Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shallow Seas

Finally, a finished object!  Well, sort of.  At least it is fiber that is finished being spun...  It is Shallow seas and it is destined to be a pair of longies for the Fluff Factory auction.  I think it turned out pretty well!  Here's a photo:

Shallow Seas - 2

And here's the closeup:

Shallow Seas - closeup

Neither of them really show the colors correctly, but oh well!  I had the same problem with Mystic.  It seems to be the blue.  Last time, the blue hid the purples.   This time, the blue is hiding lavendar, violet, aqua, and teal (although if you look REALLY closely you can kinda see it here and there -- just barely! LOL)

But I'm trying to post more frequently, and it's the only thing I've had time to finish! 

Our "debut" went smashingly :-D.  Lamar, especially, had a VERY good day.  I did pretty well too.  But I knew many of my items for this time around would be a bit less likely to be purchased.  I had more handspun and fiber (shhh.... I was hoping they'd just attract attention to our opening!).  I'm never expecting the fiber/handspun to overtake yarn dyeing, just augment it.  In the mean time, I'm still dyeing yarn as well!  I love dyeing... I have fun regardless of the medium (although I will admit to a certain soft spot for fiber :-D.  But that's the spinner in me!)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Grand Opening on Hyenacart!!

Well, we are finally having our official grand opening on hyenacart tomorrow at 2pm. We will be having free for shipping lotteries, a few types of semi-custom slots, and lots of new yarn!

So what have I been doing other than that? Well, not much! That's kind of been my focus for the past few weeks... but after the opening, I'm hoping to have time to catch up on some of my pending projects. Right now, my biggest priority is finishing up some handspun worsted 2-ply that will be for Fluff Factory. Here's a picture of the fiber I dyed up:

Shallow Seas

I've always wanted to participate because I've been so impressed with what they do. 2x a year they pick a charity, and have a huge auction of donated items. All of the proceeds then go to the selected charity. It's a great chance to get beautiful handmade items AND support a good cause, all in one.

So what am I doing? Well, I'm actually donating some or all of the contents in 3 different "baskets". The first will be with my partners in crime at TLC. We are going to put together a basket of 6 skeins of yarn, each of us donating 2 skeins. The second I think I'm doing on my own (Colleen might join in, she still has to see...) where I'm going to offer a Learn to Spindle kit. It's going to have a decent starter spindle (specifically, I've just ordered a Greensleaves Barebones), a collection of dyed and undyed fibers to try out, a "getting started" book, and I'm considering creating a DVD that demo's using the spindle (that's still a little up in the air!). I was most particular about the spindle I chose... I did not want to go with one of the usual "student" spindles. I'm not a big fan of the spindle that is usually in these types of kits (they are trying to hook you on spinning, right?!!?) In addition, I was thinking about include "free support", but I'm not quite sure how to manage that one, so I might skip that part. We'll see...

And finally back around to the fiber above. That is for the 3rd basket. I'm spinning up some worsted weight yarn. Then, the amazingly talented Heather (her store is FYF soakers -- definitely go check her out if you need any diaper woolies!) will knit them up into longies. And finally, Steph from Pattynaps will be making a matching diaper as well! :-D

Well, I'm signing off for the moment! I want to do a few more things before our grand opening. Come check us out if you have a moment: .

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Can I tell you a secret?

Hello all! I don't really have any photo updates for any of my projects, but I did at least want to post about the "Tiny Lady Cooperative" hyenacart. We have an official opening date of July 24th. HOWEVER, to thank everyone who has supported and encouraged all three of us on this journey, we are having a "secret prestocking" on July 18th, starting at 12Noon EDT.

How will this work? Well, we've already stocked a bunch of stuff on the hyenacart ( Right now, they all say they will become available on July 24th. But tomorrow at noon eastern, I will switch everything there over to "available" until some time in the evening (haven't quite figured out when. Probably after my daughter goes to sleep, so maybe around 8pm EDT?). Then, whatever is still available will be switched back to preview until July 24th. Then, we will be adding some other items, including a couple of free lotteries, for the Grand Opening Stocking on the 24th.

Did we really think there would be some mad hyena frenzy for our stuff on the 24th? Not really... but we wanted to give our friends and supporters as much of a chance as possible to get anything they've been coveting, just in case!

We've also set up a yahoo group here: that people can sign up for. We'll be using it to send out stocking information, special notices and promotions!

So, please, join us for tomorrows pre-festivity, in anticipation of our opening...

Oh, and just because I can't go without showing at least one photo, here's one of my most recent projects. I'm REALLY proud of it b/c it's new and different for me...

Tryst Hanspun Close-up

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

...of Legos, Logos and Lemmings

Well, first, you'll notice a big of a redesign. This is where I'm at right now. Still not thrilled with the design, but I need the rest of the banner first before I can design the whole scheme. For now, it doesn't clash is about all I can say. It just seems a bit too purple for me! But give me some time. Eventually I will come up with a setup I'm happy with. In the mean time, you get a fresh new look on a regular basis! Variety is the spice of life :-D.

So why legos, logos and lemmings? Well, the logo part should be obvious. Meet Woobie... the namesake of this organization. She is my daughter's "lovey". Where did the name Woobie come from? Well, if you ask "purists", I think it originated from the movie "Mr. Mom". But in my husband's mind, it comes from his favorite -- Batman. (Yes, Batman... don't ask! LOL) Somehow, apparently there was a reference at some point in the most recent Batman series of cartoons to Barbara Gordon's childhood lovey, and it was named Woobie, so Mike became attached to the name, and it stuck! Of course, Cassie usually pronounces it something more along the lines of "bubbie" most of the time, but that's her. She is highly offended if anyone else calls her anything but Woobie! :-D And besides, it would loose that beautiful alliteration if it was named Bubbie's Wool!

Where did the legos come from -- well, that was what I used to prop up woobie when I took the photo from which I created the logo! Woobie is WELL loved (well, to be honest, there are 7 of her that are well loved, but that is another LONG and strange story...)! So she's lost some of her "resiliency". Happens to the best of us! So to get a straight photo where everything was set "just so" it required a bunch of legos underneath her. I took that photo, and spend LOTS of time playing with Elements to get something I eventually liked. As a good friend of mine puts it -- give a bunch of monkeys a typewriter and enough time, and eventually they will write Shakespeare! Well, while this obviously isn't Shakespeare, I think I did a pretty good job. But it was definitely the "monkey and enough time" approach!

Here's the original photo from which I worked. As you can see, Woobie has definitely seen better days. But as I said before, that's just the sign of a well loved toy!

Woobie before editing

And here's the after in black and white:

BW Woobie Logo

Obviously, the final result is the picture at the top.

So, other than making a logo, what else have I been doing? Well, preparing for our opening, which is now probably about 2 weeks away, give or take. And also, this brings us to the lemmings! I also decided to join in on the Mystery Stole 3 For those of you unaware, this is an ingenius idea by an amazingly talented designer. Every year she creates a stole pattern and an associated KAL (knit-a-long) on Yahoo. Starting June 29th, she is giving out "clues" (i.e. portions of the pattern). Each week throughout the summer, she will give out another clue. The eventual result is a complete shawl pattern. But for the moment, we have no idea what the theme is, nor what the final product looks like. But there are 6500 of us all joining along for the ride! And, of course, I needed to find a yarn appropriately suitable for such an auspicious event. What won out? Well, my Pomegranite laceweight, of course! It's been slow going b/c I've had limited knitting time, plus I joined a little late (didn't find out about it until 4th of July, and didn't get a chance to start until the 6th -- the day the second clue came out. But I'm hoping to catch up after our first Tiny Lady Cooperative stocking. In the mean time, here's my progress so far (not my best blocking job, but it was a bit impromptu. Besides, it's just to take a photo!):

Mystery Stole 3

The other KAL I joined (like I don't already have enough to do?!?!) Is a sock-a-long for the Perambulate Socks. I mentioned this in one of my last posts, but now I have a reasonable enough progress to show a picture:

Perambulate Sock on ZS Amethyst

I LOVE this pattern... it's just so cool! And it looks wonderful with the Lotus Toes Amethyst...

I've also been doing alot of spinning for the opening, but those will have to wait until after I've posted them on HC! I want at least some element of surprise! :-D

That's it for now. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

So where are we now? Update Day 4

OK, so I think I'm almost up to date. Where do I go from here? Well, I'm not completely sure. Woobies Wool will stay on etsy, at least to list fiber. I'm not sure how much demand there will be for fiber on Hyenacart. Tiny Lady Cooperative opens middle to end of this month, depending on how we are progressing. In the mean time, I'm doing all the details of setting up an online store... a banner and logo (which probably means an update to the design here as well...), coming up with ball bands, figuring out how I'm going to handle shipping, etc. All the "fun stuff" of a business. And somewhere in the middle, I still want to dye up a few more batches (I have a couple of colorways I REALLY want to include in one of the first stockings) and spinning more fiber!

I will admit, at this point, I probably won't be adding pictures of some of my stuff until it "debuts" on hyenacart. I want at least SOME of the stuff to be a surprise. However, I do still have a few personal projects I've started working on as well...

I think I mentioned this a few days ago, but I've started a pair of Perambulate socks w/ some Lotus Toes. And there is this ADORABLE skirty that Heather made that I'm just dying to do for Cassie. I have two skeins of Zen String just begging to be used, so now I just have to dye up some solid yarn to match...

And finally, I think I MIGHT have figured out what to do with the Pomegranite laceweight. Someone pointed me in the direction of the "Mystery Stole 3" group. If it fits the bill (I'm going to start going through the group tonight) I may use it for that!

OK, so I think I'm up to date now! YAY!! I'm sure I missed stuff, but oh well :-D

Monday, July 2, 2007

Yes, I'm still updating! Day 3

I wasn't kidding when I said I was behind! Now you know why it seemed like such a daunting task to catch up... and once you're behind on this thing, it kind of snowballs! :-D

So, today, I'm going to try and explain how I got to that --->
(so, if you aren't reading this when it's the top post, "that" is my etsy store)

Well, I've been doing some at-home dyeing for a little while now. Off and on for about a year. I haven't done much since I started the blog... mainly some solids (or, semi-solids really). But I was never that thrilled with the results. They were fine, but nothing like the beautiful stuff that I saw online. And honestly, I wasn't expecting to be as good as them, just decent enough to be happy with the results and use them. My success rate so far had been about 50/50.

So, a little over a month ago, I decided to try and do some new dyeing experiments. I had been doing some research, and I began to realize that maybe my problem wasn't the colors I was using, but rather how I was approaching dyeing. Whether you can tell or not -- I'm a very logical person. Sometimes a little TOO logical, sometimes to the extreme of being a bit of a control freak. And in this case, that's where I was running into problems. I was approaching this in too logical of a fashion, trying to control the results too much. Not that this is necessarily is bad, especially in the hands of an expert. But I needed a better understanding of how the colors interacted before I could start using some logic. Basically, I just needed to let go a bit! So I did. I took hold of "kettle dyeing" and when bananas! I rummaged through my (embarassingly large) stash for anything and everything undyed, and started with a few experiments. Again, using many of the colors I tried in the past... but this time, I used them in a kettle instead of painting them. And from that, out came stuff like this:


and this:


And I realized that some of these were pretty good! So I kept going... this time being a bit more adventuresome. And ended up with this:


and this:


Like I said, this is not the full selection, just a few highlights. But from these results, I was getting alot of complements from friends on some of the boards I frequent.

So why did I start all of this? Because of some beautiful work I was seeing from an online friend, Lamar. I just loved the stuff she was coming up with, despite the fact that she was relatively new to the yarn dyeing world. And I began to realize that, while experience is important, a good eye for color is even more so. And I've been told that I have that. The experience with dyeing comes with time and, well, experience. The more I play with the colors, the more I push myself to try new and unusual things, the more tricks I learn, and the better I understand how the colors interact.

Of course, the question becomes, what the heck am I going to do with all this yarn and fiber?!?!? I can only knit so much, and the time I had available to knit was significantly more limited as I spent more time spinning and dyeing. It's an odd conundrum, really. I spend more time spinning and dyeing so I can have all the yarns that I imagine in my head. But then I don't have time to use them all! So I decided to start putting a few of them on Etsy, to see what happened. But the idea of doing much more scared the living crap out of me!

Well, around the same time, Lamar was coming to some of the same conclusions, as was another online friend, Colleen. So I sent an email to them suggesting that maybe we could try doing this together in one collective store... and Tiny Lady Cooperative was born! (Colleen gets credit for the name! :-D) We are still working on getting ready for our grand opening (right now scheduled for mid to end of July) but in the mean time I've continued dyeing up a storm. My work is going to be under the title "Woobies Wool" (inspired, for those that don't know, by my daughter's "comfort object" aka "Woobie" -- a pink and purple stuffed horse.) I know, a bit odd. But my husband came up with it for my blog, and this way, I feel like I'm including both of them in my endevor by naming it such...

In the mean time, I've even sold some stuff!!! My first sale was the fiber in the first picture -- Sandstorm. I still don't know who she is, but if you ever read this, thank you!! I'd love to hear what you think of the fiber and see what the results were. I sold a few skeins of yarn along the way too! I think one of my most popular so far has been Starry Night (the dark one with the yellow highlights).

Also, I had a wonderful day with my spinning guild. It was fun regardless of selling fiber. I always love attending them. It's so nice to hang out with people who don't think I'm looney for loving spinning so much! Plus, I usually learn at least a few things each time. So, on the guild leader's suggestion, I brought what I had dyed. I didn't go intending to sell stuff (although the guild leader had expressed interest in one! :-D), just get opinions. But I walked away having sold 5 braids of fiber! WOW!! It was the greatest ego boost... several people I respected greatly actually liked my work enough to buy it! Also, I got an inspiration (again from Karen, our leader) for a new colorway... Just Peachy:

Just Peachy

Since then I've done stuff from the unusual:

Alien Experiment

to the complex:

Summer Garden on Finn worsted yarn

to the earthy:
Loch Ness

and the vibrant:
Erin go Bragh

And tons more in between.... if you go exploring through my flickr account, you can see a bunch more.

I've even done some interesting stuff with natural dyeing. The goal is to use it mostly for an "environmentally sustainable" (aka from a farm that follows organic standards, but can't afford or isn't willing to pay to get the "official" designation), but I've also tried it on sock yarn as well. So far, I've done, Madder, Alkanet root, and Indigo, with my favorite results being the indigo (the picture on my flickr account isn't the greatest b/c at the time it was still damp. I'll try and upload the better photo that I used for Etsy later). And, apparently, someone else really liked it as well, but she was rather disappointed when there was only one skein. Luckily, I found out through another board posting that a friend alerted me to.(It's a board I don't frequent as much anymore b/c it's VERY oriented towards all the pretty CD's on hyenacart... and I just find it too sad to see all that pretty stuff and not have a reason to buy it for my currently potty training daughter!) Since she wanted it for a shawl, and that was on sock yarn, I suggested she try it on another yarn I had that is softer and much nicer for shawls. She agreed, and this is my most recent dyeing results:

Rubina's Blue Sky Happiness on BFL Fingering

I'm quite happy b/c it turned out exactly the way I wanted it to. Hopefully she is as pleased!

OK, that's all I have time for now. I'm almost caught up at this point! Hopefully today's picture heavy post doesn't overwhelm! Tomorrow, I'll spend time on where I'm going from here....


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Still updating.... Day 2

OK, so I'll start my focus on knitting, but there's only so much of that b/c I've been so busy dyeing and spinning... So I'll probably start on the dyeing experiments as well, if only b/c that'll probably take a few days. YES, there really is that much!

First, I did miss one thing yesterday related to spinning. This month's Zen String Fiber club:


I know I've said this before, but it's always true! I just can't get the colorways to take photos that do them justice. The dark color is actually a forest green, and the blues are acutally a bright turquoise and blue. Also, it's got purples and bright yellow to gold. Her inspiration for this was the self-striping sock yarn from Spin-Off. They go through a whole detailed explanation from dyeing fiber to finished sock. And I believe I may go with that suggestion. These would just make the coolest socks! Originally, I was thinking I might try practicing my navajo plying to do this, but I'm worried the stripes won't be long enough, and I'd have to spin it thinner since it would be 3 ply, so I think I'm going to go with the procedure explained in Spin-off. We'll see how it turns out!

Next, the knitting. I've been continuing in the pursuit of washclothes. I finished up my second one.


Again, it's one of Smariek's designs. I figure I'll just go through all the ones of hers that I like, then I can start looking elsewhere. Well, with one definite exception. Carole had a WONDERFUL Butterfly pattern mentioned on her blog a few weeks ago that is getting done next. I'll try and find the author's name so I can give proper credit. But since I haven't even started yet, I don't feel too bad! But Cassie LOVES butterflies, so I just couldn't resist. She was kind enough to forward me the pattern. So that'll be my next washcloth.

I'm also working on another Sophie Bag for Cassie (the other one was actually for my niece, but I was attempting to keep it a surprise -- my sister does occasionally read my blog!). But nothing too exciting to show. It's just a partially knitted large sack that will eventually become a cute bag!

And I'm FINALLY going to knit with some of that yummy Zen String yarn I got in a co-op a while back. I am about to start the Perambulate Socks using this yarn:


This is the Amethyst colorway. I was originally going to use Lufaloo (if you clicked on the link to the socks above, it's the colorway used for the main photo), but my dh convinced me to use this instead. According to him, it is " you!" (meaning me, of course). And to be honest, I like that one just as much and was having a hard time deciding, so I gave in and switched to Amethyst instead.

Like I said yesterday, I'm just starting a stole with that beautiful Pomegranite laceweight I made. I'm still on the fence as to which to use. We'll see how I feel when I get back to it, which probably won't happen until after the Grand Opening of Tiny Lady Cooperative.

And finally, while not knitting, it is still related to knitting. The most exciting event of my week... I had a WONDERFUL treat in my mailbox yesterday! It was a trade with a friend, Erin. She is going to become a foster mom soon, and is trying to accumulate all the necessary stuff. She fell in love with the LTK Hybrid Rib, but she isn't a knitter. So, since that is my favorite soaker pattern, I readily agreed. Other than the fact that it was fun, and that she's going to be a foster mom, so she deserves all the help she can get, why would I do that? Well, she makes these needle rolls... and they are just the greatest thing since sliced bread! So the deal was, 1 soaker for 1 needle roll. Here was my part (sort of -- you'll see what I mean in a minute). I dyed the yarn to her specifications, and knit up this adorable little newborn soaker. So much fun!:


And, well... I kinda cheated a bit, simply because I loved knitting the first so much. I had some leftover hanspun from last year (less than 2 oz) that seemed perfect for a second soaker. Of course, I was an idiot and forgot to take a picture of that one before I sent it to her (it was a surprise). I tried delaying the shipment a tad, in hopes that she'd get it after she already sent out the needle roll, but no luck. She was a little delayed from catching up after a vacation (we all know how hard that can be!) But you can see a picture of the other on her blog here: And you can see that she ended up cheating in return and making a second travel one -- despite my plea for her not to do so! Bad Erin ;-) But I'm not complaining!

I'm sure you saw the pictures on that link, but here you can see them with my knitting bag, and in action!

First, both rolls with my bag:


Now the main roll, obviously being well used!


You can definitely see my sock DPN obsession... the first 6 sets are all of my sock needles (0, 1, 2) in several varieties. And this doesn't include the metal 1's and 2's I have that just slipped down (hence the 2 "empty" looking slots).

And finally, the travel roll.


There isn't much in there right now simply b/c I was having too much fun filling the other one! But it will be perfect for going out and about, because, as much as I love my knitting bag, it really is just one giant sack. So having a place for all of my tools will make life much easier! THANK YOU ERIN!!!!

OK, one last item of business... I still needed to Tag five others for the WikiMeme. For those who are tagged, if you didn't see the previous post, the goal is to look up your birthday on Wikipedia and then post 3 events, 2 birthdays, and 1 holiday that all fall on your birthday. I have a feeling a few are going to be a tad annoyed (sorry!), and Sarah may not have time b/c I know she's due REALLY soon, but I am going to go tag (later today -- Cassie is waking now):

Crafty Carole
Sarah Easter


And my two partners in crime at Tiny Lady Cooperative
Colleen (aka "Spiffy Knits")
Lamar (aka "...a time to dye")

Which also reminds me, I need to go add Lamar to my favorite links list...

Starting tomorrow, I catch up on my other new obsession... dyeing! That one will probably take a while. There is no way I can post everything, but I can at least do a summary of how I got to this point, and some of the highlights! But if you want to check out my flickr gallery, it's here: