knitting blog

Rustic winter , handicrafts, tips, and recipes.

rustic winter
White chicken Chili

Ingredients

1 pound of chicken breast roughly diced
1 can white or sweet corn
2 cans great northern beans
1 little or big can of green chilis
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch seasoning
1 8 oz of cream cheese
1 squeeze of a lime
1/2 can of water

dice the chicken quickly and toss in the bottom of the crock pot. Add everything else except the cream cheese and the lime and stir.
cook on low 6 hr or high 4 hrs.
when 30 minutes from servicing add the cream cheese in chunks and stir . Squeeze the lime over top. serve with chips
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Taco soup chilli


ingredients

1 pound group beef browned and drained
1 packet of ranch seasoning
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can black beans
2 cans red kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn ( if you want)
1/2 can of water

brown the meat and drain then add all of the ingredients to a crock pot and stir. cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4. Is great served with sour cream and cheese, chips or corn bread if you’re really feeling fancy.
click picture for pattern

click picture for pattern

click image for pattern

click image for pattern

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. 

Alicia Plummer and Melissa Schaschwary help me live out my fantasy of living a rustic north eastern life style. I've made many projects from these two.  

Troubleshooting for a clicking Bobbin.

 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  

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handspun yarn tips

Spinolution spinning wheel review videos

 

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.  

erin@craftyhousewifeyarns.com

 

 

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handspun yarn tips

Spinning with new Spinning fibers! BFL and Angora rabbit

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.  
 

Interview with Indie Dyer Christina Mossaad

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.  

https://www.facebook.com/chromaticdyenamics/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/chromaticdyenamics/

Interview with Renae Christine of Handmade Titian University

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.  

handmade titan award

 

 

knitting blog

Indian summer collection

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.

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knitting blog

Interview with Fiona Langtry

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:
Fiona Langtry
Madeforyoubyfi.etsy.com

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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!

NEW COLLECTION:

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My ‘Endless Summer...’ collection will be launched on July 31 

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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:

a)Bralette

b)Crochet Top

c)Shrug

d)Vest

I am very excited to share these with the world, after the success of my current Luxurious Layers Collection. 

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knitting blog

fun handspun yarn project

Alicia plummers adrift with handspun yarn

I just wanted to share this project I just finished. It's Alicia Plummer's "adrift" pattern

I used one skein of my handspun yarn 75+ yards and one skein of a natural tweed from my LYS 153 yards even though I didn't end up using all of the 153 yards so you could get less.  I used size 9 needles which works well with my bulky handspun.  

With these materials I did end up with a finished project the decisions she list but the last decorative section was a few rows short.  This didn't bother me at all and it was the same dimensions  as listed but you could easily double this pattern and materials if you wanted a longer double wrapping scarf.  

All credit given to the designer ( one of my favorites) I just wanted to promote a fun lovely project and a great use of one skein of bulky art yarn.  

knitting blog

Beach yarn spinning

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Even though we are in the middle of expanding to include other fiber artist on our site I love that we are primarily a family business. The girls try to help the best they can sometimes more than we need. My husband really doesn't get enough credit for his help as the self proclaimed "creative director" and head of the awesome free swag and gift with purchase department ha ha. His job is very technical and demanding so getting to be creative with the rest of us is a lot of fun for him. The other perk is we get to take our business on family vacation with us. We made our yearly pilgrimage to north myrtle beach sc ( we're from the coastal low county) and it was great to get to hang out with my mom and fellow fiber artist and get some yarn spun and hand off some fiber. Now that we're back on Knoxville we have so much to get done for the next collection release "Indian summer " July 25th 

heres some pictures from our first beach trip to oak island no with moms side of the family and a video from north myrtle beach.  

 

Enjoy a little behind the scenes

 

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oh the excitement  

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Oak island nc

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mom and her louet  

North myrtle beach  

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seagull  feeding in oak island nc

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Sneak peek of some cool free swag for the holiday collection  

handspun yarn tips, knitting blog

DIY fiber blending board

I made a how to video for making your own fiber blending board and rolag spinning fiber.  

Check it out and hit me up with some questions, hope this is helpful. Blending your own fiber is super fun and shouldn't cost an arm and a leg in my opinion.  

My brand is called crafty housewife because I'm a big fan of finding value and frugal uses for things.  

I love the old saying from the depression era

" use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without "  

 

Check out  

www.paradisefibers.com for the drum carder cloth  

and your local ace hardware for the rest.  

have fun

handspun yarn tips

Review and Demo of the King Bee Spinolution Wheel

I figured it was about time that I got around to blogging about my spinolutions wheels seeing how I"m a dealer and all.  I'd been talking with people in the spinolution Facebook group ( a great resource )  and people seemed to be having questions about what exactly to do with all of the different gears and settings. I totally see how all of that could be intimidating especially if you were newer to the basic concept of spinning.  I mean it has two wheels, two bands, an unusual treadle system and it folds into a box for crying out loud.  Fear not my usual ability to not let not having a clue what I"m doing stop me from doing it has once again worked to mine ( and your) benefit.  So here are a couple of you tube videos I'd made to answer the main questions I was seeing.  i'll probably make some more and link them here later on.  I love this wheel becasuse it's powerful ,quick, durable and portable.  Also with it's 8 oz bobbins at least for me it's all I would need.  So here goes. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.  

handspun yarn tips

Free summer wrap knitting pattern for handspun yarn

So here's a sweet little pattern for a very customizable summer wrap.  It's a very simple pattern (Hey do I write any other kind, ha ha) and features a drawstring neckline so you can wear it many different ways.

click image to be taken to the free pattern

click image to be taken to the free pattern

I made this for my self a couple summers ago from a yarn I made with half (tropical horizons and half local natural brown alpaca) I really like it because it's great to wear over those long tank tops from target ( all I wear in the summer lets be real) or a cute sun dress.  It's great for covering your shoulders if your chilly or your upper arms or cleavage if you're suddenly feeling modest.  The loose drop stitch / garter stitch pattern is fun and fast great for vacation knitting and of course looks great with my hand dyed handspun yarn.  It would also look great with the thick and thin.  I personally think I'm going to have to make another one for me made out of African Violet color way.  

"african violet" click image to see some awesome yarn options for your wrap

"african violet" click image to see some awesome yarn options for your wrap

Let me know if you have any questions and of course if you need any fabulous yarn check out my shop and don't forget to get your 20% off coupon.  

Happy Summer Knitting!!

knitting blog, handspun yarn tips

left handed yarn spinning , questions answered

As promised I went in search for answers to your questions about left handed spinning.  Some of you had questions about getting started spinning yarn as a left handed person.

 I did a bit of digging and asking in the fiber world to see if there were different types of spinning wheels or drop spindles that were preferred amongst left handed people and it turns out that there's really not.  

The main difference with learning to spin if your left handed is that you will be doing things backwards from what you may be seeing in how to videos or classes if the teacher is right handed.  Just like writing or cooking your dominant hand will come into play.  If you are left handed you will be drafting ( pulling the fiber slowly apart) with your left hand instead of your right.  This will only affect which hand you are using for your lead drafting and pinching hand nothing else. 

left handed spinning questions answered

While I was looking I checked out youtube to see if there was a good video to link for demo purposes and I wasn't really happy with what came up so I made one.  For unknown reasons there was a problem uploading mine so it's now in two parts so please excuse the choppy ending on video one and then continue watching on video 2.  

Please let me know what you think and if this helps to answer your questions.  For those of you who are not in my handspun yarn love group it is where these questions and discussions originally came from.  This is a private fiber group you can find off of my business page, or just searching groups on Facebook.  We would love to have you join in on the conversation.  

 

handspun yarn tips, knitting blog

Faux Cashmere review , Spinolution King Bee wheel and rainy day rambling

What better to do on a rainy nap time then to spin up some Faux Cashmere!

Spinolution King Bee

Spinolution King Bee

So I'm working on a custom colorway for a local shop ( shout out to Atomic Fibers in Oak Ridge TN). Half of the order is going to be on Merino with silver sparkles and the other half is going to be on Faux Cashmere which I was very excited that the shop owner was as excited about as I am.  I'm normally a huge fiber snob and not a huge fan of anything that's not a natural fiber but I must admit faux cashmere has brought me over to the dark side.  It spins up like a dream and is pretty brainless,  it's fluffy and light but has a decently long staple length so it's easy to achieve a thinner yarn.  I find it a bit harder to per-draft than merino or other wools so I normally end up breaking off small blobs of it and spinning thin from that which seems to work well.  Yarn spun from faux cashmere has a nice subtle sheen and is fabulously soft and light weight. It also takes dyes well and the results are normally bright and cheerful.   The best part is unlike real cashmere you wont have to take out a loan to get a decent amount to spin or knit with.  In this video you will see some faux cashmere spinning action on my Spinolution King Bee ( Love)  as well as a bit of rambling about the adventures of me and the little people and why I compulsively  spin for relaxation.  As normal feel free to hit me up with any questions or comments.  

Stay tuned for info on some late summer limited edition yarns that will be faux cashmere of course.  Joining the coupon email list is by far the best way to know when that happens and save money while you're at it.  

                                                    

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handspun yarn tips, knitting blog

Handspun yarn patterns, suggestions for 3 projects

Here is the link to the three patterns I wrote for using small amounts of handspun yarn or art yarn.  These are not exacting patterns they are detailed suggestions.  

3 handspun yarn patterns free

I have other more official patterns on on this site they are also free, they are also meant to be knit with handspun yarn alone or mixed in with yarn from your favorite yarn shop.  

This PDF with the three small patterns are free, please enjoy and I hope they inspire you to make something beautiful out of you're yarn stash.  

knitting blog

Thick and thin handspun yarn knitting tips

As someone who is in the handspun yarn business I'm always sad when I'm checking out google and see blog post from people who claim to be having trouble knitting with handspun yarn.  This is what promoted me to write my earlier blog post on knitting with hand spun.  Now if you haven't been living under a rock you've probably noticed that the "thick and thin " or big chunky single ply yarn has been " in vogue " here lately.  My first pet peeve is that giant balls of roving wool keep being listed for sale on Etsy as "chunky yarn".  I Think this is a shame because a novice knitter could buy this and try to knit one of those giant yarn blankets out of it and then be out a lot of money and very sad when it starts pulling part due to the fact that it has no twist and is not actually yarn.  Secondly this really muddies the water for those of us actually in the yarn selling business if that's what people now think chunky or bulky yarn is.  

I had just finished making a really lovely infinity cowl made from my merino thick and thin yarn for a customer and friend and after working with the yarn I figured it wouldn't hurt to put out a short ( hopefully somewhat funny and informative video).

 I know I use you tube all the time for everything from drum carder techniques to why is my garage door not working right? So when I try to find the answer to a particular question and I can't find exactly what I'm looking for I figure I can't be the only one.  So for as much as I'm not looking to become the next star you tuber. I'll leave that to my two girls who love to make videos for the grandparents. I figured this might help someone.    Below are some really pretty projects I found on pinterest for knitting with bulky thick and thin yarn.  They are saved to my "handspun yarn dream projects board" and conveniently linked below for your viewing pleasure.  

Click on the images below for links to the pins with more info on the thick and thin handspun yarn projects

Click on the images below to see examples of thick and thin yarn in my shop.  Some are more sublte in thick and thin nature than others.