Monthly Archives: July 2016

Spinning Decision 

I’ve sort of settled on the spinning thing. 

Came to the realization that spinning for me is about the process, not the product. I don’t need a spinning wheel!

Unless it’s gifted. I certainly won’t turn one down.

If I change my mind later, I know the Ashford Joy or Schacht Sidekick fits the best. Probably the Louet Victoria. I think they felt better because they were smaller. 

I had already planned to buy an Akerworks drop spindle. I won’t know exactly which one until playing with them at market.  I bought two medium shafts and one trillium whorl.  I might need one more medium shaft and one long shaft for plying. But that can happen later. 

Thursday was a free day for me. No classes except a breakout session on chosing a spinning wheel and then the Tasting room at night. Spent the whole day spindle spinning on my Turkish.  Learned from Jeri Brock how to 2 ply my yarn. I had processed 100 yards of a 2 ply lace weight merino by lunchtime. Then helped her with her breakout session demonstration materials on spinning on the Turkish. I really enjoyed it. 

Handspun 2 ply lace weight merino

Jeri Brock medium Turkish spindle, Strong Heart motif in koa wood

Of course, I then had to buy another Turkish from her at Saturday’s market. I settled on a large one and hopefully will match my current one. It does, but in walnut. 

Jeri Brock large Turkish spindle, Strong Heart motif in walnut

The Tasting Room is quite an experience. Laura, Leslie & other volunteers have brought in their tools for us to test drive. So sorry I didn’t take pictures. I was busy!

There were all kinds of needles, handmade spindles, fiber prep things, etc. The most amazing thing, all the spinning wheels. 

Let’s see if I can list them. 

From smallest to largest:

  1. Unknown maker
  2. Hitchhiker
  3. Louet S40 Hatbox
  4. Pocket
  5. Ashford Joy
  6. Schacht Sidekick
  7. Lendrum Classic
  8. Schacht Ladybug
  9. Schacht Matchless
  10. Acadia
  11. Custom Works
  12. Schacht Flatiron 
  13. Schacht Reeves
  14. Country Craft
  15. Lendrum Saxony

These are the ones I tried. In addition were several electric wheels and a charhka (Indian cotton). 

All online advise on selecting a wheel was ‘you have to try it.’ Now I get it. I can’t imagine another event where we get to try them all at once. Only two were comfortable (Ashford Joy and Schacht Sidekick) and easy for me to spin. But all felt really fast.  Too fast. 

Spindles it is. The Jeri Brock Turkish and the Akerworks drop spindles. Right decision for now. 

Added to Collection: Jeri Brock large Turkish spindle, Strong Heart motif in walnut

Started playing with the drop spindle. It spins like a dream. 

Akerworks medium with trillium whorl

Stash Enhancement at SSK

Back and almost rested from the SuperSummerKnittogether (SSK) retreat in Nashville. 

  • It was so boring. 
  • I learn nothing new.  
  • No one was interesting. 
  • I didn’t spend any money on yarn. 



  • I did pace myself and planned rest times. 
  • I did walk almost 10k and yoga everyday. 
  • I stayed well within my ketogenic diet. The chef was wonderful accommodating it. 
  • I met SO MANY wonderful & interesting people.
  • I played with every spinning wheel and spindle possible. 
  • I tried on lots and lots of handknit garments. 
  • I bought almost everything on my fiber wish list. 
  • I learned great tips from wonderful instructors, Thea Coleman and Romi Hill. 
  • I learned great tips from vendor Jeri Brock. (I have one of her Turkish spindles. But didn’t know how to ply my singles.)


Being ketogenic outside my house is not easy but doable. (People think it’s high protein and can’t understand the high fat part.) The quickest way is carrying a small bottle of MCT oil. I used it with apple cider vinegar for salad dressing. And drizzled over other veggies & protein. I didn’t take ketostix to check. When I got home I did a test. Still in the highest range.

I’ve sort of settled on the spinning thing. Will post more about this soon. 

First things first. 

Here’s the stuff I bought. 

I started a week early by shopping online:

I showed you this last week. Leading Men Fiber Midnight Rendezvous in Soliliquy base gradient kit. I didn’t have a plan until midway through the retreat. It will be a Steven West’s Dotted Rays shawl. The garter sections with be light to dark. The eyelet section will be dark to light. 

Amy Florence of Stranded Dyeworks posted this speckled beauty in Instagram. I had to have one plus she was also going to be at SSK as an attendee. It was the only thing I knitted during the retreat. I added 2 skeins of a beautiful grey. No clue what the grey will be.

Stranded Dyeworks fingering in Street Art & Magpie

We took 12-15 people on a three hour tour of the local yarn shops. At Bliss in Brentwood, found the cotton in grey and cream I need for a toddler’s dress. Fell in love with a textured gradient and found a solid teal to make a striped shawl. No pattern selected for either. 

Last stop was Haus of Yarn. I was in decision fatigue. We left early. 

These were all BEFORE SSK started. 

Spinning decision was on Thursday. 

Friday was busy with two workshops, supported spindle demo and the Try-It-On room. All kinds of handknit garments and accessories to try on and admire.  No shopping, just planning & strategizing for Saturday market. 

I found a beautiful sweater in Wandering Wool grey in the Try-It-On room. 

The plan: 

At least one sock blank at Gale’s Arts 

Grey merino silk for a sweater

Fibers to experiment with spinning

Oooh….what fiber? I know I prefer blue face leister (BFL) more than merino. There’s a little bit of sheen in the finished yarn that I like. What else is there?

I’ll see what’s in the market on Saturday. Turns out most had merino. Some had hand dyed BFL. Only two vendors had other fibers. 

I bought natural Romney from Ross Farms. They specialize in rare breeds of sheep. Gale’s Art was a surprise. I bought Dyed BFL, undyed BFL, organic Polwarth and organic Polwarth with silk. I’m very excited to play with all of them. But my spinning friend suggested what order to spin. And as she came to the last Polwarth with silk. She said I will want to spin only this one from now on. It is SO soft. 

I had a lot of fluff in my shopping bag. 

Fibers from Gale’s Art & Ross Farms

Only one sock yarn and one sock blank. 

Gale’s Art sock blank & Knittyandcolor fingering

A great t-shirt. 

Gusler Designs t-shirt & post cards

And one set of sweater quantity merino/silk blend in grey. I wanted Wandering Wool, but she was out. This one was at Western Sky Knits.

Western Sky Knits

One last purchase. After seeing what a few friends have been finding. I ordered linen at Haus of Yarn. It will be Meridian cardigan by Shellie Anderson. 

Stashing, Not Destashing

Forget about KonMari decluttering system at least for this month. 

Instead of tossing away clothes that didn’t spark joy. I started playing with them. 

Overdyed this mauve dress with purple and shortened it from a maxi to knee length. Love the color except it’s a blotchy dye job. Next step is shibori the dyeing. This month I am all about accumulating, acquiring, loading up, but not quite hoarding. 

Shibori overdyeing silk dress prep

  • Hancock Fabrics in our area is closing in a few days. I’ve spent a lot on just about every craft supply I MIGHT need and then some. Except someone else acquired ALL the batik fabric. Darn!
  • I am following a lot of SSK vendors (yeah, I moved Instagram back to my main screen.) This helps me plan for the marketplace next Saturday. And I may have already purchased and received yarn from one vendor, Leading Men Fiber Arts.  

    Midnight Renderzous in Soliliquy Gradient by Leading Men Fiber Arts

  • SSK will be my first big trip since changing to the ketogenic diet. The retreat center has wonderful food. Not a lot of extra planning and preparation needed, except creating fat bomb snacks and electrolyte drinks. I’ll just enhance everything else with a bit of MCT oil. 
  • Got the Instant Pot pressure cooker along with a million others on Amazon Prime day. It’s been on my wish list for a year. Already made hard boiled eggs, meatloaf, steamed veggies and collard greenies. This thing is definitely my favorite kitchen tool besides my knife. 

    Newest kitchen toy/tool

  • Prepping easy meals for hubby while I’m away. 
  • The sneaky veggie garden is at maximum production. Spinach picked and eaten. Double batch of pesto has been stashed away in the freezer. 

    Opal and sweet basil prepped for pesto

Sneaky Gardening Success

  1. So far, no neighborhood complaints. 
  2. 2 batches of pesto made and frozen
  3. Second harvest of the New Zealand spinach
  4. First pick of yellow peppers EVER!
  5. Dreams of seedlings starting in a month for fall plantings. 
  6. Dreams of next spring plantings. 

Just call me Farmer Jo.

Clockwise: New Zealand spinach, Opal basil, sweet basil, & yellow peppers

Sewing Slowdown

Why  do I always think progress should be on a smooth incline? 

Apparently my fatigue/energy level is still fluctuating. There were a few days that were spent taking lots of naps. But most days of ‘normal’ energy levels. I’m hoping for more and more normal days.  

Even so, I can check off some things done.

Modifications were made to the cubie bags and given to testers. 

Modified cubie bags given to testers

Three more for spinners are finished. 

Cubies for spinners, satin lining

Two Japanese knot bags and two cubies were given to Laura for SSK door prizes.

Japanese knot bag for SSK retreat doorprize

Two pairs of socks were finished. 

Up and Out sock designed by Laura Linneman, sock blank by Gale’s Art

Socks on a plane design by Laura Linneman, yarn by Cyborg Craft Room

One shawl started. 
Tour de Fleece started this weekend. Which means more than normal fiber friends are showing off their spinning projects. Which means I have moved Instagram to the back of my apps. Unfollowing friends was becoming a ridiculous process, so hopefully, extra swipes will be too much work to go find Instagram. 

Now it’s time for a nap. 

Chat with you next week.