the dyepot is good for more than fabric

i love these indigo-dyed bones

so, i ask myself, why the light blogging lately? things have been moving faster than i'm used to and than i'd like. i've proposed a spinning class for the community college and oh, i hope it works out!! and i've finally singed up to work some craft shows! i'll be vending at the Carolina FiberFest and making at the Maker Faire. there's another Something in the works too, but that has to wait a bit longer before i should share... it feels good to be moving outward and out of my head. no time to think, only make!


the boys i mean are not refined

yesterday's round of shearing was a little less idyllic.. i thought it was too early to shear the twins since they were just born in august, but i'm told it's best to go ahead so they'll be on a spring schedule. the fleece is long enough too, and lamb-soft.

there were some mishaps... we had a lot of trouble getting them to relax. it was their first time after all. lovey bleeehhhh'd the entire time and made me a nervous wreck. pokey poked me in the eye with his horn, and he also lost his fourth horn which was barely hanging on. i cut myself and bled all over part of a fleece. still, they are frisky, scampering around and happy, and i'm so relieved that there's a whole year before the next shear. off to wash some fleece!


what's really going on...

intakes and outtakes of my usual late-afternoon etsy photo shoot..

Castro, our oldest great-great grandpa rooster, has taken to hanging out on the front porch, sometimes roosting on the futon which is outdoors at the moment, sometimes crouched right in front of the door, sometimes snacking on doggie leftovers. I think his wife was swiped by one of his kin, and he figures he's in his retirement. It's nice having him close.

At the very bottom you might spy Victor, our last remaining goose. He misses his brother and gazes longingly into the barbecue grill where I think he sees his reflection.


Gretta's haircut

i'm still loving shearing. the other day we finally got ahold of Ms. Gretta, the trickiest of the four-leggeds around here. hands were in use, so no photos of us, but i continued to bliss out with it, and i think i'm already improving. here's her fleece laid out for skirting and i've labeled it so you can see where the parts came from...

unreal that all that came off one little sheepie, isn't it?!

she has long, primitive Shetland locks. i love spinning this sort of wool.

and here is the clean and beautiful cut side... almost no second cuts!

her wool is a gorgeous gingery colour, called mioget in Shetland parlance.

for my master spinner's certificate, one of the projects is to spin and knit up a swatch from each part of the sheep!! so i sorted it into these piles to be washed and prepped. should be mega-interesting!

there's also belly wool and that's another category, but there wasn't a whole lot of that and it's outside the frame...


Cindy:s Core

I feel so lucky to have Cindy:s Core sitting here next to me as I stitch. This piece of Cindy:s is going to be featured at the upcoming show at the Hotel Hadley Studios, see the flyer below.

I couldn:t resist photographing Core to show it off here, and for when I have to send it back.. all this heart-full and intricate art work done by our Cindy of Handstories...


Our Moon

Here's a sneak peek of the moon in Cindy's Core which I have my greedy paws on... more soon!

And the pink moon last night, which coincided with my first real, official shop update. I even got all fancy and made a newsletter announcing it (subscribe here!) It went so well, I'm swamped with orders, which makes me happy, happy.

It was cool how many instagrammers were shooting the moon last night, that same moon.
Like Grace said, it's really Something.

And despite a setback in my plan for blue immersion, I'm still dipping..

I've not usually dyed angora. I only want to work with natural dyes, and the natural colours of the rabbits seem plenty interesting to me. I read that the luxuriousness of the angora fiber can be sort of at odds aesthetically with the earthiness of natural dyes - whereas on wool it is rustic and lovely. And on the whole, I have tended to agree...
But with indigo, it's a wholly different matter.
Indigo-dyed angora = magic.
The fiber is from Alvin.


another wheel story involving incredible luck

i was reminded of this story by katherine's post... it happened back on feb. 15 and here's what i wrote to cindy that night [with a few asides]:

oh my goodness, we just got home from a flat tire marathon. of course we didn't have a spare or a jack with us. but there was a sign across the highway in front of an old house that said "mechanic on duty". so this guy came out and he said he'd call a friend to bring a spare. that guy took an hour, and then he didn't have the right kind of tire, so he had to go back somewhere, and then he came back with one, then it blew out after we drove a mile! then he went and got a tire off his nephew's truck [while his nephew was in the shower!] and followed us home to take it back. AND it turns out that the people who live down at the road are his grandparents [and his sister lives on the other side]. what a weird, nice, small-town thing! so the country is looking a little less creepy tonight.

i had been feeling as though my hood was unfriendly. our immediate neighbors have always been nice if not enthusiastic... but the general area, and especially the gas station/convenience store which is the closest business (amidst many empty buildings) always feels hostile. i'd been verging on agoraphobia, not even wanting to go to the grocery. this incident really helped me feel more connected to our area, giving me more context, as if our little farm is not just plopped down in an unknown land. but more like a home.


and it's so good to be back home.