The Perfect Yarn for the Season

This is the season of twinkling stars on cold, cold nights, of candles that glow cheerfully, and holiday lights on trees inside and out…  This is the season of virgin snow glistening in the silver moonlight, of shimmering icicles, of perfect crystalline snowflakes that catch the light in their icy lace. This is the season for Sparkles.

Introducing Lucina, a beautiful fingering yarn that sparkles with all the magic of the season and turns every colourway into something stunning. This is the kind of yarn that catches your eye instantly — that you pick up and don’t want to put down. This is a yarn perfect for the season of Sparkles!

yarn, fingering, merino, superwash, wool, sparklesLucina Yarn in Midnight Swim

The best light for photography is always natural light, outdoors.  And even though it was freezing today, I wanted to be sure to capture the way this yarn shimmers so gorgeously, so I braved the bitter wind and the icy temperatures and took the whole batch of Lucina outside for a photoshoot.  And just as my finger froze to the bone and I began cursing the winter, a gentle snow began to fall — big, fat, beautiful flakes that landed softly on everything and then… just stayed there, almost too perfect to be believed.

And so, the sparkles in these photos are the beauty of the yarn, but the snowflakes are courtesy of Mother Nature.  And as I was trying so hard to show off my lovely new yarn, didn’t she just go and steal the show?!?

Snowflake on Ripe

Snowflake on Evening Fog

Snowflakes on Nightfall

Yarn, fingering weight, sparkles, superwash merinoSnowflakes on Midnight Swim

yarn, fingering, superwash merino, sparkle, sock yarnSnowflakes on Mermaid’s Tail

Rain and Reds, a Shop Update, and a Treasury

It’s raining today — a nice, warm, gentle summer rain, but rain nonetheless.  And I know I promised you sunshine for this week, but the reason it’s raining today is because the lovely yellows I dyed over the weekend are still drying and if they are wet, then there is no sunshine to be had and the world must be wet too.

But even if your day is rainy like mine and there’s no yellow to brighten it up, let me offer you instead something as deliciously dark and moody as the clouds above.

First, I was delighted to discover that myhideway included my Red Brick yarn in a treasury called Rosé Wine.  It’s so inspiring to see all those beautiful rosy reds together.

So inspiring, in fact, that I went and filled the shop with warm colours from pink to burgundies.  Have a look…


Fingering Weight Yarn, Superwash Merino and Nylon, in Pink Autumn

If autumn leaves turned pink instead of red, it would be this pink. If they shunned the sophisticated golds and the russets, all the subtle shades of brown, and chose instead to wear a girly hue — something wild and unpredictable — it would be this. An explosion of pink tinged with the warmth of the season, this is the colour that autumn leaves secretly wish for. This skein is over 100g of Stella, a beautiful and distinctive 2-ply fingering weight yarn in 80% Superwash Merino and 20% Nylon.


And four yarns in Desert Wine: one in Stella Fingering weight, one in Celeste Fingering weight, and two in Astrid DK weight.

This is a bottle of burgundy wine, rich and deep and smooth, poured out on the brown of the parched desert earth, there amongst the green cacti, where the merciless sun dries it to dark, dusty stain. A waste of good wine, but worth it just to see the amazing colour.


And a lovely new colourway, DK Weight Yarn in Superwash Merino, in Sleep Deep, that I simply cannot get my camera to capture accurately.  It looks all blue-red in the pictures, but as I hold it here in my hands, it’s swirls of deep red and purple.

Here are the colours of dreams, at the moment when you slip from the dark of the room into unconciousness, surrendering to the safety of bed and the soft of pillow behind your head. These are the colours of a mind freed to wander, a psyche unencumbered, your true nature as you let yourself submerge into the deep deep of sleep. This skein is over 100g of Superwash Merino in Astrid, a beautifully smooshy 4-ply, DK (double knitting) weight yarn. There are two skeins available, sold separately.

And watch the shop for those sunshine yellows too!  As soon as they appear, the weather is sure to change for the better.

What Happened Nest…

This summer, a pair of robins built a nest on top of my back porch light, right outside my backdoor, and consigned me to using only the front porch for the whole month of June.  And I (and you) got to watch as the eggs appeared, and the babies hatched and grew.  It was magical thing to witness so close.

Also this summer, the family next door moved away.  As she was in the middle of the chaos of packing up her house, my neighbour mentioned to me one day that she always collects a bird’s nest from every house that she lives in.  But her husband had already started his new job on the other side of the country and she was having to pack up the house and move the (5!) kids all on her own, and I suspected that she never got a chance to collect a bird’s nest.

And I have a beautiful nest sitting empty right outside my back door…

So today, we very carefully took it down.


It came away without too much difficulty and all in one piece.  It was made from sticks and leaves, as you’d expect, but I was intrigued to see string, yarn, and bits of dried grapevines (complete with old grapes!) tucked in there as well.


We put the nest into a bag to keep it safe.


And then wrapped it in tissue paper…  just because.


And packed it up with all the love and care that I package my yarn.  More, probably — this is precious cargo!


And, just like that, the little nest that gave three baby robins their happy start in life was ready to travel all the way to the other end of the country.


Where, I do believe, it will be absolutely cherished.

Hard at Work on the Tour de Fleece

The Tour de Fleece has been rolling along  for nearly a week and I am having a blast.  It is wonderful to have a real, legitimate excuse to tell everyone that no, I can’t do this or that, I have to spin.  And believe me, I’ve been using that excuse just as far as credibility can be stretched!

Have you been doing that too?  Pushing your other responsibilities (…and loved ones) aside to spend quality time with a some wonderful fiber and your wheel or spindle?  If you’re using SpaceCadet fiber, please do share pictures of your spinning, either on the SpaceCadet Ravelry group or by email.  I’d love to feature it here on the blog!

As well as spending a lot of time on a spindle, one of the things the Tour has allowed me to do is to really make some headway on the fiber that has been languishing on my wheel for far too long.   A few days ago, I went out onto the front porch after the heat of the day wore off (95°F!) and filled half a bobbin before real life called me back in again.

You’ll recognise this fiber from previous blog posts.  Yes, it’s still on the wheel!  But… I kind of don’t mind because it’s such a pleasure to spin these colours.

I’m splitting the fiber (somewhat) evenly into thirds and will then spin it all back together as a 3-ply.  Thanks to all the extra spinning time from the Tour, I’m nearly there!  Here’s the first bobbin…

And when that’s done, I’ll be moving on to this wonderful, shimmery-smooth silk…

Hmmmm…  Do you think I might have a warm-colour fixation?  Maybe it’s the weather!

And Then There Were…

Now, I knew that baby robins grow quickly…  in theory.  But watching it happen right outside my back door has been nothing short of breathtaking.  In less than two weeks, they’ve gone from this…

To this…

And the very next day, they started perching on the edge of the nest, contemplating the big leap down.  I didn’t want them go — I’ve grown so fond of them there, just outside the door.  But they can’t stay in the nest forever.

And yesterday, when I went to check on them, there was only one left, taking his time about leaving — and sinking down into the nest in the hopes I wouldn’t notice him…

When I went to check again today…   the nest was empty. 

Goodbye baby robins.  Take care in this big world. Such a bittersweet feeling…

Essential Items for Good Spinning

What do you need for successful spinning?  What is essential to produce a gorgeous, soft, lofty yarn?  Well, you start with beautiful fiber that runs through your fingers like butter, and you spin on well-made equipment that you love and that loves you back.  But that’s not all you need…

Spinning can be done in isolation — and there’s something really lovely about the meditative aspect of spinning on one’s own — but, in my opinion, spinning is most enjoyable when it’s done in the company of other spinners. Other spinners inspire, they teach, they encourage, and — most of all — other spinners understand.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine invited to me come to her spinning group.  It was some considerable distance away and, when I realised how long the drive would be, I had second thoughts.  But I decided to go anyway, and I am so glad I did.   I met a wonderful group of women who welcomed me warmly and whose company I thoroughly enjoyed.  And they were knowledgeable — so knowledgeable, years and years of collective experience all gathered up together and shared out, happily, freely.  It was an absolute pleasure to spin with them.

If you are a new spinner or wanting to learn to spin, seek out the company of other spinners.  It will enhance your experience and your learning immensely.  It will inspire you.  And I’ve never once met a group of spinners who didn’t welcome with open arms a fellow fiber-lover!   So don’t be shy — you can find other spinners through your local yarn shop or knitting group, by looking up spinning guilds, or searching on Ravelry.

And if you happen to find one that meets in a beautiful rural setting on warm summer afternoons, cooled by shade of tall trees and a breeze scented by a garden in bloom, then you will be as lucky as I was.  There simply cannot be a better way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon.