Mayhem in the Garden

I am a knitter, spinner, weaver & designer in between being owned by various cats, dogs, horses, goats and sheep.

Now, the problems of raw wool and felines can be easily imagined, especially when the feline in question is named “Marbles” and the name is not for her tortoise-shell coat markings, but rather the short version of “Lost Her Marbles Nutso Feline”. Imagine it, then multiply by a factor of twenty, and you might be at the low end of the chaos produced. That’s not the story that really comes to mind, however!

No, the major fiber mayhem from the intersection of pets and fiber happened with my carefully tended dye plant garden and flax patch and the BBQ goat that didn’t get BBQ-ed.

BBQ (his obvious name) was the total iteration of my grandfather’s saying that a fence could be “horse-high, bull-strong and hog-tight, and the damn goats will STILL get out.” Since BBQ had never broken into a fenced area, (only out) I figured that the garden area would not be troubled.

Flax PlantsHopi Red Dye AmaranthOne fine late June day, the flax patch was glorious with shoulder-high tiny blue flowers, the black-seed sunflowers were blooming, the Hopi red-dye amaranth plants a brilliant burgundy, the bulls-blood beets large spear-like leaves a counterpoint to the jagged edges of the amaranth, and I went to town for a shopping trip, leaving BBQ in the yard snoozing on top of his doghouse.

When I returned only a couple hours later, the damage was heartbreaking. It looked like the neighbor’s cattle had gone through like a horde of locusts, but there were only one set of tiny cloven-foot tracks all over the soft earth.

The 500 square feet of nearly-mature flax plants were trampled, tasted & torn, the sunflowers and amaranth had been mostly knocked over, the beets had many pulled up and they did not yet have usable bulbs. I did gather the leaves for some salvage. The chief loss was the flax – the plants were not yet mature enough to be processed for fiber.

The culprit? He was found back on top of his doghouse calmly eating a beet plant he had dragged back with him. How this little goat got over, around, or through a good four foot tall mesh fence both ways I could NOT figure out.

Silk Lace Wedding Shawl

A friend’s daughter is getting married soon.  Too soon for me to do something as special as my friendship with her parents and brother demands, so I’m loaning her the most spectacular piece of my knitting still in my possession.

Center of hand-spun, hand-knit silk lace shawl

The silk was dyed prior to being spun with teals, pinks, purples, and turquoise.  I did the spinning, and knitted this in 1993, so it qualifies something old, as well as something borrowed.  Here’s a shot of the edge.

This is a detail shot of the corner.

Feather Creek Traders Arrives

Hello!  Welcome to my design ideas and progress.  As I get things a bit more pulled together, you’ll be seeing many designs published here and available for download.  Some will be free, some will require a small Paypal outlay.  All will be fun, and I hope that my designs will inspire you to pick up yarn, needles and CREATE!

Here are some past projects:

My bedspread was a project that I created from my memories of a spread that my grandmother made for me before I went to college.

Coverlet patterns are easily found, but what I recalled was not any particular published pattern.  “Coolidge” and “Lanach Castle” were the closest I found.

Lanach Castle Coverlet

Coolidge Coverlet in white cotton

You can easily see the differences.  In doing this, I knit from the center out each square, then did three-needle bind-offs to join the squares into strips, and the strips into the whole top, using several extra double-point 21″ and one 36″ needles with point guards as stitch holders.  I then knit on the edging all around.

I really didn’t like the idea of having to sew all the pieces together, so I didn’t!

Here is a quick, super-useful knit shopping bag.  Plain old acrylic worsted becomes elegant in utility!  Pattern to be posted soon.

Knit shopping bag

Another shorter project was the Puzzle Scarf.  This was designed for a good friend, and is all done with short rows!  It was a lot of fun – I did this one on the fly and had it done in time for Christmas.

Puzzle Scarf for Christmas

The Falling Leaves poncho is an exercise in increases.  I’m thinking of revisiting this one in a lighter yarn as a lace overskirt, with cables forming the bars instead of plain stockinette.  I’ve been losing weight, so this poncho may see new life as a winter skirt as it is.

This layette set was a sheer joy to create!

Amy in her sweater, hat & blankie

You can see the double-point needle holding the side stitches

The mother picked out the colors of this yummy super-wash merino yarn from Lion Brand.  The blankie is knitted from the center out, and the edging knitted on sideways, like I did the blue bedspread.  The blankie can also be a shawl for mother, as it can be pinned out to it’s full size after washing.  Baby Amy’s hat was taken from a lace doily pattern, with the scalloped edging knitted on (again), and a ribbon laced through the edging to pull it in to fit the baby’s head.

Another view of Amy's hat

On my needles right now is this knit camisole idea:

quick sketch & notes for camisole

I’m knitting in a commercial sport-weight for my trial run at this one, and I’m working on spinning silk for a truly extraordinary final product.

Bearclaw bottom of camisole