Monday, December 22, 2008
If you asked me last year if I had ever considered spinning yarn, I probably would've cocked my head to the side and said "Like with a spinning wheel?!?" I used to be able to bust out a wire pendant in just a few minutes. It was fun to sit down with a hunk of silver and an hour later have 5-10 pendants to show for it. This spinning yarn thing though, it is so different. I have always been one to find the most efficient way to do things. Working with wool has taught me to be patient. From the very first opening of the bag of fluffy wool, to the needles or a photo shoot for my Etsy shop, it's a journey.
There are so many steps involved in creating yarn. The dyeing process has taught me to let go of my "plan" that I usually have for everything. Some wools take dye differently, some dyes don't end up like I expected, some days the city water has been treated and I end up with pastel mania. Once they are hung to dry in the Texas sun, they often surprise me. I can't even explain how exciting it is to have a fresh batch of dyed roving drying. This is where the patience comes in. I will admit, some rovings peek my curiosity so much I have spun them while they are still the slightest bit damp. For most of them though, I must wait until they dry. Very few have ended up like I actually picture them. It is amazing the transformation that takes place as the colors twist and blend together in the spinning process. There is absolutely no way that any machine could ever produce the effect of handspun yarn.
The options that you have when you start to spin are practically endless. From super thin to super bulky and everything in between. Some fibers pretty much tell you how they want to be spun. You can go into it thinking, I will spin this into a bulky yarn, then the fiber says no. Some want to be thick and thin. You never really know until you get going. I like to experiment. Actually, not having been taught how to spin in the first place, this whole venture was an experiment!
My handspun yarn was the first handspun I had ever worked with. I received my wheel in pieces in the mail in March of this year and still remember the excitement as I was putting it together. I felt like I was about to conquer something I knew little about. I had a box full of wool and I just went for it! There were so many variables: tension, fiber, distance, speed, technique (of which I had none!) I don't remember a definitive moment when it clicked, it was a gradual process. I do remember the first time I realized the thing I had just created could pass for yarn! It was still a few weeks before I decided to use some of my handspun to crochet with. It was a purple and pink blend and I had just enough of it to make a coffee cup sleeve. This was before I had learned to knit. Well I had attempted knitting but it was still dangerous to be in the vicinity when I had two pointy sticks and so much frustration from not really knowing what I was doing! The experience to create something out of a supply that I created from a pile of fluff was nothing short of amazing.
I still enjoy experimenting. In fact almost every skein I spin still teaches me a little something. I see other fiber artists work and I think "I can do that." I have gone from spinning uncontrollable thick and thin yarns to all sorts of (now I can actually call them this) techniques. Consistently spun, super thin, super thick, slubs, art yarn (which was a challenge for me and my symmetrical self), coils and others.
My very favorite part about spinning though...sharing it with others. Every skein I send off is exciting. I mean who really ever knows what it will become? There are so many possibilities when you create a "supply." I create so others can create, gotta love it!
Now my knitting skills have improved. I am happy to say it is no longer dangerous to be in my presence with two pointy sticks. In fact, this year, I knit a bunch of my family's gifts. I was a joy to do and I can't wait to gift them!
Have a happy holiday everyone and I hope your hearts will be full of joy. Each and every one of us has so much to be thankful for.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Pretty isn't it?
Tonight is chilly and I have to stay up to get the last bit of laundry done. I had a major decision earlier between hot tea and some Cabernet. The Cabernet won. Seems like a cozy thing to have on a blustery night. So cheers!
OH! I recently celebrated my 200th sale on Etsy! When I first started and wasn't sure how I was going to do, I set a goal first of 45 sales. I put a note on my vision board. This was back in February. I hit that goal and when I noticed my little note on the board, I was already at 52 sales. I took it down and made a new one for 65. Between spinning, kiddo and life, I hadn't glanced up there for a while. Once I did, I was right at 100 sales. I started to get a new slip of paper to write my goal on, then I had a better idea. So I grabbed my pen and drew a "1" in front of the 65! So obviously with my 200th sale just passed, I needed a new goal. I made a "2" out of the "1" and have been working hard to keep my shop stocked! I am looking forward to folks holiday shopping on Etsy. This will be my first holiday season actually selling.
Alright, laundry, bunny fur and another glass of wine!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Please feel free to leave your comments! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I have been wanting to experiment with some different fibers lately. Two of the ones I wanted to try I ran across today so I ordered them. I found a hemp and also a banana fiber. All of the banana fiber yarn I see is handspun already, it is just available to dye. I came across some actual loose fiber so I snatched it up! I am wondering if the hemp is going to be similar to the cotton. Anyway, looking forward to working with both! They are both undyed and just the natural color so I will have to dye them first, or maybe not, we'll see.
I finally ordered some Firestar and let me tell you, it is so fun and so sparkly! At first I had a hard time drafting it but then I kind of got in the groove and it adds such a neat dimension.
I don't think I have mentioned before how much fun it is to be a part of Etsy. I absolutely love being able to connect with people from all over the world. So far I have sent to many of the United States of America, Finland, Scotland, Portugal, Madrid, Australia, Canada and I have a customer that informed me that some of the yarn she bought was going to be travelling with her to Namibia Africa! I need to get a big wall map of the world so I can start putting pins to the places I have sent to. It would also be fun for the kiddo I am sure. Not the pin part, LOL, the map part.
Okay so this perhaps is my most random post ever. Sometimes I am just not sure what to write here! I ran into a lovely lady I know today at the store who mentioned that she had not seen me keeping up with my blog lately. So thank you for getting me back in here! I often forget how much fun it is to collect my thoughts here.
Until next time!
Friday, August 29, 2008
The one little girl asked "Can we get one?"
The mom said "Three dollars each and three kids? That adds up. No guys we are just getting the movies now put them back please." None of them fussed.
She paid for her movies and was gathering her stuff. It was now that I looked past the big bright eyes and giggling face of the youngest girl and realized that quite a bit of her long blonde hair was missing.
The couple behind her in line had been watching and smiling at the kiddos. At one point one of them even said "You've got your hands full!" The mother had smiled back at her, kind of rolling her eyes.
As the mom was gathering the kiddos and heading out, one of the girls from the couple handed me three of the spinning light things and said "Can you kinda hurry with these?"
I rang them up and handed them to the other girl and she gave them to each of the kiddos. They simultaneously thanked her happily. I almost forgot to finish ringing them up and even now tears come to my eyes as I write. What a beautiful thing to be able to witness the kind, open, caring and thoughtfulness of human beings. I told the couple how much fun it was for me to be able to witness that and the one just said "Well she had her hands full."
I love it. I am happy that I was there to witness it and I realize that the beauty of the human spirit is everywhere. I will be more aware, I hope you will too. :)
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Then this morning he wakes up chipper and ready for the day! Like nothing ever happened! Like we hadn't been up ALL night long!
I find some coffee beans in the cupboard and decide I pretty much have to pretend it didn't happen either. Grind them up brew them, have a sip head out for a ton of errands.
It is raining today so we "get" to use the umbrellas.
Okay, for me I think "Let's just run and do it fast and get home out of the rain."
Kiddo thinks (probably in a song) "We get to use umbrellas! We get to use umbrellas!"
So it ends up taking much longer to run already long errands. He does however let everyone know that we are carrying umbrellas.
Come home....errands done....ahhhhhhh
This then was continued phone call mania, pretty much back to back calls.
Then, at last, it is quiet. The sofa, just for a minute. Okay maybe five minutes.
You know that point when you are just about to fall into deep sleep and everything sounds like 20 times louder than normal? RING
My Mom, okay "Hey Mom, I'm trying to take a super quick nap, can I call you later?"
"Well Dad and I were going to stop by really quick..."
I gave up, I got kiddo dressed. Flung my hair into a presentable bun mess and here I am.
They did just stop by for a second. It is SO cute to see kiddo with them. I know after having two girls himself, that my Dad really gets a kick out of him. And my Mom, well, if I didn't know better, I would try to find the umbilical cord that attaches HER and kiddo together.
Anyway, I just thought I would share a little sunshine from my day. OH, I forgot to mention, I get to go to work tonight too at the book store. Lovely right? They may very well find me curled up with one in one of the comfy chairs. Hmmmm..... or possibly over in the cafe doing espresso shots.
Oh, I almost forgot! Yarn....
Below is Twisted Experiment #2...
This is one called FuN HoUsE that I already sold that was GORGEOUS...
This group is my Twisted Trifecta, I cannot believe it hasn't sold yet! I may just have to make a scarf out of them and steal them from my shop one of these days...
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Then...the first day of school. The way the rooms smelled. Deciding where to sit.
I guess I moved around alot as a kid. I went to like 9 different schools in 4 different states. I always liked the chance to reinvent myself. It also made me very "adaptable" LOL. Often times I would be going in to a completely new school full of kids I had never seen. I always "planned" to be the quiet girl in class. It never really ended up that way though. The desire to make new friends and make people laugh always took over. I was certainly not the class clown or anything.
It seemed like I was always friends with people from all of the different cliques. My wardrode sure showed it too! Oh my..... From Polo shirts and big silver hoop earrings one year, to Z Cavariccis and mile high bangs, to black hair and long dark clothes the next year, to heavy metal t-shirts and jeans, to tie dye shirts, to corduroy vintage pants and vintage flowing tops, I am sure I am forgetting some of them in there.
Looking back, I seem to remember all of the good, fun stuff first. When you are going through it, it is all confusing though. The searching and trying to figure out who you are. Living up to who people think you are. Settling in to where you feel you belong, only to realize you don't.
Yeah, there is no amount of money that could make me go back and do it again. Although, I absolutely would not change one thing about my experience. It was mine and it is part of why I am who I am today. I am happy!
Unless of course someone were to tempt me with new school supplies...
"Isn't this blog supposed to be about yarn?"
Ahhhhh yes.... here you go!
And my inspiration...
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Seriously, seriously, not kidding, I feel AMAZING. Everything in the book made such sense to me. I mean why not? I then found out about her other book Life Force Energy. OMG. Okay, it is like Law of Attraction meets Food. The best thing is, she is real. Like, she is human, not this superhuman "this is the only way you can ever do anything for the rest of your life" OR "after 30 days on this you will be a rockstar" sort of thing. She is a Mom, she is educated, she is gorgeous, amusing and apparently my new best friend (she doesn't know this yet LOL). The Big Red Barn opens tomorrow because it is Wednesday (our version of super duper small town farmers market) and I am planning on stocking up. I actually finally bought those Debbie Meyer Green Bags but have been eating SO many fresh fruits and veggies, nothing has a chance to go funky!
I found a lovely little shop on Etsy called SugarPlumVegan.etsy.com ( http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5703722 ) I ordered some Raw Vegan Organic MACA-Roons & some Heirloom Tomato Basil Flax Crackers. I can't wait to get them in the mail!!!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Some of my yarn was recently featured on another blog http://bonghinatura.blogspot.com/
Bonghi Natura offers a wide variety of amazing soaps. They look delicious but the way they make your skin feel is even more amazing! I ordered a ton of stuff to give as gifts. (If I ever actually let them leave my possession that is)
Thanks for stopping by! Check back in soon and until then, check out my Etsy shop! It is fully stocked with amazing fiber fabulousness!!! http://simplytwisted.etsy.com