Thursday, December 23, 2010

10% Off on Boxing Day!

We're happy to announce that you'll get 10% off your whole order when ordering on Boxing Day (26th of December) and entering this coupon code:

We'd like to thank all our customers for a wonderful Etsy year! We are as happy about our new customers as we are about our faithful, ever returning customers. We are delighted about the pictures of the things you've made from our yarns, we love seeing what you've made, and we love sharing the pictures on our blog. And we'd also like to thank our blog readers for following us, and our fans for supporting us on Facebook - and all the Etsians who featured us in their treasuries for doing exactly that. This was a good year. Thank you all!

Merry Christmas! :-)

More Things Made from Art Yarn

Two of our customers have made more wonderful things from our yarns and we are very happy to be able to share them with all of you :-)

Our "Paca ate the Flowers" became "Paca's Scarf":

Look how wonderfully the texture with all its bits and coils has turned out in the knitted piece:

The scarf was made by Softailstitches (Ravelry link), and the yarn was spun by me - this was it:

 Our "Cashmere Rose" was crocheted into this beauty here:

Isn't the texture beautiful?
This scarf was made by MagdaleneKnits - and is still available in her Etsy shop, by the way ;-)
Here's a picture of the yarn, which was spun by Twisted:

Thank you, both of you, for allowing us to share your pictures and links! :-)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let the Festivities Begin!

I've already blogged about some Christmas/Winter yarns I've spun, and I am happy to say they've all made it into the shop now. I've also been busy spinning more yarns and making gift sets, each containing one yarn with matching stitch markers and bag. These items have all been hand made by myself, of course :-)

These gift sets will make a perfect Christmas present for the special knitter in your life - whether that's yourself or someone you love ;-) If you want some of our yarns and/or gift sets in time for Christmas, be quick! Usually, shipping overseas takes about 7 to 10 days, so there's still a good chance of receiving your parcel in time for Christmas if you order right away.

Christmas Opulence

Merino wool of different kinds of blue, stunning facetted bohemian glass beads with silvering, and TINSEL! Knit this into something funky, opulent and elegant!

Winter Star (gift set)

 Pure Alpaca fibre, spun into a beautiful, soft yarn of light fingering weight. It drapes wonderfullly and has a lovely halo. The bag is made from commercially embroidered taffeta, the cord is decorated with a handmade pendant of a white freshwater pearl on one end and a silver snowflake charm on the other end. The stitch markers are made from silvery-peacock freshwater pearls and tiny silver seed beads. 
The lighting of the first picture is nice, but the colours are not accurate - they are actually silvery-grey (bag) and grey (yarn), as you can see in the second picture.

 Red Roses (gift set)

Hand blended merino wool of burgundy red, linen of burgundy and bright red, white bamboo flocks and sparkling red angelina were spun into a wonderfully textured yarn. The bag is made from commercially embroidered tafetta and the cord is decorated with a silver charm on one end, and a handmade pendant of one facetted garnet and two bohemian glass beads on the other end. The stitch markers contain one blood red biconic glass bead and two small black bohemian glass beads each.

I'd really love to spin more winter and Christmas yarns, but I have a lot of stuff to do for University right now, so that has to come first - except for any orders during the next few days, which will be shipped immediately, of course :-) And I do hope to find the time for another blog post soon, as there are two items I'd like to show you - made from our art yarns by our customers :-)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Prague, Loot, and a Foto Tent

I'm back from a few wonderful days in Prague - very cold, very snowy, and very relaxing because we spent a lot of time in Cafés and Restaurants  ;-) I'd like to share my favourites with you:

Coffee Lovers (Kaprova 9)
good coffee, wonderful cake, kind of cozy/stylish/shabby, free wi-fi, nice place to spend an afternoon reading, knitting, surfing, playing games on various modern cell phones and the like ;-)

Pizza Nuovo (Revoluční 1)
fantastic antipasti buffet! And several all you can eat options, great food, fantastic service. We went there twice and would have done so again if we had had more days in Prague.

Taverna Pepino (Jugoslávská 11)
fantastic food, good service, located in a vaulted old cellar.

But apart from all the eating and drinking we did see some parts of the town ;-) We went to Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square, climbed the tower of the Old Town Hall, saw the Municipal House and the Powder Gate from the outside, went to the museum (terrible archaeological collection - they really need to revise that, it looks like it's been like this for eighty years or so and I've only started to talk about the presentation, not yet the "facts" they convey) and walked around the Jewish Quarter. Let me share some pictures with you :-)

On our way from the Jewish Quarter to Charles Bridge which you can already see in the distance

Charles Bridge Gate, and Prague Castle, far far away on the other side

on Charles Bridge

 the Spanish Synagogue

 looking down at the Christmas market (from the tower of the Old Town Hall)

The Church of our Lady before Tyn, photographed through pillars on the tower

 Museum Station - what does it remind you of? Any Dr. Who lovers here? ;-)

I also started knitting the scarf I already blogged about - and I frogged it several times because I am always too lazy for swatching, but I think I got it right now. I had meant to take a photo, but I forgot after photographing all kinds of other things. Such as the Czech glass beads I bought in Prague - aren't they beautiful? :-)

They are not exactly lower in price than when I buy them on Ebay, but I really wanted to take some nice things home with me, and it's always good to be able to touch what you're buying I think.

I've been very frustrated with the absence of light recently, as I might have mentioned. It's just not possible to take good photos - so I ordered a photo tent.

I am still trying it out (and I had to buy sufficient lighting first) but I am not really sure it's such a wonderful thing, really. But let me use it a while and try editing the photos a little, and then I'll tell you if it's the better option compared to putting the yarn out in the rain to catch a little bit of daylight ;-)

As for other news, I've been very busy last night and today - I listed some of the yarns I've already posted here on the blog, I've spun two new ones, and I am currently planning some more things. Keep in touch and find out! :-)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Art Yarn - and Interim Result of the Year End Spinning Challenge

Finally I found the time for a blog post - I've been quite busy working and writing my thesis, the usual ;-) But luckily, I also found a little time for spinning here and there, and I really needed that for balance...

I've spun a yarn which I will knit into a broad scarf, and which I will then trade for gorgeous bath bombs, shower melts and/or other wellness stuff handmade by the wonderful goodgirl :-)
(The pictures are crappy, but it just isn't possible for me to take good ones, so these will have to do)

 Preparing, getting all the things together:

The first skein of yarn - I love the colours and the texture, and even the flowers although they're light pink ;-) I think the go well with the black. I also added tons of sparkling angelina, as well as the beads and sequins from the picture above.

... but there's more: I have spun two and a half skeins of this wonderful yarn, hopefully enough for a scarf measuring 1,75 * 0,25 m
The total of these three skeins is 346 m, 349 g!

I also wanted to take a photo of all the yarns I've spun for the challenge so far - but I forgot two and added one. So, here's the photo, but the third from the right is technically not part of the challenge, and there should be two more. I also calculated the sum of yardage and weight of all the yarns I spun in November:

1208 m,  893 g - not too bad, but I bet there are many people who managed more than that ;-)

My wonderful husband and I will be going to Prague tomorrow, so I won't be able to ship any yarn orders - but you're still welcome to order, and I will ship your yarns after my return :-) Have a wonderful week, I'll be back on the 6th or 7th.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snowball Fight

Here's another challenge art yarn I took great pleasure in spinning :-) My hands felt sore after felting the snow balls, but I still think it was worth it!

There are many snowflakey/flowery sequins, too - and glittery angelina, and silver thread.

I've also spun another yarn today, but it needs to dry before I can take photos. Also, the weather is quite bad at the moment and it's difficult to catch enough light for photos...

Sunday, November 14, 2010


 Some of our yarns are featured in Crochet Uncut - we're so happy :-)
There should also be another feature in a different magazine, or at least we were promised to be featured and to receive a copy of the magazine itself - but we haven't received it yet and we don't know if we're REALLY featured, so I will postpone telling you about it.I hope it'll be happy news...

We're also very happy to show you what a good customer of ours made from one of our art yarns:

Please click here for more information about the neck piece :-)
Isn't it beautiful?

By the way, this was the yarn it was made from:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sea-Spray and Ice Flowers

I've managed to spin two more challenge yarns during the last few days :-) One will go to the shop (hopefully soon...), the other one will become part of my ocean shawl.
I really have to count the weight and yardage of my challenge yarns before there are too many. A counter would be great, maybe there is even a kind of application or plugin for that kind of thing where I can add information as I spin? I'll try to find out.

Ice Flowers


I have also participated in another challenge: Today I found a message on our Etsy account informing us one of our yarn was part of a treasury. Well, that's always news we love to hear :-) But this time, the treasury was part of the Non Team Treasury Challenge, which I hadn't heard of before, and which couldn't resist *g* So I made this treasury:

I think the non team challenge is a great idea, it's uncomplicated and so much fun! And whoever wins gets to be the inspiration for the next challenge, since every one of these treasuries is created around one inspiration item. That's thrilling! :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Coffee House

I finished another Year End Spinning Challenge yarn yesterday evening. I thought about naming it "Victorian Coffee Table", but right now I think "Coffee House" is a better option. It might be "The Grand Café" in the end (the building hosting the first coffee house in England - which I've just found out on Wikipedia ;-)), or something completely different. But it's good to know that there ARE so many options, since I like the colour combo and might want to spin some more coffee related yarns ;-)

I have also carded two batts, one of which I will spin into a yarn for my Ocean Shawl. So, hopefully there will be more yarn pictures soon :-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Year End Spinning Challenge 2010

A few days ago, I was invited to join a spinning challenge on Ravelry. Let me quote the rules:

From November 1st until the last Day of the Year (December 31st) spin as much yarn as you want to! It’s that easy :-) You’ve got 61 days to put a dent in that multiplying stash of yours!

There will be prize categories and if you want to donate a prize, feel free!

I think that sounds wonderful, thank you for the invite, Kat! :-)

I already spun my first challenge yarn, and I even tried to take a photo of the process:

150m/82 g

I will try to update my process on the blog and the Ravelry forum, but spinning is more important, of course ;-) I also spun about 60 m of test yarn for a potential project I might write about some other time.

That's What I Call Service

A few weeks ago, my niddynoddy broke. I am ashamed to say it was probably my fault: since I was used to my self-made niddynoddy which I had bound and glued together, and which is therefore flexible, I usually take the yarn right off any niddynoddy I use at the given time. The niddynoddy I ordered on etsy is kind of screwed together, though, and it couldn't hold the tension. It creaked a few times, and then one of the two "arms" broke.

I wrote to The Spinner's Emporium, where I had bought the niddynoddy in question. I explained about what had happened and asked them whether it would be possible for them to make a replacement for the broken part. And guess what? They not only made a replacement, they didn't even charge me! Not even for shipping. I explained it was probably my fault, but they seemed to think it was valuable information, so I didn't have to pay anything. They were so nice and helpful, I am still thrilled. And the replacement piece arrived a few days ago and it fits and I am happy :-)

Now, here is some advice:

1. if you use a niddynoddy, don't take the yarn off right away, but do the following first: push the yarn on one "arm" to the middle of the niddynoddy, and then take off the part of the yarn that's on the opposite arm. That way you'll relax the tension a little before pulling the yarn off.

2. if you want a beautiful, handmade niddynoddy, AND wonderful service, go to The Spinner's Emporium and order one - they are great! Thank you so much, Paul and Dody!

3. don't think there is nothing to be done if one of your beloved tools breaks - just ask whoever might be able to help you (if possible, the person who made the tool)! I say this because what I thought first was: I'll have to send the niddynoddy back so they can make a replacement piece, it will cost lots of shipping fees, and I will have to pay for the replacement, and more shipping fees. For a while, I really thought about throwing it away and pouting ;-) But sometimes, whoever makes the replacement won't need the piece that broke, so getting a replacement piece is easier than you'd think. So asking about your options is always a good choice.

Well, having given out advice without having been asked, I'll shut up now ;-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Long Time No Write

The last few weeks have been terribly busy and I haven't spun any yarns since my last blog post. What I did do, however, was trying a new craft - at least new to me. I had previously thought about ordering a mobile cozy for my new phone (if I haven't already told you, it's a Samsung Galaxy S and I am absolutely in love with it ;-)) and then decided I wanted to try embroidering one myself. I bought some wonderful wool fabric which looks and feels a little like felt, and which I stumbled upon by accident while I was looking for something else. So, I also looked for some embroidery thread and some helpful books, of which I ordered two: Judith Baker Montano's Embroidery & Crazy Quilt Stitch Tool and Doodle Stitching: Fresh & Fun Embroidery for Beginners. I like the stitch tool one, it's a kind of dictionary with lots of different stitches and it's already been quite helpful. The doodle stitching one I sent back - it wasn't really after my fancy.

Anyway, I made a simple mobile cozy using my very simple sewing machine, and then I started experimenting with stitches - first on a scrap of the fabric I used for the cozy, but soon I felt bold enough to try it with the real thing. I even finished it ;-)

The good thing about a small project like that - or maybe about embroidery in general - is that you don't have to spend whole hours at once working on it. It's portable and you can put it away after a few stitches without everything falling apart. With spinning, I feel differently: I really don't like working on a yarn for only a few minutes at a time, and that's why I haven't done any spinning during the last few weeks. I do hope I'll find the time for more yarns soon, I really miss spinning. The chances are good, though :-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christmas before Halloween?

Since I was very late with my Halloween yarns this year, I decided to start spinning Christmas yarns a little early - meaning, the first one is done :-) There's also still one Halloween yarn left which I haven't been able to list so far. That's because I haven't been able to take good photos of my latest yarns yet, and I am terribly busy with my other job at the moment, so listing the new yarns in the shop will have to be postponed a while. But I wanted to give you a little preview:

Watch your Back!

Another one with fun zombie heads in it - and quite a large skein it is, too: 216 m / 117 g. It's sparkly, it's fun - and a little creepy, of course :-)

Christmas Art Yarn
(still have to find the right name)This one contains wonderfully soft wool/silk blend, hand dyed tussah silk, lace fabric, faux pearls and red stars. I love the texture, and I always love yarns with fabric strips in them.

Skin of a Basilisk (3)

This was a custom order which I was very happy about :-) I had already spun two similar yarns way back, and I always liked them, and spinning them is fun because of all the coils. Also, as you might know by now, I love spinning Harry Potter related yarns *g*

Red Orange

Another custom order, placed by a lady I know personally :-) She has already received this yarn and likes it very much. It's made of hand dyed wool/silk blend and apparently it will be used as a highlight in a jacket for a child.

Friday, October 15, 2010

HELP! Knitting (Book) Advice Needed!

Hello fellow knitters :-)

I've written about a special project a while ago: a shawl/scarf made from handspun ocean art yarns. I have been searching for patterns lately, and I am now pretty sure what I want. I had stumbled upon the Dreamcoat on Ravelry before and I think the basic pattern of longish parts and squares would look great as a shawl. Let me show you a very crude drawing of what I roughly imagine the shawl to look like:

(I know - it's a bad drawing and a bad photo, but I hope you get the idea ;-))

Now, if the book containing the pattern (Dazzling Knits) were just a normal printed book, I'd just order it on Amazon, have a look inside and send it back if it was not what I wanted. But the book is out of print, I can't have a look inside and I don't want to spend $15 on a book I am not sure is the one I need. I have to admit I don't really like the other patterns in it, I only want to learn the basics - making the squares and long parts of the Dreamcoat and use them in a different way.

Now, this is where I need you: can any of you tell me anything more about the book? Can you recommend it even to someone who doesn't like most of the patterns? Can you recommend any other book, website, or explain the techniques I need for this project?

I've already had a look at other books on modular knitting, but none of them seemed to explain how to make the longer parts I'd need. One of the books ("Modular Knits: New Techniques for Today's Knitter" by Iris Schreier) looked good, I thought - but there were many bad reviews saying it contained lots of errors, and you had to join the author's discussion group for help. I also thought "Domino Knitting" by Vivian Hoxbro looked good, but I am not sure whether it contains everything I need.

Please help!
Thanks :-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Zombies, Ghosts, and Pumpkins

I've spun three sets of the creepy-fun polymer clay things I made the other day into gorgeous Halloween art yarns. There's still one left which I hope to process today or tomorrow. I've already prepared hand dyed red Bluefaced Leicester wool and black wool/silk blend, so I am ready to go :-)
Anyway, here are the freshly spun Halloween art yarns:

Pumpkin Cult

Death Day Party

Zombies on the Road

The zombie heads and ghosts even glow in the dark. I've taken pictures, but I'll have to try again, they're really bad. I'll show them to you anyway, though, to give you an idea of how the things look :-)

The yarns will be listed as soon as possible, so there'll be enough time for you to order them before Halloween arrives.


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