Monday, July 28, 2008


Yesterday I missed out on one of the spinning meet-ups, but I had a wonderful day. I decided to take the whole day off to spend with Lucius. We planned on going for a walk in the woods, but then we suddenly decided to go a local pick-your-own farm, despite the fact that it looked like an intense storm was gathering overhead. It was a bit of an adventure finding the farm, but we eventually did, and spent several hours picking amazingly delicious blueberries and blackberries. We filled up two big buckets, one of each type of berry, and so I have plans to brew some wine in the next few days. One of the farm workers seemed kind of freaked out about the storm, because he kept running into the field yelling about how he just saw some lightning or how the rain was currently two miles away and closing. I love the rain, so we just kept on picking, but quite a few people left. The silly thing is, the rain never showed up! All day long, the thunder kept rolling and there were dark clouds and occasional lightning flashes, but no rain. And the sun actually came out a few times. But we amused ourselves for the rest of the day by randomly bursting out with dire warnings about the weather.

After our berry-picking was done, we dropped the berries off at the apartment and headed for the woods. I think I need to sew myself a skirt with tons of large pockets, because I am such a gatherer. I brought home a bunch of little bundles and treasures from our walk, including:

gathered treasures

-fleabane flowers for a natural dyeing experiment
-milkweed seedpods (pictured above) - I'm going to separate the seedfluff from the seeds and then card it into some yarns. The seedfluff is shiny like silk, but very delicate and not strong enough to be spun on its own.
-catnip, which I am drying and will probably make some cat toys with - but it's also a really good tea for fevers!
-autumn olives, which are beautiful reddish-orange berries with silver speckles.
-a black feather, to add to my small collection of found feathers.

The autumn olives were a surprise, because normally they don't ripen until the first frost! I love the way they taste, tart and sweet, but they're super invasive and non-native so I'm careful not to drop the seeds anywhere that they can grow. I'm glad we discovered them - I'll be back in the fall to gather lots more for fruit leather and maybe some wine. In the picture, the berries are in a simple muslin bag that I sewed to bring with me on hikes - because I've learned from experience to always bring gathering bags with me!

And now, back to work! I still have a bit of catching up to do and I want to have a shop update by Wednesday, which means I must go spin.

Friday, July 18, 2008

New yarn & interview

Tara of Blonde Chicken Boutique just posted an interview with me about my fiber business on her blog! So, click here if you want to know all my deep dark secrets.

I also finally, finally listed a new yarn on etsy today:

desert blossom handspun

Hopefully the first of many, as I'm trying to get back to listing a yarn a day. This one, "Desert Blossom", is a yummy blend of organic cotton and batts of bamboo and hemp with cocoons. Perfect for late summer knitting! I have a new skein of my Canopy yarn with felt leaves drying in the sun right now, so that will probably be popping up in the shop sometime tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Catching Up

The art yarn workshop this past weekend was fun. I didn't take any pictures, but you can see one here on Jacey's blog. I love many things about Jacey, but here are a few: all of her wooly fiber comes from animal sanctuaries and no-kill farms, all of her spinning is geared towards sturdy yarn that you can actually use but is still magical and artsy, and she supports her whole family with her spinning business. My hero! If you missed out on her workshops, she's going to have a spinning DVD showing all her amazing techniques for sale in a few weeks.

Here are the yarns I spun at the workshop (click to see a bigger, more detailed picture):

workshop yarns

workshop yarns

I was a smidge worried that I'd already know a lot of the stuff at the workshop, since I have been spinning art yarns for a few years, but even the stuff I did already know was new to me because Jacey had her own way of doing it. Here are all the techniques we went through: thick and thin (balanced and workable), twists/loops, knots/stacks, coils, racing stripe, autowrap, tornado, Foreign Objects 1 (strung), Foreign Objects 2 (trapped), supercoils, cocoons, halos, corespinning, tiny circles, Foreign objects 3 (integrated), Foreign objects 4 (wrapped). That's a lot to take in over two days! I'm most excited about the cocoons and halos. And the tiny circles and the trapped foreign objects were pretty awesome too.

After the workshop was over on saturday, Molly and I went to Spinster Yarns & Fibers, which was right down the road. It's a sweet little yarn shop that specializes in local and environmentally friendly yarns, so right away I was in love. I managed to restrain myself and only bought a few ounces each of local, organic, predator-friendly wool and hemp. They're working on setting up a carding station where you can use their drum carder and selection of fibers and pay by the ounce! How awesome is that?!

In shop news, I just finished up a big custom order for 6 skeins (that's a whole pound and a half, 977 yds) of patchwork yarn:

luned - custom patchwork order

And once I wrap up my vegan yarn club yarns, I'll be back to listing new stuff in the shop! Finally!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A bit out of it

It's been a strange two weeks, and it feels like I haven't gotten a thing done! I'm still plugging away at custom orders and now I'm working on the vegan yarn club yarns too.

I'll be away this entire weekend at Jacey's spinning workshop - so hopefully I'll have more to show/talk about once I get back.

Sorry to everyone who's waiting on stuff from me. I'm trying as hard as I can, I promise. If you've contacted me through etsy and haven't heard back yet, you might want to check and make sure that you didn't reply to the conversation via the email notification, because if you did, I didn't get it! I've been having a huge problem with that lately.

P.S. I'm about to go take down the vegan yarn club listing - if you still want in, just convo/email me. I might replace it with a 2-month membership, but I think I'm just going to close the membership for now. I want to wrap the club up by September so I can focus on other things, but it'll probably be available again next spring.