Family photo time!

For Christmas this year, my mom requested some family photos. Since it’s been so long since you’ve seen me that a couple of people mistook Cindy for me in the photos that I posted last week, I thought I’d post a couple of the pics:

The Girls Christmas 2010

That’s me in back on the left.

And here’s one of our little family:
Our Family Christmas 2010

And here are the girls together:
Mazie and Olive

While I (p)lay Dye-ing(?)

Sorry. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with titles!

what do we get?

While Cindy and I were dyeing our yarns, we took Olive and Mazie to the Farm and Ranch Museum. The spinning club (Southwest Regional Spinners) was helping to inaugurate the new goat and sheep barn by having a spin-out. Cindy has a really cute new spinning wheel and is hoping to figure out how to use it. So we thought we’d go and check out the group, and maybe figure out where / how to get lessons.

I’ve got a wheel, and I used to spin a lot. Before I moved to a place where it’s 100 degrees on a regular basis for about 75% of the year (fiber sticks to sweat!), had a baby who would put anything and everything within reach into her mouth, and then when she stopped doing that, had another one! Maya also just gave me another wheel & drum carder (!!) so I’ve been feeling like the Universe wants me to become a spinner.

(I thought this lady’s sweater was so cool! I really love the squash blossoms / waves / flames around the bottom! It really spices up the conservative gray main color.)

Don't feed! Even if you are wearing the coolest sweater ever.

Anyway, Mazie LOVES the Farm & Ranch museum. They have tons of animals and even a playground. They also have a blacksmith on duty (he made our fireplace tools!)

On the day we went, they had lots of sheepy crafts for the kids. Here, they had cut out black sheep and the kids wound loopy mohair around to make fluffy sheep (kind of a goat-sheep cross, I guess, due to the mohair!):
Cindy and Mazie

Here’s Mazie on the swings. There could be a circus going by with live elephants, ladies on horses, and a marching band. If there are swings, she’s swinging.
swinging

This picture shows the spinners in the background, but the main thing is this cart / covered wagon.
farmer cart Mazie wanted to move into this thing. She got in, took her boots off, and lay down on the bed.

boots off, even.

Since this post kind of focuses on Mazie (Olive was asleep in her Ergo) here’s a pic of Olive from earlier in the day. She’s so cute when she’s pouting!
Olive pouting

We never really got a definitive answer on the spinning lessons. It sounds like there are one or two people locally who teach at a couple of venues. One is called “My Place” and they offer lots of fibery classes. My mom took a weaving class there, and our friend Mary is learning to spin there. The word on the street is that it costs $5 an hour (Could that be right?) and you just bring your stuff, hunker down, and get help on whatever.

We’re kind of thinking that we need to just get together with our wheels first and see what we each know how to do. Then maybe try this drop-in class. We’ll let you know how it goes!

Dyeing Day: Using low-impact dyes and the crock pot

mixing

This actually happened a couple of weeks ago, but I have been too wrapped up in other things to sit down and do any blogging. There are weeks when I feel like writing every day, and then I go through some times when I just completely forget to write. Or, when my to-do list is too intense, I feel like every second I get to use the computer should be focused on WORK and not on BLOG.

My friend Cindy and I tend toward slight hoarding when it comes to yarn. We’re in a yarn club and sometimes we go a little nuts when there’s a Really Good Deal, either in the club or elsewhere. This time, we both bought undyed comes of Gaia from Henry’s Attic in a piggyback order that one of her friends made. I bought three cones, and I’m not sure that Cindy told me how many she ended up buying (maybe because it was a LOT?) :) Here’s the yarn that Cindy brought over, and I don’t think that this is her whole stash of undyed yarn:

loads of undyed yarn

Since Gaia is certified organic, we wanted to try to be at least a little bit eco-conscious when we dyed it, so we used the low-impact dyes from Pancake and LuLu on Etsy.

Our  low-impact dyes from pancake and lulu

We tried to be really scientific and weigh out the dye, and then use a certain percent solution to get the colors we wanted. This was really hard. My science brain should have kicked in here and helped us out, but I think that after so many years of intentionally keeping my two brains separate…it just didn’t work to try to force them together in this situation.

Here’s my aqua blue:
dark!
This came out so dark because at one point I thought I’d sprinkle a little red on top to see if I could get a little lavendar into my blue. That turned it a very ugly maroon, so I just started sprinkling random colors on. Here’s how it turned out in the end, which is fine:

How my dark batch came out

And my here’s soft pink:
Bright red
This is pretty much the color that it is dry, too. HOT HOT lava. Also fine with me! :)

I really love crockpot dyeing! We just put everything in and went off to have fun for a few hours. When we got back, the yarn was done and ready to be rinsed. (Never use your crockpot for food after dyeing, though!)

dyeing in the crockpots