I’m entering into a particularly busy season it seems. The farm and garden have slowed a bit, although we are still somewhat behind schedule. Some harvesting is left: a few pepper varieties, late corn, tons of cabbage, and some tomatoes are still in the greenhouse. I normally like to be completely done with even thinking of farm work by November but I’m just going to have to cope with it. Thankfully, we have another WWOOFer ( person from the Willing Worker On Organic Farms organization) arriving in the next couple of days to help out. We still have a barn full of seeds to sort and process!
I’m also entering into a different relationship with my business. My husband is an amazing carpenter, with years of experience building unique and well made structures and homes–timber frame, SIP panel houses, post and beam, log homes, etc. Like most carpenters, he was laid off over 3 years ago when the market tanked. He’s worked a bit here and there, but the glory days of steady work for good pay seem to be a thing of the past in this economy. His last unemployment check was in September, and we’re now totally on our own. I cannot express how glad I am to have made the lifestyle choices that I did. We may not drive nice new cars, have a timeshare or boat, or shop just for fun. But we also don’t have a mortgage, and we are possibly the only people I know who own their home outright. We drive 20 year old cars but we try to take care of them and we don’t have monthly payments. We grow much of our own food. We limit the amount of resources we use (by choice) and one outcome is that our electric bill for our home is about $15 a month. We chop firewood from our land to provide our own heat, we cook on the woodstove or 1920’s gas cookstove, we use water collection and a gravity tank to provide wash water, and carry our drinking water from a spring about 700 feet away. Our little stone cottage in the woods may indeed be little-and it’s around this time of the year that I start to feel the squeeze of space as we all move indoors…people, projects, and pets; but it suits our needs and has never been a burden to maintain. And it’s due to these lifestyle choices that we’re able to meet our needs through our own efforts–crafting, building, teaching, and horticulture. No commute, no boss, no usury, no debt.
However, I do feel short on time! I have 10+ pounds of handpainted fiber staring at me from the corner, waiting to be spun/blocked/photographed/listed online. Drawers full of yarn ready to be knit or crocheted into items to be sold online or at a variety of holiday fairs/events. A suitcase full of Waldorf doll making supplies. More fiber shipped and on it’s way. Orders waiting for packaging and thank you notes. A big suitcase full of feathers, trinkets, and silk flowers ready to be made into hair fascinators. A trunk full of Kitschenqueen towel making supplies. And you, dear reader, will get updates on all of it.
Today my updates are mostly about yarn. Here are my newest endeavors…first, a Day of the Dead yarn. I spun it in a single ply but will also have a plied yarn soon.
The next is a beautiful 2ply Bluefaced Leicester wool and Tussah Silk blend, handpainted and another Greek mythology inspiration…Halcyon:
Another plied yarn, this time an Autumn colorway called Fallen Leaves. This one is made from Merino and Kid Mohair.
And something totally different…another Merino/Mohair blend: Cotton Candy!
Yesterday I did another photo shoot with my girls. I can’t believe I have a daughter who’ll be leaving home in 6 months! She has become such a beautiful woman. I love taking photos of both of them… These knit/crocheted items were listed at http://www.wickedwenchdesigns.etsy.com
I also wanted to include an easy pattern on this post. I sort of have pipe dreams of writing a pattern book for handspun yarns but in the mean time, I’ll post a few here and there. This one is from my zine:
Super Duper Easy Instant Gratification Yarnarchy Wrister Pattern
1 skein of Yarnarchy! Handspun (100 yards, thick and thin worsted to bulky)
Set of 4 dbl pointed needles, size 7 or 8
Cast on 32 stitches. Divide onto three needles-12, 12, and 8.
Cuff: Knit ribbing for an inch or more-knit two, purl two.
Body: Knit all around for stockinette stitch. Continue until the wrister measures 4-5 inches in length. At some point in the round, bind off 4 stitches and continue knitting around. When you return to the first bound off stitch, cast on one stitch and knit. Repeat three times (you have now replaced the 4 bound off stitches) and continue knitting in the round for another 1 ½ -2 inches.
Cuff: knit ribbing (knit two purl two) for ½ to 1 inch. Bind off. Make another wrister. Voila!
You may experiment with adding a basic cable, making the whole tube in ribbing, skipping ribbing entirely and just knitting in the round for the whole thing.
Here are a few examples..the first are with ribbing at each end: