Monday, January 23, 2012


You heard it here first.  My sons have coined a new name for fiber (and other) enthusiasts. I must say that my sons have a knack for turning a phrase and adding new ones to the English language.  Now for the story behind Kudzobbies.

It's Sunday morning and we quite often go to breakfast together before or after church.  It's a fun way for my husband, myself, my two sons (ages 36 and 28) and my daughter-in-law to catch up on each others lives and solve the problems of  the world.  This last Sunday the main topic under discussion was presidential candidates both past and present and possible future ones. This conversation eventually turned to our options if Hilary Clinton became President. The conversation sort of went like this:
D (younger son):  If she becomes president, I'm moving to Canada.
Me:  How about New Zealand? (I'm always thinking about those lovely sheep).
R (older son):  No, New Zealand is having a lot of political, economical and other problems.
D:  We'll just all have to move to a private and isolated island.
Me:  Both of you had better get your books published so we can afford an island.
R:  Don't need to.  We just perfect the method of using gravitational pull to capture and asteroid and place it in a temperate location to make our own island.
Me:  I have a better idea.  We can buy a TARDIS and live in it.
D:  That is a good idea.
Me:  And I can have a special area in the TARDIS for my fibers and spinning wheels.
R:  You know that won't make any difference.  Before long the TARDIS interior will be festooned with your yarns.  You have to admit, Mom, that your yarn grows and takes over everything.  It's a Kudzu Hobby (Kudzobbie).  You always have Kudzu Hobbies, even when you made jewelry the beads took over the house.

I had to admit that my sons were correct.  My fiber enthusiasm has led to boxes full of yarn and spinning fibers.  But it doesn't stop there.  You will find little pieces of yarn wherever our shoes or the cats take them.  One of the cats likes to decorate his food dish with my yarns.  You will also find wool and alpaca dust bunnies throughout the house since I prefer spinning to sweeping.  The family room is filled with my boxes of fibers and the living room is now home to 2 spinning wheels, a yarn swift, a skein winder, a niddy noddy, a nostepin and several Turkish spindles.  It is definitely reminiscent of Kudzu cover trees, yards, and even entire buildings like the ones that have been destroyed by that voracious plant in the Carolinas and Georgia.  What someone really needs to do is turn Kudzu into a soft spinning fiber similar to banana fiber or SeaCell.  It is already used for basket weaving.  I bet it would make a beautiful spinning fiber.  We could reclaim our  south central states and have something beautiful to spin.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I know a lot of you (including me) do not enjoy or understand the reason for blocking your finished knit, crochet and woven pieces.  I have always been one of those people who avoided it if possible.  Now I find myself doing it more for numerous reasons.  In researching this blog article, I found some excellent reasons to start blocking all my finished pieces as well as gauge swatches.

One reason is to make sure all your little ends that you have so painstakingly taken the time to weave in will become secure during the blocking process.  Reason two - it will help set the stitches.  Reason three - your swatch gauge might change sizes if blocked.  This is very important when knitting or crocheting a garment to a specific size.  Reason four has become very obvious to me now that I use a couple of continuous weave looms - it will even out the tension and make those lovely shawls, stoles and scarves look like they weren't woven for use by a lopsided human.  My scarves no longer look like a slightly ruffled parallelogram. 

Now that I've accepted blocking as a way of life, I have started looking for tools to make it easier.  Fortunately one of those needs was provided by my Mom, who was given a slightly padded blocking board with the grid printed right on the the fabric cover of the board.  Thanks, Mom!

Now on to some amazing tools from 7 Yaks Design.  Lynne sent me these wonderful Mitten Blockers.

Aren't they fabulous!  They are made from acrylic so you never have to worry about them warping the way wooden ones could.  And the thumb pieces do double duty as WPI gauges with a one inch gauge one one side and a half-inch gauge on the other.  Even better is the New and Improved Mitten Blockers set in her etsy shop.  The new ones have cute heart cutouts which have been turned into needle gauges and a diz for pulling your roving.  Lynne also has three sizes of sock blockers, leg and yoga warmer blockers, and wrist warmer blockers which all double as various types of gauges.  There are also some beautiful snowflake needle gauges which would make a nice gift item for your next swap.  Also in acrylic are some beautiful spindles and a strand holder for your spinning (I just ordered one for myself).

7 Yaks Design is one of those lovely little shops that carries almost everything a spinner and/or knitter may need including yarns, fibers, tools, needles and hooks, felted toys, beads and jewelry.  You must stop in just for a peek at Lynne's unique creative vision.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I must admit I am partial to alpaca.  I love the softness, the ease of spinning, and they are just too darned cute. If I was 25 years younger, I might even want to own a couple.

Several of the members in our SparkleSpin group are Alpaca farmers, one of which is Lisa of Maranatha Alpaca Farm.  Lisa sent me this beautifully soft and lofty roving.  I have decided to dye it Red Vermillion to use in a shawl for one of my aunts.  I had decided to gradually spin and weave a shawl or stole for each of the female members of my family.  So far I have finished 2 of them for a couple of my nieces who recently graduated from college.  If you want to do something similar or would like to arrange a farm tour so you can see these adorable animals, contact Lisa at Maranath Alpaca Farm.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy 2012 Fiber Year!

What better way to start off the new year than playing with fiber.  And this fiber feels even softer than it looks.  Those beautiful balls of fluff in the picture are just aching to be used.  This gorgeous Tahiti Sunrise dyed balls of fiber are the most luscious bits of cashmere that will soon be meeting by drum carder in preparation for spinning something ultra fine.  If you want some of these loose cashmere fibers for yourself, they can be found at Girl Meets Spindle on Etsy.

Rachel has many fascinating hand painted fibers and rovings in her shop.  I just wish I had a lot of extra money to buy more of this loose cashmere fiber in the Painters Palette section of her shop.  It really is the some of the softest, loftiest fibers I have ever touched.  Another section of her shop, Plant Fiber, has some banana roving that I have not had a chance to spin yet.

Thank you Rachel for the beautiful cashmere and your wonderful talent for color!

It's a Wonderful Life!

That sounds like a cliche and more than a little schmaltzy but it's true.  Christmas this year was fantastic.  I just felt this wonderful sense of Joy throughout the holidays. For our family the holidays began on December 23 when we were all able to spend the day at Universal Studios to celebrate my daughter-in-law's 25th birthday.  The weather was perfect and the Butterbeer was deliscious.  We had birthday cake and more Butterbeer (my own version) on December 24 after Church and before we opened our Christmas presents.  I was fortunate enough to receive a beautiful skeinwinder from my husband.  It was quickly named "the Pirate's Wheel" by my children.