Thursday, March 29, 2012

Time "Marches" On

OMG!!  Where does the time go?  It is almost the end of March; and in less than three months, Miryha and I will be motoring our way up to Eugene, OR, for Black Sheep Gathering. With that in mind, I have been very busy dyeing up a storm -- fiber and yarns for BSG and for my Etsy shop.  I'm all atwitter, like the little finches in my yard. There are so many finches in my yard that the bird feeders have to be replenished every day. I just love the little peep-peep conversations that go back and forth.

I've been dyeing some new fiber blends and am loving them.  Here is baby camel/merino wool/cultivated silk (40/40/20), so unbelievably soft.
A blend of mixed Blueface Leicester Wools (black and cream BFL) with Tussah Silk. Oh, yum!

How about Polwarth Wool and Tussah Silk?  Oh, yes!

Cubbies are beginning to fill up again.

So . . . if I'm not as diligent a blogger as I should be -- now you know. Looking forward to seeing all of our friends up at BSG in June.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

A warm and fuzzy hug to Debra Price-Agrums of Artisun blog fame, who has awarded me the Liebster Award.  This award is given to bloggers who motivate and inspire and who have less than 200 followers, the idea being to foster new connections in the blogging community.  The award takes its name from the German word "Liebster" which translates to "beloved, dearest or favorite".  I am very honored to receive this award, especially from a fellow artist who is such an inspiration to me.  Debra is an amazing art teacher who works tirelessly to draw out the creative spirit of her students.  You can visit her blog to see her own work and that of her students at:

This is how the Liebster Award works.  As part of the tradition, the award is passed along to 5 bloggers (with less than 200 followers) that have inspired you.  A few rules for the recipient which comes with acceptance of the award:

-- Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

-- Post the award to your blog.

-- Reveal your own 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

According to the rules, I now pick 5 blogs to give the Liebster award to.  My 5 picks are:

**Michelle Hoffee -- a fellow fiber artist and very good friend from Northern San Diego County.  Michelle is one of the most creative artsy people I know and I am constantly bowled over by the amazing fiber art pieces and wearables she comes up with.  Michelle spins, dyes, felts and knits.  I always make sure to click on her Flicker account when I visit her blog to see what work she's posted there.  Michelle's blog is at:

**Sarah of Hand Stitch blog.  Sarah, from central Oregon, is one of the most prolific knitters I know. She spins, too.  I am always heading over to her blog to see what she has created and what she's writing about.  I scratch my head and wonder when does she have time to sleep, maybe the days in Oregon have more hours than mine.  Sarah's blog can be found at:  

**Robyn Love -- a fellow fiber artist.  Robyn hails from Queens, NY, as well as Gillams on the Bay of Islands in Newfoundland, Canada.  Robyn has been involved in a number of fiber installations including "The Knitted Mile". In September 2011, she participated in "The Avenue of Trees" in Cheongju,  S. Korea, which consisted of handknit and crocheted squares tied to sycamore trees along a 5 kilometer roadway. Robyn collected squares from over 140 knitters and crocheters.  She seems to have boundless energy, and I'm always eager to see what she's up to.  Robyn's blog can be found at:

**Sara Forte --  I was turned on to Sara's blog by my 20-something son, Dana, who said I had to go see the great recipes at Sprouted Kitchen. Sara's recipes are mostly vegetarian and use healthy food stuffs -- her philosophy being to use seasonal, organic and local ingredients. Sara has now authored the Sprouted Kitchen Cook Book and has inspired me to cook more vegetarian fare because she makes it look so darn yummy.

**Helena Stewart -- I recently found Helena's knitting blog, Ignorant Bliss.  What a delight. She seems to be another prolific knitter and I love to see the many beautiful projects she posts on her blog. It's quite fun and gets me into the mood to start a new project.  Helena's blog is at:

Note:  There is no obligation should any of you not wish to participate -- simply know that you are very much appreciated out there in the blogging world.

And I hope all of you out there enjoy these women and visiting their blogs as much as I do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I have many fun adventures lined up for this Summer of 2012.  In June, I will be traveling to Sewanee, TN, to take part in a weeklong workshop with artist, Jean Cacicedo, who is from Berkeley.  I took a class from Jean at Shakerag in 2006 and had so much fun and learned a lot.  She's a wonderful teacher and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us this year. (

Shakerag is held on the campus of the St. Andrews Sewanee Boys School and every year there are many great weeklong workshops with artists from all over. All meals are provided and most are made from locally produced products and produce.  The homemade food is one of the highlights of attending Shakerag.  There are two weeklong sessions each summer.  This year June 10-16 and June 17-23.  For more information:

I usually fly in to Atlanta and stay the night before in Chattanooga at this charming little bed and breakfast called the Bluff View Inn.  

Immediately upon my return from Tennessee, I will pack up my van and venture up to Eugene, OR, with my boothmate Miryha Runnerstrom of Blarney Yarn, where we will have a booth with our handpainted spinning fibers and yarns at the Black Sheep Gathering.  BSG will be held June 22-24 this year.
Black Sheep is a wonderful show with tons of vendors, many small indy dyers and people who raise their own animals and sell their fiber.  They have one of the best raw fleece sales -- some of the best fleeces I have purchased.  The animal barn is full of various sheep breeds and mohair goats that are judged in the competition. And there are many reasonably priced classes in the fiber arts.

In July, I will be attending Convergence, the semi-annual conference of the Handweavers' Guild of America.  This year it is right around the corner at the Long Beach Convention Center from July 15-21.   I have signed up to take a two-day workshop with the very accomplished felt artist, Lisa Klakulak, and am quite excited.   To see some of her work, visit her website:  There is always a big vendor hall at Convergence with many booths, all with tantilizing fiber arts products.  This is the place to come if you want to try out various spinning wheels and looms before you buy.  Even if you don't attend Convergence classes, it is well worth a trip to the marketplace.  

Just last week, I learned that India Flint, dyer and author from Australia, will be doing a workshop in Santa Barbara this summer.  She is the author of two wonderful books, "Eco Colour" and "Second Skin".  I was more than excited to find that India would be so close and could not pass up the opportunity to take one of her workshops.  My friend, Margie, and I signed up straight away.

India's workshop is entitled "The Wayfarer's Wanderbook" and will be held August 3, 4, and 5 in Santa Barbara and will be hosted by Darcy Ritzau.  For information -- if you're interested in the workshop -- contact her at

October will find me and my friend, Michelle, traveling for our third year to the Taos Wool Festival, to be held October 6-7 at Kit Carson Park in Taos, New Mexico.  We usually make a week of it, using this special time in New Mexico as a relaxing retreat of sorts.  Our first stop will be two nights in Chimayo, a charming weaving community.  We love the little inn, Casa Escondida.

Then, on to the Old Taos Guesthouse for four nights.  This is one of our most favorite places to stay -- it just feels like home -- and we can hang out and stitch or knit, drinking tea, relaxing, and taking in the feel of old New Mexico.  Can't wait.
And at the wool festival itself, we visit several booths that have some of the finest fleeces ever.  (
A visit to our favorite fabric store, Common Threads in Taos, is a must, as is a trip to Maria's in Santa Fe on the way up, and perhaps on the way back, for delicious Mexican food.  So that's what's on tap this summer and fall.  Lots of fun.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


My garden is starting to do its Spring time thing.
And the freesias are in abundance. Last night as I slept, the Vernal equinox occurred at 10:14 p.m. PST

Last week, I ventured down to Escondido in Northern San Diego County to visit my friend, Michelle. It was such a glorious day, we decided to take a hike at Daley Ranch, in the foothills in between spinning. The California lilacs were still in bloom, having reached their peak a week or so before when the hills were solid blue violet.
And there along the trail were two ponds which appear in the Winter. By summer these will be all dried up, only to appear again with next Winter's rains.

My husband and I spent half of February lolling about on the beach in Maui -- our favorite time of the year because of the migration of humpback whales.

Back home, I have continued with my almost daily walks on the beach. Just love these off season deserted beaches.

Since the holidays, I have been doing an incredible amount of spinning. Thousands of yards, in fact. Spinning has always been one of my favorite things to do -- so relaxing, calming and centering.

I've also been knitting quite a bit, too. My latest project is my second Adamas shawl in the last month. (A free Ravelry pattern.)

The first one was knit with store bought cashmere silk yarn from Twist in Manhattan Beach. My current project uses yarn I handspun this past week from one of my handpainted rovings plied with one from Blarney Yarn, my BSG boothmate, Miryha Runnerstrom. The fiber blends include merino, silk, angora and cashmere. What a bloom I'm getting as I work with this yarn.

My summer adventures are firming up. I'll talk about those in my next post . . . tomorrow!