I'm a librarian, spinner, knitter! This is my blog for crafty things, updates to my shop and more.
You can check out my handspun yarns here - Kitty Grrlz Hand Spun Yarns and my hand knit items here - Kitty Grrlz Hand Knits

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cinder Plum! Finally a non-bamboo yarn!

I have finally broke the bamboo cycle and spun some wool! Late last night, I finally prepped and spun these two fibers that I've been meaning to spin for ages - Cinder (merino wool and silk blend) and Rusted Plum (merino wool). Both fibers were dyed by the Yarn Wench.

Here are the new yarns spun from these fibers -

A large "Squish-tastic!" skein -

A matching, smaller, mini skein -

And, finally, a small mini skein of Navajo 3-ply -

Oh, and I did also list some more bamboo yesterday and today - here is a mosaic of more Summer Carnival, and a new color - Very Berry Blues.

I hope to have some art yarns listed tomorrow and more Squish-tastics! and Navajo 3plys coming soon, too!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bamboo one more time - sale ends Monday!

Here is one more mosaic of bamboo yarns. On Monday morning, whenever I wake up, all prices will be going back to normal - on the bamboo AND other yarns on sale. Free Shipping in the USA and Half Price International Shipping will continue, though. For bamboo specials click here and for other yarn specials click here.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Hello Kitty Christmas!

We don't usually do much for Christmas, but on Christmas day we always go to Scott's Mom's house for turkey (yes, turkey, which we much prefer over ham and usually miss it at Thanksgiving). She always gets us a few things, and since she knows I like Hello Kitty, I usually get some really fun Hello Kitty gifts. Last year I received a nice zippered sweatshirt with a big sparkly Hello Kitty face on the back, and Hello Kitty pajamas. This year, I received another sleepshirt and -

A Hello Kitty Watch!

And, a Hello Kitty Toaster

That makes Hello Kitty Toast!
I mean, how fun is that????


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A few more bamboo yarns

Just a quickie mosaic post to show some of the most recent bamboo colors I've added to my etsy shop - Prairie Dusk, Ocean Dusk, and Citrus Dreams. Springtime in Paris coming tomorrow, and more Summer Carnival coming Friday! Bamboo is still on special - $15 each single ply skein, and the 2ply skeins are on sale, too! Click here for all that is currently available!

Merry Christmas Eve & Secret Santa Specials

Merry Christmas Eve! It is snowing here (again) and while it is quite lovely, I'm already wishing I was some where warmer . . . and sunnier!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday!

If you are home, and online, and feeling the need to do a little last-minute shopping, I am offering some Secret Santa Specials in my yarn shop on etsy - you can check them out HERE. I am adding a new item or two each day and think they will run through the weekend. I'm also still offering Free Shipping in the USA! AND, I have Gift Certificates that can still be emailed to you before tomorrow!

I'll also be listing a few more bamboo yarns yet this week and then I'm going to be putting away the bamboo until January and focusing on spinning some art yarns. Come January, though, I'll actually have some new bamboo colors that I've not ever offered before. Also, some new Squish-tastic! and Navajo 3-ply colors. No rest for the wicked! ;)

Happy holidays all!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

My laziness . . .

is your gain! Since I ended up not getting around to spinning any more bamboo yesterday, I am extending my Weekend Deals specials through Monday - I'll change the prices back to normal on Tuesday morning. This will give me a chance to get some more bamboo spun up today and listed yet tomorrow so you can take advantage of the special.

In addition to the bamboo special, I'm also offering $5 off Single Ply wool yarns and $5-7 off FunctionArt art yarns!

Shipping is still FREE in the USA and Half Price Internationally. Also, if ordered and paid for on Sunday, I can still upgrade to Express Mail and you would have it by Christmas!

I also have specials going on in my Kitty Grrlz Hand Knits shop - HERE!


Sometimes I get overwhelmed . . .

with how truly grateful I am for the wonderful people who buy from me. I know I say "thank you" all the time - on my blog, in my emails to buyers, in my notes I include with purchases, and sometimes I worry that maybe people don't believe it's sincere . . .

but, i am truly truly thankful i can do something i love to do and that people will pay for it and thus i can pay my bills and continue to do the things i love to do - spin and knit.

so, once again, i just want to say THANK YOU for your support, especially in this tough time.

i hope you all have a fabulous holiday, whatever you may celebrate, and a wonderful 2009!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yet more new bamboo yarns!

Yes, once again I'm posting a mosaic of the latest bamboo yarns I listed on etsy -

That's more Summer Carnival, Marmalade Mint, Serenity, Ice Princess, and one last skein spun from the "Black Gold" colorway which I'm calling "Stay Golden".

Haven't gotten to the wheel yet today, but hope to get at least a couple more bamboo skeins spun tonight. Tomorrow will be the last day for bamboo spinning for now, as I'd like to work on some art yarns this coming week. I hope to do some more "Green Man", and one that will be shades of blues and grays, and 4 more skeins of "Plum Divine" before year's end.

And, don't forget - WEEKEND DEALS are going on now in both of my etsy shops -
Hand knits in my Kitty Grrlz Knits shop
Hand spun yarns in my Kitty Grrlz Yarn shop

See my previous post for the specials!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekend Deals Come Early!

This weekend I am taking part in the Etsy "WEEKEND DEALS" promotions. I am still offering FREE (Priority Mail) Shipping in the USA and Half Price International shipping.

But, in addition to the shipping, I am also offering the following specials, which will run until Monday morning,

In my Kitty Grrlz Knits shop -

All Hand Knit NO-WOOL and WINTER Scarves are $10 off!
All Hand Spun Art COWLS/Neckwarmers and SCARVES are $5 off!

In my Kitty Grrlz Hand Spun Yarn shop -

All Single Ply Bamboo Yarn skeins are $15!
All Single Ply Wool Yarns are $5 off!
All FunctionArt Art Yarns are $5 - $7 off!

Prices already reflect these discounts, so no need for a code - simply check out, pay, and your items will be mailed out! (We are in the midst of a snowstorm, so all Friday orders will be mailed on Saturday.)

Please note, if you are a newsletter subscriber the FunctionArt special that begins Sunday will be $10 off the *original* price, not the "weekend deals" price.

I have also listed an "Express Mail Upgrade" listing in both shops. If you want your item by Christmas, please add this item to your cart and then I will ship via Express Mail.

And, finally, I'll be listing 2 more bamboo colors a little later today!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More new bamboo yarns

Just a real quick post this morning to show off the last couple of bamboo colors I listed on Etsy this week -

The top two are "The Frog Prince" and the bottom two are "Marmalade Pine".

As for yesterday's spinning - I did spin 6 more skeins of bamboo. I'll be listing those later this afternoon.

Now, I must get to work and spin some more! Bamboo is my newsletter special through Saturday, PLUS I'll be offering it as a "Weekend Deals" special on etsy this weekend! (The newsletter price is still a bit better, though - to sign up go to the bottom of THIS PAGE.)

That's all for now!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What I'll be spinning today . . .

Today, I'll be spinning more bamboo. Here is a shot of the colors I hope to get done today - or, at least two skeins of each of these 4 colors and maybe the one on the top -

From left to right, these are Serenity, Prairie Dusk, Victorian Rose aka "Peachy Keen Taffy" and Rose Garden aka "Neon Taffy".

Next in the bamboo line are these colors - Blue Pearl aka Ice Princess, Southwest Dawn aka Marmalade Pine, Springtime in Paris, Hibiscus Paradise and Verry Berry. If I stick to my schedule at least some of these will be spun tomorrow. The "Ice Princess" is what I am hoping to spin for my mini-skein keychains that I will be sending off to be included in the PhatFiber box for January. I just have to get the yarn spun!!

Finally, I DO have some new bamboo skeins to list later this afternoon. Look for them on etsy a little later today!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bug - wants to spin art yarns, too?

Since I haven't posted any kitty pics lately, I thought I would post this mosaic of shots taken tonight of Bug lounging on "Intertwined". Maybe she thinks she will learn the techniques through osmosis? I did disturb her sleep to take these pictures, which I think you can tell by her expression in the last shot -

Monday, December 15, 2008

New bamboo yarns for Monday

New bamboo yarn skeins now listed on etsy! Two skeins of Ocean Dusk and 2 skeins of Chocolate Berry Shine. I should have more tomorrow, too!

And, in other news, today I received some more PlumGrove fiber . . . I know I said I wouldn't be spinning my "Plum Divine" art yarns any more . . . but, I *did* say that it would be a color retired for 2009 . . . so, since it is NOT yet 2009, I am going to try and spin up 4 more skeins in this colorway. As always, they may be slightly different from previous versions, but the main colors will be the same. Look for them late this week or maybe early next week. (Newsletter subscribers please note - these are *not* going to be eligible for the FunctionArt newsletter discount which begins Sunday, December 20. My apologies for this.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sheep in the City Getaway - I'll be teaching!

So, I believe it is official - I will be teaching at the Sheep in the City Getaway event which is at the end of February! This is a 3-day event - Friday, February 27, Saturday, February 28, and Sunday, March 1. It is being held at the Comfort Suites at 6362 S. 13th Street in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. There will be knitting, spinning and a marketplace, too!

I will be teaching two classes related to art yarns! First, on Saturday morning from 9-11:30am, I will be teaching a How to Spin Art Yarn class. You can bring you own fiber and add-ins and thread or complete fiber and materials will be provided for an additional materials fee of $15. That will include at least 2 oz of hand dyed merino wool, pre-cut yarn snippets, angelina (sparkle), and thread. Then, all you need is your wheel, and I will show how to spin art yarns similar to the ones I do. Or, if you prefer to learn another form of "art yarn spinning", I will try to accommodate each individual. For example, I can also show how to spin coils! Some of that will depend on the size of the class and how time goes, though I would like to try and show as many techniques as possible.

Then, on Sunday morning from 9-11:30am, I will be doing a "Knitting with art yarn" class. I will have patterns for several projects that can be done with one skein of art yarn. As of now, you will receive a pattern for a scarf, neckwarmer/cowl, hat, and also wristwarmers/fingerless gloves. For most of these you would only need to bring a pair of needles - size 11, 13 or 15 (or all 3) - though for the hat, I'd recommend bringing size 11 circulars and matching double-points and for the wristwarmers - size 11 double-points. You can bring your own art yarn (at least 50 yards of bulky/super bulky yarn) or receive a significant discount on my art yarns (more than 50% off in most cases!). Then, we will knit and I will try and provide some tips and tricks for working with art yarn.

Since this is still a few months away, I will be mentioning it periodically here on my blog, but wanted to get the information out there! You can get further information on the Getaway, how to register for classes, and how to book a room (if needed) HERE.

NOW, I really have to get to work! :)

Bamboo yarn special

Today begins my Newsletter Special on bamboo single ply yarn skeins! It is a really good offer, but one that is reserved for Newsletter Subscribers only. Not a newsletter subscriber? You can subscribe right at the bottom of THIS PAGE. (Please note, it is a double opt-in list, which means you will receive an email and will need to click on the link in that email to confirm your subscription. If you don't receive the email right away, please check your junk mail folder or try subscribing again.)

This means I hope to spinning a lot of bamboo this week. I have so much of the fiber! I have two very large boxes full of it in an array of colors and would really like to spin enough to empty one of the boxes (I need the space in the living room!). Plus, I believe I will be sending bamboo sample key chains for the PhatFiber box, which means I need to get spinning that, too! I may also be sending some wool samples, too, or a combination of them both. Which just means I need to stop being lazy and get to work!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quickie post - new art yarns!

Just wanted to do a quickie picture-post of my new art yarns, all available now on etsy -

First - Silver and Lilacs - I have three skeins. Here is the only one with sparkle, and also the smallest of the three -
Then, the other two, which are a bit larger and also sans sparkle -

I plan to do two similar skeins from these materials -
That is what I hope to spin today - then for the rest of the weekend it will probably be bamboo since that is what will be on "newsletter special" starting on Sunday!

And, here is another new art yarn - very bright - Holiday Neon -
Don't forget - tonight at 5:30 pm Central Time - the EtsyKnitters Trunk Show in the Virtual Labs Lounge on etsy!

Happy Friday everyone!

EtsyKnitters Team Trunk Show today!

Tonight, at 6:30 EST (5:30 central), I will be taking part in the EtsyKnitters Team Trunk Show, which will be taking place in the Virtual Lab Lounge on etsy.com! Some of the team members will be presenting some of our items and chatting about them. All participating shops are also having some sort of special or discount for the show.

I will be offering FREE SHIPPING in the USA and HALF PRICE International SHIPPING in both of my etsy shops:
Kitty Grrlz Hand Spun Yarns are here
Kitty Grrlz Knits items are here

This shipping special will run from now through Monday at 12noon central time. I will change the listings to reflect this shipping special so no need for codes or waiting for an invoice!

In addition to this, I will be offering 10% off your order, in both shops, Friday night. This special will begin at 5pm central time (right before the trunk show begins) and will run until 5am central time on Saturday morning. To receive this discount, you must put "EtsyKnittersSpecial" in the Notes to Seller section and then wait for a revised invoice via paypal OR pay and I will refund you the discount amount.

If you like these specials, also consider signing up for my newsletter at the bottom of THIS PAGE. Newsletter subscribers often get my best offers and discounts *every* month!

Here is a list of the EtsyKnitters Team shops participating in the Trunk Show today, along with their special offers -

ElnasKnitting - is offering free shipping on all items in her shop for the rest of the year, and a
10% rebate on all items over this coming weekend.

TheHighPlainsKnitter -will be offering $5.00 off all scarves, scarflettes, and wrist cuffs, $1.00 off brooches, and ornaments, and $0.50 off appliqu├ęs.

DesignsbyVelvet - will be offering Free Shipping on purchase of 2 items. $5.00 off purchase of one item, and $10 off purchase of second item.

KindredKnits - will offer 10% off for the weekend, and free shipping. Mention Trunk Show in the "notes to seller" area.

KnittedGems - HOLIDAY SALE on all finished items - Free domestic shipping to all US customers! Over 50% off shipping charges to International customers. Reductions have already been taken off the shipping prices, which include Priority shipping and insurance.
Patterns are always sent free of any shipping charges unless requested otherwise.

JusSharDesigns - is offering Buy one, Get one of equal or lesser value for 1/2 off

and, GlasKnits has free shipping in the USA on most of her items, as well as reduced International shipping!

Other participating shops are ACacheofJewels are Ennadoolf - come to the Trunk Show to see what their specials are! And, if you're just looking for some great hand knit items, go to etsy.com and search "etsyknitters team"!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New this week - Single Ply Yarns

This week I've been working pretty slow for some reason. Not feeling super great, so have stuck to some rather simple spins - single ply yarns! Here is a small mosaic of some of the new single ply yarns, plus one of the newer art yarns -

Here is a full list of the new listings for this week, so far (I'll have a very bright art yarn listed later today!)

Tomfoolery Single Ply (not shown) - skein 1 and skein 2
Fang (bottom left)
Wild Berry Woods (top right)
Milan Holiday (top left) skein 1 and skein 2
Wild Violet Rose 2 (not shown)

Those are all spun from hand dyed Falkland wool, dyed by the Yarn Wench.

Then, there is Holiday Romance - a hand spun FunctionArt art yarn, spun from hand dyed merino wool - shown in the bottom right.

I also spun up one final skein of the Novel-Ply "Turquoise Sands Surprise". This is the last one I'll be doing like this since I can no longer easily find the color of Angel Hair yarn that I use to ply with the wool.

And, finally, I have listed more bamboo in my Kitty Grrlz logo colors of purple and orange. You can find two skeins of the dark version here and here, and 2 skeins of the light version here and here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Show season is over for me - now what?

So, my shows are over for the year! I admit, I feel so relieved and happy and FREE now! I DO like doing shows and find them an important part of keeping Kitty Grrlz going, but I'm not going to lie - they are tough and take a lot out of me. Mostly, though, I'm really happy to know that now, for at least the next month or so - maybe longer - I can spin all I want! Without the pressure of the shows hanging over me, I hope to just see where the fiber and wheel take me.

I've already got some new single ply yarns ready to be listed today. I've got some great art yarns planned for this week, too. More bamboo will be coming almost daily now for the next few weeks, and I've got some great merino/silk blends that will become Squish-tastic! yarns and Navajo 3plys . . . there is so much I want to spin that while I feel like I'm on vacation without upcoming shows on my schedule, I know I will still be busy busy busy spinning away!

I'm also running some great Holiday Specials for those subscribing to my new Newsletter. Usually this is the time of year when I offer some of the best specials. I'm also giving away 4 skeins of yarn to 4 lucky subscribers this month! To join in on the fun, please subscribe to my new newsletter - you can do so at the bottom of my kittygrrlz.com site - HERE!

And, this week, as part of the EtsyKnitters team on Etsy - I will be taking part in a "virtual" Trunk Show on Friday, Dec 12th at 6:30 pm EST - I believe you can join the fun by going HERE at that time! Some of the team members will be showcasing some of their best items, chatting about the process, and also offering some specials during the time of the show. I will be taking part and showcasing my Hand Spun Art Cowls, Scarves, and also my wristwarmers.

I don't have all of the new yarn pictures uploaded to flickr yet, but here is one new art yarn skein that is available - I'll probably post later or tomorrow with yarn pictures!

Friday, December 5, 2008

HOLIDAY CRAFTACULAR - Saturday, December 6 - Madison, Wisconsin

Tomorrow - Saturday, December 6 from 10am - 6pm I will be at the HOLIDAY CRAFTACULAR in Madison, Wisconsin! It is my last show of the year! Here are just a few of the new yarns I will have -

and, some of the hand knits -

Friday, November 28, 2008

ART VS CRAFT - Saturday, November 29 in Milwaukee

Tomorrow, I will be at ART VS CRAFT in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Like the DIY Trunk Show in Chicago, and the Craftacular in Madison - this is a great indie craft show with wonderful artists and crafters who make all sorts of items that would make great gifts!

Please come and check it out!

Saturday, November 29, 2008
10am - 7pm
Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center
790 N. Van Buren Street in downtown Milwaukee

I don't have many pictures to show of my new items, but I will have 4 new hand knit cowls/neckwarmers knit with hand spun art yarn, some new scarves, and lots of yarn - though I wasn't able to get as much spun this week as I had hoped. Here is a mosaic of some of the things I should have there -

BLACK FRIDAY SALE going on now!

I am having a special BLACK FRIDAY SALE in my etsy shops!

In my Kitty Grrlz Hand Spun Yarn shop on etsy, I have discounted 21 yarns by taking $5-10 off of their regular price! These special prices last only until 12noon CentralStandardTime.

You can find the sale yarns HERE.

Also, I am still offering FREE SHIPPING in the USA and Half Price International shipping through the weekend! This special is going on in both shops -

Kitty Grrlz Hand Knits on etsy
Kitty Grrlz Hand Spun Yarns on etsy

Plus, I have discounted several hand knits in my knits shop. You can find those items HERE.

Happy shopping!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving & a Sale (of course)

Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate - hope your day is filled with good food, family, friends and football? Or whatever else makes it a great day!

Last night while spinning I was trying to compose a "I'm thankful for . . . " post, and it just kept getting either really long-winded and rambly, or just a little too sappy . . .

so, i'm going to sum it up really easily and say - I'm thankful for everything that I have and everything that has happened to get me to this point.

And, since this is my "business" blog, I would like to specifically say that I am really thankful for my wonderful customers, the great people who I've met at shows, those who put on and organize those shows, the online fiber friends I've met, and for being able to wake up every day and spin or knit!

Now, on to the Sale -

Starting today and running until 12midnight on Monday night, I will be offering FREE SHIPPING in the USA and HALF PRICE International Shipping in both of my shops -

Kitty Grrlz Hand Knits are HERE
Kitty Grrlz Hand Spun Yarns are HERE

And, I will be at ART VS CRAFT this Saturday, November 29 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - but more about that tomorrow, along with another surprise!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thank you, Chicago!

Once again, the DIY Trunk Show was wonderful!! I am so grateful to the wonderful organizers for allowing me to be a part of it for the past 4 years, AND so appreciative of the fantastic people that come, chat, and buy wonderful handmade goodies! This year was even better than last year for me, so THANK YOU, CHICAGO - YOU ROCK! And, a special thanks to those who have now come and bought from me each year - ALL customers are wonderful but knowing there are those who come back again and again really makes my day - so, thank you!

I do have a few of the new hand knits that did not sell, though the cowls/neckwarmers both sold (and I will be knitting lots more of them for my next two shows!). But, you can find the following new knit items in my Kitty Grrlz Knits shop on etsy!

I also have a few bamboo skeins listed in my Kitty Grrlz Hand Spun Yarn Shop on etsy, too.

This week I'll be working on more bamboo yarns, more art yarns, and more Navajo 3ply yarns. I'll be knitting some more cowls with my art yarns and also some more scarves with "regular" yarn, all in preparation for ART vs CRAFT - the second in the "Indie Craft Show Midwest Trifecta" as I call it. Art vs Craft will be Saturday, November 29 in downtown Milwaukee.

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Hand Knits ready for the DIY Trunk Show

Well, I am all done for the night. Last minute yarns have been spun, labels have been made and attached, everything (except for the last minute yarns which are still drying) is packed away and ready to go tomorrow morning.

Here is a quick look at some of the new hand knits items I'll have tomorrow at the DIY Trunk Show in Chicago!

DIY Trunk Show - Saturday, November 22 in Chicago

Once again, it is that time of year! The time of year for wonderful indie craft shows, and the first one is THIS SATURDAY, November 22, in Chicago.

Last year at this time I wrote a slightly crazy post about how much the Trunk show has meant to me, so I won't repeat that again. But, if you want to read it, it's right here.

Today, I'll just give you the basics -

Saturday, November 22, 2008
Pulaski Park Fieldhouse
1419 W. Blackhawk
Chicago, Illinois
10am - 5pm

For more information and a list of participants, you can CLICK HERE.

I can't wait! I always love this show! I've got new hand knits - including two new cowls/neckwarmers, and as always will have LOTS of yarn!

AND, if you aren't in Illinois, but rather the Poynette, Wisconsin area, you can actually find some of my yarns at the Lapacek's Orchard annual Hoedown for the Holidays, which is today (Friday, November 21) and tomorrow (Saturday, November 22). It is 1/2 mile east of Poynette, Wisconsin and you can find more information right HERE. I sent a small collection of yarns for their show, including a few bamboo skeins, some "Batt-tacular" yarns, a two-ply, and even a couple of small art yarn skeins. All yarns sent (except for the 2plys) are $30 or under!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Navajo 3-ply Yarns

Currently, I am running a featured yarn ad on Ravelry for my Navajo 3-ply yarns. I learned how to Navajo ply in the summer of 2007, I believe. It took a bit, but finally, one day, I just sat down and said, "I AM going to do this." I used Lynn's (aka the Yarn Wench) wonderful video and tutorial that can be found here. The key was I needed both the video AND the description to help me finally get it. Once it clicked, though, I was so happy and spun 3plys nonstop for awhile!

There are two main reasons I like the 3ply over the 2ply. The first is that I like how it keeps the colors together a little better. It doesn't dilute them or mix them quite as much as a two-ply does. I love the colors in Lynn's roving, and Navajo plying helps keep the colors a little more solid and intense. The effect of a two-ply can also be really beautiful, but it tends to mix the colors and dilute them. So, Navajo plying is what I do when I want to maintain the integrity of the colors.

Plus, it is sort of easier to spin - all you need to do is spin ONE single ply strand and then Navajo ply it into the 3ply! You only need two bobbins and you never have any "left over".

The second thing I really like about it, though, is the roundness of the yarn and how it looks when knit. I remember reading early on that 3plys are preferred by some because of the even, round nature to them and the fact that they really show off the knit stitches. I didn't really believe this until I actually knit with one of my 3plys. Then, I realized and could see the difference between something knit with the 3ply versus the 2ply. I think both have their purposes and everyone has their preference - but I think I prefer the 3ply now, too.

The one downside for me about Navajo plying is these types of yarns take me *so long* and you always get less yardage from the fiber than you would if you spun a single or even a two-ply. And, it isn't actually the plying that takes the longest - that is actually pretty smooth, fun and easy - but spinning the single is what drives me crazy! I've been spinning a bit bulkier lately, but usually I try to spin a really really thin single to end up with a thinner end result. It's spinning that single that seems to take me longer than anything else! But, I do still love spinning them!

My preference of fiber for the Navajo 3-plys is the merino/silk blend, or the SeaWool fiber which is wool and seacell. Though, I think the merino/silk works better for this type of yarn. I also like using merino and Falkland.

Here is a mosaic of some of my newest Navajo 3-ply yarns - all of which can be found on etsy HERE.

I am hoping to continue to list new 3plys through the end of the month. I have lots more merino/silk I'd like to spin this way, and will have at least one more skein of the SeaWool spun, too!

And, what do I like to knit with the Navajo 3ply yarns? Wristwarmers or Fingerless Gloves! While fairly basic in design, I really do love how the 3plys work for them. I can get a small pair out of less than 2 oz of yarn, usually two pairs from one larger skein of Navajo 3-ply. I also prefer to knit them on double-pointed needles so that I don't have to seam up the side. Here is a mosaic of some of the ones I've done. (Some of these are available in my Kitty Grrlz Knits shop HERE.)
That's all from me today!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The last of "Plum Divine"

This past weekend I spun 4 more skeins of one of my favorite colorways. It is "Plumgrove" and hand dyed merino wool from the Yarn Wench. Over the past year I have spun so many versions of this colorway, but finally I come to the end. As much as I love this combination, I do believe I'll be "retiring" this colorway and will not be spinning it in 2009. That's not to say I won't have other purple/green combinations, but they would not be "Plum Divine"

Here are the last four skeins -

And, how exciting to find out this yarn was featured on the All Things Dearly blog, as yesterday's Daily Find! Yay!

In other weekend spinning news, I also spun up the last of the "Autumn Spice" colorway. This color originally began as a custom request for a special order. Even though we ended up going with a different color for that project, I loved this combination so much, I still commissioned quite a bit of it from Lynn aka the Yarn Wench. Though I do have more of it in a merino/silk blend, this is the last of the merino spun into two art yarn skeins -

Now, I'd better get to work - I've got lots of Falkland wool to spin into single plys today!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Last weekend's new Art Yarns

I forgot to post pictures of the art yarns I finished last weekend. Well, I finished the last ones on Monday, but these were all spun between Friday and Monday night, from the fiber shown in this post -

From top to bottom -
Elizabeth's Garden (merino wool fiber, colorway "Elizabeth")
Neon Yuletide (merino wool fiber, colorway "Atomic Yuletide")
Holiday Treat (merino wool fiber, colorway "Crabapple")
Dreamscape (merino wool fiber, colorway "Dark Shadows")

Most of these can be found in my ETSY SHOP HERE!

I'm not sure what my challenge for this weekend is going to be. I *think* I'm going to do some more art yarns, but I also might take a break from them this weekend and work on some Navajo 3-plys spun from merino/silk blends and seacell fiber! I'm going to see how today goes!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Knitting with Hand Spun Art Yarn

For the past week, I have been wanting to post something about knitting with hand spun art yarns. I know for some they are a little intimidating, but if you can break through that fear or uncertainty of "what do i do with it?", knitting with art yarns can be amazing! This post is a collection of some of the tips and suggestions I give when people ask me questions about knitting with my art yarns, and some examples.

My first advice is always to NOT BE AFRAID of the yarn! Don't let it intimidate you! I do know this feeling - when I first started knitting with hand spun yarns from The Yarn Wench, I was always afraid of "not doing the yarn justice", or not knowing what to do with smaller skeins. This fear would paralyze me and all that pretty yarn just sat there . . . waiting.

But finally I just started knitting with it! For some, it may seem "boring" to "just knit a scarf", but with an art yarn - even a plain scarf becomes an adventure. And, a unique adventure since each yarn is different! Here are some examples of skeins to scarves -

This is an art yarn Called "From RocketMan to Red Hat", a 98-yard, 3.4 oz skein
I took this skein and knit it into this scarf -
I used size 15 needles and cast on maybe 10-12 stitches (I know I should keep better track but each yarn is slightly different). I use a "drop stitch" pattern to help show off the yarn AND get a little more length from the yardage. For the drop stitch pattern this is what I do -
1. Knit 2 rows
2. On the third row, when knitting the stitch, I wrap the yarn around the needle TWICE. This means that you actually have twice as many loops on your needle at the end of the row, but they are coupled together.
3. On the fourth row, when knitting, put your needle only through the first loop of the two-loop stitch and as you pull the stitch off the needle, let that extra loop drop. So, in effect, you are knitting the first loop but the second loop drops. After doing that across the row, you are back to the same amount of loops/stitches on your needle as when you started.
4. Knit 2 rows.

Sometimes, if I want extra length I may wrap the yarn around 3 times! Also, I tried to find a video but wasn't able to come up with anything in a quick search, but did find these instructions, which may be better than mine.

Here is another -
I took a similar skein to this one -

And knit this scarf -

This one was a similarly sized skein at 98 yards, but I cast on fewer stitches, and in the blocking process tried to elongate it even more, so it is a longer, skinnier scarf.

Unblocked -

Blocked -

These pictures show how blocking can help even out your art yarn project. Sometimes, I actually like the look of the unblocked scarf, but have started to block them for a more "professional" look. For this one, I even *hung* it to dry so that it stretched out a little bit more.

There are other small projects you can knit with one skein of art yarn, too! Here is a hat that was knit with only a small 68-yard skein - and I didn't even use it all! I like to use size 10-1/2s or 11s when I knit hats with the art yarns.

And, these wristwarmers were knit with only about 40 yards of art yarn! I used size 11 needles for these, but maybe could have gone down to 10-1/2's
Cowls are another *great* item to knit with art yarns! You don't need that much - one skein should be enough - and you can knit them in the round fairly quickly. Here are a couple of cowls knit by Naomi of Ryono Creations - you can find her on ETSY HERE! These pictures are courtesy of her - you can see all of her pictures on flickr here!

and, one more -

These are just a few examples of the beautiful and unique items you can knit (or crochet!) with hand spun art yarns. Don't be afraid to "think outside the box" or "pattern" and you can create a wonderful, one of a kind piece of fiber art!

Update 5-5-2012 - While I plan on doing a complete update to this post, I am editing it to include some links to some other places you can get ideas of what to make with art yarn!  Here is one of my Pinterest boards that shows things made with Kitty Grrlz Hand Spun yarn , some of them the art yarns.  Here is my Kitty Grrlz Knits shop which includes cowls knit with the handspun yarn as well!