Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New yarn...old excuses


I've been off in spinning la-la land again lately.  Now that the days are warming up, I'm trying to be outside getting some dyeing done.  I can see now that this is going to be hard to part with what's coming out of the dye pots, so I'm going to have to really get my fiber hoarding tendencies put on hold long enough to put stuff in the new web store.

Last week UPS brought us the most wonderful new yarns...Lao silk yarns from Himalaya Yarns.Laosilkskeins
  These silk worms are being farmed so that this community can make a living selling a silk crop instead of a crop that ends up being narcotics...the specifics escape me now but I have the info at work...if you'd like to know more, write back.

Anyway...these are truly gems.  Each skein is a precious 57 yards (25 grams) of hand spun silk, hand dyed with natural dyes specific to their region.  The price is a ridiculously cheap $10.95 considering all this.  When I saw Connie on Sunday, she was searching for a pattern to knit up a shop sample.  It has been duly noted that the last time she offered to knit a shop sample it was with Qiviut...the girl has a taste for great yarns.  (And why not?  Life is short.)  If you're interested in more info on these, give her a call at 575.776.5644 (Thurs-Sun) or e-mail her at the shop. 

Love is in the air this spring. Bobhuggingmaynard
Our little birds are back in residence in the birdhouse I showed you last summer.  Unfortunately, one of their clan ended up in the dog water bucket out in the dog corral...I am hoping it's not one of our mating pair.  It broke our hearts.  I gave her/him a proper burial with a spot in a sunny location in a wild flower garden.  We simply can't imagine what caused it to just drop from the sky into the bucket...but I guess life is like that.

Then I found Bob and Maynard on the dog bed the other morning.  He was a tad bit annoyed at me for interrupting their you can tell. 

Last, but certainly not least, I got a package of goodies last week from my dear friend HollyEQQ.  We had been talking the previous weekend about how the early bird gets the worm, so to speak, when shopping on her website.  I then found out some of my greatest competition is my friend Ann-Marie .  Well!  Not to be outdone, I got up as early as I could on the morning after Holly's update and scarfed up all the packages of what she calls "Baby Mane".  Babymanewool
It is so yummy!  I wish you could feel how soft it is.  I have now presented myself with a challenge to find a way to use it in a garment (Holly spins hers into magic yarn).  Oh...and before I forget...on Sunday morning Ann-Marie was bemoaning that it had all been sold before she got any...he he he....well, don't be laggin' when I'm out shopping for fibers!    :0)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Baby Bob

As I was rooting through a box of photos last week, I found some of Bob's baby photographs.  It's hard to realize this 20 lb. blob of love was once a kitten. Bobinwool2
Here he is, lounging in some carded yellow wool...little did I know at the time of his coming penchant for all things fibery.Babyboblarry
  Then, with his "brothers"...Larry, the black and white, and Whisper (now gone to kitty heaven), our precious deaf white cat.Whisperbob
  Just to give you a gauge, Larry has never grown past 7 he's not a big cat.

Today I was finally able to get my computer connected to the scanner and have been having lots of fun.
  (That's how I managed to be able to share the baby photos with you.)  When I took my photo class in February, a visiting instructor showed us a slide show of her family and then passed around a book she made of her mom's journey through breast cancer and her treatments.  I am now hell bent to get what family photos exist in our family (my sister is the current keeper of these things) and scan and piece together what little she and I know, to be preserved for the younger members of our family.  I plan to use a site such as to do this. 

I was in a shop recently that was selling boxes of old photos...some going back to the 1800s and some as current as what appeared to be the fifties.Iowawoman_2
It broke my heart to think a family's history could end up for sale in pieces like that.  I had an urge to purchase all of them, just to give them a home, but it was cost prohibitive.  Instead, I opted to purchase these two photos.  One is Aunt Effie, or so written on the back in someone's handwriting.  Her photo was taken in Moline, Illinois.  The other person's photo had no name.  I hope someday to make some collages to honor them in some way.  Note to self:  remember to make some notes so when I die someday, my kids don't wonder which relatives these are.  ---Martie

Monday, April 7, 2008

Welcome to my mess

I've been telling you for ages about my mess upstairs.  For lack of better things to post about, today I've decided to share it with you.  Here we go.

First...up the stair case (this is north).  Upstairs
Note the bi-fold door part way up.  It was added after we discovered that Bob has a penchant for eating all things fibery.  See the hand spun yarns hanging along the wall at the top of the stairs?  There used to be lots more.  The entire bottom row had to leave because Bob (pre-door), had happily chewed his way across the bottoms of each skein and left me with hanks of two yard lengths of yarn.

Next...when you get to the top of the stairs and turn around, here's what you see.  Soviewyw
It's the south wall, which holds some of my colored hand spun yarns and my stash of Malabrigo that's still in reeled skeins.  See the wool drying in the foreground?  That's resting on the chicken wire top we had to build over the staircase, so you know who couldn't find a way around the door.  Yes, it's true...despite his 20 lb. girth, he can still fly through the air with the greatest of ease.  As it turns out, this is a great place to dry wool, especially in the winter when I can't do it outdoors.

From this same spot, looking to the left (or north east),Necornerstash
these cubbies and humungous bags hold my commercial yarns, along with my handspun yarns that have been wound into balls.  My theory:  if you keep the floor covered in bags, you don't have to guilt about vacuuming.  Also if you don't see what you have, you forget to use it or be inspired by it.  Once I put all my stuff in those big green plastic containers, and once it was out of sight, well...I went and bought more because I forgot what I had.  Sound familiar?

The southeast view:  Secorner
these are dyed fibers I use for carding batts and other spinning fun.  There's lots more in big bags all over the floor, not easy to get in the photo with the lens I was using.  Much of this stuff came from my friends HollyEQQ and Sandy Ryan.  I love their stuff and Sandy's farm is animal friendly.  Check it out.

Here's my Rio Grande wheel Rgwheel
and the current wool I'm spinning.  These are roving scraps I purchased during the Circle the Wagons for Holly auction on Sandy Ryan's website.  There's still some great stuff left...go take a peek.  I love my Rio Grande the best of all my stash upstairs (in the spirit of sharing) of wheels includes a Louet (S10 I think it is), a couple of antique wheels, and a Jensen D30 production wheel.  I love them all for different reasons.  You don't have just one tool in your tool box, right?

My carder is one of the best investments I've ever is from Louet.  Carderview
I have a Patrick Green Fanci-Carder I bought when they were first on the market (it is the first one they made...bought it from Paula after she demonstrated it at SOAR that year).  It lays fallow somewhere, because after taking Lexi's Pluckyfluff workshop, the Louet is my new passion because you can shove all means of stuff through it and make the most fun batts.  Oh...see the row of wire drawers in the background behind the carding table?  They hold my collection of soon to be extinct (I hope) novelty yarns.  I am debating cutting them all up and using them in fiber blends or saving them in the garage until my kids find them in my estate sale and wonder what the heck was going on when I bought them (temporary lapse of sanity?  well...some of them are nice, but then some of them are...well...I'll stop here).

The south wall yarn from a different perspective.  Novangogh
Painting and easel represent some fun I had a few years ago, when I mistakenly thought I had time to study oil painting instead of running my shop.  I keep this up to remind me to get back to it before I die.  I loved this brief period of fun and have almost as many paints and canvases as I do yarns and fleeces.  Color me compulsive.

And now, I'm off to go upstairs and spin for the rest of the day.  Thanks for coming along on my tour!