Thursday, July 30, 2009


It is with a feeling of letdown that I announce that my Etsy shop,, is open. The reason I am not overjoyed by this is that I find the adding of new items to be very cumbersome and time consuming; if I have six colors, say, of unspun bamboo top, I need to list every one with category, (there is no unspun fiber category OR yarn category), tags, price, shipping, etc. all re-entered every time.

I have a LOT of different things. This looks like a long process...

Bed now. I was stung by hornets yesterday and the allergic reactions seem to be taking a lot out of me...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Forgot to mention

I finally was able to get that purple dye to work, but I had to do some really strange things. Very odd and unsatisfying; I have a lot of dye in that bottle yet, and it's in many of my colorways; if it's going to be this hard to use I'm a very unhappy dyer.


I have untangled the yarn. I have started to tidy the guest room. If I get it tidy enough, I'll even be able to start the project that's on the loom that's buried in the middle of the room.

I also have a new challenge; G and I bought new kitchen flooring last night. The salesman, a really neat guy, sent us home with a whole book of samples. My mission? Find out how stainproof they are. I see marking various areas; fiber-reactive dye, acid dye, cochineal, and then seeing what happens.....

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I still have stuff all OVER the guest room, and my mom is coming in less than two weeks.

I can't seem to reproduce a purple that I've done a dozen times before, and it's really important that I get it done.

I have a skein of handspun yarn that is hopelessly tangled.

I've still hardly begun my bookkeeping data entry...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig

I got home last night. I DID get to Canada and DID get the great wheel and it's beautiful; I've taken it down to the guy I know who fixes fiber machinery. I had a wonderful, relaxing day with friends in Holland and drove home from there yesterday.

Today's photo is of me (on the right) and my friend Lisa. I had a wonderful time seeing old friends. I love my life here in the Twin Cities, but I loved Chicago too...

You can see some of my stuff in the background...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Had a good show

...not a GREAT show, but a good show. Mad City Mike showed up and bought a lot of washed fleece; have a wonderful time, Mike! I got to see many friends; I enjoyed the kind friends who came out to help me. I did more than cover expenses, I learned a LOT, and I found a new distributor.

Tomorrow I drive across to Canada for the great wheel, then back to Holland, MI

More when I get home...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Going well

Just a quick note. Yesterday was setup, after that and a bad night and the long drive, I was exhausted, but slept well. Today was not bad for a Friday; did decent business; hoping for a great day tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This is IT

The van is half loaded. I have to learn one thing more about the credit card machine. Patrolling the house for stuff I need to load...

I'll probably be able to post from the road if I'm not too tired.

Wish me luck?


Monday, July 13, 2009

Not dyeing today after all

There's SO much to get ready before I go; lists to check and double-check; last-minute wrapping and labeling, errands. So, all the tubs are set out to dry; all the cloths I use to control the mess are in the laundry. The very last of the bamboo is almost dry in the sun.

Today's photo is bamboo Nutmeg. I really like it...

Wish me luck???

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The beginning of the end...

Well, there's starting to be a list of things I won't be doing again this week.

Won't dye silk blend yarn or panda top; I'm out of both.

Won't dye pounds of superwash or more panda yarn; they both need the skein winder and I've put that away.

Tomorrow will be my last dyeing day.

Making a list of things to take with or do before I go. Worried about my cell phone; sometimes it's fine sometimes it breaks up to the point where you can't converse...

The fiber today is a funky overspun wool that I've been dyeing with natural dyes. I have already done two shades of safflower, and here is the darker of two shades of cochineal. Cochineal is a beetle that grows on the prickly pear cactus and gives the most wonderful shades of red.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A personal best?

I've lost track of what my single best effort to date is, but today I dyed two lb of BFL multicolor braids, 1 lb of Panda yarn, 2 lb of Bamboo fiber, and a small skein of pure silk. That's slightly in excess of 5 lb of fiber and ten different colorways. Not too shabby...

Today's photo is bamboo Blued Steel. As usual, I don't feel like I did it justice, though I think I'm doing a little better.

Just three days to go!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The Pygora goat is a cross between a pygmy goat and an angora; it's fiber is a cross between cashmere and mohair; lovely buttery softness with a mohair halo. Today's photo is of a 70% pygora laceweight in a coral color. Pygora of any kind is difficult to find and I am fortunate to have found a grower who will sell me yarn at wholesale.

Today I carded up four batts of baby white alpaca and three of gray shetland. These were very different experiences; there is no lanolin in alpaca; it is greaseless and fine, fine, fine like a cloud. The shetland was rich with lanolin (I generally wash with very mild detergents, to remove the other greases and leave the lanolin in). Both were lovely in their way.

I only have four or five dyeing days left! 8-O

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's *pretty*!

OK, guys, I promised I'd take more photos and post them, and I've taken them, but before I put them up I just HAD to share the photo that my friend Renee took! She's spinning up one of my blended bamboo/merino batts. Isn't she doing a great job? Isn't she a great photographer??? I've never take a fiber photo half that good, I'm sure....

Today I dyed up two pounds of silk/merino yarn; one pound in lilac and another in deep, passionate purple. I've also been selecting from my abundant stash of washed fleeces; I'll be offering half-pound bags of probably about six different sorts, so if people want to try playing with uncarded fleece they'll have some options.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Welcome Ravelers!

I posted this blog in the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art group, so if you're visiting from over there, welcome! I apologize profusely for the dearth of photos lately, but I promise to take some tomorrow. Honest! Good things have been happening here. Meantime, feel free to browse back and get acquainted; I was really good about photos in the first few months...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A break from vacation

We've been at a science fiction convention and are having a great time, but Midwest is pressing hard on me, and I wanted to get something done this weekend.

I often wake early (6:00 or so) at a convention, then lie there frustrated because I can't get back to sleep. If I creep out of the room so I won't disturb G, there's nothing to do out there.

Today I decided to make an advantage of this. When I woke at 7:00, I got up and came home. Home breakfast, cheap and very nourishing. One pound of Panda top on the stove, two pounds of bamboo in the vats, and it's about time to head back. There's a panel at 12:30 on Is Joss Whedon a Deity? :-)

I really MUST take some more photos. I've got interesting new colors!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Better Day

I didn't actually get much done today, but I did get an order from Knitter's Palette in Lakeville, so I will bring some things down to show her tomorrow; it's always encouraging to get an order. I still have a week after the con to get stuff done.....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hot, tired, and discouraged

I am appalled. It is Wednesday, July 1, and I have to leave in exactly two weeks.

I have had to do something non-fiber every *single* morning this week; meetings, errands, doctor's appointment. Tomorrow's that way, too, and then Friday G and I are going to be out of town for the weekend. It's very daunting.

I have been working on several things; some intensely colored Panda top, a multi-toned pound of superwash yarn, and a multicolor length of BFL top. The Panda's the only one that's going well. I have ideas about how to improve or fix things I'm less pleased with, but man, I'm feeling the pressure today.

I need to get Visa capability...