Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our Etsy Shop

Hello and hello.

I have been away for quite a while. During this time my sister, brother and I have been slowly building a business, West Coast Fiber Company, LLC. We buy alpaca fiber (see the list of the wonders of alpaca below) from our local farmers and ranchers and have it processed into beautiful, soft, hypo-allergenic yarn that we then sell to the public. We also sell stitch markers, jewelry, and soon will sell framed photographs of the beautiful Northwest.

I will try to continue to post on here periodically but I cannot guarantee it. However, you can keep up to date with our business progress and/or purchase anything from us by visiting our website at Etsy is a site featuring handmade items and commercial supplies for those handmade products. We sell both our yarn and stitch markers on this site and are more than willing to adapt any of our stitchmarkers to meet your needs and we also accept custom orders.

I know many of you have asked to see my never-ending shawl (I FINALLY FINISHED IT!) which turned out beautifully. As soon as my husband comes back with the camera from a RC drift event he's at with my brother-in-law I will post some pics of it for you. Thank you for your equally never-ending patience in seeing the final product!

I hope you are all still enjoying your knitting. My days are so full with my full-time job and trying to get the business started that knitting and reading are a welcome treat. The cool thing about starting a business in the fiber arts is that I am always working with something I love and I get the very great satisfaction of knowing I am making a quality product that people will love touching and working with as they knit/crochet.

Knit on!


Alpaca yarn is known for its

WARMTH(it is warmer than wool; it has a hollow core which makes it an excellent insulator)

SOFTNESS(it rivals cashmere; some even contest it is softer than cashmere)

HYPOALLERGENIC PROPERTIES (it has no lanolin and is not itchy like wool)





Abigail A Bruce, Owner
West Coast Fiber Company, LLC

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Return to Blogdom

Hi all. Long time no blog! I hope all your lives are happy and joyful full of knitting fun. My life for the past few months has included knitting (not as much as I would have liked!), reading (some of the reason for reduced knitting), playing with Eina (just turned 1 on the 9th) and Knuckles (who makes Eina jealous when we give him attention and talk to him in a high squeaky voice), hanging with the hubby (playful as always), and spending time with my sister (getting married next weekend and pregnant with my 1st neice/nephew due in November!) among other things.

Despite my flagrant disregard for my blogging responsibilities I have actually been getting close to finishing the Never-Ending Shawl. I had somehow made a miscalculation in the amount of yarn I would need when I substituted the Knitpicks Gossamer for the Cherry Hill Tree Farm yarn and ran out when I was 3/4 of the way done with the ruffle edge. I recently received the new hank in the mail (yes, the colors aren't different!!) and have set to work completing the edge. Sweater for my husband is completed minus blocking and seaming. That will happen after I remember what substitute I can get from Home Depot that will serve as blocking wires so I can spend only $5 as opposed to $40 buying them from a yarn store. I have accepted the fact that neither the shawl nor the sweater will be worn until this coming fall/winter. I suppose that gives me time to make a matching sweater for the dog (husband's idea was to make the dog a sweater; my idea was to make the dog sweater match the husband sweater. Ha!) and some baby clothes for my sister's baby.

Until next time...

Have a Knitlicious day!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Short update...

Hi! I am close to being done with my shawl, I made my husband hunting socks, I am working on hats for the Grandma's, Thanksgiving was great, Christmas is approaching, we're shopping for Christmas gifts tonight, Eina is almost 7 months old and is a very good dog, Knuckles bites me when he wants food, I just got done with Singing Christmas Tree performances (which was a lot of fun), and I plan to start this again soon. Hope you are all doing well.

Dobro Vecher!!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

And So The Yarn Harlot Enchanted Portland...

Yay for us, the Yarn Harlot was here!

We accumulated a group of at least 100 knitters. There were quite a few people standing in the back as there were not enough chairs for everyone but nonetheless everyone was so excited and happy! I have never seen a group of people who didn't know each other act so happy and friendly to one another. I spoke with the lady beside me all night long and still don't know her name (if you're reading this, I enjoyed our conversations!) and my sister did the same with the lady next to her. There was laughter and general knitterly rowdiness all around...these turned into hoots when the Yarn Harlot showed her face. I do have to say that the Powell's staff seemed bewildered by the amount of reverence this crowd clearly offered Stephanie. If they were knitters they would understand. They did, I say in their defense, hang around and listen rather attentively to her talk. Not in their defense, though, they looked quite confused when she took her customary picture of the crowd with the sock front and center...oh well.

Before going on to the pictures that my sister so kindly took (thanks, Mel!), I must say that there was a little girl sitting in front of us whowas knitting on her mom's lap. She was very young and when she went up to Stephanie for the book signing, Stephanie said, "I was also only 4 when I learned how to knit." It was very sweet.

Now for the pictures, courtesy of Melody (sorry I forgot to get a picture of us together!)

Ms. Harlot was gifted with a felted Cowboy hat and some yarn. Bear with the blurriness. It's not your eyes.

Cute little knitter...

Me: "uh,, the Yarn Harlot...I've never been around anyone this cool. I think I should just stare now..."

Her: "Can I talk to you just a little longer? That girl behind you keeps staring at me. I think she's going to stalk me and I need a few more minutes to decide what the best plan would be for running away quickly."

Me: "Well, I got up here without tripping, that's good. She hasn't run away yet. I think that I opened my mouth and said something stupid...she's not looking at me. Maybe it's that whole staring thing that did it."

Me: "Phew! Must not have been that traumatic of an experience for her after all. She's smiling at me!" Her: "If I smile at her, maybe she'll go away... You know, she's kinda' funny looking. I can laugh now and it will be natural! Now go away, creepy staring stalker!"

And so the night passed, I went home, she signed more books, I didn't stalk her, and the world was a happier place for all her humour.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Tidbits - Dog Baths, Happy Cats, Lonely Socks, et cetera

Ah, the exit sign for Beautiful Lake Oswego. For some reason I thought I should take a picture of this sign.

Ah, bath time for Eina..."Does Daddy have to do this to me?"

"Thank you for making me clean...I love you, Daddy"
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"Yeah, I'm cool. Don't mess with me. I'm relaxing. The dog is outside instead of jumping on me so I am having a few minutes of peace and quiet. Ah, the sweet flavor of solitude."
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On the knitting front:

Today was the day for organizing the stash. Ziploc bags were purchased, Swift & Ballwinder were brought out and attached to rocking chair, (not quite) all yarn was made into balls and put in Ziploc bags w/ a 3x5 card in each identifying the project, who it is for, and any other relevant specifications. Soon all items I should be working on as a priority will go into the knitting basket in the living room and the rest to the storage basket. I will update my WIPs and FOs when I have a chance to take my eyes off of the never-ending ruffle edge...that I am about 5/6 of the way done with on only ONE side of the requisite 4. One side. Only one. That is O-N-E in case it helps to read it slower and absorb the full meaning of this simple word. One. AHHHH!!! This "almost done" shawl has turned into a long-term project. And by long term I mean the ten-year-plan. Ok. I'm done crying now. The finished sock below pacifies me. It is pretty but lonely. When I need a break from the shawl I can work on a lover for this sock. Ah, love. So beautiful. Now I need to wind more balls and watch M.A.S.H. with DH. Life is wonderful!

Work Station:
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Finished Pretty But Lonely Sock:
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I really like this Kitchener Rib cast on edge...much more professional looking than the cast on I had previously been using. (Technique can be found on pages 24-25 of Big Book of Knitting by Katharina Buss)
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Reinforced Heel Flap...
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Star Toe...pulled slightly out of shape in order to take the picture. Turns out the toe of a sock is hard to lay flat.(Technique can be found on page 76 of Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch...Thanks for letting me borrow the book, Tammy!)
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Lonely Sock gracing Lonely Foot:
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Goodnight and Happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 01, 2006

The not-so-short-and-sweet Short & Sweet post

Tonight will be short and sweet. It turns out that reading blogs all night long and designing (scratch that: attempting to design, losing the past hours work, no longer designing) a web site for a future oh-so-wildly-successful Llama & Alpaca Fiber (etc.) online store can make a person tired. I'm tired. DH is already asleep on couch. Dog is asleep...where? See, I have to go find the dog now. Cat is...probably with dog. Abbie should bed.


1) Yarn Harlot will be @ Powell's on Hawthorne @ 7:30 pm on this Wed, Sept 6. Yay! I'll be there. I will try to identify myself somehow and see you when (note when, not if) you're there. Hopefully it won't be something too scary so you won't be embarrassed to be seen with me...I'll try to keep it under control...

2) Some pictures of my felted purse. This was made with Cascade 220 in Rust.

Body: Stockinette
Bottom: Garter
Strap: Garter, extra wide so the pressure would distribute over my shoulder when I wear it diagonally. *NOTE: the strap was waaaaaaaaaay too long when I first felted it. I cut a length out of the strap and sewed the ends together with needle & strong, strong thread. I cut a flower out of the excess strap and stitched it over the hole on the front of the bag--ask me later...I am too tired to admit something as silly as that...I did not cover the hole on the inside of the bag so as to remind myself to avoid stupidity...again, I'll tell you later--and needle felted the middle of the flower and the swirly next to the flower. I will probably add a few more swirlies before I actually call it done. Turns out the strap was still too long so I cut more length out and will use that excess for another flower at the top of the strap to cover the seam I had to make. My mom still thinks the strap is too long but I disagree. The point of this bag in the first place was to have something sturdy and cute to put my books & knitting in for my bus rides to work everyday and with a long enough strap that I could easily wear it diagonally from shoulder to thigh. That still is the main purpose so the fact that I can wear it one one shoulder like a purse and have it look close to normal is incidental. I'm pretty happy with it and my DH gave me some nice compliments about it as well so that right there gives it a little something extra special.
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Unbeknownst to me, DH thought it would be a good idea to get a close-up of *ahem* my boobs. Be merciful. What's a wife to do?
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3) DH and I went to see A Prairie Home Companion last weekend. BEST MOVIE I HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME. I don't normally laugh so hard that I cry but I was filling up the empty popcorn basket with the river I was crying. Excellent, Excellent movie. If you have never heard the radio program you could probably still find it a good movie but if you have heard A Prairie Home Companion (otherwise known as News from Lake Woebegone) on the radio at all and were enchanted by it like DH and I then you will LOVE it as well. Just FYI.

Good night.

Oh wait, some pics of DH & Eina. And a monkey or two.

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Goodnight! I mean it!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Conflict of Interests...Yarn Harlot, I know what you're up to!

So, yesterday I receive in the mail my anticipated gift from Amazon - Secret Life of a Knitter, Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much, and Knitting Rules. All books by the famed Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka Yarn Harlot. All books that are very good and very hilarious. All books which have now shown themselves for what they truly are...competition with knitting!! Now Stephanie, isn't this a conflict of interest? As you go about trying to encourage your readers to develop a knitting lifestyle, to verge on (or throw yourself full force into?) the obsessive, you have us not knitting, but READING. Reading. Reading. And more reading. That thing that all good-intentioned obsessed knitters always intend to do more of but supposedly.....never do. I guess that takes me out of that club. I guess that rejects me from the whole community of knitters. I guess that makes me a loser. I guess that makes all of us that read your books losers and you the only cool knitter left. Thanks. Now that I stop looking through your books in bookstores and libraries and actually make them my own and read them cover to cover...I have become a loser, not a knitter. But, nonetheless, I am a happy loser...or if I may create a new category, a loser-knitter. Watch out world, here I come!

(and watch out Ms. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I will have words with you during your Powell visit... The nerve.)

Have a great day everyone, and don't forget to order these books. They're hilarious!

The Loser-Knitter
aka Abbie