New Beginnings

I’m a big fan of change, I have been my whole life. When I was a kid my dad was in the Canadian Armed Forces and we moved around a lot, which meant new homes, new schools, new friends. We lived in Germany (where I was born), a couple of cities in Quebec, then Edmonton, which is where we lived until, as an adult, I decided to move to British Columbia. I lived in the Vancouver area for several years (moving multiple times, of course!) before making the move to Penticton. This move was different though… I was looking to settle down in a small city with a slower pace of life. I wanted to live in one house for more than my four year average. I found a great house on a large lot with room for the dogs to play and a big vegetable garden. There were fruit trees - apple, pear, and cherry, as well as a walnut tree. It was perfect, and I was going to live there a long, long time. Have you guessed where this is going? Yeah….. I sold that house after four years…..

But I had a good reason! Okay, I always had a good reason for moving, but this one was more than just feeling the need for change. This time it was about Isis Fibre Arts. I needed a larger dye studio than the old house could handle. I loved that house, it was quirky and unique, but the layout wasn’t conducive to the kind of dye space I need. So I was on the house hunt again. But this time I did it differently. This time I decided to build. My build-a-house journey has been… complicated. And a lot longer than expected, which means I’m currently living in my parents spare room and dyeing in their kitchen. Thanks Mom and Dad!! Love you!!! I promise I’m moving soon!!!

It’s true - I am moving soon! I bought a 2.5 acre lot that’s kind of in the boonies, but only 15 minutes outside Penticton in a small neighborhood of acreages. I decided to go modular, which is where the main floor of the house is built in pieces in a factory. It’s faster, less expensive, and often better built than an on-site house. Plus I was able to design the layout myself so I’m getting exactly what I want. And… I got to watch my house fly!

The house is build into a slope with a full walkout basement, and the basement is where the magic happens! Yup… a full on dedicated yarn dyeing studio! It’s going to be glorious!! There’s still work to be done before I can move in, and then a lot more work building out the studio in the basement, but I’m on my way!

The last year has been a challenging one, and I’ve been pretty silent on the social media front. Besides building a house, having a burst appendix, and living with my parents, in June I lost my beloved golden retriever Charlie. Charlie’s loss devastated me. He was 11 years old and had been with me through a lot of change… new jobs, the end of my relationship, and a lot of homes. I wanted him to see the new house with all my furniture in it, explore the land, and know that this was our place. But that’s what I wanted… he probably didn’t care that we lived with my parents, in fact, he probably loved it. More people to rub him, more people around meant he was rarely alone, and I’m pretty sure my dad gave him a lot of treats when I wasn’t looking. He had a great life, and he knew how loved he was. Luckily I still have Isis, my coonhound husky mix. She just turned 6 a couple of weeks ago. She was lost when Charlie died too, because she’s never been an only dog, but she’s coming around. She loves running on the acreage, and she runs super fast - I need a fence! And once I’m settled in the new house, I maybe, possibly, just might get another dog. Who am I kidding… I’m totally getting a puppy… Isis needs a playmate!

Run free Charlie. You were always my very best boy.

Yarn Bowls!

Yarn bowls are up on the site! I've got six of them at the moment, with more to come as my Dad makes them :)  Each one is unique and may or may not be repeated, depending on what wood is available and what Dad feels like making... I just leave the artist to his work! 

I've included the weight of each bowl in its description, as well as what wood the bowl is made of and the height and width. Shipping is based on weight, so there could be quite a discrepancy in shipping charges between bowls. You can add a bowl to the shopping cart to see what the shipping will be. 

I've added the bowls to what was the Project Bags page on the site; now it's calls Bowls & Bags. I've also got a bunch of new project bags to add, as soon as I take pictures, so while there aren't many bags listed right now, that will change soon!

Happy bowl shopping, and if everyone hates that one with the strip of Purple Heartwood in it, I would be super happy to keep that for myself ;) 

Thank you Knit City!

My first year at Knit City Vancouver has come and gone and it was a blast! Super busy, but so amazing! I got to see and talk to so many people in person instead of just through email and social media, and I love that! That's the only drawback to being an online store... I don't get to interact with my people in person. I do get to see some of you at the Penticton Market, but not nearly enough, so a bigger venue was perfect. 

Setup went pretty well thanks to my awesome Knestie Kim, who I couldn't have done the show without. Even with a dolly, it took us a while to haul everything in from the van, and then there were all the bags of yarn to put on racks... after we decided on where everything was going to go. I was pretty happy with the way the booth turned out though... so colourful!  

It was kind of sad to pack up and go after all the excitement, but we'll be back next year for sure!

Knit City 2017 is almost here!!

I'm super excited that Knit City 2017 is finally here! Well... almost :)  Tomorrow is packing up the van day, Friday we drive to Vancouver in the morning and set up the booth in the afternoon, and in the evening - Stephen West!! So looking forward to hearing him speak! 

But Saturday..... that's the day I'm looking forward to the most because I get to see so many people! It's going to be crazy and busy and awesome! I'm taking a ton of yarn (of course!!), but also all the project bags and One of a Kinds that I have, so if you see that they show sold out here on the site, it's because I've packed them up already.

I'm also taking yarn bowls. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen some pictures of them. They're amazing!! My dad makes them... hand carved wood yarn bowls. All unique. All made from various types of wood. 

These bowls are a labour of love, and Dad has been working his fingers to the bone for months, but you can't rush art, so I've only got around 15 to take with me to Knit City. I'm fully expecting them to sell out based on the interest I've had already, but if I bring any home, they will be listed here on the site, as will new bowls going forward. It's a new direction for Isis Fibre Arts, and I'm super excited about it! 

That's is for today... I've got packing to do!!  I'm going to try to post more often from now on. Blogging doesn't come easily for me, but I'll give it my best shot! 

Is that project bag really sold out??

I'm packing up for the Penticton Market tomorrow and I realized I need to note which project bags I'm taking. Since they're all one of a kind bags, and we don't necessarily have any more of a particular fabric to make another one with... I need to take some of them down just in case they sell at the market and through the online store on the same day... that would never do!!

But I don't really want to go through the work of taking the listing down and then putting it up again if that bag doesn't sell (lazy? okay... I'll own that...), so... I'm just changing the quantity online to zero, which makes it look like they're sold out. And they might be... they're pretty awesome in real life... but if you're looking at the site and a particular bag you'd like to have says it's sold out, check back either Saturday night or on Sunday, and I'll have updated the Project Bags page with all the bags that are still available.

And maybe with some new ones... like these beauties..... 

Oooohhh..... aaahhhhh.......  there's definitely an Asian theme with this bunch of bags... so pretty!! These ones are headed to the market tomorrow, but whichever ones don't sell will be up on the site on Sunday some time. 

Project Bags!!

New on the site today! I've added a page for project bags. They will be mostly one of a kind bags, depending on the fabric my mom and I can get and feel like sewing with :) 

Nice and roomy, large enough to hold three cakes of yarn plus your project, the bags have different coloured lining fabric and coordinating zippers. They have interfacing between the layers so they stand up nicely and a handle for knitting on the go.

We're doing one size of bag right now, although that may change in the future. We might also do sets of coordinating larger and smaller bags (so many options!!!) but right now, this is the size of the bags:

  • Height: 8"
  • Width: 11" at the top; 13" at the bottom
  • Depth: 4 1/2" 

Let me know what you think of the bags, and I'll try to stop my friend Kim from buying them all before they even get posted....  

New Colours! Carnation and Dandelion

Such happy spring colours! Pink and yellow, just in time for the tulips and Forsythia to bloom, and here in the Okanagan, just in time for the dandelions to start popping up in my lawn. Oh well... I just think about all the bees I'm feeding.

While I was taking these photos I realized how badly I need some good photography lights. My goal for pictures is to have the yarn colours pop on a white background. While the colourways are accurate (at least on this monitor), the background is kind of grey, which does not make me happy. Once I find a good price on professional lights I'll be able to redo the pictures, but in the meantime how about we agree to look at the yarn, and ignore the background, okay? :) 

While dyeing up the Carnation colourway I couldn't help stealing a skein of Fingering Sparkle to make myself a pair of socks. They make me happy whenever I put them on... such a pretty colour! 

Why every day is Christmas, and how much I love the Grocery Girls!

I love packaging up yarn. I love seeing what people choose to buy, and how the colours look together. I get excited seeing all the different places in the world my yarn is going to, and spend far too much time googling all the different locations. Packaging up yarn is kind of like wrapping Christmas presents for me... at Christmas I get excited thinking about how my loved ones are going to react when they open their presents, and I hope that all you lovely customers get excited when you see a package from Isis Fibre Arts in the mail.

Don't these look like Christmas presents to you?

As to why I love the Grocery Girls, there are so many reasons...  they are lovely and hilarious, they remind me of all the happy times I had growing up in Edmonton, and they are serious yarn enablers! I was so happy to be able to offer a special deal for viewers of the Grocery Girls podcast, and because of that I now have customers in more parts of the world! I'm sending my first package to Australia (G'day Ed! I'm glad #GGmadeyoudoit!), and to the Faroe Islands (Hallo Majfrid!), which I now know a lot about (thanks Google!) and might have to add to my travel bucket list! 

Happy Easter everyone, I hope you're having a wonderful long weekend! 

New Colours! Stone Flower and Blue Spruce

I've been dyeing up a storm here at Isis Fibre Arts headquarters and I put the first couple colours on the site today. I've decided to change the way I add colours. In the past I waited to add a colour until I had  it dyed up in all my yarn bases, which sometimes meant it took a while. My new method is to put colours on the site as I develop them, in whatever yarn bases I have dyed up, and add the other yarn bases as I get them done.

This means that when you click on a colour all the currently available yarn bases will show, which might not include the one you're looking for. If that's the case, please send me a note letting me know what you'd like and I'll get on it!

One of the new colours on the site today is Stone Flower, which you saw in my Sumac Scarf pattern.  

Another new one is Blue Spruce:

It's a semi-solid teal blue, and it might be my new favorite... wait until you see it in Fingering Sparkle... so pretty!! I'll have that one up as soon as I get the photos done!

I also put a One of a Kind up called Mixed Greens. It kind of reminds me of salad greens, but in a nice way! So nice that I may have taken a skein for myself to make socks out of.... too bad I didn't have them finished in time for St. Patrick's Day!!  

I'd love to hear what you think of the new colours, and if there's anything in particular you'd like to see, please let me know! 


New pattern on the site

I put a free pattern on the site tonight. It's an easy scarf that takes one skein of Fingering weight yarn, but could be easily modified for whatever you have on hand. I made it for my brother Trevor, which is why it's called the Trevor Scarf... original, I know... :)

It's a small scarf meant to be worn under a jacket without being bulky, and is plain enough to be a fast knit, with just enough pattern to make it a little interesting looking. 

New Colour!!

Introducing Lobelia! A dark midnight blue with bits of royal blue and light areas, it reminds me of lobelia flowers in a hanging basket... mostly dark with white centers and brighter areas where the sun hits them. Available in everything from Lace to Worsted, although my personal favorite is Fingering Sparkle... I love sparkle... :) 

How many kilometers is your sweater?

I was having coffee with a friend the other day and I was telling him about starting this business, so he checked out the website on his phone. He doesn't knit or crochet and (by his own admission) doesn't really know anything about yarn. The thing that struck him the most? The yardage in a skein of lace weight yarn... 851 meters (931 yards)... almost a kilometer! I'd never thought about it in those terms before, but I guess that's why it takes so long (for me, anyway) to knit something with lace weight yarn, and why the skeins are so nice and puffy! 

Lavender in Lace

Poinsettia in Lace

The website is live!!

Woo Hoo!! It's been a long time coming... much longer than I thought in fact, but today the website went live. I'm so happy this phase of the launch of Isis Fibre Arts is done, so that now I can move on to more fun stuff... developing and dyeing more colours! 

Here's a sample of what you'll see on the site today... hope you love it!!

Cedar in fingering
Lavender in fingering sparkle