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Sunday, March 15

This Side of March...sun and socks...and hats!

It's been three days of bright sun here in northwest Vermont. Good for ya'll--not so good for me. Just about all of you know that I struggle on a daily basis with migraines. While I have not had a full-blown-send-me-to-the-hospital-migraine in over two years, I've had lots of ones that I've managed to halt with my meds. However, every day is a chore for me. There are so many triggers for me: sun (the brightness, reflecting off of snow, metal, etc.), sugar, chocolate, aged cheeses (although soft and goat cheeses seem to not affect me as much), low pressure systems, and a horde of other food and environmental factors (noise, chaos, etc.).

A couple of things have helped me reduce the bad migraines and daily lesser headaches. Chiropractic work, which I get done every 4-6 weeks, and headache free vitamins; a combination of daily vitamins and herbal supplements that I was taking anyway.

I get chiro done at Busby Chiropractic, in Essex, Vermont. As it turns out, Dr. Busby and his wife, who is a staff member there, are our neighbors! They live further up our street, but we tend to call people who live on our street our neighbors. They are at 159 River Rd, Essex Junction, and can be reached at 802.879.1144 if you are interested in this.

The vitamins can be purchased at Really! They seem to be a combination of what I was taking, but only two pills a day, versus 10-15 pills I was taking, trying to get the calcium, magnesium, feverfew, B vitamins, and all of the other trace minerals and other things my body needs. Who knows how this works in total, but my body was definitely missing something. My daily tension headaches have been drastically reduced--to about 10%. That is the greatest impact anything has had on me. That, and the chiropractic work.

So, where does this leave me? Unfortunately, I am unable to work a scheduled job. I am no longer at Sweet Clover Market (the owner, Heather, picked up the first two bottles of the headachefreevitamins for me at a food show!). I do pick up a shift now and then to help them out.

I am now going to focus on my handspun yarn, and foray into the handknit world--mostly baby socks, hats, and other fun items! I've been working on some swatches (test knit squares) of handspun that I am sending to my friend Derek, in "the LV"--what the rest of us call Las Vegas. My niche (other than handspun/handknit) will be U.S. raised and processed (into roving) alpaca, eco-friendly and local fibers as much as possible.

I've been playing around with merino/tencel blends and merino/bamboo blends. I also found some U.S. grown gunmetal black bamboo, which I think will be lots of fun to use in creating items. Bamboo is renewable and eco-friendly, I just need to learn more about energy used to process this, along with how fibers are made from tencel and soy.

The alpaca I've used so far has been from Maple, at Northstar Alpacas in Michigan. Maple is a truly wonderful person, and I've grown quite fond of her in the past year, especially since the loss of her husband. It's been fun reading her blog about the trials and joys she's had learning to run the farm on her own. Please visit her blog, and her Etsy shop for some of her handknit alpaca goods! You may have to become an Etsy member, but it's free...I will be selling items at my shop (vtknitboy) after I set it up!

Sock picture: (l to r) The purple is corriedale wool and is plied with merino/bamboo fiber. The top edging is 100% alpaca from Maple.

The middle sock is alpaca plied with merino/tencel. It is softer than the first sock, but very strong.

The other purple sock is corriedale wool plied with merino/tencel. The two purple socks have a row of eyelets (holes) near the top where I am going to thread a silk ribbon through so parents can adjust the tension of the sock (ie., keep it from falling off).

In the picture of the hats, the top right one is corriedale wool plied with alpaca. The alpaca is not as soft as the alpaca in the socks, but is still pretty nice to the hand!

The bottom left hat is alpaca plied with merino/bamboo. It is lovely.

In the third picture, the skein on top of the socks and hats is 100% alpaca. Very, very soft!

The smaller three pictures are from my phone, and I don't think they will expand when you click them on. I will retake the pics with my digital camera and substitute them later.

Left to right: Spinning the lovely black alpaca from Maple! This stuff is a dream to spin. Very, very nice. Middle picture is a closeup of the mini ball I wound up. At right is a picture of a hat I made with three different natural colors of alpaca--all from Maple's farm!

Oh, and way up at the top is a picture of a scarf I made from alpaca/silk roving from Maple. It's sweet!

I have a couple more pictures of projects I need to transfer from my camera. In the meantime, have a fabulous week!