Monday, September 29, 2014

Look What THEY Made

Hello All,
I absolutely LOVE seeing what people have done with the fiber/yarns that I have dyed.  So while we were at the Knitter's Day Out Marketplace last weekend, some of the ladies who have bought rom our Etsy shop stopped off to show me what they made.

Here they are:

Isn't this Beautiful?!?!?  

Oh, Man Jenn is gonna KILL me!!!  This is her in Terraform, the Red Tibet Colorway.

 This is Bitterroot pattern with our Enchanted Evening Colorway.  She even used BEADS!!

A Beautiful woman stopped by with the Spring Solstice she had knit up, but I neglected to get her photo.  Bummer...

 Thanks for stopping by.  Please come and say "Hi" and show off your FO at any of our shows. 
I LOVE to see them.  Promise to take your photo and put it in the blog.

Happy Knitting,


Monday, August 25, 2014

OMG, I think I have a problem.....

Hello All,

These past few weeks of working from home have brought on all sorts of problems I did not forsee.  But that is another blog post entirely.  :P

I have found, however, that crafting is an addiction, and I have a problem. 

While searching on Pinterest the other week, I came across an old craft of melting crayons.  Yup, everyone has done it from time to time but for some reason this really tickled my fancy.  I even went out and bought a heat gun because the hairdryer we own is LAME.   Now if any of you have met me or my family you will know that we all have no hair.  So this poor machine had sat in the closet waiting for someone with hair to dry.  Believe me it has been years, since this poor thing has seen the light of day.  Long story short, it would not do the job.  Off to Home Depot I run and $20.00 later I have this killer little machine that gets hot!  As in H.O.T.  Burn the tips of my fingers hot.

Next I scamper up stairs silently praying that I did not send the bin of old crayons home with my nephews during my last purge.  After some rumaging about in the boy's catch all closet, Viola!  Found!

Back down into the Studio I slink, this time praying that my BC or "Business Consultant", Hubby for short, will not see me with a huge box and crayons and a brand new heatgun and ask "what?".  Because remember I'm supposed to be working, you know making money to feed them.  Yeah, well.........

Settled at my table OCD girl kicks in.  I can't work like this, these colors need to be separated, and naked for me to be able to use them.  Separation begins and taking off those wrappers, not easy.  

3 hours later I realize that you really can't tell EXACTLY what the colors are while they are in the baggies.  So.......out comes the stickers and the crayons come back out of their baggies so I can document EXACTLY what is in each bloody frigging little baggie.  

Yes. I.... HAVE.... A.... PROBLEM.

All organized and ready to use.  When I get a lunch break today. I will separate them by ROYGBIV in the bin to make it even easier to use.  They are just dumped in there now and I can hear them calling to me to fix that. Violet rubbing up against yellow, that is just wrong.

 Every color documented........I there a 12 step program for this?

I did get a chance, briefly to see if the heat gun would do the job, or if I would need to go back and upgrade to a hotter one.  :} 

Old canvas, old crayons, new heat gun and a woman with a crafting problem.

I'm planning on taking one of the cut out sheep from my last post and melting a rainbow on it.  But alas that will have to wait until Saturday, when my work week is over and the car is packed for Grays Daily Grind Market.  Then I won't be getting the Cross-Eyed-Mary from my hungry family.

I really recommend you Google search crayon art or check out Pinterest for other ideas.  

Remember crayons are not just for little kids!!  We can start our own support group once you are addicted too.

Happy crafting

Monday, August 18, 2014

Look what I made!

Hello All,

Now that I am able to make my own schedule.  I have Sundays to myself, to cook or create or to goof off.  This is what I did yesterday.

When we go to shows our wheels are usually a large draw for kids.  I came across this piece of wood in our shed.  It already had a hole cut out of it and I immediately thought of this.

 I intend to put "feet" on the back to keep it standing upright.  I am also hoping to find 2 other pieces to add to the sides.  That way larger "children" can have their photos taken too.  :)  I had a BLAST doing this.  No preconceived notions of what it needed to be or whether or not it was necessary.  It was my time and supplies so I could do what I wanted.  FREEDOM!!

Check out the cute details.  The subtle shading around the hooves, the detail on the ball of yarn.......:)  There are two mistakes that I need to fix this afternoon during my lunch break, can you tell what they are?  I find them quite obvious, but then again, I'm the one who drew them.

If you have ever seen our business cards, we have a roving white washed in the back ground, I even copied the colors of our business card!  30,00 yards is a bit much, but how many people are going to acutally lean down to the floor to read the card?

Here is my very patient hubby displaying just how thin the panel is.  The look on his face is "really? do I have to have my picture taken with this thing??"   

Every time I look at the panel I smile, so happy with the way it came out. Even if we don't use it, I'll enjoy it.  Too bad i didn't have it done for when I nephews were here......oh the pictures we would have taken!

I was also able to create this.  It's MDF, about 11 x12 inches and all I did was copy the one we already had that we bought at the Christmas Tree Shop.  Ours is a boring tan so I wanted to make them a bit more interesting.  I have the white with black face and then a all black one.  I have also 5 more that need to be finish cut so I can paint them too.  I'll have a whole flock when I'm done!  

No I'm not going crazy about sheep, they will be for sale when we go to shows.  I can't do them thru the shop they are too heavy to ship thru the mail.  

Altho if you live in RI and want one I can meet up with you to deliver it.  Only $20.00.!!

Hope your Sunday was a fun, creative and productive as mine was!

Happy crafting

Monday, August 11, 2014

When You Slam One Door Closed.....

Hello All,

I have finally done it.  I am following my dream.  No. More. Day. Job.  After a few harrowing months with the "Troll" aka the micro-managing office manager.  I decided to cut down my stress and walk away.  Phew do I feel great.  I thought there would be a lot more worry.  But no, I am very comfortable with my decision.  The niggling idea that my eldest is about to leave for college and I need to make money to help with those expenses IS hanging about.  But I think that will assist me in working harder and longer to make this work.  

Being the A-type personality that I am, have already set up a schedule for my work week.  

Every Morning:  Exercise.  Gotta do it, I have been growing this secretaries butt for a while now, and sitting at the desk makes me stiff.  So my Hubby and I walk the dog for 3 miles every morning while it is still cool and then when we get back to the house I usually do stretching, sun salutations, to keep limber.  This is done while my loving husband makes breakfast.  Yup, I am spoiled rotten.

Monday:  Computer work.  I even DRESS for going to the office.  I can't let all of those pretty work clothes go to waste because I'm working from home now can I?  Today is gray heels, a gray pencil skirt and a pink button down shirt with pearl necklace and earrings.  On these days I blog, check.  I post on ravelry, check.  I research more shows, check (very productive morning so far)! Then update etsy, post to Indie Untangled, update my spreadsheets, print lables, pay bills, order and update our banking software.  There will be more but for now that seems to fill most of my day.  I also upload and post new products that I dyed the week prior, but because I did NOT dye last week (nephews were up to swim) so I did not take photos on Friday.  I forgive myself, it IS the first week working from home, and there will be some projects that got missed.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday:  Studio work.  Again I dress the part.  It is messy, hot work so I wear stuff I don't care about getting splattered.  Black or gray sweats (even in the summer, the studio is in the basement and stays cool) and then a tee-shirt or sweatshirt.  Jenn gave me this cute apron when I first started and that keeps me from getting soaked.  On really cold or messy days I use my old Chefs coats.  On these days I clean the studio, skein off projects or custom orders, make new dyes, dye and dry pieces, and spin on my wheel.

Friday: Photos. Now this sounds deceptively  easy, but it is not.  Remember I have been productive over the last three days.  There is a MOUND of dyed things.  These items need to be fluffed, folded, braided, packaged and readied for their photo shoot.  Every items gets at least 10 photos done, all angles and situations.  And, Yes, before you ask, I DO dress the part.  It is usually very flamboyant.  Crazy colored clothing and jewelry, a hat or mabie some ears and a tail.  Those were leftover from Halloween, bunny ears and a fluffy white tail.  :) It is good to let go a bit or you will grow OLD.  

Saturday and Sunday:  Show days or FAMILY TIME!  I can not tell you how long it has been since I have had a weekend to spend with my guys.  A picnic or a walk on the beach.  Just floating in the pool reading a book.  Hunt thru antique/junk shops.  Cook glorious creative meals WITHOUT feeling like I should be doing something else.  Yea!!

I should tell you as I type this my youngest, Colin 16, has been in and out of the dining room where I must work this morning because of guests, chatting with my father and my husband, goofing around and making a nuisance of himself and making it VERY difficult to finish this blog.  

I can not wait until school starts.

Have a productive day!

Whoops, almost forgot a pretty picture to help you thru your day.

This is Morning Coffee, a spin to knit scarf kit.  Espresso to Latte is the brown and the yellow to red is YOP.  You spin one as its own skein and then then other then knit them together as a scarf.  Soooooo pretty.  Time to think about christmas gifts. 


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Batts in my Bellfry

Hello All,

I just wanted to take a mo to show off my newest tool.  This handsome young gentleman is my youngest son. Here  he sits on the front porch with his Ma, knitting.  Yup, very cool kid.  Well over the summer he was required to do a project, outside, that required his hands and his head.  Can't let him vegitate his whhole summer away in front of the computer playing minecraft.  

This great kid decided,  with a wee bit of help from me, to make a drum carder.  He knew I had been drooling over what I saw on Ebay, and figured he could make one himself.  Well the kid will never think that again, I tell you.  Poor thing had to put it together and take it apart over three times to get it right.  He also had to wait for me to get the carding cloth in to really test it.  Then again, had to take it apart.
FINALLY it was all done, in February!!  But you do NOT hear me complaining.  I have a beautiful, abeit rough, fully working drum carder.  I've attached some fun and fuzzy pictures that should tempt you to spin some more. 

Here is the contraption, almost done only needs the belt and the feeding tray.
Like I said cool, kid!

Happy crafting, I know I will!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sum up Sunday

Hello All,

This is just gonna be a quick post on whats been going on around here, you know, to "sum it up".
Spent the last three weeks feverishly dyeing for my recent Trunk Show at Love2Knit in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.  Had a great time, wonderful people and lots of fun.  But I'm beat, exhausted if you will.
I've been burning my candle at both ends with the day job and the full time dyeing.   It has finally caught up to me, I am now sick.  Yup, some bug found me and said "Home Sweet Home".  It came on fast and refuses to leave.  *sigh*  It was bound to happen.  So I spend my day, drinking "Emergen C" and blowing my nose.

Regretfully, I am unable to continue on the oh woe is me train and I have  to get back to work.  Those lovely ladies and gentleman at Love2Knit cleaned me out.  I have to get back to work.  Jenn and I are also putting together a wholesale catalogue for one or two of my LYS.   So I've been working feverishly (or was that the cold?) on that.  Poor Jennifer's laptop has passed on, bought the farm, kicked the bucket (you get the idea) and she had our original draft of said booklet.  Bummer.  Now is the desperate, if not futile attempt to rebuild it and get it ready to send by tomorrow.  Yes, I'm wondering what I have been smoking too.

After getting three quarters of the way thru, my DH informed me that a power point presentation board would be a better, more attractive, bet.  Where was he four hours ago???  So I start again, dragging and dropping pictures and information.  So far, so good.  It looks beautiful.  

Next, I need to answer questions my, very patient, accountant sent me 15 days ago.  She is a saint, really.  My DH is the one freaking out.  We can not send our personal taxes out until I have the business ones done.  Something to do with the partnership, blah, blah, blah.  That's why I have Renee, I have absolutely no idea what needs to be done.  It will only take some research time to answer them, but God, MORE time at the computer???  Grrrrr  I want to go and dye, but nooooooooo paperwork has to be finished first.  It's like being back in school, you have to do your homework before doing ANYTHING fun and interesting.  I'm sitting here praying for a custom order to come in because that would take precedence to any desk work.
Hello?  Anyone? One little skein of yarn?  Anyone?  Darn, back to bookkeeping.

Let's see what else to tell you.......My youngest son turns 15 tomorrow and is at this very moment at the Airsoft games in Wakefield shooting 7 of his closest friends.  When they are done they will come back here for pizza and cake and a movie or two.  8 sweaty teenagers, I have to fumigate the house afterwards.  Yuck!

That's me for right now, what's goin' on with you?

Happy Crafting

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mawata Silk Scarve - Tutorial

Hello All
Today I am going to help solve that problem of what to do with the beautiful Silk Mawata or Hankies that you buy from us. Silk hankies and wool felted together make a gossamer scarf that weights almost nothing and yet provides wonderful warmth and a great spark of color!
In addition to your hankies and merino you will need:
  • 6 feet of bubble wrap that is approximately 1 foot wide
  • Twine or cotton string
  • dish soap
  • 1 foam pool noodle (you can cut your noodle to around 14 inches to make it easier to work with)
  • 1 old bed sheet, towel or piece of fabric ripped to the size of your bubble wrap
I started out with less than 0.5 oz of silk hankies and less than 0.75 oz of wool. The finished weight of the scarf is just shy of 1 oz. The shrinkage on this project was minimal. I lost about half an inch in width and about 1 inch in length.
First, lay out your bubble wrap on a sturdy surface. Next, carefully peel the silk hankie bundle into cobweb thin squares and lay them on the bubble wrap.
Since I wanted a scalloped edge to this scarf, I laid the sheer silk hankies at a diagonal to each other. If you want a straight edge to your scarf, lay the squares right next to each other. Now you are ready to add some more color!
In my project I wanted two colors of merino to contrast with my silk hankies. You, of course, can choose as many color combinations as you want! Lay a thin layer of each of the colors of wool over your silk hankies. Finally top with another layer of stretched silk hankies. Top your silk and wool with a piece of fabric. Sprinkle your scarf-to-be with some HOT soapy water. You want all of the wool to be damp but no puddles.
Now comes the real work. Take the foam noddle and place it at one end. Start rolling your scarf around the foam until all the bubble wrap is around the noodle. Take your twine and secure the scarf tube.

Roll up your sleeves and start applying pressure! This step works best if you are standing. Roll the scarf wrapped foam along the table by applying pressure from your forearms. This can take some time! Completely unroll your scarf and check your progress. You can remove the piece of fabric at this time. Take the noodle and rewrap from the other end of the scarf. This insures even felting. When the fiber has felted to a point where it does not move around or pull away from the scarf you can start tossing the scarf on the table to finish it off! Use it as stress relief!  Spank it about until it is felted to your liking. Rinse in cool clean water and lay out to dry. To make that silk really shine, iron your dried scarf on the silk setting. Wear and enjoy!!

Happy Felting