So about a month ago I took the leap and started listing in my Etsy shop, Curl Creature Fiber Co. It’s been my intention to open an Etsy shop for several years, but there were a million reasons I kept myself from doing so:

I’ve only been spinning yarn for a short amount of time, why should anyone buy my stuff?

I don’t have a large enough inventory.

I don’t have the marketing skills to sell.

I haven’t solidified a cohesive brand identity for my company. 

Just a few of the many doubts in my head. But the truth of the matter is, we all have to start somewhere, right? As much as it feels like some people have every detail figured out from the get go, I deep down know that those folks are just further along in their journey than I am. So I’m taking a little space to list some of the things I’m proud of about my shop:

  • My logo is so me. It’s hand drawn by me, for one, and I am by no means an artist in the drawing sense. But it represents me and how I want to build connection with the source of the yarn, the animals the fiber comes from.
  • My yarn is also so me. I want to offer yarn that I really love and would use myself and I feel totally confident that I nailed this because I truly love all of the yarn that I’ve listed ;). I also put a lot of care and time into spinning each skein and am proud of the finished product for each of them.
  • My product photos are consistent. I realize how important product photography is. When I’m browsing Etsy, I won’t even click on items that are poorly photographed. That being said, I know my photos are far from professional, but I do think they are a really good start for my skill level. It’s definitely an area I’m looking forward to progressing big time in.
  • It exists. I can’t make sales if I don’t have a shop or items to sell, so I know I’m on the right path, and I’m proud of myself for taking such a huge step towards achieving my goals!


Is anyone else as obsessed with Half Price Books as I am? Man I love that place. A year or two ago I picked up this book on handspinning and dyeing (surprisingly that’s not even the only yarn spinning book I’ve come across/gotten there) and it had a tutorial for making a drying rack out of pvc pipe and plastic netting. I was immediately like: “yes, I need that in my life,” because who has the floor space to dry all the wool one wishes to wash? I was all for using pvc piping but then Home Depot just was not showing up with the joints I needed. So I went with wood instead and it turned out well! The only sad part is that I can’t take the levels apart on a whim, so it can’t be stored away easily.

The whole thing was pretty straightforward. I started with 12 2ft sections of 1″x2″ wood, 4 for each level, and then 4 additional 2ft sections of 1″x2″ wood for the 4 “columns” running vertically. I cut my wood pieces with a compound miter saw. If I remember correctly I screwed each of the 3 levels together before than screwing those in to the 4 column pieces. Then I cut out garden netting that was roughly the size of the frame opening for each level plus a few inches on each edge, and took a bunch of zip ties, about 3 per side per level, and tied the netting to the frame.

It’s far from glamorous but fully functional! I’ve already gotten some use out of it and am excited to see it at full working capacity 😉


I feel like I’m finally getting into a groove with knitting, like I’m actually getting a decent amount done, and it feels great! I definitely go through phases of actively knitting most days to not knitting for a week or more, but I do try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to spend at least one evening a week on a project. I also knit for about half an hour at work once a week and on daylight car rides when I’m not driving. So now it actually seems like a good idea to put my very loose plans to paper (keyboard) to steer my motivation when I’m coming up to the end of a project and am both excited but also dreading coming up with what to jump to next.

My main thing for this year is that I’m making it a point to always have at least one hand spun knitting project going. I’ll most likely always be working a commercial yarn project as well, because, let’s face it, it’s just a lot easier. But I’ve built up a decent stash of handspun and I need to put it to good use!

My other goal with knitting is to always be learning new skills. I seem to always be drawn to trying a new technique or trying to make an accessory/clothing item that I’ve never made before. I recently finished up my first shawl and I’m currently working on my VERY FIRST handspun knit project, which includes short rows, which I haven’t tried before. Learning short rows is actually a good transition into socks, I think, which is also something I have in progress.

When I first started writing this post I had plans to knit a fair isle hat for my husband and I’s big Europe trip, and I totally finished it! In about a month, which I was really proud of, although I stayed up basically all night working on it the night before we left.

Baby stuffs! Finding a yarn that I liked in appropriate baby colors that is easy care and the right weight for the pattern I chose was a challenge at a local yarn store I went to, but I’m pretty pleased with what I ended up with. But I was dumb and stubborn and refused to get the amount of yarn suggested because I’m a cheapo so I will probably have to go back and hope they have more or order online.

Andrea Mowry’s new pattern in Wool People 11 has got me sooooo excited. It’s called Ronan and it’s everything I want and more. Beautiful all-encompassing flying squirrel-esque cardigan. WITH POCKETS. And it uses brioche, which I’ve been wanting to try. I was just browsing the available colorways for the recommended Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn and came across one called Narwhal. The name itself has got me sold (umm, magical unicorn of the sea anyone?). Although now I’m considering the $159 price tag for 12 skeins and it’s making me rethink. What if I, gasp, spun that? It’s a simple enough pattern that I think a little bit of inconsistency wouldn’t be a bad thing. I may now be on the lookout for a large amount of light grey/white wool.

I’m also looking forward to making my very own icelandic sweater, I came back with 12 skeins of Istex Alafoss Lopi yarn and I’m thinking about either St. Brendan by Courtney Kelley, or the Hela Short Cardigan by Vedis Jonsdottir.

Annnnd that’s about the extent of my planning actually. That could very well be all I can accomplish this year though, so that’s cool. What’s next on your to-knit list?


New year’s day we drove to Leavenworth, WA aka “Little Bavaria” for some change of scenery. Not that we were desperate to get away or anything, we had just come back from visiting my family in Oakland for Christmas, but it’s just nice to take advantage of a day that we both have off together. It really was a super cute town and I think it’d be nice to visit during the summer just to see the contrast.

The day we spent there was bright and lovely and cold. Our drive the evening before, however, was scary (to me at least) due to some pretty heavy snow fall while we wound our way through the mountains in the dark. Zach didn’t seem phased at all by the almost complete lack of visibility, but I was just like “I need to turn off the audiobook, I can’t focus!” and “are you sure we shouldn’t pull over and wait for this to die down??” Anyways we got there fine Sunday night, had some great Mexican food (?) for dinner, and got to see all the Christmas lights that were still up everywhere. ‘Cause who takes lights down before New Year’s anyways?

The next morning we had brunch and spent most of the day visiting all of the shops that sounded interesting to us. I think my favorite was probably The Gingerbread Factory, a cozy little cafe that had fun goodies like star-shaped gingerbread cookies and Nutella hot cocoa. We walked down to a park and admired all the snow and sun by the river and then finished off eating a late lunch at this German restaurant where the host was dressed in suspenders and a feathered hat. All it was missing was some polka music playing in the background.

AROUND HERE… 1/20/17

My new year was off to a rocky start when one of our cats, Gus Gus, had to undergo an exploratory surgery to remove what ended up being a large gift ribbon from his intestines; the little stinker.  He scared the bejeesis out of me but I’m so grateful that he’s doing well now (just took his staples out a couple days ago!). I went down to part time at my job, and started a course on agricultural entrepreneurship and business planning through WSU extension, which has been really useful in making me take a really hard look at what I envision for the farm/business. We went to Leavenworth, which I’ll probably post more on later because it was such a cute town! Toby saw something that can never be unseen; always spinning; and painting baseboards so our house will finally look somewhat like a real home.


Leave it to me to spend the last year deciding whether to get a haircut or not. I want more shape and volume. I want the extra length. It’s a back and forth. I think my hair is indeed at the longest length it’s ever been at, which most people would not even notice. I will put forth photo evidence of the progress:

Left is November 2014, right is sometime last week. I don’t think I’m alone in this, but the sides of my hair tend to grow significantly faster than the back of my hair, which makes for a really bizarre growing out pattern. I can only ignore it for so long before I get restless (two years is a long time to make it though!). I’m thinking that I would like a sort of fringe, which I guess I sort of had with my last haircut. But I think I want to go even shorter with the bangs this time. These are some do’s that have been inspiring me lately:







I have to say that the one with the girl holding up a pick is my favorite cut, but she definitely has glossier hair with bigger curls than mine, so I don’t know how well my hair could emulate that. Plus I don’t know if I want to go quite that short.  It’s both frustrating and wonderful how different everyone’s curly hair is! Alright I think I just need to stop thinking and make an appointment already.


DECEMBER 12, 2016

Okay I have to admit, I am really overwhelmed with the decision of what breed of sheep I want to get (when we get to that point). I can’t even decide if I want a fine wool or medium wool breed. On the one side I love the idea of squishy soft, but then again a courser medium wool for a more rustic feeling handspun yarn is also appealing. I’ve been toying with the idea of targhee sheep for a little while, so I knew the first step to deciding if this breed was for me would be spinning up some targhee fiber!

The hubs got me some targhee natural cream colored combed top from The Woolery for my birthday (as well as an awesome pair of Schacht hand carders that I still need to try out, woops!). Feeling it straight out of the bag, it was lush as heck, I just wanted to rub it all over my face. I imagined it as some lofty chunky single ply yarn. At first I thought I would spin it woolen, but I quickly realized I don’t really understand how to do a long draw? Like I guess I understand the concept, but not the execution even after watching several videos on it. I have a hard time getting thicker yarn to be drawn up quickly onto the bobbin; really any yarn in general. I thought it might have to do with my wheel just being kind of sticky, but I’ve tried oiling it and haven’t seen much of a difference. I think I really need a better understanding of how to adjust the brake band and drive band depending on the yarn I’m trying to spin. If anyone has any articles, guides, tips please help a girl out! I’ve also read pretty much everywhere that you need roving to spin woolen; top is spun worsted. Why is that? Is it because the aligned fibers in combed top slide past each other too easily to do a long draw? Anyways, I just settled for spinning worsted. It’s definitely not consistent but I still liked the way it turned out. So floofy! I finished it by soaking it in hot water for 10-20 minutes, then I snapped it a few times, squished it in a towel to get out excess water, and hung it up to dry in my bathroom on a towel bar for a day or two. Then when I really looked at it it felt kind of different, like it was almost felted, but only slightly so. I need to try out other finishing techniques.

Overall I’d say I’m a big fan of the targhee, so this breed is definitely still a top contender for our fiber farm. Only a few hundred other breeds to try out though, no biggie.


When I first got introduced to the idea of spinning, it wasn’t long before I became totally infatuated with the concept of sheep to shawl, sheep to sweater,  fleece to finished object, wool to warm knitted something or other… I mean how baller would it be to be able to say that you were a part of every step of the process that brought the knitted item you were wearing to reality? Minus the cellular process of actually physically growing the wool, but details, details.

This yarn is the closest I’ve gotten to that experience and I am pretty stinking proud of the outcome. It started out as 8 ounces of unwashed Romney wool I received when I joined the Valley Spinners Guild back in February. I then proceeded to wash the fleece with the help of a 5 gallon home depot bucket and some good old Dawn dish soap. I still have the instructions they gave me sitting around somewhere if anyone’s interested in them. After washing came picking, which basically just means fluffing up the fleece by separating and fanning out the fibers. Then I got to use a drumcarder belonging to the guild for a couple months at the monthly meetings, and then of course came the spinning! I went with a 3 ply yarn. Overall it feels a little crunchy and a little rough. But I think it’s wonderful 🙂 No big plans as to what to use it for yet, I am totally open to suggestions.


Oh man, what is there to say about knitting your first sweater? Something akin to learning to fly? Okay, a bit much, but still. SO empowering. I really don’t have many knitting projects under my belt but I knew that knitting a sweater was at the top of my list of projects to tackle, so I went for the most simple, straightforward, hand holding approach I could find. Enter Sheep and Stitch’s Everyday Raglan pattern. I don’t know why but I found it really satisfying to see the raglan lines forming while knitting. The things that I had trouble with were:

1.) Picking up stitches for the sleeves. I really didn’t want to stray from the pattern at all so I picked up the number of stitches the pattern told me to, but I ended up with an ugly hole in the armpit :/. I left it because, well, I didn’t know how to fix it after it happened and later on when I read that picking up more stitches could solve it it was too late (well shoot in my opinion it was) to go back.

2.) When all I had left was the neckline bind off and weaving in ends, the excitement level was rull high. I used a regular cast off and then I did it. I FINISHED. Except then I tried to try it on. And I couldn’t fit it over my head. Sad songs ensued. But! I just looked up a stretchy cast off and everything turned out fine! I used Slip Slip Knit’s miraculous elastic bind off.

Next time I do sleeves in the round I think I’ll pay more attention to changing up where I start my needles every few rounds so I don’t have as noticeable of lines running the sleeve length. Also what is up with that previously unnoticed line running down the front of the body? Mmm that’s not cool.

I still haven’t blocked this sweater yet. I’ve never blocked a project (other than a swatch) before so I’m looking forward to being maybe wowed by the before/after. I even ordered a blocking kit from KnitPicks! #birthdaypresenttoself


As with pretty much any important relationship, it’s complicated between my hair and I. At this point in my life, I’ve come to accept my hair for what it is, for the most part, but that doesn’t mean I got here without a fight. Lots of at home relaxers, blow drying, and straightening in my younger years left me with broken strands and a somewhat broken spirit when it came to my hair. Fast forward to today and I am more or less au-naturale in the curls department (I did get my hair colored earlier this year and a keratin treatment last year)! I am proud of that as someone who used to equate straightening my hair with the only way to really feeling pretty.

I’ve had a pretty similar routine for my hair over the past like, 4-6 years, but I usually tweak it a little every  6 months or so. Here’s a run down of what I’m doing right now:

Wash every 4 days…ish. I use DevaCurl’s no-poo conditioning cleanser. I like the minty smell. I detangle before my wash with some olive oil, a tangle teezer brush, a spray bottle with water (new addition! until recently I just did it dry, but I’m trying to get less breakage), my fingers, and a good bit of patience. I’ve been using SheaMoisture’s shea butter conditioner. I also re-detangle my hair in the shower with my fingers and a wide tooth comb after the conditioner’s been in for like 5-10 minutes. Rinse most of it out but not all. On to styling!

I apply product in sections. First I spray a section with water to make sure it’s sopping wet, then I apply SheaMoisture curl smoothie and DevaCurl gel (although I am now finished with that and am moving on to Kinky-Curly curling custard gel). Then I lock in with some SheaMoisture oil blend, don’t remember what it’s called exactly, but it’s in a green bottle. I rake through thoroughly until the section feels really smooth and then scrunch in small sections. Once done with my whole head I plop using an old neon yellow rayon (I think) H&M tank top. Yes, the color is important. I leave that on for about 20 minutes and then let my hair air dry, or diffuse for like 10 minutes on low/cool setting.

I for sure for sure try to always sleep on a satin pillowcase because that helps preserve definition/prevent frizz a lot.

Apart from that I pretty much let my hair do it’s own thing. I’m trying to figure out good refreshing techniques. I tried DevaCurl’s set it free spray with okay results the other day.

Oh and I deep condition with coconut oil and whatever thing I have on hand. Now it’s Curl Junkie’s curl rehab mask–mmmm gardenia coconut smell.

These photos were taken on day 2 hair, I believe. I think this is a bit more frizz/volume than I usually have at this point in my wash n’ go routine, but gives a pretty accurate view of my hair on average.

It’s been almost two years since I’ve gotten a real hair cut, so I think that’ll happen soonish because I’m tired of sacrificing shape for an extra like, inch of hair (long hair dream woes). Curly bangs maybe? I don’t know. We shall see.