What I am reading …

On top of all the yarn craft, I still take some time to read.

Here is what I am reading:



This is a great throne room read since the book is made up of short sections. It’s basically a how to that details different techniques to spin the yarn you want. It also gives brief explanations on combing, carding and dyeing, but it is not a comprehensive book on making yarn. Like the other spinning resources I’ve read, this book gives me the feeling of sitting down with a seasoned spinner and finding out what they do since everyone seems to do things a little differently.


This is a nice publication from Annie’s and Crochet! magazine. It has some good articles on choosing yarns and on color, plus it has wonderful patterns. Truthfully, I have never wanted to make every pattern in a publication like I do this one. Another feature that I really like is that the patterns for this special publication are divided into yarn weights so it is easy to find the yarn you already my have in your stash for the pattern you want to make. Ha ha. Yeah sure.


Right now, I’m in the book of Matthew. The nice thing about this Bible is that it provides questions to think about for sections of Scripture. I am doing the appointed reading one day and then on following days I am journaling about each section of Scripture within the chapter or the Lectio Divina reading. For those who don’t know Lectio Divina is Latin for “divine reading.” It is an ancient spiritual formation practice of the church that incorporates reading, meditation, listening and prayer. It is not study. It is reflection on God’s word.


This one is for grins. Hubby tells me that I do not read enough fiction and he’s right. I used to love reading fiction and then as my time grew more limited I just read what I needed for spiritual growth and for crochet and spinning. After reading “The Source” by the same author I decided that I could really learn a lot from him so I picked up this novel. I love historical fiction and Michener did it well.


This nugget arrived yesterday just after I read “the ONE question you can ask yourself to determine if you are being controlled” by the Naked Pastor, David Hayward. I’ve already read three chapters (that’s more because of the way the book is formatted) and I am laying aside “Poland” for a little bit to finish this one.

What are you reading?

Silk Thread at The Pen & Hook

Spring and summer are here and all of the fiber magazines are coming out with lacy patterns so that we can continue to wear our knit and crochet pieces throughout the summer. Anamika silk fingering thread is the perfect thread for your projects that require weight 1 yarn. If you’re a dyer, the white is perfect for that task. This yarn can also be used in embroidery projects as well.

The Pen & Hook is offering ten colors of this beautiful soft silk.


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We also carry Silk Cloud Minis, which are a perfect size for smaller projects.

I am offering a discount this week for blog readers. Use coupon code SILK15 to get a 15 percent discount for a limited time.


What I’m working on

Sleeve in progress

So what am I working on? If my husband were here he would ask, “What aren’t you working on?”

It’s true. I have a tendency to stock up on works in progress as if the world were ending tomorrow. Secretly, I thought the works in progress might be a good ruse to stock up on yarn in case zombies attack or some other disaster occurs and all the stores close. Zombies aside, my real reason is that I just get excited about the possibilities of a project and I might have a slight case of attention deficit disorder when it comes to yarn. One of my friends calls it a “full life”. My family calls it a bit crazy, so don’t tell them about the zombies because then they will really think I’m nuts. Oh well, at least I am never bored.

The fleece is still in the works. I’ve had to hold up a bit to take pictures for my shop and to take more time to practice the piano. Plus, there is spring cleaning. At the moment I am still teasing the fleece, but I may be teasing it too much. I’ll share a bit more on that later.

So what am I working on right now? Or, perhaps the better question may be, what am I focusing on right now? It’s something for my husband, actually. A sweater. My first sweater, in fact. Scratch that. My second. Years ago I made a cardigan and it turned out way too big for the person for whom it was intended. The stitch was also not correct. My recipient didn’t like it because 1) the stitch was regarded as too feminine and 2) it was too big. As you can guess, it was for a man.

Even though, construction-wise the sweater turned out pretty well for a first try, I was put off. First of all, I was very young and didn’t understand that most men like plain clothing, especially if it is handmade. Secondly, because I was young and lacked confidence, I let the reactions of others (snerking, uncontained laughter, disgust) keep me from trying again. That is, until now.

Now I am making a sweater for my husband out of  a charcoal gray light worsted weight 100 percent alpaca yarn. As you can see the stitch pattern is very plain, which is how he wants it. I hope to get it finished by April 22nd when our family goes up to the mountains to see the son who is in college perform for his senior seminar. Hopefully, Mike will be able to wear it then. I anticipate that he will because the mountains can still be very chilly this time of year.

The sweater is more than halfway finished. I am working on the second sleeve and it is going much faster than the first. All that is left after that is the neck band and construction. I hope he will love it.



Why do you like to play with yarn?

I’m a fan of the blog “Roving Crafters” . On a recent post Jenn talks about why we all like this yarn so much. Her reasons echo what I recently wrote for the About page in my Etsy shop:

I love working with fiber!

The Pen & Hook is the result of a long journey, full of twists and turns, with areas of sunshine and shadow along the way. After unexpectedly quitting my job as a newspaper editor and writer, I started this shop as a way to express myself in a different way, and to earn some money on the side. At that time crochet was just a hobby. Now it is a serious craft that has led to a true love of yarn and fiber.

Fiber is an amazing part of God’s creation. Developed from animal hair, fleece and plants over many millennia, fiber provides a multitude of functions. It protects our bodies from the elements, provides work, adds more beauty to the human form by way of clothing, and also gives us a way to uniquely express ourselves in art.

The use of fiber adds color to our lives. Crocheting, weaving, knitting, quilting and many other means of fiber expression gives meaning to our lives. Not only is it fun, but it also feels good when we give to others. Fiber adds zest to our lives!

Within the last year, I have not only expanded my crochet skills, I have also begun to learn how to spin. My project for this year is to crochet a blanket from the ground up. In other words, I am processing a fleece from start to finish, from the raw wool to preparing the yarn to crocheting the blanket. I am very excited about this project and know that it will take The Pen & Hook far beyond my expectations. I hope you will come along for the journey as it twists and turns and takes us far beyond where we thought of going. There will be sunshine and shadow along the way but it will all work out well in the end (Romans 8:28).


So why do you like to work with yarn and fiber? I’d love to hear your reasons …


Sari Silk is in stock!

If you are looking for a fun yarn  I may have something or you. Sari Silk is now in stock in my Etsy store The Pen & Hook!

You can choose from six gorgeous colors: turquoise, royal blue, ivory, black, coral and grape.

This yarn is made by hand in India at a cooperative that creates jobs for women who would otherwise have no work and no way to provide for their families. Silk saris are torn into quarter-inch strips and sewn together to make 60 yards of incredible yarn. Sari Silk can be used for almost anything – clothing, shawls, scarves, baskets, wall hangings, table runners, rugs, jewelry! People knit, crochet, macrame, weave and make jewelry with it. You can even dye the ivory for your own unique yarn. The possibilities are limitless.

Here is the yarn:

I’m offering this yarn to blog readers at 15 percent off for a limited time. Just type in the code BLOG15 and you’ll receive the 15 percent off!