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.