SpinningYarnsOnline.com’s Blog

August 26, 2008

We’re Going to the Farm!

Filed under: Life,News — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 2:29 pm

Just a quick update to let you know that we will be taking a quick trip up to my brother’s farm for a couple of days.  I am processing all orders received before tomorrow.  If you place an order on Thursday or after, it will not be processed until after the weekend.  Sorry for any inconvenience, but we are going to meet all  the new sheep and cows.  It should be a fun filled trip.

August 12, 2008

Answer Some Questions – Maybe Win a Prize…

Filed under: News,Store Updates — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 5:28 am

In preparation for the fall/winter knitting season I’ve been doing some thinking.  When I decided to sell my hand painted yarn I had to start somewhere so I only offered fingering and sport weight yarn. In addition,  I knit all my socks using superwash merino so I decided to start by working with this wonderfully soft, washable yarn.  The response has been great so I am wondering if you would like other wool blends and possibly worsted and bulky weight yarn.  Personally, I love the feel and the drape of a merino/tencel blend.  I don’t necessarily love socks knit out of it because (for me) they tend to be more “slouchy” than I like.  I love to knit scarves and shawls and the merino/tencel is absolutely perfect for these.  I’m also pondering the idea of a merino/silk blend. 

So here’s my question(s) — Would you all like to see some yarns that are a merino blend (merino/tencel and merino/silk)?  And… how about some worsted and bulky weight yarn in pure merino.  I love bulky yarn.  I always appreciate a quick big needle knit.  So how about you?  Leave a comment regarding the merino blends and whether you would like hand painted worsted and bulky yarn.  All those who leave a comment will be in the running for a special prize that will be picked (by the random generator) on Monday, August 18th. 

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

August 11, 2008

New Stuff Coming Soon!

Filed under: Life,News — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 8:06 am

Whew!  Where did that last week go??!!  It seems like this summer is just flying by.  My girls have their last week of camp this week.  They are both away on trips for most of the week.  They then have the last day of camp which is spent watching a dvd recap of the whole summer and lots of “I’ll miss you so much” tears.  All in all I think they both enjoyed their summer and now have a couple of weeks to regroup and get their heads into school mode.   We have so much to do during the 2 weeks between camp and school that I have no idea how we are going to get it all done.

I have been playing with dyes and testing some new colorways.  I have also been working on different dye methods.  Up until now, all our yarn has been hand painted.  It is a labor intensive process but I love the way the dye takes on a life of its own.  Each skein has its own depth and character.  I have been doing some research about other dye methods and have been working with a new sort of  semi solid that is accomplished by dyeing the skein of yarn and then re-dyeing numerous times until the dye exhausts.  You get great tonal differences that give an almost tweedy effect.  Yarn using this method will be up on the site in the next couple of weeks.  I have been loving the way they are coming out.

I am also working on a launch of a totally new product.  Can’t let you know what it is yet, but I am so excited about it.  A big announcement of the launch of the new product should be by the beginning of September.

Stay tuned, we’ve got a ton of great stuff that will be available soon!

August 3, 2008

Free Sock Patterns On The Web Galore!

Filed under: Life,News — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 2:36 pm

So I finally was able to copy all of the wonderful links for free sock patterns that you all sent me.  Here are most of them.  I will be going through the list myself in the next couple of days to make my plan for hand knit holiday gifts. I hope you all enjoy this list.  When you knit some socks using SpinningYarnsOnline yarn we would love to see a picture.  In fact, the first person to knit up some socks from a pattern on this list and email the pic to me at info at Spinning Yarns Online dot com (get rid of spaces and make it a real email.  Just trying to outsmart the stupid spammers….) will get some free yarn of your choice.  So let’s get knitting!

Free Sock Pattern Links:

http://www.royea.net/sockdemo1.html

http://www.spunkyhats.com/boogie_freepatterns_socklinks.htm
http://kathleen-dakotadreams.blogspot.com/2008/05/freebie-wednesday-simple-stripes-fair.html
http://www.wiseneedle.com/patternpage.asp?pattern=knitpatksox

http://nonaknits.typepad.com/nonaknits/2007/06/sidewinders_the.html

http://www.pepperknit.com/patterns/anastasia.html
http://files.blog-city.com/files/aa/3830/b/river_rapids.pdf

http://www.helloyarn.com/cabletwistsocks.htm
http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dggcqpgj_40hnxv4jdf
http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/PATTrpm.html I’m working on this
http://www.jfcampbell.us/anne/patterns/show_off_stranded.pdf
http://www.thedietdiary.com/blog/lucia/630 sock links
http://trekcelt.blogspot.com/2005/08/free-patterns.html lots
http://www.knitpicks.com/kpimages/pdf/50631220.pdf
http://woolyheaded-baby-leggings.blogspot.com/
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter02/PATTstraightlaced.html
http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/2mlsocks_start.htm
http://katinthebag1958.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2008-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&updated-max=2009-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=8
http://pinklemontwist.blogspot.com/
http://www.dailyknitter.com/patternsdetail.php?type=SO
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/go-gryffindor#

http://www.socknitters.com/Cyberexplain.htm
http://larisknit.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/dark_isle_socks.pdf
http://pixiesparaphernalia.net/pixie-patterns/

http://www.freepatterns.com
http://www.knittinguniverse.com
http://www.knitpicks.com
http://www.funknits.com
http://www.Bevscountrycottage.com

http://www.knitaddicted.com/html/20.html
http://www.garnstudio.com/index_lang.php

http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer08/PATTziggy.html
http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer08/PATTspringforward.html
http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer08/PATTmuscari.html
http://knitty.com/archiveFEET.html

http://www.knitty.com/issuesummer07/PATTbreeze.html

http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory/socks.php
http://www.knittychick.com/free_sock_patterns.htm
http://webhome.idirect.com/~quanah/patterns.html

Machine knit baby socks pattern:

http://www.pineymountaincottage.com/beginnersock.html

July 18, 2008

Drum Roll Please…..

Filed under: News — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 7:32 am

And the winners are:

1.  Betty Ann – for being the first commenter with a link.   You’ve already been emailed and your skein is on the way!!  Hope you enjoy it and let us know what you knit with it.

2.  Maureen – Congrats and please check your email.  I will need you to email me so I can send your your skein.  Hope you love it!!

and last but not least…

3.  Shell – Congrats and please check your email.  I will also need you to email me so I can send you your skein.  Again, I hope you love it!

Thanks to everyone for sending in such great links!  We got links for hand knitting as well as machine knitting.  I will compile a list over the weekend and post it next week!

July 15, 2008

Our First Contest/Give Away!

Filed under: News — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 7:16 am

I thought it would be fun to compile a list of free sock patterns available on the web.  Here’s where you come in.  Leave a comment with some working links to free sock patterns on the web.  I will be giving away three skeins of our hand painted yarn.  The first person who leaves a comment with a link gets the first one.  The next two skeins will be chosen by the random generator.    The deadline for leaving comments with links is Thursday at noon.  The winners will be announced on Friday.  Have fun!

July 2, 2008

Store Update

Filed under: News,Store Updates — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 7:39 am

A quick update, the colorways that are on clearance are almost out of stock.  I expect to take them off the site by the beginning of next week.  If you are interested in Gecko, Violet Rubies, Holly Berry or Spring Flower they are currently being closed out.  I am making room for our fall colorways.

I currently am working on a new product line for SpinningYarnsOnline.  The colorways are being tested and I expect to be able to unveil our new addition to our products shortly.  I’ll keep you posted on its progress….

 

June 26, 2008

Middle School Kids are Awesome!

Filed under: Life,News — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 11:51 am

Now that summer is here and I have a few moments…I’d like to tell you about a project that I worked on with some kids from my older daughter’s school. Due to some very severe budget cuts and other issues, the administration had to cut an elective out of the kids’ day. In order to keep the school day schedule intact, the powers that be instituted a “zero period” at the beginning of the school day. From 7:45 am to 8:27 am the kids in the middle school (and high school) were held in either a gym or the cafeteria depending on grade. As a parent, I was less than thrilled (I’m being polite…) with this plan. But, what were they supposed to do? Our state government made some harsh cuts that forced our administrators to make some harsh and very unpopular decisions. I’m not going to go into the politics or even my opinion about this. It’s not worth getting my blood pressure up again… Anyway, after listening to my daughter tell me what she was doing during “zero period”, I called the school principal and basically said, “Don’t you have any parents who have a skill that can volunteer some time to get these kids something to do?!!!” And then I continued with what I meant to be a bit of a joke, I said “I knit, you could have a knitting group” I expected him to say “Ha Ha, that’s so stupid. Knitting, there’s nothing academic about that.” Much to my surprise (and to be honest, at the time, my horror) the principal said, “I would love that. We had to eliminate our Home Ec. department so this would give the kids the opportunity to learn a craft that they can use”….etc., etc. Then, because sometimes my brain forgets to tell my mouth to shut up, I started telling the principal about how I could teach the kids to knit and they could each make a blanket square and then we could sew them together and then they would send it to Project Linus and on and on and on. And then I basically got the “when can you start”.

After my head stopped spinning it dawned on me that I had just volunteered myself to facilitate a knitting club at our town’s middle school. Yikes!!! Sometimes I get myself into things and I don’t even know how it happened. So before I knew it I was meeting with the principal to put together a program that would work for his school and my schedule. I was then taken through the process of getting fingerprinted and backround checked in order to be able to be a “regular volunteer”. I found this part of the process very amusing because my husband and I have been known to watch the TV show “Cops” and are always dumbfounded and amused when the arresting police officer asks the person he is about to handcuff if he/she has any warrants. I would always turn to my husband and say, “I don’t have any warrants.” I know that doesn’t sound funny at all but at the time it was because I don’t think I have ever met anyone in my life who has had or who has a warrant for his/her arrest. I am pleased to report that my backround report proved my lack of warrants and any felonies or anything of the like. I was approved to volunteer to run this knitting group.

A permission slip was sent home to any kid who wanted to participate. During that time I was busy soliciting donations from knitting friends. I needed needles and yarn for these kids to use. My wonderful friend Joan went through all of her needles and kept herself a set and gave me the rest. It was a huge bag of about 25 lbs. of knitting needles. My daughters and I had a great time sorting through them and separating them by size. I went through my embarrasingly large yarn stash and made a (huge) pile of yarn that I was willing to part with. My friend Pam did the same. Her pile was even huger (not a word, but it works…) than mine. The lovely ladies at my LYS put together another huge bag of yarn they didn’t need or want. It was a nice community effort outfitting the middle school knitting club with needles and yarn.

So, off I went at 7:30 in the morning to meet my room of middle school knitters. I had been told there would be around ten girls. My daughter would be in the room and it was important to me not to embarrass her or become the “dorkmom” that I am trying so hard not to be. As they walked me down to my designated classroom I had this horrible moment of clarity wherein I realized that I would be in a room, alone, with approximately ten 11 to 13 year old girls. That’s a lot of girls. That’s a lot of middle school girls. I’m not sure if you know this, but the pre-teen and teenage years can be kind of difficult for girls. A lot happens during these years. And I was going to be in a classroom, by myself, with 10 of them. As I walked down to the classroom, it was as if I was in a Hitchcock movie where the scary music is blaring and the hallway was getting longer and more narrow. I was so nervous I had sweaty palms. I kept thinking, “Who was the absolute idiot who thought it would be a good idea to have me run a knitting club for middle school age girls???” Oh yeah, right, that was me…

Well, the girls came into the room and I showed them the needles, yarn and books of patterns that I brought. I split them up by skill level. I took the total newbies and off we went. I have to tell you that they were the most wonderful group of young ladies. Their enthusiasm was contagious. They loved to learn and they loved to learn knitting. Mostly, they loved to sit and chat and be with each other and enjoy each other’s company for 42 minutes. They were wonderful. As the weeks went by we even picked up a few more girls who wanted to join the fun. By the end of the year we had at least 16 knitters! The Schools Superintendent popped his head in one day when he had a meeting in the building and was so complimentary to the girls on what they were doing. It was really nice.

We had all different skill levels going on in the room. I made it clear that I could not teach everyone at the same time so the more experienced knitters were happy and willing to pitch in and teach a newer knitter to purl or cast on or bind off. They worked so well together. I was so happy to see a bunch of wonderful girls helping each other and working together to make a great project. They each contributed in their own way, be it a square or two for the blanket, or the dreaded weaving in of about a gabillion ends. They all pitched in with happy faces and tons of enthusiasm! They were a joy. Here are some shots of the blanket during its construction:

Preparing to weave in the ends.

This is the blanket being blocked.

This is some of the girls with the finished product. They were so pleased and proud of their work. They were invited to go to the Board of Ed. meeting and be recognized for their efforts and to show off their great blanket that will be sent to Project Linus to make a kid, who is going through a tough time, feel special. These kids are great!!!

June 13, 2008

Meet Little Meggie

Filed under: Life,News — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 10:38 am

I got a new toy.  It’s a spinning toy called a Little Meggie.  I bought it from Heavenly Handspinning .  I really like drop spindle-ing but I really don’t like the “drop” part of it.  Whenever I use a drop spindle I always have a feeling of lack of control because you have this weighted spinning wood stick that has to be controlled along with your pre-drafted fiber.  My spindle usually flies all over the place until it gets into its spin.  I was trying to think of a way to eliminate that out of control feeling when I stumbled upon this:

Meet Little Meggie.  Her creator is a genius.  She basically is made of a big, heavy block of wood, a wooden dowl, a ball bearing inserted into a hole, a heavy wood scalloped bottom, a whirl and a hook.  You kick the heavy wood bottom thingy and the spindle stays stationary.  Brilliant! You can watch a YouTube video showing how to use this little piece of genius here:  Little Meggy videoHeavenly Handspinning  also has some really cool handmade spinning wheels.  I have my eye on the double treadle one.  You all need to buy some more yarn from SpinningYarnsOnline so I can afford a new wheel!! ; – ) 

I’ll be spending some quality time with Little Meggie and will show you what I spin soon.  Here’s one last picture of her:

In other news, the Summer Knitty is up.  There are some great sock patterns that would be wonderful knit up in Spinning Yarns’ hand dyed yarn.  I particularly like the Spring Forward Socks

That’s all I got for now. I’ve got to go spin…

June 6, 2008

The Knitting Monster (…I mean Machine)

Filed under: Life,News — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 3:03 pm

My friend Deb gave me a knitting machine a while back.  I thought it was cool and knew that someday I would have time to learn how to use it.  She is a knitting machine whiz and was even on QVC last summer demonstrating this beast, I mean machine.  Anyway, I decided that there might be a use for this knitting machine for a future product for SpinningYarns so I asked Deb to show me how to use the thing.

Deb came to my house, set the monster/machine up and showed me what to do.  She kept politely reminding me to “watch the instructional tape, it will really help you.”  To which I replied, “I’ll be fine, you’re showing me what to do.  I’ll be fine.”  Well we had some fun banging out rows of knitting in seconds flat.  It really is weird to knit a row in 2 seconds.  We ran into a couple of glitches and problems, but they were good; they were learning experiences.  Then Deb left.  (She had to do something important like buying food for her family.  How could that be more important than teaching me how to master a knitting machine/monster???)

So, feeling quite confident and pleased with myself, I sat back down in front of my new knitting toy and moved the carriage and knit a row.  Amazing!!  Then I moved the carriage and knit another row.  Incredible!!  Then the bar weight, hem thingy fell off and hit the floor and my foot and all of the stitches that were on the machine were now off the machine and laying in a heap on the floor.  I said some bad words.  Some really, really bad words.  In fact, I think I may have even made up a few new bad words. 

I had been shown a few times how to set this knitting monster up to get started.  This was a great opportunity to practice setting up and getting started.  There were some more foul words, some sweating and finally I got the monster to knit a few more rows.  I consider this a good first outing with my knitting machine/monster.  I will need to practice if I ever want to use this monster for more than expanding my foul word vocabulary.  I’ll let you know how it goes… 

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