Friday, February 26, 2010

Alpaca Gold

I love this color of gold/yellow. It adds such punch to the batts I love to card. I got it the other day in the dyepot/crockpot by just pouring "apricot" and "maize" Pro-Chem dyes into the pot indiscriminately. Of course, this means there is no assurance I will ever get it again, but this bit of alpaca roving will be hoarded for the carder.

On another note, this bad boy, the big black electric roaster, got added to the dye stable of work horses. I can do an 8-ounce batt in it ever so gracefully. I will have pictures this week.
It's late for me after a super busy, but good weekend. Nitey night, John Boy. Mimi is hitting the hay.

SALE: Cordova Studios 20% off Sale

Yep! We are joining the ESST team for this weekend sale.

Everything in the shop at CORDOVA STUDIOS (except artsy fiber batts): 20% off. Lots of handspun, hand-dyed yarns, shawls, scarves, Trinket doggy sweaters. See Shop for further details.

Beginning on 12:00 AM EST February 26 and ending 12 pm Sunday - Etsy EST February 28, the Etsy Supply Street Team (ESST) will be holding its Semi-Annual Supply Street Team Promotion.

This sale exclusively features the members of the Etsy Supply Street Team! Crafting supplies for most any project you may have.

Team members will be offering specials like free shipping, discounts, extra goodies, and everyday fabulous prices.

For more information please check out our team blog:

And for a look at the Team members promos checkout out Team ESST Promo blog:

Search TEAM ESST for all your supply needs!

Also, check out our Promo thread in the Etsy Forums

We will be featuring the latest:




*Great Every Day Prices

*Supplies for the Talented Artist in You!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dye Party

Nope. No fancy dresses here. Nothing elegant about dye gear. This is the line up in my utility room: three 4 to 6 quart crock pots, two of which I bought with serious coupons from Kohl's and one handed down from a friend. The rovings are curled up in these wrapped like sausages in plastic wrap.

This is a fuzzy look at the pot. No water goes into it. Just the sausage roll of damp fiber. I let it cook on low for three hours, then rinse in tepid water, carefully squeeze the water out. and then snake it around on my drying racks.

I just got these and love it. The fan at the back blows a gentle breeze over the fiber a much accelerated drying time.

Here is the pay off!
Color freaks just love this!
AND, today I am hoping to pick up a electric roaster oven so I can do obscene amounts of roving at once. It's the little things that turn me on these days.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spin til you're dizzy

That's Joanne's slogan and just look at her wheel go! And it get's better.

Her husband bought this Ashford Kiwi wheel, and then had her sister-in-law paint it before her surprised her with it. Makes me want a little Kiwi just so I could try to cajole that woman into painting one for me.
We Wednesday girls are pretty much color freaks. Just look at these rovings.

Peggy did this one.

Liz is spinning this one up to make a sweater. She has mounds and mounds of it.
Blogger just let's me upload about five photos. This is just a few of last week's joys of show 'n tell. So glad show 'n tell isn't just for first graders.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I am going to felt these strange looking shoe-boats today. I am using Melynda of French Press Knits, pattern for these slippers.

I put my little crocheted slippers from Cintia beside them to show how huge they are now.

If they turn out well, I am going to make some more with my natural handspun churro. These are done with pale peachy-pink natural dyed churro double stranded for the tops. I decided to vary from the pattern and use another color for the bottoms: triple stranded with 2 strands of handspun dark grey churro and one stranded of random grey worsted. I think it will be better for not showing dirt.
This is what we are hoping for. Cross your fingers.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sassy Spinster Star

I know, the title shows my prejudice. And, ok, I had to have this picture first. I never thought a trip to Second Saturday at the Sassy Spinster in Lancaster with Zoe would mean she got to sit at spinning wheel.

Saint Susan had two nice ladies getting their first spinning lesson on their new Kromski wheels. Zoe was fascinated and looked on. Pretty soon Susan had grabbed this little Babe wheel, found the perfect little child's chair, and had Zoe learning to treadle. Here she is after working with getting commercial yarn on to the bobbin. Who cares if it went both directions? Then Susan gave her this roving. It was a little ropey, but hey?

She was multi-tasking toward the end of the afternoon. I think she also polished off a granola bar while she worked on her rope.
Here is the line up of ladies. Lori at the top, is an accomplished spinner who shared with the newbies.
This was in the getting-yarn-on-the-bobbin phase. I think Zoe was checking a bird's nest of yarn that was forming in the floor.
Such a full day of friends, fiber, food and just plain fun. Zoe's six-year-old self was asleep before we made the turn on to the highway.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snowiest Day Ever

The snow fell all day yesterday. Can you see it in this picture?

Pretty snow sculptures showed up in the backyard this morning.

And then I found this destruction in the front yard. This was a darling, funky, old tree that now is on the firewood list. boo hoo.

Patient Zoe scraped together two little snow guys. Charley entertained himself throwing snowballs at her work. He's FOUR.

Snow guy got a carrot nose for a brief minute. Then Charley ate it. Yes, he is FOUR

Look what woke up at my house

Dallas has been hammered by a heavy, wet snowfall. It is a record snowfall for Dallas. Anyway, Daughter Jen's house is without power so we had a sleepover here last night. Charley padded into the kitchen with these slippers as I was making coffee. Grandchildren are a gift.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Felting class Flock

Felting class
Originally uploaded by DreamspunFarm
Peggy Lathrop is a magical felter. Look at these cuties they made in class. I was soooooo sorry I didn't sign up for this one. Terri B. took this great photo of the "flock" and bunny friend.
I hear she's making yellow baby chicks next. I told her I wanted to buy one.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This and That from the Retreat

First of all, I want this golden color for my carder. I want it in some batts I am dreaming of making. Rita wouldn't share but would let me take this photo.

Can you see how fast the bobbing is flying on Liz's wheel? She is completely amazing with her spinning and speed. Her yarns are gorgeous.

I walked over to the dying room (that sounds bad!) before breakfast yesterday to see the painted roving all dried and fluffed out. What colors. People are spinning them up now.

See these cool drying racks? They are really for sweaters. The have a vertical fan behind them to accelerate the drying process. Home Shopping network got my order. I had to have one. I'll even use it for sweaters sometimes.

I have to end with a pic of the final bobbin of the lock enhanced Mermaid roving. Now I am off this week to find a rayon thread to ply it with.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Retreat report: Day one

I drove through hellish Friday afternoon traffic to arrive at Briarwood Retreat snuggled back into a woodsy part of Argyle, Texas. Twenty years ago I used to fox hunt up here with the Hickory Creek Hunt without seeing more that one or two little houses. Now, cookie-cutter urban sprawl has arrived. It's not pretty in my opinion, but this little retreat stays quiet with all its' little paths through the woods.

Anyway, I was spinning away within 30 minutes of my arrival with 20 other spin-oholics. Grabbed a few snacks for dinner, instead of the pizzas, and headed for the roving dying workshop. Mary had super-wash merino soaking in tubs for us. We squeezed the some of the moisture out of it, laid it out in tight zig zags, picked out colors and began painting it. I chose violet, golden yellow, yellow green. Next we put the tightly plastic-wrapped coils into roasters to steam and set the dyes. Can't wait to see it today.

Then it was back over to the lodge for more spinning, dorking out on the computers, and chatting up a storm until 10ish, which is late for this pumpkin.

Today Liz is going to demystify knitting two socks at a time for me.

The Canon DSL will be out today for sure. Pictures will be up tomorrow.

The only thing missing is my little pal, Trinket. I agree with Edith Wharton,
"My little dog- a heartbeat at my feet" .

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rocker Chic Feet

Ok, so they are clunky. But have you tried them? Unbelievably cushy. My feet love them. Trinket and I are big walkers, so we are anxious for our first trial walk. It's still raining this a.m., but hopefully this afternoon we will be able to get out.
You need to buy them a half size up as they run small. My spinning friends kept raving about these. Some have black Mary Jane style ones. Others have black lace ups. I selected these silver, white, and blue numbers to simulate my current walker look. I can see a black pair next winter if I like them. These are now in my shoe stable of comfy favorites: Ugg boots and slippers, Dansko clogs, Birks ( all kinds and colors), and FitFlops for summer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pushing the Envelope re: Spinning Painted Rovings

I have loved spinning hand-painted rovings I buy, sometimes at fiber festivals or on Etsy. But, after I had so much fun spinning with the luscious mohair locks, spinning the rovings as-is seemed a bit dull.

Sooooo, I started with this merino roving I bought from My 8 Kids Mom in Charlevoix, Michigan at last summer's fiber festival.

Then I went snorkeling into my stash of dyed locks - mohair, Wensleydale, whatever. I grabbed some shades of angelina. After all, one has to have bling.

This is the first jumbo bobbin of this painted roving/dyed locks experiment for me. It is loads of fun with a whimsical, no-rules result.

I think I need a bit more of the gold in the locks but the enhancement of the roving is to my liking. I will ply it with some sort of glorious thread so all the texture remains the focus.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Have you seen this cake?

This blows me away. I want one for my birthday. Pay attention, kids. A friend shared this on a Yahoo group today. Louise Willer Dueholm has it up on her Cake Journal blog. I can knit all kinds of complicated things, but this would have me in the culinary weeds. I truly respect this level of pastry talent.
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