Hubby says I have an addiction, not to alcohol, drugs, or other dangerous harmful substances, but to beautiful wood, especially wood that can be used daily.

This basket holds 5 Jenkins Turkish spindles, 4 Finches, 1 Wren, and a social media friend who lives on the West Coast was able to travel to Black Sheep Gathering, a festival in Oregon this weekend and proxy shopped for me today to add a Pear wood Wren to the mix. There are 4 top whorl drop spindles in the house as well, two that get used when dressed in Colonial garb and presenting fiber use in Colonial times, one that was gifted to me but is so light weight I have trouble keeping it spinning, and one purchased to help support a Ukrainian artist.

These beautiful works of art are used daily. For a year, they spun the wool to make the breed blanket in 2021.

This year, the wool to knit the Shetland Hap shawl.

And now, working through about 30 ounces of Jacob/Alpaca blend and Shetland/Nylon blend that will become a sweater when I settle on a pattern. Both of those wools can be seen in the basket above and the plied ball of them together that will be the yarn for the sweater.

He mostly was kidding me, as I have been an easy on the budget wife, I hate to shop, I don’t have my hair and nails done, I love to cook, I wear very little jewelry. But I do love my spindles and the calming effect of making yarn on them.

The Hermit

As an introvert, quiet appeals to me. Sitting silently in the mornings before the activity of the day is a good way to reset before the chaos and noise of the daily events begin. My hubby and children, I think, fear that if I am ever alone in life that I will become that hermit. As a result, they encourage me to participate in activities with folks that share my crafts. It is easy with the two ladies that live in the same village and we try to get together at one of our homes each week. Those sessions are relatively quiet, chatting, quietly spinning or knitting, but each of us comfortable enough with silence to not feel the need to fill it with talk.

Noisy environments have always been uncomfortable to me and now that I wear two hearing aids, even more so. Maybe it was more comfortable not being able to hear it as well, though most conversation was missed. This is where forcing myself to become part of the event is more of a challenge. I will commit to attending the larger spinning weekly group, stating to hubby that I am going, then finding any excuse to not attend, though I made it today and there were only a few of us present. There are a couple of retreats that occur each year, and at one, I know most of the participants and feel more comfortable attending. The other, I have backed away from as many of the folks I knew for various reasons are no longer there. It is difficult for me to try to fit in then even though we are all doing the same sorts of fiber crafts.

Son1 and daughter, helped me get set up to Zoom with an online group of crafts folk, but I find that type of interaction very stressful and our internet is not the best, so keeping a picture and sound varies, making it more stressful. I am thankful that by the time Covid sent the world in that direction that I was already retired.

The hermit tendencies are ideal for garden work. Outdoors with only the sun, wind, and bird sounds as company. Sometimes, help would be nice, but given enough time, it gets done. It is almost time to put the tomatoes and peppers out instead of moving them out and back in the house daily. And the beans can be planted. That may happen today. Yesterday after spinning with the small group in town, the beds that had previously been prepared or planted were given a light scuffle with the hoe. The first radish and a handful of asparagus brought in.

For those who read the previous post, the missing Marans never returned, so the raccoon episode resulted in the loss of two hens, one killed and one missing, probably caught by another predator while out hiding. That leaves a small flock of 7. Day before yesterday, they were too traumatized to lay, but yesterday provided 6. We may be okay with just the remaining flock, but there are no extras to share with friends anymore.

The nice weather, though very windy this week has allowed a profusion of Iris blooms. My bouquet from the Farmer’s Market last week was looking sad, so the remaining blooms from it were added to a bouquet of Iris from the beds around the house. They are a favorite spring flower with their sunny colors and repeat blooms.

So the hermit of the mountain lives on, not writing as much as some years, wondering if the garden will overwhelm this year with trying to keep it thriving, and with preserving it’s bounty for the cold months that follow. She will get out again with friends to spin, even attending an annual social/potluck on the porch of one of the members of the spinning group. As I age, the hermit tendencies grow and it requires more effort to be social, but I am working at it.

Sometime this month, the new bees will arrive and again, an effort to keep a couple of hives alive for the year. The son that initiated this project is having better luck.

I Let It Go

A half dozen years or so ago, my yarn making, knitting, soap and salve making grew beyond what the family could use and a small cottage business was born. Etsy was tried and abandoned due to the fees and rising postage cost, a website store initiated with the help of Square. It was fairly easy to manage, but generated very little in sales. A few in person events were done each year and some product made, booth fees paid, but still, barely breaking even each year.

The tax ramifications, hassle with the income tax, the personal property tax, and state sales tax caused stress every year.

Then COVID struck and in person events ceased for two years. Though there were a few this year, even with low or no entry fees, it just got to the point where it wasn’t fun anymore.

First the webstore was taken down, the last couple of in person events done with minimal sales, and the decision to just let it go. Some yarn was gifted, a shawl traded for some hand woven kitchen towels to be used as gifts, some knitwear gifted, and body products donated to the museum where my goods are sold in their gift shop. This leaves a few skeins of yarn for me to knit, soap that will be used in the household, and a few more knit items that need a new home. This week, the tax certificate was mailed back to the State with a letter notifying them that Cabin Crafted Shop is no longer in business at this location or any other. I have kept the domain name, just in case I change my mind at some point, but for now, I have let it go. The decision is bittersweet. Some of the events I used to enjoy became too expensive for my little business, some just not busy enough to make them worthwhile.

I will continue dressing in Colonial clothing and spinning at events as requested, but only for the pleasure of educating others.