Shop Small Saturday – 2018

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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

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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…

Technology:

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?

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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.

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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!!!!

August Wool Breed Study: Bluefaced Leicester

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BFL – photo from Bluefaced Leicester Union of North America

A few facts about BFL:

Fiber: 24-28 microns

Staple Length:  3-6 inches (longwool)

Natural Colors: Mostly white, can have black or gray genes.

A fiber quite easy to find and available in both fleece from farms or annual wool sales as well as commercially processed roving. Great for lots of knitted items, from sweaters to socks.

Dyes up nicely if you need color in your life.

Hopefully you will get your BFL sample spun, plied, knit or woven to try out the bounciness and texture of this very versatile fiber.

Spin on…

 

 

 

Curveballs & Grounders

Sheep baseball

Baseball terminology?  Why yes, that was the first thing that came to my mind as I am sitting here at my computer in the studio after an eight hour day on the computer at work.

I haven’t played baseball in years.  I did work at a local stadium from 9th – 12th grade when I was in secondary school.  So, why the baseball slang?

It just felt like a good way to start a topic on the #spin15aday newsletter.  I’m hitting grounders in trying to stay on top of everything and it feels like life keeps throwing me curveballs.

I’m asking myself, is anyone reading the newsletter?  What purpose is it serving?  Is it efficient? Should I just stick to the blog?

Here’s my number one problem. I WANT TO DO IT ALL! I know I can’t really successfully pull everything off that I want to do for #spin15aday when holding down a full-time job. Oh, how I would love to not have to go to that full-time job, but retirement is way down the road right now.

Weren’t we all told growing up to stick to one thing and be good at it?  I just can’t seem to follow that advice.  Trying everything at least once, twice or three times really gives a person a sense of it.

The more I type and think about it, I should probably stick to the blog.  I haven’t given it as much attention as I would like.  Maybe this is the one thing I should stick to.  So indecisive.

I know I am not a literary artist, composing choice words and coherent sentences most of the time.  I probably make plenty of folks cringe at my verbiage, but then again, this is who I am and once you meet me in person, you would be able to “get” me better.

So for now, I’ll put the newsletter on hold.  I’ll use the blog to convey the same information, such as the spotlight, upcoming events, more info on #spin15aday.

At least before I totally strike out, let’s have a better game plan.

Now go spin 15 minutes and post it on Instagram with #groundersandcurveballs so I will know you are out there.

Spin on….

 

 

#spin15aday Wool Breed Study Poll – Fall 2018 Results

The results are in:

October 2018 – Eider

November 2018 – Suffolk

December 2018 – Herdwick (runner-up)

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The History Makers: The Pacific Northwest Fiber Web

Today was relatively quiet for me after my full-speed, full-on day at Black Sheep Gathering and the 438 mile round-trip drive from yesterday.  

It was a good day for reflection not only on my experience but also the various discussions I had with so many different fiber folk. 

I am a believer in supporting local as well as small business owners.  Sometimes small business owners are not as local, though supporting them still makes a difference in their lives as well as mine. It’s about community and kindness.

Maybe it’s a growing passion of mine as I get older to stay clear of large, commercial chain stores that don’t deliver the quality that we all deserve. Maybe it’s just because I need to create or lead or chat or listen or watch or view or share.

There are many things said in this video that may resonate with you as well, no matter where you are in this world, no matter how far, I hope you are able to take something away from it that feeds your fiber soul.

Grab a tea, your spinning or knitting and enjoy!

 

#spin15aday News – The Reminder Issue ~ June 24, 2018

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The “Reminder” issue is out!

You can read it here if you are not signed up for the newsletter.

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