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Paradise Fibers Blog

Tips, Tutorials, News and Reviews. Information for any fiber artist.

  • Noro - Bursting with Color

    Noro has taken the color of yarn to new heights since they emerged into the yarn market over 30 years ago. The amazing color changing yarn that Noro produces delights fiber artists of all types. This yarn is amazing for weaving, felting, crochet and of course knitting.Noro Lace is a fantastic pattern book. This book delivers on its claim of having 30 exquisite knits. Don't be fooled by the title though Noro Lace is much more than shawls and fine gauge yarn. This robust hardback book is full of lacework patterning not patterns that use lace weight yarn. There is a wide selection of unique patterns in this book that will really add sparkle to a wardrobe. Here are a few of my favorite patterns from the book. Just click the pattern name to get to the corresponding ready to purchase kit.
    • Leaf Band Hat Pattern - This pattern adds interest to the ever stylish slouchy hat by putting a lace leaf pattern around the brim. This hat is a quick knit that is sure to impress and would make a fantastic gift. This pattern calls for 2 skeins of the vibrant Noro Silk Garden Yarn and is knit with size 7 needles.
    Leaf Band Hat Noro Leaf Band Hat
    • Noro Crescent Shawl Pattern - This lovely shawl pattern is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to the Shiraito yarn. Shiraito is a luxurious blend of 45% cashmere, 45% Angora bunny and 10% wool. The open stitch of this shawl is fun and addictive. I might have had to cast on this shawl as soon as I saw it and it is a super fun and quick knit. This project would make an amazing gift that could be treasured. Don't let the fiber content fool you either this yarn is stronger than you might think. I actually knit an entire shawl out of it but the pattern wasn't right for the yarn so I'm unravelling that project as I knit the Crescent Shawl and the yarn is just as nice as it was the first time I knit it. I also happen to have an allergy to angora rabbit but this yarn was too tempting and has inspired me to work through the allergy. Which it turns out might be going away because I barely noticed it. If you are interested in an alternate yarn to make this pattern the Noro Shiro Yarn would work up beautifully in this pattern and the fiber content is a 30% Cashmere, 30% Silk and 40% Wool blend.
    Noro Crescent Shawl Noro Crescent Shawl
  • Knitters 4 Critters Wrapup

    Its August finally and its time to wrap up our Knitters 4 Critters announcements. This has been so rewarding and I'm so proud of all the staff and customers who made this effort a success for the animals. We have also decided to continue to run Knitters 4 Critters every summer starting with our in store event each June. Here are the final three stories that I wanted to share with everyone. I had a very tough time selecting the stories to share because there were so many outstanding submissions. Thank you to everyone who participated and got excited about helping our animal friends this summer.

    Danette's Gift Pack Danette's Gift Pack

    I hope you read the story from Danette on the last blog post. Here is her bundle of goodies which she is enjoying. Thank you Danette for sending in your story to share. Our next submission is a really sweet story from Lynda.

    My husband and I have had dogs in our home for almost 38 years. I am totally blind and hard of hearing. Without a guide dog at my side, it is very difficult and scary for me to travel independently. In October, 2008, my retired guide dog passed away from cancer. We wereabsolutely heartbroken. We lasted two weeks before the search for a pet began. I have been very blessed to have been matched with well-trained guide dogs to enhance my independence.We both love dogs and decided we wanted to become a forever home for a dog in need. The search began on petfinder.com. Within a day I found our new friend, Archie. He is part grey hound and whippet.

    When I put my hands out to feel him, I started to cry. I wasn't sure if my tears were from being so happy to have a new friend to pet and love again or sadness that his first year of life was filled with physical and emotional abuse and neglect. Archie was found tied to a tree in a local park during the heat of the summer. The person that left him cared so little, there weren't even empty bowls where he had finished the food and water. His world was limited to the length of his rope. There were clumps of grass missing that he had pulled out of the ground to eat. Prior to being abandoned, it is very unlikely he had ever been to a vet. His nails had grown so long they were digging into the pads of his feet. He was estimated to be approximately 12 to 15 months old. He only weighed 42 pounds. Nearly eight years later, we still have to watch that he doesn't pull clumps of grass and dirt up to eat them when we are in the yard.

    Archie was very timid when he came into the house. It was obvious he needed a forever home. When I stroked his side, every rib was visible. Sighted friends told us he wasn't a very nice looking dog. Me being me, I became more protective of him. My politically correct response was, "Well, I guess Archie lucked out. We can't see what he looks like." My protective, wounded heart wanted to say, "When is the last time you looked in a mirror?" The comments just made me more protective of him and I loved him even more. I didn't care what he looked like; he was our version of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.

    Archie has been with us for almost eight years. He has really fit into our family very well. He was the only dog in our home for three months. He was very quick at learning obedience commands. He is a wonderful watch dog. We had to reach a compromise with his barking. I actually taught him to whisper. Whispering is a very quiet bark or vocalization about activity he is watching outside. In addition to being a great student, Archie is quite the trainer himself. He is now on his third hand-me-down chair by his favorite window.

    New guests are asked not to sit in his chair. Friends know, that is Archie's chair. He has quite a

    Photo of Archie in His Chair Archie in His Chair

    following in the neighborhood. The firemen are so used to seeing him in the window sitting in his chair; they give him a special beep when they go by the house. Another close friend that works for the city calls to see if he is ok when he isn't in his chair. Breakfast and dinner are always interesting. The majority of his food is dog food. However, there is a very high expectation on his part that his food should have a special treat. After all, he did have to sustain himself on grass and dirt. His favorites include grated parmesan/reggiano cheese (deli only please), a couple of noodles with sauce, or chicken. His hearing is very good. If my husband goes in the refrigerator for a cheese stick, by the time he gets to the living room, he has a friend that would like a cheese stick too. He is now a healthy 63 pounds with a beautiful coat and wagging tail.

    Adopting Archie was one of the best things we have ever done.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us Lynda. Archie is a very handsome dog in his chair. He looks like a very cheerful fellow. This next story gets off to a rough start but but has a happy ending with a cute kitten and a new name. This story was sent to us from Nicole.

    Kitten Daenareys Daenareys the kitten

    I wanted to share this story with you, it happened about a week ago at work.I'm a massage therapist, and the other day I was walking in the back door of our building in the morning when I heard the most pitiful meowing wail of a kitten in distress! At first, I thought that the poor baby was behind the AC unit, but then I realized it was coming from an industrial Orkin rat poison dispenser. I got down on my knees and peered inside, sure enough, there was a tiny, tiny kitten! I tried coaxing it out, but it was too afraid.I knew I had to get it out, it was already over ninety degrees outside at 9 am, and the box was black andhot to the touch. I ran inside, and asked my boss and co-workers for help, and together we were able to find the right tools and get the trap open. Before we could grab it, the frightened baby took off and hid under a car. With my co-worker Crystal's help, we were able to grab it, and bring it inside.The poor thing was absolutely filthy, and terrified. It's poor paws were burned from the chemicals in the rat poison, raw and bloody. Crystal and I gently washed it with a warm washcloth, and set it in a box with a thick, old sheet. I fed it some milk, by dipping my finger in the bowl, and letting it lick it off, the poor thing had a hard time figuring out the bowl. After my first client, I had a couple of free hours, so I tried to take it to the SPCA, after finding an old co-worker who would adopt it. Unfortunately, the SPCA wouldn't take her because she was a stray and under two pounds, although they did give me about a weeks worth of food for her; so, after a quick stop for flea shampoo, I brought her back to work. Crystal and I managed (between the two of us) to give her a flea bath, with a minimum of maiming!, and fed her. Soon after, her new mommy arrived to take her home, and it was love at first sight! She decided to name her Daenerys, because that kitten is one tough little girl!

    I hope enjoyed those stories as much as I did and that they inspire you to step up the next time you are confronted with an animal who needs some help. There are so many different ways to help out. You don't need to have a house full of cats in order to feel like you are contributing. You can volunteer to foster a pet, donate to a local animal shelter, or encourage friends to get a shelter animal if they are in the market for a pet. A big thank you again to everyone who participated and all of our customers.


    Brown Puppy looking cute One of the dogs to adopt at the Knitters4Critters event
  • Knitters 4 Critters Update and First selected Story

    When I broke my second size zero wooden double point needle of the evening, I decided it was time to take a break from my sock knitting and write the Knitters4Critters update. I will switch to a long bamboo circular tomorrow and hope those will stand up against my apparent Hulk like strength.

    First I would like to begin by sharing one of the many stories about animal rescue that we received. I must say that every submission was amazing and it was incredibly difficult to select only five to share with everyone. In the end it was more of a random selection than a contest.

    Our first story was submitted by Danette. Thank you for sharing with us. I hope you enjoy your goody package. We will update this post with the package info after you receive it so we don't spoil the surprize.

    During the spring of 2014 our two dogs (rescues from area shelters) were going crazy in our backyard. Upon investigation, I found that a young mother cat had her litter of kittens in our yard behind a small shed. Our Boxer/pit mix and Rhodesian Ridgeback mix were not open to the idea of sharing the yard or befriending the kittens since they had no cat experience. For the safety of the cat family, we moved them to our garage and provided food and bedding and free access for mother cat.

    The next day the mother cat moved her kittens to a neighbor's yard. I went out to the garage to pick up the food and bedding and discovered that she had left one kitten behind. I observed for a few hours from afar to see if the mother cat would return. After a while the kitten began mewing because she was hungry, so I kept an eye on the kitten while my son went to the nearest pet store for formula and bottles. When it was apparent that the kitten could not summon her mother, I began hand feeding her. For the next several weeks I bottle fed the kitten 6-7 times a day, reminiscent of my days as a new mother, while training the dogs not to hurt her.

    Our family has dogs because we are all allergic to cats; my husband has the most severe allergy. After weeks of bottle feeding then weaning, we considered placing the kitten in another home, but she was now part of the dog pack and definitely one of the family. She became a very spoiled little kitten with an abundance of toys and towers.

    A year later we have learned to live with sniffling and taking daily allergy meds. Biff's Kitty (B.K.), named after the Boxer/pit, is happily hanging with her dog pack and humans. One of her favorite hobbies is to "sort" Mom's yarn. B.K. is learning the lesson of "this is not your yarn," but enjoys her own stash in the hidden compartment of Mom's armchair.

    Photo of cute grey striped kitten Photo of B.K. submitted by Danette


    We will be sharing more stories throughout the month of July. If you are on facebook I hope you will share the link from our page to help inspire even more people to know the joy of rescuing an animal in need.

    On June 5th we held the Knitters4Critters in store event and silent auction with proceeds going to benefit our local animal shelter Spokanimal. The event involved every knitters favorite thing, discounted yarn, and featured Ancient Arts Yarns Meow and Woof Collections. Ancient Arts also made us a custom Spokane colorway just for the event. Everyone who attended had a wonderful time and was treated to culinary delights prepared by Amanda Hillman of The Wandering Table. The silent auction items were a big hit, especially the highly coveted Knitting Journal donated by OnicaHanby. I'm very pleased to share with you that through the generosity of our customers and the silent auction donations Paradise Fibers was able to send a check to Spokanimal for over 1700 dollars. Spokanimal brought dogs and kittens which were available for adoption to the event and four of the animals found their forever homes that day. The fundraiser went so well that we have decided to turn it into an annual event. I also want to give a special thank you to Meghan Jones for doing a wonderful job of organizing the event.


  • A little summer ruffle

    Baby Party Dress Baby Party Dress

    This week we are having a blow out sale on ruffle yarn. There are so many different uses for this fun frilly yarn. I personally love to see it used in baby items. I have seen some really cute baby skirts and dresses made from this stuff and it can even be used as a fun edging or accent to a knitted item. Check out one of our favorite free baby patterns here. Its on ravelry and if you don't already have an account take the plunge and set one up. Ravelry is a fabulous resource for fiber enthusiasts. Just be careful not to let it cut into your knitting or crocheting time.

  • Sivia Harding Kits in Store!


    What a great week! Seriously, needles are 20% off, we have oodles of sunshine Sivia Harding is coming to teach 3 classes this weekend and to top it all off we have 4 kits of her patterns available in the shop! Now Sivia has a great many patterns, 127 designs are listed on Ravelry and it was really hard to choose only 4 to make kits out of... but since they are all beautiful... somehow I managed :) Each kit pattern has 2 different colorways that you can choose from and coordinating beads to match! Of course you can always go rogue and pick any yarn and color from the shop. We have tons of beads and you should be able to find something that matches whatever you fancy.



    We also have a special kit of 5 colors of Madeline Tosh sock with coordinating beads and buttons specially packaged to make 5 bracelets in http://www.paradisefibers.com/books-videos-knitting-classes/classes.html There are two colorways available in this special kit: Jewel tones and Warm muted, all colors and beads were selected by yours truly and I hope you love them!

    image Jewel Tone Bead Whimsy Kit
    image Warm Muted Bean Whimsy Kit

    Make sure to sign up for 1, 2, or even 3 classes with Sivia, and hop on over to the shop to pick up a kit with her fabulous designs!

    Who am I? Pleased to meet you, my name is Meghan Jones and I am a knitwear designer who lives here in Spokane WA, you can find my designs on my website and blog, and like my facebook page too!

  • Faces of Paradise: Meet Bobby

    imageHello everyone!! Today I am interviewing Bobby, who might be one of the friendliest people I have ever met. Bobby has worked at Paradise Fibers for approximately 4 months and he uses the pseudonym Argus Lucem.... apparently it is his Giant name and at a height over 6 feet Bobby towers over most of us. Despite being as tall as a giant he isn't grumpy or mean like one, actually his personality and smile are completely infectious and he is a hoot to work with.

    Bobby has knit a headband that ended up looking like swiss cheese,  we think it may have been modern nouveau lace, or a mistake, either way it is fabulous and unfinished as you can see. He plans to either finish it as a headband or allow it to grow into a scarf.


    On a daily basis Bobby used to pull fiber, which means weigh out the quantity ordered of a certain fiber, and helped to manage the fiber department. He knows a lot about fiber and has spun on a drop spindle, his mantra for spinning on a wheel is "pinch, pull, slide." Currently he is doing more work in the creative department designing photos for advertisements and writing the fiber newsletter. By the way, he apologizes for misspelling 'and' into another word for derriere and wants to be clear it was a tragic mistake, he extends his many apologies again.

    Lantern Moon Bags

    His favorite product(s) that the shop sells are the Lantern Moon line of EVERYTHING, needles, bags, trinkets, ALL OF IT, he also loves the Dyed Bamboo Fiber, and Cashmere. So soft and fluffy he says he wants a bed out of it and may be currently in the process of making a nest somewhere in the shop lined with cashmere.

    Bobby's favorite pretend animal is an Eeevee, which is a creature from Pokemon, (looks like a cat/chihuahua/fox thing) that transforms into a more advanced version of itself with the help of a magic stone. His favorite real animal is a cat, he has 4 cats which are pure bread Hemingways (which means they have extra toes, called being polydactyl). The oldest cat is also the Mother who is named Prudence, her three kittens are all grown up and live with Bobby as well. The oldest is Oblio who is massive, the middle kitten Figaro looks like the cat from Pinocchio of the same name, and the youngest Fibonacci is striped. Bobby would create sweaters for his furbabies thusly, by knitting multiple 'lace' headbands then stitching them together using a striping sequence for the youngest.

    Polydactyl Cat

    I think that Bobby should start working on a few projects from this book personally.

    Knit Your Own Cat

    As far as beards are concerned he had a real beard once.. he shaved it off... he would actually prefer a crocheted unibrow. Not sure if I can find a pattern for that one, sorry folks. He may have to resort to a headband again..

    Bobby has done a lot of work in Spokane with various salons doing photo shoots for NAHA, which are the North American Hairstyling Awards. He took photos of the different hairstyles that were submitted to the competition. He also designed and created 8 pieces for a sold out Bubble inspired fashion show in 2010 that took place at Sante. The garments were created by using a lot of those plastic ornament globes which come in two halves and can be filled and snapped together. All the proceeds of that fashion show, totaling approximately 600 dollars were donated to the Haiti relief fund. Bobby has also had his photography featured in Dark Beauty Magazine which is fabulous since he is 100% self taught. Bobby is a dabbler in all things creative he writes, plays piano guitar, sings. He also designed this most recent Paradise Fibers ad which you can see live and in color in a copy of the most recent Knitscene magazine.


    His second favorite job was being a Manny, which is a male nanny and he adored raising and caring for two children from newborns. If left on a deserted island he would bring a Lantern Moon Bag "because you would need a bag for something", a set of lantern moon rosewood double points because he has always wanted to unleash his inner TMNT and spear some fish, he would also bring his best friend Kyle so he wouldn't be alone... and Kyle is pretty useful I hear.

    You can find more of Bobby's photographs on Instagram under the name luxvestra  or his Facebook page.

    Like this blog post? want to read more posts by Meghan? You can find her on www.littlenutmegproductions.blogspot.com where she blogs about knitting, design and technique.

  • Sivia Harding Designer Interview

    Rainshadow by Sivia Harding

    Hello Fellow Fiber Enthusiasts! Today I have a terrific interview from Sivia Harding who will be visiting the shop on March 14th and 15th to teach 3 classes. You can sign up for the classes here (right now they are at a special reduced rate so make sure to sign up before all the spaces are taken), and in the mean time you can read all about how Sivia creates her beautiful designs!

    Meghan: When did you start knitting? Did someone teach you? What was your first project?

    Sivia: I taught myself how to knit from a rather awful video that I checked out from the library. I had wanted to learn when I was a child but no one else in my family could teach me. When I finally learned, I was in my mid-40s at the time and desperate for a new hobby, having just moved to a new place far away, without the ability to do any of the art and fiber crafts I had done in the past. After I struggled with solitary knitting for a while (this was before there was much on the internet), I found a knitting friend and a knitting guild, and I was set. I think my very first project was a garter stitch scarf made with thrifted yarn. Sound familiar? 

    Meghan: When did you start designing patterns? What prompted you to begin designing?

    Sivia: I started designing very soon after learning, since I was already a graphic designer and artist. It just came naturally. I think the first impetus was to make original things to sell at the guild charity events. Several of my designs that are still popular came from that time: Diamond Fantasy, Victorian Shoulderette, and the Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl, among others.

    Meghan: What inspires you to design a pattern? What inspired this (these) patterns specifically?

    Sivia: Hmm... the inspiration could be almost anything! A new shape, a beautiful stitch pattern (or several), a reflection in a puddle... With Diamond Fantasy (still one of my favorites), I wanted to see if I could do a edging pattern at the same time as a tip-to-top lace design. The shaping of the inner lace taught me tons, and putting it with an edging was a fascinating exercise. The piece ended up having a very satisfying knitting rhythm, and the interesting parts of the design set the bar for the others that were yet to come.

    Meghan: I notice that you use a lot of beads in your designs, (which are beautiful!!) is there a specific reason for this other than just loving beads?

     Sivia: Oh gee, I get asked this a lot, and I embarrassingly can't remember when I started putting beads in my knitting. It seemed like a very natural extension of lace in terms of highlighting points of the lace pattern and incorporating extra dimensions of light and color into the knitted fabric. I am not sure whether that entirely answers your question! 

    Meghan: Do you design full time or part time, what are your other hobbies or jobs?

     Sivia: I work at my knitting full time, and that includes teaching and designing. I do travel quite a bit to teach, which means that I have a hard time fitting my schedule together with a regular part time or full time job. I have been doing this full time for over six years now. I have lots of hobbies too, but most of them are things like movies, books, music... I have immense appreciation for the arts and I am trained in painting and printmaking. 

    Meghan: What is your favorite knitting technique?

     Very hard question to answer!! This is changing all the time as I keep learning... may that never stop!! I am known for lace and beads, of course, but I love to incorporate colorwork and cables (to mention a couple of other techniques) into my designs.

    Meghan: Where can we find you on social media? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Ravelry, Blog, website?

    Website: http://www.siviaharding.com

    Ravelry forum: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/sivia-harding

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sivia.harding

    Instagram: http://instagram.com/siviaharding/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/siviaknits

  • Meet Tim

    imageHello Everyone! Today I would like you to meet Tim, he works upstairs in our Creative Department and when I come in to work on Mondays he is my partner in crime (or at least someone to talk to). Tim has worked at Paradise Fibers for about 6 months and he describes himself as a 'pretty aggressive crocheter'. He had a crochet business in High School and he sold crochet hats in the winter when everyone was cold and desperate. Smart right? He says he can crochet anything that has a pattern but he mostly stitcks to hats and most recently bow ties, perhaps trying to corner the market on the Hipster Man Bun crowd? It is a growing market.

    Basic Bow Tie by Courtney Spainhower

    On a daily basis Tim puts product up onto the website so that all of you can view and purchase it. His favorite product that the shop sells is an up and coming product called Hikoo Abracadabra which is a COLOR CHANGING YARN!! It changes color in the sunlight and so far only two colors have been developed a white to pink and a white to purple.... totally amazing!

    Hikoo Abracadabra

    Tim's favorite animal is a Blob fish, "because..... look at it"... nuff said I suppose. He said he would indeed consider making a sweater for the Blob Fish, perhaps an argyle vest that fits Blob Fish style, he isn't sure. (watch out for Tim, he is a trend setter)


    As far as beards are concerned he prefers real beards, but he cannot grow one so he is restricted to crocheted beards. Tim did not say if this saddened him or not. He has both developed websites and participated in sales before so he is definitely qualified to post things for sale on a website and his other hobbies are Hockey, Graphic Design, and Eating.

    Roller Skate Booties by Katie Boyette

    Tims second favorite job was working at Pattisons Roller Rink, where he skated around all day, while eating, and thinking graphically about design.

    Wool Combs from Paradise Fibers

    If left on a deserted island Tim would take a set of combs to spike animals to death, a skein of WolfPack in a bright color to make a hammock out of, or create an S.O.S, and one of the mannequins because then he wouldn't be lonely.

  • Classes are Posted! Quick! Sign up!

    The Classes for Sivia Harding are up on the website and ready to join! They are on a special discount right now so head on over and sign up quickly before they fill up! Click on the picture for each class link.

    Harmonia's Rings
    Leafwise by Sivia Harding
    Bead Whimsy by Sivia Harding


  • Classes with Sivia Harding

    Sivia Harding is coming to teach some classes in March! It is going to be amazing and she has three classes to offer us here at Paradise fibers:

    Leafwise by Sivia Harding

    First up is the Sideways Lace Design Class featuring the Leafwise Pattern, this lovely little shawlette is a side to side crescent shape worked in fingering weight yarn and uses beads. The crescent shape is very adaptable and Sivia will help you choose the perfect shape you want to create for your own shawlette. Some of the yarns we have that would work perfectly for this design are:

    2015-02-16 11.28.20 Kollage Happiness Fingering weight Aspen, Peacock, Old Gold
    2015-02-16 11.21.09 Wonderland Yarns Cheshire Cat Muchness, DreamWorld, Looking Glass
    beadBracelet.sm Beaded Bracelet by Sivia Harding

    Her second class will be this lovely Beaded Cuff, Sivia will teach you all about how to add beads to your work and create this beautiful beaded jewelry piece. We will have beads and crochet hooks available in the shop for you on the class day unless you want to head out and pick your own ahead of time. A silk merino combo would be luxurious for this design!

    2015-02-16 11.26.21 Cascade Heritage Silk in 9801, 5641, and 9958

    And last but not least this amazing Mobius construction, shoulder hugging cowl worked in a worsted weight yarn called Harmonia's Rings. You could work this in a deliciously soft superwash worsted, or even a long striping for added interest!

    Harmonia's Rings Cowl by Sivia Harding
    2015-02-16 11.12.50 Madeline Tosh Vintage Paper, Earl grey, Shire, Coquette
    2015-02-16 11.24.19 Universal Yarns Classic Shades 707 Lake, 704 reef, 730 Happy Land

    Keep checking back for exact class dates!! Meghan

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