Archive for November, 2007

Llama shirts ready!

November 27, 2007

So, I wimped out of going to Guild tonight, even though I wanted to.  I am a weak person!  It was too dark and rainy and too far a drive. Anyhow, I worked last week and then today to get the shirts done so I could bring them to show off, deliver a couple that I promised, and to leave some with Linda for her to consign at the shop.  So, I will present a couple of them here so you can see. pict0090.jpg  Pink sheep with “Got Wool?” and pink sheep with no text.pict0087.jpg Lilac, pink & orange llama with no text. pict0089.jpg  Llama on pink with no text.  If you are part of River Cities Fiber Clan or local to me, the shirts are $20 each for adult sizes.  Youth $15.  Infant onesies $10.  Let me know if you want me to SAVE a shirt for you (heaven knows when I will make more!).  As of today, the available shirts are: pink:  

  • youth 4/5 with “got wool?” sheep
  • unisex 2xl with “got wool?” sheep
  • infant small onesie with “got wool?” sheep
  • unisex xl with no-text sheep
  • ladies sport-cut small with llama


  •  youth xs/s “got wool?” sheep
  • ladies large v-neck “got wool?” sheep
  • unisex xl “got wool?” sheep
  • unisex med “got wool?” sheep
  • girls/youth long-sleeve 4 “got wool?” sheep (has tiny hole, $5 off)
  • unisex large “got wool?” sheep
  • unisex xl llama

lilac (light purple):

  •  ladies’ xl v-neck “got wool?” sheep
  • infant small onesie “got wool?” sheep
  • youth xs “got wool?” sheep
  • youth med “got wool?” sheep
  • unisex 2xl sheep with no text
  • unisex large llama with no text



More soy-batik today!

November 20, 2007

I promised some shirts with sheep or llamas to some people in my Guild for next Monday and then it occurred to me that it would be hard to get those done over the Thanksgiving break and I had better at least get STARTED on them NOW.

The first time I ever heard of soy wax in batik was at Sonja Lee’s site, when I was looking for batik info last year.

I used some of her ideas about soy wax, but was still looking for something where I didn’t have to do so much washing out in between steps (it is much easier to wash out the soy wax than beeswax and paraffin, but just the same, it is lots of “laundry”). When Judy said she liked my idea of making sheep t-shirts to sell at a festival, this is what I came up with.

I put something inside the shirt, to keep the wax only on the front side. Then I melt the soy wax in the microwave. I lightly tape a paper stencil onto the t-shirt and use a brush to cover the “hole” in the stencil with soy wax. Then I remove the stencil and put the shirt in the freezer for a few minutes. After removing the shirt, the wax has hardened and I remove the paper from inside. The shirt then goes in the dye-bath (cold water, procion dye, salt) for 10 minutes and then activator solution is added and I stir the whole thing sometimes and leave it in for about 45 minutes. Then I rinse out the shirt and wash it in the washing machine on hot.

After the shirt has been dried, I iron freezer paper to the reverse/inside and then paint the features on with silkscreen-type paint. Let dry. Heat set.

old posts that I moved from Geocities

November 12, 2007

If you want the newer stuff, scroll down!

Gryffindor yarn (for October 4, 2007)

The photo is a bit blurry (hey, I took 4 and this one was the best!), but you can see the colors. My homage to Harry Potter’s Hogwarts “house”… It is two-ply. One strand is saffron superwash and the other strand is alternating saffron, maroon & cream.
Entry for October 2, 2007

Finished this yarn last week– wilton’s dyed wool handblended with alpaca (with my little dog slicker brushes) and spun on my Babe and then 2-plyed.
handblended handdyed wool & alpaca

More about the sheep batik t-shirts (September 25, 2007)

Since the first (fibery) people who saw the shirts thought they were cute, I made up a few more, in three colors.

Took them to Guild last night and there was a great clamor, so I said I would make some special orders for people after I figured out what was left from the festival.

Kool Aid dyed “spinning bell” spun up–Entry for May 24, 2007
kool-aid dyed handspun

Heritage Festival & shearing (Entry for May 24, 2007)

Earlier this month we went to “Heritage Farm Days” at a local farm-museum. As part of the festivities, the three sheep in the petting zoo were shorn by a county extension agent.

There was a white sheep named Mary (maybe a Dorset??), and a pair of Jacob sheep. The female was a yearling (Leah) and this was her first shearing. One of the family members (it is a family-owned & run farm-museum, this is the father of the young kids, Audy Perry) was telling everyone (mostly children) that they could take home some of the fleece/wool. I had a big handful of wool from the jacob yearling and Audy (who we know a little bit, his kids and our kids have done some stuff together and my kids have gone to “Way Back Wednesdays” at the farm the last couple of summers) chases me down and says that if I do not take ALL of the rest of the three fleeces, he is going to THROW THEM AWAY! Horrors! I say that I am not sure that I can process them, that is a lot of raw wool and I have no drum carder, etc. He insists. Your garbage or mine, he says. So, I am persuaded and he gets me a big bag and I take it all home with me.

So far I have only washed a couple of pounds of the wool, picked through most of it, and started spinning it “from the lock” without carding or combing. Those two teeny skeins were my little samples I made to see if the wool was “worth” my time processing it. Soft. A fair amount of VM still in it after I’ve spun it, but I guess I will wash more…FREE FLEECES, whoo hoo!

“cobweb” wet-felted wool shawl–April 30, 2007

I did this last week–wet felted wool with bubble wrap and a pool noodle. I used thin layers from a spinning bell from to get the wool in a thin sheet, and then accented it with some little pieces of roving, covered it over with a layer of nylon tulle, wet it with dish detergent and water and crawled around on my kitchen floor to get it started felting. Then I rolled it up with the pool noodle in the middle and the bubble wrap on the outside (took off the tulle) and rolled it around with my feet and hit it with the other piece of pool noodle until I was sore and stopped. LOL


Moderne Log Cabin Knit Throw–April 30, 2007
log cabin
Nearly done (need to straighten out some places where it is very uneven due to changes in gauge from one yarn to another) with the semi-moderne log cabin (idea from Mason-Dixon knitting)!! This was done on size 15 needles with all-handspun chunky yarn.

Spun up the tulip-colorway fleece that I dyed. Like it, but the photo wasn’t very good. Also spun up some novelty yarn with some of the alpaca seconds hand-blended with some hand-dyed wool.

On my Babe right now is some of the lovely soft alpaca/targhee from Cheryl at Mt Ampata Alpacas!

And I got a lb of border leicester raw wool from Catharine on Spindlers and I have washed it and started picking out the vm (it was free for the cost of shipping). It is much more lovely now that it is clean. LOL!

Been trying to learn how to naalbind from watching online video clips–haven’t really got it yet, but the videos are getting me closer than reading the little blurbs with drawings I’d found online previously.

A couple of weeks ago I sold some of the little felted bags (no mittens got sold) and homemade cookies at an SCA event (White Hart, in Port Oasis–Huntington, WV).

Blackstone Raids is coming up and I am trying to teach a knitting class (haven’t heard back from the A&S class Baroness yet). I thought I would do a little merchanting, too. Made a cloak for Andrew for White Hart and then someone else he fences with wanted one, too. So I thought perhaps I could sell a couple more at Blackstone, along with some food items and some drop-spindle kits. I made some SUPER EASY spindles with some little wooden craft parts yesterday. Spun on one of them and it doesn’t spin super fast and it wobbles a bit, but I thought it was acceptable. And fairly cute and very inexpensive. I will attach a photo…
basket with toy spindle

My alpaca/targhee fiber– February 15, 2007
Oooooh! I got fluffy mail yesterday! I saw this ad on the kbbspin free ads for alpaca/targhee roving ($3/oz, including shipping) and seconds of raw alpaca for $1.25/oz and thought I would like to try spinning that, so I emailed the lady:

Cheryl Ross
Mount Ampato Alpacas, LLC

And yesterday it came. The alpaca/targhee is sooooo soft!! Cheryl says she has more if you want some, too. And the raw alpaca was just too good a deal for me to let go by–I will try hand-blending some of it with some wool and I’ll also try to spin some straight (although I found that difficult last time I attempted it).

On another note, the felted sweater-mittens…Well, the ones I made from the unfelted sweater and then washed were not quite right. The thumbs were the problem. What I ultimately got (after cutting off the too long, too skinny thumbs) were cute but too big for the boys and too tight for me. Maybe a tween kid?? Maybe I will try to sell them at White Hart next weekend (an SCA event in Huntington/Port Oasis). A lady on spindlers suggested I could do the first part of the felting, then cut & sew them up with yarn with a blanket stitch and THEN finish up the felting so I have more control over the size/shape. So, I’m trying that now. Will report later!

Ocean Blue dyed with Wilton’s– January 31, 2007

ocean blue
Ocean dyed yarn! The photo is a bit blurry, but I LOVE this color! This was my first navajo plied skein (but I did it with the off-white single, so I didn’t do the color-separation thing) and then I dyed it yesterday. Wilton’s royal blue, dry yarn, dyebath pretty warm with vinegar, then I stuck in the skein and nuked it several times until the bath was exhausted.

Entry for August 22, 2006

Well, I will have to edit the wheel photo to get it to fit. This one is of me in my Viking outfit (the wintery one). I sewed it. My FIL made the silver tortoise brooches. I knit the triangular shawl.
viking outfit

Evan with spindle wheel
Entry for August 22, 2006
This is a photo (well, there will be one, but I need to edit it first, too big!) of my home made wheel (with my son Evan)! It is a saw horse kit, 2×4’s for the legs and the base, 1×4’s for the uprights, a bicycle wheel, a 10.5 knitting needle (aluminum), a small wooden spool, a piece of string for the drive band.

I wedged the spool onto the needle by shoving a piece of rubber band into the hole so it all spins as a unit. I made paper quills to wrap around the spindle when spinning so I can remove the copp neatly.

I am getting a sticky poly drive band from soon (my friend Susan runs that fiber shop), hoping to end one of my little problems with the wheel–when the copp starts to get heavy the drive band slips on the spool.

Still working on getting my ISP and email all settled. DH was supposed to order the Mac Mini today, and, after MUCH difficultly, I signed us up for verizon DSL. Now I just have to get the thing and set it all up and transfer all my files, etc etc etc

Haven’t gotten very far on the singles socks–made several attempts at the right number of stitches so they will not be baggy on my ankles nor too tight to get on over my heels.

Susan met the Yarn Harlot (but I didn’t)

November 11, 2007

Susan from Spinning Bunny with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

I was trolling around looking for good links to put in my bookmarks and saw that my friend Susan (really! I’ve known her for years and she taught me to spin!) of Susan’s Spinning Bunny had a photo of herself with the Yarn Harlot at Reinbeck!!

Also exciting, I helped teach one of my husband’s students (from Marshall University) how to spin on a drop spindle when she was babysitting my kids yesterday. She already knits and designs her own sweaters and wanted to learn to spin…Yay Betsy!

Trying something new…

November 10, 2007

I have a blog on geocities, but I could never figure out how to put links down the side, that sort of formatting stuff that I preferred…so, I’m moving. I think.

The Goodness Gracious Fitted Baby Diaper Pattern & diapering tips page is still here for now.

I still have some batiked “got wool?” t-shirts for sale at
I’m thinking of making up a new edition, with llamas on them, to go with the sheep ones.
got wool? shirts

Hello world!

November 10, 2007

I wonder how long it will take me to figure out how to use the cool stuff that I switched because I wanted!??!