Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Felting! WOW

I just had to report that I just felted my first bag. WOW, it really worked!!! TOO COOL FOR WORDS!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know why I just didn't think it would work!!

I am making the Noni Evening Bag in black and purple just like the original pattern


I just finished my first flower and I have four more to knit up and felt and then I'll put it all together.

Photos soon. I was just so excited, I felt I had to post about it!

On another note, have any of you seen the really cool Tilli Tomas yarns ? I am in love with the Cleopatra yarn for some reason but I am not sure what to make with it. I do think I am going to buy the yarn to make this Stitch Diva Pattern though or I will hand dye something to make it. I just love the long sleeve green version of the Simple Knitted bodice, but I'll probably make it in short sleeve....I am not sure how the neckline will work with bigger bazoombas, but I can wear a camisole. I am just in love with this pattern....

Here's a photo of it:

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I love seeing hand dyed yarn knit up!

My friend Karen sent these photos of the socks she knit from the yarn called India. This was in the first batch of yarn I ever dyed so it is kind of interesting to see these... I think they look really pretty....Thanks Karen!! You are becoming an expert sock knitter..!

And here is an updated picture of the camisole that Wendy from Knit and Tonic is working on using the Yarn Botanika merino and tencel in the colorway Pine Forest. I dyed a few skeins and put them on etsy and they are gone, so I will be doing quite a bit more for kits... I really can't wait to see all of the patterns from the Garter Belt Design teamcoming soon. They will be offering the patterns on their site and I will also have kits.

This cami is looking super super cute:

And this is Elizabeth's scarf in the Madison In The Fall Colorway.. I love this new colorway.....

Here is some of it in roving instead of yarn, yum yum......Watch for a photo of this in a very very exciting and special place soon (it is a secret where.shhhhhhhhhhh)

Hmmm, I just noticed the color looks quite a bit different on the roving than on the yarn, but it is the same exact dyes..... Interesting!

Good night......

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Cashmere, cashmere

I had to take this photo off Sarah's blog to show it off! I hope she doesn't mind! Isn't this gorgeous?

This is some cashmere yarn I dyed for her in a colorway called Raspberry Souffle. It is too beautiful.....I love the pattern stitch....

Speaking of cashmere, keep your eyes out for really incredible new line of yarns coming soon....... It is still a secret, but I'll give you a hint...

See this beautiful graphic??


Now, if you have bloglines......subscribe to this blog and watch the news as it comes along!!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Natural Dyeing, etc., etc.....

I have been wanting to play around with natural dyeing for quite awhile. Since I have always been inspired by nature in just about everything I do, the idea of color from plants has intrigued me. I studied herbal medicine for quite a few years, formally for one full year, and when we studied the various dye plants, I never thought at the time, I'd ever be using the knowledge.

I hope to do more experiments and keep a journal of what I do.

I have a few great books I have been reading for awhile. My favorite is called Wild Color by Jenny Dean. The other book I have, which is very good too, but is a bit older, is called Ingigo, Madder and Marigold by Trudy Van Stralen.

Another intesteresting thing about natural dyeing is all the folklore that goes along with it going back many generations. Also everyone has various opinions about it when you talk to other fiber people. Some insist that none of the mordants are safe inside, while some say alum is ok. It takes quite a bit of reading to factor out myth from real science.!

My first experiment was using Brazilwood. Brazilwood is supposed to give pinks, crimsons and pinks on premordanted yarn. I premordanted in the yarn using alum and cream of tarter, both considered fairly safe for indoor use. I wasn't really sure what I was doing, but I figured since many dyed this way for years and years without recipes, I would be fine!

The color I got was more of a peach. Even with the added cream of tarter, which I thought would bring out more of red color, it didn't happen.... I would like to repeat this with some of the other mordants after I do more research on them. Please click on the photo to look at it bigger. More blogger problems so I am using flickr !
Natural Dye Brazilwood

It is beautiful but more subtle than I expected.....

Second, I used logwood extract. I was talking to someone a few days earlier who told me it was impossible to purple with logwood unless one used copper mordant. Well I used the same alum and cream of tartar mordant and I ended up with a gorgeous purple. It was much deeper at first and I was super excited about, but then quite a bit rinsed out. Still it is a beautiful color. The only thing is the yarn seems a bit "sticky" to me which I was told could happen with the added cream of tarter. On the other hand, I have never used this yarn before to dye. It is the laceweight yarn from knitpicks that I had around... I am going to repeat this with some worsted weight at some point.

Isn't it pretty? Again, plese click on the photo to get a better look! THANKS!
Natural Dye Log wood Extract

Other news and photos coming soon including new fall colorways, cool India socks from a friend in Maine and information about a cool new yarn store coming soon......


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Garter Belt Design Team Project

I am enjoying watching the Garter Belt designers work on their design project using the Yarn Botanika superwash merino and tencel yarn.

Look here at their latest blog post!

I saw part of Wendy's cami the other day, and I was super excited to see the Pine Forest Merino and Tencel knit up. See a peak preview below. It sounds like Elizabeth is going to make a lacy scarf (yummy) and Marie also a scarf! I am not sure about Zib-Wendy yet! Very fun.

Photo Courtesy of Wendy at Knit and Tonic: beginning of her camisole

These patterns are going to be offered with yarns in the Yarn Botanika shop as kits..

There is also a new kit coming for Needle Felters...with a pattern by Laura, aka Yarn Thrower. Check out her Oopsie Bag on the sidebar of her blog. She is creating a really neat pattern for the new needle felting kits.

We are looking for other designers to work with the cashmere yarns...If you are interested, drop a line to yarn botanika at aol dot com. I am going to hit up the Garter Belt team for this too when they are done with this project. After all, who can resist pure cashmere??!

PS..How come whenever I write out Knit and Tonic I immediately think of GIN AND TONIC and I get kind of happy for a second??? It used to be my favorite drink back when I could handle gin...YUM!

Go for Baroque In Yarn Botanika Yarns

Cecille made this gorgeous sweater in two different colors of Yarn Botanika yarn. I just loved how it turned out. One of the yarns was in the Peace Rose Colorway and the other yarn was in the Fresh Berries colorway. I love how she used two variegated yarns and I don't think that is what the pattern called for. The pattern is from the new Happy Hooker crochet book by Debbie Stoller. I am taking a crochet class now and this is one sweater I would like to make! I might do it in blue shades doing what she did, using two variegated yarns. I just love it!Cecille!!!!!! Check out Cecille's blog and see her other projects! She also has a gorgeous ETSY store with many unusual handmade items. I love the crochet and macramed chokers!

Thanks for sending me your finished work of art!!

Here are the two yarns she used: Peace Rose and Fresh Berries (one availble HERE at KPIXIE):) and the finished Baroque sweater.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Tiger Lily - Marigold Socks

My good friend Gina sent me this photo this am of these socks she made out of Yarn Botanika yarn. I think I had originally called this colorway Marigolds but left it off the tag!! So she renamed it Tiger Lily which is probably a better colorway name anyhow!

I think these turned out really cool actually.... Check out Gina's blog because she is one creative person! She is always buying the most amazing yarn and fiber too and if I want to know what is new out there in fiber land, I can find out from her!!

We are working on a fun project together which we will show you all soon...!!

Friday, August 11, 2006


For those of you who read here, you might want to go to Kpixie and see the latest items. I am so happy that Knitted Bits sock and spindle bags got on there in the kits. They look great with the handpainted yarns and fibers. Also more of Woolyvine's spindles and even more spindle kits will be on Kpixie towards the end of next week and in our ETSY shop too.

The link here shows all the new items as Kpixie posts them...
There are new yarns, spinning fibers, traveler spinning and traveler spindle kits and the traveler sock kits which are my personal favorites.

Have a good weekend..! I have lots more to report but it will have to wait until my company visiting leaves. I haven't had time to even take any photos, sorry! little photo and a quiz!

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Hot Summer Nights in Italy

Hey everyone!!

You must see these photos!!!!!!!!!! Wendy takes the best photos I have seen. She is a great yarn photographer.

YUM!!!!!! The Hot Summer Nights Blue Faced Leicester looks amazing! I just ordered about 5 more pounds of it to dye some more in that colorway (and others!!).

Take a peek here:

OK, I know this is really a weird thing to say, but it makes me hot just to look at it!! HAHAHA !! :) Maybe that is why I called it Hot Summer Nights? Or maybe it is just because it is hot as anything here in the Southwest now! And everywhere else for that matter!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Yarn Botanika Is Getting Around!

Happy Weekend!

Notice the new banner above and the avatar to the right! Aren't they cool? An ETSY seller Moxie Rings design these. She did a great job using a photo of the Meadow cashmere and silk yarn. She is working on some other things for us and I highly recommend her!

Quite a few people have photos of our yarn up on their blogs this week.

We are doing a project with the Garter Belt Designers as I mentioned in an earlier post. Here Wendy has a photo of her yarn that was called Mediterranean Sea listed on her blog Zibibbo is good. She also has a photo of the Hot Summer nights roving which is my very favorite colorway. I have to say that Wendy wins my award for the best yarn photography. I have been reading her blog for awhile now and she takes amazing photos....

Wendy from Knit and Tonic, whom I call California Wendy, also has a skein of merino and tencel only hers is in a different colorway called Pine Forest (I think!!). I can't wait to see the camisole she is referring to in her recent post!! And I can't wait to see what the others come up with as well..

Elizabeth in Madison (my alma mater and what I consider my home town or one of them) has a custom colorway I called Fall in Madison. I hope you like it! I have enjoyed emailing with Elizabeth for quite awhile now and she has sent me great Madison photos. So many incredible memories! I had fun hand painting all of these yarns for each of them! And then they have a new member Marie, who received a skein in the Earth colorway...

This is turning into a really fun project!! Please check out all of the designs on their site because they are truly wonderful...! And keep your eyes posted there for the new patterns coming out with the Yarn Botanika merino and tencel yarn... I hope they love this yarn as much as I do. I love that it is superwash merino and the shine that the tencel gives to it.. Also it seems very strong for a yarn of this knitting weight.

As an example, her is a photo of a recent merin and tencel yarn I dyed called Sunset based on the Arizona Sunset of course. It is available now in a kit in the shop. There is also a photo of it below with one of the bags from Knitted Bits.
Finally, last, but not least, my friend Karen in Maine, whom I have known for years now through the bearded collie world sent me this photo of a sock she made in the India Colorway. She said this photo really does not show off the yarn the way she wanted it too, but I still wanted to post it! Thanks for sending it to me Karen! Look at the beardies and little Dinah! Too cute!

I have a few new fibery type things around the house to take photos of....maybe tomorrow..

Definitely it is time for sleep now!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More on Cashmere and Cashmere/Silk Yarns

I have finished dyeing the cashmere and cashmere/silk yarns I bought. Some of you were asking when they will be listed in the ETSY shop and I will be putting them there today.. These are very delicate yarns, best suited for a lace or other light project. Each one is about 400 yards and would make a beautiful lace scarf. They would not be good for socks or anything that would get a lot of wear. I just want people to know this if they buy one of them because the yarn itself is quite soft, even the one with the silk. These are all fingering weight and I am going to be buying DK weight next to evaluate it, along with some pure silk yarns and wool/silk combination yarns. I absolutely love how soft the cashmere is and the nice shine that the silk brings the yarn. Really they feel like velvet. The cashmere yarns are 100% pure cashmere and the silk cashmere skeins are 55 % silk and 45% cashmere.

If anyone wants to be on our mailing list for special offers and sales, please send me an email at yarnbotanika AT aol DOT com, ok? I don't like to do sales things on this blog and eventually there will be a separate shop blog, because I personally am only a small tiny part of the shop. I want to blog about knitting more and get back to my painting and maybe I should just start a personal blog.....Will let you know!

We are really a group of people creating fiber related things together. If anyone is ever interested in working with us, please email. We are especially looking for fiber artists and small companies in different parts of the world who make unusual yarn, handspun or fiber related things for an upcoming group venture.

On another note, watch KPIXIE towards the end of this week as we will have many new items shown in their shop, quite a few kits and yarns.

Here is a photo of the cashmere/silk skeins that are going to be listed. The colorways in order are: Meadow, Plum Crazy, Blue Moon, Rose Quartz and Kiwi.
Cashmere Silk Mosaic
And here are the pure cashmere ones. Note the last one is shades of black, gray and white. I got this idea from Illana's blog post about the new Vogue fall issue that shows gray is really in style this year!! I will be repeating this colorway again. Click here to see the Vogue Fall Knitting Preview. GRAY is in! The other colorways from top to bottom are: midnight, chocolate truffle, plum crazy, Blue Moon and Manhatten.
100% Pure Cashmere-Fingering Weight

Now I have to list them all..... I am taking a break from all dyeing and most fiber stuff (except for knitting!!) for the next two weeks. My mom is coming to visit tomorrow for one thing, I have a lot going on. and I need a break.....

So thanks for reading and I'll try to post some knitting content in between!!