Yarn Fest is yep you guessed it, a yarn and fiber sale hosted by the Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo every year. According to their Facebook event page it is a "Premiere event for those loving yarn and fiber related items." That's pretty much me. So I went this year for my first time. It was an awesome display of mostly yarn and some fiber by talented indie dyers and spinners form New York State and Pennsylvania. The bulk of the event took place in one of the meeting rooms at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Amherst, NY. But my favorite part of the event was just outside in the parking lot. There was a yarn truck! I just think that is the coolest thing. Maybe I live a sheltered life over here to 1. get that excited over a traveling yarn truck and 2. not know that they existed. The truck is owned by buffalo native Jenna of Knitbuffalo. She's an extremely talented knitter, spinner, dyer, and all around sweet girl. I took a few photos in the truck but it was a little tricky because there were so many people clamoring to get in and shop. Check her out on her website . It has all her events listed so if you're ever in the area you can go see her in person. She told me a secret that I can't divulge about one of my very favorite knitwear designers coming to Rhinebeck this year and possibly doing a small local event with her just prior. That will also be posted on her events page closer to the Rhinebeck Fiber Festival. If you're interested in online shopping for her squishy goodies take a peek at the site ! I'm a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and she had a few colorways named with quotes from the show. I love finding a fiber friend who has the same geeky interests as me.
Moving along inside there was a table set up for people interested in joining the Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo. I've been told they have something like 200 members which totally intimidates my introverted self so I did not check them out. I should though because resources! Then in the next room over was the main part of the event. There were many vendors set up with such beautiful yarns and fiber. I purchased a beautiful skein of a lusterous alpaca blend in a dark navy color from Golden Oak Farm. The yarn base is called Astral and every single colorway they had it in was gorgeous. I had a hard time picking just the one. You can check them out at www.alpacasetc.net. It came with a one skein pattern for a cowl that I can't wait to knit up. I have to finish the mkal I'm currently working on though first. And I also purchased a stunning skein of hand dyed roving from The Spinning Bunny. Is roving in a skein? The color is called Aurora Borealis and it is to die for. I can't wait to spin it up into some chunky art yarn and weave something with it. Click here for the Spinning bunny etsy shop.
There were just so many beautiful yarns and fibers there. There was even one woman selling chicken items there...like chicken feathers in a mason jar with a chicken-y print fabric on the lid. And she was selling pictures of her chickens as well. My mom used to have a chicken theme in her kitchen when I was growing up and I almost bought a jar of feathers as a joke gift for her for Mother's Day...I decided to be a good daughter and get her a flamingo shaped bird house to hang in her garden instead.
All in all I think it was a very successful event. I love supporting the fiber community and small businesses. I hope you all can go and enjoy fiber related events in your community and support people doing what they love! Plus you never know what goodies you will find. There are so many talented people out there in the fiber world that are hidden gems. Go out and find them!
Greetings Fellow Yarnies and Fiber Friends,
It's been a busy spring so far, We've been working hard on our new additions to our signature line featuring rustic solids and small farm fibers as well as getting ready for some great pop up shops at smart and Becker gallery and the Retropolitan Craft fair. The fair was today and we had a great turn out. I was joined by one of our featured artist from Black berry patch homestead ( hint hint there will be more of her yarns that sold out in record time hitting our site soon) and we were busy spinning and talking to people all day. This really was a great event. Here are some highlights and some of my favorite yarn and textile artist I got to hang out with there. Enjoy
Knoxville is known as " the maker city" for it's thriving artisan comunity, I"m excited to anncounce that CHY has been accepted in the official directory. Click the button below to check out our page and many others!
To go with the release of our new rustic dyeable collection I have picked the brain of my favorite indie dyer Christina Mossaad. She is the owner and fiber artist at Chromatic Dyenamics and one of our featured fiber artist here at CHY.
Tips for dying yarn at home
- soak the fiber well in water
- add vinegar and water to a dye dedicated pan or pot
- add dye directly to the water with the yarn in it or paint the fiber as desired
- Heat until dye is exhausted ( this can be done in a baking dish in the oven low on 280 degrees or in warm water in a pan on the stove. When the dye seems to be staying in the yarn then it is exhausted and won't absorb anymore.
- allow to cool to room temperature and rinse gently in cool water.
- Don't shock the yarn by going from cold to hot or hot to cold. All temperature changes should be done slowly.
- You can get creative with dyes, try using Rit brand fabric dyes or easter egg dye or food coloring.
This video shows me dyeing merino roving but you could use the same technique with merino handspun yarn, just use one pan.
You can also paint the yarn by soaking it in water and vinegar, squeeze out the extra water and lay it out on some plastic wrap. You can then paint on the dye where you want it with foam brushes like these.
I have been spinning yarn happily not knowing what a distaff was for for a few years now and it wasn't until our local spinners guild had a great speaker, Kim Caulfeild who came and spoke on the subjuct that I understood what they were used for exactly. I like many of you thought that the the distaff was a funny stick used to hold fiber and that is mentioned in the bible a few times. Well it turns out it's much more useful that just being a funny stick. According to Kim by wrapping the fiber supply around a distaff it keeps your arm in a more comfortable position while drop spindling for long periods of time. After trying one I must say I agree. I think when you are first learning to drop spin that having to hold two things is probably too complicated but if you really enjoy useing drop spindles that a distaff could be a fun addition to your collection. Below are a few videos on topic and pictures of the nylon replicas I bought of some of Kim's fabulous ancient Roman collection. After I made a youtube video showing these people started asking where they could buy a distaff and I was having a hard time finding some to send people too. We are lucky enough that our friend Renee at Tailspin farms ( our angora rabbit yarn and fiber) also makes spinners tools and she's made some really fun wire and felted angora rabbit distaffs. These modern distaffs are beautilful, fun and affordable so I will be officially be sending anyone looking to pick up one to try to her shop( check out her angora rabbit jewelry while you're there)
Feel free to comment with any qustions. Happy Drop spinning.
Well here on CHY Ya'll probably hear me ramble a lot about where our artist and farmers are. I think that it's not only import to shop at your LYS ( local yarn shop) which it totally is but also to be mindful of the whole process. Now I"m not saying that you should throw in the towel on anything that's not made at the farm down the road, there are many wonderful options form all around this big world of ours and that's half the fun, BUT wouldn't it be nice to go into a local shop ( or online cough cough) and be able to find something that wasn't in every other yarn shop. Just recently I was in Denver on vacation with the husband and we spent a good while walking around with our gps thing to find this little yarn shop downtown. Now when we found it i peered in the window, It wasn't open and could tell that it just had the same ole same ole sitting next to some lack luster purses. Needless to say I was much happier when we found "Fancy Tiger Crafts" later that day. This shop was the total opposite and pretty close to exactly what I would have if I had a brick and mortar shop. Lots of cool blends, wool that was gasp, not merino... etc. Any way I digress I think that as a fiber friend, be you a knitter, crocheter , weaver, general yarn fondler you must already have an interest in the past and perhaps a more simple way of doing things. I think we owe it to this age old craft that's been around since people crawled out of caves and started making rope out of leaves to perhaps pay a bit more and support the local farmer or artist. I think this opens up so many different avenues for invention with your final projects anyway. This is why I will continue to try to find the best supplies and the best fiber artist to help with our yarns and fibers while trying to keep the prices at a reasonable mark. If we can't keep it appealing to a buyer and crafter than the whole deck of cards folds. So I'll be adding clips as I get them to this blog on some of our farmers and suppliers as I find them To kick it off heres a silly little compilation from "Crashing pines farm” Home of Barb Queen of the Alpacas, sheep and drop spindles. My girls and I just love getting to go visit and this is where a good bit our our supplies come form right up the road in Lancing TN. I have also included a video from Tailspin Farms where we get all our our fabulous Angora fiber and yarn from.
I absolutely hate the idea of things ending up in the landfill that don't need to so I just love this new project
All of those plastic store bags drive me nuts, thats one thing I love about trader joes is I find the paper bags with handles much more useful. Recently one of my oldest friends and fellow crafty work form home moms came to visit for a long weekend. We had a great time going to our local spinners guild meeting where Jamie quickly picked up drop spindling and we took the girls to visit a local fiber farm. All weekend Jamie was knitting away on this fantastic market plarn bag as a gift for me. The more I looked at it the more I was impressed with all of her well thought out details and designs. I just knew as soon as I shared pictures of it and started using it around down that everyone would want one. Since her bags are actually award winning in earth and eco fairs in the Orlando FL area she is familiar with people wanting their own. Since they are fairly time consuming with making the yarn from bags and then knitting them we decided it was more practical to make a "mini course" to go with the pattern so people could make their own, teach a man to fish, or plarn you know...
The best news is this fun project uses a ton of those annoying bags, it also gives you a fun scavenger hunt aspect to your shopping so that you can find different colors to work into your yarns....
Jamie can be found on Ravelry as jamiemyselfandi , we're also on our facebook group handspun yarn love , please share all of your fun eco projects with us. Once you know how to plarn we're sure you'll find many creative uses for it!
Guess what! If you're on youtube and you like watching spinning and fiber videos you're in luck! After much encouragement from my husband and all of ya'll I've started doing a weekly live broadcast of spinning and fiber fun on Thursdays at 7:15 on my youtube channel. It's called Gin and Spin and the idea is that I will be sneaking off from my family to have an adult beverage and play with some fiber. The benefit of these being live is that I can talk and answer questions about what I'm doing with whoever is on at the time. Dont worry if you can't make it live you can always catch the videos later on my youtube channel where they will be saved. Reguardless of when you watch them please feel free to leave comments saying hello or asking spinning and yarn questions. These have been pretty silly so far, since they are live and later at night I normally look like I've been chasing two little girls around and like I could stand a drink ha ha. Being a work from home mom I have gotten pretty excited about doing these and talking to all of my fiber friends at a regular time. Here are some of the early episodes. Feel free to check them out and if you like them give them the ole thumbs up or subscribe to my channel and you'll get alerts when I go live, I think there's a little "bell" button on the top right hand corner of the main page of my channel and if you click that you'll get notified when I go on live. I do shoot for 7:15 every week, but you can always catch the replay. Thanks again for all of the love and support
- Erin , CHY
Angela is a friend of mine from an online fiber arts makers group that we are both in and I've had the privilege of brain storming a few ideas with her and I hope to be collaborating with her more in 2018. Her business Little Monkey Designs is well known for great patterns, kits and premade items and it's really a pleasure and honor to get featured and reviewed on her site! She also launched a course last year called mastering Crochet that I've heard wonderful things about from people who have taken it and I've seen them take off crocheting ( with some of my yarn of course) pretty much right away. Here is the link to the review of my yarn on her blog , there's video and everything very fancy... Little Monkey Review
If you're finding this pattern and it appears that we are in between collections and things are looking a bit picked over for the single ply worsted like in the pattern in our shop.... Please fill out this form below and I'll contact you about making you you're very own skein in the right size and yardage for this pattern but in the colors you would prefer for any occasion. The form is just to ask questions you are not obligated to buy.
I've so enjoyed the charity yarns I'd done in the past for certain causes that I've decided I really want to incorporate them into every month. The girls really love " helping me" with the business and I think it's good for them to see how you can use your talents to give back to people in need. For this reason we're going to have a new charity yarn every month and 100% of the proceeds will go to whatever the choses charity is. It will probably alternate between second harvest and st. judes unless we have one some one has recommended to us either through church or friends. If you have a need or a loved one with a need please contact me at email@example.com and we'll work them in the rotation.
This month we worked with our local church who was launching a love local campaign where you get a grocery bag and shopping list with easy to prepare food options for children who are in danger of food scarcity while school is out during the holidays. I'm please to announce that we sold our charity yarn pretty much instantly( it was really fabulous I think hand dyed with silver sparkles) so today the girls and I went shopping and I explained to them what we were doing and where the money came from so they could feel apart of it.
I know we are a fiber arts business but I like to think our brand stands for anything traditional and family related. I hate wasting things especially food( I love food) so I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes for when you all of a sudden discover you have milk or eggs that are going out of date and need to be used. This is an adaptive recipe of mine that is one of my favorites. It's a satued sweet onion and goat cheese quiche. It uses a good big of milk and eggs so its good for useing up leftovers and the only really special ingredient you need is goat cheese so it's pretty easy to whip up. It also makes great leftovers so you can eat it for lunch dinner breakfast or late night snack. This will hopefully free you up for some more crafting time. I know from personal expirenace how hard it is to use what's in the house, chase kids and try to have any time to yourself.
Enjoy and let me know what you think
Shop small this holiday season with Crafty housewife yarn's favorite business
make your life easier holiday tips,
- If you're like me and take tons of great pictures on your phone but are too lazy or don't want to deal with printing them out at the store( biggest pain ever) check out www.freeprints.com . You can get the app too and then you just easyly select the pictures you want ( even from facebook or instagram) and they print free. The shipping I think is around $9 so even with that all the free prints are a great deal. I've been really happy with the quality.
- Another great app if you're multi taking family life and business life is ( ITTT) it's stand for if this then that. You can easily program lots of automation on your phone. like adding appointments to calendars, pinterest and instagram hack etc
- knitting or crochet to avoid putting your foot in your mouth in family gathering situations ha ha
If you need some pattern ideas here are some of my favorite designers shops on ravelry
Little monkey designs for crochet gifts and accessories
Knitalogy for really great knit beanies and shawls
Caitlin ffrench kinda goth kinda woodsy very cool
Cassondra Rizzardi some of the most imaginative and fun patterns I've seen.
I love my baby brother drum carder from brother drum carders. Here’s some quick tips on making a lot of art batts with out blowing out your carder or your shoulder.
Hit me up with any questions!
I have noticed that one of my Bobbins for my spinolution King bee made a bit of a rattling noise. I decided to play around with some household tools and see if I could get a better connection with the magnet. It's definitely much better especially if I keep my spinning even in my treadling smooth. Not a 100% fix but I'm definitely happier with the results
If anyone else out there has any tips or tricks I would love to know what they are
As a dealer for spinolution I love these wheels. Here's a collection of review and demo videos I've made all found in once place. I will add to them as I make them.
If you have any questions or have a video topic you'd like to see please message me.
One of the reasons it's fun to be me is sometimes people like to send me samples of they're fibers if they are in the fiber industry. Recently I lucked out and received two wonderful care packages one from Barnyard Blue farms and one from Tailspin farms. I am incredibly greatful to both of these small farms for thinking enough of me and my business to send some samples my way.
I'd spun blue faced Leicester ( BFL) before and already knew I loved it but hadn't gotten to play with it in a while. With it's long fiber length and great texture it just screams to be made into very fine yarn. I made myself a wonderful thin two ply and started making some "outlander" inspired fingerless gloves. I got so inspired by this new fiber and the options it opens up I've planned a mini collection for this winter called rustic winter that will feature the muted colors of Andrew Wyeth paintings ( one of my favs) This mini collection will also have angora rabbit blends from Tail spin yarn and a new pattern kit as well. I'd never spun Angora rabbit by it's self and I must admit I'm hooked. I just love the lovely drape and natural color.
Here are the two review and spinning videos I made of both small businesses. Please check them out and sign up for my coupon email list to get coupons and early shopping for the rustic winter collection.
I met Christina through a small business group online and after checking out her website chromatic dynamics I was blown away with her use of color. I imidately had to know more about her and as we started talking we quickly became kindred spirits and started working together. She is one of the talented dyers that I use for my custom hand dyed color ways. I have such a good time imaging what I want in a dream yarn and then gathering the supplies and watching it come to life through someone more talented at dying than myself. I'm a super klutzy person so I just don't need that much permante dye in my house and need to devote most of my work time to fiber blending and spinning so it's been wonderful to work with Christina and know that she's bringing my vision to life with her knowledge of color and Chemistry ( she has a Phd ) in a way I never could. Please check out her artist Bio Here. She is huge in the weaving community and specializes in hand woven and dyed baby wraps. Please check out her website for any weaving and mill spun hand dyed yarn. On top of all of that she's also a fantastic spinner so I"m so proud to carry her handspun on my site as our first featured artist. Together we're hoping to give the fiber arts community a different outlet for handspun yarn and fiber besides Easy ( which is getting so corporate lets face it) I wanted to help foster an online gallery of fiber artist where they are featured as special and not just one of a million listing thrown on a page with some mass produced goods from China. We're having a really fun time with our little venture so far. If you are a fiber artist would would like more info on joining us submit your info here. Anyway that's enough rambling here's the first of what I'm sure will be many interviews with Christina. Please look her up online and follow her on social media she has some truely beautiful images she shares.
I can't believe i was lucky enough to be asked to do an interview with Renae Christine of Handmade Titan University.
This was truly an honor. The topic was how to work into wholesale with a handmade business. Even though my primary focus is my retail business and new collections release here on my site. I' have really enjoyed working with yarn shops and designs to make them their dream yarn. I'm also excited about our newest venture of having featured fiber artist on our site like an online art gallery for the fiber arts.
Indian summer is an old expression for a lingering time of good favor and happiness.
We've had a hot and busy summer. We're still enjoying the sun but looking forward to the cooler weather and family traditions the holidays bring.
I hope this limited edition collection of handspun yarn and spinning fiber captures that sweet transitional period for you too.
was lucky enough to meet , befriend and get to interview Fiona Langtry Australian crochet designer we tried doing a video interview and the conversation was great but the memory in the camera was lacking. However I'm old enough to remember having to buy a phone card in high school to talk to my boyfriend who lived an hour away so it blows my mind we were able to figure out all these time differences and talk on the web with video. As supplement here's some q&A with Fiona
Your name & Etsy shop link:
Tell us something interesting/unique about yourself!
I won the Hand Sewn Needlework Grand Champion prize at the Bendigo Agricultural Show in 2013. My Mum entered one of the 2 cross-stitch tapestries I had given her for her 70th birthday.
Write 5 adjectives to describe your products.
Boho, Relaxed, Easy Going, Textured, Trendy
Where else do you advertise/sell your work? (eg. social media, markets,...)
- Social media - I have facebook, instagram and pinterest accounts
- I've tried markets with little sucess. I live about an hour from Canberra and don't like spending every weekend away from my family, so I think my issue has been not choosing the 'right' markets... now I don't care :)
- In May 2017, two small yarn producers started displaying products made by me and selling the related patterns at markets. This is by far my preferred option as far as markets are concerned - I don't HAVE to attend, but people are still finding my patterns and are able to see and touch the results :)
- there are a lot of on-line places to sell crochet patterns and I'm slowly gaining a presence on a few of them; Ravelry and LoveKnitting both have thriving indie-designer communities and I'm working hard to sell on both sites.
- I have my own website (still not the way I want it, but it's getting there). All of my patterns are for sale there as well.
What has been the proudest moment of your journey so far?
There are 3 major milestones I've experienced in the past year:
#1 - I launched my very own, created and designed by me, website! Not as a means to get off Etsy completely, but as a platform that I can control - I LOVE it! :)
#2 - On May 18th 2017, I released a 10-piece cohesive product collection of crochet patterns, along with 5 kits. This project represented hundreds of hours of my time, and hundreds of dollars in photography and other investments, but how happy was I to be able to 'go live'?! The collection can be seen in my Etsy shop - it has it's own Section in Madeforyoubyfi.etsy.com - and/or you can see the whole thing laid out at madeforyoubyfi.com/luxurious-layers-collection/
#3 - Twice in the last couple of months, one of my patterns has made it into the top 5 of 'Hookin on Hump Day' - an international link party where people vote by clicking on their favourite thing in fiber arts. The link party is hosted by two of the market's biggest players 'Petals to Picots' and Moogly. The fact that I've made 'top 5', means that both these bloggers have had to notice me, and that's a big deal :)
What inspired you to create your business and how long have you been trading for?
My business started in 2013, and I opened my Etsy shop in April 2014. An individual lady ordered 10 pairs of slippers from me over 2 months, which gave me the push to start a 'business'... since then, I've tried a few different directions, but crocheting ladies' accessories and layers have become my passion.
3. When shopping for woolen goodies, what should a person look for in the item?
When you are shopping for knitwear, you should look for designs which are easy-to-wear. I prefer to create 'one size fits most' designs - a relaxed fit means that most body shapes are catered for.
The yarn composition (fibers blended together) is super important - there are exclusive/expensive fibers (like alpaca, llama, silk, mohair, merino) which have the capability of turning an 'ordinary' garment into something extra special, which will last a lifetime (or 2!) Many of these fibers are extremely soft, some have water resistant properties, but all add a level of luxury to scarves, hats, gloves etc.
4. Outside your business, what inspires you?
As a practicing Christian, I am involved in a community-centered church - being around the people and seeing their needs is always inspiring. I help run a weekly craft group - collaboration is something that happens naturally and I love it
I love music - I lead the singing at church most weekends. I love seeing the colours and shapes that God has put together in nature. The place I work is set in Australian bushland - there is always something inspiring just outside the window!
My ‘Endless Summer...’ collection will be launched on July 31
Despite living in Australia, where we’re in the middle of a pretty cold winter at the moment, I’ve been getting requests for summer patterns from my customers in the Northern Hemisphere. As a result I’ve created a collection of summer patterns designed to be created with cotton (or similar). These are a range of garments which can be worn to the beach, the shops, on a picnic or to a festival, keeping you cool and comfortable while staying on trend.
Included are 4 brand new crochet patterns, some gift sets, Made to Order and Ready to Ship products for the following general styles:
I am very excited to share these with the world, after the success of my current Luxurious Layers Collection.