30 12 2008

I’ve still got some work to do on it but I’ve moved all my previous posts over to the new blog and won’t post anything else here.  Please remember to update your bookmark.  🙂

Name Changes Coming Soon….

21 12 2008

Hey guys, before Feburary 2009 is over I will have restructured both my blog and my business to reflect my changed priorities and direction. Start getting used to the name: Virtuous Threads & Virtuous Threads Fiber Arts Studio, home of Heartknits Handpainted.

A Reflection of Health

3 12 2008

Hello to old friends and new.  I’ve been absent from the blog for a few months because when God has His hand on my life like He has, everything else falls away.  Since I last posted I went thru 2 rounds of meds for clinical depression.  I am just amazed looking back at how much my life has changed.  I often feel like Neo in the Matrix when he gets uplugged from that pod the Matrix keeps them in.  Reborn.  Looking at the world with fresh eyes and finally seeing things that were right in front of me the whole time.  I’ve been getting to know myself all over again.  Alot of my insecurities have fallen away and revealed more confidence than I ever knew I possessed.  I’m not completely healed yet but I’m getting there.  The only difference now is the method I’m using to get there.  Part of my recovery has included totally changing my diet to whole, natural foods.  Organic when I can afford it but never anything with chemicals or preservatives or refined sugars.  This has almost completely obliterated my migraine headaches.  I’ve also changed the way I think about medicines and health care in general.  I’ve become alot more aware of how our minds, bodies and spirits are truly interwoven.  You cannot do something to affect one without affecting the whole.  Since I’ve started to deal with my deepest heart issues, I’m seeing directly related changes in my body.  I am completely off of all pharmaceuticals now.  I am convinced that there is a better way.  I’ve been learning more about using only prayer, therapeutic grade essential oils, nutrition and reflexology to cure what ails.  It’s more about the healing than the treatment.  God is opening my eyes to things I’ve just accepted in myself over time and showing me that life doesn’t have to be that way.  Many physical conditions are a manifestation of your level of spiritual health.  God wants to heal people and they have absolutely no idea the level of health our bodies can attain with His touch and wisdom.

Whew…. more later.

I now proudly present to you . . .

22 08 2008

The Grand Opening of my new online fiber & yarn shop!  Fiber updates to the shop will occur twice a month as close as possible to the 1st and the 15th.  Handspun updates will be monthly occuring around the 15th.  Please bookmark us and keep checking back as I anticipate adding handpainted laceweight yarns to the lineup before Christmas with blended luxury batts coming after that!  Now there’s some laundry I’ve been neglecting that’s calling my name . . . . . . . What are you waiting for? Go check it out! 🙂

The trials of Summer 2008

21 08 2008

Wow, it’s been a hard summer so far and we still have a little over 4 weeks left to go.  I know I haven’t kept up with my blog since we moved but let me tell you . . . .

We did find a wonderful rental house; a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with 2 car garage.  No separate dye studio space granted, but a wonderfully large kitchen and dinning room that will work for now.   Our pretty new home gave us a nasty little present after we moved in, head lice; so we’ve also dealt with that lately!  Then the kids switched schools and my youngest started all-day kindergarten.

(side-note:  I had to go shoe shopping for my 9 year old daughter and she now wears a WOMEN’S SIZE 7!!!!  end side-note)

One of my largest hurdles has been my health.  My migraine headaches suddenly increased from 2-3 a month to almost constant pain along with several other symptoms.  A doctor’s appointment, an ambulance ride to the ER, and lots of tests later we still don’t have a concrete diagnoses but we’ve ruled out alot of nasty stuff.  We’re treating the migraines while I’m set to meet with a neurologist on the 3rd.  Turns out the meds I’m on for the migraines are also a mild anti-depressant which opens up another can of worms totally.  Not only are they working wonders for my pain, I haven’t felt this good in years.  Which of course made me curious enough to research clinical depression symptoms.  Turns out I’ve actually been ill, not just under the weather for the last flippin’ 15 years.

All of this and . . . . my online fiber shop opens tomorrow!!!

A Quick Update

5 07 2008

Hey all, as much as I’d love to show you my progress on my shawl or my spinning or my dye-stained hands….. I can’t.   We are in the process of packing and everything else that goes with that.   Wrote the check today for the deposit and first month’s rent so away we go! If I don’t get to update you again before the deed is done, I’ll see you sometime around the 21st of the month.

P.S.  I have a whole room for my dye studio!!! Leave me a comment and let me know what color I should paint it. The landlord says we are free to paint and spruce up the almost 100 year old house as we please.  We are gonna be busy!

A Superior Rating after 11 Years

23 06 2008

Last saturday my best friend and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.  The kids were at a friends house for an overnighter, so we planned on going out to the lake for a picnic and trail ride with the bikes but sadly my sugars were too low and I felt lousy.  Sooo… we ended up eating our “picnic” at home along with a few cocktails and played Canasta while watching House on dvd.  But we had a great time just being together and didn’t feel let down at all.   Now I know I am far from being a perfect wife but after 11 years I do think hubby would agree with this little quiz I took!


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

I’m working on getting some pics of recent spinning and my progress on the Pi shawl for next post, so stay tuned.   😉

The Tour de Fleece is coming!!

17 06 2008

It’s that time again folks! July 5th is race on, what will you be spinning? Last year was my first time participating in the self-motivated spin-along and I was still very much a newbie spinner. This year I’m much closer to acheiving the results I’m after so my goals are higher. I’ve spun laceweight now, but I need to loosen up on my plying, it’s still overplied and thus a little “hard” instead of drapey. So….

1) I will attempt high yardage laceweight that is balanced and drapey.

2) I will attempt your classic 3-ply fingering weight sock yarn.

3) I will attempt to improve my production time, spinning more in less time.

And then there’s my own little twist to the program. Hubby brought home my anniversary gift a little early. My first bike in years and years and years! I’m like a 6 year kid on Christmas morning!! After adjusting the handlebar height I was off to give it a spin around the block. Oh My. I forgot how free I feel while riding, it’s almost like flying. Now you have to understand here, not only do I deeply enjoy riding, it is extremely beneficial to me because I have problems losing weight by just altering my diet. Exercise that I enjoy is 80% of any weight loss for me.

So I will be working on my speed and even plying on one wheel and my distance on the other two. Hopefully by the end of the race I’ll be wearing the yellow jersey in more ways than one.

Dyers are a friendly bunch!

16 06 2008

I just realized the other night that I’ve been on Ravelry for over a year. That just blows me away! I have met and become friends with soooooo many wonderful people, male, female, knitter, crocheter, spinner, dyer, yarn collector, and those who manage to do it all with aplomb.

Recently though I have sought advice from one Raveler in particular, Stacey. Stacey is an indie dyer who is extremely humble concerning the popularity of one of her yarns. She is a wonderful, giving person who is showing herself to be full of great advice and generous with her time and talents all to my benefit. I met up with Stacey this last week for the first time, oh, yeah I forgot to mention she is a local gal! Anyways we brought our kidlets and met up in person. There were funny mommy stories swapped, frozen lemonade consumed, and lots of fiber fondling goin’ on. I had my oldest snap a pic before Stacey and her daughter had to run. Sorry it’s so fuzzy.

Thanks Stacey for the superwash and everything!

To KAL or Not to KAL?

15 06 2008

One of the great things about Ravelry is finding out about all of the KALs, or Knit-alongs for different projects. The mystery shawl KALs seem to attract alot of knitters and I was curious as to why they are so popular so I joined one. I was able to trade with another Raveler for 2 skeins of beautiful hand-dyed laceweight merino yarn.

Then I got involved with the discussions within the group created for the KAL and was easily convinced that like several others I would add beads to my shawl. So after waiting till there was extra cash for beads, finding just the right ones and ordering them, they arrived several days before the KAL was due to start.

(sorry the pic is grainy, these were hard to photograph!)

At this point I had the yarn, balled it, had the beads, had the needles, I was ready and excited to cast on. Then the designer decided to release the first portion of the pattern or clue as it is referred to as, a day early! YEAH!! Obviously I cast on right away, and actually finished the first clue in very little time. But……..

I didn’t like it. Now for this shawl we had the benefit of having several different lace charts to choose from so I could have ripped it out and tried the other 3 charts before making a decision. But the truth was staring me in the face. I loved my yarn, I loved my beads, they went perfectly together. The yarn looked fine in the pattern but not the beads. I could knit the shawl without the beads but then to me the yarn would be missing something. I immediately knew this yarn and these beads had a specific destiny unrelated to this KAL.

So to me the next issue was, would I find another yarn and continue with the KAL? I debated the issue for about 30 minutes but decided to wait. My heart was already wrapped up in knitting this yarn with these beads. I still want to knit the mystery shawl from the KAL but right now I’m starting this one. I can’t help it, I’m in love.

Yarn: 1,760 yds of hand-dyed Merino laceweight wool

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Pi Shawl

Needles: Crystal Palace 24 in. Bamboo Circulars

Beads: almost 2000 japanese glass seed beads from