No, but I was Almost Ready!

I only forgot one “important” item at Saturday’s craft show! Since I sell my hand dyed wool by the ounce, it helps if I have my scale with me! I didn’t have, so I put out very little wool (thinking I wouldn’t sell any 🙂 The wool customers (spinners) that wanted some were very understanding and accepted my estimate of how much was in a ball. My scale now goes to the top of my list for the next show!

Here’s three skeins of yarn, fresh off my wheel.

merino yarn

hand dyed merino wool hand spun.

 

And here is our show set-up.  Son and I shared one space while husband had a space across the aisle from us.

 

craft show

Cliff’s corner

craft show

candles and hats

DSCN4062-2

wool and yarn

Meanwhile we look forward to the next shows, more organized packing, and warmer weather. Have a nice week everyone.

Am I Ready?

“Am I ready?” is the question I ask myself every year as the craft shows start. I spend a week making lists, crossing off things as I get them ready, adding two more for every one crossed off and still have the feeling I’ve forgotten something. This process continues until I have the two inside shows under my belt, then starts again until after the first outside ones….adding tents, weights, camping gear to the already bulging trailer.

I can’t really say I’m stressed, I know I have the important things together. I think it’s more excitement to get back into the routine of things after not having a concrete schedule for the winter. I’ll report back after the first is done!

Blog Avoidance?

Don’t know why I haven’t been posting as regularly as I had planned? I don’t have writer’s block as I have many thoughts written down in notes. Maybe it’s the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day and I need a few of those for sleeping?

Craft shows are approaching! I have copies of our schedule printed for handing out to those interested in where we will be. I’ve revised my candle scent listing brochure, adding more scents (that will eventually be discontinued) to my sale column! This also meant relabeling all my inventory boxes and sorting through over 100 scents (does that explain why I am trying to cut back on my variety?)  Plus I’ve been making more candles, printing their labels etc. Hopefully I won’t have to make candles between some of the back-to-back shows.

And I’ve been dyeing!…lots and lots of wool fiber 🙂 Tonight I finally took the time to edit the many pictures I’ve been taking of the finished colors. And I’ve spun a few sample yarns, changing the look of the colors by plying them with different colors.

 

 

And I managed to achieve these each of these two-tone results in the same kettle of dye!

And for a visual hint of how this was done, the following two pictures are of the same roving;

 

And the latest two color-ways;

Most of the above fiber will be available at craft shows for $3.00 per ounce (both the Suffolk roving  and the Merino top is about 8oz per batch/colorway). If you would like to purchase some to spin, contact me and I can list it for you if it’s still here.

Hope everyone will continue to follow and realize, as I have, that I will probably always be a sporadic writer….too many irons in the fire…which reminds me, I need to plug in and do some new wood burning! Til next time, enjoy your lives, and hope you had a Happy Easter.

Another Tangled Web

This web at first looked as if a giant spider had invaded our downstairs!

tangled string

tangled around every leg in sight

But on second look it was just Stanley and Sheldon learning to play “cat’s cradle” with some string they found 🙂

cats at play

Now this is the next move!

Lucky for all that it wasn’t my hand spun!

On My Wheel

On my wheel today I have some llama. I just retrieved it from the fiber mill on Monday, so when I saw it I had to quickly finish the pound of super wash merino that was almost done.

When I sent the llama fiber that I had washed it was a combination of greys and white that I had washed and stuck together in a bag, thinking that they would process it together and I would have a heathered light gray to spin. Imagine my surprise to open the bag and find this fluffy striped fiber awaiting me 🙂

llama roving

white and grey llama

This is the start of the bobbin, today it is almost full so tomorrow will start the second spool to ply with it. Anxious to see the blend of natural colors that will result, no dyeing necessary!

spinning

spinning llama

And here’s a picture of the first pound of garnet red that I finished, the second pound is drying to set the twist. I have different colors of super wash to spin yet and also a few pounds of alpaca that was also processed at the same mill.

hand spun merino

garnet super wash merino

January’s Fiber

Normally people might read ” January’s fiber” and think I had made drastic changes in my diet! But no! I’m referring to the wool that I’ve been getting ready for this summer’s craft shows.

The biggest part of my time was spent spinning some more super wash yarn. After a sale on HandmadeArtists I realized how low my inventory of super wash was so decided to get busy. I managed to finish spinning five pounds of the merino super wash top from my stash, and dug out another 5 pounds to see if I can do the same amount for February. One pound of larch green was plied with one pound of dark olive for a total of about 1200yds. The red pound is called lipstick (about 550yds). Then a pound of light blue (about 600yds). And pictured the first skein of the pound-a bulkier art yarn of maybe 250yds. The rest of it is finished but drying to set the twist. I still need to label the individual skeins before I will have an accurate yardage count.

hand spun yarn

superwash merino hand spun

Then I took a day off to play with colors. Five batches/ four colorways gave me a start on adding to my top inventory. I will have the fun of spinning some of the top that matches the yarn to knit into a hat. The rest will find homes with other spinners or felters.

hand dyed

dyed merino top and alpaca blend yarn

Then my supervisor (Sheldon the cat) was inspecting the progress of some dryer balls! I think he likes being in charge of quality control!

Dryer balls

Sheldon inspecting!

And I’ve a head start on February’s to do list, just finished the first pound of singles and ready to start plying.

Happy February all.

Snowy Days

Snowy days and days and days, with a little freezing rain thrown in to the south of us!

snowy view

But with the snow comes lots of time to stay inside and craft so I’ve been very busy this past week.

rainbow dyed

merino top and alpaca blend yarn, hand dyed

Last Friday I dyed some wool and top and yarn. While it was drying I finished spinning some green yarn, plied it and set the twist.

dyed in the wool.

warm and cool primary colors, plus pink+blue=purple

When it was dry I spread it on the table for pictures, but first I had to play peek-a-boo with Sheldon! After the game was done he still was tempted to take a closer look at the wool, but behaved and just looked 🙂

cat peek-a-boo

my eyes are closed…you can’t see me

cat peek-a-boo

can I fit?

Sheldon the cat

hi!

Then I teased some of the purplish wool to remove more of the VM (vegetable matter) that hadn’t come out in the washing.

cat

Can’t I help?

hand processing wool

teased wool and debris

After loading my hand cards with fiber, I found that Sheldon was still watching me!

hand wool processing

Dressing the cards

hand processing wool

carding wool with help

hand processing wool

carded wool

Here are some the rolags (rolls of carded wool) ready for spinning, but I have a lot more carding to do first.

hand processing wool

rolags ready to spin

As I mentioned before we have two black cats. The following pictures will show you how we tell them apart: Sheldon has the crooked ear from the injury he came to the shelter with. Stanley has half of a white whisker (the other half must of broken off during their wrestling matches).  While Stanley can usually be found be found on my husband’s lap and occasionally on mine, Sheldon has to see (closeup) whatever I am doing and shares his lap time with me and our son, while only occasionally my husband, maybe because that lap is already taken by his brother. Both take turns trying to help me spin or knit but are learning that yarn is NOT a chew toy.

cat

Sheldon

spinning yarn

Stanley helping me spin

The yarn that Stanley was helping me spin has now been plied and has formed skeins totaling over 500yds. Time to start spinning the next color/pound of superwash merino. Made more dryer balls today, so those are drying now. I’m thankful for the speed by which things dry during the winter months thanks to the even heat of our wood furnace. So winter does have its advantages!

spun yarn

singles of superwash merino

How do you enjoy winter days?  Anyone a fiberholic too?

Yesterday I Won

Yesterday I won. No not the Lottery which I never play. Something better! I won the raffle for a pattern written by Orange Smothie.

For a picture or the lovely cowl look here.

I chose my yarn, a red hand spun which happens to be the right gauge and amount:) Need to finish a couple of other things (like this post and finding the right needles) before I can cast on. But it did move to the front of my knitting line-up!

hand spun yarn

Red merino wool yarn.

Did finish plying the singles I’ve spun for 5 more skeins of yarn. They are now drying, setting their twist. I’ve been avoiding working on the shawl I have started, need to rip back a few rows and think the cats would be too much help at this time:) It may become a project to work on in the evenings at the craft shows (when the cats will be safely at home!)

What’s on your needles?

 

 

The Temp and The Horse

The Temp and the Horse is a Mallory Southwell novel written by Valerie Hibbard and available on Amazon.

Book by Valerie Hibbard

It was a pleasant surprise when I received it in the mail on Saturday, the last day of the old year! That ended it on a high note.

Recently I haven’t spent enough time on reading for pleasure, so I’m thankful that my friend Valerie sent me an autographed copy of her newly released book.

We met several years ago on line with a mutual interest in fiber. Managing to meet in person a couple of times, we continue growing our friendship with the help of the internet.

She is a woman of widely varying interests and experiences. Some of this knowledge I recognized in parts of her book, while other facts I know she thoroughly researched.

I have enjoyed reading the anecdotes and short stories that she published in her Plain and Practical newsletter years ago and highly recommend  The Temp and the Horse.

It is adult reading so I would like to quote some from Valerie’s

“Warning to the Easily Offended”

” …There is murder, there is espionage, there is lying and sneaking. There is sex…People con others out of money, burn down houses, perform surgery without permission, practice eugenics and…”

In spite of her warnings I started reading immediately and couldn’t put it down til the end. I found her book to be realistically compelling with an intriguing story-line. Could such things actually be happening?

It starts with Mallory’s unsuccessful search for a job after graduating college with a double major. Finally she feels forced to take jobs with a Temp agency. This turns into a fast paced adventure that leads her down unexpected roads!

There are two more novels planned to follow this one. Can hardly wait for their release.

Valerie’s style may vary in genre but it is delightful and her characters engaging. She also has another style of book on Amazon that I would like to read.

I have always enjoyed mysteries and espionage as well as westerns and some historical novels. What are your favorite genres? Leave a comment, let me know what you are reading?