Posted by: Mare F | October 27, 2016

Thursday Chat

I love Knitpicks. If you are not familiar with them I urge you to check out their website. They have been my favorite place for both wool and acrylic yarns now for about 4 years. The colors are vibrant and delicious. The yarns are durable and affordable, very affordable!


A wonderful selection of tools and books are there for the choosing and the shipping has usually been quicker than expected. I do try to wait until I have enough of an order, $50, to get the free shipping before I order and really, it’s a pleasure to browse the catalog. I have never had a bad experience with their yarns or their customer service…in fact, I don’t believe that I have ever had to contact them for any reason. That in itself is delightful.


This is where I order all of the wool for my felted hats. Some of my shawlettes have been made from their Shimmer and Shadow yarns. And the Curio is lovely. Very soft with a lovely sheen. I have 3 balls of the scrumptious colors just waiting for the right pattern to come along. I suspect that there will be beads involved as well. Have you tried any of the Knitpicks yarns?


Posted by: Mare F | October 24, 2016

Autumn crafts

blog-photos-002This time of year always makes me think of baking apple something! Over the weekend I made cranberry apple butter in the crockpot and I made Apple Brown Betty for dessert Saturday night to go with the beef stew I had simmering for dinner. It was a perfect meal for a rainy, raw autumn day.


On the fiber front, I managed on Saturday to finish both heels on the socks I started in June, I think that it was June, and began knitting the cuffs. These socks will be so warm and comfy that I just can’t seem to get the cuffs knitted quickly enough. Sunday I started another pair of toe-up socks so that I can try the after-thought heel which will allow me to bring my socks with me to work on as I will be working only in inches for distraction…not the actual heel until I’m done. Sounds good, let’s see how it works out.


So, what do you do when autumn rolls into your neighborhood?




Posted by: Mare F | October 20, 2016

Thursday Chat

So you have a favorite magazine for patterns? Do you subscribe to it or do you pick it up in a store? I have a collection, rather large I might add, of crocheting magazines that I have had for years. I did subscribe for a few years, but then after a couple of fairly closely spaced  moves I fell out of the habit of having them delivered. I am considering it again, but wondered if it was worth it.

pictures-048After a bit of research it appears that my 2 favorite magazines have gone out of business. Magic Crochet and Decorative Crochet kept me amused for year…and still do, really. These are the magazines I headed to for my fair inspiration.


Part of my problem may well be that I don’t crochet fitted clothing. When I do crochet with yarn I tend to do shawls, ponchettes/ponchos, and hats so the current selection of magazines available really don’t hold an appeal for me. There are some beautiful patterns, but to make these items for the shows would be difficult. I don’t want to go through the “wrong color, wrong size” issues if I don’t have to do. So, do you have a go-to magazine?


Posted by: Mare F | October 17, 2016

Ribbons from the fair

Last weekend was the final fair of the season in Connecticut. Over the years I have entered afghans, doilies, and shawls with satisfactory results. A box in my closet holds my 1st and 2nd place ribbons – some day I might just find a home for them in  my studio. Until this year I had never given thought to the Best in Show ribbon. I’ve never won one, and to be fair, I really haven’t expended the energy to challenge myself to make something extraordinary to enter so it’s not surprising that this ribbon is missing from my collection.


This year I got two 2nd place ribbons and there were only 2 items entered in each category. Yes, I do know what this means. LOL. It did get me to thinking that every year I swear I’m going to see if I can convince more people to enter their needle work into the fairs and yet this good intention falls by the wayside long  before fair season begins. It may well be that it is because it always seems to be this weekend that motivates me.


So, Sunday night, after picking up my shawl, doily, and ribbons from the fair, I settled in on the couch with a magazine rack of my crocheting magazines and a cup of fresh, hot cider. A thoroughly enjoyable 2 hours followed in which I tagged 3 separate patterns to make up for next year. Doug made a run to Michaels for me on Monday to  pick up Aunt Lydia’s Jumbo 2,700 yard ball of natural size 10 cotton so when the filet crochet dessert mat I’m working on now is finished I think that I will jump right into the biggest project of the lot. Not quite sure how confusing this will be for me ultimately…I’m not usually this far ahead of myself, but if nothing else I will be able to enter into a few more fairs next year.


Posted by: Mare F | October 13, 2016

Thursday Chat

Curved double pointed needles. Has anyone else used them? I ordered mine because I thought it was a brilliant idea and since I make so many hats to felt I ordered a set of size 10.5. They are made by Neko and are constructed of a hard plastic. My first try didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped it would do. They felt awkward in my hands and I had trouble keeping my stitches on, but in all fairness I think it may just be because I’m not used to them.



It may be that I should have started with a smaller size to get used to them. I’m a bit hesitant to order another set because it was almost $20 between the needles themselves and the shipping. Not a lot of access to them at this point. I will try them again in the near future and report on my progress, but honestly, I will probably just stick to my standard double pointed needles when it come time to decrease my hats.

Posted by: Mare F | October 10, 2016

And off to the show we go…

This Saturday will be my 4th show of the season and my last show out-of-doors unless a new show hits my radar. Packing for shows has always been a treat, but since I got a sedan it’s become even more interesting. Yes, the Grand Marquis has a large trunk and back seat, but it’s still a difficult task to get everything into the car gracefully…not hanging out of open windows say.








Last year my huge 10′ x 10′ canopy got broken when the wind flipped it over and bent a leg. That canopy was heavy and longer than the length of my back seat which really chewed up space. The new one, I am very happy to say, fits nicely into the trunk in its case and hasn’t caused me any grief so far. I’m sincerely hoping that it lasts a good long time.


I originally started using wicker and  vintage suitcases as storage and display so that I could stack the empty cases and use them as a table of sorts without creating an eyesore. Totes are just not attractive and I always seem to have more items than tabletop space. They are also delightfully easy to place, puzzle-like, in the back seat allowing for more items to make it to the shows and to also make my co-workers smile when I pull in looking like a vintage traveler. I should probably dress more suitably on those days…perhaps a hat.






Posted by: Mare F | October 6, 2016

Thursday Review

It occurred to me that by limiting myself to a review of books that I was losing the opportunity of discussing tools and yarns with everyone. Silly me, don’t quite know what I was thinking. So, from here on it will be Review Thursday – although that almost sounds homeworkish and a bit daunting so how about Thursday Chat? That sounds a bit friendlier and more like what I hope to accomplish with these posts.


For some reason I have all kinds of book resources and information venues, but when it comes to fibery stuff I’m really rather limited. I like learning about new things and would love to talk about new notions, tool, yarns, and procedures so that we can all get an idea if we would like to try them and if so, how we would go about it. Does this make sense?


So the plan is that starting next Thursday I will talk about my experience with something and hopefully will find out what other people think of it or maybe I will ask about something that looks interesting to me and see what I learn. Thank you in advance for considering this and I hope that you think it’s as good an idea as I do. It’s probably already being done somewhere else and I just haven’t found it yet, but then, that’s why I’m doing this.



Posted by: Mare F | August 28, 2016

Summertime blues

It’s been a very busy summer here and I’ve fallen behind on so many things. My summer work at school is always very physical and I’m just not as quick about it as I once was. It also seems to take a bit more out of me each year and this summer was the second hottest on record so far which also added to my lack ambition. However, the nights are cooling a bit, very much appreciated in my world, and I’m starting to pick up the pace a bit.


work table 001

I found this table last week and thought that it was perfect for my studio. I got it home and Doug helped me haul it up to the deck. Yesterday morning I sanded the top and the drawer fronts because both of those finishes were rather beaten up. I decided to just give the sides and legs a good cleaning. Last night I put the first coat of Tung oil on the top and drawer fronts after we moved it into the studio.

early studio picture 001

This is what I found when I went in to check on the table this morning! I swear that this was the work of imps and had nothing to do with either the first show of the season last week or the hurried shifting of things to get the table in last night. How could this happen?? Guess what I’ll be doing today?

elihu burritt day 003

Speaking of the first show of the season, I was deeply gratified to have a few repeat customers at Elihu Burritt Day in New Marlborough, MA last Saturday. The weather was lovely, as usual, if warm, and overall the day was delightful. I’m looking forward to the Colebrook Fair this coming Saturday and hope that the weather will be just as nice!


Posted by: Mare F | August 1, 2016

Tour de Fleece 2016

Well, I fell down on this one. Between the summer work at school and the high heat and humidity – leading to more hand watering of the garden beds – I got very little yarn spun and I never did get to the Navajo plying. Not one of my outstanding events.

roving 003

I do hope to get more spinning done as the summer progresses and I also want to become more proficient with the drop spindle as I have high hopes of drumming up a group of students to spin during Spinzilla this year.

drop spindles 001

That’s my tale of woe. Hope that your week has been more productive.


Posted by: Mare F | July 28, 2016


Over the past few weeks I’ve been playing with cotton shawlettes. I’ve started with a simple knitted triangle shape, because honestly, I haven’t found a solid crocheted triangle shape that I like, and then I’ve chosen a different edging to crochet onto them. I had originally gotten this cotton for an order, but the colors didn’t suit so when I found it again this seemed like a good idea.

001This is the first one that I did. I wanted something feminine, but not too fussy and I think that this worked out rather well. I’m also trying to add more cotton items to my stock for people who are allergic to animal fibers.

second tan shawlette 002

This is the edging I chose for the second shawlette. I still have to finish writing up the patterns…not my favorite thing to do, but since they really are rather relaxing to make and use both knitting and crocheting stitches it just seems like a good idea.

shawlette 001

I couldn’t resist making one up for myself out of a lovely hank of yarn I found in my stash. I love it when surprises work out this well, don’t you?

shawlette 002

I will post the edging book that I’ve been using for these shawlettes next week…I wasn’t quite that organized this week. It’s been put away….sort of…. Do you add crocheted edgings to knitted items?

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