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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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Fun Filled First Day at Arkansas Women Blogger Unplugged

Very fun filled first day at the Arkansas Women Blogger Unplugged Conference. My roommates are a blast! I’ll have to link them all for you later, but had to share a few quick pics from the day.
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Why yes that would be the amazing P. Allen Smith talking to us about the importance of buying locally grown and made products. Excellent message.
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Then back at the Birch Cabin…I’m bunking with some new vodka loving buddies! We all brought our own bottle. Good times indeed.
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I had to do a bit of spinning. Can’t sit still. Plus it’s always easy for me to talk to new people when I’m behind my Spinning Wheel. Pictured above is the carded batt made before heading this way.

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Liz snapped a cool shot of the spinning process. Spinning in my pjs.
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Yep! There’s the finished handmade yarn. Great first day…and productive too! Can’t wait until tomorrow.

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Handmade is a Story that must be Told

Looking back over the Battle of the Brands competition, I learned a tremendous amount about myself and a lot about my company.  If you would like to read my concluding thoughts on winning the statewide competition, Arkansas Sourcelink has it posted here.

I realized just why my little handmade yarn company and other handmade companies around the world mean so much to me.

Handmade is a story that MUST be told

When you hold a handmade item in your hand, you hold the heart of the Artisan. The creation took thought, love, and passion to come to life. It gives you a glimpse into the creator’s mind. Yes, Handmade may cost more than a $5 skein of yarn, a $20 blanket, or a pair of earrings at the dollar store…but there is a story behind the creation. A story you take part  in just by owning the item. A story you can share with generations to come. There is a real person and real thought behind each handmade item.Handmade Items I TreasureI for one need more handmade and less mass-produced items.  I have tons of commercially produced items all over. But I can tell you, the items I treasure the most are all handmade. Pictured above are a few of my favorite things.  A goofy set of Sheep Salt & Pepper Shakers created especially for me by Chris Massingill.  A Yarn Knitting Bowl created by The Punk-n-Patch.  A hand wrapped and sewn bowl made by my ever so crafty step mom, Debbie Ayres.  My American Vintage Pillow, a splendid design by Jeanetta Darley.  Jeanetta also drew to life The Twisted Purl’s adored yarn wrapped sheep logo.  These are but a few handmade goodies you can find around my house.

Nanny's Quilt

Above is a picture of a quilt made by my grandmother, Eva Ayres.  “Meadow Lily” created in 2000.  For a long time, I just kept the quilt in a special pillow case so it would not get messed up.  Then I realized, I was missing out on the joy of owning this handmade treasure.  It now goes back and forth from my bed to the couch.  It’s my favorite blanket to snuggle up with on a cold winter’s day.  My grandmother’s hands cut the cloth, made the design, and stitched this masterpiece together.  It will undoubtedly be treasured for generations.

Mema's Blanket

This is a blanket my grandmother, Thelma Cox crocheted.  She is no longer with us and this blanket is the only one I have made by her lovely hands.  My grandmother passed when I was a wild and rebellious teenager, before I even realized my passion for yarn.  I know in my heart she was the one that planted the yarn seed.  There was rarely a time she wasn’t sitting in her chair crocheting beautiful pieces for everyone she loved.  This handmade baby blanket I treasure the very most.  Her fingers ran along every stitch.  Her hook wove back and forth between countless loops creating the pattern. I wish I could give her a skein of my yarn and watch what she could do with it.  I’ll be content holding her blanket and knowing she is smiling down watching my creations.

From Fluff to String

My handmade story starts with fiber.  I dye the colors I’d like to see.  Blend the fibers together through a drum carder to get the various textures.  Take the carded batt from the drum carder and spin it into yarn on my spinning wheel.  I leave my finger prints on every inch of string I create.  But my part is only the beginning of the yarn’s handmade journey.  You take it and give it life by turning it into your own handmade creation.  You complete the handmade story. 

I take fluff and turn it into string so you can make clothes and other pretty things. 

Handmade is heart, passion, and treasured for generations.

Handmade is a story that must be told.

What is your handmade story?

I’d love to hear about your handmade story, please join us on Facebook and share your journey and join in ours. ♥