Spinning Jacob

Good morning and happy Saturday! I am listening to the sound of sleet hitting the front window as I write, and I am glad I have no plans to go anywhere today. If you do, please drive carefully.

There are several projects for me to work on in my craft room when I finish up here. I will likely continue with a spinning project that I began a couple weeks ago that is almost done. Then it becomes a plying project.

I had a total of nine ounces of this beautiful Jacob roving from Marsh Mallo Farm . Each three ounce bundle of roving includes about an ounce each of the two different colors in a normal Jacob fleece, and an ounce of them blended (I think 50/50).Jacob is not next-to-skin soft for most people, but I don’t think I’d mind it as a scarf, depending on how it is made. Continue reading “Spinning Jacob”

It Starts Today

Registration for the 2018 Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat Opens at 10:AM today. It sells out ridiculously quick every year, and there really is no fairer way to do it than to open to everyone at the same time. What we are doing differently this year is rather than have registration open on a specific date and time, we are doing it on a specific day and time.

We went with a Saturday in hopes that accessing registration at the time it opens becomes a possibility for more guys than when registration opens on a weekday. When the retreat fills up there is a waiting list that guys can sign up for, and if for any reason a space becomes available at the spring retreat, we go through the list in order until we can fill that spot. I believe we may also be using the waiting list to give first dibs on registration for the first Northeeast Men’s Fall Knitting Retreat in September. I’m not 100% sure of the details on that (yes, I know I should be).

Nominations for two available scholarships for the spring retreat are also open. We receive a generous amount of donations every year that help make it possible to share these events with the men’s knitting community. The deadline for nominations on February, 9th and the winners will be officially announced on February 18th.

There is a giant pot of chicken stock simmering on the stove here this morning. We can sure use the extra humidity in the air. I am off to work on a spinning project that I will have more to write bout next week. Have a great day and stay warm!

A Fiber Artist’s Snow Day!

This has been posted previously on the blog that used to contribute to, and I have been waiting for the opportunity to re-post it here. That opportunity has now arrived. Even though here in the immediate Albany area we aren’t supposed to get a huge amount of snowfall (last I heard, anyway) I know that’s not the case for most of the northeast. Hell, that’s not even the case for the Carolinas this week. Enjoy!

A Fiber Artist’s Snow Day!
( sung to the tune of “Let It Snow”)

Oh the weather outside is frightful, 

But this Rambouillet is so delightful,

And since I’m gonna get snowed in,

I Could Spin! I Could Spin! I Could Spin!

No it doesn’t show signs of stopping,

And This warp and weft is real eye-popping,

There’s no reason for me to leave,

So I Could Weave! I Could Weave! I Could Weave!

With a hook in a size just right,

I could crochet my way through this storm,

Using yarn that’s just outta sight,

Make a blanket so comfy and warm!

Now I’ve finished all my dyeing,

And I’ve finished all my plying,

So until I have to shovel this shit,

I Could Knit! I Could Knit! I Could Knit!

If you have the day off, enjoy it. If you do have to go out anywhere today, PLEASE drive carefully. As for me, It’s just another normal workday. It would take a LOT more snow than this to shut my office down.

I’ll worry about cleaning the driveway later on this afternoon when I get home. I’ll have my knitting time tonight.

Enjoy your snow day everyone! 

Tying up loose ends

Good morning and Happy Saturday! Oh, and Merry Christmas!

If you haven’t finished knitting the Christmas gifts you planned for this year, I hope you are simultaneously reading and knitting because you are running out of time. I choose not to subject myself to that pressure. The relaxing, peaceful craft that brings me joy often ceases to when deadlines are introduced, and I’m terrible at planning projects so far ahead that a deadline shouldn’t matter. I am also terrible about committing to a knitting project from start to finish without taking a break in between to work on something else for a bit. Yeah, monogamy. I am not good at that when it comes to my knitting projects. Continue reading “Tying up loose ends”

What is Santa knitting this year?

Good morning and happy a Saturday! This is my last weekend this year as Santa for our annual Pet Pictures With Santa fundraiser for Italian Greyhound Rescue. It takes place at Pet Supplies Plus on Western Ave (near the SUNY entrance) from 11am to 3pm each day, just in case you’re interested in bringing your pet down for a photo. We are pretty sure I have been doing this for 17 years because it was not long after adopting our first Italian greyhounds (that was in 1999 and 2000) that I got roped into this. Continue reading “What is Santa knitting this year?”

Small Business Saturday

There will be spinning here at my house this morning, but before I move on to that, I want to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about Small Business Saturday and why it matters.

To say that I am passionate about supporting our local yarn shops, indie dyers and yarn producers, and local farms is a bit of an understatement. I cannot remember the last time I bought yarn at one of the big box stores. It happens so rarely. I also cannot remember the last time I went out shopping on Black Friday, at least not to any of those retail giants with the hordes of rabid consumers looking for cheap prices on cheap quality goods. I have just never cared to participate in that kind of crazy mass consumerism that has come to define the holiday season. Especially not after leaving the retail world several years ago, where I had to work on the other side of that craziness.

Today is Small Business Saturday, an effort which began several years ago as a chance to put the focus on the small, independently owned shops and merchants in your community. Just about every retailer sees an increase in business this time of year, but the big box retail giants with their huge marketing campaigns and barrage of advertising in print and on TV seem to get all the attention. The small, locally owned businesses in your community need your attention too.

So instead of funneling money into some corporate giant’s coffers, helping its CEO to buy a bigger yacht, a third vacation home, or use all of its profits to prop up organizations with a littany of discriminatory and/or anti-government beliefs (I’m looking at you, Hobby Lobby), take the opportunity today to shop at your locally owned businesses, where the money you spend stays right here in your community. While you are there at that independently owned shop, take some time to talk to the shop owner and get to know them. You’ll be glad you did, and you might find yourself frequenting these businesses a lot more than just this one day or weekend out of the year.