Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I apologize that I barely know how to format my blog. I don't know why this picture is so small. Anyway, this is Mary, who worked with Nora at the trade show. I was in the JUL booth the whole time. There was a "secret door" between the two booths, but I did not get to visit with Mary that much during the days, since we were so busy with customers. Mary is hilarious, and an overall treat for the senses. Also, she reminds us to floss twice a day. I imagine her floating above me and telling me how much longer I will live if I practice better oral hygiene. Mary cracked us all up at dinners. I hope I get to see her again soon.
Here are Karen and Valerie from Mountain Meadow Wool. They have new and gorgeous yarns and I may even get to go to Wyoming this summer to see them! It will be a big adventure for me for sure!
Here is a nice selection of the yarn in a handy display column. They are making these displays available to shops to help them sell more yarn. I think this is a great idea, since many shops have a tough time with creative, attractive, effective display.
Here is a view of the JUL booth showing how multimedia we were. I am using my tablet all the time to show my lines. It does not take the place of the real thing, but it lets me cover a lot of ground quickly. Look how cute the new colored resin pedestal buttons are!
Monday, June 6, 2011
Here is a photo of my peonies at their peak, maybe a week ago. These were among the plants I inherited from our home's former owners, and I really love to see them, and that I was home this year to enjoy them is a big plus. We've also had lettuce, and not many strawberries, but the ones we got were very red and delicious. My theory is that they did not get enough sun when we were getting all that cold and rain earlier this spring. Or maybe they are just taking a rest this year.
A mid-range project of mine is to hand-process this bag of Coopworth Lamb fleece. I went to the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster, OH with Erica and Anne. Man, did we have fun! One nice thing Anne said was that in her old jobs, she had friends, but not people that you wanted to have sleep-overs with! I agree. I always had work friends at other jobs, but only a few of those people actually "stuck" and became real friends. How cool that I met Anne at the Spinning/Knitting retreat, and a couple weeks later, I was staying at her house and enjoying wonderful hospitality, food, and very silly inside jokes that were cracking us up! One of the neat things I noticed when I started traveling the region visiting yarn shops is that knitters, crocheters, and spinners (to generalize) are people who value connecting with others, they seem to slow down enough to really treasure their personal relationships, and they are always trying to play up the commonalities among their groups. I am so glad to be a part of this world, and to make new friendships where we can all be so real. And then there's the thing about being able to spill your most intimate thoughts more easily when you are sitting around fiber-ing and chatting, because of no eye-contact.
So, last weekend I started washing the locks, Beth Smith style, in very small batches in the tulle envelopes. I maybe have 18 or so done, with 6-8 locks in each one. I will be sharing the fleece (almost 5 lbs, unwashed) with Anne and Erica, and with whoever else is really nice to me and expresses interest. I still have 2 bags of cleaned Romney from MDSW 2010 and a gigundo pile of cleaned Romney-Bond cross to play with. And my mom gave me some of her last year's Pedro fleece. At least I am actually spinning the Romney-Bond. It is dark brown and kinda shiny. I am spinning it as fine as I can and will do either a 2 ply or 3 ply and try to make enough for a sweater, maybe Sprossling, or a modified Laar, since I really doubt I will be able to make plied laceweight!
Look how yummy and silvery this is, and it is not even washed yet! It really is clean and beautiful. I am just doing one wash in Unicorn Power Scour and two rinses, and it is coming out great. I really don't have time to play with it right now. June will be super busy. I am leaving for MD this morning to help Laura get ready for the show, then we will drive to Columbus and have TNNA all weekend (come see me in booth #539 if you're going!) and then I will go back down to MD to help fill orders and to see some customers, then home finally (poor husband and dog are going to miss me) around June 21. I'll stay home for a week, and then I'm off to Michigan for some sales calls and to start my new business strategy.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Spring/Summer growing season 2010 was the first year since we've lived in this house with a yard that I did not do any gardening whatsoever. No planting, transplanting, dividing, or weeding. Nothing. To the extent that several of my weeds grew tall as trees. One grew in front of the house and blocked KF's satellite dish, so I had to buy a scary-looking saw and cut the thing down. Last April I still had several more yarn lines than what I carry now, I was still calling on Whole Foods stores in Eastern PA and NJ, and I really had made no attempts to limit my traveling. Sometimes I would get home from a sales trip and just stay for one or two days before repacking and taking off again.
Not only was I tired, and probably not as effective as I could have been, but since everything was early last year, I didn’t notice the plants and flowers like I usually do. I remember, late in May, wondering when the purple iris was going to do its thing. I must have missed it. That sucks. I missed my husband and dog (and I guess cats too) because I was away so much, and I also missed the days where it was enough action just to sit on the deck, watch and listen to birds, and check out and appreciate my flowers. I did get some strawberries last year, and they were gorgeous and delicious.
Later in the summer, I discovered Twitter. Many of my real and virtual fibery (the yarn kind, not the nutritional kind) friends were eating fresh picked stuff for dinner and making it sound incredible, and the really cool people were spending whole days in their kitchens and canning, for gosh sakes. I found bad-ass pickle recipes online, and I was kind of embarrassed to have to buy the cukes at the farmer’s market. I didn’t like the feeling of regret I started to notice.
Now, I am not the greatest gardener. My mom is a Master Gardener and runs her own organic CSA. My deal is, I dig a hole or sprinkle some seeds and say good luck. I don’t water. I am always slack with weeding. So some of my plants don’t make it. But what I really like is to look around and see pretty sights in my surroundings. I like to get up in the morning and harvest strawberries or beans and figure out what to do with them, or bring them with me when I go see friends. I used to bring food and flowers into the office, when I went to an office. So I guess I was pretty into it. Many of the perennials were given to me by my mom, or my Aunt Fran (another great gardener) and I think both of them had plants that had started out in the ground at my two grandmother’s gardens. I scored some new iris from my friend Michelle this fall.
Some of the stuff was here when we moved in. there was only one planted bed then, now there are 5, plus some stuff squeezed into corners of the yard and a little bit in the front of the house. My neighbors do a lot of flowers, and some of those plants have crossed the property line. I like that.
The theme of 2011 for me is How Not to Work Too Much, even though my job is fun. One thing that I have discovered is that most of the things I like to do involve making stuff. I like doing craft projects. I like to cook. I like to garden. I like the process as well as the results. So this year I’m growing stuff, dammit. And I’m going to be home enough to take care of and enjoy my flowers and food crops. And I will try to blog about it, since in showing off my stuff, I will be “forced” to take time to notice it more. I may even dig a new bed.
I almost titled this post “City Mouse Plants a Garden,” because I have been thinking about City Mouse a lot this week, ever since we bought seeds and starter mix, and I am sprouting some things inside. So I googled the story and was surprised to see that it was an Aesop’s fable, not just one of my favorite groovy 70’s kids’ books, like Harry the Dirty Dog. I will keep thinking about the lesson of The City Mouse and the Country Mouse and how it can help me work on my theme for the year and enjoy myself more.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Lately I have been thinking a lot about my "new work." I have been reading some articles about work habits and personality traits of creative types, and following some excellent blogs. I think I am looking for clues to help me get used to the different pace, and maybe figure out how this all might make sense.