24
May

Get to know Jen Andersen from Hanks in the Hood!

There are certain people that you meet in your fiber travels that simply beam with a passion for what they do, and no one embodies this like Jen Anderson, the face behind Hanks in the Hood. It is a quality that is infectious in person and hard to express in words. And since Jen is a local to us here in Portland (she is based out of Gresham, Oregon), I was so excited when I was able to spend a day at her shop (Andersen Fiber Works) and her fiber processing studio for a little video interview! All of us here at the office love Jen and of course, her rovings and batts from Hanks in the Hood. And personally, I am thrilled to be able to share Jen’s story in addition to her enthusiasm, drive, and passion for what she does everyday.

I hope this little video lets you get to know Jen a little bit better, I am sure you’ll love her as much as we all do!

10
May

How to Dye Tonal Yarns

Have you seen our new selection of tonal yarns yet? There are so many reasons to love adding the subtle shifts of color found in tonal yarns into your projects. Tonal yarns are a wonderful way to add the subtle variations of a color to your project without fearing that it will distract from textured stitches, cables, or even lace patterns. Each of our tonal yarns are made up of seven different shades of your favorite colors, which combine together to create complex, monochromatic colorways. Not only do tonal yarns add lots of visual interest when worked up with simple stitches, but they also beautifully highlight intricate stitch patterns.

27
Apr

Have you any wool?

Why, three bags full in fact!

Actually, I have so much more than that! But I did get those at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival last weekend!

I can’t really pass up a deal like that – it’s scraps and seconds,
but $6 for 8 oz of fiber is just too good. Unfortunately I must come
across deals like that too often, because I have so, so, so much
spinning fiber that I’m quickly running out of places to put it.

So, obviously knitting is not my only pastime. Spinning is certainly
one of them, and although I wouldn’t consider myself to be a great
spinner, I love the process of watching a big ball of fluff turn into
something wonderful and useable.

20
Apr

So close!

Sleeves… check. Body…. check. Front to shoulders… check. Back? working on it!

(Sorry about the grey-on-grey – I didn’t pick the color of the blocking board, unfortunately!)

All I have left to knit on hubby’s sweater is the upper back! I’m
already about two inches into it. But, because of the sheer beastly size
of this sweater, progress has been slowed.

It’s just so hard to carry the darn thing around at this point that
I’ve actually been working on a couple of other, smaller projects as
well.

17
Apr

A new obsession – Spinning!

At the beginning of the new year, instead of setting resolutions for myself that I knew would be lost after a month or two – I instead tried to come up with a list of crafting goals for myself in 2012. And wouldn’t you know it, I have been slowly been tackling new projects and checking off my goals! One of the things I knew I really wanted to try this year was spinning. And aside from the fact that you get to make your own yarn, I just loved the zen-like calm that spinners have about them as they sit at their spinning wheel.

Combined with the fact that I had a wealth of information all around me since so many others here at the KP office know how to spin, I finally faced with the fact that it might be time to learn. I had a good chunk of Wool of the Andes Roving in Tidepool Heather that I started on with a drop spindle, and that is where my spinning adventure started!

L: Full Circle Roving, R: Full Circle and Wool of the Andes Roving

10
Apr

How to Dye Yarn with Food Coloring

As the sugar high of chocolate, jelly beans, and Peeps finally wears off, you might find a box or two of leftover Easter egg dye lying around the kitchen. Instead of tossing them back in the cupboards, grab some of your favorite Bare yarns and start dyeing! You might be surprised to learn that a lot of unconventional dyes, like Easter egg dye and food coloring, are a wonderful way of dyeing protein based fibers like wool, alpaca and silk. In addition to being inexpensive, these are dyes you can easily find at your local grocery store. Another great thing about dyeing with Easter egg dye and food coloring is that these are nontoxic dyes, making them ideal for a fun afternoon crafting project with children. And if you are anything like me, you might already know that right after the holiday is the best time to stock up on Easter egg dye packages for year-round yarn dyeing fun!