Nov 6
Long Time Coming
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Support Your Local... | icon4 11 6th, 2019| icon31 Comment »

Over the past nearly 10 years, I became busier and busier with Dyed in the Wool. There were farms to visit, fleeces to buy, fleeces to wash and send off for processing, inventory to keep and update, fiber festivals at which to vend, and books to keep. Last year, I started to feel a bit disgruntled at all of the time it was taking, and how, because of it, I was unable to find much time to do the things I enjoy. It was work all day at the office, and work each evening and on most weekends for Dyed in the Wool.

This spring, several lines began to come together into a point. That point being that it was time to close Dyed in the Wool and take my personal life back. It meant freeing up time for Scott and I to travel and spend time together. It meant not putting 20,000+ miles on my car each year. It meant digging out the dump that is my studio and seeing what I could create in it. It meant starting my new YouTube channel and website for experimentation, education, exploration, and evolution of all of the subjects that interest me.

As of today, the only thing remaining to close Dyed in the Wool by the end of the year are 18 unsold fleeces (working on that – keep an eye on a couple of groups on Facebook; Raw Fleece for Sale and Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em), I have 11 fleeces going out UPS tonight, 8 more going out tomorrow night. Also, there is still a bit of yarn and roving inventory in the shop, but very little. We are so close to wrapping things up. My goal is to have everything sold by December and use that month to complete the books and prepare for the final tax returns.

My new The Fiber Pusher channel and website are up and running, but, since I am still winding up Dyed in the Wool items, there hasn’t been as much content as I would like. I’m itching to get going on this and spend more of my free time working on this aspect of my life. It’s coming.

Tonight, I will be stopping by UPS and the post office shipping items out. When I get home, I will be boxing up the shipments going out tomorrow night before I can even fix supper. I am looking forward to being able to come home, fix a bite to eat and head up to my studio for a spot of weaving, or pull out some dyepots and see what color I can create using unusual dye materials.

Also, my novel is finished and Scott is doing the first editing (outside of me) on it. I have the cover design done, and just need to create the work of art that will be that cover. This, of course, means I need my studio organized and cleared out enough in which to work. It’s coming. Thanksgiving weekend. I cannot wait to dive in.

It’s all coming to me. 2020 will be a year of creativity that I haven’t been able to do for nearly 10 years. It’s coming, but, boy, I have waited a long time for it.l

Aug 1

It has been raining for several days, now, and everyone is complaining about headaches and foggy brains.  I know I need an extra cuppa this morning.

Still, I have managed to get more fleeces washed and will be boxing up 5 to be sent off to the mill for top and yarn.  Slowly, but surely, I will get these all caught up.  I am hoping before the end of the year.

I just emailed out the August issue of Dye-Anna’s Dye-Gest, so if you haven’t received it and are on the list, let me know.  And, if you are not on the list and would like to receive it, just email me at dyedinthewoolbiz @ yahoo . com and I will send you the latest issue as well as all future issues.  This issue is 31 pages long, and packed full of the kind of information I have always wanted in a magazine.

Now, where’s that cup of tea?

Jul 29

So, when I tell people that I have over 100 fleeces in my garage awaiting processing, I wasn’t kidding.  Yesterday afternoon, with the weather being in the upper 70’s and lowish humidity, I pulled all of the fleeces out of the garage, sorted and organized them, recorded them for a spreadsheet, and put them all back in in the reverse order I intend to process them.  On one side are the fleeces ready to wash, and the other side are the ones needed skirting before washing.  Unfortunately, the ones needing skirting out number those ready to wash by 3-1.  Luckily, the skirting table is set up and I can do a couple a night after work.  There were 119 fleeces in total, but 4 of them are currently coad soaking, so there are 115 fleeces in the garage.  I’d like to reduce that number to less than 100 by the end of August.


That short row showing in the upper left are the skirted and ready to wash fleeces (they do continue behind the shipping boxes so you aren’t seeing them all).


And all of these need shirted before washing.

It’s supposed to start raining this afternoon for the next several days, so my outside work will be curtailed a bit in the evenings.  I can get 2-3 fleeces shirted a night after work, which I will be doing.

In the meantime, I shipped 4 fleeces out Thursday and 4 fleeces out Friday to Stonehedge for yarn and top.  And I will have 3 more ready to ship out Tuesday after work.  I am hoping an additional 4-5 will be ready to ship out by the end of the week.

So, I have a lot of fleeces, and I can prove it!  They will look so nice up in the shop when they get back.

Jan 29

Dyed in the Wool has posted its first shop update for 2017 and there are 15 new rovings in there for you to spin up.

Just check out a few of these!

Lincoln Sherlock (535x640)

This is the 2016 Indiana State Fair Grand Champion fleece from a Lincoln Ram named Sherlock.  It is soft, shiny and wonderful!

LF Papagaya (618x640)

This sweet, true-black fiber is from a Lincolnfolk named Papagaya.

So, go and check out the rest that Dyed in the Wool has to offer.  There also is the 2016 Indiana State Fair Reserve Champion fleece in there as well


Sep 22

As you probably know, last weekend was A Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and Sandy and I were there with our Dyed in the Wool booth.  This is a great fiber fair with lots of vendors, home made ice cream, lots of things to look at, home made ice cream, and…  Oh yes!  Home made ice cream.

Unfortunately, it appears that this area of the country isn’t big into spinning.  This is our second foray into Ohio (we vended at the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair a couple of years ago) and neither time did we do more than break even. So, this was our one and only time at Yellow Springs except to go and shop.

We were busy on Saturday from 10AM until about 2PM, then just a sale or two here and there.  Sunday, the good people at Turtlemade stopped by our booth and we talked for quite a while.  Later, I wandered over into the other tent where their booth was and oh my!  You’ll have to watch Episode 77 of the Fiber Pusher Podcast to see what I bought – Teaser!!!

I don’t know if it was the slowness of the show for us (a full 80% of the people we spoke with didn’t spin, and the majority of them weren’t interested in learning, although I did send lots of people over to Turtlemade to get spindles, then gave a couple demos on how to spin), but I came home very tired after this weekend.  In fact, this is the first morning I don’t feel like a slug.  It was hot and muggy this weekend, so that might be part of it, but I have the feeling that my 52-year-old body just can’t quite do what I think it should do anymore.  Oh well.  I guess I just have to get used to it, although I am going to go down fighting all the way.

Also, I think some regular exercise might help – and less home made ice cream.  🙂

Don’t forget that we will be at The Fiber Expo in Ann Arbor, Michigan, next month.  Now those good people love their spinning fiber.  I cannot wait!

Sep 7

At the Dyed in the Wool shop, a new Sequential Art Sock kit has been released and it has a matching project bag, stitch markers and a progress keeper to go with it.  There will be a KAL for this in the Fiber Pusher Podcast Ravelry group in October.

Introducing Alien Encounter!


Don’t forget to watch the Fiber Pusher Podcast for more updates and keep an eye on the Dyed in the Wool shop.  As the project bags are being made, the pre-orders will become now orders and they will be put into the mail within 24 business hours after ordering.  And hurry, as there only will be 25 kits being made with the custom printed fabric not to be seen again until October 1, 2017!


Aug 31

My coworker, Colette, owns a thoroughbred mare whose sire is Point Given.  Point Given won two legs of the Triple Crown (he came in second in the Derby).  The mare’s name is On the Point.  She bred this mare to a former race horse named Strong Hope, and, together, they made a filly named Defining Hope.  Defining Hope was born in April, 2014, and has spent this spring and summer being broken and trained to race.  Folks, this filly loves to run!

Yesterday, at Indiana Grand racetrack in Shelbyville, Indiana, Defining Hope ran her maiden race with 11 other horses.  She drew the #9 position.  The rest is history.  In her first race ever, Defining Hope won by 5.5 lengths!!!


Here is the positions and the odds at race time.  You can see Defining Hope started at 5/1, but at race time was at 7/2.


And here she is crossing the finish line.  She breezed past the other horses like a true winner, and she didn’t even go as fast as she could.  There was a kick up a gear toward the end, but the afterburners never had to kick in.


And, this is showing she won.  I placed a $6 Win/Place/Show bet on her and won $24.40 for my faith in her.

Colette spoke with the trainer this morning and Hope is behaving like nothing happened.  She is eating, in great spirits and seems ready for anything.  She will be given a 3-day break from training, then it is back to business for her.  Keep your fingers crossed.  Her next race is scheduled to be on September 14th.

I know this isn’t fiber related, and you may not care less about horse racing, but I love Colette and am so happy for her.  I love seeing my friends succeeding in their life’s passions and being happy.  And the best part yet?  Yesterday was Colette’s birthday.  What a fantastic birthday gift for her.  Thank you God for giving this to her!!!

Aug 23

So, Sandy and I went to Michigan Fiber Festival to get people hooked on lovely fiber in breeds of sheep they have never tried before.

Saturday morning was busy from the minute the festival opened at 9AM until a little after 1PM when the emergency alerts on everyone’s cell phones and the local tornado sirens went off simultaneously. The PA came on and the announcer said, “There is a tornado warning for Allegan County.  There has been tornado debris sighted in the air southwest of Allegan and the storm is traveling northeast in our direction.  The safest place to take shelter is the restroom building.  Thank you.”

When no one started to leave and continued shopping (and Sandy and I were winding wool and writing up orders as fast as we could wishing we had a third person to help us), the announcer came back on and said, “Let me clarify my earlier announcement.  Tornado.  Go to the bathroom.”  At that point, one person (Sheila from Never Cast Off Podcast) paid for her order but said she’d pick it up later.  Debbie (also from the Never Cast Off Podcast) said she’d pay when she got back.  Then the place cleared out.

Sandy and I took this time to finishing filling the orders left with us, pulled the sold-out sample cards from our sign, and straightened up the mess we had made trying to fill all of the orders.  We kept one eye on the radar and one eye on the weather outside (it was dumping rain), listening for any hail landing on the metal roof above us and seeing if we could feel any change in air pressure, but none of these happened.  The radar showed the storm in a U-shape around Allegan, so we didn’t feel threatened.

Now, you have to know this.  I vividly remember the April 3rd, 1974, tornadoes that clobbered southern Indiana, northeastern Kentucky and southwestern Ohio.  Since then I have been terrified of tornadoes, and any mention of them at home leaves me cowering in the closet under the stairs with one ear plastered to the weather radio.  I have nightmares where armies of tornadoes are chasing me.  But I never once felt fear on Saturday.  I just felt God watching out for us and trusted that feeling.

Unfortunately, the festival pretty much cleared out after the warnings expired.  Those who placed orders with us came and got them, but it was pretty quiet the rest of the day.

Still, Sandy and I sold out of a lot of the spinning fiber we had and there were several holes on the sign where sample cards had been.


See?  This was before Sunday when we took off a few more sold-outs.

I have updated the inventory in the shop, so that is back online.  In a couple of weeks, I hope to pick up some new processed fleeces so we will have more for Yellow Springs the weekend of September 17th and 18th.  Also, we picked up three new fleeces (BFL, Lincolnfolk, and Romney).  I am currently washing the BFL, the Lncolnfolk will be next followed by Polypay and Cormo.  The next three weeks will be very busy washing and skirting fleeces getting them ready to take to Ohio Valley.

And, I will be doing some dyeing!  The BFL I am washing now will be dyed as will the two Polypay fleeces, a couple of Dorset fleeces and maybe a Corriedale or two.  These will be available starting in 2017 for those of you interested in naturally dyed wool to spin.

After the festival was over for the day, Sheila, Debbie, Sandy and I went back to our hotel and, in the little sitting area, recorded the Never Cast Off Podcast and a short section for next The Fiber Pusher Podcast.  That was a lot of fun.  They are great ladies and I hope to do a joint podcast with them again one day.

Aug 16
Michigan Fiber Festival
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Support Your Local... | icon4 08 16th, 2016| icon31 Comment »

Dyed in the Wool will be vending at Michigan Fiber Festival this Saturday and Sunday in Barn 8A.  Please come and pay us a visit.

With that in mind, Sandy and I will be putting the shop on hiatus beginning Wednesday morning (August 17) through Monday (August 22).  If you would like to place an order before the fiber fair, please do so before tomorrow morning.


Aug 1

Okay, I have completed the Beginning Weaving Workshop using Podcasts 68-72.  Basically, this is as close to the actual workshop I have taught over the years as I can get with no live students to ask questions as I go, or to monitor and help along with suggestions while working.  I have spent many, many, many more hours with each of these podcasts to make them as complete as possible and I would like to know if this workshop made a difference to any of you who are interested in learning to weave.  So, I am putting a poll in here to see if I should continue recording and posting workshop and class videos.

[poll id=”3″]

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