I have published my pattern for the shawl. I named it Flames and Lace because there were a lot of other designs already that were using my initial idea, Candle Flames. I have it on the website and on Ravelry for $6.
I did get it written in time for the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend. I even wore it in the booth and got many compliments on it. We also have a new batch of Yarn Boxes in some woods we have been out of for a time. We have Mahogany, Oak, and Cherry for $60 and Walnut for $65. They were very popular in the booth!
I am currently in Ohio for the Wool Gathering festival at Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs. I will be getting the booth ready tomorrow. This festival is all outdoors in big tents. We usually have pretty nice weather so I hope that holds true this year too. The market opens on Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 10-4.
I have a few hours of downtime this afternoon and hope to get a bit of knitting done on Saltarello. Here’s how it is looking at this point.
Wells kids, it’s time to head back out on the fiber market trail. Break time is coming to an end and I am off to Charlotte, NC for the Southern Comforts Fiber Market. Click the link for more details. I am looking forward to using my new trailer. I have taken it for a few spins just to check on the brake adjustments and such. Restocking the booth between market days is going to be much easier with all the room to spare. It’s all stocked and ready to hitch up today. I will be driving on Wednesday, setting up on Thursday, and market days are Friday and Saturday.
Oh! I forgot to tell you, we found a new owner for the old black trailer. Hopefully, someone will fix her up and get some more use out of her for many more years.
I am glad to be feeling myself again today because I was feeling under the weather for 3-4 days. So much so in fact, that I wasn’t up to knitting. I would pick it up and realize I just didn’t have the energy. I wasn’t severely ill, it was just a low grade fever that hung on for days and a couple days of lower GI discomforts, but knitting a lace edging was a bit taxing. After countless cups of various herbal and medicinal teas, and quite a few bowls of chicken soup, I am grateful that I was feeling better by Sunday. I wanted a least a few days to get back on my feed before hitting the road.
Before I got sick, I had started and completed one of the repeats of the lace edging on my shawl design. I decided 3 skeins would be a decent size. I had 20g of yarn left and the edging should only use 17g, so I should be good. I didn’t touch it again until yesterday. When I picked it back up, I worked 3 repeats in one sitting. There are only 18 repeats across and each is 12 rows. The end is in sight! I am excited to see how it looks when it’s blocked.
Work Shop News
Just a day or so before I was briefly out of commission, we decided it was a good time to make a visit to our lumber supplier. The plan had been to work on more Shawl/Hair Sticks for awhile and get more lumber in the fall. We had bought a few new boards of exotics last month at Woodcraft for these. We revised that plan, however, and decided it was better to go ahead and start a batch of Yarn Boxes first. We had completed a small batch in June to fill out the inventory some, but one wood is already sold out. Time to make more boxes. Who remembers the old Dunkin Donuts commercial? You know the one? “It’s time to make the donuts”, says the sleepy guy who is rising in the middle of the night to get the dough started. That’s what I thought of just now. LOL
While I was trying to get healthy again, Jerry has been busy cutting, sorting, jointing, and planing wood. We bought some walnut, cherry, and white oak. We haven’t made any cherry boxes for quite a few years, and while we use oak quite frequently, it is usually red oak. At this point in the process, they are now all planed to the proper thickness and ready to be marked out for cutting down to the dimensions needed for the sides, tops and bottoms. Then the joinery cuts are made and they get assembled and glued together. There are dozens more steps after that to get to the finished product. These are probably the most labor intensive, as far as number of processing steps, of anything we make.
Thanks for the comments on my new office. I am really enjoying having my own space. As a matter of fact I am writing this post from there. I got a couple better desk lamps and a desk stuff organizer. I have a comfy chair, which I am in now, for work like this. I am, however, realizing that the kitchen chair as a desk chair is going to have to go. It’s not inviting to sit in for any task longer than, say packing an order. So, I am in the market for a suitable replacement. Maybe I’ll have found one by my next post. We’ll see. See you soon!
It was time for a few much needed upgrades to our business equipment. A few weeks ago we made a purchase that we put off for too long. We were making do with an under-powered belt sander for ages. We kept tinkering with it to make it work. We finally decided it was time to upgrade. It is so much better and it’s even quieter, which is a bonus. I think it was worth it. We should have done it years ago. We got a small batch of Yarn Boxes sanded on the new machine. Big thumbs up!
We have also needed to replace the trailer for awhile. We bought the black 6×12 in 2007. It has seen much service and we have kept it going but on my recent trip to Houston I was having trouble with my back door bar lock. It kept slipping out of the top guard and I had to keep a close eye on it and rig up a bungee cord to make sure it would stay closed. It can be welded at the frame on the bottom to repair the damage. It’s probably best for local use at this point though rather than long distance road trips.
We decided that if we would rather replace it than repair it, why not go ahead and get a larger one? I have been maxed out on space for a long time. This is a picture from a few years ago, but it’s accurate as far as how full it was. The front end was full to the top too.
So on Thursday we got this 7×16 and I am so excited! It is so much easier to access my stock. It has a nice roomy side door with a bar lock which I have wanted for a long time. It even has a work light inside which comes on when the side door is open. In my old trailer, I had to use magnetic flash lights stuck to the roof when I was pulling booth restock after dark.
I hope that the V-front will help some with gas mileage. I have only driven it home from the place we bought it and it was empty at the time, so we’ll see. We spent all day getting all the inventory moved over and I am really pleased with all the room now. This is going to make it so much easier to restock the booth. I will have a much easier time accessing the boxes I need.
When my booth stock and fixtures from the front end, plus those tables and checkout podium at the back right, are unloaded, the restock boxes lining the sides will be easy to access. It’s gonna be awesome! It almost makes me wish my next festival wasn’t almost six weeks away. Nah, just kidding. I am glad for the time at home. However, summer break time means it’s also yarn dyeing time.
We got a bit of a head start before leaving for Houston Fiber Festival. By the way, it was a great show! It was hot as the hinges of hell, but a great show, nonetheless. We will probably be back. But, I digress.
We dyed a new color in all four bases. I decided to call it Wisteria. It is replacing the Lavender in our palette, so all of the skeins left in that color are on sale for $20 while supplies last. We have received our order of yarn from the mill. I am working on dye preparations at the moment. So there will be more yarn on the lines soon!
Spring time in middle Tennessee can be volatile and it has been quite an interesting week. It is typical this time of year to be in 70’s or even 80’s but then that can change on a dime and it’s chilly again the next day. We experienced some strong storms with straight line winds over 70 mph on Friday. We lost a few shingles from our work shop and a tree in the back yard. Thankfully that was not near the house. There is a pine tree in the front that was dangerously close to going down which would have taken out the power lines to the house. You could see the ground lifting at the base with the strong gusts. It was very scary, but the winds finally abated and it is still there. For now. It will probably need to come down before the next threat rolls through, just in case.
We did lose power, along with over 115,000 other Nashvillians. There were downed trees, power lines, and poles everywhere. Our electricity was out for about 13 hours. We were fortunate that it wasn’t worse. A little cleaning up is all we had to worry about. There is still the tree to deal with because it is hung in some other trees making it a possible hazard but it is at the back of the property where it’s less of a priority.
So, after all the excitement from the weather was over, it was back to the tasks associated with getting ready for the first festival coming up. Last week I was getting all the new yarn labelled. Then it all needed stored, some went in the trailer and the rest in our work room storage bins. There are also new Darning Eggs, Nostepinnes, and Shawl/Hair Sticks to be tagged/packaged and stored. Like the yarn, some go straight in the trailer with restock in the work room storage.
Yesterday I got the oil changed in my truck. I took along my computer and got some inventory updating done while I was waiting. We did some grocery shopping in the afternoon. Today has mainly been packing for my trip. I will drive to Raleigh, NC in the morning and set up the booth on Thursday at the Carolina Fiber Festival. I have a full schedule on my website, if you’d be interested to see what we have booked this year. If all goes as planned, we will be vending at 21 events this year.
I have made progress on my knitting project but will post a picture of that next time since it’s too dark at the moment to get a good one. I didn’t get started on this post until near dark. So, I’ll sign off for now. It’s almost time to start rummaging in the kitchen for some supper.
I’ll start today’s post with an update on what is on my needles. You may recall I am working on the Bensusan shawl in my Classic Merino DK yarn in the color Cypress. I have progressed to the main chart and added the second skein of yarn. I am enjoying the variety of the stitch patterns. It’s easily memorized but interesting. I love cables.
The other project I have going is my cowl using the yarn my daughter brought me from Ireland. I am about 25% done on it. I cast it on a couple days ago. It’s a pretty quick and easy knit so it shouldn’t take too long to make.
It will be August very soon and I will be back to festival vending. We are still working on restocking inventory. Within the last couple weeks we have added some more Undyed yarn to the website. I stock two Organic Cotton yarns (a sport weight and a worsted weight) and also small quantities of all our Merino wool yarns as Bare yarn for those who wish to use it that way or to dye themselves.
We have also recently finished some new Darning-Eggs in Cherry and Maple woods. We have some more Walnut in progress.
Last night two of the grandchildren were over and were given a fun ride around the property in my husband’s new cart he built for the lawn tractor. They had fun and didn’t want it to end.
I returned from Minnesota last Tuesday. I have been trying to squeeze in time to get my gansey blocked and write a post. I have been working hard to get my website rebuilt plus other stuff. So I am happy to report that the website is done. I will probably do some more tweaking but it’s functional and I am pleased with it so far. My blog is now part of my shop which I have wanted to do for a long time.
So now on to my gansey and current knitting. I have the gansey blocking at the moment. I blocked it out quite a bit so that when it relaxes it will be closer to the finished dimensions I was planning for.
I only got one project started. It’s another Gridiron sock.
I really enjoy this pattern. It’s just interesting enough to be entertaining but not enough to be distracting if you are watching videos or something like that. They are also comfortable to wear. My last pair are my favorite socks.
Ok gotta go for now. I am going to be going to Lexington, KY on Friday for the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Festival. I don’t know if I will have time to post again before that. We’ll see. Have a great week!
I have made good progress on my knitting projects which I will share next time. Today, I am going to talk about our production we have planned during the off season to prepare for next year.
We have bought lots and lots of lumber and yarn.
These slabs of cherry, walnut, maple, and Osage orange will be for turning. It will be mostly darning eggs and Nostepinnes and possibly some bowls.
We have also been culling out the property of brush and trees. Some of this Osage orange and maple will also be for turning when they have cured for awhile. Jerry is painting the ends to help reduced cracks while it dries
This is about 140 board feet of walnut waiting to be dimensioned for Yarn Swifts.
This was 210 board feet of cherry which will soon be yarn swifts also.
This is 400 pounds of undyed yarn. I am still waiting on a other 40 pounds of the Merino Bamboo which was back ordered. So, in the mean time, I am mixing up dye stocks and then mixing my colors so we are ready to get this all dyed up in the coming weeks.
We will be working our way through it as the weather permits. I can dye in inclement weather because I am under cover now, but I do still rely on outdoor lines for drying. With 1900 skeins to process that is the biggest problem this time of year. The good news is that we have plenty of time at the moment 😀.
Okay that’s it for today. Next time, knitting updates.
I’m knitting as fast as I can to finish the test knit I started right before my last post. It is going very quick which is good because I am itching to start my small size test knit of my Vintage Diamonds Cardigan. More on that next time I hope.
I am on the last section which is all lace. It is a wider band than the first three. I may have to improvise on the last 4-6 rows if my calculations are correct on yardage. I thought I had enough but we’ll see. I can always dye a bit more but I may just use a left over of the lighter gray instead.
In other news, we have a new batch of Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs up on the website this week. We had some Spalted Maple from a tree we cut down in our yard last year that was finally ready to turn. These are limited quantities, so if you want a really special and unique gift or treat for yourself, don’t miss out. 😉 Carpe diem.
Today is the day. I’ve been working on my virtual booth and it’s all set for the event. I plan to be available for live video chat during all the market hours, 9-6 ET, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here’s a link to my virtual booth.
Yesterday I would have been setting up my full booth in Raleigh, NC for an in person event. Instead I spent some time setting up a smaller version here at home. I wanted to have my products near to hand if anyone needed a demo, or whatever.
I am finished with the scarf I was knitting for my son. It’s all blocked and ready to pass on to him when I get a chance.
I am back at the afghan and will show you some more progress on that next time.
I am busy this week setting up my “booth” for the Carolina Fiber Festival Virtual event. It’s happening on March 12-14 and I will be online from 9 to 6 all three days. I’ll post a link to my booth page when it’s ready.