Friday, November 30, 2007

The too bad ending

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the NY Sheep and Wool Festival and how the fleece sale "lost" one of my fleeces. Well it's true. Not lost but stolen. I dropped my fleeces off at 8AM on Saturday in time for the judging and went off to vend at my booth. My friend, Maryann, who helped me at the festival with the booth, took a walk over at noon to see how things were going. At that point Daphne's fleece was already gone. And the staff had no record of the sale. I checked twice more, incredulous that someone would steal the fleece. Nothing ever came of it. I received the check for the sold fleeces today and it didn't cover the missing fleece. I am so shocked.

What also shocks me is the way the staff treated the situation. It was no big deal to them; I was made to feel a nuisance in their day. And I didn't even make a stink, like some might. What was the point? I called last week to check and see if they had come up with any paperwork. No return call. No nothing. I will never do business at that show again regarding fleece sales. I have shown and sold at festivals all over New England, never once losing one. And the security at some of the other festivals was looser that NY.

I was so proud of that fleece, it was the best I had this year. But 7 pounds of beautiful, soft gray CVM/Romeldale fleece is in some house somewhere at the hands of a thief. Shame on that person. Their taste is excellent, their conduct deplorable. May the grease never wash out!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our moon

This was our view of the moon last night...the sky was basked in light purple and blue bands; we could hear the silence and peace on the farm. As incredible as this sight is for us, that we all, in the entire world, see the same moon, each night, each quarter, each full, is even more miraculous. It is universal, steady and comforting. I stood there thinking, how many others were doing the same. Not all are looking at the moon with a home, food or any money. Some are frightened, some discouraged, some clueless there is a moon. But still it shines. Give what you can to help, look up, say your prayers, be thankful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This Thanksgiving ~

~ may you recognize life's blessings for what they are, and whenever they come to you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Judith's yarn

Here are the skeins that I was dyeing last week against the sweater I needed to match. Of course I have no idea what the sweater was dyed with so it was never going to be a perfect match , perhaps I could have gone a tad darker but the request was for a medium blue so I came as close as I could! My friend, Judith, bought the yarn which was spun in a fingering weight, from our beautiful bodacious Crystal!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Onesies by Jessica

I have been working with Jessica, pictured here with her two children, Junie and Jonah, who is developing a line of "onesies" for infants and toddlers. Jessica creates different designs on the fabric and then dyes them over, under and all around. She has been using chemical dyes but wanted to move toward natural dyes as the fabric is a "green" cotton and the dyes would be along the same line, offering a truly natural product to the marketplace.

Jessica purchased a few different Earthues dye extracts and did some experimenting which I have shown above. She has some bugs to work through but I think she is on to a great product for children! Next up is weld, cochineal and indigo.

If you would like to contact her directly about her "onesies" feel free to email Jessica at and if you are in the Keene area she will be showing her products at the Best Western Annual Craft Show, Keene, NH, November 17th.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Taking care of business!

I had one of those really productive weekends. I got my office desk cleaned up on Saturday and then focused on two projects that had been pending for some time. One was to get all the sheep coats repaired from all summer. I had cleaned them but the stack grew to 15 repair jobs which took a good 3 hours. The second project was to dye a pound of yarn with indigo for a customer. So I combined the two and voila, all complete in less than 4 hours! I had already mordanted the yarn a few weeks ago. Although mordanting is not necessary with indigo, I believe it makes the color much more lightfast and I want my customer to be happy with the color for a long time to come!

I always have two indigo vats ready, one indigofera tinctoria and the other indigofera guatemalensis, so when I am ready to dye I just adjust for pH and oxygen reduction and I am ready to dye. The adjustment takes about 1/2-3/4 hour. So while I waited for the reactions to take place I sewed some coats, then I did my first dip for the pound of fiber, had to wait at least a half hour for the indigo to oxidize on the fiber, sewed some more coats, did the second dip for the pound of fiber and then wrapped up sewing the rest of the coats.

The yarn is gorgeous so far. My customer has always admired a sweater I wear and wanted to have a shade as close as possible to that, so I kept the sweater nearby and dipped accordingly. I will post another picture in a day or so when the yarn is rinsed. I now need to let the yarn set for 24 hours after the last dip before an afterbath in vinegar (1/4 cup per pound of fiber) and then a wash and rinse. I think the match will be close and I am most excited for the results!

Pictures top to bottom: the sheep coat sewing table; my winter dyeing room just off the kitchen, ready to go; the pH test of the indigo vat; indigo vat ready for dyeing with a perfect yellow/green color; and the yarn just out of the vat after 8 seconds; and then just a few moments later as it magically turns blue with the oxidation!