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Too Hot!!!

Do you know what it is too hot to do  today? Stand over steaming dye pots and soaking vats of hot water. It’s just too flippin’ hot. I stopped dyeing and such a couple of hours ago and probably won’t be ably to get back to it until Monday. I’ve moved the baby chicks into the house where it’s cooler (thank you air conditioner) and am going to spend the day catching up on all my writing jobs. I though this was a good place to start since it’s been awhile.

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I want to thank you all for your kinds words about the loss of my sister. Sibling loss is very hard. I think not matter what one’s relationship is as adults that formative bond growing up together and all of those shared familial experiences. It’s  a powerful things. It feels  like loosing a part of oneself, at least that’s my experience.  Anyway thank you for your compassion. It’s comforting and greatly appreciated.

I sent out a newsletter this week updating everyone of orders and such and also announcing some future projects and exciting plans. If you are not on the Blue Moon mailing list and would like to be please let me know. If you follow us on instagram there is a lace to sign up in the bio.

I am going to be sending out at least once a month a official formatted newsletter full of all kinds of info and fun! They even have an official name ~  Blue Notes  ~and honestly,  I’m pretty excited about it all. I hope you will join in the fun.

Before I go any further it was a full moon this week and I did do a colorway for  it since it was out last super full of the year. The next one is not until  June 2022.

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I kind of love this one. I wanted the red to be a strawberry red and then added some pops of hot pink for the super moon aspect and I love the colors it created

I then sprinkled golden dye powder in places for moonlight and well it’s full of hue nuance where colors meet and blend. I enjoy the saturated boldness of this one. These layered colorways are like magical color spells in the way you often do not see some of the colors until you knit them up.

It’s one of the things I love about painting/dyeing fiber in contrast to painting on a canvas. Because fibers/yarn are dynamic with mass, texture and dimensions that absorb and radiate color.  I think of it as hue- resonance or wavelengths of color. I also think about it a lot, maybe too much. Anyway I guess that’s my way of saying it’s pretty. hehehe

One of the things in the newsletter is a Support Targhee Worsted Special with  discount code good for 30% off for the next few weeks. CODE is: TGWLOVE. If you place an order for this please know it will not ship until late August.

I am being proactive about keeping yarns we love available for us. We do not want our beloved Targhee Worsted going the way of Woobu, Victoria, Single Single Targhee or BFL Sport. I go into detail about all of this in the newsletter. The gist of it is that unless you want a generic super-wash merino world then we all have to support the yarns we love. Mills make what sells!! It’s fact. They will make what bring sin revenue so you the knitter, crocheter, spinner and weaving control basically the market with your purchases. So together we are going to fight the good fight to keep a diverse yarn world for us all to enjoy for years and years!!

There will be KAL! It is not patterned based you can knit what you want. I think a bunch of us are going with sweaters but really whatever you want also works! We will offer lots of info to educate and support for each other in your knitting and progress!! Diversity at all levels fo life is crucial and wool is one of them.

When you make this  purchase you will also automatically be signed up in our new frequent buyer program! You will be emailed you details!!

I will also be sending out emails to both the spinning club and school of yarn this weekend. Last shipments forth coming in next few weeks. Yay!!!

ok I am going to stop here. I hate making these posts too long.

Take care of your dear selves!!

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Loss and Love

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Goodbye Sis.

I know you are in a better less painful place. Thank you for being my sister and one of the gloriously complicated pieces of our family puzzle. You will be missed for sure however you live forever in each of your sisters hearts.

So much love…

 

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver

Gifts

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Today is my birthday!! I am 64 years young to day and I am totally celebrating making it though this year.

I love giving presents so all week I am running a give away on instgram so please go check it out. It’s great fun, today’s prompt is you tag a friend with a love note to them. I will pick a random winner at the end of the week and send both you and your friend a skein of The Rainbow Connection in Socks that Rock!

There will be one of these a day until next Saturday. So much fun. I’m pretty excited. Can’t wait to read all of the love notes!

I would also like to do something that I have not done in quite awhile. I am in a color creating mode these days and would like to create some of your color wishes or dreams.

How this works is you send me a color story and then I will pick 4 to create out of all the ones that are sent in. The theme of this is music. What I want is your description of how your favorite song or piece of music makes you feel. I also need to know what the music or song is.  You can email me this info to info@bluemoonfiberarts.com and put Color Story in the title. The more descriptive you are the better! I will pick the 4 stories at the end of the week and announce them here and then get going to color creating. Each winner gets a skein of their colorway as a gift!!!

Some of my favorite Blue Moon colorways are from these color story fin and games so I do hope you will join the fun.

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I am in this pile of furry goodness. Meet Sienna and Bessie my son and daught-in-laws pups. Look at all of that love. If I ever need a boost or to feel some pretty intense unconditional love this is where I go. They are the absolute best. Bessie ( the Aussie) loves very hard! Siena the golden is a more quiet constant warmth that feels my soul.As soon as I post this an pack I am headed their way for the first over night since all of this started and to play and enjoy the day.

 

I am a very lucky woman and have a whole lot to be grateful for. I have wonderful children that I love to pieces! I have rich in friends who support me and love me pretty much no matter what. I get to love in a bit of a wonderland in the woods. I get to do the work I love and have an enormous community of creative, kind and loving souls that seriously enrich my life.

I am very very grateful for all this and so much more. Thank you for being a part of my life and for hanging in there with me through all of the ups and downs that life throws out way.

You all are such bright loving lights!

LOVE!!!!

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Inspiration

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Hello dear ones,

Wow I feel like I have been trying to write this post for weeks now. Sadly writing seems to take a back seat to all the other jobs right now. I am on this mission to be caught up before my birthday which is the 29th of this month so I’ve chained myself to the dye table and pots. Honestly not a bad thing, kinky maybe though. lol  It just leaves little room for anything else besides shipping and such. I would say more about seeing light at the end of the tunnel but in all honesty I do not want to jinx it. I am not going to test the powers that be on this one.

To all of you that have asked, I doing well. I got my second vaccine a week ago so I have another week and then I get to hug my son and daughter-in-law (daughters are on the east coast right now) . I am so excited I can’t even. The lack of hugging for this hug loving person has been more than a little painful.

While this past year has been hard and painful of many different levels (and more so for some of us than others based on our level of privilege) there has also been some pretty illuminating and inspiring moments for me. It’s quite a bit and I do have a lot to say about it, most certainly more than one blog post worth. So consider this post a beginning. As with any process there’s layers and depths to plummet and shine a little light on. I have been pretty quiet about it all except to close friends and family so I could make the most of this opportunity ~ do the work it took ~  appreciate it all, and be in the moment presented to me.

As most of you know I have for the most part been alone for the better part of all of this. Well…actually, alone except for Valla the Maine Coon cat, a whole flock of chickens and my own little bunny warren plus whatever other wildlife shows up. Before the pandemic I was used to spending 5 days a week with at least 4 other people (Team Blue Moon) and sometimes more than that. A whole lot of differing energies and personalities. Since I am a people person it was not a huge challenge. Although I will say the whole ~ being an employer part ~ is quite a lot of work no matter who the employees are.

The pandemic hits and we shut down and I find myself  alone. I feel like I am good at being alone. I enjoy my own company. However this was different and it was quite a hard transition to make. I certainly had more bad days than good ones in the beginning. Especially with all of the stress that went with figuring out how to do run Blue Moon all alone. A lot of the jobs here I had not done for awhile so I had to retrain myself and find the most efficient way run systems as one.

At the very beginning all the ~ silence of space ~  felt empty and pretty lonely. So I attempted to fill that space. I started to listen to podcasts, audio-books and so very much music. Which kept me compnay of sorts and gave me the support I needed to be a little more comfortable to do the work and to move on to whatever was next. I have so much  much gratitude to;  Per Bristow, David Chang, Jonathan Van Ness, Layla F Saad, Brene’ Brown, BTS, SHINEE,  Nikita Gil,  Rumi, Lindy West, Sanjay Gupta MD, Samin Nosrat, Tommy Orange, Padma Laksshmi, Junauda Petrus, Michael Twitty, Alice Walker, Morat, Eckoes, Isaac Lee, Kim Hyung Jung, Common, and so very many more. Thank you all and to all of the brave souls who share yourselves, gifts and insights with us all. Thank you for the comfort and and for the illuminating inspiration and growth.

Once I acclimated myself to the new work schedule & all the space that was just mine I noticed something. I realized that even though it was a whole lot of work and it certainly has been, I felt more content and even happy than I had in years. I started to reconnect with parts of myself that I had not experienced in such a long time. I had been so busy making sure everything around me worked for everyone around me that I had neglected me. Something that a whole lot of women can relate to especially single mothers. I could actually hear myself and I was listening!

My creative life started ~ way back when ~ with music. I played clarinet, guitar and dulcimer and also sang. Music was my life’s blood. I was also a sound engineer, a job I truly loved. All wonderfully fulfilling until one day I had a very freak accident with hydraulic rollers that smashed my left hand ending my instrument playing for what I thought would be forever. I was devastated and I could not envision how to make it all work with a smashed hand. So I walked away. Yup, I shut down that part of myself and I packed my life up and moved out west to Olympia Washington with my girlfriend at the time and my sister and her girlfriend and started anew. Yeah probably not the best response.

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I love music, all kinds and I listen to music ALL the time. Until a few years ago I still sang quite a bit. All of my kids sing and a few play instruments. One of the gifts that this space of time has blessed me with is that heart and soul connection with music I had when I was younger. I finally grieved 40 years later and my heart broke right open into song. I picked up one of the guitars I have and started playing again just for me. It’s a challenge but that’s okay, it still feels so very good. I am also singing ALL the time which feels so good. Did you know that chickens love to be sung to? it’s pretty hysterical. They cock their little heads and some of them will bob them and hum. Yes chickens hum.

Okay so this is getting real long so I am going to make a bit of a leap here so I can bring in color and yarn. I promise to fill in the spaces and share more of this process with you soon. I am learning so very much everyday that I am excited about and want to share with you. Based on the y dye chemist I work with recommendation I decided to learn chemistry. Yup! I want a greater understanding so I can do more with color and I LOVE it! Color Chemist me!!!

Also…I have always wanted to learn another language but was told by a few teachers that I did not have an affinity for it so I gave up. Why do we do this to children trying to learn. I decided to try again and because of my love of kpop music I chose Korean and ya know what I am not to bad at it either.  Hoping to at some point to also try Japanese. Right now I think most of the music I am listening to is not in my own language. You get more of an appreciation for the voice as an instrument and language, especially lyrical and melodic ones, as an actual part of the score and not just words with a message (not to discount that aspect though) . There’s a French artist I am listening to right now that I am so moved by I often find myself tearing up into the yarn.  A little extra!!

As I rediscover and heal all of these parts of myself and find new ones I’m incorporating it into the work I do with color, yarn and design. Life is energy. Color and music share the vibrations of life. Some days I have a fair amount of clarity and a  clear vision and path of how this all feels and looks. And then there are days where I feel like a conduit and it’s my job just to get out of the way of all of this energy and let it flow through me. Honestly those are my best days! I feel like there just not enough hours in the day I feel so deeply inspired and moved.

I have stopped filling that silence of space. I now sit in that space and do my best to be present in each moment no matter what they hold. I get to experience so many things that would just pass me by. A privilege for sure and one I am grateful for.

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I promised new colorways a few weeks ago. I have been waiting on this until being more caught up. Below are some of the colorways that have come out of all of this exploration. ( And there are so many more to come). I am in the process of adding them to the website. It will take me all weekend, it’s a big job and I dye during the day so… . If you feel the need to order before I get them up you can do so by ordering whatever base you want in the Snowflake colorway and then in the notes section of your order put the colorway name you want. Please read the descriptions on each colorway so you can understand their source inspiration and I can credit what I was inspired by.

I hope you enjoy knitting with these as much as I did creating them. While I love them all my favorites are; LOKI, Atlantis , SHINee’s back (been a HUGE SHINee fan for years), and My Euphoria which is different than the RSC one I sent out!! I have contacted a few musicians that I am going to work with composing color and sound so look for that soon. I am pretty excited!!!!

Before I head out to the dye barn this morning I want to again thank you all for your continued patience and support over the last 22 years, especially for that past year. I grateful for each and everyone one of you! I hope you all are taking care, staying safe and getting vaccinated.

Oh also a word on USPS.  They are over worked and stressed! Ours PO is a small town one that is under staffed and are doing their very best. Amazon will do their own deliveries out here until they get complaints about deliveries that are missed are just wrong. The cell service out here is not the best so they can’t scan. Once Amazon gets enough complaints they stop delivering out here and then just dump it all on the PO with no warning. It’s a lot so if we can be patient and understanding.

Here is Connie our USPS worker who is a gem!!

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Okay off I go! Have a lovely weekend!

Big LOVE!!!

I woke up this morning with my heart feeling so full that I could feel it spilling over.

So in this break today between dyeing and shipping I am taking a moment to say hi and how grateful I am for you and send you such Big Love!!!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Love is always the answer

and maybe this little guy too…

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Happy Halloween!!

Happy Blue Moon Halloween!!

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It’s a rare one. We’ve not been graced by a Blue Moon on Halloween in 76 years!!

Pretty special and I think this year we will take any special magic.

Sing  a happy song and dance under this magical moon!

It’s a wonderful night for a moon dance !!!

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Just another day ….

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This picture shows a small bit of the outskirts of the wetland that borders this little slice of heaven I get to live and work on.  Every Autumn when the morning dew gets heavier and the morning sun hits at just the right time this is what you see. I remember the first time I saw it. I was walking down the gravel drive to get the paper (yes that long ago) and the sun rose over the hill and lit up the fields that were just covered in spider webs. They were everywhere, on the grasses and trees and fences. It was stunning and eerie and I had never seen anything like it. I turned myself around, went and got my son and my camera. I made sure my youngest who is seriously terrified of spiders was still in bed. I spent the next week until the sun shifted studying this field.

This week as I headed out to work I noticed the field and was delighted to see all the my weaver friends are still at it. In this time we live in where we just do not know what each day is going to bring us I am finding more and more comfort in the natural world around me. I know I am very lucky that I get to share these 5 acres with all of the critters and life that grows here. I know I more aware and connected since it has basically been just me and whatever else lives here with me.

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Spiders are flipping patient as hell and the beauty of these woven splendors with the morning light shimmering on their dew laden threads is quite magical.

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We had a delightful but unexpected visitor this week.

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Meet Frankie the bunny! Isn’t he adorable? And also very tame as you can see.

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Yeah he came right in. It turns out my neighbor got some bunnies and some of them escaped so now we will all have bunnies.  I love bunnies so I am delighted. The chickens were very confused. It does explain who has been eating my lettuces. I will have to fence them off now.

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These ladies were not real thrilled to be sharing their ranging space with someone else. They were already pretty peeved with the blue jays and then this guy shows up. Never a dull moment and most definitely a good day.

Crystal and I were thoroughly entertained. We actually got a full week of work in which lately seems to be quite a miracle. We still have a little smoke this week from the California fires but the super awful toxic air has cleared. Thankfully. And now we all get to recover.  So many folks here in the Pacific Northwest have lost so much due to these fires so please do keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Since Scappoose is North of Portland we were pretty safe for the actual fires. I am very proud of how our little community stepped up to help those that were evacuated. We opened out fairgrounds and had so many donations form the community at large that we trucked them out to other communities in need. Farmers and ranchers here opened their land to house animals that had to be moved. It was a lovely thing to witness in this time where we seem so divided. When push came to shove all of that did not matter. I hope we can remember this!!

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One of the things I did during this pandemic to feed my soul was to get my garden back in shape. I started the project because of the supplying food aspect but then just kept going. One of my dreams for this piece of land is an extensive dye garden. Well this year we have the beginning of that. The picture above ip Hopi Sunflower which is a wonderful dye plant that I have been wanting to play with. Look at those seeds. Now if I can just leave it long enough for it to get to the perfect time to harvest before the birds get to them.

Crystal and I are making headway on orders!!!!! Sock club is shipping along with web orders and store orders. Yay!!!! So very happy. Thank you all so very much for your extreme patience and also for believing in me. I am truly humbled, grateful and so very lucky to have been a part of this community for so long. Your emails and letters are so wonderful. Thank you for sharing all that you are also going through. We are all affected in some way by what is happening in our world. We just never know what another person is going through in life.

I spent time this week changing the colorways to Autumn and Halloween since it is my favorite time of year!! The trees here are already turning. Since we have lost so much forest in the past few years I am probably going to find a way to pay homage to our trees.

Okay… well I am off to do the shipping and feed the chickens. I can hear them clucking away as I type so better get them their morning grain and greens before they get hangry.

I hope you all are well and taking care!

Stay safe!

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Gemini Season!!

Hello dear ones!! Sorry that I missed a week or so there. To be honest I did not have a lot to say and have been basically living in the dye barn.

Hopefully that eases up a bit soon. Anyway I am getting it done and reconnecting with parts of my colorful creative self that I have not had access to in awhile. Also planning all kinds of fiber fun and watching the changes in our industry and across the world as this all changes things. I hope you are all well and being careful!! I know it is hard. Seriously this is challenging us all on levels that I don’t think we are even aware of.

So let’s dive right into some fun and things we have some control over like yarn and color and stitches! Well maybe yarn and color I feel like there are days where my stitches have a mind of their own.

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Don’t look now but it is a new yarn!!

Welcome MOXIE  one of our short-run-yarns which basically means “get it while you can” because once it is gone that is it! We are bringing MOXIE in right now because it’s a lovely yarn that we are getting at a fabulous price point which we can pass on to you our lovely knitters and crocheters! A little yarn gift for us all at 20.00 a skein eh?!  MOXIE is a silky soft 3 ply Merino with the addition of nylon which gives it such a stunning sheen. I seriously love how it takes the dye! I am going to have so much fun dyeing this. MOXIE would make stunning shawls since it’s going to have a nice drape. Also it is going to be a great yarn for knitting for our little ones. It’s loves to be speckled too so that is all kinds of fun.

So… it is a little less than a week away from someone’s birthday.  We started celebrating on Friday with giveaways on instagram and facebook so do check it out. I am going to have them all week! You do not want to miss out on the fun.  I do love giving!

Our current giveaway is this loveliness!

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The Pink skein is called PinkISH and I am working on getting that color with a few others added to the website. I am not a pink person but I so love this one.

As you know I usually make a special birthday colorway for myself. As I was mulling this over this year I had all kinds of ideas and colorful thoughts. I have been wanting to do more themed kits and the whole birthday astrology thing is intriguing to me and fun of course. So…this month starts our ~ “What’s Your Sign” ~ monthly astrologically inspired color kits.

I’m over my moon loving self excited.

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I’m seriously in love with what I created for Gemini. I hope you love it as much as I do. I made the picture big so all the layers of color. Especially in the darker of the two skeins. It’s a duo cause ya know Gemini are the twins!! I took some of my inspiration from my raven and crow friends. Gemini is an air sign so we do love our bird friends and I have a thing for Ravens as you know. I have been wanting to make my own heart raven for awhile and her she is. Be still my feathered heart!

It is the brightest Raven I have made. It is darker than this photo is showing but not my much. So fun! This Gemini kit is 2 skeins and you have different bases to choose from with Moxie being one of them.  I used the colors in the raven for the second skein also as a speckle and with not black over-wash. You can read all about these on their webpage!

I have another idea I am giving flight to this week so stay tuned for that also.  I was holding off on some of this since it has only been me here and I am a but behind on orders and sock club. That creative mojo is important to follow when it shows up. It’s a gift and I think we do not say not to gifts. It’s rude! (hehe)  Also we need momentum right now. Moving forward creates hope.

So what 2 color pattern would I knit with my Gemini color! Hmm….there are so many wonderful patterns to choose from. I am loving the patterns right now that are using lace weight mohair with another yarn and the mohair creates some lace so I would choose that kit and knit one of those patterns for sure.

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I am loving Larissa Brown’s Moongazing Shawl so I would probably choose that. Actually going to go buy it right now. I think I will dye me a kit and cast-on on my birthday.

Okay well I am going to sign off. I have to go rinse and hang yarn to dry and I have not made food today so there’s that and I always watch a movie my grandfather and I loved on Memorial Day weekend for him. I miss both him and my gran but there are times when I just wish I could sit and listen to his stories.

LOVE and so much strength to all and especially our essential workers, our health care workers and those who’ve been impacted so very hard by this virus.

Stay safe and well my friends!!!

Oh I almost forgot! Silly me. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all of my fellow Gemini’s. I know there are quite a few of us! xoxoxo

 

Mother’s Day

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Everything is blooming here! I finally ventured out for groceries and was stunned by all the color and loveliness. It was quite surreal actually to have been on my little island so long to have the world change so much.

It’s Mother’s Day today and maybe it’s all the time alone lately but both my mom and gran ( her mom) have been on my mind quite a bit more than usual. I miss them both and of course, especially this time of year. I never really thought about it but my grans and mom and a few of my aunts were all avid gardeners when spring hits and all the things start blooming I feel them more and miss them too.

For some strange reason the crab apple that I planted years and years ago that has pretty much done nothing to date is in full bloom!! It’s glorious. One of my favorite childhood memories besides hiding in the forsythia bushes at my gran’s house was playing under her crab apple tree and the super yummy jam she made with it. So good. It’s the reason I planted the tree was in her memory. So hopefully I will be making crab apple jelly sometime this summer. We shall see. I will keep you posted.

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Isn’t it pretty? I was so inspired by the lovely deep pink of the blossoms that I made a few new colorways.

Of course I did.

The blossoms look red in this picture but they are really a deep pink and so pretty. Ia m not much of a pink person but as you can see from the picture following this one I kind of went Pink  crazy!

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The middle one is the one for the blossoms and then I decided to take that pink and lighten it with some grey (one on the right) and then also add some yellow for an orangey pink. I love this trio and think I am going to have to knit a Winnie ( my gran)  shawl for myself.

I will have these shaded solids up sometime this week. I am taking today to clean my house it’s such a mess since I’ve been in the dye barn most of the time. My kitchen is an absolute nightmare.

I also get to celebrate Mother’s day with my crew this evening via zoom I think. We are having a cheese and Parcheesi party! Hehe! I love Parcheesi, it’s the only game I ever win. And here’s my contribution.

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I also have cheese but I just could not resist! I knew my son would love it.

I love being a mom. I miss my family so very much. There is so very much that is hard and horrifying about this pandemic but lately the isolation and not being with loved ones has been a lot. I try in those moments to be grateful that I have a roof over my head and people that I love that love me and that there are so many brave souls risking their lives for us all.

Okay well I am going to go clean the kitchen. Yikes!!

I did get quite a bit shipped out this week! I am doing my very best to get you your orders.If you have a deadline please do let me know!!!

My love and gratitude to you all. Thank you for the love notes in your orders and the postcards and emails of support. I am truly humbled and touched by each and everyone of you.

Oh if you missed seeing it here is the Flower Moon colorway and it is up on the website!

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Traveling Sweater KAL

In case you were wondering: it is Monday! (You’re welcome!)

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And what better way to brighten up a Monday than planning a knit-a-long? I know!! So exciting.

So we had all of these wonderful plans for 2020 since it is Blue Moon’s 20th year of being Blue Moon. As with most things right now, our plans have gotten a bit derailed. And to be completely honest, all of this kind of took the wind out of my creative sails. In reality I know it is not 2020’s fault that we are here but nonetheless, it’s hard not to harsh on 2020.

Anyway – we are moving along in our celebration of 20 years of spreading the love and joy of fiber, yarn, color and making!! 10 years ago Karen Alfke and I mused over a sweater design I had in my head and she went away and created a stunning design ~ The Traveling Sweater!!

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I loved the design, and it turned out that many of the rest of you did also. Oh my goodness, so much yarn went out into the world for knitting this sweater! Hell, a bunch of you knit it twice! (One intrepid knitter on Ravelry has made FOUR.) It was an amazing experience.

Karen and I had talked about a re-issue with upgrades and a possible KAL for a few years now. So what better time than Blue Moon’s 20th year and The Traveling Sweater’s 10th?

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Aria in “Phaedra.”

One of the reasons all of this works now is we have the right YARN!!! We originally used a yarn we called Woobu. It was a lovely merino and bamboo blend that held up well and also had this silvery sheen to it (thank you bamboo!). Our mill discontinued Woobu after a very long run; ever since then, we’ve been searching for a yarn replacement. Finally we have found one!

Aria is a stunning blend of 60% merino and 40% silk, which is spun oh-so-beautifully. I love this yarn so very much. It’s silky, smooth and soft while also being strong and energetic. [Karen says: “Hey! That’s how I want people to describe me!”] And… it has that silvery sheen which we have been looking for since Woobu went away. I will tell you that there was a fair amount of happy dancing in the dye barn when we saw how well this yarn dyed and knit. Be still, my yarn- and color-loving heart!  We are thrilled to add Aria to our stellar line-up of garment yarns in general — and specifically for the Traveling Sweater.

We could say that it’s sadly ironic that we are knitting a sweater called “the Traveling Sweater” at a time when so many of us are staying safe at home because of the pandemic. However, I choose to see it as knitting HOPE and dreaming of that time when we will be together, not just in spirit but back out in the world at our knit groups and festivals. There is always hope, and together we can knit that hope into reality.

Okay — so here are some specifics:
• Karen has the Tenth Anniversary edition of the pattern up on Ravelry here. There’s an automatic $1 discount running from now until after the cast-on date in mid-June to say thank you for all the love & support over these ten years!
• In the new edition of the pattern, you get an additional size (XS/S for all you petites!), a ton of schematics to help you visualize how it goes together, plus tutorials and photos and and… Plus, there’s a free companion PDF that outlines how you can make a version without the back ‘spine’ detail!

Great Back No Spine Glamour
• In the weeks leading up to the KAL Cast-On Party, we’ll chat here about yarn, colorways, dyeing Aria, swatching, blocking … all the topics you’ll want to know more about so you can cast on with confidence for this glorious piece. Also, Karen will be hosting the official KAL conversation and answering all of your questions in her group’s Traveling Sweater thread on Ravelry.
• Karen is also planning to put together YouTube tutorials (because online video tutorials are a knitters’ best friend, especially during pandemic lockdown!). Some of you may not know that Karen is not just a talented designer but also a teacher: she’s been teaching knitting for decades at big conferences like Stitches and Madrona Fiber Arts, as well as at shops like Churchmouse Yarns & Teas (where she used to be on the design team). Karen has also been my partner in our School of Yarn series over the past few years. She not only KNOWS knitting, she is so good at helping others learn and excel.

Now onto the dyeing and getting your yarn. Right now Eat Sleep Knit has quite a bit of Aria in stock, so you can shop there for instant gratification! And of course we are dyeing to order, as we do! We decided to set the cast-on date for June 19th so there will plenty of time for me to dye and ship you your yarn!! I will, however, ask you to choose your colors and place your orders sooner rather than later — this helps me order in enough yarn and then dye it and ship it to you! If you need color input please do let me know. I am more than happy to help at info@bluemoonfiberarts.com. We are continuing our discount we have running right now through this time. Code is: supporteachother2020 and is good for 20% .

Karen says you will need 4 skeins for the new XS/S size, 4-5 skeins* for the M/L size (what used to be the smaller size on the original pattern), and 5 skeins for the XL size. (See the pattern page on Ravelry for measurements to help you choose your size). *An important FYI: the yardage for the M/L size is really close to 4 full skeins of Aria. If you want to do a bunch of extra swatching, or if you’re tall and love looong sleeves, you will want to get a 5th skein for insurance. This one was close enough that Karen wanted to give you the heads-up about that.

Okay, crew – ready, set: TRAVEL! We can’t wait to see what colorways you pick, and get us all underway on our trip toward hope and cameraderie.

By the end of this week I should be currentish up on most of the online orders. Phew!!!  Have I said how much I miss my team.

I will also be shipping the April spinning club. I will be sending out an email about sock club either today or tomorrow.

I hope you all are staying safe and well. I know this is a challenge on so many levels and in different ways for all of us. Please know you are all in my thoughts and prayers!  You are wonderful!! Take it one day at a time! Some days it is one moment at a time. I have had a few of those. We will get through this to a brighter more loving and inclusive place for all of us!!!

love!!