Griffin Dyeworks -Fiber Frolic Fun

On a sunny Saturday in March I dragged my friend Courtney down from San Luis Obispo to a Fiber Frolic in Sherman Oaks (that’s LA). IMG_20170318_092701.jpgsingle_griffen-final-r-aCourtney’s not even a fiber person exactly, what she is is up for arts & crafts! The event was hosted by Griffin Dyeworks, and I originally heard about it from Annie of the Petite Weaver Podcast.

Spoiler alert, you want to go to one of these!


We got to the site about 30 minutes early, just enough to check-in and wander the few vendor tables that were available with products. IMG_20170318_100034

One of the first things I did was say hi to Annie. She started to introduce herself and I butted in with “I know! I watch your podcast!” She was super duper sweet. She was teaching a bead class, so Courtney and I headed out to our main event – basket weaving!


We were delerious with happiness over these tiny little baskets. That first pic is teacher Melise Gerber  & the other lady is our polymer button teacher Becky. The basket weaving wasn’t hard, but I’m glad we did it in a class so we had someone to check in with and to reassure us that things were on track. And all the baskets came out slightly different, which was pretty cool.


Know how I know these are my people? I wasn’t the first one in line for lunch. I was third.


We had lunch with Amy, who has a beautiful dyeing notebook. She’s also got a fabulous garden at home to grow her own dyes. Coolest people.

Then it was off to bead making. We used pasta rollers to get the dough worked up nice and smooth, and then to help combine the colors. Learned some cool tricks for things like polka dots, lines, and even using eyeshadow to make the buttons glittery!

And I ended the day with a Basic Needle Felting (ouch) class with Hillary from The Fiber Ranch. I only got one tiny little poke, not even blood, but those little barbs make for quite the sting. Oh, and because I really wanted a black nose, my “sheep,” as Hillary pointed out, looks like a wolf in sheep’s closing. I totally want to make more of these.

De-pill, De-pill!

Remember my great green sweater?


It’s far from perfect, but I’d like to knit it again, a smaller size, a tighter gauge. Right now it’s a housecoat and I bundle up in it in the evenings when it’s chilly in Santa Barbara. Chilly in Santa Barbara is anything below 68 if you’re a local. And too hot? That happens at 73. Spoiled?

Because it gets worn, and worn hard since I have two kids, two dogs, and a house, it’s covered in pills. For years I’ve used a Windmere Sweater Shaver. And by years, I’m talking 15+ since my little tool pre-dates my husband. It works pretty well, but it’s slow and you have to have the technique down: small circles, about 2″ in diameter in a back and forth pattern will generally get you where you want to go with the sweater looking almost new again.


The new player on the field is a Gleener. I’ve heard it buzzing about the knit-sphere. No battery, elbow grease power. But supposedly the best thing since the knit stitch.

Pre-Gleen. Lots of pills.


Post Gleener you can see it’s removed a lot of the bigger stuff. But there’s still a haze on the fabric. There is a finer Gleener head, I’ve played with it but not officially. (that lovely half button is thanks to the puppy. She’s a chewer.)


The big pils is Gleener. The smaller is the Windmere going over afterwards. The Gleener is definitely faster for large area pill removal. For fine work, I’m leaning towards the sweater shaver. It takes batteries and is slower, but the fabric actually looks like new not just de-pilled.img_20170106_095508

Do I like the Gleener? Yes. And I’m going to keep trying it out. But I’m not going to be tossing my trusty sweater shaver.


I freely admit that I love the show “Cupcake Wars.” It’s not a great show, or groundbreaking. But it’s familiar, pretty, soft. And it’s great background noise. Plus, available on Netflix!

I was watching the other day and one of the contestants made Spinach Cupcakes. And as much as I love spinach, I was doubtful. But I looked up a recipe  I thought I had the ingredients for.

Thankfully I have a sister who is game for my shenanigans. And who has a 48 cup mini muffin tin. Seriously, who has one that large?!

Turns out these are lovely! I think next time I would add a little extra vanilla. But you can’t taste the spinach, though there is a lot. And they have a super lovely color. Two thumbs up!

Sewing for Trailers

My husband and I (really my husband, I hold things and make decisions) have been renovating a 1965 Field and Stream Travel Trailer. After 2 years, we’re getting close. The walls are up, the windows are going in. So some of the pretty touches get to go in. That meant some of this weekend has been spent sewing up curtains.

I had help.


Really, they are just big rectangles with a channel for the rod or spring to hold it up.


But they look darn schnazzy in the trailer.IMG_20160904_150918

Practical Sewing

“We” have been fixing up a 1965 Field & Stream Travel Trailer for awhile now. I saw “we” because my husband has been doing most of the heavy lifting, I do decision making and holding things. But we’ve reached the phase where some of the interior and soft pieces need work, so I took apart the dinette couches and, using scraps and an old sheet, I attempted to put the covers back together.

Not too shabby! I need to spend a little time tightening up my seam allowance. But passable. And the edges will look neater once I get the serger back up and running.

Sewn In

After my 3 week sewing course where I had the objective to learn to sew with knits, which I did, and rocked it. Check out my sister  rockin’ the tunic top (dress if you aren’t 6′ tall) I made.


I kicked it in to high gear. While I’m awaiting a serger to really finish off the garments as nicely as they could be, I’m pretty darn happy with my sewing-knits progress.IMG_20160728_103331

This is a selfie of my first, technically second, Appleton Dress from Cashmerette. On my first version, a simple black jersey, I cut out 2 left fronts and through in the towel as I didn’t have enough fabric to re-cut.

But I jumped right back on the horse and cut out this other fabric I’d bought on sale. From cutting to finishing this thing took one day! And that included getting out of the house for some errands, even.

If you’re curvy, and that can mean fat, big boobs, tall, or a million other things that fall into the “not standard” size, then this is a great pattern. I used the sew along tutorial as my instruction set, and it was awesome. It also meant I felt like I had built-in breaks and didn’t push myself beyond where I was comfortable.

Other than my standard Singer Featherweight I used a set of twin needles, which I broke right as I finished up the hem but before top stitching the neckline, and a ball point needle to sew the knits. I did most of the seams on a zig stitch. The cuts are unfinished on the interior, which bums me a little, but hopefully I’ll get a serger soon.

There are some fixes I need. Mostly in taking my time. The neckline pieces are not perfectly symmetrical. There’s some bunching on the shoulders. But I think a little more care on my part while cutting will help smooth those out for the next dress.