Off and On the Needles

It’s been awhile since posting much about fiber, the early Spring seemed to demand attention and pictures. We’re still enjoying a relatively mild year with more sunny days than rain. So unusual for the Pacific Northwest. The strawberries are already setting fruit! We’ve been picking and eating asparagus as it grows (yum!), potato plants are growing like crazy and the sugar peas are climbing their wire fence.

Ed’s sweater is finished.

I debated about using a ribbon band underneath to hold the buttons so washed and blocked the sweater before adding buttons. Ed said, “I’ve never worn a sweater that had anything under the buttons.” Ed picked out the buttons from the One of a Kind Button table at the annual Abernathy Grange Fiber Fair a week ago. He also bought several other button packets, Candace is a wizard at button making, it’s hard to use restraint in her booth.


I ambushed Ed for a picture when he briefly went outside to feed the cats. The man rarely steps outside without his hat. He wasn’t keen to have his picture taken without one on, as a result I didn’t risk asking for poses.
Pattern: Fine-Knit Cardigan from Erika Knight’s “Men’s Knits” book.
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash  Ed gifted me with the yarn and book a year ago Christmas. 🙂
The back was knit twice, the first time for the x-large with the recommended needles. It was way too big. After a visit to the frog pond I worked out the math, again. Given how big it had turned out even getting gauge I calculated by following the instructions for L and dropping from US5 needles to US 4 it should fit. Lots of measuring, counting and math took place throughout the making of the sweater the second time through.

It was worth it!

Meanwhile, a little sweater was knit.


And pants sewn for Violet’s beloved baby doll. No patterns used.

Last October a Kool-Aide challenge was given at the Aurora Colony Handspinners’ Guild. We were given 4 ounces of Polwarth and directed to dye with Kool-Aide, spin the fiber and complete a project in time for the Feb. meeting.

The Kool-Aide yarn is on the left. Chain-plyed to preserve the colors rather than risk a muddy yarn.  My daughter, Aurora dyed the yellow and blue fibers a year or so ago which I’d spun and had in the stash. Last fall Marianne Cant of Picperfic  posted a picture of a granny square jacket she’d made for a baby.

I got the yarn spun and was working on my first square at the Feb. meeting. Not quite a finished item.
Violet loves pink so I added in balls of Cascade hot pink and light pink plus a burgundy.

Violet and I have fun playing around with the placement of the squares. So many options!  These pictures were taken before have the squares were made.



There are only 12 squares left to make to have enough for a jacket for a 3 year old. This coming Friday Violet and I will play with more arrangements and see what we come up with before they’re all joined with a cream colored yarn. It’s been a fun project, one that’s proved easy to take while sitting with a friend at a hospital or visiting with Aurora, or working on in the evening when I’ve been too tired to do anything else.

One final project which was made in February, a neck warmer for my daughter-in-law who loves to be active outside during the cold Idaho winters.


This was another fun project using a Knitspot kit: Glasstower.  As a slow knitter who only manages to knit in the evenings this was finished in three days.


It’s soft, warm and very cosy around the neck. MJ was thrilled to get something personal that she could immediately put to good use.

In anticipation of posting frequently this month I took lots of pictures. Here are a few of the early Spring, these were taken March 11th.  A neighbor’s tulip tree. (or a star magnolia? I forget.)



Daffodils and I think these are a type of asters in the city park.


DSC07867Up close

The very early blooming strawberries, even before the middle of March! The green berries are now as big as grapes.



Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

4 thoughts on “Off and On the Needles”

  1. The sweater is beautiful, (as are the other projects), and your care in such fine crafting is supremely evident.

    Ed is very blessed – and, I’m sure – very warm!

  2. Hi Wanda, Ed’s sweater is beautiful. That is a lot of stockinette! And I am jealous of your strawberries. Spring is trying to arrive here, but winter doesn’t quite want to let go. One thing that is good about the climate here is that we are able to make maple syrup. You need freezing nights and warm sunny days for the sap to flow, and we have had a lot of that. So we now have several jars of lovely amber syrup in the fridge. Will you please show us Violet’s granny square jacket when it’s finished?

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