Smitten The Pippi Pie

Smitten, our beautiful and sweet Pippi, died last Monday, October 21st, 2013. Our hearts are sad and heavy, and we miss her in a million ways. Looking back through our photos of her, I found so many images that demonstrate how much her life with us was shaped by my fiber-related pursuits, and by the book-binding experiments of both Matthew and myself.

She fit into our lives so perfectly. She loved to be near us while we were working, and always seemed to find a way to make a project into a comfy bed or an exciting game. Since I started this blog, I have included many cute photos of her. In this post I tried to avoid duplicates and to dig back a little further into our lives together (there are a couple repeats, though, that I couldn’t resist). Here is a glimpse of the life of the Pippi as fiber-cat:

This one is from 2000 or 2001. It’s one of our oldest photos of her, when she was a tiny kitten. She is stretching in front of my spinning wheel (a recent gift from my mother and my Aunt Peggy).smitten kitten

Another early one of Smitten excited by the possibilities of milkweed bast fiber.

smitten and milkweed

Here are a couple images of Smitten enjoying the process of carding, and the nice soft batts it yielded (naturally dyed, of course):



smitten -greenwoolbasket5


smitten with hand carders


Smitten agrees that alpaca deserves its reputation as a luxury fiber. This fiber was a gift from my sister Simone, and the handspun yarn eventually made its way into a dense but striking shadow weave scarf for my other sister, Denise.

Smitten with alpaca

Here are a few of her resting amid the book-binding tools and general clutter of our work-spaces. She made everything seem serene:

Pippi amid tools

Pippi and ruler

messy crafts room

This tapestry loom makes a nice canopy.

tapestry nap

Or an exciting hiding place?

Pippi is wild about tapestry

Pippi shared my excitement about flax and flax retting tanks!

Pippi and broken flax



She did not share my excitement about fiber and crafts magazines.

magazine yawn

She loved to help me wind skeins into balls…

Pippi with woad skein


And to inspect my book covers.

Pippi with book cover

And to help the madder roots dry out.

smitten on madder

She guarded the extra heddles when I left them on the bed…

Pippi with heddles

Smitten protected the warps I left lying around.

mohair warp


smitten mohair warp

And she was supportive of my color choices.

new rya plans

What shall I do without her?