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Big News!

I have a whole bunch of things to cover, since I’ve been slack about actually posting here. Ya know, thinking about what I’m going to write, planning what I’m going to write, and making detailed outlines in my mind of what I’m going to write are just no substitute to actually writing. I’ve been busy, though, as you’ll hear in a bit.

Hm… big news first, or last???

First, how about the Ravelry contest? Three people offered up their guesses as to when I’ll get an invite. Yes, this is a blatant and shameless ploy to get people to leave me comments. I won’t deny that, because it’s absolutely true. But yet, there is sock yarn.

Striping sock yarn

Self-striping, in, um, vibrant colors. Wouldn’t that look good on your feet? That’s about 460 yards of superwash merino – nylon, more than enough for a pair of socks. All you have to do is guess when I get a Ravelry invite (“never” and “2023” are not encouraging guesses and won’t get you sock yarn no matter how long it takes). You have until October 1 to take a stab at it (remember that date). Here’s some extra information:

* You signed up on August 30, 2007
* You are #29977 on the list.
* 17537 people are ahead of you in line.
* 2516 people are behind you in line.
* 37% of the list has been invited so far

If any of the three who signed up already want to change, let me know. The rest of you, leave a comment!

Moving right along… why October 1? Well, that’s the day that Stringpage Supplies will be opening its virtual doors. The long-term goal is to have all of the supplies and tools you need to do all of the string things that are explained on my web page. This is a second job for me, so it may take a while. Initially, there will be hand-dyed sock yarn (surprise!) of which the contest prize is just a small example, roving of various types, drop spindles, and a few other odds and ends.

The exciting part is that I’m working with Pennsylvania farmers and a Pennsylvania wool mill to bring you specialty wool yarns of types that are difficult to find elsewhere. S- and Z-spun singles in two weights, anyone? Dyed and not? This will take a while, since the wool mill only opened in May and they’re already 7-8 months behind, but I’ll keep you posted. Or actually, you can keep yourself posted by signing up for the newsletter.

I have a stack of skeins of sock yarn ready (you’ve seen previews of most of them), the beginnings of some beautiful and unique spinning and weaving tools, and I’m sitting here at the dining room table surrounded by wool (now packaged neatly in 4-ounce balls).

Pile o'wool

I can’t remember the last time we ate at the dining room table. Right now I’m surrounded by not only many pounds of wool but also the sewing machine, a small loom, a few pieces of pottery, today’s mail (and yesterday’s junk mail), my knitting bag… The rule is that projects that aren’t being worked on must get put away, but those actually in progress can sit out as long as they are active. As long as they aren’t either hazardous or unduly attractive to cats and dogs, that is. Nick and I both tend to be working on something or another all the time, and it’s too much hassle to pick it up, get it out, pick it up, get it out. (Although in his case, it seems to be too much hassle to pick it up, no matter when it was last used…)

The Pennsylvania Fiber Festival was last weekend. You all missed out! It was small, I think mostly because it is a fairly new festival. There was lots and lots of alpaca in all colors of the alpaca-rainbow (alpaca rainbow: white to brown to black. Maybe a colorblind rainbow?), and some wool. Grace was there with her husband Fred and their antique spinning wheels. I bought all the wool in the previous photo: Blue Faced Leicester, Finn, and Rambouillet, all to be dyed before October 1. I’ll put up the names of the sellers later.

Sheepdog

Not only attractive, but useful as well:

Sheepdog

These were show dogs, competition herders. A couple years ago Nick and I travelled to Scotland, and we were able to watch some real herding dogs do their stuff. I’ll dig up my photos from that trip – lots and lots of sheep.

I drooled all over some variegated brown alpaca yarn, but managed to resist temptation (I hope the vendor didn’t have too much trouble drying it off). I did buy some dyed locks for myself, though. I’ve been looking at the fingerless gloves, and these will spin up very well for that purpose, I think.

Dyed locks

I’ve been working on the socks (both pairs, I swear), and on spinning the silk-camel-merino, but it all goes very slow, especially when combined with all the paperwork and details of starting a business. Tedious, and yet exciting. I realized last week that I’ve been here, in this town and this job, for longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere once I left home for college. No wonder I’m antsy. I like what I do, but need to keep doing different things for the challenge and the novelty. Thus, Stringpage Supplies. This is something I’ve wanted to try for a long time, and this time everything fell into place for me.

Important safety tip: don’t ever under any circumstances try playing Zuma. Those hours you lose could have been spent knitting!

4 Comments on “Big News!”

  1. #1 Laura
    on Sep 13th, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Yay!!! I like the part about local suppliers, too. (Imagine buying S or Z instead of handspinning for a big project!) And about Tools. Tools are great.

    Oh, organization. I myself manage to keep my tiny eating table mainly free. At least in the center. There is stuff around the edges and a pile of books on the side and more on the floor. My worktable is about two feet away, linked by books & papers (for my cat’s comfort, that’s it), and is in a state of chaos. It is not a good idea to have cloth & thread where paint & ink are sometimes used…I’d probably get more done if I could keep things better isolated. As in, I don’t feel like cleaning up all this embroidery stuff, so I guess I won’t get out the watercolors.

    >Although in his case, it seems to be too much hassle to pick it up, no >matter when it was last used…
    Nick, did you see this? ;)

    The dyed locks are marvelous. I *do* have intentions of learning to knit better so I can start on socks, but the current thing is a revival of tatting.

    Glad to read your update/progress report! It also reminds me that _I_ need to make a plan, too.

    Anyway–for now, back to work.

    bye!

  2. #2 Generica
    on Sep 14th, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Nov 3 :-)

    I followed the link at the bottom of your email. This place isn’t quite as likely as your other site to consume huge amounts of my life, but it’ll come in second place. Our stable has sheep to eat what the horses don’t and the owner promised me all the wool next spring.

  3. #3 sarebear
    on Sep 18th, 2007 at 7:14 am

    This is simply fabulous! Congrats on this big step, and it hope it’s a smashing success!

    I just ordered a learn to spin kit the other day from a vendor on Ravelry. some BFL and the other might be Corriedale.

    the BFL is dyed in fall colors.

    that blue/yellow red you have up there reminds me of Wonder Woman (I love Wonder Woman)

  4. #4 Hope Martin
    on Sep 26th, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Okay, okay. I’ll take a stab at the date you get your revelry invite… ummm… how about April 2008? Would be a nice way to bring in spring, no?

    Knit on!
    Hope