What happened to January?

So,  Here it is, the New Year.  Everyone is probably making all kinds of “resolutions”.  These usually involve being a “better …..” something.  People like to make resolutions to give up smoking, lose weight, spend more quality time with their families ….. you get the idea.  I’m just hoping that I can get my creaking old brain in gear and manage the chaos better, and hopefully STOP remembering to forget … stuff.

I suppose I bring most of the craziness on myself, with all of my varied and ever expanding interests and hobbies, it’s a wonder that I can get through a day in one piece!

Last year saw the start of a long cherished dream, to make enough money at my “craftiness” to support my expensive tastes in spinning, weaving and knitting.  It IS nice to spin Cashmere and Angora and to rub my hands together and plot my next project, ignoring cost as a factor.  I have sold a few spinning wheels and a few weaving looms and the bank account is starting to grow.  I haven’t really decided what to do with the earnings, it’s just nice to know that it is there … waiting for me.

I have also managed to refine my business plan and the new year will see me pursuing a new line of fiber & yarn called “Dyeing of Natural Causes” — WalnutSockYarn2Thank’s Seth for the great name!  An article in Spin-off about dyeing with walnut hulls really grabbed my imagination.  Up to now I have been using acid based dyes (Dancing Feet Roving), but EVERYONE is doing that —  I saw those socks in Spin-off, knit from fiber dyed with just Walnut hulls, commented to my son (sort of out of the blue) “I’m going to dye some merino with walnut hulls and knit you a pair of socks for Christmas”.  It was a comment pretty much out of left field, but Nick is used to that, so he just replied “ok ???”  A few days later a spinning student was listening to me rant on about the article, and SHE provided me with Walnut hulls!   The Universe is such a strange place, it looks like total chaos out there, but there is really a lot of organized inter-connect-ness happening! WalnutSockYarn1 Yep, those socks turned out GREAT — I managed to get 2 pair finished before the holidays were over and am still working on that last Christmas gift (hopefully my daughter-in-law won’t mind a Spring Christmas present — after all — I did manage to design and knit her a very nice pair of arm cozies for Christmas)

Dyeing of Natural Causes is still on the “drawing board” — but I am looking at Earth Hues to supply the natural dyes, and in the warm weather months, I will start going afield for the rest — might get me out of my cave for a change!

Resolutions — yes this is about resolutions.  For those of us addicted to fiber and fiber arts, resolutions takes on a new meaning.  Should I resolve not to collect any more hobbies?  Should I resolve not to start anything new, or acquire any more fiber, yarn, tools? Hmmm  Quandry!  Before making any resolutions – and you can see that this blog is a MONTH late, one must take “stock”.  What do I have in the hopper, so to speak?

1. I still have to finish a custom spinning job I took on Last June (2010). A very nice lady came up to me at the WoolFest at Lake Farm Parks, with a wagon load of processed Baby Doll sheep fiber and asked if I would spin it for her. We’re talking about 9-10 pounds! I spun a sample of it. The roving was made up of VERY short fibers (definitely a job for the Rose) and had a lot of vegetable matter in it (it leaves a little halo on the floor, and the dog keeps sneezing). I quoted her a price, half down, half on completion and started spinning. Had to take 6 weeks off because of the ankle, and I have been working on it ever since. I now have about 1/2 done. I REALLY want to get this done before the next wool fest. I did relay to her the parable about teaching a man to fish, but no go, she wasn’t interested in becoming a fisherman (spinner). Custom1

Custom2

2.  I still have 3-4 ideas in my head for sweaters and accessories, need to pull those out of the creaking brain, before they get lost forever.
3. Six cotton towels are waiting to be woven off the 8-harness Jack Loom. towels
4. Yarn is waiting to be knit into 2 new sweaters (EZ style, saddle shoulder)  for my eldest son, he brought sweaters home for “repair” again this Christmas — little holes here and there — my darning skills are improving. jimsweaters
5.  Finally finished (yeah) the Corriedale/Alpaca mix for Hubby’s sweater — he’s a big guy, so I think I’ll knit this sweater in pieces, rather than whole from the bottom up. corriedalealpaca
4. Have to do a carding project — around 3 lbs or so of silk, white alpaca, merino mix — soft as down, fluffy as clouds — really has body when you knit it up (can’t decide if I’ll sell it or keep it — it’s pretty yummy — at leas the drop spindle sample is) cloudsoft
6.  HAVE to finish the Grey/brown Coopworth I bought last year at Great Lakes Fiber fest — see Spinning Greasy! coopworth
7.  Another carding project to do — brown merino (natural color) with Northern lights — using the new Elite drum carder. MerinoMix
8.  Have to spin the White Alpaca I carded with the Wool/Lama (oatmeal) mix I picked up from Sharon Allen at Ramifications, gonna call this “snow on a cloudy day” AlpacaOatmealBlend_
9.  Have to spin several bags of exotic mixes, wool/angora/silk/cashmere I picked up at Great Lakes WoosterExotics
10.  I also have to finish the quilting for my quilt and then do Lou’s quilt (already sandwiched and ready to go) SierrasQuilt
11.  I got a GREAT DEAL on some raw WensleyDale from an American sheep herder (thanks to Ravelry) and JUST HAD to get some — so it is washed now (boy it was dirty) and ready for carding on my roving carder, not to mention (yet) spinning it up. Wensleydale
12. Coopworth Lambswool — bought it greasy, had OVNF clean and card it, and OH it is soft, airy — loves to be spun on Steady Sally. CoopworthLambswool

There is more to mention, but this is getting embarrassing!

After taking stock, I have decided that the whole idea of making new years resolutions is a CROCK !   I’d rather live in a state of ignorant bliss, than figure out what I have left to do, organize my life enough to complete all the tasks, and (oh horrors) WORST of all, deny myself the pleasure of taking on a new project, buying more fiber, getting another wheel  ……  Nope — Chaos is better.

Thank God for Rosie (Majacraft Rose), Pretty Polly (Kromski Polonaise) and Steady Sally (Louet S-10)

Rosie PrettyPolly
Sally