Phat Fiber Video – June Dream Vacation!

The  Phat Fiber video is live.  I haven’t had the chance to watch it – I’m currently watching a movie with Darling Hubby, but you should check it out.  I’m sure it’s filled with all sorts of yummy fibery goodness and then get ready to visit the Phat Fiber site and get a box on Saturday morning!

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Phat Fiber – June 2015 – Dream Vacation

If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would it be?  If you are a fiber arts lover then come on over to Phat Fiber and join us on our dream vacations around the world!  Sample boxes will go on sale on Saturday June 27th following a preview video on Thursday or Friday.  I’ll share the video here on the blog as soon as it is released.

If you would like a sneak peek as to where I dream of going on vacation, I present to you Colorado Echoes.

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This newest colorway is inspired by the photo I took in June of 2013 of Echo Lake, Colorado while driving to the top of Mount Evans (14000+ feet elevation) with my fellow fiber artist, Barbara of Kitty Mine Crafts (go check out her Dream Vacation colorway – Versailles, which will be released soon).  Don’t you just love the blue sky reflected in the water, the greens of the pines, and the crisp whiteness of the snow capped silver mountains?  It’s so peaceful and serene.  This is nature at its most beautiful and this colorway echoes what I love about Colorado.

Currently, Colorado Echoes is dyed on Panda sock yarn (a blend of SW merino/Bamboo/Nylon), but it can be dyed on any fiber base or yarn weight/base I can obtain.   Just contact me for information and I’ll see what I can do for you!

Colorado Echoes will go on sale in my etsy shop on June 25th.  Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and right here on this blog for release announcement and shop updates!

Branching Out

I’ve decided to branch out and try a new site for selling my handmade stuff.  I’m giving Big Cartel a shot as I’m not sure I’m on board with all the changes that have been happening over on Etsy.  Things were great until they opened it up to the wholesalers and the people who can sell “handmade” items that they bought for pennies from China.  Makes it hard for people who actually put time and effort into making their items to sell and make money when others can offer the same thing for cheap.

Anyway, here’s my new shop.  Sarandipity Handmade.  I’m still going to use Etsy for a while, but I’m just testing the waters.  Several of my friends have made the move over to Big Cartel and love it, so I’m hoping I (and you) will, too.

My first listing on BC is for my newest handspun yarn – Lollipop Guild.  This is spun from a braid of Organic Polwarth that I dyed with bright green, purple, red and brown.  It’s a 3 ply, navajo ply and approximately a worsted weight/heavy weight.  There are 2 skeins of this and you get both (I had to split it because my bobbins are small and I can’t fit all 4 oz on at one time).  There is a total of 124 yards and 4oz/119g.  I just love the fun colors of this yarn and hope you will, too.2015-05-22 17.05.56A

I’m also hoping that I’ll have more time to start blogging again, so watch this space for more shop updates and more crafty stuff.  I’ve got some things planned that I want to work on for the upcoming Madison Street Fair in September so I’m hoping to blog about that, too.

Shop/Craft Update – Let’s Get This Blog Going Again!

I really suck at this blogging thing…with the end of school and the summer having the boys home I just never found a quiet moment to sit and type.  I’ve had ideas floating through my brain for what I could write about, but never put my fingers to the keyboard.  With school starting back up this Thursday I’ll have the house to myself for almost 6 hours a day!  Yay for peace and quiet!  

I still have my normal housework to attend to, but I’m sure without someone underfoot or needing me to do something or help with something I can get it all done fairly quickly.  I also plan on working on my shop/stock, advertising, and my crafting/spinning.

I currently have 3 knitting projects in the works.  The first is a hat, following this Cabled Dad Hat pattern, worked in Premier Yarns Alpaca Dance.  It’s a lovely silver color (silver fog) and is super soft.  It has a slight aura to it as well.  I’m 4 repeats into the first chart.  I’m not sure if I’m going to keep it or not.  I haven’t decided just yet.

The second pattern I’m working on is for 4 year old Fidget.  I’m making him a new pair of socks.  I’d planned to get it done before he starts school – he’s going into Pre-k this year – but I just didn’t get it in progress in time.  I finished the first sock today and with a little luck I can get them finished by next week. 

The last thing I’m working on is a shawl.  I’m actually using my own handspun for this project.  It’s a mix of corriedale, finn, and rambouillet cross spun into a laceweight singles yarn.  I called the colorway Little House on the Prairie because it’s a brownish green mix that reminded me of the cabin and the fields from the old 1970’s TV show.  I just finished watching the 3rd season on dvd with the intention of watching the rest when I get around to checking them out from the library.  The shawl is knitting up very nicely, using this Swallowtail Shawl pattern.  I think I made a mistake in the last row that I worked, but thankfully I put in a lifeline strand so hopefully I won’t lose too much of my work when I “tink” it back.  

As for my shop I’ve done some new colorways that I’m really proud of.  My favorite so far is Laetiporus, which was inspired by an awesome shelf fungus that I found in the woods at my parents house.  You are probably thinking, “Eewww!  A Fungus!  That’s disgusting!”  That’s where I think you are wrong…just look at this amazing, bright color that was created by nature.  

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Here is the colorway that I created.  This is dyed on a Merino/Firestar blend (85/15), this bright colorway closely matches the inspiration photo and sparkles slightly like it’s dew covered!  Click the image for the etsy listing.

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I’ve also been spinning, too.  I recently finished up an amazing faux cashmere handspun from fiber that I dyed myself.  This bright colorway is called Neon Lights and is available in my Etsy Shop.  This has all the amazing softness of cashmere without the high ticket price of the real thing!  

A2014-08-01 11.27.25Well, it’s almost bedtime for the boys.  Hopefully this post won’t be the last one for another 5 months.  I really do have plans to update this blog more often.  I may even try to offer photo or video tutorials.  

 

New Yarn in the Shop!

I’ve decided I’m going to merge my shop blog and this blog since I tend to write about crafty things in my life here anyway.  Since that includes my etsy shop, I figured it would be perfect for Sarandipity’s Craft Room.  🙂

On to the yarny goodness!  If you’ve read my blog in the last month or so, you might have seen these yarns before.  They were spun up as part of Ravellenics this year.  I’ve decided to put them up for sale so others can enjoy the beautiful colors and make beautiful things with them.

First up is X’s & O’s.  There are 2 skeins of this yarn, both 2oz and approximately 64 yards.  Worsted weight with approx 10 WPI (wraps per inch).  Both are up on etsy at $15.50 each plus shipping (NYS residents add tax).  Click the photo to go to the listing.

X's & O's

X’s & O’s

Next up is a First on Facebook Friday Sale – I like to offer some of my yarns for sale before they go up on etsy.   This week I’m offering Chocolate-dipped Berries.  This yarn looks good enough to eat.  It’s spun from a mix of Finn, Corriedale and Rambouillet Cross wool.  It is Navajo or Chain plied resulting in a worsted weight 3 ply yarn.  There are 128 yards at 3.2oz.   Just look at those gorgeous colors!  Lots of reds/pinks, purplish blues and shades of brown.  This is available for 23.50 + Shipping (NYS Residents add tax.)  Click the image to hop over to my facebook page and comment with an email address where I can send a paypal invoice.

EDITED: Chocolate Dipped Berries is now available via etsy.  Please click on the photo to be taken to the listing.  Look for future First on Facebook Fridays.

Chocolate-dipped Berries

Chocolate-dipped Berries

Also, my Luck of the Irish sale is on until midnight  tonight 3/21/14 (EST).  Just enter code IRISHLUCK and receive 10% off a $10+ purchase.  That goes for the First on Facebook Friday Sale, too!  EDITED: SALE HAS ENDED.  Look for future coupons and sales here, facebook and twitter.

2012 Ups and Downs

2012 is over and done.  It wasn’t a bad year.  Lots of good things happened with the bad and I’m thankful for all of it.

Probably the biggest thing that happened was figuring out my soy allergy/sensitivity.  Call it what you will, but I’ve been doing fantastically since cutting out every last little bit of the nasty substance.  Only once in a blue moon (I’m talking really only once every 2-3 months) will I have an episode and only after eating things that I know I shouldn’t eat!   I’m really glad that Darling Hubby was able to figure it out and that it wasn’t milk.  Despite the friendships I lost during the whole brouhaha, I feel I’m better for having the whole thing happen.  I’m feeling better overall.  I don’t wake up feeling like crap every morning and don’t go to sleep in pain every night.  And, it was all because I simply changed my diet.  Who’d have thunk it?

Another good thing that happened was that I learned how to knit socks.  I’ve made 14 pairs of socks since the start of March.  They are all pretty simple socks, but I love them simple. I’m not a real fancy lace and pattern girl.  I even challenged myself to do some unusually constructed socks like the carousel socks and the sideways socks.  Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the Owlie socks my friend Barbara and I started as a knit along.  I just had a bunch of other projects come up that took precedence.   I wear a knitted pair of socks practically every day and most members of my family have received a pair of socks at some point.  The only one who hasn’t is Fidget…

Another good (and bad) thing was that I opened my own shop on Etsy.  It’s been open since April and I’ve only had one online sale and that was a custom order for a friend…but, the recipient of that custom order Cthulhu hat is delighted with it, so that’s what really matters.  I will admit that most of my sales have been off etsy to friends or at the craft fair I did in September with some of the girls from the library knitting group.  I made 3 blankets for a friend from back home for her to give for Christmas gifts.  I also made another blanket for someone at the knitting group at the public library after she fell in love with one of the 3 that I made.  I haven’t had much time to do my own knitting lately because I’ve been doing projects for the shop.  I’m still excited to have the shop open…I’m just a little disappointed that it hasn’t done as well as I’d hoped.

Another good thing is that I went to Rhinebeck for the first time for the Sheep and Wool Festival.  It’s where I got bitten by the spinning bug.  I came home with a drop spindle and taught myself to spin yarn on it.  Of course I couldn’t just stop with that.  I’ve fallen in love with wheel spinning.  I’ve been getting better by leaps and bounds and just learned how to Navajo ply and I might even list this most recent yarn in my etsy shop (if I can talk myself out of keeping it!)  I’m hoping to save up enough money to buy my own wheel at some point.  I’ve tried a Kromski Sonota and an Ashford Kiwi and so far I really like the Kiwi, despite the nasty creak that it has in one of the treadles.  But, I’ve heard that Ashfords have a tendency to creak…lol

The bad was, thankfully, few and far between.  Things didn’t really start to get bad until November, which seems to be a pretty crappy month for many people.  Darling Hubby was off for the week of Thanksgiving and we woke up that Monday to a very cold house.  Despite the fact that the furnace was running all the radiators were stone cold.  Turns out the circulator pump blew and a day of waiting for the technician to come to fix it and $700 later we had a warm house.  Thankfully we have the wood fireplace for back-up warmth…then, Darling Hubby had to have his car inspected and that needed $400 worth of work…so in 2 days we’d spent over $1100…and we hadn’t even started to buy Christmas presents.

Probably the worst and absolute last thing that happened in 2012 was that on New Years Eve around 9:30 pm, our little dog Spiral passed away peacefully in her box.  It’s something that we’ve been expecting could happen at any time due to her age and health, but it was pretty sudden how it happened.  Literally it was she was alive one minute and gone the next.

We came home early from a New Years party, Darling Hubby walked the dogs and I started ushering the kids upstairs.  I filled the dogs water bowl (both dogs were happy and dancing around) and headed upstairs to do the bedtime routine while Darling Hubby went out to plow out the bottom of the driveway, thanks to not 1, but 2 plows coming through right after we got home.  Anyway, Fidget left his new Buzz Lightyear downstairs and wanted to sleep with it, so I went down to get it.  I noticed Spiral was laying with her nose down in the blanket and not on her paws like normal and I got no response when I called her name.  I’d seriously only been upstairs 10 minutes.

It came as a complete shock to both me and Darling Hubby as to how sudden it was, but like I said it was expected.  We’d had her for over 9 years and she was estimated to be around 2 when we adopted her.  She had bad teeth and a severe heart murmur that had progressed into congestive heart failure where she was constantly coughing, but she was still active, ate well and seemed happy.  I’m thankful that she seemed to go peacefully and that she’s in a better place and has hopefully been reunited with her best friend, Grace, who passed away nearly 2 years ago.

So, the bulk of 2012 was good (oh, and I should add that we didn’t die in the apocalypse that didn’t happen!)  I can only hope that 2013 is even better!

My First Homespun Yarn

In my Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival post I wrote about buying a Turkish Drop Spindle and some fiber with plans to learn to spin.  Since then I have been working a little here and there when I find a few minutes to give it a try.

I’ll admit that it’s not as easy as it looks…sometimes I feel like I need a 3rd hand, but it’s given me an appreciation for the art and a desire to branch out.

Now, I’m proud to present my first ever handspun yarn made with the batt from Loop Fiber Studio which is a mix of merino, bamboo, tussah silk and angelina that I purchased at Rhinebeck.  This skein weighs about 19gram (.6oz) (yes, it’s tiny, but it was just for practice) and is thick and thin in places.  I’ve been told that if it wasn’t my very first attempt at spinning it might be worthy of selling in my Etsy Shop as an art yarn.

 

I love the colors.  Different shades of blue and green with some blue sparkly tinsel randomly throughout.

 

It’s kinda of an arty type yarn with lots of sections of thick and thin spots.

 

Since I’m not a properly outfitted spinner, I didn’t have what’s called a Niddy Noddy for winding up the newly spun yarn into a skein…Since I’m crafty, I made my own temporary one out of  some string, 2 rulers and a tube from a roll of paper towels.  lol  Well, it was just a quickly thrown together things and I put the towel roll on as an end…I should have put the tube in the middle as it didn’t survive, but it worked and served a brief purpose before being put out for recycling.  In hindsight I probably could have just used one of my dining room chairs.  lol

 

 

I’m excited to try my hand at a different type of wool, some unidentified pinkish wool that my awesome spinning friend Barbara of Kitty Mine Crafts (yes, go check out all her awesome spun yarn and wool fibers!) sent to me to practice with.

My next adventure will be learning how to spin on a spinning wheel.  I’ve been doing some research lately and I’m going to check out a Kromski Minstrel and Kromski Prelude at The Spinning Room in nearby Altamont this weekend.  I’m kinda excited, but I’m not getting my hopes up on getting one soon since they are super super expensive, nearly $600 for the Minstrel which just based on the specifications is the one I’d most like to have.  Maybe Santa will be super kind to me.  🙂