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Dazzle Daze is on the Way

It's Fall Y'allIt’s Fall and not even Thanksgiving but at The Twisted Purl Place, aka my home, it’s already beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Christmas Tree with Felted Soap A small tree is up in my living room with new ornaments being added as fast as I can make them.  Felted Soaps are drying under the tree.  I’m singing Christmas Carols as I spin up Christmas themed yarns.

Yep, Dazzle Daze is just around the corner.Dazzle Daze 2013Dazzle Daze is a huge 3 Day shopping extravaganza for an excellent cause.  The event benefits the Conway Regional Women’s Center.  Tickets are only $5 for the event or $25 for the Thursday Girls Night Out Event.  You can buy tickets for Dazzle Daze here.

There are over 85 Dazzle Daze Merchants all with amazing items and lots of goodies.  Each booth will be totally decked out and spreading Christmas cheer and yes my friends, I will be among them.  This is the perfect place to find one of a kind gifts for every person on your holiday list.

Let me be honest here, getting ready for such a big show is a bit overwhelming but immensely rewarding.  As I’ve said often, I ADORE talking to people face to face about my craft and sharing my handmade story.  BUT, the lead up to and preparation for a big show is always a lot.  Three days of shopping means (God willing) the need for enough inventory to sell for three days!  When you are talking all handmade that is a whole lot of work.  In the past I’ve shared a booth, which takes a lot of the pressure off, but this year I fly solo.  So I’m nervous and busy and sleep is not really a necessity, right?

I love to share the steps of the handmade journey with you and this new yarn journey is exploding with Christmas colors and texture.  Here’s the “Basket of Fluff”:Basket of Christmasy FluffAlong with my standard handspun yarn, felted soaps, and other fiber creations for Dazzle Daze I’m making a few ornaments.  That’s the plan for this yarn.  Funky textures and Christmas colors for uniquely handmade ornaments.Sparkly Drum CarderAbove is a photograph of the fiber spinning on the drum carder.  It looked super sparkly (Angelina fiber does that and I love using it).  Below is the picture of the carded batt once it went through the drum carder.Christmasy Carded BattFrom the batt I spun the fiber into yarn with my spinning wheel.Yarn on Spinning WheelBecause I plan to use this skein strictly for Christmas Ornaments I put it directly on my ball winder and skipped the process of putting it on the swift and into a hank of yarn.Christmas Handmade Yarn for Ornaments at Dazzle DazeHere’s the finished yarn.  It turned out pretty spiffy. Below is an example of one of the ornaments I’ve made.Ornament made with Handspun Yarn for Dazzle Daze 2013Want a discount? Come out to Dazzle Daze this year and show me the below coupon to receive $5 off. Save paper! No need to print it, just pull it up on your phone (even just tell me you saw it). 😉Dazzle Daze 2013 Coupon for The Twisted Purl Booth Dazzle Daze will take place at the Conway Expo Center and Fairgrounds at 2505 East Oak Street, Conway Arkansas. November 21-23, 2013

The Twisted Purl featured in 501 Life Dazzle Daze Shopping Guide
The Twisted Purl’s Items Featured in 501 Life Magazine’s preview for Dazzle Daze Shopping Yay!

Find out more about the Dazzle Daze schedule on their website or through their Facebook page.

Hope to see you there!!!

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Spinzilla Week Continues

 

Wrapped Felted SoapDay Two of Spinzilla week consisted of creating felted soaps for a few of our retail stores, so spinning was a bit slow.  Yesterday, however was a different story. Alpaca Fiber on Drum CarderI worked up a blend of natural alpaca fiber.  The different variations of color reminded me of chocolate chip cookie dough.  Delicious. Seriously, it was making me hungry while spinning. In the end I had 135 yards of fresh spun yarn…guess that’s better for the diet than cookies anyway! 😉135 yards of all natural alpaca spun for SpinzillaNext, on the smaller spinning wheel, a few more yards were being cranked out. Although I adore my Country Spinner for large projects (and even really all spinning), when I really want to spin and not think, I gravitate back to my Joy.Handspun Yarn on Spinning WheelAfter quite a bit of spinning, this one added 140 more yards to my total.140 Yards of Handspun Yarn created for SpinzillaAll this spinning was wearing out Daisy.Tired Daisy DogShe may have been beat, but I was ready to tackle the next skein of yarn.  I had this carded batt made up a few weeks back and it was calling my name.Carded Batt Spinning FiberThis carded batt consisted of merino wool, bamboo, starbright, and some hand painted up-cycled yarn bits.Yarn on BobbinAfter spinning this up as fine weight as possible, I had 159 more yards for Spinzilla.159 Yards of Handspun Yarn for SpinzillaThursday will be yet another Felted Soap day, but I’m doing my best to get in as much spinning as possible in between soap batches.  Next year, I’ll have to be on a team for Spinzilla, instead of going rogue. I’m absolutely loving having the motivation of the competition to kick my spinning into high gear.  With Dazzle Daze just around the corner and The Locals opening soon, high gear is a necessity.

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What’s up Wednesday: Main Street Food Truck Festival and more

Just a quick peek into the last couple weeks and a look ahead at lots of fun in store for The Twisted Purl.Austin in a HorsemaskAbove and below is my son wearing his goofy Horse Mask.  This boy loves to make folks laugh and this horse head just has me rolling!

The Twisted Purl is excited to be a part of the brand new establishment in downtown Conway called The Locals.  It will be the go to place for coffee, handmade local items and produce, live music, workshops, and oh so much more!  The closer we get to opening, the more information I’ll share. But for now, please go to TheLocals.be to learn more!Horsehead with The Locals Coffee Cart Conway ArkansasOn the Felted Soap Front:  I’ve started making our super popular Christmas colors for retail stores and my upcoming shows.Christmas Felted SoapPlease be sure to order early!  The closer to the Holidays we get the busier it is and shipping tends to take a bit longer. The soaps make excellent teacher and co-worker gifts. They also fit quite nicely in a stocking. 😉Tons of Felted Soap made by The Twisted PurlShhhhhh!  I’ve been playing around with a new scent for the soaps and will be testing the market this weekend.  A new fresh clean scent may be replacing our Oatmeal and Almond soon, but I’ll let our customers make that call.Rainbow Felted Soap by The Twisted Purl available now in wholesale and bulk tooSpeaking of this weekend, come out and see me at the Main Street Food Truck Festival in downtown Little Rock. 

If you mention you read this on my website, I’ll have a little free goodie for you!

Look for The Twisted Purl tent.  It’ll be hard to miss me spinning and chatting up a storm (but hopefully there will be no storms!).  I’ll be the one with tons of yarn made by hand right here in Arkansas.  Stop by and say hi!  There will be a ton of amazing Etsy Little Rock Vendors, music, yummy food trucks, and beer.  So come hungry and leave happy!!!Main Street Food Truck Festival Little RockOur popular weaved scarves are once again available in our Etsy Shop.  It’s easy to order a custom scarf.  Just simply pick out any yarn you see in our shop (or even one you see me making on Facebook) and I’ll turn it into a scarf like the one below.Handmade Scarfs are back!In handmade yarn news:  I’ve signed up for a spinning competition next week called Spinzilla.  I’m going Rogue and seeing how many yards I can spin between October 7-13th.  I’ll be sure to share all the new yarn and post pictures of the Spinzilla adventure.

Hope you are having a wonderful week and hope to see you at the Main Street Food Truck Festival on Saturday!

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Felted Soap FAQ What is it? How to make it? Where to find it?

~♥~Felted Soap 101~♥~
Felted Soap by The Twisted Purl with Rafia
What is Felted Soap?  Why use Felted Soap?  How can I make Felted Soap?
One of our best-selling items has always been The Twisted Purl’s Felted Soaps.  It’s fun and funky, unique and spectacular.  Simply put Felted Soap is “Good Clean Fun”.  It makes a fantastic gift or stocking stuffer.  Felted Soap is an excellent teacher gift, co-worker gift, or hostess gift.  It’s so cool even Martha Stewart talked about it.  The Twisted Purl’s Felted Soaps are now in stores nationwide and available at all shows and directly on our site.  Everywhere I go and just about every time I post a photograph of my Felted Soaps I’m often asked a lot of the same questions about all the details of felted soap.  So here are my frequent answers:
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So, what the heck is Felted Soap???
Felted Soap is really soap.  It’s a bar of soap with bright, colorful wool wrapped around it.  Then the wool goes through a felting process.  Once felted the wool is smoothly matted and totally adhered to the surface of the soap. Again I say, YES!!!  It’s really soap!
Felted Soap by The Twisted Purl
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Okay, great!  But why would I want to use Felted Soap?

First and foremost…it’s pretty.  We all want something pretty in our lives right?  Felted Soap is also practical.  The wool gently exfoliates your skin eliminating the need for a loofah or  wash cloth.  The covering around the soap helps prolong the life of the bar of soap.  So, it lasts longer!  Felted Soap is also a lot easier to hold than a slippery bar of soap, so it’s also great for kids. (seriously, it’s the only way I can get my three boys to use soap)
Felted Soap Sheep by The Twisted Purl
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How do I make Felted Soap?

Mostly, lots of rubbing and patience.  Take the bar of soap and carefully wrap the wool in all directions until the entire bar is covered and no surface areas are showing through.  Next is off to the sink.  Gently soak the covered bar in steaming hot water (as hot as your hands can handle) and then start patting and very carefully rubbing the wool.  This is the most tedious part of the process.  I find if I am irritated, or my kids are having a wrestling match in the living room, felting soap is not an option.  If you rub too hard it will make the wool slip right off the bar of soap and then you have to start all over.  If you rub one area too much it can expose part of the bar of soap, which is no good.
Once the wool feels like it is more secure in its place, then you can start being more rough with the wool.  Put the bar into alternating hot and cold water to help the felting process.  Eventually, you have a completed bar of felted soap.  Over the years, I’ve perfected my wrapping and felting techniques and now am able to make bars of Felted Soap fairly quickly (even if there’s a wrestling match happening in the living room).  So, practice makes perfect!
Soapy Felted Soap by The Twisted Purl

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That sounds like a lot of work…can I just buy Felted Soap?
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What kind of soap do you use?
A large 4.25 ounce bar of Yardley Oatmeal & Almond bar combines real oat grains and almond essence. It has a very pleasant, light scent. Helps to soothe and defend against dry skin & irritation with the pure extracts and essential oils. Never tested on animals (unless you count my boys). Paraben & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free.
Seriously, over the years I have felted A LOT of soaps!  I’ve tested many markets with many brands and found most customers appreciate the scent of this soap, plus it felts up nicely. Yes, you definitely can felt others brands of soap including handmade soaps (which I so wish there were enough hours in the day to make my own), but I prefer to use this brand.
Fetled Soaps by The Twisted Purl
(PLEASE NOTE: we no longer use raffia as pictured in blog post link. Each bar is individually labeled with The Twisted Purl Sheep Logo & Felted Soap Bands made from recycled kraft paper with product information on back.)
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The Twisted Purl now offers Felted Soaps wholesale to stores nationwide.  If you have found our soaps in a store, let us know!  We’d love to hear what you think.  If you are a store interested in ordering, please go to The Twisted Purl Wholesale Felted Soap Page to learn more information about ordering wholesale and bulk felted soaps.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll happily answer them here.
Remember Felted Soap is ‘Good Clean Fun’ and makes a great, unique gift.
~♥~
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Carded Batts, Felted Soaps, & Interns oh my

Carded Batts Spinning Fiber
Carded Batts

Some times my world is a bright and colorful place.  This was what I worked with all day long. Carded Batts for new Felted Soap orders. I’m very grateful and been extremely blessed recently with a bunch of my retail stores reordering on a surprisingly frequent basis. It’s so wonderful to hear how well the soaps are doing in your stores! Your success and continued business really means the world to me.
Things have gone so well the hubby and I have talked about bringing in an intern or two come the beginning of the fall semester. Another set of hands will definitely help speed up the slower production times I’ve generated lately!
It’s an exciting prospect of bringing in an intern and teaching them what it’s really like to run a fiber arts business. I have tons to share and hope to maybe pass on my passion or a small slice of it to the next generation.
But with an intern comes great responsibility.  So, still debating!

Finished Felted Soaps from Carded Batts
Finished Felted Soaps from Carded Batts

Above pictured are 200 finished Felted Soaps created from top photographed carded batts.  These beauties are heading out to stores across the nation.  More information about our wholesale felted soaps found here.