Dyeing to show you (what I've been up to)

>> Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Hollyberry", 100% Merino from CJ Kopec Creations. 3 ply; 198 yards. Light worsted weight.

"Nature's First Green"; 4 oz. punta wool

"Flagship"; 4 oz punta wool

"Rt. 11" 4 oz. punta wool

"Cottage Garden"; 4 oz. punta wool

"Sugarloaf"; 4 oz. punta wool

"Dirigo"; 4 oz. punta wool

"Lupine Fields"; 4 oz. punta wool

"Mt. Katahdin"; 4 oz. punta wool


What's off the wheel Wednesday?

>> Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yesterday I finished my latest spinning project. It's another winner from CJKopecCreations on Etsy. It is 4 ounces of merino, colorway "hollyberry":

Her pic of the fiber:

The four ounces arrives in three separate bundles. I laid each one out in its batt form, peeled off each color in order and spun it thinly, with lots of twist. When finished, I had three bobbins of singles with a color sequence of wine, mushroom, green, wine, mushroom, green. I plied the three bobbins together, after winding them into balls:

I plied very tightly (it was an unbalanced yarn) because I like the look of tight plies better than balanced ones. I tried to take a few pics before soaking it, but they didn't come out so great. Here's the best one:

The colors did exactly what I wanted them to for the first color repeat. The second repeat was more mixed, but I'm perfectly okay with fraternal twin skeins. I'll post better pics once the yarn is dry. I'm just so so so happy with the way it came out!


Business News Update

>> Friday, November 13, 2009

My Etsy shop has been open since November 4th. In nine days, I've sold eight items. Seven to online customers, one to a member of my knit group. I'd like to begin by saying thank you to all who have made purchases and offered encouragement to me as I embark on my fibery voyage.

I'm halfway into my second collection (I had to wait for more fiber to arrive before I could finish it), and thought you might like to see pics of what I've created. The first collection was the Proverbs Collection, the new one is the Poetry Collection.

Here they are:

They are, from left to right: "Loveliest of Trees" Punta; "Never to Have Loved" SW Merino; "Sailor Take Warning" BFL; "The Highwayman" Punta; "Counting Chickens" SW Merino; "Bird in Hand" BFL; and "Rose by Name" 75%SW merino, 25% nylon sock yarn. Not pictured is the local sale I made, "Still Waters" SW Merino. I will edit this post when I get home to add it.

As you can see, I've been having a lot of fun. I'm surprised by many things. 1) that my fibers are selling so quickly. I know that many of my customers are plurk and Rav buds, but still. I'm very humbled. 2) That my sock yarns aren't selling as well. Of all that I've dyed, my sock yarn is what I'm most proud of. They are priced reasonably as the skeins are 462 yards, but they aren't moving as fast as I'd like. I may have to reconsider price or photography choices if they don't start moving.
Speaking of unsold items, I thought I might list my unsold items here as well. If you see something you'd like to buy, head over to the shop and pick it up!


Open for Business!

>> Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Highland Handmades is open for business. Please stop by the shop then come back here to tell me what you think. I listed seven items last night, have two to list today, and maybe one more later this week. I began with The Proverbs Collection, a series of items inspired by common proverbs. Please note that I made TWO sales within minutes of opening shop last night. Thank you KarenB and Tempted for making me feel so loved!

I'm so happy today that nothing and no one can touch me. For the first time, I'm allowing myself to believe that someday, maybe, I will be able to have the yarn and fiber shop I so desperately want to own. Thank you, all of you, for your continued support and encouragement.


Owner, Highland Handmades


Building Inventory

>> Sunday, November 1, 2009

I've been hard at work knitting Christmas gifts, but I've been working even harder on getting inventory built up for my Etsy debut. Here's what I had done up to this morning:
As I sit here and type this, I have two more 4 oz bundles of fiber and two more skeins of yarn drying. As soon as they are dried and photographed, I will be ready to open shop. I hope to write up the descriptions Monday or Tuesday. I plan on creating collections with my shop - I will create ten to twelve colorways with a theme to the names and post them together. This first collection is called "The Proverb Collection." Each 4 oz bundle and skein of yarn is indicative of a proverb. I think it will help set me apart from the pack. Future collections include literature, the 1980s, favorite movies, locations and more. Stay tuned for detailed photos and descriptions, as I will post them here as well as on Etsy.

I can hardly wait - can you?


Christmas Project Update

>> Friday, October 23, 2009

As of today, I have a total of one Christmas project completed. I was supposed to get FOUR done this month. Obviously, I'm a bit behind. I'm making progress, though, and I have pictures to prove it. Warning in advance of a pic heavy post.

Elephante. Legs, body, and tail are all done. I have knit the trunk and am on the increases for the head. I don't like the way the legs look, but I doubt Caitlin will care and they are on there securely. I looked up whipstitching, but must have stitched through the wrong part of the cast off edge of the legs. I will hopefully be done this little guy some time next week.A tightly knit hat. The main yarn is Peace Fleece Worsted colorway "Siberian Midnight" a heathered blend of blue and black with tweedy white bits. The white stripes are a wool, alpaca, silk blend I bought years ago. I think it looks awesome. When Bear said he wanted a tightly knit hat, I decided to use very small needles to make a dense fabric (I'm using US 2s for this). I found out half way through the damn thing that he wanted small stitches - apparently I should have been using fingering weight yarn instead. Tough. Fingering weight yarn won't keep his head warm enough, and there's no WAY I'm frogging this thing and starting again with another yarn. The hat is 110 stitches and I'm using Jared Flood's Turn a Square hat decreases to the top of it looks manly. I will have to block it out a bit as the hat is a tiny bit too small for his head, but that shouldn't be any kind of problem. I hope to have this done tonight or tomorrow night.

I've been impatient with both of these projects because I finally have yarn, pattern, and needle to start Grammie's Icarus shawl:

The yarn is Knit Picks Alpaca coud, colorway "Autumn Heather" the needle is also Knit Picks, a fixed circular size 3, 24". I am going to cast on for this as soon as I finish one of the projects above.

In other news, I've been spinning. I find that if I spin during Sunday football games, I get a ton of spinning done. The most recent spinning I've been doing is a CJ Kopec's October Spin Along fiber, a SW BFL colorway "Trust Me" - vibrant rich shades of red, burgundy, gold, orange, brown, violet and more. I spun it into a fingering weight single. I got 582 yards and am in LOVE with this yarn. I am waffling between making a cowl and fingerless mitts or a small shawl like Swallowtail or Ishbel. The colors were too pretty to ply together, and I am thrilled with the color separation I got.
How is your Christmas knitting coming?


Setting Up Accounts

>> Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I filed for a tax number and Seller's Certificate from the State of Maine this week, and am waiting to get paperwork for that. I have no idea what will happen when my husband and I file our taxes this year, but since I only estimated making $200 for the year, hopefully it won't be too bad. I have *no* idea if I filled out the online form correctly; there is an assumption that one knows what is being asked for each fill in box and drop down menu. I guessed.

I ordered 2 lbs of undyed fiber, bought the vinegar I need for the dyes, and photographed my first two braids of roving. I'm not very happy with the pics, so will try again soon. I need a brighter light for the outside of my lightbox.

I set up a free account with Quickbooks Online for my income/expenses. So far, this business has cost me $157.40 (not counting the dollar something for the vinegar). That doesn't sound too bad, especially considering most of that was put onto a $100 visa gift card I won a while back. The free version of Quickbooks is very simplified, but so far, I like it. I haven't been able to find accounting software that I've liked for a business; most of the free stuff I've seen is for personal/home accounting.

I verified my checking account with PayPal. Now I'm a "verified" member and can use either my credit card or bank account for purchases. I am combining my paychecks from work with my husband's in HIS bank account, and hope to use my old checking account for the business.

I am keeping a list of ideas for my shop - thing like product themes, contests, freebies, etc.

I am taking an online freebie class about starting your own business. So far, I've learned lots of good stuff. I'm taking notes to refer to later.

I am looking for fiber business owners to intern/shadow next summer. I haven't contacted anyone yet, although I do have a few people in mind. I would like to begin sending letters in the spring, explaining who I am, what I want, and why they should let me. I figure if I can get my shop off the ground over the winter - have some sales, grow a business - they will be more willing to help me. The fiber/knitting community is very supportive of small businesses, even when they technically "compete" with each other.

I am thinking about long-range goals: Getting a TM, having a graphic designer design me a logo and possibly my own webpage (speaking of which, I'd better snag the domain name today if possible), branching out to brick and mortar stores as well as other online vendors (TLE, for example). I am also trying to find ways/space to maximize production possibilities. Right now, I can dye two, possibly three 4 oz. bundles of fiber in an evening, and they take about two days to dry. I can only dye two nights a week reliably, thanks to my second job.

I am working on pricing and shipping costs in my head. I will have to play with these as I start shipping and see what actual costs will be. Ideally I'd like to be able to say I ship for free (first class) with an option to upgrade to Priority for another two dollars. Does that sound fair? Depending on cost of shipping, I may charge a small fee of a dollar or two to offset the costs. I'll have to wait and see. Initially, I will be offering free shipping as an incentive to get people to purchase fiber from a brand new shop.

Question: should I start a new Etsy account using my company name as the seller name? It will start me back to a zero ranking, but perhaps I could link to my boutrosbabe shop? Or does it matter what the shop is named? I am starting to think it does, and I need to know before I start listing items. Help!


Highland Handmades

>> Monday, October 12, 2009

For a long time now, I've been wanting to get into the fiber business. I don't consider knitting and spinning to be hobbies; they are an integral part of who I am. Knitting and spinning are, to me, a lifestyle. I'd like to be able to live more of my life in those fields. I have thousands of ideas, things I want to do, try, create. I bounce many of my ideas off of my husband who is always supportive and encouraging. He knows that some day, ultimately, I'd like to have my own yarn and fiber shop. I'd like to get up each morning and spend the day doing what I love and sharing my love of all things fibery with others. I'd like to teach classes in the evening. Have a shop cat. Have an afterschool group of kids who learn to knit and donate their items to charities. In my head, the possibilities are endless.
But like the characters in Eugene O'Niell's play "The Iceman Cometh," I'm afraid that most of my dreams are just that - dreams. The pipe dreams that his characters are forced to confront but shy away from instead of grasping. The great "what-ifs" of life. As long as the idea stays in my head, I can never fail. I can keep dreaming about the yarn shop I want, making it better and grander than ever.
Recent events in my life have, however, forced me to reconsider. To wonder if maybe taking the risk is less dangerous than staying where I am now. Because as my life is now, I am professionally unhappy. I'm questioning my career choice for the first time, wondering if I really want to be a teacher forever. The more I think about it, the more my answer is no.
The problem is that I know NOTHING about owning and operating a business. I have never taken a business class, have no friends that own their own business, and am afraid to risk everything and fail due to ignorance. It's all just so overwhelming!
There are a few things I know that I can do. I can dye fiber and yarn and sell it online. I can start with just an internet presence, and if someday it expands, I can move to a brick & mortar location later. I can start small and get all my puzzle pieces lined up. If I start on the edge, the middle section might be easier.
So I have been spending a lot of time online looking at how to start a business. What do I have to have to do even a tiny bit? I want to have all the legal stuff correct from the beginning so it's easier later on. The first thing I did was google my potential business name. I went to the Trademark and Registration depts. and searched their databases. I found nothing with my proposed company name. I will have to trademark it myself right off, but I don't know if that will cost money so for now I'm holding off. The name? Highland Handmades.
The next thing I did was totally free and super easy. I filed for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS. I can now purchase yarn and fiber *wholesale*. Granted, I don't have the $500 I need to purchase a bump of undyed fiber, but since I'm all about the baby steps, I'll worry about that later.
The next thing I have to do is get a Seller's Certificate. In order to do that, I need to get a tax number. That comes from the State of Maine, and I'll be working on that tomorrow. As I understand it, once I get my Seller's Certificate, I am legal to sell in the State of Maine. No idea if this will cost me money.
Once I'm all legal and stuff, I need to work on increasing my inventory. I'll be selling from Etsy.com, and many sellers on Etsy say you should start with 6-12 items for sale in your shop, and should update with new items often. I have two items so far, and will probably do a third one today, but will have to wait until the end of the month to get the fiber shipment I need for the rest. I will spend some time looking for yarn to pick up in the interim, so I can sell some of that, too.

I am definitely lucky that my friends on Plurk have helped me with much of this. They are infinitely supportive and for that, I love them dearly. Coby, Jenna, and Brandy especially. They are fiber artists in their own right and for them to believe in me means the world.

I will keep you updated as I journey towards the life I've always wanted. Wish me luck!


Christmas Project Update

>> Monday, October 5, 2009

Okay. So the mitts did NOT get done when I thought they would. The first mitt was done ahead of schedule, and the second mitt was right behind it - until I got to the thumb. For some reason I had a hard time getting motivated to pick up and knit those thumb stitches and weave in the ends. I busied myself with re-knitting Hubs' sock in straight stockinette and ignored the mitts for the better part of two weeks.

Yesterday I was watching my favorite video cast "Around the Twist" and enjoyed Carin's update on her Christmas knitting. In that same episode she discussed what her next spinning project would be. Now I know that Carin is a speedy knitter and that with a video cast she is highly motivated to complete projects, but still. She is getting much more accomplished that I am and has a fifth as much Christmas knitting to do as I do. As soon as Hubs went off to do the cleanup at the mill, I got started.

First I made the lightbox I've been meaning to for a month now. I participate in a spin-along each month and need a better way to photograph my finished skeins. It was easy and only took about ten minutes.

Second, I went up to my craft room and finished spinning the first half of the BFL fiber I bought from Spunky Eclectic this summer. I need a dk weight two ply for the thrummed mittens I'm making for Tara for Christmas. I love spinning BFL, so this was no hardship. I'm going to try to have the second half done this week.

Third, I sat on the couch and finished those mitts. Thumb, weaving in of ends... all of it. I even made sure that I closed a couple of holes I had near the thumb. They are totally done:

As you can see I need to work on taking better lightbox shots.

Fourth, I cast on for another of my Christmas Projects. This one is Christmas Project #3, an Elephante for my friend Caitlin.
I have all four legs done and finished increasing for the body. I have two and a half inches of straight knit to go before I begin the body decreases. It's a really fast knit so far, although the m1fb into every stitch on the body was a pain that first round. I'm using Red Heart Super Saver multi for the body and some soft cotton chenille for the feet, ears and nose. To fill it I'll be using bamboo fill. This way the toy is washable and naturally antibacterial as well. Caitlin has a very rare autoimmune disorder, so germ-free toys are important. I hope she likes it.

That's all I have for now - I'll take a pic of elephante in my lightbox once he/she is done. How is your holiday knitting coming along?


Christmas Projct #1: Mom's Maine Morning Mitts

>> Thursday, September 17, 2009

This is mitt #1. Mitt #2 is almost done. I have to finish the top of the cuff and do the thumb. These were surprisingly quick to knit, although I didn't get them both done by the Sunday night deadline I set for myself. I will hopefully get them done this weekend?

As soon as I finish those, I think I'll cast on for Elephante or the pink beanie. I need to look at loose cast ons for the beanie or I will need to knit it top-down, because otherwise the bottom edge will be too tight. It's always too tight.

Zedd likes the mitts. What about you?


Christmas Knitting

>> Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's that time of year again. Time to think about holiday knitting. It may only be the tenth of September, but for someone who knits as slowly and as infrequently as I do, each fall presents a unique blend of trepidation and joy.

I thought I'd post my Christmas Knitting list here (no one who knows me in real life reads this blog, so I think I'm safe), with Ravelry links where possible. Since this will be primarily a resource for me, I will also post notes about each project. If you have knit any of these, please leave me a comment on how it was for you. I can use any and all help I can get!

I should also make the disclaimer that I am not done my Girasole blanket yet, and it takes first priority. I have 19 rows plus the edging left and I do not want to put it aside when it is so close to being finished. So that comes first. It's not going to be a gift - it's for me - and that's something I can live with.

1. Grammie: Icarus Shawl. I purchased 3 skeins of Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud (colorway Autumn Heather) for this. I still have to buy the pattern ($6 download, or the whole book for $16.47) and a 24" size 3 circular needle. The shawl is simple but large.
11/10 update: Chart 1 done, two repeats of rows 19-42 done.

2. Daddy: Trigger finger mittens. I did a pair last year in acryllic yarn and hated it. This year I have a skein of Peace Fleece wool and will use that to make the mittens. They are very fast to knit up; I just have to DO them.

3. Mom: Maine Morning Mitts. I'll be using Knit Picks Shine Worsted (colorway Hollyberry) for these, as Mom is allergic to wool. This is a cotton/modal fiber. Again, I think these will be quick - I just have to do them. They would be an easy car project.
11/10 update: Finished

4. Bear: Handknit Socks and a Tightly Knit Hat. I started a sock already for Bear, but it has two types of cables and one is complicated, so it's slow going. He suggested I rip back and start again with plain stockinette, so that's what I'll do. I know that it will go much faster to do mindless stockinette and his feet are huge so the socks will take a long time anyway. I'm using Enchanted Knoll Farms sock yarn in a pumpkin, burgundy, and black colorway. The hat will be knit with Peace Fleece worsted (colorway Siberian Midnight) on size 2 needles. 2 is a very small needle for worsted weight, but Bear wants a wind-proof hat, and so I'll create as tight a gauge as possible. We have not discussed if he wants ear flaps or not, or if it will be in stockinette or garter. Ideas?
11/10 update: Hat is finished. Plain hat with Jared Flood's "Turn a Square" decreases. Hat is a bit short. Turns out he wants a finely knit hat (fingering weight yarn) not a tightly knit hat. Tough. He gets what he gets.

5. Tara: Thrummed Mittens. I'll be using handspun BFL from Spunky Eclectic (colorway Nova Scotia) and a natural camel colored alpaca for the thrums. This will be a challenge because I haven't done thrums before, but Tara is worth it. I know these mittens will be super soft and warm!
11/10 update: 2 oz. spun, 2 oz. to go.

6. Mark: I have no idea. Sportweight socks, perhaps? A beanie? I want it to be handspun, but I'm not sure what it will be yet. Ideas?

7. Leigh Anne: pink beanie. I have the yarn (a pink alpaca/acryllic blend) but am debating the type of brim. Ribbed? Garter? Rolled stockinette?
11/10 update: She wants a bright white hat now. Pattern chosen is Irish Moss Toque, yarn will be Knit Picks Shine Worsted.

8. Caitlin - My adorable 6 year-old friend. For her, an elephante. Caitlin has a rare atuo-immune disorder that compromises her immune system so this toy will be stuffed with bamboo fiber since it has antibacterial properties. I don't know how long it will take to knit this, but I have pattern and yarn ready to go.
11/10 update: legs, body, tail done, stuffed and stitched together. Increasing from trunk to head now.

9. Nicholas: As Caitlin's brother, he also deserves a handknit item. I'm thinking a viking beanie. They are too cute for words and I know Leigh Anne (his mom) got a good laugh over them a while back.

10. Dani: My sister-in-law has always struck me as a bulky, cream, horseshoe cable scarf (the Rav link is for a hat, but you get the idea). Bulky weight knits up fast, and I can get it cheaply in the bare colorway from Knit Picks.

11. Thomas: My nephew. For him, a knit giraffe. Giraffes are kind of his thing and since I have plenty of bamboo filling, I'll put that in the giraffe too.

12. John: For this brother, I have *no* idea. I'd love to do something unique, but nothing has surfaced as just the right thing yet. I'll keep my eye out. He's definitely a unique person! It'll have to be something really really different.

Looking at this, I'm noticing this is a huge list. There are 4 months till Christmas, so that means I have to do 3 projects a month including this month. Maybe Girasole won't get finished after all! I will have to cast on at least one easy project this week, and hopefully get it done this weekend. I vote the Maine Morning Mitts will be up first. In this public forum, I'm stating that they will be done by Sunday, September 13, by 10pm.

Wish me luck!! I will post pics when I can.


Hurry! Sale ends soon!

>> Thursday, September 3, 2009

I was wandering around the internet today while waiting for Open House at school to begin, and happened across Knit Picks' website. I've used their yarn before for my Sister-in-law's wedding wrap (Michela), and like the company and the yarn they sell. I am planning on using their Alpaca Cloud (100% baby alpaca) yarn to make my ninety-four year-old grandmother a shawl for Christmas.

I was THRILLED when I saw this:
Alpaca Cloud is only $3.99, and their Shadow Lace yarn (100% merino) is only $1.99!! In each you get 440 yards of laceweight two-ply yarn. I've ordered five skeins each of cattail heather and midnight heather in the Shadow Lace, and for Gram I got three skeins of autumn heather in the Alpaca Cloud. Of course, not all the colors are on sale - I think they put up the ones that aren't big sellers. But who cares? With 2,200 yards of laceweight, I can make almost any shawl I want to! Hurry up and get some yarn for yourself - the sale ends on the ninth!!


Dear Beverly,

>> Friday, August 21, 2009

When I first started knitting, I was in college. I couldn't share my love of fibery things with my dorm buddies or classmates, because no one would have understood. That was back in 2002, before the knitting renaissance had really begun. So I kept it all hidden, knitting dishcloths and cat blankets in my spare time from yarn bought at Wal Mart. I thought I was happy.

Then in 2008 I found Ravelry. As soon as I received my invitation, I was a member of a knitting community! A new world opened up to me; one in which knitting was not only accepted, but was encouraged. Because of Ravelry I could knit in public, fearlessly. I wasn't a freak, odd, or an old lady. I was a knitter, and as such, slightly badass. It was awesome.

In a Rav forum somewhere, I saw a mention of Plurk. Supposedly a bunch of knitters were over there, too, and could actually TALK to each other. Don't misunderstand - the forums and messages and all things Ravelry were great - but I was still missing any kind of conversation with other knitters. No one in my town knit, there were no public places you could go to knit and hope someone like-minded would happen along and chat with you about stitch counts and fiber content. Blindly, I signed up for plurk and cast about for knitters.

And I found them.

Knitters, dyers, spinners, fiber artists of all sorts were there, on Plurk, talking and sharing themselves and their WIPS. Every friend I made had a passel of other knitterly friends that amazed me. These are my people, I thought to myself. This is where I belong. One of my first Plurk friends was Loribird. It was Lori that first got me spinning. She actually sent me one of her spindles and several ounces of fiber to learn on. I am eternally grateful to her for opening that door.

Another Plurker I met was CJKopec. She is one of the most talented fiber artists I've seen. I fell instantly in love with her stuff and signed up for her monthly spin-a-longs, enjoying each package of fiber I received from her.

While I was reveling in the community aspect of Plurk, I met you, Beverlysyarncrazy. You, I learned, live only 20 minutes away. I learned that you are well-loved on Plurk because you are unfailingly kind and generous. You have positive uplifting things to say to each of us, and you are a fabulous listener/reader. You are a source of inspiration to many. I also learned that you are on a fixed income, but that you love fiber and spinning just as much as I do. On the day you plurked that you'd received a spinning wheel, a flurry of private Plurks appeared, all suggesting we should send you some fiber as a wheel-warming present. Nothing could be more fitting or more deserved. I looked at my stash, wondering what I could send you that would in any way be an appropriate thank-you to the friendship and community you'd provided for me. I settled on about 4 ounces of 100%merino from Ashland Bay, colorway Primrose." I wasn't sure it was your color, but I knew the soft feel of the fiber would please your fingers. I happily mailed it off to you, glad of a chance to give back to you some of what you've given me. It was gratifying to see how many people sent you fiber. I know I am only one of dozens of people you've touched.

Then, last month, I got my own wheel. I trumpeted it from towers in Plurk, Ravelry, my blogs... anywhere I could find a forum to declare my delight. I already had a sizeable stash, and was delighted with a faster, easier way to spin it up. My next CJ Kopec spin-a-long fiber was completed in its entirety, something I couldn't have done with my spindles. I happily ordered August's fiber.

When the box came, though, it was different from the others. It was twice the size of the happy square box I'd been receiving from Coby. Curious, I opened it up. In the box was my August fiber (beautiful as always).

But something else was in there, too.

Wondering if there had been a mistake, I reached in and pulled out the most stunning 4 ounce bundle of fiber, in several glorious shades of green. My heart stopped with the realization it must be meant for someone else, and I'd have to sent it back to Coby. I lifted the tag it came with so I could at least read the colorway name, in order to buy it for myself. The tag read:

"Troll: 2/3 Merino 1/3 Colonial Roving. 4 oz. A GIFT FROM BEV."

I'm not ashamed to admit it. Right there in my truck, I had a good cry. Because even though you have already given so much, even though money is tight for you, even though you have a thousand other friends, you thought of me. Without comment or expectation, you reached across the distance between us and gave me a gift stunning in its beauty and generosity. I spent days wondering how I was going to thank you - a Plurk didn't seem adequate, and posting on Rav didn't strike me as beneficial to you. I didn't want people to start asking you for gifts, thinking they could cash in on your generous spirit. Because I believe if you could, you'd buy us all things we really want. Because you feel that our friendship is a gift for you. I dont know if you realize that we are the ones who are so grateful to have you in our lives. In the end, I settled on this long and rather rambling blog post as the best way I have to thank you.

Thank you, Bev. Thank you for being the kindest of knitters, spinners...

and friends.

Yours with Love,


Come the Morning

>> Sunday, August 16, 2009

After the first sample of yarn I created on my new wheel, it wasn't long before I wanted to create a second yarn. That ended up being CJ Kopec Creations' fiber called "Second Chances" which I spun into a worsted weight three ply. Here it is, all 160 yards of it:

Almost as soon as it was off the bobbins, I had to start this next fiber. It's 100% corriedale that I dyed myself in red, orange, and yellow. It was my first dyed fiber, and I wanted it thin. Laceweight thin. A difficult thing considering that this was only my third yarn ever. Thankfully, Bronwyn made it easy:

The last pic is 180 yards, which is a bit less than half of the amount of singles on the bobbins. The manufacturers say that one can get 4 ounces of fiber on a single bobbin. Each of the bobbins above has only 2 ounces of fiber. I don't know how to get any more on the bobbins! Maybe that will come in time??
Anyway, I'm in love with this fiber, which I've named "Come the Morning" as it looks like a firey sunrise to me. If the rest of the plying goes as well as this did, I may sell the fiber and make my debut into the handmade industry. I'm thinking about it.

What do you think of my new yarns? Be honest!


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