Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Advent Calendar made from Art Yarn

I've seen many beautiful things made from art yarn, but I'd never seen art yarn made into an Advent calendar before one of our customers had the idea, ordered one of our Christmas art yarns and made the most beautiful calender from it :-) Let me show you!

Here is the art yarn Maria used:

Deck the Halls

The yarn was 129 m (141 yards) / 91 g (3,21 oz) / about 9-15 WPI, and Maria combined it with Louisa Harding Grace Silk&Wool #1 (Ecru) and #16 (Cranberry) to knit 24 wonderful little bags:

(it should be possible to click & enlarge - there's lots of detail :-)) 


Isn't this amazing? And now there's lots of time to plan and make one for next year ;-) (There is even one Christmas art yarn left in our shop, if you're interested)

I think the idea is genius, and Maria tells me her daughter really enjoyed opening the cute little bags each day - who wouldn't, though??

Maria, thank you so much for taking such wonderful pictures, and for allowing us to use them! :-)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lametta, Soap, and Snickerdoodle Cookies

I've so wanted to post a few Lametta photos, but I was in bed with a bad cold nearly all week. I don't have many pictures, but I'd like to show them to you anyway :-)

Did I mention we brought the spinning wheel with us? Here you can see Twisted in spinning action.

We didn't spin the whole time, but quite a lot, and there were always lots of children around, watching, and many adults, too. People were very interested in our yarns and asked many questions, and I for one was a little hoarse after two days. It was a wonderful experience, though! :-) We also brought some knitted and crocheted pieces made from art yarn, just to show people, not to sell. This was a really good idea since art yarns seem not to be that well known in Germany and many people couldn't imagine how things would look in the end, or what you can do with art yarn. Which reminds me: I've been working on a post about knitting with art yarn, which is getting rather large, and I hope I'll find the time to complete it soon.

Here is the stitch marker display which I already blogged about, along with some wonderful earrings Twisted made recently. They all contain art yarn or silk fibre, and some of them also feature beads.

This is one of the yarns I spun there, I've already taken photos and hope to list it soon. I'm a little behind with things due to my cold, but I think I might be able to list a few yarns some time next week. I also have a grey one with ribbons, pearls and labradorites, a pink and black one wiht skulls (these were the ones I spun live at the fair), and of course lots which I spun during the weeks before the fair. I am really looking forward to show them and to list them :-)

Here you can imagine rather than see some of the necklaces and neck rings Twisted made for the fair. It also shows the warm light and nice atmosphere of the fair, if just a little.

There are two more things I'd like to share with you: When I was in bed, miserable and sniffing, my day was brightened by the arrival of a parcel: My friend and trade partner Goodgirl sent me two soaps! :-) One was part of a trade from last year, and one she sent because she knew I liked it so much. I was so happy, I still am, as a matter of fact :-) The smell SO good!

The Ice Princess (on the right side) features a piece of yarn I spun for Goodgirl. I promised her two small skeins of scrap yarn and ended up with three because I couldn't decide with one of the themes - and this way I kind of made her invent a new soap, fitting the yarn. I love it :-)

And the last thing I wanted to share is this recipe for Snickerdoodle cookies, which I found on a blog and traced back to where they came from originally. My husband made them yesterday (I helped a little, but since I don't enjoy baking that much and he loves it, it was his project) and they are heavenly!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Lametta Craft Fair - We're SO Excited!

We've been very busy spinning and labelling yarns these last days, Twisted has been experimenting with art yarn jewelry, and we also put up our booth yesterday. Here are some impressions, but I am afraid my mobile isn't good enough to take good photos in bad light conditions, so there will be some room for imagination ;-)

 Nearly all our yarns - labelled, and sorted into price groups. We have 75 skeins - how amazing, we've really been busy these last few weeks!

 After setting up our booth we felt there was something missing. Since Twisted is a genius, we now have a hand painted copy of our logo :-) I am glad we brought that paper table cover!

 Isn't it amazing? Twisted only had a business card, no auxiliary lines, no preparatory drawing, nothing! I love how it turned out :-)
 We only brought our red yarns yesterday since we didn't want to leave all our yarns there over night. We put up some beautiful branches of Chinese Willow so the table won't look so naked - I think it really does the trick.

 And here's our still quite empty booth which will be filled with all our wonderful creations later today. The fair starts at 4 pm and we're so excited. Please wish us luck and success! :-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Craft Fair Preparations

The Lametta Craft Fair in Karlsruhe (Germany) is rapidly approaching - and we're up to our ears in preparations! We will be offering our handspun creations, of course, but also hand painted spindles (the making of which we scheduled for Thursday) and hand made stitch markers. I've been working on a good way of displaying them recently, and I finally finished the whole thing yesterday:

It was extremely frustrating to get the hooks into the display case. Some of the hooks were fairly easy to get in, but some others took ages and my hands ached all over afterwards. I still haven't figured out whether the wood was harder in some places than others or if some of the hooks were better than others (or if I was just clumsy sometimes), but it's done and that is what counts :-) Some of the hooks are askew, but all in all I am quite pleased with the whole thing.

I also spun lots of new yarns lately, and I still have quite a number to finish. The shop was going so well last month (THANK YOU, our wonderful customers! We love you! :-)) that we really have to restock. Here are my latest creations:

The photo is quite bad, but since I am in a hurry and there is not enough light outside for better photos, this will have to do for now. I am still in love with flower yarns and the ones with shells, as you can see :-)

Our shop will be closed on Friday and Saturday, by the way, since we're taking all our yarns with us to the fair. We don't know which ones will make it back into the shop, so if you happen to have your eyes on a particular yarn, now might be a good time to get it ;-)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What Became of...?

A few days ago, we received an email which made us very happy: Max, who bought Twisted's Hawaiian Summer Party art yarn, sent us some pictures of what she made from the yarn, and kindly allowed us to share them with you all :-)

Here's a picture of the yarn, a beautiful corespun with 102 m (112 yards) / 106 g (3,74 oz) / 6-8 WPI

Max knitted it into a stunning hat for her daughter, who was actually the one to pick the yarn when she and Max browsed our shop:

Such beauties, both the hat and the girl! :-) 

If you're interested, the pattern is the Rikke Hat by HappyKnits, and if you're on Ravelry, you can see more photos and details on the project here.

Max, thank you so much for sharing this, and for allowing us to share the photos with our readers! You made us very happy once again :-) And please do tell your daughter she looks fantastic and has great taste!

Friday, November 25, 2011

SALE! -- Black Friday through Cyber Monday

Are you looking for special gifts? Or would you like to start a wonderful new project? Whether you're shopping for others or want to indulge yourself, now's the perfect time:  
we have marked down all our items! 
Either go directly to our shop where you'll see the sale prices (a click on a single item shows how much you'll save), or click on the picture in order to go to our Etsy On Sale page to see an overview of the old and new prices

Happy shopping! :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Necromantic Knitting

A while back, I spun two versions of my Necromancer art yarn (one of which is still available in the shop), a thread-plied art yarn made from different kinds of black fibre, hand dyed wild silk, and bone skull beads, as well as other add-ins, varying with the two versions of the yarn. When I spun the basic yarn I thought this would look gorgeous as an unplied, single yarn as well, without add-ins, for a simple warm shawl. Since it's been a while since I spun anything for myself, I decided to do just that :-)

My husband and I spent our weekend with his family, celebrating his mother's birthday, and family reunions like that are usually a welcome opportunity for me to take out my knitting or my spindle. My sister-in-law has recently learned how to knit, too, so I even had company :-) I wanted a simple project I could take with me, so I decided to knit another shawl from the pattern I used for my Dark Atlantis shawl.

The beauty of this is: if you use stitch markers, you don't even have to count or pay much attention :-)

I made the stitch markers myself, of course. I made quite a lot for our upcoming crafts fair, and I keep thinking I should take photos and list them in the shop, along with our yarns. What do you think, dear customers? Would you be interested? :-)

By the way - there's also an art yarn in the shop which combines a wonderful single yarn like the one I just showed you (made from a very similar fibre blend, and containing the very last of the hand dyed wild silk) and the bone skull beads from the original necromancer art yarn:


To be found here :-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Awesome Art Yarn Cowl

A while ago, I traded two skeins of custom art yarn for a whole box of wellness goodies, like soaps and bath bombs. Today I found a message from my wonderful trade partner Topaz, linking to the finished piece she knitted from my yarns - and she kindly allowed me to share the photos with you!

If you'd like to pay Topaz a visit, please go to http://vom-sonnenfels.blogspot.com/

And here's what I got - not only are the soaps and bath bombs amazing, but Topaz also made these wonderful wrappings/packages, so they are beautiful, too :-)

(sorry the photo is not so good, the light was bad that day, and I couldn't take another one because I had already started using these goodies ;-))

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Green Lady

Our good friend and customer Pam of MagdaleneKnits has crocheted a stunning set of beautiful scarf and wrist warmers using the Green Lady art yarn we blogged about some time ago. We'd like to share pictures, of course :-)

This beautiful set is still available in Pam's shop, and you can also find all the details there.
Thank you so much again, Pam!


We really love to see what people make from our yarns, so if you have pictures to share, please email them to info at weirdandtwisted dot com! 
We'd also like to know which name you'd like us to use (your real one or your nickname), what shop or blog you'd like us to link back to, and any other infos about the project you might want to share with us and our readers :-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Winter Wedding Art Yarn

I spun this yesterday, and I love the texture and the mostly-white-with-hints-of-colour :-)

It's a pity I don't have enough of these gorgeous cranberry freshwater pearls left to use in more yarns, they are so beautiful!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Christmas and Winter Art Yarns

I finally surrendered to the thought that the time for spinning Halloween yarns is nearly over and that it's necessary to plan ahead and put some serious thought into Christmas and winter yarns. It's not been that hard these last few days, since the weather was really ugly and the winter mood started to kick in ;-) I realized this meant I could get out all my nice wite fibres, of which I have many different kinds, so I can take playing with texture to a whole new level. I also had some ideas for some darker yarns, so there will be a nice variety. Oh - and I also have some Halloween batts I MUST spin up, so there will also be a few more of those ;-)


This one I made for a special occasion. As I said the other day, we'll be selling our yarns at a local craft fair called Lametta (=tinsel), shortly before Christmas. I thought it would be great to spin a small skein of Lametta yarn, knit it up and put a yarn graffiti up somewhere close to the fair, maybe even in or outside the building. This skein is already dry, so I can knit it up whenever I have some spare time.

Ice Flowers

I discovered an online sequins shop the other day, where I found my beloved snowflakes (see two photos below and some sold yarns from the shop), which I had nearly ran out of. I was so happy! They also had these blue, shimmering flower sequins and I decided to compose a yarn around them. I love all the different kinds of beads I spun into this one. The texture is heavenly, too - I've been playing around with coils and plied-looking parts with my latest creations, and I so love the look and haptics!

Holly Wood

Another art yarn composed around some of the lovely charms I bought from nicoledebruin on Etsy. I wanted a darker one this time, ended up with dark green, thought about the name (I just had to use someting with holly in it), grinned and added some brown and light green ;-) Also, lots of texture here.

Fresh Snow

My husband said I should name this one "Neuschnee" (the german word for fresh-fallen snow), but I haven't decided yet. This is another art yarn spun from a variegated fibre blend, and with lots of texture, too. These are the snowflake sequins I wrote about earlier. What I love about them (apart from their "obvious" beauty ;-p) is that they are thicker than normal sequins, so they are more impassable (hope this is the right word...).

I also spun a Ravenclaw/Harry Potter yarn, and some Strawberry Jam, but I haven't edited photos of these, yet. They will be listed soon, though :-)

The Colour Of Tea - Part II

Anyone remember my tea dyeing experiment? I've been wanting to post photos ever since the yarns were dry, but the weather has been really bad for photos most of the time. I have decided to take some pictures now, just in case I won't get any good ones before spring - and should I be able to take better ones later on I'll post another set :-) 

Lessons I learned from all this:

* tea smells a little weird when you put wool or goat hair in it
* I should have used more tea for more intense colours. When I complained about the wool being too light in colour, my husband asked "didn't you want camel colour?" :-D No, I really did want dark copper (AND he knew ;-)). Well, maybe next time. I like camels, though, maybe I'll name the dye lot after them. And the yarns are beautiful, as I realised once I got over my expectations.
* documenting things like this and blogging about them always takes longer than you might think - though it helps to do it right away and not postpone it to some other time. Thank you, blogger, for enabling me to start and save postings! :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Banners, YAY!

I'm sorry I still can't post any pictures of the tea-dyed yarns, it was so dark and grey these last days I couldn't take any photos. BUT I do have good news! The wonderful Twisted gave in to my complaints that I wanted a new banner, and we didn't stop after one, but made several :-) That is, she made them and I offered opinions ;-) We thought it would be nice to have banners according to season, so we started with a Halloween one:

I won't show you the others yet, so as not to spoil the surprise, we'll use them when the time is right.
Ahhh, I love the bat charms :-)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Have you ever sewed paper? I hadn't - until today. The possibility had never even crossed my mind before, but yesterday I found a tutorial on how to make colourful little paper gift pouches and I was hooked instantly. Wild imaginations of all the things I could do with this and all the kinds of forms and paper I could use nearly kept me from sleeping. The tutorial (which is in German and English, by the way) suggest printed scrapbooking paper, so I started looking for free downloadable paper as soon as possible. But I think newspaper (maybe Chinese or Arabian) would also look great, as would sheet music or simple brown packaging paper. For a start, I printed a few colourful papers and had a go - I love the results!

I am currently thinking of making enough of the open pouches to put the sets of stitch markers in I made for the "Lametta" market in December, so whenever I sell a set I'll have a pretty envelope handy. I also thought about giving away one free stitch marker per sold skein of yarn on the same market, and that's where the closed pouches (the ones from the tutorial) come in: simply make a few with a little note attached saying "thank you", put them in a basket and throw one in with every sold yarn; it makes the whole thing even more fun and who doesn't love a nice surprise? Now excuse me, I'm off to make more ;-)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Colour Of Tea - Part I

Quite some time ago, one of our friends from Authentic Fiction blogged about dyeing with black tea. I loved the colours and thought about trying this myself, but somehow I never got around to it. Today I received my copy of "Harvesting Color" by Rebecca Burgess, and I SO felt like trying out some plant dyes! I don't know whether I will keep the book, as some or maybe even many of the plants can't be found where I live (the book is really beautiful, though!), and when I looked at my supplies I returned to a German dyeing book for the recipies. As it turned out, all the leaves I could use would have to be soaked over night, so I desperately thought about what else I could use and the tea came back to mind. I've had a huge package of black tea for ages, and it wasn't that tasty in the first place (I used small amounts for my henna hair dyeing sessions, but 500 g do go a long way), so I decided to have a go.

I had previously (one or two years ago) spun some white fibre into yarns I wanted to dye - so you can see how long it can take me sometimes to actually realize my plans ;-) It took me a while to sort through the yarns and to label them. I put the details on pieces of paper, laminated them, and fixed the info to the yarns with thread, so I won't have difficulties knowing which is which after the dyeing process. I have lambs wool, a gorgeous blend of kid mohair and bluefaced leicester wool, merino/bamboo blend, and bluefaced leicester wool on its own. 7 skeins altogether.

I decided on using the dye bath twice, first with 300 g of yarn, and then again with about 200 g. I googled about dyeing with tea, found this blog entry (and the one by Authentic Fiction already linked to above) and some reference in German. I decided to just experiment with the amount of tea I needed. I took out my sewing machine and made a very simple bag which I filled with about 150 g of black tea.

I stitched it up, and now I had my very own, handmade tea bag ;-)

I put the tea into hot water, and I think I let it boil for about 20-30 minutes. Then I turned off the stove and let the dye bath sit for a while because I had other things to do

After about an hour, I put my first four skeins into the dye bath, without washing or even dampening them first. They didn't need to be washed because the fibres I used were commercially processed and thus without any grease or plant matter or anything.

I plan to simmer the whole lot for about an hour (which is nearly over, since I've taken my time writing all this) and then removing the yarns and putting the second lot in for another hour. I am so curious how the yarns will turn out, I do hope to get some gorgeous copper, though I am afraid they will be just brownish... We'll see :-) I'll take photos of the finished yarns when they are dry and when there is more suitable light.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Christmas is not as far away as you might think

It's been weeks since I read on Etsy that sellers should already prepare for Christmas, and start making Christmas items. I was somewhat reluctant to start that early, especially since I always have more ideas for Halloween art yarns - but I thought it might be time to start, after all. Sooo - here's my first Christmas yarn for this year:

I love the holly charms (which I purchased from nicoledebruin on Etsy) and was looking forward to using them, anyway ;-) I hope to list this one soon, but I need more light to take better photos.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Creative Chaos

Are you running out of time, too? A few weeks ago I realized that Halloween wasn't that far away, and Etsy already advised to plan the Christmas stuff. Today, I realized it's already Octobre and I haven't even managed to put all my Halloween plans (yarnwise) into action. Sooo, there's still a lot to do, especially since I didn't do much over the last two weeks. My husband is on leave and we've been enjoying having more time together, and I've also jumped at the opportunity to take some time off, myself - and I got some knitting done :-) Haven't managed to take photos yet, though.

As for the Christmas plans, I thought about offering some gift sets again (of art yarn, project bag, and stitch markers), and I ordered some beautiful brocade fabric over a month ago. I thought it was lost since it take that long to be delivered, but it finally arrived a few days ago - aren't these beautiful?

I've never worked with brocade, and when I found these beautiful pieces I just couldn't resist. I've also got some tafetta left from the last years, so there should be enough for a wider variety in the gift sets - now all I need is time ;-) Speaking of which, yesterday I finally took some time to make stitch markers while watching the last few episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which I didn't watch when I was younger, and when I heard the show was interesting from a feminist/emancipatory point of view I decided to catch up :-))

When I had unpacked all my stuff, I realized there was not that much silver wire left, so I went out to get some - need I say that was a waste of time? What's the use of extreme opening hours when the shops don't have what I need? *gnaaa* ;-) It's not that I didn't have anything left to work with, I just wanted to be on the safe side and prepare for excessive stitch marker making. Not that there was too much time left after my excursion and dinner and all that, but I did make five sets:

I especially love the pumpkin stitch markers, and I don't know if I can part with them. I probably will, though. These were harder to make because they have a loop instead of a hole. This means I have to use a different technique for securing the wire and that's still a challenge - but I am proud to say it worked :-)

Oh, and I have some great news :-) We have been accepted to the "Lametta"(which translates as tinsel), an all handmade bazaar which will take place in Karlsruhe/Germany shortly before Christmas (here's the link, but it's all in German). I heard there were a lot of aplicants, but I understand that we were among the first to get accepted - YAY! We're so looking forward to the event, but this means I really have to spin more yarn and make more stitch markers. So excuse me, I'm off to more creative chaos! :-)


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