Get to Work!

Great stuff, having room to move without cats attacking the fiber in my hand, basket, box, bag, or on the carder or the wheel. Great stuff. Here’s the bottom of a batt that will be making up a second ply for some avocado dyed *GCN. This batt is GCN Sammas, yellow silk/Merino blend, red Border Leicester, and pitch black alpaca.

*GCN = Gulf Coast Native Sheep


First Batt out of the “new” Studio, with Lailie

Tour de Fleece – Day 1: Racing Stripe

Day 1 – Racing Stripe: Alpaca/Gulf Coast Native Wrap on Gulf Coast Single

Tighter Shot of  Racing Stripe

This year’s Tour de Fleece is going to be a little different for me. This year, instead of spinning for volume, I’m going to be working my way through Jacey Boggs’ book, spin art.

Day 1: Lesson 1 – Racing Stripe

I chose a batt I’d carded of some Running Moon Farm’s colored Gulf Coast Native for the singles yarn, the “core” of the yarn. For the racing stripe, I chose a singles yarn I’d spun from a RanMar Alpacas blanket tweeded up with some bits of Gulf Coast.

My predeliction for spinning in the grease jumped up and bit me in the hiney. The batt did’nt draft smoothly. At all. So, even though I was spinning at a low ratio with low tension, my yarn kept getting all reverso-ram-mered. The singles “yarn” that I was spinning kept wrapping around the stripe! Ha. Ahhh, Beginners Mind.

In the end, I spun 16 yards of this funny little yarn. It’s soaking right now, and I think it will relax and bloom nicely once that little bit of grease is gone.

Welcome to Tour de Fleece 2012!

Button Button who’s got the Button?

Mahogany Buttons for Oatmeal Cardi

Alright, I know. Be careful what you wish for…or for what you wish. I wished for sweater weather, rather than sweatful weather. And, I got it!

Today, Oatmeal Cardi was given the chance to go to work, do its job, you know, be worn. But, I still hadn’t figured out the buttons. So, Tom gave me some slices of wood, cherry, mahogany, and maple, and said, “Go to town.” I did. I messed around for awhile, carving ovals, curvy rectangles, and all manner of awful things. Finally, I settled on some scooped corner mahogany squares, edges broken just enough to be smooth, and big enough to stay buttoned.

That’s them. Up there in the picture. Still unfinished, but tomorrow’s another day. They’ll be a dark red, lovely mahogany.

Oatmeal Modelling Raw Buttons

Well, so far, none of the darn photos show the red alpaca in the knit. I think that when the buttons are finish coated, and their color is vibrant, the red in the yarn will pop. A little bit. I hope.

So, that’s all I had time for today. Crazily enough. The twins are getting big and they aren’t napping so much, so Maa and Pa have to be out there spending time with the teeny lumpkins. Oh, I did have time for one more thing…


This is a recipe on which to found an empire. What’s in these muffins? Coconut, oats, tangerine, blueberries, the neighbors’ honey. And this and that, the stuff that unforgettableizes them.


Time to give ba-bas to the babies.


Oatmeal Block

Oatmeal Cardi ~ in A Gulf Coast Native/Alpaca Blend

Good thing I took this picture when I did. The sweater’s still wet, and I readjusted the yoke. But, hey. Here’s the thing. The knitting is done! Tom’s making me some cherry buttons…in his spare time (right). Thank you Amy King for a great pattern!

So…it’s on to the next project…which is the finishing up of the Eco-Vest (Katie Himmelberg).


Oatmeal Cardigan

Dove’s Roost Handspun Gulf Coast Native/Alpaca Blend

I love oatmeal. We eat oatmeal and apples every single morning. When I saw Amy King’s Oatmeal Cardigan in Spin-off (Winter 2009), I felt a tug. But, life when on. I spun a truckload of Gulf Coast Native/Alpaca blend for a Celtic Cape. Then I decided not to knit the cape. And I looked at that yarn, and looked at that yarn, and swatched for socks and sweaters and was so not-satisfied. Then, some cell in my brain wiggled, and I remembered the Oatmeal Cardi.

I went through my samples, and there, in my hand, was ever the most perfect gauge swatch. So, I cast on.

The yarn, supple, smooshy, and light, danced on and off the needles. Perfect perfect. When I knit the charts for the pattern, though – what the? Yes, it was late. Three in the morning, I think. But, what was up with the charts? Next day, I reread them and reread them, and there was a big fat booboo. A couple cable symbols were reversed. So, I checked for errata on the Interweave site, and there, in front of my face, was the admission that the symbols had been reversed.

You would think, after months of fiddling with that yarn, that I’d have been a more careful knitter, wouldn’t you? HA! I’ve been a writer for over 30 years, and I’m well aware of the crazy mistakes that can elude the most careful editor, and seemingly work their way into a completed document. But, I was so thrilled to have a pattern, an easy, mindless knit for a gorgeous gorgeous sweater…that I didn’t bother to look for mistakes. Fortunately, I was only 4 rows into the design, so tinking was not a huge deal.

So…word to the wise, no matter what your pattern source, have the sense to check for errata.

Now, let me get the chores done so I can sit down and knit!

Tour de Fleece – Day 10 & Day 11

Alpaga 374

As all you Tour de France junkies know, there are 2 rest days scheduled in every race. This year, the rest days are the 11th and 18th of July. Those of us spinning the Tour de Fleece take the same days off. I used yesterday to organize, reorganize, put away piles of fiber I’d “thought about” spinning, and pulled out others I am going to spin. And like all days off…well…in my world, there’s no such thing. So…by this afternoon, I have a skein to offer. Part of my cape project. Another 5.75 oz…374 yards on the nose. Worsted seems so fast to spin after days of eeny weeny singles!

Listening to Nixon in China (John Adams) 1987 Nonesuch. Whoo hooo!

Maybe, Maybe Not

I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of making a cream colored fingertip length cape. Dramatic. But, here on the farm? Mmmm. I’d be daft, don’t you think? It’s just too off season for any natural dyeing. I don’t have a stash of coreopsis, or a trove of indigo…so…I looked into the guest room uh…fleece storage room.

Seems I do have some color, indeed. I have, a couple of GCNI fleeces – these are grey fleeces from Running Moon Farm in Louisiana. I also have a russet colored alpaca blanket from a fellow named Lance who lives with my friends Martha and Randall in Georgia. And, let us not forget that silky long staple GCN from my friend Pat down the road.


There you have the blends. With some adjusting, I think I could bring out the russet in the blend of all three. Though, those rolags of “just color” are pretty lovely. So far, though, the blend of 3 cards much easier, as the GCN is long and silky.

L-R Blend of Color, Blend with Cream, Barberpole of One Ply of Each

All pretty. I am fonder of the darker yarns. But the greyish yarn is so soft. And, and this is a consideration, I would certainly be able to stretch “Lance” a lot further if he made up one-third of the 4500 yards.

Okay. So that’s the predicament. Any help out there?

Chicken Yarn – Tour de Fleece Challenge Day

Chicken Yarn

What do you get when you spin a garbagecan yarn of Merino, Alpaca, Gulf Coast Native, Rhode Island Red, Partridge Rock, cotton and CVM? You get yarn with feathers! This is some soft stuff. I used the downy baby feathers from the Reds (russet) and my Rock (black).

Artemis Wearing Chicken Yarn Stole

This old lady is so patient and good. She enjoys modelling for mama. At 16, she can get away with wearing this!