Friday, November 30, 2007

Marianne's Yarn

I am always stunned when I'm out visiting folks on their blog and stumble across my name or some of my yarn. I found this picture this morning when I was visiting Marianne's blog. I hadn't visited in a while and, oh my, has she been making some lovely stuff. You know how some people you just feel connected to? well, that's my feelings with her. Well, plus she is sort of a farm girl, has horses, kids - the good things in life. And did I mention Marianne lives way over in the Netherlands?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Morning Barn Chores

This is the view from my kitchen this a.m. at 7:20 just before I bundled up to do barn chores. I am the luckiest woman in the world to be healthy and able to enjoy and contribute to my small part of the world. Just to be able to say "I'm off to do barn chores" makes me smile. Waiting for me with all their baaing, humming, and nickering are 4 horses (you can just sort of see Cord in the fence on the right), 11 alpacas, 3 kitties, and 6 BabyDoll sheep.

I'm off to do barn chores.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Present for Myself - Goddess Pendant

Look what just arrived in the mail..... I ordered it for myself. The picture doesn't do it justice. It's glass, created by Molly in Pennsylvania. It came with a lovely choker that fastens magnetically, just the ticket for these arithitic fingers. I love it so much that I just ordered two similar for the daughters as Christmas presents. (Feeling pretty safe 'cause I think they never read their Mom's blogging ramblings.)
Take a look at the lovelies in Molly's store now that I have my choices ordered. (heh, heh). Her shop is called M.SotherdenArtGlass.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Our first snow on the way to do morning chores.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Spinning with the SpinningSpider

Last Friday I spent a wonderful day in Howell at Beth's Spinning Loft taking a spinning workshop from Jeannine Bakriges from Vermont. The class was titled "Spinning Thick, Thin, and Medium Yarn", which I need because I am a slave to my fiber and just spin whatever it wants to be. Blog readers will recognize Jeannine as the SpinningSpider.
Beth, I lifted this picture from your blog. Please don't sue me.
Jenny is a delightful, beautiful, wonderful woman and teacher with an awesome sense of humor. The most important lesson that I brought home is to pick and choose from the "spinning rules" Do what works for me. There are no Spinning Policemen! I now cut my yarn from the spindle with SCISSORS without grief or guilt. I don't HAVE to learn a long draw if my short, backward draw makes nice yarn. If I don't want to change my ratio, and if everything is to my liking, I just keep going.

The really great thing about Jenny is that she encouraged us to push ourself beyond our comfort level. First we worked on a really thin yarn and I totally amazed myself. I now know that I can spin laceweight - if I want to. My main concern is consistency and to spin a designated weight. Jenny sat right next to me to help, in fact, she even spun on my wheel so that I could see what she was talking about. I think I have been visiting and watching too much television while spinning. If I pay attention to the drafting triangle (mine is never really a triangle), my yarn is much more consistent.

The really biggest challenge for me has been to make nice bulky yarn. And look ▲ don't you think that's nice. It's from white fiber boy, Buck. Jenny helped me understand the ratios and how they help spin different weights. I actually change now depending on what I want to spin. The bulky is 6 to 1, which is simply the slowest on my wheel. I do need to remember to slow my feet down also.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sara's lamb, Ellie

This is Ellie, a delightful little lamb that Sara, from Tucson, Arizona, made from some of my handspun yarn. Visit her Etsy shop, woolies. Sara makes beautiful gifts including awesome shawls and darling little animals like Ellie.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pudge Yarn from Sunni

A few weeks ago, Sunni from Chicago, who has bykes shop on Etsy purchased some of Pudge's roving. I just received this picture from her and she assured me that Pudge's fiber is very lovely and that she is going to keep the yarn she spun for herself instead of selling it in her shop. Besides yarn and roving, Sunni sells other lovely "stuff", so you should go take a look.
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Sunni is a student in Chicago and rides her bike around town - which I can't even imagine doing.

Fiber Friends Get Away

We had quite the get away in Michigan's Upper Peninsular near the town of DeTour. My friend, Kathy (on the left in the pictures) has been building - what I thought was a cottage - but is really a beautiful home on a bay right along St. Mary's River. From the huge front window we watched iron ore and ocean freighters during the day and enjoyed their lights at night.
We did knit, and spin, and eat chocolate, and drink beer and wine. The large picture above was very late morning and I was still in my pjs, quite the treat because I am usually dressed by 6:30 to go to the barn.
Kathy's home, a true log home, is filled with whimsy. A little bird stuck here, a squirrel there, a humungous smiling moose over the fireplace. The two little racoons in the canoe here are above the mantel of the dining room side of the fireplace.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sharon and Maple Dye

Oh, my, what a fun day! Sharon arrived about 10 this a.m., and by 2, look what we had created. Two pounds of awesome dyed alpaca roving from Sharon's white alpacas. Had she brought more, we would have dyed more. We had three batches going at a time - the crock pot, the broiling pan in the oven, and the roaster on top of the stove.
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If you don't know Sharon Winsauer, you must go visit her shop on Etsy called AuroraAlpacas. She is my "genius lace pattern making " friend. Maybe you have heard of her Dragon shawl pattern? She just got some awesome roving back from the mill that her alpacas grew for her. I think that she will be listing this in her shop soon, so watch for it.
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I am very fortunate to have fibery friends living close enough that we can have fun days together.
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I had just decided to let my grays grow out but kind of like the way my hair looks in this pict. so I don't know..... I'm on the right up above. We are outside my kitchen on the deck.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Yummy New Roving Arrives

Three big bags arrived from Suzanne this week, and, as usual, she did a beautiful job preparing this roving - (white, light fawn, and black). I have most of it done up in bundles like this with a picture of the donor and have already listed it in my Etsy shop. I like to put it in 2 ounce bundles because it is easier to handle and store, besides, it looks really super all fanned out like this.
The arrival time was perfect because I am running a 15% off all my roving sale until November 16th. On November 16th there will be a Trunk Show at the Etsy headquarters in New York City. We were invited by Etsy to do it and many members of our fiber arts group, EtsyFAST, have already sent stuff. To celebrate this Trunk Show, many of our shops pledged to offer sales of at least 15% off. See here for more information.
I'm also thinking on November 16th I should do more with sales because that will be my 1 year anniversary of having my online Etsy store. Maybe offer 15% off everything in the store, not just roving. Any suggestions?
I got a little off track there because I wanted to tell you how I got my ♪♫♪ three bagsfull ♪♫♪.
Phil, a buddy from nearby town, borrowed our horse trailer for a trip to Indiana to pick up 2 new alpacas. In return he offered me the raw fiber from three of his alpacas. You can see Pudge at Phil and Polly's site. Needless to say, I'm thrilled!
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It is an incredibly windy day here in midMichigan. I locked all the horses outside with hay and water. If I leave their stall doors open, sawdust and crap will blow all over the barn. Actually, the horses don't mind. They were all standing out side anyway, with tails to the wind.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

FearlessFibers Wish List Suggestion

The World’s Greatest Holiday Shopping ListMost of you are all familiar with my Etsy shop, but I wonder how many of you know about a great Etsy feature that you might just use yourself this holiday season?I’m talking about the “Favorites” feature on Etsy. Although it’s not meant to be specifically a wish list for holiday shopping, you can easily use it to your advantage that way. It’s simple. Just login to your Etsy account (if you don’t have one, registering is simple and requires no detailed personal information beyond your e-mail address and name), and then browse around to find things you love. When you come upon an item of interest, within the listing description you’ll see a link on the lower right side that says “Add Item to Favorites.” Just click that link and the item will be marked as a “favorite.” Now here’s the fun part. When your husband or sister or best friend or mother asks what you might like as a gift this holiday season, you can point them to your list. All they have to do is type your Etsy ID name in their browser, followed by "" (For example, my username is fearlessfibers, so my URL is: Even if you don’t have a shop on Etsy, a page still comes up and on that page there is a link that says, “Favorites.” There, your gift-giving loved ones can find your wish list. How cool is that?! If you have no shame (I know I don’t!), you can even go to your favorites list when it’s complete, copy the URL and e-mail it to that husband or sister or best friend or mother.One important thing to note: If you decide to create a holiday wish list this way, be sure to check back every few days. If items on your list are sold or removed from the site by the seller, you may want to remove them from your favorites so that your shopping friends and family won't become frustrated if they find that the items you've marked are unavailable.
And, of course, if you are more of the giving sort and not so interested in your own wish list, you can ask your friends and family to make their own wish lists to help you out with your shopping this holiday season.Just thought you all might like to know about this feature. It’s much easier to drop a URL than a subtle hint ;)

EtsyFAST Sale

EtsyFAST, our fiber arts group on etsy, are on a really big roll. We are having a Trunk Show at Etsy headquarters in New York City on November 16th. I surely can't go to the event but some of our group will be there. Many of us sent items to be displayed. I sent some yarn and little packets with my business card and some alpaca fleece.
To recognize and celebrate this show, many (38 shops) of us are offering some really good sales from today, November 1st through November 16th. I'm offering 15% off all the roving that I have. These items on sale are everything from roving, to yarn, to finished products. Most of the shops are having 15% off, but there are some with 20% off.
I have no idea what happened here, but if you click on any of this underlined stuff, you will go to a list of all the shops participating in the sale.

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For those of you who are wondering about Lady Belita, our sick alpaca, she seems to be just fine now. The only thing we can figure out is that maybe she was dehydrated. For some reason none of the animals, (horses, sheep, & alpacas) were drinking well earlier in the week. The blood sample and the fecal sample showed nothing conclusive.
I have so messed this up. Click on any of this underlined stuff to find a list of the EtsyFAST artists who are having sales.