Monthly Archives: January 2012



It’s worth pointing out that it is still January. Small victories.

Find him on Ravelry (now with correct copyright information). And on Etsy (but don’t do that if you Ravel – he’s cheaper over there).

Many many thanks to my speedy test knitters who helped me keep my January delivery promise!

January’s Mindful Fiber: C.C. for the Win!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in January’s Mindful Fiber Giveaway! And thank you so much to the residents of Farm Genevieve (especially their caretaker, Cassie) for providing an inspirational start to 12 Months of Mindful Fiber.

Our very first fiber winner is C.C.! I’ll be wrapping up that fat, squishy, cuddly Girl Power for the mail box this morning and the Moss Circle Cowl from Jessica will show up in her inbox soon soon soon. Congratulations, C.C. Make something beautiful!

Everyone else, stay in touch! February is coming and with it more Mindful Yarn.


busy as a bee

My activity level as expressed in yarn.

Thank you all so much for the interest in and support for my Mindful Fiber project! I’ve got my list going – remember to refer your friends since the goal here is to raise awareness. The Farm Genevieve giveaway will be open until a week from Tuesday to give that “awareness” a chance to happen. In the meantime, I have every intention of replying to every comment…in between these toy orders.

And when I take breaks from the Itty Bitty Vulture pattern.

(I’ve got my test knitters! Thanks, y’all!)

I’ll go back to folding clothes now – William Henry climbs in the laundry hamper every time I pause to type.

12 Months of Mindful Fiber: January with Farm Genevieve

I’d like you to meet Farm Genevieve.


Just hanging out watching the grass grow.

Cassie Moon has a textiles degree, but “all the theory I studied never prepared me for the reality of raising a spinner’s flock of Shetland sheep, Angora goats, and a guard llama. I shear and spin our wool to make lovely, local yarns with a name. I like to say that at FARM GENEVIEVE we raise handspun yarn!”

In 2011, Cassie made a commitment to be a full-time, stay-at-home farmer. With 55 animals in residence including an assortment of cats, dogs, chickens and ducks, I’m pretty sure it was already a full time job whether she stayed at home or not! Her blog chronicles farm days filled with feeding, watering, herding, hugging and cleaning up after all the residents as well as dying and spinning their fiber into yarn.

my favorite picture of all time

SO relaxed.

At shearing time haircuts are given with scissors! Cassie says, “I do have a pair of very expensive electric shears with special camelid and mohair combs and blades, but I almost took my finger off…I figured I could survive without a finger, but if I ever took off a tail or an ear, I could never live with myself.” With fiber like this, scissors are worth the patience: many of the raw fleeces have year-long waiting lists!

There’s no wait for January’s yarn of the month! It’s already here at the house. I got both of the available skeins – one for me and one for one of you!

yarn yarn yarn

Girl Power – 50% shetland/50% mohair – 100% scrumptious

This is a wonderful bittersweet chocolate brown from a Shetland sheep named Comfrey (Sommarang Farm) combined with mohair from Farm Genevieve’s gray girly goat, Catie. Catie is a rescue Angora goat who came to the farm malnourished with a broken jaw. She has recovered beautifully if her fleece is any indication. It blends wonderfully well with Comfrey’s wool creating a wealth of texture and interest in this heavy worsted yarn.

beautiful blend



This is a generous 260 yard skein – plenty for a scarf or a Moss Circle Scarf Cowl. (Ravelry links)


The PDF pattern by Jessica Stone is included in this giveaway. (Etsy link)

Perfect for fighting January’s chill. To get your hands on this Mindful Fiber, just leave a comment on this post. The random number generator will take it from there. For more chances to win, refer your friends and have them mention your name in their comment. January’s Mindful Fiber Giveaway will be open for two weeks (until Tuesday, January 24).


You can find Farm Genevieve at the Iowa City Farmer’s Market. If that’s a bit of a drive, try the Etsy shop. There are some tempting yarns available, including some spun from corn fiber. Cassie promises more “yarn with a name” in the spring, including 100% mohair selections!

All critter pictures are the property of Cassie Moon and are used with permission. The Moss Circle Scarf Cowl is designed by Jessica Stone, image used with permission.

Yarn Miracle’s 12 Months of Mindful Fiber

Do you know where your Merino comes from? I do now. I also know where the rest of my wool, Angora, Mohair, Alpaca and Cashmere comes from. And you should too.

Factory Farms aren’t just for food. Factory Farms are for fiber. Surprise! There is such a demand for Merino in the clothing industry that sheep are now raised on large-volume farms where illness is hard to recognize in the masses, maltreatment is standard and sheep are often sheered before they would shed their wool naturally – an estimated one million animals die from exposure each year. This is far far far removed from the pastoral scenes knitters imagine when cuddling a skein of woolly goodness.

I could go on (Google “mulesing” if you’d like to be Truly Horrified), for every fiber in a clothing catalog, there is a sad story about producing it cheaply. But what I really want to do is focus on the positive. So in 2012, Yarn Miracle will host:

12 Months of Mindful Fiber

Each month, I will highlight a different yarn, farm, spinner or company that is conscious, kindly, eco-aware, possibly an independent farmer, or might even know the name of the animal that grew the yarn! Happy yarn from happy creatures or no creatures at all. I’ll have yarn to share. Good yarn. Life is too short not to celebrate the yarn miracles that happen during spinning. Besides, if you don’t try it, how do you know if you like it? My responsibility is to provide the fabulous fiber resources and patterns. Your responsibility will be to comment on the post to enter the drawing for the yarn of the month and start thinking to yourself: Where does this fiber come from?

I think that’s fair.

As knitters, we have a unique opportunity to change the lives of animals and farm workers by asking that simple question: Where does this fiber come from? Even if the answer from the manufacturer is “I have no idea!” and you opt to buy it anyway, people are thinking. Questioning. Growing. Changing.

One stitch at a time.

Shut and Open

zelda and counterpain squares

This is my last day of vacation. Back to toys tomorrow.

Last year, Yarn Miracle bought a new couch and chair (plus an extra set of slipcovers because of cats), a new laptop (twice because of aforementioned cats), and crossed the $1,000 mark in cumulative donations to the Baldwin County Humane Society ($1,115 since the shop opened).

This year. This year, Yarn Miracle will help rescue an elephant, spay or neuter half a dozen cats, continue to support the Humane Society, and convince you all not to buy eggs from factory farms.

And I’m going to do it with knitting.

I have big plans, Knitters! Big, big plans.