Monday, November 9, 2009


We have lots of deliciously beautiful buttons! These will inspire many new projects! At least they have for me... On the left is a sampling of handmade regional (MI) buttons from Annie's Sweet Handspun and on the right is a sampling of buttons from a women's group in South Africa called Incomparable Buttons.
You asked for more buttons and we listened!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Open House!

We will be having our annual Open House Friday, November 20th from 4-8pm.

Come one come all for drinks, snacks, sales and holiday gift knitting ideas! One skein and quick knit projects will be our focus to help you get all your holiday knitting accomplished!

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My new winter hat!

Because my Looking Glass Sweater was so fun to make I have decided to make a mate for it. A hat. Which I will felt! How fun will this be you ask? Well to someone who starts a new project everyday a quick felting project just gives me oodles of joy! I am creating this from Cascade 128 and Noro Silk Garden, now i know the Silk Garden is slimmer, but my hopes are that they will give the windows more pop. By the way this pattern will be called Stained Glass instead of Looking Glass. I'll keep you updated... I hope to be felting tonight if all goes well.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Whew! This is interesting...

Fabric and Yarn Excluded in New CPSIA Requirements

August 24, 2009

A new vote has exempted fabric and yarn from the lead testing and certification requirements for children’s products under the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The exemption, which is expected to go into effect within a matter of days, does not include snaps, buttons, zippers and the like. The result is that the final garment will still need to be tested.

The testing of fabric and yarn has been a point of contention among children’s apparel manufacturers, who argue that the two items are not lead-bearing and that the costly testing of them places an undue burden on manufacturers.

The CPSIA says it reached its decision on fabrics and dyes after studying hundreds of test reports and analyses that examined lead levels in various textile and apparel products.

“After reviewing and verifying this test data, the staff was able to determine that most textile products are manufactured using processes that do not introduce lead or result in an end product that would exceed the CPSIA’s lead limits,” said a statement released by the CPSC.

The act, which became law last August, rankles and confuses manufacturers and retailers alike. The CPSIA made significant changes to previous regulations, which now imposes additional compliance requirements for consumer products produced domestically and abroad. Manufacturers making apparel primarily for children age 12 or younger take the brunt of the law, facing staggered deadlines for new lead-paint requirements and third-party testing of lead content in small parts and metal jewelry. Other requirements call for tracking labels on children’s products that show where the garment was made, its batch number and other information not previously made available to the consumer.

The apparel industry continues to petition for changes to the CPSIA. On Aug. 25, Kevin Burke, president and chief executive of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, will testify at a CPSC public hearing in Bethesda, Md., on the Commission’s agenda, priorities and strategic plan.

For more information on the CPSIA, visit —Erin Barajas

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Spitting Stella

Stella is busy spitting up a storm!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Crazy Daze - July 11th

Hey there all you fiber lovers! July 11th is Viroqua’s Crazy Daze, a city wide side walk sale! Ewetopia will have lots of yarn on sale, and possibly even Clover Needles! It’s a good reason to take a beautiful drive to Viroqua!

PS - There is also a blue grass festival at the fair grounds and i hear a bunch of antique tractors will be gracing us all around town!

We hope to see you July 11!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cybal and Brita

We have a couple of new additions to Woolly Bear Farm, a couple of rambunctious white and tan Great Pyrenees pups to be exact! Their names are Brita and Cybal. Brita meaning "exalted one" and Cybal meaning prophetess or fortune-teller. They are quite joyful, especially when they grab a a sock from one of our boots and run with it! They have met their woolly charges and are a little intimidated, but brave and quiet, just what we need! Our former sheep guard, Herman the donkey is now in exile with our small herd of cattle and recieving the same treatment he gave to the sheep!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

NEW diaper cover pattern

Now that Stella is here, it has been easier to dream up design patterns that will actually work! My new twist on the diaper cover that I had been designing pre-Stella is to make the whole thing bigger all over and use Ewetopia's own hand dyed superwash merino sock yarn to knit a casing along the leg edge for some elastic added after the felting of the actual cover made from Cascade 220. We will see. I am feverishly trying to finish some projects first... but simply had to cast on since I ran out of cotton last night working on the Nursing Tank and conveniently had this yarn in the knitting bag...

Sexy Mama Nursing Tank update

Well i sure hope this works! My wardrobe is quite limited now post pregnancy and pre-pre-pregnancy weight! My only concern is that the "openings" or "access points" if you will are too big and will droop down with the weight of the cotton to make skin visible... If this happens I believe sewing up another 10-15 sts and editing that part of the pattern will suffice nicely and will still be enough of an opening for nursing capabilities. Now it's mindless knitting from here to the last few rows of yet to be designed fun-ness!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Stella Video

Just trying this out guys! This is Stella with the Spinners at the shop a couple weeks ago!

WWKIP Day 2009!

It's time for our second annual World Wide Knit in Public day event! This year we'll be knitting, crocheting, felting and spinning outside the shop! We'll have some snacks and drinks on hand of course, and of course to help celebrate WWIP and the International Year of Natural Fibers all the regular marked yarn (except consignment) will be 10% off!

Come celebrate fiber arts with us!

International Year of Natural Fibers

How exciting right?! The UN has declared 2009 the International Year of Natural Fibers! Check out the website:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Soaker pictures in action

You've all been asking how the knitted soaker has been working out, it's great! I unfortunately just have the one in her size, so i better get busy making some more! It holds everything in really great, especially after lanolizing (this is the crucial step in moisture proofing)! The soaker pattern is not only available in the shop, but also in the new Knitcircus magazine, along with many other adorable baby and children's patterns!

BTW, have you caught on to the subliminal message on my baby? Yes, my dear from Jes has outfitted Stella with Ewetopia name brand gear!

Sexy Mama Nursing Tank

Amazing, I am actually using 2 skeins from my ever growing stash! I have decided, after being inspired by the Great Gatsby dress in the Summer issue of Interweave Knits 2009 to knit a nursing shirt. The ribbing (shown in the picture) will be the access point, and a underlayer will be knitted down from the top of the ribbing. We'll see how it pans out... I'll keep you updated!

Stella Baby Cardigan

I have a new favorite yarn! Cascade's Cottonrich dk, a fully machine washable/dry-able cotton/nylon blend. It's super soft and has a really nice heathery look. It's a pleasure to work with, doesn't split and has great stitch definition!

I soon realized that Stella needed a few more sweaters, so in the weeks after she was born i've been busy knitting up some sweaters. This pattern was a fun one to design because I was able to really knit them fast since it was all garter stitch, I could knit either the American or Continental way depending on which arm was free during nursing (my purling the Continental way is still in progress...)!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stella looks like she's straight out of the book Where the Wild Things Are! She's been a very accepting knit wear model for me thankfully! It's great to be back in the shop, which in all reality is much like home with visitors! During my days at home I was successful in accomplishing some knitting, after the first initial few days of much needed sleep and recovery. I never thought that laying in bad all day would feel soooo good!

I know you've read the previous posting about Stella's birth, but i would like to add my own words about that amazing experience. It truly couldn't have been a better birth, I can't believe I'm writing that since at the time I couldn't believe I was going through that much pain. Since it was such a quick labor (thanks to 4oz of castor oil and orange juice) I didn't have much time to get ready for the contractions before they were every 2-3 minutes and then within a couple hours every minute or less! I would like to say I was able to accomplish this on my own, but the reality is that my husband Keith was an incredible help and talked and held me through the whole day, and I never once thought of blaming or smacking him for my pain! But now as I look down at beautiful little Stella I know it was all for good reason.

She is now almost 3 weeks old and has gained at least 12oz since she was born and is quickly losing that newborn look. Currently she's struggling to wake up, so I must take leave and put the last skein in the dye pot before she opens her eyes for good!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Welcome sweet Stella Rose!

If you've been following this blog, you know full well how ready Kathryn was for this darling baby to be born. Well, she made her entrance, and very gracefully and beautifully I might add, March 19, a few minutes before 8pm, just as the last rays of the glorious sunset were fading.
Seven pounds, four ounces, and 21 inches long, she's a robust, alert (can't you tell!) baby who seems delighted to be here and delighted in everyone around her.
Kathryn and Keith are exceptional new parents. Their beautiful home birth experience has made a seamless, comfortable transition to life with with their little one.

Stella Rose peacefully sleeping sandwiched between her loving parents.

Great Grandma Gloria!

This is how we announce new babies in the country!
Actually, it was more formal at Ewetopia - balloons on the Open sign - thanks to great grandma who held down the fort on the birthday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A rainbow of colors!

Sock fanatics rejoice! There are LOTS of new color on the sock shelves at Ewetopia. I have been busy with a pre-baby dyeing effort to get all the natural sock yarn in our inventory dyed up before my hands are full with something else, ahem this baby if it ever decides to enter our world!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Doll Pattern is finally finished!

Our beloved bendable, anatomically proportioned dolls are now available in pattern form! Yes for some pregnant women "nesting" means taking an inventory of the entire house, mine meant finishing a few patterns that had been put aside!

June the Shepherdess is now available at Ewetopia or online at:

No baby yet, but more lamb pictures!

Top: Willa and Willow
Middle: Willow
Bottom: Eli and Ebony

With 6 lambs total born this spring it has been our least stressful lambing season ever, despite the cold weather and fact that we had no idea they were due in early February! All 6 lambs are getting quite large and have tons of fun now that they are all together and can play. We have one lamb named Willa who looks more like a Holstein cow than a lamb, who absolutely adores us for some unknown reason! She loves a little scratch under her chin, and will come running up to us when we come to the barn. This is really truly amazing behavior for a lamb who is not bottle fed and has a mother who wants nothing to do with us. Much to the dismay of many other shepherds we have decided to not dock their tails this year as an experiment. We feel that it causes much stress and distrust between us and the lambs, and since we shear late and will take extra precaution to shear their buttocks if needed throughout the summer to prevent fly stike, which in all reality is more of a management issue with dirty living conditions. We hope this goes well and don't foresee a problem.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Spring/Summer Hours

Due to having a baby any day now, and the hectic and abundant spring and summer work that happens on a farm, Ewetopia will have abbreviated hours starting March 1st. They will not be too much different though, and of course please call if you're coming through at a time we're not here and I'll do whatever I can to be here!

Monday: 10-7pm (4-7pm is Monday night knitting!)
Tues-Weds: 10-4pm (Tues morning knitting from 10-1pm)
Thursday: 10-6pm
Fri-Sat: 10-4pm (Friday morning knitting from 10-1pm)
Sunday: Closed

Monday, February 16, 2009

I've waited years to witness this adorableness!

One warm morning last week, my husband Keith woke me up with a start by exclaiming "There's a lamb out there!" He had a puzzled tone and my first thought was one of our 2008 lambs (Betsy, Tacy or Martin) had escaped and was frolicking about the yard! I soon realized that he meant a brand new lamb and my next worry was that since the ewes we had purchased over the winter were not due until April it was a stillborn and we would have a sad morning ahead of us. Still half asleep I quickly dressed and ran out the door to the barn with a towel from my own birthing equipment stash. The lamb was not at all premature, and was in fact quite dry and lively as we caught him and brought him and his mother (who we have nicknamed Llama due to her size and stature) inside away from the chilly wind. He seemed quite used to nursing and had no trouble finding her teats, even through all her wooly coat, which since they were not due until April had not been sheared yet!

The next morning Keith went to work, without any more lambs to find. This morning it would be my turn! Just as I was leaving I checked on the lamb, and as an after thought decided to leave through the other door in the barn so I could count the ewes outside eating hay. The wind was much stronger and colder this morning and as I turned the corner I saw not only the 2 brown ewes and "24" the large white ewe, but a brand new pure white form on the ground! She had just been born maybe a minute earlier and her mother was just beginning to lick her off. Unfortunately I could not leave her where she had dropped because of the cold, she was chilled and must be inside with a heat lamp in an order to survive, ah February lambing! After a few frantic phone calls to Keith and my mother who would need to open the shop that morning. I ran and got the same towel as the morning before and toweled her off and watched her closely for signs of hypothermia as I waited for Keith to arrive and help me set up yet another lambing pen!

Both lambs are now just a few days old and are quite strong and lively! There is truly nothing better than watching a young lamb frisk and leap about! Last night when we checked them for the last time before going to bed we witnessed something I have seen in pictures and have ALWAYS wanted to see first hand. Leo (the first lamb) was warm and nestled in warm wooly fleece right on top of his mother! Thankfully they both were content enough and too cozy to move while I took a few pictures!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wool coming in, wool going out!

Its exciting around here, we have lots of new wool from fiber artist Georgia Mommaert from Quail Hill Carding in, including a couple NEW colors! Plus we had a large shipment of undyed sock yarn come in that is as I type beginning to be dyed into many exciting and beautiful shades! I also did some pre-baby nesting down in the basement and have cleared out almost all of our stashed raw fleeces and have them "staged" to be sent to Stonehedge Fiber Mill in MI! We will hopefully recieve boxes of beautiful roving back in time to get some dyed up before this little baby arrives! It that is not the case, do not fear, I will find a way to get it dyed as soon as I'm back in the shop! I promise!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When Pampers just won't cut it for a knitter...

So as March draws closer, and "nesting" becomes more pronounced, of course wool diaper covers and soakers are moved to the top of the list to finish. I have been busy knitting up and felting and then knitting up more with different techniques (i.e. incorporating short rows!) these little wool diaper covers! Of course, without having a baby here to try these out on I'm needing to just assume that the measurements I can find for regular Bummis covers etc, give an accurate range of sizes. We'll see...

Unfortunately while designing felted items there is quite a bit more work needed since felted items can't be reversed! I am hoping to have 3-4 sizes soon from newborn to 30-40lbs. The new born version shown above does not incorporate the short rows, and may once I see tonight how the small and medium turn out with the short rows on the leg opening (more may need to be incorporated in the actual diaper itself for more holding room... I hear everything just gets bigger and messier the larger the diaper and baby and more room is needed...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Aren't these adorable? Baby projects are incredibly fun, because they're nearly instant gratification! These are some booties that are featured as our free project in our January Newsletter. Made from Berroco Ultra Alpaca, they will be sure to keep tiny toes toasty!