Ma’s 2022 Shawladay collection

For the first, and quite possibly the last time, “Ma”; my better half is putting up for sale four of her hand knitted, stashed and unused shawls for the holidays.

Ma’s fiber art- a quick story…then on to the pics and such

My better half has been knitting since she was a kid, so a few years now. Starting with borrowed nails for needles, Ma began knitting, saving up her money towards a good set of needles. Those lasted her all the way until we moved her up here on Zen. With all the work she has done to keep us in clothes, she was always hampered with projects on needles so she picked up another set, and then specialty needles came in to play as her work just kept getting more intricate .

A few years after we got married and then got her finally moved over, we made our way to the coast for our belated Honeymoon. We were both hard working folk and this was our first vacation together after all this time. We found a very nice yarn shop and Ma was walking through the shop, cuddling with higher grade yarns than she had worked with before… Me being me, wanted Ma to be able to play with the different yarns , so, I finally convinced her that it would be worth the cost for her to see how they knitted up and how the finished projects would feel next to the skin. That trip made a big change in materials and what was possible for Ma’s talents once she had better fiber in her hands.

We are in, basically, the middle of nowhere, especially when it comes to shopping for much of anything. There was only a shop or two to find yarn locally…which is how we found out Ma is deathly allergic to any and all of the “Demon Lama breeds “..Who knew…??…..

Next came the tiny festivals that we could attend. With our work schedules, we were pretty tied down, beings we had no days off together. But, as they were just down in the town at our feet, we made it to a couple.

In between her job and working here on the property, she still found time for her knitting during any breaks in her busy days. I saw her looking at spinning wheels over and over again …

She really liked this one Dutch Castle wheel… She kept going back to look at it over and over again…Well, I thought it would be , at least, fun for her, so I decided she needed it.. I spent the next week and more in a small bidding war for it… And, I was able to get it for her: Enter ” Mama Wheel”

We were able to get down to a tiny “festival”.. really; just a few tables, where Ma picked up her first fiber to play with… We still didn’t know a lot yet about all of the different breeds, so she picked up a few different kinds to test out….

I could hear Ma having troubles getting the wheel to do what she wanted it to, but, I had hooked her up with a friend to check out a knitting group, which didn’t work out, but they did have a spinner in the group. Ma hired her for an evening to get her started.

Ma would say that ” it was more like remembering than learning ” And in absolutely no time, Ma was pumping out fiber into yarn faster than she could find the fiber.

Sadly, the group that put the festivals on decided that if people wanted to go to festivals, they could go to Metropolis …. Not an option for us….and even less so now with my headaches and vision…not to mention crowds kinda freak us both out…go figure, we chat with animals FAR more than any people….So now, no more festivals. The only yarn Ma could get were a few on-line shops .. Few choices, and too often, they didn’t carry enough of one color to finish one of Ma’s larger projects.

Enter WAFA; Wool and Fiber Arts.. With everything being closed down to the public during the pandemic , WAFA decided to work to get the fiber artists a ” place to go” So in came the monthly online festivals. Fiber artists were suddenly signing up and showing their wares, from fleece to wonderful works of art, and folks started to file in, the numbers grew and not only did they have sales, they started groups and how to’s and so much more.

Now , the end of every month, minus the holidays, finds Ma watching venders sell their wares, and getting to know so many wonderful people. She now gets to hang with her buddies at least once a week from home and helps new folks with problems both in knitting and in spinning.

WAFA really made an enormous jump in Ma’s art. Both knitting and spinning. Like anything else, quality starts from the beginning. With the festivals, Ma got chances to look at and use different types of fibers, many we hadn’t heard of let alone thought of…

Ma started working on spinning finer and finer fibers to yarn, working her way down into the cobweb spinning she does now.

Spinning fine, she plies them into wonderfully strong and soft yarn that really shows off her talents. She has, for quite some time now, been contacted by designers to help figure out patterns and to test knit for them.

Ma took Master classes to improve her knowledge and make even finer work, as, again , quality starts from the beginning. She had done breed studies and learned more and more about how each fiber , not just wool, reacts in all ways to use, what the seemingly random matching of breeds into a fiber or yarn actually will give a spinner , weaver , or knitter, etc,

The work Ma does, the fibers she uses, can not be found in any mart, or in casual shops. She doesn’t sell her work because just to cover cost is more than the average person is willing to spend, and as pretty much ALL Fiber Arts folk have found, people, generally speaking, are simply nasty about the costs… Mostly because most folk have just gotten nasty since 2019, but at least as much because they look at the marts and see a sweater for change then they see the work of artists and can’t figure it out… The same people that CAN tell a crappy flip phone from the new I phones ,or a beat up oil leaking clunker from the newest hybrids… A cardboard box from The high end condos or mansions….I can, obviously go on, but hopefully, you get the picture.. maybe even one or two people will go ” OH SHIT! I never thought of that.” Well friggin DUH! At the Very least, next time you see a hand spun, hand knitted hand wash only shawl or sweater, even cap or socks or gloves and the price is higher than the tube socks in Isle 3, either be polite, and either buy the piece, knowing that it is worth the cost and normally A LOT more , or thank them for their work and time and their eye for the artistry involved and tell them it is above your budget.

The point being; these that Ma is releasing at their prices, barely covers the fiber cost.. There is no ” Oh I made minimum wage on these”….. If she made that much they would be well into the thousands of dollars….And.. these prices are because I thought it would be something fun for folk. People have asked over and over again what it would cost for one of Ma’s sweaters or shawls.

I always reply ” More than you would want to spend.” I don’t need Ma’s feelings hurt by any accidental callousness, or simple, and I absolutely mean SIMPLE rudeness.

Ma also hates her picture taken, so getting her to model these was like trying to get a two year old with a lap full of puppy to hold still long enough to snap some shots.. So, I focused on the shawls, not Ma for obvious reasons. I know she is beautiful , but you can’t convince her of that.

The Shawls

A touch of the Shetland Isle (1)

A touch of the Shetland Isle. This one of a kind, fine shetland lace wrap, knit with several different shetland motifs. Knit in 100% Shetland Cobweb yarn. Finished size : 21 1/2″ x 54″, weighing only 79g, less than 3oz. Can be worn as a scarf, wrapped around your neck lightly a couple of times over your work dress, or suit, tucked under your winter coat, providing warmth without being heavy. Can also be worn over your evening dress as a shoulder wrap. This is really an all season wrap, one that you will reach for time and time again. A true heirloom.
$200..00 plus shipping (or we meet up locally)

A Shetland Hap (2)

A Shetland Hap (shawl), these haps are used everyday. I wear mine all the time, it is my go to shawl. They are light and airy, yet warm. This gorgeous half hap (triangle) starts with a simple center design, then the first borders include not only tonal red, but a touch of gray, then back to the main white until the edging which includes again a touch of gray. Traditionally, haps are knitted with Shetland wool, however this beautiful hap, is knitted with Merino and Merino/Silk blend, making this very soft to the touch and drapey. Perfect to wear several ways, draped across your shoulders, or tucked around your neck.
$250..00 plus shipping (or we meet up locally)

Elegant wrap (3)

Are you looking for that special, elegant wrap for your holiday party? You know the one I mean, the one that gives your little black dress that final touch? This elegant wrap, in super soft Merino wool is just the ticket for that special evening. This lace wrap is a generous 35″ x 66″. $325 plus shipping (or we meet up locally)

Have you ever hugged a tree? (4)

Have you ever hugged a tree? How about a tree hugging you? This Tensel (silk) wrap will give you that hug. The fiber is made from the pulp of trees, that’s right, trees. I love that everything is used, and nothing is wasted. This silk wrap is approximately 26″ by 72″, warm and snuggly, yet still light enough to wear all year long. $325 plus shipping (or we meet up locally)

Details on the sale

“These” , were, of course, hand knitted by Ma while she works through different patterns, motifs, cables and more. These aren’t hand-me-downs, nor were they ever planned to be for sale. None of Ma’s work has been planned to be sold, other than a hand full of Baubles..
Neither of us are big on “selling” ourselves so trying to price without going in the hole, not easy for us… I know that you can’t find anything out there for the prices while getting not just the quality of yarn but more so; Ma’s art…. Keeping in mind that Ma made these for herself and just hadn’t used them yet as she, of course, has favorites ( yeah, those styles would be a Lot more spendy ) so with that in mind, you know they are going to have to be as close to flawless as possible…if she finds a flaw in something she is wearing I watch..for days.. as she tears whatever down and THEN remakes it.

These are all hand wash only; toss them in the washer and dryer and you’ll have a dandy Hair-net; no no no… Of course, Ma will add instructions along in the package.

Now on the whole “What’s the deal” portion… I’ll try, again just to make sure we are all on the same page: The price for each is that price, On top of the price will be the shipping to your address…

This is a “DRAW” of numbers on any shawl that more than one person is interested in..IE

If you are interested ( cause I think it’s fun, so, my fault ) I would put : Sold 23 shawl 1 …… Numbers between 1-100
So, please add your comments to this write up OR the follow up on this site on Nov 27th…
So, if you put “sold” down today and someone else does as well on the same shawl on the 27th…Whomever gets the closest number can buy it..That sounds weird maybe but I would rather not do “first come first serve” and I can’t imagine getting enough folk interested to do an actual lottery ticket, we’d lose way too much on it….and I really am not comfortable with the whole bidding thing either.. Drawing to buy just feels like a nice anticipation holiday thing rather than a Ninja last moment deal. Between Nov 27th and Nov 30th, I’ll grab a random, random number generator and see what it picks. We will contact whomever gets closest on any shawls, figure out the plan for them to get said shawl, and I’ll post on FB on the 30th who “won” the chance to buy whichever shawl(s)….

IF, you put your name on one quick quick but
decide later ( before the 26th) that you’d rather grab a different one ,you can always pull out from which ever ( add to or delete your comment here ), or keep your name on both and see how it goes.

.shrug I feel like I am beating a dead beet here , but if people think it is going one way, I want to be sure it it what I am thinking…derrrrrr. I really hope this goes well. If it turns out to be fun, Ma said she might make it an annual thing ..but, of course, only one a year after this one.

SO….one last time: IF you want to buy one of these, I need these things from you… You can respond at this site, my FB page or Zen Mountain Living FB page, or finally, though that is my least favorite way to do it.. emails have a tendency to not make it through. Any time between today and Nov 27th to put you on the list, and again I’ll run this one more time on the 27th..just so no one misses it.

A) On the 27th, or before..add a comment SOLD (plus) Which shawl ( obviously)

B) whatever number you decide on between 1-100…No number and someone else wants to buy it and they add a number, obviously; they win the chance to buy the shawl…

C) Just so you know, I don’t care who decides they want to buy the shawl(s) , those are the required things you would need to do.

D) a last note here…. IF Ma decides she wants to do this again, which I am not so sure she would, she would have to create the next shawl for that sale, so prices would be at LEAST $500 plus shipping, and probably higher as she would be designing, spinning and knitting, plus, Obviously, the cost of the fibers…Which would be months, not weeks, not days, and sure as hell not an episode on some dumbarse TV show.

Final Thoughts

Well, this is an interesting use of the “Sunday Post” but one of our friends; Thanks Lynne , suggested I put it up where folks she knew, outside my friends and family, could find it and contact us. Plus… Lots of pics to be drug around on FB. Of course this will be linked through both my FB acct and the Zen Mountain page along with Twitter , Tumblr and a couple others…Not that I expect any news from other than off the FB pages…

fresh washed shetland fleece

separating locks to flick

washed shetland neck wool, the best part of the sheep's wool for spinning fine yarn

running some wool through the drum carder to make a batt

wool batt made for spinning

nice and thin, perfect for lace

Remember, we are doing this for fun, not to get rich. Ma’s work is amazing and over the years people have been interested, so this is the one chance at a piece of her work and a step back to nostalgia as these are patterned after heirloom designs of individual regions . Ma follows very strict guidelines in what types of “patterns” cables, knots and over all designs were and still are used . Which is why you don’t see any gawdy bright greens and orange happy faces or whatever.

I hope you all enjoyed seeing these pieces, and my lengthy ” Be polite and get the reason behind why and what we are doing here, but ESPECIALLY the quality of the artwork Ma has created ” ramblings.

I sit here, going through hundreds of pics of Ma’s work, and every time I do, I get a lump in my throat at just what she has done since we have been together. To see how fast she learns something and not only puts it into her work, but when asked, she slips right into teaching mode and explains how to fix or prepare and more to folks without talking down to them or talking over their heads in jargon that makes your head spin… This is a big part of her and it has , so far, been AMAZING to watch and learn what I have gotten to sink in.

Watching the freezing fog outside my window and the below freezing temps out there. I wear layers of Ma’s work. Pants and shorts are the only articles that aren’t knitted by Ma… Going out there is soo much colder when I wear store bought items,,,, and come summer, I am still wearing Ma knitted clothes because as warm as wool is, it is also cool in the summer. So long as you take care of them and keep them out of the washer/dryer, they can be handed down to your greatest great great great grandkids…

and on that note, I hope you all have a jolly day and

welcome to

Just another day on Zen Mountain


Comments are closed.

Start a Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: