snuggle time

The day after any large update is a day made for snuggling and taking it easy!  I carded two dozen sets of Gemmy batts yesterday, and actually sold out today!  I can hardly believe it, and I can't wait until my spin-along companions receive their fiber in the mail.

If you missed out on my last update but still want Gemmy batts, shoot me a message on Etsy.

Well, here we are.  Doing nothing in particular, soaking up the Olympics with my parents.
A sleepy warm content baby is bliss.


rainbow connection

So, it looks like there's plenty of interest in a spin-along!  I spent all of yesterday afternoon carding Gemmy batts- and I carded so much that I ran out of silver sparkle!  I ordered more, but if this batch sells out, I'll start carding some with gold until my new chunk of silver arrives.  Personally, I prefer gold because I love to wear brass and gold antique jewelry, but I don't know what other spinners like!

My favorite thing about Gemmy batts is how I can grab from EVERY color in my stash- even the odd ones like medium raspberry, peach, and mottled bottle green-  and the batts turn out gorgeous!  I plan on saving a couple sets for myself for a plied yarn and an artsy yarn.  Or, perhaps I could spin a giant two-ply yarn for a baby surprise jacket for Ingrid to wear at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.

 My update might have to be postponed until tomorrow due to the windy snow (I take photos outside), but I'll post on Ravelry when I begin my update.

Poor Ingrid was very very colicky last night until it was time for her Zantac.  It breaks my heart when she cries until tears stream down her face.  I wish little babies didn't suffer from such bad tummy pains.  I'm just grateful that her daddy is able to calm her when she's feeling glum- it sure helps to give me a break!


gemmy batt spin-along

Hiya!  I'm sniffing around and trying to see if anyone would be interested in a Spin-along.  I just posted this thread at Ravelry about it, so go and leave a comment if you think you'd be interested in a Gemmy batt spin-along.

Gemmy batts are rainbowish Merino wool + silver angelina sparkle batts that have GOBS of different colors in each set.  They notoriously sell-out for me, as soon as I list them in my shop. 
I've never even spun a set, and I'm anxious to card a couple batches for myself to spin.  I'm thinking a 2-ply, perhaps plied with a dark chocolate solid color, or maybe a quirky Navajo plied yarn, or maybe even a quirky corespun yarn with extra chunks of glitz thrown in.

Right now, I'm just gauging interest so I can estimate how many batts to whip up.

My wool from my most recent dye session is dry and ready to go!  I can't wait to either use it for a Spin-along, or start cranking out something else.



Yesterday didn't go quite as planned- packaging and trekking to the post office took a whopping 4 hours!  Between Ingrid's colicky crying bouts and a really relaxing trip to my in-laws, I didn't get my dyeing done.

Today, I need it to happen though!  Hopefully some soft tunes will keep Ingrid peaced out while Trevor cares for her.


dye day

Good mornin'! 

Today is "Dye day!"  I only do this once or twice a month, since set-up and clean-up are so time consuming.  I've got about 20 lbs. left on my Merino bump that need dyed, and if I can locate some soda ash in this tiny town, I'll dye 5 lbs. of bamboo too.  I've recently started making lists of colors to dye, but for the past three years- it was all totally random.

My top dye goals today are (I use Jacquard acid dyes):
  • deep indigo (purple + navy + a wee hint of black)
  • gold (sunshine yellow + a pinch of brown)
  • burgundy
  • mint (tiny sprinkle of spruce and perhaps a tinier sprinkle of yellow)
  • fuchsia
 Do you have any favorite dye recipes?  I tend to add little pinches of brown to colors to decrease intensity.  Burnt Orange (which comes out pretty bright), lilac, and blue benefit from a bit of brown.

Since it's winter- I'll have to let the wool dry indoors, which means I have a couple of days to spin leisurely.  Thank goodness I splurged on this delicious LOST-inspired "Smoke Monster" batt from Esther of Jazzturtle!
It's a million shades of gray with hints of black and is oh-so-loaded with luxury fibers.  I can't recommend her shop highly enough for top-notch luxurious spinning fiber.   I occasionally trade with Esther, and ever batt I've ever received has been an exciting thrill.

Well, I'm off- first to the post office, and then home to the dye pots.


a day oot and aboot.

Sunday is "family day," which usually translates into "stay-in-bed-until-lunch" day or "do absolutely nothing" day.  I was a little more productive than normal, but not by much.  In the morning, I snuggled in bed with Ingrid and folded paper cranes for my studio since she tends to stare at the ceiling while I'm working, and it's too nippy to turn on the fan.
Then, noticing that the weather was deliciously warm, Trevor took Ingrid and me out on a surprise date- out for lunch and a little shopping.  Back at home, I spent time working on little promos to send out with orders- magnets, buttons, and wee bits of fun fibers.  In the far far past, I always sent freebies, but then I stopped after I learned through the Etsy forums that many shoppers dislike anything extra with their orders.  The only reason I'm starting up with freebies again is because I'm a hoarder, and I love to save little bits and scraps of fibers for novelty yarns, and I imagine many of customers do the same. 

Here I am now, snuggled in bed with Queenie Colic, listening to her grunt and fart and belch and occasionally giggle.  I rocked her for over an hour while she screamed, and I think her eyelids are finally drooping for a couple hours of sleep.


morning after

Last night was rough.  Ingrid kept waking up, barfing, screaming, and barfing some more.   Her Zantac didn't help at all, and the only thing I could do to keep her calm was to rock her for hours.  By the time it was 6 am, all I wanted was a cup of coffee and some peaceful non-screamy snuggle time with my poor refluxy baby.

Then, after stuffing diapers (I use cloth pocket diapers- Rumparooz and Fuzzi bunz) and watching trash tv, I went shopping with my mum.

Lazy, perfect day.

Ingrid ended up having a great evening too- she discovered that she owns a pair of hands while sitting in her pappy's lap.


fully stocked

Wow.  My shop actually has 30 items in it!  That's a first in... say, months!   Not that it's a bad thing that fiber flies off the shelf.

Now, I'm planning on cuddling up with my honey and baby and a mango mojito for a Dr. Who marathon.


the juggle

Ever since I brought Ingrid home from the hospital (she was there for 2 weeks learning how to eat since she was a preemie), I've really wrestled with finding a balance between work and mothering.  I had no idea what kind of schedule a baby lives by, or what to do with Ingrid between nursing her and nap times.  I also had no idea how much a tiny baby could barf, fart, and belch!

My stash of Merino wool, already dyed, towered toward the ceiling- and for weeks, I ignored it.  I felt obliged to get back to work as soon as possible since I had been on bedrest for nearly two months towards the end of my pregnancy, and also because T. found out in November that he would be losing his job sometime in January.

The first few weeks that Ingrid was home, I found time to card wool into batts because she slept all day long, but those long nap stretches ended  quickly.  My schedule was punctuated with 10 minute feeds, activity time (which usually involved Ingrid staring at my face while I read her books that were mine as a child), loads and loads of laundry, whirlwind cleaning sessions, and showers (have I mentioned how much she barfs?)  Now, I find myself relaxing a little more- skipping cleaning sessions and laundry loads in order to snuggle with her as she wakes up from naps and curl up with her while watching the morning news on my laptop.  T. has picked up the slack around the house, and even brings me breakfast and coffee in bed each morning!

Just this week, T. started practicing pulling roving off of my Pat Greene Supercard, and I have begun to use my parents as babysitters while I work for a few short hours at a time while they're in the same room with me. Oh, but with a face like this staring back at me from the floor in my studio, how can I focus?

I'm sure I'll be back to work at full steam... oh, perhaps never.  But I sure do love my wee distraction.

something new.

Over the past two months, I've received countless emails from blogger stating that I've received anonymous comments on my blog.  They're all spam.  I just recently switched to moderated comments, but the damage has been done and I'm so not up to the task of wading through my blog, deleting desperate spammy posts about enhancement pills and pyramid schemes.

That old blog was awfully neglected anyhow, mostly because of my fear of posting anything about my personal life that would compromise my business's success, and even though I'd write weekly posts in a notepad file, I never seemed to gather the guts to post.

No matter.  This is a fresh start, and I'm a real person with real flaws, a passion for all-things-fiber-artsy, and a goal to be less hermetic this year, even on the internet.