Sunday, April 16, 2017

In Memory of Bella

Wow. It's been almost a full month since my last post, and so much has happened since then...

I'm going to share pictures of one specific spin that I've been working on, and some pictures of my beloved Bella. (and cry in the process of writing this and sharing the pictures, I'm sure.)

Because I just can't, I don't have the energy or the courage, to write out again why I've been absent or why I'm crying in the posting of this, I will be adding in quotes from posts I've written off Ravelry. They may not make as much sense in this format, but they'll get the general idea across.

We got testing back. It isn’t good. It’s really, really, really bad.
Right now Bella is resting easy, snoring, on my bed, right in between my legs.

She spent quite a long time at the vet clinic today. Last Friday when we brought her in, she presented with symptoms that the vet didn’t think were life threatening or required blood work. She had puked a couple times and hadn’t eaten for a few days. She was drinking just fine, and just seemed tired until we asked if she wanted a car ride. Today when she went in for blood work (because even after anti nausea meds she still wasn’t eating), her physical poking & prodding side of things revealed that her abdomen is tender to pressure. That prompted X-rays, which found nothing wrong. Blood work was already in the works (she was such a good girl for the X-rays and blood work - no sedation needed), so we just had to wait. 
Her kidneys are failing. She’s dying.
The vet suspects that it’s either cancer (though no tumors showed up on any X-rays, and she got whole body exam and X-rays) or poison. We’re doing a test for Addison’s disease, just to see, because that’s treatable. It’s exceedingly rare. I’m not hopeful. More than likely we’ll be back at the vet on Thursday or Friday to help Bella cross the rainbow bridge.’s been really rough. Things are up and down, and luckily I have other fur babies that need my love and attention. If they weren’t around, I’m pretty sure I’d be balled up in bed doing absolutely nothing but bawling my eyes out.
 I had to help my soul dog cross the rainbow bridge this evening. This is about the time, 5 year ago, that the local animal control picked her up off the street as a stray. Purple was her color - her collar was purple, her favorite blankets on our bed were purple, I knit a cowl for her in purple...
As a celebration of her life, and in memory of the wonderful animal control officers who made sure she was sheltered until I got her, I’m going to continue to spin my purple Inglenook Fibers. It matched her collar perfectly.

  I took Molly out for a walk earlier, and just started bawling because I was missing Bella - we always went for walks in a set of three! I went to the kitchen for a glass of water, turned around, and saw the empty spot that Bella always sat in watching me do whatever.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Episode 35: Shearing, Spin Ins, and Dyeing

I was seriously taken down by whatever the latest crud is that's going around. I am still carrying around a few tissues, just in case, and drowning in tea. I appologize tremendously if I still sound a little funny!

I do have a whole heck of a lot to share with you guys! Even though I was sick, I did get a lot done and help with quite a few things! Shetland sheep shearing, Log Cabin Spin In, Etsy photography and listings, business cards, spinning, knitting, planning...

The Happenings Around Here
We've started getting seeds out and planting some things (radish, beets, lettuces, tomatoes, peppers). The Shetland sheep at Leslie's farm needed shearing. The NWRSA conference 2019 planning has begun. I went to the Log Cabin Spin In in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho yesterday with a few friends. I did get a lot of spinning done, but I also made connections with fellow Pocket Wheel owners, talked to a lady about natural dyeing with lichens and mushrooms, and got to pet a baby BFL sheep!
I'll be starting up a dye cookbook/notebook and beginning to coll ect more dye books and information. 

  1. Jenkins March SAL - IF "Concord Grape"
  2. Hobbledehoy "Gemmy Batts"
  3. Honey Badger socks using Three Fates Yarns Terra Sock in "Blondie"
  1. Romney Skeins (680 yards of Worsted, total)
  2. Getting my Etsy store up and running again, with partial listings
(And here's the list of books from Amazon... I decided to be lazy and not actually list them...)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Silver Romney, a mission

So, you guys know by now that I'll be going to Fiber Market Day at the end of the month. It's on March 25th. And that I'll be sharing a booth with a couple friends while I'm down there. That was the actual launching point to my dream of providing handspun yarn, fiber, and other fiber notions kinds of things.

Now I'm just making sure that I have things to bring down there to sell from the booth!

I do actually have a bit of handspun that I can bring, but I also have to send off a couple skeins of handspun for my half of a barter (I talked about this back on February 16th. and I really need to get those skeins in the mail ASAP! It's been far too long).

I've been spinning the lovely silvery Romney that I got at Black Sheep Gathering last June. It's so different from the medium grey Romney that I spun for my shawl!

It's shorter fiber. I know that some people will shear twice a year - I'm wondering if that's the case for this particular fleece? Or maybe the sheep just had a coat that doesn't grow as quickly? Or the sheep was extra wiggly during shearing? Or maybe the shearer was new or learning? Whatever the case may be, I'm enjoying the spin, even if I'm finding more second cuts and weird bits that have been cut what looks like three times. I am using my combs to comb a section of fiber at a time, and then spinning straight from the combs. It's creating quite a bit less waste than the flicking I've been doing for the Shetland lamb fleece. I'll have to do some weighing to see exactly how much "loss" I'm getting with both methods. Don't worry, I'll report back here! Eventually... lol

Here's a video of me prepping the fiber, combing, and then spinning straight from the comb. It takes about 20 minutes start to finish for a pretty good bit of fiber. Never fear, though, I sped up the video by 4x so you don't have to sit there and watch forever! I admit that it's a bit mesmerizing...

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Episode 34: Friendship and Stash

Ohmygoodnessguys! I had so much stash to share with you this week! I got the best surprise in the mail on Monday. I had been having a tough day, so it was absolutely amazing to have a giant box when I got home from work. I knew that the box was coming, but I had no idea what the box was stuffed with. And then there's the spinning. And then there's the knitting. And the new baby business venture!

  1. Jenkins March SAL - Inglenook Fibers "Concord Grape"
  2. Romney skeins
  3. Hobbledehoy "Gemma Batts"
  4. Honey Badger socks using Three Fates Terra Sock in "Blondie"

  1. Glynis socks using Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in "Olivia"
Wool Piggery
  1. Hobbledehoy "Gemmy Batts," "Jacaranda," "Heart of Mars," "Boardwalk Empire" 
  2. Corgi Hill Farm "Elwynn Forest," "Blood Elf," "Pebble Shore"
  3. Hello Yarn "Heirloom"
  4. Into The Whirled "Death"
  5. Nunoco "Cherry Blossom," batt droppings
Yarn Runner
I'm rebranding and starting up a new itty bitty business! I've changed my Etsy store name, started putting together labels and business cards, and have been getting glamour shots of handspun yarns. I had been thinking about this for a while, but it took a push. The push are a couple events that I'll be attending with friends - Fiber Market Day in Prineville, Oregon, and Fiber With a Twist here in Richland. I'll be bringing handspun yarn, hand processed local fleece, dye things, and a few sewn project bags.  

Plus gratuitous pictures, cause they are freaking adorable...

this is the noise maker from the video... 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Handspun, Handmade Business

I don't know if any of you have noticed, or even knew that I had one, but my Etsy storefront has been closed for some time now. I'm planning on opening the little shop thing again, but I'm running into a dilemma. I want to change my shop name, but to what? I want to change my focus a little bit, but that requires a bit more time. I'm also attending the Prineville, OR Fiber Market Day. I don't feel like it's very fair to open a new Etsy store with a new name, without a lot of stock. Or open with full stock, and then a week or two later put the shop on vacation again so I can drive down to Oregon!

I will be more focused on spinning and yarn, with just a few accessories. I also plan to provide some of my dried flowers for natural dyeing every once in a while, or when they're in season!

This is all requiring a build up of stock, new photos, a real business card, a marketing plan, a budget, and all of that while I'm doing everything that I normally do! Those things like work and horse care and dog care and try to have some time to spin and knit for myself.

There will be more on this later...

P.S. what do you think of "Whirling Marigolds" as a business name?