Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yarn sale! Yarn sale!

YARN SALE!! Can you believe I've been on Etsy for only a year? Seems like it's been longer, but then again I had to put the shop on hiatus when we were transferred out of the States for 3 months. Anyway, to celebrate my first anniversary on Etsy, I'm having a yarn sale. I have put all 19 handspun yarns on sale, many of them are multiple skeins and will have enough yarn for an entire project! All yarns are marked 10%, 15% or 20% off. In addition, I'm offering free shipping within the US on orders over $50--your shipping costs will be refunded via Paypal as soon as I receive payment. Sale will end on August 8.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Last years travels, Handwoven magazine and gardening

Hubby and I were transferred to the Netherlands last September and stayed for 3 months. We were joined in November by DS #2 and his SO. This is us hanging out on a windmill platform just south of Amsterdam. On my "Bucket List" I have now added a ride on a windmill wing--once a year, you can pay the miller to strap you into a harness and rotate you with a stop at the top to admire the view, upside down of course. DS and I want to go back and try it out--ya only live once and may as well make it worthwhile!

We met many amazing Dutch folks (the bakery with their evil caramel cakes

and the fish store owners who would cook reheatable meals were favorites in our neighborhood). And I hooked up with a group of local spinners. They were also accomplished weavers and knitters and I thought US folks should have an introduction to these amazing people. I've been working on a travel article for several months now, and have gotten confirmation from Interweave Press that it will appear in the upcoming issue of Handwoven Magazine. I'm honored to be able to introduce you to Annie and Ineke--you should know that the Dutch are just as bad at enabling fiber purchases as anyone else. This is the spinning fiber I bought at the annual retreat.

On another topic, we've just spent the weekend working at our other house where I grew up and which needs a bit of renovation before we can move in. We're hosting a family reunion there in 2 weeks and want to have the garden in some sort of shape by then. Last year it looked like this...

Garden is finished! August 4, 2008

We've taken down the old deer fence, cleaned out all the dead plants and numerous butterfly bushes, lifted the walking stones, laid down a weed barrier and are in the process of covering it with pine/black walnut mulch made from trimming the trees on the property. We'll then re-lay the stones and put up another deer fence. My arms and back hurt from all that shoveling, but next year and all future gardening years will be much easier once this work is done. I'm really looking forward to eating all those fresh organic veggies and fruits.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Return from vacation and His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Family in Connecticut are doing as well as can be expected with summer colds and other stuff going on. My brother knew us and knew our son and was making jokes—all good signs! Our nephews girls (4 and 2 years old) came over from Manchester Center to visit and I was treated to a manicure as only little girls can do. Rather than fight over doing my manicure, we decided they should take turns painting each finger. My left hand was lavendar and my right hand was pink, and all 10 nails had glitter applied on top of the color. Thank goodness SIL had a big bottle of polish remover and lots of cotton balls! I'm knitting purple/red/pink striped socks for SIL to thank her for her hospitality and her polish remover; photos will appear on Ravelry as soon as I get the chance to take them.

We left CT early, and dropped our son at his place in Manhattan. Then we headed for Allentown where we had tickets to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Lehigh University (hubbys alma mater). He gave a 90-minute talk on Generating a Good Heart and was given 2 standing ovations before he even opened his mouth to speak. I have no words to describe how I felt or how the entire lecture hall felt—there were no coughs, no cell phones ringing, no undercurrent of chitter-chatter. Just silence and rapt attention to his words and thoughts and laughter at his jokes. He brought the house down when asked what he would choose to do if he hadn't been chosen as the Dalai Lama--he would have chosen to be an engineer which is what Lehigh is famous for! I find myself hearing his echo in my head every time I’m anxious or starting to stress out or thinking that someone is a jerk. He has a very clear, peaceful and serene outlook on life. If you’d like to hear his entire lecture (or even download it), Lehigh has it online here

I’m off to get some work done. Everything seems to have piled up while I was gone—imagine that!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pleased as punch; vacationland

I am happy to announce that my sock fiber has been used in a new sock designed by mensabuttercup (see, June 29 post on Cucumber Falls Socks). That's my Silver Ferns colorway there, yep it is! She is such a talented spinner--her yarn was spun fine enough that she could Navaho ply it (which makes a 3-ply yarn while conserving the color striping) and have enough to knit a pair of socks. My hat's off to you for a fine job, and the sock pattern ain't too shabby either.

I've been working on spinning each of my Posy Toes colors just because I want to see them for myself and play with different methods of handling the colors. So far I've done Lisianthus

followed by Gloriosa
and the first one I finished and then knit into a sock, Lunaria.

Only 7 more to spin, then on to the Posy Toes Bamboo colorways. I'll be introducing these in my Etsy store as soon as I have at least half of them prepared and photographed. I'll be chained to my wheel for months!


I will be heading out for a weeks' vacation to see my brothers family in another state. Originally we'd planned to spend the week with my brother at his house because he's not in good health. But he was admitted to a home 3 weeks ago, so I suppose I'll be visiting him there once or twice and spending more time with his wife, children and grandchildren. It sucks to watch one of your favorite siblings get old....

I should be back posting sometime after July 14 or 15. In the meantime, the cats (and our son) will be on guard duty around here, making sure that no breaks in to steal my stash.