Tuesday, May 31, 2016


So it has been a long time since I had anything listed in Etsy.  However, I just uploaded over 20 skeins of yarn that are up for sale.  A couple planned events for this summer fell through which means I have plenty of yarn that is ready for sale! 

 I thinkthis would be great for fellow Minnesotans....does it read U of MN to you as much as me?

like mini skeins?  take a gander at these....

The soft blues along with all the other colors make this one special to me.  I am a sucker for blues!  So if you look on the right side of the blog, you will see a link to my Etsy shop.  Hop over and take a look.  Maybe something is there calling your name.  And always remember, I do custom spins as well.  Next up are several of my cowl kits.  But I can fit in a special order most any time.  Let me know what you are interested in and we can come up with something unique.

I've just signed up for a new fiber festival for me, it is Fosston Fiber Festival next September 30 - October 2.  Looks like it will be fun and they have a lot of hands on demonstrations during the day.  I will be demonstrating stranded knitting.  So come look me up!

Over the long weekend I literally spun all day, I'm filling a special order for Polly and Lila and Claudine's.  I'm spinning up a couple pounds of white fiber so she can then dye it.  Can't wait to see what she will come up with, this is something new we are trying.  If you like local, don't think you can get more local than this.  I should have about 8-10 skeins to her by the end of the week.  Then on to my cowl kits!  I stayed up really late spinning....Virginia was NOT amused.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Another excuse to wear hand knits!

Hello to all the people who visited my booth at Shepherd's Harvest over the weekend.  What a fun although FRIGID time it was.  But then, could it be any better looking at all things fibery on a frosty nippy day (even though that day is in the MIDDLE OF MAY).  Yes, welcome to Minnesota my friends, where winter hangs on tightly, not giving in to spring easily whatsoever.  I guess that makes us all appreciate our summer months though.  Anyway, back to Shepherd's Harvest.  Saturday morning when I left home to drive to the fairgrounds it was 28 degrees.  Yup.  I looked at least twice and that is what it said.  I arrived and settled in to my booth filled with my yarn and lots of fiber from Fat Cat Knits and Tippin' With Dixi.  As the barn filled with people the temps slowly moved from really uncomfortable to manageable, but then again it could have been the addition of multiple layers of my samples too! 

I probably could have made some extra money renting out my samples, a hat here, a scarf there, you want to try a cowl?  Here you go!  But it was so much fun visiting with people.  I sit and spin when I'm not working with people in my booth and boy is that interesting.  The remarks are always fun, watching people trying to figure out what I'm doing.  I get that a lot of people just have never really seen spinning wheels work so I try and explain the process as simply as I can.  I hand out bits and bobs of my roving to the kids that come by.  We laugh about whether or not they've ever seen a blue sheep or whatever color I'm spinning before.  It is fun so see their eyes just light up and laugh at my silly questions.

My cowl (or infinity scarf) was a huge hit which is so rewarding.  I handed out a lot of cards with the name of the pattern, the Crazed Scandinavian Cowl by Wendy Johnson.  I'm placing an order today for more fiber so I can start working on kits of the yarn for those that were interested in getting one.  For you spinners out there, I'm also making up some fiber kits as well if you'd like to spin your own yarn for it.  Don't want to leave anyone out!  Just leave a comment with your email info and I will be in touch and we can work out the details. 

After two days of being in the barns it was a bit of a relief to pack every thing up in two cars and get ready to head home.  Until you discover that your car battery is dead.  I stopped Anna before she drove off so we could try and jump my car.  She got the jumper cables out of her trunk and I walked over to my car to guide her in to the very tight fit between a van and my car.  I look over and watch as Anna starts taking everything out of her backseat and moving it into the front seat.  I'm trying to figure out why but just don't get what is happening.  I walk over and she tells me she locked her keys in the trunk.  And the trunk release on her dash doesn't work.  So she pulled down her back seat and slithered her way into the trunk and pulled the release to pop it open.  Keys are recovered and cars are maneuvered, jumper cables attached (after the wonderful help from another vendor) and in no time my car is up and running, baskets rearranged to the back seat yet again in Anna's car and we are finally on our way home.

And look who was waiting to greet me!  That is Virginia singing to me when I got home.

Thank you to everyone I met, it was a joy!  Now after a rest last night, tonight I'll be back spinning.  Because if I'm going to make the kits for as many people who want one?  Ya, must keep spinning!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Shepherds Harvest Here I Come!

In a couple days I will be vending at Shepherds Harvest.  And look what will be in my booth----

It is the Crazed Scandinavian Cowl.  I love it!!!  I finished it over Mother's Day Weekend.  Emily and I binged on the last two Harry Potter movies, Deathly Hallows part 1 and 2 while I grafted the cowl together.  Started at 10 pm, grafted the last stitch at 2:12 AM!  As I said to a friend, I felt like the Sharon of old, not old Sharon!

I had a booth at Yarnover a couple weeks ago and brought along the cowl still on the needles as I spun up another batch of the same yarn and had it as a kit.  Wendy Johnson, the amazing designer of the cowl, gave me permission to have her pattern attached to the yarn.  I was very nervous about doing something like this since it was over 2100 yards of handspun yarn.  Not an inexpensive project, and my sample wasn't even complete.  But do you know the kit sold in the first five minutes of the show!  I nearly cried and hugged the poor woman who bought it from me.  She probably thought I was as crazy as the cowl!  I did make some changes to the yarn for the kit.  I spun it at a much finer weight as my original batch was just a wee bit heavier and thicker than the intended yarn.  On one hand, my cowl will be able to handily deflect a -30 below Minnesota blizzard perfectly, but may not be the easiest thing to wear on most other days.  And to top it off, I had such interest in the cowl I have a few orders for additional kits in the same and different colorways!  Talk about happy and excited!  So once I'm done with my spring shows, I will get busy at the wheel and work on those orders so they are done before my next stretch of shows this fall!

On the home front, Emily is moving on to high school next year, now that is a big transition on its own, but my girl?  Tried out for competition cheer and made the varsity team!  Oh boy, here we go again!  I may have mentioned this in years past when Anna was a comp cheerleader, how expensive these activities are.  So the more Crazed Scandinavian Cowl kits I can sell the better!  Because my fabulous sweet amazing Chinese Swedish Minnesotan girl is going to need every extra penny I earn!

If you are coming to Shepherd's Harvest, look for me in Barn C.  And if you mention seeing this blog post, it is worth 10% off your purchase!  The event is so good for family's with kids, so many things to see and do.  See you at the Washington County Fairgrounds, near Lake Elmo, May 14 and 15th!

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Winter has been mild in Minnesota this year.  This week is a reminder of what our winters are normally like.  Cold, crisp, beautiful.  Beautiful as long as you don't have to drive anywhere at certain moments.  We got a huge snowstorm on Tuesday.  It started snowing around noon and quit Wednesday morning.  I love looking out into my backyard.  We have large pine trees and in the winter they take on a magical winter wonderland appearance.  I was able to work from home Wednesday so I didn't have to struggle in traffic for hours.  This is my view while I'm sitting at my table working.  Not too shabby. 

To give you a sense of scale, there was no snow on my outside bench before Tuesday.  Just a bit now!  And that is a very protected area too.  Virginia is not happy right now trying to go outside.  It is deeper than her legs so it is a bit challenging for her. 

I've been meaning to knit some new mittens for myself for the last 3 years.  Even got a few pair started this fall but they all failed for multiple reasons.  Finally this week, my old pair of mittens gasped their last breath.  The thin spots in the thumbs gave way to a gaping hole.  Not so warm here to have a gaping hole in the thumbs!   And I certainly can NOT wear commercial mittens/gloves.  Seriously!  I would have to turn in my knitters card if I did that!  But I have NO time to whip out a new pair of mittens right now.  I thought I was going to eek my old pair through one more winter since this year was rather mellow.  Um look at the pictures...not so mellow anymore.  So I did a little surgery.  I snipped off the top of the thumb, ripped back to a sturdy section of yarn on the thumb, slid the live stitches on needles, added some bright, cheerful, left over handspun yarn and knit a new thumb.  Sort of a Frankenstein mitten you might say.  I love it!  Not perfect by any means, but I do smile every time I put it on.  Tonight at Emily's cheer competition I will graft a new thumb onto the second mitten.  Maybe I can refine the first row or so, but if not?  My thumbs will still be warm and I will still smile at my mittens. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hand spun goodness

I spin all the time.  But finding the time to actually knit is another challenge.  But one I'm determined to change in 2016.  While I don't make resolutions as a whole I am determined as my life changes to find more enjoyment for me.  And right now that is knitting with my handspun.  So I spun up a beautiful, new to me fiber, from Ginny of FatCatKnits.  It is a wool/linen blend.  She dyed up a colorway for me called Uranus in a long gradient.  It goes from teal green to teal blue to navy blue to red wine to purple merlot, to black.  Gorgeous! 
The grey neutral is also the wool/linen blend.  It is the perfect foil to make the colors glow.  The pattern is the Crazed Scandinavian Cowl by Wendy Johnson.  What is not to love knitting a huge variety of fair isle patterns?  It is a long infinity loop type of cowl.  However, as I've been working, I think I'm leaning towards finishing it as a scarf.  The pattern calls for fingering weight and my handspun isn't quite that weight, just a bit heavier so I'm not sure if it will lay nicely after being wound a couple times around my neck.  Since it is knit as a tube, in the round, it is two layers thick.  No howling Minnesota winter wind will penetrate this baby! 
I do think it is a great sample for my yarn.  I will have it done in time for my fiber festivals this year.  Yarnover is fast approaching in April.  It will be finished and hanging in my booth so look for it there.  I need to keep spinning each night too so I will have plenty of completed skeins for upcoming fiber fests.  I'm thinking of spinning more of the same yarn and selling it as a kit for those fiber fests.  Considering you need 900 yards each of the two colorways that is both a big time and cost investment.  I'm still thinking on it.  I don't see a huge down side for me because if the kit doesn't sell I can break it up and simple sell the individual skeins.  But I often hear from people they would like to knit with exactly the same yarn as one of my samples so maybe I will put the 8 skeins in a package and see what happens. 
As I've worked on it, I fall into the "just one more row" as I see a pattern developing with each row completed.  That is the fun part.  Then watching how the colors are shifting brings another level of anticipation. Who needs sleep! I'm about half way done now.  I started it over the holidays.  Hoping to finish it in another month. 
This has been the perfect project this week as Emily had her tonsils out last Friday and I've been home with her.  Her medicine is every six hours, so I've been up late in the night and then early in the morning.  Amazingly, even sleep deprived, I've knit on.  With some help.  Virginia decided I was going to blow away or something so decided she needed to anchor me down on the couch.  She did a mighty fine job.  smile...must keep spinning...(or knitting as the case may be)