Homespun Yarn Party + Update

I got in!!! I'm so thrilled that I was accepted to be a vendor of the Homespun Yarn Party in Savage, MD! I'll be posting details about the location and time, but the event is free and will be an exciting one-day smorgasbord of quality fiber from some of my favorite fellow fiber artists.

Instead of weekly updates, I'll have to cut back again to save up stock but I'll be offering an update tonight including 4 colorways of Classicbatts, 2 Battling batches, and fresh hand-dyed Merino wool tidbits.

I'm pretty tickled about these colorways, dark and rich and very sweet. I'm using a base of Polwarth (not organic) but it's blending up with other fibers like silk and soysilk beautifully. I've been reluctant to purchase large quantities of Polwarth since the last few bumps I had purchased several years ago were filled with gunk and sticky bits, but this bump was perfectly processed with nothing but creamy vanilla softness. I dyed it up as soon as it arrived on my porch, such a pleasure to work with and spin!


Another half year later..

As always, I'd rather be carding than blogging. This means I haven't blogged at all during the past six months, but I have logged in hundreds of very happy batt-making hours.

One of my main goals this year is to have 3-4 online updates each week. Instead of saving up my woolies for massive updates, I'd love to vary the times and offer smaller updates more frequently. We'll see how that goes! I'm down with a sinus infection at the moment, so last week's update just didn't materialize. I'm expecting to have enough battlings and batts to pop re-stock my Etsy shop on Sunday around 9pm EST. Here's a goodie from last week's sell-out:

2015 is going to be an exciting year in many other ways, not just in more frequent updates. Most importantly, I'm going to be vending and attending (for sure) THREE events this year, hopefully more.

Maryland Sheep & Wool:  May 2-3 at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, MD.

Zombie Knitpocalypse: June 24-28 in Rochester, MN.

Into the Wool Fiber Retreat: September 3-6 in Crossville, TN.

I can't say which I'm more excited for because this will be my first year vending at retreats. It seems like a few relaxing days of knitting followed by a few vending hours might be the loveliest thing ever. EVER. Especially now that my son is 2 years old and a complete tornado. A break to knit and chat is exactly what I need. I'll also be applying for Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival and my application for the Homespun Yarn Party is in, so keep your fingers and toes crossed for me!

On the knitting front, I'm participating in my very first Knit Along! It's Melissa Stajda // hey_lady_hey 's pattern named "Topography Kerchief" and I love the way it's knitting up with this stripey DK-weight handspun I spun just for this project. The knit-along is ongoing until February 16th, so join in and cast on, the project flies with DK weight yarn! To get the same look I'm getting, select three colors of fiber and spin long stripes of your main color and shorter (36" approximately) stripes of your colors to feature with the textured ridges. Chain ply it up, ta daa! This blend was created with organic Polwarth wool, black tussah silk, purple hand-dyed soysilk, thrum scraps, and silver holographic sparkle. I'm probably adding tassels to the ends and maybe the corners when this is finished.


Happy New Year!

Wow, I sure let blogging slide. That doesn't mean the rest of the business is slowing! I took a couple of lazy months half-off after a very successful and eventful Maryland Sheep & Wool festival to re-charge and experiment with new fibers and I'm finally gearing up for a big exciting event - July, the Month of Battlings! Every year that I've attempted the Tour de Fleece, I've failed miserably after one week, but this year I'll be re-focusing my fiber efforts to provide fuel for all of you hardcore treadlers during your busy summer run.

Some days the colorway will be one of a kind, though most days there will be multiple sets available. Bases will vary from Targhee to Merino to Superfine Merino at the end of the month and the colorways will be fresh, classic, and sometimes unexpected!

After July, I'll be kicking fiber production into high gear as I prepare for my first year vending at Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival and the very busy chilly months.

In non-wooly news, I've been hard at work on a brand new project : offering business mentorship to a few artists and makers. It feels incredible to pursue my passion for entrepreneurship while helping others thrive. I love this new journey and all of the possibilities that it has opened up.

Happy spinning!


that woolly season!

Now that we've waded through the seasonal cold a few times, celebrated one birthday, and planned another, I think I'm finally starting to see the Christmas lights! Little Bear turned 1, Iggy turns 4 (!!!) on Monday, and my little business turns 8 in February.

Woolly production work has taken a hit as my babysitting source (ahem, Mom) has had a duo of surgeries to recover from. I'm trying not to agonize about the "to-do" list and instead enjoy this holiday season with my little wild things. However, I am really enjoying painting top again like never before. I dyed up a set of winter inspired colorways last week, here's "Long Johns" painted on a base of superwash merino/bamboo/nylon (panda).

I've also started ramping up Battling production as I hear more and more positive feedback from spindlers about these darling little mini batts.

Right now, I'm working on the finishing touches for a collaborative Nerdy Spin-Along with Kate B. from Gourmet Stash. I blended up three villainous character-inspired colorways using a luxury fiber base and she blended up punis inspired by three heroes. I have a few sets of Moriarty left, and then I'll be completely sold out.

As usual, I'll be taking the final two weeks of December "off" from carding. I'll use that time to destash a year's worth of paperwork and junk, organize my fiber stash in preparation for Maryland Sheep and Wool, paint a little, write that short story bouncing around my head, and.. who am I kidding, I'll probably just sit on the floor and play with plastic dinosaurs.

ps. Here's my birthday boy! He's walking and talking! Fastest year of my life.


And just like that, another few months zipped by. I'm pretty sure I wasn't meant to be a blogger.

I have too many exciting announcements to make to not blog though, so here we go!

#1. My good friend Jennifer Gallentine recently opened up a shop in Latrobe, PA called Willow Mist Boutique. She's been curating an amazing collection of handspun yarns from all around the country as well as other handmade items. I sent a huge box of batts and battlings with a small assortment of handspun yarns, scarves, and felting tutorials, so if you're in the area, please stop by and check out my woolies!

#2. Christiane Knight, owner of ThreeRavens Yarn and Fiber Studio in Baltimore, MD recently also accepted a huge box of my batts for consignment. I am so honored to be in her beautiful shop. She's an amazing teacher and one of the most inspirational figures in the fiber world. I can't wait to get a chance to drop by and visit as well as shop for fibers from the other fiberistas also selling on consignment there.

#3. TRUNK SHOW! Seriously. This will be my very first trunk show, and I'm over the moon that the lovely ladies of Cloverhill Yarn Shop in Catonsville, MD will be hosting me. September 27th starting at 6pm. I'll be bringing some fiber to leave at the shop too, so if that date doesn't work, you'll be able to find Hobbledehoy at Cloverhill this Fall too.

This summer, I've gone a little nutty with creating battlings after they were such a huge hit at Maryland Sheep & Wool. I also brought back the RollyBatts and am working on 6 new luscious colorways of them next week. Today though is all for ArtBatts, ClassicBatts, and slowly painting some merino/tencel and superwash merino/bamboo/nylon for a collection of hand-painted top inspired by the Farmer's Market. Earlier this month, I had an Addams Family collection and earlier this summer, I used my hiking adventures to inspire the dye pots, so I'm anxious to see how this batch turns out.

On the home front, my little bubba Ira is suddenly 9.5 months old! Now that his terrible colic is in the past, he's the happiest child I've ever met. He's got a great sense of humor and an insatiable curiosity. He lives to eat and taste everything and never stops chatting to himself. We've logged about a dozen intentional words from him, but he's refusing to say "Mama" at the present and instead makes kissy sounds when he wants my attention. My darling feisty Iggy is loving her new bike and spends all of her time outside with her imaginary cat. She turns 4 this winter and I'm having fun planning a "cave" themed party at her request. We're visiting some caverns near Hershey, PA tomorrow, so I'm hoping to get some inspiration. This is where I'd like to pause my little ones and just enjoy them for a few decades, but since I can't, I'm trying to soak up as many great experiences with them as possible. In case you're wondering why my updates are infrequent or my output has tapered.. this is why. I still spend several nights a week in my basement studio, churning out batts and relishing the opportunity to experiment, create, breathe.


May flies

Just like that, several months of bloggy neglect have passed.

I returned from Maryland Sheep and Wool thinking about taking a month off to work on developing new batty ideas and tinker with some of my non-wooly hobbies, but I'm really anxious to get back to my carders and routines. I did build a wooden playhouse, plant a small veggie garden, and help my toddler plant her very own flower garden. I also bought hiking boots for section-hiking the PA portion of the Appalachian trail with my dad. But today I'm craving some studio time, so down I go into my cozy basement studio to drum up some whimsies and listen to podcasts.



I recently ran out of loose recycled sari silk, a staple in my textured batt-making, so I ordered more from my favorite wholesaler and was surprised that it arrived in a new form - carded roving!

The staple is super-short and a bit challenging, but it's spinnable as-is. I've been using it to add sari-silk stripes in core-spun yarn, though I also tried spinning a thin single approximately dk weight, and that was really interesting too. Of course, the BEST use for this gorgeousness is carding. Add a sprinkle here or there sandwiched between two layers of fine wool for a confetti-batt, or feed directly onto the drum and "paint" the sari silk wherever you'd like it. I also finally ordered lovely sari silk threads, which my Louet Classic accepts hungrily without damaged teeth.

I've been adding globs and tangles of this beautiful mess into my ArtBatts and am now tempted to spin a chunky black alpaca yarn with giant globs of rainbow sari-silk and silver angelina sparkle. Or maybe a white sparkle-batt with giant chunks of random colors.. I just want to spin this madness, but I've got a pile-up of rainbowish bagged fiber to card, and three seasons of Downton Abbey in my queue. I can't lose, it's going to be a great night in the studio after the littles are tucked in!