Saturday, August 6, 2016

My new book is out!

My new book is now available on Amazon! The eBook version is available now, and the print version will be coming soon.

Feeling unappreciated at home, Gwyn embarks on a routine errand which quickly becomes anything but, as war brews and she is drawn into the middle of it. Gwyn finds that her survival suddenly relies on her abilities – which may also prove key to saving the life of a young prince, and the entire realm.

It's a quiet little story about a young woman who gets drawn into quite an adventure while running an errand for the queen. I hope there are a few who like it - I enjoyed writing it.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Wooly Stuff

When you make yarn from raw fleeces, you will have waste wool. I've been carding up waste wool to use as mulch in  the backyard garden boxes. 

I also knitted up some socks with some of the better wool that's left in the combs after combing fiber. I made the socks toe-up using the figure-8 cast-on. I did't use a pattern, just free-handed and did an after-thought heel.

Just some of the wooly stuff I've been up to lately.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ginger Beer and Pound Cake

I've been watching some really interesting BBC shows on YouTube. I think there are three different shows, if there are more, let me know! Anyway, they are Tudor Monastery Farm, Victorian Farm, and Edwardian Farm. In the shows, three people live the life of farmers in that particular era for a year. The shows are so interesting, I love them. The other day, after watching Edwardian Farm episode V, I was inspired to make pound cake and ginger beer. I've got the ginger beer doing its thing in a dark closet. It should be ready in a few days. The pound cake is just about ready to come out of the oven and smells delicious.

One other thing I've been up to is Eco-printing. Here is a cotton carry-bag that I printed with things from my yard:

I don't know how long the color will last before fading. I did mordant the bag before hand, so that might help a bit.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fleece diet

One of the members of a knitting group I belong to went on a yarn diet. She forbade herself to buy any new yarn until she had used up all of her stash. Well I have put myself on a fleece diet. I am working my way through the fleeces that I already have before purchasing any new ones. I' not even going to Maryland Sheep and Wool this year. I'll really miss it, but if I just can't handle the diet, I can hop over to the Great Lakes Fiber show, May 28-29. Hopefully my Etsy shop will slowly fill with all of the yarn I will be making : )

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Update On Treating Fibromyalgia with Teasel Root Tincture

To see my previous posts on this topic go here.

I made some teasel root tincture and took it three times a day for six weeks. I started out taking three drops three times a day and upped the dosage until for the last couple of weeks I was taking about ten to fifteen drops three times a day.

Has it helped? My cautious answer is, yes. I say "cautious answer" because although I have been feeling really good, I don't want to subscribe it to the tincture just yet. If I continue feeling good for a good long time, then, yes, I believe it is the work of the tincture. I tried the tincture last summer, around July,  and I felt really well until the end of December/January. I'm hoping this time around I will continue to feel well for several months, too.

Am I cured? No. There is less pain, yes, but what it really seems to help with is the gumption factor. I feel like doing more, I have more energy, and my mind is clear of that fog that sometimes descends. There are still days where everything hurts, but it's not as severe. Things have sort of leveled out.

Last August, after taking the tincture, I completed the Akron Marathon with my family as a relay. I walked my leg of the relay, and it was the shortest leg, but the point is, I felt well enough to train for and walk the 3.4 miles at a very brisk pace. I continued with the walking until I started to feel bad again in December/January. Now that I'm feeling better, I'm walking again. I won't be doing the marathon again this year, but I have the energy now to help my daughter with her wedding planning - which, believe me, takes a lot of energy.

You still can't over-do things. You can feel when your limit is coming on, at least I can. Sometimes I can do that extra loop around the park, and sometimes I can't, but at least I was able to get out there and do that first one, or two!

So would I recommend teasel root tincture to help with your fibromyalgia? Yes. Be sure to stick with it for the whole six weeks. You may not begin to feel results until the last week. And do your research. Learn about teasel root and what it is used for.

Teasel root tincture can be purchased or, if you are confident about your plant identification skills, you can make your own. Remember that you must use the first year plant which is low to the ground, not the second year plant, which is the one that grows tall and flowers. It's not hard to make tinctures, research how to do it. I used the fresh root, but some might prefer to use the dry root. I ground my roots up in a food processor with a bit of very high-proof vodka, then put it in a jar, covering the ground root with vodka. When you've done this, place your jar in a dark place like a closet and shake it once or twice a day for two weeks. Then strain the roots out, giving them a good squeeze to get all of the goodness out, strain it once more through a coffee filter, and voila! You've got tincture.

If you try teasel root tincture, I hope you have good results, too. If you have Lyme disease and are on medication for Lyme cysts, do not take teasel root tincture, as that particular medication should never be taken with alcohol. Please do your research before taking the tincture. And good luck!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Bridal Shawl is Finished!

The bridal shawl I've been working on for my daughter is finally done! It was a big project, especially since I've only knitted one other lacey shawl before. I wasn't sure I was up to this skill-level wise, but the pattern was written so well that it was a pleasure to knit. For those who want to know, it's the Alberta Shawl pattern on Ravelry.

Monday, March 7, 2016

My teasel root tincture is ready!

It's been two weeks since I gathered some first-year teasel roots, chopped them up in the food processor and left them to soak in vodka in a dark closet. Today I filtered the roots out by straining the tincture through several layers of cheesecloth and squeezing the heck out of it. I then let the liquid filter through a coffee filter. I now have a nice, clear, brown-ish liquid. 

Here is what my tincture looks like now:

Before filtering:

After filtering:

Now I can begin taking 3 drops 3 times a day for six weeks (I may build up to the three drops over a few days). Here's hoping it helps my fibromyalgia.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Progress on the bridal shawl

I think I'm approaching about half-way on the bridal shawl. The pattern is written really well. I have a few lifelines in there (yellow), and I've had to use one, but I' very happy with the progress so far.

I'm using the Alberta Shawl pattern which can be found on Ravelry.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Treating Fibromyalgia with Teasel Root Tincture

I've recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I'm not thrilled with the medications available to treat it - I guess what I'm not thrilled with are side the effects. But last summer when I thought it might be Lyme disease, I made some teasel root tincture (it grows around here), using roots from first-year plants. Teasel root tincture has been used by many people either alone, or in conjunction with antibiotics, to treat Lyme disease. 

I took 3 drops 3 times a day for six weeks. I felt a lot better for quite a while - until the end of December/ start of January.  Feeling better on that one 6-week course lasted for about 5 months. Since Dec./Jan., it's all come back. I went in for another round of blood tests and X-rays and the doctor this time came to the conclusion that I have fibromyalgia.

I don't like the drug options for treatment, but I was curious about how well I felt after using the teasel root tincture. I googled around and have found a few references noting that teasel root tincture has been useful in the treatment of fibromyalgia too. 

So I've decided to give teasel root another try. I had to go out and dig through some unmelted snow to get to some rosettes. I only got a few roots, but that will get me started. The tincture (the roots chopped up and left to soak in vodka in a dark place) will take two weeks to make. Then I'll press it as best I can without a tincture press, strain it, and then it will be ready.

Here's hoping to success with the tincture. I'd like to feel better without taking those other medications everyday for the foreseeable future.  

EDIT: Okay, I went out yesterday and got a few more roots. Now I have a good amount of tincture brewing!

Monday, January 11, 2016

All done

I've finished spinning the yarn for my daughter's bridal shawl. I've got 845 yards, 4.3 ounces of two-ply merino/silk laceweight yarn. Now to find a pattern.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Had to make a new whorl

My handmade clay spindle whorl broke : (

I made a new one out of that polymer clay that you bake in the oven. I've never used it before, but it seemed pretty straight forward. I mixed a plain kind with a sparkly kind. It's cooling now. Hope it works, I have about 100 more yards to spin to have enough for the shawl I have in mind for my daughter's bridal shawl.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Progress on the bridal shawl

I've been concentrating on getting the yarn spun for my daughter's bridal shawl. It's two-ply, one of merino and one of silk. I'm spinning the merino on a drop spindle that I purchased to spin fine yarn with, and I'm spinning the mulberry silk on my Kromski Fantasia wheel. I've been plying the two together with my wheel.

My spindle and whorl are from The merino is from a fleece I purchased at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I flicked the locks of the washed fiber and am spinning the flicked locks with the spindle.

So far, I have about 480 yards of two-ply merino/silk yarn.

I'm hoping to have somewhere around 800 yards or so when I'm done.