A Yarn Holder for Camp

camping yarn

Throughout the summer months, we try to spend as much time as we can outdoors.  Our families LOVES going to the beach, camping, having backyard fires, canoeing, and biking to name just a few things on our list of activities to do this summer.  As summer vacation has been approaching, I’ve been working on a plan for keeping the kids entertained.  It’s clear to me that we will be spending a lot of time going from one adventure to another.  This means that my knitting will also be going from one adventure to another.  In order to keep my yarn untangled and clean, I made a yarn container to use while on the go.

These containers are great.  They are easy to make, don’t require any fancy supplies.  They can be made while on the go or in a pinch.  I consider them essential, to the summer survival of any knitter.

Here is how I made it.


Yarn holder suppliesYou will need 1 plastic bottle, a pocket knife (or scissors), and some duct tape.


1. Clean out the inside of your plastic bottle, and take the label off.  Goo Gone can be helpful for getting any remaining glue off the outside of the bottle.

2. Cut the top portion of the bottle off.  You want to look for a place where the bottle is at it’s widest so it can easily slip over the bottom portion.

3. Cut off the bottom portion of the bottle.  Here you want to find a place that is narrower than the top portion.  Make your cut so that there is a 1/2″ section that easily slips inside the lid so that the 2 portions of the bottle over lap.

4.  The cut edges can be fairly sharp. It is a good idea to cover them with duct tape so you don’t accidentally hurt yourself.  The duct tape also can add a little bulk to the overlapping edges, making the lid fit snugly on top of the bottom portion.

yarn holder tapeI needed to add some bulk to the cut edges of mine, so I tore a strip of duct tape that was 1/3 of the full width of tape.  I wrapped this 1/3 section around the outside of the cut edge.  Then, I took the remaining 2/3 piece of tape, and wrapped it around the outside too (on top of the 1/3 section). There should be a portion of the duct tape sticking up beyond the plastic bottle.   Cut slits around the top portion of the tape that sticks up, and fold the tape over the cut edge.

5.  Do this again for the lid.

yarn holder top and bottom


Blackstone Tweed

When it comes to yarn, I admit that I am the biggest snob around.

pakuchogroup400I avoid synthetic fibers like the plague.  I appreciate wool, but only for certain types of projects.  Cotton, also has it’s place, but I prefer to use linen.  I find fibers such as banana silknettle and flax, intriguing to work with. These fibers can add a lot of texture in a fiber art piece.  I enjoy working with silk.  It has great strength, is soft, and I like how it looks.  It has a nice drape, and is comfortable to wear in warmer weather.  Yarns like angora, and cashmere are extremely soft, but I find them to be lacking in strength and durability.

For most of my projects, I reach for my hand spun yak down.  I still think it is the best yarn around ( but, I may have a biased opinion).

Brookstone TweedHowever, another yarn that I have enjoyed using a lot is this Blackstone Tweed by Berroco. It is made of 65% wool, 25% mohair 10% angora, so it is quite soft, and durable.

I knit my daughter a ballet sweater with matching leg warmers when she was 4.  It was fabulous.

I also worked for years on a sweater that I called my anniversary sweater.  I had only worked on it while my husband and I were away celebrating our anniversary.  It was the only time I could relax and concentrate enough to follow the color charts without interruption from my little ones.  Once, I got the sweater to a place where I could try it on, I discovered that I had made it WAY to large.  Over those years I had been knitting the sweater, I also lost a lot of weight.  I should rip it apart and start again, now that my children have grown more and I can easily follow a color chart at home.

Do you have a “go-to” yarn that you reach for time and time again? What is it?

A conversation I had . . .

safron orange yarn
My mind has been racing with projects.  I’ve been waking up early, eager to start.  My days have been spent trying to make my hands keep up with my ideas. I love these times in my life when my inspiration seems to be a bottomless well to draw from.  Everything else is abandoned as my mind is distracted with art.  I can’t help it.

I had the following conversation with my husband:

ME: You know, if I didn’t have to eat, or sleep, I think I could work on these projects for DAYS without stopping.

HIM: (stopping to look at me in my eyes) Is this like crack to you?

ME: YES! Yes it is, and I am addicted


note: The yarn above is one that I made by unraveling a woven fabric that I had from Tibet. I plied 3 strands together to give it strength. It has been a long time since I sat behind my spinning wheel.  It felt so good – like having tea with an old friend.

Color Harmony

I have often heard knitters comment that they find it difficult to combine colors for a project.  This is one reason why so many knitters choose to strictly follow a pattern’s recommendation for yarn choice.  However, selecting colors for a project can be a lot of fun & is an important part of the process in making an item unique. The colors are what give a piece personality & makes an item personal.  So let’s talk about color harmony.

Color harmony is a term used to  describe color groupings that have a pleasing visual effect.  Most knitters have a basic sense of color harmony.  We know what we like & what we don’t like. We know what colors & color combinations we find appealing, but for the most part we match colors according to gut instinct. Today, I want to discuss color harmonies a bit more technically.

complementary wheelComplementary colors are two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel.  There are 3 pairs of complementary colors.  They are Red & Green, Orange & Blue, and  Yellow & Violet.

5985480056_a77d755354_zThese color combinations have a high contrast with each other, that make them tricky to manage. In knitting, I find it best to avoid these color combinations unless one color is used for a slight embellishment.


Analogous colors are those that are found next to each other on the color wheel.  For example, red, orange & yellow are analogous colors.  So are yellow, green & blue.  It is best to choose one color to use as a main color, another color as a contrast color, & a third as an accent color.


Triadic colors colors are evenly spaced around the color wheel such as red, yellow, & blue.  These color combinations are contrasting & create a vibrant color scheme. To keep this color harmony in balance,  choose one color to be the main color, & the other two as accent colors.


There are 4 colors that make up a Tetradic or rectangle color scheme.   These four colors are divided into 2 complementary pairs.  This color schemes leaves room for a number of possible variation, but the number of warm colors should equal the number of cool colors.

Want more information? 

Here are some more examples of the color schemes described above.

Here is a link to even more color theory that I did not go into here.

Did you know that the different colors have different meanings? We’ll talk about these meanings in the final post in the School of Color series.  Look for it next week?


Indigo Blue & Plant Dyed Yellow

It’s the New Year & as promised, The Rocking Yak now has colored yarns available!


The first of the colors to arrive are indigo blue, & a plant dyed yellow.  All of The Rocking Yak’s colored yarns have been dyed with natural plant dyes that are found locally on the Tibetan Plateau.

yellowIndigo yarn copy

You, dear reader,  have the opportunity to purchase this fabulous yarn before it available on the website! As I am working at sorting through this first shipment, I will be taking orders at

The Fiber Nest Shop.

You will also find that we’ve reduced the price on all of our yarns!!

>>>> odosketch

My favorite things about the weekend is sleeping in late, eating a big family breakfast, and relaxing.  I really enjoy the extra time without any of the everyday pressures of having to be some place at a certain time.  It gives my kids time to be creative in their play which brings me joy in watching them. It gives my husband time to be creative in his workshop shaping wood.  I like to spend the extra time exploring the internet to find new, fun and inspiring places.

My most recently discovery (that I can see taking up too much of my time), is odosketch.  This creative website is a lot of fun. You can create your own sketches & look at sketches created by other people.

Go check it out & leave a link in the comments so I can see what you create!


>>>> a busy time of year

Here in Indiana the autumn leaves are changing as the air turns cooler and the days grow shorter.  Preparations are being made for the colder months.  Handmade gifts are cast onto knitting needles, menus are being planned, and travel arrangements are being made.  As much as I love this time of year, and everything that comes with it, this year I find that I long to be in another place on the other side of the planet.

The Rocking Yak is moving into a busy season.  The villagers are coming in from working the fields.  The yak fiber is being purchased & delivered to our precious spinners.  The mountain sides are being combed for natural dye materials, and soon days will be spent dying, washing, and balling yarn.  It is a lot of work for the few living and working on the Tibetan Plateau and I wish I was among them.