Friday, July 1, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cute little toys...

Turkish Spindle, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.
I happened upon this cute little Turkish Spindle on Etsy about a week ago! I fell in love. I had a tiny Turkish spindle on order with Jenkins Wood Working but it has a seriously long wait and I just couldn't stand it so I cancelled the one order and ordered this one up. I had it in a couple of days. The little bag behind it was a purchase I had made a month ago at Far North Yarn Co. and is made by Lantern Moon. It is three nesting bags and each of them now have a purpose. The spindle fits perfectly in it nestled on a little bit of spinning fiber. I have gotten the swing of spinning with it. It is fun and portable and plain old cute. I am working on some keeper fiber now and hope to show you some of those results eventually!

Mixed Blessings results...

Spun FCK Mixed Blessing, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.

Here is my plied, soaked, beaten (it was a bit unbalanced) and dried fiber from the two braids previously shown. Don't the colors blend beautifully together! It is such a fun and unique yarn. Definitely bulky and it will most likely become a baby object. I am thinking a bulky sweater and stripes worked into it somehow! We will see. I still have half of each braid and I am thinking (well with the brainstorming of my BFF, Farrah) that I will spin up singles and ply them against each other (not mixing the two color ways). That will give me some options to make something unique and maybe have a different hem and color area on a garment. Want to see the cute little toy I purchased? Stay tuned!

My first BULKY spinning job...

Oh, I have not mentioned that I have been spinning more than usual lately. I am not sure why but spinning seems to be interesting me this spring. I have been challenging myself to learn new techniques. Spinners can get into serious ruts and that is me... Never taking chances with the fiber that I spend precious money on. I decided at the fiber retreat to just go with it, learn new things and try to be a little more creative. Some time ago I purchased these two braids from a de-stash link in Ravelry. I love Fat Cat Knits fiber. She is amazing with color and she has this wonderful sense of how to mix two different color ways into these "mixed blessing" sets. So I have been sitting on this fiber for some time trying to decide, what shall I do with you. I sat down at the wheel yesterday after some chores were done and before company showed up for a BBQ. I split the braids in half and started spinning. I wanted to preserve long color draws so I did not split it into thinner sections. As I started this fiber decided to be thick and I created my first bulky fiber wit it! I am so please. I spun 1/2 of the first color braid and 1/2 of the second color braid and I plied them against each other. At first I was a bit nervous because the colors are so different but as I started I could see exactly what FCK could see and they blended perfectly with each other!
Stay tuned for the results...

Don't you just love long weekends?

Spring Herbs, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.

Happy Memorial Day weekend bloggers! I am doing a brief update about well, what is going on in my fiber life! This picture is not fiber related, I know but I just think my herb garden is so cute and I accomplished this as well as mucking out my perennial garden this weekend so I wanted to share! I have about 5 mini posts to share and I would like to apologize for the mini posts but I still cannot figure out how to post my URL pics into Blogger so this is how it is going to have to happen!
Stay tuned for some fiber posts up NEXT...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Navajo Ply in Twilight by Abstract Fibers

Nply, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.

Here is a close up of my fiber that I have been Navajo Plying. Isn't it gorgeous! I am building quite a collection of hand spun. I suppose I better start using it in some projects!

May Madness!

Nply, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.
It has been a crazy busy May... I don't even know where to start! Tanner's graduation, fiber retreat in Big Lake, Elliot's promotion to middle school, the last day of school, Opening Ceremonies for Dimond West Little League! BASEBALL, BASEBALL, BASEBALL every night until 10 or so! Life is busy but in between all of the stuff I have managed to work on my knitting and my spinning. Do you remember the reference to the fiber retreat in Big Lake? What fun we had and what happens at Fiber Camp, stays at Fiber Camp! No really, I was there with 3 of my favorite people and I took my weekend to try new things. I spun from a batt, plied with thread, mastered spinning merino and had a little lesson in Navajo plying which I have been wanting to learn for a long time. Trinette was super and gave me a mini lesson which made so much sense. I came home and bombed my first few attempts but yesterday while spinning with Farrah I showed her the video of the lady I wanted to be like and she ummmm figured it out! I was still struggling but a few little tactile prompts from Farrah and I had it. It is so rhythmic and soothing that I just love plying this way and it also is a great way to spin and preserve long color sections. I am using it on some fiber that Cathy brought me from OFFF called Twilight. It is merino and silk and it is just beautiful I am spinning it in a way to have very long color draws and the N-Ply is preserving them very nicely. Check out this video sometime if you are looking for a nice way to Navajo Ply.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Citron, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.
Pattern: Citron by Hilary Smith Callis
Yarn: Mama Llama Silken Cash (discontinued)
Needles: Size 6 Knit Picks Options

Graduation Pretties...

Citron, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.
Yesterday my oldest son graduated from high school. To say that my life is entering a new phase is a small statement. I still have two boys left at home but this was the start of things to come and I have been a little "strange" this last week! I can't really put my finger on it but maybe it is best to just say, life is changing!
My in-laws flew in from Montana this last week and in order to show them the very best of all times we drove them to Homer, took the ferry to Seldovia and my Dad took us out Halibut and King Salmon fishing on Kachemak Bay! We were successful at not getting skunked but we did not limit out either (well I did ;-)). During the long 5 hour drive down and 5 hour drive back and bits of time in between I worked on Citron. I had a goal. Get this little number done in time to wear for graduation! It took me all of the trip and into the night Sunday but it was blocking while we slept and I shopped for the right outfit Monday morning! I love it. It is soft and cozy and a very pretty knit. The long rows are long, the ruffle is 540 stitches x 11 rows. You do the math! It is a bit tedious but the end result is worth it. Details in next post!
Here is my handsome graduate and my wonderful family!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Can you say SUNSHINE!

Today was a beautiful Alaskan spring day! The temperatures were in the 50's. Wasilla was the destination. Today was the Spring Fiber Fling hosted by Denise Morrison of Fiber and Ice. The decision to come out was last minute but boy am I glad it was made.
After sitting inside around the table gazing out onto the frozen lake with sunshine streaming in the window, we decided to set up on the dock! The pictures tell the story!

Yes. Those are my toes. In flip flops. On the frozen lake.
Watch out says that bird!

Location:Wasilla, Alaska

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good morning!

Good morning!, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.

Jeanie get out of bed! I don't want to. Jeanie you have to take your car to the shop. I know. Get up. I don't want to. This is the conversation going on in my head this morning. Why can't we just be lazy. Like the dogs!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

First new project on the needles... fruity, yes, I think so...

Citron, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.

Pattern Notes:
Citron  by Hilary Smith Callis
Mama Lama Silken Cash 
Size 6 Knit Picks Options with 24 inch cable

So I couldn't stand it. I had to cast on a new project. Here it is in it's beginning stage! Citron by Hilary Smith Callis. This is a free pattern on Knitty and it is fun, springy and perfect for a cute tank top or strappy dress. The yarn was gifted from Farrah, you are going to see that a lot here in the future. She seems to be my yarn go to girl! Stay tuned in for updates on this project and possibly the beginning of some new ones!

Monday, April 11, 2011

OK... are you sick of me yet???

Cedar Leaf Necky, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.

Pattern Notes:
Cedar Leaf Shawlette by Alana Dakos
Fleece Artist Sea Wool
Size 6 Knit Picks Options

This is my third finished object of the weekend... Oh did I forget to mention my last project - Fireweed Hand spun Cowl - was finished yesterday while snuggling up with my husband as we watched Avatar? Sorry, I forgot to mention that. At that point I gave myself permission to cast on a new project and then I had a little talk with myself...self, you are so close to finishing Cedar Leaf Shawlette. Just 14 leaves to go. Finish it up and then you can feel good about all of those new projects that you have in your knitting bag... Do it! So I did it! It was painful. I love the final project. I am glad I finished it. It is a beautifully written project and a wonderful accessory. It was painful to finish and let me tell you why! This shawl starts out quick and moves along great and then you start the clever edge, where you knit the leaves and attach it to the last row of stockinette. And you get through 6 leaves lickity split and then it is just painful. If you could memorize the 18 rows that make up one of the leaves it would be so, so, so much easier but I couldn't.

OK friends... I am done bombarding you for the evening. I think I have covered all that I have done. I feel very accomplished! Three finished objects in one weekend. It is kind of like my version of spring cleaning! Now I have three projects that are ready to jump on the needles. Two are purple if you can believe that. One is for a baby girl due in August. One is a squishy lovely ribbed lovely for me. The last is fun springy and fruity! I can't wait to share them with you!

Finally, I am typing this blog post on my new Apple Bluetooth Keyboard while I look at the screen on my iPad. How slick is that!

Fireweed Handspun Cowl

Fireweed Handspun Cowl, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.
First I need to mention that the last project - Bestie Matchy Socks was project 1 finished this weekend - Saturday evening to be exact...
Back to my current project! This project does not have Fireweed on it. I just think that the colors look like summer in Alaska. Bold and vibrant Fireweed. There are some lengths of colors that are tall like Fireweed so... Oh and it is my project and I love Fireweed so, there you go. This yarn is hand spun. It is fiber from Fat Cat Knits. I just love her colors. She is great at what she does, I highly recommend you get a couple colorways and she is fantastic at telling you what colors will work together! Case in point. These were not a duo (which she does often). I asked her to pick two to do color work together and these were her choices. My bestie Farrah drew up a design that I found on a different cowl and whallla a cowl is born. This cowl is warm and was knitted to wear under my cross country ski gear this winter but ummm, I finished a bit late so it will be ready to go for next ski season! Look for more posts about my spinning FCK fiber. I have a couple more beautiful skeins of yarn that are looking for a great project!
I don't have many details to post about this one as the yarn is truly one of a kind and the pattern is kind of well one of a kind too!

Bestie matchy socks...

Bestie matchy socks, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.

Pattern Notes:
Lifestyle Toe Up Socks 
Opal 6-Ply 
Size 2 Knit Picks 
Knit using magic loop two at a time

Project numero two because I can't spell it in Spanish!
Bestie matchy socks... these are exactly what they are. Simple toe up socks using Farrah's left over yarn from her socks that match, exactly, except mine are a tad bit shorter since they were made from the leftovers. I used EVERY last bit of yarn in finishing these socks. Double's photo shoot soon to come... Fun easy project using my go to pattern but this time instead of a short row heel we both used a heel flap that is perfectly ingenious... I will fill in on the pattern notes later as I need to pull that info! You can also see it on my Ravelry page. Hey if any of you have not been there check it out at and find me by typing jeaniefarley! Ravelry is the BOMB! Hey, they need to develop a blogging mechanism and all of my problems would be solved! This yarn though is Opal and it is 6 ply! LOVE it. Make for knitting sock quickly! I think 4 ply sock yarn is to be saved for shawls and such! 6 ply sock yarn is for nice comfy thick quick socks!

So I have been asked...

Ptarmigan, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.

Pattern Notes:
Ptarmigan by Jared Flood
Cashmere purchased in Italy - lace weight held double
Size 6 Knit Picks Options
Hey Jeanie... when are you going to update your blog! For reasons that I don't want to complain about, blogging life has been kind of complicated, blogger, flickr, computers, ravelry, double photo's etc. Why can't it just be easy! So here I am, posting a few blogs tonight, in a kind of crazy sort of way. I am going to share some finished objects and then I will again later try to update them with links to project pages etc.

Ptarmigan Cowl ...
I used my remaining cashmere that was purchased in Italy on this. I held the yarn double. It is sooooo soft and sooooo warm and I think next to my fiddlehead mittens, possibly my favorite knitted item in my wardrobe...
This is a fantastic project for beautiful yarn. It looks great being sporty, dressy or casual. It is a wonderful piece!

Stay tuned as you will be getting quite a few mini posts from me tonight...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fur Rondy = Fun in Alaska!

Let's start this post off with some festivities...
Fur Rondy (read about the history here) is a fun time in Anchorage and for all Alaskan's and more, to come out and celebrate our state and all of the wonderfulness that goes with it. I have lived in Alaska almost my entire life and I have not participated in many activities. Yesterday Clint and I ventured out and enjoyed all that is Rondy. Yesterday was the kick off of the Iditarod and with that comes the end of Fur Rondy. The activities that we enjoyed, Running with the Reindeer and the Miners & Trappers Ball. Here are some highlights of the day, night and early this morning! Yep, I think we hit the sheets at about 2 am this morning...

The reindeer are gearing up for another run down the street. There is a female in heat at the other end of the street and oh how they are eager to get to her!

Here is the 4th Avenue crowd. All excited to be running or just watching the crazy costumes.

Where's Waldo?

Dinner anyone? (This guy is from Maine, we visited with him at the Miners & Trappers Ball)

Do you see the almost naked man?

Clint and I all dressed up in our costume. Clint has beaver fever! Or the fever for the beaver. He found a union suit with a hatch door and Julie dreamed up these wonderful beaver costumes. Yes, these vests were for sale, at Khol's, FOR REAL!

Our group won best "Anything Goes" group costume. What an honor. OK there was only one other group but heck! We won something.

We had so much fun!

Let's talk about knitting...

First I want to share my mittens that were displayed in the last blog post.
Pattern: Fiddleheads
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed in 6 colors
Needles: Size 3
I absolutely LOVE these mittens. They are lined with cashmere that I purchased on my trip to Italy last summer and they are so soft and warm inside. One of my favorite knits EVER!
Modifications, NONE. If I were to make these again I think I would do the cast on differently or even do a provisional and the same on the liner and do a three needle bind off or an icord bind off with them together! Picking up those stitches evenly was a bit difficult. It took some time. I also cast on with a dark color which added to the difficulty. Look at the inside. They are just as pretty!

Here are some of my works in progress!!!

Cedar Leaf Shawlette
I am using Fleece Artists Sea Wool for this project. It has been in my stash for ages and I am excited to have it used. I think it lends nicely to the design of the shawlette.
This project is super quick and starts with the long edge while using short rows to do the scoop. The last part is knitting the leaf border and you do this at the same time as attaching it to the shawl. It is very clever. I plan on finishing this project up today!

Basic socks! No pattern, just winging it! I am using some yarn that is left over from my besties socks... Hey, I think we might match, exactly...

I have so much more that I have been doing. I plan on doing a spinning post here soon to show off some of the spinning I completed during the last month as well as a project I am knitting from handspun and some newly aquired fiber.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Please, please don't go...I'm beggin you to stay!

I know, I know!  It has been almost, oh wait, it has been over a month since I have posted to my blog.  What horse nonsense is this!  I have been knitting, living, working and well, obviously NOT blogging.  I am again limited on time but here is a snippet of what I will post about when I have the opportunity to actually write a bit more...
See you soon!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Hello. I finished a project. Yeah. Hurrah. Yipee yipee yippee!

Pattern: Crosswalkers (free Ravelry pattern)
Yarn: Red Heart (I know, I know) Heart and Sole in Razzle Dazzle
Needles: Size 2 Knit Picks. I knit these two at a time.

I loved how quickly this pattern knit up. It is a great pattern for busy yarn. The miter just looks neat in a really busy pattern. Would I change anything? You bet. The pattern starts out with the make 1 on the edges and the decreases on the middle stitches but at the heel shaping this all changes. When knitting these as I did, two at a time magic loop, I had to take everything off the needles. It was a chore. I would start the sock the same way it ends to make this easier to accomplish. I would also do the leg on at least a half size needle larger than the foot. The mitered pattern has less stretch in the leg but since the foot is only half miter there is more stretch. I used 72 stitches instead of 80. I could understand the 80 stitches if using a smaller needle.

The foot on mine is a bit baggy. I didn't go down a needle size like I should have. I think a good wash will make these fit perfect.

The yarn. Surprisingly for Red Heart, which I generally loathe, I love it. The fiber content is all natural except for the nylon which is a necessity in socks. It washed up so soft. Try it. You will be surprised.

I am also making progress on my Medium Weight Pullover. I have separated the arms and am working on the boring stockinette body!

This weekend I pulled out my sock yarn blanket and decided to get in some blocks. This blanket will be 16 x 32 when done. Do the math. That is 512 squares. I have about 30 currently. I have a lot of work to do!

Well I am off until next time. Maybe I will have a finished sweater to share when we next visit! Happy knitting!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Busy but good!

Today has been a busy day! Busy but good I sometimes say! Every other Saturday morning something magical happens. The house cleaning fairies come to my house and erase two weeks of use and abuse to my bathrooms, kitchen, floors and furniture. The beds are made up with clean sheets and when we walk in from being gone the smell in the air is NOT dirty boy, but rather clean, crisp and bleachy (one of my favorite four words)! While they are in the house doing their magic we disappear, leaving them to it!
Today started busy. Even though I have a housekeeping team, I spend the better part of my Saturday morning BEFORE 10am cleaning... Ironic. I know. I have to strip the beds, clean up the clutter and load the dishwasher as I want them to clean the stuff, under, the clutter. 6:30 came and I was up. We then cleaned up and headed out to run errands. We take this time to do returns, pick up household items and get that nagging to do stuff done. One the list today, return iTrip to Best Buy, use up four gift cards at Borders...

returns and exchanges at Nordstoms, pick up cards that were left on my desk at work, zip into the yarn store for wool wash to give with baby shower gift (ummm, there was a line at the register, I couldn't resist)...

pick up medicine for the dreaded cold sore on Elliot's lip, rush home to pick up extra car and off to a baby shower I went. Clint went the opposite direction to take Elliot to his first trumpet lesson.
Baby Shower...

Pattern: Chloe by Never Not Knitting
Yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton in three colors
Sizes: One and Six

I made these sweaters for my friends Shannon and Troys new baby and daughter Laken. Laken's favorite colors are purple, pink and green. They will have a matching sweater moment, I am so glad that she liked them. I hope to share a picture of them wearing them eventually. Baby is marinating for a couple more weeks.

I hope you have all had a busy but GOOD day too!

Monday, January 3, 2011

There's a hole in my sweater, dear Liza, dear Liza ...

Now I pride myself on being a pretty competent knitter. I am no exert, I will not claim that but I have learned how to knit many items and I have spent a fair share of time tinking back, dropping back stitches, fixing knits to purls and purls to knits BUT one thing I have always struggled with is seaming. Armholes, sides, pockets, you name it, if the pattern calls for seaming I am pretty much out! So here I go. I pick a sweater pattern with NO seaming. I am cooking right along. I had a break in my yarn. I joined that bad boy up and for some reason had the most terrible yarn join imaginable. I stitched it up as best I could but it looked messy. So here is where things go terribly wrong... I decided to take my join out. Problem here is I kept taking it out. To much out. I ended up unknitting several stitches. Uh oh. How do you fix that little mistake. Well after saying a few choice words I captured my stitches and decided I would call on one of my expert knitting buddies at Friday night knitting, that would be the quickest most reasonable answer to my dilemma. Well that worked for about 5 minutes until I started researching grafting in this manner. I tried Kitchener stitch which was fine except for the beginning. I tried my own rubbish method I mean really how hard can getting those 6 stitches to mesh could it be. Egads. I wanted to cry! I happened upon an article finally with this picture

and after several attempts I think my boo boo is pretty invisible. What do you think!

I think I will be able to say, this sweater has been a learning experience...