Still September!

So, let’s see. What have I got to report? Batt Club should be arriving in people’s hands, if it hasn’t already. September’s Batt Club was, after feedback from several members, themed — with a fall theme. This one was tricky to do in volume the first time around: all hand-dyed fibers and a matching tussah silk, all of which had to be dyed at the same time and I had to be pretty confident the final blended colours were going to line up. I wound up having to redo one of the merino colours to get good results, but in the end…

“Harvest Moon.” You know how the moon glows orange at harvest time? Like, now? Well, here it is — a 2-ounce batt of superfine merino, tussah silk, cashmere, and suri alpaca, paired with a 2-ounce tussah silk to match it. And I even kept some for me. I’m torn on how to spin it, whether as one ply of each, or two separate yarns… and then of course, what to do with it.

I’ve gotten a few other things done too, but many have been behind-the-scenes. I’m supplying fiber for a class for someone, which was a fun project to do, and I’ve finished a few articles for upcoming publication. And hey, the passage of time brings other things, such as having received my Ravelry invite. Which reminds me! Hope started a group there last month called Friends of Abby’s Yarns, for, well. Guess! Now that I’m on Ravelry (where I’m abbysyarns! Friend me! Or whatever you’re supposed to do!), I’ve joined. And thank you, Hope!

Speaking of Hope, a while back she picked up some handspun singles from me… which became these!

I never would have thought to make something like that with my singles, so this project absolutely delights me.

This is, in fact, one of the best things about my job, especially when I think back and compare it to the computer career I walked away from to do this. Heck, that career had dead-ended anyway, but… day in, day out, I’d work on minor changes to the same exact thing, and this one positively vile woman would ask me the same exact question, I’d give her the same exact answer based on hard, cold, reality, and then she’d say “But I promised someone else total fiction,” to which I’d reply that her promise of fabulous glittering fairy wings sprouting out of her back didn’t mean I could make that happen. For years. And there’d never be anything concrete to show for any of it. If I hadn’t been there to have those meaningless arguments with that woman, she still would have promised beautiful fairy wings and making the blind to see, and then had to placate people when those things proved impossible. I was selling my life, one day at a time, for nothing more than money, to leave behind me nothing more than a long chain of emails that said exactly the same thing over and over again.

But now… now, I get to have made some yarn that Hope liked, and that she turned into those mitts. And I get to have made fiber that Ellen loved and spun up and turned into these:

and these…

I get to see how Glenna did this:

with her July batts and her charkha, and got over 1,000 yards of chain-plied (aka Navajo plied) yarn from 3 batts or around 4-5 ounces.

I get to see how Jenny took home 2nd and 4th places with the first yarns she entered in a competition, with yarns she spun from my fibers!

And I can’t wait to see how Karen’s socks come out, from “Harvest” superwash merino/tencel that I dyed…

See, this is so much better than my old career! Every day there is something to show for the fact that I worked, and many of those days, I also know that what I did mattered to somebody else.

Now, with all of that said, of course, September has been a little lean on the production. There’s a long list of stuff I haven’t managed to finish, and the bulk of production has been for already-spoken-for items. Shifting trends in how stuff is moving for me, too, are prompting me to another decision: I’m sick of the eBay store. I’ll keep the eBay account and do auctions from time to time, but the store, I think, has outlived its usefulness for now. So, everything there is 25% off right now, and should leave my studio and find new homes.

Oh! I almost forgot: I’m DONE with the dentist for a while. No, really! One trip to the implant specialist guy in December for a checkup, a routine cleaning in March… done. So, all told, a dental implant takes about a year, best case. However, it’s far better than the crown I had for 7 years before it broke. And boy did I get a lot of waiting room knitting done, and meet a variety of people with questions and comments. I’m on the very last little bit of Foggy, Foggy Dew! Seriously! I just have to decide how to cast off in another 8 rows or so. Mind you, they’re rows that take about 30 minutes each, but… it’ll be done in time for me to take it with me to SOAR next month.

In other news, the drought in this area has been upgraded to “severe.” I haven’t taken any outside pictures to show this, because it’s downright tragic. The paper this morning said something like “warmest September on record since 1884” but I can’t be sure exactly what, because the articles of that nature have gotten thoroughly depressing. We’ve lost most of our baby trees, shrubs, and even some of the older established trees in the area — great big giant old trees — are not doing well. We’re down some 14 inches of rain relative to normal for this time of year. The yard is dead except for some weeds. There may well be no local apples this year, since most were killed by an early thaw followed by a late freeze. There was half the usual corn harvest. Nobody I’ve talked to seems to remember a year like this around here. Remember when some of you were emailing me saying “I heard it’s flooding in Ohio, are you above water?” and I was saying “Yeah, drought here, actually?” That was what, 6 weeks ago? It’s rained once, for about 20 minutes, since then. So, so sad. And we’ve only had a handful of days under 90F. Brutal.

Wrapping up for now, and heading back in to the corner where Cardzilla has me chained, some administrivia. If you are a batt club member, and want to be on the first dibs notification list, and you have NOT received a confirmation email stating that you are, please drop me a line (abby at abbysyarns dot com of course) and let me know! By the same token, if you’re on the waiting list and you have NOT received an updated position in line email, also let me know — everyone should have both of those things.

16 thoughts on “Still September!

  1. Abby, what an awesome, awesome post. I’ve recently left a job that was sucking my soul and making me insane for something much more gratifying. What a joy! And it leaves me more time to spin….

  2. Oh yeah, my pictures are posted! I feel famous now! I navajo-plied that yarn, so it is actually a 3-ply yarn (I know I have had people say I make them sick). I have been knitting on it ever since (I decided to do a largish project on size 3 needles).

  3. Hi Abby,

    I missed your posts. I left my job 6 years ago. I loved my job but my boss was a witch, and I was not alone on that thought. So glad I am long gone and far away.

    Some of the photos you posted today are not showing up, just an x.

    I will send a photo of a scarf from tussah silk blaze I spun and knitted and a couple of singles I blended up with your silk and mohair fibers. I am getting a new camera in a few days and will take some pictures.

    I think the weather problems have a lot to do with the global warming. Scary!!!

  4. You’ll be at SOAR?! As a participant or vendo? I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and posts on SheepThrills for some time, so I look forward to meeting you. I’ll be the 40-somthing, shortish, round woman with glasses and a Bonnie Rait streak in my brown bob. (Most easily found by my roomate Charlene’s lovely South African accent and stupendous beadwork.) Seriously, say hi if I don’t spot you first!

  5. I’m trying to make the best of my soul-sucking job by concentrating on the fact that it allows me to be in your Batt Club!

    Good to hear from you again! You’ve been missed!

  6. Welcome back to blog land, great to hear from you1 congratulations on the tooth. Thank you for a great post. I feel like I am selling my life away at the moment just for a few dollars a day. You have inspired me to do more! I hope it rains. Drought is terrible, australia is still in drought after I don’t know how many years. I Truly hope it rains.

  7. Sept fiber is awesome and some of my fav colors. Thanks so much. We have already lost one pond and if it doesn’t rain soon we are going to loose the big one. Yes, it is really really bad and our livelihood doesn’t depend on it. Well, other than the availability of foods,

  8. Wow – I’ve read you for a long time – it would be great to meet you at SOAR.

    I will only be there for the retreat sessions – I’ll keep a look out for the shawl.

  9. 😀 Well thank YOU for making fiber that’s such a delight to spin. The stuff I get from you is SO nice, SO beautiful, SO well-prepared. I don’t work for a living, I ‘fun’ for a living, because it’s so much fun to see what happens with the fiber between the fluff and the wheel.

    I’m going to spin a ply of each of my batts and ply them together. I want to see the shimmer of the silk–and I bet I’ll have some silk remaining to use with some other dyed tussah I’ve got lying around.

  10. Hi, glad you’re back posting:>. I am on the waiting list but didn’t get an update place in line. My yahoo might have eaten it though as it’s been weird lately. Glad you’re feeling better. Lisa in Nc

  11. I am definitly not going to nag any more about us having rain and cold days for the last two months over here…
    Having a change of phase at work is great. I left my job as an airplane tech(I loved that though) to try something a bit more creative, and I love having fun at work. Every day!

  12. Really beautiful thoughts and photos, Abby. Glad that you are back sharing your words and photos.

    And…How do I get on the batt club waiting list?

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