Fibery Intentions for 2014

I’ve been thinking about how I’d like to approach my fiber crafting next year. I would love to have ended 2013 with no WIPs and started 2014 with a clean slate full of cast on potential but that didn’t exactly happen…..

I’m planning to focus in January on finishing up those projects I set aside at some point this year – some got put on the back burner while I ramped up holiday knitting, some got put aside because something new & shiny came into my view, some are just an hour or three or five from having a completed project.

Anyway, I’m going to focus on WIP wrangling in January.

Anyone with me?

If, I mean, WHEN I’m successful with my January goal, then when the Winter Olympics starts in early February, I’ll be ready to cast on for my Ravellenic project – which may be a hand-spun sweater from those skeins of red-toned yarns I spun & plied earlier this year. Unless of course something new & shiny catches my eye between now and then………

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The creative potential of yarn

When I saw this video (it’s not my work) I was inspired to share it with you.

I’ve been playing with yarn for quite a while now.

Knitting it since I was a child

Crocheting it since as early as I can remember

Learning to spin my own in late 2008

There is so much creative potential in a strand of yarn.


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Mushrooms & Walnuts & Goldenrod, Oh My!

I’ve been having a blast experimenting with natural dyes lately. I say experimenting, but actually it’s more like playing really. Having a blast and enjoying everything about it, from the collecting of the plant materials, to the extracting of the color, to the surprise of what colors I get versus what color(s) I expected to get. Wanted to quickly share some of the results of my dyebaths.

First up? Mushrooms – A Bolete to be more precise. Which Bolete one might ask? I have no idea & won’t pretend that I do. But see the interesting underside of this one? So cool. And watch what happens in the next photo.

Well, would you look at that! In the dyebath, those spongy tubes pretty much stick together. Icky and awesome all at the same time!

All of these mini hanks on the were dyed with mushrooms, the yellows and greens on the right were dyed with the Boletes, the 5 mini hanks on the left were dyed with dried mushrooms – a miscellaneous mix that I collected a while back and didn’t do a good job of labeling. Some were dipped in a copper sulfate bath after dyeing.

I’ll upload my walnut and goldenrod dyed yarns when I can – stay tuned!

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No longer afraid of the pressure cooker

I’ve spent the last 4 days with my Mom and my sister. We’ve canned 153 jars of Yummy goodness, including this applesauce.

After 153 jars and 4 days I can honestly say I no longer fear the pressure cooker.

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No longer King of the South, but it’s definitely still grown here.

I wish I had confidence that this lovely boll would be completely processed here in the U.S. after it’s harvested.

Maybe I’ll just stay living in this bubble for a little while longer. Along with the dream that it’ll all be dyed in an environmentally friendly way too.

Want to join me in my fantasy world?

Cotton. It’s a beautiful thing.

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New projects

We have a road trip coming up this weekend. I don’t know what it is about traveling, but I always feel that a trip deserves a new “portable” project. Anyone else treat travel that way? It certainly isn’t as though I don’t have works in progress that I can take (and I will), but there’s just something about new possibilities that make my heart beat just a bit faster.

So I went to the yarn drawers looking for a couple of potential combinations to start a great accessory.

These two jumped out at me together and gave me absolutely no choice but to put them on my ball winder and get ready for the road.

It is time to get in the car yet????

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I’m starting to organize my studio…… yet again. Today’s progress was organizing my DPNs (double pointed needles).

My Mom gifted me with a planter she received as a gift when I was born. Ironically, I started college as a music/piano major & finished as a horticulture major.

The repurposing of the planter & the organization of my needles makes me quite happy.

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Spinning Retreat

Spinning in Alaska

I’ve been working for several months on pulling together the details for hosting a spinning retreat. This time last year I was a brand new spinner and traveled to the panhandle of Florida for the opportunity to spend the weekend with other spinners. I had a blast, but 10 hours (one way) on the road seemed like a lot……. so I started searching for other spinning events.

When I couldn’t find anything closer, I figured there might be a few other people who would also be interested in getting away with their fiber, their wheel or spindles, and being surrounded by other people who “get it” when words like drive ratios, treadle, S or Z twist, BFL vs. Romney, combing vs. carding, rolags, roving, batts, punys, all those esoteric details that our friends and family endure, sometimes politely, sometimes rolling their eyes, come rolling off our tongues.

Jar o Wool

(By the way non-spinning people, the smirks and eyerolling really aren’t necessary. Just a genuine oooooohhhhhh, or aaaaahhhhhhhh when we show you the latest skein would be wise………Here’s the most important tip I can give to a non-spinner: when shown a skein of handspun yarn, don’t ever let your first question be “what are you going to do with that”? Just don’t go there.)

I digress……. back to the retreat. So I decided to explore hosting a spinning retreat and today the registration information is ready. You can click on the link on the top right sidebar, or you can click here. Here’s a photo we took when we selected the site for the retreat:


It’s going to be a fantastic weekend. Classes will be available, but optional. Vendors will be available. Evening activities are being planned. Door prizes are being gathered. Spinners and fiber fanatics are going to be together on a southern plantation (here’s where we’ll be), in the southeastern United States, in the early spring. What could be better? I hope you’ll make plans to join us.

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Walk, Work, Walk, Repeat

My week in less than a nutshell:

Chapter 1:
Walk the Dog
Go To Work
Walk the Dog
Chapter 2:
Walk the Dog
Go To Work
Walk the Dog
Chapter 3:
Walk the Dog
Go To Work
Walk the Dog
Chapter 4 (the one with the exciting story line):
Walk the Dog
Go To Work
Walk the Dog
Empty Half the Dishwasher (bet you didn’t see that coming did you)
Chapter 5
Walk the Dog
Go To Work
Walk the Dog
I think it is a very good thing that the weekend is almost here……
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A Day on the Farm

Yesterday I got to spend part of the day at Farm Fest at Rising Meadow Farm. I had been to this farm in the spring for sheep shearing day and got an email a couple of weeks ago about their fall festival.

There were alpacas visiting from a nearby farm.
We got to see someone spinning angora right off the bunny. Yes, that pile of fluff in her lap is a live bunny. Apparently when they are shedding their coat, spinning right off of them is the thing to do…….
There were approximately 30 vendors. Fiber, soaps, yarns, books, hand knitted items, homemade coconut cake (can I just say YUM!) there was lots of variety.
I’m really glad I went. If you have a local farm nearby, be sure to get on their mailing list so you don’t miss out on the fun!
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