Tag Archives: review

The Chambered Nautilus Tam – a pattern review with helpful tips!

My Chambered Nautilus Tam (a pattern by Elizabeth Zimmermann) is done. It was easy… once I knew what I was doing. Here is how mine turned out, what I think of this pattern, and a few helpful tips for anyone interested in making their own.

Chambered Nautilus Tam - knit pattern by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Continue reading The Chambered Nautilus Tam – a pattern review with helpful tips!


For the Best in Historical Romance Look to Georgette

If you’re not burnt out on all things vintage I have an author for you that you might enjoy. Georgette Heyer published her first novel in 1921 and her last in 1975 (after her death) and she is credited as the founder of the Regency Romance. Her books are chock full of accurate historical details. More importantly, her books are fun.

Heyer collection

Continue reading For the Best in Historical Romance Look to Georgette

A Good Read – Anything by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

I am a book junkie. I’m always reading something. When I was younger, and thought life was a serious pursuit that I should be winning, I read serious stuff like A Raisin in the Sun. Now I’m older and lazy laid back and I read entertaining drivel like Practical Demonkeeping. These days I want books that are junk food for my brain.

I also like knitting books. (I heard that. I heard you all say “duh“.) So I really like junk food for the brain books about knitting and that is what Stephanie Pearl-McPhee writes. She writes them well.

Continue reading A Good Read – Anything by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Finishing the Dorset

After all was said and done I ended up with 500 yards (460-ish meters) of two ply yarn from the Dorset Down roving sent to me by Louet.

This is the last of the products Louet sent me (back in November) and they did so with the understanding that I would do more than play with the roving. I agreed to try it out and give write an honest review. Guess I had better get that done before I dive into knitting something yummy and fanciful with it.

Continue reading Finishing the Dorset

Following Dorset Down the Old Sheep Trail

I’ve been working in a semi-devoted sort of way on spinning up the Dorset Down sent by the good folks at Louet. Its lovely roving but it has had to share me with a rather large knitting project that I dug out of mothballs shortly before Christmas (more on that later). I have about half of the Dorset spun up and plied. Here is how its looking:

Its coming out to be mostly sport weight and that’s in a 2-ply. But this isn’t going to be a post on how I’m getting the spinning done. Its a post on all the things I’ve learned about Dorset Downs.

Continue reading Following Dorset Down the Old Sheep Trail

A Review for Louet – Opening the Box

As I mentioned in a previous post, the box of goodies I’ve been expecting from Louet came this week. When I opened it up it felt like Christmas had come early because everything in this box is a gift.

It’s a gift from all of you, my lovely and wonderful readers. Louet may have paid for the stuff and paid for the shipping. In fact they did. But I wouldn’t have gotten it at all if it were not for you. They (at Louet) noticed this blog and they liked the writing. They liked the viewership, the number of hits on my posts, even more. Because of all your views, they asked me to try out, review, and write about their roving.

So a very big thank-you! Here is what we got:

Wait. Hold on. First its has to be thoroughly inspected by the Feline Overlord and Cowardly Boy Cat. Everything that comes through my front door gets the sniff treatment.

Ok. Now we can take a look at the goodies.

I was expecting one bag of roving. They sent two (!!) and a bar of Lavishea Lotion Bar Cucumber Melon scent, which is a limited edition, special, made just for Spinzilla 2014, scent. Yum.

Each of these products is going to get its own detailed post (or two) but I couldn’t wait to share it all with you. Patience has never been my thing. Consider this a spoiler post of what’s to come on this blog!

Also I feel that I should be completely honest right from the beginning… I have liked everything I’ve ever tried form Louet. Everything. I have two Louet spinning wheels (one that I bought and one that was a gift). I love them both. I buy their roving and recommend it to my spinning students. I buy their yarns; I bought more of it just last month. I buy Lavishea lotion bars. So chances are pretty good that I’m going to like everything that came out of that box.

Let’s take a closer look at that roving, shall we?

It’s Northern Lights Printed Wool Top in colorway Violets. This is what I’ve always called pencil roving. Lovely right?

It’s listed on the Louet website as a good roving for beginners and I completely agree. But I’ll save that for a later, more detailed post. For now, let’s move on to the second bag of roving.

Wow oh wow oh wow. I realize that you can’t tell from a picture, but this is not an ordinary 8-ounce pile of wool. This is Dorest Down wool, which is a rare breed sheep native to the Dorset Downs of southwest England. I’ve never spun any before.

I can’t wait to try it out.

Guess what? Neither could she.

The Feline Overlord always did have very, very good taste in fiber.

Thanks again everyone. I’ll be busy spinning this up and writing my reviews!

Shepherd’s Wool Yarn – A Review

I came across Shepherd’s Wool Yarn in a LYS about a month ago and I’ve been planning to give it a blog post ever since. Yep, its taken me a month to snap the pictures and get my thoughts down on paper pixels. What can I say, things pile up on me.  One day I will be able to blather on about yarn all day in blog posts and the blog-o-sphere will pay me vast sums of money to do so. Not today though. Probably not tomorrow either.

No one is paying me off for this review, btw. In fact, I had to pay the LYS to get the yarn, lol. But when I found it tucked into a bottom shelf I felt like I had made a real score. Tracking where it came from and how it was made felt a bit like an adventure. This is a blog about crafting adventures so I’m inspired to write my first-ever product review.

I found Shepard’s Wool at The Tinsmith’s Wife while on the 2014 Hill Country Yarn Crawl. It was (as I mentioned) on a bottom shelf and easy to miss. In fact if it wasn’t such a riot of color, I never would have seen it.

This is Stonehedge Crazy and its made by the Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan Michigan.  No two skeins on that shelf were the same. The staff at Tinsmith’s Wife told me the yarn was made from the mill ends of their main line, Shepard’s Wool, and if I would just look up from where I was sitting (which was on the floor with every skein of Stonehedge Crazy pulled out and piled up around me…) I would see their main line of solid colors.

You want a closer look at the Crazy, right?

Its two ply in worsted weight (about 2.5 ounces each), and the colors are combined at random. Each skein is one of a kind. I love it. I picked out these two Crazy skeins and a black from their main line (which is a full 4 ounces) to go with them. The other ladies on the yarn crawl with me fell in love with it too. I think we all bought some.

No, I have no idea what I’m going to make. Yes, its been a month. I haven’t found a pattern that would do it justice I guess. (I’m open to suggestions!) So far all it does is live in my work basket. I take it out every few days and pet it. That’s it current purpose, to be petted because this yarn is soooooooft.  For a plied, 100% merino, no special stuff blended in, its surprisingly soft.

On a final note…. besides being a party of color, and super soft, this yarn is made at a small, independently owned mill. I didn’t know that until I got it home and did a little googling of course. But now that I know it came from fiber processing mill which grew out of a 157 year old farm, I feel like I’ve discovered a real gem. Locally owned, independent fiber mills are hard to come by these days.  So I decided to share what I found, share what I love, and maybe push a little business their way.

Tell me what you think! Do you love it too? And any pattern suggestions (I have about 600 total yards in worsted weight) would be appreciated.