Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spinning Fiend

I cannot stop spinning! I have no desire for knitting (though I do have a lonely sock on the needles, which I have to show you - the needles, not the sock!) and every time I have a moment I've been spinning. These kicks are cyclical for me, I must be feeling the instant gratification need, as spinning up a nice chunky 2ply out of a 4oz braid doesn't take too long and makes me feel super-productive. Here's a pretty mosaic of the what I've done in the past week alone:

Top left is Kim's SplishSplash Superwash BFL in "DayTripper" spun to a finger-sport weight and is mine, mine, mine! Most likely for a lacy little thing from Anne. These two ladies make a good team, so I figure I'll keep them together!

Top Right is my own BFL top, in what I call "Muted Rainbow". Its up for sale in the shop.

Bottom Left is "Fantasy" BFL chunky singles from LimeGreenJelly on etsy. I swear she has some blue/green magic mojo with the dyes - go look at her colors. They positively GLOW. This is also in the shop, but I have an internal struggle each day it doesn't sell telling myself I must have it. The fact that I'm not knitting right now is the only thing keeping me from swiping it.

Bottom Right is my own Corriedale top, in a color I call "Pogue" as it was inspired by a photo from my special place. This is another one I was scared to part with, but I listed it and it sold quickly, so its off to a new home. I just hope I can remember how to reproduce that one, as its a favorite of mine and dates from before I was taking good notes on how I was creating things.

I also did some dyeing and refreshed the shop, I can give you a pretty slice of those as well, but, marketing genious that I am I failed to post here when I updated, and most of the new ones are gone already - I'll try to get better at that. Seriously, though, if you want a reliable shop update status,shoot me an email and I'll put you on the mailing list. That has been the easiest way for me to keep people up to date, and I always try to include a little photo like the below in the email so you know whether anything might tempt you ahead of time!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Back in the Saddle

I am safely back in chilly New England. The Pumpkin Family had a marvelous time in a warmer clime, and I at least came back feeling refreshed and inspired and like I can handle the remainder of winter here with a little more grace.

I am in full-on dyeing mode for more shop updates coming soon, as well as keeping up with the coming months samples for the PhatFiber box. My February box arrived yesterday, and I had great fun bringing it to spin night so we could all ooh and aah over the yummies therein.

The PhatFiber box has really been a boon to me to be able to get my wares into people's hands. If anyone reading is a small-starter-upper fibery person, I can highly recommend it as a great marketing tool. There are some really smart and talented people participating and the vendor group on Yahoo has been a great resource. If you're just a fiber/yarn buyer I can also wholeheartedly say that being a recipient of a box is very fun, and it is a great chance to get to "try before you buy" from some of these wonderful artists - you can sign up to get alerted for the sale date of the next box get on the mailing list here.

Thats all for now - I'll be back early next week with spinning recap and a look at what I've been dyeing.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Small Projects

I traditionally don't do a lot of small projects - I'm a sweater knitter, a big lacy shawl knitter, usually with a slow-in-the-making pair of socks on the needles somewhere in there. If you look through the last few months of the blog, or of my Ravelry projects though, its all small all the time. A little flurry of holiday gifts, a scarf, neckwarmers, baby knits. It makes me feel quite productive, and I think it could be habit forming. Here is another one to add the pile, my Chalice Cable Handwarmers:

This is a really wonderful pattern: fast knitting, even with the cabling, and a really pretty and well fitted pair of mitts. The yarn is my own handspun from an Abby batt of merino, cashmere and silk - deliciously soft and destined for just this type of project. They are my new most favorite hand covering, my only problem is that the weather here is requiring full-coverage mittens all the time these days. Maybe I can wear them more in March?

The other thing I have been busy with is prepping my samples for the February edition of the PhatFiber sample box. The January box was a big hit - selling out in minutes and I've gotten a lot of great exposure for Vines, "met" some really wonderful people, and also gotten a nice bump in sales. My only regret from January was that I didn't send in enough samples to get a vendor box. I've remedied that for February, whose theme is "Romance and Chocolate"

There are 2 kind of my hand dyed braids for spinner samples - targhee and rambouillet and I've included a variety of handspun mini-skeins for the "stitches only" boxes which include two-plies of the leftovers from the targhee and rambo braids and some chunky singles in BFL.

You won't hear from me for a week or more, as the whole family is headed out of this horrid, frigid, snow-and-ice-bound nightmare that is New England (can you tell I'm a little fed up with the snow?) . We're off to a place with soft warm breezes and lots of sunshine, where handknits and wool (even socks!) are not needed at all. I know I couldn't live in a place like that forever, but right about now that sounds just about perfect.