ONE skein

When last we met, I was furiously uploading photos, while dyeing and who knows what else, and I mentioned that one skein of Davos could make a big, beautiful shawl. I give you the finished Drops of Joy shawl by Janina Kallio. (I bought my pattern on Ravelry)

One skein of Davos in Aubergine

The key to getting so much, from so little, is the act of blocking the bejeebers out of it. Of course, I was really impatient, but the cool weather MADE me have to wait until the morning, to remove all of the 9 million blocking pins. I love it! The “washable merino” component (51% is Mulberry Silk) makes the block crisp and reliable.

I highly recommend Davos. My test knitter friend (former yarn store owner) made a beautiful cowl and declared it “so soft” and luxurious and “a bargain”. Yep.

I have a lot of yarn to dye and pictures to take and well, carry on with your beautiful day.

Click Click Click

I remember when Holly, my last web goddess, would tell me to cool my jets, as I bombarded her with pictures of new colors or yarns, saying that her Mousing Finger was giving her fits. Now I am the one adding pictures and like the child who finally has their own offspring, I now understand all that went into making me look good, although, now things are much more WYSIWYG than they were, when one needed to know how to code. Thank goodness THAT is a thing of the past, so that I can just flounce my mostly right brain self into populating my website with new pictures.

I just got off of the phone with the gal who designed the new website and has been tutoring me in how to work what she has set up for me. That being said, there is now an EVENTS page, which now has a REAL EVENT on it.

The New York State Sheep & Wool Festival (“Rhinebeck”) booth has been paid for and we are driving to New York, in October. It will be two years since we have seen our east coast grandchildren and they will be so much bigger and smarter, by then. Colette has just about finished her Kindergarten year in the bilingual English/Spanish program and will be back to school In Person (her parents will be so relieved), this autumn. Her brother will enter pre-k! All of this has been happening, Over There in Connecticut, while we have lived our lives, gotten vaccinated and are re-entering life.

All of this clicking means that pictures of newly dyed yarns are being uploaded to the website and I have six new pages to work on!

Sawk- Sock Yarn is the bounciest bit of perfection and my test knitter (I do not knit socks) gives it a hearty Two Thumbs Up.

Behind the swatch of Sawk is the swatch of the Weymouth, the newest member of the family. It is a dreamy blend of Mulberry Silk and Superfine BFL. A lovely sport weight. I am in the throes of dyeing it and awaiting a 50 pound shipment.

The third yarn is the glorious Davos, the Mulberry Silk/ Washable Wool in Fingering weight.

The sheen is remarkable and to be able to get a big lacy shawl out of one skein is just what the doctor ordered.

The three new fibers are only populated with the one color, simply because, for two of them, I am awaiting the BIG shipment (it’s only money) from my fancy fiber mill. They are Yak/Tussah, White Cashmere and Rambouillet. Needless to say, I need to stop typing and go dye some more stuff.

Remember, all of the pertinent info about each yarn is found, when you click on a color picture. It is just the way that this template works, so, an extra step for you, I know. Needless to say, the three new yarns are FABULOUS.

The Gang’s All Here

The man in the brown shorts was just here, bringing the little box of the rushed supply of the gorgeous new yarn that I am calling Weymouth. It is the sport weight Mulberry Silk/Superfine BFL that I used to make the big, swoopy shawl, the other day. Now, I need to dye enough to make a beginning offering, on the website!

Weymouth Cultivated Silk/Superfine BFL

The rest of the order is on a slow boat but this gives me enough to get started.

This is the final component in the New Yarn push that is getting me out of the doldrums. (It’s only money, right?)

Front, Sawk and rear Weymouth.

Sawk is the first REAL sock yarn that I have brought in, in a long time. See, I do not knit socks, so Deluxe Sock has been one of my shawl yarns. This one is a really tight twist and has 12 % nylon. I am going to send off some to a few REAL sock knitters to test.

The other favorite new yarn is called Davos. It is a fingering weight Cultivated Silk/Washable Merino 100 grams/540 yards. It will go up on the site, fairly soon. I want to get the web designer to put up the new “collections”, at the same time, but in the meantime, this is a sneak peek at how beautiful it is. (I have a shawl on the needles, in Aubergine)

Some colors of the new Davos Silk/Merino. It is SO delicious.

Time to go back to work. Stay tuned!

Will You Love SilkyWool?

The answer is a big fat YES.

Just a little Wild Things, in a jelly roll pan.

I swatched it, last evening and it makes a really nice fabric for a garment, on size 2 US needles and on a US 4, you get a drape that is out of this world. The colors are working, brilliantly.

SilkyWool swatch in AwwTum

Just got word that the new sock yarn will be here, tomorrow and the UPS are speeding the SilkyBiffle in on Friday, instead of Monday. Wowza! Rod will have to get busy skeining the Sawk so that I can get started! Stay tuned!

PS. Lofty Lou’s have picked up their haul of Timaru in SO many beautiful colors, so check out their newsletter for info on their shawl kit. Busy, busy, busy!

Less Manic Work Day

When you are a One Armed Paper Hanger business, with the occasional hand from the spouse for Tech Stuff, it is good to have a butterfly/hummingbird way of working. I had to move the sticky note from the SIDE of my desktop screen to the FRONT and CENTER area because today was No Excuse, You Have To Create That Ad day.

The pile of yes and no, left over from “possible pictures” for the Fall issue of Piecework.

Yes, this is what it really looks like, around here, when the hummingbird brain is in deadline mode, while still wanting to dye as many colors as I can, of the new SilkyWool yarn. This is the kind of day that makes me think of the cartoon by Hilary Price.

Spoons…

I am grateful for today’s heat but also grateful that here, on the north side of the hill, we are not ROASTING. It is just enough to make drying yarn a quick endeavor. It’s the only reason that I welcome hot days, simply because our heat is dry, not like the sweaty stuff of the east coast. Yarn and fiber dries in a short time.

Some of the successes with the new SilkyWool. LOVE IT.

Now, I need to go over to my spot on the brown couch, in the room with the art, and make a swatch with the first stuff that I dyed. I think that this is going to take the place of the Silk/Baby Camel, in the booth this year. The aforementioned yarn is in its Sundown time, since I knew, when 45 put the big tariffs on anything coming from the East, I would not be ordering any more yarn from the fabulous fine fiber yarn mill Over There. Sad, but this NEW yarn takes color in a MOST drool worthy manner. Stay tuned for The Swatching, since I am getting so much closer to being done with the open work shawl out of the Silk/BFL.

On to the reason for the day; as I said, earlier on social media, I will never forget out trip to France, Part II, when we sailed north and then took a bus to Normandy. Our guide was a small woman, of a certain age, who was a University Professor making extra money as a person who knew all about what we were to experience. She kept a running tutorial, along the way, until we got closer to Omaha Beach where we were divided up; Canadians, folks from the UK, and then people from the US. We actually took a tour and had a lecture at the British museum and then rambled along in the misty cold of the beach where so many “American” boys were mowed down.

The cemeteries were vast and overwhelming but when our little French guide, with the VERY French chic outfit, gathered the folks from the US into a circle, in front of the Wall of the Missing, above Omaha Beach, and had us be silent and then sing the Star Spangled Banner, I TOTALLY lost it. The tears came up from some guttural place, so deep that it all took me by surprise. The Wall of the MISSING. Seeing both the film 1917 and then The Long Engagement (French), yesterday, I can’t understand how any boy came back from war unscathed. We have so many Walking Wounded in the country, right now, and do not even realize how many men and women are ANGRY because of what they have seen and felt. While the horrors of war were different, each time, those who lost their lives were all someone’s child, sent to fight and die for the rich men of their perspective countries. The boys who died on Omaha Beach did not even have ONE CLUE about why what they did was so important and how the French love them, to this day. They did not know that there was a Holocaust, in US geographical terms, “just around the corner”. They, like all other soldiers, sailors and airmen, fought for their Brothers in Arms.

Rod’s dad drove a landing craft, in the Pacific theater. He would never discuss it; NEVER, except to talk about his pet monkey, on New Guinea. My stepfather was in the Navy but he had the light duty of an entertainer, playing the tuba and stand-up bass in a Navy band, in the Pacific. My dad was 4F, because of a childhood heart murmur. They were the men of the Greatest Generation, and are all gone, now.

Tonight, I will raise a glass to those who did not make it home and thank them for their sacrifices. Now, enough sad thoughts, it’s time to knit.

SilkyWool Size 2 & 4 US needles. Delicious.

Ready, Set, GO

New yarn is coming, in a couple of shipments and the first of the three, which I got, this week, is going to be put through its paces, beginning today. This is the phenomenal 51% Mulberry Silk/49% Superfine washable wool in a fingering weight. Yes, dyed in the same colorway as the Silk/BFL, because I was dyeing that color for a shop order, from Lofty Lou’s.

The still unnamed gorgeousness of this fingering weight Silk/Merino.

It has taken a LOT for me to loosen up my purse strings and give it to my vendors, but, you know, once this happens, things take off. I remember a particular weekend at OFFF, years ago, when we took in a dollar bill that had a particular marking that someone had made and I’ll be darned if that bill did not come back to me, TWO TIMES, after I sent it back out with food vendors! I have a lot of work to do and please send me some good juju that I can keep the thumb nonsense to a dull roar. (There will be Cannabis Pain Cream, later.)

Still waiting to see if the hundreds of bees swarming my little oak tree are going to settle into a pile, so that my beekeeping “neighbor” can come fetch them. Forest Life.

Bee Smart, Bee Kind, Bee Careful. Yeah, groan all that you want, I can’t hear you.

Knitting Heaven

When last we met, I had taken a relatively cryptic photo of a sample skein of yarn, courtesy of my yarn/crack dealer, that had been dyed and turned into a wound cake. I simply could not wait to bring that yarn over to my fiber room, in the house, after finding a simple and perfect pattern on Ravelry; one that could make the most of the 434 yards of sport weight that was making my hands itch.

I started knitting up a shawl pattern, called Sommelier, by Janina Kallio, and knew, instantly that I was going to get in line for this Mulberry Silk/BFL magnificence.

The yet unnamed yarn, in Coral Beds

The very next morning, I wrote to my Crack Dealer and gave him my review of this glorious stuff, that feels like no BFL that *I* have ever spun, to be sure. Long story short, I jumped on the portion of this yarn that he had had flown in (while awaiting the rest of it) and it is On The Way.

That makes THREE new yarns that will be keeping me busy and out of trouble, before their internet and then “Rhinebeck” debuts. This lifts my spirits!

I have been cheating on my version of Uknity, which I am SO close to finishing. It is a wonderful, BIG knitting project, designed by Jennifer Weissman and uses MOSTLY Timaru but a couple of colors of Deluxe Sock.

Uknity, pictured with Timaru in Ecru, Seaglass and Smoked Teal. Also, Deluxe Sock in Deep Sea and Tui.

The Sommelier, on size 7 US needles is rocketing along, and so I will continue to cheat, until it is done and blocked. If I am LUCKY, the first shipment of the Silk/BFL will be here by the end of next week and I might just have to roll around in it, before dyeing.

Also, I have a huge shipment of freshly combed top in all manner of deluxe fibers coming next week, if the goddess of Customs is kind. I will finally have more Yak/Silk and White Cashmere, to name a couple. I was SO timid about investing more into stock for Weaver Creek (and the dye room) but thanks to Uncle Joe and the Vaccines, I can FEEL things turning around, and just in the nick of time. I will be redoing my Weaver Creek price list AND getting new dyed fibers up on the site.

I hope that you can open your windows wide and let fresh air into your abodes, this weekend. I want to say a prayerful Thank You to all of The Fallen, for whom this National Holiday exists. I hope to hear the WWII planes, this year, if the celebration at the El Dorado County War Memorial goes ahead. It is always a chilling sound and sight of these old planes executing the Missing Man formation, over greater Placerville.

In the meantime, be like Teejay and relax.

Assuming the position, in Mama’s room.

I know, it’s been awhile…

I must admit that the doldrums got hold of me but that may be related to the inordinate amount of forest sexy-time fallout, everywhere. You know, that POLLEN stuff. I have set myself a ridiculous task, that of picking up and getting rid of as many Doug Fir cones as I can fit into a big bag, each day that we walk the dog. The litter is like that after a rock festival. Rod thinks that these trees are trying to beat the clock on the bark beetles, with the drought hitting us, once again. As my friend always says, “If it’s not one thing, it’s yer mother”. Yep.

I’ve been battling with my thumbs, the left one, especially, since I did the big run of that gorgeous Astorite hand spun yarn (the person who bought the biggest skein showed me how it is knitting up and it is just as I had hoped it would be.), which took its toll, because of the Tencel part of the equation.

The “Specials” section on the website.

Of course, I adore the look of that shiny stuff but my aging hands are REALLY PISSED. We’ll see if the CBD cream works. Oddly enough, knitting does not bother me, probably because the thumb movement is so minimal. I was watching an English speed knitter, working with a belt, and she flicks the yarn with her right index finger, the way that I do.

So, I have been busy since I got over my day in bed with “Pink Eye Pollen Poisoning” (as gross as it sounds). My local yarn store, Lofty Lou’s, in Placerville, is the only place that I sell yarn to, and they are getting organized for a shawl knit-along before the Sierra Yarn Crawl, which will be In Person and Virtual, this year. They have chosen to use the perfect summer knitting yarn, Timaru, the beloved merino/bamboo in fingering weight. (There is also a sport version) I just finished the big run of colors and so they can get started with offering them to visitors and locals, alike.

Some Timaru in cool colors
A bit warmer.

I highly recommend this yarn and I am actually using five colors, plus ecru, in a gigantic, long wrap called Uknity, by Jennifer Weissman (bought it on Ravelry). That will probably be the next Finished Object. I made her Loose Ends for my daughter because she fell in love with a picture of Debi Padlicki’s finished piece. It was a lot of fun to make and now I am using the same yarns to make this one.

Oh, and YES, we are driving to Rhinebeck, New York, this October. I am just crossing my fingers that everyone is “good”, this summer, so that we can have a Normal NY$$&W Festival, instead of being relegated to a little booth. I have at least TWO new yarns to dye, right away; a REAL sock yarn WITH NYLON and a flipping gorgeous Mulberry Silk/Washable Merino fingering weight. And then, there might be THIS.

Mulberry Silk/fine BFL. Oh, Mama…

I hope that you all are going to do something fun for this upcoming three day weekend that will ushering in that unofficial summer, in the guise of heat, around here. Be good to one another.

Put Me In Coach…

I probably have enough of this fiber left over, to make another one or two skeins, but after trying to spin, last night, I realized that I just have to curtail spinning for awhile. The left thumb is really angry at me for my obsessive spinning of this stuff, but, even so, it was worth it.

Four skeins of “Astorite”

It all started, when I decided to dunk a pound of 50/50 Cashmere/Merino into a pot of “Tuberose”. It was ok, but not fascinating, and so, when I dragged it over into my cozy fiber room, I also brought over 2 ounces of cashmere that I used for soaking up excess dye AND a languishing braid of colorful Tencel, that I had dyed several years ago.

The creativity took place with my hands, teasing and mixing the fibers; readying them for spinning. Of course I decided to put TENCEL top into the mix, which meant a serious workout for my arthritic thumbs. I used to tell people that I liked adding this fiber to mixes because of the high shine, BUT, you have to do a lot of teasing to open this stuff up and much like tearing a phone book (for you youngsters, the old fashioned thing in which everyone’s LAND LINE was listed.); not in half, unless you are young Schwarzenegger, but in bits. It is the thousands of bits that did it, I surmise.

So, these hard won skeins are going up on the site, in a few minutes, in the Specials section. They will be the last skeins spun, for awhile, so that I can stop my left thumb from dictating what can and can’t happen, with my hands, right now. The cashmere in this yarn is neatly tucked into the twist, BUT, as it is handled and worked with, the fluff will emerge. It will be sturdy, soft and gorgeous.

Off to (as Holly used to say) slap these babies up on the site.

Take care of your hands. Oh, and aging can bite me.

The Earth Just Shifted

Yesterday, for some reason, I was weepy and mopey and kept forcing myself to go outside and drag the Hula Hoe through the dirt, to eliminate some of those haughty weeds that thought that the small rain gave them permission to take over the landscape. Scrape, scrape, scrape, sigh. Rod tried to drag whatever was bothering me, out into the open, probably because he was worried that he “said something“. I told him NO, that I did not know why I was feeling this way, other than something was coming, some sort of news, which I worried was bad, I guess.

It came in an email. The NY$$&W Festival is a GO. Yes, you read that right RHINEBECK IS HAPPENING, October 16th and 17th. Yes, it will be different, but different in the manner of smaller booths and lots of the booths outside on every scrap of grass they can use. I wrote, begging to be in the building. We will have an abbreviated booth but have promised to come.

This October, she will be on the road again, hopefully without flat spots from sitting so long!

I think that this was what was coming. It was a big decision, to get out of here and go all of the way over THERE, once again. The thing is, if I don’t do it, I will regret it and will have signaled the end of 40 years of craft/yarn/fiber shows. I am not ready for that and I can tell you that a sweet note from a Briarcliff resident, yesterday, telling me that she and her knitting guild were going to come see me first, wiped the mope off of my face. This, before I knew that the event was a GO. She must have known what I did not, because I answered her with “IF it happens”.

Just like last year, when I found a way to participate in the Virtual Rhinebeck, I am feeling a lift of my spirits, once again. We are NOT done, yet.

The Gardens are coming to life.

Until then, I will slowly build the stock, get excited about the new shipment of plants arriving from Gilbert H Wild and do more work to protect the land from wild fires. Nope, not done, yet.