Holiday Sale!

I realize my suede boots aren’t particularly festive, but that it is finally cold enough to wear them gets me into a holiday sort of mood. Plus, they are just really awesome boots. Last winter, all I needed were these tough guys and a pair of wool socks and I was ready to brave the 10 + inches of snow on the ground. (I did treat them, but as you can see some street salt still got to them.

Speaking of wool socks, and other woolens, I have a promotion running the weekend after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season. From 12:01am on Friday, November 25th through 11:59pm on Monday, November 28th, all items in the Tiny Dino Studios etsy shop will be 15% off with the coupon code BOOTS2011

I am working on some new hand knits and some really color saturated sock yarns for the winter season. They should be in the shop within the next few days. You should stop by and check them out!

Picking Up New Skills with Pretty Things

When I first got bitten by the spinning bug, I ordered a drop spindle and some generic fiber off etsy and just kind of went at it. I mean, I had read a spinning book, and watched a few youtube videos, as you do, and then tried it myself. It was horrible. I had no idea how to draft, let along pre-draft, so I was spinning giant slubs of awful pink yarn. It only took me a few days before I was done working with the spindle and off to the Yarn Barn’s website to sign up for wheel spinning classes.

Fast Forward a year and some months and we have the 2nd annual Topeka Fiber Arts Bazaar. As one of the founding members of the brand new Potwin Fiber Artisans, I was there all weekend. I even had a table, see:

While I was there, I was admiring the lovely fiber over at Lori’s booth from Blushing Ewe. Go check out what she has up in her etsy shop. I can wait.

….

Gorgeous right?

What got me was some amazing hand-pulled roving that was spectacularly sparkly.

And with drop spindles sitting right there, what was I to do?

I picked it up and tried again. Obviously, it has been working for me much better than it did before. Part of that is because I understand the basic principals of spinning after wheel spinning for over a year. The class I took helped a lot, and I was able to apply that information to the mechanics of drop spindling. A big part of it was that I was in a supportive environment, surrounded by enablers friends who made me feel confident in my abilities. That my tools were pretty was kind of just a bonus.

Of course, now I am addicted to the hand-pulled roving, and want to work with more, more, more. Which means I probably need to figure out how to make it myself. Being newly unemployed there is no way I can justify spending money on hackle or a drum carder, so I am going to make my own hackle as soon as I can get into my dad’s garage and borrow his drill.

I am really excited to be a part of the Potwin Fiber Artisans. One of our first classes is an introduction to the drop spindle. The other is beginning knitting, taught by yours truly. I can’t wait to start teaching. Are there any fiber arts classes you would like to take?

A Little Taste of Shepherding Camp, In Pictures

I made it home from from Shepherding Camp at Juniper Moon Farm last night. I had the best time hanging out with Susan and Zac (Caroline was sick for most of the weekend, but is on the mend) and my fellow campers as we learned about taking care of sheep. I learned to trim hooves, worm, herd, separate flocks, and how to build a fence or two. The best part is, I get to go back in April for shepherding camp 102 when all the ewes we put in with Solomon, this year’s ram, should be in the midst of lambing. SO EXCITING.

Just as an intro, here are a few of the pictures I took while I was there.

FIber Arts Bazaar

I was on TV! We were advertising the fiber arts bazaar this weekend. I was the one behind the wheel.

The weather guy kept saying it was 27 outside, but I am pretty sure it was 27 inside. I am still wearing two pairs of socks. Though I do hope everyone enjoyed my red toenails.

I will be at the bazaar tonight and tomorrow at Potwin Presbyterian Church in Topeka.
Friday from 5-9
Saturday from 9-4

We will have demonstrations all day Saturday, including me doing my best at some armpit knitting action, which should be hilarious.

Also, I have put my etsy shop on vacation until I return from Shepherding camp on Nov. 14th. I won’t be taking my computer along with me, but keep an eye on my twitter feed. If my phone works out on the farm, I will be tweeting.

And for you Nanowrimo-ers out there, I am running right on schedule with just under 7000 words so far, and it seems like I am cooking up some scandal.

See you in Potwin!

Writing First Thing

I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

I have never won, but this year, I will.

This morning I got to wake up and fulfill a life long dream: spend the entire morning writing. Despite going to school a gazillion years to earn my degree in creative writing, my classes or my job always got in the way of my writing. I have always preferred writing in the mornings. Today was the first time I ever I got to sit down and write uninterrupted until I was done. I wrote nearly 3,000 words this morning, making up for the time I spent napping last night, which I totally don’t regret.


The light is really bad in my dinning room in the mornings, but it’s not a bad place to write while I get my caffeine fix for the day.

Currently, I am on schedule for day three, though I hope to pull ahead by at least another couple thousand words this evening when I have the apartment to myself again. It’s been a long time since I have allowed myself to write completely uninhibited, which is why I think nanowrimo is such a great exercise. Write now. Edit later. Like many writers I constantly wrestle with my internal editor and writerly insecurities. Right now, I don’t care that much how good the writing is, I am just making a story happen. Once there is a story down on paper, then I can work on the fundamentals of creating quality sentences.

One thing that has really taken a lot of the pressure off this year is that I had no idea what I was going to write until I started writing Tuesday morning. (Illicitly, I will admit, on my work computer.) Since then, every time I have seated myself at my laptop to write, I have had no shortage of words. To put it bluntly, it has been exhilarating. Stress and just general exhaustion have kept me from writing much of anything these days, including blog posts, which is a shame, because it really is one of my favorite things to do.

Good luck to all you writers out there! May you reach your word count every day!

A Special Sunday Preview

Just a peak at what at the new stuff I will be offering at next weekend Bazaar. (What doesn’t sell will be up in the Tiny Dino Studios etsy shop sometime after next Saturday.

snake falkland top2

superstition merino top 2

spooky falkland handspun

heartsick falkland top2

grapevine falkland top3

big top merino top
This has become a big skein of thick n thin yarn which is out drying on the balcony right this very instant. It will be my donation to the silent auction.

autumn cheer merino top
I am working on spinning this gorgeous piece of merino right now. I have it in my head that I am going to navajo-ply it, even though I have never navajo-plied anything before ever–not that that’s ever stopped me.

My week is going to be filled with more fiber, a little trick or treating with the kiddo, and tolerating my last few days at the day job. What are you doing this week?

Big Things Ahead

First, my show at the Handmade Market last week was awesome. For my first show, I don’t think it could have gone any better. I sold some things, met some new people and bought an awesome apron (pictures tomorrow) and just all around had a great time.

Handmade Market Booth

Handmade Market Booth: Show of Color

In other news, I and a group of like-minded fibery friends are working to a fiber arts collaborative off the ground. We are calling ourselves the Potwin Fiber Artisans. Our goal is start teaching some classes and raise some money to eventually be a destination for all things fibery in NE Kansas.

Our 2nd Annual Fiber Arts Bazaar is right around the corner, Nov. 4th and 5th at Potwin Presbyterian Church. I will be there selling my wares, as doing a demonstration on Armpit Knitting. As part of our fundraising effort, there will also be a silent auction which I know has handmade object ranging from scarves to quilts to handspun yarn and even a couple of special gift baskets. It should be a blast.

Information on classes will be coming out soon. In the meantime, we can be found on facebook and as @KEKSPFA on twitter.