As I write this it’s super early in the morning on the 24th “ Shop Small Saturday” as its become known. I’m drinking a giant cup of coffee and getting ready to head out to the old city market after decorating the Christmas Tree with the girls in a few hours. “Shop Small Saturday “ came about as a response to “Black Friday “ of course. I’ve never been a big black Friday shopper, I much prefer shopping online to standing in lines with big groups of people. I always hate seeing the nasty news reports every year of people running each other over in Walmart. So Shop Small Sat has become the happy alternative for me where we celebrate shopping from small business both near and far. This could be eating at a non chain restaurant or coffee shop or going to a local store or market. Cyber Monday is also fun because then you can shop from your favorite small business from around the globe. As my business has grown I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet and shop from so many other wonderful businesses that it has become really fun to create these little shop small catalogs of some of my favorites. Please check it out and most importantly share a link to this page with all you’re friends so we can spread the word!
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!
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'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