Archive for the ‘Fiber Arts’ Category

Ann Arbor Fiber Festival – Fall 2013

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

Brian took me to the Ann Arbor Fiber Festival today. He even got up early so that we could get there and back before our other obligations today. I love that man! And he brought a wallet full of cash and never said when I had to stop spending. Did I mention that I love that man?!

Today’s haul…

I plan on combining the Lincoln metallic locks with the chocolate alpaca. The Romney teal and cranberry will be combined with the black alpaca. And I may add the silk in to those mixes, or do something completely different with them just for fun!


So, for $158 I will get 2 sweaters and something small, but delightful, with the silk…and a winter of spinning pleasure!

In the works: Stripes!

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

This is my favorite item in the works. I’ll be making a matching scarf after I finish the other glove.

Yummy Stripes

Some day, advice these will be knee socks. Some day. It is a pretty pattern, information pills though.

Ella gets a little spoiled…

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

I made some fun things in the last year for my grandbaby Ella

Ella's Poncho

Matching Ella Size slippers


Sheldon's shell is removable. I need to make him some costumes.

Quiet, but not idle!

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Life got in the way of posting, illness so let’s catch up on the projects I’ve finished in 2009 and early 2010!

Let’s start with a collage of finished projects:

Finished Projects 2009

From left to right: The Angora and recycled denim hoodie that I carded and spun. The cotton cardigan I made for Brian. (I will photograph it on him as soon as I sew the buttons on…which will happen as soon as I find where I put them). The shawl I knit for myself from the most gorgeous hand dyed I picked up at an alpaca show. There were 12 different kinds of yarn. I love this shawl a lot!

Here’s a few more projects I finished in 2009.

Kate's Mobius Hat

Kate needed a tinfoil hat to get rid of the alien thoughts! So I knit her one with math involved! The band is a mobius strip!

Scarf for my daughter Jennifer

Closeup of Jen's scarf

Scarf I made for my beloved Badger

My buddy Allison took me to a great little yarn shop in Davison. She saw some yarn she really liked and I wanted to learn how to make socks! A match was born.

Socks for Allison!

I created a nice ribbed pattern with a raised stitch.

To my delight, they fit her perfectly!!

I’ve graduated to the realm of Garment Artist.

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

What to do when you are avoiding a project…You start a new one! (or 3).


I’ll tell the story of what I was avoiding finishing after I show the avoidance project! I saw a beautiful woman last winter wearing a Cossacks style hat (a cap with a very wide fur cuff style brim). Around the same time, viagra 60mg a friend of mine created a knit hat in a similar style. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, so I made up my own pattern and was extraordinarily pleased with the result. I used a nice soft Moda Dea washable wool for the cap and put in a spiraled star pattern of decreases. Then I used 3 skeins of Moda Dea Chichi for the fur, which has a lovely shaggy fur texture.

Then I picked up a nice cream color wool to make one of these hats for my friend Allison, but while waiting for the outrageous pink Tiara fur from Moda Dea, I picked up some Lion Brand Fun Fur in Chocolate and made one for my Physical Therapist (minor knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus).


When I got the Moda Dea Tiara in, I quickly knit up the third hat. I had enough of the Paton’s wool and the Moda Dea Tiara to make a pair of cuffed fingerless gloves for Allison. Yeah, that’s her showing me how much she loves the set!


It made a perfect Valentine’s Day gift!

Ok…so what was I avoiding?

Back in December I started on a hoodie from the wonderful angora/denim blend I spun up. I got as far as the pocket and realized I didn’t like several things. I was following the pattern in Son of Stitch & Bitch for the Hackey Sack Hoodie. Her method for the increases on the raglan sleeve inset and the increases for the pocket just looked sloppy. I learned a little while ago about twisting the picked up stitch to get rid of holes in increases and I prefer that seamless look. The increase on the pocket was very raggedy as well. Being that this was designed for a man, the crossover neckline was bulky and high. I prefer a lower v-neck neckline, personally. And the hood was really bulky and didn’t lay nice. So, despite being over half done, it got frogged.

Upon rebuilding it, I decided to redesign all the elements I didn’t like into things I wanted. I could not be happier with the results so far. I’m at the same place I was when I frogged it the first time. I wish I had taken before and after photos…but I have taken after photos to show. Clicking on the picture will take you to a larger version if you want more detail.

This is what it looks like in it’s current state:

This is the new rolled V-neck neckline. It’s hard to see, so I took the liberty of darkening the bottom layer in photoshop.

This is the smooth raglan seam at the right front shoulder.

This is the pocket. Instead of a simple increase at the edges, I wanted something that would lay flat and not roll, so I did two knit stitches, 1 perl, 1 knit and then the increase. It turned out really nice and lays just like I wanted it to.

I still need to decide on how I want to do the edge ribbing, because K2 P2 just won’t cut it any more. I want to vent the sides a bit as well for a nicer fit. I will also flair the sleeves just a touch to make it more feminine and match the ribbing to the bottom. It’s become all about the little details to me when I create a garment. It doesn’t matter if no one else notices, it’s purely for personal satisfaction.

I have a couple of things now that I’ve spun from fiber and knit into a finished product. Brian points out that I knit like I cook, I can’t follow instructions without adding my own personal touch. Just as it should be *grins*

Finally settled on a design

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

When I spun up the color blast yarn (which I started about 2 years ago) I put so much time and effort into this yarn that I had to find just the right pattern to show it off.  Well, adiposity I finally did!  And it’s done!  REALLY AND TRULY this time.  I started three different projects only to frog them when it wasn’t quite what I wanted.

Closeup of Colorblast Pullover

Closeup of Colorblast Pullover

Once I chose the pattern, medicine it knit up quickly.  That is, global burden of disease until I decided I didn’t like the way it was laying based on the original pattern.  So it got frogged again and started over.  I finished it all except the edging on the sleeves when I put it aside for a month because there were some parts I still wasn’t satisfied with, but I knew how it should look in my head.  After about 5 weeks, it hit me on one of my early morning “why the hell am I awake” moments.  I finished the edges and added some crochet lace along the neck, arms, and bottom and it turned out like my mental image.  I love this sweater quite a bit.

Color Blast Pullover

Color Blast Pullover

Color Blast Pullover

Color Blast Pullover

Color Blast Pullover

Color Blast Pullover

Pressure nets pretty things

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Back when my father-in-law had his lung cancer surgery, this web my mother-in-law saw me knitting the shawl from the prior post for my mom.  I was knitting pretty furiously to calm my nerves.  She gently reminded me that I had never made her a garment to wear and she’d love something.

I spent some time asking her exactly what she wanted and she described in detail a particular sweater; tunic, no cuffs, no high neck, no wool, and some lace.  I found a pattern that night and a nice cotton yarn from  When we went to see his dad a few days later I took the pattern and color chart and she picked out a really nice cranberry yarn.  This was a wonderful followup to the shawl since it was done with much larger needles, thicker yarn, and a pattern that didn’t drive me a little batty :)

I think this is one of the nicest sweaters I’ve made.  I’m very pleased with the results.

Mom Chaffins Sweater

Mom Chaffins' Sweater

Michigan Fiber Fest in Allegan, 2008

Monday, August 18th, 2008

For my birthday, eczema Brian took to what he dubbed “Fuzz Fest 2008.”  It was wonderful!  It was very difficult to limit my purchases to fit within my income.  There were SO many wonderful things, web and I decided to only buy fibers that I can’t easily find.  It really is a wonderful event.  So many things to see and touch and pet and dream of owning!

I deliberately got some natural pale color fibers to spin and ply and then hand paint.   I want to do something with black, olive, and violet, and I already have about a pound of natural cream color Babydoll Southdown, so I’m hoping to do some really neat fiber blends to make it strong, pretty, and soft.

Here’s a breakdown of the haul:

From Mielke’s Fiber Arts:

On the left, 8 oz Tencel Top for $12.50  Tencel is a fiber produced from wood fiber (cellulous)  It’s very strong and silkier than silk (the biggest difference between this and silk is that this doesn’t stick to your fingers where they are a little rough)  On the right is 4.3 oz Bombyx Silk Brick for  $13.55

16 oz 70% Merino/30% Tussah Top in the Mckenzie colorway for $36.  I hope the photo shows the colors well.  It’s very silvery with color stripes of black, cyan, bright green, rose, and purple.  It’s super soft.

From Lissabeth Alpacas:

2 lbs 6.3 oz of black Alpaca with Brown tips from an Alpaca named Empire for $57.  This is earmarked to spin with the nearly 22 oz of heathered grey Jacob I got last year from the Mt. Bruce Show.  This will make for a very attractive spotted yarn that I am going to make a cardigan out of for Brian.  He’s more info

never worn this style, but he likes it and I’m thrilled to make something he wants in colors he’s chosen.

12 oz  of creamy Alpaca from an Alpaca named Zen for $24.

From Wool and Water (a shop local to me in Royal Oak!!):

My favorite item from this trip was 2.5 oz of Tussah Silk Lap for $20 in the most exquisite jewel tones from Sapphire to Ruby.  I want to spin this and then ply it with some black alpaca.  Don’t know what I’ll make from it yet, I may just spin it and lay in it!  I really have no idea what the yardage will be, but I have to look to make something that will showcase this fiber.  Perhaps a shawl.  We’ll see.  This is both laps together.

This is the lap unrolled.

I just know that I can’t wait to start working on all of these!


I have major project I’ve been working on quite hard that needs to be spun first before I start on the new stuff.  Back in September I posted about some lovely grey angora.  I also had some recycled cotton denim.  When I got my drum carder for Christmas, I immediately set upon blending the angora, cotton, and a bit of sparkly fiber.

I’ve already spun up 6 spools, and the above batts are what I still have left to spin.  I suspect I’ll have 9 more spools from what’s there.

I’ll be making this a 3 ply yarn.  It is deliberately nubbly as I want to make a shaker sweater out of it to match one I have nearly worn out from over loving.

And on this very happy note, I think I’ll go spin!

Update Time

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

This is the Color Blast fiber I carded made into skeins.  Can’t have a proper post without a picture!

Current Projects:

In January I started the Spirit of the Southwest shawl by Elann for my mom for her birthday at the end of March. It’s now mid may and I’m still working on it. The lace patterns are kicking my butt. It’s just slow going to make sure my tension is even and the patterns are correct. I’ve gotten good at frogging and picking up a lace pattern from mid go when I notice a mistake. The lace edging consists of 24 short rows knit 90myocarditis serif”>° to the main shawl, pilule picking up 12 stitches from the edge for each peak for a total of 35 peaks. I just hit the half way mark!!

When I realized that I wasn’t going to finish in time for her birthday (sorry, therapist mom), I put it down for a while to give myself a rest. I picked up the color blast mohair/alpaca/wool blend I’ve spent so much time blending and spinning and started my next project. On MUCH larger needles. In about 2 weeks of sporadic work, the front and back were done (I’m using the long sleeve pattern of Stitch Diva’s Sahara) I put that down out of guilt and have committed to finishing the shawl before I do anything else. Hopefully, that will be soon.

I have an angora/cotton/tinsel blend currently on the spinning wheel and the drum carder. I carded about 1/2, then spun most of that, now I need to finish the carding. Still looking for a pattern once I have a count of the yardage.

I am playing with the idea of blending the remaining rovings I have all together in striped segments of alternating colors (pale grey heather, olive green, gloss black, and violet) and making it lace weight and doing a really long shawl for myself. The yellow one I made is nice, but I’d like something with a more complex pattern and styling like the Victorian Lace shawl I made for Heather.

I still have the off white wool to spin to play with for dying. I can do anything I want to with that.

My driving force at the moment is to get as much done as I can so that I can stock up on lovely stuff in August when Brian takes me to the Michigan Fiber Festival for my birthday.

And on that note, Happy Mother’s Day! I need to go knit!

Babczi knits for Ella

Friday, December 7th, 2007

I wanted to make something pretty for baby Ella who I get to see later this month. She’ll be about 6 months old, oncology and when I saw this pattern, I was so thrilled because it can be worn from approximately 6 months to 4 years. The way it works is that it depends on which way you put it on. Infants wear the length as a hood. Toddlers wear the length down and the shorter edge as a shawl, as pictured here.

Spiral Coat for Ella

I knit this out of Peruvian wool that is unbelievably soft and yet will hold up to 4 years of wear without issue. I honestly can’t believe wool can be so soft and not itchy.

I started this over Thanksgiving weekend and another 2 evenings of making the sleeves. It was wonderfully fun to do. I can’t wait to put up pictures after Christmas of what it looks like on Ella herself!

I’m very pleased with the blend of colors. It seems a lot of folks make these types of things to use up leftover scraps of yarn. I wanted something that was more planned and the denim to plum to claret came out even prettier than I had hoped!

I love the edging. It’s done with an I-cord stitch, which is really a 4 stitch tube and the points where it meets and joins the body are actually knit together with the stitches of the coat, so these loops will hold up to curious infant fingers without coming loose.

The pattern and yarn are from, which is fast becoming my favorite place to shop.

Oh!  And the bear?  My mom made me a pair of them about 20 years ago.  Yeah…hand made.  Ever wonder where I get this talent from?