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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,


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How to make a Dry Soup Mix in a Jar-Woo Pig Soupie

Here’s a quick little handmade gift you can make to give to all the Razorback fans in your life.  Of course, you can us different pasta, but we had these super cute Razorback Pastas and Woo Pig Soupie was a must make for our holiday gift giving.

WooPigSoupieThis Christmas, I wanted to do something a little different. I try to give a little handmade something to my friends and my husband’s coworkers and boss every year.  In addition to the handmade cookies we make for my husband’s entire crew (what a production that is!).  One of my boys had a school fundraiser with pasta and I knew exactly what I had to make.  Razorback PastaA dry soup mix in a jar is the perfect thing to give!

We gathered up all the materials and laid it all out on the island.  We made nine- 3 pint jars, it was quite the sight.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of the production line, but you can imagine! I bought the 3 Pint Jars at Hobby Lobby.

Here’s the dry ingredients you need to gather:

1 cup dry split peas
2/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup dried onion flakes
4 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
4 bay leaves
1 cup uncooked Razorback Pasta

Carefully layer in this order: split peas, bouillon, barley, lentils, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, rice, and bay leaves. Place the pasta in a plastic bag or plastic wrap, and place in top of jar.Jar up closeAt first, I really didn’t want to put the pasta in plastic just because of the look, but it does make it easier to remove for cooking.  If I make these again, just for looks and not for actual consumption, I would place the pasta directly in the jar with no wrap.

After much family debate, our youngest came up with the idea of calling the soups “Woo Pig Soupie” (he’s brilliant…must take after his mom HA!).

I used a Razorback ribbon to wrap around the top of the jar.  Then printed out the labels with instructions on how to cook and what extra ingredients need to be added.

Print a label to put on the soup with this information:

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS: 2 pound ground beef, black pepper to taste, garlic powder to taste, 2 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes – undrained, 2 (6 ounce) can tomato paste, and 6 quarts water. TO PREPARE SOUP: Remove pasta from jar, and set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef with pepper and garlic; drain fat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and soup mix. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low. Cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in the pasta, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta, peas, lentils and barley are tender.[/box]

Because all of our friends are not Razorback fans (can’t believe we have such people in our lives…I know 😉 ), we also made a Roll Tide Soup with Alabama pasta and a Rock Chalk Jayhawk Woo Pig Soupie (for a house divided with 1/2 cup Jayhawk Pasta and 1/2 cup Razorback Pasta).  The possibilities are really endless…but of course I love my Razorbacks, so in my book, “Woo Pig Soupie” is the best!

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas holiday season and a happy and safe New Year celebration.  We here at The Twisted Purl are looking forward to 2014 and all the fun things it will bring.

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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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Spinzilla Day One

Spinzilla is a week long competition to see which spinner can spin the most yardage of yarn. I found out about the event too late to join a team, so I signed up as a Rogue Spinner.

Day one started pretty strong with a bright burst of color.

Bright Rainbow Carded Batt by The Twisted PurlUp and spinning at 5:45 am, nothing was going to slow me down.  Sleep is overrated, spinning….not so much!Rainbow Yarn on BobbinThe first skein was complete and I was feeling pretty accomplished.  102 yards under my belt for Spinzilla before 6:30 am.Rainbow Yarn made by The Twisted PurlWith  a pretty large amount of Alpaca from the local Sweet Clover Alpaca farm in town, I figured my best bet would be to tackle this pile next. Tons of bags of Alpaca FiberI grabbed a luscious bag of baby alpaca and let the fiber turn into the yarn it wanted to become.  This cria had the softest, crimpist coat.  Spun, the yarn almost looks like a boucle yarn.  I’m in love. Baby Alpaca going onto the Spinning WheelAfter this skein, I had another 89 yards finished!  Yay!!!Baby Alpaca handspun yarn by The Twisted PurlKnowing I had to get quite a few soaps felted, I had to make the most out of my last spin of the day.  This one reminded me of a Christmas Peppermint.Christmas Peppermint Carded BattI needed lots and lots of yards, so I focus the Spinzilla Force and spun probably the lightest weight yarn that has come off my wheel in years.Handspun Yarn on the Bobbin Christmas Peppermint Candycane196 yards…folks for me and my normal super bulky yarn was an accomplishment.  I really love the look of this one!  Most likely after Spinzilla Week I’ll go back and thread ply it to make it even more fabulous. 😉Christmas Candycane Peppermint Handspun Yarn by The Twisted PurlLots more spinning is ahead for the week!