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New Yarn at The Twisted Purl from Island Yarn Company Poosh

OMG I love this yarn!!!  This yarn is so amazingly soft.  It’s alpaca *drool*, merino wool *double drool*, and Nylon (for strength).  It looks almost like a roving yarn.  But unlike a roving yarn, I pulled and pulled on it to see how much tension it would require to pull apart…it was seriously quite a bit!

From Island Yarn Company:

“50 grams, 140 yards, 70% Alpaca, 7% Merino Wool, 23% Nylon, Bulky weight, Hand-dyed in the USA, Hand wash

Poosh is our brand new alpaca blend. It is cloud-like in feel, but super strong.  It will knit gorgeous scarves, sweaters, mittens and more and the alpaca is sure to keep you toasty warm!”Island Yarn Poosh

Wanting to find a couple fun ‘one skein’ projects to try out this new yarn, we went on a pattern hunt on Ravelry.  Poosh is next to skin, snugly soft, so we wanted a hat or a headband and we found both.  One knit project and the other crochet!

Photo Aug 10, 5 13 18 PM

First the knit project.  So fun!!!  It is a cabled headband from a pattern called Fraga Headband.  You can find the knit pattern here.  It worked up fast and I’m already dying for this dang heat to go away so I can rock the fall days.Photo Aug 12, 1 00 01 PM

Here it is on one of our darling shop helpers.  She modeled it for us and then stated she wanted one.  There’s plenty of yarn left to make a couple more, so she may just get her wish! 😉Photo Aug 11, 2 38 25 PM

The next pattern is called “Crochet Street Slouch Hat”.  It is a quick crochet, our assistant made it in one night.  Plus it’s so dang cozy and adorable.  Did I mention it needed to be Fall already???

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The crochet pattern can be found here. For rows 5-13, we added 2 more rows so it’s longer and less slouchy.

Poosh Crochet Hat
Here’s the hat being modeled by another one of our shop helpers.  Too cute, right?

Right now, the yarn is available in the store, but it will be in our online shop soon!

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Araucania Yarns Copiapo now Available

This new yarn, Copiapo, from Araucania Yarns, is a perfect blend for the upcoming warm months.  It’s a cotton, linen, and viscose.

Copiapo

What the heck is viscose?  It’s a rayon blend.  Often times you will see either rayon or viscose depending on where in the world the item comes from.

It comes in 8 different colors and here is a peek of what they look like knit up:

Fun fact for your day: Copiapo is the Mapuche word for “Lush Vegetation”.

This yarn can now be purchased here or in our local yarn shop.  Hope to see you soon!

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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.

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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.