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Rain! Finally!

I obviously should have blogged about how depressing no rain was ages ago, because no sooner did I do so than…

You can’t believe how much greener that is than it was a few days ago. Well, Peggy probably can! It’s been a steady drizzle for several days now, still muggy and warm, but at least it’s raining.

And in happy news that this brings, I expect to finish that Pagoda shawl tonight and block it tomorrow. No, really! And right after that, the Foggy Foggy Dew! I can’t wait to see ’em both. Both are scrunched up on circulars and look like huge heaps of nothing, which is one of the hard things about big shawls.

Amusingly, one of this week’s blends looks just like my kitten:

See her licking her chops? Sheesh! That’s why cats aren’t allowed in the studio. I mean, the sheer horror! I was just setting stuff up in the light box…

It ended up having to be named Kaylee, because it does look exactly like her. But this blend is suri alpaca, tussah silk, merino, and BFL. Man, it’s really nice stuff (and yeah, it’s a dibs)!

Some other eye candy…


This was really a neat blends week, and it was good to be able to squeeze in some “smaller” runs after Batt Club and everything. I felt like I got very little uncommitted stuff done, but there are over 50 new batts available right now, so I guess that’s not so bad.

A couple of you asked about my offhanded mention of SOAR the other day. I will be attending, just as a regular schmoe, not as a vendor. This will be the first time I’ve gone, and I’m really looking forward to it. My father always enjoyed it a great deal and came back with new discoveries, and I think it’s going to be really neat. I promise I’ll take pictures to document how many spinning wheels fit in a Trans Am. Among other things. I look forward to meeting some of you there!

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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.

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September has arrived, and with it all sorts of fun and fruitful events… events which, however, have minimized my online activities a little. Finally I’ve got a bit of a break, so I figure I’ll give everyone a holler and an update.

First things first: Batt Club! Later today, everyone on the waiting list will be receiving new emails with their position in line, notifications have gone out to those who’ve gotten in, and the September club shipment is slated for Monday or Tuesday.

So what’s been keeping me so busy? Well, I’ve got a few writing deadlines, some pre-ordered custom production that’s had to happen, a new school year for the manchild, and I’m finally — yes, finally — approaching the completion of that exciting dental implant saga. And, okay, I actually took Labor Day weekend off.

The Foggy, Foggy Dew shawl is, finally, nearing completion; so’s the Pagoda shawl. It has been miserably hot again, after a 3-day break in the weather — the hottest August and start of September on record. So I can’t say there’s been a ton of knitting going on, particularly on shawls that are nearing completion and thus cover a large amount of lap real estate. And it’s hardly rained at all in the past 2 months; everybody’s yard is dying, trees are in trouble, oof, it’s unpleasant.

Stay tuned! Next week brings the meaty updates you’ve been wishing for. Really! This past week has been the first real work week of the new school year season for me, and boy has it been a doozy, as they say.