Monthly Archives: March 2012

Inside the Box

I ordered a globe for Ellie. We made sneaky boxes for the cats with the packaging.

sneaky box

Big hit.

Speaking of boxes, I’ve put together three destash boxes.

Just like that, my table is cluttered again.

At first I thought I’d send them off for the price of shipping to whoever wanted them, but this morning I found out that my town’s no-kill shelter is full to the brim. I’m going to use the de-stash as a little bit of a fundraiser. Each box has around $100 worth of yarn in it. So. I’m selling each box for $30: $15 for shipping (large flat rate boxes) and $15 for the North Baldwin Animal Shelter. I’ll match each of the $15 Shelter Donations. When all the boxes are sold, that’ll be $90 for the critters.

I’m not going to tell you specifically what is in each box, where’s the fun in that? Not everything has its label and a few skeins are wound into balls. Everything has been stored in my smoke-free but cat friendly home (the yarn was not stored with or near any cats).

Sock Box: has enough yarn for at least 13 pairs of socks. All the yarn is wool or wool blend. There is self-striping, nearly solid, some well-known brands, some fancy brands, most (if not all) is superwash. SOLD

Wool and Company Box: there is all kinds of fun stuff including some Noro, baby alpaca, handspun and a skein or two of hand dyed worsted. It’s a fun mix if you’d like to try something new. There is no sock yarn in this box. SOLD

Creature-Free Box: There are some unusual fibers, well-known brands, sock yarn and enough Euroflax Linen to make the hand towels in Mason-Dixon Knitting. SOLD

Well, that was fast! Thank you all SO MUCH, I’ll get the boxes on their way tomorrow.

I very much sincerely hope that I made those buttons correctly. If I didn’t, I know all about how to issue a refund. **Edited to Add: I did NOT make those buttons correctly, but I was lucky enough to realize it before I had to make more than one refund. I’ll figure that out better before I try it again.**

March’s Mindful Fiber Winners

So I said to my Random Number Generator, “Pick a number between 1 and 82.”

And she said, “Ninety!”

So I used technology for this one. has selected Carla and Michelle as the winners for March! Their Angora Bunny Kits will soon be on the way.

Many thanks to the Bloomingdale Farm angora bunnies and Jeanette for creating such a luscious yarn!

Mindful Fiber will be back in mid-April. Think spring. Think socks.

A Yarn Storage Miracle (where my week went)

I have a craft room. My very own space. It holds my beads, pipe cleaners, felt, stuffing, most of my books, paper, stamps, paints, adhesives and lots and lots of yarn. Until last week it looked like this:

the horror

You’d think that with two closets, two bookcases and a cabinet…

It was so full and so messy that I was forced to take my laptop and move out. Here’s a detail of the table just to illustrate the horror of the situation:

up close

That’s the desk in back. I’ve relocated to the kitchen writing desk.

I never meant for it to be like this. For nine years I’ve wanted a set of cubbies. For a year and a half I have been actively trying to buy them. They were always OUT OF STOCK! Three months ago, my Dad made two trips to the store to get a set of cubbies that were actually in stock. They were on a high shelf that no one was allowed to access with customers in the store. (???!!!) For two months my cubbies have been in my folks’ garage. Dad came for a visit last week and my cubbies (assembly required) came with him. We put them together while Ellie was at preschool and now my craft room looks like this:


The empty cubby is for cat naps.

Let’s see it from another angle because it is truly amazing.


To the left, there is a freestanding bookcase filled with my art books.

I’ve also done a little bit of a destash as part of the renovations. I’ve got a fair amount of yarn that needs some help meeting it’s knitted destiny: hats, scarves, one-skein projects, I have an embarrassment of sock yarn, patterns in the Oddball Knitting book. I thought I’d make up a couple surprise boxes and share them for the price of shipping. If you’re interested in Mystery Box Stash Enhancement, keep an eye out over the next few days.

My Random Number Generator is napping now. I’ll have some Mindful Fiber results for you within 24 hours.

As a total aside, I absolutely and completely love my home! There are seven fireplaces (none work because of honey bee and wasp defensive strategy, but it’s also 80°F for 80% of the year so whatever). The house belonged to my great grandparents and Great Gran (my regular grandmother. if you’re new here: think of the ‘great’ as a superlative) is my landlady. I’m not sure things can get better.

Oh. Heavens.

I’m not going to write back to all 80 comments I have on March’s Mindful Fiber post. That’s a lot of comments. I appreciate and have read every one. It would take a really long time to write back to every one.

But I’ll make it up to you with a recipe.

Peanut Butter Cups


Makes 12 mini-muffin size cups of yum.

for the peanut butter part:
1/4c. faux butter (I like Earth Balance)
6 T. peanut butter (the stirring kind sets best, but use what you have)
6 T. graham cracker crumbs (mashed by hand or in a food processor)
2 T. sugar

for the chocolate part:
1/2 c. chocolate chips (Ghirardelli semi-sweet are dairy free)
2 T. some kind of milk (soy sets better than organic dairy)

other stuff:
mini muffin pan
mini muffin papers

Here’s what you do:
1. Melt the faux butter in a small pan. Add the PB, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar and stir it all up. Once the mixture is melty and gooey, you can set it aside and tend to the chocolate.
2. I put the chips and milk in a microwavable container and microwave for 35 seconds. Then I stir until blended. You could also melt everything in a pan on the stove top.
3. Now it’s decision time. Do you want the chocolate on the bottom or the peanut butter on the bottom? I like the chocolate on the bottom because they come out of the wrappers more easily. But the chocolate on top is definitely prettier. Plus you can sprinkle a little bit of salt on top for extra yum.
4. Made up your mind? Divide whichever goes on the bottom into your muffin papers and follow that with whatever you are putting on the top.
5. Into the ‘fridge!
6. Wait. It takes a few hours for them to set. Lick all the pans while you are waiting.
7. Eat them all at one time and then feel ill and bad about yourself!
8. Repeat.

12 Months of Mindful Fiber: March with Bloomindale Farm


The angora goats, sheep and angora rabbits of Bloomingdale Farm in Ohio (with the help of Jeanette and her family) produce a variety of natural yarns, rovings, batts, and fibers.

follow the leader

If they aren’t stirring dye pots, turning carders, warping looms or spinning at wheels, you’ll find the family in the barns with the animals. Jeanette says “In our spare time, we take care of horses, kids and stray cats. We believe in a natural style of living, and have great respect for God’s creation.”

She also reassures people about the kindness and care given to her
animals. “People sometimes ask us if we have to hurt our animals to remove
their fur. The answer is NO! Angora rabbits and goats need to have their hair removed regularly, just as sheep do. Leaving the coat of fur or wool on a fiber animal is detrimental to its health. In addition to the fact that an overgrown coat becomes dirty and matted, it can also hide underlying skin problems. Angora rabbits groom themselves daily and in doing so ingest a large quantity of hair. If the hair is not periodically removed, the animals will develop hairballs in their intestines—a condition that can be fatal.” For these reasons, fiber animals are shorn either with scissors or with electric shears.

The fiber harvested from the animals at Bloomingdale Farm is processed into yarn, batts, doll hair and roving. All of the handspun yarn is produced at the farm studio with fiber from their own animals. Occasionally, a bundle will be sent to the mill to be professionally spun or processed into roving, though Jeanette explains “sometimes I have to buy wools and fibers
from others, mostly here in Ohio, to make up enough to do a mill run.”

fuzzy wuzzy

Janette’s Etsy shop is known simply as angorayarn. Most of the fiber Boomingdale’s herd of German and French angora rabbits produce is sold in bulk to some of the best natural fiber vendors in the U.S. But she saves enough to offer exquisitely soft, fuzzy, fluffy and delightful skeins to her direct customers.


Hand Dyed, hand painted and natural shades (including grey from Commodore, Edward and Stu) are available. Spinners can asks about locks or rovings. Don’t let the softness fool you into thinking that this is a delicate flower of a fiber: angora yarn is seven times warmer than wool, strong as anything, and only gets better with age (halo halo halo).

This simply splendid angora yarn is our featured yarn for March! I’ve put together some Itty Bitty Bunny kits to give folks a chance to try something new and make something fun all at the same time.

everything you need

Handspun angora yarn, organic cotton stuffing, blue and brown eyes, pink nose and a printed pattern.


I’ve got a kit each for TWO lucky winners this month! To win these Mindful Fiber treats, just leave a comment on this post. The random number generator knows what to do. For more chances to win, refer your friends and have them mention your name in their comment (this is to raise awareness after all). March’s Mindful Fiber Giveaway will be open for two weeks (until Tuesday, March 20). We’re early this month so the winners have plenty of time to knit angora bunnies for Easter!

You can find more luxury yarns from Bloomingdale Farm on Etsy, Ebay or on the blog, Bloomingdale Farm Natural Fiber and Yarn.

Everything but the kit picture is copyright of Jeanette Roberts. Images are used with permission.