Friday, July 31, 2009

Kanga and Roo

A friend gave my this kangaroo and joey for my recent birthday and I thought I would share them with you. It certainly reminds me of why I became the 'kangaroo' dyer and not something else.

This rain is annoying! I've had enough! Haven't you? I need to work in my garden, but I don't like being wet and uncomfortable and MUDDY!! Hot and Humid and uncomfortable I can stand but not wet and muddy. Of course on the bright side, I wouldn't be writing this Blog if I were in the garden.

In other news, the SUMMER SALE is on in both my ETSY shop and on my Web Site. Everything on the web site is involoved in the 20% discount whereas only marked items on the Etsy site are. Time to try new yarns and fill your stash for the winter. The sale will run through the month of August. Spread the word!

Best, Gail

Monday, July 27, 2009


Well summer is finally here!! Now I can begin complaining about the humidity and heat – even though I actually love the heat. Maybe now my tomatoes will start growing and producing. I was hoping for a bumper crop so I could replenish my stash of Salsa.

Speaking of producing – I’ve posted new Lace Weight Tencel, Superwash Merino Roving, and Sock Yarn this week end. Take a few moments and look through my website ( I will be posting more sock yarn, scarves, and silk yardage for Nuno felting projects.

Remember, you can always request colorways and yarn types. This does not obligate you to purchase until you’ve seen the pictured results and like what you see. The advantage to me is the flow of new ideas – that’s part of the excitement of creating.

So much to say, so little time....

Best, Gail

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Balloon Fest and Web Site

It's been an exciting 6 days since the Web Site went live! I know from the emails that the site is being used as well as from the sales. PayPal is a little uneven in its handling of S&H Charges but with patience and understanding , it will all work out. The same old policies continue - if you are avercharged for S&H, a refubd is issued promptly.

Saturday night the Balloons went by - I thought you might like to see how close they were to my house.

Best, Gail

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Final notes on August 9th dyeing class.

I hope by now you have been thinking about what you want to use for the upcoming class. I talked with one student who wants to dye cloth for rug hooking. It will be great to have a variety of fibers to be able to compare our results.

I talked about the need to wind the 48 skeins, and put 3 ties on each to keep them from tangling. In this post I will show you how to tie and label each skein for dyeing.

There are innumerable ways to wind the skeins. Since the skeins must be about 15 yards each, (don't fret about a yard or two) understand that you need to measure the circumference of the selected objects and divide by 36 inches to get the yards. In other words, placing my two chair backs near each other, and wrapping the yarn around the two is about 60 inches. So, to get about 15 yards I need to have 9 revolutions. (15 yards x 36 inches =540 inches: divided by 60 is 9 revolutions) Do the math for your objects.

I have a niddy noddy (funny name) which I use. Here is a photo of one.

Often students use a large piece of cardboard to wrap the yarn, or the hands of a friend.

Once wound, the ties need to be placed to keep it from tangling. Here is a photo.

Next step is marking them in a way they will tolerate the wet dye bath and survive with the writing intact. This is where I use the tyvex envelope and tie them in this manner.

Please use a waterproof marker, or a pencil to number them. You will need one set numbered from 1-36 and another from 1-12. That's just about all you need to do before the class. if you have any questions, please email or call me. I look forward to the 9th! Best, Gail

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Launch day + One

The first day of the new Web site ( has been exciting and not without its moments of terror. In trying to get the site up, I lost it completely! Gone - new site, old site, original site. I was devastated! Fortunately, the team helping me (Susan, Sherry and Ernie) had anticipated my every move and had backed up the next to the final version so when I sent up my SOS Sherry was able to resurrect the site and I've put back some minor changes (like a better picture of me) and have added more yarn. Over the next several days I plan to get as much up as possible without trying to duplicate my ETSY site.

The Victorian Pastels Lace Weight Alpaca and Silk Yarn has an accompanying Scarf created for me by one of my friends. I've included more pictures here to show off her exquisite work.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Take a look!

Our new web site is up and running. My husband Bill and team have been working long days and nights to get everything working. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Preparing for August 9 Dyeing Class.

In this post, I am going to give you options for selecting yarns, ways of winding the skeins, and ways of marking them so you will know just what formulas you used to dye the yarn. Preparing fiber for the August 9 class at Webs.

Thank you to my students for checking in here on the blog to get ready for the class next month. In this post, I am going to give you options for selecting yarns, ways of winding the skeins, and ways of marking them to record the formulas you will use to dye the yarn.

A couple of housekeeping issues: The materials need to be purchased ahead of time and not from the instructor as originally stated. I thought I could search for some exotic and new materials for the class and have you purchase them from me, but since the preparation is key to a successful day, you should select from the choices I will list, and get the yarns ahead of time. During the afternoon session, there will be an opportunity to purchase yarns at the store for specific projects you may select. But for the morning session we will all be working on a 36 color wheel and a 12 color gray scale.

In the past when I taught this dyeing class I showed the students how to prepare the yarn during class time. At the last class, one of my students, Harriet, mentioned that Cat Bordhi makes videos ahead of time to show the students how to prepare for the class. In lieu of a video, I will photograph and post helpful pictures for you to use to guide you. This will save time for more learning and playing the day of the class, instead of doing the monotonous time consuming winding of 48 small skeins of yarn to make the color wheel and gray scale.

Here are some examples of yarns used successfully by past students.
Valley Yarns Northampton/ball
Valley Yarns Superwash/ball
Plymouth Encore/ball
Cascade 220/in a 220 yard skein
Brown Sheep worsted/ball
Harrisville Design Shetland and Highland/on cones 2 different yardages with the Shetland weight finer than the Highland

Whatever yarn you select, you will need to calculate the number of skein/balls/cones you need according to the following calculations. If you look at you will be able to get the statistics for the yarn you select.

Your total of skeins is 48. The yardage should be about 15 yards per skein.
48 x 15= 720 yards total. You can fool around a yard or so from the total of 15 if that is necessary to not require you to purchase an extra skein, but just make certain that each skein is the same yardage.
Enough for right now. Please see the following post for winding the skeins. Thanks, Gail

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Finally, Drying Off

The past month in Massachusetts has been unseasonably wet. Not only has the rain bothered farmers and gardeners, but dyers as well. Getting the fiber dry is always a challenge but when the humidity is 100%, it makes matters worse. I am in the process of getting an order ready for Webs to take to the Sock Summit in Portland Oregon on August 6th through 9th. I first heard of the summit from Melissa Morgan Oakes who is going to teach classes on knitting two socks at a time.
Thankfully this morning the sun is out and the wind is blowing. We figured out a way to rig up plastic piping to fit between two grids to place the yarn to dry.
This proves to work much better than the tipsy racks we were using to hold the pipes. When the wind blew up, or the cat decided to seek shelter from the sun the racks would fall over. The only issue is that the front porch continues to be the best spot for putting the yarn. I hope it will be all cleared off before we host a bridal shower for my friend Regina Phillip's daughter Morgan on Friday. Yarn will make a colorful backdrop for the event. Oh well.