Monday, January 25, 2016



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Saturday, November 28, 2015



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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tour de Fleece 2015

The 2015 Tour de Fleece has come to a close as of Sunday.  This is my second time participating in this event, and I really enjoyed myself!  Though my shoulder would say otherwise...I incurred a spinning injury and am having to take a few days off spinning to let it rest.  How do you get a spinning injury from using a spinning wheel?  I honestly don't know!  But it happened.  hahaha

This year I was team captain of Team HAPL (Healing After Pregnancy Loss) and I was a member of Team Pandia's Jewels.  

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Tour de Fleece, it is the annual spinning event on where you spin while the Tour de France rides.  If you are on, and if you aren't I highly recommend joining, you can go to the main group's page by CLICKING HERE.  

Every year, I try to come up with goals that I want to accomplish during the event.  This year, my goals were to finish spinning the Gotland commission I had been working on, to try a new fiber, and to spin up at least one of my prizes from last time I participated.  Happily, I met all of my goals!

The Gotland wool commission was something I have been working on for a friend.  She gave me 4 pounds of Gotland wool and wanted me to spin it up for her.  It was my first time spinning that amount of wool from one fiber!

By the time I was done with this spinning commission, I had turned 4 pounds of wool into 1,764 yards of 2 ply, DK weight yarn!  It made me so happy to ship off a box stuffed full of yarn to the owner at the end of last week.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what she makes with it!  It has a lovely shimmer to it.

Throughout the TDF event, we have a couple of challenge days, that correspond to the challenge days of Tour de France.  One of the challenges I chose for myself was to try my hand at using a drop spindle.  Before getting my spinning wheel, I took a class on spindling and used a very heavy, awkward drop spindle.  Though I put a lot of effort into it, I just didn't get it.  When I got my wheel, spinning clicked for me.  However, I have always wanted to go back to the spindle again and see if I could figure it out.  A friend of mine, Eileen, helped me get my drop spindle going with some BFL wool I have in my stash.  This time, I used a lighter drop spindle that has a top whorl to it (my old one has a bottom whorl) and I did much better! I even enjoyed it!

Spinning on a drop spindle compared to a wheel is much slower.  When I was working on the small amount you see above, I just kept thinking how amazing the men and women were in the past who used mostly spindles to make their clothing and other items!  The time, the effort, the patience, it all amazes me!  I now have a much deeper appreciation for this craft.

Another goal I set for myself during this event was spinning from a batt.  I was gifted these two lovelies from a friend in HAPL.  They are fiber batts from Corgi Hill Farm.  The fiber included in these are Merino, Camel, Silk and Firestar (which makes it sparkle).  When you unroll them, you get this...

I was quite surprised by how much fiber was rolled up inside the labels!  It's super soft, and the colors in it are just GORGEOUS!  Plus I've never spun anything with sparkle before, so was interested to see what that would be like.

Spinning from a batt with this fiber content takes time and patience as it can be very slippery at times.  I wanted to spin it a bit thicker so the resulting yarn would be more of a worsted weight.  I fit each batt on one bobbin (see picture above).  I plied the two bobbins together and ended up with 194 yards of Worsted weight yarn!

This picture doesn't even do it justice!  In certain light, the purple tones come out more, and in other light, it's more blue.  The silk and firestar make it shimmer and shine.  It's super soft and squishy!  I'm still looking at patterns to decide what I will make with this beautiful yarn.

Finally, I wanted to show you my Pandia's Jewels fiber that I spun during this event.  I won this prize during Tour de Fleece 2013.  It's 100% Polwarth and was a dream to spin!  The colorway is "Princess Spinning Pants." 4 oz.

This fiber is very soft and easy to spin fine.  I was going for a light fingering weight yarn, and I succeeded!

398 yards of light fingering weight yarn!  2 ply.  This yarn can look more pinkish in certain light, and more purple in others.  Super soft and squishy too!  Not sure what I will knit this into, but I have a few ideas already.

I won another braid of fiber from Pandia's Jewels this year and I look forward to spinning it soon!  Check out "Expoding Tardis" colorway on Superwash Merino, Nylon, Stellina Fiber.

I very much enjoyed Tour de Fleece this year and I hope to participate in next year's event!  If you are a spinner, I highly recommend checking out the group on Ravelry and joining next year.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Three Years...

Larkspur (Delphinium):  July Birth Flower
Three years have passed since we lost our twin sons, Liam & Colin.  While time continues to move forward, day by day, hour by hour, and even by the leap second, July 1st will always be a day that time stands still.  Where I feel like I'm trudging through deep, wet, sand, trying to remind myself to "breathe".  Many would think that in three years, the pain would be lessened...that with time, things wouldn't feel so raw.  In some ways, that is true, but in other ways, it's still very much a vivid memory of the day my boys were born and passed away too soon.

Three years...we've moved twice, we've undergone numerous fertility treatments without success, we've continued to move forward in a world without our sons.  Always thinking about what our lives would be like if they were alive today.  Always missing them.  Always remembering.

My husband and I weren't sure what we would do to commemorate this day.  I got up and cooked a big breakfast for us.  Then we drove to one of our favorite local metro parks and went for a hike.  We've always found comfort in hiking through the woods.  Taking time to take pictures of even the smallest creatures, like dragonflies and even slugs, makes us smile.  

Wildflowers in the woods

After our long walk, we stopped off for a quick lunch, then proceeded to a local nursery to look for plants for our yard.  Our wedding anniversary was last month, and I was promised a flower of my choice for the yard.  With all the rain lately, we weren't able to get out and get one, so we chose a flower that is both for our anniversary and for our boys, a Twist & Shout Hydrangea.

Butterfly on a butterfly bush at the nursery
Bees enjoying the coneflowers at the nursery

After all the rain, the ground was easy to break and we planted our new hydrangea.  


I also wanted a memorial stone for the flower bed we are working on, and though I had plans to make one myself, I found the perfect stone at the nursery.  It was just there, and when I saw it, I knew it was the one for our yard. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Busy at the Dye Pots!

Can you believe it's been over a year since I've dyed yarn?  I didn't realize so much time had passed!  Last week I got out my pots and supplies and made some gorgeous new yarns for my Etsy shop!   Let me do a little show and tell for you here.  

First of all, I had a suggestion over on Ravelry in my group, The Purled Ewe, for a daffodil colorway.  Here is the picture that was submitted...

Being that it's Spring, I thought it would be a perfect time to try my hand at recreating this colorway using Kool Aid and Wilton's food coloring.  

Here's what I came up with!

"Daffodil" on 400 yards of fingering, SW Merino & Nylon yarn.  This yarn is SO soft and squishy!  I just love it!  Actually, it's the base I used for all of the following yarns I dyed.

My Helper
On my Facebook group, The Purled Ewe, I had another colorway suggestion of a yarn with coral, turquoise and gray.  Here is the picture that was submitted...

Here is what I came up with using Kool Aid and Wilton's food coloring...

This is "CTG" on SW Merino & Nylon fingering weight yarn. This colorway was definitely a challenge using food based dyes, but I had a lot of fun playing with different colors until I found a combination I liked.

Looks like pasta!
This next colorway was just a fun mix of favorite colors.  It's fun playing with different colors and see how they transform in the dye pot!  

This is "Northern Lights" on SW Merino & Nylon.

The final skein to show you was so much fun to make!  I started with one idea and by using a different dye technic than I'm use to doing, I created a really neat combination of colors!  My color inspiration came from a paint card sample I found at Shermin Williams paint store.

Here's what I came up with!  "Hideaway" on SW Merino & Nylon

You can find all of these yarns and more at 

The Purled Ewe on Etsy!  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Update!


I know it's been SUPER quiet around here over the past few months.  My life has just been so crazy that it's been hard to get anything accomplished.  Other than working on some commissions here and there, I was unable to really sit down and work on new additions for my shop.  Last week, though, the Spring weather and sunnier days lifted my spirits and I was able to get my sewing groove going again!  

By the end of last week, I had 6 bags created!  Five for my shop, and one for me.  :)  

You can find all of these bags on sale at The Purled Ewe!  

I do hope to get the dye pots going in the next week or two!  It's been too long since I've dyed yarn and fiber, and I have both just sitting in my house calling for color to be added to them!  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What to do when it's this cold?

It's winter time and with the snow on the ground and the temps below 20 degrees F, I'm feeling more like sewing than anything else.  It's not that I don't want to dye the lovely yarn and fiber sitting in my closet, waiting for me and to go into my shop, it's just too cold!  Too cold to be out in the garage dyeing, and without being able to open a window, I just don't feel comfortable dyeing in my house.  I don't think my hubby would want me making the place smell like Kool Aid either.  At least it's warm enough to sew some new bags for my shop!  

This week, I managed to get three new bags made and added to The Purled Ewe.