the Intrepid Fiberwizard

adventures in spinning, knitting, gardening and life

Sunday, July 30, 2006

One Year Blog-iversary Contest

In a few days time, I will be celebrating my one year blog-iversary and I've decided to have a contest to thank all the people who read!
Contest Prize will be two skeins of Sock Hop Yarn in the colorway I Feel Good (but of course)

Contest Questions:
1.How many years have I been knitting and spinning? (and I don't count what I did as a child.. I mean how many years since I began for real)
2.What's my favorite spinning wheel?
3.How many colorways are there in pencil roving?
4.How many colorways are there in Sock Hop Yarn?

There's a few folks who know all the answers to these questions... so, just to make it fair - don't post your answers here... (I'll erase them so as not to give anyone else any hints:-) Send your answers to me in an email to teyani AT crownmountainfarms DOT com.
I will collect all the names of people who answer correctly and then draw the winners from a hat.

*Grand prize will be 2 skeins "I Feel Good" Sock Hop Yarn
*runner up will receive a 10% discount off selected products from our website

Contest runs from July 30th to August 3th - just 5 days to send in your answers.

Does this sound like fun? Please join in!

I have totally enjoyed this year of blogging. It began on a whim, suggested by our webmaster. She said to me " You know, Teyani, you might enjoy writing a blog." I laughed and said... who would read it?! I had no idea......
below are the stats from my blog (and note that I didn't even add a stat counter for the first few months) who would have thought!
thank you all - I look forward to chatting with you for many more years.

695484.United States


820.United Kingdom















60.New Zealand


50.Costa Rica






20.Korea, Republic Of


20.Hong Kong

20.United Arab Emirates


20.South Africa




10.Solomon Islands



Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Return of Sock Hop Yarn

And alas, already sold out (again) in the first couple of hours.... It's been a busy few months at Crown Mountain Farms! (despite our vacation) All our spinners have been busy, the wheels have been whirling, the needles click-clackin'.. and now we present : Sock Hop Yarn ~ officially unveiled on our website! (if it doesn't show up for you, please hit refresh on your browser)
I dyed an enormous amount of fiber, we spun and spun, we washed, we dried and sorted~ and still it has sold out.
wow, and thank you for this overwhelmingly wonderful response !

If you are interested in waiting a couple of months, we'll be glad to spin for you - you'll be able to place an order today, but after that we are closing the order process once again. You can send us an email (go to our website and you'll find it under contact us) and let us know which colorway you'd like, and an email to contact you when it is once again back in stock.

Lest you think that there's been no knitting going on, I share here for your blogging enjoyment a few socks (of course knit from Sock Hop Yarn.) Here are the new colorways I've finished samples of since the last post I made about this yarn (May 2 and May 20).

Even my Mom is getting into the Sock Hop dance :-)
Way to go Mom! She's knitting on some American Pie Colorway.

Big Yellow Taxi

Midnight Hour

Good Vibrations (in progress still)

Great Balls of Fire (showing the accurate color)


Wild Thing

the website sales will be open until it is sold out; then we'll be taking a few back orders. if, for some reason we are totally swamped and sell out before you get some Sock Hop Yarn,and if even the back orders are full, then please send us an email, and specify your wish list. We'll work on spinning it and let you know when it's completed :-)
BTW, we're currently testing out two more spinners to add to our already wonderful team - so we're hoping that we can actually keep some in stock for a few days.. hah!
Next up on my list (after Toasty Toes that is) is to make all the second socks to the ones I've sampled above (grins)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Toasty Toes Temptations

Toasty Toes is calling - and my answer is hmmmmm, I dunno!
what to pick?
what to choose ?
what's a gal to do?

I am looking for input - options - ideas - votes... and all will be considered :-)

My pal is a lady who doesn't really like striped yarn (so she says mwwaaahaha) thus no Sock Hop for her this time.. While my personal tastes tend to run a bit wilder than my secret swap buddy, I still aim to please. I've gotten a bunch of patterns together, so that's not the dilemma..... but alas, which yarn?

Here's a couple of my recent purchases,(thank you Alison) made with my pal in mind...
on the left is Jaegger, middle is Lorna's Laces, and the right is Fleece Artist. (the fleece artist has some color variations, but it's subtle, more of a tone-on-tone). All my other purchases were wild, bold and brightly striped.... silly, yet true.... and you all already know that my Sock Hop Yarn is definately stripe- stripe-stripe!

So what do ya say???
votes please. Which one do you like? Which one will please my pal?? If these socks were coming to you, which one would YOU like? (Hah.. thought you fooled me eh, nope I'm not giving ANY clues as to who my pal is!)

Meanwhile, back here on the farm, the heat is definately ON ! It's been over 100 degrees all week long since we got home - and geeee, last night, it cooled down to 90 degrees around 10:00pm. I think I miss the lake :-)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Vacation Memories

Vacation with my family comes once a year if all goes well. For the past few, we have been able to return to my family's cottage on Keuka Lake. It is difficult to precisely describe the thrill in my heart when we board the plane to "The Lake" (as we have called it since we were children). It is rather like Christmas arriving in July. I took almost 300 photos over the week we were gone -
here are a few of them, so that you may enjoy the beauty of Upstate New York.

I grew up here. The old cottage is "home". In the world of rapid changes, multiple rellocations around the U.S., divorces and new marriages, serious illnesses, uncertainty over jobs and the world in general, this place has remained our constant. Although my daughters and I have lived on the other side of the country, they too feel the pull of 'belonging' here.

The ancient willow still stands, gnarly and tall by the kitchen door, and still holds the hammock.

The dock goes into the water in June and is taken out in September after the Labor Day Fireworks. We awoke each morning to amazing views such as this. Although it was indeed hot (about 101) there was lots of splashing in the lake.

my feet have walked this same path of stones to the kitchen door since I was a small child- my toes know every indentation in the old shale stones.

there have been campfires and roasting marshmellows every year.

the sumac trees along our small glen bring memories from childhood of brewing "sumac tea" to feed the fairies in our glen.

A small stash of treasures collects on the table through the week -

My daughters and I went often to "The Lake" when they were small, and now we return with Kaus as well. This year, almost my entire extended family was there... I'll share a few photos of them here. We're a diverse bunch, yet we share a similar sense of humor. We would often stay up late at night playing the new card game Kate taught us, 'Mao'. (This is a goofy card game that her friends are all playing at school.)
Mealtimes found us seating 10-12 people around the 100 year old table my Great Uncle hand made.

My Mom in the garden:

Oldest brother Peter:

Baby brother Phil and his wife Jacquelyn on their sailboat (thanks for all the great sailing trips :-)

My Dad and Phil's dogs had daily 'exercise' with their swim toys

My oldest daughter,Erin - (and of course she's painting.. this time on some of the broad shale stones)

My youngest daughter, Kate- who loves to swim (just like her Mom)

And YES, there was indeed knitting!!! My Mom (who taught me to knit as a child) is working on a sock (are you surprised??) This one is being knit up with Sock Hop Yarn, color "American Pie".
stay tuned all you knitting friends.. Sock Hop Yarn will be available very very soon :-)

Klaus stayed in touch with our spinning and knitting friends - here I 'caught him' checking his emails.

Even my cousin, Alison, came down from Rochester for a visit. Don't we look like sisters?? Please excuse the blurry photo - we were working in the kitchen, and melting a bit in the heat. I wanted to proudly show off this photo of her. Alison is one of the people I admire for her courage and determination; for you see, she has lost 105 pounds in one year. You rock girl! She only has a tiny bit more to 'reach her goal weight' - go for it!

Most days, Klaus could be found here:

Towards the end of our trip, I drove Klaus, Erin and Kate over to one of my favorite places, Watkins Glen. This natural formation has been carved out of the hillside over the past 12,000 years of erosion. Upstate New York is predominately shale and sandstone. The rock formations are works of art.

I begin with a photo of me grinning beside my two wonderful daughters. Aren't I the lucky one !

My parents are still at the lake - they say it is too quiet there now (grins). And although the rest of us are back in our normal routines, my heart drifts back to the lake.
It was a special vacation this year.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Slippery Stuff

Summer comes, and my thoughts turn to alternative fibers (meaning anything not wool) This morning I was digging around in my stash, and found this yummy fiber.

It's going to be a cabled tank top - made from a micro fiber hand dyed ribbon yarn, that I picked up from Tess Designs at Stitches West. Beautiful, simple - and a rather no-brainer type of knit (perfect for relaxing)

Yet, I have one dilemma for all you knitting pros out there; I find that when I go from a knit stitch to a purl stitch I end up with a small "ladder" looking blurp in the middle of the two stitches. uck. I have pulled, yanked, said a few choice things, and then pulled and yanked again... all to no avail. The ladderettes remain.
If you take a close look in the photo, to the left of the cables, you'll see what I mean.
Let me know if you have any ideas.... otherwise, I'll be crossing my fingers that it will "even out in the blocking" (didn't some famous blogger that we all know say that blocking solves a miriad of knitting dilemmas?)

Meanwhile, on the fiber section of the farm, dyeing continues in it's various stages. (grins)
and it goes on and on ! (good thing that I enjoy it, eh?)

We're getting ready to leave for vacation tomorrow - heading off to Upstate New York, to lounge around by the lake. It's a dandy old cottage; the kind of place where you can toss a t-shirt on over your wet bathing suit and head right on in to eat dinner - nothing formal, we all take off our wrist watches, and generally chill. (thanks to my baby brother for these great photos)
This marvelous old cottage has been in our family for more than 100 years. Every year some things need "tweeking": roof repairs, paint, new steps... oh yes, and the clean up from the mice and squirrels who lived there during the winter :-)
A big thank you to my parents and my brothers (who all arrived earlier than us this year, and have done all the work)
Another thank you goes out to our lovely house-and-goat/sheep sitters... thanks for minding the farm! We'll be raising our glasses of Bully Hill in a toast to all our knitting and spinning friends.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Still here

I've been settling back in after our hectic week towards the end of June, and honestly, avoiding the computer altogether. - not such a good blogging story, but it's honest.
The fiber dyeing continues, the spinning wheel is turning along, the socks samples are being knit, and the clients are getting seen at the office. That pretty much fills most my hours these days.

I'm counting the days until our once-a-year vacation... only 4 more to go.

Here's something beautio-mous to enjoy with your eyes. - a recent sunset view from our deck. sorry about the scratch on the film, the processor kinda blew it - but you still get the idea.
there will be knitting content soon.