Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I'm Dyeing Here.......

So...I joined a few FB groups.  Onc is fiber dyeing.  After a month of perusing everyone's beautiful, beautiful dyeing jobs, the bug finally hit.

Hey, I've got plenty of white least 8#s I can play with.  And we're off......

I spent the last week dyeing.  Thinking of a color....and dyeing.  Hey, what if I did......and dyeing.  This would really make a great complimentary color for.....and dyeing.

Meals were prepared; dishes done every day; laundry kept up; bathroom cleaned; bed made; a little dusting, a little vacuuming.  That is all.  No time for heavy cleaning. 

Well, I think I'm dyed out for now.  But not for long.  Anywho, the heavy housework got done; plans are being made for some Spring fix-ups and yardwork.  The website and email gets checked every day to see if there's another BIG sale on white fiber.

And spinning....oh yes.  There's like 3 different spinning projects that were started before the "sweater from hell" took over.  And now they must be finished up.  Still knitting on the vest; the back is almost done; one more side to do.

But I'm still dreaming and planning colors for the next go-round.

This pink/green/lilac/blue roving is the first set of balls pictured below.  The color was off down there for some reason.

All but the yellow were dyed with food color pastes.  The yellow was dyed with turmeric.  I never used a spice before.  Love the color!  They were all kettle dyed, each was a planned color that came out something totally different.  But such varigation in the rovings!  Not a bad one in the bunch.  There is approximately 1# of every color.  Oh man!  I can't wait to start spinning these.  And dyeing some more!

There's about 2#s of white left.  I sure hope there's a sale very soon.
I'm hooked...and I got it bad.....real bad.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I'm Too Young for This....and She's Not Old Enough! (sob sob)

Saturday our granddaughter posted some pics.  Here's the most revelant:

Yep...they're engaged!!  Her first serious boyfriend, now her fiancĂ©.  She'll be 20 yrs old the beginning of June.  She's also in the MN. National Guard.....and being deployed to Kuwait the first week of June.  She'll be over there from 7 months to a year.

It's the sweet with the bitter.  As I guess most things are in life.

I'm very happy for them both.  He is a great guy and they seem very happy together.  She deserves everything good life can give her.

Excuse me now.  I need to go sit and cry.  Tears of happiness; tears of worry; tears of memories from years gone by.  My cup of love over-floweth.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Finished!! Happy Dance !!

Here it is....the sweater from Hell.  Sorry.  It was done last week, except for stitching down the collar and sewing on the buttons.  But I just couldn't bring myself to touch it one more time.  Then I had the bright idea to make pockets.  I love pockets on sweaters.  So...pockets were knitted and stitched on.  Again, it took me days to accomplish that task.

Anywho,  I guess it turned out ok.  I still don't think it's going to fit my SIL, but it's getting sent out just the same.  If it comes back, I've got another Aran sweater.  It's a "win-win" situation.

The yarn is a 3ply sportweight....2 tea and coffee dyed, 1 white; all Border Leichester.  I tried for a close-up of the buttons, but they came out all fuzzy.  The pictures, not the buttons.  The buttons were ordered on line.  They're a bronze color with the Celtic Eternity Knot symbol stamped into the metal.  Very nice, but smaller than I thought they would be.  Oh well.

It is a nice lightweight sweater.  I like it.

Now there's about a pound of Cheviot in the dyepot.  It'll be a beautiful aqua to compliment the pound of aqua/ grey/green/magenta that was dyed last week.  I was trying for grey; used black gel food coloring.  It "broke"......but I love the colors anyway!   A real nice surprise afterall.  This is why I prefer to dye in colorways instead of a solid color.  Many more options with the surprises.

Well, back to spinning.  Finishing up some BL blended with iridescent Firestar.  Then there's the vest to finish knitting.  And more roving to finish spinning.  Thank goodness our weather is going to be on the cool side next week.  At least the outside work can be put off a little longer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Am I Crazy???......or...."There's a Sucker Born Every Minute".....

Caution:   This is a Rant!!

So...I belong to a few fiber groups on FB.  This morning I get a notice from one that someone posted something.  Hmmm....I haven't read anything from that group in a long time....think I'll check it out.

Whoaaaa.....Nellie!!!  I just about fell off the chair.  And here's why:

This happens to be a page where you can advertise your fibers, yarns and knitted items for sale.  Well....this person is advertising 5# of Cormo roving for.....wait for it........$83.00 a # !!  WHAT????  Am I crazy or has the whole world (read: fiber community)  gone NUTS?????  $83.00 a #  for Cormo???? didn't matter if you bought a few ounces or the 5#s....the price was the same, roughly $5.50 and ounce.  AN OUNCE, people.

Cormo is a very common sheep, right there with Corriedale , BFL and others.   This was not dyed....not blended with silk or cashmere.  Yeah, it was roving; yeah, it was commercially processed; yeah, she said it was free of vm and very soft (21 microns).....but.....COME ON !

Now there happened to be about 40 comments.  One responded...."what, is it... gold??"  But surprisingly, most of them were very interested in the fiber and thought it was a great was "market" price, and not out of line in any way, so they commented.

Ladies and gentlemen, I purchase my fiber from wool festivals, 1 or 2 small dealers, but mostly from a wholesale provider in Washington state.  In recent months, I have bought 15#s total of beautiful white Corriedale and Cheviot top.  It spins like butter and takes dye fantastically.  I bought it on sale....$14.00 per #.  The more you buy, the cheaper the price. One pound started at $18.00.  I've been a customer for many years and purchased many different wools, including Merino top....never paid $5.50 an ounce.

See, this happened years ago when I started canning our home grown veggies and fruits out of necessity to feed our family.  We moved from the suburbs of an Eastern state to a very rural area in mid-country. 

Nobody canned since 1950, except maybe those who lived on farms with 8 - 10 children.  But not surburban-raised homemakers.  Within a few years, the price of canning jars, canners, and all the paraphernalia  went through the roof!!  Why?   Because there was a big movement going on, "Back to basics" and all those nouveau riche, upandcoming, drinking the "Kool-Aid" urbanites, who thought it would be a kick, got into canning.  It blew my mind, as well as my budget.

The same thing happened when I started quilting.  Fabric, thread, patterns, and all were very affordable.  Then the quilting craze started know who....and BAM....prices hit the ceiling again.  $8.00 for a yard of fabric??  $3.00 for a spool of thread??  $30.00 for a cutting mat or rotary cutter or rulers or patterns???

When I started spinning some 18 years ago, my first wheel cost $175.00.  It was an Ashford.  I just about choked, but knew it was a good investment.  You can't hardly touch a wheel for under $400.00 these days...and that's  a cheap one.   Why??  Spinning fiber and making yarn is all the rage now.  People boast about their $700 - $800 - $1,000 wheels. I now own 3 wheels, purchased over these many years.  And all on sale.  The total for all 3 would be about $1,000.  I use them constantly.  I cherish each one.  I keep them in fine working order.  I know their value and I value them.

What is going on today?  Is everyone on the "Greed Train" or are people becoming totally brainwashed as to the increasing price of things; how much they can charge for something; how much money they can make.

I've sold handmade crafts and my hand spun, hand dyed, hand knitted items for year.  The comment I hear most often is "you don't charge enough for your items".   Well, you know what?  If I make a small profit, if I love what I do, if my prices are something just about everyone can afford, if you love and appreciate what you purchased from me, then it's all good.  I'm happy.  You're happy.

I think it's time to stop all the craziness. Money. Money. Money.  When are we going to regain our common sense?  Where does it end?

I'll keep doing my part. I shop around for the best prices and supplies; buy when on sale; in bulk when necessary.  If I sell knitwear, it's a price I've never had anyone quibble about.  And people are happy.

That's it.  Just had to get it out.  But I'm still flabbergasted.