Friday, July 27, 2012

Shrek the Sheep

Saw this on Facebook and had to share. Imagine what you could do with all that wool!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Reads

I am I guess what could be called a "voracious reader." I've been that way since I was a kid. I lived about a half mile from the public library, and every Saturday I'd walk to my cousin's house and from there, we'd go to the library. There was a ten-book limit, and every week I'd go home with ten new books. I'm not saying I read them all, but the thrill was getting to choose those ten books to take home and savor all week during the summer.

The children's library was where I fell in love with books: the Betsy books,  Edward Eager's classic Half Magic, The Magic Tunnel, and my all time favorite A Wrinkle in Time. Later came Phyllis Whitney mysteries, Gone With the Wind, The Red Badge of Courage, Death Be Not Proud, and many others.

I've kept a book log for many years now, and once in a while I browse through it to see how my tastes have changed. I went through a phase where, I'm embarrassed to admit, I read smutty romance novels. That led to cosy mysteries, and now I find myself reading more what I'd call "challenging books." Not that I didn't read literature throughout the years, but now it's all I want to read.

With the that short history of my reading life, here are some interesting books I finished recently:

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

Hotel Angeline: a novel in 36 voices

The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore

The Map of Time by FĂ©lix Palma

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Summer House by Nancy Thayer

They are all quite a bit different, especially The Map of Time (a time travel story, a favorite genre of mine.) Check them out; I loved them all. Happy reading!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pancake dyed wool

Here are some photos of the wool I pancake dyed for the rug I featured in my previous post. The first photo shows all the wool I dyed in this batch.

The next is a closeup of the wool. You can see that the lighter piece was one of the topmost layers in the pan. The darker pieces soaked up more of the dye on the bottom.

If you are interested in trying out this method here is the formula. Pieces are approximately one eighth of a yard and I used seven of them. Pieces were natural, textured, light blue, lilac, celery, but you can experiment with whatever you have on hand.  I used ProChem dyes.

CUP 1:  1/16  +  1/32   419
CUP 2:  1/4  707  +  1/128  672
CUP 3:  1/4 816

Let me know if you have any questions!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Latest rug

Here is a photo of the rug I'm working on. I drew this years ago, and dug it out this Spring to start work on it. I had drawn it on Scottish Burlap, not one of my preferred foundations, but it's worked out okay.

Here is some of the wool that I've used in the rug.

Mission Brown plaid

Lilac Trees


Golden Sunlight

I'll take some of photos of the pancake dyed wool I'm using for the stripes. It's a great technique, and the results are amazing. Love taking it out of the dryer and exclaiming over it. If only someone was around to appreciate it with me!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Color photos

I have such a difficult time taking pictures of my wool to put up for sale online. I've been experimenting lately with photos taken inside versus photos taken outside in the shade. I have found that my shade photos are the most realistic in terms of color. I have also discovered that a photo taken straight on (not angling the camera) also helps. I try not to think about the myriad ways that computer monitors can then interpret that color!

Taking a photo of a piece of red wool has proven to be the most challenging. Sometimes the red is garish with highlighted areas looking "psychedelic" they are so bright. I took this picture outside yesterday of a red dyed wool I call Fireball. All in all,  I was pleased with the results. I think by being outside, the flash doesn't go off, keeping the colors as realistic as possible. I'm sure I could purchase an expensive digital camera and get great results, but right now, my inexpensive Samsung seems to work well under outdoor conditions.

Here are some red strips I also photographed outside. My inside shot was a big blur of red. This one came out much better.

One thing I found helps, especially with the red shades is using a higher output resolution. The files are a lot larger, but the detail is better. Fireball was dyed over a goldenrod yellow, and I can see that the photo showed some of that color peeking through.

This wool and lots more is listed in my Etsy shop:

Woolly Mammoth Woolens Etsy Shop

Monday, July 9, 2012


In my quest to organize my wool, I have decided to go all out, and load up on items in my Etsy shop. Please check it out if you are looking for wool for a specific project or just for fun.

I've been dyeing a lot this week and have quite a few of my favorite colors listed. Still have a pile to dye, so there will be quite a bit of wool still to be listed. It takes me a while to list, because I can't seem to get good photos that show true color. I'm going to try some outdoor shots in the shade and without the flash to see what happens. I read on someone's blog that the colors will be truest if shot this way.

Here's the link:

Woolly Mammoth Woolens Etsy Shop

Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wool, Wool, and More Wool!

Here is what is waiting to be listed on Etsy and Ecrater along with wool that is separated and waiting to be dyed. Yikes! Thank God for air conditioning!

The great thing is that the wool waiting to be dyed uses lots of different methods: spot, overdye, abrash, pancake, dip dye, and marbleizing. I'd really like to do some swatches also, but they can be quite time consuming. We'll see.

Hope you all have a wonderful Fourth of July! It's a great country we live in.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Quoting Pooh

I love this quote from Winnie the Pooh:

"If you live to be 100,
I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day,
so I never have to live without you.”