It’s September now. How the heck did that happen? Two minutes ago it was the beginning of August. So my kids finished camp and then we had a few weeks until school started. We hung out, did some back to school shopping and then went up to the Berkshires to visit my brother and his family on their farm. I would love to show you the pictures but I need my husband to show me how to download, upload or whatever pictures from the camera using some cords instead of just taking card thingy out of the camera and putting it in the card thingy slot in the front of the PC and letting the computer do its thing. It seems that if you yank out the printer cable from the front port and shove your iPod charger cord in its place too many times, you break the entire front card reader/cord port area. Bummer. Having teenagers is hazardous to your electronics! As you can see from my most excellent use of computer terminology that I am quite tech savvy. (Not!!) Anyway, the picture tutorial will occur shortly and then I will have great pictures of sheep, cows, barn kitties, chickens, llamas and more. There are some particularly awesome pictures of my sister-in-law driving this big tractor machine/monster with some wacky farm equipment working behind it. Apparently she was raking the hay. I have a rake to rake leaves and this thing attached to the tractor was quite a bit more involved than that.
My brother is usually a pretty mellow guy. Throughout his childhood my parents would sit him down in the kitchen and try to yell some sense into him. They did this (sort of) by sitting on either side of him at the kitchen table, each yelling into an ear with the hopes that he would do whatever it was that they wanted him to (or not do whatever it was that they didn’t want him to.) It wasn’t until late in his teen years that everyone realized that Steven lived his life to the beat of his own drummer. He basically listened to my parents and politely waited for them to finish whatever they were yelling at him about and then he would basically continue to do whatever it was that he wanted. This allowed him to lead a very calm life. I was always so envious of his ability to never get too worked up about anything.
So what is my point? Well, for the first time that I can remember, I got to witness my brother have a full on freak out. And what, you might ask, got the calmest, most mellow guy on the planet all worked up? It was a farm related freak out. Apparently, when you are a farmer and you have some livestock to feed over the coming winter, if you cut your hay and then you see storm clouds overhead, you freak out. My older brother said that there is a saying something like “make hay when the sun shines”. I had never heard that but I fully understand it now. My brother and his wife were bale-ing the hay when the sky started to look threatening. Apparently rain on your hay is a major kill joy. Something about mold and not being able to feed your animals. So my brother sent my niece running the 1/4 mile or so up from the far field to the house to come get me and my husband to help. Hmmm. Mr. and Mrs. Suburbia bale-ing hay. How desperate must he have been?
On went my “poopy shoes” (as opposed to my “in the house shoes”) and a long sleeved shirt because my kids got all scratched up from the earlier haying and my husband and I went down to the farther field to “save the day”. Again, how desperate must my brother and sister-in-law been?!! I got down to the field first and find my older daughter (age almost 13) sitting in a truck with a total stranger man who was teaching her how to drive his big diesel truck. Fabulous. You should have seen the look of total devastation and disappointment when I showed up because little Miss 13 going on 21 knew that the driving lessons were about to be terminated. I introduced myself to Mr. Stranger Man whose name was Dave. We then set about bale-ing (is it baleing? that looks funny/wrong to me.) I got to drive the big diesel truck while my husband, brother and Dave picked up and heaved the hay bales on to the truck. I’ve never driven a truck before certainly not in between rows of baled hay with kids on the back stacking up the hay. As stated above, my brother is the calm one. I am not. It was confirmed to me once again that I was not cut out for farm life and that I live exactly where I belong: in suburbia. Amazingly, we got all the baled hay into the barn/shed building that I didn’t even know they had and all was right again in the world. Thank goodness!
Just a quick update to let you know that we will be taking a quick trip up to my brother’s farm for a couple of days. I am processing all orders received before tomorrow. If you place an order on Thursday or after, it will not be processed until after the weekend. Sorry for any inconvenience, but we are going to meet all the new sheep and cows. It should be a fun filled trip.
In preparation for the fall/winter knitting season I’ve been doing some thinking. When I decided to sell my hand painted yarn I had to start somewhere so I only offered fingering and sport weight yarn. In addition, I knit all my socks using superwash merino so I decided to start by working with this wonderfully soft, washable yarn. The response has been great so I am wondering if you would like other wool blends and possibly worsted and bulky weight yarn. Personally, I love the feel and the drape of a merino/tencel blend. I don’t necessarily love socks knit out of it because (for me) they tend to be more “slouchy” than I like. I love to knit scarves and shawls and the merino/tencel is absolutely perfect for these. I’m also pondering the idea of a merino/silk blend.
So here’s my question(s) — Would you all like to see some yarns that are a merino blend (merino/tencel and merino/silk)? And… how about some worsted and bulky weight yarn in pure merino. I love bulky yarn. I always appreciate a quick big needle knit. So how about you? Leave a comment regarding the merino blends and whether you would like hand painted worsted and bulky yarn. All those who leave a comment will be in the running for a special prize that will be picked (by the random generator) on Monday, August 18th.
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.
Whew! Where did that last week go??!! It seems like this summer is just flying by. My girls have their last week of camp this week. They are both away on trips for most of the week. They then have the last day of camp which is spent watching a dvd recap of the whole summer and lots of “I’ll miss you so much” tears. All in all I think they both enjoyed their summer and now have a couple of weeks to regroup and get their heads into school mode. We have so much to do during the 2 weeks between camp and school that I have no idea how we are going to get it all done.
I have been playing with dyes and testing some new colorways. I have also been working on different dye methods. Up until now, all our yarn has been hand painted. It is a labor intensive process but I love the way the dye takes on a life of its own. Each skein has its own depth and character. I have been doing some research about other dye methods and have been working with a new sort of semi solid that is accomplished by dyeing the skein of yarn and then re-dyeing numerous times until the dye exhausts. You get great tonal differences that give an almost tweedy effect. Yarn using this method will be up on the site in the next couple of weeks. I have been loving the way they are coming out.
I am also working on a launch of a totally new product. Can’t let you know what it is yet, but I am so excited about it. A big announcement of the launch of the new product should be by the beginning of September.
Stay tuned, we’ve got a ton of great stuff that will be available soon!
Summer is always a favorite time of mine. Although I am not a big fan of excessive heat or sweating, I particularly enjoy my life during the summer. My girls go to a really cool camp where they take day trips one week and then go away the next week. When I first sent my older daughter to this travel camp a few years ago I spent a lot of time wondering, “What kind of idiot parent puts their 9 year old kid on a bus for a 3 day trip to Philadelphia or Washington D.C.??” I was a nervous wreck but the camp is extremely well run and is staffed with experienced Unit Directors and great counselors. My daughter came home having had a wonderful time and I (of course) had wasted a ton of energy worrying. This is the second year that both my girls are going to this great travel camp. My older daughter left at 6:30 this morning for a week long adventure and my younger daughter gets picked up in a little while for 3 days of sun and fun. Awesome!
So what have I been doing with my abundance of time (besides dyeing, packing and sending yarn to people…)? Well, I haven’t been doing too much knitting. I have been working on a pair of socks for my younger brother but they have been relegated to the back burner for now. Instead, I have been working on these:
Sorry for the lousy pictures, I was having some camera issues. These are two crochet blankets that I am working on. The top one is particularly uninteresting. It is being crocheted out of Utopia which is an acrylic yarn (I know, you are all shaking with disgust). I needed something that was washable and indestructible and the Utopia was on super major sale so I thought I would give it a try. It’s okay to work with but I am not a huge acrylic fan so I am trying to make myself like it. The second blanket is much more fun. I saw on a blog that I like to read that a knitter had decided to take her incredibly large stash of sock yarn and crochet it into this awesome blanket/bedspread. I was so inspired that I decided to do the same with my embarrassingly enormous stash of sock yarn. I love sock yarn. (That’s one of the reasons I decided to open an online shop.) I had amassed quite a collection of various yarns and realized that there would be no humanly possible way to knit them all into socks. When I saw this blanket on FluffyKnitterDeb’s blog I decided that this is what I must do with all this sock yarn. It is not going to win any awards for being the most beautiful piece of crochet but it will definitely add some serious color to where ever it ends up once it is finished. It is a fun, mindless crochet and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
Eventually I will finish my brother’s socks. It’s too warm to wear wool socks in the summer anyway. I figure by the time the weather gets cold in Mass. where he lives, I’ll have them done.
So what are you all working on this summer? I’d love to hear all about it.
And the winners are:
1. Betty Ann – for being the first commenter with a link. You’ve already been emailed and your skein is on the way!! Hope you enjoy it and let us know what you knit with it.
2. Maureen – Congrats and please check your email. I will need you to email me so I can send your your skein. Hope you love it!!
and last but not least…
3. Shell – Congrats and please check your email. I will also need you to email me so I can send you your skein. Again, I hope you love it!
Thanks to everyone for sending in such great links! We got links for hand knitting as well as machine knitting. I will compile a list over the weekend and post it next week!
Thanks for all the great links. You all sure know a lot of sock pattern links! I will announce the winners of the free yarn tomorrow. I plan to compile a list of the links and post them here over the weekend. Thanks for playing.
I thought it would be fun to compile a list of free sock patterns available on the web. Here’s where you come in. Leave a comment with some working links to free sock patterns on the web. I will be giving away three skeins of our hand painted yarn. The first person who leaves a comment with a link gets the first one. The next two skeins will be chosen by the random generator. The deadline for leaving comments with links is Thursday at noon. The winners will be announced on Friday. Have fun!
I’ve just added a limited edition colorway to the site. Take a look at Lollipop.
This brand new beautiful colorway was designed and hand painted by my younger daughter. She is big into fashion and Project Runway and clothing design so when she asked me if she could paint some yarn for Spinning Yarns I told her she certainly could. Here is her creation. I think it is quite nice and would make a young girl a groovy pair of socks! It will be on the site for a limited time and is available in both sport and fingering weights.
We are still featuring certain yarns at closeout prices. There are only a few skeins left and once they are gone, they are gone for good. Go check out the site and get them while they are still available.