Where are we?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thank you for inviting me

Thanks so much for inviting me to be a part of this blog.

I'm 62 and looking for my first Social Security payment at the end of August. For now, I'm investing the money. Jim's still going to be working for the foreseeable future, so we figured I could actually come out with MORE $$$ by taking the benefit now and investing it in a combination of ROTH and regular IRA's. Cool!

I've been knitting for about four years and have, recently, started to learn to spin (well, sort of).

I have one husband who's a psychologist at Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute here in Marion. We have one son, John, who's 32 and a graphic designer. We have two parakeets, Skittles and Poppyseed, and a semi-wild cat, Jasper, who actually tells US how things are going to be.

I'm involved in a KAL at Mosaic Yarn Shop in Blacksburg of the Central Park Hoodie. I've almost finished the back.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thistle Cove Farm

From the left...Abigail, Grace, Sandra, Sibley being bottle fed, Trouble nursing Energy and Shadow on the far right.
Samuel, a Romney Shetland cross, is always available to showcase my patterns. He's a willing model just as long as the whole corn treats are forthcoming!

Thistle Cove Farm in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia, is home to rare breed Shetland, Romney, Merino and cross bred sheep. Rare breed, hypoallergenic American Curly horses also live here and the requisite dogs and cats share living and bed space with the humans. It's a peaceable kingdom where wool and Curly fiber are, sometimes, blended then spun and knitted into warm garments.

I'm Sandra and interested in All Things Fiber and Textile...hmmm...that would be a great blog name! I've always got a skein on the spinning wheel, yarn on the needles, a quilt on the frame and a rug on the loom. Every now and again, I'll take a walk on the mountain to gather dye stuff...walnuts, lichens, Queen Anne's Lace and more. It's all hand fodder and all destined to become something beautiful.

Lately textile post cards have greatly interested me and there are several being made for exchanges or to send friends as notes of encouragement. Who among us doesn't enjoy receiving a small gift in the mail that says, "thinking of you"?My fiber and textile business, Appalachian Wool Works: Happy Sheep Make Beautiful Wool, offers one of a kind goods from my pet woolies. The creamy white yarn is 50% Shetland 50% Angora and gently flows through the fingers on the way to a sweater or scarf. The heathered brown gray yarn is from down breed sheep and makes sturdy socks that show stitch definition quite well. The roving is a blend of 80% Merino 20% Romney and this years' wool clip is being made into blankets and will, God willing and the creek don't rise, be available for Christmas. Needless to say, everything is 100% virgin wool, fleeces are generally available but yarn, roving and blankets are one of a kind from each year's wool clip. The shimmery silver gray fleeces accept dye beautifully and cast the eye to and fro allowing no purchase. I've discovered silver gray fleeces make the Most Beautiful dyed yarn due to the depth and richness of color both in the fleece and in the dye portions.Cathy and Olivia - I'm grateful to you for the opportunity to blog on Virginia Knits; it's always a delight to meet fiber folks, especially when so close to home.

Please visit Thistle Cove Farm whether on a pre-arranged visit or on Sheep Shearing Day every April. The humans, critters, beasts and varmints adore visitors and I can always be persuaded to make a pan of shortbread or a cobbler.

Blessings ~ Cathy ~ Olivia ~ Virginia Fiber Folks ~ Thistle Cove Farm ~ the yarn that knits us together

Saturday, July 26, 2008

What is every one working on?

I have almost finished my Orkney Pi. Just a few more rows to go and then I have to decide on the finish. I am thinking perhaps a picot edged bind off. Any suggestions. It must be stretchy.

I have knit quite a few 5 hour baby sweaters this summer and haven't gotten it down to 5 hours yet.

Addison is filling out...Hannah is filling out more (she is due in November) FC' son Ben's baby is due in December and another daughter Sandy is expecting in January/February. Not to mention the two great nieces tha I still owe something. I expect baby things will be my top priority for awhile. I did sign up for SOTS3, so I guess we will keep that group open for a while. If you all haven't checked it out yet, the signups I believe close on the 12 of August.

A "good" (!?) friend and I recently took a trip to see Pat Kirkland at the Yarn Barn. (Pictures to follow) Ever heard the expression "You can't judge a book by it's cover"?...No not Pat... but you would never guess what a lovely shop is hiding in that rustic building. Your first response when you walk through the door is "Oooo" and your second is "Ahhhhh"... There is so much to see and feel and watch the drool! I have never seen so many lovely resources, as in, books and pamphlets and scores of shop samples. She also has a collection of some lovely unusual buttons and a very large yarn selection... some I have never heard of before. If you do decide to visit Pat I have two suggestions. Do NOT use mapquest or google maps...Get your directions from her website.... and second pack a lunch.

From Pat's we took my two bunnie girls to be bred. Hope it took... and I picked up two darling white angora babies from Sally just below Farmville. Sally will be joining the group soon. What a lovely lady she is. We had such a good time visiting with her and her critters on her little farmette.

Work on cleaning the basement out to set up a workshop is going slowly. We need to shift my stash down there so that there will be room for Hannah's baby this fall....and we need a place to work that we can spread out in and be able to leave things out. I have a huge stash of upholstery type materials I hope to turn into totes and accessories for sale.

This next week I am transforming our church into the Hawaiian Islands for VBS so I won't be getting much done down ther this week. If anyone is not afraid to get dirty and sweaty come on down.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Making It - entire article from The Post

Making It
A Yarn Enthusiast Knits Together a Freer, More Flexible Life

By Vanessa M. Gezari
Sunday, July 20, 2008; W04

At sunset, Ellen Kardell gazes out over ponds, trees and the pasture where her sheep and goats graze, savoring what she calls "the particular quiet of a country evening." On Pocket Meadow Farm, her two-acre homestead outside the tiny spa town of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., the crush of Beltway traffic seems as distant as Mars. So does the graphic design job Ellen left behind when she moved here nearly two years ago to raise her own animals and sell their wool, along with other rare, local and hand-dyed fibers and knitting tools.

"It's a dream: Get fiber animals, have a little place in the country and spin from your sheep," says Ellen, 52. "Working in a corporate environment is so rigid. I'm kind of an anarchist and a free spirit, and I just couldn't do it."

Born in Washington, Ellen grew up in Kensington and returned to the District after graduating from the Pratt Institute in New York. For 15 years, she ran a glass-art studio out of her rowhouse in Shaw, making stained-glass windows for corporate clients and churches before switching to computer-based graphic design, ultimately landing a job as a senior designer at Geico.

Ellen, who is divorced, and her daughter Lily, then 7, moved to a "little brick box" of a house in Silver Spring. But the suburban aesthetic bothered Ellen. Working in an office wasn't for her, either; she felt "pinned down, like a butterfly on paper."

A knitter since she was 8 -- she made her daughter's baby clothes and even worked as a freelance stitcher for the Washington Opera -- Ellen considered opening a yarn shop in downtown Silver Spring, but couldn't find a business partner. She started looking for land in the country and found a quaint Craftsman-style house on a jewel-like parcel two miles from a renowned arts town. She bought it and raided her IRA to stock the shelves of the store she opened on the first floor with yarn and organic fibers. In all, she has invested about $60,000 in the business.

Ellen acquired four Leicester Longwool sheep -- the glossy, curly-locked breed once owned by George Washington and now raised at Colonial Williamsburg -- two mohair goats, a flock of chickens, a sheepdog and a ragged band of cats. She dove into the town's artistic life, opening her home for a studio tour, starting a spinning circle and curating an upcoming exhibit of wearable fiber art at a local gallery.

Ellen's store is open four days a week, and she has a Web site. She stocks alpaca fleece and hopes to sell wool from a neighbor's heritage sheep as well as her own (her first shearing will be available for sale late this fall). She also sells hand-dyed yarns, based on palettes she created, including shades such as "redbud," "melon" and "amber,s" and her own line of handmade felted bags and hats.

Her shop did about $12,000 in sales last year, which exceeded her expenses by about $7,000. She is growing her business through online advertising and lace-knitting seminars, among other efforts. And while she still does freelance graphic design to cover her living expenses, she hopes to earn a full salary from the wool business within the next several years.

Meanwhile, Ellen relishes the freedom to work her own hours without ever going into an office. "It's so delightful," she says, "to be sitting at your computer, watching your sheep."

article in the Post

Hey, thought you all might be interested:


Pocket Meadow Farm

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hi Everyone!

I'm Robin and located in Buffalo Junction, VA. I know, you're wondering where in VA is Buffalo Junction???? BJ is located between South Boston and Clarksville on Highway 58 which runs east and west along the VA-NC state line. Lots of history here - behind us is Buffalo Springs where there used to be a HUGE resort and they bottled the lithia water and shipped it out on the train. Our house was built in 1790 and after 24 years here, we're still trapped in renovation h***. I work as a medical case manager and drive a lot! to my claimants' medical appointments. I sit a lot in physician waiting rooms. While I sit - I knit! I enjoy other stuff, also -- spinning, soap making, watercolor painting, traditional rug hooking, gardening, photography, my kitty cats, etc.

Thanks to Cathy for the invite! I think this blog is a great idea for VA knitters! I would love to find VA knitters who are closer to me. You can visit me here at For The Love Of Fiber.

Welcome Buffalo (Junction) Gal

Robin Hasty has joined our gang - some of you probably know Robin, either personally or through reputation - she is a multi-talented fiber artist with knitting just a tip of the iceberg!

Check out her blog when you get an opportunity b/c Robin is also a talented photographer/writer.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I know several of you live in the Culpeper area. If any of you are going to be at the Culpeper Co-Op meeting July 22 please find us. My husband is being installed as one of the new directors.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Where are we?

I have created the map above ... but I don't know where we all are from! If you're not there, please email me and advise so I can add your location... I am learning how it works and I want to make it able to accept your edits too --- if anybody knows about it, please advise so we can make it more interactive, ok?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Everybody Loves a Yarn Sale!! Yorktown / NN, Virginia

Just a few shopping days left.

Also during the month of July we are giving special discounts for those of you who sign up for a class together!

Yes, that is right. Sign up for any of our classes or workshops with 2 friends and all 3 of you will get a very special discount. Discounts range from $5 to $20.00.

Included in this is Melissa Morgan Oakes' 2 at a Time sock workshop being held in September.

Classes need not start right away. Working with your schedule has always been our goal. Schedule your class on the days offered that will best suit you and your friends.

We are having our very special Everything's On Sale Once a Year Sale through July 5th. Discounts will apply to anything and everything in the shop.

Ranging from 10% to 50%. Needles, books, patterns and yarns all will be discounted. Some yarns have been discounted even higher due to being discontinued.

As always we hope that you will come in early for the best selection. Store Hours for the Holiday are as follows:

June 31st (?), July 1st & 2nd Open 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
July 4th closed
July 5th open 10:00 am to 5:30 pm

Coordinated Colors Yarn Shoppe
2703 George Washington Hwy.
Yorktown, VA 23693


Wear all Your Rainbows !