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April’s half over? I’d better make myself look busy.

Well, April has certainly been a busy month so far! I feel like I’m hardly sitting still long enough to get to about 75% of the things I thought I would… in March!

However, I do have a few things to show for my month so far. One of them is this:

Her name is Kaylee (yes, it’s a TV/movie name) and although she looks incredibly sedate and peaceful in all the photos so far, right this second she’s perched on the back of my office chair with her forepaws on my shoulder, trying to eat my hair. Essentially, if she can be caught on film, it’s probably because she’s sleeping!

She’s fitting in well with the big kids, however. She’s a chocolate European Burmese, and she is the playin’est kitten with whom I’ve ever shared a home.

I’m making good progress with spring cleaning and fiber rotation. I try to do it quarterly, but it sometimes ends up pushed out to 3x a year. But in any case, when I do it, every fiber item in the studio must be inspected and gone over; nothing can be allowed to sit in dark corners untouched, unmoved. I’m sure there are a few of you reading this who know exactly why that is — for the rest of you, let us just say that it is as a precaution against The Scourge Which I Shall Not Name, Lest I Invoke It; a pestilence which, the last time it visited, caused me to moan, “Why couldn’t it have been lice instead?” Or zombies.

Anyway, there are logistical considerations to all the materials rotation tasks; silks must have a long-term storage place which doesn’t have direct sunlight on it all the time, for instance, and I keep fibers to which some people react separated from other fibers as well– so the mohair and angora need their own safe spaces, just as cats aren’t allowed in the studio. Those things wouldn’t be true if it were all just fiber for me, but I’d hate for a customer to end up having a reaction despite everybody’s best intentions, so I do what I can.

The spring cleaning sale, ending tomorrow, has been pretty successful — I’m all but out of custom blends! Clearly, you all need me back in the studio slaving over a hot carder, not to mention making sure I have a couple of dye days this week. But here’s a little preview of what you can expect to see coming up for sale Wednesday:

There’s other stuff too, and there might be even more other stuff, if I can manage to get out from under this kitten and get to work today and tomorrow.

Of course, I’ve been spinning and whatnot as well, and doing a little light swatching and sample production…

I spun up some City Lights leftovers, and then — surprise, folks! — chain-plied them. This skein used roughly the contents of 2 batts, and spun up into 195 yards of chain-plied (aka Navajo plied, but I prefer to call it chain plying) yarn at about 10 wpi.

And then I chain-plied more, just to show you all that sometimes, I do things that aren’t what I usually do. Or something. Here’s how April Blizzard looks:

That’s 95 yards of 9 wpi yarn from 1 batt; and I spun it up as part of a photo tutorial on one way to spin from a batt. I’ll be adding to this over time, with additional ways of spinning from batts, but for those of you who have asked where to begin, here’s one place to begin!

And that little project has also resulted in a really interesting exchange with Velma. Go check it out, and weigh in if you’re so inclined!

Oh, and I just remembered: someone else asked me where I’d send a 13 micron merino fleece for processing. Without hesitation, I told her I’d send it to Morro Fleece Works. The next photo here is why; a few times a year I treat myself to something she’s selling, and it’s always been an incredibly good buy, and I’m saying that about having paid $45 a pound for merino. They ain’t what you’d call cheap, but if I had a really incredible fleece I was going to send out, that’s where I’d send it. Because of this:

It’s sad, but that really doesn’t do it justice. But I’m not going to go any further with this right now, because honestly, we’re entering the arena of purely gratuitous fiber porn.

So getting back to some of my spinning and sampling and whatnot, I did two other chain-plied things, one of which is some Indian Summer tussah that’s getting made into a Something right now, and it hasn’t been photographed yet. I did do up a sock blend — 3 batts, 465 yards, about 15 wpi chain-plied, this is Iris, which is sold out again already, and clearly needs to be repeated when I get my lazy blogging butt into the studio shortly:

I like this yarn. In fact, let’s see it again:

Yeah, I like that one.

Oh, I did manage to get my yarn off for the Yarn Thing swap; by way of documentation, before I split it into its requisite 25 skeins, here it is on a kitchen scale set to measure in grams:

So, ignoring the little bit of waste and loss from splitting it into so many skeins, every skein is about a gram, and 20 yards. I’d wanted to make every skein for the swap from a single ounce of silk, and have it be a plied yarn. It looked a little silly, I have to admit, stuck into individual tiny plastic bags so I could slap a label on it because the skeins were just soooo small.

There’s something else I was going to mention… Ah yes! Here’s a swatch for my Indian Summer handpaint colourway, on some handspun wool/silk/mohair single. Expect to see the pattern for this scarf shortly; I want to think about it a bit and make a functional scarf, as really this is only a swatch.

Well, phooey! There’s not really all that much to show for a few busy weeks, but I’ll still pat myself on the back for spring cleaning. Which reminds me to let you all know I’ll be throwing items from the “I’m not going to do anything with this, am I?” pile up on eBay sometime later this week; presently there are a few yarns listed, like several boucles I just know I’m not going to do anything with, ever. There’ll be more… lots more.

18 thoughts on “April’s half over? I’d better make myself look busy.

  1. What an adorable kitty (I believe I get the name reference!) ๐Ÿ™‚

    The blues/greens/purples sparkily skein is beautiful!

  2. Not much to show? I’m overwhelmed by the amount of activity! And the little kitten is adorable. We have a shorthair mix (who’s 15 now) which the vet thinks has some burmese in him. He’s a great cat, but quite the chatter!

  3. I’m in love with City Lights! I spun the October Woods tussah silk over the weekend and oh. my. god. I told my husband I didn’t ever want to spin anything else! So beautiful, Abby! Now I have to decide what to ply it with.

  4. I covet Iris, those colors are gorgeous, and it glows!

  5. I *must* have Iris! *drools and claws at the air a little*

    I’ve spun up two batts of Crown Jewels, two more to go, and then I will have the most beautiful socks in the world…until I get my hands on that Iris.
    I found out that my tax return is several hundred dollars more than expected. Guess what I’m buying *grins*

  6. Your kitten is just darling! What a cutie, if only they could stay mostly comatose. Mad little creatures they are and then they grow up and you kind of miss them.

    Also, I am very fond of that green-blue-purple yarn as well, it’s beautiful.

    Have a good morning!

  7. Oh cute kitten, all innocent and sleeping.

    I second the Morro Fleece Works suggestion, and fabulous yarns! Great eye-candy, making me want to get right to work and spin something beautiful too.

  8. Kaylee from “Firefly”?! You are my hero. She looks adorable, congratulations! I will also cheer the quality at Morro – she gets all my merino and alpaca business and Wooly Knob gets most of the rest.

  9. Yay for kittehs! It’s good to have that new life around. ๐Ÿ™‚ Must teach her respect for fiber, wheels, etc. …

  10. What an adorable kitten!

  11. I’m not sure but I think I hate you. For a couple of reasons: 1) your spinning is so perfect and 2)those new things you are putting up on your site are going to push me over the edge. I GOTTA HAVE SOME O’DAT!!!!

    Of course you know that hate is usually masked love. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Your kitty is beautiful!!

    Oh, your swap yarn is lovely!! I hope people don’t hate what they get from me…I had to change my plans because of my mental mistake as to amount per skein and how much I can (spindle) spin in a given time ๐Ÿ™

  13. hi abby! isn’t our chat fun? it helps me to engage w/ thought-provoking peeps such as yourself; gets my braincells firing after long hours at the wheel by myself.

    i wondered why my blog stats had gone up; then i saw you’d linked to me. thanks! and did you notice the different website URL? got COLORBOMB Creations online, finally.

    oh, and dang but your stuff is gorgeous! i want to try my hand at dyeing next. if mine come out even *1/2* as nice, i’ll consider it a success.


  14. Awww, what an adorable kitty!

  15. April Blizzard turned out really nice. I haven’t ever tried chain plying, but I may have a go after seeing all of your yarns.

    I also have to second the good opinions of Morro Fleece Works. I sent her a 4.5 lb. merino that I just couldn’t get clean in my apt (the water just wasn’t getting hot enough) and a 5.5 lb lincoln/corridale cross. She did an awesome job with both of them.

    I’ve also succumbed to some of the fiber she sells on eBay and managed to get my hands on 12 oz of a baby suri roving that I sometimes go into my fiber room just to pet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. As one of the “what the hell do I do NOW???” learners, I’d be willing to bet that both you and Velma have artistic inclinations. You, I’m sure of, just from looking at your gorgeous fibers. It’s been my experience that artsy people see things differently than the rest of us, and that means that our brains are wired differently. What seems obvious to you never even enters our heads. “Try something!” you say? I wouldn’t know where to begin.

  17. Is fleece porn really ever gratuitous?

  18. oh yeah, a Firefly kitty! Congratulations!

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