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A video podcast!

7 Mar

Episode 1 of who knows if I’ll ever do this again!!

Shownotes coming if anyone asks for them!!

Enjoy

More of my husband’s fiber handmade tools, spindles!

15 Apr

We have been really busy lately! With work and the kids and college classes, I haven’t had much free time and what time we do get is spent in the beautiful spring outdoors. I do have a couple WIP’s going on, but lately it has been easier to instagram those, come find me as bekhiann, or on my ravelry page, also bekhiann.

I just have to share here some pictures of the recent spindles my husband has made, they are absolutely gorgeous hand turned bamboo spindles with different stone inlays:

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At this point I pretty much have every weight and size drop spindle imaginable, so he has started listing them on Etsy. You can check out his shop here, AaronMakesStuff

Yes this was a shameless plug to sell spindles, but I really believe they are gorgeous and it should be shared with the world!

Fiber Festivals!! Homespun Yarn Party, Savage Mill Maryland

23 Mar

This was quite fun. My friend Vanessa of The Vintage Rose Knittique mentioned to me last week about this Homespun Yarn Party only 2 hours away. I checked out the list of vendors and was totally excited to see a bunch of really indie dyers, expecting a bunch of one of a kind fun stuff to buy up. I was not disapointed!! The venue was a little cramped, and it was tough with the kids in tow but my husband helped wrangle them around.

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As soon as the kids found the fiber they wanted -yes, they are little spinners now! My hubby sat down with them at the craft tables so I could get some hardcore shopping on. He was much more interested in the event than I thought. He’s been making spindles and was blown away by the variety of what people had made. Very inspiring for him I think 🙂

I won’t inundate you with yarn porn here, so I got one good shot of all my goodies out together:

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Punis from Gourmet Stash in “Orchid Color Shift”
Some “Bunny Love” Roving from Slippery Slope Farm (so soft!!!!!!)
Also from Slippery Slope, my son picked out some Merino Roving “Peanut” (this is either the color or the animal it was shorn from) and some soap.
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Tempting Ewe Roving in a very bold orange (my daughter’s pick) and a skein of Ewe So Sparkly Sock in “Snow Cones”
Two blue Alpaca/Wool/Angelina batts from Kate’s Cauldron
A Harry Potter inspired yellow roving (I’m readopting it for a honeybee care package cause it is PERFECT) from 222 Handspun
As well as a bag of totally random handyed fiber bits and bobs for my daughter, from 222 Handspun (Wishing I would have grabbed one of her art batts, they were gorgeous!)
From Wild Hare Fiber Studio, a beautiful purple and black and neon pink with sparkle batt, and some sock yarn in “Time Machine” (Dr. Who!!) Picked out by my son, because it matched his coat.

Nolan trying out a wheel

Nolan trying out a wheel

As we left the party, I heard there were actually two whole other yarn stores in this mill, so of course, we went to find them.

From Peaknits: I learned a bunch from the ladies working ther about spinning with different types of fiber. I picked up a big ol’ ball of Peace Fleece Roving, and some Yearling Mohair in the colorway “Silvermist” Rebecca had in stock from a local called Cottage Dyeworks.

We’d had about all we could take, being that I do get a little claustrophobic. If I had any suggestions for the event planners, make use of all that extra room in the empty mill shops. Don’t cram all the vendors in one room. The line was out the door for quite a while since they could only allow so many people in at a time due to fire codes I’m sure.

All in all it was a nice time. Not as overwhelming as Rhinebeck, more indie/unique stuff, and a short drive (for us, from Dover).

Plus there was this super cool giant chair:

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Surprises in the mail and the generosity of knitters

21 Feb

This blog has always been my little place to document the crafty stuff I do, so that one day I can look back and remember all the cool stuff I made, and hopefully see my progression in skill. Hopefully it will be in internet-land long enough that my kids one day find it fun to look back on what mom made, remember an adventure, whatever it is. I really truly never expected anyone else to notice it, a few friends follow on Facebook (hi guys! Love you!) but slowly others from the knitting and craft community have begun to follow me here or on my instagram (bekhiann) either to see what I’m making or just because that is what we knitters do. We love seeing everybody’s handiwork! We love sharing ideas, enabling each other about new yarns, challenging or helping each other to build our skills. We are not each others competition, it’s so different from any other facet of my life. Everyone is accepted- if you knit, crochet, spin, weave, or just want to learn- you are in the group. I have always thought this way, and as my knitting world expands, the generosity and kindness of other knitters has only solidified my feelings on the subject.

Speaking of generous, a follower of this blog reached out to me after I posted about my new spinning adventure (hello Mellissa of Chic ‘n’ Fish!) and out of the blue, sent me a gorgeous skein of her handspun Llama yarn! All the way from New Zealand! No strings attached. I don’t think I have ever in my life received such a lovely gift from a total stranger. It totally made my day, my week, my month. It is a beautiful skein, natural rustic colors of grey, black, greyish brown and off white. It is so gorgeous and special it has its own place in my special yarn/spindle showcase hutch in the livingroom. I want everybody to see it, and feel the love. Check it out:
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Thank you Mellissa, from the bottom of my heart. Girl you are what it is all about! I cannot wait to turn this scrumptious handspun into something I can wear all the time, I think a simple cowl or hat so I can really show off the subtle variations in the colors. It’s going to be a joy to work with. Stay tuned to see what I come up with!

I would love to hear more stories about knitters random acts of kindness that maybe came your way, or you sent out into the community! Share in the comments section by March 15th, I want to pass the love on and gift a random commenter something fibery and awesome. I haven’t thought of what it will be yet but I think awesome covers it.

Simple Adventures: Lavender and Wine

26 Jul

My kids and I are still in Washington State visiting my sister, and we are having a blast. The other day we ventured out to Mt. Rainier to take in the sights. After a nice picnic lunch we went to hit the trail but there was a bit of a snag; my sister’s’ dog Rocko was not allowed on the trail!! Our bad for not looking this up before driving 2 hours to the mountain. We still got to hike around near the visitors center and around the picnic areas, and the kids were sufficiently worn out. Not a total loss.

As we headed back to town we noticed a handpainted sign directing us off the main road to “pick your own lavender/winery” um, yes. So we went to check it out, why not? As we pulled up the drive we were surrounded by a field of purple lavender and a little farmstand with lavender hanging from the porch eaves. We were greeted by the owner and soon we were going thru the plethora of lavender candles, sprays, and handcrafts he had in the little shop. Out came the wines for a tasting, with our host John giving a simple description of each. My sister and I are not winos, we have no clue about wine notes and pairings just that we like wine. John was very relaxed and not the least bit snobby about it, but very proud of his wines and his farm, Stringtown Farms.
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After picking out our favorites we went to work it off in the field….he gave us a flower gathering basket and a pair of shears and we got too it! There were several varieties and the scent was amazing. Lavender is a calming scent, and between that, the scenic mountain view, and the wine tasting; we were pretty relaxed.
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We brought home two large bunches of fresh cut lavender, two bottles of wine, some lavender-infused honey and a lavender scented soy candle. What a way to end the day!

WIP Wednesday!

24 Jul

It is Wednesday and I am writing from beautiful Washington State! I am so happy to finally be here visiting my sister, I miss her so much -living on the completely opposite side of the country really sucks sometimes. Yesterday we ventured into the city and explored Pike’s Place Market, and of course one of the local yarn stores So Much Yarn and they certainly lived up to the name. I got a skein of Malabrigo Rasta in the Solis color way for a drop stitch cowl. I also picked up a Rayon/metallic blend from Blue Heron Yarns in a variegated purple called blueberry which I plan to weave into a shawl. There was a cool project bag which I also could not resist, especially after my friend caught me using a plastic shopping bag for my last sock project- whoops!

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So for today, my WIP is the Mairi Shawl which I am doing in an alpaca yarn I got in a swap. It is from a Doctor Who yarn club and I forget the details, but it is gorgeous. So far I am halfway done with the lace edging and it is going really quickly. I cast on at the airport and got all this done on the plane ride over. I hope to do a little mini yarn crawl while we are here, and pick up some new circulars because these crappy ones from the craft store are really getting on my nerves. The plastic just does not flex an ounce. But they get the job done for now.

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We are going to be really busy this week so I am not sure how much I will really get done, but there will be a lot of driving so maybe I can get to the body of the shawl soon. Today we visit Mount Rainier! The kids are totally excited after seeing it from the plane:

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Cotton Dishcloth Madness

13 Jun

I love making and using cotton dishcloths/washcloths. They are super simple to whip up, and I get to practice all kinds of knitting technique. I have been in a knitting funk, not being able to get to a real yarn store since we moved here to Delaware, and the yarn selection at Walmart just leaves something to be desired. But there is an abundance of cotton yarn! Here are a few of the ones I’ve finished this month:

Hand’s down the best pattern for a sturdy and simple cloth is the Grandmother’s favorite. I’ve made so many I can practically do them in my sleep! There are a number of variations on it as well.

I have a ton more dishcloth patterns “queued” on my Ravelry page (sn: bekhiann) but I am currently taking a break from them to whip up a cabled cover for my Kindle. I just mastered Judy’s Magic Cast-On and am ready to make all sorts of toe-up socks and top down hats!

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