Friday, December 17, 2010

Celadon & Celery and last minute Knitty Gifties

We were gifted a "surprise evening" last night -- a floral arranging class for a dozen of us in my department at work.This was held in the NY flower district, & was SO much fun! (see my handiwork above)
The use of unusual elements like cinnamon sticks and horsetail for the "structure" made the class a visual and sensual pleasure!
If you live in or around NYC and you're looking for a really fun and creative activity for a group-think of Celadon & Celery, a floral design house that"creates 'green' events that integrate respect for the planets resources with beautiful products and spaces" contact
I've been knitting away on my "regular" knitty gifties for friends and colleagues, and I have finished the first "cup cozy" that i am happy with. Its nice to use up scraps of yarn at the same time, this one uses a silk/cashmere for the ivory color, and then miscellaneous wool and merino (some "Love Birds"--the pinky-violet) and some hand-spun silk/alpaca of my own, and the black is some Plymouth Yarns alpaca boucle from "Alpaca Direct".
the pattern is simple enough, i just cast on an estimated amount of stitches for the bottom, and since i neglected to increase as the mug widened, i had to make up for it with the short-rowed rib that i picked up at the "handle" side. This is still a bit experimenntal and when i perfect it i'll supply the pattern either here or at Ravelry.How fun to receive a ceramic cup filled with chocolate, or cookies with a nice ribbon atop? and i might add, a very inexpensive but personal touch in a mass-market world.

Don't forget--the Swoon Fibers December raffle winner will be picked soon for this month, and the winner will receive one skein of Love Birds Merino worsted in 'Winesap' or 'Denim', to enter raffle & to see colors click the link below & my etsy shop:

The colorful background for the cup cozy is courtesy of "Giant Dwarf" -I fell in love with her color cards....i will be hanging them on my wall, they are so beautiful. Sue Eggens' felt colors are an inspiration in themselves.

Monday, December 13, 2010

what's on my needles...

This time of year there are not only gifts to make, but since its chilly I find myself making a lot of hand-warmers and scarves. I have gotten caught up in no less than 4 projects!

1-a gift of handwarmers for my friend and (boss) --she doesn't read my blog so i'm safe :P
this is using my "Pearls" yarn, the color i must say came out really gorgeous. (using "roots and herbs" colorway) 80/20 baby alpaca/silk

2-i wanted to try my Cozy Toes in a jacquard pattern, so hence the ONE hand warmer, will i finish the other one??
(its also a mosaic pattern and using some colors i haven't listed yet in case you're wondering) if i ever finish these i will provide the pattern.

3-cozies for cups--for little gifties for colleagues at work, i am too embarrassed to show my first looks a little hmm...too 'garage sale' if you know what i mean...!
(sometimes the imagination skips the actual 'doing' part)

4-seed stitch hand warmers with an "interlocking" border bit at the cuff.
(these are made with 100% alpaca in a natural cream color from Abenaki Farms...gorgeous stuff!)...and very warm.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Raffle -"Love Birds" 100% Merino hand-spun hand-dyed give away

Swoon Fibers is starting its 2nd raffle! Log on to
to enter. The drawing will be at the end of the month.
I couldn't resist the animated moose...sorry!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Swoon Fibers is having a raffle!!
we're giving away one skein per month...this month it's
"Merino & Cashmere" 75/25 merino/cashmere, hand-dyed sock weight yarn, 416 yards, 8 st on US2
For colors, and to enter, go to

this color is "drinks on the patio" .
we have 4 other colors in stock at the moment.

The drawing will be on November 30th.
Or-you can enter by writing to: and letting us know who you are. Thats all you have to do!
you'll be notified by email.

Friday, October 29, 2010

website-new look

I've spent some time revamping my site--i think it looks 'right' now and wanted to share :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Scarf Pattern

click here to download the "delicate Stripe Scarf"
Delicate Scarf Pattern -

North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival

Thanks so much to all the great people who I met on Fri & Sat at this event. I got really nice feedback and in general it was just a really positive and fun experience all around. If I thought I was busy before, I'll be twice as busy now with filling orders and finishing the kits and patterns that you all were asking for.Thanks also to the wonderful people who hosted this event as well, you couldn't have made it easier and more enjoyable.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I've been really busy....

Dyeing yarn takes time, so does knitting and writing patterns,. This of course i knew, but since i have been really focusing on putting together enough inventory for the North Jersey Fibers Arts Fair on October 1 & 2
i have barely had time to think. Here are some pictures of my new yarns.

the shades of blue is "Cozy Toes" merino/nylon sock yarn, teh burgundy/brown is a merino/cashmere sock yarn, teh combo is a multi-yarn that will be sold with a scarf kit.
stay tuned for more...and visit

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Its really all about how the color looks on the yarn, actually IN the yarn to be specific...there is something so compelling and satisfying about achieving a nice colorway...

(new sock yarn)

Friday, June 25, 2010

on my farm, everyone and everything would get along....

Improving life, one skein at a time...

I live in new york city. But I wish I lived on a farm, I don't think I want to do the actual work of the farm but I love the idea of the horses, sheep, and angora goats and alpacas I would look after and process their wonderful fibers to make beautiful hand-spun and hand-dyed yarns that would be highly sought after ...(except for the horses, I would just ride them, and admire their beautiful glossy coats while I would relax and knit from the back porch)

I grew up in the country, in Hunterdon County New Jersey, very close (strolling distance) to the beautiful Delaware river.In the summer we would ride our bikes to the "walking bridge" (no cars), cross over to Lumberville Pennsylvania, in Bucks County, and get our ice cream bars and sodas. The visit to the river was always interesting, the water was high or low, muddy or clear-it was always a draw just to be near the water .

There were lots of farms around, mostly dairy farms with picturesque black and white cows. We had some neighbors who had sheep, but I never saw any wool being processed.

My mom taught me to knit, she was truly a yarnaholic and i think passed along her love of yarn and knitting by our trips to yarn shops(there were few then) . As i observed her swooning over skeins of alpaca and wool and silk--their colors and twists, i think i just naturally caught on to this fiber thing. Later i found out while looking through some things my family had that my great grandmother written a column in Harpers about needlework.

It wasn't until I went to a sheep and wool festival in Maryland in '92 or so that I started to realize what was involved in sheep farming. Or I should say what was involved with enjoying the products of sheep and wool farmers. I was so taken with the beauty of wools that had been minimally processed that I got my first spinning wheel soon after. Over time, i have experimented with silk, alpaca, llama, different wools, kid mohair, cotton and linen. I did a little hand-dyeing , but nothing serious. Last Fall my friend Rose and I went to Rhinebeck sheep and wool fest, and came back with 3 or 4 fleeces of crossbred and romney, and some corriedale. As I scoured the wool, dyed it and was hand carding it, I looked into buying a drum carder, hence my new "fancy kitty" carder. I've gradually been formulating this business idea...but really had hesitated because I have a demanding day job. So, after seeing what a number of others are doing on Etsy, Ebay, and others, and it seemed that there was a community of yarn buyers/enthusiasts that were interested in a non-factory, non-homogenious product. More importantly, I have loved working with fibers for so many years it seemed unavoidable to open a yarn shop...not brick and mortar yet, but maybe some day...

My mission is to pass along that love of really extraordinary fibers and the enjoyment of the way those fibers take color, how they feel, how they look when they're knitted. My passion has always been about this simple thing, and how sometimes the simplest stitch can have such inherent beauty...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I've been quite busy finding yarns to dye, my most recent find is a gorgeous merino/baby alpaca/silk that knits up at 5 st to the inch on 6 needles, it is very soft and has a lovely sheen. it is also quite bouncy/stretchy -shd be great for hats. I have set up my Etsy shop "Swoon Fibers" . and have listed 3 things there:
I am very pleased with the new colors i have been able to achieve!! The above colorway -on 70/30 merino cashmere--is called "Willow" because the gray/blue shades remind me of the underside of willow leaves in the wind combined with the soft greens. I have also dyed some rayon novelty yarn (Silk City "Trillino"-closed out)This is a yarn they should never have discontinued! It is baby soft, in fact was used--among other things-- for boutique baby-wear in the past, it is so soft. I love the way it picks up color.
The "willow" colorway I think looks pretty knitted up--since the color areas are not very large, it has a sort of pretty "camouflage" look instead of "stripey" look which i like.

Another new yarn which i have just purchased--its a cashmere/silk (it approx 70/30 cashmere/silk) ribbon, really luscious and i have only just started working with it.

I've been playing around with "metallic" looks, my experiments with it so far are shown here--its hard to see in the picture but the "sparkly" bits are really pretty.Its a lot of work because you have to let the paint "cure" for 24 hours, and then steam as usual--i need to knit a swatch and wash it numerous times to see how well the metallic "stays" in the fiber...(to be continued)

Monday, May 31, 2010 first post. Its a beautiful day, and i wish i had more time off >sigh<, but its been a very productive weekend. I've been spinning a lot now that i have a new drum carder (fancy kitty fine), >
i mean really A LOT. i have determined that i love neppy yarn. is it because i can't prepare my fiber any other way? (see beautiful neppy innocent yarn at left-and wristlets at right))..possibly, so its just a giant cop-out. but really, i am almost nostalgic already about my badly hand-carded spinning which has such a sweet homespun quality to it, i will never return to that uninitiated pre-drum carder state of innocence, alas.
My returning to spinning all started with a trip to Rhinebeck sheep and wool last october, where my friend (enabler) Rose. She thought it would be a great idea to check out the raw fleeces for sale. We both returned with about 4 bags each of raw fleece. now i had bought fleece before, but it was always corriedale from the same source in Maryland. so i had no experience with Romney. I also bought a Cormo fleece online a few months later. I found the Cormo to be really challenging to wash and prepare.More about that later.

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"PATTERN DOWNLOADS" page is where you can purchase all of SWOON FIBERS patterns in .pdf form.