My tangled-up life…

Chronicles of life and crafting

Wednesday Hodgepodge January 18, 2012

Filed under: thoughts,Wednesday Hodgepodge — craftygirl83 @ 5:19 pm

Alrighty, trying something new to see if it’ll make me want to blog more.

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Every Wednesday Joyce posts some random questions, and bloggers answer them on their blogs.  Be sure to visit her site (hyperlinked through her name) to follow links to everyone else who’s participating.  And why not join in yourself? :)

1. A new Miss America was crowned on Saturday night-did you watch? If you were a contestant what would your talent be?

 No, I didn’t. I try not to watch beauty pageants… I find them depressing because the women are so fake. If I was a contestant… my talent would probably be something musical, like singing. I love to sing.

2. Do you have houseplants? Real or fake?
I have an air fern. Right now that’s pretty much it, as I didn’t have any when I lived in my apartment (the windows weren’t conducive to healthy plants) and I just moved into my house, and haven’t even thought about that yet.  I’ll probably get some soon… I’d love to have a little windowsill herb garden. :)
3. When you were in school did you speak up or were you more of the hide your face, avoid eye contact, and pray the teacher didn’t call on you type of student?
As a teacher’s kid, I definitely spoke up and was happy when called on. I was pretty good about doing homework too, except math (shudder).
4. Next Monday marks the Chinese New Year….what do you order when someone suggests Chinese food?

PF Changs here I come! I looooove their oolong sea bass. :)

5. How would you define a miracle? What would it take for you to consider something a miracle?
A supernatural or highly unusual occurrence that defies all conventional wisdom and science. And it takes a LOT for me to consider something a miracle. It can be a very fortuitous thing, but I don’t use the word miracle very often.
6. What’s your favorite Disney song? If you’re stuck you’ll find a list here.
Kiss The Girl from The Little Mermaid. :)
7. I should have __________yesterday.
left my cell phone turned off and not answered the phone all day.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Some days I just absolutely adore my job so much… I really do have the best job in the world. I get to play with colors, and inspire people’s creativity every day. This week I’m dyeing Shetland wool and BFL wool roving, and I’m just loving the contrast between them. One is rougher, one is smoother… one takes color well and one is already so dark that each color added just adds depth and a slight wash of color… they’re so different, and yet each is so incredible in their own way.  I really do love my work this week. :)

Changes in the shop October 19, 2011

Filed under: dyeing,Etsy,shop update — craftygirl83 @ 12:47 pm

(my new logo- isn’t it cute?!)

Hey everybody!  Due to some unforseen circumstances, there are going to be a few changes in my Etsy shop.  They’re all good, though, so don’t worry! :)

The mill in Canada that I have used for 3 years has started developing a lot of supply problems, and I was having a real issue getting my yarn/fiber orders filled and shipped to me in a timely manner.  Therefore, I’ve decided to switch mills to one here in the US that seems to be really on top of things: every time I’ve placed an order lately, I have it in 3 days or less! :)  That’s excellent turnaround, and I’m really happy about it.

Now how does this change affect you as the consumer?  Well, the superwash merino base and 80/20 superwash merino/nylon bases that I’ve carried for several years are now discontinued in my line, and I have new superwash merino and 80/20 superwash merino/nylon bases to replace them.  The skein size and ply structure of both of these yarns is now quite different, but I’m really very pleased with them!  Also discontinued are the 70/30 merino/silk sock and the 70/30 superwash merino/seacell sock, as well as the 60/40 seacell/silk laceweight.

Weekend Sock is the new 100% superwash merino base, and it’s a very tight 2ply, 400yds/100g.  I’m currently knitting a pair of socks out of this yarn and it’s working up beautifully.  Journey Sock is the new 80% superwash merino/20% nylon base, and it’s also a very tight 2ply, 400yds/100g.  The old bases will be discontinued in the Ravelry database, and the new ones added, probably before they even go up in my shop for you guys to see them!

And don’t worry about the Luxe Sock and the Twinkle Sock bases… they’re from the new mill too, so they’re not going anywhere.

Thanks so much for all of your understanding and support during this time of transition.  I’m really excited about where my business is going!




Big news August 8, 2011

So I am a bad blogger.  I’m sorry I’ve not written lately.  The shop just keeps me slammed and I’ve been out of town a lot lately.

The Tour de Fleece was definitely successful for me this year.  Overall, I ended up finishing 45oz/2186yds of yarn during the course of the Tour- and that doesn’t count some singles that weren’t quite done that were on one wheel, and I didn’t actually end up finishing any of my spindle projects so those are still on-the-go.  I am proud of my accomplishment.  I just wish that I had spun 3oz more so I could have finished a full 3lb!  Oh well.  Here’s my final mosaic:

Tour de Fleece 2011- a resounding success!

So now, a change of topic.  In really big news… Chris proposed to me yesterday!  I am so, so pleased and excited.  We’ve been together a bit over 4 years, so I feel like we’ve taken our time to get to know each other, and we know that we want to spend our lives together.  We don’t have a wedding date set yet, but we’re looking at April of next year.  So now I have a wedding to plan!  Exciting! :)


Well that’s basically all for me today… I need to get back to the dyepots and cleaning my house!  I have some friends coming to visit this week and I’m trying to get all of my shop work done before they get here on Thursday… plus have the house clean.  Eep!

Thanks for reading, and I hope ya’ll are doing well!




Expanding my skill set. June 26, 2011

I have been proficient (or what I consider to be proficient) on my wheel for about a year now.  Any yarn I want to make, I can pretty much do it, without getting really nasty surprises.  I have a good grasp on what I can do with different types of fiber, and although I’m still learning long draw, I could probably do it if I really tried.

But when it comes to spinning on a spindle, I am a big fat chicken.  I really didn’t see the point of spinning on spindles for a long time.  The wheel is much faster for me, and I could produce the yarn I wanted, so why bother with a spindle?  Well the main reason to spin on both types of tools is that sometimes taking a wheel along with you just isn’t practical… the way that taking socks along as a portable knitting project is much more reasonable than taking an afghan or large sweater project.

A friend and I recently splintered off from the spinning group we’d been attending (for various reasons, but the main ones being that we didn’t feel welcome or wanted… they were very cliqueish and not very welcoming, even though they’d invited US to join) and in our quest to decide where to meet with our newly formed group (that consists of her and me right now, but we’re hoping for new people!!), we decided on the mall that’s close to where we live.  Now spinning at the mall is quite an experience… if you haven’t done it, you really should try it sometime.  What’s surprised me the most is that children are so much more polite than adults… and the older the adult is, the more they feel they can walk up to you and provide commentary (either welcome or unwelcome) on what you’re doing.  The look on people’s faces when we tell them we’re making yarn is quite priceless sometimes.  Children seem to accept this and almost always say some variation of “cool!” or “that’s awesome!” but adults get this dumbfounded look on their faces and almost always say something along the lines of “why would you want to do that?”.  Let’s just say that I have high hopes for the future of fiber arts, because children seem genuinely interested in learning to do things with their hands, and, well, the older generation won’t be around forever so I’m not worried about evangelizing to them or teaching them anything they aren’t interested in.  My favorite comment was from a boy that looked to be about 12 or so.  He said “I’m a knitter and I’d love to make my own yarn to knit with. A lot of my friends knit too- boys AND girls.”  That absolutely made my day.

Anyway, I’ve digressed quite a lot.  The point of talking about the group was to say this: on our first two meeting days, it was raining both days, so I couldn’t even conceive of taking my Little Gem out of the house.  (For those of you that don’t own Majacraft wheels, they’re extremely sensitive to temperature and humidity changes; it’s not really a good idea to take them outside into hot, steamy weather when they’re used to a climate-controlled 73 degrees with very little humidity, and then bring them back inside afterward.  Over time it can weaken them and make them split if there are any faults in the soft Rimu wood they’re made of.)  So I had to bring something with me to work on, and hadn’t really spun on a spindle in a long time… so I grabbed my medium Turkish spindle from Threads Thru Time on Etsy and about 1.5oz of some mixed BFL roving I’d dyed (some leftovers from my shop) and took it with me.  Well my singles sucked horribly for the first few days I tried it, but I think I’m gradually getting better!   It turns out that it’s not as hard as I made it out to be at first… and that  muscle memory translates between wheel spinning and spindling.  I am definitely happy with the way that a well-wound cop looks on a Turkish spindle… it makes my little semi-OCD heart swell with joy.

Periwinkle Swirl BFL on medium Turkish spindle

In gearing up for the Tour de Fleece, I’m going to attempt to spin 15 minutes a day on one of my spindles (and I’m ashamed to say I have a LOT of them now… considering I really didn’t start spinning on them in earnest til a month ago).  My other goals are loftier, but I think this one is just as important.  And let’s just say… a spindle is now in my purse at all times.




Twitter has become my blog, and updates! June 13, 2011

Filed under: Chris,discount code,Disney World,Etsy,excitement,goals,Tour de Fleece,vacation — craftygirl83 @ 4:01 pm

So apparently now that I’m on Twitter, I no longer feel the need to blog.  It’s very weird, and I’m sorry if you’ve been waiting for a new post from me and haven’t gotten one.  It just seems like everything has gotten condensed down to the 130-character limit that Twitter imposes, and since I tweet on there all day, I can’t figure out what to say on a blog post anymore because everything feels slightly redundant.  Oh well- I’ll try to do better.

Disney was a lot of fun.  Hot and fairly crowded toward the weekend, but we had a nice time.  I got some really great pictures.


Walt and Mickey in front of Cinderella's Castle

Cinderella's Castle at night

Spaceship Earth at night

Ceiling at the Chinese Pavilion at Epcot

Monarch at the Butterfly Garden at Epcot

Magnolia at our hotel

After I got back, it was pretty much balls to the wall to keep the shop going… I was so tired from all of the traveling that I didn’t really want to do anything with the shop for a week, and then I got behind, so… you know how it is. ;)

Speaking of the shop, I have made a very important business decision and I wanted to share it with you guys.  As of June 1, Unwind Yarn Company is officially my full-time job, and I am now a registered small business owner with the US government!  Isn’t that exciting!?  Dyeing fiber, spinning, knitting, and dyeing yarn is really what makes me the happiest I’ve ever been, work-wise, so I’ve decided to just make it my job.  Chris has been extremely supportive and is very excited for me, and I am going to do my best to turn my little Etsy shop into a fully functional yarn and fiber source for the fiber artist.  One way I’m doing that is by having twice-weekly shop updates (every Sunday and Thursday at 2pm EST).  Another way is that I am an official sponsor of the Tour de Fleece this year on Ravelry!  I’m providing two prizes (a ~4.5oz batt set and ~4oz of roving), and I’m also offering something that some of you might like to take advantage of: a 15% off discount for any TdF participant!  Everything in my shop is eligible for the discount, including yarn and patterns, because knitters and crocheters are invited to participate in the TdF as “hand cyclists”, and they need supplies too!  All you have to do to get the discount is to enter in code TDF2011 at checkout to save 15% on everything (not including shipping of course).  So I’d appreciate any encouragement you guys can send my way, and if you buy something you’ll definitely help me out as well. :)

Well that about sums it up for now.  I’ll try to be a bit better about writing more on here… it’s just so hard when Twitter is instantaneous! ;) Oh and if you are on Twitter, my tweets are protected (just because I was getting lots of spam), so send me a request if you want to follow me: @craftygirl83.  Hope you guys are having a great week so far!



13 May 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftygirl83 @ 10:22 am

That’s how many hours I worked on stuff for my shop yesterday: 13. I am trying my best to get ahead so I don’t end up worrying about my shop and shop updates and whether I have enough stuff to list when I get back from vacation while I’m actually *on* vacation. Right now I’ve got everything ready that I’m going to list while I’m gone (using my aunt’s netbook, LOL) including text and pictures, all saved to a memory stick, and also emailed to myself in case somehow the memory stick gets wiped. I’m now working on the week after I get back’s listings. This going on vacation stuff is rough!



This is just too cool. April 26, 2011

Filed under: educational — craftygirl83 @ 10:37 am

Ok so I’m sure I’ve told you guys that I started weaving, right?  Well a friend just sent me this video, and disregarding the fact that it’s basically a commercial for Lexus, it’s one of the neatest things I’ve ever seen.  Lexus has engineered a way to create a circular weaving loom to make 3D objects out of carbon fiber.

Hope ya’ll are having a good day! :)





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