November 13, 2014

A Change of Venue

So, if you are an Etsy seller like me, you've probably noticed that this year's sales are in the toilet, unless, of course, you happen to be one of the Chinese (probably sweatshop, human rights violating, mass-producing) factories that have been allowed to sell "handmade" crap on Etsy since 2013. Etsy used to be an OOAK, hand-crafted, handmade and vintage only, made in America, online market place. That's what made Etsy, well, Etsy.  It was not Amazon.  It was not Ebay.  It was the place to go to get that special toy or yarn or dress or hand-knit scarf or nick-knack or piece of handcrafted jewelry.  Now, it's a market place where cheap made-in-China crap fills the first 50 pages of your search and undercuts the prices of the real artisans.  And the real artisans, the Americans, have watched their sales become non-existent.  Etsy even went so far, when sellers and teams boycotted Etsy en masse, to lie to sellers and say that they weren't doing what they did.  So here's my deal:

I've thought about this and thought about this and been angry and been sad (I've been with Etsy for nearly 5 years) and done some research and now I am starting over with a new shop on a new site,  This is a site that is what Etsy was when Etsy first began.  It doesn't have fancy bells and whistles, they aren't beta testing a new page view format or trying to come up with ways to prevent buyers and sellers from contacting the powers that be every month.  They aren't offering you a million ways to pay (or sellers a million ways to get cheated out of the profits from the few sales they are getting). They are just offering a platform for American artisans and indie dyers to connect with the people who used to connect with Etsy but have turned away. It's good to make money, but I'll tell you this:  I can't support anyone who uses "made in America" as a front for lining their pockets with Chinese kickbacks.  Sorry, Etsy, I just can't do it.

So the new shop is open for business.  The shop is Cedar Hill Farm Company. I am still adding listings (it takes about an hour to create 10 listings, and I have over 220 to put in there), but I hope you will visit my shop anyway to check it out and add a bookmark to you tool bar. Just to remind you of why you love my hand dyed yarn ...

Thanks for stopping by and for supporting American small business. 

November 07, 2014

A Week of FOs: Handspun & More Gloves

This little number has been sitting on my Kromski wheel for about 6 weeks, waiting patiently to be concluded.

Originally, this was a batt of fuchsia Corriedale and a batt of teal Corriedale. I blended them together in an even quantity, and voila! The most amazing, iridescent fingering weight handspan ever!  There's something special about this handspun.  I mean, depending on the light, it's pink or teal or lilac or a funky combination of all three at once.  The fiber has a great crimp to it and a sheen that makes this hank just sort of glow in the light.

I usually dry my hand spun yarn with a weight to draw out the crimp in the yarn from too much twist or too much crimp in the fiber, but the weather has been odd, and I have been recovering from my first respiratory virus of the season, and, well, I kinda just let it hang over the towel bar to dry.
I am thinking that this one will not have a shop debut and stay in my own stash.  I am thinking that it wants to be a crescent shawl ... It wants to be some kind of lacey something, that I know for sure!

But wait!  There's one last FO for the week:  my own pair of Sportswoman gloves.  This pair was started about ... 2 years ago maybe?  I actually just happened to find this mostly finished pair in a bag that was stuffed underneath another, much bigger project in flux in a much bigger bag yesterday.  The yarn is Mission Sock in the Blackberry Smoothie color way, which I haven't had since we bought the farm, so I know it's been a good while that these have been hibernating!

And by the time the kids got off the bus yesterday, this pair was finished and out feeding the sheep! (That's Stella in the foreground and Blanche in the background.)

And so ends my week of FOs.  What a fantastically productive week!  Although I do still have 4 sweaters and a wrap that would also like to be FOs, it's a great feeling to have so many projects out of hibernation and finished. It's crazy how many needles I now have available for new projects!

November 06, 2014

A Week of FOs: Cuffs & Gloves

I have two more FOs to report this morning as part of my quest to eliminate the stash of unfinished projects that have been hiding in closets and bags all year.

The boot cuffs, though I haven't yet moved on to the accompanying pair of fingerless gloves, are finished and I have been wearing them with my muck boots, which used to be the color of this yarn but have had a turn or two in the mud (clay) and grass.

I think I sensed a bit of jealousy this morning when we were feeding horses and sheep from my Honey because he doesn't have any boot cuffs for his muck boots.  I didn't know that was a guy thing.

And speaking of feeding the horses this morning, Rusty was kind enough to pose for about 3 milliseconds to get a picture of Honey's new gloves, which began the week, having sat in hibernation since, I think, last December, like this:

And ended the week like this:

And so, with one more day to go on the FOs list, it looks like there might be a new hank of handspan in the stash.  You'll have to check back tomorrow. Happy knitting!

November 05, 2014

Indie Untangled & Cedar Hill Farm Company

Hey, y'all!  I've been featured!

Indie Untangled has me right there, front and center, on the blog post page today.  And, I'm doing a giveaway, so go on over and enter!  It's everything you ever wanted to know about me and our farm and the Cedar Hill Farm Company yarn works.  I'm totally stoked!

And do you know what else is going on right now outside my studio window?  The barn is finally turning a corner and has become more than just a gigantic 14-foot hole in the Georgia clay.  We have footers, folks!

And Chester would like everyone to know that he doesn't like concrete trucks in his pasture.

November 04, 2014

A Week of FOs: Eyeblink

A week ago, it was my mother's birthday.  She has been wanting something in pink for a while now, and although we differ on what is a good shade of pink for a shawl, she did like this one that Rocket and I picked out. This is a cherry blossom pink, pale pink, and lilac hand paint called Mermaid's Glory that I picked up from a dyer in Kentucky: Mary Lamb Nehring of Colors to Dye For.  The yarn is a lace weight 70% sea cell (sea weed) / 30% silk.  It was a dream to knit with, and it worked up into this Eyeblink shawl (I WILL be making one of these crescent shawls for myself, though I might change up the lace edging).

I totally recommend this pattern!  The shawl knit up very quickly, and the lace, of course took a bit longer to do, but I knit the whole thing, blocked it, and photographed it in about 9 days.  And by the by, this fiber combination blocks amazingly well.  I expected it to be a pain because of the silk content, but not at all--totally holds its shape.

November 03, 2014

A Week of FOs: More Jekyll & Hyde Socks

This week's blog posts are going to be focused on finished objects.  I have so many light-weight projects partly finished and a few middle-weight projects, as well, and darn it if I am not going to just hunker down and get some done this week!

So first up are the socks.  Sometime early in the summer, I dyed the Pop Star color way for my Rocket Sock line.  This colorway originated with and was supervised by my, then, 10 year-old daughter.  It is a medley of fuchsia, pale pink, grape, and ultra-violet (Blogger is making these socks a little brighter than they actually are in person).  It took her a bit to settle on a pattern, and we finally went with Jekyll & Hyde, which I liked the first time through but found tedious on the second go-around.  Needless to say, instead of my usual 8-day turn-around for a pair of socks, these have taken me at least 3 months to get done. And here they are, ready on the morning of the hardest frost so far this Autumn (26 deg. F. this morning).  The frost was such a hard one that when I first looked out the window this morning, I thought it had snowed!

SOOOOO happy to be done with these and able to start a pair for myself ... right after I finish something else. 


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