Thursday, December 14, 2006

What else goes on here?

Something I have had a lot of fun doing is making these Orifice Hooks. I learned to make hooks from the late spinning wheel restorer Bill Ralph, but when I tried to make them on my own I couldn't get them to hold together so I added a bead to the design and next I made a bunch for my guild friends, and next somebody said they would take twelve to a festival...Before long I was selling quite a lot of them, and had an ad in SpinOff, and a little article, which led Amy Clark Moore to ask me to write a back-page essay (see SpinOff Winter 2005).
People from all around the world have bought hooks, and I never get tired of making them. So if you would like one, email me at telling me your favorite color and I will make you a hook with that color lampwork or faceted bead. If it is for an antique wheel let me know that too because I will adjust the size of the hook part accordingly. $12 includes shipping in a very nice box. If the hook is a gift, let me know so I will package the box for presentation. Multiple orders ship priority and include a box for each hook.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Holiday Greetings

One of the best things about my fiber journey has been all the nice friendships I have found along the way. A special friend is Deb Schildt, whose growing business, Handmade in the Hills, features her handpainted yarns and prolific array of high-quality goods all made by Deb herself. Although Deb has been a vendor at several juried craft and fiber shows for a few years, this was to be her first year for Rhinebeck. A few weeks before the event, I was inspired to create a garment and accompanying pattern for Deb to wear in case her booth got chilly that would showcase the finished result of the unique dye technique she has developed. We have all fallen prey to the temptation to buy a gorgeous hank or several of a multicolor roving at a festival, only to find the knitted or woven result is blotchy or otherwise garishly unwearable.
Deb's method produces a yarn that looks as good in the garment as it does in the skein. Although I have watched her dye, and frankly attempted to mimic her technique, I can't do it, and can't figure out how she does it. Must be magic.
Anyway, what I came up with was this fast and easy pattern. Deb did the photography and graphics, I did the knitting. At the festival, the patterns sold out by Saturday afternoon, and I like to think she sold a ton of yarn to inspired knitters even after that. Now we have more copies. If you would like to knit this very easy very warm very flattering piece, email me at . Pattern is $8 and can be completed in a weekend!