Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to Us - Free Goodies for You! ;-)

Our Weird&Twisted shop has been online for nearly two years. We first joined Etsy on March 3rd (2008), but it wasn't until March twenty-something that we were able to activate our shop. Registering our credit card was a real challenge, as it didn't seem to work for weeks. The problem was that we've got funny letters like ü,ä,ö and ß here in Germany and though we eliminated the ö in our address (changing it to oe worked perfectly ok) it took us a long time to realise that there was a ß in it, too. After we changed it to ss, it worked and we were finally able to list our first yarns.

We decided to celebrate our second birthday with our customers as well as with our readers by offering the following:

For every skein of yarn you buy in March 2010, you'll get two handmade stitch markers as a present.

We'll be having a giveaway here on the blog: you'll be able to get your hands on one of our beautiful yarns without paying anything! Stay in touch, we'll be posting a picture and conditions soon.

At the end of March, we'll have a lottery with everyone who buys yarn from our shop during March 2010 and the winner will get a free skein, which will be spun specially for this occasion. We'll post a picture of that, as well - as soon as it's done.

Thank you all for supporting us by buying yarn, commenting and reading our blog, and by spreading the word (and our business cards)!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What's for Lunch?

Today, I decided not to spend too much time making lunch and eating, but instead I spent most of my lunch break carding batts.

Yummy, aren't they? :-)
(Unfortunately, the weather is so bad and it's so dark I didn't manage to take better photos)

I'm really looking forward to spinning these.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

For Auld Lang Syne

After not having touched any cotton fibre for nearly two years, I definitely needed to give it another try, now that I have a better wheel and much more experience. It's still far more difficult to spin than any other fibre I've tried so far and it's very time-consuming work, but it was worth it. I've spun it thick and thin and then plied it in a wavy fashion, using a sparkly mother-of-pearl thread strung with bronze-golden freshwater pearls.

It's only a small skein of 49 m, but I think it would make a wonderful piece, such as a neck cuff.

My husband says it has a vintage look and I think he's right, hence the name :-) By the way: I love that song!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Yarn Series Coming Up

For all of you who like to get creative dyeing or painting their own yarn and want to work with handspun without having to do the actual spinning, here's our new product range: handspun white or light grey yarns of varying texture and fibre composition, ranging from simple lambs wool to luxurious cashmere. We'll also use our own handmade blends, made from a whole range of gorgeous fibre. Look out for yarns "To Dye For"!
(If you just love white or natural grey, these yarns are for you, too, of course! ;-))
Have anything specific in mind? Please don't hesitate to convo us on Etsy, we're happy to create whatever special yarn you want!

We'll be starting with this, fresh from the bobbin and soon to be listed in our shop:

A handcarded blend of Bluefaced Leicester wool, mohair, Merino wool, and sparkly nylon fibre, 141 m/68 g. The fibres are dyeable with acid dyes, which include easter egg colours (or other food colouring), so you don't even need fancy equipment.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

They did like the Mushroom!

Apparently, my parents-in-law needed a while to notice the mushroom - but they liked it very much and when we visited them today, my mother-in-law told her younger daughter (9 years old) to go and learn how to knit, so she would be able to make mushrooms as well *g*
(Later, we three had a lot of fun drawing a picture together - while I was responsible for a dragon, a U.F.O. and a cute green alien, my sister-in-law draw the gate to the underworld, which I liked a lot :-D)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sunshine, Daisies, Butter mellow...

... turn this stupid fat rat yellow!

Those of you who have read the Harry Potter books or seen the movies probably know this is from book one, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" (or "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" - depending on where you come from). I really love the stories and my preferred way of enjoying them is listening to the audio books, read by Jim Dale. That man is a genius!
Anyway - the spell I cited was the inspiration for my latest art yarn:

I have decided to think about a few more Harry Potter art yarns, it's been too long ;-) So, hopefully there will be more to come.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blur of Colour

Recent attempts to make the white and grey winter world a little more interesting and cheerful. Somehow, I always end up with the same colours after each dyeing session, though. I should work on a wider range ;-)

I've dyed alpaca, mild proteine fibre, Bluefaced Leicester, merino/kid mohair blend, tussah silk, merino/tussah silk blend, some Wensleydale curls and two skeins of handspun Icelandic wool.

Speaking of Icelandic wool, that stuff is amazing!
When I went to Iceland in 2008, I bought a shawl made from local wool which is not nearly as soft as merino or BFL, but amazingly warm! And I do love the texture, so I wear the shawl a lot - but it's really more a broad scarf than a shawl and I wanted something larger, so when one of my favourite suppliers added Icelandic wool to his shop I couldn't stop myself and just HAD to buy some ;-) I got white and (natural) black varieties and after I spun a wonderful black yarn for the shop (which has already been sold), I sat down to spin a larger amount for myself. It's about 800 m of laceweight yarn, now dyed dark green - and now I have to decide on a pattern.
I had also brought some raw wool home when I returned from Iceland, and turned some of it into a scarf and wrist warmers for winter excavations (did I mention that stuff was warm?!) which have proven the fibre to be the perfect material. I need to take photos, I always forget...

Venomous & Beautiful

I'm talking about the inspiration for my new supercoil art yarn: the Portuguese Man o' War, also known as Bluebottle or blue bubble. The binomial name is Physalia physalis and the jelly-like creature is, in fact, not one, but many - a colony of polyps and medusoids. I've never seen a real one (they're not native where I live or where I usually go on vacation), but I am fascinated by the beauty and the stunning colours of these creatures. I vaguely remember reading about them as a child, in some kind of children's book about what kind of things you can find on the beach, and I always thought they were definetly deadly. Now, years later, there's the internet ;-) and I found out that though they are venomous they rarely cause death, but the stings are very painful. So - I still don't really fancy meeting one of these beauties directly ;-)

Anyway, I've been wanting to spin a yarn to do their beauty justice and I've given it a lot of thought. Somehow, a simple yarn didn't seem fitting, so I decided to go for supercoils once more, which I haven't done for quite some time. I think it was the best choice, I am very pleased with the outcome. I realised that I tend to forget how much work this technique is, this skein of 30 m/60 g took me three and a half hours. But it was worth every minute, the yarn is spectacular! I really love the colours (though I could never wear them, they don't really look good on me) and their distribution. And I sooo like the texture of supercoil yarn! :-)


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