An Interview with Teresa from ‘Lilee’s Gram Knits’

Welcome to the worldwide blog hop tour, that introduces you to creative people from all corners of the globe.

Every week, our hosts on each continent will introduce you to someone new whose creativity is inspiring! Come take this worldwide tour with us!

You can visit each host below and read about a featured creative person on each continent! All interviews are posted simultaneously around the world, resulting in one big crafting party. And then, add your blog to the Blog Hop party below. You could be featured in the next Around the World Interview! Fame. Notoriety. Pure Awesomeness! It’s all in the touch of a keyboard button…

Jill in Australasia
Suzy in the Americas
Suzy in the Americas
Divya in Asia
DIvya in Asia
Larissa in Australasia
Charlene in the Americas
Charlene in the Americas

Our Guest this week is from Oregon, USA!

Today, we are interviewing Teresa from Lilee’s Gram Knits.  Teresa specializes in creating spun wool, and hand-dyed yarn.  While I’m not a spinner, I certainly never rule any crafty venture out, so it is quite possible you will see me spinning on this blog one day.  In the meantime, we will just have to live vicariously through Teresa.

I sent Steadman to go pick her up from the airport. Ever since Oprah’s show ended, he has been living in my Green Room. He came in on the last shipment of furniture from Oprah’s set and never left. While he is very quiet and all, my buddy Tom Selleck, his mustache and I are a little wary around him. We really aren’t sure why he is here.

It’s possible that Oprah sent him to keep an eye on my Green Room guests. Oprah was always one to keep her finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry.  And since the studios of Suzy’s Artsy Craftsy Sitcom are always full of excitement, I’m thinking that maybe she wants in on the action.

So when Tom pointed out that Steadman had a very keen interest in him and his buddies William Shatner, and David Hasselhoff when they showed up last night for poker, I thought I’d better start keeping an eye on him. You know, it’s possible that he just wants a little male bonding, but I did notice one of those clear earpieces in his ear with a little curly cord that goes down his shirt. And he never takes off his sunglasses.

And here he is with Teresa! So lets take a few moments and sit down for an interview while my buddy Tom, his mustache and Steadman straighten up the Green Room. Four guys playing poker can sure make a mess. When it came time to clean up, Bill said he needed to handle some important Priceline stuff and left, followed very shortly by David who mumbled something about reality shows and potential fans and isn’t that an interesting thing behind you? And when we turned around, he was gone, leaving just me, Tom and the mustache to clean up. (Steadman was in the closet talking to his wrist watch).

Suzy: So, tell me a little about yourself, your family, your other hobbies…
Teresa: I am a Wife, Mom, Gramma, Auntie and Great Auntie.  My husband and I have been together almost 20 years, we have several pets…lol…7 cats and 2 dogs, to be exact.  So there is always something going on around here.  I have a 9 year old Granddaughter named Lilee that is the light of my life.  As for other hobbies…my fiber business is more than just a business, it started out as my hobby and I still enjoy doing all of it from washing fleeces to knitting items.

Suzy: When did you start blogging, and where would you like your blogging to take you?
Teresa: I started blogging several years ago.  I thought it would be a good way to kind of chronicle what was going on in my life.  I was never very consistant about it and a few years later I completely stopped blogging.  When I got the opportunity to try to make something of this fiber hobby of mine, I figured I really needed to ressurect my blog.  So I have dusted it off and decided that I would blog to help others as well as myself. 

Teresa: It now revolves more around my Etsy shop and helping others get their products shared.  I will still be throwing in personal stuff as time goes on.  I hope to hone my writing skills and get better at talking about myself and finding interesting things to share.

Suzy: Can you tell us a few things that most folks don’t know about you?
Teresa:  Hmm…that’s a tough one….I come across as someone who always speaks her mind and isn’t afraid of anything, But, inside I am always worried that I don’t know when to shut up!

Suzy: Your shop has an amazing variety of spun wool.  Can you give us a brief description of the process?
Teresa: Some of the wool comes ready to spin, and I just spin it and get it ready to sell.  Some come to me in fleeces, straight off the sheep, and they smell like it too!  Luckily for me, my husband grew up on the farm and he doesn’t mind the smell.  I wash one fleece at a time.  The first wash is with very hot water and Dawn dish detergent.  It must sit for only about 1/2 hour, or if the water cools, the lanolin can redeposit on the fleece.  I use my washing machine, so after 20 min I spin out the water, remove the fleece, fill the tub with warm water and let the fleece soak.  The longer it sits, the more of the dirt falls out.  After at least and hour I repeat the same process.

Teresa: I then spin it out very well and place on a drying rack to dry. I either dye part of the fleece when it is still wet, or I let it dry and it gets stored in clean large trash bags until it either gets shipped off to get processed into roving or I dye it.  I use acid dyes to dye the wool before I prepare it for spinning.  I have a large turkey roaster that I place water, dye and the fleece in.  It is then heated and then turned off and allowed to sit until it is cool.  After it is cooled, it gets a rinse in the machine and then is put on drying racks to dry.

Teresa: Once the dyed fleece is dry, I use a hand card to flick open the wool, and then I use my drum carder to make batts with the wool.  It usually takes 3 or 4 passes through the drum carder. I will either leave the fibers in batt form, or I will further process it with my hackle and comb to make hand combed top.  The hand combed top is my favorite to spin from, because the fibers are so nicely lined up.

Suzy: This blog community is full of wonderful folks.  Can you tell me what blogs inspire you?
Teresa: Here are a few of the ones I read everyday: Letters of Note, Cakewrecks, List of the Day , Dooce, The Pioneer Woman. They vary from a blog about old letters from interesting people, usually famous, from the past, to a woman who lives in the country, started blogging about cooking and her family and now even has a tv show of her own. I love reading blogs, it is like a little peak into others peoples lives without all drama of your own family.

Suzy: Please take a moment to check out the beautiful wool, yarns and knitting accessories that Teresa has to offer in her Etsy shop, Lilee’s Gram Knits.  She also has a great blog called Lilee’s Gram Knits, where she not only features items from her shop, but features other artists on Tuesdays and Fridays.  I love it when I see artists supporting artists.

And now we best get back in the Green Room. Apparently, Tom caught Steadman digging through my National Enquirer collection and stashing some of my classics in his briefcase. Ya know, I get really tired of everyone making fun of me for buying that magazine. I haven’t had a cashier check me out yet that hasn’t stopped in the middle of ringing things up to see who has the hottest bikini body this season. And who doesn’t.

Everyone is a closet Enquirer reader. Admit it, I say!

Tom says you can’t not watch a train wreck.

Steadman mumbled something into his shoe phone.

I think I need a vacation.

Would you like the chance to be interviewed on The Sitcom?  Would you love to meet other great artists and crafters from all over the world?  Then be sure to link up you blog to the International Blog Hop!