Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yarn Geek Fibers is Now Officially Open!

I've been advertising on Facebook for the past few weeks about our new Etsy store front, but as of today it is officially open for business. I will be adding a slew of fibers, mostly wool. Some is superwash and some is not, but all are beautiful and hand dyed by me. So stop by and mark us as a favorite.

If you are interested in receiving our newsletter to keep you up to date on our fiber festival schedule or our new colors please sign up in the comments section of this post or convo me in the Etsy shop. Let me know what you think of the store in general in the comment section here. I'm always looking for more feedback. Thanks!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Win a Whole Alpaca Cria Fleece!

I just heard about this wonderful giveaway from Blue Moon Ranch On her blog she is offering a whole raw cria fleece at shearing time this year. Alpaca is an extremely warm and soft fiber, baby alpaca (or cria) is exquisitely soft. The fact that the fleece will be raw offers you the opportunity to process it in any way you like.

She is doing this giveaway to promote her Etsy shop and her new Alpaca spinning batts. They look oh-so-soft and sound divine. Hurry up and snap them up fellow spinners before I beat you to it.

Am I Really Old Enough to Teach Knitting?

Not that I mind teaching, don't get me wrong...but the knitting stereotype of the old grandmother teaching her grandchildren still sticks in my mind. In fact, I love to knit and most people who have learned from me will tell you that I do pretty well. Most of my students are visual learners, as am I, so we understand each other. This is excellent because most people who know me can relate how I am always trying to make up new words and gesture wildly when I can't think of the words I really want, which is often.

I'm not what most people would consider old, just in my early 30's. Kids call me the "fun Aunt" who likes to sugar them up and send them home. I'm the one who always has time to bake and do creative things, the one who's not burnt out yet because I don't have children of my own. This makes me feel incredibly young, which is why I wonder about the aforementioned anecdote. Why does knitting, something I dearly love, make me think of elderly women? There are countless movements recently that pitch fiber arts in a younger, hipper light. Things such as "Yarn bombing" have even reached little Keokuk, IA. I noticed an elegantly wrapped signpost the other day and wondered if I should covertly add to it or just start my own. Surely I have some old yarn left over from making baby blankets for all my friends that could be sacrificed for such a cause. The whole world should know that knitting is not just for grannys anymore. Sometimes it's for people who will never be grandmas, like me.

To get back to the teaching though, for several months now there have been a small group of women coming over to our house to learn the basics. It's a little daunting coming up with lessons as I never know what they will remember from the class before and if they will be ready to move on. We went from knit and purl stitches in lesson one to binding off and cables in lesson two. For some this might seem to be a jump, but I don't believe in keeping people in potholder stage for very long. Knitting should be fun and experimental and progressive. People in ruts don't have very much fun.

The problem is, there has been so much ice and snow in the past month that we have missed the last few weeks. I'm afraid we may have to go back to potholder stage and refresh before moving on. At least they will already have a feel for it and perhaps it won't take the whole lesson. I don't charge money because these are my friends and the joy I get out of seeing someone "get it" is worth more than anything. Besides, once they love knitting, they will probably love yarn and I can ease them into a spinning addiction as well. Bwahahahaha!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

One Goodbye and Two Hellos

At last I feel ready to write about this. As some of you know, I had 2 two lovely bunnies. Well, Gidget died about 5 weeks ago of a massive tumor in her lower abdomen. We had little warning, but she stopped eating one afternoon and the next day she was gone. It was a complete shock to me and I cried for days, but Willie Rabbit seems to have taken it in stride. It's almost like he knew about it before I did. Well, he actually probably did come to think of it.

A few weeks ago he started tearing apart his cage, a sure sign of restlessness. He also started to paw and nip at me, which is also a way to show his discontent. So we decided that it was time to take him to the St. Louis House Rabbit Society to find a new "special friend". He met 7 new prospective bunnies on Saturday and seemed to hit it off with 3 of them. So we took him back on Sunday and he completely rejected one of the girls right off the bat. That left us with a set of bonded sisters who he seemed to not mind so much. There was a lot of mounting and flirting going on, so we brought them home.

On the paperwork their names are Opal and Pheobe and they are both large New Zealand Whites. They weigh in around 15 pounds a piece and dwarf Willie who is only around 5 pounds, but he seems to love large women. Gidget was twice his size. He has good taste as his bunny slave (me) is also a woman of substance. My hubby has always wanted to name our next bunny Eddie so we would have an Eddie Rabbit like the country singer.
When he heard our new buns were both girls he decided to name one of them Edwina and to call her Ed for short. I named the other girl Cecilia who will probably end up being called Cici, although she might get stuck with Bitey if she keeps on insisting on taking chunks out of my arms.

We have had several bonding sessions between Willie and the girls over the past week and things seem to be going well. The last two were half hour car rides in a plastic laundry basket. They all hunkered down a cuddled together, which was amazing because 2 times ago CiCi took a huge bite out of Willie's butt. This time all they fought about was who was going to do the grooming. They even still behaved after we got home and put them on our bed top. We will keep trying and I'm sure that soon they will be able to live together unsupervised.