Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gorgeously Gothic Spin-A-Long Coming!

My son started reading “The Series of Unfortunate Events” after receiving the first “The Bad Beginning” book for Christmas. Since then, those bothersome books have brought nothing, but leisurely laziness to my home. With so many ill-fated adventures, one must take events into their own hands by stopping to spin a tale using a frenzy of fibers from my Gruesomely Gothic Spin-A-Long! Samples of some of the colorways are headed out in January's Phat Fiber Box, which you can find more information at


Listing for the fiber will go up for sale on my Etsy Store the day Phat Fiber boxes go on sale. I will either card two beastly batts of 2 oz each, or I will dye 4 oz of Superwash roving that is inspired by one of the 13 books. Some of these sinister sets can be viewed and purchased right away. Others, you will have to wait and see what comes in the mail.

The awful batts boast lots of texture and dark colors. The possibilities are endless with angora, Angelina, Firestar, wool, mohair, and other dreadful fibers. (NOTE: if you are allergic to a particular fiber, please let me know ahead of time.) I will also include extra goodies to add-in, which could include sequins, locks, ribbons, or a number of different items.

When you have finished spinning your atrocious yarns, photograph them and send the picture to me at I will then post pictures on the Dawning Dreams “Gorgeously Gothic SAL” Thread for final voting.


1st place - Complimentary 4 oz choice of batt or roving and handmade orifice hook

2nd place - Complimentary 2 oz choice of batt or roving

3rd place - Handmade orifice hook

January 17th - Ordering available

February 1st - Batts will be sent out.
March 2nd - Final yarn pictures due by for contest consideration
March 8th - Winners announced!

Feel free to take pre, process, and post photos of yourself spinning. The more pictures we have to choose from, the better your chances. You will also receive double entries for finished yarn AND finished object photos.

If you would like to join this Spin-A-Long please feel free to purchase this listing (or more if you feel so inclined) and join the fun at


Please, include the following devious details for your bad batts in a message, so that I may make your package as perfectly personalized as possible.

What are your top two color choices?

emerald green, amethyst purple, ruby red, topaz yellow, sapphire blue, tourmaline green, and turquoise blue

Include your selection of add-ins (you will receive a variety of those you choose, though not necessarily everything):

Buttons, ribbon, lace, sequins, locks, metallic threads, beads, faux pearls, fabric strips, feathers, silk flowers, or if there is something else you have in mind that I may be able to find.

Here's a preview of the samples Phat Fiber will be distributing, which includes 3 of the 13 available colorways:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December Phat Fiber Joy!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

3rd Annual Arkansas Fiberarts Extravaganza

This past weekend, I had the absolute pleasure to vend at the Arkansas Fiberarts Festival on Mt. Magazine. The chairs abounded with knitters, crocheters, spinners, dyers, and every other walk of fiber life. I wish I had gotten a picture of the hallway that was lined with gentlemen and ladies working on projects. There were about 50 at one point!

Pleased to have such a variety of vendors as well, I actually didn't get to shop around due to the fact that I was so busy at my own booth. I did, however, obtain a ball of hand-dyed worsted weight yarn from Mad Science Creations that is a stunning dark blue and black. I also bartered for a neat project bag for socks.

Jane and I spent a little time showing new spinners how to use a wheel. I love sitting around such a variety of wheels and comparing and contrasting. Fiber Festivals are the only place I get hands-on testing of otherwise an unattainable variety of wheels.

Here's my new Jordana Paige Knitter's bag shot with the view from our cabin. As you can see, it was stunning to wake up every morning to such a sight, and gave me plenty of inspiration to spin.

To those who have never attended a festival, I would highly recommend getting yourself to one. They are worth every drop of gas to be among such wonderful and fun individuals that make what we do a pleasure.

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Spinning Wheel "Little Lamb"

I've been wanting a new spinning wheel for a while. It's not that I don't love my Babe, but I wanted one with a more traditional look that I could possibly take to Renaissance Fairs. I also wanted a second wheel so I could teach others how to spin even when they didn't have a wheel.

With all the types and brands of spinning wheels available today, I was overwhelmed with the choices. I narrowed it down to a castle wheel with a large orifice. That still left me with half a dozen choices from the Majacrafts to the Country Spinner. One being too expensive, and the other not very pretty.

Luckily, I had gone to a fiber festival and saw a neat little wheel that a woman was using. I had never seen it before and asked her what it was. Yes, I know a spinning wheel, but what brand is what I meant. She kindly told me that it was handmade by a gentleman in Missouri and proceeded to give me a brochure. Since he's such a small producer, he didn't even have a website. I didn't think much about the little wheel for a couple of weeks until I saw the flyer again when I was cleaning and took a closer look. It was a castle, check. It's orifice is larger for bulky yarns, check. Hmm. . .

My mother-in-law kindly emailed the gentleman to get more information. You see, she wanted it to be a Christmas/birthday gift for me. It was to my great surprise that this wheel is not only $100 cheaper than other big brands, but comes with several excellent accessories such as a lazy Kate and an orifice hook. Safe to say, I was ensnared.

As soon as I got the wheel in my house, I broke her down to stain. I immediately noticed that since it was oak, it was considerably heavier than most other wheels. In my mind, this is a bonus with the kiddos running into it. It also won't slide around easily on my wood floors.

I also found out that he adds little acorn details to the knobs. This dates backs to English as a sigh for good luck. A good part of my heritage dates to England, so this was a wonderful surprise. Unfortunately, I had to completely change how I was going to stain the wheel. I originally wanted a red and black theme, but the acorns had me hooked.

The wood took the stain wonderfully. I used three different colors to obtain a aged look. It took two days to stain, dry, seal, dry, oil/grease, and reassemble the whole thing back together.

Spinning is very easy with a heal to toe pressure. The orifice is huge and accommodates my art yarns well. It has four hooks to change between rather than eight. My only complaint would be that the bobbin doesn't hold as much as my Babe wheel. It's a small sacrifice for such a beauty.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Local County Fair Fun

I recently entered many items into the county fair here in my home town. I haven't had anything in a fair since I was in 3rd grade. Back then, I had drawn a ghost mansion with ghosts and black cats poking around the corners. My mother still has it framed in the kids room at her house.

I finally decided to try it out and enter a few things that I had lying around. Funny that I would have these things just strung out throughout the house, but that is the life of a fiber artist. I downloaded the application and found out that there weren't very many categories specifically realted to knit/crochet and none what so ever for handspun. Basically there was handmade baby afghan, knit clothing, crochet clothing, and regular afghan. Well, I don't regularly make full size afghans, but I have the other categories. So, I blindly took my children and articles up to the building where I thought I was suppose to drop them off and labeled them accordingly, then I handed off my precious treasures to an unknown woman hoping that it wouldn't be the last time I saw them.

The next weekend, my family and I toured all the exhibits and I surprisingly found out that my baby bonnet and hair pin lace tank won forst and my shawl pin and baby afghan won second! I was overjoyed. It was nice to know that my work was appreciated in some way.

After picking up all my treasures, plus a $5 winning check I happily brought my goodies home. The baby afghan I wrapped up for my former teacher who had recently had her first baby girl. I also gave her the ribbon as a reminder.

While it was intimidating to enter all the goodies, I really felt that it helped my feel good about the things I had made. We all get frustrated sometimes while making something especially when we drop a stitch or loose count. The beauty of the garment is that we make it with love and with our own to hands.

I can't wait until next year when I'll get to enter more things and hopefully talk my friends to entering some items as well.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August Phat Fiber

Meet Me at the Fair!

This months Phat Fiber box was most definitely one of the best months so far. It was full of many types of fibers in bright, glorious colors to spin. Some were art batts full of lumps and bumps that gave the resulting yarn more texture. Some fibers were silky smooth that perfectly held the locks in place.

I know some spinner's don't like rough textures, and when I'm spinning a lace, I don't want a lot of texture either. Every once in a while, though, I have to spin something crazy and fun to break the monotony.

With all these fibers, I spun a fun single interlaced with locks. I used mostly materials from the box with the addition of some locks I had stashed. I can't help but smile when I see it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tour De Fleece Finish Line

Well, it's all over! How did you all do? I didn't do too much crazy outlandish yarns. I mainly worked on lace weight for a shawl I want to create.

It's funny how I can spin 175 yard of a worsted in 2 hours, but it takes 24 total hours to spin 1200 yards of lace. I don't think people realize just how much more time goes into the finer yarns when you compare the two side by side, which is mainly the reason you don't see a whole lot of handspun lace on Etsy or Artfire. It just is too costly to sell, and no one will buy it. Sad, but true.

So, to tally it up, I have:
Here's the end of a wonderful spinning month.
Art Yarn for BKG (176 yards)

Finally Finishing lace (344 yards)

And finally my peacock shawl lace (~1200 yards singles)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Christmas In July Fiber Festival 2009

I had a wonderful time at the festival. Thank you everyone who had been there for making it such a positive and creative environment.

With the variety of fibers from raw fleeces to hand dyed silk caps, I loved perusing the tables and talking to everyone. I picked up some major deals as well! I finally have my own loom to learn how to weave, although I had told myself not to get sucked in just yet. However, the price was right as well as the person.

I also promised that I wouldn't buy much. Well, let me just say that there was a sale of $4 for a pound of yarn, no matter what the type. After several minutes of digging, I actually walked out with 8 lbs of yarn. I know, I'm so bad. : (

Oh! Have you seen the alpaca fleeces?!

I was also excited to get to finally take a class by Nancy Barnett on Angora Rabbits. We were able to get to spin all four different varieties of bunny fiber in one sitting! I got to work on German, French, English, and Satin. You can see the different varieties on my bobbin here (bottom white is German and middle is Champagne French). Now, I just need to find a bunny just for me!

If you haven't ever been to a fiber festival, such as this, I think you should take a road trip to one sometime. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. : )

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bamboo Dye Day

My friends always laugh about my the knowledge my children have of fibers and fiber animals. Truthfully, they can't but absorb the different types and textures with the abundance of textiles in my home.

Today, I introduced them into the world of dyeing. We worked on my favorite fiber, bamboo. I love the silky feel of bamboo and it's drape when spun. It's like silk of the plant world. Many spinner's are afraid to try it because of how slippery it can be. Yes, it isn't as catchy as wool, but I actually can spin it faster because of how it slides through my fingers. If you haven't tried it, you should.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tour De Fleece with Dawning Dreams

Well, the Tour De France begins soon, and being spinning lovers, a spinning challege has been created to support, in our own way, the bicyclist who work hard during their journey.

The Tour de Fleece, which began in 2006, is continuing this year. I'm happily joining the ranks to represent Team Phat Fiber and Team Bad Knit Girls on Ravelry. I plan to do some Art Yarns and finish my lace that I've been working on.

As a way to show my support, I am offering a discount on my Etsy store. When you purchase one item, you get one 50% off of equal or lesser value through July 15th. Enter code: Tour de Fleece at checkout.

Buy Handmade

Thursday, June 25, 2009

July Phat Sample Peek

For July, we all all going non-wool. So no fluffy BFL batts or Merino lovelies, but this time around we are sending in cottons, silks, alpacas, and angoras. I'm very excited about what treasures and sensations will be up for grabs in this assortment.

For my samples, I revisited my knit jewelry. I actually made the samples themselves about a month ago. They have been sitting in my desk awaiting the proper adornment for their trip around the world. (Yes, lots of the Phat Boxes find their way overseas. Isn't that great!)

I finally saw these little boxes for wedding favors at the store. They were perfect for putting my pins in. Unfortunately, I did not spend the money to buy them there. I didn't partially because I was on vacation, and didn't want to tote around the buggers for the remainder of the trip.

Boy, I feel like an idiot now. I looked online at the cost of purchasing the little favor boxes. Outrageous! The boxes cost more than I thought they would. So, being the crafty individual I am, I grabbed a stack of stock paper and a template, and I cut out and folded 50 little cute boxes. It took 4 hours to get everyone of them finished. When I had finally packed my goodies in a mailing box along with a batt, I was exhausted. I'm surprised I didn't get a paper cut!

So here they are! Someone will receive one of these designs in their box. Now, don't be upset if you don't wear shawls. I get that sentiment a lot, "Aww, they're pretty, but I don't wear shawls." The beauty of these is that they can be worn many, many different ways. Pin it to the front of a cardigan to keep it closed, use it as a accessory on a purse, pin it to a winter knit hat. . . the uses are endless!

So, if any one you get one of my beauties, I love to see a picture of it in action. You can post here with a link or on my Ravelery group at

Thank you!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bottle Cap Hot Pad Pattern

Beer Cap Hot Pad
by Dawn L.E. Riden

I originally made several of these for a vintage crochet potholder swap. They were such a huge hit, I decided to write down the pattern to share with everyone.

6.5 inches across

Aunt Lydia's Classic Crochet (Size 10); need approximately 75 yards
Size 9/1.40MM crochet hook
19 beer caps of your choice
Sewing needle

24 dc/12 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch

Ch = Chain
Dc = Double Crochet
Sc = Single Crochet
Sc Dec = Single Crochet Decrease (Insert hook in first stitch indicated, yo, pull up loop, insert hook in second stitch indicated, yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through remaining 3 loops on hook.)
Sl St = Slip Stitch

Cap Cover

Ch 5, slst to first stitch to join.
Ch 3, 15 dc in ring, slst to join at top of ch 3. Make sure to dc over the tail of the chain to hide it. (16 dc)
Ch 2, sc in same st, *1 sc the next three sts, 2 sc in next st*, repeat between * two more times, sc 3, slst with top of Beg ch to join (20 sts)
Ch 2, sc in every st around, slst with top of Beg ch to join. (20 sts)
Ch 3, dc in every st around, slst with top of Beg ch to join. (20 sts)
Insert bottle cap before decreasing. 
Sc Dec around, slst with top of Beg ch to join (10 sts)
Sc dec around, slst with top of Beg ch to join (5 sts)
Break thread and weave through remaining 5 loops, tie closed and weave in ends.


Using scrap crochet cotton, sew 6 cover caps around one central cap on the underneath side where they touch. Then join 12 covered caps around the six. You can mix and match color however you like, so use you imagination!

Dawn is an energetic doting mother of 3, loving wife of 1, and friend to many. She enjoys creating unique designs using wire, yarn, and fabrics. To learn more about her and her inspiration, check her out on her blog at:
You can also support her habit by checking out her online store at:

Copyright 2009. Dawn L.E. Riden. hese patterns are for personal and non-profit use only. You may not sell items made from these patterns. You may make them for yourself, as gifts, or for donation to charity sales or auctions. And these patterns love being used for knitalongs or other organized knitting events that are free of charge.

Merchants may not download or print these patterns for sale, free distribution, or class use without prior written permission from the author. If you received one of these patterns directly from a yarn store, or are taking a paid class using one of these patterns, please verify that the store has written permission from the author.
Printing or downloading a pattern constitutes agreement with these terms.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Made Well Co. Vintage Drum Carder

Here she is. My vintage Made Well Drum Carder from Sifton, Manitoba, Canada that I bought from a nice person on Ebay who had purchased it from an antique dealer in Canada. The antique dealer told them that it had been in Newfoundland, and was found in a old barn. I asked around on Ravelry to see if any one has information concerning this beauty. Luckily, my prayers were answered and here's what I learned about it's spinning wheels and such:

Quoted from info I have..Selected Canadian Spinning Wheels in Perspective by Judith Buxton-Keenlyside, 1980:
“The company was started during the depression by John Weselowski, it later became the Make-Well Manufacturing Company and was famous for it hand-operated drum carders as well as it’s wheels. Several of the stylistic features of this wheel were borrowed from the traditional Ukrainian wheels. Wheel and Flyer spindle are arranged vertically. The inner maiden bearing is a hole drilled in the wooden upright. Tensioning is accomplished by raising or lowering a tablet on the outer maiden. Hallmarks of the Spin-Well wheel include a solid drive wheel, pre-cast metal flyer, treadle-system using a fixed treadle bar, footman placement in front of the wheel and provision for extra bobbins.”
Here is a quote from a letter sent to my friend by Florence Feldman-Wood The Spinning Wheel Sleuth where she talks about info on this wheel from a man in Indiana who was in the business of repairing all types of spinning wheels, He states to her:
“These wheels were made in the 60’s and 70’d during the rebirth of the handspinning and weaving crafts. They are well built wheels made of maple and solid core maple plywood. At 27.00 they were prices well below the better New Zealand wheels which sold for 80 to 100 at the time I’ve had two in maple and one in walnut. Paula Simmons used their wheels.”

I also learned from the lady on Ravelry that Mr. Duncan on Duncan Drum Carder told her that this drum carder was the model for for Paula Simmon’s first husband who designed her drum carders as known as Patrick Green's Drum Carders. When you compare the two styles, you can see that they are very similar.

Now, I have not received my drum carding cloth, yet, from Howard Brush Company. As you can see, it is layered wooden wheels that have been glued together, very good construction. If you plan on restoring a carder, like I have, I found this to be the least costly approach. But, I warn you. it will be over $100 to replace worn cloth on both wheels, but compared to $350-$1600, it a steal. I had to replace the belt, as with most vintage carders. I found a lawn mower belt than was nearly the exact size I needed. I simple added a wooden cover to the large drum wheel, and it now works perfectly.

Now, a little disclaimer of sorts, I could be completely wrong, and all the information I have collected be false. I haven't found online sources to support these stories expect what I have been told from numerous people. So, if something here is completely and utterly false, let me know and I can change it. This blog is meant to inform others of the treasures they may also have hidden in their sheds and it's history.

ETA 12/20/2010: Pics of the relatively finished carder with new carding cloth and licker support blocks. Not pretty, but works like a dream.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Time for some shop love!

I love the things I make for my Etsy shop. I get to dye, spin, bend, and sculpt to my hearts desire. But with all the items, the one thing I hate is mailing. It can be frustrating at times with deciding how to mail particular package: how much does it weigh? do I add a personal note or gift? what would excite me when I open the mail?

Lately, I've been wrapping all the items in brown paper that I tie off with leftover yarn. It reminds me of the song, "My Favorite things" that Julie Andrews sang in "The Sound of Music". I wonder if anyone gets it when they see it. Oh well, if they don't. But here are some of the things I make. Enjoy!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Canning Marmalade

As a military child, I moved around a lot. My mom was my main caretaker, and I love her dearly. But. . . she was not the best of cooks and was crafty at all. I know, ironic huh? My dinner's mainly consisted of blue box mac & cheese and Ramen with Spaghetti sometimes. As I got older, we switched to MacDonald's and Sonic. Safe to say, I had a lot of bad habits to break when I had children.

That was part of the reason I began my degree in Nutrition. I wanted to know how to cook properly and to make casseroles and ice cream from scratch, not a box. I wanted those life skills that I didn't get when I was younger.

So when I visited the store and found strawberries on sale for $1.50 a lb, which is usually up to $5, I snatched up as many as I could without getting in trouble by my husband. : ) I've been working the past two days to can as much for Christmas Gifts. That is the beauty of this process. Not only is it cheaper than buying the 20+ family members each a $10 gift, but it's unique and will be used.

Just so you know, jelly is just made from juice; jam is made from the fruit; and marmalade is made from the fruit and peel.

In all I spent $25 for cans, fruit, pectin, and lids (jars that I'm reusing and cooking pots not included) for 24 jars of Strawberry Lemon Marmalade. That's about $1 a jar! Not to mention that's it's very green by reusing the jars and there are minimal artificial preservatives that are found i mass produced store brands. It tastes much better, too!

I also love knowing that I'm teaching my children that sometimes it is worth it to take the time to make it yourself. Sure, you can go buy jelly, clothes, plants from the store, but cooking, sewing, and growing are more satisfying and give you that feeling of ownership. You'll appreciate everythign more knowing what goes into making an item.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Love for My Fellow Business Women

I had the wonderful pleasure to attend the Norman Medieval Fair this past weekend in Norman, Oklahoma. I actually helped sell bodices from Damsel in this Dress. I have to tell you a little about the wonderful woman who is behind the work.

Michelle, who owns Damsel in this Dress, creates the bodices from her own patterns. It takes great ingenuity, skill, and hard work not only to develop the items, but to also successfully run a business while maintaining the quality. She is constantly tweaking her designs to update and improve them. As a result, her bodices are not only beautiful and eye catching, but study to last years of lacing. Thank you Michelle, if you read this, for the hard work you put into you business.

Also this past week, I visited with my friend Leslie who owns and manages L&B Yarn Co. in Norman, Oklahoma. She and her sister opened their yarn shop a little under 2 years ago now. She is a wonderful person and truly cares about everyone that comes in the store. Her shop reminds my of an old library with shelves and shelves of yarn and goodies that wind back and forth. I haven't visited a yarn store yet that surpasses her selection and warmth of space. If your lucky to stop by, tell her I sent you. Also, in the near future, you will see some of my yarns grace her shelves.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Illustrious Purse Pattern

Embellishing handbags to fit your personal style transforms a simple bag into a wearable art. This purse all started with a button. My brother-in-law bought me a beautiful new jacket as a present, and attached along with it, a stunning multifaceted button.

I retain a collection of buttons and beads from numerous sources hidden away in my sewing supplies. They only see the light of day when I open the box to add a new button or a new bead. I could not, however, add this cherished button to the forgotten button stash.

Pulling out a luxurious silk/cashmere yarn, I designed this shoulder bag to showcase the buttons beauty. With its simple rectangular construction and cable/bobble lines, it will easily highlight your treasure as well. Beaded handles add depth, and they are as easy to create as the bag itself. Its beauty can only be enhanced by your imagination!

One Size

Width: 6.5 inches
Length: 6.5 inches

Laines Du Laines Cashsilk [50% merino, 25% silk, 25 % cashmere]; 67yd per 25g skein]; color: Partita; 2 skeins

1 set US 8/5mm straight needles
1 set US 8/5mm double point needles
Cable needle
1 – ¾-inch button
Beads with large center hole (Fashion Glass #3123005 used in photo)
Tapestry Needle
.25 yrds fabric for lining
Sewing needle
Thread to match yarn and lining

24 sts/18 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch

C10F: sl 5 sts onto the cn and hold in front of work, k5 and, k5 from cn.
Bobble Increase: K into front, then back, then front, then back, then front again of next st: 1 st increased to 5 sts.
Bobble Decrease: P5tog. 5 sts decreased to 1 st.


CO 29 sts.

Rows 1-6: K
Row 7: K2, p10, k5 , p10, k2
Row 8: K2, k10, p5, k10, k2
Row 9: K2, p10, k3, YO, k2, p10, k2 (30 stitches)

Beginning on row 3 of following pattern, work 8 pattern repeats.

Row 1: K2, p10, K6, p10, K2
Row 2: P2, K10, p6, K10, p2
Row 3: K2, p10, K6, p10, K2
Row 4: P2, K2, Bbl Inc, K7, p6, K10, p2
Row 5: K2, C10F, K6, K14, p2
Row 6: P2, K2, Bbl Dec, K7, p6, K10, p2
Row 7: K2, p10, K6, p10, K2
Row 8: P2, K10, p6, K10, p2
Row 9: K2, p10, K6, p10, K2
Row 10: P2, K10, p6, K2, Bbl Inc, K7, p2
Row 11: K2, p14, K6, C10F, K2
Row 12: P2, K10, p6, K2, Bbl Dec, K7, P10

Knit 8 rows. BO and weave in ends.

I-cord Handle
CO 4 stitches using double pointed needles. Knit across. Instead of turning, slip the stitches back to the beginning of the needle and knit the row again. As you pull the i-cord straight, the gap on the back will tighten up and close.

Continue in this manner until it is 6 inches. Cut yarn leaving 8-inch tail, and thread the yarn through the stitches and pull firmly.

Cut one 24-inch length of yarn. Thread through the middle of the i-cord. Now you will have an i-cord with two strands of yarn on the ends. Tie a knot to secure the tails to the i-cord.

The beads are packaged on a plastic wire to ensure easy transfer to your project. Simply, tie the bead wire to the yarn, and slide beads from the wire to the yarn handle.

Fold 5 inches of bottom up and seam sides.

Attach the i-cord handle by spreading out the two strands and threading them through the top of the purse and tying a knot. Repeat on other side.

For the lining, cut a 6-inches by 12 inches rectangle from lining fabric. Fold fabric in half lengthwise, and sew 6 inches of each long edge of rectangle, beginning at fold.

Fold over 0.5 inch of the top edges of lining and press. To hide the ends of the handle, slip fabric pocket with wrong sides facing out inside the purse, covering the strap knots and sew around the top. Attach button to front of purse.

Copyright 2009. Dawn L.E. Riden. hese patterns are for personal and non-profit use only. You may not sell items made from these patterns. You may make them for yourself, as gifts, or for donation to charity sales or auctions. And these patterns love being used for knitalongs or other organized knitting events that are free of charge.

Merchants may not download or print these patterns for sale, free distribution, or class use without prior written permission from the author. If you received one of these patterns directly from a yarn store, or are taking a paid class using one of these patterns , please verify that the store has written permission from the author.

Printing or downloading a pattern constitutes agreement with these terms.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Phat Fiber

In case you haven't known, I've been busy these past couple of weeks getting things together for the Phat Fiber box. I've been spinning and packaging and mailing and everything in between getting everything done in time. February's box was a wonderful collection of fibers, yarns, and other odds and ends that tickled my imagination on the stuff I would like to make. Just in case you missed it, here's my box.

Now, for the first month I will be submitting, I wanted to do something special. I normally wouldn't send in sample that take me so long to make. 45 of them none the less! But I wanted everyone to get something special for the first time. So I made shawl pins that were Celtic themed for everyone.

It took time and patience, and I smashed my fingers a couple of times, but I think everyone will appreciate their treats.

If you would like to purchase one of my creations, you can check my Etsy store out at


If you would like to get a Phat Box of your own, you can get it at

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Row Counting Rendezvous

As many of you may know, I have an Esty store called Dawning Dreams Etsy Shop. I sell knitting, spinning, & crochet yarn and accessories. Many of the items you see are the final products of several endeavors to make a great product. You should see the pile of dead stitch markers I have in a jar that didn't make the cut.

Recently, I decided to take on the task of creating a row counter. There are several types available online, and I felt it was my duty not to copy another design, but to create a unique type from scratch.

There's a beautiful sock row counter made in metal rings and beads. It's visually appealing and sells. Unfortunately, I don't like that it's tiny. I have trouble sliding the rubber o-ring around. Making a bigger version would look funny to me. It would be more like a necklace than a counter.

There's another popular type that is a bracelet. Once again, very eye appealing and a great seller. To me though, there are too many parts. I wanted something easier to create. I like simplicity.

I started searching then over the web for different types of Abacus counting systems that aren't necessarily related to knitting. So were fantastically ornate, so simple and not practical.

I finally ended on a design like this.. .

They are different than all those I've seen with beads that slide back and forth, and therein lies the problem. The string used must be sturdy enough to last though multiple slides without breaking. I made three versions of the counter: one with crochet thread, one with fishing line, and one with jewelry wire.

Next was the fun part, I took all three and played with them. I slid the beads around, swung it in circles, and gave it to the kids. For a couple of hours everyday I played with them.

After beating them up sufficiently I checked them over to see how well they stood up to the abuse. The wire one was very stiff and pushed the beads crookedly. (Like the top sample.) Also, the wire broke relatively easy and frayed. Not good.

The Fishing line worked out better. It was fine with the abuse, but the beads didn't slide easily, and as you can see in the photo, the beads didn't lie straight.

The crochet thread was the best in my opinion. It hanged nicely and felt good in my hands. There was some wear on the string, but it didn't break. It did stretch a little, but not so much as to compromise the workings of the mechanism.

So, in the end, I choose number three, and need to start making them.

Next time you look around my store, think about all the things that you don't see me doing to make sure you get a good product. It's not always about finding the cheapest stuff, but the best constructed. I love what I do, and I hope you all love it too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ribbed Lip Balm Holder

One Size

Length: 3 inches

Leftover scraps of sock yarn
1 set US size 0 double point needles
Tapestry Needle

Cast on 3 sts.
Work I-cord for two (2) inches.
Cast-on 15 more sts using knitted cast-on and join round. (18 sts)
Divide onto three (3) double point needles to begin working in the round.
Work three (3) rounds of stockinette st.
On fourth round, begin 2X2 ribbing by k2, p2. You will end with a ridge of 4 knit sts on the back of the tube. (If you don't want a 4 st ridge you can K3,P3 around. I like the ridge on my fingers)
Work in this pattern for another two (2) inches.
Knit one round.
K2tog around. (9 sts)
K2tog around, then knit last st. (5 sts)
Break yarn leaving 8" tail and weave tail through live loops. Pull tail tightly to close hole, and weave in all ends.

To form loop on top fold i-cord down and use the tail to attach the top of the cord to the bottom where the tube starts. You can make it fit a belt by making the i-cord longer.


Copyright 2009. Dawn L.E. Riden. These patterns are for personal and non-profit use only. You may not sell items made from these patterns. You may make them for yourself, as gifts, or for donation to charity sales or auctions. And these patterns love being used for knitalongs or other organized knitting events that are free of charge.

Merchants may not download or print these patterns for sale, free distribution, or class use without prior written permission from the author . If you received one of these patterns directly from a yarn store, or are taking a paid class using one of these patterns, please verify that the store has written permission from the author.

Printing or downloading a pattern constitutes agreement with these terms.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Sleeping Spindle Treasure

Phat Fiber, who brings together wonderful sampler boxes full of items from independent fiber, yarn, and related artisans, host several give-aways during the month. I must be on a streak of good luck because I was drawn to receive a wonder bag for my fiber and spindle from The Sleeping Spindle on Etsy.

I love the funky mod fabric of the spindle bag that is cut longer, so it can fit wool and a spindle. She also included a delightful sample of some of her green and blue wool, Lauchlann, as well as a smaller bag that is perfect for storing little items in. She, of course, has several choices of fabric to choose from. So check her out!

Thank you so much!