Friday, June 20, 2008


I often get the question - "How do you do it all?? How do you take care of the kids, the house, weave, run your Etsy shop, blog, etc.?"

Honestly - I don't. No Super-Moms around here. Though there is a Super-Bella and Super-Conall-Baby:

(They've got capes on - Bella will stand in superhero pose, fists on her hips, cape flung over her shoulders and say "Fly my cape for me, Mum!")

I neglect the housework pretty shamefully (really really need to get back on the Fly Lady schedule - I don't follow it to the letter by any means, but her idea of spending 15 minutes a day decluttering is brilliant, I think...).

And when we're getting out and about and doing summer stuff, everything slips... We've had a fun couple of weeks though.

A birthday party:

Trips to the playground with friends:

Just playing out back:

I have actually managed to post some things in my Etsy store last week and this week, too, after most of them sitting around, finished, waiting for me to get around to taking pictures of them for quite a while. That actually has gotten easier - the only tough part now is catching the good morning light in my studio.

I'm still weaving the second scarf using my second batch of hand-dyed tencel, so no updates there. (Ridiculous, those scarves are very quick to weave and I just haven't gotten around to it, argh - I did weave off the warp on my big loom in my studio on Wednesday evening, though!)

So, I neglect the housework, I neglect my blog (oops), I'm haphazard about updating my Etsy store, and I even wimped out of the June Open Studios at WAS!

And I have a super-secret weapon. Carlos (Mr. SkiingWeaver). He's fantastic. He gets up with Conall at 5:30/6am most morning and lets me sleep until 7am. (That alone is cause for sainthood.) He does dishes, handles bedtime when I go to the studio in the evening, mows the lawn (usually with only minimal prodding, lol), scoops the cat litter *and* is the V.P. at his company. Goodness.

So, obviously, I don't do it all. :) And I think anybody with kids under five years old who says they do is either compulsively organized or has a cleaning lady (wouldn't that be nice??). LOL. I just muddle through and thankfully my family doesn't freak out when I get behind on vacuuming or laundry...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Well, rats...

So, a little while ago, I dyed some tencel using a new (to me) two color gradation dying technique described on the Prochemical webpage. I even posted this picture:

Well, I wove what was intended to be another ruffly/differential shrinkage scarf with the warm toned tencel, washed it, and look what happened...

Gah! Yuck! Blech! What happened to all that gorgeous color?? LOL. (Good thing I have a sense of humor about these things...)

I've dyed tencel before and had the colors stay just gorgeously, not all come out in the wash. I think it was probably the process outlined by ProChem... Normally I use urea water instead of tap water with salt in it to form the basis of the dye bath (as they describe in their Low Water Immersion dying process), so perhaps that was the problem. So, I've dyed another batch in the same colorway, using a hybrid technique to do the gradated dying, but with the urea water. Hope that does the trick! I'll keep you posted.

On other fronts, I actually managed to get a wrap listed in my Etsy shop today - my first new listing, apart from commissions, in forever. Truly lame. And this poor wrap has been waiting to be listed for weeks...

I'll be listing more this week, so stay tuned!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Artist Profile (Really Late!) - Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio

I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't even have the word "Wednesday" in my artist profiles, and instead just aim for once a week. Since I seem to be hopeless at actually getting them done on Wednesday...

At any rate, this week, I've chosen a small group of fiber artists - Shannon, Ursula and Christina of Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio. All three women are spinners and dyers, and Shannon is a handweaver as well (and is teaching Christina how to weave, how fun!).
Oh my god. Isn't that *gorgeous*?? I so want this yarn... At Night in Gethsemane handspun yarn. The colors are just fantastic - it's a 2-ply, 11 wpi (wrap per inch) yarn with 556 yards in the skein. They're not kidding when they say you can make a whole project with one of their skeins of yarn, I love the generous size! (Oh, and if you're like me, you might want to read about the Gardens of Gethsemane, here.)

More yumminess. Sea Foam Worsted Weight handspun, 192 yards of 2ply, 10 wpi yarn.

How about some self-striping sock yarn?
If Only I Were Argyle sock yarn - I love that name! This skein has 420 yards of super wash merino/bamboo/nylon (love that bamboo!) sport weight sock yarn, plenty for a pair of socks.

How about something for the spinners out there?

Misty Morning Hand-carded Batt. This batt is 4 oz. of hand-dyed and hand-carded merino wool with a little bit of nylon and natural-colored grey alpaca. Makes me want to get out my drop spindle (though I'd never do it justice...).

Shannon of Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio has also set up a sister Etsy store for her handwovens, Sunrise Handwovens. Check out her handwoven shibori scarf:

Yaknow, once again, somebody is proving me wrong - I've mentioned before that I'm not always wild about woven shibori, because it can come out looking really muddy, in my opinion (which I'm sure lots of people disagree with, lol). But this piece is gorgeous. Clean and beautiful, and you can actually see the results of the shibori dye technique. Bravo, Shannon!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Late Night

I was up far too late last night, playing with chemicals...

So now I'm imbibing too many chemicals of a different kind (caffeine, baby, and the possibility of some extreme sugary yumminess from Fat Daddy/Bangerang Bake Shop) to stay awake...

The oranges/peaches/yellows on the left is sure to appeal to my Mum. :)

Isn't dying fun, though? These are just some sample skeins of tencel and bamboo yarn, using MX Dyes from Procion. Easy to use, it's all done a room temperature, and tencel and bamboo both take dye really nicely. The bamboo yarns are a bit lighter, it's interesting, the tencel sucks up the color a bit more intensely. So much fun to get back into this! It's been a while (since before I got pregnant with the Little Man), I had to relearn it a bit, but it's easy and fun, appeals to my nerdly sciencey side to be measuring and mixing in buckets...

Can't wait for it to dry enough to get it on my looms!