Category Archives: Yarn

The finished product.

T-Minus Ten

Almost time for the new store lift-off! =D Exciting, exciting. I’ve been getting photos imported and listing information all ready to roll. Official store opening happens tomorrow morning at ten-o-clock, EST. Hope to see you there! Let me know what you think.

Some sneak previews ~

dsc00543 dsc00451 dsc00577

Traveling in Style

Hello, everyone.

It seems the only way to complicate the re-opening of Maiden Yarn was for me to whisk off to Iowa with my mother for a homeschool conference. That’s alright, though. It’s giving me some wonderful catch-up time with her, relatives, and friends.

And plenty of time to hang out at the best cafe ever. If you’re ever in Winterset, Iowa, check out the Northside Cafe. It’s been newly decorated and re-opened, and looks (and tastes) like a million bucks. Gorgeous interior – slatey blue greys, charcoals, and deep walnut browns – and even better food. I strongly recommend the Smoked Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

But, besides that, I’ve been knitting away with two of my new colorways. The two yarns I’m using are the bases I’ll be carrying in my store, and I’m even more in love with them than I was before. If I had a decent camera with me, I’d show you now. Suffice it to say, I’m having a hard time keeping my hands off the rest of the new inventory.

I will show you a new skein of yarn I picked up this afternoon, though. (Compliments of my Aunt.) Araucania’s “Ruca” in the most lovely shade of Caribbean or lake blue. It’s made from sugar cane! I could hardly believe it. A fiber content I’m not familiar with. Super, super exciting. And please pardon the lovely “iSight” computer-camera photo.

photo-on-2012-06-07-at-14-27-3

The yarn is very smooth and drape-y, rather like heavy silk or bamboo. What this yarn will become, I’m not sure, but it has to wait its turn while I’m working on the other two projects.

This weekend is the convention. (Two days of a whole new world. But I think I shall enjoy it.) I’ll get home to Georgia late Sunday evening, so Monday morning will bring the initial scramble into getting everything ready for Maiden Yarn’s grand reopening on June twentieth. Huzzah! You can expect a pretty steady stream of blog updates. I’ll have lots to show and tell.

Forty Skeins of Yarn

Does anyone have a “get life to slow down” free card? I could use one. Things have been downright crazy around here, but I believe that God is working it all together for good.

Family members traveling, a family member dislocating a knee, yeah. It’s been pretty crazy.

So, I’ve decided to move the reopening of my yarn store back to June sometime. And (ready for this?) I’m keeping the name Maiden Yarn. It’s a good name, and it’s a name my customers know. At this point I’m thinking “Wildwood Fibers” will be a sub-brand for some extra special products I’ll be carrying. And don’t think this means the store won’t have some really neat additions and improvements! I’m still very excited.

In other news, I dyed forty-something skeins of yarn during the last two days for my friend at Annie and Co. That is a pile of yarn, y’all. I barely have room on my drying racks for all of it.

Yes, all the pictures for today are in black and white. My camera’s little electronic brain was so blown by the sheer gorgeousness of the tones, it flipped out and couldn’t portray them accurately. (And maybe I got a little filter-happy.)

So, the rest of May will be spent getting things ready for Maiden Yarn’s reopening in June, and having some friends come in from out of town for a mutual friend’s wedding. You can be expecting some pictures of the former (not the latter) in the weeks to come.

dscn2814 dscn2815

dscn2807

New Yarns

dsc09985

I listed some new laceweights in the store this morning. Lovely new sage-y greens.

Aside from that, things have been a little slow on the yarn end of life. I’m still hoping for time to start in on new inventory for the soon-to-be Wildwood Fibers, but I’m pretty much hogtied with another project at the moment. I’m working on another one of those handicraft DVDs – knitting, this time – and the due date is looming up rapidly.

Cinnamon Spice

My Father brought home some new tea yesterday. Tazo’s “Sweet Cinnamon Spice”, and believe me, it’s wonderful. The perfect thing for a crisp morning when biscuits are in the oven. The tea smells every bit as good as those cinnamon scented pinecones (the ones you walk by in stores and have to remind yourself over and over that they’re not edible) but it doesn’t taste as garishly cinnamon as some other cinnamon drinks. With a touch of honey, it’s beautiful.

This week has been a little more laid back than usual, but I don’t mind that at all. Friday will be a dye day, with some “hired to dye” yarns in various colorways.

But last week I was able to dye a whole bunch of my Fall yarns, and I am thrilled to report that the new yarn bases behaved themselves better than expected. Here are three of the new single-ply fingerings –

dscn2614

And here is one of the two-ply superwash skeins. This one took the colors just like I thought it would – lots of brilliance and depth, and it held color changes quite nicely. I still really want to make something for myself from a skein of this yarn, and I finally found the perfect pattern. Now I just need to decide what color I want!

dscn2618

PhatFiber Box for April

It suddenly occurred to me that I completely forgot to share pictures of the April Phat box I received! Shame on me. Here they are, for your viewing pleasure. These are the fibers.

I hadn’t been expecting to receive a contributor’s box, as I hadn’t sent in quite enough samples, but it came anyway, to my great delight!

I’ve already started spinning up quite a few of the samples on my drop spindle. (Which I recently went after with my stash of calligraphy pens and inks and decorated it to within an inch of its life.) My current idea is to spin them all up and possibly knit a tam from them and the yarn samples. The colors are fairly well matched. Lots of rainbow-y themes and blues and greens. Sounds like the recipe for a lovely tam to me!

Part of the fun of the Phat Fiber box is seeing what everyone comes up with for samples. I’ve been getting sneak previews of what June’s box is going to be (Science Fiction theme!) and I’d really, really like to be in on it. I’ve got ideas for three Jules Verne batts, and Wall-E sock yarns. Due to lack of time and funds, it’s looking like I might barely be able to squeak into the box with the Jules Verne, but as roving, not batts. We shall see.

Something Old, Something New

Let’s start with the new, shall we? Everyone likes to see pictures of new things.

I recently participated in a trade with a local dyer. MamaJude does simply beautiful work with plant dyes and can also dye cotton. I cannot dye cotton, so we worked out a swap where she would acquire a couple skeins of cotton boucle from me, and I would receive some indigo batts from her.

The batts arrived a few days ago, and they are gorgeous! There are six of them total. I haven’t weighed them, but I’m guessing the batch is in the six-to-eight ounces category. Here’s the best picture I could nab of one in the fading afternoon light.

I keep thinking that I should mix these with some of the lovely soysilk I have stashed away and make something large. But they’re so light and fluffy, I’m wondering if I could find a light spring/early autumn top or cardigan pattern. That might do them more justice. Whatever I decide on, it’s going to have to wait awhile. I’ve got two or three other spinning jobs lined up, plus the BFL lace I’m finishing up now.

This Week in Fiber Central. . .

It has been a crazy, crazy last week or two in my little fiber world. Sales practically exploded (hooray!) and I must have had at least an average of one per day.

I loved every minute of it.

In fact, that’s all the confirmation I need to know that I’m doing what I really want to be doing. Selling fiber and yarn definitely holds enough excitement for me to last as long as God wants me here.

Officially Spring

I realize that Spring begins in March. But personally, I don’t really count it as Spring until it feels Spring-ish. And yesterday I went on a picnic lunch in a lovely park, and now realize that Spring is fully Spring-ish. So, happy Spring!

I guess the biggest news I have to share is that I’m expanding into the wholesale realm. A local yarn store is going to be carrying six special colorways of my merino/silk laceweight. (Including Dawn Treader!) If you’re in the Athens, GA area, stop by and visit Main Street Yarns to take a peek. It’s a lovely store with all sorts of goodies. (I have to be very strict with my wallet when I’m there.) I just sent off a lovely lineup of twelve skeins, but completely forgot to take a picture of them before they left! Gack!
There’s a chance that I’ll be visiting the yarn store next week, so I’ll have to take my camera and attempt to get a shot of the yarns hanging up on the wall.

Along the same line of “business,” I’m looking into giving my laceweight yarn bases some names. So, instead of calling it “70/30 merino silk” I would call it “Hawthorn Lace” or something like that. I’ve seen this done in various stores and supposedly it helps people remember the yarns. I’m all for it, except that I have to come up with the names. No pressure, right? It just reflects on me and my business if I choose poorly. Yeeks. Some top ideas now are naming them after various vines, or floral/botanical type things.

Seventeen at a Blow

For not having dyed in a while, I certainly jumped back in feet first. The ones up above there are my Malabrigo yarns. A friend and I are putting together some Malabrigo sets with matching stitch markers to put in my store, and I’ll be sending some little samples off to the Phat Fiber Boxes for April’s distribution. Lots of fun!

But, besides those, I went through a whole stack of yarns this time around. In fact, I felt like the Brave Little Tailor in one of my favorite old fairy tales. Seventeen yarns processed in one morning. (Yes, but don’t mention that I dyed less than half of those that round. The rest were twist-setting and dye-testing.) Still, I don’t think I’ve done that big of a batch since last year.

I’ve got some lovely laceweight, and a gorgeous set of bulky skeins, plus some odds and ends of other things. I was rather pleasantly surprised at how many I was able to do, what with being out of practice. The last thing I wanted to do was get halfway in and have an energy crash. When yarns are on the stove, there is no way to stop without risking the loss of the yarn. And, by extenuation, sanity.

Here’s the laceweight I dyed. It was supposed to be Dawn Treader, but I got way too much purple in there and came up with these three skeins. As I said before, I have no idea what I’m going to call it—besides gorgeous.