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So Many Things Happening

I'm not even sure where to begin. But since this will be a information-heavy post, I think I'll start with an awesome picture!

That's right . . .  it's a 1967 Volkswagen, Karmann Ghia! My husband is awesome. He and the kids completely surprised me this past weekend with it after going to "get lumber" and was gone for something like 6 hours. I got regular updates about broken windshield wipers, a flat tire and grocery shopping to explain the delay. I was a bit miffed when they finally showed up, but then when they opened the back of the trailer, I was speachless.

This is a car I've wanted since I was in high school, and one of the first Mike and I daydreamed about owning when we were dating. 

It has no engine, and there's a two-year ETA on driving it, but that's OK. It's mine!!!

In other news . . . 

I've decided that it's time to say good-bye to my Breed Study Group. This is a really bitter-sweet decision, and one that I put off announcing for a very long time because I wasn't quite sure I could let it go. But I did, and now it's time to look forward to new adventures.

The decision really hinged on the farm. Willow Glen farm now has 10 sheep and we have 8 pregnant ewes this spring! That's going to be a lot of animals and a lot of wool. I'm finally at a point where the farm is more than a hobby to write about. We'll actually have quantifiable products! So here's how the shop will look within a year (or two!):

-Shetland roving. Lots of it! Natural and dyed wool will fill up the shop all from my animals!

-Debouillet roving. Lots of it! Dyed debouillet will round out the shop's spinning offerings as a fine, delicate wool. This all comes from a flock in the midwest that I work with on an annual basis.

-Alpaca/Merino yarn--Sport and DK-weight will be available soon. Some of the sport-weight is in the shop now, and I'm test driving the DK yarn in a cardigan for myself. It's pretty scrumptous! This wool comes from Hope Farm, and is processed into yarn at Autumn Mist Fiber Mill, both NY small businesses.

-Romeldale yarn--probably a light worsted weight. This is a long-range plan for the shop/farm. I'd like to purchase some Romeldale sheep this fall and use their wool to start a yarn line. Just like the Shetland, it'll take a while to build up, so the yarn may not be available for a few years, but I think we have enough fluff to keep us knitting in the mean time!

-Handspun yarn--whatever I feel like working on at the time!

My goal is to further develop an identity for the shop and farm. As much fun as the breed study has been, it's been a challenge to keep the shop consistant for returning customers. 

And my time has been morphing quite a bit, too. I love teaching, and will definitely be available for private lessons or to teach groups, but I've decided that regular class offerings just don't work while I still have young kiddos. On top of that, I've taken on the added responsibility of being our guild's president for the next two year. Teaching will come back when the time is right.

In the mean time, I'm still writing for PLY magazine, and that is a much more flexible schedule for me to stick to. So far, I've had an article appear in the Winter 2013 issue and a pattern in the Spring 2014 issue. I have three more articles slated for Summer, Fall and Winter 2014. Pretty cool, huh? But to keep the article ideas flowing, I need time to actually spin and knit so I know what I'm talking about!

Though saying "so long" to the breed study and teaching has been hard, I think all of us here at Willow Glen are excited about the new opportunities (and lambs!) that are on the horizon!

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