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On the Wheel

It has been a long, long time since I’ve used my spinning wheel.  I am struggling to regain sufficient dorsiflexion in order to walk without a limp, despite doing physical therapy exercises religiously.  We brought the wheel downstairs so I could treadle and at least gain strength, and possibly mobility as well.  (First, the little bit of lavender merino yarn had to come off the bobbin so I could start spinning the KoolAid dyed pinky-orange roving.  I will ply it later.) George hung out with me and had a snack while I pre-drafted the roving. Attempting to get the wheel

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Yarn Along – Just Barely

Life is so frantic lately, I almost didn’t make Nicole’s KCCO or  Ginny’s Yarn Along this week.  I am having trouble keeping my head above water some days.  It seems to be a constant problem – four kids, busy schedules, deadlines, nowhere to cut back and simplify.  When life gets like this, I’m going to drop a ball somewhere, I just don’t know where yet… This week, I’m re-reading some of of my favorite permaculture books.  I am working on a research project, and while I thought most of my reading would take place late at night (thanks to chronic

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Alpaca and Social Permaculture

I’m tackling spinning for the Yarn Along this week.   Little by little, I am working my way through a 4 oz bag of first-shearing unwashed alpaca fiber (isn’t the coppery color lovely?).  This buttery soft fiber was a gift from my sister some years ago.  She picked it up from Foothills Fiber in Hood River, OR. Originally, I was going to put this on the wheel, but both sets of bobbins are already full of other fibers, so I’ve been working on a drop spindle.  (I have 6 or so spindles going at any one time, so progress on any

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Yarn Along – Rhythm of the Home

I have a piece in the new issue of Rhythm of the Home .  It just came out today!   Hope you get a chance to read and try out the recipe – it is a family favorite. The entire issue is packed with beautiful, thoughtful and instructive articles from such talented women.  From felted sweater garlands to meditations on homeschooling in the winter months to Waldorf doll shoe instructions..Rhythm of the Home always puts out a great edition! Obviously, for the reading portion of Ginny’s Yarn Along, this morning I’m reading through the new issue of Rhythm of the Home. 

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November Yarn Along

Taking a break from knitting this week to finish up some spindle spinning.  It’s a soft grey undyed wool, breed unknown, since it was purchased several years ago at an estate sale with many other bags of fiber. My reading selection this week is a bit boring – mostly books on fruit-tree cultivation and pruning.  All of our young fruit trees are ready to have their central leaders lopped and I need to get serious about how they will be pruned and shaped, so it’s time to brush up on the subject. The singles that resulted from spinning on this

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Handspun

Yes, we have actually been doing things besides garden projects!  (Not much, but a little bit.)  Some recent spindle spun, shown above, spun with Brown Sheep mill-end roving,  dyed with just a bit of leftover Blue-Raspberry Kool-Aid (we left it mostly white, and drizzled a little kool-aid here and there).  I think I’ll ply it and knit some booties for the baby. On the wheel is also some Kool-Aid dyed Brown Sheep mill-end, but this time we saturated it with leftover pink lemonade, strawberry and orange.  The resulting yarn is VERY bright, and I’ll probably make Firecracker some socks with

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Setting the twist

The first batch of Easter-egg dyed yarn is off the wheel.  Not a bad attempt, and I can see a lot of improvement from the beginning of one bobbin to the end of the next.  And the girls enjoyed drafting from time to time, or putting a foot on top of mine and helping me treadle.  Little Hen was able to spin some of the scraps by herself (she’s a great drafter), although it’s pretty difficult for her to keep the wheel spinning. After setting the twist and hanging the yarn up to dry, my bathroom smells of wet sheep

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On the wheel, on the map

We’ve been studying a lot about map reading and map making, and yesterday afternoon I brought out a huge sheet of posterboard and let the children create and label their own “treasure map”.  (Little Hen’s idea is to re-create the map in real-life in the backyard and then use their map to find the “treasure”.   Pretty clever idea, actually. My only concern is creating the “grape soda lake” they drew on the map…   😉 If the rain holds out, I think the girls will have a great time with their treasure hunt this afternoon. I was feeling a bit

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Flyer

My dad, who has made me all sorts of great spindles and fiber tools,  made me a new spinning wheel flyer to replace the broken one on my Louet-S10! (It arrived just in time for my birthday.)  YAY!!!! It’s rainy and yucky out today (although, I’m grateful, because the seeds we’ve planted need the water), so I think it’ll be a great afternoon to listen to our new book on CD while the girls finish their altered book project and I try out my wheel! Those bags of fiber upstairs are calling me.  Can’t wait to get spinning…

Quiet spinning

A quiet afternoon yesterday – now all of us are feeling under the weather and we are doing our best to cultivate an atmosphere of peace and foster wellness.  The girls were snuggling in their bed, reading Highlights and Ranger Rick,  and Tum Tum was napping.  A rare opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee in the front room, watching the rain fall. Also a perfect opportunity to get out some spinning (because anyone who knows me knows I can’t just sit and sip coffee without some handwork at the ready).  I’ve been so busy knitting socks, I’ve gotten behind

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Drop Spindle #6

This is my newest drop spindle!  It was thrown in as a sweetener on a purchase I made off of craiglsist (more on that in a few days).   So, far I really like it – it is quite small, fast rotating, and spins a nice even lace-weight.  (I’ve been working on this very soft top, which came with the spindle  (It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it’s a beautiful black wool with cotton multi-colored threads throughout).  It will eventually become a 2-ply, but I have no idea what to knit out of it yet – there may be

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Egg-dyed yarns

I have always wanted to dye my own roving (mostly because of the Twisted Sisters Sock Book!!), but wanted it to be something the children and I could do together – something safe, easy, and non-toxic.  So, when I was pregnant with my son, the girls and I dyed 2 lbs of white Brown Sheep mill end roving (super economical!) with Easter egg dye bought at 75% off after Easter.    The needed ingredients are food-safe dye, vinegar and water. We followed this Kathryn Ivy tutorial, using spray bottles, brushes  and spoons to experiment with different patterns of adding the dye

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Off the spindle

With the cooler weather of the last few days, we’ve found life has slowed down a bit, and we’ve been hanging around the house more and more.  The girls have been playing more quiet games,  and we’ve all been reading through our latest haul from the library.   I’ve gotten a chance to finish spinning some merino/mohair roving bought at a spin-in ages ago.  The twist has been set (which really brought out the loft in the yarn – it’s so fluffy!), and these singles are ready to knit. Also off the another spindle are the last few ounces of

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Handspun Baby Shoes

A lovely family from our church welcomed their second child, so the children and I took them dinner yesterday evening (well, afternoon, really…) Thought we’d include a little something for Baby Nicolas.   How about ribbon-tie baby shoes?  (Yes, I realize that’s a thumb in the bottom of the picture.  Please just ignore it.  I wasn’t up for photo-shopping.) I know they aren’t the most practical gift, but there’s just something about baby booties – they are my favorite thing to knit, they make a good keepsake, and they’re small enough that I can utilize some of my spindle-spun yarn. These

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On the drive – also giveaways

Some spinning I was working on as we drove to Hood River this past weekend.  It’s 100% Oregon wool that I bought while volunteering with my guild at the Spin-In when we lived on the coast.  The roving looked so pretty, but I was a new and inexperienced spinner, and I realize now that there were too many colors in it – burgundy, purple, forest green, grey, orange, and a little yellow –  and it looks muddy when spun up.  I think it’ll make okay baby booties or an edging on a baby sweater.  Overall, I’m not too impressed, but I feel like I have to finish it before I can

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