Archive for the ‘hand dyeing’ Category


I’ve been asked by many of my customers if I have a Facebook page.  I don’t. Or rather I didn’t.  My girls talked me into letting them set up a personal page? account? Whatever it’s called.  I rarely use it.  I can’t for the life of me see that anything in my life is really that interesting that most people would want to read about it. The few people who I know that are interested in the mundane happenings of my life I talk to regularly.  I realize this makes me sound even “cooler” than I probably already do.  Another large part of my ambivalence is I’m extremely un-tech savvy. (Is that a word?) I have no problem sending email, updating my blog, or any of the other basic skills that are standard issue for most kindergarteners.these days.  Once we move beyond that… well it’s a different story.  So since Isabelle decided Sunday morning that 4:45 am was a fine time to start her I day, (after all the birds are up aren’t they?) I with my sleep fuzzy brain felt this would be a fine time to tackle Facebook. Here is my progress so far Cowgirlknits on facebook. Now if I can figure out how to add a link to my blog. Just to prove my point the link is not working, but how hard can it be to find?

On a more comfortable note, I decided to add some new types of yarn to my line. The first type is a chunky merino hand spun look yarn. It’s super soft and I was really happy how it dyed up.

I’ll make a confession here, I actually bought it to knit up this  little sweater for Isabelle, but after I saw how it dyed up I felt guilty. I’ve already ordered more and can’t wait to dye it up. I still plan to knit this sweater, it just looks adorable!




New dyes and rovings put to good use

I love to get mail, well maybe not bills, ok definitely not bills. But packages are great, and this week kinda felt like Christmas. It all started with my box from Motherwear. I believe I’ve mentioned my dislike loathing for shopping, you couple that with an infant who has similar opinions on car riding, and hitting the mall has about as much appeal as a barefoot trek through the Himalayas. Even in the best of times I will put off shopping until my attire is on the verge of a public offense. I realized I had again hit that point when we decided to visit some friends and all I could find to wear left me looking more like a homeless person than a reasonably functional adult . I’m not looking the greatest right now as it is. I’m tired, my face seems to think it is going through a second puberty, and my body, well lets just say that  having a baby after 40 and having it be your fifth means recovering your preconception figure is going to take a considerably longer time than it did when you were in your twenties. This means that the only thing I can really control  are my clothes. So shopping I must go. My jeans actually fit. All right so they are a little snug over my  baby bulge, but close enough that at least I don’t have to go jean shopping, which in my personal opinion is almost as bad as bathing suit shopping. An activity best prepared for with a few stiff drinks, an anti-depressant, and an appointment with your counselor.  So really all I need to get are tops.  I need tops that offer two things A). easy nursing access, and B). good, discreet coverage.  I’m tickled pink with my order and also with the fact I didn’t have to hit the mall to get them. This is my kind of shopping.


My next packages arrived on the same day. A Big box full of rovings and dye to dye the big box of rovings. This means that if Issy cooperates I can get back to dyeing my yarns and fiber a couple of times a week like I did before hurricane Isabelle arrived.

On that very same day I received an email letting me know that my yarn (that I ordered in the beginning of September) has finally been released from customs. It will be arriving late this week or early next week. Now I’m all for national security but how in the name of all things woolly can yarn look in any way like a national threat. It’s soft and squishy with a lovely earthy scent, how long could it possibly take to determine that if it looks like yarn and smells like yarn it probably is yarn. Approximately 29 days that’s how long. But I digress, so I now have that long overdue desperately needed package to look forward to.

Snippets of Time

2 1/2 weeks

Going home from the hospital

Our brains have a way of insulating us from unpleasant experiences from the past. We remember them but just not as vividly as when they were actually happening. I’ll give you a few examples:

1). Childbirth (this is still fresh in my mind). We all know it hurts, but our minds tend to blur the intensity of the pain and instead we remember the moment we first touched our babies.

2). Difficult financial times. Whether in college or just starting married life, we tend to laugh and describe how we had meat once a week, or we rode our bike everywhere we could to save gas,  or we had $50 for groceries not $50.01. It’s a lot funnier when we look back at it then when it was happening.

3). Life with a newborn.

This of course is the purpose of this post. I’ve had newborns before, I know they are time-consuming, but my mind played its tricks and I forgot just how much time goes into caring for a wee wonder.  I am breastfeeding. I think it is easier once it is established, which does take a little while, we aren’t there yet. At 3 weeks she is still eating, well almost constantly. I was joking the other day about our nursing chair having the imprint of my arse end, when I went to sit down at the next session I happened to glance down  and all joking aside there was a big ole imprint of my derriere. I’m trying to be all zen about how much time I’m spending in that chair. I know it is a temporary thing and she will grow very quickly and I will miss it, but when I see all the things I should/could be doing, well lets just say I doubt the Dalia Lama will be calling anytime soon.

Before Issy came I decided not to temporarily close my etsy shop, after all I had a little stock done ahead of time, I was trying for more but had a busy sales month in July. I’m not complaining:) Also not only would my two teenage girls be home, but my oldest daughter was staying for a week. I figured I had this covered. I can hear the Gods of  motherhood doubled over in laughter.  Since when do we ever have it “covered” ? Issy though a very good baby, doesn’t like to get to far away from the uhm.. food source. She likes constant contact when she is asleep. When she’s awake  she will sit in her wiggle chair as Craig calls it ( we thought her vibrator wasn’t exactly appropriate) or lay in her bassinet. This leaves precious little time to actually dye, take pictures, and post new colorways. So I’ve had to get creative. Cate my oldest daughter mad me a Moby wrap. This has been a life saver! Issy loves it and I get the use of my hands. When I dye I throw an apron on over it. I can do my computer work with two hands. Since my typing skills leave something to be desired two hands is a real plus.   So this is how life is at the moment. 5 minutes hear, 15 minutes there, it took me 7 hours to dye 5 skeins of yarn. Two of them where identical. This is a  stocking hat I started on Saturday for the baby, I should have it done by Christmas of 2011. It will never cease to amaze me how  lives can be so upturned by a wee being smaller than a watermelon, but so it is.

Keeping busy

Well, it’s August. I’m still here, still hugely pregnant, and obviously no baby.  I went to the Dr. Friday and since I am measuring 42 weeks (it’s no wonder I can’t breathe) if I don’t have her by next Friday they will send me to labor and delivery and I will be induced. That is definitely not my ideal way to go but, having a nice healthy baby is the goal, so I will suck it up and go with the flow. We have all but decided on a name, to be announced when our little one makes her grand entrance.

All MIne!!!

In the mean time I spent yesterday dyeing yarn, and will be getting pictures today if the weather cooperates. I even dyed a skein for myself of that wonderful silk/merino yarn. I plan to make a bonnet for the baby for the fall/winter. I’ll have to find just the right pattern. My youngest Daughter helped with the dyeing,  so we got to spend some quality one on one time together. I always love having each of the kids on their own. Even the kids who are not kids anymore. This is something that has gotten a lot easier as they have gotten older. When they were all little it was a rare event. So I appreciate it all the more. I’m still amazed they actually want to spend time with me given their respective ages. (22, 18, 16, &12)

Craig,  Alexandra and Ashlyn   cut and stacked wood yesterday. I thought this more physical activity might help start my labor. I didn’t however take into account a few key elements of doing wood. A). You need actual shoes. that’s a bit of a problem. I not only can’t reach my feet, I don’t have shoes that fit. So I just wore my flip-flops. I knew I would hear some protesting, but since I have been a hormonal mess lately, I knew they wouldn’t say too much. B). I can’t bend down. this makes picking up the wood to either put it in the truck or in the splitter rather difficult, since it obviously doesn’t jump into your hands. And finally C). I settled on stacking the wood in the truck to be transported to the lean-to where we keep it. Hard to believe, but I miss calculated the girth of my belly. I couldn’t lean in far enough to actually stack the wood on the truck.  It was at this point that I gave up and went for a walk waddle. I now know that the reason my family didn’t give me too much grief on the whole wood thing was because, they had already figured out A, B, & C.

Today we decided to live dangerously, by tempting the labor Gods. We are finally laying our living room floor. We’ve had the flooring since the remodel this spring but one thing or another has kept us from getting to it, until now. Truthfully I think it would still be put on hold until the fall in favor of the millions of outside projects that need to be done, if Craig wasn’t feeling sorry for me. I’ll take what I can get at this point, I’m not proud.

A Little Shameless Advertising

Time is just zooming by.  I’m trying to get some yarn and rovings not only dyed ahead of baby-boos ( yes, we still don’t have a name yet) arrival, but pictures taken, and enough inventory put aside that I can continue to keep not only my Etsy store stocked but my two local yarn stores as well. I thought I had everything pretty much under control (this of course is the illusion that I have continued to bumble through life with).  So I spent Sunday hand painting a new type of yarn. I have to say I’m totally in love with it. It’s a superwash ultafine merino/ silk blend. It’s wonderfully soft and luminescent. Pure luxury without having to hand wash it. Does life get any better??

See what I mean?

It’s so wonderful I very seriously contemplated dying up the whole shebang for myself. The only thing that stopped me is I just don’t have time to knit it up now and my inventory is seriously low. Sales in the summer months are usually slower but for some reason June has been particularly busy. Not that I’m complaining mind you. It has been a real adjustment going from two full time incomes to just Craigs and my fiber/yarn sales.

Socks and Soakers!!

I realize That my posts have been few and far between lately. I have still been organizing like a maniac, and progress is being made. I’ve also been knitting, A lot.  I finished the Spaghetti socks,  with my lack of brain function lately I couldn’t come up with a better name. I’m really happy with the way these turned out. They fit really well and look more difficult than they are to make. I’ll be posting the pattern in a day or so. There was no one around when i went to take these pics so I used my own very pregnant foot. It’s not as easy as one might think to contort themselves into a position to get a reasonable sock picture when your 8 months pregnant. Just saying.

I’ve made a few soakers. For those of you who don’t know what these are, ( and I didn’t up until recently) they are used to cover cloth diapers. They are made out of 100% wool. Because wool is waterproof and has antibacterial properties it’s a perfect cover for diapers. It also has the added benefit of being breathable. Plus since I hand paint my own yarn, it gives me a legitimate excuse to keep some of the colorways I like best.

I have also almost finished the babies coming home outfit. The pants and body of the sweater are done. I finished one of the sleeves, but I didn’t like the way it fit, so I need to rip it back and reknit it.

To dye or not to dye

We finally got the kitchen to a point that I could get to some long overdue dyeing. I had a stove, counter, and running water! What luxury!! There’s nothing like living without some of the basics of life to make you really appreciate it. I was able to get 5 skeins and two 4oz rovings done. I also was able to get some knitting time in on the baby jumper. All was well until I got out the measuring tape. I am sometimes amazed that I am unable to count to 4 and still be able to run my life in a reasonably responsible fashion. Needless to say I will be starting over. Oh well at least its small.