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 24

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 27

Yes, I know.  It’s been a month since I last recorded, but I have a great excuse – life and getting ready for the Michigan Fiber Festival.

Aug 22
Michigan Fiber Festival
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Last weekend was Michigan Fiber Festival and we had a blast!  First, it wasn’t as hot as in previous years, it didn’t rain (at least while we were there), and there were no tornadoes.


If you haven’t had the chance to see our new booth set up, I have to say we are pretty proud of it, and it works much better than previous ones.  Each year, we try to make it easier and better and we nailed it this year.  And we think our merchandise mix is better than ever as well.


This shows our new sample cards, which have more information on them than the old ones did.  As you can tell, I still have work to do one them, since those in the bottom right have nothing on them at all, and there are several not complete.  I intend to add felted samples as well, so I have my work cut out for me between now and the Fiber Expo the last weekend in October.


For most of Saturday, we were pretty swamped, which is a good thing.  Sandy and I really enjoyed talking to, laughing with and meeting everyone who stopped by.  Thank you everyone for coming to see us!!  I got lots of hugs, which I love.

Lincolnfolk sweater

This sweater was made from Lincolnfolk fiber, which we sell.  Isn’t it stunning?!?  No wonder the creator is so proud of it.  It definitely will keep her warm this winter – and stylish, too.


Sandy and I did get to do some shopping on Sunday.  Loop was at Michigan Fiber Festival for the first time ever, and they were just two booths down from us.  We both bought our first bull’s-eye bumps.  Sandy’s was called Shenanigans, which is pretty fitting, if you ask me.  You’ll have to wait until my podcast to see what all I brought home.

We did get some more fleeces, though.  We bought 5 Polypay fleeces from own normal source (basically what they brought for us), and a very special fleece from Richert Ranch.


This is a true black (so hard to photograph, but take my word for it) from a Lincolnfolk ewe lamb named Agnes.  It is absolutely gorgeous!!  It’s going to the front of the pack for washing and processing.  Seriously, this fleece is silky and glossy and everyone who saw it had the same reaction, “Oh my!”  Oh my is right!  We have dibs on her fleece as long as she stays black.  In fact, I put in dibs on all their black fleeces.  Lordy, I love Lincolnfolk fleeces.

The Dyed in the Wool site is back on line, now.  I do have several new fibers to upload, but those will have to wait until I have taken photos of them.  I am hoping to have them in the shop by the end of the week.

Now to get ready for the Fiber Expo!

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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