Posted on

The World, It’s Spinning

Hello again! I realized today that it’s been a couple of weeks since I last shared my Twisted Purl experiences on Word Press.  Shame on me. Much has happened, and much has changed. What has changed, you ask? I’ll give you a clue:

IMG_1287

 

Well, yes, I helped Cyndi out at a show (my first–and it was fun and wonderful and I learned many-a-thing about talking to potential customers and eating cupcakes).          But also (!!!) I am now an upcoming spinner!  This is very exciting news, let me assure you.  Although I have not quite gotten the hang of it, now that I’ve started learning, I doubt I’ll stop.

At the show Cyndi introduced me to the drop spindle.  Drop spindle spinning was rough and dangerous business. I almost ‘dropped’ on a girl scout’s head (she was kneeling next to Cyndi’s wheel, watching her spin).  I will not go into the details, but she was a very demanding little girl scout.  All the same,  I did not almost-hit her head on purpose, and I am glad she was not injured in the almost-accident.

Tuesday and Thursday of this past week, after carding some batts, Cyndi let me practice spinning on her smaller Ashford wheel (aka her “baby”) .  I have produced three small balls of ‘yarn’ that look like this:

IMG_7998 

I never thought sitting down could be so exhausting.  Let me tell you, learning to spin is a workout in itself.  Or at least that’s what I told myself when I didn’t go to the gym on Tuesday or Thursday.  But honestly, it’s so hard. I think I am finally getting the hang of using the wheel (maybe?).  Soon I am supposed to learn how to ply, and I hope I am up to the challenge.

My mother came in town for the weekend to visit, and on Friday I brought her with me to The Twisted Purl studio.  She loves to knit, and Cyndi and I wanted to show her the whole yarn-making process. My mom got to pick out the colors and textures of wool she wanted in her yarn, watch me card it on the drum carder, and then see it spun by Cyndi on the wheel.  She had the best time (thanks, Cyndi), and left excited to knit with her new supplies.  She also took my three balls of yarn I spun earlier in the week… I think we may have turned her into a yarnaholic.

I was sad to send my mom off yesterday, but she had to get home, and I had to get back to work. It’s such an exciting and busy time in my life, full of learning and opportunity. I’m off to Baltimore for a photography conference on Wednesday, but am anxious to keep practicing my spinning.  Perhaps I’ll pack my drop spindle : ) …

Posted on

Hearts and Stars

This past week, I gathered material for and carded my first ever themed art batt! It took me awhile (big surprise) to choose my theme, but after viewing some photographs in my friend’s astronomy textbook, all my stars seemed to align. I knew my destiny: to create a galaxy-themed yarn.

Pretty pretty images like this served as my guide:

Nebula_RCW49_04

With stardust in our heads, Cyndi and I journeyed to Hobby Lobby, searching for various materials and colors to deconstruct in the drum carder. The added material would serve to make the space-yarn as funky and textured as possible.

As usual, it took me ages to card the art batt.  Surely I was blending enough fluff for like 200 yards of yarn, I thought.  But no, I ended up with less than Cyndi’s 100 yard average, and it took about three times as long to do so.  (She’s a pro, what can I say.)  But here’s the result:

IMG_4003

 

Cyndi sent me a link to her Instagram post of my star-fluff (I don’t have my own Instagram– I can’t decide whether to get one or not… I love photographing so it would probably take over my life (Also I need to charge my phone)). Anyway, I was very pleased with my star-fluff, and excited to see it in yarn form.  I had to leave before Cyndi had time to spin it (I won’t go into the details, but there was a lot of  weird stuff going on that Tuesday; the fireplace, printer, a necklace, and a power outlet were involved).  A few days later Cyndi sent me a text with a picture of the yarn, and said it sold in about five minutes. I was over the moon.

IMG_8955

 

I love it I love it I love it! Next time I will have to be sure and add larger amounts of fiber into the drum carder, though, so more yarn can be spun.

Friday (VALENTINE’S DAY– MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY) Cyndi and I wrapped some fluff into dryer balls, and discussed social media and internet presence.  We will continue this conversation next week, as I definitely have a lot to learn.  At this point in my life, with my studies, jobs, and internship taking up almost all of my “free” time, I’ve decided to forgo having any sites of my own (including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter).  One day, especially if I have my own business, knowing how to post on and navigate sites like these will be crucial to my success.  Amidst tips and bits of information on social media, Cyndi informed me of something perhaps even more important: the existence of heart-shaped pizzas on V-Day. I was higher than over the moon.  I was over the Milky Way. My life, I said, would never be the same. Seizing the moment, Cyndi immediately called Papa Johns and I placed an order. Later that day I gave the pizza away as a Valentine’s gift to two of my friends, complete with M&M lettering, Princess Diaries style.  My time at The Twisted Purl also inspired another one of my Valentine’s Day surprises, this one to my roommate:

image

 

A yarn-bombed kitchen!  I didn’t have much time before she woke up, or it would have been much more extreme.

And finally, my lovely friends threw me a surprise Valentine’s Day party. One of them picked me up for our “date,” blindfolded me, and drove me around Conway for half an hour.  When I took the blindfold off, we were in another friend’s apartment. Most of my closest friends were there. They told me it was Kate’s Day, made me dinner, and gave me presents and wine.  They also made me these adorable sheep cupcakes:

IMG_1044IMG_3804

 

BEST DAY EVER. Thanks to Cyndi and The Twisted Purl for starting it off right.  In all of my busy-ness, I sometimes forget how blessed I truly am.  I’m studying at a great school, I have the kindest of friends, two flexible, paying jobs, and a lovely, gratifying internship. I’m living the life.

<3 * <3 * <3

 

Posted on

So Happy I Could Dye

It’s hard to believe this past week was only my second week at The Twisted Purl… I’ve learned SO much in such a short amount of time.  Thanks to Cyndi, I’m already comfortable with a number of terms and pieces of equipment that, just two weeks ago, I didn’t know existed.  I feel as though I’ve been initiated in to the secret world of fiber arts, and I’m loving every second of it.

Tuesday, after discussing a number of important topics– namely women entrepreneurs and haunted mansions– Cyndi put me to work practicing and perfecting techniques I learned last week.  I relied on trusty old ROY-G-BIV to make several carded batts, and labeled many many felted soaps.  Although the above tasks are somewhat repetitive, I sincerely enjoy them.  In truth, repetitive tasks tend to be my favorite.  There is peace in the process, in addition to that lovely feeling I get when creating anything with my hands.  In the short time I’ve been an intern, I’ve already noticed that after a morning of creative activity at The Twisted Purl, I face the rest of my day with a calmer, more joyful attitude.

On Thursday, Cyndi taught me a few methods for dyeing and painting wool roving.  As usual, I was hesitant about choosing my colors, and unconfident in my final product.  I am, however, excited to see how they look as carded batts and/or spun yarn! Cyndi said that if she has time, she might spin one of them this weekend (ahh!).  Although I’m a little worried, I’m not too worried, because if it’s really ugly we can just sell it to my mom. I don’ have a picture of the first roving I dyed (which was very “Springy”), but the second is pictured below in the shape of a pizza.

IMG_7350
Yeah, I know, it kind of looks like that rainbow bread they used to sell at the grocery store.

And here it is again, steaming to set the colors:

IMG_1415

 

My favorite roving I dyed, though, was a solid color “in-bowl” experiment.  It turned out (I think) to be a nice lavender.  We shall see! Also, while all of this dyeing was going on, Cyndi managed to learn how to arm knit and made a scarf using the technique. I can’t keep up with this lady! Next week, she is going to help me make a more “artful” carded batt, and my homework is to come up with a theme to base the colors on.  (Check out Zoe and Cyndi’s Monet yarn, it turned out so beautiful!)  Time to start looking around for inspiration–

Kate

Posted on

Introductions

Hello everyone, I’m Kate.  I hail from Kansas City, Missouri, study at Hendrix College, and, thanks to Cyndi, I AM THE TWISTED PURL’S NEWEST INTERN.  Yesterday concluded my first week at the Twisted Purl, and what a wonderful week it was. Let me break down a bit.

Day One:  I must admit that in addition to my overwhelming excitement, I was a tad nervous for my first day.  Although my passion for fibers (&  all things sheep) is fierce, I tend to be rather shy and quiet in new situations.  I needn’t have been nervous (duh), and as Cyndi spun a lovely skein of yarn before my eyes, I gradually stopped freaking out and began to enjoy the awesomeness that is the Twisted Purl studio.  Warm and colorful and crazy in a good way– that’s how I would describe it. Cyndi introduced me to the materials, equipment, and products of her business, and to finish off my first day I helped cut some labels for the felted soaps and portion off 4oz balls of yarn to be dyed later that afternoon.

Day Two: Woo! Carded batts! I learned how to use the drum carder! Cyndi started me with a rainbow batch, then bravely let me choose my own colors. (A secret: most of my art background is in charcoal drawing and black and white photography; color has always sort of scared me (so many possibilities!)).  Anyway, for my first solo batt, I blended yellow, peach, lavender, violet, and a reddish-purple.  To my surprise it turned out beautiful and springy and I loved it very much.  (I would show you but Cyndi stole it and wrapped it around some soaps before I snapped a photo, darn her.) I made three more, pictured below with the rainbow one we started with.

soft soft soft soft
soft soft soft soft

 

And that’s that! I feel addicted to craft already, and, needless to say, I can’t wait to make some more. I have a feeling I’ll get the chance in the weeks to come. Until next time–sheeps, hugs, & coffee mugs,

Kate