Fiber Fantasy

All the fibery goodness I can find and other thoughts

The Monkey Swap is finally over! September 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy Clarke @ 12:45 am

I have been a bad Horrible swap partner !  Poor Iva has waited so patiently for me to finish these darn socks.  Never again will I knit 2 socks at once.  There is no feeling of completion, only the dread of having to continue.  The socks shall be shipped tomorrow am, and I will be released from the guilt!

Iva, I hope you enjoy your socks and your goodies.  I saw the ones you knit on the blog and you are a good partner.  The socks may have taken forever, but they are quality!

Hopefully now with the guilt lifted there will be more fiber to share.

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It’s time to refocus after a long break January 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy Clarke @ 7:31 pm
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Haven’t posted in a long time!  It’s not that I haven’t been knitting or quilitng, but I have been doing projects for others, some for money some for gifts.  I have recently come to the conclusion that I should not take on commission work for people I don’t know.  I do not enjoy this type of work, it doesn’t feel fun, then I procrastinate, and then the guilt, and then I shut down completely.  When I have someone’s project hanging over my head, I cannot bring myself to work on my own projects that might actually bring me joy.  I’m not big on resolutions, but this year I  resolve to not take on any commissions, and I will finish the couple currently have by the end of the month!

I am on vacation until next Friday.  Today I am going to go into the craft room and clean! I will make a list of outstanding projects and start finishing them. I have one quilt that I would like to start working on, but I must finish the commission before I start.  I will post pictures to show my progress!

Time to finish my coffee and get to work!

 

Monkey sock goodies and more October 3, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy Clarke @ 9:11 am

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What wonderful goodies my monkey pal sent me!  I have worn the socks twice now.  They don’t slip down and fit wonderfully!  The monkey sock swap was lots of fun.  Speaking of the swap, I finished socks to send to my pal. I ordered the pattern for the package today and I’m just waiting for the note card I purchased on etsy to arrive and then I can send her package out.  I can’t seem to take a good picture of the socks I made, I will try again tomorrow.

A few weeks ago I bought Cat Bordhi’s new book I have made the first two practice socks.  They are fitting right into my need for baby socks for gifts.   I was getting a little bored with the basic rib pattern I had been knitting

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I’m still working out picture placement and sizing with wordpress, but the socks sure are cute!

I made an online shopping trip to Bluemoon Fiber Artstoday and purchased a pattern to send in the monkey swap package, and my first Socks that Rock!  I’m very excited to recieve the package.

My first instalment of the Hill Country Yarns sock club came a few weeks ago.  Included was a beautiful skein of periwinkle hand dyed yarn and a nice lace sock patten. I just started knitting the patten, but with some treking that has been waiting to be used for several months.

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A new site, and I promise I will post my monkey treats soon! September 25, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy Clarke @ 8:33 pm
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I’ve been reading a lot of other blogs for the last month or more, I really like the way the wordpress blogs look so here I am.  I’ve transfered over.  I need to spend some time figuring out the ins and outs of how to set things up. 

 I did receive my package from my monkey pal last week and ooo did she spoil me!  I will post pictures very soon.  I will also have my review of the Wisconsin Quilt Expo as well.

 The monkey socks I’m knitting are close to done…this second sock is killing me, I have never ripped and unknit this much before.  I’m not sure what my problem is, I just can’t wait to get the thing done now.  I really like the pattern, but it’s time to do someting different!

 

Do you need a sock knitting bag? August 22, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy Clarke @ 11:02 pm

If you do, well then you should go over to my Etsy shop http://www.creativefibergirl.etsy.com/ . I made these little bags out of Dupioni Silk and Cotton Twill for handles. The next batch I make will have drawstring handles rather than scrunch.

Other than cleaning my house and doing laundry, that’s pretty much how I spent my day today.
I couldn’t resist posting a cat picture. We have only had Bella for about 3 months. She was adopted from the Dane County Humane Society. When we got her she was just out of the awkward teen cat phase, and she had already had a litter of kittens than had not lived. She was so thin that her stomach expanded to twice it’s normal size when she ate. I thought this picture was funny because you can actually see a little belly.
Until later happy fiber crafting!!
 

A Glorious Fibery Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy Clarke @ 4:42 am

What a wonderful day I had today. My friend Donna and I went for our bi-weekly coffee. We usually go to Lakeside Fibers http://www.lakesidefibers.com/ here in Madison, a wonderful shop of coffee and yarn pron. This morning we branched out to The Sow’s Ear in Verona http://www.knitandsip.com/ They have recently doubled (or there about) their square footage. Lots and lots of yarny goodness and great coffee. I brought my computer along to introduce Donna to the world of knitting blogs and podcasts. She was a bit overwhelmed. We got her signed up on the lime and violet message board, and signed up with blogger. Next thing I know she will be as addicted as I am.

I’m not really sure what the cat’s were doing this morning, but I had to share.

Donna, being a self determined unemployed nurse, and me being on vacation, decided to take a little road trip just north of Madison to Susan’s Fiber Shop http://www.susansfibershop.com/ I had not been there, and Donna had never even heard of the place. It’s a little sheep farm, with yarn, roving, lots of books, spinning wheels and weaving looms. While the shop was in a bit of disarray, it has a great amount of potential (she is moving into a newly expanded space). Susan was so nice, she was kind enough to show me how a spinning wheel works, and then I treadled on a couple. I think I found one I like. Great just what I need, another fiber hobby!

We stopped for lunch on the east side of town at Monty’s Blue Plate Diner. Fantastic food! This is the same group that owns the Hubbard Ave Diner in Middleton, and several other restaurants in Madison. If you don’t know about the Pies at these two Diner’s , I would like be be the firs to recommend them. I believe that Hubbard has a larger selection at any given time, but the pies and cakes both places are Amazing!!

We had a quick stop at Gay Feather Fabrics. This was the location of my only purchase today! I know, I know what was I thinking, all that yarn….I’m trying to live within my means and this week that does not include sock yarn (though several tried to jump into my hand) I purchased a few pieces of Dupioni Silk and some ribbon. I am going to make sock knitting bags. Look for them on my etsy shop http://www.creativefibergirl.etsy.com/. Don’t look right away though, there’s nothing there currently. I hope to have lots of yarn and fabric to sell sometime soon, as well as my little sock knitting bags.

The last stop on the way home was at The Knitting Tree on Monroe Street. http://www.knittingtree.com/ Donna recently introduced me to this shop. They are very nice,with a nice selection of yarn. I look forward to visiting this shop frequently.

Finally home, I finished my first Monkey sock!! I’m very happy with it. It fits very nicely and the color is so fun.

 

I love being on vacation August 20, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy Clarke @ 7:36 pm

I have this great job as a critical care nurse. I work 3 12 hour shifts a week, 7am to 7pm. I have served my time to the nursing gods and only have to work the night shift I choose to for extra money. Anyway, one of the reasons I love my job is that I have 4 days off each week. This week as it happens, I have one day of vacation . With one day of vacation, I can potentially have 10 days off in a row. This week I only have 6, but it sure is nice.

I thought since I have some time, I would talk a little more about myself, and what I love. My first introduction to fiber was through quilting. I taught myself to quilt about 9 years ago. I started taking classes after my first couple of quilts made out of squares, to learn triangles. Several years later, fate intervened in my life and one winter I took a knitting class and at the same time found myself applying for a part time job at a local quilt shop. This is where the passion for color and texture and all things fiberlicious began!
I branched out from traditional piecing, to more free form and artistic quilting. I also decided that maybe someday I would like to work as a nurse a little less and I should look into other options in the quilting world. So I bought a Gammill Optimum Plus Longarm Quilting machine.

This is a quilt that I did for a customer last week. Over to the right of the picture is the machine head.

I started teaching some quilting classes at the shop I was working at, and started to take more quilt art focused classes. Now most of the quilting I do for myself is smaller, wall hanging type art.

This is a wall hanging I designed, pieced and quilted last year. I entered it into a local show this past spring.
Funny, I chose the various shades of Lime and Violet years before I discover the lime and violet podcast.

Last fall/winter, I started knitting a felted bag, and I was hooked! I taught several co-workers to knit last winter, and I am planning on teaching a felted bag class for them this fall.

Knitting and quilting for me are very similar, I can get my fix of texture and color from either, but knitting is portable!! I find myself knitting much more frequently than quilting these days.

The other passion I found last summer is Dyeing! I turned the kitchen in our old house into my dye studio. I started with Cotton and branched to silk. I’m not so keen on the painting, as I haven’t worked out the whole drawing and shading thing yet. I have every intention of branching into yarn very soon.

I moved to a brand new home in May and I can’t bring myself to dye in my beautiful kitchen. I plan to set up my dyeing in the laundry etc. room in the basement. I have a beautiful 4 basin stainless steal sink sitting in my garage waiting to be installed in the basement for my dyeing pleasure. My friend Jo Ann procured this treasure for me from her job. The money they wanted for it was more than I could afford so Jo Ann payed for it and now I am going to quit quilts for her until it is paid off!!
As I said in my first post, I recently discovered knitting podcasts. I have become addicted. I have been knitting socks since last winter, but now I’m sock and sock yarn crazy. I can’t wait to dye my own yarn, and maybe share it with others as well!

My first Monkey sock. I had to try the pattern before I made a pair for my Monkey Swap pal. I love the pattern, it’s so easy! I did change the heel. Instead of knitting across I k1s1 across the row. I’m not sure that I love my alteration, but not enough to rip it out.

Here are my babies. Doing what they do best, laying on the couch.

Pidgeon, having fly time in the craft room.

Chicken, having fly time in the craft room.

And here is Bella with my sock yarn this morning