Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Green

So much to post about! You may want to get some coffee for this one. First off, this week has been a blast and a nightmare all together. The kids were off for Spring Break and Todd had to work this weekend. That adds up to WAY too many hours of boys without any extra adult help. So, what can a girl do but dye! I got a new batch of yummy roving in all types of blends. The below picture just does not capture the true beauty of this roving. I painted it in a very soft shade of green. The roving is a tencel/superwash merino blend and looks shiny and silky and just totally delicious. Jeanetta and her crew came over on Thursday...which was just way too much fun (to say the least) and she declared this roving, once spun needed to be called "It's Not Easy Being Green" I had to here is it's debut. Once I get it finished in all it's spun up glory I will post more pics. This one maybe super tricky to catch it's glory so it most likely will not go up on Etsy...but be saved as stock for Toad Suck Daze.

Saturday was an absolute joy! My Aunt Donna and cousin Allison came up from Benton with an fun group of ladies. They called it a Knitting Field trip. The ladies were yarn-a-holics and were definitely my kind of gals! Jeanetta graciously agreed to hang out as well to help me answer questions and to show off her amazing work too. Her nests and artwork were a hit, and I hope the ladies do take a "Field Trip" to her shop in Little Rock. If any of you are "stalking" the blog (haha) feel free to post a comment!

I set up several tables around and gave them a "yarn making experience tour". One table had processed yarn still on cones, one had roving in many fiber contents and blends, one table had my current limited stock on hand painted and handspun yarns. Then I gave them a painted yarn example and dyed up a boucle, my favorite, in greens, blues, and yellow. I was feeling rather springy. Here it has not been reskeined yet, but once it has I will be sure to show off more photos.

After the ladies took me to the new yummy restaurant, Gusano's. I came home and set the yarn. I really loved the colors once they were all set. I figured I had some left over dye still blended up, so I did a few experiments. I just recently got more silk fabrics to play with. Scarves, sarongs, makeup bags, and some with crushed velvet. Here is one of the quilted makeup bags:

I also have tiny little crushed velvet n silk card holders with zippers. This did not dye up the way I expected it to. I will be throwing this one back on the painting board to give it some more color. The inside ended up showing off the most beautiful shade of green, it's what I expected the outside to do...but everyone knows I love to play with my dyes, so this one too will be updated later.
So here the spring trio together. Too much fun!
Lastly, I have been working on the AREtsy handouts to go in the Toad Suck Sacks (goody bags) we will hand out for free during Toad Suck Daze. Here is what I have come up with so far. I really like it. I wanted it to be in Black N White to take it easy on the ole printer.

If you are a part of AREtsy, and you like the flier (which prints up perfectly postcard size) feel free to steal it!
For now, it's a dreary day. Much rain. The backyard is totally a pond. So, everyone is inside and driving me batty. Thank goodness school starts back up tomorrow. Whoooohooo! Have a nice Sunday! ♥

Monday, March 24, 2008

Toad Suck Daze Goody Bags

I am working on my promotional goodies for the AREtsy Bags I am putting together to hand out as little freebies for all the folks who stop by the booth during Toad Suck Daze. I have several skeins of yarn that are too small to sell or some extra left over yarn from projects I have made. I am taking them and making them into super small mini skeins. Then I will add my business card with an Etsy discount code, for future shoppers. I can't wait to see all the nifty goodies AREtsy members will be sending. I will be sure to take loads of pictures, so you can see the bags and goodies.
Here is a shot of my newest handspun yarn...Deep Calls to Deep:
I am so torn. I need to build up my inventory something crazy to have enough stock for Toad Suck Daze. I fear, my shop stock may be a little low over the next few weeks in my prep for the booth. I will list a few skeins here and there, but most of my items will be reserved for the big show.

So, here is my latest desire:

An Ashford Joy Spinning Wheel. I have almost bought it several different times. There are three different websites I have been considering purchasing this beauty from. Each offers different free incentives for getting the wheel from them. The incentives range from extra bobbins to free fiber. I am really torn. This wheel is amazing. It folds up and goes right into a cool travel bag. It fold up with the lazy kate still attached, so no removal of the bobbins is needed. Hopefully, it will be mine soon. I plan to have it before Toad Suck Daze to happily spin on, to show folks how The Twisted Purl product is born.

I best be off!!! Loads to do and the clock is ticking. Happy Crafting ♥

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Gotta Get Moving!

A Belated Happy St. Patty's Day from the boys. Mama Deb bought them Irish shirts for the day. Brady's says "Irish Girls Love Me", Austin says "Irish U were a Leprechaun" and Drew's says "You're so Lucky I'm not your kid". They had a fun day in their shirts. Except Brady liked yelling about how he did NOT like Irish girls.

Jeanetta came over yesterday and was very inspiring and encouraging for me to get a move on! Toad Suck Daze is just around the corner and I have to have a very large inventory for the three day event. So here is what's on the drying rack:

I painted two yarns and one roving. Jeanetta also painted one roving, and I let Brady paint a small one ounce bit. He is just so darn hard to say no to.

After Jeanetta left, I was still in a painting mood so I did a true variegated yarn. With spring in mind I dab and dotted my way through the whole skein in magenta, blue, green, and a darker magenta, which looked a bit purple. I also left a bit of white, it is always hard for me to do that. I absolutely adore it! I can not wait to reskein it to see the variations all mixed up.

I am also reading a new book. Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco. I am hoping it will help me format my business a bit more and fine tune all the details I have been putting on the back burner.
And last, but surely not is what is on the spinning wheel:
The painted roving was called "Deep Calls to Deep" and was actually listed on Etsy for a bit, before I couldn't resist the urge to spin it myself. The handspun yarn will most likely have the same name, unless I am struck with a different inspiration.

That's it for me now! I do not foresee having another productive day today. We just got our puppy dog, Daisy, back from the vet. She was spayed and is resting quite peacefully. Being the overprotective mama (of my pup) I have been watching her like a hawk. Until next time, happy crafting! ♥

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Blog Layout

Playing with HTML is a little hobby of mine. Today, I decided to make my blog my own. Knowing me, I will tweak, fix, redo, and refix...then retweak everything here. But for now, here it is! ♥

Monday, March 17, 2008

Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm

Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm is one of my coolest finds on Etsy to date. Susan Gibbs is the wonderful Shepard of this amazing farm. She has started the country's first CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) for yarn. The way the program works; you purchase a share of the shearing. Either a spinner's share (which you know I am all over!!!) or a share of the yarn. This is the second time she has offered this program. The Fall Shearing is for kid mohair and goats. I am in love with her blog too. She keeps everyone updated on the happenings of the farm and all the new additions! This is a picture from a couple of new kids on the farm.

Please visit her website, blog, etsy store or if you have Ravelry...the Ravelry Group.

If you want to see more cute pictures: Check them out on Flickr.
I am planning on being a share holder for many years to come. Much love to Susan for sharing this amazing program with all up Little Bo Peep wanna-be's! ♥

Friday, March 14, 2008


This is the story of the Sheep Hunt.

Last summer, having just started playing with my website, I wanted a picture of a sheep that I could use. So, I called up my sis, told her to come over...we were going on a sheep hunt. She said "Okay!" no questions asked. Gotta love the little sis! To get the kids into the spirit of the hunt, what better way then a sheep drawing on your hand? Once all the sheep were drawn...we needed a cheer..."Goooooooooooooo SHEEP!!!" That worked.
So, we piled in the car, with high expectations. We will find a field of sheep. Beautiful, well maintained sheep. And we will take the very best sheep pictures anyone had every seen.
Let the Sheep Hunt begin!!! We were off, randomly driving down back roads and highways in rural Arkansas. Come on, there has to be a sheep somewhere...Some of the fields were just to perfect to NOT have a sheep. Around and around we drove. How hard is it to find a darn sheep? Well, let me tell's not that easy. The kids never lost the spirit of the hunt, thankfully! AND there were some very exciting moments.

We came upon a very steep hill, at the top of the hill, I looked down, and there was a field full of "SHEEP!!! SHEEP!!!" I shrilled! I could barely contain my excitement. Everyone in the car cheered! Then we got a little bit closer and Megan said "Um...sister, those are goats." Darn it! Don't laugh, you try to tell the difference between goats and sheep from a long distance.

After the excitement of the goats had passed, we saw a deer. That was pretty cool...coming from Fresno, the boys had not had the chance to see too much wildlife.

The thrill of the Sheep Hunt and lack of seeing any was starting to wear on the three boys in the back. I looked at my sister, she and I both knew, our time was about to run out.

Just about then the phone rang and it was Granny (my mom), she suggested we put sheep in the GPS and see where that took us. Well, even though our darling Lee, the Australian accented GPS navigator, had gotten us out of many a pickle, this was one he was unable to help us with. Was this the end? Would our hunt actually end in nothing at all? I could NOT accept that. We put a drawing of a sheep on our hands for the sake of Pete! We HAD to find a darn sheep.

Up ahead was a gas station. I stopped the car and looked at Megan. "Go in and ask that guy if he knows where any sheep are." I said as I pointed to the guy behind the counter. Megs looked at me and said "Okay!" and hopped out. Gosh, you gotta love the sis! She runs in and I watch as the guy behind the counter laughs and she laughs and then she runs back to the car.

"You are never going to believe this," she says "There is a field full of sheep right behind the gas station."

Sure enough, I pulled the Tahoe a little past the building and there in all it's glory, was a field FULL of sheep. We had succeeded. We had found sheep.

We also found out why sheep need a good Shepard. These sheep were filthy. Dirty, dirty sheep. Poor little ones. Most of their wool was very matted and not very lovely at all. We snapped a few pictures anyway, I mean, really, we couldn't go through all that and not have any photos.

The last picture turned out pretty cute, once I cropped close to it's face.

Needless to say, we had a blast! We did find sheep and the kids were entertained for a couple hours. So, next time you have a few hours to kill, go on a Sheep Hunt. Be sure to draw sheep on your hands though, otherwise, you may never find a sheep.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Spinning Fiber

Here is Drew's Yarn! I LOVE it! "BIG N TASTY" is the name. The name has a long history, and maybe someday I will share it with you...but today, there is much to talk about! We got our tax refund! YIPPEE! The hubby was rather happy at the "loss" my business took and how it helped us with our refund. He even said I should look into getting a new spinning wheel! That is really cool...I have my eye on an Ashford Joy. But, I will talk more about that too later. With having a little extra disposable income, I figured there was nothing in the world better than getting some extra spinning fiber! I have some yummy purchases to share. Some yummier than others...

One Pound of super soft brown alpaca. It is so amazing, very little hay or anything to pick out. I just can't wait to spin this up. I am starting on it tomorrow.
Next is three bags of fiber from a seller on Etsy. The one is the middle is washed Border Leicester. I will be dying it and playing with it some. The bag on the left is black n brown border Leicester and it is not washed. You want to feel like you just stepped on a farm, you should open up this bag. I have always purchased my fiber preprocessed into carded roving until now. The bag on the left and the bag on the right will be a new experience for me. I will be sure to tell you how it goes. The bag on the right is also Leicester in gray. I am still waiting for one more pound from this seller to come.

"Bah Bah Black Sheep have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir three bags full!"

I took one of their bags! Woooooowoooo! This is a LOT of fiber. Four pounds to be exact. And it is actually alpaca, not from a black sheep, but this picture did get the lovely tune stuck in my head.

Just so you get an idea of the amount of this, here Brady is admiring the fiber.
The idea of blending fibers is very intriguing to me. Making my own yummy blends. I thought a alpaca/angora would be super soft and gorgeous to feel. So, I had my alpaca (and boy do I have a lot of it) I just needed to get the angora.

The angora below is from another wonderful seller on Etsy: Yarntospin

Be sure to check out her shop. I got the honor of being her very first customer. First of many more to come, I am certain! This is fiber from one of her angora bunnies. Believe me, you just want to roll around in this stuff.

So that is about it, for now! Hope this gave you a nice fiber fix for the day. I have a couple more exciting things to share, but I will wait for tomorrow. This post is already long enough, and my spinning wheel is calling my name. Happy crafting! ♥

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


We woke up on Tuesday morning to actual SNOW! It was super exciting for this California girl. Being from Fresno, the closest thing to snow we ever got was fog. Yeah, I know, it's not close. Drew and Austin were thrilled to find out school was canceled. At 6:30, I went into Drew's room and opened up his blinds. He looked out and yelled "SNOW!!!!"

When I got to Austin's room, he looked out his window and was equally excited. At that time the TV was still saying Conway Public Schools were not closed. Drew was going crazy! He begged me to let him stay home from school anyway. Thankfully, school was canceled.
The boys had a fun filled morning of playing in the snow and experiencing all the new things, like making snowmen and snowball fights.
Yes, I have failed to mention Brady...
My Brady, my dear, dear Brady. When I woke him up, and opened up his blinds, his eyes lite up and he said "Snow!" Then not two beats later, "Will you make me breakfast?"
He was not such a big snow fan. He said it was cold. He did warm up to it a bit more after the actual snow stopped falling, but he was never as excited as his brothers.
Drew's yarn is looking really great! I will have some pictures up soon of it. ♥

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I don't know what my draw is to the Americana Colorway. I love the colors together, gives me a feel of American pride. The first yarn I did in the colorway was a self-striping sock yarn.
When Bella Lana was still open, a friend of the owner made this "Don't tread on Me" snake out of my yarn. Next came the roving:
And so with the roving and the yarn, you had to know the handspun would come next:I do like this handspun yarn a lot. But, next time I make it, I will not ply it though. I was not so happy with the way some of the colors came together. Anytime I see red and white together I think candy cane. This yarn makes a very unique twist on the Americana colorway, but I look forward to the next Americana adventure!

Tomorrow I should have pics of Drew's yarn up. It is coming up quite different than I thought. Til then! ♥