yarn csa

I haven’t bought new yarn in AGES, but some yarn I bought a year ago just arrived…. IMG_2965

… six skeins (1200 yards) of yarn from my share of the Fall 2012 CSA at Juniper Moon Farm.

I’ve struggled for years now over the use of wool and the possibility of humane options and and although I’m getting closer, I have to say I’m still struggling a great deal.  But, about a year ago, I bought a share in the world’s first yarn CSA from a no-kill farm whose animals live out their natural lives and are never eaten.  It is of course still a business, but pretty cool one as businesses go; I would like to go down to Palmyra, VA one day to check it out.

That is all I am going to say on that subject – I’m not looking for a debate or argument.  This is just something personal for me and I am in no way judging or saying what anyone else should do.  I’m sure I’ve permanently lost a few of my very few readers at this point, because I’ve stopped reading blogs due to certain personal opinions, but it is what itIMG_2958 is.

Well, back to the yarn, because my next task is… dyeing!!  I ordered mine undyed and am going to try to dye it myself (!)…. which I have never done before.  Boring as I am, I’ve been wanting a gray cardigan for a while, and love gray, and, so, will be dyeing this gray.  I’ve been reading Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece by Gail Callahan and I’m psyched to try it – does anyone have advice and/or recommend a certain type of dye?

This yarn smells strongly of the farm and has to stay locked up because the cats…








OK the cats are taking over this blog!  Enough!  I promise.


Recently Alexis of Spools and Skeins passed on her Liebster to me… so nice!  I feel like a jerk though, because I could not for the life of me come up with 11 blogs to pass it on to.  And the ones I did think to pass it on to (like Closet Case Files, Sewin’ Steady, Pins and Needles, etc.) have already received one or more recently and I’m sure don’t need or want another (since it is more of a chain letter than an award).  And some of those blogs as well as some others I love (tidytipsy, Cirque du Bebe, etc.) have 200+ followers.  I did come up with a few random facts and answered Alexis’ questions…

10 facts about me (because I’m really sick of trying to come up with an 11th one!) …


1.  My favorite foods are guacamole, cereal, and vegenaise.

2.  I could drink orange juice siphoned by the gallon 24 hours a day. This is making me crave some right now.

3. I have moved 15 times in 4 states and I am not from a military family.  I am just… unable to sit still?  The last 11 were in my adult life and in the last 4 years I’ve lived in 3 different states (MA, RI, and MD).  I have also driven a 16 foot moving truck up and down the east coast by myself.  The longest I’ve lived in one house was my first 10 years of life – I have dreams about that house to this day and I have a drawing of it tattooed on the inside of my upper arm.

4. In 2007 and 2008 I did 4 sprint triathlons (NOT competitively – I came in the bottom third).

5. I have won a yarn basket, an iPod nano, and an all-expense-paid 4-day trip to Jamaica. And a teddy bear when I was 5.

6.  Between the ages of 3 and 21 I had four visits to the emergency room; at age 3 I ran into a wall (genius) and got 8 stitches on my forehead, at age 12 I scratched my eyeball with a pencil and wore an eye patch for a weekend, at age 15 I got hit in the head with a soccerball and had a nosebleed that lasted a week, and at age 21 I was bit by a dog and got 7 stitches on the bridge of my nose.  I’m graceful, no?

7. When I was 12 I decided I wanted to be a therapist (I called it a “shrink” back then) and that’s what I am.

8.  Mr. Nice and I met on my 27th birthday in my favorite bar.  This is funnier to the people that know us, particularly him, because you wouldn’t expect either of us to “pick someone up” in a bar.  Although it wasn’t really like that.  A picture was taken of us talking to each other that first time, but it was lost when my hard drive burned in November 😦

9.  I lived in Italy the second semester of my junior year in college.  I had taken two years of Italian, and took three classes taught in Italian, and became fairly fluent, which of course I’ve almost completely lost now.  While there, I met my grandmother’s brother and his family in Sicily, none of whom speak English.  I never thought a decade would pass and I wouldn’t have gone back.

10.  I used to really, really dislike cats.  I thought they were obnoxious and weird and I didn’t really like to pet them.  Uh, if you’ve read my blog before you can probably tell that has changed drastically.  I am absolutely a cat person now.  I still like dogs, but I’m not really into the dog as a status symbol or an accessory, as sometimes they tend to be.








So cute you could barf, right?!  Anyways…

  1. One blog you read every day?  A Beautiful Mess, and then I spend 30 minutes wondering why my life isn’t as perfect as theirs.  I’m trying to cut back on that one.
  2. Paper, plastic, or canvas?  Paper because I usually forget the reusable bags.
  3. Ideal date night?  A few beers in a cozy bar (ideally Novare Res in Portland, ME, see below) and a really, really good dinner.   IMG_2704
  4. Are you a winter or summer person?  All of a sudden I’m a winter person (thank you New England).
  5. Are you an early riser or night owl?  Night, hands down.  As much as I try and want to be, the morning just isn’t my time.
  6. Favorite book?  Wuthering Heights.  This one doesn’t really seem to fit my personality, but I friggin’ love that book.  (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and either The Sound and the Fury or As I Lay Dying by Faulkner may be second and third).
  7. Favorite children’s book?  In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak.
  8. Dream vacation spot?  Somewhere fascinating I’ve never been, preferably in another country.
  9. One item of clothing in your wardrobe that you couldn’t live without?
    Leggings.  They make me feel like I can wear pajamas to work.  That sounds very unstylish, doesn’t it?
  10. Favorite board game?  This is going to sound so obnoxious, but I mostly can’t stand board games.  Pictionary is OK and I was thinking about giving Scrabble a try.
  11. Favorite quote?  “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

i wish i liked this dress better…

…but I don’t.  It’s been a rough couple weeks, thus the lack of sewing and posting, and it seems like this dress is a symptom of all that.  This is Kristen from Burdastyle and it is a cute style with lots of interesting details, but I think the combination of a fabric/print I don’t like and the fit being a little off = frumpy granny dress?


Funny story about this fabric – I got it at The Knittn’ Kitten in Portland, OR (which I love), thinking it was a vintage fabric (I’m such a sucker, I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I knew it was new), and noticed later that the selvadge had a website stamped on it.  I don’t think we’re that old yet.


  • All the darts and pleats in the top that you cannot see because the fabric is too busy, particularly the deep center back pleat, it’s very classy.
  • The plackets down the front if you use a more lightweight fabric.
  • It really is a dress with a lot of potential; I made a size 38 top and 40 bottom and used the waistband to transition the difference (does that make sense, I sat here for like two minutes wondering what the right phrase is?) and I’m happy with… the waistband.

IMG_2938What I learned:

  • Fabric is too busy to see all the pattern details (see above)
  • I have SUCH a hard time with side seam zippers, I just can’t seem to line the fabric up right, it’s wonky, and if you look closely, it just doesn’t sit right along my hip.
  • I wish I had made the top a little more narrow and adjusted the bust.  Others who made this dress said the top was too big and they adjusted it.  When I tried it on repeatedly, I thought it was just the blousy style, but looking at these pictures, I see that it’s too big.  I have a very small bust and I think the lesson learned is that when there are darts, I will inevitably have to make an adjustment (which I don’t know how to do yet!)
  • The collar is too wide in my opinion.
  • Because of the thickness of my placket fabric (leftover from this dress), not only does it not sit nice, but the edges of the front opening don’t press well either, even though I graded the seam allowance.  See:


Initially this dress was fun because of all the details, and one day, far from now, I will try it with adjustments and better materials, but I got SO SICK OF MAKING THIS DRESS that it just dragged on forever.  And of course Burda instructions are so cryptic, so I totally fudged the sleeves and had to redo them, and the collar took a couple tries too.  Neither are terribly complicated, you just to have to read between the lines of the instructions.

I am so out of love with this dress that I can’t be bothered to wash off my fabric pen markings.  So please disregard them in the photo below!


Overall grade:  Eh.