Nikki's Notebook

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

Posts Tagged ‘wool

Pinterest for Etsy and crafts

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I signed up for a pinterest account back in January at some point.  I figured I should find out what all of the buzz was about.  Then, almost seconds after I created the account, I got off of there as fast as I could!  I could tell that it was going to be another time waster.  And at least, with Twitter, I’ve followed some people who always lead me to news articles and information that I’m interested in.  

Today, I stumbled across this article: How the Wall Street Journal Uses Pinterest.  This reignited my curiosity about Pinterest, and I headed over to do some pinning.  Pinterest was even so successful at distracting me that I never got around to following the Wall Street Journal, even.  

I started making a board.  Lately, I’ve been bitten by the spinning bug.  I had been spinning up some roving last fall when our full wedding preparation time hit us.  The spinning got dropped, and then I was so busy with my new job that I never picked it up again.  I finally finished that yarn a couple of weekends ago, but haven’t wound it off the bobbin yet.  Spinning it up made me want to go on Etsy and purchase a whole bunch more hand dyed wool to spin, even though I have plenty of natural colored wool in my closet.

Here is my Pinterest board, “Pretty fiber & handspun yarn“, filled with hand dyed fibers and some handspun yarn that I found while “window” shopping in etsy shops.

I even added a couple of my own photos of yarn I spun last summer, though I don’t have the photography skills to get the color accuracy and beauty that my favorite etsy sellers can get of their stuff!


Handspun falkland wool yarn

As I get more time for crafting again, I suspect that Pinterest will be a very nice platform for sharing crafts. I imagine it would be a very useful way to sell crafts, too, especially if you have great photos of what you’re selling. I should make a board for all of the patterns I want to knit. Oh wait, that’s called my Ravelry queue. Hm. So much going on online, so little time!


Written by nikkinbird

April 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Summer spinning, knitting

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What have I been up to?

I’ve been spinning…

Handspun falkland wool yarn

Chevalier singles 1


And knitting!

Fern cowl

The cowl still needs blocking and probably a photo of me modeling it. The pink yarn is bamboo fiber, my first time spinning something other than wool or alpaca. It was a learning curve for sure! I have 8 more ounces of the same fiber to spin up soonish. The other yarn and singles are fiber from Lovely colorways! I love spinning dyed rovings to see how the colors are going to interact once the yarn is plied. Always a surprise and always interesting.

Written by nikkinbird

July 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

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

Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep & Wool Festival

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It’s funny the reactions I get from non-knitting and non-fiber people when I tell them I’m going to a sheep and wool festival. One of them was, “Wait, you’re not like, dressing up as one, are you?” That’s why I feel lucky to have Chris, who, while not a knitter, spinner, or any other kind of fiber geek, was still willing to be dragged along to the fiber fest. He was excited to see llamas, bunnies, and appreciates merino wool outdoor clothing. Last weekend (May 7-8th) we went to the Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep & Wool Festival in Lake Elmo, MN. I did some shopping, and we checked out the stock dog demos, sheep shearing, and fleece skirting demos.

Sheep shearing:


Fleece skirting:

The fleece skirting demo was actually really informative, and she gave a lot of tips for handspinners who want to buy a fleece and wash it themselves. That was good for me, because I bought those fleeces at the fiber rummage sale awhile back! I’ve been waiting for it to get warmer and sunnier before venturing into the fleece washing world.

I’m re-instituting the post a day goal. I’ve been majorly slacking, but I’ve got plenty of content. Tomorrow I teach the second installment of my community ed knitting class, and I’ve got some stuff to share related to that.

Written by nikkinbird

May 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Cones of yarn, yay!

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So I think I may have discovered a yarn for making the scarves I’ve envisioned all along. I wanted these scarves to be similar to a couple of shawls I got in Argentina and Uruguay. Both were made of heavy worsted 1-ply yarn in a simple, plain weave. One of them is a gorgeous ruana that I got at the Manos del Uruguay shop in Colonia, Uruguay. My eyes zeroed in on that logo like only a knitter’s could. It’s like my mind was saying, “Hey, that picture reminds me of yarn. It does mean yarn, doesn’t it?” It turns out that in Uruguay, Manos del Uruguay doesn’t sell yarn itself, but sells lots of stuff made from their yarn. My ruana is gorgeous and heavy and warm to wear around the house in the winter. I’ve also worn it as part of an outfit with a wooden shawl pin that I also got in Argentina, but it’s quite bulky and floppy, so is difficult to wear as part of an everyday outfit. Here’s an unflattering picture of me in it when I was trying to take pictures of my hat. I thought the shawl made me look frumpy here. But you do have to admit that, while it may be frumpy, it’s at least cozy.


Anyway, I rather liked the look of the plain weave with the 1-ply yarn, and have been wishing for an affordable yarn that would work with my 10-dent heddle. I found Brown Sheep Lanaloft Sport weight from the Woolery. Funnily enough, on the same order as the yarn, I also ordered an 8 dent heddle, so I could’ve ordered the worsted version of the yarn, too. Today my yarn order finally came. I’m still waiting on one that’s backordered, because apparently the mill is having issues with the dye running. But two 1lb cones are enough for me to play with for awhile! I do notice now, though, that my attempt to order spring colors for my scarves resulted in me having a lot of pink and green yarn. I must have forgotten about all of the other spring colors. Like brown and black sand-covered melting snow. And brown grass. And mud. That’s spring in Duluth.


Hat: complete with pom pom and tassels

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So I couldn’t stand it. I ripped back the hat to before I started the decreases and reknit it so it would be longer. And guess what? I love it now! I also added some i-cord ties hanging from the earflaps with tassels on the end and a pom pom on the top. The pom pom really makes the hat, I gotta tell you. See?


I covered my face because I was getting sick of trying to get a good shot that made my face look good AND had a good view of the pom pom.

Here’s one where I look OK, you just can’t see the full glory of the pom pom.


I’ve started on making the copy of this hat for Chris. I still need to block my hat, but I hurriedly wove in ends and made a pom pom this morning so we could go on a walk by Lake Superior. It’s been too long since I’ve been on the lakewalk, even though it’s winter.

Written by nikkinbird

March 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Finished the book, and a little knitting.

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After dinner tonight, I hunkered down on the couch and finished my book. It was satisfying, and I couldn’t put it down, but it wasn’t quite what I expected. Certain parts of the plot got really intense for a short amount of time, but resolved much more quickly than I’ve come to expect from murder mystery/thriller novels. Maybe that’s a good thing. It’s also possible that I was just chugging through it so fast that the events in the novel seemed to take place more quickly than if I’d read it more slowly in several sittings. Either way, it was good to feel that absorbed-in-a-book feeling again.

I’ve done some knitting over the past few days on a new hat. I have lots of unfinished knitting projects lying around, yet I can’t help going to the yarn store and starting a new project. I do need a hat, though. I lost my only wearable hat somewhere. So I’m knitting a new one. We’re getting our dog soon, and it’s a husky, which means it’s high energy and will need lots of walks. And it’s still freezing outside! So I need good protection from the cold. Here’s the hat:


Like the hat I lost, this hat is made using this Basic Earflap Hat pattern. This time, though, I’m knitting at a tighter gauge, so I adjusted numbers a bit. I’m using Peace Fleece yarn and size 6 needles. I’m thinking I’ll have enough yarn leftover for some matching armwarmers or something. I also have another skein of the Peace Fleece in a lovely deep turquoise pattern that I may make into another hat.

And speaking of the husky, the latest news is that the shelter he is at has been making arrangements for him to be transported to a rescue here in MN that we can officially adopt him from. We are anxiously awaiting news, checking our emails frantically every time one of our iPhones makes a noise, feeling like little children who cannot wait until their birthdays!

Written by nikkinbird

March 3, 2011 at 4:21 am

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