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The wool on the left is what I have picked through, the wool on the left is straight off the sheep. It looks cleaner than it is i this picture. There is actually a lot of dirt and grease and mossy stuff and I love it.


After carding I practiced spinning with a bottom whorl drop spindle. Different from my top whorl that I’m used to, but it’s always fun to learn a new tool.


Lots of the wool after being picked through and carded, they are like little clouds waiting to be made into yarn, which is then waiting to be made into a hat.


I’m mostly done picking, but I have about a bag more of wool to card by Wednesday You see, I’m taking a spinning class at the Rose Tree Fiber shop and we are starting on the wheel this week! So I have to have all my fiber prepped.

In other news I bought a drafting table today. I was going to just go for a cutting table or something at joann’s or hobby lobby and they were all so shaking and badly made and expensive. I found one online on ebay that is super nice, angles, has a drawer, pencil holders, and was within my budget. I should have it in my hot little hands in 3-7 business days.

While at Hobby Lobby and Joann’s this morning though I became very disheartened at the selection of drafting tables and the crabby sales people and the obnoxious music that I almost used my 40% off coupon to buy and knitting machine.

You see I’ve had this project in the works since the summer and it involves knitting. A lot of knitting. So much knitting that a knitting machine is required. And I’ve been working on it lately and editing audio for it and so when I saw “THE ULTIMATE KNITTING MACHINE” sitting there I almost gave in. But now. That can wait. For now. At least until after this spinning class is over. Haha. I did however spend a huge chunk of time watching YouTube videos on it and reading about it and then I turned it into a big ol’ post over on Craft Leftovers. It’s all set to go and will publish itself in the morning. So make sure to check it out.

In other news, I’m going to start an Iowa chapter of the Sewing Rebellion here in Ames or possibly Des Moines. I’m looking for spaces to do it in, possibly empty retail spaces, or independently run spaces, but I’ve got the okay from Frau Fiber herself to start things up here after the new year and hope to start hammering out the details. Lot’s of free workshops, patterns, and sewing troubleshooting will be going on. It will be fun. I think that, instead of presenting myself as Frau Fiber, I’m going to create my own persona, something french, Madame something. Frau Fibers cousine française. Any ideas?


On the weaving front: I’ve cleaned out my reed as much as possible and am hoping that after finishing picking through raw wool tonight I will have some time to start dressing the loom. And because I want that time badly, I’m going to end this here and get going again on that wool.

Have a good night!

ps – do any of you know of any artist run spaces in the midwest that are open to newbie artists who just have their bfa? (aka don’t have a bias against  people with just bfa’s no mfa required to apply) Just asking.


Fall Dragon Flies

Jason and I found this huge dragon fly on the way to the gas station (we were walking there after dinner to get some hot chocolate). I just could leave it there. So we grabbed a napkin from the gas station and I carried it home. I really need to get a case for all these bugs I’m collecting! Haha. I really like drawing them though and I’m serious when I say I should get a case. Any ideas?

Argyle Slipper Toes

These are my argyle slipper toes I’ve been working on (Weekend Knitting). The finished one isn’t blocked, but it will be soon enough. I can’t wait to get them done. I haven’t decided what I want to use for a sole as I can’t use leather (Totally allergic, my toes swell up and turn blue! Yuck! And itch! Annoying!). I was thinking about thick wool felt, but there is no local source to get it from. I could wet felt some soles. I could order some wool felt online.

I am really excited to get these done though so I can start wearing them around. They will be so cozy and warm and I can’t wait.


I should apologize for the complete lack of posting going on here lately, but I’m not going to, haha. It’s my blog, I’ll post when I want. Nah, I’m just kidding. I really want to continue the daily drawings. And I want to continue to show you my knitting and random things I see and do. I just need a bit of time to adjust to this whole working a part time job thing. I’m going to be working 6 hours tomorrow and 7 hours Friday and it’s really thrown me out of sync with my craft cave. I am starting to get the hang of it, but I’ve had to cram a whole lot into yesterday and today to stay on schedule. I did get most things on my to do list done though with just “clean ferret cage” left to go (I just gave them their bath, so cute! they are little puff balls right now). It’s almost midnight some I’m going to clean the cage, put the citizens to bed, and then go to bed myself.

Hopefully you will hear from me again sooner rather than later, but honestly it might not be until clm is in the shop on Sunday. If I can sneak in some drawing time of that awesome dragon fly I will and I’ll post it. I’ve even been considering doing some studies and then a painting or larger/detailed drawing. We will see.

Have a good night!


So I’ve been just tacking up all my drawings in my studio. It kind of keeps me thinking about it and ideas flowing.


The yarn is finally dry and I’ll start listing it in the shop tomorrow. The above is a preview of the new colorways.


I was about to start taking pictures of my yarn when I noticed the pile of bananas turning quite black and having little flies starting to buzz around. Well, we have enough crickets and spiders around here so I really don’t want fruit flies too. I whipped up a huge batch of banana bread, it turned out delicious. I wasn’t in the mood for super sweet, and I wanted whole wheat flour in there, then I didn’t have much butter, and no baking soda… haha. By the end of “whipping up” the batter I had completely made up my own recipe for it. After I finish this post I think I’m going to have a couple of slices.


I cooked this up in the slow cooker last week. Curried lentils from 125 of the Best Vegiterian Slow Cooker Recipes. Jason and i both gave it a two thumbs up, 5 star rating. I made some Spicy Lemon Ginger Tofu tonight and that also got the 5 star rating from both of us. I wrote down the recipe right after I made it so hopefully I’ll be able to remake it. I still haven’t been able to reproduce the reduced red wine sauce that I made a few months ago… I know to write it down right away because I will forget! Anyway, anyway.


This was from a week+ ago, but it still makes me happy. It’s the October clm all ready to go out the door. Such a good feeling.


And here’s Molly out on her break. We’ve been letting her outside under close supervision lately and this was the last time she went out without her suspenders. We bought her a harness and leash this past week and we eat breakfast and plan the day’s work out on the patio every morning. She loves it and she sleeps through the night now.


I started these slippers and am happy to report I have one of the argyle toes finished, just one more to go. A lot of people on ravelry say they have a ton of problems with the actual putting together of the slippers. Like they are too floppy on the feet. Well, I have a plan for that, so let’s hope it works or this will all be in vain.


And here is the scarf I’m working on for Jason. I finally figured out the pattern and my knitting mojo has been restored. I actually ripped it out over a dozen times. No joke. I’m not telling a tall one. I can count 12, so I’m assuming it was more. I beat it and my confidence is all in tack again, haha.


And this will soon be a little pull over. Just seaming and buttons to go.

Oh would you like the recipe for the banana bread? I can post it for you as I made a point to write it down how I made it this time, go me! Same for the Spicy Lemon Ginger Tofu… I think I’ll post them both this week, but I’ll break them up.

Well, it’s 10:26, so I’m going to end this here and work on those slippers a bit more.

Have a good night, see you all tomorrow!

I’m yelling at myself to relax, that’s what the title was saying. More a message to me than you, unless you are running around and need someone to yell at you to relax, then I say to you too “RELAX!”

I just sent off my application for an artist residency program. It was so hard to make the commitment to apply. To drop that package in the mail was a complete struggle. All the doubt and worry, the what if I don’t get in type crap. Well, I dropped it in the mail anyway, so off it goes. I’m applying to this residency in Omaha, NE. It would be ideal for many reasons. Mainly amazing facilities, a stipend, a wonderful community, and I can’t deny it; it was easier to apply knowing I would only be 2 hours away from Jason instead of say in New Mexico or something.

Going back a week, because this week has been to crazy to post during, some amazing things happened. Mainly, I learned to spin on a drop spindle AND got my hot little hands on a FREE 10 harness, 56″ wide loom! Okay, so it only has 4 of the 10, but it can hold up to 10, so I can make them or acquire it somehow.

Check it.



As you can see, it barely fits into my van. It was such a crazy set of random events. I’m going to say it’s all that good karma I’ve been saving up my whole life 🙂

I was at the spinning class with my two friends, Jess and Mary, at Esther’s Place in Big Rock, IL last saturday. They were checking out and the woman who was checking them out says “does anyone weave? does anyone need a loom?” and I was like “yes! yes!!!!!” and she said “well I just got off the phone with a woman who wants to donate her loom to someone who will appreciate it.” I was like “I will appreciate it! I’ve been looking for looms lately.” and she gave me the lady’s info. And I called her as soon as I got home. And set up a “let’s see if it will fit in my van” trip. Oh, which, normally I don’t have the van, and Jason isn’t normally in town either. So we went and picked it up. I still can’t believe that the only thing that she wanted from me was to know that I would use it and that if I ever stopped, to not resell it, but give it to someone who needs it. How wonderfully generous.

I don’t have enough time to mess with it here over the next three months, so I’m going to move it straight to Ames during spring break. It will be my first major project when I move there in May. I can’t wait. I’m going to refinish all the wood and then strip and oil all the rusty metal on the reeds and harnesses. Actually, the harnesses are in pretty good shape, mainly it’s the reeds and some water damage around the base. Oh plus lots of spider eggs (another good reason to keep it in the sub zero in my van and not in my studio). I’m pretty much going to take it apart, give some love to each piece, and put it back together. Another reason I can’t wait to graduate and move.

There is also a slight chance I will have an office in Ames…. I will have an out of the house office! (maybe) All of my stuff for shipping as well as finished products will go there. Possibly it will be my fibers studio to where I would keep all of my pattern writing materials (sans dyeing which is really messy). I would also teach classes there! I’m actually all set to teach my first one on one class for dyeing 101 this Thursday! I’m going to teach this woman I know about the different types of dyes, the properties of fibers (cellulose and protein), dyeing for the two types of fiber, then a simple batik handkerchief.
Once I’m in Ames I want to teach classes for weaving, dyeing, knitting and crochet, and maybe some other fun stuff like drawing, painting, and print making. Oddly enough, I would love to teach kids’ drawing classes. I guess not so oddly, I remember my parents paying the neighbor kid, who was only 16 at the time, to give me art lessons. I loved it so much. He pretty much taught me what he was learning in high school classes. When I went to high school I was disappointed that it wasn’t any more advanced than what I had learned when I was 8 years old. I think kids, especially those who have a keen interest in art, can understand a lot more than adults give them credit for. I would also like to teach anyone else for that matter. I love teaching when I get to set the parameters and not have to file a crap load of paper work just to get some stupid colored pencils. Oh or it consuming your life so much that you can’t actually get in the studio for yourself. That’s another story though.

I’m really hoping that between free lance writing (I’m assembling a list and starting to contact a variety of magazines about how to submit work and when deadlines are), shop sales, sales in galleries and handmade markets, and classes I will be able to keep working at home. I’m going to start looking for something part time, just to guarantee some money for rent and food and bills. Just something that will pay the bills, but not stress me out. A job I can leave at my job so I can focus on My job of art and craft. It’s going to be amazingly easy to graduate. I feel really ready.

Which that leads me to the next point of order. I sold out of yarn for dyeing, so I put some more sock yarn up, more of the yak fleece will be on order soon, and I’m going to add some new yarns for dyeing as well as some more hand dyed sock yarn from the last dye session tomorrow morning. So be on the look out for that in the shop.

Next week I’m also going to add some new kits to the Craft Leftovers shop. Finally, I know. It’s just so crazy around here.

I feel so proud of myself that I already have the pattern finished and ready to go for tomorrow morning. I do need to update the archive on craft leftovers. Hmmm. On the to do list, promise.

I do have crit on Monday, so lots of weaving on Sunday for sure. I’m taking it easy tonight. I’m beat. Lots of potato chips, thin mints, and tea, what a combo! I am experimenting with polymer clay after this. I’ll take pictures and post them soon.

And that’s it for now. With the mention of polymer clay I’m going to go, well, play with polymer clay.

Have a good night!

++ Kristin Roach ++

ps – I signed up on delightful blogs, hooray! You can see my little profile here and rate it and leave comments and such.

aloo market bag

Aloo Market Bag, I finallllly finished it after so many months. I am going to finish writing the pattern soon (hopefully) and it will be $1 in the gpf shop and free with purchase of aloo yarn (i’m adding it back into the shop soon).

wrap around shawl

The start of Jason’s mom’s wrap around shawl. I’m going to start working on it again soon.

Everything Veggie Chille

This is the everything veggie chili I made yesterday, so delicious! I’m eating some right now.

I’ve added most of my projects to my project page on Ravelry. You can see my organizing work here.

I also did a whole lot of organizing on flickr too, and added a ton of new pictures. You can see all the collections here.

Oh I also added more yarn to the shop today. I’m having a really hard time not keeping it for myself. I love the bulky and the new sock yarn so much, oh and the worsted… can I just hoard it all? 😛 No! You need to buy it so I can buy more craft stuff, oh and pay bills and buy groceries.

So you were totally right, it was food poisoning. Thank goodness too. I can’t be sick for a long time right now. I just started school! I have too much to do to be sick! (so american there)

This was, I think the culprit:

I learned three things making this dish.

1. Broccoli, even if it is the last veggie in the frig, should never be used in a curry.

2. If your coconut milk is separated in the can, and it’s been in the cupboard for you don’t know how long, and it’s past the expiration date, DO NOT USE IT! I’m pretty sure that was what did me in.

3. If you don’t have peanut oil, use some peanut butter and a little olive oil instead. That was the best tofu I’ve made in awhile. Also, I told my friend about it and she said she uses peanut butter and soy sauce, that sounds delicious too!

No going back a clip, here are some pictures of the finished shawl for my mom. I’m posting the pictures up on Ravelry finally too.

DSC_0293 DSC_0292

I am happy to report that my mom liked it so much I think she just about cried. It was really sweet. The perfect response to a handmade gift! She will be getting more again for sure!

Also, going back to Christmas time, here are the two kitties enjoy their handmade gifts too. They will also be getting more handmade giftage.


The one on the left is Bailey (Jason’s parent’s cat) and the one on the right is Molly (Jason and I’s little bundle of furry joy, she is living with him right now, I miss her). Believe it or not, she used to be a lot smaller than Bailey. We are thinking she is a Maine Coon Cat, or, I can’t remember the name of the other breed we are thinking she might be. She is so furry! I think it’s because of her winter coat, it is so thick!

Skipping ahead, here is my latest obsession:
DSC_0317 DSC_0316
I found this pattern for a Medieval Cross Stitch Sampler at Stitch Alley. It’s a great site that has really well priced patterns.

I think after I finish the Medieval Sampler, I’ll give this one a shot that has some color variation in it.

I am so digging the cross stitch lately. I got a bug in my bonnet last Friday night and couldn’t stop looking around online until I found a good cross stitch site that was outside of the Subversive Cross Stitch (which I love too) realm. I wanted something a bit more traditional, but not too country crafty. I really like the Christmas one and the Beeotch with the little bees, haha.

I just got a phone call from TCF Organics and set up an account (I had called and left a message earlier today). This place is so cool and if you haven’t heard of them and you live in 100 miles of Chicago, you have to check it out! It’s organic food, delivered to your door! And it’s way cheaper than I could have imagined.

My first order:
One dozen organic eggs that are from a farm in Indiana (i think, in the chicago area by 100 miles I believe) $1.99
A half gallon organic milk in a glass jar from a Wisconsin farm $2.59
Organic Valley Feta Cheese (a staple in my house) 8oz block $4.49
And my favorite part: A Box for Only Me $26.20

This box is really great. The produce changes every time, but this is an example of how much they put in it:
1 Pink Lady Apple
1 Avocado
1 Oro Blanco Grapefruit
1 Lemon
1 Red Pear
1 Mango
1 Eating Orange
½# Cut-Up Broccoli Florets
1 Red Tomato
1 Red Pepper
½# Cut-Up Zucchini Coins
1 Cameo Apple
1 Coral Apple

I have, like most people, a lot of issue with getting all my fruits and veggies in. And I always end up getting the same ones. No good. I think this will help force it on me a bit.

Another neat thing, is that you don’t have to order every week. I set up a repeating order for every other week for the milk, eggs, and produce box (the feta is a one time deal). I’ll probably switch out for a different dairy product each time. The total (even with the feta) is only $36, including shipping! That is about my budget for one week’s worth of groceries. I was thinking that the following week, I would buy things like bagels, coffee, tea, junk food, etc.

Speaking of all this food I need to make dinner (since I don’t trust the curry I made the other night I’m just going to have to pitch it) and head to Joann’s to return an impulse buy, Borders to get my free drink, and to school for an opening and some studio time.

See ya!

++Kristin Roach++

I’m honestly not sure why it’s a rumble, but I think it is. Maybe it’s because I’m watching the debates in New Hampshire right now that a Saturday Night Rumble is on the brain.

First off, I wanted to let you know that I decided to go with Etsy for my shop. It’s sooo easy. So its up and you can check it out here: Kristin Roach: Shop.

Hello Again

I’m going to be adding some handmade note cards and other drawings over the next 3 days and then I will update the shop twice a week or more.

teacozy03 The new pattern is up over on Craft Leftovers and I must say, I really like it! It’s to help keep my tea warmer than it is already kept.

I’ve also been updating the Craft Leftovers Shop, so you should check that out too.

Well, I’m going to draw for a bit and then play wii!

++Kristin Roach++

I am blissfully immersed in my vacation goodness. I have been shopping with my christmas money and look at this great loot I bought:

Target tea set

This fine little number was only $20 from Target, inadvertently, thanks mom and dad!

Target Tea Set

The local quilt shop was having a huge sale and I just couldn’t resist. These fabrics will be going into market and temari ball bags that I will be putting into my shop under Handmade Goods, that will take a couple weeks at least though, I’ll keep you updated.

Fabric from the Quilting Connection

And here is where I am on Jason’s scarf:
Jason's Scarf Progress

I just posted this week’s midweek post for craft leftovers, so be sure to check that out. I made a little to-do list from mis-prints of patterns, a gift bag and some scrap book paper.

To-do List Tear Out Notebook

In other news, I’m just about set to put some drawings up for sale in the shop. I’m thinking they will be up by noon tomorrow if not sooner. I added a shop page with sub-links last night, took pictures today, and tomorrow I will post.

See you all then!

++Kristin Roach++

I have officially been on vacation since Saturday night. It has been soooo nice. I don’t really think I’ve done anything productive at all, and I must say, vacation is great.

Remorsefully, I realize that this is most likely the last “winter break” I will have until the fated day that I decide to return to school to finish my MFA.

I started out with grandiose hopes of getting so much done this break, I’m taking it easy and mostly, gasp, playing video games! Jason bought me a wii last summer and I haven’t had too much time to play. So I have Super Paper Mario and I’ve been playing non stop. I think in the last day I have played about 12 hours! It is so much fun.

I have also been doing a whole lot of cleaning, which in a way is really refreshing. Lots of tea drinking and book reading going on too. I have been on a mission to try new recipes and that has also been very rewarding.

I just finished The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

It was really interesting, although some parts of it were kind of gross. I had no idea how bad of a disease cholera is. If you like narrative non-fiction I would really recommend it.

This book is next on the list to start reading: My Life in France

I like France, I like Julia Child, I love cooking. It seemed like a good choice. I’m kind of a sucker for non-fiction. Especially when it is well written.

Not too long ago, about 2 weeks ago, I finished Devil in the White City and found that, like The Ghost Map, to be disturbing, interesting, and fun to read all at the same time. There is some kind of added bonus because I feel like I’m learning, which I am, about things I don’t know about. Like the Colombian world’s fair in Chicago and cholera’s role in improving civic services like sewer systems.

Anyway, I’m going to do my first knitting since Christmas. I’ll show you some my progress tomorrow.

See you all later! Have a super happy new year!

++Kristin Roach++

I feel pretty good about today. I got a lot of things checked off the ol’ to-do list. On the other hand I did allow myself to get completely distracted by Temari, not as bad as yesterday, but still, I should have been working on Christmas gifts.

I did get Jason’s (my boyfriend) scarf charted, finally, and I’m happy to report that with the help of this site I was able to do so in under 2 hours. It honestly would have been just an hour, but I realized that I put in the wrong swatch size. So it goes.

delta sigma pi scarfscarf chart

The scarf knitting is now underway though and I’m semi confident I will get it finished in time for Jason and I’s Christmas gift exchange.

Now back to Temari. So I’ve been curious about it for awhile now. I first saw it over on Knit and Tonic and then Craftzine, then the craftypod, and now it’s just popping up everywhere. The first question I asked was “what the heck do you do with them when their finished?” Well, some people place them in bowls, Diane of the CraftyPod and DIY Alert, made her’s into an ornament, me, well, I’m not sure yes. I kind of like the idea of making a mobile out of them, or I might get a big vase or jar and fill it with them and place them by my window. Honestly, who cares! When was the last time I wore a sweater that I knit? Well, a long time, in fact I ended up frogging the whole thing to make a new sweater. This Christmas knitting has put a stop to my sweater making though and I’m afraid another winter is going to pass without the company of one handmade sweater. Enough moping. I sure am a selfish knitter. I discust myself. Haha. Not really.

So the straw that broke the camel’s temari curiosity back? I saw a new book on Temari at the public library. Dang it. I just had to bring it home. Then I just had to read it. And you see where this is going, I just had to try it!

temari ball wipSo I did. I collected up all my temari ball making supplies and soon realized that I would need something to put them in. I’m normally okay with ziplock bags, but for whatever reason, I wanted a temari ball bag that would have all my essentials for the ball I was working on.

temari ball bagThe other driving factor is that a temari ball is just the kind of favorite thing that my ferrets love to steal and hide and rehide until they have really done a number on it. So a zipper was needed too.

temari ball bag

hand bound sketch book I also bound this little sketch book the other day, I’m thinking about making more and selling them in an etsy shop along with other stationary kind of jobbers (quad city speak there, it means thing-a-ma-bobs).
cookies and tea Well that’s it for today, have a good one. I’m going to get back to my tea and gianormous cookie.

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