This and that

Is it wrong that I love pottery and fiber so much? When I’m doing one I’m often planning to do something in the other. I love the creativity and the joy I find in both. I certainly feel lucky that I get to do both. Most days I am doing a little of each.

My day usually starts with dyeing and while that’s cooking up, I roll out some forms in clay. Then I go back to dyeing… back and forth all day long. My days are full but they’re so happy making.
Every time I open a kiln it’s exciting

Every time I put more fiber to hang up to dry it’s so beautiful (sorry about the no color, that’s club!)

Every time I see a new glaze sample work out ok I feel victorious

Ever time I stack up the yarn on the shelf my hands itch to play.

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Accessories…

It’s the time of year when my head is cold, my neck hates the wind and my hands are always chapped from being outside. In walks accessory time. I managed to finish a scarf…Zombie Scarf (Ravelry Link)

And I wove in the ends on a hat that I finished this past spring…Basic Turning World (Ravelry link)

Now I need to figure out new mittens. No, I don’t need anything new but that’s part of the fun of being a knitter right? New accessories for the season or passing on the new ones to someone else and falling in love with an old set all over again.

I seem to always have a set of each (hat, scarf/cowl, and mittens) always on the needles. You know I’m not shy about having a ton of projects started. It usually works out that I always have something I can take on the road and I always have something started when I need it.

Still I feel a bit like I need a new sweater at the moment. You know that tug I’m talking about right? New mittens might be on the backburner while I work on this…Tidal Comfort Sweater (Ravelry Link)

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Making pots

Once upon a time in a land right here where I am now, I was a full time potter. I made pots and I traveled around to different festivals/craft shows/ art shows selling pottery. I even had a sales rep selling my pots to shops throughout New England. It was a good gig. Eventually what I was doing for fibers over took the pottery. There are many reasons that Spunky Eclectic fiber took over and made pottery become my side gig. I had traded in my potter’s wheel for a spinning wheel and it was a good choice. I adore fiber.

Still I adore pottery. I’ve never not considered myself a ceramist. The mud on my hands. There’s just something about it. I grew up with clay and with yarn in my hands. Both fueled by grandmother.

I may have packed away my potter’s equipment but I still did castware. I love painting bright and happy things on pots for people so I was able to at least manage to still do that while keeping up with the fibers.

Recently I just couldn’t ignore the call of the clay any longer and unearthed the Slab roller to work at hand built pieces.
Small dishes

Mugs

And more mugs

And I’m making my fair share of woopsies that are heading into the reclaim bin.

I’m filling up the kilns a lot slower than I did when I was in production mode but I’m having more fun. It’s a slower process but like the knitting and spinning, I am all about the process these days.

So maybe some day soon, you’ll see more of my pots along side the fiber. Right now, I have some castware in the shop and shawl pins that I have just loved making.

Today a few more shawl pins, new ornaments for the tree (Christmas is so close!) and some test pieces are heading into the kiln to be fired tomorrow. More coming…

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Color… fear.

I hear a lot about color all the time. When I do classes in color, it’s expected but I may get even more color questions when I’m at a festival. I find the fear of color more common these days. Or it’s possible that people are able to express it more easily. Still, I hear more and more about fear of color. You are not alone if you’re someone that fears colors.

I’m not talking about a fear of color as in just plain not liking certain colors. I’ll admit, I don’t like most purples. I like to spin and work with all colors, truly. The thing is, if I’m making something for myself it’s not going to be a violet something. Maybe a burgundy something but definitely not violet. It’s just not my preference and we all have those. Preferences are expected. You should have them. It helps you choose what you want to work with. It’s a good thing.

The fear of color I’m talking about shows up in a fear of putting colors together, a fear that it won’t look good on you, or a fear of how the finished product is going to look. This is the fear that keeps you from working with certain things. The fear that paralyzes you from playing with something that might sing to you on the shelf.

This may seem silly but I feel an actual sadness when people are afraid of color. Color is my thing. Really. Its absolutely my THING. Even when I was a full time potter, I was all about the color. I did a couple of years of mixing up glazes and making the standard type of pot and then I just got bored. I grabbed a different clay and some base stain colors and went at it.

There was no plotting out colors. No worrying how it all went together. I looked at nature. Nature told me what would work. When you see a field full of wildflowers, they’re not wrong. All the colors together somehow work. If I lay down in that field of flowers, it would look great on me because I’d be happy to be in that field of wildflowers. Do you catch my drift?

There’s no right or wrong but I understand the fear. So I’m going to write a few blog posts here and there working on the color fears that I am told about. If you have any that you want addressed, let me know and maybe I’ll work them in.

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Special Haircuts

We shear the sheep once a year but the goats get a haircut twice a year. I usually run the clippers to get the fleece we keep while my Mom and Kate use scissors to clip at sensitive areas and to adorn the goats with their special looks… Seriously. I love that they do this and it leaves the goats with such interesting looks. I like to think the goats enjoy this too.

Griffin:

He’s really so fabulous

Gypsy has a shock of white hair and we like to leave that. It’s just so pretty on her

Unfortunately we seemed to have forgotten to trim off those hag hairs.

It’s a problem for us all, right gals?

Her boy Buster has the same cut as his mom, only he’s missing so much of that Bonnie Raitt white shock.

Finally we have Misty and Blue

or maybe they should be called Flo and Alice

Don’t they look like they should be chewing gum and taking your order at Mel’s Diner?

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Power Adventures

That was some storm we had here in the Northeast US, huh?

Normally a power outage is like a week of surprise camping. It turned out to be an adventure pulling together the barnyard and getting ready for the show. One I don’t really want to repeat but I can say that I did it. I woke up to this sight:

It’s distressing when you see your winter’s store of hay out in the wind and rain when you can’t do a thing about it at the moment. The wind was too heavy still to do anything. We managed to get the hay covered again (thanks to my parents ingenuity) and I think the hay will dry out. The tent is tied down with more ties than must be reasonable but it can’t possibly move any where now.

Unfortunately the storm ended our breeding season. One of the pens had too much water to keep the other girls in that shouldn’t be bred. Keep your fingers crossed someone already got pregnant. Come on spring lambs!

The real adventure was dyeing using a headlamp.

I can’t say it wasn’t stressful trying to get product done but it was a trip.

And because I couldn’t see color well (as you can tell from the pics) there were a few surprises. It was fun to unpack all the yarns at the Fiber Fest of New England and see what I actually had. It all worked out well though and I managed to get up some gorgeous kits

I even had enough dyed that I was able to set a couple aside for online.

The only bummer was a new product that was sitting in the kiln.

It’s being finished off now and I’ll be sharing that in a couple of days.

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Toss, keep, keep toss, toss, keep

Tossing and keeping… fleece that is. My mom’s first time skirting fleece and she did a good job of it. We had all of 2017’s fleece to go through and two from 2016 and one sheep’s fleece is missing for both years. I have no earthly idea what I did with her fleece. Still I ended up with almost 9lbs of Shetland lamb fleece and 60lbs of CVM fleece.

Do you wanna see them?
Of course you do.

The CVM Romeldale Crew (minus Ashie-pie)
Agnes

Angel

Apple

Argyle

Aster

A Boy Named Sue

And the Shetlands
Molasses

Creme Brulee

Godiva

We also managed to re-wire the skirting table that doubles as a lambing fence so we’ll be good and ready for lambing next year. Maybe I’ll get everything processed through earlier too. These are all headed off to be processed soon. Look for roving and yarn in a few months.

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