Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Difficulty of Naming Yarns

A few days ago, I came across some colourful ribbons with white dots, which I just couldn't pass. They looked perfect for spinning into yarns, and I had to keep myself from buying more than two different colours. I decided on light blue and vivid red, and I had to use them immediately (well, as soon as there was time, anyway). I spun two quite similar yarns, one white and light blue, and one white and bright red, both containing facetted glass beads in matching colours, and, of course, the ribbons. I love them both, but I just can't think of a name for either of them. Usually I come up with names quickly, but these are difficult. My husband has also tried to come up with something, but (as usual when he tries that) he came up with names and ideas for new yarns instead *g* That's why I spun a white and turquoise yarn with black beads today - more on which will hopefull follow soon ;-)
The picture you see here was taken last friday (my photo day), when I piled up all the yarns to be photographed and/or wpi-counted. I like photo day, somehow it feels like getting a lot done when photographing a whole week's worth of my handspun :-)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bringing Two Hobbies Together

I'm talking about archery and spinning, of course ;-)
As mentioned before, both Twisted and I took a bow making class last weekend. Though my bow is not yet finished, I'd very much like to make some arrows, and I've already bought most of the materials I'll need. Twisted has even already started cresting her arrow shafts, which looks fantastic. I, on the other hand, have been thinking about yarn for the wrappings I'll need above and below the feathers. I'm still trying to learn the English archery vocabulary, and I don't want to bore you with the details anyway (I don't know how many of you are interested in archery, as this is a spinning and knitting blog), so I'll skip straight to the yarn part of this ;-)

The thing is, I thought about buying waxed linen yarn, but I thought it was way too expensive, so I started thinking. I do have soft beeswax which I got for my bow string last year, and I thought, well, why not give it a try? Twisted and I thought about what fibre types to use, and kind of settled on "black" (carbonized) bamboo, ramie, and linen.
I tried them all!

 (click to enlarge, I mean REALLY enlarge ;-))

I spun a small amount of each on a smallish drop spindle, drafting with the right hand and turning the spindle with the left, and waxing thumb, index finger and middle finger of my left hand each time after winding a length of yarn onto the spindle. I think this might not be enough wax, though, I'll have to experiment on that.

Now, I haven't tried wrapping arrow shafts with any of these, I only put them on the cardboard pieces and admired them ;-) I like the bamboo best, the ramie seems also satisfactory, but the linen is kind of bumpy. Usually, I love yarns with texture (who would have guessed?), but in this case I want a smooth and even yarn. I'll let them sit for a while since I still need some equipment and some peoples' help to make the arrows, but I hope it won't be too long until I can try them :-)

Oh - the spindle was a total mess afterwards, by the way. But thankfully the wax came off with alcohol and my spindle is as good as new.

This was real fun!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Just a Quick Peek: The Green Lady and the Yet Unnamed ;-)

The Green Lady

 containing merino wool, bluefaced leicester wool, mulberry silk, freshwater pearls, moss agate and prenite beads, and lace fabric.199 m / 86 g.

The Yarn Which Must Yet Be Named

containing lambs wool, bamboo top, bamboo flakes, merino wool, angelina, seashells and many many facetted glass beads. Oh - and beautiful organza ribbons, too. 116 m / 75 g

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

...and now for something completely different

I think I might have mentioned that I took archery lessons last year, and so did Twisted, by the way. We have been practicing since then, though rather irregularly since it got colder, since I for one don't like the sports hall we're using for pratice during the winter. I am really looking forward to taking my bow outside again!

Last weekend we took a bow making class, which was exhausting and absolutely fantastic! I have to admit I always used to hate working with wood. You see, I went to Waldorf school and was forced to do all sorts of crafting and handicrafts - and I just didn't like some of them. It's different when there's the promise of a bow at the end, though *grin* I kind of liked it, though wood working will never be my favourite hobby.
The sad thing is, I didn't manage to finsish my bow. I chose yew wood, which is quite hard and difficult to work with. Don't ask why I chose it - I love yew, but first I settled for hickory because I knew yew would be much more challenging, but then there were no suitable staves for the model I wanted to make (a Viking Bow) and I kind of cracked ;-) So, I will have to finish my now-stick/later-bow in May, when there will be another bow making class with Michel Bombardier of Bombix. Since my husband was ill on the second day of the class, he will come with me and hopefully we'll both finish our bows. Twisted, on the other hand, is done and has made the most beautiful bow from osage orange, a naturally bright yellow wood.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Funky St. Patrick

Luckily, someone on the Unofficial Etsy Forums reminded me in time that St. Patrick's Day is around the corner. I often think of holidays and themes too late for spinning and listing yarns in time - but not this time! I carded some batts yesterday, and already spun one into a funky green yarn, containing golden glitter (something like tinsel), and shamrock glass beads. I'm looking forward to spinning up the other batts, I already started with a white, green and orange one and then there is a green and white one which will contain white lace strips. And now I am off to uni.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Find your Pirate in the Dark!

Last year, I spun many glow in the dark art yarns. Then I stopped because there wasn't much of the gorgeous glow in the dark thread left and it was impossible to find more of it. But last week I thought, well, what's the use of keeping the rest on a shelf instead of spinning it in - and I started again. So, here is my latest creation, fresh from the bobbin:

I spun it from a gorgeous, soft and shiny blend of merino wool and tussah silk (black and red), glossy black mulberry silk, a bit of red sari silk which shows here and there, black lace strips, and strips of red tulle with polka dots. I plied it with said glow in the dark thread and added bone skull beads during the process. It was very time-consuming and elaborate work, but so well worth the effort!

As you can see, I have secured the skulls with tight coils, which add extra texture. I am very happy with how this yarn turned out :-) There's 138 m / 96 g of it, and it will be listed sometime next week.

As for the glow in the dark effect, it is just like the effect of the yarn this picture was taken of:

Aaaah, I love glow in the dark stuff :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

WIP - Divaesque Art Yarn Project

I've already blogged about the scarf I wanted to knit for a trade with the talented soap sorceress Goodgirl.
(as I have no idea how all that wellness stuff is made, I am most impressed and it does seem like magic to me - and I do like the alliteration ;-))

I started knitting when we went to Prague (here's the blog post about it), and I also worked on it during the Christmas holidays. Then I was ill, and then I wasn't sure whether the scarf was already long enough. I wanted to take pictures to show to Goodgirl, so she could decide whether she wanted it to be longer - but I never managed. So, this is still a UFO (unfinished object), but I finally wrote a message about it to my patient trade partner and hope to finish it sometime soon. It's been fun knitting so far - I absolutely love knitting with art yarn, as you might have guessed ;-) It's fascinating how even the simplest pattern is transfigured by the yarn. Just a bit like magic, too!

Woodland Magic

Last week I carded some batts, and I was really looking forward to spinning them - so I was happy when I found some spinning time during the weekend :-) Here's the yarn I spun from the first batt:

Woodland Magic

When I carded the batt, I already knew what add-ins I wanted to use: leafy ribbon, copper flower beads, and bohemian glass beads. The yarn is highly textured, as are old, gnarled trees with their structured bark. I also added coppery metallic thread for that hint of magic sparkle. 

I love the yarn, and I suddenly realized that I nearly never use brown fibre in my yarns. Just because I don't wear a lot of brown doesn't mean I shouldn't spin yarns containing brown, so I spun another one the day after, because I had a wonderful idea. The new yarn contains lots of lace strips - and it's called Ron's Dressrobes ;-) I haven't taken a picture of that one yet, though. They will both be listed during the next week if all goes well.

I've also listed a stunningly blue art yarn with satin roses - check out My Blue Valentine

Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekend Discounts

I've been quite busy spinning and listing new yarns, as you might have seen :-) Today was photo day, and I shot all the yarns I spun this week. The new daily routine is going quite well, I am happy to say. I have been trying to spin and list a yarn each workday, besides all my Uni stuff. I didn't always manage, but most of the time it worked fairly well. So, there are new yarns ready to be listed during the coming week, and I've also carded these new batts here, to keep a steady flow. I'm really looking forward to spinning them, I love the colours - and I can't decide which one to spin up first.

We've recently noticed we haven't had a general special offer for quite a while, so we decided to make this weekend a special offer weekend:

Between now and Sunday, 13th of February (midnight, EST)

*buy any 2 yarns and get 5% off your whole order
*buy any 3 or 4 yarns and get 10% off your whole order
*buy any 5 yarns or more and get 15% off your whole order

(please note that shipping cost can't be included in the discount, and that this discount can't be granted in addition to any other special discounts or coupon codes!)

After checkout, either wait for a corrected paypal invoice from us or pay in full and we'll send you a refund.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

...a Pirate's Life for Me

 Just a quick preview of my latest creation, featuring pieces of a Captain Jack Sparrow kerchief replica (parts of which I already used here), bone skull beads, sea shells, genuine aquamarine beads, and facetted glass beads. The fibres I used were partly hand dyed by myself.

I'm not quite sure why exactly I've always been fascinated by pirates - probably because they're romanticized and there are great movies about them, but I like to think it has to do with freedom, and my love for the ocean and the wind. So just come along on a fantastic journey aboard a pirates' ship, feeling the planks under our feet and the sun and salty air on our skin, free as birds.
Bring me that horizon!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Special Offer!

The easiest special offer is granting some kind of discount, of course. But when I think about offering something special to our customers, I try to think about what I would like in their place, and lately I've been wondering about more creative special offers we could set up.
In the case of our newly listed yarn, I found one :-) I've already blogged about the yarn itself, and the inspirational book The Ruby in the Smoke. Since I really enjoyed it and would love others to read it, too, here's the deal:

Buy our Ruby in the Smoke art yarn along with any two other yarns from our shop, and get a free, brand new copy of the inspirational book The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman.

We're not getting any brokerage or discounts, and we're not giving away a leftover book, but we'll order it just for you and send it with the yarns - no additional shipping costs, of course.
(Please allow 2-3 more days than usual for shipping in this case)

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Ruby in the Smoke

I'd like to present one of my latest art yarns, inspired by a book called The Ruby in the Smoke (by Philip Pullman).

The book is the first of a series called The Sally Lockhart Mysteries, and it's about an emancipated young woman in 1872 who solves the case of her father's murder, and the mysteries surrounding it. Apart from the main plot, the books deal with the difficulties of gender roles in Victorian London. Sally Lockhart, whose mother had died when she was very young, and who learned everything she knows from her father, is good at accounting and at shooting pistols. She is strong-minded and brave. I really like her, and have enjoyed the books very much :-)
There's also a movie, with Billie Piper (who some of you might know from Dr. Who) as Sally Lockhart. I think the book is far better, but I also enjoyed the movie.

The yarn was inspired by the title of the book more than its contents. I spun it from black wool/silk blend, soft merino wool of anthracite and ruby red, grey alpaca fibre, and a bit of sparkling angelina. I added unobtrusively sparkling thread and many jewels: flat garnet discs (rubies would have been too expensive), freshwater pearls of a shimmering grey/peacock colour, and sparkling facetted crystal quartz beads. It is elegant and beautiful, and the jewels glitter mysteriously in the dark fibres.
305 m / 68 g, 17-19 wpi (light fingering weight, nearly laceweight). To be listed in the shop soon :-)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Good News for our U.S. Customers

We are very happy to let our customers from the U.S. know that we were able to lower the shipping costs from $9 to $5 :-) In fact, shipping anywhere outside Germany will now cost $5 ($1.50 for any yarn shipped with another one) since the German Mail have adjusted prices so international shipping costs the same wherever we send our parcels. There are also many new yarns in the shop, the latest of which you can see here, too. I do hope to be able to blog more in the near future, but during the last few weeks I worked hard on a new daily routine, and I haven't yet managed to squeeze everything in. But spinning, photographing and listing works rather well at the moment, I am happy to say.
We'd love you to check out our new creations :-)


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