25% off everything today only!

Today only, everything in my store is 25% off with the coupon code MONDAY25OFF. The discount even applies to clearance items, and I’ve just moved a lot of stuff into the clearance section that would make great gifts.

Two of the most popular gifts each year are my sock yarn club and fiber club. If you want to buy a gift for a knitter or spinner but don’t know what color or fiber to get, I’ll send them 4oz of something new each month for 3 months.

If you’d like something really luxurious, you can’t beat a skein of hand dyed silk yarn. DK Silk is scrumptious and comes with a free cowl pattern.

27026 moss on stone cu

Or how about some luscious handspun yarn?

hc 1299 medley

And if you buy gifts for yourself, I won’t tell!

 

Ibuprofen and Wool

Usually on Thanksgiving Day I post a list of things I’m grateful for. I missed it this year. It’s not that I’m ungrateful. I’m grateful for many things. But it was hard to focus on anything except my back pain. It’s been aching for the past month.

Wednesday, after realizing I’d been saying “if it still hurts next week, I’ll call my chiropractor” for four weeks, I 1) realized that I’m not very good at this self care thing, and 2) called my chiropractor.

Unfortunately, since I haven’t been there for more than three years, I have to go as a new patient and allow for a longer appointment time, which means I can’t get in until next Thursday. So I have another full week of feeling like a truck ran over my spine.

I know it would be a completely frivolous use of technology, but if I had a time machine right now, I would totally go back in time 5 weeks and call to make an appointment.

Anyway, that’s my excuse for being generally out of it.

I am thankful for Ibuprofen.

And wool.

And all you nice people who buy stuff from me, so I can afford to go to the chiropractor. And buy Ibuprofen.

So if you’re thinking of buying more and you’re local, tomorrow is the Spinner’s Flock Holiday Fair at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. I’ll have my handspun yarn there, and a bunch of scarves and hats and bracelets. Other guildmembers will have awesome stuff as well, like spinning wheels, and ornaments, and more yarn.

hhf13flyer

Take a look around the gardens while you’re there too. There’s a cacao tree in the conservatory. I think I bowed to it last time I was there.

Jasmine’s Ethereal Socks

I’ve got the fourth kit in the Grounded series available now, Jasmine’s Ethereal Socks. They’re pretty!

6004 ethereal socks

In case you missed one of the other kits, you can see them all here.

There’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on here chez Happy Fuzzy Yarn (dyeing, planning, designing), but nothing else to announce quite yet. Soon though. (tease, tease…)

Subtle Majiks!

Are you enjoying the sock kits? I’ve got the third one in the series now, Jenn’s Subtle Majiks!

6003 subtle majiks

You get the printed pattern in a protective sleeve and a skein of Corrie Sock in Purple Kale, the yarn used in the pattern. Instructions are given for women’s sizes S, M, and L.

Mmm…kale… I think I need to eat lunch!

 

Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago

Hey, are you going to Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago this weekend? I will be there at booth #220, so come say hi and fondle some yarn!

Here’s a pic of just some of the yarn in my booth last weekend at Fiber Expo.

dyed yarn in booth

I will also be demonstrating Navajo plying at noon on Saturday in one of the salon rooms on the third floor, so if you’ve been wanting to get a close up view of how that works, now is your chance. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Wondering what Navajo plying is? It’s a method of plying handspun yarn that keeps the colors together. You can make a 3 ply yarn that looks like this:

handspun navajo-plied caribbean

It’s really spiffy and one of my favorite things to do!

Fiber Expo is this weekend! Yay!

I really like Fiber Expo. It’s one of my favorite shows to do. It’s a hometown show (Ann Arbor! Woohoo!), so I get to sleep in my own bed, not travel far, and I know where the good restaurants are, but it’s more than that. It’s just got a cool vibe to it. I see even more friends than usual (both vendors and customers), Humphrey the camel will be there (coolest camel ever!), and…well, ok, probably just the fact that I don’t have to get up super early is a big plus.

I’ll be there this weekend in my big booth of Happiness, with bunches of luscious yarn, fiber, patterns, and kits. Try not to drool on anything unless you’re buying it, but feel free to fondle and grope the goods! How else can you bond with it?

I’ll keep this short because I am tired, but here’s a photo to entice you.

1409 crete merino-tencel

Handspun! I spun it from my merino/tencel combed top. Shiny…

Second Kit and Third Coast

Hey, remember I said I have kits now? I have the second one in the series now, Izzy’s Bouncin’ Blues!

izzy's bouncin' blues

I’ll have both kits and a whole lot of yarn and fiber and patterns available this Friday and Saturday at the Third Coast Fiber Arts Festival on the Wayne State University campus in Detroit.

If you’re in the area, come check it out because I’ve got luscious stuff and you can fondle and grope it before you buy!

This is merino/yak combed top:

31114 hydrangea merino/yak

When I put it into people’s hands and say “Feel how soft this is,” they kind of melt. It’s cute to watch!

And this is Corrie Sock in a brand new colorway that I don’t have available online yet (soon!). It’s called “Sugar Plum Fairy.”

f 22058 sugar plum fairy

I like it. It may be my new special friend.

Hey! I have kits now!

My friend Heather Ordover, author of What would Madame Defarge Knit? and What (else) would Madame Defarge Knit?, has written a young adult novel called Grounded. The leading character is a knitter, and knitting features prominently! Grounded is the first book in a series, and I want the next book now. (NOW!!)

To go along with the book, Heather is releasing sock patterns based on each of the main characters in the book, all designed for Happy Fuzzy Yarn Corrie Sock. As each pattern is released, it will be available here in kit form.

This is Rosie’s Firestarters, the first pattern in the series. You will receive a 5 page printed pattern in a protective sleeve and one 4 oz skein of Corrie Sock in Sugar Maple, the colorway used in the pattern.

6001 firestarters

Pretty!

Adventures in Fibonacci Weaving

This is about the interconnectedness of all things.

FibonacciIn 1202, Leonardo Pisano Fibonacci, an Italian mathematician, wrote a book called Liber abaci (“Book of the abacus”). In this book he posited a problem:

A certain man put a pair of rabbits in a place surrounded on all sides by a wall. How many pairs of rabbits can be produced from that pair in a year if it is supposed that every month each pair begets a new pair which from the second month on becomes productive?

Rabbits?! Squee! Bunnies!

The answer of course is the number sequence for which he is well known, and which bears his name, the Fibonacci sequence, also known as the Fibonacci series:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, and so on. Each number in the sequence is the sum of the two preceding numbers.

So what does this have to do with weaving?

Read on, my pretties. Read on.

The sequence describes growth. While it theoretically describes rabbit population growth (actually there are usually 5-8 kits in a litter, so he was off there), it actually does describe the way many other things grow.

sunflower 250w

Especially spirals.

Snail shells. Animal horns. The arrangement of seeds on sunflower heads and many other flowers. The spirals of pinecones. The spirals of rose petals. Pineapples. Leaf nodes on branches. Unfurling ferns. Artichokes. Hurricanes. Galaxies.

AureaFibonacci

Well, that’s really cool. But what does it have to do with weaving?

I’m getting there. Promise.

It turns out that as the numbers get bigger and bigger, they approach what Pythagoras first described as a golden ratio or golden mean. Other bigwig genius types like Johannes Kepler and Leonardo da Vinci were working with the golden ratio too, so it was a big deal. But what is it?

Technically speaking, it’s an irrational number equal to (1 + ?5)/2. In layman’s terms, it’s approximately equal to 1.618.

And this is where it gets interesting.

Proportions of the human body have this ratio all over it. People vary, to be sure, but there are averages. Distance from floor to navel : distance from top of head to navel = ~1.618. Distance from navel to knee : distance from knee to floor = ~1.618.

And you know how you can curl up your fingers? The lengths of your finger segments follow the same ratio from one to the next, just like a snail shell.

Studies have shown that when test subjects unfamiliar with the golden ratio viewed random faces, the ones they judged most attractive most closely matched golden ratio proportions between the width of the face and the width of the eyes, nose, and eyebrows.

The sequence happens in nature so frequently, and in us, that our brains are sort of biologically programmed to find it attractive. It’s instinct.

This is where weaving comes in.

If you’re looking for a sequence of numbers to use for alternating colors of warp threads, and you don’t want to just repeat the same number over and over, if you want something more interesting, but you want something you know will look good, use Fibonacci numbers. Our brains like them.

riin in shawl

So that’s what I did for this shawl, which I wove using five skeins of my Superwash Sport.

I used three skeins for the warp, one skein each of Purplesaurus, Rain Forest, and Coastal (which I labeled A, B, and C, respectively), and two skeins of Cobalt for the weft.

 

shawl skeins

Left to right: Purplesaurus, Rain Forest, Coastal, Cobalt (2 skeins)

I already knew I was going to weave this on my Kromski Harp 24″ rigid heddle loom with a 10 dent reed, using the entire 24″ width. So that’s theoretically 240 warp ends. It’s actually 5 holes per inch though, and then each hole has a corresponding slat. It always seems weird to me to have one warp thread on the outside, not through a slat, so I don’t use the end hole that would require using the adjacent slatless slat that isn’t a slat but just wide open space. (Am I the only one who avoids it?) So, 238 warp ends (119 pairs of threads).

I started writing down my Fibonacci sequence, and quickly realized that if I kept on going, I would be using much more of one colorway than the others. For this project I didn’t want to do that (but for another project I might!), so after I reached 21, I started over at 1 again.

So this is what I came up with.

  • Color : # of warp pairs
  • A : 1
  • B : 1
  • C : 2
  • A : 3
  • B : 5
  • C : 8
  • A : 13
  • B : 21
  • C : 1
  • A : 1
  • B : 2
  • C : 3
  • A : 5
  • B : 8
  • C : 13
  • A : 21
  • B : 1
  • C : 1
  • A : 2
  • B : 3
  • C : 4, only because I ran out of room. If I was doing a wider piece, it would be 5.
  • Total: 119

Because I am lazy, I am a great fan of the direct warp method. When the warp is too wide to fit on a warping peg, I improvise.

stool legs as pegs

The two chairs rammed against the table hold the stool the proper distance away from the loom clamped onto the other end of the table. One half the warp wraps around one stool leg, and the other half around the other stool leg, so it’s sort of close to straight-ish.

warp rotated resized

Not bad, eh? Aside from being a really weird photo, I mean.

So this

weaving in progress

became this.

shawl width 600w

Because everything is interconnected.

Want to read more about Fibonacci and the golden ratio? Try here, here, and here.

Another pattern, new fibers, and a chance to win some yarny goodness!

Wow, I’ve got lots to tell you! Ok, first up, I finished the other pattern I’ve been working on!

Spiral Scrunch Cowl

This is the Spiral Scrunch Cowl, which I designed to use one skein of DK Silk. It’s fast, easy, and luxurious. (cough, holiday knitting, cough) You can buy the pattern separately, or if you buy at least one skein of the silk, you get the pattern for free! Sweet deal, eh?

Next up, I’ve introduced two new fibers, and they are both extremely yummy.

This is 50% merino/50% tencel combed top. It’s easy to spin, and it’s shiny.

crete merino/tencel top

And this is 50% superfine merino/50% yak. It is soooooo sooooooft! The base fiber is a natural heathery gray, so I can dye it in any of my colorways, and it will come out darker and more subtle than the same colorway on a white base.

salwar kameez merino/yak top

And so so soft!

Third up, my friend Carol Sukolski is doing a fundraiser for Summer Search, a group that mentors low income high school kids to live up to their potential. For every $5 you donate, you get one chance to win a yarny prize, one of which is a $50 Happy Fuzzy Yarn gift certificate. You can read all about the group and the work they do and the fundraiser and the complete list of prizes here.

More stuff coming very soon!

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