January 29, 2012

Want to Make Yarn?

So have you been thinking about making yarn?  If not why not?  It is lots of fun.  Once you learn it can be relaxing and you can get very creative with the process.   It is possible for you to learn how to make yarn.  If you knit or crochet you can use your handspun yarn.  This is a great way to make a truly one of a kind piece.  You can't just go to some big chain store and pick up handspun yarn.  There is something special about working with handspun yarn and even more so if you made it yourself.

My first handspun yarn.

So are you just a little excited to learn how to spin?  I sure hope so!

One great way is to learn on a drop spindle.  That is how I learned to spin.  My first drop spindle was from a CD and a dowel not very fancy but guess what it works.  This is a relative inexpensive way to get started.  Also you can take your spinning with you when you travel.  Another way to spin is on a wheel.  Wheels are great, that is what I spin on now but can expensive to purchase.  I love how I can create yarns very quickly on a wheel and I can create easily spin textured yarns.  You can spin the textured art yarns on a spindle but may need a little more coordination and practice.

My CD drop spindle with some yarn I spun.
My ladybug spinning wheel.

Fibers are fabulous.  There are so many different types of fiber to spin from sheep's wool, rabbit, ox, camel, you can even spin dog hair!  You want to start with some easy to spin fibers such as Bluefaced Leicester sheep wool.  You can find some in our online shop.  The first fibers I spun was Corriedale sheep.  Stay away from slippery fiber such as alpaca and llama as well as short fibers like cotton.  Once you master the basic fibers then you can move to the fun stuff like art batts.

Hand-dyed Bluefaced Leicester from Hello Purl

Fiber art batt from Hello Purl

There are lots of instructions on the web on learning to spin.  Personally it is hard for me to learn something just by reading it but that is great way to give it a try.  There are lots of online videos as well, but they can't just answer questions and you may have to do some searching to find the answers you are looking for.  I prefer to learn by someone who knows what they are doing.  So take a class.  Talk to your local yarn shop they may know of a yarn making class or even offer some.  We offer spinning classes through the D.I.Y. Studio and Gifts or if you want a private spinning lesson we can do that too.  Just send me an email (melissa@hellopurl.com).

A recently spun handspun yarn.

January 27, 2012

A Basket and Books

I'm excited to share a few things with you that I got for Christmas.  First of all I got a wool drying basket that my mother-in-law made me.  She makes all sorts of baskets and wanted to try a new type, the wool drying basket.  I think I'm going to use it more as a decorative piece because I think it is just beautiful.

Wool drying basket

Wool drying basket

I also got a few books Spin Art by Jacey Boggs, Harvesting Color by Rebecca Burgess and The Fleece and Fiber Source Book by Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius and I love them all.  I plan on working from these books throughout the year.  I want to spin every textured yarn from from Spin Art and I will be sharing with you what I create.  I want to try natural dying in the summer with some of the plants in the Harvesting Color book.  I will be sharing the results with you and hopefully some of the colors turnout as beautiful as in the book.  I might even plant some in my garden.  I am also going to explore the different fibers in the fleece and fiber source book.  I have checked off working with just a few of them like, Corriedale, Border Leicester, Bluefaced Leicester, Cotswold, Llama, Alpaca and Mohair.

I hope you will check back and see what I am up too.  If you have a particular type of fiber you think I should get my hands on and try let me know.  I'll have to see if I can find it.  I can't wait to get started.

January 7, 2012

And the Winners are...

Doug and Allurynn win the fiber art batt and Reanna wins the skein of yarn!  My sons drew the names of the winners today.  I just need you to contact me at Hellopurl@gmail.com so I can send you your fiber.  Thanks to everybody who entered.

January 1, 2012

Happy New Year & a Giveaway!

So I would like to thank everyone for all the support you have brought our handmade business.  I hope that we can to continue to grow throughout the new year bring you wonderful fiber art.  So a big THANK YOU!

We have reached 300 fans over on Facebook so we are going to have a giveaway!  Since it is a new year I thought that we would giveaway a skein of yarn and a fiber art batt.  There will be two winners (unless your name is drawn twice then there will be one).  If we can reach 400 fans I will add two more winners to the mix offering another skein of yarn and fiber art batt.  How does that sound?  Good I hope.   I want you to be surprised with what you win so in the photos below the skein of yarn you could win is hidden in the bowl with all the other skeins of yarn and the batt is hidden among the other batts.

The skein of yarn you can win is hiding in there somewhere.  Maybe right in view.

The batt you can win is hidden among the other batts.  You may just be looking right at it.

How to enter:
1.) Comment below letting us know your favorite item(s) from our Etsy shop (www.hellopurl.etsy.com).  And what you would prefer to win (but I can't make any guarantees).
2.) Follow our blog and comment below letting us know you are following this blog.
3.) Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/hellopurl) and comment below to let us know you are & don't forget to share so we can have more winners!
4.) Follow us on Pintrest (www.pintrest.com/hellopurl) and comment below to let us know you are.
5.) Support us by buying something from our Etsy shop (www.hellopurl.etsy.com).  You will get one entry for each item you purchase use coupon code HELLO300FANS for 10% off your purchase.  Make a comment below for each item purchased as an entry.

Please let me know if you are having any trouble entering comments and I will enter for you just email me at hellopurl@gmail.com or if you have any questions.

I will draw the winner(s) on Saturday January 7th 2012 at 9:00am (CST) and post the winner(s) later that day.  Again thank you!