Completed Speckle Socks and an Upcoming Trip

Speckle Sock Anklets
Speckle Sock Anklets

Well, there’s no shop update this week. Though the excuse is a wonderful one!  I found out I will get to go to Japan on my friend, Chiaki’s, textile tour in Osaka, Okayama and Kyoko in October. (Just me. The family will have to stay home. I wish they could come too. But, they love me and are encouraging me to go!) I’m so excited!!!! AND I’ll take time to see my dear friend, Kyoko, who lives near Tokyo! KYAA!!!!

Needless to say my brain was completely occupied with figuring out the plan and details and getting ready for teaching nalbinding this weekend! (First step for trip – sign up for Japanese lessons again – CHECK! Next step – plane tickets!)

I did complete the hand dyed speckle socks while I was in class Tuesday night. There’s enough, I may have to make toeless sandal socks or an anklet pair for my daughter. We’ll see…

What’s happening for you all?  Any projects you’d like to share?

Shop Update 2/24/2017 and News

Shop Update

Friday Feature - Shy Red Fox 2017-02-24

This week’s shop update is nalbinding needles in acrylic and birch laminate. Check these and other needles, yarn, completed items, patterns, and felted items (by my daughter) in my Etsy Shop.


In other news, this week has been a tough one as I support a friend who lost a parent. On the good side, we got to foster that parent’s diabetic kitty until my friend was able to retrieve him. He’s a real sweet heart with a crazy low meow.


My daughter and I are super excited about attending Green Camel Gathering in Tyler, MN next week.  A whole weekend of crafting and a yoga class, yippee!

After that, I’ll be prepping for April’s teaching gigs in Brookings, SD and York, NE.

In project news, I’m playing with a wave pattern scarf that I hope to write up in pattern form.

Wave Pattern Scarf - WIP Pt 1


What’s happening for you all?  Any projects?

Projects! (Mostly nalbinding and a bit of knitting)

Last month and this month I finished my hat and a pair of mittens. I found the mittens unfinished in my project pile and they were just the project to work on while hubby reads another Ranger’s Apprentice book to the family.  (I’ll put the mittens up in the shop tomorrow.) 


Last night I started a pair of mittens in a gradient yarn I dyed. (The 2 skeins were dyed at once so the mittens match.)

Another project pile item I’d forgotten about was a pair of socks where one was done. Evidently this is the week I work on old projects! At knitting group – since it was brainless knitting, I got almost to the instep. I love Zauberball yarn for socks. The socks will be a pair but each will be slightly different because of the “fractal gradient striping effect.

What are you working on?

Projects Nov 13, 2016

Oh my goodness it’s been a fun but busy week. The kiddos are prepping for an archery pin shoot – so they’ve had lots of practice time. I’m hoping to practice with them after the pin shoot. I’ve been trying to help my youngest. She just moved to 20 yards and is having a hard time getting anywhere near 150 points on a 10 ring target. Cross your fingers for her!

I’ve been trying to finish off my nalbound hat’ (3 stinking yards of yarn left to go). Will post when done.

Dyeing up new yarns and tracking the colorways so I can reproduce them.

Oh! And my weekend time suck – the family photobook. Finished that puppy and ordered copies for Christmas presents. Big project done – check!

I’m hoping to get a nalbinding t-shirt design posted this weekend. (This possible insanity project was inspired by a facebook thread in the nalbinding group that was giggling at this image. Uhm, that’s knitting not crochet… Oy vay.) 

What have you all been working on this week?

The Vest that Never Ends is Complete

Absolutely giddy. That’s how I felt yesterday when I finished the border and reinforced the arm holes of my circular vest. The Finnish 2+2 stitch knotwork border sucked up yarn so fast! I had to go buy more of the blue yarn.  Much to do today, so I’ll keep the post short.

Nalbound Knot Work Cowl + Knotwork Pretzels Tutorial

Yes, yes. I should be working on my circle vest to have it done before the end of February for the Green Camel Gathering fiber arts event.  But I got distracted, you see.

A spiffy knotwork headband  post from one of the Facebook groups inspired me this week to start to learn how to do knotwork in nalbinding, beyond braids.  I’ve always loved Celtic and Viking knotwork, thus I was dragged (not unwillingly) into another project. Thankfully this one went quickly!

It’s been wicked cold out (windchill -20°F/-28°C to -30°F/-34°C) this week, so a cowl was the perfect project.

Nalbound Knotwork Cowl done in Finnish Stitch. Copyright Amy Vander Vorste
Nalbound cowl with knotwork – done in Finnish 2+2 stitch. A Celtic looking clasp was the pefect closure for this, to help tighten it against my face.  I couldn’t resist putting the needle in the picture too. Hubby made it from red heart wood and gave it to me for Valentine’s Day a few years ago.
Nalbound Knotwork Cowl done in Finnish Stitch. Copyright Amy Vander Vorste
The cowl with the clasp undone.
Nalbound Knotwork Cowl done in Finnish Stitch. Copyright Amy Vander Vorste
I’m trying not to giggle as my son snaps the picture of me in this cowl indoors.

Working on each of the little pretzel like knots was addictive and the work went quickly. Yarn details are on the project page. I suspect this will lead to more knotwork projects…

To help my fellow nalbinders with knotwork of their own (since it took me a couple tries to be able to make them consistently), I took pictures of each step for making the little pretzel knots.  (They’re actually overhand knots – but they look so much like pretzels!) Hopefully this will also help me remember how to do the knots too.

How to Make Knotwork “Pretzels”: (Or at least it’s how I made them. There are probably several ways to make them.)

To start, I’ll recommend making a pretzeloverhand knot and measuring it against a flat row of stitches, so you can get the width in stitches of your knots and how many stitches for each section.

Attach your work to row. Make a chain of stitches.


Nalbinding Knotwork Tutorial - Pretzel Knot Part 2
Turn your work over. Count over from your attached work half the width of your test pretzel knot.


Nalbinding Knotwork Tutorial - Pretzel Knot Part 3
Work with F2 connection (for strength of the join) back to last joined work.


Nalbinding Knotwork Tutorial - Pretzel Knot Part 4
Create another chain, same length as the last one.


Turn your work, then put your chain end (with the working yarn and needle) through the loop you created.


Nalbinding Knotwork Tutorial - Pretzel Knot Part 6
Now you have a pretzel/overhand knot.


Nalbinding Knotwork Tutorial - Pretzel Knot Part 7
Attach it to the previous row with the F2 connection for stitches that equal half the width of your pretzel knot.
There you have it. Go forth and make pretzel knots to your heart’s content!  (I had to do 3 rows of them before I wanted to do something different.)
Now I need to get back to my circle vest…