Category Archives: dyeing

Spring Yarn School 2010

Yarn School was April 22-25 and as always, it was fabulous. Nikol consistantly provides an amazing forum for learning, inspiration, laughter and rejuvination. The food Nikol makes for us is delicious (I still think she should make a Yarn School cookbook) and there’s alway plenty of coffee available.

This spring, probably around half of the participants were repeats and the friendships that had been made in past sessions were immediately rekindled. Many of those repeaters brought friends with them as well, so the quiet politeness that usually happens on Thursday night was replaced with raucous laughter.Adrian and Jennifer are knowledgeable and patient teachers — their spinning talents stun and inspire me. I have to say that I’ve always been equally inspired by my fellow attendees. Yarn School welcomes both the absolute newbie and the most advanced spinner.

Adrian’s dyeing skills are almost beyond description. She knows what the possiblities Jacquard dyes can provide PLUS she has a wonderful color sense — bundle that all up in one funny and talented person and you come up with stunning fiber and yarn.

This was my sixth time attending Yarn School — I’ve got four times as an attendee and twice and a Yarn Zombie/helper — and I still come away with the same rejuvination and excitement as I did after the first Yarn School I attended. Nikol, thank you for making all this happen.

For more pictures go HERE.



Filed under dyed fiber, dyeing, fiber, spinning, stash, Yarn School

Yarn School Spring 2009

Whew!  Spring Yarn School has come and gone!

spring 2009 yarn school
all in a big circle I went as a helper again, along with Ana and Jen M, and we were the dish washing, fiber rinsing, towel gathering, table busing, chicken rangling, airport shuttling, laundry doing, Yarn Zombies — all in all, we made a good team.  There were two teachers, Adrian and Jen S and then, the grand Poo-Baa, Nikol, who made the whole thing roll.  This spring, there were twenty students, many of whom were attendees for a second and even third time.  Everyone was great — we all had our wheels in a giant circle and we would laugh and spin when we weren’t in the dye lab, carding or eating.  Jan absolutely kept everyone in stitches and Rachel laughed till she fell out of her chair.  There was amazing food (thank you Nikol — when are you going to put out a cookbook?!), wonderfully dyed fiber, lots of spinning and just plain fun.


adrian's demo

nikol taking pics


braided rovings

If you’ve never been to Yarn School, I would HIGHLY recommend it — you’ll leave exhausted & revived!

More pictures can be found here & here!

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Filed under dyed fiber, dyeing, spinning, Yarn, Yarn School

Another Weekend of Dyeing

We (being Nikol and I) finished all the dyeing for Phase II of our Source Book project.  




finishedOver a two weekend period we dyed 395 colors!  That makes me tired just typing it!  There’s more info to come on this project . . .

In between dyeing, heating and cooling, we would take breaks and visit Ronnette Wigglesworth (aka Ronnie Wiggles) and Hokey Pokey, the new little lambs.  twins


Last week, Ronnie was just tiny and this week she had grown so much.  



Hokey Pokey would let Nikol hold him on his back as she rubbed his chest.


Fudgy still hasn’t had her lambs yet, but she just looked like she could pop!  


The shetlands crack me up — I swear that they’re a cross between a dog and a goat (and not sheep at all)!  

uncle-honeybunch2Uncle Honeybunch wanted me to scratch his head and neck constantly — he would stretch out his neck and close his eyes to wee slits in pleasure.  All the sheep were sheared this past week and it was very funny to see them all “nekked”.  Nikol is ordering jackets for all of them, so their fleeces should be wonderful next year.

On the drive home, much of the prairies were being burned off.  


This made to news in Kansas City, because much of the smoke had drifted east and was affecting the air quality in many areas.  


fireThe farmers have burned their fields for years to rid them of weeds and to put nitrogen back in the soil.  It really is quite a sight.  What always amazes me, is that within a couple of days of the burn, new grass begins peeking through the black and then very quickly and fresh green pasture reappears.

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Filed under Acid Dye Color Source Books, critters, dyeing, sheep

A Harveyville Weekend — Part I

I went out to Harveyville this weekend so Nikol and I could start Phase II of our Acid Dye Source Book project. We were really productive, planning and laying out the project and doing some initial dyeing.


We also worked on another fun project — a banner and t-shirt for the Harveyville Spinsters Club.


The Spinsters have decided to have a booth at the Topeka Farmers Market this summer to sell our wares, so I’ve designed a logo for us that I made into a banner to go on our booth and to put on t-shirts for us.  Nikol is the queen of resources and she had a blank banner from Dick Blick’s and an overhead projector that came with the school, so we were able to project the original image onto the banner and I could then trace it and paint it.


I love that Freddie kept me company the entire weekend.  Boots is just as sweet, but Freddie has my heart.  As we sat in the office and worked, Freddie would jump up in my lap and make himself comfortable, all the while purring like a maniac.  How can you not fall in love with a cat that gives you such a look of complete contentment and happiness?!


I also love this light fixture in the lobby of the school.  Sometimes I forget to look up and see it, so when I finally look up, I’m pleasantly surprise all over again.  

The chickens, where to start?




They always make me smile . . . their jerky, quirky walk, their funny and calming clucking and their wonderful shapes and all so pleasing to me.



Their eggs are beautiful, from a lovely light, blue-green, to terra cotta, and then all speckled.  Nikol sent a dozen home with me — I’m so LUCKY!

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Filed under Acid Dye Color Source Books, cats, chickens, dyeing, Harveyville Spinsters' Club

Lemonade Stand Award

awardWhat a nice surprise!!  Claire, from “Is This Heaven?  No, This Is Iowa!”, has passed the baton of the Lemonade Stand Award to me.  The Lemonade Stand Award represents “gratitude and/or a great attitude.”  Well, that will put a smile on your face!  Claire has a great blog about farm life in Iowa and she’s a knitter and beginning spinner to boot.  Top it off with a very good sense of humor and you’ve got some good reading!

So, here are the RULES of how the Lemonade Stand Award works:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate 10 blogs that show gratitude or great attitude or both
3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post
4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5. Share the love and link this post to the person whom you received your award from

That said, here are my nominees:

House of Cardis — Kristine has three Cardigan Welsh Corgis, takes beautiful photographs, is an amazing dog trainer and great writer.

T H E . T H R I F T Y . K N I T T E R — Nikol is a powerhouse of energy and creativity.  She is the energy behind The Harveyville Project, Yarn School and artclub, she can crank out lovely batts like you wouldn’t believe, is a fellow Harveyville Spinster and my partner in the Color Source Books.  Plus, she has sheep AND chickens — so jealous . . .

A Whirled Yarn —  Jennifer is an amazing spinner and her yarns are just works of art.  Last year she opened she opened Settlers Farm yarn shop in Wamego, KS and this past week had the first annual Woolfest.  Again, she’s a fellow Harveyville Spinster and teacher at Yarn School, & she has sheep AND chickens too.  Hmmm, still so jealous . . .

Sarah’s Homestead Blog —  Sarah spins and dyes amazing rovings and yarns and has Maisy Daisy Handspun.  I met Sarah at Yarn School (she’s a GREAT teacher) and she has helped me fine tune my spinning and dyeing.  Yep, you guessed it, she has chickens too.   *sigh*

Hello Yarn — Adrian, spinner extraordinaire and she has a color sense like no other — her hand dyed rovings are lush and good luck if you can get into her fiber club!  Another teacher at Yarn School that is generous with her knowledge and laughter.  No chickens but a darn cute pup named Pippa.

Snowangels — Ana is a talented designer, knitter and photographer (do you really think I could have taken those pictures of my feet wearing my socks?!) & she does some fine lettering as well.  It’s great fun hearing about her kitties and Blythe dolls (she knits the best sweaters for those little dollies).

Ruffly Speaking — I’m love reading about Joanna’s Cardigans and her great knowledge of the breed.

Posie gets Cozy — Such an inspiring website!  Alicia is a fabulous crafter, great photographer AND she has a darling Cardigan named Clover.

Miss Alice Faye — Beautiful lace knitting and spinning — just inspiring.

Okay, this one is sort of a honoree because the blog has closed but it still up.  Cupcake Blog — The YUM factor here is over the top!


Filed under baking, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, dogs, dyeing, fiber, Harveyville Spinsters' Club, knitting, Other Stuff, Yarn, Yarn School

Some Excitement!

Nikol was contacted by Kim Cameron from KnitPicks last week about the possibility of KnitPicks picking up our “Acid Dye Quik Reference” for their catalog!! I did a bit of a happy dance (okay, I’m still doing the happy dance). It’s all still in talks, but this is exciting! So, we’ll see what happens with this next . . .

p.s. Nikol added bio information about us on the site! Yeah, Nikol!


Filed under Acid Dye Color Source Books, dyeing, Uncategorized

Finished Spinning

I’ve just finished a bit of spinning.

This is a 8 oz. merino superwash roving that I dyed at Yarn School.

And here is the finished spun product. I got 362 yards at a worsted weight yarn.

Next is the 8 oz. roving that I bought from Grasshopper (alias Jennifer M).

I got 583 yards at a worsted weight yarn.

Now the search is on for patterns . . .


Filed under dyeing, fiber, spinning, Yarn