Thursday, March 4, 2010

Customer Creations

Hi, gang! In the last week, I've been contacted by a couple of customers who were kind enough to send me photos of their creations with my yarn or fiber. So exciting! I love love love seeing what people come up with!

Knitted Baby Jacket by Littlepearl on Etsy.
(So adorable! What a lucky baby!)

Felted Hot Pad by Margaret from Dolores.
She felted this from fiber in the Johnny Jump Up colorway. NIFTY!

Felted Tea Cozy by Margaret from Dolores.

Wow. I think I need to felt a french press cozy.
I'm really loving that floral detail!

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your photos with me!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Making stuff and doing things.

Handspun, all balled up
Various skeins of drop-spindled yarn, all ready to start a project.

If Winter was a house guest, it would be on day 7 of a 3-day stay. I live in a high, semi-arid climate. Allegedly. I think we may have had approximately 1 week of sunshine out of the last 6-8 weeks. I've never seen a winter so gray. Yeah, it's snowy and cold, but that's to be expected, isn't it? The snow is great for those of us who rely on irrigation water that is collected in reservoirs in the high mountains, which allows that collected water to trickle down to us via irrigation ditches during the typically dry months of summer. So, yay! Moisture! But, boo, weeks of cloudy days. I don't live in the Pacific Northwest, or England, or anywhere else where cloudy days are the norm. This has been a long, long stretch. Everyone I speak to feels the same. We're all biding our time until glorious, glorious SPRINGTIME. Amen.

The sun is shining today. It's wonderful.

Drum carder, odds and ends of wool.

The only way for me to combat the ennui that accompanies these long, gray days is by staying busy. Mentally and physically. I had an unfortunate stretch of time a few weeks ago where I had an injury to my wrist that kept me from doing anything with my hands that I normally do. No knitting, no spinning, no dyeing, no typing, no writing, no drawing, no painting, no shit. Let me tell you what, folks. That was a hard damn time for me. I can only stand to go for so long without making something, and making stuff and doing things is intrinsically tied into my happiness/sanity. A day without some sort of physically creative process is a long and cranky day, and I can only read or watch television for so long without feeling twitchy.

Fortunately for me, my friend Christina did her magic on my arm, shoulder and wrist, and I've been pain-free ever since. I still have this weird knot of tendon at the base of my wrist, which is kind of yucky, but it doesn't hurt. My mother-in-law told me she had the same thing once, when she had a huge garden that she had to hoe, so it's apparently an over-use injury. She had cortisone injections to make it go away, but I'm taking anti-inflammatory enzymes and hoping to avoid that route. So far, so good.

Finished soap
Hand-made herbal soap.

Taylor and I have been experimenting with bath products recently. We're planning a market garden this year, and we want to supplement any produce with things like soap, bath salts, lip balms and bath bombs, jams, jellies and baked goods. Tay is so psyched about selling her baked goods. We're planning on selling our wares at the farmer's market in Ignacio, which was such a huge success last year. Making plans for the garden and our stall has been something else to focus on during these long days. It's kind of hard to visualize when there's still 2 feet of snow in the garden plot, but we'll get there. We get a little closer every day.

finished bath bombs
Bath bombs.

And so we're waiting and biding our time, and I can't help but think about budding trees and the life that is waiting inside of seeds. There has been a very real feeling around here of being curled up and waiting for the opportunity to expand. It's all very cyclic and earthy, where right now we're waiting for life to bloom and expand, and in the fall we enjoy the feeling of the slowing down of things and the end of that period of hurried growth and long days packed with activity. I'm not a mystical person, nor am I particularly spiritual person, but I do admire the cycle and the way it makes me feel like a part of something larger than myself.

I think I'm going to go bundle up and sit in the sunshine a while.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Is Messy. Also, Some Other Stuff.

Chompy looks unhappy.
Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." ~Robert Byrne

It's been a long week. When it rains in L.A., it snows here. It's been raining a lot in L.A.

I haven't left the house since...when? When was the last time I left the house?! Maybe it was to go to Cynde's party. No, wait. We helped Christina move on Sunday last, so it's only been six days. Six loooooong days. I think Taylor and I are beginning to get a little nutso with the Cabin Fever. I spent a buttload of money on craft supplies this afternoon, because we decided we needed something different and nifty to do, and all most of our other supplies are buried in storage somewhere in Oxford. I'm guessing they're going to stay there until Spring. The UPS dude (or dudette, whatever) will be bringing us all sorts of goodies to make incense, soap, lip gloss, wool wash, and bath bombs. You know why? Because I cannot do fiber arts all the frickin' time. (Blasphemy!) Also, I gave myself tendonitis with all the dyeing/spinning/knitting, so I need a change of pace. Specialization is for insects!

Death by icicle.
Icicles of doom. They broke a window downstairs when they fell, sending snow, ice and glass all over the computer area. Fortunately, no one was sitting there at the time. Now we have sexy styrofoam instead of a window.

The weather has been a bit of a drag, but there's other stuff nagging at me this week. We lost our friend Emma earlier this week. She had been very ill, so it was not unexpected, but still. She was a fun, feisty, awesome lady. She adored her children. She loved her friends. She never did quite get the hang of knitting, but she liked the company and we liked having her around. She insisted that I spin her some yarn, so I did. I will miss her.

Also, my daughter, my only child, is turning 13 tomorrow. Birthdays aren't a sad occasion, but they certainly do mark the passage of time in a very glaring and obvious way. It really does seem like yesterday that she was born. I don't know where all that time has flown, but I'm a deeply grateful for it, even in the bittersweet way that I'm feeling right now. It's been an wonderful journey so far, and I'm really looking forward to the next leg of it, even the difficult stuff. Because, you know, it's all about the journey, right? Right.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The New Year, Spinning, and Resolutions.

I keep thinking, oh, hey! I need to blog this, or I need to blog that. Because I said I was going to be a better blogger, and my google analytics are making me feel guilty! But, I'm a big damn liar. It's been two weeks or more since I've last blogged, and so there's that resolution shot to hell! Alas, I am ever-hopeful. I like blogging, I just need to be more consistent. Consistency is not my thing.

I love you blogs and coffee.
This print came from Made By Girl. When I saw it, I had to have it, because it states the truth.

Okay, what else was I going to say?

Dudes, I'm so glad the holidays are over. Really, really. It seems that I dislike them more and more each year, and how Scrooge-y of me, but it's the truth. Christmas is kind of obnoxious. I'd skip it altogether if I didn't have a kid I needed to spoil rotten. (That's the fun part, actually.)

Anyway. I am excited about the new year, since 2009 was actually a great year for me. (!) I am feeling really hopeful and happy and I'm in a really great mental space. Let me tell you what, that's been a long time coming. Seriously. The time frame from about 2006-maybe about a month of 2009 can suck it. I would like to forget most of it. I look back through my journals and wince at all the shit that was going on. Frankly, the only really consistently awesome part of my life was my daughter, who was and continues to be my favorite person ever, ever, ever. Her marvelous take on everything never fails to surprise and delight me.

Anyway, to make a long story short (too late!), the three of us are pretty peachy fucking keen right now. I hope my readers can say the same.

Speaking of resolutions, one of mine was to get my ass in gear and learn to spin on the wheel I bought 2 years ago. I tried it out around the time that I bought it, and I could NOT get the hang of it. No comprendo. So, instead, I focused my energies on knitting, especially sock knitting, and that eventually led to dyeing, which led to my starting a business based on my love for fiber arts and color.

This summer, at one of the fiber fests I attended, a friend of mine showed me her technique on the drop spindle and it was like everything clicked for me and from then on, I was drop spindling like a mofo. I took one everywhere, and eventually I became really good at it. I have dozens of hanks of drop spindled yarn. LOTS. I love it. I always will love the zen-ness of the drop spindle, and enjoy the feel of the fiber slipping through my fingers and be amazed at the very simple process by which wool becomes yarn. It's awesome. But now I think I'm ready to master spinning at the wheel, and I felt confident yesterday, when I drug the wheel out of storage, that I would have an easier time spinning than I did the first time I attempted it two years ago.

Fricke wheel.
I was right. All of that drop spindling experience really paid off for me. The process of drafting and letting the spin travel up the fiber was easily apparent to me, and I was spinning tickety boo.

First yarn on my wheel.
All that yarn spun up in about a minute and a half. It's ridiculous how fast you can go. I'm still getting the hang of things and I need to find the proper chair/height from which to spin, but dayum! So cool! So easy! I think things just went *click* again.

Drop spindles are so much fun.
You just can't beat the portability of the spindle. I don't see myself giving up spinning this way. It's so old school and people just love to watch you do it. Instant ice breaker! It's like a gateway drug to the fiber arts. You can hook them young and old. Last week, I made two new converts to the Fiber Madness. Last summer, I taught a little boy to spin at a fiber festival because he was so completely taken by it. He was all, omg, I need to do this now, right now! It was awesome.

Alrighty then. Blog updated. Go, me! Right now, I need to get ready for Stitchers for Pitchers, which is a knitting group that meets monthly in Durango at one of the brew pubs (woot!). Tonight, we're hanging out at Ska Brewing, and there's going to be a benefit for Tony Miely, who lost his hand in an accident a few months ago. Maybe I'll see some of you there!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I've been a bad blogger. I apologize. The days, weeks and months just fly by. I will do better.

Happy Holidays, gang.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

The yays and the boos for the week.


Hunting camp, snow, lots of firewood. Family. Living in a beautiful place. Blackjack. Awesome sleeping bags. Hand knits that keep you warm.

Dandelions at 8700 feet. In October.

Reunions. My daughter. A warm house to come home to.

Halloween movies. Beer. Anticipation of a party.

Starting a new project and loving it.


Getting ripped off by a wholesaler.

Gigantic ideological divides.

No snow plow service for our road.


Friends who are hurting in one way or another.


Hugs and kisses to those of you who need them. xoxo

Wednesday, October 21, 2009