picture time

The camera cable has been located! And guess who found it? The husband. I guess it goes both ways because I am always finding things for him in 2 seconds that he’s been trying to find for hours. That’s why you get married, folks.

Too bad they weren’t really worth the wait. In fact, they are pretty awful. Don’t think too hard about it.


I decided I wanted to try sprouting seeds and beans, so I started with mung beans, as they seem to be the easiest. My only experience with mung beans is from The Office when Creed was sprouting them in his desk and they “smelled like death”. They didn’t seem to have any unpleasant odor. It was fun and easy, although I wasn’t sure what to do with them in the end.


A rainbow of llama roving drying in the basement. It’s going to be a challenge getting this stuff braided. It’s so slick and wispy! As I was dyeing it, the colors refused to stay put. Every time I ended up with a semi-solid.


Romney roving with Cotswold and Teeswater locks. The Romney came upstairs for braiding, but the locks had to linger in the living room while they dried. With outside temperatures hanging around 40 degrees, I’ll just have to wait.


Falkland top braided and ready for labeling. I was trying so hard to focus on blues and greens this time, but I feel like the colors turned out a little wimpy. Blue isn’t fun to play with.


two unrelated things

Happy first day of October everyone! Is it really here already?

On Saturday Ross Alpaca Ranch had an open house for the National Alpaca Farm Days. I spent the day spinning and talking to the visitors. I got pictures of my sample table, but when I went out to get pictures of the animals, my camera died. Immediately. So I have nothing else to show. No photos of the angora goats, the ducks, the alpacas, or the llamas. Nothing.


Today I picked up three bushel baskets from Hobby Lobby. In the spirit of going “natural”, I will soon be offering undyed locks to go along with the undyed yarn. I decided that instead of bagging it for you, I’ll put the whole fleece in a big basket and you can buy as much of it as you want. For $2/ounce. I tossed this Romney lamb fleece in one basket to see how it worked. Seems to work fine, wouldn’t you say?

bushel o' wool

Great Lakes Fiber Show!

Yes, friends. It is that time again if you can believe it. We are on the brink of Memorial Day weekend and that means GLFS! Be sure to head over to their website and read up on their classes, competitions, and vendors for this year.

Wander the marketplace on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. It looks like it’s going to be a hot one, so be sure to bring something to drink and take your time! You will find me in the same spot as last year: building 39, space 22.

For the remainder of this week, I’ve got a few things to finish up.

  • Bagging buttons
  • Updating & printing pattern for Squares Sophisti-cuff
  • Labeling new Romney roving
  • Labeling new yarn
  • Making a few signs
  • Pricing stitch markers
  • Unloading the car (went camping last weekend)
  • Loading the car for the show
bagging buttons
Bagging buttons.
Freshly dyed Romney roving waiting to be labeled.


monday — dye day

On Monday I dyed 4 pounds of Romney roving. It’s great stuff from Per Ardua Farm in Paris, Ohio. Usually I split my pounds into quarters (4 ounces each) and dye them one at a time. It sounds time-consuming, but I have three or four pots going on the stove, sometimes I have a couple crockpots cooking, and occasionally I bake fiber in the oven. I believe each of these methods has a name, like hot pour and cold pour, but I just do what I do and don’t think much beyond that.

Lately I’ve been trying to dye in larger batches for those people who can’t think of anything to do with 2.75 ounces or apparently 4 ounces. So far I’ve gotten up to dyeing 8 ounces of the same thing. It’s easier to do it when I bake the fiber in a turkey roasting pan. I can get 8 ounces in at one time and the colors don’t swim around as much. Plus it’s a little more predictable. I’ve been trying to write down the recipes so I can use them again later. Each of the ones below I’ve already done. The blue/purple came out just the same. The one at the far end didn’t really duplicate well. I am curious to try it again!

I’ve been thinking about selling these in 8 ounces rather than splitting them in half. Would these be more appealing as a single large amount or split into two smaller amounts?

roving drying

shop update!

I’ve had some beautiful Romney roving in my stash since last summer, but I’m just now getting around to adding it to the shop. At this point I only have five braids left — it’s been quite popular! I wish I could spin it all myself, honestly. Generally I tend to maintain an ever-changing variety of breeds. However, I loved this fleece so much that I am trying to get it again this spring. How could I pass it up?

Embers. Handdyed Romney roving.
summer afternoon
Summer Afternoon. Handdyed Romney roving.
harvest moon
Harvest Moon. Handdyed Romney roving.
Fury. Handdyed Romney roving.
long lost love
Long Lost Love. Handdyed Romney roving.


another box!

Yep, the boxes just keep coming. And this time it was an impulse buy.

I recently joined a group on Ravelry called Fleece Market. It’s a place where farmers can sell their fleeces and people like me, who just loiter around the farms but don’t actually do anything with sheep, can buy fleeces. Even though I prefer to see, smell, squeeze, and ponder my fiber before purchasing, I thought this might a good way to get ahold of some breeds I haven’t been able to find around here. And without a whole lot of thought, I “popped” on a 5 lb white BFL cross from Iowa. The fleece belongs to Sophie, who has a rather complex lineage it seems. Her mom is 1/2 Romney, 1/2 Corridale and her dad is 3/4 BFL, 1/4 Merino. Phew! Pretty exciting, eh? I was planning on dyeing this weekend, so I’ll wash some up to see how it looks clean. From what I have already seen, I think it’s going to be a good one.

friday’s question

This week I found myself leafing through past photos on Flickr. Mostly I was looking for inspirational color schemes for my logo. But as I was looking at the photos, I realized what a wonderful resource they were. I signed up for Flickr in 2006; the first photo, a hat in progress, posted on October 29. Even though I haven’t documented every single project ever made, it still gives me a good idea of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. It’s also quite obvious just how bad at using a camera I was at the beginning. Not to say I’m awesome now, but certainly improved. Sometimes I even come across a project and I’m surprised that I made it! When I decided to set up the account, I felt very intimidated, that my pictures wouldn’t be good enough. But now, five years later, I’m very glad I took the chance.

April's Hat in Progress
First photo on Flickr, Oct. 29, 2006. Hat in progress.

On this date in 2010, I posted three photos of handdyed Romney roving. It looks like last November was generally pretty slow! Outdoor house projects and prepping for the Christmas sale.

big bird overboard purple people-eater

Question: How long have you had a Flickr account? Do you like to go back and look at past projects? What is the very first picture you posted (please include a link)? What was happening in your life at this time last year?

playing catch up

Here are a few projects that I forgot to mention…

I knit two new teapot sweaters in October. One is still with me, the other my mom sent away on my behalf. The brown pot is so little and cute and round. The yarn is Border Leicester that had not sold as roving, so I spun it myself. And it was a bit too rough for wearing, but it made a perfect tea cozy.

The white pot is wearing a green sweater made of Romney. The yarn dates back to 2007. It represents the first Romney fleece I bought from Mustard Seed Farm. Also it was some of the first fiber I carded on Whiskers. These yarns have been sitting in my stash since then. Maybe I’ll turn them all into teapot sweaters.

romney yarns 02

corridor of fiber

This weekend I finally got to spend two days at home dyeing.  I set up an extra table in my kitchen for added counter space and just went to town.  I had three stock pots going on the stove and two crockpots on the table with the largest stock pot set aside for washing locks.  Fibers included grey Romney roving, white Cotswold locks (Rhinebeck), white Lincoln locks (Woolfest), and a white Corriedale/Lincoln cross fleece (Rhinebeck).  The Cotswold and Lincoln locks look great – they kept their wave and took the dye wonderfully.  The new cross fleece is so creamy and soft with so little veggie matter.  It came from the fleece sale at Rhinebeck, as did the above mentioned Cotswold fleece.

Cotswold locks drying in my dreary basement

By the end of Sunday, I had created a corridor of wool in the basement from hanging all the roving up to dry.  If you want to get to the washer/dryer or the shower, you must make your way through many dangling lengths of Romney.  It’s quite a sight to behold.  Soon I will pull it all down and have a big pile of fluff in the middle of my living room.  Then it must be braided, weighed, and labeled.  sigh.

Romney drying in my dark and dismal basement

hello, october!

As you are aware, Saturday was the first of the month.  And the first time I dyed since June (or perhaps May).  When I tried Greener Shades initially, I bought the starter kit, which contained all of their colors. However, when I reordered, I decided not to order the green, purple, or black (since I still had some left).  I spent the morning mixing up new stock solutions.  It’s amazing to me how differently each color reacts during mixing.  The yellow seemed to absorb the water and doesn’t necessarily dissolve well; I actually strained it with cheesecloth.  The blue became oddly fluffy and the red turned into a glob like taffy.  My suggestion is to keep hot water close at hand.  They don’t like being mixed with cold water.

stock solutions

Eventually all the colors were prepared at a 2% stock solution if I correctly understood the included instructions.  My fiber of choice for the day was the lovely silver grey Romney fleece I had purchased at Mustard Seed Farm this spring.  I left it off with Ohio Valley Natural Fibers and it was returned to me while I was at Pennsic.  I couldn’t be happier with the end product!  And pulling them out of the dyepot was just too exciting.  Most balls ended up in the red family, but the colors are so subtle and mellow.  I will have to spin some myself, just to see…