Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Back to Etsy!

Well, from what I've heard from a bunch of my fellow vendors and customers, no one really likes Artfire very much, so after a little over a month, I've quit that venue and migrated back to Etsy. There is now a "widget" in my sidebar, below my profile info, that will give you a glimpse of some of the items I currently have for sale. If you like something you see, just click on it, and you'll be magically whisked away to that particular item's page in my shop. Ta-daaaaaa! There's lots of cool new stuff, including some hand-painted Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend yarns. Please do take a look if you feel so inclined, and if you love anything in particular, grab it while you can. I dye/hand-paint yarns in very small batches, and while all my colorways may be approximated again in the future, they will never be duplicated exactly.

Weight Watchers has been going rather well, and I am down a whopping 15.6 pounds since I began this journey on January 3rd. This puts me under 200 pounds for the first time in awhile, and I have been able to maintain this status for the last week or so, and have been losing a bit every week, slowly but surely. Now, if I could just get to a point where I enjoy exercising and actually want to do it...

Well, up and down the stairs several times a day to stoke the furnace with wood will have to suffice. That, and sitting down at the spinning wheel. See, a long time ago, I made sure I bought a double treadle wheel, so at least there would be the illusion of exercise, and maybe it's not such a joke after all. Treadling steadily with both feet for a couple of hours every day is a gentle form of exercise, and I don't notice that it's work, because I'm too busy watching my yarns take shape. And do they ever take shape! Here are a few examples.

This is "Black Gold," a totally sumptuous and decadent blend of gold silk and black alpaca. I have no idea what it wants to be yet, but it sure is gorgeous!

"Pumpkins A-glow" is a wonderful blend of superwash Merino wool, Cashmere, and Nylon. I guess, because of the nylon component, this means the yarn would make good socks, but somehow I cannot justify putting anything with cashmere in it on my feet!

The lady who made the batt I spun this next one from did not have a name for the batt, and since it made me think of outer-space and general delightful astronomical oddity, I decided to name it after a favorite song of Grant's. "Space Jazz." It's got alpaca in it, and I think some wool, and firestar, and angelina, and God only knows what else. Gorgeous and soft. It is being made into a hat I'm test-knitting for a designer friend on Ravelry, and I can't wait to wear it!

And last, but certainly not least, is a piece I'm especially proud of for a couple of reasons. One, this was my first attempt at dyeing yarn with black walnut juice. I had an abundance of walnuts fall from the trees after Hurricane Irene blew through, and thought it was high time to see what I could do with them. We got as far as gathering a big bucketful and putting the bucket in the garage. Luckily, before I forgot about them completely, I mentioned my plan to Grant, and one day after I had forgotten, he wrote and asked what kinds of yarn I was planning to dye, and cautioned me to make sure I wore gloves when I started working with the stuff.

There is nothing like a nudge from someone by whom I do not want to be perceived as a slacker, and it wasn't long after that when I got some fabulous "tweed" yarn dyeables, and into the kettle of prepared walnut juice they went. It was totally a done deal, unbeknownst to himself until the box landed on his doorstep, that Grant would get the first item I ever made from the stuff. I started this scarf in the car on the way to Maine on December 29th, and finished it in the car on the way home from Maine on New Year's Day. I'm rather proud of it, and delighted that it will be helping to keep my singing friend's golden throat warm and protected during the bitterest part of the winter.

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