I'd Rather Be Eating a Blueberry

We've been missing our New England friends.
So we play with crayons:

I made the crayon case for our cross-country trip from some wool felt and embroidery thread. The last few weeks we've been using the beeswax crayons to make rubbings of  leaves in grandma and grandpa's backyard. Then we send them to VT friends who may not have a fig tree or bamboo growing near them.


I'm pretty sure I'm going up with the little guy to visit C at the farm this weekend.
I know I will want to stay there.
Being separated by 6 1/2 hours drive, I might as well have stayed in New England to enjoy berry-picking season. I WANNA BLUEBERRY. And then I wanna make blueberry ice cream out of it. And then I wanna make blueberry pie. And muffins. And smoothies. And waffles And syrup for the waffles.

What was I talking about? 
Oh, yeah...the farm. If we go up, I will just want to stay there with C and live happily ever after...and I would totally just camp there until we had the funds for our dome, but I have commissions and new wholesale and it's already time to prepare for the holiday show season and STITCHES (yikes). I cannot set up studio in a camping tent, and I'm hoping my wooly efforts will get us closer to being together, which I would love to make happen before the end of the summer (rapidly approaching...eeeeeeek!).

My other option for the weekend is to stay here and let C come down for a week, which would save me the pain of saying hello and then goodbye-for-who-knows-how-long to the woods and the river and the farm, which will make me immeasurably sad. I don't function well in the suburban landscape. I have two more days to decide. I just miss him, damnit. And I miss water that doesn't have chlorine in it and I miss tromping through damp woods.

So, a shameless plug: I have been updating Etsy with oodles of Monkey Mitt Kits and felt. Every penny goes in the dome jar! Spread the word. We need to be a family again, ASAP!

Oh, and in other news:

ME: Can I make a little banner to put over the door that says, "Welcome to our Dome-icile?"

I'm so going to do it, anyway. Tell me that ain't some funny shit.

Backwards and Not So Far Backwards

A couple weeks ago we tried the Merry Go Round:

This about sums up how he felt about it:

But, then, yesterday, we tried THIS:


Children + tools + paint + freedom to do whatever they want with it all = LOVE.
They don't just give out the tools for nothin', though. One must earn 'em:

Seriously, watch out for Mr. Dangerous.
Anyway, grab a tool and then...build stuff! Something small, or add on to something big:

There are structures, houses, boats, all over the place, mostly built by kids! There are also slides, a zip line and some pretty serious rope nets to climb in/on/around.

Recycled water-dispenser bottle drums!:

My dude, workin' it:

So, yeah. Merry Go Rounds are scary. Give my boy a saw.

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Renegade silliness

Okay, so everyone is off doing Summer things. Fine, that's fine.

Instead of wishing it all away for everyone else while I pine for the beginning of my new enchanted life by the river, I will post these stolen photos:

Kim and I goofing off with yarn.

Eling, myself and Kim, ready to pack it in.
Stolen from Jamie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/maryjanesattic/

Knit. Read. Bed.

what up?

The internets are SLOW. So, I'm going to over-post to compensate for the lack of posts available for me to read.

Guess what? The Avett Brothers are playing in Arcata on September 1st and I have no idea whether or not I'll be moved up there yet. Good grief, I certainly hope so. CAN'T TAKE MUCH MORE OF THIS separation nonsense. Nonsense!

Oh, and AND, Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 at the Mississippi on October something. Oh, hell yes, I will drive me to Portland to see this show. I will drive me anywhere for some Robyn. More appropriately, I will take the train. YES.

I just applied to Craftland. Very funny, isn't it, that I made this grand decision not to be a yarn factory and now I have a million ideas and a fatty boost to my creative drive? And yes, I will probably apply to Baz Biz SF and Crafty Wonderland (Portland). Hmmm...maybe Crafty Wonderland in October to offset cost of going up to see Robyn? Hmmmmm! 
Shows! Ha! What a joke I thought I was done with them. I love them! 

Yeah, well anyway, I think I just needed to declare that I wasn't going to listen to anymore suggestions on what I should "mass" produce (this being a very relative term) and the Universe gave me my mojo back. I adore spinning again. It's nice.

Oh, and, MEGA-POSTING TO ETSY going on here! Every day at least three items...I have a couple weeks worth of updating like that plus new stuff being made all the time. And UFS has things and Wooldancer and Knit or Dye has things. Help! This girl needs a dome! And for that I need MONEY, so I leave you with this:


Unfinished projects.

In a box.

A little early. Or late? 

From my great-grandparent's steamer trunk. Not sure which family member played with crochet cotton, but there are many intricate doilies and finished projects I did not bring home with me. The unfinished goodies, however, I have plans for.

Happy Wednesday!


...there are PEARS.

Many pears:

That's one table...the rest are spread out over the hearth and in a basket, and oh, there are plenty more on the tree. Pear butter, here we come! C's mom already sold several pounds to a neighbor via Craig's List and that very same neighbor saw my tub of yarn and bought two skeins (thank you, Amy!!). Three cheers for laziness, as I had planned to be out on a bike ride with the li'l guy. Actually, it's not all laziness. The small person ate entirely too much fruit over the last few days and kinda needs to stay close to home today unless I want to bring lots of spare clothing. Yep. There are grapes ripe on the vine and baskets of pluots so temptation to gorge himself has been great.

Meanwhile, C is up in Trinity County in temps that will be near 110F today. He is doing serious outdoor manual labor on a neighboring farm involving trenching and plumbing and so he has to wake early to get a good start before the heat becomes unbearable. In the afternoons, he jumps in the river. I guess it's not so bad to be down here where it's somewhere between 80 and 90F each day, but I sure would prefer a river to the community pool.

Oh, and working backwards as promised, the weekend before Renegade was an awesome spinning workshop led by Jacey Boggs of Insubordiknit at Knit One One in Berkeley, CA. Yes, I participated in the video and had learned most of the techniques before, but there is nothing like being in a room full of enthusiastic people bouncing all kinds of creative energy off each other. I loved the workshop and the fabulous people I met and I would do it again and again and again. Jacey is wicked-talented and hilarious and come on, people...she wore her Yarn Bowl Hat:

There was laughter and silliness galore, and of course, a whole lotta this:

There's a Flickr set here for the rest: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thespunmonkey/sets/72157621640065513/

And for you locals or potential Bay Area visitors, Knit One One is a great space offering wonderful classes and events, including a craft sale every 4th Saturday of the month.

Alright...I'm gettin' OUTSIDE.

Disappearing Act

It's just easier that way, sometimes.

But then I have this back-log of awesome things I should have been blogging about all along and have no idea where to start. Usually it makes sense to start at the beginning. Well, boo convention, and besides, I haven't been uploading my pictures in that order. So, I'll start with the most recent thing and work my way back.


I had a lot of this on my table:

And a crap ton of scarves:

As usual, more people than I can count asked about Rhoda's dress and IT'S STILL NOT FOR SALE. Damnit, I look good in that dress, too! Needless to say, I need to make a pattern for it and go into a whole new biz.

At least she sold some scarves and put in her share of the work, rather than just standing around looking pretty in what I used to think was just a simple, yet nicely cut, run-of-the-mill white dress, maybe kinda boring but nice with jeans. If only I felt comfortable dying cotton this sucker would be black and I would wear it more than Rhoda does. SORRY, this is going way tangential. The real point here is that I LOVE GRIDWALL. I borrowed it from my Sis, and it made such a sweet way to display the Tangled scarves and some of the fancier yarns. I now want gridwall all over my non-existent studio.

Slight progress on that, but more later. This is about Renegade.

It was lovely to hang out with Kim-X...please check out her bunnies!
Mostly we sold a little, and knit a LOT (btw, I think the Whisper Cardigan is from Hell. The deepest, most fiery pit of Hell), met some awesome people and maybe wished that the show was Saturday-only. Sunday was much less busy in our little world, and I wanted to be curled up with C on his last day down here in the Bay for a while. Fort Mason Festival Pavilion was GIGANTIC and it was completely filled with vendors. There were well over 200 booths, which means around 300 vendors, I'm guessin'. In my opinion, it was overwhelming as a shopper and I didn't even get around to seeing everyone there, and I had plenty of time away from my booth to explore. I left with a Spincycle pattern, but only drooled over their fantastic yarns. Oh, and a dress from Texture, blue plaid hemp/cotton...too big but it was deeply discounted and it will be a nice project for learning how to take things in. Oh oh, and some manly yarn from Traveling Rhinos so that I can maybe knit C a hat he likes this time. I had some to/from BART adventures with Blas and Jamie (thanks, guys!) of Urban Fauna Studio and will be scheduling some felting and possibly spinning workshops at their shop in SF in the next few weeks while I'm still down here.

So, it was good...a little overwhelming, but good. In fact, I might eat my words and actually apply for BBB SF. I just might. Ha!

There are more pics at my Flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thespunmonkey/sets/72157621793317408/

Btw: selling spinning/felting fiber? Good last-minute decision.

Leftovers slowly going up on Etsy.

Next post: Weekend of July 11/12. Spin workshop with Jacey! Also, beach adventures and train rides, OH MY!

On New Leaves and Shedding Skin

It's been so overwhelming, I don't even know where to start.

A week ago, the journey home began with a bus ride to Boston, a bus only narrowly caught by jaywalking across a wide, busy road with several small children and gigantic luggage. I traveled with only one of the small children, my own, and he was quite enamored of bus travel and made things much easier than I could have hoped. A little confusion and lack of communication on my part made for some fruitless runnings-around on Sarah (sarahcoyne ) and Megan's (suncloudedover ) parts (sorry!!!!!), as Alison (wonderlandq ) found me lickety-split and we blew right on outta that bus station right quick, beating Sarah to her casa by about an hour and a half. OOPS! I missed Megan entirely. Boo on that bit.

Sarah heard some bedtime story and the little guy crashed out hard on the Deadly Daybed while we had the best dessert ever, which consisted of handmade ice cream, strawberry-rhubarb sauce and crushed dark-chocolatey/salty cookies. Seriously, it was so good. I'd try to recreate it here, but the strawberries aren't the same and the rhubarb here is ridiculous.

Anyway, the flight was uneventful but exhausting, and I've spent this entire week just settling into our latest state of limbo.

We're at my in-laws in the East Bay Area, and for several weeks, possibly a couple months, C will be up and down between here and the farm up in northern CA...the farm job is going to be awesome, but we need to get our shelter figured out. Right now, the plan is to build a platform and set one of these on it.
The little guy and I need to stay behind down here until something is set up. The only setback is that it's going to be a while before C is paid and we're not sure how we're going to purchase the actual structure. I'm confident we'll figure it out, though.

I avoided getting in touch with anyone since we've been here so I could process and absorb my new surroundings. Sure, it's all familiar...it's not like we've been gone twenty or thirty years, but still...it's very different from the life I'd gotten used to...flying in over brown, dry hills instead of lush, green mountains made my heart heavy...we hiked today and it felt like we're suddenly in a different hemisphere entirely. Bristle thistles and crunching grass, air that is dry and crisp...tell me that it's summer here.

Moving on, there has been a decision made through all this transition...this being that it's time to retire The Spun Monkey in it's current incarnation. I will still be producing yarn, and I will retain my Etsy shop...probably not my website, but the domain will link to Etsy...maybe just x-post to a wordpress blog that links to everything...but I cannot be a yarn factory any longer. Stick a fork in me. I can't keep staying up until 2am to meet the quota I set for myself so that I have enough for shows, consignment and my own shop. I have a child and a husband and will also be integrating myself into a cooperative farming scenario. I will still be spinning and creating art, but it will no longer be during hours when I should really be sleeping. And normal hours means less productivity. However, this also means that my time with my art will be precious and more fulfilling because I will be exploring what I want to rather than what I feel I should be working on in order to sell product, meaning: more complex pieces, fine art and mixed media works and varied mediums. This shouldn't be disappointing to anyone, as it should make my shop more interesting to follow and incorporate more of my passions as it evolves. Fiber and yarns will always be there, but I need to branch out creatively or I will burn out.

That's all I've got for now.


Yes, plural.

Random Number Generator says: Amanda and Lisa (#'s 9 and 10) should send their mailing addresses to: thespunmonkey@gmail.com.

I'm not sure what the second tester skein looks like yet...much tamer than the bright pink/orange. If either of you feel really strongly that bright is your thing, let me know or I will just flip a coin.

In other news, today we had sunshine, and lots of it.

I used my birthday coupon at the salon and chose extensions rather than a dye job, and couldn't be happier with the results.

I took my last trip to Delectable Mountain Cloth and scored some beautiful vintage lace for my feltwork. I will miss this shop with my whole heart, but they can send me chiffon samples from afar. Jan gifted me a lovely piece of linen I will use to experiment with mushroom dyes as part of a new little project growing in my mind. And, of course, one cannot visit this shop without procuring some amazing buttons. Pics tomorrow.

Met up with friends and my kiddo at the New England Youth Theatre, where a production of Stuart Little was happening out on the lawn. I was really impressed...the kids were riveted, even mine...talented folks who were totally adorable in a non-obnoxious way plus informal setting where I can crunch carrots dipped in sunflower seed butter = very nice afternoon.

And then a bunch of other stuff made me late for the drawing. Sorry!

Anyway, did I show you these?:

Apple Skin


Now I did. And it's late. Good night.

Mitt Madness!

Thanks so much for all the interest...I will draw a name at 9-ish this evening and post a winner. Or how about two!
First come, first serve is so boring. I'm glad there will be some suspense involved. Yay! 

Here is a preview of kits that will be available at Renegade SF:

I'm getting excited...I think I will have quite a nice bit of stock, and there are still two solid crafting weeks before the show once I get to CA next week. There will be felt galore, and some new mixed media pieces that I haven't talked about yet as well as a mountain of handspun and knitting kits.

I'll be back with a post about my tablemate, the amazing Kim-X