the muse, a speckled hen, and keep your hands warm


It’s true, I get a lot done in the studio. And the reason is, my muse. Can you figure what she’s doing with her paws? Oh, my Artie cat. Layin in the sun with her, uh, ball of yarn. Thinkin about, oh…that ol speckled hen, maybe?


Felted bag of “Ol Speckled Hen” – Gulf Coast/Alpaca


Oh…did I say “keep your hands warm?”


These are “wildberry mitts” knit with juicy singles spun from, right, an acid dyed roving. Here are 2 more 4 oz handpainted rovings. I love fat singles. But then, this mohair blend could be a dreamy laceweight. Ah…the possibilities. Just ask Artie the Muse, or this fellow, Mr Hedgehog. He knows a soft place to land when he sees one.


mrs miller’s folly

When I was a jr in high school, and applying to art school, there came a time that my portfolio, and the portfolios of several classmates, had to be delivered to a certain place at a certain time by a certain teacher. Mrs Miller.

She took charge of our portfolios. Yes, she did. We had sweated our brains out putting together an amazing array of drawings and paintings and in my case, textiles…batiks. Oh. My Guernica. A big batik mural – Vietnam was in full swing – it was 6 or 8 feet long. Blue. Red. White. She came in to class the day before she was to deliver our portfolios and told me that she couldn’t find mine. It had…how did she put it? It had disappeared off the face of the Earth.

Now, you have to understand. This woman was not my biggest fan. From Day One, she had been giving me slitty eyes, and making unnatural comments. Can you imagine how I felt having her reject an assignment…loudly…in front of the class…because “it’s too masculine – you couldn’t have done this…your boyfriend (and here she pointed to a guy sitting at my table!!) must have done it – it’s not your work don’t tell me it is.” That was…oh…in September. HA!

Alright. Blah blah. Yesterday when I was painting roving, I had these colors…and they said…”familiar familiar familiar, aren’t we? you just keep painting sweethot, and we ARE familiar don’t you think, you pointy headed thing you?” Well, here’s the roving.


Of the 4 ounces, 2 are painted in gradations of blue. The other 2 are blue, red and white. This was designed to be spun into a 2-ply.


I don’t know what Mrs Miller would think. When I worked in textiles, she told me I should stick to painting. When I painted, she told me I should stick to textiles. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that she might have had some influence on me. HA! When I found out what she did with my big batik my Guernica…it was all over for her – as far as I was concerned.

One of the upperclassmen, a young man who was a good friend of mine, went to her house to deliver HIS portfolio to her. She invited him in to her kitchen. He walked through the house and past her bedroom. And saw My Guernica hanging over her bed.

Unbelievable that there are teachers like that in this country getting paid to work over our kids.

february w o o l work


l-r: alpaca/gulfcoast, “hyacinth” corrie/mohair, “rosa” alpaca/gulfcoast, “wildberry” corrie/mohair

Here are a few yarns that have sprung from the Fricke of late. Yes, I know. Look at the colors. Yes. I know. I found a bag with a bunch of old acid dyes. I tried em out. They still work. Lots of purple. Oh well. I’ll live. I did use plant dyes too. The yellows – look for yellow/yellowgreen/yelloworange – are from the jar of turmeric Denise M gave me. A mason jar full.

Yesterday, I dyed. One pound of the mohair blend roving. Last night, I spun half of it. Today I knit and felted. So…for this post…let’s look at “hyacinth.”

Hyacinth? Well…here’s the handpainted roving…you can’t see much of the turmeric…but there were some nice chatreuse spots…


And here it is split and fluffed…


And spun into 2 2oz bobbins of soft fat singles – 182 yds altogether.


Enough for…a felted bag! Ah! or Ha! As the case may be.


Here’s the bag, freshly knit.


And here it is, stuffed with plastic bags, drying.