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Welcome to Raven Ridge Fiber Arts

Raven Ridge Fiber Arts is a one-woman business based in Western Montana that creates high quality, hand-dyed fiber and yarns in colors inspired by Montana landscapes.  In addition, I create one-of-a-kind hand-spun, hand-painted, and hand-knit wearable art that showcases the textures and colors unique to hand painted and handspun yarns.

Tip: Blocking on Needles

I frequently wash and block something I am knitting while it is still on the needles. I do this when I am concerned about how my project is coming out. Something doesn't look right, and I don't want to go farther until I am reassured that all is OK. 

My Catkin Shawl was a good example. The 'corners' of this shawl use lots of slip stitches to create the graphic stripes. The 3 corners looked a bit weird on the needles, but once I started binding off, I realized that they were curling and twisting oddly. The image below shows the shawl unblocked, still on the needles (see them on the right?).

Catkin corner curled 


Trailing of the Sheep 2014

I'm just back from the Trailing of the Sheep Festival held in Sun Valley, ID this past weekend. It was as glorious as it was last year, so I took lots of pics. This first picture shows the sheep after they participated in the parade down Main St., Ketchum.

sheep grazing



A Grand Yarn Retreat

I am just back from a wonderful weekend knitting retreat put on by A Grand Yarn, yarn shop in Spokane, WA, that specializes in Indy Dyers - pretty great, eh! I was invited to give a presentation about dyeing, photography, and nature as part of several hands-on dyeing activities they had planned.

The retreat was held in Whitefish, MT, and the weather was perfect! I gave my powerpoint presentation in the morning, and in the afternoon we went to the back yard of the lovely Good Medicine Lodge for our dye activities. The mountains watched over us.



















Spinning at Libby's

I belong to a wonderful group of fiber artists who meet every Thursday. A few weeks ago, we met at Libby's house. Libby lives in a small valley in the Sapphire Mountains. She has no electricity and a long dirt road off the main highway. And she has Cashmere goats, and a loyal livestock guard dog.

livestock guard dog


















Sperry Chalet, Glacier National Park

Last week, Charlie and I hiked up to Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park. The Chalet is accessible only by hiking or on horseback. We climbed 3300 feet over 6.7 miles, starting at Lake McDonald. It was stenuous and glorious, and the glass of lemonade provided when we got to the top tasted like nectar, and made me feel like this:


















Log Cabin Spin In 2014

The Log Cabin Spin In, held at the end of March in Post Falls, Idaho, is one of my favorite fiber events. This was my 4th year as a vendor, and it was every bit as much fun as I had anticipated. My friends Laura M. and Margie N. went with me, and we spent much of the time laughing. The Log Cabin Spinning Guild has been hosting this event for 24 years, and their organization and experience made for a smooth, problem free, and welcoming experience for vendors and participants alike.

There were so many busy spinners that it was hard to move through the crowd.

spinning crowd



Larches in Fall

The larch trees are at their peak of fall colors. Here are some photos from the late afternoon walk I took today. 

Special offer for yarn in Larches in Fall Colorway is at the end of this blog post!

fallarchinsun edited-1

 In the afternoon light, these trees glowed!!


Trailing of the Sheep, Sun Valley, ID

I was a vendor at Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho this past weekend, and what a glorious weekend it was! The festival commemorates the sheep herding life in the region, in particular, bringing the sheep from summer to winter pastures. Here are some highlights.

Fall maple leaves 

 The fall colors and scenery were spectacular. Here are maple leaves in the town of Ketchum, ID, where the sheep trailing parade was held.


Wildfire Season

lolofire-jennie-marxerIt's wildfire season in western Montana (and most of the western US). We were camping in the Lolo National Forest, near Lolo Pass (fibery aside - hence the name of my Lolo Shawl pattern) last Saturday night and enjoyed being safe and cozy while a thunder storms passed over us. On our way home on Sunday at around 11am, we saw several small fires started by lightning strikes from that storm. Firefighters were already on the scene with helicopters dropping water. 


The Dyeing Process, Part 2

 In my last post (The Dyeing Process, Part 1), I showed how I dyed the yarn and fiber and wrapped it for steaming. The photos below show the next steps.


Here is the yarn (brown) and spinning fiber (green) after it has steamed, then left to cool overnight. It is now ready to unwrap and rinse.


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