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Back to Basics: Labeling and Knitting

Hey Guys!  My week at The Twisted Purl was pretty short due to some more bad weather around these parts.  It is supposed to warm up next week.  I’m just hoping it will finally turn into Spring like it has in the studio.  I went back to my roots at The Twisted Purl by helping with the labeling and packaging of Spring time soaps.  All of the colors are so happy, and most of the soaps that was labeled are already on their way to stores around the world.  Here are some photos of all of the soaps on the table.  Cyndi had arranged some of them into this cute heart shape before I even arrived.

photo 1            photo 2

When we were all done labeling, I looked into the bucket we had been depositing the labeled soaps into, and it was overflowing.  Cyndi said she wished she could just keep that bucketful for when Christmas hits next year, since she can barely make soaps as fast as people order them around the holidays!

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After finishing up with the soaps, Cyndi helped me remember how to knit.  Granted, I’ve never been a good knitter.  I’ve always had my mom to start and stop for me, and I’ve only ever made very simple scarves with very even and machine made yarn.  I had to learn again on the yarn I made myself, which for those of you who read my last post know, the yarn was very uneven and crazy.  Some parts of the little splotch I knitted are very nice looking, some are too thick, and some are so thin that they are curling up on themselves.  Here is the finished product.  I think it looks like a really ugly bow-tie, or maybe even a strand of DNA.

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But this little corner of my creation actually looks decent!  The yarn here was some of the later stuff I made, so I had gotten a little bit more consistent when it comes to using a drop spindle.

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I hope everyone has a good week!  I’m going to be hoping for more Spring weather so that next week in the studio will be a very long and full one!

Until then,

Zoe B.

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Stop, Drop, and Draft

Hey Everyone!

This week at the Twisted Purl studio was really fun.  I started my spinning journey with my head held somewhat high, even though I knew that I was going to be in for a good struggle.  When I arrived at the studio, I helped Cyndi make some carded batts to be turned into Spring time felted soaps.  I always struggle with her requests for these kinds of colors, because I tend to be attracted to greens, dark blues, deep purples, browns, and blacks.  Here are the carded batts that I ended up making.  (Excluding the pink one, that one is waaaaay too bright to have been made by me 🙂 )  Pay close attention to the one on the top of the stack, which I worked extra hard on keeping happy and seasonal.


After finishing up with my carded batts, it was time to learn how to spin.  Cyndi taught me on a drop spindle first, since it is much easier to control and think about as opposed to the larger, more complicated spinning wheel.  Cyndi has demonstrated several times how a drop spindle works, and each time she makes it look very easy and speedy.  Two seconds into my first attempt and the spindle was on the floor, and Cyndi was shouting “Drop!”   She likes to think it is called a drop spindle because it drops all of the time, even though it’s really just because it moves closer to the ground as you draft more and more fiber.  I continued drafting fiber, making “yarn,” and giggling while Cyndi yelled drop over and over.  Can you guys tell which one I made and which one Cyndi made?  Hint: Mine is the most creative one.  Here is also a photo of me modeling my beautiful creation.  (I told Cyndi I was sure this yarn would sell instantly. 🙂 NOT!)

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I’m practicing intermittently as I type this post.  I’m getting a little bit better.   I am mostly actually spinning the fibers now, instead of just wrapping them around the drop spindle.  Next week, if I am good enough at the drop spindle, I’ll get to try my hand at the spinning wheel.  I’m going to look like such a pro just sitting there, I’m so sure. 🙂  Here is the stage I’m to in my house. adfsdfs

It’s starting to look so much better!  This experience of learning how to spin just makes me appreciate what Cyndi does so much more.  It’s hard work!  And she is able to do it while watching TV and holding a conversation.  Impressive!

See you guys next week!

Zoe B.


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Art Batts Out My Ears!

Hey Everyone!

Down here we have been enjoying some lovely spring weather with temperatures in the 70s!  It amazes me how one day everyone can be bundled up in layers upon layers of jackets and hats, and then the next day wearing sun dresses and a layer of sweat.  I personally prefer my sundresses to my winter clothes, (mostly because I hate pants), so I hope this weather just continues to blossom.

Cyndi has been busy getting ready for a couple of shows this weekend!  When I got to The Twisted Purl studio yesterday, I came prepared with numerous art batt inspirations, in the hopes that Cyndi would let me make just one carded art batt.  Luckily, when I walked through the doors she was quick to tell me that today was all about art batts, and that I was to make as many as possible to be spun into yarn to sell at her show.  She only had about 12 skeins of yarn, so she needed a bunch more!  I helped make 5 carded art batts before I had to head back to campus.

photo 1  This is my tulip inspired basket of fluff.  Even though I had a spectacular valentines day with my significant other, I couldn’t resist doing what he calls “one up-ing him” by buying myself some sale flowers.  Some of which were tulips.  The insides of the flowers were so beautiful when they first opened up, that my first instinct was YARN!

photo 2 My next art batt started with thoughts about my monet yarn.  I love blues and greens together, so I started with that.  Then I fished through Cyndi’s collection of fluff until I had just the right components collected.

photo 3 My third art batt was a completely white one.  Cyndi says that this is surprisingly one of the most popular skeins of yarn!  As I fed the fluff into the drum carder, the pile began to grow.  Cyndi was sneaking more and more little odds and ends into the basket of fluff. 🙂

photo 2 d Here is a basket of fluff that was completely random for me.  I like so much order in my life, that this one was a real challenge.  It ended up looking very nice as yarn!

photo 4 My final art batt of the day was a St. Patrick’s Day inspired one. I just through in all sorts of greens (and a few blues) and then accented the greens with a complementary color of orange.  There is so much orange glitter in that art batt that spinning it on the drum carder was insane.


photo 1 d These are Cyndi’s feet hard at work spinning my first art batt (the tulip inspired one) into yarn.  Just the little bit she had done before I had to leave the studio looked beautiful!

Until next week,

Zoe B.