Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Archive for June 2011

Knitting ferns

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It’s been rainy here, but I’ve noticed that on the dreary days, the greens on the trail look much greener.

I love ferns. My mom brought me some from her garden after she thinned them out. I love the lush, soft look a stand of ferns has. We had a cabin for awhile in northwestern Wisconsin when I was younger. A footpath went the river that divided our property from the neighbor’s. Along part of the path was a stand of evergreen trees, and underneath the whole forest floor was covered by ferns. I used to think of that little section of woods as the fairytale forest, because it had such a magical feel.

At Shepherd’s Harvest, I accidentally bought some worsted weight yarn that I thought was sock yarn to knit some socks for Chris. But since it’s not sock yarn, I ended up designing something else with it! I was delighted, flipping through one of my stitch dictionaries, to find a fern lace pattern.

And here’s my first attempt at a cowl:

That was the first version of the cowl. Then I had to rip it out because it was too big/I wouldn’t have enough yarn to finish it. Then I had to rip it out to fix tweaks in the pattern. Then I had to rip it out to fix tweaks I’d created by fixing the first tweaks. Finally I settled on something and I’m making progress.

Yarn is MacKintosh Yarns Skye Worsted in the Evergreen colorway.


Written by nikkinbird

June 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Beautiful handspun yarn – if I do say so myself.

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The fruits of the past week’s spinning adventures:

I’m quite pleased with how this yarn turned out, and now I’m itching to spin from some more hand dyed rovings. This is hand dyed merino top from HoneyGold Acres. I purchased it at the Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival. The tag on the fiber doesn’t list a website, but it does have an email: A quick google search also gave me a listing on if you want to know more about them – HoneyGold Acres. I was very pleased with this wool and excited to be able to purchase from other fiber folks in my state.

The red roving was the only one I remembered to take a picture of before spinning, and even then I’d already unrolled it a bit. Here’s the “before” picture of the red/orange.

Though I haven’t been back at the wheel all that long, I feel like I’m getting better at spinning. I’m learning how to better tweak my wheel so that it works the way I need it to work, and I’m figuring out new methods for making the most out of my wool. For example, in the past, I would just tear off a chunk and spin until the bobbin looked full enough, then spin another bobbin to about the same amount. This is fine, except then I would end up with one really big skein and one smaller skein from the same 4 oz of fiber. This is what happened with the blue/purple yarn pictured. With the green, I started out by dividing the roving in two, then dividing those two halves in two so that I would have two even skeins. I used my digital scale to weigh each one to make sure all the chunks of roving were about the same amount. Now I’m not wasting so much fiber.

Overall, I’m glad to be spinning again and hope to keep learning more. I may even see a second wheel in my future…maybe.

Written by nikkinbird

June 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Morning knitting, finished Java socks, and doggie fiber sabotage.

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I love waking up just a little extra early in the morning, so that when I finish getting ready for work, I have time to do this:

Sit on the deck in the sun and knit a little bit with some coffee. I’ve finished my Java socks and am now using up the leftover yarn for some more blanket squares. It will be a long time before it’s done, but someday I will have a sock yarn seed stitch blanket!

Here are the socks:

Has anyone ever mentioned that it’s really hard to take decent sock pictures of socks on your own feet?

I left a couple of my aluminum size 1 dpns on the couch after starting my blanket square, and it was at this point that I learned never to leave anything, even METAL knitting needles, on the couch.

Gru ate it! And those needles only came in a set of 4, so I don’t even have an extra to make due with. Then, mere moments later, I went to grab another chunk of roving to start spinning it up, and couldn’t find my pile of roving. I found it in Gru’s favorite place to lay and chew things up:

Luckily, he mostly likes to pick things up and move them around, and he didn’t ruin any of it. But now I know my dog a little better and I know to be more careful! My cats have spoiled me with their disinterest in yarn, I guess.

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