Friday, February 29, 2008


I got the sweetest thing in the mail last week...

wild mustard headband

A headband! From Raimbowtree!

wild mustard headband

I've spent a lot of time admiring her headbands online, but they are even more amazing in person. I love everything about it - the colors, the design, the lovely wooly texture, and the pretty needle felting & flowers.

Check out her etsy shop for more amazing felted headbands:

All of her designs are so beautiful!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I sorted through one of the big 15lb bags of mill ends, and I'm super happy with what I got. I thought it would be mostly little pieces, but I pulled out about 15 or so big 4 oz + solid pieces of top that I'm saving to dye up more self-striping yarns. I divided the rest up into 4 oz balls ready to dye for patchwork & novelty skeins. All the wool in the bags is my absolute favorite type of millend wool - really crimpy and crinkly looking until it's dyed, and then it spins up into a lovely lofty-soft yarn. Hurray! I can't wait to get started spinning it.

Yesterday I went to the thrift store with Jenny. Wednesday is half-off day, and it's usually crowded, but it was crazy yesterday. We got there about 10 minutes before the store opened on accident, and there was a LINE of people waiting. I wonder if it's always like that? I never went that early before. Anyway. After we were inside and started picking out clothes, we really had to keep an eye on our cart! At least two things were taken from our cart in the two seconds or so we weren't watching it. And Jenny actually confronted one lady who had pulled a skirt of hers from our cart and was modeling it for her friend. The lady just laughed and said she took it because no one was at our cart (we literally left the cart alone for maybe 30 seconds). Jenny told her she could keep the skirt. But it was weird. Especially since we had some personal belongings in the cart - like my purse/sidebag full of all my important stuff, our jackets, and my handspun & handknit hat. Jenny had a mohair sweater of hers that she took off and put in the cart because it was warm in the store, and a different lady grabbed it and started petting and talking about how nice it was. The people at that thrift store are often strange and in-your-face, but yesterday was the strangest yet!

We found a nice dyepot at the thrift store - I've been wanting one for ages! I left my last one at my mom's house in Milwaukee. Right now I dye in recycled glass jars for the most part, but we needed a pot for natural dyeing. We tried out some birch bark yesterday - according to miss Jenny Dean, the author of Wild Color, we should have been able to get a pale pink/purple. We actually got - off-white. Haha. It's a pretty off-white, though! A pale tan with a sort of peachy tone. Oh well. I have more promising naural dyestuff to work with: onion skins, burgundy henna, and turmeric. We also have some cherry bark that we gathered, but I'm skeptical about that one.

I meant to take pictures of the natural dye shenanigans yesterday, but I forgot. The story of my life!

P.S. Small shop update! I have a new patchwork yarn up:

bridges + balloons

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

wool delivery

35 lbs of mill ends

35 lbs of mill ends

I finally bought a "big bag" of mill ends - 30 lbs. Plus about 5lbs of other misc mill ends.

I'm not quite sure where to put all this...time to start spinning, I guess!

I'm doing some running around today, and then this weekend I'm meeting up with Molly + some other fibery etsians, so...I probably won't have much time for spinning until next week. I'll be listing some custom orders and one new patchwork early tomorrow evening.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm back! I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night, since we left NC late yesterday. I'm taking it slow, but trying to get some stuff done - mostly dyeing up fiber for custom orders. I don't feel like trying to take pictures yet, so I'll probably do a shop update tomorrow with some self-striping skeins and maybe a patchwork yarn.

NC was gorgeous and amazing, as usual. Here's a picture from one of our hikes:

north carolina

It's so green! Even in the middle of winter. Mostly thanks to the rhododendron, but there were other plants growing as well. I really really love and miss the mountains, even more now that I've been reminded how wonderful they are.

I got some candle-making supplies from Earth Guild, which I am excited about. I wasn't planning on buying beeswax there, since I know I can get it cheaper elsewhere, but it smelled SO GOOD that I ended up getting 2 pounds of it. I also got a TON of tea from the co-op & Amazing Savings. Like 6+ boxes, plus at least another 6 bulk blends. Amazing Savings happened to have an entire aisle of delicious organic tea blends for super cheap, so I stocked up. I've actually been regretting not buying more. We got a ton of food there as well.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Today is a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the birds are singing...and I'm going to North Carolina! Yessss.

I'm so very excited to visit all my old haunts in Asheville - #1 on my list is, of course, Earth Guild! Oh, the memories. Earth Guild is the store where I bought my very first (and only) drop spindle and my first wool & acid dyes as well. And they have EVERYTHING. Mostly. I'm going to check out their fibers and see if I can find some fun sparkles or something. They used to have raw llama fiber and other interesting bits. I also want to get some candlemaking supplies, since I'm on a big petroleum-free candle kick. And I want to get some scrap leather for the soles on a pair of felt slippers I want to make. What else. I'll probably come back with like half the store.

#2 is the French Broad Food Co-op & Amazing Savings. The Co-op has this big wall of herbs, the best selection I've ever seen. I want to stock up on tea blends & herbs - I need spinning fuel! Amazing Savings is - I don't even know how to describe it. Here's a little blurb about it I found online: "One of Asheville's best kept secrets. Organic and natural foods at 50% to 80% off because they are either almost out of date or they are out of date or just overstocked." Some of our scores at this store in the past included: 30 lbs of organic prunes (for $10!), 25 lbs of raw cashews (free), 50 lbs of whole wheat flour (free), 25 lbs of organic blueberry granola ($25), and 200 lbs of organic refined-sugar-free peanut butter chips (FREE). All the "free" stuff is free because they were throwing it out. They have so much food, they're always throwing stuff out. We used to go pick the big unopened boxes of food out of the dumpster, and they would sometimes leave boxes of organic produce outside of the dumpster for us to pick through. One time I got enough organic apples to brew 3 gallons of apple-mint mead + I dried a ton to take hiking. Just...don't get me started on Amazing Savings.

#3 is the recycling center behind Earth Fare. Yes, it's an odd place to want to go, but you can find so much great stuff there. Although we're usually the only people carrying stuff AWAY from the recycling center...everyone else is dropping stuff off. I want to look for glass gallon jugs for brewing & glass baby food jars or something similar for candlemaking & homemade salves. And occasionally you can find fancy things like blue glass wine bottles that you can use to bottle your own wine/mead/whatever.

#4 is the brewing supply store, which I forgot the name of. I need some airlocks to go with the glass gallon jugs. Homebrew, here I come!

But mostly, I'll probably be out in the woods, climbing mountains and so on.

See you guys when I get back! (Probably around Thursday or so).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Blood, Sweat & Wool

This little video makes me so happy.

I do have a pair of hand shears...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Customer Appreciation #2

There have been more things made from my yarn popping up on etsy recently - here are a few of my favorites. You can click on the pictures to go to the etsy listing for each one.

Remember my crazy post-apocalyptic zombie yarn, All That Remains? This is what became of it - a gorgeous cowl! I'm half-tempted to buy it myself. I'm trying not to think about it too much! I will be jealous of whoever ends up with this one. This was made by SandAndSkyCreations.

This pretty wrap collar was made by CharteChic from my falkland/soysilk Hot Cocoa yarn (with marshmallowy baubles!). I like the design of this - I've been in love with the versatility of rectangles + shawl pins lately.

This is another of Raimbowtree's felted headbands made from my self-striping yarn. This one already sold, but there's another one for sale here. I'm a big fan of the tree applique! Make sure to check out the rest of her shop as well - all her headbands are so gorgeous!

Just Another Day at the Yarn Factory...

bobbin forest

Guess who spun up three new patchwork yarns today? I'll be putting them up tomorrow (although two are reserved right now). It'll most likely be the last update for a little while, since I'm leaving for NC on Sunday or Monday.

Has everyone seen the new Etsy t-shirt available in the EtsyLabs shop?

I bought one - I had to! It not only has yarn on it, but it's my favorite color too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The shop update is finished. But there's only one skein left (geez), so run on over there if you want it!

I got much less done today than I wanted to (as in, I spun most of one skein of patchwork yarn), so I'm going to try to get some late night spinning done and have at least two skeins to show tomorrow.

Also, I got the new pluckyfluff book - a bit bittersweet, as my yarn was supposed to be in it but got lost behind my desk & didn't get sent out. Oh well! The book is so super amazing, so I wasn't sad for long. I've been reading all the spinner's reviews on this book while waiting for it to arrive - which all pretty much say "this book is so super amazing!" - but, well, it's true.


That dye draught really threw me off! I had to treadle my heart out yesterday to have something to put in the shop today, and I still only finished 3 patchwork skeins. Here they are:

new patchworks

The one on the top is my favorite from this batch - and I'll be spinning up another identical skein of that one today. The light is horrible for taking pictures today (it's really really overcast), but I'm still going to try to get semi-decent ones.

I've been enjoying my brand new batch of dyes, and I still haven't worked my way through all the fiber I dyed up on Friday & Saturday:

patchwork fiber

So...I plan on spinning at least 2 more patchwork yarns today, and hopefully at least one novelty skein as well. Which means I should have another shop update tomorrow! I'm trying to spin as much as possible this week, because next week I might be taking a trip down to NC to visit friends & hang out in the woods for a few days.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Those dang dyes finally arrived. So I'm dyeing up a storm today, and hope to be able to replenish my shop sometime early next week! It looks like there's going to be a avalanche of new patchwork yarns fresh off the wheel soon.