Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Christmas Tale

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (or whatever it is that you celebrate).

So let me weave a little story for you...it may seem like I'm making some of this up, but I assure you, everything I'm about to tell you is 100% fact. No embellishment.

We have this "friend", we'll call him 'Bob'. Bob, a few years ago, had some sort of brain event. I want to say it was a stroke, but I am not completely sure on that. Whatever it was, left him not running on all cylinders. Physically, he looks and moves like a man of his age and stature (maybe a little slower than he would have - I'd guess he's about 55 or so), but the change is that he's completely lost his social graces.

For instance, last year, he'd invited himself to our family Christmas dinner. No huge deal as the poor man has 2 children, neither of which invited him to their own family dinner. We are glad to have him, because no one should be alone and lonely on Christmas...but yes, he invited himself. People were called in for dinner, and as we all fussed about who needs to sit where, Bob had dug in and started eating. I'm pretty sure he was about half done by the time everyone sat down for grace. After dinner, we opened our gifts, and my Dad had given him a Hillshire Farms basket (I think it was smoked meat, spread, cheese and crackers - a nice gift). Bob took one look at it and announced, quite loudly, "I don't want this." My Dad (probably a little embarrassed) said that he could take it and give it to someone else if he couldn't use it. Bob pushed it away and said, "No". Alrighty, so we awkwardly moved on with our gift exchange, in the middle of which Bob stated that he was ready to go home. My Dad explained to him that we were opening our gifts, and that he'd drive him home in about 20 minutes. "I want to go home now," Bob lamented.

So we put gift exchange on hold and my Dad drove him home.

Fast forward to this Christmas. He'd invited himself again, and we all discussed what sort of stories we'd be able to tell by the end of the night. No one guessed. Not even close.

Bob arrives, about an hour early. He'd walked, and when he was part way to our house, it'd started spitting out. That's a light rain for those who don't understand...I thought that everyone used that phrase, but I'd been made fun of in the past by some of my US friends, so I thought I'd explain. I digress.

Bob walks in, and he's visibly upset. Myself, my Dad, and my two cousins who weren't around last year for the "Bob Experience" but that had been warned, were all in the kitchen at the time.

My Dad asks how his walk over was, being polite. Bob sighs very loudly and says that it was fine until the "downpour" when he was half way to our house, and that made his pants wet. His frustration is understandable, I, too hate having wet pants.

He exclaimed that he "just needed to get them dry" and...no word of a lie...started for his belt. Right there in the kitchen. My Dad said, "Just give me a sec and I'll drive you home." Bob didn't understand why my Dad wanted to drive him home, he'd just gotten there. My cousin clarified that my Dad was going to drive him home so he could change his trousers.

Bob wouldn't hear of that. He said that he was just going to throw his pants in the dryer. Thank goodness my back was to him and I had an excuse to keep my hands busy because I was DYING. I was biting my cheek so hard that it was bleeding.

"Bob, you can't just take your pants off at the party!" my Dad laughs, trying to keep it light.

"Do you have a robe?" Bob asks.

*blink*

I had to stick my head in the oven and "check the turkey" because I just couldn't keep it together. My Dad insisted on taking him back to his house (thank goodness) and walked him to the door to get him to put his galoshes and coat back on. The second they walked out the door, the entire kitchen erupted into ridiculous laughter.

Yup. Typical Christmas at my Dad's.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hmm...

You know when you're laying in bed, waiting for sleep to come, and you get the greatest ideas? Then, of course, you're certain you will remember them so there's no need to get up and get a piece of paper...and when you wake up, they are gone?

Yeah, that's where I am right now.

My idea was to move this blog away from the shop and more into, well, a blog...a bit of an online journal where I can share things about my life, which some might say is quite interesting. I always seem to have something weird going on. Hopefully it will entertain someone out there...if not, my loving Mother is one of my followers. She'll always pat me on the back and tell me I'm special.

So what am I up to today? Baking, working, and taking care of Quinn. If you don't know me, you'll learn all about Quinn and what I do as a job, but for this first post of the "new leaf" I will share an odd thing about me. Sadly for you, it deals with the bathroom.

Maybe reading this strange tidbit of information, you will be intrigued enough to want to follow me, to check in from time to time and see what sort of shenanigans I've gotten myself involved in. In subsequent posts, I'll introduce myself and aspects of my life so that you may actually feel like you have known me for years.

I realize I'm probably setting myself up for embarrassment but if there's ever anything you want to know, ask. You may get way too much information, but that's the beauty of blogs, right?

Odd fact #1:
Up until recently, I have not been able to go to the bathroom (I'm talking #2) with the light on. And my cat has to be in there with me. Let me explain further. The light thing stems from those stupid shows that expose perverts that install cameras in bathrooms. At the time this little quirk started, I was living in an apartment in North Carolina. We'd moved onto the floor and only one other apartment of the total of 4 on our floor was occupied, by a really, really creepy guy. I swear I heard someone up in the attic a number of times, and noticed a vent facing the toilet in the main bathroom. That was enough to make me want to turn off the light.

For what it's worth, there was also a perfectly drilled hole in the one bedroom right over where a bed would be. Nothing had ever been screwed into this hole and it wasn't in a place where one would hang a plant or anything anyway. I put masking tape over that hole.

If I left the light on, I'd be all worried that someone was watching me, and wouldn't be able to relax enough to do what I needed to do. Ok, so a sane person would have just opened the grate and looked for a camera, but whatever. I'm not a paranoid person in general, just when it came to that.

The cat thing, that's not for me, it's for her. If I close the door, she scratches and yelps until I let her in. Not relaxing at all...and in the above mentioned bathroom, the door was clear on the other side of the room. Not a good situation.

So, when I walk into the bathroom to do my thang, I call the cat.

There you go. I like to think of myself as quirky rather than frickin insane, but I'm sure, over time, you'll come to the conclusion that there really isn't much difference between the two phrases.

Off to bake cookies. Don't worry, I'll wash my hands first.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Giveaway Prize Pack

Munchkin Punchkin Prize Pack

Congrats to Julee (Steelespun)!

Pumpkinhaus (http://pumpkinhaus.etsy.com) batt, mini batt and locks, Bobbins 'N Threads (http://bobbinsnthreads.etsy.com) Spinning Lap Cover/Drawstring Bag and Grab 'N Go Triangle Bag, Gift Certificates from Munchkin Punchkin and Stitched By JessaLu (http://www.artfire.com/users/jessalu), hand cream, candy sticks and the best finishing needles ever made.

Friday, November 13, 2009

And, we have a winner!!

The winner is...

*drum roll*

STEELESPUN!

Send me your mailing address :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Questionnaire

A friend of mine sent this out to a bunch of her fiber fanatics, so I thought I'd update the blog with the answers to my questionnaire.

Before I do so, I have good news. Don's able to come home tomorrow and Quinn and I can't wait! For those who don't know, last Monday he was diagnosed (and tested but not confirmed) with H1N1 due to the symptoms that he'd been experiencing for a couple of days to that point. He was immediately ordered to quarantine himself from the baby and I and it's been one of the longest weeks of my life. Seriously. I'll be very glad to have him back home, where he belongs :)

Onto the questions!

1. How long have you been spinning? What skill level do you consider yourself?

Picked up the drop spindle for the first time in April 2009, wheel purchased May 30, 2009...I'd consider myself an intermediate spinner.

2. What kinds of yarn do you create (singles/2-ply/3-ply/art yarn)?
Singles and 2 ply. I've done a few 3 ply and N-ply. Not much of an "art yarn" fan. I can respect the beauty of it, but my taste in finished projects lend more toward the more traditional handspuns.

3. What do you spin with (spindle/wheel/both)?
I have a drop spindle, but don't use it since I purchased my wheel.

4. What are your favorite fibers to spin with? Anything you don't like?
Gosh...I love soft stuff, but am not big on the slippery and sparkly stuff. Bamboo and silk and I aren't friends. I like merino (superwash and untreated), BFL, Corriedale, love alpaca. A little glitz for effect is ok...I just don't love the super sparkly stuff. Mostly because I have a little guy who puts everything in his mouth, and angelina/firestar gets everywhere. Also, I have a new obsession with sock yarn.

5. Who are your favorite fiber sources (etsy or otherwise)?
Where to begin? I love Pumpkinhaus because her stuff is so awesome. Knit it Up has the most incredibly soft merino I have ever felt in my life (she must have some magical fairie dust or something!), and Into the Whirled designs batts that make my head spin. There are so many to name, but those are the three whose sites I frequent the most.

6. What kind of fiber do you want to try?
Quiviut.

7. Are there any techniques you would like to learn?
I'm sure there are...I guess I'd like to master tailspinning since I have 3 bags of Icelandic from Extreme Spinning that I've wanted to make into a lion's mane scarf.

8. Do you dye fiber? If not, would you like to learn?
I'm a dyer.

9. Do you have fiber prep tools (and like to use them) or would you prefer ready to spin fiber?
I need hand cards, and a drum carder. Anyone?? I guess I prefer ready to spin.

10. What do you do with your handspun? What projects have you completed?
Right now, I display it in my workshop. I'd love to make things out of a few of my handspuns. Currently, I'm knitting a scarf/cowl from 2 ply handspun alpaca for a gift. I've made a couple of hats from my handspun as well.

11. Are you in need of any spinning gadgets (WPI Gauge, threading hook, etc)?
I love gadgets, but I think I have everything I need currently.

12. What colors "fall into your shopping basket"? Any colors you just can't stand?

I'm a sucker for rainbows and turquoise, but am open to pretty much anything.

13. What is on your wheel/spindle right now?
Cripes, it's been so long since I've had a chance to spin. Probably some alpaca from my favourite local farm, Brier Run Alpacas, that I spun during their Open House. Also, a lap cloth from Bobbins N Threads.

14. What other crafts/hobbies do you have?

Besides my day job (design and e-marketing), being a Mom to one year old Quinn, running the boxing club and dyeing and knitting, there really isn't much time for anything else. Maybe I should take up sleeping?

15. Other than crafts, what are you passionate about?

My family.

16. Do you have an online wishlist?
No

17. Is there anything that you collect?
Bills? Haha, ok, I kid (sort of). Just wool and fiber. I have a thing for sock yarn lately. Only stuff that can be machine washed though. I am not into fussy things like having to hand wash items that I'd wear often.

18. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What magazine subscriptions do you have?
I love patterns! I get that Ashford magazine...I look at the magazines on the rack at the store but rarely buy them. Don't ask me why! There are some awesome patterns in them.

19. When is your birthday?
May 25

20. What book or movie character do you most resemble in personality?
I used to look like Molly Parker (Canadian actress, so a friend of hers said, and a couple of people in the movie theatre), but personality wise, I'm not sure. Someone sassy and iimpatient?

21. What is the climate like where you live around this time?
Right now, it's cool. 50s.

22. Tell us one weird fact about yourself!
I used to work with birds of prey, training them to sit on the glove during public presentations. I was also the summer camp director, curriculum specialist, and educator. For someone who is ridiculously stage afraid, speaking in front of hundreds of people with an owl, hawk or falcon on my glove made me feel invincible.

Favorites

favorite painting/picture(link):

No idea...I really like Mucha.

Candy:
Turtles (anything with chocolate, caramel and pecans is aces in my book!)

Food:
Thai

Drink:
Coke

Movie(s):
Legend, Supertroopers, 40 Year Old Virgin, Wedding Crashers, Stick It

TV Show(s):
Lost, Fringe, Fast Forward, Hells Kitchen

Book(s):
I don't read much these days, but I love Celtic historically based fantasy type books and books about birds of prey line my shelves.

Guilty Pleasure(s):
Fibre hoarding :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Giveaway Details

The October Phat Fiber box is on its way to lucky purchasers and inside many of those boxes is a card announcing our GIVEAWAY!

What's the prize, you ask?
A $20 gift certificate that can be used at Munchkin Punchkin, a spinner's lap cover (that doubles as a drawstring bag!) and triangle bag from Bobbins n Threads, a coupon for $5 OFF one Stitched by JessaLu Box Bag/Knitting Project Bag, and a little something from Pumpkinhaus.

Also included, are a couple of things that I love, including the best wool needles (for finishing projects) that I have ever seen, and some treats.

Want to know how to get in on this giveaway?

It's easy! Everyone who is a member of our Ravelry group, Twitter, or Blogger is eligible! Join all three, and you have three chances to win! Want a fourth chance to win? Add us to your favorites on Etsy!

Place an order with us between now and November 13th, and get yourself TWO extra ballots! What could be easier?

Drawing will take place on November 13th, 2009 and the winner will be announced right here on our Blog!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update and GIVEAWAY!!

It's been busy in Munchkin Punchkin Land! Being a "full time and then some" WAHM and helping to run our boxing club, as well as running Munchkin Punchkin makes very little "family time". We remedied that yesterday when we both took a day off everything and brought Quinn to Monkey Town.

Monkey Town is this awesome indoor playground and it has lots of soft play areas, jungle gyms, a toddler roller coaster, dramatic play areas...it's just an incredible place to bring your kid when it's overcast or too cold to play outside.





We are mourning the passing of a dear Uncle this Thanksgiving, so that put a bit of a dark cloud on the day off, as well as my concern for a cousin in the hospital, but watching Quinn have so much fun really helped.

In other news, I'm taking on the whole "sock knitting" thing (in all that free time I have, haha), and have taught myself Magic Loop, am working through one of Cookie A's patterns, and using a Flat Feet blank.

The verdict? Magic Loop is TEH WIN! It's a little finicky but it's so much easier than multiple DPNs and I haven't had stitches go flying off my needles yet. Cookie's pattern is easy to read, and I love the learning format of this book. One day I'd love to design socks. She makes me feel like I can! The Flat Feet wool is good...it's convenient to not have a ball to chase after but the kinkiness of the wool when unravelling it makes it a little hard to handle the way that I hold my yarn. It's knitting up beautifully, no sign of kinks or anything, it's just in the handling of it between the blank and the knitting.

So we have a little giveaway coming up...keep your eyes open for the information in the October Phat Fiber box! Details will be posted here soon. I'm very excited about this giveaway!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wow...gorgeous much?

Want to win this?



A collaboration between Into The Whirled (my FAVORITE batt designer) and Stitched by JessaLu, they are giving away a 4oz 56’s Falkland Wool batt and a coordinated bag.



There are lots of ways to enter. I love those kind of giveaways!

Just be sure to mention my name (MunchkinPunchkin/Jacy) if you are lead there by me. That gives me extra entries!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rainy Tuesday

Why is it that the Tuesday after a holiday Monday feels so much like a Monday? I worked yesterday so it should have felt like a Monday, but today is just "one of those days".

But no matter how frustrating my day becomes, I just look around my office and see this face, and everything is a-ok :)



I've been trying to stay on top of my dyeing...the September Phat Fiber box is coming up and I am hoping to have some fun things in my shoppe.

Just finished "Harvest Gold", 100g of fingering weight 80/20 SW Merino/Nylon sock yarn in gorgeous royal purple and lavish gold.

Harvest Gold Mosaic

It will be listed in the Shoppe tonight or tomorrow. I have another Socky yarn drying right now. That one is going to be difficult to list, admittedly. I really, really love it.

Stay tuned for a sneak peek!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Belated Update

Work's been kind of crazy so I haven't been able to update as much as I probably should.

Today, we spent a wonderful "family day" together and had lunch, ran some errands, found an awesome "safe" toy store (which is also a teacher's store which = love) and got Quinn a rubber ball, a little wooden car that he's currently slamming on everything, and two touchy feely books for the car (so they are OMGFUNNEW! when we go out for dinner), got Don some shoes which were (SURPRISE!) on sale, and we stopped at Chapters (which is dangerous for both of us) and I picked up Sock Innovation by Cookie A. I've heard so much about this book, and I've been interested in tackling socks lately, so I figured it was time. I'm excited!

Got home and had an email in my inbox that someone had purchased Goth Lipstick. This made me smile. A lot. Out of all of the things in my store, that hand painted yarn is my favourite. I'm glad that someone loves it as much as I do. I think it was the one item in my shoppe that got the most hearts. I'll have to make some more. I'm putting in a base yarn order shortly, so there should probably be a return of that colorway.

I was trying to dye something for the Phat Fiber box but it went horribly wrong...except it didn't. Guess you'll have to wait and see what comes of it. I was disappointed at first because things didn't work out as I wanted them to but it's kind of turned into something really neat. I'll have some "Briar Rose and the Little Prick" and this new one in the shoppe around box drop time. I want to get my stuff out to both the fiber lovers and the yarn lovers, so I'm sending some roving and some handspun, as well as a few goodies so I can announce my shoppe's opening.

I have a few more things to add to the shoppe but tonight I am going to wrap up some work and spend some time with the boys. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

And, we're back!

Busy night tonight but I wanted to announce that the Munchkin Punchkin shoppe is back online.

Watch for updates!

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Store Closes Before it Really Ever Opens

My heart breaks to admit that I have decided to close my Etsy store before it's even had its Grand Opening. All the Phat Fiber goodies that my Mom finished, all the samples sitting in a box in the hall, all the nekked fiber...it's finished.

I have always envied the people who post updates on Twitter (what seems like every hour some days) about the stuff they just finished dyeing. These people obviously don't have jobs (outside of dyeing and selling their goods - which, admittedly, is a full time job), or young children. I see people Tweet that live on farms where they work their butts off to maintain their animals and sell what they grow, which makes me jealous...

Truth is, I love my life. I love my son...he is the sunshine in my day (even when he's losing his mind), and I love the fact that I have the luxury of working from home so I can watch him grow and don't have to drop him off at someone's house while I work away from the house.

But on days like yesterday, and they come more frequently as he gets older, when he needs my attention, my work gets put aside. Unfortunately, I still have deadlines and that means I work when he naps (which was a total of an hour yesterday) or in the evenings when his Dad gets home, or on weekends when most families spend time together. That leaves me time to dye at about 1130 at night...and when I finally get to bed and nod off, it seems, Quinn is wanting to get up for one reason or another.

Something's got to give.

My house is a mess...we are trying to sort out what we need to do to sell it. Painting is going to be a big thing, and I have no idea when that's going to take place. Lots of little, everyday things just don't get done (like dinner making) because I'm either having to entertain Quinn or I'm trying to get something done for work. Or, I'm just too damned tired.

Don has headed into busy season with work and he'll be gone away some, he's gone during the day for work and is away leading boxing 3 days a week for a few hours...and boxing season begins in a few short weeks (and it seems like it *just* ended - where did the summer go?) which means that Don will be gone most weekends because he has to get fights for our boxers.

Quinn is getting bigger by the day, and I don't want to look back and regret not spending as much time as possible with him before he gets to the stage where he would much rather just lock himself in his room and irritate me with his horrible choice in music. As he gets older, he'll have things he's involved in which is going to mean me shuffling my schedule, and if there's no leeway, there's no way it's going to happen.

Taking care of him, working from home, trying to run the household, and helping with the boxing club is plenty work for anyone. My priority is caring for Quinn and making sure I'm able to help pay the bills. If I can squeeze some time in there to spin for myself, I'm happy. There's just not enough time to add another job description, kwim?

So I need to say "when". I loved the idea of having a shoppe, and loved dyeing for the shoppe. I even loved listing and promoting for the shoppe and I'll be very sad to see it go, but I have the sense to realize that I'm just too busy and know that something's got to give.

Thanks for all the support you've given me, the encouragement, the advice...I really do appreciate it.

- Jacy

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pending Shop Updates

I dyed a gorgeous rainbow shetland roving which will be difficult to list in the store (because I'd much rather just spin it up myself!) It's still drying so it will be listed in the next couple of days.

Have some knit up swatch examples of Goth Lipstick and a dip dyed yarn that's about to be posted (just have to photograph the skein).

Goth Lipstick

8 Ball, Corner Pocket

Also listed a 90% Wool, 10% Mohair blend that I purchased from Natchwoolie and dyed a couple of days ago. I love the way the mohair is this beautiful, shiny and wavy strip alongside the lofty wool.

Blue Hydrangea

Blue Hydrangea

Busy, Busy, Busy

Yesterday we had an awesome day at Niagara Falls. Munchkin Punchkin had fun while we were there, but the ride home was a little bit difficult. I am sure he can't wait to be able to see out the windows. Then, maybe, longer trips won't be such a bother.

I hand carded 2 oz of Merino/Cashmere in the sunniest colour I could muster. I called it "Sunshiny Day" and it was a custom order for my Mom.

Sunshiny Day

I also wanted to share a swatch of "Briar Rose and the Little Prick"...the sample we're sending in for the September Phat Fiber box.

Briar Rose and the Little Prick

I love the way the "blood stains" go a nice coppery colour once spun up. It's so soft and easy to spin, this Merino/Nylon blend!

I have a 4oz bit of shetland in the steamer right now and it's about time to turn it off and let it cool for the night.

I hear my bed calling me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Two Shoppe Adds

Alright! It's been a little tougher than I thought to upload two of the many things that need to be added to the Etsy shop but I present to you the first two items in the Munchkin Punchkin store...

Goth Lipstick

New Moon: Complete

462 yds (100g) of fingering weight yarn in red dip dyed with black. The red run is about 33" long and the black around 42", each fading into the other.




Briar Rose and the Little Prick

Briar Rose and the Little Prick

Get your mind out of the gutter! Sleeping Beauty's name was "Briar Rose"! This colourway features a peaceful blue sky base periodically interrupted by blood hued spots. (Get it now??)

This is a sneak peek at what we will be contributing to the September Phat Fiber box.

This 4 oz. roving is made from 75% Superwash Merino and 25% Nylon.

While I was posting this on Ravelry, *someone* ordered the Briar Rose roving. So I'm back to having only one item in the shop! Not that I'm complaining, haha. We're off to buy more fibre today! I'm sure we'll be updating again very soon!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mood Ring SW Merino

So I dyed my first roving two nights ago...I named it Mood Ring because it has shades of turquoise and green, just like my favourite mood ring from high school. I had no intention of selling it in the shoppe as soon as I saw it. I just HAD TO spin it!

A 4oz roving spun up to 198 yds 2 ply.Mood Ring Handspun

Mood Ring Roving

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tears of Joy

Quinn just took two unassisted steps. He did it last night for Don (while I was cooking dinner) but tonight he did it 3 times in front of me. He's way too young for that!

I finished my spinning for the Tour de Fleece today. It was made up of mill ends that weren't even good enough to be sold as mill ends that I got for free. I think it looks great and am considering buying more mill ends in those colours to make a whole proper hank of it.

3ply sw merino

I also finished my first roving dye job. It's 8oz of superwash merino in shades of lemon, lime and turquoise. I call it "Mood Ring" because it reminds me of a ring I used to have. I can't wait to spin it.

Mood Ring by Munchkin Punchkin

Rainy Day Update

Busy, busy, busy with work, but wanted to update before I forgot all the fun stuff I want to talk about.

  • Updated the look of the blog using a free template. There are a bunch of things I want to adjust, and I will (when I have more time).

  • Spun up some of the Camel Top I bought. Couldn't figure out why the heck it was so rough, like sisal. Then I *read* the bag and realized I have 2 bags full of Low Camel Top, which is basically just stiff hairs in a roving. Great for a rug, if that was my intention. Maybe I'll list it in the shoppe later. I'm sure someone can use it.

  • Took Munchkin Punchkin out to play in the rain this morning. He was still in his sleeper, and I was going to have to change him and wash it anyway...why not let it get wet? It's important to us that he enjoys the outdoors, and what better way to foster a healthy love for all types of weather then to go out and play in it? He had fun splashing around on the deck, but it is unseasonably cool and I didn't want him to catch a chill. We came in and I dried him off and changed him into warm clothes, and he spend the next 20 minutes "telling" his toys how much fun he had. At least I think that's what he was saying.

  • I've been invited, by a lovely member of a local guild, to spin at the John R. Park Homestead in August for the Blueberry Festival. I don't have all the details, but thankfully we are free so Don can bring Quinn out and I can spend the day spinning my brains out. That was good news.

  • Tour Update: I'm currently spinning some random blobs of roving. Really, that's what it is, just blobs. It's like mill ends that are so messed up they can't even be sold as mill ends plus discount. I plan to spin something awesome with them. Stay tuned...if I can find time to spin today and tomorrow.

  • And finally, perhaps the most exciting of my news, I dyed my first roving last night. I decided to dye the superwash merino to limit my risk of messing it up too badly. With Don's help, I chose turquoise, chartreuse and yellow and it's currently drying. Roving all wet looks like a horrid clumpy mess. I can't wait for it to dry so I can fluff it back up a bit and photograph it! It was pretty labour intensive, since I have limited space and don't have everything in one spot (can't wait to have a workshop!) but I did it. And I'm damned proud of myself. We'll see how it worked out and maybe I'll have stuff up in the shop sooner than later.


Back to work I go...photos later I'm sure.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Alright, I'm back!

After a few days of "relaxing" at the cottage (anyone who has a baby knows this just doesn't happen), we're back and raring to go. I brought my wheel and, thanks to Don, was able to carve out some time to spin.

Catching up...

Day 4

Plyed the milk that I dyed with Koolaid.

2ply milk fibre dyed with Koolaid

Day 5

Spun eXtreme Spinning's "Iris" shetland single.

Shetland Top from eXtreme Spinning

Spinning

eXtreme Spinning's "Iris" shetland

Iris and the Dock

Day 6


Plyed "Iris"

2 ply "Iris"

eXtreme Spinning's "Iris" shetland

Day 7

Spun pewter sw Merino from The Black Lamb.

Pewter merino

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Appreciation: eXtreme Spinning

In the few months that I have been a part of the Phat Fiber community, I have "met" and purchased from some really incredible people. I'm going to try to write an appreciation thread for the people who I really...well...appreciate.

Those who have the pleasure of knowing CJ, the artist behind eXtreme Spinning, will tell you how amazing she is. When you buy from CJ, you can buy in good conscience. The products in her shop are dyed organically, and she seems to like supporting her local farms and processors. She knows what it takes to raise fiber bearing animals, having experienced it first-hand, and obviously holds her fiber suppliers to the same high standards.

It was through her that I learned about the horrific practice of mulesing. For those who don't know, mulesing is the process of cutting loose skin away from the buttocks of a very young lamb, and it's not required to give the lamb any pain relief before, during or after the procedure...even though it's apparent that the lamb does feel pain. Why does this happen? To help eliminate flystrike. Are there alternatives to help eliminate flystrike? Yup.

CJ's fibers are sourced from people who do not use this procedure. Maybe a little more difficult to find these farms, maybe the products are a little more expensive, but it's nice to know that she's trying to get products in her shop that she can proudly stand behind.

So, other than her ethical values, why do I appreciate her so much?

CJ has patiently answered numerous questions from me regarding all sorts of topics. I saw a collar that I wanted to make and she walked me through the process of tailspinning a yarn, helped me choose the right locks for the project, made a custom order for me, and offered to answer any further questions.

I've dealt with some people who are happy to make the sale, and are appreciative, but who are not available unless interest in spending more money is apparent. CJ makes you feel like you're a good friend. That means a lot.

Her stuff is gorgeous. Seriously. Check out her store. And she's willing to work with you, if she has the fiber, to make what you really need (or want).

And her business cards are pretty awesome. She puts that little bit of extra effort into everything she does.

For those reasons, and more, I will proudly continue to support eXtreme Spinning.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 3: Completed Beach Glass (and got a new car)

Day 3 was a tough one. With Quinn teething, work getting busy with looking at the Fall catalogs (and I pray it's not going to end up 90 hour weeks for 4 weeks this time around!), and having to get to the car dealership before they closed, I really didn't have any time to spin.

That's sad.

TECHNICALLY, I finished up the Beach Glass 2-ply at 130am...which makes it Day 3. Don't argue with me!

Day 3: 2 Ply Beach Glass

Day 3: 2 Ply Beach Glass

And, a photo of my new car (which I am supposed to pick up tomorrow).

My neeewwww caarrrrr!

Oh, and I also found out that I won a silk brick from Natchwoolie because I participated in the Firecracker 500 contest. Awesomely, my Mom was the winner of the red firestar prize.

Day 2: Beach Glass Batt from Giffordables

I spun up one of my Beach Glass batts from Giffordables as time permitted. I got to finish up the singles while watching a movie with Don after Quinn went to bed.

This is my progress mid-day:
Day 2: Beach Glass batt from Giffordables

While my assistant, Mara Jade Skywalker, looked on approvingly:
Day 2: Beach Glass batt from Giffordables

and the President of the company slept:
Day 2: Beach Glass batt from Giffordables

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tired Tour Update

We're on Teethwatch. Munchkin Punchkin had a restless night last night so I didn't get much sleep.

I stayed up fairly late spinning up one of the Beach Glass batts from Giffordables. It looks pretty good. I have to get some photos.

It's Day 3 and I'm already thinking I probably won't bother making an effort to post the photos in the big daily thread. I think I have the strategy figured out...you have to post your photo early in the thread and it should be rainbow or something equally as vivid. Those seem to be the finishes that get the most votes.

I'll still spin every day, and probably post updates in the Phat Fiber Team thread, and not stress myself out if I don't get a photo up in the daily thread.

My dyes came today and I'm really anxious to dye up this fingering weight SW wool yarn I also ordered (it's soooo soft) but being this tired, I'd probably mess something up pretty majorly, so I am going to just wait until MP takes his nap and lay down for a bit.

We're supposed to look at cars again tonight. Why dealerships close at 5 on a Saturday, I will never know...but what I do know is that Don needs a new car, so it's up to the city we go. Unless he has to drive out of town to visit customers (which he'll need to do this week as well).

So tired.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tour de Fleece: Day 1

Ok, so it's 45 minutes after midnight. The tour technically starts today. I have a busy day ahead (when I wake up) and with all the hubub, I'm sure I won't have a ton of time to spin, so I took advantage of MP's sleepy time and spun some merino I had in my stash.

I'm anxious to get all my bobbins cleared so I can spin those gorgeous Beach Glass batts from Giffordables (and yes, I know those will be lumpy a bit, lol - *that* I expect so I'll spin accordingly).

Chiro tomorrow (thank goodness!) then we're taking Willow to lunch for her birthday (to Mongolian Grill, yum!). We'll check out some car lots so Don can do the test drive thing and then head home. I have work to do this weekend, unfortunately. Maybe I'll save that for Sunday.

Update: 8:30pm


Day 1: Merino, originally uploaded by MunchkinPunchkin.

I have about an ounce and a half to complete this braid and I plan to ply it with another braid from this artist. I might just N-ply it...haven't decided.

I hope to have a little time tonight to finish this one up. It was a LONG day :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

My Kromski Stuff :)


My Kromski Stuff :), originally uploaded by MunchkinPunchkin.

Mailing List, Tour de Fleece and Store Update

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I have a whole lot of fiber to spin for the Tour de Fleece and I want to get started.
Now.

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I have dyes and sample products winging their way to me. They didn't come today so maybe early next week. I'll be going up to Port Hope next weekend to pick up some fibre to see if it's what I want to sell. I'll have to dye it, spin it, knit up a sample, wash it a few times, and see if it's good enough to be stamped with the Munchkin Punchkin's face.

I need to print up a bunch of business cards, and think about a few strategies. I need to find a supplier of natural yarn that I like, preferably Canadian sourced. I really need to move stuff downstairs because it's taking over the kitchen and living room. I'll have to scour yard sales for a few more pots, bowls and crock pots, as well as drying racks. My Father is making me a drying table.

I need to find an old drafting lamp to finish off my photo/light table and set it up downstairs. I also need to buy a bunch more wire "cubes" for storage.

*sigh*

I have to find a place to get packing materials at a good price, and somehow still manage time to work my full time (plus) job, take care of Quinn and run the boxing club.

More for the Tour

HUGE fluffy batts of Beach Glass (the same as the samples in the June Phat Fiber box) from Giffordables.



And she threw in some really awesome "Giffies" that I can't wait to get into. I can't put into words how fluffy and soft these 1/2 oz batts are...even after the long trip up North!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Merino Top

Spinning this as thin as I can...we'll see how it turns out.

Today's Phat Giveaway

A giant gorgeous skein of handspun from It's a Colorful Life! http://ping.fm/Dh7P8

Here's one of the products in her Etsy shop...

Isn't this gorgeous?? All of her colourways are equally as beautiful.

Monday, June 29, 2009

More fiber fun!!


Icelandic locks , originally uploaded by MunchkinPunchkin.

Got my Icelandic locks from eXtreme Spinning. She even threw in a hand dyed mulberry silk sample which is heavenly.

Now, I just have to figure out how to tailspin with a smallish orifice. Might be an excuse to buy a jumbo flyer.

Shucks.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Natchwoolie, you need to buy something!

Go to the Natchwoolie Etsy shop. Now.

Everything in the store that is red, white or blue is 25% off. Every item you purchase on sale or not gives you a another entry in the giveaway so fill up your carts! Clubs are not included in this sale, but will count as an entry in the giveaway.

TO RECEIVE THE DISCOUNT AND ENTRY - simply write 500 in the notes area of your paypal

First prize is a luxurious 4.4 ounce natural white silk brick, current value $22, Second prize is 4 ounces of beautiful blue columbia wool top, current value $10 and and Third prize is 2 ounces of red firestar. Contest and sale ends midnight CST July 5th and drawing will be held on Monday July 6th.


I ran right over and ordered some mohair and mohair/wool blend because I haven't tried mohair yet. I can't wait to get it!!

Phat Fiber Love

I am in the process of switching my favourites from my lilbadger/shortsleeves Etsy account to the Munchkin Punchkin Etsy account and I'm glad that I was reminded about Hampton Artistic Yarns (H.A.Y.). Deb has some incredible stuff! Check out her store!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Teams

Aside from being a Rookie this year, I am part of Team Phat Fiber, Team eXtreme Spinning, Team Serendipity, and Team Should be Committed!

My Tour de Fleece Booty

Alright. This is what I have to spin during the Tour... (I'm expecting more to be delivered before and during the tour)

Lavender Hedgerow by Greenwood Fiberworks
4oz Merino in Lavender Hedgerow from Greenwood Fiberworks

White Shetland
16 oz Shetland in white from Storeybook's Spinning a Yarn

Silver Shetland
8oz Shetland in silver from Storeybook's Spinning a Yarn

Bay Black Alpaca with Chartreuse and Sky Blue Silk
100g Bay Black Alpaca with Chartreuse and Sky Blue Silk from Brier Run Alpacas

White Alpaca with Turquoise Silk
100g White Alpaca with Turquoise Silk from Brier Run Alpacas

Ashford 80% Merino 20% silk
50g Ashford 80% Merino 20% silk in Pomegranate and Saffron

Unhappy Me
This 50g compressed mess of Merino from Fleece Artist.

Kool Aid Dyed Milk Fiber
Just under a lb of milk, dyed by me with Koolaid

Mill Ends
1 lb each SW Merino mill ends in black and crimson, purchased from The Black Lamb.

60% Seacell, 40% Silk
57g in total of 60% Seacell, 40% Silk, purchased from The Black Lamb

Silk Hankies
Silk hankies in "Sea and Sand" purchased at Gemini Fibres.