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Love, Love, Love Your Yarn!

I have been on a quest, a quest for us to really, really love and honor the yarn we have for several years now. If you have been following my podcast or blogs or newsletter, you know this already.

But, it bears repeating, because I am still feeling the shame. And we are starting to have the opportunity for in-person shows. I want you to delight in the festivals. I want you to feel the pull of creating something new. That’s the best feeling right? It is for me.

So in order to do that you must banish the word….stash. I’ve spoken to many of you in person about ejecting this word and concept from your vocabulary. When I hear people talking about their stash it is not out of pride. I don’t hear “You should see my stash! It is lovely.” More often I hear, “I can’t buy anything until I use my stash.” It is said in a kind of Eeyore voice. It is said with shame. Let’s banish that word! Let’s trash the shame!

I propose that we all use the word, “collection” instead. You are the curator. It is your collection. Each skein and ball that is in your collection was lovingly acquired. Some with a specific project in mind and others just thrilled you with color or texture or softness. I know that when we change our language, we change our outlook or attitude about the yarn that we have collected. We will be able to see those threads in a different light. We may even go through them and realize, “Hey! I’ve grown out of using this yarn, or this color!” Those parts of your collection can be donated or gifted. You have the power to make the choices, after all it is YOUR collection. And you are the curator. That’s the job of a curator, right?

So, let’s make the commitment to value our collections, to explore them anew and discover what you love about them and which ones need to find a new home. Let’s find some new ways of using what we have and making room to buy new skeins to augment your collection. If you would like to explore your collection in an organized way, you can listen to Season 2 of my podcast. Click here to find the Season 2 Episodes or subscribe on Apple iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. I walk you through all the steps that I believe will help you organize your collection. I take you through these steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed.

And now is the right time to start this. Our first in-person show in the Mid-Atlantic is Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival and that is a mere 2 weeks away. So change your vocabulary and change your mindset. Really REVEL in your collection. And see what you need to make your collection more complete.

What do you think? 

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Yarns Perfect for Fall

What are you planning to knit for the fall? Socks? A shawl? A sweater? Something smaller like a hat or mittens?

cormoworsted yarn
Livily Cormo Yarn. Find it here

These farm yarns are perfect for all of those garments. We have colors that are great for all your needs, whether that’s a young one who loves pink or camouflage or if you are trying to match your wardrobe. We have farm yarns that are fingering weight (Trasna Light), worsted (Livily) (Polypay and Fibershed Polypay) and DK (Trasna). We just got a sport weight back from the mill, so that is coming up before the fall shows!! We also have mohair yarns that are mostly natural color right now. So head on over to the shop here and choose the Farm Yarn tab to see it all!

These yarns will be available at the following fall shows: Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival and Rhinebeck Fiber Festival.

Trasna Light fingering weight Cormo farm yarn Find it here

Want to know when more colors will be added to our online shop? Click here to get our email blasts that will alert you to shop updates.

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Life is too Short to NOT Use the Good Stuff!!

“I’m just learning, so I’m going to use cheap yarn/roving until I know what I’m doing. I don’t want to waste it.”

Skeins of the 5 Elements collection. Buy some here!

I hear those words all the time in classes and during fiber festivals. I even said it myself when I was learning how to knit socks. Before I had the yarn business, I wanted to knit socks, everyone was doing it. So I went to one of those big box craft stores and bought some acrylic yarn and needles and the pamphlet-like book “My first socks” or something like that.

I knit and knit and knit. I was just about to the heel, when I met Ellen. We roomed together at a SOAR retreat in 2007. She saw my very large and unwearable sock and said, “You need to get good sock yarn. That yarn will just not do.”  So at the vendor booths the next day I bought a skein of really teeny sock yarn. I was totally scared. I had to buy smaller (#1) double pointed needles, too. Ellen shepherded me through the casting on of 62 stitches and making the K2P1 ribbing. But that was as far as I got that weekend.

At home I again reached the heel. Ellen coached me over the phone and I was able to get through the instructions for the short rows of the heel. I could pick up the stitches easily and finish up that first sock. I cast on the other sock and soon completed that sock.

What I learned was that Ellen was right. The socks turned out so well.  I was kept engaged because the hand dyed colors kept changing through the socks. Yes, making those socks was more enjoyable. The colors were better. The end product was actually wearable, not 6 sizes too big.

Now I knit socks 2 at a time on one needle. Learn how here!

Since that time, I tell my students and customers to use the “good stuff”. It is like having great china and only using it for “special” occasions. Start taking out that silver and china and use it! Don’t save it for “later” and then never, ever use it.  Enjoy what you have! Don’t deprive yourself until you are a better knitter or crocheter or spinner. Use it today! 

Because if you don’t and continue use the wrong yarn or roving, you may just give up before you get to be a better knitter (spinner or crocheter). You think the problem is you, when really the problem is the cheap stuff that can be harder to use or doesn’t feel good in your hands or just isn’t very pretty.  That kind of reasoning becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. And you will think to yourself, thank goodness, I didn’t use the good stuff when I had no business even trying to learn to ____ (fill in the blank with spin, knit, crochet). So pull out that beautiful yarn, buy that gorgeous roving and USE IT!!

Sparkly yarn is so fun!! Find it here!

P.S. I love those socks and still wear them!!!

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what to do with all those leftover bits

I have so many baskets and vases filled with little bits of yarn leftover from this project or that one. Do you have those too? I bet you do.

What to do with them? Here’s a video that highlights one way that you might want to bring those bits back into a useful life.

Those bits can be used to make scrappy socks or a strippy sweater or a granny square afghan or a jelly roll knitted blanket. I think they would even be fun to use in an entrelac project.

When you have your bits organized by color and by weight, you are ready to just pick it up and make something that you will love. This is all part of the push to use our resources wisely. Happy Making!!

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New Spring Time Colorways

Spring is about to burst forth here in the East. The Witch Hazel is just about finished as it is a late Winter bloomer here. The forsythia is budding bright yellow. The daffodils and crocuses are up and opening too. I have new Springtime colorways to share with you. They were inspired by photographs. Find them here

Here’s what I was inspired to make:

And of course I have some semi-solids to go with these great variegated skeins:

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What “backorder” means

Wow! The new colorways sold out in a matter of minutes yesterday.

Don’t worry! I will be dyeing more today and everyday until you all get the yarn that thrills you!

So when you see this yarn or colorway is “on backorder”. Know that means that I’ll be dyeing your order especially for you.

How long will it take? Not long at all. Typically if I have the yarn on the shelf, I can get your order out in priority mail within 24 hours of your purchase, exceptions being Sundays or postal holidays. If I’m dyeing to order, your yarn will be in the mail within 72 hours of your order. And many times if the weather is good, it will be sooner, as the yarn needs to be totally dry before it goes in the mail.

So go ahead! Buy that backordered colorway. If you need me I’ll be in the dye studio!!

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New Yarns, New Inspirations

Last week was momentous in our country. And I have to say that I was inspired by several things. The moving memorial to those who have succumbed to Covid. Washington’s sky deepening into night with the Washington Monument going from white marble to gold stone.

This is on Chinook Yarn: Super Wash Merino, Cashmere and Nylon. It is fingering weight with 414 yards per skein

The next day I loved the array of colors from all the women who attended the inauguration. From Michelle Obama’s burgundy pantsuit and long coat to the pastel coats of the Biden girls. And of course Dr. Biden in her blue sparkly ensemble. I just loved the power of the color. The statements that women will not be overlooked.

Sparkly Yarn is super wash Merino with Lurex. It is fingering weight with 400 yards per skein

Both are available in our webstore. Get some for yourself today! Click here for Dr. Biden colorway. Click here for Covid Memorial Colorway

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a tale of 2 shawls

Well, it’s a strange, strange world right now. The repetitive motions of knitting, seeing the colors change and watching a shawl grow can be just what you need for your mental health. This weekend is big for us around here. First it is our first Virtual Fiber Art Studio Tour. This is actually our 4th year of having the tour. Each year we have a featured shawl that is made with hand dyed mini-skeins. In years past, our tourists could pick up a skein here and there and then make a souvenir of the weekend. This year, since it is virtual, and we will have to mail all your purchases, we decided to ask our indie dyers to make packs of 5 mini’s.

This shawl is called “Ticket to Anywhere”. And I sure would like a ticket somewhere right now!! It is an asymmetrical triangle shawl that uses ten 100-yard minis. When you purchase a set from me or any of our dyers, you will recieve a code to discount the shawl pattern to $0. The code will be active from Saturday, June 6th to Monday, June 8. Do you have to wait until Saturday to buy the yarn? No! It’s up on my website right now. Click here to see what I have. I’ve added a few other choices as well. So go and take a look.

The second great shawl is called “Hug Shot”. It is designed by Casapinka. This shawl takes 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn. I have 8 different choices. And if you find a combo that you like better, just say that you’re buying this for the Hug Shot shawl, and I’ll send you a code. The code gives you the pattern for free. This code will be active from June 6th to 11:59pm June 14th. Casapinka says that this shawl is very soothing to knit. And it looks like a lot of fun, for sure!! Click here to see the combo’s that I have for you. These combos will be dyed to order when the current stock runs out.

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terrific threesomes!

Yesterday was my first “Thrifty Thursday”. I showcased my shawl triads. These are sets of 3 skeins that can be used for a myriad of shawl patterns that are available to knitters and crocheters. This is a service that I typically provide buyers at in person shows. I help you pick out yarns that go together. Right now that isn’t available.

I have 12 unique sets. They are all one of a kind. Once someone grabs a kit, it is gone forever. All the sets are made with fingering weight yarn. Each skein is at least 400 yards. So the full set is 1200 yards or a little over depending on the bases involved.

Do you want to see them up close? Click on this Facebook Live video that I recorded yesterday during our event.