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If at first you don’t succeed…

Even though you’ve tried seventeen ways to Sunday to fix it and still… You’ve tried every single way that makes sense at least to you.

Every single way that all the techies you know have told you to do including some creative put one hand behind your back and twist to the left and then plug it in but only if the moon is full in Cancer.  Like really if the moon is full in Libra, DO NOT plug it in to that port on the left.

Even if you’ve reasoned with it (just asking it to do the job I hired it to do) , singing to it ( it likes Abba way too much), bribing it ( I promised it brand new fancy coloured wiring and if it was really good a sexy new modem friend) and then finally, and I’m not proud of this, the threats. Something like you stupid piece of @#$%^%$#@@#$%^ I’m should just rip you out of the wall and be done with you.

So what do you do if none of that works and you can’t seem to find an expert to help. Yup, you guessed it. A bit of a temper tantrum.

I threw a big giant fit ( ask Debra she listened to my tirade).  I ranted and raved and stormed around and maybe shed a tear or two and then got smart and went for a cooling down walk. 

While I was gone I thought about what a network system is and what I’ve done with yarn and knitting and realized I was approaching this all wrong. So I got back and called my extremely smart and talented son and we talked through it and then we both opened a beer ( because networking requires beer) and broke out the brand new Cisco E3000 router and went to work.  We brainstormed and tested and tested some more to make sure we had the right problem to solve. It really kind of sucks to solve a problem you don’t really have. Ask me how I know?

Anyway I unplugged and replugged and moved this and that and wondered why they were even there and then plugged in the very sexy (it so is) E3000 and did everything it told us to do. Even though in all honesty neither one of us are that great at following step by step instructions. We did and viola it worked Like it really worked.  I went around to every single computer and tested the internets and printers capabilities and if it could connect to the server and… they all could and did.  It all worked and it worked way better than it ever had.  I did a happy dance and tickled the hell out of my son. I think he was maybe even a bit proud and certainly relieved.

And the best part. I understand this now. I get it the whole hub/switch box thing and the modems and router and all the wires from the barn and the dsl and and phone lines and server connection and who goes where and why.

I am no longer the blue moon network systems bitch. I am not afraid or intimidated by those wires and cables anymore.  We are all coworkers and are now establishing on a friendly relationship based on mutual understanding and resolution.

I even promised that next time maybe I would try the walk first.


Who’s the router?  Oh yeah this is the router. Meet my new friend the Cisco Kid.

So now that that dragon is slain tamed and I’ve dealt with my “stuff” about computer related wires. Hell it’s about the same as a sound system ( previous life as a sound techie) so seriously don’t know what my issue was here.

I’m going to spend the day in the barn dyeing silk.  Silk hankies, silk yarns, silk top, maybe a cocoon or two. So excited.

Black Sheep Gathering

Where it’s most certainly all about the wool. Black Sheep Gathering at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene Oregon where it has been for the last 21 years since 1989.  The very first gathering was in 1974 and was a yearly potluck for sheep people ( breeders and consumers) to get together meet, share, create community and sell. And you know 36 years later all of us woolly types are still showing up to meet, share, compare notes. commiserate, show our sheep and our fleeces and our yarns and our talents. That small town tightly knit community potluck atmosphere permeates the whole event. Along with a tradition the highest caliber of teachers, breeders, judges, vendors, knitter, spinner, weaver… all fibery type people and critters.

I’ll never forget when I got my letter saying I had finally gotten into to be a vendor after applying for years. (Yes, there is a wait list. ) I was so excited and maybe just a bit nervous. Getting that booth at Black Sheep was one of those defining career moments for me. I felt validated and like maybe I had found a whole lot more of my people.

I remember every single detail about that weekend from setting up to breaking down and those memories still hold true today. 

Black Sheep is a tradition for a whole lot of us in a time where traditions are forgotten, ignored or reinvented.  Growth and change are good and so are traditions, especially time honored ones like BSG, that obviously work.


I have to have serious firm discussions with myself every single gathering about how I don’t have time for a sheep or two or forty. My absolute favorites all the time are the Wensleydale breeds. I just love them. The one in the header pic here almost got me. Then the voice of reason stepped in and all she had to say this time was Sock Summit and then the hysterical laughter ensued.

I escaped the booth a couple of times to listen to Judith MacKenzie judge the fleeces.  I wish I could’ve sat there and listened the whole time or recorded her, so I could play it over again and again. Judith knows so much and imparts her woolly wisdom with such grace and heart. I’ve listened to fleece judging before with really good judges and learned a lot. It’s the heart and soul that Judith brings to her work that adds in the extra something for me.  And… I was lucky enough ( I swear I did not elbow that rancher out of my way.) to purchase 8 of those prize fleeces. I don’t even feel the least bit guilty or like a fleece pig. Nope not at all.

Aren’t they lovely?


As with every show we do it’s all the people that make it so much fun.  Seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  Lovely moments. Like the husband below comfortable enough with who he is to hold his wife’s very purple purse while she shopped in our crowded booth.

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We usually notice a knit trend or two and this time surprisingly enough ( it is June after all) it is still the lovely February Lady. She certainly has some wicked staying power, this one does.


I got sock flashed a good deal which just never ever gets old I love it so much.  Also very interesting to explain to a nonknitter.  This recently happened at Whole Foods while I was in line paying and the checker just could not get over it.  A story for another time.

All in all a really wonderful Gathering. So good to see so many familiar lovely faces. As always thank you for your support and knitterly goodness.

I usually don’t purchase much at shows. That time thing again. I certainly made up for it this time though. I’ll post those on Friday because I seriously scored some crazy goodness.

I blame the weaving.


The lovely scarf is Daybreak by Stephen West and was knit by Dawn in Pond Scum And Rollingstone Str.

It’s all in a name.

One day I’m going to write a book on … oh, never mind. Really who cares about the why’s of the out of the blue uncontrollable crap things that can happen to offset you ever so well laid plans. Today I just would like whatever techno gremlin that has taken up residence here for the past month to find somewhere else to be.

We’ve brought in the heavy handed geek squad (Narayan) to scare said gremlin away.  Keep your fingers crossed that he can uncross whatever wireless wackiness is going down here.

So what this means is that we can’t put the new colours up today. Our new hope and goal is tomorrow. 

While we’re waiting I can tell you the colour names we chose and to thank you for all of your creative and fun suggestions. It was really hard to choose and there are a couple that inspire me enough to want to create colours just for them.  Really lovely stories too. Thank you for sharing. I love this aspect of knitterly life.

Ok so…

#1 is the ever popular Bumbleberry

# 2 is Dilly Dilly which I thought expressed the whole reminding a lot of us of our grandmothers.

#3 is Mango Tango

There are a lot of new colourways going up this time ( I’ve been feeling really colour fertile lately.) that needed names so I helped myself from this glorious array we have here.

So we also will have Princess Plummy and Truly, Madly ,Deeply. 

And yes, we’re bring all of them with us to Black Sheep.

Ok off to help fight gremlins!

We need names!

Here are 3 of the new colourways going up on the website on Tuesday.  My brain is name cramped and they need to be appropriately titled.

So whatcha think?

All thoughts and ideas are welcome and then we’ll do a blue moon vote on Monday, and you’ll get to see who they are on Tuesday.


Hi there I’m colourway #1. I know, how droll. Please find me a better name, I’m beggin’ ya here.


hey don’t listen to Mc brightypants here just cuz it’s first in line. Look here, I’m colourway # 2. Name me. You know you want to.


Excuse me, colourway #3 here. What are those two on about? Seriously, try being third guys. Besides I’m such the better colourway.

See… they’re a mouthy bunch not easy to name at all.

thanks for the help!

Dear Gail

I have been in the barn dyeing new colours this week. I was joking around with Debra and Anneli about how I was supposed to be working on hot summer hues but all I seemed to be interested in doing was dark with twisted flair ( name wise, you’ll see). All of them slid seamlessly unbidden from some deep dark place I seem to be working through.

I had to finally take all those dyes and put them back in their place on the shelf where they were at least out of sight if not out of mind.  I then stood there in front of an empty dye table at a loss. I looked around and watched all those lovely women I get to work with in the barn and thought of them, you know what they like, who they are. Debra with are her jeweled toned love, Anneli with her scummy ( we’re scum sisters) earth motherness, psychedelic hippie girl Becky, Paula with her rich golden warmth and Rosie, full of life passionate robot lovin’ Rosebud. I took them all in and stepped right over my dark self right smack dab into the brighter, warmer and certainly lighter side of the life’s colour wheel.

It took a bit of effort and Debra will tell you maybe some colour language was also invented, but finally through loving appreciation for these women and who they are, I got there. I had fun, created some really lovely colourways that I’m happy with and that I think others will be happy with and made them workmate happy.  All in all a good days work in the dye barn.

So Gaily the next day I walk out to the barn to say hi to everyone as usual.  Rosie has rinsed most of what I made the day before so it’s hanging up to dry right. I almost walk by them before they fully register in my over full brain. I’m stunned.

I stand there thrilled, thoroughly thrilled with all of them but most especially my dark side. Colour joy vibrating in all my cells. They turned out exactly how I envisioned and you know how much I like it when that happens right out of the dye jar.  I’m standing there tickled with myself and radiating it verbally to anyone who’ll listen and then my dear friend it hits me like a ton of bricks. Bricks, red bricks.

Gail, all those colours hanging there that I loved and I do. I Love them like a flower loves the sun, just can’t get enough. I want to dance with joy and then plan all sorts of projects and knit and spin and weave and maybe spread it all out on the barn floor and roll in it.  That kind of love!

And you know what they are Gail?

They are REDS!  Every single one has at it’s core some shade of deep red.

I wish you could’ve been there, you’d have laughed and laughed. I laughed until I could barely stand and then I cried. I just couldn’t believe it Gail.


Do you remember when I could barely tolerate anything resembling a shade of red? Wouldn’t even entertain the possibility. I do.  Then you waltzed into my life in all of your cheery ruby red loveliness and we became fast friends.

Ruby Slippers was all about you.  Remember?

We went back and forth over how I kept adding too much blue and not enough warmth. You kept wondering why I insisted upon ruining a perfectly good red.

I kept wanting to blue them all up to make them closer to a shade I could tolerate.  Then… one day while we were knitting and chatting I saw how content and happy you were knitting on that red sock in someone elses yarn ( I know, there are other really good yarns…) and I wanted to make you that happy so I went home and pulled out the dyes and added your warmth to Ruby Slippers.

Gail I’ll never forget the look on your face when I handed you that first skein of Ruby Slippers, such a blissful radiant smile, made my heart sing. 

It was a huge moment for me. Certainly because I was able to make you the red you wanted and in doing so give you the opportunity for joy.  It also afforded me an opportunity, because of that love for you, my friend, I stepped outside of myself and that seemingly small movement completely changed my colour perception. 

Gaily our friendship holds many treasures that I hold close and dear. Today I want to thank you for opening the door that led me not only back to my red self. (I’m not sure I could’ve done it without you.) but also helped me with my journey to see and love the many hues of life that I might be to see or appreciate, through the eyes of others.

You my friend are priceless gift I treasure.

Look out Gail lots and lots of reds are headed your way. 

I love you!


ps I was going to put a picture here but it is raining and gray again and you know what that does to red photography. Yup it blues them out and no way am I letting the camera blue them out.

Time for a change

If all goes according to plan.  Ouch typing that sentence gave me a spasm. We’re ignoring it.  Yes we are. Just because life keeps throwing curve balls your way doesn’t mean you come to expect them. Nope it just means you learn to duck maybe a little quicker.

Ok back to the plan. The plan is to have a colour change next week and to add new colours fresh out of the box I call a brain.  Its been interesting in the barn. I seem to be fluctuating between a deep dark brooding and maybe a little twisted tonal range and a bright in your face, “ yes, I am just all that” one.  Dye work is usually good therapy for me but this seems more like some sort of intensive where the two dominant emotional themes in my life at this time are working themselves out on yarn.  Hmmm… this could get ugly. Might need another apron and a new pair of gloves. 

Anyway if you have any favorites you would like to see back please let us know.

We’ll do our best to make your colour dreams come true. 

Time to go rustle teenage girls out of bed for school. An aprons so not going to cut it for this job. Maybe a shield?

Ok I’m a strong woman I can do this.

List of colours taking a little break to make room for the newbies and “others”.

Apple Valley Rd Backstabber Bejeweled
Citrine Cobalt Bloom Emerald Isle
Fairgrounds Crazylace Agate Foo Foo
Gail’s Autumn Joy Harlotty Ilanaaq
Mermaid Mr.Green Jeans Milestone
My Little Colour Brain Mystic Kelp Peacock
Rabia Sedona Siren Song
Spaun of Braun Spot Rock 1 Storytime
Thistle Lapis Peaseblossom

A new fibery skill

Last Saturday was my birthday and I was trying to find a way to celebrate that helped me out of the funk I have found myself in lately. My friends Suzanne and Lisa suggested that maybe it would be a good time to learn how to use the wolf pup loom I bought from Morgaine at Oregon Flock and Fiber this past fall.  I really liked this idea a whole lot.  So these lovely women packed themselves up and headed my way loaded with goodies and all their warp and weft knowledge.

I’ve wanted to learn to weave for quite awhile. I bought a loom at a yarn sale when my kids were young with the intention of teaching myself.  However my son Narayan then about 8 yrs old had other plans for it. His plans did not include anyone being able to weave on it once he was done with it. It did add quite a flair to his fort.

Anyway so here we are now almost 16 yrs later (he turns 24 this weekend) and I’m finally learning to weave. Narayan no longer lives here so my loom is safe.

I have to tell you I was thoroughly unprepared for how much I love this whole process. I feel like I got hit by fiber cupids arrow.  I have it pretty bad for this whole process.

From winding the warp



to putting it on the loom




and then throwing that shuttle back and forth and weaving.

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Off loom unfinished. Warp is Seduction in ST1 (with a silk boucle’ thrown here and there in Gail’s Autumn Joy) Weft is Silkie Socks that Rock in Gertrude Skein.


So much fun and a whole new way to play with colour which I don’t even have words to express how excited I am about that.  I think my favorite part is when I ‘m sitting there I feel like I feel when I’m spinning.  I feel threaded through time to all the web of weavers. I am a thread in the tapestry, a ply in the yarn, a stitch through time. The connectedness of fiber work is so nourishing and uplifting. Learning to weave this past weekend a really good idea.

Lisa and Suzanne thank you, thank you and thank you !

We also took break for cake ( a yummy one baked by Sophie) and a small party and beer/cider and barn trips and giggles and knitting and hooping and knitting while hooping (beer required).

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And of course a moment to stop and smell the yarn.


All in all a grand fibery time and a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday.