Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Appreciation For the Postwoman

I have horrible PMS. I don't know if others who read this suffer from PMS but it really can be quite severe. For me, the main problem besides the physical symptom of bloating, is that I get extremely emotional. I mean anything could make me cry today. Anything. Bad traffic, thinking of old loves, current love, or problems with family members or friends. When I am like this, I am better off isolating and knitting or dyeing or doing watercolor painting as these things save me and nurture my soul. I often also do yoga, take long baths and try to walk more and meditate and spend time in nature. I know the minute I get my period, I will be a new person.. Part of this really is hormonal because I was tested and take all kinds of natural hormones now. So it was kind of a relief in a way to know that I really am not crazy. Also part of it is that I am just an emotional person, but I have learned to accept and even love that part of myself which has been very hard journey...... Oh no, see I feel like crying again!

In fiber news, oh, I was so glad the postwoman came today. Yes, I really have a post woman! I got some fun things in the mail this past week. First this package came from Carol Lee at Sheep Head Studio. Oh wow, I better really practice my spinning now. I bought a few pounds of wool roving (quite a lot of this will be dyed for the ETSY shop and for spindle kits for the shop. She has great prices (only 7.50 a pound) for Brown Sheep Company roving that comes from the mill ends. It is wonderful stuff! Oh and she sent some beautiful extra fiber and I am not quite sure what it is so I just emailed her. It is dyed a beautiful grape/purple color and you can see it in the photo here along with a pound of Cotswald roving.

I am trying hard to work out going to a seminar on Natural Dyeing in Wyoming the first weekend in June with Carol Lee at the Sheep Head Studio. I guess it is an annual tradition except this year the focus will be on natural dyeing. I really need to figure out how I can get there because it is an incredible opportunity and I know also how much I will learn and how fun it will be. Plus, I love Wyoming! I have been there once before although not to this part. I also want to try to get to the wool festival in Estes Park, C. We'll see! Maybe it will be my graduation present to myself. I am great at giving myself presents. Look at this workshop schedule my new fiber friend Peggy just sent me. It brings tears of excitement to my eyes!!! HAHAHAHAHA I am serious though!

I also got these beautiful dyed silk hankies from Winderwood Farm on ebay. I read an article on about how great they are to spin with. And they are very inexpensive. The article is: HERE if you are interested. You really can't have dry hands when touching these silk hankies or it sticks to your skin! I bought some shea butter yesterday and I need to work on my hands this week!

Finally, an internet friend Sarah told me about a great guy to get ADDI circular needles from. Three pairs for 25.00?? Can you go wrong? Thanks Sarah and everyone check out Sarah's bags and boobs in her site! Really, the bags are beautiful and she helps many women who have had to have breast surgery.

Well...I feel like going and hiding under the covers now, but no, I have to go study for my final exam in Vestibular Evaluation and Function. BARF! But I have to do it today or tomorrow so I have no choice. Plus in two months, I'll be done with school and you'll all be calling me Dr. Lisa! Really, its true. Gosh who would think I would have so much to write about my yarn and fiber life every week. I haven't even told you all about my intermediate knitting class yet. Next post!! OR come read about it on the sweater KAL I am running:


Saturday, February 18, 2006

No No Bailie! Stop!

When I first saw the company name No No Kitty, I just laughed out loud!! That is because that is usually what I am saying constantly in my house, except that it is to a dog named Bailie. I also have to say that No no kitty was my first introduction to hand painted yarn and my inspiration for learning how to make it! In my house every day, I am saying NO BAILIE or QUIET BAILIE or STOP STOP BAILIE! I have never seen a dog like this!! He is ten years old and his behavior is still the same. He constantly is on the search for things to steal or destroy. I saw him eyeing my Yarn Botanika Sourcebook yesterday on the dining room table. He was sniffing it casually every so often! I said no Bailie, stop Bailie, no! Here is a photo of the book. It is a place where I keep samples of yarns that I have dyed, with the recipes for the colors I used. I also keep ideas in here of color combinations and photos of others yarns and fiber combos that I find attractive:

Well I left the room for just one minute and Mr. Bailie, the bearded collie (here is his photo, the handsome devil in a short hair cut) had pulled the book OFF the table and onto the floor. How was he able to open each page and pull out each yarn sample carefully is beyond me. But that is what he did. Nothing else was touched but the yarn samples were all removed and sitting in a pile in his crate! Now this is one clever dog! At one point, I was going to call Letterman and try to get on because at night when I wasn't looking, Bailieboy would open the dishwasher and remove items and bring them into his crate! Honest he did!!!!

Living with Bailie is like living with a two year old. Ask anyone who has been to my house. If you visit here, you have to hide your purse, your belongings and especially your shoes (which smell nice to him) high up on a shelf or in another room with the door closed!! He has stolen or destroyed many of my guests items; my dads medication, my friend Monicas big apple, my nieces headband, my nephews shoes, another friends glasses, not to mention my own shoes, remote controls. The garbage can in my office is emptied by him and shredded on the floor daily. Why why why? I think he is just bored myself and looking for entertainment..He is very smart and has quite a unique personality to put it mildly....

In fiber news, I was not happy with the dyeing I did yesterday for the first time. I was bummed out! I was trying to dye something for my new secret pal too! I joined this yahoo group Knitting sisters swap. So now today I will have to overdye some of it to make it look attractive at all and I am back on the search for things for her. Here are a few photos though of skeins I have ready to go into the ETSY shop when I get it open, hopefully next month...... These are of some sock yarns, one in pinks and greens (Heather if you see this, you said try pinks and greens!), one in white, reds and black that I just love called Fire Lily, one that is brilliant violet and fuschia and some white, and then the earth one from the last post reskeined. You can see how they look different reskeined but this is really a more realistic view of how they look knitted which is important. You can see all the different colors, rather than in chunks of color. And yes they will be up for sale soon at our shop Yarn Botanika at

This is one busy week. I have a huge final exam, and a friend coming on Thursday. We are going to Jerome, Arizona for the day on Friday and my number one stop is going to be this supposedly cool knitting store called Knit 1 Bead 2, home of the knitting geek. Check out her store online and her geek site, lots of cool things. I can't wait. My other favorite thing to shop for in Jerome is JEWELRY! It is an artist haven, a little town on the top of a mountain about two hours north of Phoenix. My friend Linda is visiting from Portland and she is staying at the Phoenician resort so I get to stay there one night and hang out which will be very fun!
So..I may not be posting for a week or so.., but I will try. That is why this one is extra long............

Have a good one, Love Lisa

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Yarn Po*n*grap*y

I have done a lot of dyeing in the past week and want to share with you all some of the colorways! There are actually more that will get posted in a few days!
Now, next time you go EEEK when you see the price of handpainted yarn, let me remind you that it is a lot of work!! There are quite a few steps and it is time consuming. I lovingly handwash and condition the skeins several times after dyeing in an herbal soak and conditioner so they smell good and are soft! Actually do you know this is one of my most favorite parts for some reason! After they dry, they can be shown with the color in chunks (best description I can think of) or they can be reskeined. They look very pretty both ways and people seem to like them one way or another. The problem with seeing the yarn before it is reskeined is you don't get as clear of an idea of what the yarn will look like when knitted. That is why I am going to reskein all of mine even though it is a lot of extra work...

OK, here are a few colorways with different photographs.
"Spring" has various blues and greens in it (my favorite) including mints and lime greens and spring and sky blues. I just love this one and might keep it. Definitely is a keeper colorway for future skeins and rovings. Here is a photo of a ball of Spring and then a close up and then a photo of the skein. This one has been reskeined. It looked very different out of the dyepot! This is a 100% merino sockweight fingering yarn, very soft.

Next is a skein of handspun yarn that Kathy spun. It is so pretty!! I used periwinkle and pink dyes (of several strengths) to dye this. I am not sure of the name yet but I love it! For now I will call it Periwinkle-Pinks and there is a close up shot too. The yarn is a bulky weight wool.

Here is another one of Kathy's handspun skeins. I somehow thought it would turn out different than this even though I love it. I used fuschia, bright orange and yellow and I thought I would call it summer. This was interesting because this particular fiber did not absorb the dye bath the way the others did. I had to wash and rinse 10 times or more and still dye was washing out of it! It is very interesting how different fibers take the dye.

Here is one more colorway for today. Will show even more in a few days. This is called "Earth" and is made up of several neutral colors and black of several dilutions. I personally love all of the earthy colors and they are a nice change from the pinks and purples. I think this is very cool and I am going to do LOTS more neutral combos! This skein has NOT been reskeined yet so you can see what I mean about the color showing in "chunks" It will be interesting to see what it looks like reskeined and I will show all of you when its done.

After each yarn is soaked, washed, conditioned, dried, and reskeined, they get a tag put on them with a description of the fiber content, other pertinent info, etc and then they go in my special bin for our ETSY shop. Not sure when I'll list them all on ETSY. I haven't done so yet even though the shop is set up. Probably when I run out of dye and have to buy more, so very soon!! This is going to stay a small and fun thing. The color combos are endless!! Plus I have to practice my own spinning so I can offer some handspun too. Bye for now!! Enough YARN P*RN for the day! When I first heard that expression, I laughed out loud, but those of you in the knit blog world KNOW how TOTALLY TOTALLY INTO our yarn photos we are!!! To me, each skein is a work of art on its own, before it is even knit. I could just stare it, touch it, love it! Some told me they meditate with theirs and I could just about relate!!


Friday, February 10, 2006

Scottsdale Stitch N Bi*&H!

Last night we had a small but fun Stitch N Bitch meeting in Scottsdale at the Coffee Plantation. There were only three of us but we talked about many topics including our favorite yarns!

Here is a photo of Kirsten holding up the back of her BEAUTIFUL Noro Cynthia Sweater. This sweater is SO adorable and the Noro Silk colorway she is using is amazing really. The colors are so vibrant and Noro Silk has such a neat texture to it.

Here is Kirsten helping Jodi (my sister) with her shawl. Jodi dropped some stitches. She is making a beautiful sweater out of No No Kitty yarn mixed with hot pink mohair and some lovely novelty yarn she bought at Jessica Knits on Sunday. This shawl is going to be amazing. The colors are hot pinks, other pinks with some oranges. Photos don't do it justice.

I finished one hat for the Dulaan project. Here I am, looking absolutely ridiculous in this large warm hat! Gosh do I look like a total dork and man, got to get back on my diet, but anyhow.........some sweet (and freezing) child in Mongolia I am sure will appreciate the warmth and lively colors! My goal is to make one hat a month until July and then they will be shipped to Mongolia. The Dulaan project is great if you want to check it out, click on their name to view the website. They are very organized and have suggested patterns for you! I put another photo of the hat by itself so you can see it. It literally took about 90 minutes to make the whole thing. I used this bulky Jiffy Lion brand yarn because it is machine washable. The pattern was on the side of the yarn. I am going to make different hat patterns and also try some mittens for this project.

Kirsten is going to set up our Scottsdale meetings for twice a month and hopefully we will draw new people as we go along. It is so fun to have a meeting close to home and I really enjoy talking to others about my obsession!!

Happy Friday, UGH..I have GOT to go study for my Audiology test. I want to knit and dye and spin, but I can't! I have to instead study vestibular evaluation and treatment. UGH UGH UGH!! Well...I did dye 7 skeins of yarn while studying. They are COOLING now. LOTS of photos of dye projects coming soon! :)

Love, Lisa

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Fibery Weekend

My whole weekend feels like it was devoted to fiber! On Saturday morning, I went to a meeting of the Arizona Desert Weavers and Spinners Guild (ADSWG). It was quite fun! There were about 75 people present. First, there was a speaker who talked about weaving and showed samples of her beautiful work. They had a raffle for fun prizes and I was bummed I didn't win, but oh well. After, people who wanted to spin together stayed. I was lucky to get a private lesson from Susan of the Fiber Factory, which is the store where I bought my wheel. I am still REALLY struggling with the spinning though. So far, it does not come naturally to me and I know I just need to practice.

Today I met up with my sister. I snapped a photo of her with her beautiful new shawl she is working on. She is knitting a shawl with this gorgeous pinks No No Kitty Yarn (no defunct small company) and mixing in some pretty hot pink mohair and eyelash yarn. Here's the photos! Hi sis!

After this, we went to the huge Superbowl sale at Jessica Knits! I was a good girl for the most part. I bought some pretty hot pink sock yarn (I WILL I WILL I WILL finish a pair of socks!) two skeins of Noro Silk to make a modular hat from the Modular Knits book, and some pretty Plymouth Encore Worsted weight wool to make a hat for the Dulaan Project. The word Dulaan means "warmth" in Mongolian and these poor kids are FREEZING THERE. Read all about the project on this page and there is still plenty of time to knit lots of things for them. My goal (this is my own personal knitting Olympics) is to make one item a month until July when they are all due and ready to be mailed to Mongolia. So that will be six extra warm hats, mittens or socks most likely. I am starting with this first hat pattern, the Double-Thick, Super-Warm Dulaan Hat Pattern. It looks super easy and knits up fast with the yarn doubled on big needles!

Happy Sunday and Superbowl day to those who watched.......This week I have to buckle down and study for my class too (UGH) but I still will have some great yarn and roving dye photos to post!


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Word Cloud

I created this very cool Word Cloud from this web site. I saw it on Roxanne's Blog and I love how mine turned out!! It is actually taken from the words that you use most frequently on your own blog. At the end, they do actually say they can make a t-shirt from it and to be honest, I like mine so much, I might actually order one in pink!!

Time for sleep!! Sweet dreams.zzzzzzzzzzzz


So Many Nice Comments..Thank You

I didn't even know that many people read my blog. Thank you for the comments. One thing about blogger that I don't like (unless I have something set up wrong) is when people send me a comment, I do get a copy of it in my email box but I don't have your email address right there to write you back . I notice with some of the other blogging software, they have that feature and its great. Then I would write each person back right away. So if I don't write you back, I am sorry. I usually go to the persons blog (if I have it) and look for the address, but many don't have their email address on their blog either!

So thank you for the comments on my bad day, now a bad week.

Things have been better but this whole week I have been kind of "off" you might say. Just not a good week, but that means it can only get better right? I have tried to just give into a bit and relax and that is all I can do at the moment.

I did a bunch of dyeing yesterday and should have some photos in a few days. I dyed some handspun that Kathy gave me. And I dyed some lovely sock yarn. I am experimenting with lots of different colors and colorways and I keep a journal book of what I did so I can repeat or not.

I finished the back of my Wrap sweater and that was pretty cool. Now I am doing the sleeves and just hoping I am doing them right.

I might head out to Stitch N Bitch Phoenix tonight for a change. I have never been there and then Saturday I am going to go to a first guild meeting of the Arizona spinning and weaving guild. I just got an email (oh no!) that Jessica Knits has a superball sale going on this Sunday and I have to go! I think I will just take a very small amount of cash with me and no credit cards. I really have been wanting some Lorna Laces yarn and its on their list so I hope they have some I like...I love their color combos....

I don't have photos today but well...hmmm, I did also get this sock yarn in Hydrangea from Knitpicks, but it doesn't look in person like this photo!

Happy Thursday night!