How this works

Silk Merino I called Iceberg

Wrote about it and decided to go ahead and take a photo. These two braids of Silk/Merino were a first draft for a big project that I did for Schacht Spinning Wheels. You know, they send a story board and the job is to interpret it and see if it is what they envisioned. This was the story board, in a nutshell BUT they decided that they wanted it with less/no beige. Got it! Not going to argue with 100 braids of fiber going out into the world, SO, I got to keep this run for myself and this is what I am doing with it.

First braid has been stripped into teensy, spaghetti-like strands, which presents the colors as they were dyed. The second braid is going to be torn into short lengths and spun from the fold, which will elongate the color changes. The resulting skeins should be subtle and gorgeous. I have some Merino/Cashmere/Tussah that I dyed in my Blue Jeans color (really dark indigo) and the two yarns should make someone an unbelievable yoke sweater (or something).

Well, that’s what is calling me to the wheel, at the moment. Carry on.

Like a Shark…

Keep moving, keep doing, keep creating, keep learning; that and counting my steps as I climb the driveway from the road (that really steep part makes my heart beat faster) has kept me motivated and relatively calm, through this Year Of The Covid. Here’s not to say that the isolation has gotten to me, sometimes, but for the most part, being an only child who had to rely on her imagination when left alone, I have some mad coping skills.

The past few months, with the aid of the goop that keeps Paula Abdul dancing, I have coaxed my hands back to doing what caused me to have that personalized license plate that says it all.

It happens after dinner, when I have something to look forward to, on TV, from an hour of Schitts Creek to whatever shows up on my recorder. A couple of hours a night seems just right and although I can get obsessed and spin in the afternoon, on the weekends, for the most part, I am trying to keep my hands available for work in the garden, now that the weather has turned pollen into a decoration. I just won’t give up working with my hands, because once I do, it is over. My hands keep sadness or depression or malaise at bey, and the product of my hands makes me (and others) happy.

Stained Glass hand spun yarn shown with Pyrenees Sport colors.

There has been some deep stash diving, lately. I tend to keep orphans from runs of fiber, especially if there is a braid that looks a bit worse for wear, so that no one sees its potential. These two skeins were created from two different braids with different fiber content. The first one was Baby Alpaca/Silk in Marionberry, that gorgeous hand paint of deep purples. The second was a braid of Yak/Silk, in the old favorite, Joseph’s Coat. I just tore up each of the braids and spun them up, each with their own bobbin. There was some time off, for ruminating, but they seemed to like being paired and so the finished 2 ply yarn was created. I show it in the above photo with a couple of colors of Pyrenees Sport (Organic merino); Paprika and All at Sea, to give you some ideas of how this yarn could be a part of a project and not the WHOLE project, unless that is what suits you. The yarn is VERY silky and dense. Anyway, it is the latest addition to the Specials page. I am already working on some new stuff that is NOT from the stash trunks and actually fresh out of the showroom. I may just show that in a subsequent post, In Progress.

I have something lovely to look forward to, tonight, now that all of the West Coast Family adults are vaccinated. We are going down the hill to our daughter’s favorite restaurant, Aji, to celebrate her birthday. Yes, we will be sitting out on their patio, with plenty of fresh air, so that our laughter will be free. Somebody else’s cooking AND family time, what could be better than that?

In the Pink

I have a lot of hopes and dreams, for this Spring, and while a lot of them are buried in conifer pollen, at the moment, I have planted a handful of new peonies, which should begin to emerge as the last of the Jonquils begin to fade. Pink pink pink pink pinkity PINK!

There are a couple of new pinks, showing themselves, first, in the Pyrenees family of Organic Merino yarns. Blush is just that. Tuberose is a dusty pink, with more of a mysterious quality.

From the left, Blush, Peony, and Tuberose, resting on some Merino/Mulberry Silk in Styx.

This all came about because someone fell in love with the big collection of hand spun and needed some mill spun to complete the garment. See, this really happens.

I hope that more and more of you are getting your vaccines and are In The Pink! I cheer every person I see, on vaccination day. It is the right thing to do, for ALL of us, so, thank you.

We Used To Miss This!

One precious thing that is good about forfeiting our second year of Spring shows is that we are home to witness the burgeoning of the ever expanding bunches of Jonquils (AND our Aries girls’ birthdays). I bought a few, early on, from White Flower Farm and then came another giant load of them, when we had the first work done on the “nothing but dirt” back of the house. They seem to have delayed their show, this year, so much so that the old fashioned King Alfred Daffodils, out by the driveway, are standing up strong, instead of bending to the weather. I feel the same way.

All of the nearly invisible wire cages are for the new peonies!
Stand up straight and get your ruffle on.

I feel hopeful and cautious, just like this impossible garden in the forest. Happy Spring. Now, I have some fiber to dye!

If it is available to you, will you get it?

I shivered and sweated and now I am done with the aftermath of the 2nd Moderna vaccine shot. Funny things happen, when you THINK that things will begin to return to normal, after being fully vaccinated. First was the parody of all of us baby boomers getting our shots, on this past SNL. Yeah, it IS a big deal to my generation because we are more vulnerable BUT I want EVERYONE to get their shots, when things open up.

Today was a very good day because our son, in CT, was able to get his first vaccination, with our daughter-in-law to follow on the 8th. This means that they can have less trepidation about their careers; wedding photographers. Our daughter and Son-in-law were able to get theirs, well before us, because of THEIR jobs, in the dental industry. By all of our adult children getting vaccinated, we have more chances to get back together, once again.

We still run into stubborn, non-masked folks at the grocery store and I shun them, like they could be plague carriers. It’s always the big white men who seem to worry about feeling foolish in front of their counterparts, in my estimation. You just can’t seem to get through to them and this is why things will not return to normal, anytime soon, I fear.

The doctor in charge at the CDC is waving red flags all over the place and it brings me up short, when I think of how many people are NOT vaccinated and how many do not WANT to be vaccinated, because of some fear or another. No matter what I say about having lived through both types of measles and my being grateful that my kids and grands would never suffer that disease, it seems to fall on deaf ears of people who are convinced that they know better.

A friend, who always told me that she would never get a flu shot and had never gotten it was a part of a family who all got it. They survived and were lucky (several of my acquaintances have been through it) but my question is always whether they would take the vaccine, if it could stop the spread, right there and then.

I am gun shy, I admit it. I got an email from the organizers of our biggest and most important show of the year, with an attached survey about whether I would be up for a scaled down (weird) version of the event that we drove cross country for, in October of 2019. Of course I HAD to say yes to all of the scenarios but deep inside, I just was not sure what a smaller booth perhaps outside, would mean for the cost of traveling all of that way and with much less visible stock. Would people come, especially if there was a cap on attendance? Would you go? Who knows what will happen between now and October but things have to start somewhere and that is why I said YES to all of the possibilities, while harboring a certain amount of concern.

Will people take the shots, if they knew that it would mean that life could get back to some semblance of normal? Will YOU get the shots? Will you do it so that we can go to concerts and plays and fiber festivals? Will you even think of going to any of these things?

I had been folding down pages on river cruise wish books but hearing that France is in BIG TROUBLE again, makes me feel concerned about leaving the country. There have to be a subset of knuckleheads in every country that has Freedom built into their culture, to cause the virus to start going up, once again. Will we all have two toned faces, at home, when the summer sun hits those masks? Who needs lipstick, anyway? Seriously, I have a feeling that masks will become the norm, here, as it is in Asian countries.

We were in Santa Clara, last year, when this all began, and I did not hug anyone and used hand sanitizer regularly, after each transaction. Neither of us got sick, while many of my Foothills friends did. I still have not signed up for Stitches West, in Sacramento, but perhaps I will change my mind. Hell, I can sleep in my own bed every night, saving a fortune once spent on over priced hotels in the Santa Clara area. Phooey. My question is (I have asked this of some of my friends, who answered in the positive) if we do this, will you come?

Ah well, the sun is shining and all of our King Alfred Daffodils are standing tall in the light. I have gotten used to this ridiculous isolation but still long to be out, bare faced, with friends. Having the West Coast Family here for Easter is a start and I have a feeling that hugging my grandchildren will be the best tonic for what ails me. Really.

The Next Best Thing To Being Here

Man oh man, do I miss seeing my friends and collectors In Real Life. It is coming, soon, I tell you. Rod and I had our 2nd Moderna shots, yesterday afternoon and are feeling fine, so far. Do you know what this means??? This means that I can open my studio again, just like 2019, when happy knitters, spinners and crocheters could come to the studio for the fun and experience of touching , sniffing and learning.

In the meantime, are you feeling nervous or intimidated by the handspun yarns that I have been creating, to keep myself happy and sane? Would you like that experience of seeing how yarns and colors go together and compliment one another? Just ask me for suggestions!

Black Iris handspun on a fabric of Marionberry, with Regal Blue in the foreground.

I really do spend time with people, while we are apart, taking pictures of suggestions for projects.

Deluxe Sock in Quail Ridge paired with Black Purple

I already have people booking time with me for the deep summer, so if you are traveling, or local, let’s talk about visits and some time in the beauty of our forest setting. If you are fully vaccinated, this is a big plus.

Talking of health, we have been through a scary time, the last few months, worrying about Rod and his spleen. Yeah, you know, the juicy, bloody organ that you CAN live without, although it weakens your immune system. The poor guy has had every scan known to man but this last one, his Tuesday MRI (along with bloodwork) showed that the weird lesions are benign and he is weird but good to go. That news and our second Covid vaccinations have lifted our spirits so much that we have spent time digging in the dirt, which is also good for the body and soul. We are cautiously planting what can’t be harmed by a cold snap AND looking forward to having our West Coast vaccinated family here for Easter. Things are looking up!

Take care of yourselves and believe me, I revel in seeing your vaccinations because it means that we can see one another again! Happy Spring.

I really missed spinning!

I appear to be a bit obsessed, right at the moment, happily treading away on my little Majacraft Millie, the wheel that reminds me just how big my feet happen to be.


She fits me, right now, because after my healing, self imposed spinning hiatus, I came out on the other side, happily spinning much finer yarn than I used to make for a certain luxury beanie crochet artist. This feels right, because this is the weight with which I am much more comfortable, for projects.


I have actually been thrilled to have the new hand spun yarns go off to new homes, thanks to the latest newsletter revealing that the Specials page on the website is the home of these one of a kind skeins (although the website appears to allow you the illusion of buying more than one of a particular skein, believe me, each one is unique).

Something lifted off of my heart, yesterday, as I felt the little sting of the needle hit my left deltoid. That first shot, for which we drove an hour each way, has done something to my soul. I smiled all last evening, through the awkward Golden Globe awards and have had a lightness that echoes the feeling that in 6 weeks, I can hang out with my vaccinated daughter and her family. I was taught to WAIT, as an only child, WAIT as a latchkey kid, WAIT for everything. I have been mostly patient as I WAIT to be reunited with family and friends but the second dose and the two weeks post shot mean that for me, this signals the end of so much isolation. I celebrate each vaccination, because it means that we are getting closer to the days when driving to Rhinebeck, New York and Stratford, Connecticut, to see our East Coast Family, can become a reality.

The only ones who are delighted with all of this isolated togetherness are these guys.

Teejay and Kody

I look forward to seeing YOUR vaccination announcements and I will cheer each one! Now, back to this.

Cat slippers and teal Merino/cashmere/silk

Now, gift cards

Thanks to a very nice customer, trying to figure out how to purchase a gift card, on the new website platform, I figured out how to add it and Tah Dah, a gift card page!

I wanted it, when my designer helped me to set up the template but she had never set up a real e-commerce site, so I just let it go. I am actually really proud of my old-dog-learns-new-trick badge, because the Wix platform showed me how to set it up, myself! Hooray! No more awkward fiddly invoices. For those of you still holding the old gift certificates, you WILL have to message me to complete the orders using those, simply because there is no interface with the old numbers and the new payment system. Sorry about that! I will eventually have a Well Oiled Machine and I thank you all for sticking with me, through all of these years of website upgrades!

Something New

I can happily say that I have begun spinning again. Something seemed to right itself with my hands and so I am happily back at the wheel, in the latter part of my days. It has been a long hiatus, because of hand issues and knee issues and all of those things that seem to be happening as I realize how much abuse this body has had, in these decades of work. Whatever has happened, I celebrate it and I am back at it.

So, I added handspun yarn on the site, under the Specials section, simply because when something is gone, it is GONE. This is so much better than the old site, where people would have to ask me what I had in stock and I would have to send invoices for the purchases. No more! I am still offering free shipping on the handspun portion of your purchase and that will be reflected in the shopping cart, especially if you buy only that.

Everything dreamy lives here.

The newest yarn is actually at the bottom of the page, simply because it was the first thing that I added.

Now, on a personal note, while things were intense, for the last few months, with Rod’s health scare, he has been through lots of tests and each one is eliminating whatever the doctors are guessing at. He is doing well and is waiting for the next scan, to see how his spleen is doing. (the phrase “Venting Your Spleen” has taken on a whole new meaning around here and we just have to laugh.) No Covid, because we are super careful and now, with our West Coast Family getting their injections, we are halfway to hugs. Rod and I are trying to be patient and have signed up where we can, but being here at “Rancho Souza”, as a friend used to call it, we are able to live and work safely. I am just dreaming, like everyone else, about the time when we can travel, once again.

Ok, I am done with all of this and it is time to go ply some yarn.

A new website!

So very different!

Through ISP changes and all of the stresses that have tried to kill me, these past couple of months, I took almost 1000 photos, edited them, renamed them and one by one inserted them into what would, today, go Live. It is still a work in progress ( nothing on the Specials page) but when you go HERE you can root around to see what I have been up to. I can finally edit my own photos and add or subtract at will and will be adding colors as I go along.

This site looks different on all devices but the big plus is the you can click on pictures to make them bigger! Have fun playing

One last thing is that the Gift Certificate feature is gone with this new template. Simply use the Contact Me box at the bottom of the main page to let me know that you would like to have me send a virtual certificate and I will take it from there. Where there is a will…

It feels good to be back.