Friday, August 29, 2008

I'll stop the world and Dye for you...

hee hee!

I just picked up a boat load of acid dyes for a comparitive song. I love my email lists.

Yarn stocked at Etsy, more to come, and a weekend of spinning and dying ahead of me. I can't wait.

Hope you all have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I want my own spinny wheel Mommy!

Last night while on the way to pick up my replacement whorl for my Kiwi's Jumbo Flyer my daughter let out a sentance I didn't expect to hear her utter for a while.

"I want my own spinny wheel Mommy!"

Furthermore she's certain she has to have a Schacht Ladybug.

Now I can't argue with her taste. The wheel is one I've been eyeing for myself for a while for the day that Beaky and I decide we've come as far as we can with eachother, but at the same time, it's a bit stunning when your 3 3/4 year old asks you for a wheel. If she hadn't already proven her skill in using the very wheel she's asking for I wouldn't even give this a moment's pause.

So what am I going to do? She's asked for a $550.00 spinning wheel for her 4th birthday.

I have 3 wheels. There is a 4th I'm actively considering, but it's not presently on the budget and is not a Schacht Ladybug.

I've told her she needs to get good at using Beaky first, and we'll make her a "Ladybug" Orifice hook. Ladybug buttons and matching wire to be twisted appropriately have been acquired, she'll get a bundle of roving or a batt for her birthday with this, along with the Barbie she's been asking for and (for now at least) she'll be set as she really gets spinning on my Kiwi down.

I'm also teaching her to identify the parts of a wheel. Which is good, because if you asked me to identify and label the individual parts of Beaky the answers would be functional in description and slightly comical, but definately not the appropriate technical term. So along with her, I'm learning my self. And it's one more thing I can share with my daughter through life. Which to me is just awesome.

As for what's on the bobbin of Beaky right now? Some Cormo and Angora (bunneh - is sooooooooo soft!) and I still have quite a bit to go through before the bobbin is full.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whoo Hoo!

Awesome, I found a Sheperd in the area who can sell me raw fleece for nearly the same amount as my other source without the drive, and as the sheep are coated there's less work in cleaning up the fleece.

Even better as it's Corriedale it's next to skin soft but not going to pill in my drum carder. Guess what I'll be doing this weekend? Well if I get ahold of the Sheperd I will be scouring wool and then dying it before carding it. Might as well dye the locks after scouring right?

I really need to get moving on building stock up for the upcoming craft fair season, plus I have currently nailed two advertising slots down starting this coming Friday. If my colorways are appreciated enough I'll have to re-stock anyhow - leaving me again with the whole "Oh Oh I'm running low on fleece!"

I don't regret sending out the Ramboullet, nor the Merino. There's no way I could have processed those - seriously, my drumcarder is a lovely machine but it will create neps in the roving and that's not what I'm looking for.

The Diva is off at Grandma's today and the baby has a nice quiet Daddy day. Leaving me to get what I need to do for the office today. I'm motivated, but it's more as a means to be able to get to doign fibery goodness. If I get 2 presentations and 2 doc reviews done then I'll be that much closer to being able to potentially pick up the raw fleece today after work.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Seeking Reccomendations

Ok - I have the one mill I work with, that has a rather extended turn around time, and I am looking to find other mills for processing Roving.

Please spam me with your favorite processors as I'm definately looking to find a secondary processor to work with.


Holy cow that was a busy weekend

There will be tons of pics in this post, but as I haven't learned yet how to work our video camera a as a still camera well enough yet, so be prepared for lots of overexposures.

Tess and I had a heck of a day yesterday.  We went out to the farm I have been getting fiber from and picked up two more fleeces.  An Oxford/Romney in silver which I will overdye, and a white Romney, totalling about 15 pound unwashed.  Neither is a high grease wool, but they do have their share, so I'll lose at least a third of that weight in the cleaning process.  I also had another 11.5 pounds that I dropped off with the fleece I just bought at the processor. 

That house is just massive and amazing and oh I have house envy.  Seriously... neither of my grandparent's farms were this ostentatious big.


Tessa being horse crazy of course was unhappy she could not have a saddle thrown on the Percheron so she could ride across the farm like a princess on a white horse...

She really was in heaven there and was even more delighted to be asked to hold one of the week old piglets.




The piglet was not so thrilled to be held by a small child, and as Tessa put it, "it was very scared and was crying or it's mommy..."

The mill is close to this farm, and the guys that own the mill are associated with this farm (one appears to be a caretaker, or foreman on the farm and it is almost a given if you buy the wool from the farm that you will let these guys process it) - but their turn around time is slower than molasses, so I the bee was set in my bonnet that I just needed to find another shepherd and another mill to work with because what I dropped off yesterday will not be ready until January.  What I dropped off earlier this summer, well that's on their calender for an October pick up - it was supposed to be in September.  Not too happy there lemme tell ya... 

I've also had a bit of a problem finding a supplier or Acid dyes in the area and had to drive up to Northampton Mass yesterday.  It's a lovely little town, as Tess and I got lost trying to get to WEBS.

We eventually got there, and did try out some spinning wheels before Tess discovered they had a toy box there.  Tessa drew a crowd, and I wish I had the camera with me when I went into WEBS because my three year old was schooling people much older than her in how to spin yarn.  She sat infront of a Schacht Ladybug and treadled her little heart out, drawing the fiber out to a spinnable level with only a small amount of help from her mommy.  She now has decided she wants her own wheel and she wants a LadyBug.  She tried pulling the "My fourth birthday is coming soon mommy, I want this."  People got a good chuckle when I asked her if that meant she didn't want the new Barbie doll anymore.  Of course she wants them both.

Not really planning on being dependent on my present source for raw wool in CT, I have made some connections while at the Terryville fair today , for a consistent breed of fleece that produces a lovely yarn - baby soft and at the same time not overly pilly.  I'll be following up on that this weekend.

I'm still waiting for my jumbo flyer's whorl to return... when that comes back from Ashford I'll be able to really get to a custom order that has come in.  I'm going to weigh out the roving I still have and see if it is going to be enough to fill the order or if I need to order more on line.  Of course if I can convince the guys at Still River Mill to hurry up then I might be able to use the Southdown I bought in June for that order.  It's for a fellow OD'er and as it's going to be used for a baby blanket I'm going to want something sturdy enough to be washed frequently without too much attention to care.

As mentioned about the new wool connection and where I made it, today we went to the Terryville Country fair.  Much sunburn was gained by yours truly on my face, and a little on the face of the diva.  Garret however was sunscreened everywhere, including the top of his head as I couldn't keep a hat on him.  Here are some pics from the day.

Starting the day out right as far as she was concerned.


Then practicing her back seat driving.

 Waving at his sister on the Airplane ride

 Wishing he was tall enough to go on the ride

 She watches MXC with Gaelon and told me it was her "Challenge"

 She didn't know what to do with this first and then I told her that she jumped like she wasn't allowed to on my bed.

Screams of delight came from one young girl I tell you.

Ending her day the way it started.

and a couple of you tubes to finish things up.  One being her driving. 


 and on that note - I'm sleepy.  Hope you all enjoyed the pics and videos.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Crafty plans for the weekend.

Given the uncertainty of my job at Initech (oh how I love our economy,) I thought it would be prudent to update my listings over at Etsy, as well as get to work on dying roving and getting some items that aren't ready for display in shape and ready to go for sale in the upcoming month.

So - I went ahead and generated my latest Etsy Mini. I'm thinking that this is the perfect time to start looking at things for holiday knitting, as being a slowpoke at it my self I know now is the time to get moving on Christmas crafts!

I decided to offer the code "Initech" in the note at checkout (and wait to be invoiced via paypal before paying) and I'll give buyers a 25% Discount with it.

This sale will go on through the end of August and into September, so if you want, take a look now, and of course I'll have some more things to list as we get them stock ready.

This weekend I plan on going back to the Farm in Eastern CT and picking up a few more fleeces to drop off at the processor, so I can promise a diverse selection of hand processed yarn available, and maybe even some roving as well. Micron count on thes will range from 21.5 to 35 for a nice fine and medium coarseness to the fiber, making it ideal for next to skin wear.  I've gotten quite a lot of requests for that level lately, so it's going to be my goal.

I'll also finally be working on the cloth diapering line I've been talking about for what seems forever. We'll have hemp and bamboo velour lined fitted diapers in a well tested pattern for sale very soon in the Etsy shop.  I'm pretty excited about that.

Needless to say - I'm taking lemons and making some lemonade, giving others the opportunity to experience some of the nicer fibers out there at a pretty affordable rate.  (I hope -gotta love this economy.)

I'm also going to try branching out in a direction I have been reading a lot about over the last year.  Natural dyes.  I've tried to spend time learning about what I can and can't do with the available resources I have and as we have a lot of reinactors in the area, I'm hoping to interest them in what I have available.

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