Basically Benita » 2013 » May
May 30

Dyed in the Wool will be set up at the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival tomorrow and Saturday.  Please come and visit us.

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I will be teaching a spinning workshop Saturday afternoon from 1-4, so if you are having issues with your wheel, want questions answered, want to learn how to spin on a wheel, want to learn how to ply, or just up your spinning game a bit, please join us.  I understand there are still spots available in this class.  If you are interested, please see the ladies in Scott Hall to sign up.

Sandy and I still have plenty of spinning fiber for sale, plus there are tie-dyed items galore!  We look forward toseeing you this weekend.

 

May 29

Yesterday was a good day in the fiber department.  The mail lady brought two boxes for Sandy and I. One of them had a new felted bag for Sandy and a new hat for me.  The hat is my birthday present from Sandy, which means I won’t get to see it again until late July.

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Sandy’s bag was made by Kate from our CVM left-overs from the top being combed by Zeilinger’s.  What a talented lady she is.  Sandy and I kept petting the sheep all day.  The sheep was made from mohair locks.

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Kate also made my hat and I fell in love with it on her Etsy shop.  Sandy offered to get it for me for my birthday and I am so glad she did. It fits great and I will get lots of wear out of it this winter.

Also, in the mail, came a box holding a 7 pound, well-skirted, coated Bond fleece – and it’s a good black one.  Woohoo!!!  We completely sold out of Bond in Kentucky and we wanted more of it.  It’ll be dropped off for processing this weekend while we are at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival (come by and visit us if you are coming to the festival).

Then, when I got home, I washed out some special order tie-dyed items so they can be delivered this weekend, washed out some fiber for the Fiber Binder Club and plied for a couple of hours on some merino wool I had spun up.  It’s such fine spinning that after plying off and on all evening while other things washed, dried or soaked, it the two bobbins holding the singles don’t look any less full.  Sheesh!

Love fibery days like that!

May 28

My Memorial Day weekend was spent resting for the most part.  Oh I did some laundry, some grocery shopping and some dyeing for a couple of special orders, but mostly I rested.

And I enjoyed the flowers in my yard.

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Oh, yes.  I finished a sock and started another, and Scott and I went down to visit his mom and step dad and celebrated a belated Mother’s Day with them.  Did you know Red Robin has a gluten-free menu?  They do, and the hamburgers were really good!

I hope your weekend was relaxing and fun, too.

May 25

 

 

Have you been wanting to buy stuff from the Dyed in the Wool Zazzle Store?  Well, Zazzle is having a sale this weekend (through Monday), so hit the Zazzle link to the right to the Dyed in the Wool store and have some fun getting those shirts, bags, mugs, hats, or whatever it is that you have been wanting that have been created by Dyed in the Wool.  Make sure you use the code mentioned below to get your discount.  Thank you!!!

 

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Use Code: MEMORIALWK13

50% Off Select Photo Prints, Posters and Canvas Prints
40% Off Select Bags and Hats
30% Off Select Mugs and Water Bottles
25% Off Select T-Shirts and Tank Tops
20% Off Select Cases
15% Off All Other Select Products
May 24

It has been a very busy spring.  Work has been swamped, getting prepared for this year’s fiber shows has been hectic, teaching, trying to keep up with the necessities of life, such as laundry and groceries, have been squeezed in here and there when possible, and the yard is running rampant.  In fact, about 2/3 of the yard still has yet to be mowed and really is tall enough to be cut and baled.  I hope to start remedying that problem this weekend with a yet to be bought weed-whacker of some sort.  It is beyond the weed-eater and mower at this point.

But, the flowers are beginning to bloom, mostly my peonies.

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It was windy and growing dark when I got home last night, but I was able to get one nice picture of this year’s batch.

The three-day weekend ahead is going to be just as busy as the past few weeks have been, but, at least, I have this to remind me of the spring I have been missing outside.  Next year, I have to plan things out better so that I can enjoy the changing of the seasons from winter to summer more.

May 23

A couple of years ago, I did a year of photos taken at the same place – one photo every week.  It was fun, a challenge to get there and kept me focused on my camera.

There are several blogs I read that show a certain subject for a week, and they take pictures for that subject.  The subject is pretty vague, which gives lots of room for interesting interpretations.  I find them simply fascinating.

I do not have an expensive camera.  Once film for cameras (and places to get the film processed) started disappearing, I got rid of my 35mm cameras and went to digital.  Getting my dream camera is still down the line for me since it and the lens I want are over $1,000 and that just isn’t in the current budget.  So what I have is a Canon PowerShot A3100 IS, which has gotten very high ratings as a good back-up camera to professional photographers.  Hey, if the pros like this baby, then it must be a good camera.  I have been playing with some of the settings and over the past couple of years, I have gotten some very good shots, at least in my opinion.  I know it is not what I need to take really professional photos, but it is all I have at this point.  And I can practice with it until I can afford that dream camera.

So, using the idea of themed weeks, I decided to take the next 26 weeks and do the alphabet (no this is not an original idea, but I liked it so I borrowed it).  Starting on Mondays and going through Sundays, I need to think about the letter for that week and see how I can translate that into photos.  So, this next week starting on Monday, obviously, is A.  This will take me most of the way through October, and there is a lot going on between now and the end of October – plenty of opportunities to take photos and look for my letter that week.

Then on Mondays, I’ll post the best of what I have taken the past week.  Since this is a learning opportunity for me, I invite comments, suggestions, and ideas of how to better what I am doing and increasing how my imagination sees the world.  Also, I invite you to join me, posting your own results on your blog and sending a link to me so I can add your link in for everyone to click on.  I have learned how to see the world differently through my husband’s art and seeing through his eyes briefly, but I would love to further that and see if I can use this in my own art and designs.

Continually learning new things and increasing my skills and knowledge base is very important to what makes live worth living in my opinion.  If you are joining me, just let me know and see what we can learn together!

May 21

Come walk with me while I take a tour of the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival. There’s lots to see, hear, feel, taste and smell here, from fiber to music to soft wool to BBQ lamb to sheep.

I am looking forward to going back next year!

May 20

I’ve always heard that, in order to tell a story, you should start at the beginning, go through until the end and then stop.  So, that’s what I am going to attempt to do.

The drive down to Lexington on Friday was uneventful, except for a pretty hard rain storm between Florence and Lexington along I-75.  It was hard enough to slow the interstate down to about 40 mph and to put the windshield wipers on full blast.  It lasted about 10 minutes and was gone.

Friday night, Sandy and I arrived at Masterson’s Station Park, found our space on the corner (we love being on the corner!!) of the Big Top Tent, unloaded the cars and set up our booth.  This year, we got a 10X20 foot booth – and we could have easily filled a larger one!  With all of the fiber we took… Wow!  Large bags of fiber take up a lot of space.

So, here is what our booth looked like:

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See?  Pretty packed, isn’t it?

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This is the Fiber Department.

After walking around several times over the weekend, we realized that we were one of few vendors selling fiber this way.  There were lots of raw fleeces, several bags of colors batts, dyed roving, lots and lots of yarn, but very little natural-colored wool in all of the breeds we have.

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The price sign I created really was a huge help and we got many very positive compliments on it.  It did make things easier and people could see at a glance what we had, feel samples of the different fibers, see how it spins up, get descriptions on some, and see how much we charged.  I sincerely believe we sold more fiber because of the convenience of that sign.

Remember my telling you that we had a lot of the wool processed into top – especially the fine wools like Corriedale, Cormo, Bond, etc.?

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Well, Sandy and I had tested some of the waste from the combing process for wet felting and it worked great.  So, we put what we had up for sale.  A very talented wet felter came by and bought most of the colored wool we had to make bags and such out of.

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On Sunday, Kate brought a bag that she had made with some of the Corriedale wool she had purchased from us on Saturday (yes, she stayed up late getting it done) and embellished with wool she had bought from Fiber Optics.  Sandy and I were blown away!  It was incredible!  Good, thick felt, huge with two interior pockets and what a cool image on it.  Please check out her Etsy shop and buy things from her as her work is amazing!

Another lady bought the rest of the waste – mostly white – to use to stuff dolls and toys with, which is an idea that we hadn’t considered.

Back to Saturday.  Sandy and I were busy most of the day.  The people who came in to the booth to introduce themselves were so nice!  One lady came from Arizona! (Hi Sandy O.!!  Thank you for stopping by!)  Seriously, the people in Kentucky could not have been nicer and friendlier.

Then, of course, there was the tie-dye department.

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The colors from the tie-dyed clothing caught people’s eyes and drew them in.  The fact that we dye so many varied items impresses people and the tie-dyed undies always crack people up.  One poor man stood looking back and forth between two shirts for a very long time before finally making up his mind and buying one.  I had the feeling we’d see him again, and, sure enough, a bit later he came back and bought the other one.

Also, one young man of about 10 came in with his mom complaining that she had thrown away all of his tie-dyed shirts, to which she had replied that he had out-grown them.  So, he had a wardrobe to replenish and did so with two shirts, a pair of socks and shoe laces.  I told her that rather than throw them away when he outgrows them, she should sew up the bottom of the shirt, cut it off below the arms, hem it, add handles from the rest of the shirt and make bags out of them.  Her eyes lit up and said that was a great idea.  I figured if her son likes his tie-dyed stuff that much, then he would love having bags made from them.

Baby items continue to be a top seller for us, even more than shirts.  Several onsies, burp cloths and baby socks found new homes over the weekend.  Babies always look adorable in colorful tie-dye.

On my breaks, I headed over to where there were sheep, shearing demonstrations and other vendors to look around.  I met some friends there, too.

Keebler

This is Keebler.

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And this is B. Willard.

They live with Sara of Punkin’s Patch and she had some beautiful fleeces for sale.

The weather was on our side for the most part.  Saturday, we had a short rain that brought in a slight breeze, and dropped the humidity and temperatures for us.  Sunday was sunny and hot.

Sunday, the crowd was lower, but people still came to buy.  I was standing and talking with Sandy when a voice came from my immediate left. “I bet you don’t recognize me?” I turned and said “Oh yes I do!”  Remember this man from last year?

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Well, he and his wife came back looking for us this year.  Last year, he bought my entire bag of Ulf, a lovely silver Corriedale top and was spinning it in the demo tent almost immediately.  Well, he had loved spinning it so much that he wanted more of what we had for sale.  He and his wife looked at the fiber, looked at the Jacob and several others, and ended up going back to the Corriedale breed that we had.  Bless his heart, he bought over 6 lbs. of Corriedale from us, including all of the white and caramel colored and a pound of a lovely brownish-gray we have.

And they brought samples!

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These socks she knitted were spun from Ulf.  There are some stripes here and there that were blended with their Chow’s hair, which made them even more special.  I can hardly wait to see what they make together with what they got from us.  I hope they send us pictures!

Sandy and I are still newbies at this whole fiber fair vending thing.  Last year, the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival was our initiation, and we loved it so much that we decided that we are doing the right thing.  We spent the year searching for just the right fleeces to buy, making sure the quality of what we get is the best we can get, having them processed professionally, and getting them ready to sell.  We are very picky fleece buyers, and it shows and has paid off for us.  Having return customers, special orders, and requests for more mean so much to Sandy and I.

Someone called us “fleece brokers” yesterday, and that felt very good, because that is exactly what Sandy and I want to be.  Starting with the Fiber Binder Club to introduce people to high quality natural fibers, then providing more to take people beyond the education stage into the production stage means a lot to us.  Helping to support local and regional shepherds also means a lot to us.  We know so many farmers and shepherds who have troubles selling their wool, and that is a shame.  Mind you, having good wool to sell is important, and more and more breeders are culling for wool production.  That makes a better quality clip for sale, and that is a win-win for both the breeder and the hand-spinner.  Sandy’s and my job is to make sure that high quality wool gets in the hands of those who want it.

And, of course, Sandy made a new friend!

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This is a baby miniature llama.  We had never heard of miniature llamas before.

Will we do the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival again next year?  Definitely!  And we are talking about getting an ever bigger booth.  All that fiber takes up a lot of room!

And come back tomorrow.  I’ll take you with me on a tour of the festival.

May 17

You should see Bettie and how full she is!  Sandy’s taking the majority of the fiber in her car, but Bettie is carrying everything else.  Goodness, I love my PT Cruiser!

We even have our two mannequins in it along with all of the tie-dye, 3 6-foot tables, a smaller, table, light fixtures, two garment racks (one a double-height one), our rolling office, a chair, signs, a small spinner rack, two large bags of wool, a case of water, and my luggage.

At noon, we will be on our way to the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival.

May 16

Well, we have everything together, just need to finish packing the car, get some food and off we go.

For those of you coming to the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival, please stop by the Dyed in the Wool booth, browse around, buy something and introduce yourself.  I love putting faces with names.

What we will have in the booth this year are several types of fiber all ready to spin as follows:

Shetland lamb fleeces in black, gray and white

Shetland – double coated fleece in light gray

Lincoln – one black lamb fleece and two different shades of gray adult fleeces including a national champion fleece

East Fresian – black

Corriedale in several sades of gray, white, brown and a sweet caramel color.

Columbia – white – 1st place IN State Fair Winner

Jacob – blended to a lovely warm gray

Romney – medium gray

Cormo – two batches in top form, one of which is the 2012 Indiana State Fair Reserve Grand Champion

A lovely mixed-breed sheep named Charlotte with a dark brown color

Bond in a nice brown

Texel – white – 2nd place 2011 KY Sheep & Fiber Festival winner

Also, we will have some blended batts in several colors and types of wool – a couple have silk blended in – and some balls of yarn that are naturally dyed in wool and silk.

We will have as many tie-dyed items as you can imagine.  There are shirts, of course, but we also have lots of baby onsies, burp cloths, socks from 0-3 months all the way up to men’s sizes, towels, table cloth, purses, tote bags, draw-string bags, hats, sports bras, PJ’s, tank tops, boxer shorts, panties (sizes 7-9), aprons, scrunchies, shoe strings, and several items with part of the proceeds going to breast cancer research.  Also, if you don’t see something you want whether it be in your size or in the colors you want, or just something that is cotton that we don’t carry, we do custom orders and can easily make it for you.

And, of course, we will have a Fiber Binder Club binder there with examples of what club members get as well as examples of what can be done with each month’s package for you to look at.  We will be accepting new members as well as taking renewals for those members wishing to continue receiving monthly natural fibers to test and play with.  Since we are getting ready to ship out the 30th sample, there are lots and lots of fibers to be explored.  Remember, if you are a new member, you start with month 1 so you don’t miss out on any of the lovely fibers and can get the same as those who have been members since the beginning.

We are so looking forward to seeing all of you!!!

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