Monthly Archives: November 2008

Giving Thanks

For those of you who know me in the real world, you know the past few years have been especially hard.  This year is different and it’s time to truly count my blessings. In no particular order here they are.

I have my sweet little boy.  I try to be thankful for him even when we’re arguing before school, but as I watch him grow into being his own person and realize that he is kind and caring I am so happy that he is my boy.  I also try to remember that the creativity and stubbornness that drive me crazy probably come from me and will serve him well as an adult.

I am thankful for my work. I have a goal and it looks like I can do it.  I want to be a designer. Not just a little independent one like I am now, but one with regular publications and the modest income to go with it.  This year I got my very first publication thanks to Amy Singer at Knitty.com.  That experience was amazing and I’ve met so many wonderful people as a result.  I also realize that if I hadn’t had to give up things I thought were near and dear, I wouldn’t be able to be here today. So on some level I think I’m grateful for the hard times I’ve had.

I’m thankful to live in Seattle. Those of you who have heard me complain about how much I liked my former home better—yes you heard correctly. Here I am surrounded by more Local Yarn Stores than I can count, fiber farms galore, and a great community of knitters. This is a good place to have a family and to play with sticks and string.

Which brings me to my friends and family.  I am so very grateful for those I love and who love me.  Without you by my side I never would have made it this far.  You listen to me complain, you pick up the pieces when I fall apart and most of all you believe in me. Thank you—coffee’s on me next time!

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New Patterns are up!

I’ve spent most of the last month fighting with a particular pattern that I want to post.  I finally decided to let it have a little time out and get up some other goodies instead.  I’m really proud of this set and have been wearing them quite alot.  The first is a lovely girly headband.

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And there are matching fingerless gloves:

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The fun part of these is that you can interchange the decorations. There are instructions for both the bow and the flower. They attatch to the gloves or headband by the buttons that are attatched to each.

I know it’s becoming my “thing” to have options. I guess I’m not too fond of being told “this is how it is” so I tend to create ideas with options for people.  I hope that opens doors to their creativity.  What will you button on your gloves?

 

As always you can get my patterns on Ravelry or at my Etsy site– www.LeTonBeau.Etsy.com.

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Fiber Fields

Sundays are for field trips. I let the boys have fun while I go out and explore all the lovely fibery places I can. What I’ve learned is that we’re pretty spoiled up here in the Pacific Northwest. When I did the LYS tour last spring I went to more than 20 great stores, all within a reasonable distance from my home. And not all the stores in the area participate.  In addition to Brick and Mortar type locations this area seems to be a haven for independent artisans and fiber growers. 

Recently I got to go check out some of these local goodies.  The Capitol Hill Knitters of Dooooom (http://www.ravelry.com/groups/capitol-hill-knitters) got together and headed to Whidbey Island to visit 2 small fiber farms. The first was called Paradise Found Fiber Farm. Mary (the farmer) had Llamas, Alpacas and Pygora goats.  This place was amazing and Mary was wonderfully welcoming. She showed us around her farm, let us have our lunch there and taught us a lot about the animals that give us such yummy yarn.

We got to meet the animals. There were Llamas:

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And the softest Goat ever:

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And Alpacas roaming free-ish:

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And knitters!

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She doesn’t keep her animals for breeding, only for the fiber. This allows her to give a home to animals that otherwise might not have a place.  But you want to know about the lovely fiber.  As to be expected it was scrumptious.  I went with a very firm intent to buy nothing.  After all I have a business to get into the black. But…there was this Suri Alpaca batt. Ok there were two of them.  Just 2 sweet little bundles of fiber that felt more like silk than any wool I’ve ever encountered. And I promised myself I would do more spinning right?  So home they came.  See?

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 Next we went to see Crossfire Hill Farm(http://www.angelfire.com/ky3/crossfirehillfarm/) where they raise Corriedale Sheep.  They wore these little coats to keep their fleeces form becoming completely penetrated with—well—stuff you find on a farm.  You can a picture of it at their website. Karen is an award winning farmer, with several ribbons from the fleeces she’s entered at the local fairs.  The fascinating thing at this farm was touching the unprocessed fleeces. First of all they have an incredible sheen.  Figbread swore they glowed from within.  I couldn’t really argue with that. Secondly when you touch them the amount of lanolin in the fibers is astounding.  I have to admit that feel of slightly slimy fibers had a certain squick factor and I’m quite sure I’ll never want to spin “in the grease” but—the affect of the lanolin on my hands made me want a pair of socks spun from unprocessed fibers.  If I could wear lanolin saturated socks in my boots (or to bed) I’d never need a pedicure again! And it makes your nails all pretty and shiny.

So all in all a good day. The stop at a wine tasting room on the way home didn’t hurt any either.

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