#spin15aday gets a mention

Spin Off Winter 2019 Issue

Spin Off has been around, well, it seems like forever.  I had printed copies of issues years and years ago.  Those printed copies have moved on to other spinners as I’ve taken the minimalist approach to magazines by mostly going digital.  

Thanks to @yarnengineer for the heads up about the article in the Winter 2019 issue of Spin OffPodcast! Creating a Fiber Community by Emily Straw. Of course, I had to go out and get a copy to read, especially when #spin15aday gets a mention. 

It just keeps getting better, our little #spin15aday community, mostly on Instagram and now with the group on Ravelry run by some wonderful co-moderators that take care of keeping the threads alive and well.  

#spin15aday has slowly, but steadily spread joy over the past three years and I hope it will continue to do so as we head in to its fourth year in 2019. 

It has been a community effort, even when I nudge all of you spinners, it has taken us as a village to make it happen. Thank YOU for making it what it is and will be.

Spin on…

Oops! Not an IT person – Apology to you!

A huge apology for any and all crazy emails that went out today from The 1764 Shepherdess website.

I was trying to update the website theme.  Fail!!!

Join the #spin15adaystashdown 2019


We hope you will join us for a year-long spin and fiber stash diving! Each month (corresponding with the month number) has a theme to spin to. See what you have on hand to spin or find a fiber vendor, local or on-line, that has just what you are needing. Most of all, have fun and #spin5aday!!!

Starting January 1, 2019 on Instagram!!!

December 2018 Challenge


Well, HoHoHo, December has arrived.

We’ve been spinning all year, so I decided we needed to end the year with an easy, fun spinning/knitting challenge over on Instagram.

Here’s what to do:

  • Stash dive for about 100 grams of fiber or use up a bunch of bits to create something unique.
  • Spin up approximately 100 yards in a DK weight (yes, you can target your spin to a specific weight, that’s just part of the challenge)
  • Post your progress on Instagram with #spin15december2018
  • Knit up a pair of Good Time Fingerless Mitts by Melissa Woods (a free Ravelry download) with your freshly spun yarn.
  • Keep posting your progress on Instagram with #spin15december2018
  • I’ll be drawing two names (completed the challenge) on December 31, 2018, and will send a woolly surprise package to them.

Even if your name is not drawn, you’ll have spun and knit yourself a pair of mitts! As @itsmyhamburger said, everyone wins.

Keep spinning and look for the activities being planned for #spin15aday in 2019!!!

Spin on…

It’s the Simple Things in Life…

As I struggle with my early 1900’s circular sock machine, I am reminded that it’s not that important if I’m not successful with it, only that I tried. Our time here is too short to sweat the small stuff and just enjoy the simple things in life. What reminded me? This sweet holiday commercial put out by Hobby Lobby!

Check out all the handknits the young girl is wearing.  This longer version of the commercial is better via YouTube than the 30 seconds played over the television.

Brings a tear to my eye!



Shop Small Saturday – 2018


My youngest daughter and I support Small Business Saturday every year, spending Saturday morning in a small, local town near us.

We start out with breakfast, then we go to A Good Book first thing, then make our way through the other shops.

Some years we hit gold, other years, it may only be a small item we have found. Either way, we support it.

I also support small fiber businesses.  Every year I find something that I could use to create my own handmade gift with, be it yarn to knit a project or fiber to spin for the yarn to knit a project.

To get into the spirit of “shop small,” I have put a 20% off coupon code in the #spin15aday store for Saturday, November 24, 2018.

Enter: shopsmall2018 for 20% off items ordered.

Even if the #spin15aday shop has nothing you are needing at this moment, please take some time to look on the web or down your local street to see if there may be another small business shop that holds that perfect gift item.

I’m not dissing the big box stores, I’m just thinking we can do a better job of gift giving without them.

Spin on…

Home for the Holidays


Home for the Holidays:

It’s Thanksgiving weekend! The turkey has us stuffed and the pie made us sweet(er).

One of our family traditions over this long weekend is to watch Home for the Holidays, starring Holly Hunter, directed by Jodie Foster. (playing as the some of the family watches from the couch and I write this post)  This movie still makes me laugh…


Not much spinning or knitting these past few days, though I am trying to work on the website, which feels disappointing when I can’t get it to do what I want.  There are thoughts of looking into a new platform, but the prices are pretty high for a very small business.

I’ve had a few issues with WordPress/Woocommerce for #spin15aday purchases, so I’ll apologize for this upfront as I work through the issues.  Not always easy being your own IT department.

In #spin15aday news:

#spin15aday plans for 2019 are pretty light at the moment.

For sure there will be #xoxospin15 and #campspin15in19′ happenings.  Also, there will be a Halloween spin, once I decide on the theme.  Between these will be small #spin15aday events, which I’ll post on IG once I get some brilliant ideas.

Enjoy your weekend and remember to #spin15aday.

Until next time…



Breed Study Conservation List

A while back, one of the lovely spinners on Instagram asked if within the breed study we could focus on conservation listed wool breeds.  I thought that was an excellent idea.

So, I made an executive decision (laughing, because how executive can you get on Instagram), then researched and decided on six wool breeds to spin.

DorsetDorset Horn Sheep – Wikipedia

Here is the list with the corresponding month to spin them and their level of conservation:

January 2019:      Dorset Horn – threated

February 2019:   Teeswater – watch

March 2019:        Lincoln – threatened

April 2019:          Manx Loaghtan – at risk

May 2019:           Southdown – recovering

June 2019:           Shetland – recovering
Finding resources to spin for the breed study each month: 

No. 1: Stash Dive…dive deep, really deep. Find that bit of wool for the breed that corresponds to the month and spin it up.  Don’t spend when you don’t have to. At least until you decide if it is a wool breed you enjoy working with…then buy to your heart’s content.

No. 2:  I’ll have 1 oz. samples of the breeds available in the #spin15aday store near the first of the year.  I haven’t decided yet if I will put together packets as I did before or go with individual tastings.  I want to keep the costs down for both you and I.  Boxes, shipping, it all adds up.  The less it costs to get the wool to you is for the better.

No. 3:  Make a trade with some IG folks. Maybe a listing in the Ravelry #spin15aday group for spinners to contact each other to trade wool breeds. Maybe someone has multiple of one breed and can exchange with you for a wool breed you may have that they don’t.  The cost would be postage to each other. I think that’s a swell way to work things out.

Once we get to June 2019, we will have completed a full year of study with so many more breeds to try.  We will revisit this in the late spring.

Until then, spin 15 a day….



Can a maker be a minimalist?

IMG-5653 (1)

Today I threw a poll out on my IG story to see what other maker’s thought of the above-listed question.

As you can see of the percentage of yes/no answers, most folks say we can be maker’s and a minimalist too.

You might be asking where this question stems from?

I tend to turn on YouTube and watch random videos on subjects that interest me.  Last night, as I was getting a little spinning time in, I decided to watch newer videos on a minimalist life. After a good hour of listening how folks live in such a way of not having too much stuff, I’m was still having a bit of a disconnect for myself if it is even possible as a maker.

The number of spinning wheels I have collected over the years, the knitting machines, the flock of fleeces, and all the fiber, goes on and on. Where and when does it stop? At this moment, it won’t end until I take my last breath in this world.

Yarn? I really will never have to worry about a yarn stash diet, as I don’t have a full totes worth. It’s the equipment that could be a serious drag on a minimalist approach to living.

IMG-5654.JPGBrother Bulky Knitting Machine

Dare I tell you the number of flat knitting machines I have?  I’m not ashamed of the quantity. There are a few duplicate models and for the most part, some of them I obtained for less than a sweater ‘s worth of yarn.

I think I have to make an excuse for hoarding a few too many knitting machines. They are no longer being made, they could be used for parts, they are not taking up space in my studio as the ones I am not using at this time are up in the storage room (an insulated room, aka: the old game room, the old fiber room, and now known as the storage room) in the barn.

Flax Wheel before cleanup
vintage handmade flax spinning wheel rescued for $65 from Craigslist

Spinning wheels. What can I say, other than I have rescued a few of them over the years and though I have sold several too, I have more than a pair of hands can handle at one time.  How can you part with a wheel that you brought home on a whim after seeing it stored in a cold, damp garage, just begging to be taken care of?  You can’t or at least I can’t.

What does all of this come down to?  Not a whole lot for me, just a thought to consider and discuss with others.  If anything, it’s a great conversation starter.

Until next time, spin on…






Fall, Spinning and Apple Muffins

I baked you some apple muffins! Well, not really, as they probably wouldn’t ship well and I may eat them all before they could get sent out to you.


What I did do is find you some spinning time! How did I do that?

Tonight as I was making up a fresh batch of an old recipe for apple muffins, I realized that baking these or any muffins that take about 25 minutes in the oven will buy you time to grab a cup of tea and get a solid 15 minutes of spinning in as well.

To some, it may seem like multi-tasking.  I don’t think of it that way. I have this vision of using the time to spin instead of standing in the kitchen, just sipping on your cup of tea as you stare at the oven timer waiting for the muffins to finish baking. They smell so delicious I can understand wanting to stay close to the yummy scents of fall.

You can always guard the oven from the family who will wander in to see what is baking by having your spindle and fiber ready to go.  You can get that 15 minutes in as well as protect the kitchen fortress!

I’ll leave the recipe here for you to try or use your own favorite muffin recipe and give that baking time up for spinning.

Let us know how it worked out!

#spin15aday Apple Muffins

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 cup grated apples
* * *
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
* * *
1/4 cup brown sugar mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg, stir in milk, oil, and grated apples.
In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.
Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin tin about 1/2 to 2/3 full (I use muffin papers)
Sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg over the muffin batter for a topping.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.

Until next time, enjoy!!!



One Women Wool Mill: Valley Oak Wool Mill

Thanks to Myha @itsmyhamburger for putting a clip of the video in the Instagram stories so I could share it with you.

#campspin15 videos

I’ve been busy with the very first #campspin15, held August 4 – 8, 2018.   This was a virtual camp for spinners on Instagram.  I think it may have been a success.

Here are a majority of the videos I created for and from posts of #campspin15.

A bit silly, but so much fun!!!!


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