Changes, Part II

 (A sock I’m knitting in “Banded Cotinga,” with “Cobalt” for the cuffs, heels and toes.  I’ve been working on this pair of socks since… May.)


I don’t have much time, since I am about to get on a plane (again), but I wanted to let you know about something really, really great.  I can talk about it now, because it’s happened.  Sheri’s dream came true – she and her husband have bought property in the northwest and moved up there, and they are building a home and starting the hobby farm that they have wanted for years.

I’m so excited for her.  I’ll miss her – and Ladybug Fiber Company will never be the same – but I absolutely love it when someone I am close to has their heart’s desire realized.  And I’m looking forward to when she’ll open her own business – whatever that may be.  I’m also secretly hoping she’ll follow through on our plan – that she will raise some gorgeous sheep that may someday become a few skeins of Ladybug Fiber yarn.  🙂

Meanwhile, I’m headed out tomorrow on trip 4 of 5 this summer, as I continue helping my parents adjust to a new life and a new home.  And both of my children are moving out in the next few weeks, although one will be in college, not too far away.  Lots of transitions.  Lots of packing and unpacking.

Here at Ladybug Fiber, I’ve had to shutter the store frequently, more than I like, but I am continuing to dye whenever I’m home.  Within a few weeks, I should be able to pull off a pretty nice update, just in time for fall knitting.  I’ll keep you posted.

I hope you all have been having a wonderful summer! 

— Meg



We’ve been quiet a long while, I know.

There have been so many things happening at Ladybug Fiber.  Most of these are good things!  We’ve really enjoyed working on our sock clubs, and in January we introduced our Birthstone yarns, one month at a time, on five (so far) of our most popular bases.  Next up for us are some gradient sets, if we can ever get them listed!  We were also excited to welcome three new wholesale accounts:  Nutmeg, String by Kim, and Knitter’s Square.

These last few months have also been ones of great change outside of our business.  We have each had important family matters and events that have taken us out of state.  In my case, it began by  taking my youngest child on the last of several college visits before he finally made his big decision at the end of March.  Then my oldest graduated from college, followed by the youngest from high school.  My parents suddenly turned a corner in their lives.  This means planning a big move for them, from the 100 year old house where I grew up, and where they have lived for almost 50 years, to somewhere smaller, safer, and easier.  Much of my summer will be devoted to working with my siblings on cleaning out and selling the family home.

I’m sure some of you know that being an indie dyer is always more than a full time job.  Sometime last spring, although I kept up with the dyeing, I had to give up posting weekly updates.  This summer, because I’ll be out of state so much, I’ll dye when I’m here, list when I can, and put the shop on vacation when I’m gone.  We’ll be able to keep up with the clubs and the birthstones, but we’ll limit the number of club memberships and put custom orders on hold to make things manageable.  My fingers are crossed that things will be more or less back to normal this fall.  I also think that these trips away will help fire up my creativity, just as my month-long trip to Europe did last year.

And this fall I will teach knitting for the first time.  One of my friends works for our local Parks and Recreation department and she asked me to teach beginning knitting to adults, and beginning crochet to kids in the winter.  I’m pretty excited about it.  And a tiny bit freaked out.

My to-do list is long, but I am trying to take the time to enjoy my family, my garden, my friends, each new color I come up with in the studio.

Maybe I’ll even plan a little vacation for when the summer’s work is over.

Happy Summer, everyone.  — Meg


Something new!

We’ve added something new for 2014 – monthly colorways based on birthstones!  These will become permanent colorways that can be dyed on multiple bases, and you can request them as customs, too, on pretty much any base we carry.

Here’s January, “Rhodolite Garnet”:

on MCN sock


on 75/25 superwash merino/nylon sock:


on 100% superwash sock:


and on 75/20/5 superwash merino/nylon/stellina sock:


Here’s to a colorful 2014!

From 0 to 50,000 in 30 days or less


It’s all or nothing, for me, sometimes.  This month, it’s all.

Hello.  I haven’t updated the blog in ages, since early July, even though lots has happened since then, professionally as well as personally.  Rather than put it all in a post, I’m going to try to write a little each week until I get caught up.

November holds a special place in my heart.  In addition to being a very busy time for the shop (but busy in a fun and creative way!), it’s also the month when I attempt to compete in something called NaNoWriMo.  It’s National Novel Writing Month, and for those of us (brave) (crazy) inspired enough to take it on, we attempt to write a novel containing at least 50,000 words in one month.  That means an average of 1,667 words a day, during a month that also contains Thanksgiving, which is no small holiday.  On average, for me, that’s about 2 hours a day.

I’ve “competed” for the past seven years, and although I’ve come close several times, I “won” just once in 2010.  I actually finished the thing early, in 25 days, on Thanksgiving day. It was an incredible amount of work, and some days I was at the computer for six hours or more, but the feeling of accomplishment at the end was indescribable. Of course, I haven’t done anything with that body of work since, but I will.  When one does NaNoWriMo, you write so fast and furiously that there’s no time – or energy – to edit while you’re writing it, but that’s ok.  I’ve wanted to write a novel my whole life, and this is a pretty good way to start. This is how several published writers began, such as Sarah Gruen, who wrote “Water for Elephants,” and Erin Morgenstern, who wrote “The Night Circus.”

So far this year I’m up to 4,004 words in two days, I dreamed up a great story that will keep me motivated, and I have several NaNo buddies who are competing too – including a good friend from high school (who is an incredible playwright and essayist); my husband; and one of Sheri’s kids, who is quite prolific.  It’s fun to try and beat their word counts every day, and lovely to know I’m not alone.

Interested?  It’s not to late to sign up: .

In addition to this insanity, I’m also halfway through a tech editing course with Joeli Caparco of .  It’s harder than I thought, but really good!

And I’m supposed to be doing a bunch of research for a Master Gardener committee I joined a couple of months ago.  Plus all the stuff one must start to think about for the upcoming holiday season, and a big to-do list of chores.

And, as I said, dyeing and all that.

I’ll talk about that some more in the next post.  In the meantime, please let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to dye up for your holiday knitting!

Happy NaNovember.

— Meg

Heat wave has broken…

(Sung to the tune of “Morning has Broken,” by Cat Stevens.  Or, not.)

I might jinx things in the long run, but as of today, our week-long stretch of 106-111 degree temperatures is over.  It’s just after 5:00 pm and I ventured out an hour ago for a bike ride with my husband in a relatively balmy 82 degrees, almost 30 degrees cooler than it was just 24 hours ago.  It still felt hot.  🙂

What happened this week?  No dyeing (that would have involved a death wish).  I drove my college daughter to her summer job in the mountains, came home and had a popsicle, and that took care of Monday.  Tuesday and Wednesday was mailing, winding, and paperwork; more popsicles and some guitar practicing (I now know 19 simple chords and several strum and rhythm patterns – yay me!). Yesterday was the 4th and after going to my water aerobics class (the only exercise I will even consider when it’s over 100 degress) I then holed up in the air conditioning and, joy of joys, I read a book.  It was really very good – “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves,” by a great Northern California author, Karen Joy Fowler.  You may have heard of another of her books, called, “The Jane Austen Book Club.”  It seems like forever since I’ve taken the time to read an entire book in one sitting.  After I was done, I had some barbecue, a margarita and watched my husband and son set off a total of 5 fireworks.

But back to the shop.  This week I also started knitting a pair of socks using some gorgeous yarn that Sheri dyed up for me a while ago, along with some of our new heel and toe mini skeins, in “Carnation”:

Image Love the contrast!

We also did an update of kettle dyed yarns, mostly in repeated colorways of “Giverny” and “Magic Carpet.”  I snuck the dyeing in on the first heat wave day, last Friday.

Image“Giverny,” in silky sock

Image“Magic Carpet,” also in Silky Sock

We put up a skein of our April kettle dyed club selection:

Image“Caribbean,” yet again in Silky Sock

And finally, our July Phat Fiber contribution to the Under the Sea box:

Image“Sea Anemone,” in 100% superwash merino single ply

Here’s to lower temperatures, and more dyeing and posting next week!

— Meg

Well, hello there, summer!

Today was the start of a good old-fashioned heat wave.  It hit 105 degrees here in Elk Grove, California – but that’s nothing.  By Wednesday, it could build to 112.  (The joke around these parts is, “but it’s a DRY heat.”  Sorry, but anything over 100, anywhere, is simply hot.)

It happens, but what’s weird is that only a few days ago, it was in the low 60’s and raining. Now that doesn’t happen in Central California in late June.

The two extremes have put a slight crimp in our dyeing plans, but we’re just going a bit slower, quitting a bit sooner, and drinking a lot more water.  One of us (I won’t say who) went out and bought herself a wading pool, and paid her 17 year old son five bucks to pump it up and fill it with water:


It will be waiting for her as soon as she finishes this post.  With, hopefully, a frosty margarita.

Speaking of updates, we just put a bunch more self striping in the shop.  First up is our July Chubby, in “Berries”:


It makes us hungry for pie.

And some other new color ways:


Field of Poppies (the California Poppy is our beloved state flower!)

ImageHosta (if you’re lucky enough to have some shade!)

ImagePajama pants (for that next sleepover!)


Imagesweet Viola.

Enjoy – and have a safe and happy 4th of July!


After spending the past several weeks doing a lot of wholesale dyeing, we set that aside for a few days, rolled up our sleeves, and dyed up a heap of new self striping and kettled favorites for you.  Enjoy and happy Summer Solstice!