Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Winter Paradise

I don’t suffer from Cabin Fever. As most of you know, I was born in the often rainy Pacific Northwest. That meant that I either went out in the rain or I stayed in from the rain. Entertainment was never dependent upon having a “nice sunny day.” If I complained to my mother about not having anything to do, she would conjure something for me, and it was more often than not something on her list, rather than mine. So I became accustomed to inventing my own amusements, and always having lots to choose from when it came to rainy/snowy day activities. (Mostly rainy, as rarely did snow visit us in winter in the PNW!)

Today, I always have lots of lovely self-entertaining projects to do right here at home JOTOLR. In fact, if truth be told, I await winter with joyful anticipation and once it begins in earnest, and there are no more garden rows to weed, I am in heaven! Many complain about not being able to “get out” and many pine their hearts away, wishing they were in Florida or Brazil, or at least Walmart.  But, truly, the last thing I would want to see, would be lines of shoppers, shopping till they’re dropping. I think to myself, what could I possibly want that would invite me to leave my paradise and beat my way through crowds of crazed consumerists emptying their wallets  No, I am delighted with my winter paradise….which brings me to another para-llel subject.

My main pursuit this winter has been the whole gamut of “fiber.” My new Country Spinner is awesome! And I’m still lovin’ my Lendrum. I ordered some nylon fiber to strengthen some knitted sock projects coming up and have been learning to spin it on a short draw, destined for a three-ply yarn for a pair of colorful (from my Dye House) socks..

And, thanks to my friend, Debbi, I am learning to go a little beyond the simple knit 2, purl 2.  (You ought to see that girl's knitting abilities!  Sheeesh!  Makes my head swim!)…

In the fiber vein, I’ve purchased how-to books on Dyeing (awaiting my Dye House completion), pattern books for knitting socks, sweaters, hats and all manner of challenges in the realm of spinning and knitting—even for growing plants this coming year for natural dyes. I bought a fabulous book on wool (which, having had at one time, 500 ewes and their lambs--I thought I already knew everything there was to be known!  Fool!), and have begun to explore the possibilities of gardening for colors this coming year. I’ve explored the chemistry of using Black Walnuts for “hearty” browns and tans and the polar opposite: using Kool Aid for easy-go dyeing. Even onion skins are no longer safe from my color-inquisitive mind!

That partly explains why, in the not-too-distant future, you will see a small logo on my blog for a company called Paradise Fibers. Originally, I chose not to “monetize” my blog…meaning, it wasn’t worth the risk of having Google use my blog-space for their ineptly chosen ads. Good decision…I have seen so many blogs, where the ads are a complete antithesis to the philosophy espoused by the writer of the blog. So, to my way of thinking, it wasn’t worth the pennies earned for the loss of integrity “monetizing” creates.

OTOH, fiber is one of my (several) passions, sharing space with photography, music, writing, reading, and sewing. So, when I read on Paradise Fiber’s webpage that there was an opportunity to become an “affiliate” of PF, I inquired as to the potential benefits and possible risks. Decision: a resounding yes! Rollout will happen in mid-January, long about the first anniversary of my blog. It’s really no big deal, but for any wayward soul who accesses PF through me, and eventually purchases, I receive a little credit.  Plus, I am delighted to give a meager boost to these lovely people to any extent I can. 

Paradise Fibers is a family owned and operated business which, as the name would imply, sells all manner of “fiber-related” toys! If you’re a spinner, a weaver…or a fiber enthusiast of any stripe, I can highly recommend this wonderful family for a source of supply. They are in Spokane, Washington, and they have their own flock of sheep, as well. Talk about service! And the quality of fiber, yarn, roving, tools…along with personal attention, is outstanding.
The point is, if you know anyone who is “into” fiber, please encourage them to have a look at PF by doing a “click-thru” to: http://www.paradisefibers.net/?Click=54828

As I say, this will give me a little credit for their purchase, accessed through me. Won’t cost any more than accessing independently! If you’re thinking about “getting into” fiber arts, PF is a great place to begin your exploration.


  1. Elora -- your words dance off your page when you talk about your projects. Your workroom on your post looks roomy and sunny with all those windows. I know what you will be doing all winter. -- barbara

  2. What a lovely inspiring space to create! Looks like my kind of heaven. Would love to see more on what dye plants you are considering - the same thoughts have been crossing my mind lately but with the garden now in full swing I don't seem to have much time to research.

  3. Who could be unhappy with a beautiful, light-filled workspace like that! Happy spinning and creating!

  4. I will definitely check the link when it's on your post. I love fiber and so appreciate the differences in yarn. With some of them I am sorry to see the project completed because gives me so much pleasure just in handling it.

    You are ever so much better about "cabin fever." We were homebound due to a major snow and I felt trapped. Didn't need or want to go anywhere...it's just the idea that I couldn't get the car out if I wanted to. I'm going to work on my attitude to be more like you.

    Love your workspace!