Yarn Happy – Book Review and Giveaway

Here’s the second book from Seller’s Publishing that we will giveaway to one lucky reader. Yarn Happy is from Norwegian author, Turid Lindeland. We were given the book to review but have no other connection to Seller’s Publishing. Again, since I am not a knitter, my knitting friends, Sally and Paula, helped with the review.

Here’s what the publishers have to say about the book:

Yarn Happy, (978-1-4162-4563-6) offers readers 30 knit and crochet projects that represent the simple and clean design style that Scandinavia is known for. The designs are photographed in the dramatic Northwest region of Norway that inspired them, and include pattern charts and detailed instructions. Projects in the book include modern takes on traditional Norwegian knit designs, including socks, blankets, chair covers, crochet throws, and more. Yarn Happy is designed for both for intermediate and experienced knitters, as well as fans of colorwork. Patterns include both US standard and metric measurements, and alternative yarns are included for each pattern. Turid Lindeland’s inspiration for Yarn Happy came from an old sock she found in a crumbling hotel in Rosendal, Norway. Inspired by that old sock, and the neighboring glaciers called Folgefonna, with their dramatic icy colors and shapes, she has given these classic patterns an updated twist by employing modern color palettes. Some patterns are informed by the cool shades of ice and others by the summertime landscapes with their vibrant colors.

Yarn Happy_3D

From my knitting friends:

Both Sally and Paula agreed that this is not a beginners book and you need familiarity with Norwegian design or similar colorwork. There are no basic directions about Norwegian design, following a chart in general, or a key for the charts. Patterns were not rated for level of difficulty. But the book has absolutely gorgeous photography and if you’re an experienced knitter, it is a great resource for updated Norwegian designs.


Patterns range from a blanket to a small phone case giving the less experienced  knitter a less daunting “first” project. Included in the book is a resource guide for finding comparable yarns that can be found in the US, a yarn weight chart, and a color chart for the Rauma Yarn that is the author’s yarn of choice. There are also crochet patterns included in the book and these are written well and easy to follow.

So if you are looking for a bit more advanced knitting patterns with a clean Scandinavian style, this book is perfect for you. Again, the photography in this book is absolutely gorgeous and it’s a pleasure to look through even for a non-knitter like me.

Leave a comment and you could win a free copy of this wonderful book. The giveaway is open until October 17th. I will be announcing the winners of both of the books on October 18th. Please make sure to have an e-mail attached to your comment. I won’t be able to contact anyone who comments anonymously. Then Sellers Publishing will send the book to you directly anywhere in the world.

Posted in Giveaways, Book Review | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Nuno Wall Hanging

Since I started felting, my daughter in law Lia has been fascinated with the nuno textures.  So, a while back we shopped for some fabrics we thought may go with her decor and she picked colors.  Unfortunately, after making samples, the gold polyester fabric we chose even with open weave did not felt well.

She loved one scarf I had made in particular that I had hand dyed.  So, I went to plan B and dyed more silk gauze and merino.  She picked out the wool colors for accents.

20150609_152850 20150609_093921








Originally it was planned to be a very big wall hanging and I calculated a 50% shrinkage rate that I had achieved with the scarf.  I had to recruit another table and used boards on top to give it more length and width to do the layout and felting. I couldn’t even get the whole table in the pic and I was standing on a high chair.


What was really fun was flipping it over to layout on the other  side. Not.

When the first side was layed out, I wet it down and began my rubbing until I felt the fibers were catching enough to flip it.  I did the same on the second side before I began the rolling.

The process went quicker than I expected and the shrinkage more than I wanted.  But the ruching was what I wanted. I had to square it up and then figure out how to hang it. So, I pinned it to a towel and let it dry.

2015-06-10 14.31.472015-06-10 14.30.49 2015-06-10 14.30.37

But when dry I noticed there were big spots that were bubbled up.  It didn’t help the shape for hanging so I added some wisps of fiber and felted them in and had to re-block it and wait for it to dry again.  Fortunately, I put enough fiber around it to get the edges to roll in for a nice finish.  But I still had to figure out how to keep it’s shape for hanging.

2015-06-13 16.37.02

After adding extra fiber to fill in big bubbles.

2015-07-15 15.34.21


Lia didn’t want to put it under glass, but wanted to keep it floating against the wall. I wasn’t sure what a framer would suggest so I came up with an interim solution. I had some thin wire that I sewed around the edges trying to keep it concealed. It gave the nuno felt more stability and shape.  I didn’t want to invest too much time in the event she didn’t like it or wanted to take it to the framer.  There were a couple of spots I wrapped in scraps of silk that showed thru the front.  I tried hanging it on the wall to see how it would look.  It’s hard to see the detail.


I felt if she liked it I could wrap the wire later and sew the wrapped wire  back on.

20150624_141143The nice thing about the wire it can be bent to help shape it.  It is not totally a rectangle and has a couple of tails, but it’s an original.

I haven’t been back to Florida, but I sent it for their anniversary and it’s now hanging on the wall and I’m told she loves it.

It doesn’t show here in these photos, bu the wall color is a very light yellow.


Smartly hung high enough so the boys can’t pull it down.


What do you think of adding two narrow panels one on each side to help fill up the wall?



Posted in Nuno Felting | Tagged , , , , , | 32 Comments

Natural Wools

I think I might’ve mentioned a few times how much I love natural wool, animal fibres and embellishment fibres :) I made a couple of natural felt pieces recently. This first one uses lots of different breeds of wool inlcuding Finnish wool, Gotland, Shetland, Merino, Chubut, Mongolian, Russian, French, Welsh, Irish wools and Portuguese Merino. Plus quite a variety of wool locks and embellishment fibres such as hemp, flax, ramie, bamboo, silk and cotton.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is even closer, the boucle yarn is mohair Marilyn sent me and she also sent me the thick and thin yarn. The gorgeous reddish brown wool was from wollknoll, listed as ‘Russian Camel‘. I think it’s camel coloured Romanov, nowhere near soft enough to be actual camel, and probably 8 times cheaper, thinking about it! The little nepps are cotton nepps.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love the way the black Bamboo top has rippled on the Chubut here, near the top of the photo:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is a closer pic of the Bluefaced Leicester curls at the top of the Chubut in the previous photo:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom one extreme to the other, this next piece uses just Gotland, or Gotland cross wool. It’s about 1 foot by 2 feet (30cm x 60cm). For the bottom layer I used commercial Gotland tops, the second layer was commercially scoured Gotland fleece which I carded, and the top layer is all raw Gotland locks, most of which I got from Zara not so long ago, with the odd few from my old stash. I’m not going to cheat and enter this in the 4th quarter monochrome challenge :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can never have enough different breeds of wool, I think, so when I saw some being offered in a UK spinners group on Facebook I just couldn’t resist. I told the seller, Wendy, that I loved locks and nice colours and let her choose what to send me, which is a good thing because I’d originally said I had enough alpaca. I didn’t have any like this though:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey were all gorgeous, and I made an album on Flickr if you want to drool, this was another particularly nice one, Mule sheep:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m going to take some of the locks to the Well-being centre tomorrow, but I’m sure I’ll be using them myself soon, too :)

Posted in natural wools | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Demo Time

In September I do two demonstrations at local country fairs. They are a lot of fun and we get to meet lots of people. Wet felting is not the easiest to do as a day long demo so I take lots of sample to put in the display and explain it to interested people.


I usually take my drop spindle but one day I did Kumihimo ( Japanese braiding) on a meridi.

richmond bernadette and i richmond me on the meridi

Jan did some weaving on a table loom and Carlene was on the peg loom.

Carp jan 2 Carp Carlene and the peg loom

Alison( trying to keep warm on a freezing morning) spinning  and Bernadette combing some fiber to spin next to the lace maker.

Carp Allison richmond Bernadette and a lacemaker

As usual there were other things to see.

richmond ag collage 2 richmond ag collage

There was some felting in the Agriculture competition building.

richmond hand crafts

I zoomed in to show you . The Santa and dog and the two dogs.

richmond needle felt

Doing Demonstrations is really fun. Anyone else do them?


Posted in Demo, Fairs and Shows, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Win a New Knitting Book!

We were contacted by Sellers Publishing again to see if we would review a couple of their new books. They generously offered to have a book giveaway without limiting it to a certain area. We have no connection with Sellers Publishing but they have provided a free book for us to review. So if you’d like to win a copy of the book reviewed below, please leave a comment on this post. I would appreciate it if you also shared this post on social media as well.

The first book to review is called Baby & Me Knits by Celeste Young. I will review the second book next week so keep your eyes peeled! Since I am not a knitter, I had a couple of my knitting friends, Sally and Paula, give me some input on the book.

Baby and Me_Knits_3D

Here is what the publisher has to say about the book:

Baby & Me Knits (978-1-4162-4541-4) features 20 hand-knit designs for every season and style. Knitters of all levels will find inspiration in author and new mom Celeste Young’s patterns — simple knit and purl textures that give way to subtle lace, cables, and stranded colorwork, each accompanied by clear instructions and how-to photography. Young’s combination of modern, washable yarns and stitch patterns are sized for newborns through 24 months of age. The blankets, sweaters, and coordinating accessories for baby and mom are perfect for that keepsake knitted gift from a friend or family-member. “The patterns in this book are designed to work individually and in sets, perfect for creating heirlooms for your family or special gifts for an amazing parent and child,” said author Celeste Young. “I have left plenty of room for interpretation in my designs so that you can add your personal flair to them. Choose your own color scheme for the Sweet Berries set, for example, or knit simple or wildly striped socks and fingerless gloves from the Bright Stripe set, or increase your yarn gauge and repeat count on any of the baby blankets to create a full-sized throw. It is my hope that Baby & Me Knits will introduce you to fun, new techniques and empower you to be creative as you make these sweet knitted pieces.”

Baby and Me-1

From my knitting friends:

This book has beautiful photos and appealing patterns and designs. It is primarily for babies 3 to 24 months old with a few coordinating accessories for mom! The difficulty key and needle size information right at the beginning of the book is very helpful and information about interpreting it your own way is great to take the ideas further.

Baby and Me-2

Directions were clearly written and easy to understand. The photos and breakdown of specific techniques and tips was very helpful. Each of the projects had specific technique photos for a certain portion of the project. The book assumes you know the basics of knitting but these additional explanations will certainly help a beginner to progress to more difficult projects. Each of the projects is marked as to how difficult it is. These are fairly simple patterns using cables, stockinette stitch and pattern work. Enlarged charts are a plus! It’s good book for a beginning knitter and new Moms.

Baby and Me-3

There are projects for Mom and Baby and the authors has suggestions for ways to increase the designs to make a standard size throw instead of a baby blanket. All patterns call for Cascade worsted weight yarn but any worsted weight yarn could be used. It would have been helpful to list types of yarn you could use for each project instead of listing a specific yarn. But all in all, we all thought this was a great book. It would be perfect for a knitting mom to be, new moms or grandmothers or even if you knit and want to create a keepsake gift for  a new baby. I took a look at the Amazon listing for this book and it already has four 5 star reviews.

Leave a comment and you could win a free copy of this charming book. The giveaway is open until October 17th. I will be announcing the winners of both of the books on October 18th. Please make sure to have an e-mail attached to your comment. I won’t be able to contact anyone who comments anonymously. Then Sellers Publishing will send the book to you directly anywhere in the world.

Posted in Book Review, Giveaways | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Dyeing for Special Projects

On the Felting and Fiber Forum, I had mentioned doing some dyeing for projects and Zed encouraged me to write about it.

I’ve had a couple projects in mind that I needed specific colors in silk and wool and needed to mix colors to get the shades I needed.

The first one was for my daughter in law for a wall hanging.  More about this next week. This one I used a dye bath for silk gauze, silk roving and merino.  I also threw in some Corriedale to have on hand. I washed the silk gauze in synthropol an soaked it and the silk roving overnight in a vinegar bath.  I soaked the wools in a vinegar bath for about a half hour before dyeing.  I didn’t need too mix colors for this job. It was an Idye mix I had made a couple of years ago.  I wasn’t sure if it would still be ok, but it worked well.

I was pleased with the results and got the exact shade I needed.










The second project I wanted to try mixing browns,  greys and a green with acid dyes for another project. Here are a couple of my color tests.  I’m not sure where the rest went I had quite a few formulas I tried.



I used saran wrap, a squirt bottle and a sponge brush to apply the mixed dyes to the pre-soaked silk pieces.

20150729_160902 2015-07-28 16.16.57








I used merino pre-soaked in vinegar in baggies and steam for this one.  I thought I had saturated the fibers enough and rubbed the acid dye into the fiber.  However, while it was in the steamer and left overnight the dye settled in spots.  I expected the mottling on the silk which was fine.

20150801_162918 20150801_162622 20150731_124308

However, all was not lost.  After running the grays through the drum carder the colors were perfect.


Stay tuned for more on this project later.  I ended up only using the gray wools, then making prefelt for the project.  I will have to think of another project to use the silks and the browns.  I did use some of the green wool as well which was fine as it was.

I find it interesting to mix colors to get a specific colors, some times it works well, others not so much.  How has your experience been mixing dye colors?



Posted in Dyeing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

4th Quarter Studio Challenge

It’s a bit early I know, but it was either that or a bit late! All our challenges this year have been on the theme of colour. Ruth’s challenge for the first quarter focused on Colour Theory, and we learnt about the colour wheel, hue, value and intensity.

colour wheel by LynAnn’s 2nd quarter Challenge was to upload a photo to different Palette generator websites to create a colour scheme to work from.

scshot 2 cropMarilyn’s 3rd quarter Challenge expanded on this and the challenge was to use dyeing or blending to create the colours the palette generators suggested.

2015-06-17 14.30.08-1So, what’s my challenge going to be for the 4th quarter? Well, after all the very colourful previous challenges and entries, I thought how about ‘no colour’ i.e. grayscale. Then I remembered Teri had messaged us with a suggestion about a study in shades and tones, and she sent us this link: http://www.mccallsquilting.com/blogs/blog/2015/07/16/that-cat-a-visit-with-pam-lincoln/

So that’s when I thought ‘Monochrome’ would be better than ‘grayscale’, it’s similar, and limiting enough to really be a challenge and get the brain cells working, but also has lots of scope for potential.

It’s upto you how you interpret it, and how far you take it. For example, you could use some of the things we learned in the first quarter and choose a colour of wool to make tints and shades by blending it with various amounts of white and black wool.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOr you could use photo editing software to colourise a photo:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen upload it to a palette generator site:

pallette fxAnd use the palette to create a monochrome piece of felt or fibre artwork, or maybe even have a go at blending or dyeing the shades from the palette too. Those are just a few ideas, but simply the challenge for this quarter is ‘Monochrome’. Have fun!

Posted in Challenges | Tagged , , | 16 Comments