Feb 11



Friday night, Sandy, Scott and I got to do something really cool.  First, there was a showing of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, then there was this:




Mr. Shatner told stories and answered questions for about an hour.  He was funny, animated, sardonic, and it was a great evening.

It has been at least 20 years since I last saw this movie, and Sandy had never seen it before.  Makes Scott and I want to watch The Search for Spock again since it’s the sequel to Wrath of Khan.

The work was taxes.  Worked both days this weekend on taxes.  I ended up being pretty brain fried by the time Sunday came to an end, and then the work week begins again.  No rest for the responsible.

I didn’t get much done on the embroidery last week, but here’s where I am so far:


If I can, I’d like to have the black stripes done this week and get a start on the leaves in front of the bugs.  I do love doing this.

Feb 6

Wow!  Central Indiana is having some serious flooding issues – and our sump pump decided to die.  I have no idea how much water is in our crawl space at the moment, but I feel sorry for our plumber when he gets there in the morning to replace the pump.  He may need a wet suit.

I was awakened in the middle of the night by, of all things, thunder.  Seriously?  We had -16F exactly one week ago today, and now we are in the 50’s with thunderstorms?  Hearing thunder in February is so strange, but I remember hearing it in January last year, so maybe this is becoming our new norm.  We are supposed to get between 2 and 3 inches of rain through Thursday night with the temps remaining in the upper 50 to about 60.  Friday, the temps are supposed to be much cooler – highs in the 20’s – but we are to have some sunshine, while will be most welcome.

In the meantime, I have been doing some deep research into the Keto diet, and I will be doing the prep work and cooking this weekend for both of us to start it in earnest.  Getting in that much fat into your diet is hard after all these years of trying to keep it at a minimum.  According to my specifications, I need 105 grams of fat each day while Scott need 175 grams.  Both of us are limited to 30 grams carbs net (total carbs less fiber).  I have both of us calculated at 28 grams carbs per day.  Scott wants to continue having dairy in his diet, which is totally on fine with Keto, but I am finding dairy to be causing me issues, so I am going to do a Whole30 modification and drop 90% of the dairy.  The only dairy I intend to have is the blue cheese dressing on my supper salad.  I need the additional fat and I do love blue cheese.  I am going to look for a recipe and make the dressing myself so as to make sure it is clean.  I have found a Keto Ranch dressing for Scott, but no blue cheese one for me.

We are going to follow Keto for 4 weeks, then do a re-evaluation depending on the results and how we feel at that time.  Keep your fingers crossed.

And, I have cancelled my order with The Woolery for the reed.  Once I have confirmation that it has been canceled, I will place an order with Halcyon Yarn who say they have it in stock and can ship in 1-3 days.  It’s been 4 weeks since I ordered it through The Woolery.


Feb 5

It seems that, due to Instagram, the Fiber Pusher Podcast, Ravelry, and various other social media outlets, I don’t use my blog like I used to.  It has become a holding spot so I can read my favorite comics and a couple of favorite blogs, but not something I use much anymore for talking about what is going on with me.  I have toyed with the idea of just shutting it down, but then I don’t, and I don’t know why.  It could be nostalgia, it could be for all the memories embedded within its archives, or it could just be shear laziness.

So, how many people even know it’s here anymore?  Do I start using it as a place to put show notes for the podcast once again?  Do I use it to monitor my own progress on items that aren’t available on Ravely (such as my embroidery and bobbin lace)?

I keep a journal for more personal subjects, although I do include things in there that I would put on the blog as well.  So, I have some thinking and decision making to do.  In the mean time, here’s where I am with the embroidery:


I love the sweater I knit for Lizzie:

Lizzie's Sweater

And I think Scott looks so cute in his art nook:


I slowly am being sucked back into genealogical research, which I love, but with which I have had little time as of late to do much.  My college roommate Sandy and I went to Ft. Wayne last weekend to the Allen County Library, which houses the second largest genealogical library in the United States.  There, after a 30+ year search, I finally found out what happened to my 3X great-grandfather on my mom’s side.  He walked out of his house one day and was never heard from again, leaving behind a wife and several children.  I finally traced him to a cemetery in Dayton, Ohio.  He lived to the ripe old age of 79 and was buried with military honors since he was in the army beginning in 1829.  I don’t know when he was discharged at this point, but I will find it.

I found lots of other information, but I have to sort through it and organize it before I dare enter any of it into my database.

And, it’s tax season.  All is going smoothly at work, and I have to do Dyed in the Wool’s taxes this weekend, so you now know what my weekend will be like.  I hope to be able to record a short podcast, but cooking and laundry have to come first.

So, that sort of catches things up in a quick synopsis way.  Do I continue doing this, or do I just let this blog go?  I need to figure that one out.

Nov 12

I know I have been quiet, but I have been working on so many things I am slow in getting them all done.  Still, here’s where I am at on a few items.


Let’s start with the embroidery.  Slowly, but surely, I am making progress.  I am enjoying this so much, but it’s hard to find time when the lighting is good to work on it.  I am planning to rectify that by replacing the ceiling fan/light combo in my room because the light just sucks.  Also, I need to replace my bedside light as it is too much a focused spot than giving a good, all-over light.


It needs blocking, snaps and buttons, but I have the base sweater done for Heather’s baby girl to be born this February.  I am really pleased with it as the colorful yarn is my handspun Merino/Silk in the Watermelon Tourmaline color.  I have plenty of the handspun and black yarns, so be expecting more items from them before February.

I have something else done, but I need to take photos of it, so I will show it off later.

Life is just too busy right now.

Oct 17

Almost 50 years ago, my maternal grandmother taught me how to embroider.  She started with a simple line drawing and a simple running stitch, but through this medium, she taught me to make tiny, even stitches that were straight and true.  Of course, she taught me this by making me rip out over and over those stitches that weren’t to her standards, but she had shown me some of her own mother’s, my great-grandmother’s, embroidery and they were works of art to my 8-year-old eyes.  I wanted to be able to make something as beautiful one day.  While I might have resented each time I had to rip some stitches out, I knew I had not been as careful as I could have been, and the experience made me work harder to try to emulate what Vada Ambrosia Cotner Gillum had once done.

About the time I got married, life became very busy and I stopped doing much handwork.  I sewed, made clothes and dolls, but the only embroidery I did was the dolls’ faces, but I haven’t even done that for over 20 years.  Life just got in the way, I ended up working multiple jobs, and going back to college to work on an accounting degree.  But, in the last couple of years, I have been itching to pull out my stash of DMC threads and some cloth.  Not to do cross-stitch as that is too constraining for my current tastes, but to just have fun.  As I cleaned out my sewing closet over the weekend, I came across several items that just struck the right chord, and I went to JoAnn’s Monday night just to look around.  And I bought this:


Now, mind you, the suggested way to embroider this is not how I am going to do it.  While I do want to practice different stitches, I want a filled-in, completely stitched picture that I can frame.

So, here is what I did Monday night when I got home:


So, some satin stitches, some running stitches to fill in an area, and I started couching the blue circle.

And last night, I did this:


I finished the couching, did another section of satin stitches and a chain stitch around another circle.  While I am not up to my grand-mother’s standards again, yet, I have the feeling that, by the time I finish this, I will be well on my way to having my stitching chops back.

I already have my eye on another one at JoAnn’s that I want to stitch.

Sep 20

With Friday being the last day of summer, and the fall equinox falling on Saturday, I think it is very interesting how the change in the weather is happening right on schedule.


High on Friday of 85 degrees, and a high on Saturday of 68 degrees.

And what do I say about that?  BRING ON THE AUTUMN!!!!

Sep 19

Remember the Coreopsis tinctoria I grew this summer?


Well, now look at the stage it is at.

Coreopsis dye 1

coreopsis dye 2

The wool is soaking while I am at work today, and tonight is the night to see the results of my summer’s work.  I can hardly wait!!

Aug 28

Let me introduce you to Pocket’s Daughter.


Isn’t she lovely?  Her mom is a North Country Cheviot/Dorset Cross (Pocket) and her Dad is a Cotswold cross (either Jared or Rocky).  She’s soft and shiny and so beautifully wavy.  She’s cold soaking right now with the intent to dye her fleece with the Coreopsis tinctoria I have been growing and saving all summer.  If all goes well, I will get a rich, burnt orange by shifting the pH to a slightly alkaline level by adding just a pinch or two of washing soda to the vat.

First, though, I can’t wait to see how white her fleece becomes as I wash it.  I have the feeling she’s going to be a brilliant white when she is clean.  I’ll let you know.

This is from Tring Farm in Kentucky.  I have 8 total fleeces from her 2018 clip, but this is the only white one.

Aug 13

You must think that all I do is work in my garden and wash fleeces.  Well, you wouldn’t be far from the truth – at least in what spare time I have.


As you can see, the flowers are doing very well.  The bees are loving the extra pollen, and I am loving the harvests I am getting.  I have 2 full (and I do mean full) large freezer bags of Coreopsis flowers and a partial bag of sunflower petals.  There are more sunflowers coming in the future, so maybe, just maybe, I will have enough for a pot large enough for a few skeins of yarn.  As for the Coreopsis, there’s going to be more than enough for at least one fleece, although I do want to dye some yarn.  And, don’t forget, I have some ragweed plants in the freezer as well.


And, yes, there has been more fleece washing.  The black bags contain a CVM fleece and the gray and blue bags contain two Shetland fleeces that are similar enough to combine.  They have been cold soaked, and the Shetland has been hot washed.  The CVM will be hot washed this week.  As of right now, there are no fleeces soaking due to Sandy and I vending at the Michigan Fiber Festival this next weekend.

Speaking of Michigan Fiber Festival, Dyed in the Wool will be in barn 8A.  Please come and see us if you  are going to be there.  We have several new fibers, as well as other items for your learning and making needs.


I finally finished a pair of socks.  The first sock was finished back in June while I was staying at the hospital with my dad.  The second sock was started about the time he passed away, and it was been hard going back and working on it.  While, they are pretty, and knitted with West Yorkshire Spinner’s yarn, which I love, I am glad to see the back of them.  They were gifted to my co-worker, Colette, for either her mom or her daughter, whoever claims them first.  I may not knit socks for a while.  I knitted three pair while Dad was sick, and I just need a break from them.


While working in the lighting department at his work, Scott found a glove to be used to install lamps in a fixture.  He already had a couple of spare ones from other fixtures, so he brought this one home as a joke for Sandy.  You see, Sandy is a huge Michael Jackson fan.  I think she approved.


The only time I am tall.  Love the long shadows of the early morning.

Aug 8

This past week has been incredibly busy – which seems to be the norm for me.  Besides the normal day job, washing fleeces and trying to keep up with laundry and the like, Sandy and I are working hard to get ready for Michigan Fiber Festival the weekend of August 18 & 19.  Yes, this means, we have one more weekend to get everything done.  YIKES!

So, I am spinning samples up for the sample cards.  Sandy and I are revamping them so that they have more information on them to help people make the right decision for their spinning project.


If you look closely, you can make out a darker yarn under the top light gray.  I am spinning each sample concurrently, just making sure there is enough color difference between each type to tell them apart when I go to Navajo ply them.  This top one is Hershey who is a Cotswold cross from Equinox Farm and he spins up like a dream.  While not next-to-the-skin soft, he would be great for a beginning spinner and I had a hard time stopping when lunch hour was done.  I may have spun way more of his fiber than I needed, but I was enjoying it so much.

The fun one to spin today is this one:

R&Y onion skin LF

This is a Lincolnfolk named Marshmallow, and it was dyed with red and yellow onion skins.  This is the second fleece of hers I have dyed this color, and the reason is it sells out almost immediately at the first fiber fair we take it to.  That will be Michigan Fiber Festival in a week and a half in case you were wondering.

And here is last year’s fleece all spun up:


Looks like pure gold, doesn’t it?  This is a three-ply, fingering-weight yarn, and I loved spinning it up.  Again, this isn’t next-to-the-skin soft, but it will knit up into an awesome cowl, shawlette, or something – maybe with beads!!!  Add some sparkle to that gold.

And speaking of gold!


See the bee as she gathers up her pollen quota?  I love the gold and orange of this sunflower so much.


And this one, too, has a bee on it.  I am looking forward to dyeing with the petals of these sunflowers.  Once the bees are done with them, I am gathering the petals and freezing them until I have enough for a pot.  I have the feeling I won’t have enough for a fleece, but at least for a few skeins.  The joy these bring me is amazing!

And of course, the Coreopsis.  I have a full, gallon-sized freezer bag and another one that is about 3/4 full.  When I drove away this morning, I realized I might be filling that second bag with this next harvest, if not more so.  I do so hope I get to dye at least two fleeces with these lovely flowers.


Love these happy flowers so much!


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