6:38 PM

Pygora Fiber!!

This post is long past due, I know. This past summer I went to the Northern Michigan Lamb and Wool Fiber Fest and took their sheep shearing class (which is fabulous btw). While I was there I met the owners of the Great Lakes Pygoras and was able to come home with a lovely raw fleece. Processing it seemed a bit daunting as it had to be dehaired but I found it relatively easy.

First I washed it with a couple of drops of Dawn and rinsed it. Once was enough as it wasn't very dirty and of course did have much lanolin (if any? I really don't think goats have lanolin.)

Then sent the fiber through the spin cycle in my washing machine

And finally set it to dry in the window

Now the dehairing part........all it took was a set of mini combs!

Sorry about the bad picture but you get the idea. Load your comb with the dry fleece then turn your other comb so that it is at a right angle to the first (the combs should criss cross if that makes sense) Be careful with these babies though, I have stabbed myself several times! The long fiber will be transferred to the second comb, leaving the short hairs on the first. Just toss these in the garbage. I found that 4 passes got most of the hair. There is a lot of hair in there but don't be tempted to comb less in the hopes to save some fiber as the hairs will continue to come out after it's spun and knitted. I comb until I have most of the hair removed and then spin directly off the comb. What is left is wonderful! I plan on plying this with Cormo. It should make a beautiful soft hat for that special someone- me! (yep, I really am that selfish!)

1:35 PM

Lovely things come in the mail and by trailer

Over at Ravelry I have joined a few swaps as I mentioned before and I have some lovely pictures to share....

First up the Fibery Goodness Swap brought me this:

The handspun is cormo and mohair and the roving is a cormo/alpaca blend. Lovely! The roving is being spun on the Joy right now :)

The Sew Obsessed group did an apron swap:

This makes me want to do housework!!! I love it! My old fashioned hubby is going to attack me when he sees me in an apron ::blush::

Finally, on the swap subject, the Books N More Swap brought this:

A hand knitted cowl, kool aide for dyeing, acid dyes, bare yarn for dyeing, and fabulous book on dyeing and chocolate!

And as if I am not spoiled enough:

Cormos!!!!!!!!! (and a colored cross)

3:28 PM

No catchy title today

I just can't think of one but......here are some of my charlevoix goodies from the fiber fest:

Herbal Garden 100% Romney from Maple Row Stock Farm:

Godiva 75% Tunis/Border Leicester 20% Alpaca 5% Tussah Silk (same vendor)

Wonderful Spindle for Maple Row Stock Farm and Night Embers roving from Winding Wool Creek:

Both will be at the MI Fiber Festival in Allegan......

On the sewing front I have the tote bag and the apron done. I am going to get started on a skirt for my daughter soon but I think today I will do something for me!

9:00 PM

A new spinning wheel!!!

Yay! I am now the proud owner of an Ashford Joy! I bought it here. I love, love, love it!

I have my swap apron almost finished (just have to add the ties in the back), I hope my spoilee loves it :)

And finally, on the wheels: white shetland on the Joy which I intend to dye and wool/tussah still on the Elizabeth, almost ready to be plyed.

6:29 PM

What's on the bobbin.....

I am trying my hand at a wool/silk blend and it is lovely!

It took a bit to get the hang of it but Abby from Abby's Yarns was kind enough to give some pointers. You're right Abby, it does help to move your hands apart more!

And next on the sewing list is an apron for yet another swap! Here is the fabric I chose, and I got enough for a tote for myself.

8:46 PM

Tote Bag!

Another check on my list! Here is a (albeit bad) picture of the tote bag for my swap partner! I hope she loves it.....

2:09 PM

Another swap package arrives.....

I am addicted to this things! Fun! Fun! Fun! That's what they are! This one is from

The lovely package includes: Fiber (and lots of it), a wonderful bottom whorl spindle and a kit to make a CD spindle

Thanks Zellspin!
I also am doing a swap in the swap. We are swapping 4oz of fiber plus some handspun yarn.
And.....remember I said I was addicted......the booksandsmore Swap. This is my second round on this one and it is a blast! I have everything taken care of except the handmade item. I am making this (I think I need one too). The interfacing is bought so I am off to work on it.....

3:06 PM

First attempt at dyeing......

I bought some white roving from Arbor Yarns Etsy shop and got out the kool aide!

I don't think it turned out too shabby!

But I will make sure to wear gloves next time......

I am finding out I am not too handy with a bottom whorl spindle.....how in the world do you use this thing? It is lovely though (please ignore the ironing board background)

On my list to do so far I can check off fixing the waistband.....I have begun the tote bag for the ravelry swap but discovered I am completely out of interfacing so off to the store for that.....

On a sad note, we lost one of our lambs, a favorite named Eddie. We are completely heartbroken.

8:27 AM

Will the work ever end????

I mean really I have two Ottobre magazines that need to be tended to! I just subscribed for the first time to their children's magazine and I love it!! I wish I would have subscribed when my children were younger though because there are more patterns for younger ones then the tweenies. ......but pattern grading can be done......it can be done........

On the spinning wheel I now have a brown shetland roving and up next is a white shetland roving which I plan to hand dye after it is spun. My first attempt!

8:56 AM

Not too crafty today, or tomorrow, or the day after or......

It is so busy at the Pizzeria right now (thank you God) but we also have a key employee quitting (God could you send us a new one, soon? We're (well, I am) starting to get a little nervous....) Anyway I have big sewing plans but they will have to wait. They include however:

  • A knitting bag for my swap partner on ravelry and possibly a needle holder
  • Fixing a waistband in my daughter skirt
  • Making my daughter a skirt
  • Making me a skirt
  • Making myself a knitting bag (maybe Amy Butler hmmmm)
  • Embroidering a sweatshirt for an employee

I hate it when real life gets in the way.

2:50 PM

Getting crafty......

I have finally finished washing the last of the Alpaca fiber and it is lush! The picture does not do it justice, it is really a deep rich mahagony color. I am lucky enough to live just around the corner from an Alpaca farm, the White Cloud Alpacas. Lovely.

And here is my loot from the Spindle Addicts Swap on Ravelry. Lots of great stuff! Two spindles, handmade soap and body powder, stitch markers and fiber galore!

And just for fun, my first yarn, made on my drop spindle!

Now off to work on my handmade spindle for the swap!

11:04 PM

What is that crazy lady up to now?

That's what my family says. Lovingly I hope! Well I have been spending a lot of time sitting in front of this:

Yes!! I have my own spinning wheel! I bought this lovely Ashford Elizabeth 2 from The Spinning Wheel and I adore it. Why did I pick the Elizabeth 2 you ask? Well, I'll tell ya! It's simple really. It is the only wheel I could get to work!! I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the double treadle wheels moving in one direction continously. I will post some pictures of my handspun and of some of the other things I have been working on as soon as I can get this dumb camera to work!

3:46 PM

What's new????

Well, lots! I am spinning like crazy and already have 5 skeins of yarn ready to ply. It's all bumpy and lumpy but it's all good :) Don't know what I will make out of it yet but I will make something!!! I now own two drop spindles: one Greensleeves apprentice and an Ashford something or other. I am saving my way to a spinning wheel......

Still working on the same socks I have been for the past month but I am at the heel flap for the 2nd sock so I am at the home stretch!

Finally, we are getting sheep!!! We will soon have a website set up at www.countingsheepfarm.com
where we hope to sell fleeces, breeding stock and other goodies. It is a long story as to how we ended up decided to do 3 breeds that I will save for another day but we will be handling Cormos, Jacob Sheep and Finnish. It is going to be a family affair and we are very excited!! If you pop by the site and it isn't up yet, please check back!

10:16 PM

When I grow up I want to be a spinner.....

I have a couple of swaps that I am doing on Ravelry and I am having sooooooooo (was that enough o's?) much fun shopping for them. I decided I would try to find some locally spun yarn to send and I am pretty excited to have found it!! Yay! But I am thinking: I so want to learn to spin myself! How rewarding is that to have spun the yarn; then knit it!! I love the idea. It makes me feel independent when I make my own clothes from my own designs and spinning just seems the next avenue.....aaahhh. But my husband will kill me if I try to take on another endeavor. He is very supportive, don't get me wrong, but at some point I really need to come out of my sewing/hobby room and tend to my family. Really, I do. They outnumber me anyway, I gotta show up or the kids will take over......

6:09 PM

Gotta love a swap!!!

I got this wonderful package in the mail for a swap on Ravelry.......It was fantastic!
And here is some loot from another swap:
Who doesn't love getting mail!!

I have been working diligently on Mopsy, my troll pin cushion doll and here is a preview!

6:56 PM

Have you seen this??

I found these lovely needles on an excursion to my LYS. The picture isn't clear but it is a 9" circular for socks!

8:56 AM

What's on the needles

Well, one of the things anyway....

I can not put this down! It is so much fun to knit, it is keeping me completely entertained and (to my husband's dismay) far from housework. I hoping to be able to wear it at church on Sunday so I must get it done! The pics are bad but you get the ideal. I am using knit one crochet two ty dy for the main color and a one green and one orange cotton blend. I am finding I am not particularly fond of cotton and am much more happy when knitting wool but the lovely pattern makes up for it. I shall have to knit it once more in wool....

9:35 AM

Not much progress....

in the sewing area. I got the pattern traced for Mopsy so I just need time to get at it.....I did pick up my first skein of Tofutsie sock yarn. I have heard many wonderful things about it so I had to give it a try.

My wrap is nearly done! Only two more blocks to go and then to block it and put the edging on it.

12:30 PM

Well hello.......

So this is the first post.....as of now I am working on way too many things but what the hey it will all get done eventually right?

On the needles I have:

On the sewing front, little has been done lately but I am ready to get back into it. For my first step toward sewing rehabilitation I plan on making Ute Vasina's Mopsy doll. It is this fabulous troll doll/pincushion. It is totally for me and totally for fun. Next on the list: a quilt.....but what kind?