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Hello fellow fiber addicts!
Or maybe you’re here because you enjoy my witty prose? (Okay I’m reaching, it’s the fiber activities right?)

Gosh it’s been a while since my last post. That was 2 weeks before we moved from NC to ME and I’ve been in ME almost a month now. So many things to update with, but I’ll try to keep the move information brief and get on to the good stuff about attending the Common Grounds Country Fair.

The move was possibly one of the worst moves I’ve ever had in my life. That sounds dramatic, but it started off with our rental car not being able to tow our boat (why rent us a rental SUV with a tailor hitch if you won’t let us tow something?) Driving around trying to find something on a Sunday morning, and ended up with a 14″ Uhaul truck. It was more than we needed, but the smallest we could find on a one way move. Honestly, I’m not a fan of Uhaul but we had zero issues the entire 2 days with that truck, and for that I am grateful. Once we finally got going it was me driving our Corolla with Loki and Odin in the back seat, and June with G in the Uhaul.
Within a few hours we were already stranded on the side of the I 81 somewhere in Virginia because one of the BRAND NEW tires we’d just had put on the boat trailer literally exploded. AAA doesn’t help with boat trailers, but after a few hours we managed to find a tow truck and stayed in that town for the night. No clue what it was called. Up early the next morning, new tires on the trailer (again) and off we went. We ended up stopping in CT for gas, and low and behold? The corolla wouldn’t start! Thankfully we were at a gas station and AAA does indeed cover our Toyota (heaven). The battery was spewing acid! Thankfully a battery change had us on the road again. By this time it was late and we were just going to stay in a hotel in CT, but because of Hurricane Irene and mass power outages, all hotels were booked. We continued on to Maine and arrived at around 2am. Whew!
What I haven’t mentioned is that somewhere halfway through day 2 Loki decided he was totally over being in the car and spent the majority of the time trying to crawl his way into my lap in the front seat. Have I mentioned he’s a 60lb Husky cross? We managed to fashion a dog gate out of a white board and some bungee cords, but he still continually tried to climb it. At one point near Boston (midnight) I had some jerk in a truck with his high beams blinding me, a dog freaking out and crawling over a white board divider, and trying to change lanes.
We survived though, and I’m completely and utterly in love with Portland Maine, and our new house. Oh and we lived in it for over a week before our furniture arrived…. some of which wasn’t even close to being in one piece.
I LOVE IT HERE! I’ve never felt so comfortable in a house before. It’s massive, and I actually have a studio room which I’m setting up slowly as I gain items for it. Currently it’s a great space with a table, bins of my fibers and yarns, and my carder all ready to get batts going. I’ve also got a dyeing/fleece washing space in the basement that is absolutely perfect. That is set up with a table, sink, heating elements, a shelf with all my pots etc. and a drying area. LOVE.

Portland itself is wonderful. I love the coast line, the restaurants are amazing and while it’s clear we’re not in the south anymore, the weather has been perfect (in my opinion.) It gets chilly at night, and warms up during the day. The streets (as my friend Ebil told me she’d heard) “look like someone let a cow loose and then paved where it walked”, and make for some interesting driving practices by people (driving down the middle of a 2 lane because people have parked all up the sides).

Okay, wow. That summary was way too long. I understand if you zipped by that and went straight to the photos. I went to the fair! Common Ground Country Fair to be exact. How to describe it? Hmm, it’s a very crunchy environmental sort of fair, with lots of information on social issues, organic gardening, folk arts, crafts and environmental design and practice. It had a huge number of people willing to walk around in the muddy, animal feces laden, grass completely barefoot. I loved every second of it! I drove the 1 hour 45 by myself and stayed about 5 hours walking around and taking everything in. I took tons of cell phone pics! My favorite part was the fleece tent and fiber arts areas. I was able to learn about how they judge a fleece, pick out a few myself and meet some great spinners who gave me information on groups in my area. One of the fleece show judges checked out my fleeces when I was done, and I’d actually bought one of her’s without knowing it! I’m proud to say I apparently have an eye for good fleeces. But then again I did go through every single darn fleece there for a few hours. I bet they were getting tired of me. (Not really, they were all wonderful people in the fleece tent. Customers and volunteers alike!)

Okay on to the fair photos!

 I wanted to jump in all that roving and roll around a bit.

 Lovely hand dyed yarns

 Some great naturally dyed (if I recall correctly) handspun.

 Bunnies! (I took this one for Chris in VT.)

 Fleece tent! I got to the fair right as it opened, but apparently they had sold quite a bit on Friday. I was still able to find some great fleeces.

 Dreamy show fleeces!

 They had this great stand with information on each type of fiber/wool and little knit and spun swatches. Such an amazing resource.

 They even had Shrek wool!

 This was the fleece they were judging and taught us what to look for. It was a great lesson!

 I caught some of the sheep dog show, but honestly it was so packed I couldn’t see a lot. Odin would have a blast doing that though.

 The Wednesday Spinners. They all had castle wheels set up in a row with some great demonstration materials behind them. This is also where they taught the natural dyeing lesson and dyeing with indigo.

 Weaving station for kids. (I asked permission before taking this photo. I didn’t want to be creepy taking a photo of someone’s children.)

 Just a general photo to show how the fair was set up. This is in the morning, it got PACKED by lunchtime. Huge grounds. In fact it took almost 20 minutes just to hike (yup) to the fair grounds from the parking lot.

 A photo to show how packed the sheep dog area got just by 10am (it opened at 9)

 Lovely patchwork blanket I thought Chris may enjoy.

 More Shrek! He’s such a celebrity. ❀ May he RIP

 Morris Dancers! I swear they were following me.

 On to the live stock area. I have at least a dozen photos of Turkeys. They really don’t like to stand still. On the drive to the fair I came around a corner and there wee 6 right in the middle of the road. I didn’t hit them, and waited patiently for them to cross. Then I get to the fair and there are all these show turkeys. Too amusing.

 These sheep were shaking and visibly upset. I felt so bad for them. 😦

 I tried to get photos with their breed type sign, but it’s hard to make out.

 This sheep was my favorite. It sat like people! Then it started to gnaw on it’s foot. I’m pretty sure people thought I was a loony for staying by it so long.

 I almost came home with a guinea pig. True story, I even texted my husband. But I knew it wouldn’t be fair to the poor guy with Loki in the house. (He has a high prey drive.) I love guinea pigs though. ❀

 Show bunnies!

 Animals were all over the place, and so was their poop- which is why the 2/10 people with bare feet puzzled me. It had been raining really hard and the ground with all mud as well.

 Babies. So adorable. Nigerian goats are tiny to begin with, and the babies look like dolls.

 If you drink Horizon Milk (G does, I don’t drink milk) then here are some of the cows who provide milk for you πŸ™‚

 Huge bulls.

 Oxen pull

 Folk Music
I had a bunch of photos not turn out. Things like the social activism tent, the recycling area, the environmental resources and food areas.

My eventual haul. Haul literally, I had to carry those over 1.5 hours trying to find my car! I ended up with a gorgeous white Romney fleece, a black Border Leicester and a grey Navajo Churro. You know those are going to making their way into my dye pots and batts soon right? Let me tell you, they are HEAVEN as far as fleeces go. I was very lucky. So will you be if you choose to buy a batt eventually. πŸ˜‰

Now if you’ve managed to make it this far- thank you! I have an exciting announcement. Dyeing For Ewe should be opening again soon! I have a bunch of things to prep, all my stocks went down the drain in the move, I’m waiting on a fiber order and washing fleeces- I still haven’t located my camera…. but I’m getting ready! Thank you so much for being patient with me. I’m sincerely hoping people still remember my little shop when they’re looking for fiber. For those that have been asking me about when I’m opening- It’s soon! In between knitting commissions, job hunting and job interviews I’ll be washing fleece and dyeing like a mad woman. I’m so inspired!
Thank you for keeping on me about getting going again. ❀

2 weeks until the Move!

(***Disclaimer. There aren’t any fibery photos in this post. I’m still knitting lots, and finished the giant granny square blanket, but they’ll have to be for a future post. This is all moving glee***)

We’re hitting the home stretch now! 2 weeks from this exact moment we’ll be on the road driving from the middle of North Carolina up to the southern coast of Maine. I’ll hopefully be driving our Corolla with Odin (Hubby will have another vehicle with Junebug and Loki), either singing along loudly to music or listening to an audio book (which ever will keep me awake, since 2 weeks from this exact moment I’ll have been driving for quite a few hours.)

Every time I ask my husband questions about the house he says “Trust me, you’re going to love it. I promise.” and then I go about my merry way cleaning out a closet armed with a big black garbage bag. But now I have more photos, taken by our wonderful new landlord, of the house empty and all ready for us!
Giddy is the best one word I can use to describe my level of excitement.

Righto. I’m going to share, because friends have been asking and I know my parents would think it’s neat to see where I’ll be living. Plus seeing into someone else’s home is a fun sort of voyeuristic “Hey that is how people live eh?” sort of thing.

I’ll label them how they came to me from Judith. πŸ™‚ Β In no particular order:

Addition window in eating nook.

Hallway to back door

Back steps

Downstairs bath

Dining area

Downstairs bath

Pretty window!

Front bedroom

Front porch left side. (Do note the house is green, like my favorite and lucky colour! Fate?)

Front porch right side

Looking down upstairs hallway towards master bedroom

Master bedroom

Middle bedroom

Staircase

Garage

Office/Downstairs bedroom

Upstairs bathroom

Upstairs bathroom

Washer/dryer nook

Upstairs hallway to other bedrooms

View out front window

View out living room window

Cute no? It’s a 1918 american foursquare home, roughly 1400 square feet, plus attic and basement (partially finished) so it’s quite large, especially for 2 people. Proof that you can find great things through craigslist ads. I haven’t seen the basement, attic, inside the garage or the living room (with fireplace yay!) yet, so there are still some great surprises in store. G is going to claim the room on the first floor as an office, and I’m going to pick one of the upstairs rooms as a studio space.

I hope these next 2 weeks fly by.

We have the house in Maine! Right in Portland. Let me tell you, I did a happy dance like no other yesterday. I wish I had some photos to show you, but unfortunately my husband forgot to take some. Regardless, he says it a lovely old house that is even better than we thought it would be and we’re super excited.
I’ll have a studio! I’m already dreaming about how I’ll set it up.

The minute we get to Maine I’m eating a lobster (I’ve never had one before!) and going to visit the Cape Elizabeth lighthouse. I’ve been dreaming over that photo for a few months now. Oh and I’m going to touch the Atlantic Ocean. Despite being in NC for a few years now, I’ve never made it to the coast. I grew up playing in the Pacific Ocean, so finally getting to the Atlantic will be something to check off my bucket list.

I’m still trying to sell my lovely Irma (Kymco Like 50cc scooter) over on Craigslist. I’m hoping to use the money from her to get our Jeep Cherokee checked over and ready to go to Maine. I figure I’ll need that a heck of a lot more than a 50cc scooter. If you know anyone who would be interested in an excellent quality scooter (In North Carolina) ca you head them over here pretty please.

And in non moving news, just so I have a fibery photo to update with (blog posts without pictures really aren’t very fun are they?)  I’m still randomly working on my giant granny square blanket. It’s eating up my acrylic stash at an amazing rate. The colours are just randomly placed and I’m doing 3 rows of each. I’m about to run out of large skeins of yarn though, so I think I’m going to switch to one colour per row.

No clue what I’m going to do with it lol. My husband has decided he doesn’t like this sort of blanket because it catches his toes. (Yup, thats the quote) Amusing guy eh? He’s cute. Anyways, most of the things I’ve been mindlessly working on will probably end up as Christmas gifts. It’s more just busy work until we find out whats going on with the move. We have to be out of this house in NC on the 31st, and we’ve yet to find out our relocation package. Busy work keeps me sane.
(I’m the sort who needs to plan FAR in advance to feel comfortable and know we’ve got a long distance moving company set up.)

My Honey badger socks are sadly neglected by the giant granny square. I’ll pick them back up soon! It’s not the pattern, which is lovely, I’m just OCDing on crochet for a bit. Our central AC decided to stop today though, so the last thing I want to do is work on a blanket.

Hope all is well with everyone who reads my blog! Are there any exciting life changes going on for you?

Oh and before I forget- I’ve mirrored my blog over on WordPress. I’m not sure which site I’m going to continue with- but I’ll be sure to update once I’ve tried that site out a bit and see if I like it better than blogger.
Dyeing for Ewe on WordPress

Also if you’re on Google Plus I’ve got a great fibery circle started and love checking out everyone’s updates. This is where you can find me on Google Plus

Moving. Just that word makes me cringe. When we moved into our current house years ago I broke a toe and my feet were so swollen it looked like I had a wee bit of elephantitis. Oh and the purple was a lovely shade that lasted a few days.

This move will hopefully be better since we will have my husband’s company doing some of the organising. I think? Oi. Full of anxiety at the moment. One big stress has been finding a house up there. G has already gone on one house hunting trip and I didn’t like anything he’d seen. I’ve been looking through craigslist and online sites so I could get some homes together for him to view. I put up a craigslist ad with what we were looking for, hopeful that maybe the perfect home is looking for us.
Well! Sometimes good things do happen. *knock on wood* because I got an e-mail from a really nice lady with a gorgeous old house. Its huge! More house than we were looking for, but it was built in 1918 and I LOVE older homes. The clawfoot bathtub, cool stairway and lovely wood floors drew me in, and the niceness of the landlords made me covet. So yeah. Hopefully this is the one! With a home finally secured all I would have to worry about packing and finding out what sort of moving package we get.
I’m going to miss North Carolina, even Mocksville, so much. I didn’t think I’d be sad to leave, yet I truly am. The south is a lovely place. But New England is a new adventure, and I’m excited for the future.

Okay, enough moving rambling. I’m still knitting socks like crazy. I’m currently working on a pair of Honey Badger socks. They’re a cuff down super easy pattern that has a cool look (and an awesome name.) They’ve been really fast so far. This is the best picture of the yarn colour, isn’t it lovely?

I’ve since turned the heel and am working on the foot now. It’s just some decreases paired with a YO every half dozen rows or so, combined with a lot of knit stitch. Very good TV knit.

Okay, back to the gym for me soon. I’ve been meeting friends for the weekly abs class, then complaining about it for days afterwards. Oh and still with the bodypump classes. 32 pounds lost so far! I’ll be a volunteer firefighter yet.

What has everyone else been working on?

Sock a Long

Hello all! Have you heard about the #sockalong on twitter?
No?

Oh my, where is my head? Basically you can knit anything you want, but most of the time we’re knitting socks and using the hashtag (a way to create a central search option so all can chat back and forth with ease.)
#sockalong and showing pictures, grumbling, sharing victories and yarn squees. Anything goes really. Meet some new knitting friends and share your nightly progress. We love looking at knitting!

I’m still working away on a pair of Cubist Socks (Cookie A pattern that is fun so far.) The intended recipient ended up letting me know she doesn’t actually care for hand knit socks, which gives me a fabulous excuse to knit her some mittens instead. I LOVE the colour of this yarn, which isn’t showing up very well in my pictures. It’s called Knitpicks Tonal in Blue Yonder. Vibrant aqua blues with a short repeat. It’s such a happy colour!

The pattern is great so far, (check the edit tab on Ravelry for the download link) but take note of where it says there isn’t much give to the pattern. I recommend knitting the cuff with the next size up needle, in the very least.

Slow going. I was on a roll, thinking these were going to be the fastest pair of socks I’ve ever knit…. and then I haven’t worked on them in nearly a week. Eep!

Hope to see you on twitter! You can find me at the gnomenapper twitter handle. πŸ™‚

Remember the Burn’s Bog art batt from my previous post?
Here is a photo reminder:

Hand dyed Cormo top
Hand dyed Border Leicester (from raw fleece)
Kid Mohair (from raw fleece) with locks.
Pulled Sari Silk

When it comes to art batts many spin it into art yarns. Core spun and such. I decided to pull strips (lengthwise) off this batt and just spin as it came. Two singles emerged and I plyed them together with a bunch of twist into a worsted weight 2 ply yarn. The textures and varied fibers make for a fun green and brown yarn base full of specs of colour and portions of white fluffy locks.

135 yards to finish, worsted weight. Tentatively called Gypsy. I have no clue what to knit with it, but it’s going to make for a great textural colour filled item!

Give an art batt a shot! Some are majorly chunky lumpy bumpy, with minimal carding. Run through a wide toothed carder once, the individual add ins are left in huge chunks. Those I’m not entirely sure of yet (seem to be best for felting perhaps?), to be honest- but a textured blended batt spun up quite nicely as singles for a 2 ply!

Knitting OCD

I’ve been knitting like a mad woman; going from project to project (socks, to cowl to cowl to shrug) and putting them in my winter knits bin when I’m done. I guess I’m stocking up for Christmas or Maine?

The reason I decided to learn how to knit socks was a pair from Cookie A that I saw in a magazine (Knit1) and became obsessed with their gorgeous flowing ribbing. I finally knit that pair, and am even more in love. For the first time I can say I’ve found a pattern I will gladly knit over and over because of how fun it is! They look complicated, but it’s all just  well patterned ribbing. Cookie A is a genius.

Meet my Marlene Dream socks (knit in Tidepool Heather Essential Sport by Knitpicks)

They are a bit thicker than regular socks because they were knit with sport weight, but I absolutely love them! I can’t wait for a Maine winter to try these puppies out. Maybe I’ll order a bunch of sport weight so I can knit more.

Why yes, my handspun super big thick and thin cowl is finished!

 Defying gravity! I just draped it on the tree and thought that was pretty nifty.

 You can wrap it around a few times and keep super warm. It’s pretty thick as well. Can you be in love with a cowl? Because if you can be, I am with this one. Right up my ally with the texture and super over sized.

Then I cast on for another cowl right after. I won a Madison Cowl kit from The Sweatshop of Love  which came in a cute project bag with: laminated instructions, a hank of Vanna’s Choice acrylic yarn (in black, the colour I picked) and 4 great hand made buttons. I really enjoyed this knit! It was fast, but just enough not to get boring. The buttons, seed stitch border and adorable leaf lace print make for a fun cowl.

Kind of a poopy picture, I apologise. It’s a lovely cowl though! Check out better pictures on the ravelry pattern page here.

Now I’m knitting a small shrug with some Bittersweet (dark brown) Wool of the Andes I have left over from my Ingenue Sweater (which coincidentally is about to be frogged since it’s HUGE on me now. Such a great feeling!) Nothing exciting, it’s just a rectangle with the edges sewn up as sleeves. I’ll be sure and post photos when there is something to show.

Now I’m feeling the spinning urge and may pull out my Burns Bog batts. I’m really curious to see how all the sari silk sandwiched between mohair and fine wool will spin up. I’m hoping it makes for an exciting yarn!

I miss dyeing more than I can express. I still see colour combinations and fibers that make me giddy and give me the urge to pull out my dyes again. Thank you to everyone who has been mentioning Dyeing For Ewe on social network sites! Part of me was worried that I would drift out of peoples’ minds and fade away. It’s nice to know that my work was memorable and missed. I’m still concentrating on working out daily (Les Mills Body Pump is amazing. If you have that program at a gym near you I highly recommend it! I’m also a huge fan of pilates. Netflix instant view has some decent videos streaming if you’re interested.) and in additional personal news I’m working on getting my driver’s license. I haven’t driven since I left Canada, but I’m picking it back up pretty quickly. I’m hopeful I’ll get my full license soon! My fiber stock is pretty much all gone, and I didn’t replace it before my hiatus. Hopefully I can do a bit of dyeing before we move to Maine in September. But if not, I’m definitely going to get the pots, stocks and carder ready when we get to Maine.

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