Etsy Treasuries

Despite the pile of work needing to be done (somehow the desk gets cluttered, I can’t understand it) I took some time this afternoon to create a couple Etsy treasuries. These are member created lists of items that looks nice as a group, so it’s sort of an art project for me. I like finding photos of different items with similar characteristics and colors.

I made two. The first is “Not Quite Black and White.


And the second one is “Late Summer, With Love.


These pictures only show half of the items in each, but you can see the full sized versions by clicking on their names. Drop by and let me know what you think.

New Yarns


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.

Naming Things


A huge part of what I do in my yarn and fiber business revolves around coming up with names. Names for yarn bases. Names for colorways. Names for special coupon codes or snazzy sales. This in itself can be exhausting (I can’t imagine what Adam went through – naming all those animals) but when you add in the fact that the name should be somewhat appealing, descriptive, and easy to remember and spell, you have a recipe for a lot of hyperactive tension.

For instance, shall we look at a sample?

This might look familiar. It’s that beautiful fluffy green roving I mentioned a couple posts ago.
Now, how to go about coming up with a name for it. First up, the first few things that pop into my head. Lemongrass. Leaf bud. (Which tangents into Twigs and Twiggy.) Cucumber. Silver veil.

What on . . . .? Where did silver come from? I think it snuck in there because of the softness of the green. Rather like dew drops.

Well, I already have a lemongrasss in my store, and it’s a much yellower green than this, so that’s out. Leaf bud just doesn’t have a nice, aesthetic sound to it to me. (Everyone has a different opinion on this, which is what makes names so personality-filled.) But I do like the idea of a leaf bud. Some other ideas coming from that might be “tender.” Now, I like tender. We’ll just file that away and keep skimming.

Twig sounds cute, but could create issues with people visualizing vegetable matter in the roving. Otherwise I’d go with something like “Tender Twig.” But “Tender Cucumber” just sounds weird.

Leaves. . .Tender. . . Spring. Spring is a good word, and we’re getting close to Spring, but to me “Spring” is a much lighter green than this roving. (Maybe it I just wasn’t so picky we’d have this figured out by now.) Rain! Rain makes things darker and carries a sort of silvery conotation to it.

The final name? (After several days of not thinking about it.) “Spring.” Although now that I’m thinking about it again, “Spring Rain” would be a nice one, but that would call for blue. Or even “Budding Leaves.” But! It’s named, and we’re going to leave it. (For the sake of my sanity.)


I finally got this braid, and a couple others up in my store, so take a look and let me know what you think.

February Dyeing


It’s been a busy week on the dyeing front around here – as evidenced by the growing pile of yarns and fibers to be photographed, the rapidly filling drying racks, and the ever-changing splotches of color on my hands. It’s not every profession that allows you to get away with blue and yellow streaks on your fingers. (Yes, I love my job, why do you ask?)

The biggest project has been a twenty-skein order from a local yarn store. Remember, the one that carries my merino/silk laceweights? We’re swapping out some current colorways and renewing some old favorites.

I’m a little concerned though. My supplier might be hiking the price on the laceweight yarn base, and that would mean hunting for a new yarn blend. I have a potential source in mind as backup, but we’ll wait and see.

And, in and around those twenty skeins, I’ve been doing a lot of fiber dyeing. I’ve got at least five batches of rovings ready to be photographed, and listed in the near future. I’m rather tickled about that. It’s been awhile since I brought in some new fibers.

Sparkle Cards

In which leftover confetti and a brand new set of colored ink pens meet an urgent need for some nice “Thank You” cards.

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I think I’m going to have to make more of these.

Exciting New Things

Well, it’s finally time for me to reveal some wonderful changes that will be taking place in Maiden Yarn and Fiber. Yay!

The first big one will be that Laceweight Yarns will be re-merging with Maiden Yarn. It’s been lots of fun having them separate, but the time has come to pull it all together and let the creative fusion begin.

The second big one will be that my business is changing names. (Yes, I know, I like Maiden Yarn and Fiber as a name, but wait until you hear the new one.) The name for new company will be Wildwood Fibers, and it will be amazing.

Wildwood Fibers will focus on having gorgeous, repeatable colorways that are in good supply instead of just the occasional one-up skein. The over-all feel will be magical and imaginative, and the products will reflect that. Who knows? There might even be more than spinning fibers and yarns.

On a practical level, I will be keeping the Maiden Yarn store on Etsy and simply re-naming it for Wildwood Fibers. And even then, the re-naming won’t be happening for at least another month or so. I’ve got to get the new store inventory developed and ready to roll.

Some favorite colorways will definitely be traveling over to Wildwood Fibers, although they might appear under other names. Dawn Treader is coming, as are Ink, Blackberry Jam, Butterfly in Shadow, Eye of the Peacock, and Nightshade.

This is very exciting. I can hardly wait to see what Wildwood Fibers becomes. But, meanwhile, keep on the lookout for “cleaning out current inventory” sales. Good places to watch for info are on Twitter (@MaidenYarn), here, or Maiden Yarn’s facebook page.

Disappointment and Fiber


I have once again been reminded that dyeing is a ridiculously emotional art-form for some of us. Maybe it’s the chemicals. Maybe its the wet wool fumes or knowing we eventually have to stop and make supper. Or maybe (like today) it’s because almost everything you touch goes wrong.

Notice I say “wrong”, not “hideous.” I have to admit that some of the colorways I came up with are not at all horrible. (Like the one pictured above. It’s beautiful!) They’re just not what I expected.

I’m sure overloading the schedule had a lot to do with the inevitable break down. Now that I’m using a shiny new method for measuring the dyes, (which lets me make things more than once!) developing a new set of colors is a very time consuming process. As much of a bother as it is to haul all the dye equipment out and put it away, I really need to start breaking a typical dye session into two days or more. One day for developing the colorways on a few select skeins, and then the next in actually dyeing the bulk of products.

Hey, anything that will keep me from trying to get through three or four pounds worth of dyeing in one afternoon. All new combinations, or trying to recreate non-documented colors. Yep. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. I didn’t make it past the first pound or so.

Ah well. Tomorrow is another day. And I rather like how this one turned out, even thought it was supposed to be blue with green hints. (Too much yellow, you think?)


The Year of Finishing

After a lot of consideration and prayer, I’ve decided to make 2012 the year of finishing and finding new homes for the massive accumulation of un-finished projects I have laying around. And that is going to be a huge undertaking. Please pray for me.


I sort of “got started” the other day by pulling my fiber and yarn stash out of its closet and taking a general inventory. To put it bluntly, I sat on the floor next to the giant pile with a quivering lip and sincere doubts as to my ever using it all – not to mention all the other kinds of crafts that I haven’t even reviewed yet.

Suffice it to say, things are going to be either crazy, or very very accomplished. Anyone have suggestions for places to donate or giveaway finished knitted or crochet items? Preferably ones that will take wool based yarns, because that’s what I have most of.

And. . . .

. . . A Happy New Year!

I’m excited.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone. =D (Yes, a text smily face just snuck into my blog post.)

I hope your celebrations were festive and highly enjoyable.

And I totally just stayed up until the day after Christmas, scrounging around on Amazon for used price books (and a DVD) to snag with a gift card.

Did you know some used products (with the snazzy used product pricing) are eligible for Prime? I didn’t know that! My world got very much more exciting, and there’s a box on its way to my doorstep.

This Christmas has been a very special one in many ways. God has let me see Him in new ways all over it – from a little over three weeks ago when I totaled my parents’ car on a slick exit ramp, to knowing that I am very much alive and happy with what He has given me.

Again, a Merry Christmas to you all.