Friday, March 20, 2009

Please Mister Postman, look and see if there's some fiber in your bag for me

This was a really good day for mail. First, I ordered some fiber from Extreme Spinning. (Click pictures to see them bigger)

On the left are two "Fairy Dust" batts totaling 5 oz. They're merino, alpaca and angelina in pale pink and lavender. The angelina is the same color as the fiber, so the whole thing twinkles like a princess dress. Each one is about as big as my head and I can't wait to spin them. They're begging to be made into something for a lucky little girl.

On the right are two custom batts also totaling 5 oz. I sent a convo explaining that I wanted fiber that looked like the bishop's robes in the Princess Bride. I've bought some of her other fibers in the Princess Bride theme already and they gave me the idea. The "wuv.. twooo wuv" (love, true love) line is my favorite in the whole movie. His robes are pale brocade with deeper burgundy scrollwork patterns sewn in. She came up with this amazing blend of plum custom-dyed organic wool, creme brulee BFL, yellow top, ivory merino/seacell and pink alpaca. There's also pale angelina and big streaks of gold angelina to accent the purple and bring to mind metallic threadwork. It's exactly what I asked for and she gave it to me on the first attempt. I'm so impressed and it was a lot of fun working together to find the colors I was envisioning. I want to use these somehow in the Phat Fiber Spring Competition, but right now I keep petting them and admiring the sparkles.

As a fun bonus, there's a generous sample of icelandic/angora roving in a green that makes me think of spring grass. I love getting surprise fibers when I place orders. This one is so soft and green is my favorite color.

My March Phat Fiber box also came today! This month's theme was "Celtic", so there's a lot of green.

My fiber samples were a fun mix this month. Clockwise from left:

* Romney locks from Marajane Creations - a very nice pastel mix of loose locks. I pulled one out to feel it and it just kept coming. I looked it up in In Sheep's Clothing and the staple length is 5-7 inches! These should be fun to add some texture while spinning another yarn. I haven't tried spinning with locks yet, but it's on my list
* Merino roving from Nerdclub 2000 - "Elinor Dashwood" colorway is a really pretty mix of pinks and purples with a little olive green at one end. It makes me think of tulips.
* Border Leicester locks from Altered Visions - a nice half ounce sample about the size of a double-handful and the locks are space dyed within each individual lock. For example, one is bright pink with pale blue tips. These are really cool.
* 25% merino and 75% alpaca from NorthStarAlpacas - This is a really big 0.4oz sample and it's a gorgeous chocolate color. It's called "Sonata", because the alpaca portion came from a beautiful brown female alpaca named Sonata. The fiber listings from this shop show the animal the fiber came from and there's even a picture on the tag. It feels like adopting an alpaca. The fiber is so soft and the color is really rich. I got a blended alpaca batt I had last month, so it'll be interesting to spin this one and see how the two preps differ.
* (center) 100% silk with noil "Peacock" roving from Mad Angel Creations - This is really scrumptious teal kettle-dyed silk with a dry, papery feel and an amazing shine. The photo is taken without a flash and it's reflecting ambient light. The color is very saturated.

The yarn samples from left to right:

* (top row) 100% undyed black Shetland handspun from Haley Studio - This is a really nice sample and gives me an idea of how the Shetland fiber I recently ordered might spin up. It's not a super soft wool, but it reminds me of the sock roving in that it feels durable and elastic. We live in the same city and I never would have known without the box.
* "Eire" Fireweed Worsted Merino wool from Aurora Fiber Arts - I got a January sample from Aurora and loved it. This is a great colorway with the little pops of orange among the green.
* "Horned God" merino yarn from the Yarn Side - This is a 75% SW merino, 25% nylon fine sock yarn in a nice mix of greens and browns.
* "Cordelia" merino yarn from Knit It Up - This is hand-dyed yarn in their "curvy" collection and it's a nice bulky, bumpy fun yarn in my favorite colors. It's really pretty and one of the ones I keep coming back to squish.
* (bottom row) three yarn samples from Sheeps of Egyptian Cotton - There's "Isis" (lighter green) cotton 2 ply fingering weight, "Nile" (wrapped around the card) 3 ply mercerized cotton and "Ankh" (brighter green) 4 ply merino. She also included an Irish Breakfast Tea packet and a lesson on celtic knitting terminology.
* Hand-dyed merino laceweight from Jen Hintz - This is a lovely mix of various shades of pale green that has a lot of depth and interest. It's subtle, but on closer look, this is one of my favorites because of the blend of colors.
* "Ireland" Hand-spun yarn from Cool Climates - This is a bulky singles yarn of mixed wool, mohair, angora and merino. It's a very pretty deep rich color.
* (not pictured) "Fjord" worsted singles yarn from Katsara Luxury Yarns - This is a really pretty pale pink, purple and green singles yarn that missed the photo op because I carried it around with me before I started taking pictures and accidentally left it in another room. I have a weakness for singles yarns.

The various other loot in my box includes:

* "Stargyle" by Michelle Miller the Fickleknitter - This is a pattern for a stockinette scarf with argyle details. This could actually be really fun with handspun.
* Purple beaded stitch marker from Vickie's Knitted Things
* Silver shamrock stitch markers from Princess Emma's
* Green bubble magnet and a cute pompom from Bananamigraine Designs - I love this shop name! Since my kitchen is painted green, this magnet is going right on my fridge.
* Two green and gold stitch markers from Winemakers Sister - This shop also makes rubber stamps!
* A KIP bag from Ruddawg - I got one of these in February too and they're such a nice size for trucking smaller projects around. I don't know how she does it, but both have colors that are perfect for me.
* A needlefelted Alpaca from My Fair Bag Lady! She made Knickolas the Knitting Gnome for Phat Fiber. He rides around and ends up in a lucky box every month. Whoever finds him gets a free box the next month, as long as they have an adventure with him and send him back. Now I have some of her handiwork of my own. It's tiny (like the size of my thumb) and I can't even imagine having the patience to do this.

I realized I never posted this, but my samples for the March box were hand-painted and stamped lavender sachets. I'll have these up in my shop eventually but I ran out of bags and had to order more. I really love the smell of lavender and I have similar sachets hidden all over my house. I've been seeing photos of them today as people blog about their boxes and it's really surreal seeing them out in the wild.

Now, I have some spinning to do. I'm going to my first ever Spinning Guild meeting tomorrow morning and I have some singles to get off of my spindle. Don't ask me how spinning more will help. This isn't a rational hobby.


  1. It was super of you to share your box with us. I have never received one and am so impressed with all the lovely samples.

  2. Did you send in other samples too? I got a stone pendant in a lavender (colored) sachet, that I, ironically, will be putting some lavender into. Anyway, I love the pendant but didn't know if this was from your last months contributions, or did I get a special surprise?

  3. You got a special surprise! I sent 50 sachets and only five or so pendants. Which one did you get?

  4. Thanks for the positive comments! The Shetland is from roving from the WI sheep and wool fest, a lovely lady sells it there. It's prepped so that you barely need to pre-draft! Luscious.