Monday, December 31, 2007

End of Year

The skies in Arizona are very dramatic, even in winter. These are the colored goats in with a black buck. None seem pregnant yet, but they will not pop out until they are three months along. I am looking for babies about March, with the Jacobs' ewe possibly in February. I went over and helped a friend with his first kid. He was in a slight panic, since it was a month earlier than he had figured. All is well, and the baby is on its mom and content. Time does seem to be flying and 2007 is almost over!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Annual sweater

Every year I knit myself a sweater. Sometimes I keep it, sometimes I pass it on. This is an original design that I knit to a size 48. I had planned to felt it, but my last felt job was a disaster. I can wear several shirts under it and be really warm when I go out to the animals. It has a huge cowl neck that goes well over my head. I might have to redo it, but will wear it to test it out for a while.
My mannequin is larger than I am, so it looks better on her.
A close up of the buttons that I put on the side of the collar.

Intense Parcheesi

Kristie is home for the holidays and we played Parcheesi, her favorite game last night. It got really intense, when I created a blockade and decided not to move it unless I got doubles. The others got wrapped up in sending each other home and then decided to go after me, when I finally could not keep the blockade going any longer. Marc won and said it was the longest Parcheesi game that he had ever played.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Project Almost Finished

Talk about insomnia. I should be sleeping, but thoughts keeping running through my head. I went reading around on Ravelry. That is such a cool site. So many links and places to visit.

Had an eye exam this morning and no changes in my eyes since two years ago. Kristie arrived this afternoon and I went with her to buy a friend's wedding gift. Kristie and Kyle both went to pick up a DVD at Blockbuster and brought back a James Bond movie Golden Eye which I had never seen. It gave me the chance to start sewing up the seams on a sweater out of llama and wool that I started last January. I hope to finish and show it off at the guild meeting on Wednesday. It is huge and meant to keep me warm, when I go out to check on animals. If I get compliments on it, I will write up the pattern, otherwise I will know that it is just a functional sweater! I am on the house computer, so can't/won't load photos. It is too slow...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Busy, busy, busy

Marc had his foot surgery yesterday, which ate up my afternoon. I started my day off with a felting group from the Northwest Arts Center, thanks to Brenda. They had a lot of fun and turned out some really cool bowls, purses, and material for a sweater. I enjoy seeing what other artists come up with and it provides inspiration for me, because most people pick colors that I would not naturally chose. Of course, I now have two bowls that I started as demos, that I need to finish.

I spent today spinning cream Shetland for an order and throwing some of the Alpaca/Targhee yarn, that I just received from Wooly Knobs, into the dyepot. The yarn does not look like much until it gets washed. It is gorgeous dyed, but I have to say that I prefer my handspun to the millspun. I love the color variations that come off my wheel, as well as the textures. I spun up a loopy yarn, that is my own technique, and got that hung in the shop today. I plan to list it on etsy tomorrow along with a few other yarns. Everyone is telling me to list finished projects there also, so I will pick two. Photographing and listing the stuff is time consuming and not what I want to do, but it will be exposure. And, I have sold a skein online. The problem is that what I like and list ends up selling in the shop and then I have to delete the listing.

I finally got onto Ravelry and have enjoyed catching up on the spinning and local knitting news. I even found a thread on the Tucson Wool Festival that was really heart warming. I sit watching Netflix while I spin and often feel disconnected from the world. It is worse, now that they have started digging for the new apartments on the south side of Palo Seco. Too sad!

I have loads of photos on my camera: alpacas, projects, yarns etc. I plan to load them up tomorrow. Have to do that in the studio on my laptop, because I am not putting any more on the home computer.

Happy spinning and knitting!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Booth Photo

This is the photo of my booth at the 4th Avenue Street Fair. I sold the equivalent of 12 pegs of yarn. Does not sound like a lot, but now all of my yarns fit on the racks. The colors do not show up well, because it was already getting dark, when I took this photo.
My shop is back together again. Now I need to start listing yarns on the etsy site, since I had to delete several that sold at the street fair. I hope to start getting some knitting and crocheting in now.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

4th Avenue a big success!

Flaky weather did not stop serious shoppers! I met lots of new spinners and knitters, and recognized at least half of those who came through. I taught 3 people to spin and I really hope they keep at it. They were determined, so I expect to see cool yarns. If you are a spinner and want to hang out with others who do, I reserve the first Saturday of the month for that. It does not matter, if you are working with a drop spindle or a wheel. Seeing what other spinners are doing will give you inspiration. I teach the basics and love to see others going in their own directions.

Some of you met Chris today. Isn't he a great salesman? He got away with saying things that would sound like bragging, if I said them. He had people reaching out to feel yarns and falling in love with them. I am going to steal some of his tactics. He has promised to help me at the spring 4th Avenue Street fair. I really enjoyed having him help out this afternoon. Watching him demonstrate carding at the wool festival, I knew he would be a lot of help. He did get exposure to the hard work involved in tearing down and packing up. Hope Marc and I did not scare him away!

I only took the one photo of my booth, so I will load it tomorrow. Too dark, but all I have. I came home with a lot less yarn, so I can redo my shop layout. I have already started putting it back together, since I have orders to fill. I might even clean the studio a little. I can no longer walk around it without having to do leg lifts, etc. to get over the piles.

Since I sold several of my samples for patterns, I will have to knit replacements. I might even take and use new photos on them, since they will not be the same colors. I could not reproduce the originals colors and have no desire to do so.

I want to thank all those who came shopping. I am almost out of debt!

Don't forget to put the felting on your calendar. It is a lot of fun and everyone walks away with something cool and new friends.

Friday, December 7, 2007

4th Avenue Street Fair

I am so glad that the weathermen don't always get it right! No rain today and lots of people at the fair were a winning competition. I met a lot of interesting people today. I am always interested in what brings people to fiber and how they used it. I would give some examples, but I am leery of making people feel uncomfortable.

My friend, Chris is going to come down with me tomorrow. Marc tells me that we will have rain early, but that it will clear up. I finally found the shawl that needs less than half an hour of work, so I will finish it during the slow periods - hope there are not any! I plan to photograph it on the mannequin and then add the photo to the pattern that I have already written.

I did take a photo of the booth but it is too dark to see clearly, so I will try again tomorrow.

I finished spinning a bobbin of yarn this evening and put it in the wash. Will hang it out to dry and hope that it dries by Sunday. Several people asked whether I had a supply of yarn left at home and if I did all of my own spinning. I do and I spend hours watching Netflix movies to make myself sit still. I spent most of the summer spinning late in the evenings. I have found those to be my most productive hours. I find myself easily distracted during the daytime and hopping from one thing to another. Knowing that I had several fall shows motivated me to create. My only regret now, is that I did not have my "aha" moment about novelty yarns - my freeform style - until the middle of October. I was not sure that the yarns would sell. I had to price them high to justify the amount of time and money I spent on the novelties that I put in them. Anyhow, I feel like I should have spun more of them. I will be back to the two color schemes that I have organized, as soon as I put my shop back together on Monday!

I enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces today! Hope to see more tomorrow.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

4th Avenue Street Fair

Can't believe that it is already here and that there is rain forecast for every day. I refuse to let it get me down. I intend to sell a bunch - to pay for fiber processing and feed!

The canopy is already set up and everything hung. I prefer to set up the night before. Sure makes the next day start later and seem more normal. The paper had an article today that talked about the selection process. I guess having the application process go online drew in a lot of new faces. Maybe less tie-dye? Anyhow, they said that 245 of the vendors are new. I am so glad I still got in. I had heard from a few people that did not get in. I met several new vendors tonight and I felt an old hand at it - and this is my 4th time. I plan to start a new project, if things goes slow due to rain. I finished the freeform shawl and it is going to hang permanently in the shop. No more adding! Priced at $398. A friend said it should be $425. Her opinion was that it would go for $800 in New York. Don't I wish!

If you are bored come hang out at the fair. I am in booth number 347.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Jacob's ram again

This guy is a bit much. Marc went to Desert Diamond Casino and came back home to feed the animals for me. He discovered that a Shetland ram and the Jacob's ram had busted the gates of their pens and gotten out to do each other mischief. They were both after the same ewe, that had been locked up with the Jacob's and had gotten out , when the Jacob's broke out. Marc managed to get the rams back in: the Jacob's because he just stood there - not scared enough to run off and the Shetland after a great deal of running. Marc called me to tell me about it and to let me know that Kyle and I would have to catch the ewes. Thank God, Kyle is such a good runner. I distracted the ewes with a flashlight - too dark to see anything without it by this time - and Kyle ran them till they got tired. Everyone is back in their pen, although the Jacob' and his harem are in a different pen. He broke out of the padded one and it is destroyed. That guy's testosterone should be packaged!

The show has been a bust so far. I don't think the organizers spent all the money they have charged on advertising like they should have. We had less people go through than were here at the wool festival. Anyhow, I plan to take my wheel tomorrow and at least get some real spinning in. I spun 1.6 ounces on a drop spindle. Four cute, tiny skeins, but not much to show for all the hassle of taking things down and putting them back up. I could look at it as practice for the 4th Ave, but I don't think I really need it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another surprise!

Fillip found the weak link in his pen last year, after we moved the sheep that got terrorized by kids. He took full advantage of it. I found a pile of afterbirth this evening when I went out to feed. Neither of the llamas looked pregnant, and I had asked my friends. I figured nothing had happened. Marc got home as I was running in to get a flashlight and he walked up the wash with me to find the llamas. They did not come to eat, so I should have realized something was up. Emmy and Brillo were in a huge spitting contest this morning. Now I know what that was about.
The baby is definitely Emmy's. It looks like it might be chocolate brown, but I won't know till morning. Flashlights and the camera do not really help. Emmy had no udders when I was out there at 6, so I went back out with grain a short while ago. She does now. Looking at her backside, there is no discharge or anything to indicate that she is the mom. The bonding between her and the baby is obvious. I took the time while I was out there to check Brillo. I would not be a bit surprised, if she delivers tomorrow. Her back end is moving in a very strange way and I do not think that she is constipated!

Too bad the baby was not born before the wool festival. That would have been a real treat. Anyhow, life is never dull on the ranch!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bunnies have been named

This angora doe was named by one of the visitors to the wool festival. She is officially Cadbury. As you can see, she found the bucket of food and just hopped right in. Of course, Rocky, below, found it first. I had to move the bucket. I did not want them to get the food stuck to the wool. They are getting too big to spend all of their time in the cage.
I have been letting them roam the studio. They have not ventured over to the shop side yet. They are not afraid of Charcoal, my studio cat, which makes for some funny incidents. Charcoal reaches into their cage and taps them. I am sure that she would do more, if she thought she could get away with it. I don't have to worry about the bunnies, when they are out, because Charcoal sits and watches them, but runs away when they start in her direction. She is used to bunnies running in the opposite direction, so she is confused.

Hidden Treasures Wrap

This was one of the skeins that I spun up with the idea of knitting it freeform. So many people could not visualize the end object, so I had an excuse to pull it out of the shop in order to knit it up. I was thinking a scarf or a shawl, but a wrap seems to be the better way to describe what I ended up with. I used size 11 needles. Larger needles would have let the treasures slide to the back side and smaller needles would have caused the wrap to feel stiff and not drape properly. I ended up pulling two skeins that I had listed on etsy in order to finish. I did not want to wait to spin new yarn and wash it to set the twist. It took approximately 350 yards to complete. It was a lot of fun to knit up and will appeal to anyone, who likes a mystery!
Buttons and coils.
Stars and twists.
Bows and beads
The wrap can be worn with both sides down over the arms, or as I have hung it here, with a brooch to hold it in place. I am pricing it at $325, based more on the fiber than the knitting. No one wants to pay for that!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Never done creating

The above is the color combination that I have chosen for my next hidden treasure yarn. I plan to knit it up myself, so people can see what the yarns will look like. I sold a lot of the novelty yarns this past weekend, but some friends told me that they really want to see what it would look like. I have this thing about taking yarn from the shop, so I chose a set of colors today. I already have the hidden treasures and now am carding the kid mohair. Since I do not have wool in these colors, it will be all kid. Just what I love to play with!
I told myself that I would do at least one of the novelty yarns from the Pluckyfluff Camp each week, so I don't forget how to do them. This tailspun is not my favorite type of spinning, but the natural color of the red kid mohair with the really dark tips called out for it. I don't know whether the color looks quite right in the photo, but it is only 5 yards long and took forever! Really soft. Will have to think how I could use it, if it does not sell.

Tucson wool Festival Photos

These photos were taken early, before the first tour and shearing. Most people were hanging out by the animals, so I did not get the customers.
Chris had just learned how to card, so I talked him into paying me back (got to get my volunteers somehow!) by demonstrating how to card. I watched him for a few minutes and was impressed with his gift of gab. Future fiber salesman!

The winners of the drawing, so I could get email addresses, are: Nisha Martin, Sandi Baxter, and Citabria Shipman. They are all knitters, so it made it easy to pick yarns for them. If one of them is you, come during shop hours, or call to pick out your skein. I am not designating them, so first comer gets first choice.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tucson wool Festival

Sponsoring the Tucson Wool Festival forces me to clean up once a year in great depth. I can almost see my studio kitchen counter now. Anything I don't get sorted out will get dumped in a box and I will look at it another (never) time.

Someone called this morning to say that she heard about the wool festival on NPR, the Arizona Spotlight. Hope it means loads of visitors tomorrow!

I did get Marc's mural hung yesterday, just to clean out the studio. I have stuff on chairs that I am going to have to find homes for, so we will be able to use the chairs. I even got my loom tied on.

Penny will be arriving this evening with three of her children. I still need to make up her room! Time is flying.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Coiled yarns

I wove some material for bags and got my friend, Heidi, to sew them up and embellish them. I gave her a bunch of coiled yarns to use and she knew just what to do with them. Above is a close up of the flowers that she crocheted and attached to the bag in a freeform manner. Gorgeous, if you ask me. It has two pockets and lots of room inside.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Animals can be finicky

Saffron has been fussing all day. I figured she was in heat. I got back tonight from the knitters' group at Barnes and Noble, and she was still fussing. It was downright pitiful sounding. Yesterday I saw her giving the buck in her pen a hard time. He is in rut, but he might not have figured it all out. Anyhow, I went out and took Saffron and put her in with No Size. Why mess with a winning combination? She and Precious had the best does out of No Size. She is a happy goat right now and all is quiet! Guess she wanted her boyfriend from last year.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dressing up for a change

I don't usually model my garments, but this is one of the creations that I made and it looks better on me than on the mannequin. A first! Marc and I were going to the Tucson Pima County Open Studios Tour kickoff downtown and I wanted to show off something that I had made. I had planned to wear the freeform shawl that is almost finished, but 85 degrees is too much for mohair and wool. This one was just right. After seeing the back, I am going to have to write the pattern and make another one in a different weight yarn and color.
Just too lovely, even if it is on me!
This is the skein that was on the bobbin in the previous post. It includes emerald colored beads and butterflies.
These three skeins are all based on the same colorway that I had in the last post. The bottom one is the one that was on the bobbin. The one on the top left is my own original design and the result of not liking how twisted pieces would slide on the yarn.
I am now spinning up the rest of the batts that are in this colorway plainly, so someone can have yarn to make larger garments with the novelty yarns spread out.
Marc advised me to knit up one of these skeins, so others will know what it will look like. I spent so long spinning them, that I am afraid to dig into the knitting. I already have the idea of using the novelty yarn in a freeform log cabin style. They colors vary, so I would never have to cut the thread.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Too much fun

This has become addicting. I have decided to name this line of yarns "Hidden Treasures." The above yarn is a blend of raspberry and green with touches of brown Shetland. There are beads, butterflies and bows in this yarn.
This is the stash for the yarn I will start spinning tomorrow. I went to Michaels intending to get some shades of orange buttons and beads and could not find anything that matched it - and they have a lot of stuff! I decided to just go with navy and raspberry for my next two yarns. I was really happy when I got to the register and realized that most of what I bought was on sale: 33-40%.

I promised myself that I would spin one or two smaller skeins of normal stuff, so I am finishing up some angora rabbit. I plucked Parsley, the French rabbit this afternoon and sat down at the wheel to spin it immediately. It is amazingly soft. I carded some with red kid mohair and some with a grey lamb Shetland just to see how they would turn out. It made the Shetland nicer, but the best was just angora.

Kyle gave me his two movies from Blockbuster and said that I might like them, so I can go back to spinning.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Novelty yarns

This is a skein of novelty yarn in progress. The completed yarn is below.
The above yarn is spun at sport weight or thinner with beads, ribbon, novelty bits and pieces added to thick and thin, knots, buds, etc. Took forever to spin all 305 yards. You could do an entire freeform piece without ever cutting the yarn and weaving pieces in. You can call to buy it (520)572-3758, or email me at
This is a bulkier skein of yarn with lots of coils, fuzzy mohair, beads, ribbons and novelty bits thrown in. It has the same color skein as the one above. It has 155 yards.
The fiber used to create the above two skeins is Shetland/Border Leicester lamb, kid mohair and wool.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Taos and the Pluckyfluff Camp

Margo and I drove up to the Taos Ski Valley before going to our workshop. This was my favorite picture. I have several of the tall trees with their leaves changing, but the sight of water running over rocks was refreshing and the focus of several pictures. I plan to do a felting of it. The Shetland ram fleece in a previous post has the exact same colors as the water running over the rocks. It will be interesting to see, if I can duplicate the motion of the water.
This is one of the batts that I created at the novelty yarn workshop. Lexi calls it crazy carding. I signed up to be a Louet dealer today, so I can carry the carder that produces this type of batt. the Patrick Green carder is awesome for classic yarns. One time through, and I am spinning away. It takes out all of the texture, so I need a coarser carder. never thought I would say that. I have ordered three carders, sold one, and have one more. They will not ship before next week, but that is ok, since I have the Patagonia Fall Arts Festival this weekend and no time to play with the novelty yarns.
This skein of yarn is the result of the batt above. It has lots of texture. The colors are gorgeous and wildy random.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Shearing days

Wednesday and Thursday were dedicated to shearing and moving goats and sheep into their pens for breeding. Mamas got split from babies, which is resulting in a fair amount of fussing. Barbara and her daughters are by far the most vocal. By next week they will have settled into a new routine. I ended up with 14 lovely fleeces and washed four of them immediately. The rest will have to wait until I get back from Taos. No Size's fleece is one of the ones at the front of the pile. Even marc was impressed with it. Still as nice as a typical kid mohair, but not as nice as his offspring's hair. These two Shetland fleeces are gorgeous, but really surprised me. The lambs were born with moorit and black. Since they stayed that dark looking, I thought that they would be that color when they were sheared. The Shetlands can be hard to catch, so it was not until Penny started shearing them, that I realized that they had both turned shades of grey. The orange tips are not sunburn, but the color that the lamb was born with. I did not get time to card them, since I really did need to gather up the stuff for the workshop that I am taking in Taos on Monday and Tuesday. One of my friends and I are leaving early tomorrow morning. A friend is covering the shop for me, so I won't feel guilty. The following weekend, I will be at the Patagonia Fall Arts festival, so there will not be anyone in the shop on Saturday.
The highlight of the shearing days was teaching Penny, the shearer to drop spindle. With all of the years that she has been shearing, she never learned how. I sent her home with a drop spindle, niddy noddy and a few types of roving. She took to it like a natural. I will be teaching her to knit next time she comes. You have to do something with the yarn!

If I am able to get access in the hotel, I will post while I am gone.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Shetland fleeces

Most of these Shetland rams have been castrated. Several would make great pets for a spinner looking for a small flock and who is not interested in breeding. A few have already been shorn and more will be shorn at the Wool Festival.

Jacobs ram

As you can see from the above photo, Granite, the Jacobs ram, was well named. He destroyed the pen and chains were no longer going to be enough to keep him in. Marc and I were out raking on Friday evening and this guy was lifting the whole pen out of the ground, concrete and all. It was really scary to hear the racket that he was making. I had discovered on Thursday, when I took visitors out, that Granite had shoved the side fence out about 4 feet. Kyle helped me get the panel chained to the remaining fence pole, but that was not going to be a solution.
This is another pen that we turned in to what one of my friends called a padded cell. There is a tire dug into the ground at the middle of the pen. Granite has already taken it down twice. Someone mentioned that she used tired to protect her pens, so I suggested that Marc drive down to a tire store to pick up a few. He came back with an entire truckload! So far, Granite has not attacked the gate or the fence where the waterer is. Of course, now I am minus the large pen for the colored goats to go into for breeding, so I am going to have to put them in a pen where the ironwood leaves drop. Not good for fiber, so it cannot be a long term proposition.

Know anyone that wants a Jacobs ram? He is available in January or he goes as dinner. I understand from other breeders and the vet that this is typical behavior for adult rams. Got to have a fence beater every year!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

4th Ave Street Fair

I got the news on Sunday that I have made it into the street fairs for both winter and spring. A relief, since that is where I make the most contact with people, who later come to visit the ranch. Most of my business is now from the internet (people out of state visiting Arizona), from the yellow pages in the phone book, and from the fairs that I attend.

I am heading out to Taos at the end of next week to check out their fair. I went two years ago. I would not be going this year, if I had not signed up for the Pluckyfluff camp on novelty yarns, which is the following Monday and Tuesday. It should be a lot of fun. The THSG gave me and Margo, who is going with me, a partial scholarship to help defray the costs. We are obligated to give a short power point presentation on what we learned. We will have lots of photos!

Change of plans

Well, things never go quite as planned. A friend called early Saturday morning saying that one of her bucks was paralyzed from the neck down. The best guess is that he was taking on the much older buck. Anyhow, I spent the whole day depressed because this was one of the bucks that I had just sold her that has the awesome Texas hair.

On Sunday my friend calls me up to tell me that the buck seemed to be moving his body and trying to sit up. Since she works, I offered to keep him for the week, so I could see, if I could get him up and moving. Monday and Tuesday morning, I was ready to give up on him. He was sitting in a daze and he had to be bottle-fed and hand-fed. I was thrilled on Tuesday afternoon to see that he had moved from one side of the pen to another.

I came home from the Tucson Handweavers and Spinners Guild today to discover that he had made it out of his pen all of the way over to No Size's on. Of course, he was doing all of this by walking backwards and dragging his left front leg. A strange, but welcome sight. Not a small feat! I left him out to stand around with the does. In between raking and emptying the wheelbarrow, I would massage the leg that seems to be more sore than the other. I could not believe it when one of the does started nudging him and he started walking forward. He did not use his left foot very well, but he did use it, so there is hope after all. Of course, the doe kind of spoiled the moment by butting and knocking him to the ground. He got up quickly, so he is much improved. Maybe he will be walking normally tomorrow?

He still has no name, so we are calling him number three. That will have to change!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Time to move animals

No Size looks pretty calm in this photo taken yesterday. He is now in the snorting mode, so it is time to put him in a larger pen with a few does. The does have been rubbing up against the pens with males. One doe seems to go for the Shetland ram, which just won't do!

Anyhow, tomorrow afternoon is going to be busy moving animals from one pen to another and pairing them up. I spent two hours raking pens this evening, so their new homes will not reek too much of the one that has been moved out.


Marc got back from Germany last week and brought me some chocolate candy. It provided the name for my new black dominant buck that I bought from Chata Clayton of California. He is gorgeous and knows he is special. I had a visitor today that looked at him and said that he thought Edelbitter struts and knows that he is being shown off. Actually, I think he holds his head high to be able to see around all of the facial hair. I will agree that he is special. He is going to have quite a harem this year. I am going to use him with all of my colored does. No Size is going to get all of the older white does. I am going to use one of the young bucks with the kid does that I breed this year. Some will not be bred, since they are too small.

Edelbitter is going to be shorn on the 3rd or 4th of October. You are welcome to come out - after 10, of course! I am not a morning person and have reserved that time for the animals and getting myself in gear for the day. I am a night owl and get the bulk of my spinning done in the evening while watching DVDS.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Impressionists

I watched a BBC program on Netflix called "The Impressionists." I would never have sat through it, if I had not been spinning and needed a distraction. I can tell that I would never have been an artist, if it had meant living in poverty and going into debt like Monet, Renoir, etc. That must have been a nerve-wracking way to live. I could not create, if I had to always be worrying about where the next meal were to come from. Anyhow, I selected the program because so many people have been comparing my work to Monet's. I love his use of color and his garden, but I would never be able to do multiple copies - never mind 60 copies - of the same idea. I am sure that he perfected it, but I would have been bored after the second one. I did like how they presented the fascination he had with how light changed the colors of the landscape. I am always watching the sunsets when I feed the animals and I am caught up in the same way at the way the clouds play out against the mountains and at the way the colors change as the sun moves across and down behind picture rocks.

Thick and thin

The above is the yarn that I started spinning from the freeform dyeing that I wrote about in the previous post. Below is the resulting yarn. It is gorgeous and a lot softer than I expected. It is not kid mohair (first haircut), but it has a great lustre and the shift in colors was a lot of fun. Since most of my sales are yarn, I am trying really hard not to start knitting the yarn. It will work up like the sample a previous post. So, to keep from knitting it, I am busy spinning more of a different freeform roving. This time I am spinning it at a fingering weight and pulling certain colors. This batch is obviously (to me at any rate) a red mohair that I have over dyed.. There are patches of darker mohair that are popping up randomly. The subtle shifts in colors are what keeps me in the chair!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dyeing to die for?

I am going to call my style of dyeing freeform, since I do not measure and I am mixing without keeping a record. I am surprised at how cool these colors turned out. The stuff in the bottom of the pot always looks the best. I end up with the dilemma of do I sell or spin myself? The above is a middle layer.
The above is the top layer.
The above is three pounds of commercial merino that I dyed in the above method, using a different batch of colors. I really did this one to see why everyone I know is selling the merino and it looks and feels felted. This did not turn out that way, so I am not sure what other dyers are doing. It takes a lot more dye to get brighter colors in the commercially processed stuff. The bottom still turned out to be the coolest part of the dye bath. I am out of vinegar, so can't throw any more fiber in the pot until I hit Costco again!