In early May our youngest daughter moved out. A few weeks ago we finally got around to turning her room into my new office. I have been putting it to good use ever since then. It’s nice to have a work space where I can leave stuff out if/when I get interrupted from a task in progress. In the past I would have to do most work from the dining table. Having my own office has been a wish that is at last fulfilled.
I love that I also have this set up as my order filling/shipping station. Everything is at hand which is so wonderful! No more searching for the scissors, tape, packing material, etc.
This weekend I am working on yarn labels. It’s quite a large batch (1,940 to be exact!) to print, cut and then color label. It is inevitable that I will not get this all done in one sitting so it’s nice to be able to walk away without moving it all to another location.
I hope to get the labels ready to attach to the yarn by Monday. My work room is filled to overflowing at the moment with the yarn that we dyed Thursday, Saturday and Monday.
It took three days of prep work before the first dye day. We also had one prep day in between each of the other two dye days.
We had some rain on Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening. That caused a delay in getting some of the yarn dry but Monday through Wednesday were sunny, so all of the last two days of dyeing were dry by Tuesday evening.
That covers a good bit of what’s been happening around here. I better get busy on those yarn labels. Thanks for reading!
My goodness! I have barely had time to breathe and finally a little break. Since my last post I have been to three fiber festivals. On Memorial Day weekend I was in Wooster for the Great Lakes Fiber Show. The weather was so nice and there was good turnout. I wasn’t going to bore you with more booth shots but I changed my mind since it’s what I have. Posts with pictures are more fun, right?
The first weekend in June was Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Franklin, IN. The weather was pretty warm this year but that’s not unusual. This show has really grown and improved so much over the 16 years I have been vending there. I am very impressed with it’s progress and look forward to it every year. The organizers do a great job with every thing, from vendor communication, to classes, to promotion.
This past Friday and Saturday, I was back in Ohio. For the third year, I went to the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair in Newark. This festival is currently one day only. I have given it a few years, and it’s a nice one for what it is, but it may be the last year for me. It’s mainly because it’s all in the one day. I drive up on Friday and then on Saturday I arrive at 5:30 am to set up the booth for the market which opens at 9 am and runs to 5 pm. Then it’s tear down time. I put in a long 13 hour day and it’s just a bit too much. Attendance has dropped off too, which makes it hard to make enough to be worth the effort and expense. If it wasn’t 400 miles each way requiring two nights away I would keep it, but as it is, for me, it’s probably not one I will keep going forward. It makes me sad to do it though. One bonus is that I have my trailer and truck right there behind the booth. Saves some time and energy during set up and break down.
So, not a whole lot of knitting happening lately. I did finish that first sock and the cuff if the second one. I am ready to start the heel flap when I get back to it. If you recall, I am making these with some remnants of discontinued colorways of my Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn.
I have also been working on my shawl design. I am ready to join on the third skein at this point. It is measuring about 45″ unblocked. I am probably around the half way mark now since I want it to be generous for wrapping.
We have put in a huge yarn order to get started dyeing when I return from my next show. I am home this coming weekend but am back on the road for one more festival, Houston Fiber Fest, before the summer break. More on that in my next post. See you later!
Last week I went to get my oil changed at the dealership and something caught my eye. We ended up making a new acquisition which wasn’t as spontaneous as it sounds. We have loosely been planning to sell or trade our 2014 F-150 while it still has a good market value. When we spied this little number we decided maybe the time was right.
It was the color that claimed our attention. It looks a bit more orange than this picture depicts. The color is called Red Chili Pepper. This one is Jerry’s since I have my new one from last year. I love the wheels on it! They just go with the color perfectly.
Aren’t they a cute pair? We should be set on vehicles for awhile now.
You may notice my trailer is hitched to my truck. I took this photo the night before I left for Lexington, KY. Last weekend was the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. We had another awesome turn out despite the rainy start on Saturday. The skies cleared out by midday and then Sunday was gorgeous. It was cooler then it usually is too.
I set up our tents and booths under the Pavilion on Friday. When the weather is good, this is a nice spot to be. The natural light accentuates the products. A bonus is having my trailer and truck right next to my location, which is a aid in restocking the booth, as well as making set up and break down more convenient.
I am back home today but I am on the road to Wooster, OH on Thursday. I am setting up on Friday at the Great Lakes Fiber Show. This show is one of the ones I have been attending since our first year of full time festival vending in 2007. It’s one of my favorites. The trailer has been restocked already, including the dye order I did in February for Bare Naked Wools. I will be delivering that to them at the festival.
While I am running around doing the festival end of the business at the moment, Jerry is hard at work at the lathe. He’s been working on new Yarn Bowls for quite a few weeks now.
Here’s a sneak preview of a couple new Yarn Bowls that I will be bringing to the festival.
I am going to close and finishing my packing. Thanks for reading!
Since my last post in April I have taken two trips to Saint Louis. I went the first time for the Midwest Fiber Festival and it was fantastic! I already signed up for next year and can’t wait to go back.
One of my customers from the show contacted me about some wood they had if we were interested. She sent some pictures and it looked promising, so we emptied out the trailer and drove it back up to their place just west of Saint Louis. We got there in the early afternoon and spent the next several hours loading up the trailer. We stayed the night in Saint Louis and then headed home. Here is some of the wood after it was unloaded and sorted in the work shop.
It’s hard to tell yet what this will all end up as, but there is for sure quite a bit of usable stuff. It does take a bit of time to process because it’s mostly cut offs, but that works for some of our products. A lot of it was mahogany, with some walnut, oak and a little cherry.
So, once the trailer was emptied again we had the job of reloading and restocking the trailer for our next festival. That is where I am right now, actually. I am near Saint Paul, MN for the Shepherd’s Harvest Festival in Lake Elmo, MN. I will be setting up the booth today. The festival is Saturday and Sunday.
It’s a long haul to come up here every year but it is worth it. A bonus is that I get lots of audio book time while I’m driving. I finished Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane and am starting the sequel Fly Away I am also reading Justin Cronin’s newest release The Ferryman. I got hooked on his writing when I read The Passage trilogy. So good!
I also have done a tiny bit of knitting. I haven’t had much down time inwhich I also have the desire to pick up my needles. So, when I do reach for my knitting it has been my sock that gets the action.
It’s almost ready for the toe shaping. I will be switching back to the green for that. With any luck I may get this done over the weekend. I have a couple hours this morning before heading over to set up. Speaking of which, I better get busy. See you soon!
I have been doing a bit of spring cleaning in between fiber festivals. I think that we are firmly into spring weather. I hope most of the volatile storms are past and we can enjoy the warmth and sunshine.
Last week when we had a few days that were warm and sunny, I washed all the bedding, cleaned the windows, and then washed both trucks.
Of course by the next day they both had tree pollen and bird poop on them, but at least the inside is still clean.
Jerry is totally responsible for putting in the garden. The smaller bed (up close) has kitchen herbs, peppers and a few tomatoes. The larger bed farther away) has some more tomatoes and veggies that we plant from seeds. I think he put out some peas, green beans, summer squash, corn, and possibly some cucumbers.
This past weekend I was in Greencastle, IN for the Greencastle Wool Show. We are long time vendors there and we thought last year was the end. It was thankfully saved from extinction. The weather was great and there was a nice turn out, especially on Saturday.
I have a weekend at home again this week. The next festival on our schedule is the Midwest Fiber Festival in St. Louis. This will be the second year for this one. It was well attended last year and we are looking forward to going back.
In knitting news, I have made some progress on the shawl but not enough to bother with a new picture. It is a nice stitch pattern that is easily memorized. I also love knitting with the Classic Merino Bamboo. That said though, I am getting to the point where I am ready for a change in my knitting, IYKWIM. I may need to cast on a little something for variety soon. I am trying to push through so I can get it ready for the booth and write up the pattern. We’ll see.
I wanted to write a post so many times in the last few weeks but you know how it is I am sure. So, here I am with a couple of hours before set up time and finally the energy to get it done. The weeks have been filled with the usual tasks. I have done a bit more dyeing to restock a few popular yarns that were already getting low. We have some more Shawl and Hair Sticks on the website. Thanks to my husband’s diligence and hard work, we have eight different woods available.
I made the drive up to Ann Arbor yesterday. I had a bit of time last night to knit on my shawl. I am into the second skein of yarn now. Here’s a picture I took this morning in the hotel room. It’s gray and rainy at the moment so it’s not a great one.
I need to get my lunch packed and head over to the fairgrounds in about an hour. See you 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.
With the exception of Saturday, we had a great week for dyeing. What is even more exceptional is that it is still only February. The daffodils are in full bloom too. Of course it’s in the upper 40’s today, after a high of 84 degrees yesterday. Yep, that is totally normal for middle Tennessee.
Saturday morning had a very chilly start of 24 degrees, but work must be done. So, we got out there early and got the largest batch of yarn dyed. I forgot to get pictures while it was drying so here’s the buckets after taking them off the lines. The colors were the warm greens, purples, greys, pinks and teals.
We took a day off between batches to allow for drying time and to prep for the next one. Monday was much warmer and we got the second large batch done. The colors we did were cool greens, black, yellows, oranges, reds and neutrals. We took a day off again to let the yarn dry and prep for the last day’s work.
Wednesday was blues day and the weather was even better.
I am very pleased with how great they came out. I am also so glad to put away the dye pots for awhile. LOL!
I am working on labels today while Jerry is back at work in the shop on some new Shawl and Hair Sticks. We are adding back some exotic woods like Purple Heart and Mahogany, as well as restocking the domestic woods.
I have been working on my new design when I can, which is not as much as I would like. Progress has been made though. I completed the edging on the cast on end and have knitted 4 and one half repeats on the main body. The edging will look much better after blocking.
I apologize for the time between posts and for the brevity in this one, but labels await my attention. See you soon!
In my last post, I was in Asheville for SAFF. We had a local show the next weekend, Fiber in the Boro. Both shows went very well and we now have only one more to go, the East Texas Fiber Festival. I am looking forward to returning to this one since I haven’t been there since 2019. The festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021. It was on the way to the festival in 2019 that my trailer broke down. One of the wheel bearings blew and I was never more glad that I have a tandem axle. It could have been much worse if it had happened with a single axle. I was very fortunate that I was less than a mile from a trailer parts supply store who was able to give me a number of a mobile mechanic who was able to get me back on my way in a few hours. After returning home safely, we replaced all the hubs and brakes on the trailer.
Anyway, on to other news. I have been enjoying the two week break from travels. We have been getting some work done, such as restocking some yarns and making more Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs.
There was also finally enough time in my schedule to get some house cleaning done that I have had on my To Do list. Jerry does a great job of keeping the place clean when I am gone, but there were a few jobs that no one had gotten around to for awhile. One of those was the cleaning the windows and curtains. I washed them all on Monday since the weather was still warm and dry. We are getting some rain today and the temperatures are supposed to drop starting tonight. No more open window days for us for awhile. I am glad I could get that task off my list before the cool spell hit. I like when the windows are all clean, especially going into the darker days of winter. It helps brighten up the indoors a bit.
There has been time in the evenings for some knitting too. I have made progress on my Cables and Lace Blanket. The second ball of yarn has been added and I have completed four pattern repeats. That means I am around 25% complete since I plan to do sixteen repeats. I weighed the current ball before beginning the 5th repeat to gauge how much yarn is used per repeat. It weighed 57g.
You may remember that in my last post I was planning to make a new pair of Shapely Mitts with a partial skein of a hand paint from my business stash? The yarn is my Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn, but the colorway is discontinued.
I have knit one and have started the second. I normally refer tonal solids, but the occasional variegated skein is fun too.
As I reported in my last post, Hurricane Ian led to a festival cancellation, but there is always a silver lining if you are willing to look for one. If the festival had gone on as planned that would have been great, but only if it wasn’t a wash out. If that had happened though I would have been extremely challenged to get this amount of work done in the two days home I would have had. As it turned out I had four extra days, which was not totally a bad thing after all. What would make it even better is if I managed to make up those lost earnings from the one show in the five remaining, right? One can hope and I am ever hopeful.
So, I have been making good use of those extra days! We got some yarn dyed in some bases and colors that were getting a bit low on stock. In addition to that I also restocked the trailer with more yarn, swifts, darning eggs, and nostepinnes.
I got the dyeing done for New Era Fiber, which would have been put on the back burner for sure if I had only had two days home.
I also hate to get behind in book keeping chores. I am very fortunate that I was able to get all that caught up, including all my quarterly sales tax filings. I almost forgot that I needed to get the oil changed in the truck. I got that done on Monday while I was restocking the trailer. Then on Tuesday I got the groceries and even had time to wash the truck again.
The one thing I haven’t been back to work on yet is my Gansey sweater pattern. I got about 2/3’s of the directions written in the hotel last week for the size I knit. I still have a long way to go so I can see it being maybe next year before it is all written, charted, and tested. I do think I am going to start working on a test knit for one of the smaller sizes I am planning to include, but more on that next time I think.
For now, I do have a finished pair of socks to report. I have already worn them once and I love them! I did run out of yarn but I found a scrap ball from another project in a comparable color. Believe it or not it took all but about two yards even of that yarn, but I made it! The color is a little off here but as you can see the toe on the left sock is close enough don’t you think? I mean when they are in your shoes who sees the toes, right?
I am heading off to Ann Arbor tomorrow for the Fall Fiber Expo. It is supposed to be pretty chilly so all the better to wear all the hand knits!