Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I don't have many followers.  I haven't been religous about keeping up with my blog. But for those of you that have stuck it out with me, thank you.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.  May all your wishes come true. 


Friday, December 21, 2012

Oh Dear

Today was going so well.  I got up early (well, 7 a.m. IS early, isn't it?) and I had a plan.  Get the cakes baked for the party tomorrow, get the birthday banner done, and then get some time to do some fun stuff.
The first cake (chocolate) came out awesome.  The second cake - yellow cake with apples in it - not so much.  They are both made in bundt pans, and I only have one, so I made the chocolate, let it cool according to directions, flipped it over on a plate, and done!  The yellow cake I followed the directions, but upon flipping it over, not so done.  Ugh.  the top (the pretty part) fell apart. 

Luckily, DH is in the store right now, and he's picking up another cake mix.  This time, I'm going to make it per the chocolate cake directions and pray it comes out well.

This little angel is the reason for the party and all the work ~
She is 2 years old today.  It's so hard to believe that she's 2 already.  She's changing so much, and she's such a joy in my life.  The party is tomorrow and it's a combo Christmas and birthday party for her. Spending time with the little angel, hugging her, watching her joy and happiness, and just knowing she's such a special child, makes my heart happy every time I get to spend time with her.  She is my anti depressant.  I just don't get to spend ENOUGH time with her! 

Time to go clean the pan for the new cake to be baked.  DH will be home soon.
Enjoy the day - and the little moments within it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I'm Back

I've been absent.  There was a lot going on.  It's a lot better now.  Life really IS good - you just sometimes need a few bumps in the road to make you remember.

Here is my newest perspective about what's going on with my new "business."
At first, I thought, this is great!  I can sell this stuff!!!  My dreams are coming true!!
I had a lot of positive feedback about my work.  Not that I sold a lot.  I sold 3 neck warmers, no yarn.
Still haven't sold any yarn.
Of course, I haven't updated my website recently.  I was unfocused.  Updates will be coming very soon.

I've thought about starting a website with just my own work on it, and still might.  I'm trying to decide on a web host that I can afford, and that will give me more choices than the Network Solutions host I'm using now.  Any suggestions?

Making this a business - well, I've had some people give me their perspective on it.  Some good, some bad.  Someone who has been in the business for about 20 years, told me day before yesterday, you can't make money on making and selling your own yarn.  You have to buy it commercially spun, and sell it to really make money, then sell yours on the side.  Not my idea of what I want my business to be.

Someone else said, you can't start spinning, and expect to sell your first yarn.

Someone else said they wouldn't even consider buying anything spun by a new spinner, dyed by a new fiber artist, or knitted by a new knitter.  It wouldn't be worthy of their money. 

I was really getting down.  The last 24 hours was a challenge.

After processing.  After talking to dear hubby.  After an entire 24 hours of wondering if I've made a huge mistake, I finally realized..................I don't have to do it by anyone else's standards.  If someone doesn't want to buy my stuff because I'm new at it, so be it.  If someone else thinks that I can't make enough money doing it my way, ok.  Maybe she'll be right, maybe not - after all, a lot has changed in 20 years since she started.

If my stuff is good enough to knit by me, then it's good enough for anyone else to knit.
If it's good enough that I've sold 3 pieces now, then it's good enough to wear.
And if I enjoy - did you read that?  ENJOY - doing it, then it's totally worth it.

I had lost the joy of what this is supposed to be about.  No, I won't be giving everything away.  BUT - I will gladly sell it for what it's worth.  Or I'll have to hold onto it.  I have faith that my things are NICE.  They will sell when they are meant to.

I got a bit overwhelmed.  I started caring about what other people thought.  Then I remembered, it's not up to them what I do with my life, how I live it, or what I believe.  It's only ME that matters.  Well, and of course DH too.  :-)

This is the next project.  Let me tell you, the colors are even better in real life.  I cannot wait to get started on spinning this up.  The colors are SO rich, and so yummy, it's going to be a joy to spin this. 

 This is some yarn I sent to my cousin in CA.  It's really lovely, sparkly, and soft. I hope she likes it (really) and that she makes something nice from it (although, living in CA, she probably doesn't need merino wool).  Have fun Judee!  Merry Christmas.  (no worries, she's already received it - so no spoiler)

I have new ideas, I want to be creative, original, fun, and special.  I just have to drag it outta me.  lol

So I will be spending more time here, showing off what I have to share.
I will be building a new website for myself only.
I have my Pay Anywhere credit card reader. 
I have sold 3 items so far and plan on selling many more.  Including my yarns.
The more love I put into making it, the better it'll be.
Meanwhile, I'll be fitting some doctor appointments in between.  The next couple of weeks are gonna be quite busy. After that, life should go back to a semblance of normal - whatever that is!

Merry Christmas.
Happy Holidays.
Happy New Year.
Rock on!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I've been out of touch here for awhile.  I've tried to be creative, and I've tried to keep this blog about me being creative.
The last few weeks have been rough.  I'm trying to keep my life in perspective.
The hurricane wasn't as bad here as they'd predicted.
It was horrible for the people in NY and NJ and up the coast.
This week it snowed there too.  Freezing temps, snow, and people who've lost everything - family, homes, lifetime memories.  Very sad.
I have a friend who is getting ready to put her horse down.  A very sad situation.  It's the only answer to the issues the horse is having. I really feel for her.
The elections were stressful.  I'm thankful its over, and I'm happy with the decision.
A few weeks ago my husband left a job where he was being abused (mentally) by the bosses there.  It was NOT a good situation.  Virginia is a right to work state - you can be fired, or leave a job, with only a day's notice.  The writing was on the wall that the organization was a sinking ship.  The people were setting him up for a firing.  He went in to see if he could talk to them about what was happening, and see if there was a way to work to make things better for everyone - and when there was no answer and no response, he put in his 2 week notice.  They didn't want to accept it, so he filled out the appropriate paperwork, and left that day.  I supported him, and was behind him 100%.  I don't think there was any other answer.  They still, to this day, over a month later, are using his name whenever anything goes wrong in the organization.  It's really awful.  I wish we could afford a lawyer.
The good thing is, he had 4 weeks of vacation coming to him, so we got that money.  He also had a job that lasted 3 weeks working for someone else.  So all in all, we weren't without pay for seven weeks.  That's excellent.
There is another job on the horizon, hopefully the word will come tomorrow that he got it.  Waiting has been hard.  I have to say, he's handled this all REALLY well.  It's very stressful for both of us.  I haven't handled it quite as well.
Then, my daughter was having some family issues, and that was literally breaking my heart.  The sadness was horrible, I knew she was hurt, I knew that the situation wasn't her fault, and I felt awful for her and for my grand daughter (whom I cherish more than I can ever tell you).
That seems to have resolved itself, and I hope that it doesn't happen again. That's all I'm gonna say about it.
I've been fighting sadness and depression.  I've been keeping as (creatively) active as I can.  It helps a lot.  At one point, I ran out of fiber to spin.  Sad sad sad.  I placed an order with Paradise Fibers and got 3 lbs of fiber.  I didn't spin it right away though. 
We decided to move all of my creative stuff from the spare bedroom upstairs, to the basement.  This meant that the basement had to be purged.  It's a pretty large basement, but it was FULL to the brim.  There is furniture down there.  There are tools.  There is stuff my daughter has us store for her.  There is more creative stuff down there.  The dogs pens are down there (x-pens that they stay in - each dog has one - 2 dogs - 2 x-pens).   The basement was stuffed with stuff I kept saying I wanted to sell to get money for.  I finally decided to stop being greedy.  I wanted the space more.  So, boxes and bags of stuff went to Goodwill in town.  Bags and boxes of stuff got dumped at the dump.  Other stuff got pushed to one end of the basement.
Then the move began.  It was really hard to move stuff from the 2nd floor to the basement.  My legs have gotten really weak (lack of exercise) and I am really out of shape, so doing the steps once left me breathing like I'd climbed a mountain.  That's what it felt like.  So, I would go upstairs, and I'd pack boxes, bags, and tell Dear Hubby what had to go down and in what order.  We got tables set up, the sewing machine went down, and the stuff started coming.  I started feeling quite overwhelmed!  We worked a few hours, and it helped DH pass the time while he's waiting to hear about this job.  Over all, it took about 4 days to get it all down there.  I finally decided on where things would go.  There is the fiber stuff, the sewing center, a table for photography of my products to be done on, the lamps placed, and a table for beading and card making.   I only have half the basement.  I told DH yesterday, he needs to have a shed put up, and all the other stuff (tools, etc) in the basement need to go out to the shed.  The basement is my studio now, and I want it to be a real studio.  He just looked at me and laughed.  Oh well, I tried. 
I started spinning again yesterday, after about 2 weeks of not doing any spinning.  I have to get back into the swing, and get consistent again.  I need to spin every day for at least a couple of hours. I keep thinking about getting yarns done to sell, and how my booth will look when I can finally get enough to set up a booth at a sale.  This is what motivates me.
I told my daughter I needed to see my grand daughter soon, so I asked if we could go up this weekend.  I know it throws my daughter off her schedule, but I MUST see my grand baby!!!!  We'll spend a few hours, take her to the indoor playground at the mall, and then go to Ikea (for me) and then we'll take her to lunch and just visit.  I can't wait.
Yesterday I finished a fingerless glove.  Really my first one - I love it!  Its made from my hand spun yarn.  I am working on my second one now.  They are going to be nice and warm.  Funny thing is, it's supposed to be 70 here this weekend!  So I guess I'll have to wait till next week or so to wear them.  I don't know if I'd want to make them to sell.  It's a lot of work but they are so danged cute!  They are BFL and silk blend.  I spun the yarn really fine (well, fine for me) and the yarn is very nice.  Even my friend who knits a lot told me it was nice.
So, I'm trying to hold it together, but I've had my share of meltdowns lately.  I know seeing grand baby will help.  Seeing daughter will help too.  And DH is a huge help.

Hopefully, I'll be back to posting regularly again, with some of my goodies. 
Take care, enjoy today, and live in the moment.  It's not always easy, but it's the only way to live.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fiber - Not The Food Kind, and Some Food

 Yes, I've been absent.  Things have been a bit.....weird around here lately.  Sorry for the absence.
I do, however, have some fun stuff for you.  So hold on - photo heavy!

Last weekend, we went to the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival.  It is held in Berryville, VA.  It's beautiful country.  It takes us about an hour and 10 minutes or so to get there from here.  It was GREAT weather for the day, in the 70s, and breezy.  As you'll see, there were some clouds.  I fell in love with some of the animals.  This little beauty has beautiful eyes and my photo does NOT even come close to showing that.

I found the markings and coats on these animals to be amazing. I also couldn't get over the look in their eyes. 

The one above is really cute - but no, this little one wasn't posing.  It (boy, girl ?) was scratching it's back with it's horn! 

I took some shots on the way home.  Luckily, I wasn't driving!  ha ha.  I am SO happy with this shot.  If it was bigger, you'd see the blurriness (slight) of the bushes in the foreground.  But the camera did a GREAT job, considering we were going close to 70 mph!  Doesn't it look like it should be a puzzle???

I also like this photo of the pond.  It would have been nicer without the guardrail and I guess I could crop that out.  But then I think I'd lose the depth of the photo.  Again, notice the mountains in the background. 

Ok, I saved the best for last.  Yes, this is a camel, lying down.  A very LARGE camel!

Well, that's it for this post.  I will have much more in a few days.  This is going to be another busy weekend for me, so I will probably not post again till Tuesday.

Take care of yourself.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Ok, so I went down that dark hole.....I decided I had to try dyeing my own yarn.  Yikes!  I wanted something easy with little investment in case I didn't like it.  Duh, of course I was going to like it!  Now I'm hooked.
I have a LOT to learn....I need to figure out a better way to dye and how to not be in the kitchen doing it....of course, the kitchen is the only place with a water source AND heat source. 

The first thing I told hubby when I was done was that it would be great to have water and a sink in the basement.  It's not the first time I've brought that up - I have 2 dogs, and a tub sink in the basement would be awesome.  Dual purpose now that I want to dye fiber and yarn.

I started with yarn as dyeing fiber still frightens me a bit.  I don't want to be felting anything when it's done.  Of course, what I worked with was BFL superwash.  Less chance of it felting that way!  I had spun up some yarn (it ended up not being as much as I'd hoped - about 182 yards), I washed it and rinsed it, let it dry so the twist was set.  Then I pre-soaked it in water and vinegar.  Then I read some instructions I'd downloaded from the 'net and realized I had to add more vinegar.  So an hour of soaking later....I had my yarn ready.  Meanwhile, I had bought some Wilton dye from WM, in Leaf Green.  I found a jar to mix it in, and went to mixing.  I used an old mixing bowl which was the only thing large enough to put a hank of yarn in.  I added more water because I wasn't going to paint this on, I wanted it to soak up the dye.  This is not what the directions said to do, but I figured I'd give it a shot.  I could always add or subtract.  It's just water.

I added the dye, covered the bowl in plastic wrap, and set it in the microwave.  I set it for one minute.  The directions said 15 seconds to one minute.  Well, I didn't think it was hot enough, so I set it another minute.  I think I left it alone then and let it cool the 10 minutes the instructions said to let it set in the microwave to cool.  I removed it, and the green wasn't nearly dark enough for me - especially since I didn't know how much was going to come out in the rinse.  I added more dye directly to the bowl, and stirred.  Placed the bowl back into the microwave, and set it for another 2 minutes, let it cool 10, removed it.  It was ok, but still not where I wanted it.  I stirred it around again and realized that the yarn on the bottom of the bowl was a LOT darker than the rest of the  yarn, and some of the yarn hadn't really taken.  I added a lot more dye, stirred it really well, and put it in the microwave again, this time for 3 minutes.  I wanted it good and hot to take that dye in and set it.

I removed the bowl, let it cool some more, took the yarn out, squeezed it gently, put it in my soaking tub (a small yellow tub I bought from Target) and I took it to the bathroom to rinse and let it set.  A LOT of color came out, and I was getting worried.  I dumped that, let it soak in some cooler water for about 30 minutes, then took it out and drained it.  A lot less color came out and I think what was left was from the first rinse and was water still left in the yarn with color in it.  I squeezed gently and wrapped it in a towel and squeezed some more.  I hung it on a hanger to dry.  It took overnight plus some time the next day - the weather has been cool.  I had read that food coloring dyes can fade in the sun, so I was worried about putting it in the sun to dry.  Just some time outside was good, hanging on the porch in the breeze. 

So, after all that blabbering, here is the yarn.

 This photo is much more the real color of the yarn.  I took this photo in my light box setup for taking photos. 
The photo above is a bit brighter than it is in real life, but it was the only one that came out once I twisted the hank.

It really was fun, and now that I'm braver about dyeing, I know I'll be doing more of it.  Look out world, here I come!  :-)

I have done some spinning on  the new fiber that we bought a week and a half ago.  I'm trying to spin it thin although I know there are some thick spots in there.  That's ok.  When I'm done, I'm going to make a ball and 2 ply it onto itself.  I added some glitz to it with the bronze shiny stuff I bought when we bought the fiber.  I spun a lot on Sunday, but didn't spin yesterday.  I wasn't having the best day and didn't want to mess with it.  Plus, I'm out of fiber almost and I want something to spin tomorrow at spin group.

Yesterday I painted 10 canvases, and today I plan on starting the Mod Podge - if the paint covered the canvases ok.  The paint I used was not Plaid, and boy, I won't make that mistake again!   It was way thin, and I may have to do 2 coats, something I don't have to do with the Plaid paint.  Once I get those 10 done, I'll be taking photos, then going to the website and switching them out for what's currently up there.  I will also take those to a craft show if I do one.

I need to go out today too, to pick up a stand I had left at the horse shop where I used to sell the horse beads.  I will need that for any shows I do and I want to be sure I have it back before someone forgets that it is mine.  It'll be a nice day for a ride. Besides, I need to get myself out of this house for awhile.

Thanks for looking in on my progress.  I appreciate it!
Take care,

Thursday, September 20, 2012

More goodies

Ok, so don't faint.  I know, you're not used to hearing from me 2 days in a row.  I can't help it if I go in spurts.  I'm busy doing a LOT of stuff!

I asked my friends to look at my shawl pins on yesterday's blog.  I asked for their opinions and told them they had to be honest.  I love that about these friends - they are good friends and honest (but kind).

One of them asked to see the shawl pin in use.  Well duh - I should have thought of that, eh?  So here it is.  This is a blue neck warmer that I knitted, with a blue beaded shawl pin in it holding it in place.  It's the perfect size!

Excuse the extra large photo but I wanted to make it easy to see the shawl pin in use. 

Another friend asked me how do they stay in place?  I call it a shawl pin, but it isn't really a pin, although, it's used like a pin.  It has a rounded bottom edge, and it doesn't have a closure on it.  Once you stick it through the layers of the neck warmer, it stays pretty tight.  The rounded bottom edge is nice because it doesn't poke through the layers of the yarn. 

Did I mention this is one of the neck warmers I knitted from my hand spun (by me) yarn?  Yes!  I love this - it's soooo soft and the blue is beautiful.  The shawl pin adds a little pizzazz to it too. 

I'm very pleased with how things are turning out!  Not bad for not being a knitter.  I am going to get that project that is on the loom, off soon, and get going on weaving some of my hand spun yarns.  I'm not sure they are good enough for warp, but certainly they will make a beautiful weft and they will be lovely.

Oh, and here is a mobius scarf or infinity scarf with a twist in it, that I also spun and knitted.  Once again, no pattern, just imagination involved.  It fits perfectly too! 

I have to say, PicMonkey has been very easy to use and it has a LOT of options that you don't have to pay for.  I feel my presentations are turning out MUCH better. 

Thanks for looking.  I appreciate your feedback.  I do not appreciate the spam emails I'm getting in my inbox though.  Bummer! 

Take care,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shawl Pins - yep, another new idea

So I've been a little bit busy lately.  I've made a couple of more neck warmers (photos to come!) and I've been busy figuring out how to make some simple, inexpensive shawl pins to close the neck warmers with.  I made some wooden ones.  They aren't my favorite.  They just don't look as nice as I'd like them too - thinking about possibly painting them, but not sure that's smart either.  No photos of those yet.

I did, however, try to use my imagination.  I didn't want to get into the whole bent wire thing - first I'd have to buy wire and it's not cheap, then I'd have to make a jig to bend the wire, and I don't really have the proper tools.  I'm not really a metal working so I kept dismissing that idea.

I spent almost an hour in Joann's Fabric and Crafts store yesterday, ended up buying some glue, beads, a bead reamer (which doesn't work for me) and a Spin Off magazine.  I was more excited about the magazine than anything else!

Then I decided to go to Hobby Lobby.  They are fairly new to our area (about a year) and I usually forget to check there - I always seem to check in Michaels, A.C. Moore, Hancock Fabrics, and Joanns.  I tend to forget about Hobby Lobby.  Of course, I hadn't brought my coupon, but I was just there to see if there was something that would work.  Well, don'tcha know, I found something that is perfect for what I want it for.  Now, if I could just find them in bulk....but no, I don't really want to get into making these all the time - unless they sell well.  LOL.

Not only did I find exactly what I'd been looking for, but they were on sale - 50% off!  YAY!  I bought twice as many as I would have, and I'm really glad I did because it was fun playing and I only took about 2 hours to make the ones I made.  I'm pretty happy with them.  I just hope they appeal to others.

Here they are:

If you read my post yesterday,  I had said I'd mixed up the numbers on these.  Well, I fixed it but see another way I could have done it.  I've replaced the photos and fixed the numbers, and it's good enough for me at this point!
I think they are pretty.  they aren't very long (need to measure).  That's why I placed the quarter there - for perspective.

Thanks for checking in.  I'll be posting more in the next couple of days to catch up to myself.
Thanks for looking!
Take care,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

FIber Fiber Fiber!

I went to a class on Saturday.  A spinning class.  Not the kind where you sweat and have to ride a bike in place.  Oh no....it was MUCH more fun than that.
No, I have no photos of the class.  Yeah, I know, I have a smart phone, what the heck????  I thought the same thing when class was all over!  Bummer!

I do, however, have lots of fibery fun to show you.  Wanna see?

This is my absolute favorite so far - I call it Cinnamon Toast.  I spun the singles of the yarn that was beautiful to begin with.  Because I didn't want to mix the colors on this one, and I wanted to add something shiny, I decided to ply it with copper thread.  Linda says it's still considered a singles.  Amazingly enough, it didn't twist in either direction when I took it off the spool.  I have a few ends to clip off, but this is SO lovely in person.  It's BFL and it's SOFT.  It blooms when washed, but it doesn't felt because it's Super Wash.  

Here are some more fun things from class:

FUN FUN FUN!!!  This is a combination of many types of wool.  It includes locks, mohair, and several different types of wool.  I had SO much fun making this!  The only thing is that I am not sure how to get the rest of the "stuff" out of it - the "stuff" I'm referring to is hay, dirt, etc.!!!!!  Yep, it has it all.  Yep, I washed it - several times! LOL.  It's SOOO fun though.  I can't wait to make some more!  First, I will need to be able to afford a drum carder..........and that's not going to happen quite yet.

Next is something more subtle.  I actually finished this before class but haven't posted it here yet (I don't think).

Super wash BFL - soft soft soft - natural - undyed.  It is SOOOO nice.  And look - it really looks like real yarn.  Granted its not perfect like store bought, but hey, it's HAND SPUN!
On the left is the fiber.  On the right, is yarn spun from the fiber.  Pretty, and soft!

 Above is a batt that came to class - Linda, bless her heart, brought it for me to play with.  I'd been eyeballing it in her shop and she brought it because I love it sooooooooooooo much!

Below, is a batt I made at the end of class.  I should have started sooner as it needs some "plain" fiber in it.  This thing has purple sparkle, yellow sparkle, light blue nylon, and the rest is all kinds of wool.  The white is mohair locks.  SO cool!  This was so danged fun to make.  Again, I'd need a drum carder, and I won't be getting one any time soon.  Someday..........
Meanwhile, I can't wait to spin this!

There is more, but I'm really exhausted today, and I am not really able to focus very well.  There is a lot of mental stuff going on in our lives right now.  It doesn't help that today is the 9/11 anniversary - I still remember very clearly where I was, and what I was doing on this day eleven years ago. 
Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of my surgery that threw me into a deep depression and anxiety place for months.  Just so much to think about.  There is more, but not stuff I want to put on here.

So for now, that's it.  At least the weather has been perfect.  Cold nights, warm days, and LOTS of sunshine. 

Take care, be kind to one another and take care of yourself.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Neck Warmer

So I decided to take the yarn that I spun, the one with just one skein (from one braid) and I knitted a neck warmer.  I did it kind of free form - no pattern, just from looking at some online and in my books and went for it!  I'm like that....
This fiber

Turned into this yarn
Which I have now turned into this neck warmer

It's not the BEST knitting ever - its really free- form - which if you know anything about me, that's how I roll. 
The photos do NOT show how great the coconut buttons look on this scarf.  It's like they were made for it.  I paid more for those 2 buttons than I've ever paid for buttons before - but they are PERFECT!  So I ahd to have them.
This yarn spoke to me - it told me it had to be this neck warmer.  I started to try making a hat with it - in fact, I started a few times.  But this yarn did not want to be a hat - it wanted to be a neck warmer - and boy, did it!  I'm not the best model, and hubby isn't the best photographer.  Even with a tri-pod, the photos came out a bit blurry.  I used very high resolution and still, they came out blurry.  I needed to use the timer, and I tried, but hubby asked why I wasn't asking him to help.  So what is a woman to do?  I let him help.  :-)

This yarn is Polworth and silk blend.  It's soft, it's warm, it's squishy and it's fun.  Great fall colors too. I  have GOT to learn to dye my own fiber now, so I can decide what colors I want!  I can see this is going to be a very slippery slope for me!  LOL

I didn't work on spinning today.  I started reading a new book and I've gotten hooked on it.  I tried making some buttons this morning from red air dry clay, and also from Shrinky Dink plastic.  I didn't like the way the plastic ones were looking.  The clay ones were ok but not dry yet and I wasn't sure they'd look nice enough for this scarf.  Maybe for a future one.  They are upstairs still drying. They take a couple of days to get really dry.

I'm trying to update my website, but it's not cooperating.
Time to take the pups out.  Tomorrow I will post about our Saturday with Grand daughter.  What a hoot that kid is!  Poor thing wasn't too sure about me at first - it's been about a month since she's seen me, but when she saw her Pop Pop, she really didn't know what to do - she was really NOT sure of him at all.  Poor Pop Pop was a bit disappointed, but he's the one that doesn't make the time to go visit..........what can I say?  I want to squeeze that little one!  I love her SO much!

Take care and thanks for stopping by

Friday, August 31, 2012

Navaho plied - another learning experience

Hello again.  I know I've been sparse around here.  Hey, I've been busier than normal, but not really with anything that is blog worthy.

I did get my colorfully died fiber (bought that way - learning to dye yarn will be the next thing I'm sure), spun and plied.  Someone told me I should try Navaho plying and suggested I watch YouTube videos to see how it was done.  I did.  Then I gave it a shot.  It's not perfect, but it's something I think I'd try again.

Here is the before photo - the fiber I started with:
This is a multi-colored superwash BFL Merino.  I like working with this yarn a lot.  For someone who wouldn't touch wool before, I'm sure getting to know this one well...........

So I wasn't crazy about the green in this, but I liked the brown and the blue and the red a LOT, and since there was more of that, I decided to give it a try.

Below are photos of how it turned out as yarn.  The colors aren't as bright, and I did the Navaho ply on it, which makes it a 3 ply yarn.  I had some issues (still/again) with my singles not being spun tight enough in spots, and then coming apart when I plied, so there are some spots where it isn't perfect.  But it's done and it's mine.  I'll make something out of it!

This is one small skein and one larger skein of the yarn.  It's been drying since last night.  I gave it the soaks I read about doing - hot water with a drop of Dawn dish soap for awhile, then a warm soak with water and vinegar, then a rinse in cool water for awhile, then squeeze in a towel to dry as much as possible.  Then it hung around in the bathroom overnight, then it went outside on the porch this morning.  It's VERY hot today (ick) and I'm sure it'll be dry by tonight.

Here's another shot:
Navaho Plied Yarn
Navaho Plied Yarn Close Up
The above shot is my artsy fartsy shot.

I think for not knowing what I was doing, I did ok.........like I said, there are spot.  But hey, I'm a BEGINNER!

I've started spinning the fiber that was given to me by Linda at Misty Mountain Farm, where I bought my spinning wheel.  It's not dyed and I thought it would be just beautiful leaving it natural.  I'm spinning it and thinking, it's awfully plain.......I could try to dye it after it's spun.  What I'm trying to do is decide if I want to ply something into it.  A sparkly thread?  Some beads? 

I tried plying beads into the yarn in the photos above, but I failed.  That's when I tried the Navaho ply.  Glad that worked, because it's really hard to UN-ply anything!

On the other hand, this "plain" natural fiber might be really pretty once it's made into something.  The fiber is BFL superwash too.  So it should be really great as a garment.  I still think a little sparkle of some sort would be nice though.....

Well, I'm really in need of a nap (not sure why) so I'm going to go lay down.
Take care, and I'll be back with more later.

Monday, August 27, 2012

More Yarn!

Yes, I have more yarn to show off. I've been busy lately!  :-)
Here is the fiber I started with.  I finally got smart, and started taking photos of the fiber (not the kind you eat) that I start with, then the yarn that come from spinning that fiber.  It's something I have to remember to make myself do!

Spinning fiber
Isn't it beautiful?  I could only get 4 oz of this fiber.  There was only one braid of it left.  I hope to find some more in similar colors at some point soon.
This is what the fiber turned into.
Pretty Yarn!
I am not spinning very thin right now.  Even when I think it's thin, after plying and washing and drying, it ends up being quite bulky - but I  LIKE the bulky look!  I can't wait to get weaving on this.  Of course, I have to get what's ON my loom now, finished and off!

Speaking of that, I haven't been very good at going up once a day and spending an hour weaving.  I did it twice last week.  I enjoyed it.  But I didn't continue to do it every day.  What the heck?

I'm working on some new fiber - quite out of my normal color range.  It's interesting.

Multi color superwash bfl
Quite the color scheme, eh?  There wasn't much to choose from at the LYS.  It's spinning up in an interesting way.  The colors are quite blocked, especially the red and blue (almost a turquoise).  At the spinning group last week, when I started spinning this, someone asked me if I was going to Navaho ply this yarn.  I don't think I want to.  What I DID want to do, was to ply it with invisible thread, with beads strung onto it.  I tried it and it didn't work - I think because the yarn I was trying to ply it to was not spun with enough twist.  Although, hubby asked me if the invisible thread was causing the yarn to break.  After tearing off what I'd not been successful at, I decided not to try again - I hate waste!  I did spin some more of it up and made sure I spun it tighter....but I'm still afraid to try the thread and beads in the ply.  I did start thinking that maybe I had been trying to ply it too tightly, and maybe that was why my yarn was breaking as it was going onto the bobbin.  I dunno.  So much to learn yet.  But I'm getting there!

At any rate, this is some of what I've been up to.

This morning we went and got 42 bales of hay, and we stacked it in the barn. I helped move some hay from a storage stall to the tack room, then we off-loaded the hay from the truck to the storage stall.  Time to start putting the hay in for the winter.  There is a lot in the stall that needs to go to the dump as it's not any good.  Sad.  I don't like waste.  Oh, had I mentioned that before????

I'm really tired - stayed up too late last night.  Watched Army Wives.  Only one more show left "before it all ends."  I read online that they don't know if they are going to continue the show or not.  What the heck????  Oh well, another one bites the dust.

I think today may consist of a nap............zzzzzzzzzzzz..........
Take care,

Monday, August 20, 2012


I know, I haven't been posting much lately. I really lead such a quiet life lately - not at all normal for me, but there ya go. I have been keeping quite busy though.


This is my second hand spun yarn.  The picture is partially in the sun, so that's why it's kinda bright.  I tried to take it in the shade under the overhang to the porch, but it didn't want to come out.  So I moved closer to the light source and of course, the sun had to come out!  The yarn probably isn't quite that bright.  It's a really pretty blue though.

I also went to the Lazy Kate Spinsters group on Wednesday.  Last week, it was held at Susan's house. I hadn't met Susan because she has a little boy under 2 years old, and the meetings are on Wednesdays from 12:30 - 4:30 - which of course is nap time for little boys of that age.  :-)  She was sweet and had a cute home she's renting.  Here is the group - I'm waaaaaayyyyy in the back, on the right, and I was ok there!

I guess I was pulling on my earlobe.  LOL.  I was talking instead of spinning.  I was taking a break.  But you can see my wheel back there too.  Look at the variety of wheels and there are 2 spindles there too. 
We certainly were a tight fit into the room.  What you can't see, is all the food on the table behind the photographer (Susan).  I think everyone brought something.  I have to figure out what to bring this week because it is at another person's house this week - see that woman in the far left corner with the green spinning wheel?  That's Mariane and the group will be meeting at her home this week.  The art center has had things going on, so they didn't have room for us to meet.

I was outside taking photos of the yarn, and the butterfly bush was being swarmed by butterflies.  When the sun comes out, it's amazing how many will be out there.  I just can't seem to get a good photo of all of them on the bush.  I get as many photos as I can, and some of them come out good, some don't......I have a lot to learn about my camera still I think...........

See the one below?  I have NO idea how I managed the butterfly in flight.  See the shadow under it on the ground?  COOL! 

This is the first Monarch of the season that I've seen.  I could NOT get a clear photo - I'm so mad!  I took over 100 photos....and yet, not a clear one of this one butterfly!  Grrr.

Below is a hummer.  We have 3 I think - hard to tell when they move so danged fast!  This one was just sitting on the fence.  I took the photos from between the wood rails on the porch.  Too funny because I took about a dozen, tried another setting, then couldn't get the camera to focus even when I went back to the setting I took this photo on.  Gee, I sure have a LOT to learn about my camera.  And it's not even the big fancy kind!  I'm just thankful some of them came out.

So there you have it, what I've been up to lately.
I also was able to remove the quilt stitches from the quilt I started and hated.  I know now, I'll be quilting stitch in the ditch.  I should have listened to the quilt the first time.  That's what it wanted to be.  I'm not a person that does a lot of tight, close, tiny quilting.  It just does NOT work on my quilts - and besides, I'm not good at it. 

I have some more fiber I'm spinning into yarn.  I was going to use thread to ply it with, but I didn't do a good job of it, and I spent hours un-plying it.  Ick.  I don't ever want to do that again.  I only have 4 ounces of it, not 8 like all the other I've done, so I don't know if I'll actually have enough to make anything with when I'm done plying it, if I ply it to itself.  I'm very undecided at this point.................

I've decided I'm going to change the way the website works. I need to make my products, and I need to sell just those that are made up.  I'll be working on printing out some cards, and making card sets.  I'll be printing out some photos on paper and putting them on the canvases. I'll also put my quilts that are done up there, and lower the price of the one that is already there. 
Then I have to figure out how to drive more customers there.
I started it in January, and I'll renew it for at least one more year.  After that, we'll see.

See, even if I don't come around often enough, when I do, I try to make it a good post!  :-)
Time to make dinner.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My first hand spun yarn

Here is my first hand spun yarn (Lendrum Spinning Wheel).  It is a Polworth/silk blend, 85/15, in Chianti, from Misty Mountain Farms, in Amissville, VA.
I'm pretty proud of it.

It is purple, but the dye has not set. I  have rinsed the yarn twice now, and the second time I rinsed with a tiny bit of vinegar.  It didn't help, maybe because it wasn't enough.
I love my yarn. I know what I need to do differently now - more twist - waaaaaayyyy more twist.  Some of it broke at the joins when I was plying it (adding 2 singles together).

I know, it doesn't look like your "traditional" yarn.  That was on purpose. I don't do much that's traditional. I've lately found that I have a lot more fun if I don't try to be too traditional, or too perfect.  Trying to be perfect in my artistic endeavors makes it no fun for me, and I'm all about having fun with this stuff!

I am having a LOT of pain in my left forefinger joint.  I think I strained it and I think I might have arthritis in it, and it's been very painful for 3 days now.  I haven't spun anymore because of it, which makes me sad.

Hubby and I went to see the movie "Hope Springs" today.  It was mainly set in Maine.  Yeah, I know, I made a pun. Haha.  I love Maine.  I miss Maine.  I miss New England in general.  I don't know why.  Sorry, I digress.  The movie was......good.   A bit more sex than I thought it would have for being rated PG 13.  The story was very good, and it really resonated with me in ways I won't go into.  Meryl Streep is just an amazing actress and I always believe her characters.  She has aged gracefully, and the rolls she takes are amazing.

Today was pretty weather-wise.  The humidity is lowering, and tomorrow is supposed to be really sweet.  Maybe we'll get some outside things done tomorrow...........

I didn't sleep well last night.  Not after 1:30.  Storms rolled in, I was awakened by hubby going to the bathroom, then the thunder and lightening.  I was restless after that, and I kept waking up.  I will sleep well tonight, because I'm tired.

Thanks for letting me share my new yarn. I think I will weave with it because I'm not sure it's sturdy enough to knit with.  It will only be enough for a nice scarf.  I will have to rinse it really well after weaving because of the dye running.  Meanwhile, I can do some research on how to get the dye to stop running!

Now, it's time for ice cream.  Yum!

Take care.