Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Great Things are About to Happen

If I saw this message in a fortune cookie, I would be feeling about like I am right now.

My house is in flux right now. Let's think about pretty dyed wool.

  • The Roofing dude is about to fix the creaking rafters.
  • The Plumber has my leak on his schedule (as soon as he gets back from Europe!).
  • The Solar guys are about mid-way through their installation.

Then I get to finish up the remaining stuff - like those giant cracks and then painting everything!

In the world headquarters of Smoky Mountain Fibers...
  • SAFF is over and was delightfully successful and fun in so many ways.
  • My booth-sitting was financially positive
  • I'll be working at the Locally Grown Gallery this weekend at the WNC Farmers Market.
  • My Etsy shop has been quite busy, thank you!
  • I hit the blogoshere, thanks to Ms. Ashlee of My Cellar Door!

The day job has been requiring excessive reporting to finish the federal fiscal year, but they are nearly complete.  This makes me happy as I don't enjoy the reporting part of the job.
I will lead my first full program on English Country dancing on Sunday.  Last night I sent the tune list to the musicians.  Wish me luck.

So with this fortune, I am felling happy, lucky and expecting Great Things!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Phat Fiber Meetup at SAFF

It was a fun day a SAFF, particularly as six of the Phat Fiber contributors got together on Saturday morning.  We met at Moonwood Farm & Covy Cove Farm's Shared booth, just across the aisle from Knitty and Color. CptSnoopy [Rav Link] was there with her hubby as well as KTLV with her family.  We chatted and laughed and talked like we have known each other for a long time.  I brought a bit of  'Show and Tell' - a lovely pink yarn that I made by carding everything in the August box that was pink and sparkly with some pink roving  and spun up a sweet and sparkly yarn! I also brought the genuine original PhatStripes Hat and SMF samples for eveyone. 

While all the fiberistas and their support people were terrific, Roo has great energy! All of the vendors were doing well, even after a rainy Friday.  But Saturday was bright and clear and busy, without being frantic.  Here we are, photo courtesy of CptSnoopy's husband, nice guy Major Snoopy(?)
Back Row:  Capt Snoopy, Roo (Moonwood Farm), Kathering (KTLV),  Cozette of Cozy Cove Farm
Front Row:  AnneMarie (SmokyMountainFibers), Sarah (Knitty and Color)

I've had a great time at SAFF, with my volunteer duties going well, my short booth-sitting vending acceptable.  I met a number of folks I have only known online in addition to seeing old and new friends from many of my different lives.  I bought a lovely mohair fleece, but did not pick it up yet - it was still being judged.  Back tomorrow for more fun and games!  

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thank Goodness for Knitting

Although my life seldom mirrors the Yarn Harlot's life, we seem to be in cahoots these days.  My elderly furnace is behaving, but perhaps because I haven't turned it on yet.  Not a part of the Canadian contest, I just avoid turning it on until it has been tuned up.  After my experience a couple of years ago, I can put up with a lot of chilly indoor temps.

I have a new roof which looks lovely, and it has a ridge vent so it should be a bit cooler in the summer.  Back when this house was built and for about the next 50 years or so, a couple of guys carried as many shingles as they could hold on their shoulder up a ladder and used a hammer and nails. My dad spent much of one summer re-roofing our house just that way.  Now it's  'Roof-in-a-day.'  But all the commotion on the roof caused some icky cracking in the ceiling and walls. The Engineer came yesterday and although my house is not an official disaster area, a bit of shoring up of the roof beams is in order.  OK, I'll be getting estimates very soon.

Look at some wool - Autumn Leaves Merino, recently dyed.  Isn't it pretty?!

Apparently the basement was jealous of the attic and sprung a leak.  In the outgoing water pipes (because it sounds less awful than saying raw sewage) there is a drip.  Well, more of an ooze.  Not pretty.  And because my house has cast iron pipes and they are rusted through, a healthy quantity must be rerouted and replaced, including the vent pipe.  That will be a thousand dollars, please.

I think I'll be knitting (or spinning) again this evening.  It's been a rather productive time of late.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The End of Summer

Living in Western North Carolina is wonderful for many reasons. In addition to great support forcraft in general and fiber in particular, The weather can be delightful. This year has been a warm (not hot), moderately wet growing season.  I had terrific peas & beans, good squash & cukes, excellent tomatoes  & peppers.  But with a night that may see a bit of rain turning to snow, This is the last of the garden for this year.

The last green beans.  I recommend Kentucky Wonder pole beans.  They have just kept coming and taste good even big.

Sweet and tasty raspberries. Yum!  Made a few pints of jam too.

A squash flower.  Ever hopeful, but likely doomed.

Chard.  This will keep on coming, though it may not overwinter.  I plan to box them in with hay bales to give them a hand.

Dinner tonight:  the last of the eggplant with mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Nice Treat

The day job has been something of a slam lately, with the multiple witching hours all coming due (strangely) at the end of October.  So as I was completing some qualitative reporting this evening, I got a lovely email from an Etsy jewelry maker and seller, TheLowerEastSide who put my Fawn roving in a treasury that she created.  After kind of an icky day,  getting featured in a treasury is a nice thing to happen.

So now it's time to go home, spin a bit, knit a bit, relax, see my sweetie, eat some dinner.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Deadlines Are Upon Me!

I hate waking up at 4:00 a.m. in a bit of a panic about all the things I need to do.  But that's what I did on Sunday morning.  I began realizing just how many things were due at the end of October.  Some are on the good side of the work/fun continuum.  SAFF for example.  Even though I have to keep up with a web page or 2.  Dyeing yarn and fiber for my Etsy shop and delivering yarn, fiber and hats to my LYS accounts. Knitting and spinning.  Again, a good kind of work.

But my actual day job is definitely slanted in the other direction.  And even though I love what I do, occassionally all the deadlines kick in at the same time.  So instead of lying in bed worrying, I did what sensible people all over the universe do.  I made a List.

So on this very Monday morning, I have taken said List and begun completing items on it.  This blog post, however is not on the List, so it will be quite short and only mention that...

I have been featured on another blog,  Thank you Jenny!
My house is newly re-roofed, but now has several giant cracks in the ceilings and walls.  Kind of scary, huh?
This was not in the contract.
In the interest of getting back to the List, I'll be signing off! 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Phat October

As the time come near for the next Phat Fiber Sample Box, I have been dyeing roving and making up little 'twists' - small skeins of merino roving that are my contribution to the sampler box for the the Month of October,  This month's theme is 'Harlequin Ball.'  The somewhat mysterious theme and fall weather has encouraged my creative side to dye a dark autumn colorway based on one of my favorites - Carnivale.  I started with orange and purple dye with plenty of white space so the colors would not merge to muddiness.  Then I overdyed the whole roving with a garnet shade to bridge the two colors.  I was very happy with the results and saved out a roving to list in my Etsy shop once the box hits the streets. Watch for 'Dark Carnival.'

The Mars Hill show yesterday was great fun. My students are always surprised to see me and I get a chance to chat with members of my various communities who seem to come together at this event.  The college faculty, staff and students (as well as a few parents), fiber people, traditional music and dance crowd and just plain friends stop by.