Friday Night Fiber Group

Thanks to all who came out last night.  Our knitting, crochet, & spinning group meets every Friday from 6-8 PM.  We even had plenty of lap babies…

Crochet!

 

Jasmine doesn’t knit (yet), but we have always loved her anyway.  We can’t help it, probably because she brings stuff like this….

You can’t see them, but there are cocoa nibs in there!

I taught someone to spin.  She actually began to make her own yarn before she left…

Jen can spin, and the babies love it.

Olivia got a coveted cockatiel, (Texas Style), crocheted by Jen.  There was a creepy cockatiel, but I can’t speak of it….

Olivia, Corin, and the cockatiel, who I think should be named “Tex”.

All in all, it was a great time, and I can’t wait until next Friday!

It only took one shot! Cuz that’s how we roll.

50 Shades of Green

I wanted to dye some yarn green, but I didn’t want it to be flat.  I wanted it to be complex and have a few shades of green. 

So…I took some white/cream colored superwash merino handspun and presoaked it in water and 1/4 cup of vinegar for 30 minutes.

Then I painted it in thirds  with red, yellow, and blue.  I wasn’t very careful about fully covering all strands of the yarn, or even coverage of yarn.  “Varied” was the look I was going for.

It’s fun!

Then I wrapped it in plastic wrap, and steamed it for 30 minutes.

Steaming

At this point, I got a little nervous.  It looked like clown barf.

I let the wrapped skein cool until I emptied the pot and refilled it with fresh water and green dye.  Then I put the unwrapped skein into the dyepot. 

The skein was tied loosely in a few places and I lifted it in and out and swirled it around to ensure even dye distribution. 

It is superwash wool, so I could mess with it all I wanted and not worry about it felting. Yay! 

At this point the colors looked good, and I felt better about my dying skills.

The yellow made yellow-greens, the blue made blue-greens, and the red made browns and rusts. 

I took it out of the dyepot and gave it a bath.

Before the bath

Then the hard part.  I had to wait 3 hours for it to dry on my deck before I could re-skein it.

I jumped up and down.

I pet it.

I feel like a dying rock-star.

No way to capture all the colors

It has a million colors in it, I was trying for 3!  I want to name it “Forest Floor”.

I had a friend in mind when I dyed this yarn. 

I was am going to make him/her a scarf  for Christmas.

It won’t be easy.

A more accurate pic

 

Quitter by Jon Acuff…read it!

Just finished reading, or audiobooking, the book Quitter by Jon Acuff.  What a great read.  Really makes you look at where you are, where you want to be, and the road you should take to get there.  There are a lot of things in this book that mirror my life.  Haven’t had quite as many jobs as he has, but certainly have experienced the frustration of feeling trapped in the wrong job.  This is a book that I will go back and listen to again in about a month, just to pick up on some of the items that I’m sure I missed.

I’m also listening to Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  This book really makes you take a hard look at yourself and your relationship with God.  A little bit painful, so I have to take it slow.  Be prepared to reflect if you pick this book up, and watch the online portion that goes along with it.

I’m ALSO reading the Inheritance Cycle.  I’m on book 2, Eldest by Christopher Paolini.  This is a pretty good series.  I really enjoy this book more than the first.  It’s great for young readers, too.  My 13-year-old is also reading the series.

Next up, is EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey.  It goes into sound business practices and leadership for entrepreneurs.  I’ve been listening to some of the podcasts that Dave Ramsey has released on entreleadership and have decided this might be a “must read” book.

Always looking for good books to enjoy and learn from, so I thought I’d share a few of the ones I’m going through now.  Feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments section. Thanks!

Patience…

Patience.  A word that I’m not all that familiar with.  A word that I always have, and am currently, struggling with.  Why can’t everything just happen now?  That would be cool, right! 

When most of your sentences begin with “wouldn’t it  be faster if” or “wouldn’t it be easier if”, then you need to slow down.  I’m anxious, what can I say.  I get bored and thrown off track when I have to wait.  Yes, I know…good things come to those who wait.  But, it comes faster to those who don’t!  Ha!  I would much rather grab a couple grand from our savings (maybe the Christmas fund, kids don’t need Christmas, right?)  and get this shop going, than wait around slowly making a little money here and a little money there and reinvesting it all…but then I’d be using our savings and that would just end in sadness for someone.  Probably me…  My wife, has much more patience than I do.  Maybe not with me, but in general. 

Right now I’m waiting (patiently) for an order of fiber to get here.  Ten pounds of wooly goodness is on the way!  I’m ready to continue dyeing, list some untouched, maybe practice spinning on some.  So many things to do…if it was here…being patient…

I guess there is a lot of other things that need to be done, as well.  Perhaps I should focus some of this impatient energy on those things.  Unfortunately, those are the things that are not as fun.  That’s why I keep putting those things off.  I may not be very good a patience, but I am great at procrastination.  However, I’ll save that for another day.  I’m going to dig into something that I’ve been putting off and have one less item on the list.

Happy Father’s Day!!!

Another Father’s Day has come and gone.  Be sure to thank Dads for being Dads.

In the wooly business…we have ordered 10 pounds of fiber (superwash merino & superwash blue face).  We are always working on improving our dyeing techniques, and upgrading the products we are producing.  We have dyed some more washed fleece this week, look for it on our Etsy store soon.  I’m still reading several business books, along with a couple helpful podcasts, self-improvement books…too many at one time.  I’m trying to finish a couple, so I can slow down a little on the learning aspects.  Will be meeting with another wholesaler in a couple of weeks.  We are getting a nice group to choose from, and should have a wonderful stock once we make our decisions.  There is a TON of planning, and many steps to take in order to start a store.  Trying to do things on a small/safe investment is a major hurdle, but also very important to us.  We want to build a successful business, but we have no intention of going into debt in order to do it.  Don’t ever sacrifice the future for the present.  This may take us a little longer to get there, but all we have is time.  And we have more time than money.

Hope everyone enjoys their day, especially any Dads who happen to stop by.

Spa Day

This is Ruth.  I love her.  She is an Ashford Traveller, (double drive, baby)!

Ruth

She is “unfinished” which means every once in a while (probably once a month, but let’s get real), she needs to be cleaned and rubbed with oil/wax. 

 I call this a “spa day”.  That is today. 

 I start by gathering all the supplies that I will need, because as my hero, Alton Brown, says “Organization will set you free!” 

 I need something to cover the floor, Howard’s Feed N’ Wax, an old paint brush, a rag, and vaseline.  

 I also wear gloves because I am a bit of a princess…. 

   Must have ipod and a spinning podcast to listen to.

 I take off the drive band, so the spa day doesn’t end with me hanging myself.  I put Ruth on an old Snuggie that no one likes.

Don’t forget the coffee….

Then, starting with the legs, using a liberal amount of Feed N’ Wax, I slather it on with a soft cloth. 

Nothing delicate here, that’s why the Snuggie is here.

Working my way up, I try to remember to coat the unseen parts and undersides, too. 

Give the flyer some love and don’t forget the bobbins, like I do. 

Some people will tell you to rub off the excess, or “buff to a shine”, but Ruth drinks up all the stuff I put on her, so I don’t bother.

Finally, grab that old paintbrush and rub vaseline onto all moving parts.  I like to shove the tiny brush into the tiny places while turning the wheel.  That way, I know all parts are well lubed. All of that takes me less than an hour. If you look closely, you can see her smiling!