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Mary Mary Pettis-Sarley how does your garden grow? With alpaca, sheep, and little goats. And coriepsis all in a row…

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So last weekend we had a dye workshop up at Twirl in Napa, CA. The weather was perfect… Sunny, hot with a nice breeze and lots of cool shade from the grape vines.
We learned about natural dyes, mortars, and that duplicating a naturally dyed yarn is near impossible 😉

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Mary loves her animals and treats them with such kindness. She glows when she talks about her bummer lambs or Celeste or Cupcake, Peanut Butter, or Carolina the cow.
She has respect for her animals and likes to honor them by naming colors or yarns after them.
Twirl is a magical place with creatures of all shapes, sizes, and talent. The day was fun and relaxed and we all left with four beautifully dyed yarns!
1. 100% wool tan
2. 100% wool white
3. Alpaca blend brown
4. Alpaca blend darkish grey
The fibers all took the dyes differently. I put the two lighter yarns in the “pink” pot and the colors are pretty different shades. Same dye but different fibers.

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Dying is completely new to me. Aside from mixing some Rit in my washer and tossing in wet clothes?! I have no experience. Mary is very whimsical about her dying and doesn’t waste time with worry. She loves all the colors she gets and tends to avoid trying to force a color onto a fiber. Which makes for a happy dye lady😉
While we were at the ranch Mary sent us off in all directions foraging for dye materials. Including Chris driving a “Mule” (which is like a 4WD golf cart) to another part of the property. She wasn’t hovering or pointing to a specific branch or flower. She was laid back, willing to let us explore and pick at her garden. It was a generous welcome!

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This little squirt was searching for left over pastries

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This one found a yummy bush!

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Mom tried to pick up a grouchy gopher snake – he wasn’t having it.
And after the tour and getting to pet a LESS than one day old baby alpaca, we hiked back, collected our yarns in baggies, and said our good byes. It was such a good time. The atmosphere was relaxed, the company was wonderful and Mary and Chris are so welcoming it was easy to feel at home.
And Mary made these parting gifts for all her students!

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I am doing more dye research and even looking into a “dye garden” I will share what I find and can’t wait to share my interview with Mary here on the blog! Yee! For those of you who haven’t met Mary or seen her with her animals – you will get to know her a little. I love our local yarn farm!
Happy creating!
xx
Ash

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Saturday we had a dye workshop at Twirl in Napa, CA. The most amazing views!

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Some coffee and pastries

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We all talked and some brought knitting (smarty pants! I wished I had some) and Mary gave us the skinny on her experience and how she came to live on the amazing (seriously! Amazing!) 2,000 acre ranch in Napa. Surrounded by all the wonderful animals she loves and names.

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She shared her love of fiber and could barley hold back from just tossing the soft fiber on us (wishful thinking??) it was so soft and really white.

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Then we “foraged” for dye.. And by we I mean I gabbed away and watched all the happy dyers cut, pick, and pluck, for the dye baths.

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(Heading out in the mule to hunt)

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A soon to be dye!!

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We had four fiber choices to choose from. We could choose two from each table… I chose one of each fiber.

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We all picked a little something to put our yarn in..

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Then we plopped our yarn in the “vats” which all varied in sizes and materials. Bowls, pots set on camping stoves, and a huge iron pot on a fire (hot people).
While we waited for our yarn to have a relaxing tub of color we had a nice tour of a small part of Mary’s home.

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So much to see and do and to be done out here. It’s truly a hard working duo that keep this ranch running. The animals are loved and cared for and the garden is beautiful. It’s a peaceful place to be and a great way to disconnect from the phone and enjoy your surroundings.
I will share more but I’m leaving this as a “to be continued”. I took photos of my yarn and will be collecting photos of other dye day ladies too. Can’t wait to share!
Happy knitting!
xx
Ash

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It’s interesting what brings us from one season in our lives to the next. My Mom, Shelli, has worn many hats. She really is the ‘Jane of all trades’. She was the stay at home Mom who coached my softball, helped my Girl Scout troop, drove me to surf camp at fourteen and let me be independent. She is the worlds best Mom and always puts my brother and I first.. Well maybe my kids now;D Her knitting career started as a kid with my Great Grandmother, Thelma, and her truly awesome domestic life skills. So when at fifteen I had suggested to we learn to knit she did what any mother to a teenager (who suggests hanging out!) would do…. She hauled butt to the closest knit shop and signed us up. The shop she found was in Santa Rosa and was an old victorian house. The front end was the yarn shop and the back was the woman’s house. I thought it was so cool. We took the class, our teacher was patient.. I was fifteen so one can imagine. I of course was not interested in making a gauge or a washcloth ha. So she set me up with a set of DPN’s ( I am a firm beleiver in ‘if you don’t know it’s difficult… then its not’) I made a beanie for my boyfriend of course ( I later married the boy… Yet to forgive him for not LOVING the beanie I knitted him so excitedly- don’t knit for boys unless asked to) Over the years I knit random things but didn’t take another class. My crafty friends and I would get together and make hats, mini pouches… Nothing big. My Mom however was busy taking every class and diving into a new love… Fibers! I was nineteen and living in South Lake Tahoe when my Mom told me she was going to open a yarn shop. ‘Before someone else does’ is what she told me. I pretty much moved home immediately and May of 2004 she opened Knitterly. We started in a tiny tiny corner of another shop called ‘shelter’ (funny huh) then moved to a bigger, that’s an understatement, building a few doors down. We literally rolled the racks down the street wrapped in saran wrap so the yarn wouldn’t fall off the shelves. My parents are very resourceful and my brother has a lot of friends who will work for my Mom’s baked goods;D
Two years at that location, out of the walking traffic and a few side view mirrors being taken off by the busy traffic later… She moved the shop again. This time to it’s final home, #1 Fourth street! We have now been open for nine years, just this month and we love the location or neighboring businesses and our loyal customers. With my Mom’s need to ever better herself and business an online shop was being discussed. After a lot of time, talking, planning, and yarn shopping… She did it!! May 1 2013 Knitterly the online shop opened. In a comedy of errors we have managed to get LOTS of photos on the site… however some are lacking in true color accuracy. The Habu and Be Sweet seem to turn out fine but Twirl is looking less than it’s fabulous self. Being a new shop there will be some, understandable, errors. But she has an awesome team that is constantly working hard to get things running smoothly.
For now you can buy Habu, Be Sweet, Freia, Imperial, Isager, Madeline Tosh, and last but not least Twirl. It’s so exciting! I can hardly believe it’s open.
The websites new “face” will be getting some ‘work’ done as well ;D you will love it!
This is why my intention of all last weeks blogs did not come into fruition, my apologies…. It was ‘under construction’. Whitni our computer chick and her team have created a new look. an online shop and a pretty face for our blog. She will be linking up my old site to the new one until it’s all moved over. Thank you for your continued patience and reading the blog. I love that you do!!
I am so proud of all the hard work my Mom is always putting in to her life, career and family!
She rocks!

Check out our shop and website.
Happy Knitting
xx
Ash

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Coffee, morning treats, steaming dye pots, lots of awesome animals, gorgeous view? Who’s in, right??
June 1 from 10 …. ( to whenever – because there is a time warp at Twirl we all will be sucked into!!) Mary will be hosting a dye day!! We are super excited about this. The space is limited for this event so sign up asap (we are closed today so call tomorrow 707 762 YARN)

Deets:

Cost: $75.00
Time: 10am – whenever
Where: Twirl (adventure) Ranch, Napa CA
What: Coffee and breakfast treats will be served in the AM
We will be dying two skeins of her magical yarns
pack a brown bag lunch and water..

This will be so fun! Ahhh can not wait!

I will be there for sure
xx
Ash

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(Butt kicking Gaurdians)

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