscious natural cream alpaca yarn that I have been saving. I am taking a break from my list as it was making me crazy instead of helping, and I just really want to knit something for me! I have about 5.5in done, not too bad.

Today: Shipped out several orders, waited in vain for the mail man to deliver my Phat Fiber box, and got some good cleaning done! I also am planning out the next couple days worth of dyeing! So I should have lot of fresh stock in the next week or so.

I feel so much better now! Hopefully Saturday I will be raving and posting lots of pics from my phat sampler!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Getting back in gear.....

I am behind. I have been really lacking the desire to knit the past couple of weeks. I have gotten one project (in super bulky yarn) only 3/4 of the way done. That is all. It has been a productive two weeks, I have made progress business wise, got some spinning, done some dyeing, and more, but I almost feel that much of that can be attributed to my lack of desire to knit. So I am going to get my rear and gear and finish my gift goals! I really don't want to get behind, as it will not be fun to try and cram so much knitting into a short time frame. The whole reason I came up with this plan was to keep my knitting fun! So since the boys are asleep I am going to take advantage of the time and hopefully finish this second legwarmer today! Plus there is nothing like a finished project to make you want to start a new project!!Ge

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Silky Valentine

Happy Valentines Day!

They're in...and I've dyed my first batch!! Silk Hankies! I will begin to offer these in my shop starting next week. I am going to (hopefully) get some of these spun up today. They are amazing little things! Used for knitting, spinning, felting, and paper making - they are a very versatile and unique form of silk.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Here's a collage of some the yarns and fibers I have available in my shop now! I offer free shipping on all items....go check it out!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I was so inspired by the grab bags that I got yesterday that I have decided to offer my own! But, before I get to that here are the pics of the yarn I bought yesterday. I am guessing that the value of the yarn was right around $100 so I am pretty happy with the deal I got! I know these will work well for some hats and scrappy projects I have planned.

So I have made up some scrappy bags of rovings and handspun! The roving grab bag contains 6+ oz and the handspun grab bags will contain 2+ oz. The rovings bags have a variety of fibers including merino, superwash merino, blue faced leicester, superwash blue faced leicester, Icelandic, Columbia Dorset Blend, and I think some corriedale. The handspun is all merino or superwash merino. I will have them in the shop soon. Below are an example of what will be in the bags!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Tangled Skein Yarn Shop

Today a friend and I ventured out of Anchorage to Eagle River and visited The Tangled Skein. It was a wonderful little spot just off the main road in town. I was happy to see upon entering that there was quite a great selection of yarns, as well as books and magazines. I had never visited this shop before and was quite eager to get to "know" the yarns carried there. I love having a good knowledge of yarn lines and prices so that when projects come up so that I can pick which LYS (Local Yarn Shop) fits best. I was pleasantly surprised at the good prices and have several yarns that are now on my list! I think what stuck out most was that TTS carried quite a nice variety of fibers in their yarns. My fave of the day was a llama and silk blend yarn that I hope to find a project for soon!

I did end up going home with some DPN and two amazing grab bags of partial skeins (some I am pretty sure were full skeins) for $5 each!!! I am going to rewind the skeins and mark the yardage and think that they will make some amazing hats etc.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

One skein down.....

11 more or so to go! I must say I am in LOVE with how this skein turned out. Looks like it should be the perfect weight and I should have more than plenty! This skein turned out to be 171 yards and three oz and looks spot on for aran weight (though I still need to check wraps per in). It has a delicious feel and I want to just start knitting it now!

As promised

Ta-Da! - The first braid is one half, and the lovely pile-o-fiber after that is the other half! This is the Blue Faced Leicester that I dyed up for John's Cobblestone Pullover as mentioned in yesterday's post.

Here are two of the other rovings that I dyed up that same night - they are up in the shop as of now!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Big project for the year!

I am dyeing, spinning, and then knitting some Blue Faced Leicester wool into this! I dyed the wool last night and it is drying now! I am SOOO happy with how it turned out! I kettle dyed it in charcoal tones with touches of burnt orange (which both are some of John's fave colors) so it should produce a nice heathered yarn. I would post a pic now - even though it is still wet, but John snatched the camera as he is out snowmachining with my Dad. So the pics will have to wait until tomorrow, plus then it will be dry!

This will be the biggest spinning project I have ever taken on! I dyed up a full two pounds to make sure I would have plenty for the sweater!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Facebook and networking

I now have a page for my business up on Facebook. I am trying to be less shy about getting my business out there! So as I am my only fan right now I would love to get some more!

Northern Lights Fiber Co on Facebook

I will say that I am a little ashamed of myself as it has been easier to upload pics of my fiber to my business page than it has been to upload pics of my kids on my personal page. My sister know's how bad I am about pictures. In fact her Christmas present to me was going through the pictures on my computer, sending them off to be developed and putting them into an album for me. It was one of the best presents ever!

Tonight I am super excited to be going to Knit Night at Knitting Grounds with my good friend! I have been trying to do this for weeks!!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Through thick n thin

Finished up a custom today! Some super soft and squishy thick n thin merino in my "firecracker" colorway. These colors just make me instantly think of the firecracker popsicles!

It's been nice having John home today, and was able to get quite a few things done as well as getting in some good family time! It doesn't get better than that.

oh yeah and don't forget Phat Fiber Boxes go on sale February 15th! Only 10 days away!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wire Free!

Our laptop (cheap - very cheap, bought for basic school work stuff) has always had issues with wireless connections. But it is now fixed and I am now typing from my comfie couch versus hiding at the built in desk in the dark corner of my room. SO MUCH NICER!

I did get some dyeing in the other night (as I mentioned) and here are the results - Tada -

They are all listed in my shop as of today!

I was planning on getting a couple lbs of roving done up tonight, but cabin fever had set in on me today and my sister came over and chatted with me. It made for a relaxing evening during which I was able to be just Kelsey....not wife, not mom, ok maybe a little bit sister (but I have been that as long as I can remember).

I must say - it felt nice.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ripping back

I have found myself content and surprisingly so, to have ripped back the legwarmers I am working on. I found that I had cabled wrong about 20 rows back. Even just a couple of months ago I might have let it pass. I must be growing up or something as the words my mother always told me ring in my head - "If you are going to do it, do it right". Now the fact that I am working in super chunky yarn helps as well. ;) I only have 10 rows left on the first one. I think I will have them both finished before the week is out - if not sooner.

I have a new batch of yarn steaming, I love that I still get so excited about dyeing. I get excited every time, impatient for it to steam and dry until I can touch and see it in the light waiting to be spun, knit, or felted. I know the colors are a major booster for me during the long winter months as well.

Silk Hankies (spinning or felting) will soon be in the shop. I just put an order in for them and can't wait to try them out!

no pics today. I was not quite with it last time I uploaded pics, as I left the camera on. It is now charging.

oh! I am now on twitter! my user name is Akyarnie (northernlightfiberco was just too long for them!)