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Build your Knitting Skills while Creating a Afghan with Build A Block

Starting in the month of September, over the next year, we’re embarking on a fun, knitting journey.  Meeting four different times a month, the Build a Block class will enrich your knitting skills as you learn new techniques.

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Each month we will be knitting one block from the Build a Block book by Michelle Knit Purl Hunter. At the end of the year, you will have enough blocks to create this amazing afghan.

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You only need to attend once a month, but please feel free to come more often!

MONTHLY SCHEDULE:
First Saturday 10am-12pm
Second Wednesday Morning 10am-12pm
Third Friday Afternoon 4pm-6pm
Fourth Tuesday Night 6pm-8pm

Please check our monthly calendar for times and be sure to sign up for our Newsletter to get monthly updates and schedules.

Below is the explanation from Michelle’s website:

“Every pattern in the “Building Blocks” book focuses on the development of a skill while knitting a lovely square. Each square, or block, builds upon the skills learned in the previous patterns, giving knitters more confidence, knowledge and skill. At the completion of the series, the reward is an abundance of knitting know-how along with 12 gorgeous blocks to assemble into a sampler afghan.”

Sign up in the shop to pay for book and supplies and join us as we learn new skills and have fun building blocks.  Questions?  Please contact us with the subject Build a Block Class.  Thank you!

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Share your Handmade Story

Handmade is a story that must be told. What's yours?

Handmade is a story that must be told. What's yours? Woven throughout our creations, stitched into the fabrics of our work, are intimate stories; stories that not only shape what we make, but stories that become our history – stories that make us who we are.  These are our handmade stories.

When I sit at my spinning wheel, I am starting a handmade journey.  The fiber already has a story to tell, for it has traveled so far.  It came from a farm; was cleaned, processed, then dyed and carded.  I sit with it in my hands and place my fingers on each bit as it goes from fluff to string through my wheel.  Once completed, the handmade yarn still has a long journey ahead of it.  It’s bought and turned into something one can treasure for years to come.  It is handmade and has heart and passion.

 
Have you sat down to make one thing, but then something completely changed?  Why did you start creating? Do you have a special memory of crafting with a family member or dear friend?  Crafty code turned cool?  Digital disaster?  These are your handmade stories.
 
Over the next few months, I’d be honored to have the opportunity to share your handmade stories through our website.  Handmade means so very much to me and I’d love to share your passions for creating as well.  Your handmade journey can include anything at all created by you.  Your story doesn’t have to be earth shattering; it can be simple, beautiful, funny, or surprising – but it must be told!

Handmade is a story that has to be told, what's yours?

How to share your handmade story:

Submit either a written post (with photos if you’d like) or video (less than 5 minutes long) to Cyndi@TheTwistedPurl.com with the subject line “My Handmade Story”.

If selected your story will be shared on our website.  Thank you and I can not wait to start reading and sharing.

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Handmade for Arkansas Tornado Relief

rofit benefit Tornado Victims

Handspun Yarn by The Twisted Purl

Tornadoes ripped through Arkansas on April 27th, 2014.  Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighboring cities of Vilonia and Mayflower and all those dealing in the aftermath of this natural disaster.  Blessed my family was spared from the utter, unbelievable amount of destruction this powerful storm caused, this hit too close to home.  My heart is breaking for those affected.

Yesterday, I traveled to Little Rock from Conway, on Interstate 40.  At Mayflower, I drove directly through the devastated path the tornado left.  The massive scale of the scene was too much to take in and the amount of wreckage was unbelievable.  There were RV’s stacked and twisted together, concrete buildings only half standing, and a tremendous amount of indescribable loss.

After seeing everything first hand, I knew I had to help.  There are many ways people of Arkansas are banding together and I’m proud being part of this state.  (We are #ArkanSTRONG)   I’m just one person, one small handmade business, but I know that every bit helps.  The news reported a $10 donation to the American Red Cross can give two blankets to victims.

In the wake of the tornado, not only are people involved, but pets too.  Our local Humane Society has a number of lost, injured, or orphaned pets in need of care and shelter. They are hosting an Arkansas Tornado Pet Relief Effort.  They are raising more funds to help with the surplus of activity they are experiencing.

For the entire month of May, The Twisted Purl will give:

10% of all profits to the American Red Cross

10% of all profits to the Humane Society of Pulaski County

A portion of our gross profits from any purchase from The Twisted Purl Etsy shop,  website store, or from one of our shows this month will be donated to the above charities.

Etsy Make a DifferenceThere are a few other local handmade Etsy shops helping to raise funds for the Humane Society of Pulaski County  as well.  All have agreed to give at least 10% of their May gross profits!

Any purchase from the shops listed on this Facebook Page: Arkansas Strong: Etsy’s Tornado Pet Relief Effort Fundraiser will benefit the Humane Society.I’ll be adding the handspun yarn photographed above and more to my Etsy shop.  There are a few other handmade items, including our felted soaps, available.

By no means do I want to profit from this disaster, just want to help raise extra funds I would not otherwise be able to contribute.  Below are more resources for different ways you can help.

Additional ways to help:

The Made Thing has a couple posts:

AR Scene has put together this information:

Donate funds directly to the American Red Cross

Donate to the Humane Society of Pulaski County

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New Year New Crafty Giveaway

Happy 2014!!!

Let’s celebrate the New Year with a new crafty giveaway! Most have made New Year’s Resolutions and some want to get more crafty. Crafty resolutions are the best.

The Twisted Purl wants to help by giving away this little learn to knit kit.

I want to hear why handmade is important to you or what makes handmade special. Just leave a comment below for a chance to win.

Pin this for an extra chance to win!
Pin this for an extra chance to win!

Our new shop has opened directly on our website too: Check out the items available in the shop by clicking here.

PinkLemonade Handmade YarnIt’s no secret I’m a big handmade fanatic. You’ll find me at shows talking to people about their crafts and giving high fives to those who have embraced knitting and crocheting as a hobby.

I taught myself to knit only to find out, ironically enough, AFTER naming the business, I was twisting all my purls.  But, that didn’t hinder my wish or ability to create. It’s in my blood!

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Because I’m such a fan of handmade and do believe everyone should have some sort of yarn craft in their bag of tricks, I love to pass on these little learn to knit kits. Giving them out at shows when I see a future yarnaholic in the making.

 Would you like to win your very own Learn to Knit Kit?

Win this kit to teach yourself how to knit.

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Kit includes: Pocket Guide, Single Point Knitting Needles Size 8, with a Special Left-Handed Section[/box]

Learn a new skill or pass it on to someone you know would be a knitting rock star. 2014 is the year you tap into your creative side and learn to knit.HandmadeYarn.comAll you have to do is leave a comment below explaining why you love handmade or why you believe handmade is important.

For extra chances to win:

  • Like our Facebook Page and comment on the top pinned post
  • Join us on Twitter and  Tweet why you love handmade (be sure to mention  @TheTwistedPurl)
  • Pin it on Pinterest with @TwistedPurl in comment for an extra entry.

To keep up with all our upcoming contests in 2014 and to get coupons to use in our new online store, please join our Newsletter Mailing List.

Contest Details: Entries are accepted through midnight January, 11, 2014. A winner is announced on Sunday, January 12, 2014 on our blog and through our various social media outlets.  Some comments might be used in future blog posts. The winner will be chosen by random number.  No purchase necessary to win.  Good luck and happy crafting!!!
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Journey of Alpaca Fiber: Farm to Yarn to Scarf

Alpaca from Sweet Clover AlpacaEarly this spring, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Sweet Clover Alpaca’s shearing day.  I really got to know these adorable animals and their gracious owner.  I’ve fallen in love with the unbeatable softness of the alpaca fiber.  Look at all that cuteness…Aww!Cute AlpacaI came home with bags and bags of alpaca.  (Bags and bags and bags)  Thinking oh yeah, I can spin this up in no time flat.  Ha!  If only all I had to do all day was spin, then maybe. Look at all the colors and did I mention the softness.  Yum!!!Bags of AlpacaThe idea of being able to spin local alpaca was so delicious.  Alpaca raised right here in Conway and then turned into handspun yarn here too. Talk about keeping it local!  There’s no better way then this.Basket of AlpacaPictured above is a basket of the large variety of the colors found naturally in Alpaca.  I took the basket of fluff and blended it together through my drum carder to mix all the colors.Alpaca Fibers Blending on a Drum CarderThe fibers are blended on my drum carder to become a carded batt.  Carded Batts are easier to spin.  The drum carder lines all the fibers up going the same direction which makes spinning on a spinning wheel faster and smoother.  Plus, although alpaca are a whole heck of a lot cleaner than sheep, the drum carder helps remove excess hay and dirt before spinning.Alpaca Fiber Spinnig on WheelThis is the yarn on the spinning wheel being turned into handspun yarn.  First the yarn is spun directly from the carded batt to fill up the bobbin.  The fiber goes through the spinning wheel once, it can then be considered a finished single ply yarn.  I like to ply my yarn either with a strong thread to add texture, or with itself depending on the colors.Handspun Yarn made from Arkansas AlpacaAbove is the finished alpaca yarn.  After this step, the yarn has is rinsed and the twist is then set.  Being this fiber is directly from local fiber, some hay and dirt is completely washed and cleaned from the yarn.  Although a lot of the extra stuff gets pulled out while spinning, the yarn gets a good rinse to remove any excess dirt and barnyard.Alpaca Handspun Yarn turned into a ScarfHere’s a finished scarf made with the above alpaca.  It was hand weaved. Simply divine to touch!  Wrapping up with this on a cold winter’s day would be the best! That’s the entire journey: farm to fluff to carded batt to spinning wheel to yarn then finally into a scarf.Alpaca Weaved Scarf up closePictured below is Caspian, another Sweet Clover Alpaca.  He was a Cria (which is a baby alpaca) and I was fortunate enough to watch his first shearing and buy the coat.  His fiber was so fine and full of fun crimp.Alpaca into YarnThe yarn spun into what looked like a boucle style yarn, with little wispy curls all around. Handspinning AlpacaSince he was such a little guy, there were only two skeins of yarn made from his gorgeous first coat.20131008-071256.jpgHere are a few more skeins of finished alpaca.  The all natural colors are perfect.Four Skeins of Beautiful AlpacaThis last one has a touch of added bling with sequins on the thread.Handspun Alpaca with added blingPlease let me know if you have any questions. I’m working on putting together a few more “This is how it’s done” type of posts.  I tend to ramble on and on about spinning and carding and felting and realize a lot of you do not know the variety of steps or even what the heck I’m talking about.  Here is a earlier post with a video showing how fiber goes from fluff into yarn using all the tools mentioned above.