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Knitting Woolful Podcast

Episode 7: Caroline Kaufman & Michele Wang – Knitting in fashion, color, working for yourself and gauge and tension

January 13, 2015

I’m very excited to share the seventh episode of the Woolful podcast. Today we get to meet two exciting and colorful fiber folk that come from different places within the fiber industry, but both hail from New York, Caroline Kaufman and Michele Wang.

 

fancy tiger crafts

 

Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Fancy Tiger Crafts, a beautiful yarn shop based out of Denver, Colorado, who recently launched their online shop, fancytigercrafts.com. They have an amazing selection of fabrics and yarns, including their own Heirloom Romney Yarn, which is grown, milled and dyed here in the US. Make sure to visit Fancy Tiger Crafts in person when in Denver and online at fancytigercrafts.com.

fancytigercrafts

Fiber folk 1: Caroline is a up and coming fashion designer, color enthusiast and fiber junky.  You can find her at carolinerosekaufman.com and on Instagram @crosekauf.

caroline

Man on the street: For this week’s “Man on the Street” I asked a handful of fiber enthusiasts to answer the following question, “Describe your fiber comfort zone?” We had some amazing replies from Andrea @dreareneeknits, Nikki @woolenviolet, Sonja @atreebytheriver, Andi My Sister’s KnitterJennifer @jaykay_knits, Maria @ninja.chickens, Rhea @hedgerowcottage

Fiber folk 2: Our next guest is someone I’ve come to admire as both a designer and spinner, but even more so as an entrepreneurial go getter. Michele is an incredible knitwear designer as well as the creator of Gauge + Tension, a shop in Brooklyn featuring hard to find yarns. You can find her at mishi2x.com and on Instagram @mishi2x.

January 24th and 25th, Gauge + Tension is hosting their final pop-up shop at it’s Meserole Avenue location, featuring two special events with the Plucky Knitter and Miss Babs fibers and yarns. Beginning in February, you’ll find Gauge + Tension at it’s new home, a shared location with Brooklyn Craft Company in Greenpoint Brooklyn.

michele

Giveaway: The winner of last week’s giveaway is… @liseydear! Congratulations, you’ve one the Trewlawney Mitt Project Kit.

The giveaway this week is a special one, our second guest Michele’s Paffuto hat pattern along with one skein of Quince and Company’s Puffin. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below on this blog post.

quince

Next week Michele has a brand new pattern coming out designed in Woolfolk’s Far yarn. A long cardigan, featuring pockets, deep ribbing and a stockinette stitch pattern. A great selfish knit for deep Winter. Michele is offering a special Ravelry coupon to you fiber fans. Starting next week and available through February 15th, use the code “woolful15” for 10% off of this beautiful new pattern.

 

Music by Jónsi.

 

Transcription coming shortly!

Idaho Fiber Mill Life

Fiber mill: Where we’re at now

January 2, 2015

*Note. This post was written over the course of 3 days worth of nap-times. Obviously my son felt the need to sleep little, hence the reason this post is dated Jan 2nd instead of Dec 31st. 😉

What a year. A lot has been going on and each step of the way I’ve thought to myself “I need to write a post and update everyone”, but then in the wee hours of the night I find myself editing a podcast, replying to emails or working on patterns instead of writing this. But now I sit here, in our little cabin in Idaho, with hopefully about an hour of peace and warmth in front of the fire to share with you, where we’re at now.

I have always been one to jump in head first, take on what some might say far too much and work as hard as I can to execute said work with both intention and determination. Passion is one of the drivers, but more than that, is my family. Balance has never been a strong suit of mine, however as I’ve taken more on with my career as a designer, and with Woolful, I’ve tried to be cognizant of the fact that my first love and desires belong to my family.

When I started Woolful in April, I had no idea where it would lead me or what it would become, and I still don’t really, but I have gotten a glimpse of where it’s going and I’m excited…and humbled. I didn’t expect to start a shop, but it just kind of came to be after spending time with these amazing fiber folks for the podcast. I hope in some small way I can help bring light to what they were doing and inspire fiber enthusiasts to take a closer look at and create a connection with the material they are using and creating. In the same vein, I launched a podcast which focuses on helping build that same connection, sharing fiber journey’s of some of the most dedicated, loving and passionate people I know.

And the mill. In September we closed on our 40 acre ranch in Idaho, with the plan (and dreams) to build a fiber mill. My parents and David and I bought the property together, with hopes to build a legacy for our family there. My parents live in the cute little cabin, which has it’s fair share of rough spots that we’re working through. Busted pipes, rotting subfloor, janky staircase, drafty walls and windows, etc. But it doesn’t really matter. You work through it as you do with anything in life and you come out on the other side, better (and hopefully more skilled) because of it. The truth is, we didn’t buy the ranch for the cabin, we bought it for the land it sits on. 40 acres of breathtakingly beautiful timber and pasture. Our field of dreams.

cabin

We’re up in Idaho now, and each time we are, it’s both restorative and agonizing. Restorative for the obvious reasons, agonizing because we long so badly to be here permanently, to raise our son and future kids in the fresh air and open land instead of the big city. But all in time, and there is a plan, albeit one that could very well change as many plans do. The plan is to save for the next several months and then buy a yurt. Spend next Summer building the platform for the yurt, then setting up the yurt itself and building other things such as an outhouse (a nice one, don’t worry we have expert outhouse builders guiding us 😉 and possibly a mud room. This will most definitely take more time than we anticipate, but our goal is to have it complete by the end of 2015. At what point we move and live in the yurt permanently is yet to be decided…could be a year, could be 2 or more. I’m learning to go with the flow and be flexible.

Meanwhile, we have begun the grant research and writing process for a variety of grants that will help us build the fiber mill and business. This stuff is a lot of work, and something we’re considering hiring a grant writer for, we’ll let you know what we decide. 🙂 The other thing we are working on is deciding funding. Our goal is to do this without loans. A lofty goal we know, but one we’re confident we can achieve with the support of our community, grants and lots of penny pinching. I’ll write about each of these things in more detail as we progress through the process and have helpful information to share.

We picked the site for the mill on the property! It’s a beautiful spot with great access to water and power, it sits right next to a wide creek with wide spread wooded views. When I stand outside I can see everything. The stone and log wood structure, with windows lining each side. A small front area that welcomes guests with it’s pot belly stove and rockers, baskets full of yarn and fiber ready to knit and spin. Then you walk through large french doors that lead to the milling machines. A picker, carder, pin drafter, spinning frame and more. Large canvas laundry carts on wheels helping move the fiber along through each step. In the back we’ll have a special enclosed area where all the fiber is scoured using sustainable methods, including a greywater system. Then you step out the back to a porch that overlooks the creek. Here is where the evenings end and future dreams (of sheep) will be discussed. Like I said, I can see it, can you? 😉

One of the exciting things that’s happened since we got the property is we converted an old milking parlor into a natural dye studio. We’re slowly setting it up, and by Summer it’ll be in full swing. I’ve been dyeing it in non-stop for the Natural Dye Yarn Club and it’s been wonderful, but I’m excited about some improvements we have planned, such as a small wood stove. I’ve been dyeing this whole past week in sub zero temperatures and it’s been interesting. More on that adventure in a separate post…I have lots of great photos and notes to share.

dye studio

 

natural dyeing

Lastly, I wanted you guys to know how incredibly supported we’ve felt this year, through all of our ambitious endeavors. Naturally I’m a bit of an introvert, but I realized quickly in life that if I want to help build awareness, connections, advocacy, relationships, etc…I needed to put myself out there in some way and you all have greeted me with encouragement and grace. I appreciate it more than you will ever know. And as always, please please never hesitate to reach out here or by email or wherever. I may not have the chance to reply in a timely fashion (I’m trying!) but I read everything and it keeps me humble and full of thanks.

Much love in this new year, 2015 is going to be magical. 

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Knitting Woolful Podcast

Episode 5: Julie Hoover & Deedee Morris – Fiber communities, dyeing, discovery and design

December 23, 2014
woolful podcast

I’m very excited to share the fifth episode of the Woolful podcast. Today we get to meet two amazing and talented women, Julie Hoover and Deedee Morris.

 

fancy tiger crafts

 

Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Fancy Tiger Crafts, a beautiful yarn shop based out of Denver, Colorado, who recently launched their online shop, fancytigercrafts.com. They have an amazing selection of fabrics and yarns, including their own Heirloom Romney Yarn, which is grown, milled and dyed here in the US. Make sure to visit Fancy Tiger Crafts in person when in Denver and online at fancytigercrafts.com.

fancytigercrafts

Fiber folk 1: Deedee is an amazing photographer, fiber dyer, passionate gardener and explorer in the kitchen hailing from Halifax Nova Scotia. You can find her at deedeemorris.com and on Instagram @diemorr.

deedeemorris

Man on the street: For this week’s “Man on the Street” I asked a handful of fiber enthusiasts to answer the following question, “How has your fiber community inspired you?” We had some amazing replies from Andrea (@dreareneeknits), Barbara (@stixandstring) and Beatrice (@threadandladle).

Fiber folk 2: I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know our next guest over the past few months as she shared her humble fiber journey, and it really struck a chord with me, as I know it will for many of you. You might be most familiar with Julie Hoover as a designer for Brooklyn Tweed, but more than that, she’s spent her lifetime making her way as a creative, while raising three boys and most recently, building her dream home in Ann Arbor. You can find her at juliehoover.com and on Instagram @jgourmet.

juliehoover

Giveaway: The winner of last week’s giveaway, is…@bethanydean. You’ve won a copy of Mandarine’s Pinecone and Mulberry hat pattern and 2 skeins of Quince and company’s Owl tweet. Congratulations!

The giveaway this week is sponsored by Local Color Fiber Studio, an amazing fiber and natural dye farm located on Bainbridge Island, Washington. We’re giving away two skeins of their US grown, spun and dyed Rambouillet wool yarn in fingering weight, dyed with Japanese Indigo from Local Color’s farm. To enter this giveaway, visit the giveaway post on Instagram @woolful and tag a friend in the comments. You can also enter by leaving a comment below.

localcolor

Next week I’ll be taking a little break to spend some quality time with my family, record a couple more amazing fiber folks and naturally dye my little heart out as we complete this Quarter’s Naturally Dyed Yarn club. Make sure to follow along as I share on Instagram @woolful.

I also wanted to mention the two Woolful knit-alongs that will be taking place in the coming months. Next week we’ll be starting our first knit-along, the Nordic Wind Shawl pattern designed by Deneise of cabinfour, using some amazing new single farm Icelandic Lopi yarn which will be in the Woolful Mercantile tomorrow. You can find kits that include both the knit along pattern and Lopi yarn, or you are always welcome to use your own favorite Lopi yarn. You can find more information on this knit along and our next Little Woolens hat pattern knit along in our Woolful Ravelry group.

icelandic lopi yarn

 

Music by Jónsi.
Transcription of episode:

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