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DFW Fiber Fest

I hope to see many of you at DFW Fiber Fest this weekend! My booth is outside the main vendor hall near the classrooms, I think. Here is a map on which I have conveniently drawn your footsteps:


I’m headed out the door first thing in the morning. All orders placed between now and then will be shipped when I get back next week.


DFW Fiber Fest is coming up (yay!) and I wanted to make a big splash with a few new secret products that are not yet available online. The unfortunate side effect of that plan is that the site updates have been a bit slow going because there wasn’t much left to put in the shop. But I have now remedied that with some handspun yarn, dyed top, & batts!

New handspuns:



New fibers, including camel/merino/silk top (SUPER YUM), corriedale top, and carded batts (soon to be elaborated on in a subsequent blog post):





I discovered a new (to me) hand spinning technique. I planned to make a standard 2-ply yarn but then used a core thread to make it a supercoil. I made a “tutorial” (one picture, haha) to show how I hold my hands to make the technique work.

My left hand holds the core thread and I usually wrap it around my fist once for extra tension. My right hand holds both plies of handspun. I use a grip similar to a long-tail cast on: my pinkie and ring finger grasp both strands, and I use my thumb and index finger to keep them apart. The separation prevents them from twisting around each other so that each ply will wind into the coil smoothly. Then spin a few inches at a time, pausing to pull the core thread tight and scrunch the coils up toward the orifice.



Below are pictures of the two yarns I’ve made with this technique so far. On the left, the yarn was spun using the fractal spinning technique. (I used dyed top. The first half was spun in one big chunk with long color repeats. The second half was split into tiny lengthwise sections for short color repeats. I wound it into a center-pull ball and plied from both ends.) On the right, I combined two yarns from separate bobbins.

hs-sandworm secondsupercoil



Gritty Knits bumper stickers are finally here! The funny part about calling them “bumper” stickers is that if they actually end up on a car bumper, you’ll need a telescope to see my logo. But that’s part of the plan. I figure their main purpose is to advertise your love for knitting, and the website part is more subliminal. I already put one on my laptop, one will go on the car when Adam get’s home, and I’m searching around the house for more things to put them on. Maybe I’ll stick one on the cat.

These are available in the shop with free shipping, I’ll be sending one to each of my fiber/yarn of the month club members, and they’ll be at my booths for DFW Fiber Fest and Yellow Rose Fiber Producers Fiesta.



Here’s more news you can use: many of the colors of Angelina that I thought were gone forever have come back in stock. They arrived a few weeks ago, but due to a “computer glitch” (shhh, that’s secret code for “I don’t know how to use my software properly”) they weren’t showing up in the store. I’ve fixed it, and they are now available.

These include the 6 blindingly-bright electric colors, turquoise, marcasite, onyx, lapis, and copper metallic.




I’ve been building up a private stash of Nomlets ever since I cast on for The Beekeeper’s Quilt a few months ago. I decided it’s time to share the love :)

Sign-ups are now open for the Nomlets-of-the-month club. You can choose to receive 3 or 6 minis each month. Some will be standard colors of Nom and others will be spontaneously dyed, limited edition colors. Nomlets are also this month’s sale item: 2 for the price of 1. Everyone who joins the club by March 1 will receive double skeins (6 or 12) in their first shipment! As with all my clubs, there’s no time commitment; cancel any time. You’re welcome to take advantage of this offer even if you have no intentions of staying in the club long-term.

I know there is some discussion in the hexipuffing community about the yardage required for making a puff, whether knitting or crocheting. In my experience, these 22 yards are enough for exactly 1.5 knitted puffs. The leftovers from 2 Nomlets are usually enough for me to stripe together to make a third puff. If you are a crocheter with concerns about running out of yarn, send your address to and I’ll mail you a sample Nomlet for a test-puff.

Fleece’s pieces

Normally I hoard all my dyed fleece for use in batt making and yarn spinning. (“I need ALL TEH FIBURZ!”) But I realized the other day that my stash is finally big enough that I could really afford to let some of it go. So today and through the rest of the week, I’ll be adding lots of uncarded wool locks to the store.


Pictured above is a gorgeous Shetland x BFL fleece, SUPER CLEAN and full of cute little curls. It’s too pretty to sit on my shelf any longer.

Below is some Wensleydale fleece listed at sale prices (almost zero-markup because there’s vm throughout). I like to spin straight from the lock, so if it’s not 100% clean I can’t use it. Hopefully some fiberista out there with the patience to comb through it will give it a good home, because the wool itself is very nice and soft compared to the Wensleydale I’ve felt before.


Coming as soon as I can take pictures: Coopworth lamb, CVM, Romney, & Shetland


Last year during the Tour de Fleece Batt, I enjoyed taking artful pictures and writing descriptions of each day’s fiber. It was a lot of work though, for not much payoff. I’ve been lamenting the fact that I can’t afford to put that much time into each and every batt I make. However, it occurred to me that if I were to make the batts in larger batches it might make sense to be able to feature each set more in depth on my blog with descriptions and pictures of the process from start to finish.

Without further ado, the first batt batch is featured below: Taste the Rambo Rainbow.


You may remember the following pictures from my adventures in solar dyeing, courtesy of a tutorial by Jazzturtle. A couple of ounces of wool went into each jar, topped with dye powder and boiling water, then a few hours out in the sun to bake.



Here is the resulting brightly colored Rambouillet wool on the drying rack. This wool has a very interesting texture. Unlike Mohair or Romney, there are no easily visible, individual hairs. The fibers all blob together like a sponge with rubbery elasticity. This batch has some natural lanolin left in the wool, which will soften your hands as you spin but can easily be removed from the finished yarn with a soak in hot water.



The fiber was run through the carder only once—just enough to hold it together but not enough to truly blend.  The large chunks allow for easy separation of colors if the spinner desires a more controlled color stripe pattern. Spun as-is, the results will be a lumpy-bumpy mix of color and texture. There are 12 ounces of this fiber available in my shop (broken into six 2-ounce batts), which is plenty in case someone who wants enough fiber for a larger project.



Of course, I had to save a little for myself. I haven’t decided yet what to make with it, but I’m sure it will be epic. This is the first time in YEARS that I made batts without glitz in them… and I’m really fighting the urge to add some sparkle to mine.  Yeah, that’s it. I can’t stand it anymore. I have to go card in some angelina and spin it right this second.

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