Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Otherwise occupied.

What have I been doing? Well, lots of things - most of them far from my blog.

I carded this batt (I really hope the curly locks stay curly) based on this super hero.

This is the side that I think of as the inside - not on the top of the carder when I'm carding.

The top side.

Rolled up and pretty. It's wool, mohair, and bamboo.

Can you see how busy we've been? This is the Beast. He's four feet away from me in this exact pose right now.

I'm almost done with this roving. I really enjoyed spinning the first half (it's already been plied). This second half has taken *forever* to spin. I have about fifteen inches of roving left (what's hanging from the tension knob in the picture). Then it has to sit for a few days before I ply it. Whew.

I have another bobbin to ply and then I'm have to decide if I want to spin my Master Chief batt, my Promethean batt (which actually isn't finished yet), or my Black Cat batt. Or.. or.. or.. yeah. Such problems I have, right? Well, to be honest, I'm using wool to distract myself from the fact that our oven is broken and has been for about a week. With luck (and $200+) it will be fixed tomorrow. I also had to take the dog to the vet yesterday ($200+ for allergy meds, shots, and flea meds) and the Elf to the asthma specialist ($70+ for the doctor and medication). Right. Look at my fluffy fiber stash! It's so shiny..

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The woes of wool.

Okay. I give up. Spinners and fiber fanatics, I call upon you for help.

I want to add "interesting" things to my batts (those sheets of fluff that my drum carder produces for spinning - for you nonspinners). Where in the world do I start? What are fair prices for these things? Where in the world do I find them?

I wanted to try sari (saree?) silk. Here's the thing, it's supposedly a waste product. Tell me then, why does it cost so much? I don't want it already carded so that I can separate the colors some - all I'm finding is Paradise Fibers. So.. is this silk really that different from buying silk thread at a craft store? Or using silk roving in teeny bits?

What about all those locks? Cotswold, mohair, etc. I have a fairly fine toothed carder - is it worth the $6+ an ounce for this stuff?

I see all of these lovely batts on Etsy and I feel overwhelmed. I want to be able to combine colors as well as they do. I want the variety of texture that I can only imagine these batts contain. Which leave me with: where in the world do I start?

And because I can't leave you without any pictures (also this will help explain some of the crazy going on in my head). Here's the loot from my first ever Phat Fiber box.

So much squishy goodness in this box! The theme was "super heroes" and I can't wait for next month: villains!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A good mail day!

I meant to post this.. Thursday? I'm really not on the ball this week.

Check out this all of this loot! My dear friend sent an unbirthday package for me and the boys: spinning tops, monster finger puppets, and yummy chocolate (not pictured because I hid it away immediately). The high speed whorl and fiber I ordered got here two days early. And the super fun EyeCanArt kit that I won from Nicole's giveaway. Also a book to review for LibraryThing! Yay!

Today I've been doing this:

It will eventually be combined to make "Master Chief" batts.

More exciting news? I ordered my first ever Phat Fiber Sample Box! How will we celebrate this? With the vanilla frosted brownie cake the Beast requested, of course! Speaking of, I should get started on the mini apple pies for B and myself.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I've fallen quiet again. I find that I have nothing to post about. We're having the usual homeschool fight - still trying to find our groove. It's practically summer here in Florida and it's hard to think through the heat (though I'm grateful for the sunshine after a week of rain and clouds). What's a stressed mama to do? Spin, of course!

Currently on my bobbin is this. I'm spinning probably lace weight here. I'm thinking about plying it but haven't made a decision yet.

This is the roving that is being spun above. I dyed this quite some time ago.

I spun this mostly over the weekend at the farm. It's near lace weight as well but I think I'm not going to ply it. It reminds me of Calcifer from Howl's Moving Castle - which is what I'll probably name it. (Aside: we have a cat named Calcifer - this yarn is nothing like her. And that tickles me.)

50% merino, 30% bamboo, 20% tussah silk. Scrumptious, in a word. I've been waiting on the arrival of my new toy to ply this.

Do you see this? It's my new, beloved toy. Dervish will soon be outfitted with a jumbo flyer! Score! Of course, I need to finish the blue yarn off before I assemble it. But here it is, freshly polished with beeswax. I'm so excited!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mayhaw Festival

Over the weekend I was at Golden Acres Ranch for their Mayhaw Festival. I was set up in a tent with my yarn and Dervish, my spinning wheel. People came to watch me spin, to learn how to clean raw fleece, to gather information. It was a great deal of fun. Saturday I went by myself. It was overcast and rained occasionally. There was still a pretty good turn out, regardless. I met a great many truly wonderful people.

Saturday it was sunny and beautiful. B and the boys came with me. I'm so grateful for B. He is truly amazing - to spend his birthday chasing our kids around a farm while I share my spinning with others. It seemed that despite the weather there were less people - more kids, but less of a crowd. I still managed to meet many people (a number of whom have recently had sheep sheared and wanted to know what to do next). Busy as I was, I didn't take any pictures. Here are a sprinkling of photographs that B too while he followed the boys around.

I'm told that when they went on the "hay ride" (I didn't see any hay, but you get the idea) this dog (Boo, I think) followed along with the stick. I can't tell you how overjoyed my kids were with this dog. They love our mutt, Cynddl, but he's less than willing to fetch.

This weekend left me wanting, more than ever, to move out of the city and onto some decent land. There were chickens running everywhere, calm farm dogs, bleating goats, sunshine, and open spaces. Despite being glad to be home, I found myself profoundly sad driving back into the city.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Creative ten-year-old.

The Elf's school work for the last four days has been to make three stop-motion videos (he loves these things). One, I said, must tell a story and not involve any violence. This is what he did to satisfy my requirements. I present his retelling of The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

I suspect a lot of people who see this are unfamiliar with the character he used. They are mostly from the Halo games. While I do not always approve of the content of the videos that he makes, I must say that he is quite good at creating them.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Okay. I did it. I spent all day writing listings, affixing tags, and taking pictures. I've uploaded all of my currently available yarn to my Etsy shop.

Yay! Right?

Well, Friday night (or Saturday morning) I'm going to put my shop on vacation until Sunday afternoon. This weekend I'll be at the Mayhaw Festival at Golden Acres Ranch. I don't suspect that I'll sell anything there, but I'd rather not double sell something, you know?

Now I'm off to put babies to bed. Then I'm going to sit down with some lovely 50% merino 30% bamboo 20% tussah silk and spin away!