Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Chronicles of a Narnia Scarf

I promised this last week, and it didn't happen. And I was going to post it yesterday but didn't have the chance. So now on my lunch break I finally bring you the scarf you've all been waiting for! Warning: gratuitous amounts of pictures.

I was rather pleased when I finished the knitting.

It needed to be washed, though, to bring up the fuzz and soften the yarn. So I prepared a bath for it with a bit of Eucalan, and set it in nice and easy:

Swooshed it around a bit, hoping that a teensy degree of fulling would bring the fuzz up more:
(I told you the pictures were gratuitous)

It rather enjoyed its bath, and managed to look its very best while underwater:
(Okay so I just liked the way the color showed in the water...)

So after letting it soak a while and squeezing it out very carefully, I laid it out to dry:
Looks a bit more like a banner than a scarf, no?

The wait for it to dry was agonizing. Except for the part when I was asleep. That part I didn't notice. But I waited all day through work to come home to:
Hmm. That's awfully flat.

I see fuzz, but no defined columns of slipped stitches. Hmm.

The feel of the scarf is fabulous. I love it. I just am a bit disappointed in how it washed. The stitch definition was perfect before I washed it; after the wash, not so much. The slipped stitches just settled down next to the regular knit stitches and refused to stand out. So after wearing it for an evening, I gave it another bath. Swooshed it around quite a bit in hot water, by hand (just a teensy amount of fulling, but not significant) in hopes that it would tighten it up a bit and thus (in theory) squish the slipped stitches out from between the plain old knits. And instead of laying it flat to dry, I put it in the dryer on the no-heat, air-fluff setting to dry. Plan backfired. Still rather flat. With more wear, the slipped stitch columns are showing a little bit more, but it's still not the movie look I was going for.

Very elegant, though.

Very soft and comfortable, too. I just wish it had turned out looking the way I had wanted. And who knows, maybe it'll gradually spring back to its un-blocked state. And maybe Aslan will appear in our world. Don't want to end on such a negative note, though, so I will say that it's fabulous to wear and I will definitely be ordering from Stansborough Fibres again. And I will be wearing my Tumnus scarf to the midnight showing tomorrow night!!!


turtlegirl76 said...

It's very pretty though! The color is fantastic! Hopefully it'll behave and turn into the scarf you wanted.

Anonymous said...

It's always a little dissapointing when things don't work out quite the way you want them to but all said and done, the scarf is beautiful. The colour is rich and suits you well and I can see the slip stitches in the last picture so maybe all is not lost. It may not be quite what you wanted but it's so lovely maybe after a while you won't mind.

Unknown said...

It is very pretty...I loved the underwater pics...

hjb said...

hi carrie,

please let me know, whzere you purchase your raw wool. I've read it months ago in a comment, but I can't find it.
Many thx in advance
hans in Germany

niersgalerie said...

Hi Carrie,
I admire your spinning and knitting work since months, pls let me know where you purchse your raw spinning wool.
many thx in advance, best regards
Hans in Germany

hjb said...

sorry, hjb & niersgalerie is actually the's all confusing, this computer stuff...

but now:

Hello Carrie,
many thx for your message. I had heard about Etsy already, Etsy.Fraydknot, but I didn't know that there are many more in the same portal. We have a shop portal system called AVENGO, and they do not charge for the download of each item, but only a commission charge per sale. (see

I have my little art&antiques gallery there. But it is very difficult, nobody in this country has any money, except a few very rich.

You might probably/surely ask, why I write you a long message today? Oh, the answer is very easy:

It's partly your 'fault' (sorry) that we have decided to re-activate a business which had nearly come to an end. When I was surfing in international blogs several months ago, I found your pocketsize blog, and I was absolutely fascinated how you now make handspun yarns and how interesting the results and products are.

We started a farm back in the late 70/early 80s, breeding up to 150 angora rabbits and a small herd of scotch blackface sheep. We were the first in Germany who tryed to spin angora by hand, and we had brilliant results. In this time it was no question, whether we'd dye with plants or not: we learnt the whole plant dye craft and started a huge collection of yarns, not only handspun, but to make plant dyed stuff payable for people with lesss money, it was necessary to extend our programm. We opened a shop in town, started mail order, exhibited our stuff on festivals and fairs, especially on this medieval markets which became very popular during that time, until the whole eco business broke down in 1989/1990. 9 out of 10 businesses like ours had to close, as we also did. But I still had a few spinning wheels and the drum carder, and luckily I never sold it. During the following years we bought sometimes raw wool from the farmers, or just got it for free, cause they must put it on the dump, there is no german wool market left over, nobody beats chinese or eastern Europe prices.

Until I started surfing blogs. Please, don't laugh. It was the picture of your black scarf with the red rose, and the very very colorful pic of the long pink and green gloves. Then I realised that you were using all american material (except that turquois german skein of Rödel Wolle, a well known german manufacturer...), and I googled a bit, until I saw the pages of Fraydknot at Etsy. O my gawd...what prices... and I was sort of electrified, when I calculated, how much it would cost me to produce similar stuff. My first idea was plant dye, of course, but then I realised, that this people in the States would even dye synthetically, and I spent 2 days and nights just developing a plan, what we could offer, first on the american market only, and - pending on our financial situation at the moment - with as little investment as possible.

So please see the results, and if it is allowed to ask you, could you imagine that people in the US would be interested in our stuff?
It does not contain any prices, except shipping costs. Is it not too expensive for somebody in USA when she has to pay that amount of money just for shipping?
(I do not imagine, that it is cheaper to buy stuff in New Zealand, shipping will surely be very expensive from there.)
So, if it doesn't bore you, please have a short look at it.....and many thanks in advance


This is the first idea of a kind of brochure/website/catalogue.. and not by far the final thing:

Because it is 95% for people in the US, we gave it an english name and called the project "FLOWERS OF GERMANY"

Flowers of Germany

Wool & Fibres (plant dyed section):
- handspun plant dyed yarns
- fibres for the spinning enthusiast

Our promise: All fibres have been washed in clear water and pure vegetable soap, carded by hand on a small Louët drum carder, spun on traditional spinning wheels and plant dyed in full respect of environmental requirements. All sheep and angora is local new wool, silk, llama, alpaca, cotton and other fibres are purchased from recommended suppliers in our rural area. We regularly visit the sheep and angora farms where we buy our material. We know most of the sheep 'personally'.

All plant and natural dyes are done in a traditional way. We run our craft shop and workshop since more than 30 years now following an old local tradition. In earlier years our region was one of the centers of German silk and handweaving crafts.
We do not follow fashion trends changing every second month. Our trend is a very unique sensation of color, feeling and quality for the customer on a really constant level. It is the result of tradition, experience, precision, and inspiration. Some people even say, that success like ours is 5 p.c. inspiration and 95 p.c. perspiration. In any case, it is hard work, and we keep it very serious.

We make homespun wool on old but very well maintained spinning wheels. Most dyeing material is collected in our extensive garden, in the unspoilt environment of our rural area or purchased from reliable suppliers (indigo, cochenille and few more exotic ingredients). Plant dyeing is difficult, needs a lot of time, and is much much more expensive compared to any synthetic dye.

Our area is situated in the very northwest of the country, less than 150 mls from the North Sea Coast, directly at the boarder to Holland, on the left hand shore of the river Rhine. It is old farm land, best for milk, beef, chicken, and all kind of vegetables. The landscape is mostly formed by greenland, interrupted by many small forests, and lots of green houses. Because it is only 30 yards above sea level, the soil is wet, heavy, and dark. Summers are never too hot, and the winters are mild and mellow, due to the short distance to the ocean. It is ideal land for breeding fat sheep and growing all kinds of dye plants.
>yarns - from plant dyed fibres, handspun<
Lillies in the Fields - white/yellow/orange/pink sheep wool and silk
[sorry, no pic] per oz US$
Summer Breeze - full color 'Rainbow' sheep and lambswool
[sorry, no pic] per oz US$
Northern Skies - blue/white sheep, angora, glossy white silk on natural indigo
[sorry, no pic] per oz US$
Autumn Leaves - all shades of brown/orange/red
[sorry, no pic] per oz US$

>plant dyed wool and fibres for the homespun enthusiast<
If you want to make your own blend of fibres and/or colors, or if you want some pure color, choose from the following list:

Pure colors (on sheep wool) per oz US$
- birch yellow [sorry, no pic]
- corn yellow [sorry, no pic]
- curry yellow [sorry, no pic]
- mossy green [sorry, no pic]
- golden green [sorry, no pic]
- olive green bright [sorry, no pic]
- olive green dark [sorry, no pic]
- light pink [sorry, no pic]
- dark pink [sorry, no pic]
- crimson red [sorry, no pic]
- bishop's red [sorry, no pic]
- nut brown [sorry, no pic]
- dark brown [sorry, no pic]
- mahogany [sorry, no pic]
- orange [sorry, no pic]
- 5 shades of indigo blue [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic]

Natural colors (sheep, not dyed) per oz US$
- white/natural [sorry, no pic]
- Gotland grey [sorry, no pic]
- light brown [sorry, no pic]
- brown [sorry, no pic]
- Scotch Blackface dark brown [sorry, no pic]
- blend of different dark colors [sorry, no pic]

Silk (should only be dyed as yarn) per oz US$
- shining white [sorry, no pic]
- golden yellow [sorry, no pic]

Llama, alpaca, mohair and angora in their natural colors are in stock at different times during the year. We mostly dye these fibres as yarns. Please contact us for availability and price.

Wool & Fibres (synth dyed section):
- handspun synth dyed yarns
- fibres for the spinning enthusiast

Synthetic colors
Some people prefer plant dyed fibres due to environmental protection. Other knitters and weavers just like the unbelievable scale of colors. As beautiful as this scale looks to it's lovers, as restricted is the choice. There are several colors that cannot be made using plants or other natural ingredients. And - not everybody does have that lots of money - the price is also a point of discussion to many people, especially to younger people who do not yet have a bigger income. All these reasons told us to start a second product line, beautifully dyed fibres and handspun yarns, using synthetic colors. Please see the results and make your own decision:

>handspun yarns - blends of sheep, llama, alpaca, mohair, silk<
Aremorica - bright blend of yellow/orange/pink
[sorry, no pic] per oz
Sicily Blend - full scale of 'Rainbow' colors
[sorry, no pic] per oz
Irish Mist - blue/white blend with glossy white silk
[sorry, no pic] per oz
Alberic's Forge - all shades of brown/orange/red
[sorry, no pic] per oz
Caribbean Whirl - colors, colors, just colors ...
[sorry, no pic] per oz
El Andalus - green, mossy, olive, and more
[sorry, no pic] per oz
Masr-i-Sharif - sandy, brownish, fading into yellow
[sorry, no pic] per oz
Black Forest - dark brown, pinewood green, black
[sorry, no pic] per oz

>wool and fibres for the homespun enthusiast<
If you want to make your own blend of fibres and/or colors, or if you want some pure color, and if you don't prefer plant dyed material, please choose from the following list:

Pure colors (on sheep wool) per oz US$
- bright yellow [sorry, no pic]
- dark yellow [sorry, no pic]
- greenish yellow [sorry, no pic]
- green [sorry, no pic]
- olive green [sorry, no pic]
- dark green [sorry, no pic]
- bright pink [sorry, no pic]
- pink [sorry, no pic]
- poppie-red [sorry, no pic]
- bishop's red [sorry, no pic]
- light brown [sorry, no pic]
- brown [sorry, no pic]
- red-brown [sorry, no pic]
- dark brown [sorry, no pic]
- orange [sorry, no pic]
- 5 shades of blue [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic]

All scarfs are made from the full range of our yarns (using both plant and synth dyed stuff, see above). We also use other yarns, leather, jute, tarpaulin, cotton, linen, ramie (an asian nettle, similar to linen, but as glossy as silk, extremely water resistant) of highest qualities. Some scarfs have add-ons from bronze, feathers, filth, and even cockles and mussels (but surely not alive, alive-oh!!) We combine several craft techniques like knitting, weaving, and filthing. Each scarf is a totally unique item. There are not 2 of our scarfs on this world looking the same. Each sample is the result of many hours of handicraft. See pictures and prices for details.=>[sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic]

Wooden section
- wooden buttons
- hand spindels
- spinning wheels
- tune-up-your-spinning-wheel-kits

>wooden buttons<
We sometimes collect interesting trees from the shrubs in the local forests, when we walk the dog or just enjoy living in the countryside.
We have tried to make wooden buttons for coats and cardigans, from 1/2 inch to 1 inch diameter. We do not make it regularly, so we have only very few in stock. See and choose:=> [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic]

>hand spindles<
We make 2 different types of hand spindles:
- disk type
- 'Turkish' type

The disk type spindle has a round disk at it's base and a stick app. 10 inch. It is available with or without hook. The 'Turkish' or 'Nomad' type has a cross of two small wooden bars at it's basement, and the stick goes right through the middle. The 3 parts are not glued together, so you can remove the central stick first, than the 2 small bars, and you have a ready-to-knit skein of yarn.

All hand spindles are delivered with a small instruction booklet in English and German.
For details see pictures => [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic]

>spinning wheels<
We buy good second hand spinning wheels of different premier makers in The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Austria, and New Zealand and put them into condition nearly as good as brand new, sometimes even better. Occasionally we can offer rare old niddy-noddies, hand carders, skein winders or umbrella type reels. Prices are keen and reasonable. Please ask for our special list.
[sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic] [sorry, no pic]

>spinning wheels tuning kits (Ashford only)<
We have developed tune-up-kits for the Ashford Traditional, Traveller, or Elizabeth, which contains beside other parts a new axle that gives the wheel a much faster turnspeed due to a modified transmission ratio. Recommended for experienced spinners only (Beginners might probably despair because it runs so fast...) Please send us exact details of your model/type. (Sorry, no pictures)

How to order, pay and receive Flowers-of-Germany products:
You may order by eMail: or ordinary mail (please use prepared form)
[link not yet activated, sorry]

We accept most major credit cards (Amex, Visa, Master, Diners), or international bank draft. We strictly send out any goods ONLY AFTER PAYMENT. No cash-on-delivery, sorry, that's too expensive and by far too difficult.

If not fully satisfied, you can return all Flowers-of-Germany ddgoods. We do not accept knitted or woven yarns, or homespun raw fibres. Please send us an eMail before you send goods out, and follow the instructions in our answer mail. All returns are sent on buyers costs. We cannot refund any money, if there is any postage to be paid.

USA mainland (excl. Hawaii, Alaska) and Canada (Canadian $ plus 5 %):
Maxiletter max.size 16x12x4" (soft envelope, fits small amounts of fibres)
100 g (3.5 oz) 2,60 US$
500 g (17,5 oz) 5,20 US$
1000 g (35 oz) 7,60 US$
2000 g (70 oz) 15,20 US$

Small parcel up to 2 kgs and max.size 16x12x8" 20,00 US$
Standard parcel up to 5 kgs and max.size 47x23x23" 50,00 US$
Big parcel up to 10 kgs and max.size 47x23x23" 67,00 US$
Heavy parcel up to 20 kgs and max.size 47x23x23" 98,00 US$

If you order any goods which require a carton box, please add another 2 US$ for this box (except complete spinning wheels)