Monday, March 23, 2009


kreativ blogger award

Thank you, Gaby at MagicStix, for the nomination!

Accepting this award means following some rules:
  1. Copy the Kreativ Blogger award to your blog
  2. Put a link to the person from whom you received the award
  3. Nominate 8 other blogs and
  4. Link to them
  5. Then leave a message on the blogs you have nominated

And pass the awards on to:

Pam at
Sarah Lou at
Cristi at
Becky at
Carolyn at
Annie at
Yarn Cravin' (my LYS) at
Carrie K at

I have nothing more creative to say today, except that it is also my kitty Jake's 9th birthday; would have been my Mother's 89th birthday (and she wasn't too thrilled about sharing her birthday with the "grandkitten") and my parents' 59th anniversary; and yesterday my horse Cheerios turned 12. Busy weekend. I've been out to the barn; everyone is very fuzzy. It was good to get on and ride again, though!

One of these days there WILL be knitting. I'm too busy riding, writing, and dyeing.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mass Manifestation

You know, if we all quit thinking of it as a "financial crisis", it would quit BEING a financial crisis.

I vote we all refer to it as "the financial transition" from now on. Then picture it transitioning into prosperity.

I mean, what the hey--we're awfully good at mass manifesting a CRISIS, right? What if we used our powers for good rather than evil?

Just a thought.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

GAH! At Least It's Not Snow...

It is pouring rain. Lovely. I guess I'll go to Knit Night next week, because the prediction is for quite the dark and stormy night. And I still haven't gotten out the door. (Pam, your yarn will be mailed out Weds at the latest, I promise!) But I still need milk.

I think I'll just curl up on the couch with a sock for a change. Or a book. Or both.

At least it's not snow. And the tulips are emerging. All good signs.

Oh, crap, there's the thunder...


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Climbing the Summit

Sock Summit 2009

Are you going?

I want to.

I'm intending that the EXTRA money required to make me feel confident about going shows up within the next 30 days! Since I'm all about the sock yarn now, it makes sense that I'd be there, dontcha think?

Being in the presence of all of those sock-knitting superstars, though, might make me woozy.

PS: Silly me, I overlooked one skein of hand-dyed when I was updating the shop. I can't believe I could have mistaken this gorgeous skein, Harvest, for another one called Indian Corn (just as lovely, similar colors, but not the same). Should I maybe not upload photos at night when I can't see the actual hanks in the dim light?



Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Happy Birthdays

I can't let today go by without wishing my own happies to my cat, Zander, and my mare, Shaveya, as they were BOTH born on this day in 1998 and are BOTH turning 11 years old today.

I didn't plan that. It just happened. They're both bi-colored, also, rust and white.

Just think. Eleven years ago today, in locations very distant from each other, two new lives entered this world at the same time (ish), and both were intended to come to me. Weird.

I first saw Zander when he was just two days old at my friend's house—momcat was friendly, so I was able to pick up the kittens and hold them, and he fit perfectly into my hand. Zander rolled upside down as I held him, displaying his white belly. I petted it with one finger, he was so small! He wiggled and "swam" with his front feet, enjoying it. A few weeks later, he came home. Who knew he'd grow into such a ginormous thing! Top weight, 23 pounds, though he's slimmed down to a svelte and healthy 16 pounds.

Shaveya (shuh-VEY-yuh) came to me later, after Wildflower died in 2005. So she was already six years old. Of course it was the whinnying that got to me. She saw me, and whinnied. I'm a sucker.

Coming up this month are two more coincidental birthdays—Cheerios and Jake are within a day of each other, but different years. My Mother never got over the fact that she shared a birthday with them. Sorry, Mom!

Big Z

Shaveya, First Day Home May 2005

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

What Have I Been Doing?

Fine. I'll come clean.

The reason I've been absent lately is because I've been busy launching a new venture and I wasn't sure I could really do this. I didn't want to talk about it until I knew for sure.

Turns out, I can, and I did.

May I introduce you to YARNDEAVORS.

That's right. I'm selling yarn. Hand-painted, hand-dyed sock yarn. One night in January, I just suddenly got the urge to dye. Colorway names and color schemes were flying through my brain faster than I could write them down. Ironically, very few match the colors that have actually been dyed. Oh well, saved for later.

So I did a little research... bought various skeins of yarn to try out, bought the dye, spent endless hours perusing the aisles of Big L*ts, the D*llar Tree and other discount outlets for supplies, then cleared off space in the kitchen and got going.

This is batch number one.

The dyeing didn't take nearly as long as designing the logo, the website, and wrassling Zen Cart for dominance (and I still haven't gotten the PayPal thing worked out yet).

This is all because I fell in love with surface design back in college, then took a self-striping and sock yarn dyeing class at Fiberworks a couple years ago. Yes, this idea has been marinating in my brain longer than a dye vat needs to exhaust.

I'm not sure if what I have to offer is completely unique or not. All I know is I have a sock fetish, I love dyeing fibers, and I think I have an unusual eye for color and blending them together. It's totally intuitive and artistic. I tried being scientific about it but that doesn't work for me (though I've been taking pretty good notes so the colorway concepts will, for the most part, be repeatable).

I have a funny story. Sometimes the solution is so obvious it's silly. All the books recommend if you're going to use acid dyes (I use Lanaset/Sabraset from ProChem), your dye pots MUST be stainless (or enamel) because aluminum leeches dye. Well, I searched high and low for inexpensive stainless canning pots to no avail. They are pricey! I had in mind one of those old wash tubs like Grandma used to have:

But I couldn't find any in stores and being the instant gratification type, I needed it NOW—I couldn't wait and hope to win a dozen eBay auctions or to hit the garage sales. I wracked my brain... stainless... flat bottomed... wide... cheap... holds about 10 to 16 quarts of liquid...

Then it hit me.

Livestock pans.

Well, TSC only had hog pans, or so they thought. The guy didn't think what he had would work. I almost gave up. And then I remembered, there are some pretty big dogs. A little online research—AHA! How about a DOG DISH?

I headed over to TSC, and lo and behold, I found a 10-quart size. PERFECT. And only $11. Quite a difference from the $50+ they want for stainless cookware at Big Box Store. (As an aside, Big L*ts is now carrying their store brand of 16- and 20-quart stock pots with lids, on the cheap—I own two now.) It's exactly the right size for immersion dyeing on the stove.

Everything I've dyed so far is up for grabs, except for one skein I can't part with. Yes, I know I can make more! But this one's special...



I don't know what it is about this one that makes my heart skip a beat, but it does, so... I'm keeping it for myself. I'll love it, and pet it, and call it Bluegrass.

So that's what I've been doing, among other things—coloring yarn and entertaining the cats' noses with the divine scent of pickled sheep. Head on over, visit the shop, and let me know if there is anything you like. I'll do custom colorways, too, if you ask.

I think I'll bring the herd of yarn in for Show N Tell at InsanKnitty this week if there are any left. ;-) Now, if I can just learn how to wind the hanks neatly...

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