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Paradise Fibers Blog

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

  • 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

  • New Kits! Pixelated Hat and Palms

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    Hey Ya'll let’s talk about a new kit available here in the shop, the Pixelated Hat and Pixelated Palms from Jennifer Beaumont. These are a great beginner color work pattern with simple stranded techniques that use worsted weight yarn. The sample we have knit up in the shop is worked in Kollage Happiness Worsted and truly, this yarn epitomizes Happiness. A worsted weight, hand dyed yarn with subtle color variation and super soft superwash merino wool that is 100% sourced from the U.S.A. It comes in a myriad of colors that are simply stunning.

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    The pattern is  well written and straightforward, it lists the abbreviations used as Beginning of round, Cast on, Knit, Knit 2 Together, marker, Purl, Place marker, Rounds and Stitches. And skills needed for the pattern as knitting, purling, increasing, decreasing, stranded knitting, reading a chart, circular knitting, and knitting a small circumference in the round. So if you recognize all those terms chances are this pattern is a great fit for your skill level. If you find some of those terms challenging why not stop in the shop and ask a few questions? One of the best assets of a Local Yarn Shop is that we are here to help with questions!

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    Of course when you get your kit you can pick any two colors you like, Happiness yarn has some excellent color combinations you can work with, how about:Yarn combo

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    There are even more colors available in this incredible yarn so head on over to the website and check it out. Having trouble choosing a color combination? Maybe this blog post on Color Theory for Knitters will help you out.

    Also as a special surprise we have an interview with Jennifer Beaumont herself, the designer of these gorgeous patterns!

    Welcome to Paradise Fibers Jennifer!

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

    Jennifer: I started knitting when my firstborn was a baby. He was literally in my lap, as I took classes with knitting designer & teacher (& then, local yarn store owner of City Knitting), Lorilee Beltman.  I found it challenging at first to learn as I was distracted by interpreting the language of my son’s gurgles, coos, and grunts! I had closed my business when he was born to stay home and focus on mothering him.  We had quiet days that were sometimes measured in rows or rounds. I remember walking over to the shop with my projects and my son in a sling, to ask for advice. The first project was a seamed baby hat, followed immediately by a baby sweater. I knit only baby things for awhile. I found this to be a satisfying way to learn and practice. The tiny garments didn’t have to be perfect or fit precisely and yet taught me a variety of skills and techniques.  Having a project to work on periodically helped me with practicing patience and being quietly present through repetitious routines and activities. Eventually I moved on to focus on adult sweaters.  I needed to knit lots of simple, soothing stockinette for awhile, so that I could respond to children and pick up projects and put them down again easily. As they grew a little older, I began looking for more challenges.

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

    Jennifer: I began designing when I had started knitting stranded a lot. When I designed my first hat, I first looked for a pattern but I couldn’t find one that already existed for my idea. After a lot of trial and error, I was really happy with my design. Soon, someone asked me to write it up so that they could knit one too. At the same time I was already trying to work out how to play with certain color-work patterns in garment designs. I enjoy knitting seamless garments, particularly in-the-round, and top-down. I love to work hard at puzzling out how to accomplish a design idea in the most simple and seamless construction possible. There was a lot of interest in patterns for these sweaters, so I began the work of pattern writing. I have found that I enjoy the challenges of writing patterns for multiple sizes and solving the problems that come up during the design and pattern writing process.

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

    Jennifer: Pixelated Pullover was inspired after I saw a white and gray pattern printed on a silk blouse in a European movie. The irregular and random dissolution of one color into another intrigued me. At the same time, the brightness and nuanced color of Neon Peach from Madelinetosh had been challenging me to find a way to set it off, and show it off. I wanted to find a way for it to be worn and experienced more. That design also explores how the use of color and patterning in a design can flatter the wearer. When I painted, I was bothered if someone looked at my painting when it was half finished. That sweater design was a little like that. Half-knitted, it was all rumpled from stranding before blocking, and quite imbalanced due to the color blocking.  I almost frogged the sweater then because it didn’t look like much and I was feeling unsure about it. My husband encouraged me to keep working on it and see it finished. As someone who works in the tech industry, he was a big fan of the pixelation. I was grateful for his faith and support and promised him a design made with the same patterning. He uses fingerless mitts a lot, usually over tech friendly gloves, for extra warmth while bike riding to work.  So I designed Pixelated Palms for him.  The Pixelated Hat is a simple seamless introduction to stranded knitting.  It has break rounds of single color. The color-work pattern doesn’t need to be followed perfectly, and all the shaping happens on the solid color rounds.  That design makes me think of the crown of a neutral-colored hat dipped in a bucket of neon paint. I really enjoy playing with splashes of bright color in designs especially during our long, snowy, gray winters in West Michigan. I love the shock of it against the gray.

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

    Jennifer: I probably work full time hours at design right now. At the same time, we are a homeschooling family —my children are currently very interested in learning ballet. I watch them dance a lot, often while knitting. Together, we read a lot of the classical ballet stories, most of which are fairy tales, and study ballets.  I practice yoga everyday, and have been teaching Iyengar yoga since 2003.

    Meghan: What is your favorite knitting technique?

    Jennifer: My favorite knitting technique is fair isle knitting.  I have a background in Art & Design, and have always been color-obsessed, so once I started with playing with more than one color in design it really ignited my work.

    Meghan: Where can we find you on social media?

    Jennifer: You can find my other patterns for sale on Ravelry. Also, there is information about upcoming designs, pattern support and the opportunity to share projects with community in the “Color Playground” group  for my designs on Ravelry.

    Meghan: Thanks so much for chatting with me today Jennifer and giving us the inside scoop on these great designs!

    So come on down to the shop to check out the new kits, or just browse around and choose your own 2 colors of Kollage Happiness to start a Pixelated Project today!

     

    Did you like this blog post? Do you want to read more posts I have written? Check out my knitting and design blog at www.littlenutmegproductions.blogspot.com for technique tutorials, new patterns and posts about knitting and design.

     

     

  • Faces Of Paradise, Let's talk with Rachel!

     

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    I got a chance to sit down with Rachel this week and have a chat with here, it was a lovely time and I learned all kinds of interesting things about her to share with you!

    Rachel has worked at Paradise Fibers off and on for about 9 years! Of course she knits crochets, spins, weaves, felts, and does just about anything you can imagine with fiber.

    What does she do around the shop? pretty much anything that needs to be done. She will take yarn orders, answer the phone, enter invoices, load pages onto the webpage, empty the garbage, pay bills, everything. Her absolute favorite thing is getting to help a customer purchase something for the first time, especially helping them to pick out the perfect loom, or wheel. It makes her feel all wiggly and excited like a beginner again to be able to help a customer with their new and perfect acquisition.

    Sheep in Sheep's Clothing by Frankie Brown

    What is her favorite item in the shop, it was a major TIE between the Super Swift 2 and ALL THE NEW YARN, that you find in receiving. Can't blame her really, both are amazing.

    A Dog in Sheep's Clothing by Kristin Nicholas

    Rachel's favorite animal is a sheep, and she would knit a sheep a sweater but probably a cotton sweater since a sheep in a wool sweater just sounds HOT. She prefers mustaches instead of any kind of beards, and would knit a fake mustache on a stick.

    Moustache by Carol Meldrum

    Rachel is working her way through a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and is going to school fulltime as well as working at Paradise Fibers! She has experience with sheep and lambs, specifically lambing classes and even delivered two lambs one day when she returned home to find the mother in distressed labor. As you can see from her adorable picture above, both little lambs made it through just fine thanks to Rachel. She also used to raise Angora Rabbits and still loves them although she has developed an allergy to them.

    Baby Bunnies by June Gilbank

    What does Rachel like to do when she is not at work? She loves to watch the show Ghost Adventures. And she says that she has loved every job that she has worked at since she is committed to making the best of every situation and work environment. She loves to work in a job where she can help others and interact with customers especially in a creative environment.

    Hiya Hiya Needles

    What would Rachel take to a deserted island? Hiya Hiya Sharp Needles Set a Mountain Colors Knit and Swirl coat kit to knit ( but no pattern, the time would be whiled away figuring out the pattern to knit it), and a skein of Madeline Tosh laceweight that she purchased and has no idea what to do with. She would spends loads of time figuring out what to knit with it!

    Like this post? want to read more posts by Meghan? check out Little NutMeg Productions for posts on knitting, yarn, designing and patterns!

  • Sivia Harding Classes at Paradise Fibers

    Inkberry by Sivia Harding

    Hope everyone is knitting well! Just popping in to say that Sivia Harding is coming to teach at Paradise Fibers in March! You should recognize Siva's name as being the designer of some incredible patterns and she has contributed to Brooklyn Tweed, Knitty, Blue Moon Fiber Arts as well as books like The Knitter's Book of Socks, Big Girls Knits and the Joy of Socks.

    Rainshadow by Sivia Harding

     

     

    Lumen by Sivia Harding

     

    Grace by Sivia Harding

    Stay tuned for more details! Meghan

  • Faces of Paradise: Meet Kyle and Meghan

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    Let me introduce myself…. Hey Ya’ll my name is Meghan Jones, I am a knitwear designer living here in Spokane and I now have the esteemed privilege of posting here on the Paradise Fibers Blog! Some of you may recognize me from my patterns in the shop, classes I have taught and even Yarn Tastings I have worked at. Of course I love all incarnations of our amazing Local Yarn shop and so when the opportunity came to check out new items in the shop, help with kit planning, and blog to all of you about new and amazing goodies I couldn’t pass it up! I know that at all times New is different, and sometimes New is challenging but trust me that we will have a great time together and I couldn’t be more motivated to bring you the best new information and yarny goodness!

    Since we have had a lot of staff turnover in the past few months we thought that a new Blog series called Faces of Paradise would help everyone settle in, become more familiar with each other, reacquaint old friends and help make new ones. So without further ado let's talk about everyone's favorite Paradise Fibers Guy: Kyle!

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    Kyle has worked at Paradise Fibers for 5 and a half years and he was around back when the shop was located in it's infinitely more flavorful neighborhood on Trent. Kyle does a little bit of everything at the shop, he picks orders, receives, works in shipping, fixes problems, helps with the website and customer service. Previous to this Fall Kyle was working primarily in the basement creating swifts and combs for the shop.

    Kyle can knit! He can cast on stitches, knit and purl, he admits that he can work from a pattern but lost interest and stopped working at it. Perhaps that is why his favorite item in the shop is the knitting loom, knitting without needles!

    Beard by Joanna Rankin

    Kyle's favorite animal is a dog, more specifically a Labrador although he would not knit a sweater for a dog if he had one. (Maybe if he had a knitting loom to knit it for him?) He prefers real Beards to Knit or Crochet  Beards, however if he ever found himself beardless he would employ a Fiber Beard as fast as possible.

    Feisty Fibre Fire Fighters (New York) by Whodunnknit

    Kyle does not have a background in Fiber but he did go to school for Firefighting and worked as a volunteer firefighter for 3 years. What does he do when he is not working at Paradise Fibers? He loves to go Fishing for Salmon and Walleye and Hunt for Deer and Elk.

    Fish Hat [Dead or Alive?] by Thelma Egberts

    Of course we know that Paradise Fibers has been his favorite job but what was his favorite job previous to this one? a manager at Just Sports. Why? because then he could talk about sports all day!

    And Lastly: what 3 items would Kyle bring with him from the shop if he was stranded on a deserted island? The Incredible Rope Machine, to make rope of course. Addi-Click Lace long tip set, to spear animals and fish ( or you know, knit things too), and a Schacht Mighty Wolf Loom because it has lots of parts, wood and metal to harvest for tools.

    Addi LACE Click Long Tip Interchangeable Needle Set

    So if you are in the shop this week and see Kyle say hi! and don't go anywhere near him if he happens to be carrying an Addi-Click Lace set.

     

    Like this post? want to read more blog posts by Meghan? Check out www.littlenutmegproductions.blogspot.com for posts about knitting, designing and techniques.

  • It's that time of year again!! SUPERBOWL TIME OF YEAR!

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    And we are in it again folks, oh yeah! Do you have your project  for the big day ready yet? We have a mound of Seahawks inspired yarn in the shop just waiting for you! Check out these Seahawks inspired knits and crochets you can work on before, during or anytime after the big game (because of course we will win and you will want new Seahawks swag to wear around while boasting.)

    'Hawks Hat by Laurie Sundstrom

    Above you can see the Hat Pattern that we have here in the shop, adorable and knit in Cascade 220, one of the most versatile and affordable yarns around.

     

     

    Hawk On! by Jennifer Chase-Rappaport

    Want something simpler? How about this Great Hawk On Scarf, worked with DK in the round for easy peasy game day knitting.

     

    12th Fan Hat by Whidbey Isle Yarns

    Whidby Isle Yarns have our number, literally, look at those great 12's, this is worked in a DK and perhaps takes a bit more concentration, maybe during halftime?

     

     

    Seahawk Hat by Corey Janssen

    And for those of you crocheters out there this hat is too cute to miss, sized from 3m to Adult you could outfit the whole family with head beaks, I mean uh bird brains... or rather seahawk hats

     

    Seahawk Feathers by Milly Cluckey

    And finally these adorable if perhaps more subtle scalloped fingerless mittens, great stash busting opportunity to use up the scraps leftover from your new hat or scarf!

    Have a great Superbowl 2015 everyone!!

     

  • Spinning Element: Auto-Wrap

     

    Most likely you’ve seen an auto-wrap on a core spun yarn, but did you know you can auto-wrap onto a standard single. As you spin the wool you can allow a strand to auto-wrap finishing your single. A yarn that has been spun with an auto-wrap cannot be plied! (The only exception is if your wrap is thread- sewing thread generally doesn't have a twist that effects balance. Or try any way you might get an effect that you love!) Think of it this way, you have a second or third stand created with the number of auto-wraps you added.

    Auto-wrap creates an irregular affect, the wrap has a different twist angle than the underlying single you’ll spin up.

    First take a look at your wheel, what does you’re orifice look like? Is it flush with the front of the wheel?  Or does it have a delta, ring, or orifice that extends past the maiden head? If your orifice is not flush, or you have a delta or ring you need to hold your hands so that one of your front drafting hands fingers works as a guide for the auto-wrap. Your hold on the auto-wrap keeps the wrap from being tangled on or into your orifice. If it is flush you can just let the auto-wrap strand drop and hang down.

    To start spinning this technique requires you use a short draw method of spinning. If you use a long or modified long draw, or allow the single to get too long from the orifice there will be long sections that do not accumulate as much twist, so the auto-wrap is beside the yarn not wrapped around it.

    auto wrap1Start Spinning! Get a start on the leader then stop, now you’re going to want to tie in your wrap. You want the least amount of tension on the wrap, so set your wrap supply at your feet in manner that the only tension on it is what you could (but shouldn’t) with your hand. If you’re an even spinner the wrap will be fairly consistent, but you can play with how fast or slow or often you allow the yarn to enter the orifice. That’s all there is to it.

    This is Really easy to over twist: don’t try to fix by spinning it back the other direction, because you have two stands with different twist this will not add any balance.

    You can wrap with anything you want from metallic thread to a Commercial mohair blend to create a delicate halo effect, or a hand spun single.

    If you’re auto-wrapping with a handspun single know which directions you spun it. If your single was spun S, clockwise (wheel turning clockwise), then your spinning that the single will wrap to needs to be spun Z counterclockwise (wheel turning counterclockwise). If you spin both the same direction your single will be massively over- spun, and will not attach to the spinning.

  • Come see me at the Spokane Interstate Fair!

    Hello All! This week is the Spokane Interstate Fair here in Spokane WA, and Paradise Fibers is loving the people who come in to town to visit! If you’re local stop by the sheep barn and visit with Morgan and Rivendell Shetlands from Wednesday 10th to Sunday the 14th. If you saw shearing photos all come meet the sheep!

    interstate fairThe fair is a wealth of information about sheep and wool as well as other fiber producing animals. Depending on what day you come visit you’ll be able to see everything from Alpacas to Angora rabbits. There are even still exhibits for knitting, crochet, and weaving as well as a selection of handspun yarns. My favorite event at the fair is Lads and Ladies Leads! The goal of the class is to promote sheep and the wool industry by showcasing wool garments with a well groomed sheep. Kind of like the sheep and the shawl and how they are connected. Many winners of the show make their garments sheep to shawl, showing the sheep that the item is from.

     

    IMG_3565The fair is a fun way for the community to connect with the local elements of farming. Flocks are judged and people get to learn about everything from how your socks are made to why some beef have horns and how taste elephant ears are. Every year is a little different and you’ll learn something new!

    Check back after the fair to see how we did!

  • Fine and Dandy: Vogue knitting Early Fall 2014

    You know you want to… it is that dirty knitting secret that you joke about doing but have never found the perfect pattern for… KNITTED BOW TIES!

    VKEF14_Men_07_medium2This Early Fall Vogue Knitting includes some of my favorite small pieces of men's wear Bow Ties, Ties and Statement Socks! Theses charming socks were co-inspired by vogue photographer’s Rose Callahan whose new book is modeled from her blog The Dandy Portraits: The Lives of Exquisite Gentlemen Today. Now hold your horses lets clarify Dandy.

    Dandy is something or someone of exceptional or first-rate quality, often uses as Fine and Dandy, and Rose uses it as a gentleman who has exceptional personal style.VKEF14_Men_14_medium2

    Dandies are men like Oscar Wild, Edwards Hayes, with a well fitted suit or a classical or vintage look an element that makes you think Fred Astaire.

    Dandy is in the elegance and underscored elements - The construction the fine lines - the fit – The care that goes into the presentation of self- so think about being dandy with a bow tie!

    VKEF14_Men_02_medium2VKEF14_Men_06_medium2

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Think about being a little more dandy every day. The average guy doesn’t care and many think that the old adage that the Clothes make the man is dead; well the cloths might not make the man, but they do make a difference. You don’t have to be uncomfortable or outlandish, while some people are, to be dandy you just have to consider the elements of class that add a little more effort and grace to your attire.

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