Thursday, February 9, 2012

Behind the scenes

Life here in our little part of the forest is generally pretty busy, but  I don't share most of what goes on for fear of boring you.  In the background, while our own lives are percolating right along, our resident friend, Michelle (I call her Ani in most posts) Mueller has a hand dyed fiber business that is operating at a full tilt most days, right here under our noses.  I've told you a bit about her before, but it's time to do it again. 

We met years ago here in Taos...a kindred spirit and fellow spinner who was living in solitude on top of a local mountain in a yurt, spinning her days away and selling her yarns at the big consumer trade shows (such as the well known XRX Stitches knitting conferences).  We discussed the possibilities of growing old together one day, never probably suspecting we might actually live together years later.

Roll forward a lot of years.  Ani left her piece of paradise and all her worldly possessions and went to India for fives years, where she was ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a Tibetan Buddhist nun.  In late March of 2010, she returned to the U.S. and has been here with us since, sharing her love with our cats and dogs and her wicked sense of humor with Roger and I.  It has been a blessing I don't have words for.  Oh...and one other thing...I get to pick through the goodies as they come out of her dye pots.  What more could a good fiberholic wish for???

And this is just what I was doing last week when I found these two stunningly beautiful rovings.  I couldn't help myself...they were happily waving around on the drying rack, whispering my name.  I need more wool like I need another 40 lbs., but yes, I'm weak, and I admit it.  They're 85% Blue Face Leicester wool and 15% silk, over dyed over a mixture of dark and white wool, and while my photo doesn't do them justice, let me just say they have a sheen that is very seductive, if not obvious in my photos.  (The one with blues and greens and purples remind me of feathers on an exotic bird.)  I will spin these, but they would be equally beautiful used in felted projects, or pulled into strands and used in hooked rugs, and when all else fails: they are beautiful just as they are, like little pets you can admire and fondle that don't need any special care. 

Where can you find these?  Well, Ani has an Etsy shop, Widdershin Woolworks, but more recently has started her own web store, also called Widdershin Woolworks.  For those of you who sell your own work, you know that while places like Etsy are a wonderful opportunity for small sellers, at some point, it's a lot nicer if you're selling from your own site so you can save those fees that host sites collect (which truly add up over a month's time, and we all know craftspeople never make what they should for their hard work and love).

So stop by her shops, and if you want to see more, you can visit her group on Ravelry and see what's being made with her gorgeous wools...and now, I'm headed upstairs to fondle that beautiful wool. 


Orange Sink said...

I'm yearning to see photos of Ani while she creates and dyes her beautiful wool! As close as I can probably get to it without traveling for the present time!!! Ahhh yes like little pets!!! I am going to check out her site and I wish that I was a spinner! I am eventually going to try roving in my rugs!!! One of the ladies is a spinner who is taking my class so that should be fun!!
Cathy G

Sassafras and Winterberry said...

Wow! I just checked out her site. I haven't spun much wool for myself lately...but her stuff I must have! Gotta have the 8 oz. though...I'm thinking a luscious scarf! She's a dyeing master!!

MyMixMix said...

Not only is Ani a master dyer and spinner she can be quite a comedienne. She visited me yesterday and I got my months worth of belly laughs....very healthy indeed.

Ter'e said...

I love stories of your Ani - she must be such a delightful soul. Your love for this dear friend comes thru loud and clear.
I just want to touch her goods, as the colors are so beautiful. I don't spin or felt or do any of those wonderful things. I would have to keep the little pods as pets............
If only to meet her in person.........xoxoxoxoxoxo