Time for a Little Autumn Cleaning

Autumn is here in the Tetons and winter is right around the corner. It’s raining as I sit at the dining room table, sipping my mug of tea looking out the window at the rain. After as hot and dry as August was, I’m grateful for the rain.

The colder temperatures and rain has started the turning of the colors of the forest. The aspens are started to turn gold, the vine maples crimson and red. The grasses and understory are fading to golds and brown. Snow has already fallen on the ski hill.

Oxbow Bend on Mountain Sock.

With the changing of the seasons, comes time to change out my color ways of yarn in the Etsy Shop. It’s time to say goodbye to the summer color ways to make room for all the beautiful autumn color ways I have brewing in my head. So now until they are gone, check out the Sale Section of the Teton Knitting Company Etsy Shop for summers color ways that are 15% to 20% off while they last. These color ways will not be coming back to the shop so once they are gone, they are gone.

Moulton Barn on Mountain Sock.

Find these and many color ways for sale. Also, check out my growing selection of Mountain Sock Mini Skeins, perfect for color work, socks, gloves, mittens, blankets and hats.

Charity Colorway: Adventure Dog

One of the many reasons why I started Teton Knitting was a way for me to give back to Teton Valley. I fell in love with Teton Valley back when I was doing water right surveys for the State of Idaho in the early 2000’s. I rediscovered the valley when I returned to running and hiking in the 2010’s. I not only fell in love with the natural beauty of the Tetons, but the wonderful community of people that make up Teton Valley. I felt more at home in the Tetons that I had since leaving the Washington Cascades in the 80’s. Being in Teton Valley just felt right and my roots started going deep into this mountain valley. When things started working out between Mountain Man and me, I jumped to living in Teton Valley full time without looking back at my old life in Idaho Falls.

But mountain living is not as glamorous as the stunning Instagram photos make it out to be. It’s tough to live in the mountains; job opportunities are few and far between, housing shortages, mental illness, substance abuse, feeling alone and isolated from a support system. Thankfully, Teton Valley is full of amazing organizations and groups that make Teton Valley the amazing place it is to live and play.

To help these groups, each quarter of the year, I’m dyeing a limited edition colorway to support one of these groups. For Summer 2019, I’m supporting Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter with the colorway Adventure Dog.

Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter takes in over 500 animals every year. Sometimes they are able to return them to their families, others are placed into foster homes to help them find a forever home.

Adventure Dog on Mountain Sock.

We love our dogs here in the Tetons. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small, a pound puppy or pedigreed: we love them all. They are best buds that we take them with us everywhere; camping, skiing, mountain biking, running, rafting, fishing, parties, concerts…if we can figure out way to bring our dogs, we will. Dogs often outnumber humans at gatherings. Adopting a dog together is a sign you are in a serious relationship with someone in Teton Valley.

For the Adventure Dog colorway, I used was inspired by the colors of my two dogs and several of our friends with the contrast of their collars to add pop against the browns and blacks.

Between now and September 30, 2019, for every skein of Adventure Dog sold, $5 will be donated to the Teton Community Animal Shelter to help every animal find a loving home full of adventure. Find this yarn at in the Etsy Shop.

Thank you for supporting this organization.

Hand Dyed Yarns from Teton Knitting Company

After much ado, work to set up the dye studio and creating colorways, I am thrilled to announce my new hand dyed yarns! Thirteen new colorways are up in my brand new Etsy Shop. My first series of colorways, Teton Landmarks is inspired by locations and landmarks across the Tetons.

Mountain Sock in Moulton Barn, inspired by the Moulton Barn on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park.

Each quarter of the year, I will introduce another colorway series. The current set of Teton Landmark series will be available in the Etsy Store until September 30, 2019. After that, they will be off on vacation and the next series will take their place.

My first yarn base is Mountain Sock, a durable but soft 4-ply 100% Superwash Merino that has a tight twist that makes it long-lasting without depending on nylon to give it strength. Mountain Socks comes in 3.5 ounce (100 gram) skeins of 438 yards. Enough yardage to make even a pair of socks for Mountain Man. And you know how important generous yardage is to me!

Mountain Sock in Climbing Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

Over the next week, I’ll introduce each colorway in full to you so can have a peak into what inspires me as a hand dyer and gain a greater love for the Tetons.

From These Humble Beginnings

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It doesn’t look like much.  Really just an old garden shed that seen better days, odds n’ ends left in there when all the tools got transferred to the newer and bigger shop.  It’s home to a few rogue groups of yellow wasps and the occasional cat-faced spider.   Hard to think of being anything more than just a garden shed overlooking the orchard and garden.  It is easy for anyone to overlook to be something more than what it is.

But Mountain Man suggested it when I was musing outloud about where to set up a dye studio.  We live in a pretty small A-frame house where Mountain Man works from home, so an entire room is set up as his office, and a lot part of the downstairs is dedicated to all things outdoors: i.e. the Gear Room.  Setting up long term in the kitchen is a no-go for me for fear of contaminating food and cooking surfaces with dye powder and I’m not exactly the neatest dyer to ever walk this earth.  Not to mention the kitchen is in the midst of a three year remodeling project with no end in sight.

“The garden shed,” I said outloud after Mountain Man suggested it after I was running out of ideas.

“Yes, the garden shed,”  he responded, taking a long pull of his whiskey and coke.

“Let’s go see,” as we strolled out to the garden shed.

Md4FZ5ydSSmpy48S8d1qawPulling open the door to peer into the dimness, I ducked under the abandoned cat-faced spider web to look around.  With solid shelves in the corner, and a table just inside the door, I had worked with far less in my pursuit of dyeing yarn.  “Yes,” I said slowly, turning to look around.  “Yes, it will work.  Actually, it will work quite well.”

“Will it work? I’ll help you build table and shelves in there if you tell me what you want.”

I do not have many gifts or talents really when you look at it.  I’m not a gifted artist, my singing will make you wish you were deaf, my writing so-so, more people are far smarter than me and so forth.  But my one gift or knack, is taking what other people would overlook, discard, or ignore and make it mine.  My first horse was a “nag” that no one bid on at the local community college horse auction.  We went on to win the high point award for our regional horse club three years later.  My first bedroom was a corner in an unfinished basement where I stacked boxes to form walls in order to no longer share a bedroom with my sister.  My parents finally built the bedroom around me after they realized I was not going to move back upstairs to share a bedroom with my sister.  I scored a hardwall office of my very own at work after no one wanted to deal with an old store room chocked full of junk.  From classwork, to jobs no one else wanted at work, I took on what no one else wanted and made something of it because it was all I can get sometimes and that was better than nothing.

And now with this little garden shed, with its quirks, I am going to do it again.  It’s not my ideal, dream studio of easy clean stainless steel counter types, an endless supply of hot water at the touch of spout.  Sure, I’ll be limited to only being able to dye in warm weather and there will be work to do to get it ready for a dye studio.  I’ll have to use water from the hose and clean all the odds n’ ends out.  The wasps nests have already been evicted out the door and will have to be vigilant against them in the future.  I’ll make peace with the cat-faced spider when she returns in the spring as she will guard against insects and is lovely to look at.  I have had far worst roommates during my college days than a cat-faced spider.

It’s a far better dye space I’ve had before, dyeing in dark corners of unfinished basements or in the back of the garage, salvaging whatever equipment/work surfaces I could find from my family’s stockpiles of odds and ends.  The large window folds up, letting in abundance of natural light and plenty of fresh air.  With tables running down both sides, I’ll have far more work surfaces than I have ever had before.  As I work, I’ll be able to look out across our orchard and herb and vegetable garden.  The flowering plum tree and crabapple that my beloved Misty Moo and Captain Maxwell are buried under are right outside the door.

Friday was spent happily cleaning out the shed, music blaring on the bluetooth speaker, as I measured, debated, and planned.  The final layout is still in draft stages but the building supplies are on order and a plan of attack is in place to make this a reality.

To complete a journey of a thousand miles, I have to start somewhere after all.