My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


And Some of Us Have Greatness Thrust Upon Us*

Several of you have asked where I got the roving that I’m spinning into the pink yarn. After wracking my brain for a few minutes, I remembered: Frene Creek Farm.

I bought two lots of pink-mix roving (two different pink mixes, that is) from them, and I’ve got some more pink roving as well. All because of my new hot pink coat. I’ll choose whichever makes the yarn that looks best with the coat to make my scarf.

What am I gonna do with the pink yarn I’ll spin and not use for my scarf? Well, it’s a good thing I know someone whose colors are Blush and Bashful. ::cough::Holly::cough:: At some point I’ll be foisting pink handspun on her.

Spinning Questions

A couple more spinning questions . . .

Deb asked:
I’ve got a spinning question for you–what drafting method do you use? Short- or long-draw? I started about a month after you, I think, and right now I’m struggling with the long-draw method and you seem to be tearing through a lot more yarn than I am!

To answer that question, I asked L-B, the only spinner who has actually seen me spin. She said I short-draw. ๐Ÿ™‚

“D” asked:
Just wondering….all this talk about spinning makes me want to join in. What is the best way and what is the start up expense to do so.

If you are somewhere where you can take a class, I’d recommend that. Nothing like hands-on instruction, I think.

Barring that . . . lets ask the commenters. I know there are short videos online, as well as videos you can buy. Anyone have any experience with that?

And if you want to start with a drop spindle (which is what I did) your start up expense is minimal. You can buy a starter kit on ebay that includes a drop spindle and roving for a very reasonable price — well under $30 I think.


Still plugging away, still making wee bits o’ progress. That hibernation factor has set in again. In the evening, all I wanna do is sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . .

Lucy, obliging little helper that she is, checks out my work.


She says that it is acceptable.

I Blame Rock Chick

I had not bought any yarn since January 20th. And then this afternoon I see in my Bloglines that Rock Chick has updated her blog. Innocently, I go to read her entry. This entry.

I ordered two skeins in the “Amarillo” colorway. I am weak.

The Cookbook

Susan asked:
So, I’m dying to know, does that cookbook also have a recipe for Mock Apple Pie made with Ritz crackers??

Oh gawd, remember that recipe? It used to be on the back of the Ritz Cracker box. It may well still be there.

Nope, no recipe for Mock Apple Pie in this cookbook. With good reason: I did a little research (in my copious spare time) and discovered that Ritz Crackers made their debut in 1935 — the book was published in 1929.

I love the internet.

*Wondering to what my blog title refers? It’s a work thing. This is so not an easy week. But things should be back to normal next week. I hope. I hope.


  1. I still stand by Wendy at the Improv! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Good luck with work! My guess is that you’ve proven yourself exemplary so you get more work. =p

  3. There are online videos at:

    Both have good information but I’ve used the ones at more, probably because I started with a spindle.

  4. Spinning instruction? If you’re in Colorado, Maggie Casey of Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins in Boulder. But, otherwise? Only two words: Judith MacKenzie. I took a class at the Estes Park Wool Festival and my socks were completely knocked off. She’s incredible.

  5. JerseyGirl says:

    “Two delicate shades of pink, one much deeper that the other” . Love the reference but I think your spinning is definitely more beautiful than her wedding “colahs”

  6. I’ll definitely be stopping by the Brooks Farm booth at Stitches West this weekend!!!!

  7. I love Frene Creek Farm! They are SO nice and have the prettiest color combinations. I’ve bought a lot from them. ๐Ÿ˜€ I have a few things on my site right now from them– Muppet and Fuzzy.

  8. Wendy, you are so evil! It isn’t bad enough that Rock Chick shares the temptation with her regular blog readers, but you have to spread the temptation farther and wider? Grrrr!

    I don’t know how long I can resist placing an order! Yikes! I’m in fear of my pocketbook spontaneously combusting ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Well, I’ve learned to spin from (1) the internet, (2) books, books, more books, (3) plain, old, just trying it out to see what works. I’m sure a live lesson (or 3 or 7) would have helped, but there are so many good resources out there, I’d hate to see anybody limited just because they can’t find a teacher. It’s too much fun!

  10. Who knew this kickback deal I had with Brooks Farm would work out so splendidly? That said, you have never felt anything like this yarn, I promise. (Well, maybe you have and maybe we’re not talking about yarn any longer, so we’ll just leave it at that.)

  11. I have not thought about the mock apple pie recipe in years. Maybe I should bake imstead of buying- I might save some money. I keep finding these yarns that I must have. I could probably open my own yarn shop!

  12. Thanks to Wendy and all those who replied about the “How to” and “How much $” regarding spinning! I’m so excited especially since I have an interested friend who is housebound due to Lupus and MS (yup, both) and is on a very limited budget….she SO wants to spin!!! She knits a bit so this will be great for her. Thanks you all for brightening up her day and mine! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Ah, yes, I guess I could have Googled “Ritz Crackers” before posting my question. But it was so much easier to pique your interest and get you to do all the work. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. You won’t be disappointed by the Brooks Farm… got some at MS&W last year. Haven’t found quite the right project for it yet. Have fun with yours!

  15. Yes, I love blush and bashful… Pink is my signature color! (Just imagine me saying it with my hick-southern accent, lol.) You will not be “foisting” the handspun on me… I will be liberating it from you! ๐Ÿ™‚ (I will actually be in awe, but that’s another thing, lol.)

  16. Oh, I see – Brooks Farm – must have some (and I’ve bought nothing all year – well that’s not entirely true, I’ve bought nothing that wasn’t either online, on special or just for “swatching”). I’ve gone two skeins of Carnival – being rather like Holly when it comes to pink!

  17. I bought some wonderful shetland/merino cross fleece from Frene Creek Farm, it’s possibly the prettiest fleece I’ve laid hands on to date.

  18. I haven’t posted in forever, but had to bite on the request for good spinning videos. I bought a Majacraft Rose in November. It is a wonderful, carefree wheel with lots of ratios.

    I knew nothing about spinning. I bought this video when I bought the wheel: Mabel Ross, “Hanspinning, Advanced Techniques”.

    I was up and spinning two ply sock yarn in a month! Mabel Ross is a charming Scottish lady. She is businesslike, reassuring, and charming on the video. She is all spinning and no fluff. She must be over 70 years old and you feel as though your favorite aunt has taken your hand and taught you everything she knows. It is not an inexpensive video, but it was worth every penny.

  19. Shirley Gallagher says:

    I bought some of Brooks Farm kit mohair at Md S&W last year. Just yesterday I pulled it out and decided it would be beautiful as Clapotis (by Kate Gilbert in Knitty). I’m surprised they have a web site, they wouldn’t even accept credit cards at the show. I think I’m in trouble………thanks Wendy.

  20. You won’t believe what just happened — I found my way to the Brooks Farm website, looked at the yarn, passed by the Amarillo colorway and looked at closeups of some of the others. When I scrolled back up to take a closer look at Amarillo, it wasn’t there anymore! I guess they sold out. Didja know how much power you wield?

  21. another resource for spinning instruction would be a local spinning guild – many also rent out equipment, so you can try before you buy. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that even here in such a busy suburb as Long Island there exists a large spinning guild!

  22. Brooks Farm mohair? To die for, having had the pleasure of their yarn at NYS Sheep and Wool. It is the softest, most wonderful yarn. I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  23. I’m making Clapotis out of Brooks Farms Four Play right now. I can’t get enough of their yarn and their customer service is extraordinary.

  24. A skein of that Brooks Farm mohair goes a LONG way, I love it! I knit a 60″ lacy scarf in the Claret color with less than half a skein.

    I have another in the Cloudcroft color decorating the insides of a bin, still waiting to come across/think of the perfect project for it.

  25. Ooh! My husband’s family is from Worcester, too! Is there a recipe from someone with the last name of Dennison in there? Or Carrigan?

    Yup, you guessed it–they’re good Irish folks, came to MA from Ireland when my DH’s grandmother was an adolescent.

    Just wondering…


  26. Yahoo groups has lots of spinning lists, the main one being the Spin-List. There are also regional, technical/no-chat, and specialized spinning lists.

    Interweave publishes a beautiful magazine, Spin-Off, and has a spinning guild directory on their website: You can often find very good books on spinning at the public library. My favorite is Alden Amos’ Big Book of Spinning. Kate Painter of Paradise Fibers has an excellent video rental club: She’s at Stitches West this week. There are good descriptions of the videos on her website.

    It’s easiest to learn in person. If you sign on to the Spin-List and post your location, there is nearly always a spinner nearby, willing to enable!

  27. I can’t believe I missed the Blush & Bashful reference! Pink is *my* signature color too ;).

    Lucy’s looking very fluffy in her lovely winter coat these days. =)

  28. You’d THINK that Ceil Dyer’s book “Best Recipes From the backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans and Jars” would have the Mock apple pie recipe, but it doesn’t… google showed a bunch of links for it… looks like a good place to find similar recipes, though! (along with other sites…)