Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My 6 Year Old Birthday Boy

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Austin turns six today!  This picture was taken on the ferry to New York a couple weeks ago.  For our birthday adventure we are going to a water park in central Arkansas.  Spending the day in a water park is not exactly my idea of fun, it's the putting on the bathing suit in public thing.  It's for the boy, I will keep repeating...it's for the boy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vermont Yarn Company

In Middlebury, Vermont, located inside a beautifully restored colonial farmhouse lays the Vermont Yarn Company. This yarn shop shares the farmhouse with the Field Farm, the Foote Street Farmstand, and Sandra Lance Pottery. There is loads to see and for sure everything to delight your fiber senses and more.


The shops layout was very unique with yarn even displayed around an old fireplace. Too cool!

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Why use curtains when you can use hand painted boucle?

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More Cherry Tree Hill Yarn everywhere!

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I did not have the pleasure of meeting the shop owner while I was there, hopefully next time. The layout of the shop was just too precious to not share. I did grab a couple bags of painted roving and a bag of super soft natural mohair. Here is a picture of one of the balls I spun into yarn, a before and after.


Sandra Lance was more than helpful and is a very unique character. She does beautiful pottery work, even makes her own glazes. I squealed when I saw this handmade glass sheep. Sandra loves to wrap up your items in gift wrap and does a fantastic job at that too.


It is a treasured addition for my sheep kitchen makeover. I'll share more of my sheep finds tomorrow. ♥

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


In the past I have shown off some pretty interesting bags of barn yard fiber.  After a trip to the Liberty Flea Market, owned by my Great Aunt and Uncle, I stumbled upon bags of  old lace and bits and pieces of ribbons.  These two combinations piqued my interest.  With my recent voyage into the land of Art Yarns...What better combination than old rustic barnyard and vintage lace?  Introducing Handspun Barnyard Lace:


After Jeanetta spotted a small skein of it, she had to crochet it up to see how it would look.


Isn't it cool?  We both just adored it and agreed it would make a fantastic bracelet, or a bag, or even a necklace.  Our husbands both looked at us like we were a little nuts, but you understand!  We even talked about what a cool vintage embellishment it would make for crafters.  It is such a cool looking yarn, it will be a nice addition to my new line of hand spun yarn.

Here's one more for my Thick N Thin Art Yarn Series.  It's pink, and orange, and curly, and full of fun and wonderful twists.  It will calm a bit and bulk up more as well in places once it gets set, but it's beauty will only improve.  Really, I'm enjoying this yarn series so much, I see no plan of series being short lived.


My recent spinning has given me such a nice, peaceful feeling.  Typically, I am pretty anal about how even my spun yarn is.  Every little tiny part that's a tab bit thicker or thinner, I see a flaw and not an unique addition to the yarn.  But, with my Art Yarns, my perfectionism is thrown out the window.  I just let the creativity flow.  The fiber can be thick or thin and locks can be left out  and I'll over spin here and put in stings and lace and do whatever there.  I get frustrated with life's little pains and I just put that extra spin in the yarn or just leave it bulky.  Like magic, my frustration is gone and I am left with a gorgeous, unpredictable skein of yarn, as precious as a work of art.  It is a very fun process and it is good for the soul.  In my Art Yarn I find Peace.

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I snapped this shot of the boys on one of our yarn shop trips in Vermont.  Isn't it just so cool, sometimes in the insanity of it all, you find peace.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ferry Tony


The boys, Daisy, and me on our way home on the "Ferry Tony". It's really the Ferry To New York, but when a person quickly writes "take the Ferry TO NY" (with the letters T O N Y) close together, you can see how a person can easily think the ferry is called Tony.

Always good times and fun at The Shed:

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Top picture: Meg and Me

Bottom Picture: Brady, Granny, and Austin

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Hope you have a happy and fun crafting week. ♥

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New Yarns

With the recent trip to Vermont, I acquired loads of new fiber. The last trip I took, I bought up handmade yarn everywhere I went. This time, it was fiber! The best shop I found, surprisingly, was not in Vermont at all. It was Rainbow Yarns and Fibres in Germantown, Tennessee. They had a full line of spinning fibers and even had some spiffy bags of bits and pieces to spin into some art yarn from Pagewood Farm. First thing I did when I got home was spin this very unique art yarn.


It has sparkles and curls and thick and thin places and it is wonderful.

I got a couple of balls of super cool hand painted fibers from A Piece of Vermont:

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I will show off what these beauties look like spun up later this week.

Two more finished yarns to show off...the green was a blended roving I purchased at Vermont Beads and Fiber, the red was from my favorite fiber farm right around the corner from my mom's, Chasworth Pottery and Farm.



These two may end up plied together for a nice Christmas Handspun.

Speaking of Chasworth Farm, I have bags full of yummy Vermont Grown Fiber. Much more yarn will be coming your way from this awesome farm. ♥

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stowe Fabric & Yarn

This is the birthplace of The Twisted Purl. Nestled off the main road in Stowe, Vermont, lies a yarn shop where my vision of The Twisted Purl began.

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This is Stowe Fabric & Yarn. The shop is located in this house with a lovely porch. Once inside the shop you will have the option of going right to the yarn or left to the fabric.

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Do you notice the hanks of hand painted yarn hanging from the hooks? This is Cherry Tree Hill Boucle and amazingly enough, they still had a few skeins of the same colorway that enticed me on my fiber painting journey.

Back in 2006, after attending my favorite restaurant, The Shed, and having sampled some of their brewed beer, served in a "Ski" :

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At this time, I was already fully immersed in my yarn addiction...I noticed a yarn shop. So, what better way to end a trip to Stowe then to go drool over some fiber. Once inside the shop my eyes landed on this wall of yarn:

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I was instantly in awe and admiration of the company who made this yarn. Then I found out it was handmade. Hand Painted....what did that mean? I wondered. I went straight back to my moms and started my research. Being the yarn-a-holic I was, no yarn was enough and no color combination satisfied my urge to have it all. So, naturally, painting yarn had to be my next step. I bought a ton of natural wool fiber off of ebay. Through trail and many errors, I learned the difference between good wools and the itchy old school wools. I also learned 50 yards, although sounding like a lot, was really not much at all. I bought dye and then let it all sit in the top of my closet for a month before I built up the courage to dye my own yarn.

Once I mixed the dye and dabbed my first brush on the wool, my love affair began. The rest is history. History that must be credited to a lovely little yarn shop called Stowe Fabric & Yarn and an awe inspiring handmade yarn company called Cherry Tree Hill. ♥

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Can you name this Flower?

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Found this one in a hotel parking lot in Nashville, TN. Anyone have any idea what it is? The center of it looks like little flowers inside a big flower. Too cool! I would love to plant these in my front flowerbed. Thanks for your help. ♥

Vermont Beads & Fibers

In the lovely town of Middlebury, VT lays a jewel of a shop. Vermont Beads & Fibers has it all. I can not tell you how at home I was in this shop. My sister, Megan, loves beads. She was quite happy making bracelets while I browsed the fiber. They carry hand painted roving by Cherry Tree Hill. I had to grab a couple bags and also got some great felting fiber.

The shop had so much character. Really, you can't help but to adore it.To the right when you walked in the shop was a fantastically large spinning wheel.Megan sat down to make bracelets and I couldn't help but to grab a skein of yarn off the shelf and open up a pair of new needles just so I could sit and knit a bit. The yarn I couldn't resist was made by Laughing Tree Farm and was a delicious blend of Kid Mohair and Merino Wool. It was handspun and hand dyed. The new knitting needles were also handmade, by Lakewood Needle Company.

There was a tree of Cherry Tree Hill Boucle in the middle of a couple bead tables.

A whole wall of awesome yarn made right in Vermont. Look at all the colors!
This shop is by far a must if you are in the area. I have a couple other wonderful things to share about our trip, including the yarn shop where I first stumbled upon hand painted yarn. But for now, I'm beat. ♥

Sunday, July 13, 2008

When Good Wireless Go Bad

I am in Vermont! Yay! The trip was fun and I have many things to share. My wonderful fiber source here has been stashing aside white wool for me. I am coming home with six bags full! Actually six pounds of fiber. That is a lot! Think of six pounds of cotton balls. Loads of beautiful fiber will be coming from it.

On the down side, the wireless internet at my mom's is down. It is such a bummer! I am totally unable to upload any pics to show off all the fun we are having. Also, my internet time is very limited. Next post will hopefully be full of great pics. Today we are heading to the Yarn Shop in Stowe that started my journey into painted yarns and fibers. ♥

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Look Back

Over the last year and a half, I have been in business and working in mass production of handmade yarn. Over the last two days, I did a massive re haul of my website. I made up several pretty cool mosaics for The Twisted Purl History page and here is one of them. A look back on the handspun yarn produced in the last six months or so. To see more of The Twisted Purl Mosaics, CLICK HERE.

Tomorrow morning, I'm going on an adventure. I am driving from Conway, Arkansas all the way to Vermont, to pick up my boys. The total driving time is 24 hours. I can't wait to see my boys!
I'm taking my computer and camera and will be sharing with you some of the wonderful things that make up The Twisted Purl History. I can't wait to share with you pictures of the yarn shop where I stumbled upon my first hank of hand painted yarn by Cherry Tree Hill.
Be sure to check out the new website design. CLICK HERE to see it. Also, I have started a gallery with pictures sent to me from crafters who have made items with The Twisted Purl yarn. If you have used my yarn and created anything, please send me a picture. I'd love to see your creations. Here's my email address for receiving images: info@thetwistedpurl.com Can't wait to see what you've made. ♥

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sappy Motherly Post

I miss my boys! I didn't think it would happen. I am not one of those mothers. Don't get me wrong...I love my boys, but they are BOYS! They are wild, crazy, and into everything. I rarely get to sit down for long. The thought of actually unloading the dishwasher without having to breakup a wrestling match is just a daydream. They are loud, they fight and they can not pick up anything to save their lives. Boys!

My 11 year old step son, Drew, is with his mom, in California for the summer. It's killing me to be away from him for so very long. He has been a part of my life since he was three and growing into being his step-mom has been a long process. Now, I can proudly say, he is the son I got to choose. He lives with us full time and is a source of much joy in my life! As for Austin and Brady, my four and five year old, they are visiting their granny, my mom, in Vermont. They have only been gone a week and it has just been too long.
The weeks prior to the youngest boys leaving, I bragged to friends about how my home would be a child-free zone. The perfect solace. The vacation of all vacations. I would get so much done. Spinning, dyeing, listing on Etsy, painting my bathroom, the list could go on. My bathroom sits with half the wall paper striped, the wheel is collecting dust, the dyeing room is cluttered and in no shape for work, my poor Etsy shop has not had a new listing since May, yes MAY! So, I still sit, with my long list of to do's and all I can think to do is drive myself to Vermont and go spend sometime with my boys and my mom. Watch the cows and visit my one of my favorite fiber farms. My to do list will be here when I get back, and I am used to dealing with trying to get things done in the midst of the insanity. At least now, I may appreciate the craziness of my boys.

I plan on taking my computer, and blogging along the trip. I will share the awesome yarn shops I visit, I have a few favs that are a must for my trip. And I will be sure to show off some of the cuties I get fiber from as well. ♥

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

For the Fourth of July I made a dessert. Seen it enough times in a magazine, and thought it would be fun to have. It was super easy and pretty yummy! I just took pound cake and crumbled it all along the bottom of the pan. Took some strawberries and cut them up and put some sugar on them and let them chill out in the fridge for a bit. Then after about an hour, I threw the sugared strawberries on top of the crumbled pound cake. I covered it with about a tub and a half of cool whip and then I had my fun with my stars (blue berries...fifty of course) and stripes (more strawberries). Much fun to make and it was a big hit at the party we went to. Last night the husband and I went to First Thursday in Little Rock. So much fun! I did manage to get a few fun buys. Some awesome fabric to cover a chair that needed a bit of updating. And this awesome "Splendid Design" pillow:
It looks so dang good on my couch! It had been sitting in Jerusalem and Jeanetta's shop for over a month and has been calling my name for some time. Hope you all have a wonderful fourth! ♥

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Last Mango in Paris

Welcome to my mess:

This is my life right now. Spinning, in the middle of knitting, notes, redesigning websites, and many To Do lists. I feel like I have so much to do, and yet feel like I have done so much. The old Jimmy Buffett song keeps running through my head:

I ate the last mango in Paris

Took the last plane out of Saigon

Took the first fast boat to China

And Jimmy there's still so much to be done

Guess I haven't done anything as exciting as these things but I did drive to Virginia on Saturday and came back on Sunday...no mangos were involved. But there were deer and a bear...and a chair:
This chair was rescued from a yard sale and was just screaming to be used in the CASA Chair auction. I will post more about it when I actually know more about it. Jeanetta just told me I had to get a chair and decorate it with yarn. So, that's what this is.
Above is the starting of the wrapping. I am doing it all in handspun yarn so I can control the feel, look and all. Here is a look at that part finished.
The pic below was the closed thing to a boat we were on, not exactly a fast one. I hopped out of it (actually a hammock in Sam's Club) to take the pic. Yes we are goofy and it's hard to take us anywhere.

So until the next post...keep following la vie dansante! ♥