Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day

I walked around my neighborhood today and took some pictures.

no luck

friendship garden at the nearby elementary school

each letter has a matching plant that starts with that letter: H stands for Hosta

this year the city replaced all the old trashcans with these

 above and below: this building used to be part of a catholic elementary and middle school. It will be razed this year and replaced with a new Mormon church building.

a beam with lichen on it, by my local florist.

even in winter, so many colors:

an elegant bouquet by the side of a building:

Happy New Year, everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays and all the Best for the New Year! Thank you ever so much for supporting me this past year, for sticking around, for not giving up on me when I wasn't writing much, thank you for being you. Thank you for knitting with my yarn and keeping The Periwinkle Sheep going. I love dyeing more than I can say, and I am looking forward to doing a lot more of it next year.

Enjoy your holidays! May you be surrounded by people who love you, be safe in your travels, and if you have time to knit, enjoy every bit  of it.

All my love -


Friday, December 16, 2011

still good


Meggie's brother Murphy told me that the link for the sock club at $24 will remain up until this evening! So you have today, too, to grab a year's worth of awesome, Ireland-inspired (and I mean Inspired!) sock patterns, including 2 bonus patterns, for only $24. AND you'll be donating to a good cause.

The price will go up to $36 after that, which I think is still a bargain.

The way the link works is that you will put in your email, and then Murphy will send you and invoice, to be paid through paypal.

As of tomorrow morning, the club will be live on ravelry and it will be a regular purchase through rav/paypal, but at $36.

Just to entice you a little more, here is the inspiration for February's pattern:

It will be done in watercolors sock yarn, in the colorway Memories of Summer:

Won't that be the best thing to knit in the dead of winter?

OK don't delay now, go get subscribed to the pattern club! You are not required to use my yarn at all, there are other options out there, but I know what I'll be using. ;)

PS: yarn for January and February will go out by December 20th! Order by December 19th. Yarn orders placed after December 20th will go out after Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Touring Ireland through a Year of Socks

A few weeks ago, I was asked to dye some yarn to go with a sock pattern club! Initially, there were to be 6 colorways from me, and 6 from other sources.

Then Meagheen Ryan decided she wants to have ALL Periwinkle Sheep yarn for her sock pattern club.

It has been a whirlwind of phone calls and discussions and pictures of Ireland sent to me for inspiration.

Of course my back has been giving me trouble this whole time, and Meagheen knew that I would not be able to dye 12 completely new colorways anytime soon. She decided to start with some colorways that I've already done, such as Memories of Summer and her own signature colorway, Meagheen.

When you do a search on ravelry for Meagheen Ryan designs, there will be 11 pages of socks, shawls, scarves, mittens, you name it. Not only are they all beautiful, but every single cent Meggie makes selling her patterns, goes to charity.
Just check out a few patterns, and you will see. That link I gave you is four pages of sock patterns alone.

The Touring Ireland through a Year of Socks pattern and sock club is different from others because it started with the patterns, and all the proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald house. 

If you sign up TODAY, you will receive a whole year's worth of sock patterns for only $24!! As of tomorrow, the price will go up to $36.  Please go HERE to sign up -- you will have to follow a link at the top of the forum thread. That page will also explain how the sock club works, and what you are going to get. There are not a lot of secrets here - you won't pay money and then hope month after month that something nice will be in your e/mailbox.

You do not have to be a member of the Ryan Eejits forum, though we would love to have you participate in the KAL.

The patterns will be sent out every first Wednesday of the month, and there are bonuses throughout the year.

If you decide to go for the yarn club also, I am sending out the yarn on the 20th of the preceeding month, before the pattern is released, so you will have your yarn in hand when the pattern comes out and are ready to start. Right now I have January and February ready to go, as I was able to dye a bit of yarn the last 2 days. You have different options, individual months or a 6 month subscription for now. The second half of 2012 is still in the works!

But first and foremost -- don't lose out on the pattern subscription!

I will talk about the yarn in the next few days. For my loyal local fans, this club is available online only as of now.

ETA: when you sign up for the club today, just leave your email where it prompts you to. You will then be invoiced.  The club will go live tomorrow, and then it will be like any other ravelry purchase.

Friday, November 25, 2011

untold stories

Good morning everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day was wonderful and you are able to take some time to knit this weekend.

The fall festival season was very busy and I am hugely grateful to everyone who came out to help and most especially to buy my yarns. Your support means more than you can ever imagine. I love dyeing these beautiful yarns and I am just so happy that you like the colors and enjoy knitting with them. Thank you for putting up project pages on ravelry so others can see what Periwinkle Sheep yarns look like knitted up.
Thank you also for recommending my yarns to your local yarn shop, wherever you are. I have gotten some inquiries! Right after Rhinebeck I had to fill several orders.
On October 30th, as I was getting ready to take a couple of knitting classes at one of my LYSs, I threw my back out really badly. It turned out to be annular tears in 2 discs. I was on the road to recovery, well aware that this is a slow process. I thought I was being so good, but just this past Monday I hurt my back again and have been pretty useless ever since.
I am trying to come to grips with this situation, which truthfully could not have come at a worse time. I need to stock up my online shops, I need to fill orders for yarn shops, get color cards out etc. Meanwhile, I can’t even put socks on my own two feet.
My doctor tells me this back issue could take several more weeks to heal. Sitting and knitting is not really an option either, I can’t sit upright for more than it takes to eat a meal at this point. I am learning to knit socks while lying flat on my back. :)My family has been tremendously helpful in the day to day operations of the household, and I am thankful for that.
I am now trying to decide whether to declare a dyeing hiatus for the time being, or at least until after the New Year. I have great things planned for the new year - I am going to introduce a new yarn or two that I am very excited about.
Could I ask you to hang in there with me? I know it never looks good when a dyer just suddenly drops from the face of the earth after being such a presence at various festivals. If you could help spread the word for me that I am temporarily out of commission, that would help me a lot.
Of course I do still have stock here Periwinkle Sheep headquarters, i.e. my home, and I will put yarn up online as soon as possible.
But in order to be able to keep doing what I love doing so much, I need to take this back problem seriously and not lift dyepots too soon.
I know I have your support, and thank you for letting me put my situation out there. Have a great holiday weekend!

eta: this is an adapted version of a note I wrote on the Periwinkle Sheep forum on ravelry.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rhinebeck 2011 colorway

This year it took me longer than usual to come up with the special Rhinebeck colorway. Two years in a row I had something with browns. The first year I did it I dyed the skeins in fall colors. (Because Rhinebeck takes place in the fall. That one was easy.)  Last year I did pinks and browns. I was a lot better at blogging last year, too, even though I didn't think so at the time...take a look at this!

But finally last week, when we had the best stretch of weather all year, I buckled down, tried a few things, and came up with Rhinebeck 2011.

The Sheep finally got its own signature color. It's a deep periwinkle blue that I concocted myself, staying with my kettle-dyed tradition. This colorway also introduces the new version of watercolors II yarn, which I am now getting from a new distributor and I am in LOVE. Love, I tell you.

This yarn is so soft, I can't wait to sit and knit with it after Rhinebeck is over. I'm going to make a friend a little shawl from one there's one of the whole batch that's staying home with me!

Here's the Rhinebeck 2011 next to a friend dyed in blue/black.

For the first time ever, I am offering the year's colorway online in my etsy shop. I always get some requests from customers who can't or don't go to Rhinebeck. So here's your chance!

Alright I better get back to packing. I have to be on the road to the New York State Sheep and Woofestival in 36 hours.

See you there, we are the Sliver Moon Farm booth, # 27 A 10.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Is it fall yet?

How have you been? I mean, besides the earthquake, a hurricane or two, some flooding, the start of school, a death in the family, there really hasn't been much to keep ME occupied...

May I invite you to a festival this weekend?

I will have a booth at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival this weekend, at the Washington County Fairgrounds (New York State).

I've dyed up some fall colors for you: chestnut, caramel, and butterscotch.
All three of them together remind me of Indian corn.

samples shown in watercolors sock yarn

Here's a new purple I particularly adore. I also have it in WINK, the yarn with a bit of glitter in it...

This colorway, called "cloud dancer", came about after a commission to match a shawl pattern "Amelia Earhart" which will be released in January.

Try as I might, every fall I fight the blues. The Blues have gotten me big time this year, summer didn't last long enough for me at all. We had to cancel our vacation due to my husband not getting hired to work the summer and we were without a paycheck for 3 months. All I can say we got through it - somehow, but it took a whole lot out of me. My heart goes out even more to people who have been out of work for months or are getting laid off.

Seems like I fight the Blues with more blue.

This one is called Bavarian blue, it reminds me of the blue in the Bavarian flag. Which get's its inspiration from the stunningly blue sky over southern Bavaria, especially in the fall.

This is WINK in the new colorway "thunderstorm".

But I also have some this one, WINK lace, in interesting how it takes the color differently from the sock yarn. Just 20% silk content makes all the difference.

Well there'll be all this and then some...why don't you come see? The festival opens at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday.
I will have some festival specials each day.

ETA: just found out my booth number: Building 32, booth #43.

Friday, September 16, 2011

boys will be boys.

Do you need a little laugh today?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

a day of remembrance

Ten years ago today. It was a Tuesday morning, one week after school had started. Tall Son, whose name is Jakob, in 6th grade middle school; Crafty Girl, Annemarie, a 4 -year -old in her pre-K/K class. Dear Husband, John, a special ed teacher. They are all safely tucked away at their respective schools.

I'm on the sofa, watching the Today show with Katie Couric. Usually, I never watch morning or daytime TV. But exactly one week before, I had undergone emergency hysterectomy surgery and I was camped out on the sofa for several weeks to come. The next segment was supposed to be an interview with Tracy Ullman, but then Katie Couric came on and said they are interrupting the regularly scheduled program to report some major news.

We all know what happened after that, and our world was never the same.

Shortly after the first plane hit, I called my sister. While we were on the phone, the second plane hit, and she screamed into the phone - A second plane hit! I didn't believe it and told her they are just showing repeats of the same footage of a plane hitting the World Trade Center. Of course I was wrong.

All morning I watched in disbelief. The reporters were making calculations about the buildings, whether they were built to withstand such impacts and explosions. Unable to move from my spot, I kept hoping that the towers would remain standing...worrying about where they would fall and how many other buildings they would take with them.

Meanwhile, as it turned out, my husband and son, at their respective schools, were watching on television. Tall Son tells me he didn't understand the implications at the time. At my daughter's elementary school, the teachers took turns watching the events in the teacher's lounge, breaking down and comforting each other, pulling themselves together before returning to their classrooms. The little ones were safe, unaware of their teacher's anguish, and I credit them to this day that my pre-schooler at the time was not traumatized.

I have since been down to Ground Zero, gazed into the pit. I've met people who've lost loved ones and co-workers. I've watched ceremonies year after year, lit candles when the names were read.  My incision has healed, a narrow line of a scar now. I realize today, watching the 10th anniversary memorial ceremonies, that there are some wounds that never ever heal. They hurt a bit less, but we are aware of their presence, and we live with them as best we can.

And I'm still finding out remarkable acts of friendship and caring, like the one about Gander, Newfoundland.

Friends brought us dinner when I had fallen ill so suddenly and my husband was stuck with two kids, a new schoolyear, and a wife in the hospital. 10,000 people in a small Canadian town housed 6,500 airline passengers. The two events cannot of course be compared by any stretch of the imagination, but they boil down to this: all we can ever do is be there for each other.

May you have a peaceful day today.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

my sock summit adventure, part four

Sunday morning of Sock Summit began with a trip to

Mary had in her wisdom dropped Mike off at Voodoo doughnuts early, and by the time she came back with me in the car, the line outside was long.

But Mike was already successful in scoring some treats for a teacher, Deb Barnhill, who had missed out on the doughnuts the day before.( I think I already told you that Mike and Mary are some of the nices people you'll ever meet.)

 In case you are not believeing your eyes, here's the maple glazed and bacon adorned doughnut one more time:

During the day, I was able to sneak away and check out the fastest knitter competition. It had been going on with different heats for three days, and now I went and checked out the finals.

There were two groups - here's one. One the far right up on stage, Deb Barnhill, recipient of the Voodoo doughnuts from that morning.

Stephanie is holding up the prize -- a set of Signature dpns.

The knitters were knitting on socks in the round, for three minutes, with their choice of double pointed needles or one or two circulars: hope you get an impression in this video:

Two finalists emerged from the groups: Deb, and Abigail, who was on the design team that won the design contest for Fleece to Foot.

When the winner was announced, it turned out that on average, one of the knitters knitted 57 sts per minute, and the other one knitted 56 sts per minute.

The winner was Deb Barnhill.  I do wonder if the Voodoo doughnut she had in the morning had anything to do with her success....

Watching the contest, my hands started itching. If I go again next time, and they have the fastest knitter contest again, I am participating.  I already got me some Signature dpns to practice on. :)

The other excitement that almost eluded me was the Fleece to Foot contest, a take on the usual sheep to shawl contest where teams of carders, spinners, pliers, and knitters will take a freshly shorn fleece,

just the remnants here

card and spin it, then knit it up into a complete garment within 6 hours.

The sock needed to be knitted in parts by several knitters and then grafted together.
This team made it quite far!

I could not hang around to see who the winner was. Here are Tina Newton, Donna Druchunas (I found out much later that she was the judge!) Rachel H. and Stephanie.

On my way back to my booth, I spotted cookie a. one more time, as she was teaching a class in a makeshift classroom.

Oh look, a line formed in my booth. Definitely time to get back to work....Debbie had been holding down the fort for me.

Alas, even the best Sock Summit had to come to an end...I barely had time to look at the sock museum, which had been right outside my booth the whole time! Here's Mike, who with Mary was on duty to pack it all up.

My champion booth helpers, Debbie and Nance, and I managed to pack up the booth within 2 hours.....I really honestly don't know what I would have done without them.

Then it was time to leave the sock summit behind,  and the convention center.

I was sooo tired. But so happy I got to do this.

The next day, Monday, I spent with Sarah and Miles in Portland.

Yep, another post. Hey, I spared you dozens of pictures from the Sock Museum!