Thursday . . . Again

Love to knit? Have a knitting blog? Not too busy? A working giveaway.

Thursdays roll around, I don’t know, maybe every 7 days or so?  And I’m never ready for them.  Or for Fridays, either.  It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted a Fiber Arts Friday post.  Will someone please remind me to do one tomorrow?

Anyway.  The link at the top of this post takes you to the blog of a friend of mine who is having a give away.  Why not pop over to her blog and see what’s going on.  Oh, by the way, she also an awesome photographer, so if you linger to enjoy the art, I won’t be the least bit surprised.

Fiber Arts Friday

Fiber Arts FridayWell, I missed last week’s FAF post.  We were out of town, staying at a hotel with free wifi, but somehow I still missed posting.  What can I say?  It was just one of those trips.

Here is one of the pics I took at the wedding.  Now I remember why I don’t shoot weddings anymore.  I get so stressed about getting the best shots and then editing them just right.  The bride and groom, in this case anyway, were just happy to have a few shots to remember the occasion.

Wedding Bands

Now to the Fiber Arts.  I’ve been working on a couple of projects.  I worked on knitting the second sock of a pair for my husband while I was traveling.  Need to finish it now.  Just having trouble getting started on it again.  Maybe this afternoon will be the day! Don’t have pics of them yet.  And I also don’t have pics of the wool I’ve been spinning since we got home.  It’s a bright raspberry fuchsia shetland.  Even after washing, dyeing, carding, and carding again (I think it three times total), it still has quite a few seeds and hay in it.  I’m picking it out as I go.  It will be a two ply and very ‘rustic’ in texture.  But I think it will be nice as a sweater.  Or possibly the accent color on a sweater.  We’ll just have to see after it’s finished.

What I do have a photo of is this: This is the yarn spun from the carded batts from a couple weeks back.  I’ll find the link and add it here if I remember when I’m done.  This yarn turned out very nice.  I’m not sure if I’m going to list it in my shop, or use it myself.  I really should list it.  I have plenty of yarn for myself already.  But it is always so tempting to keep yarns for myself.

Now comes the part where you can participate in Fiber Arts Friday.  Post a comment in this post with a link to your Fiber Arts post for the week.  I’m looking forward to seeing what all of you have been working on.

Talk to you later.  Enjoy!

Fiber Arts Friday

It’s Friday again.  And you know what that means!  If you’re on Twitter, it’s #FollowFriday.  And here, it’s Fiber Arts Friday – and chance for you to show off what you’ve been working on. In the comments section, please post a link to a post on your blog highlighting something fibery you’ve been working on.  It may be knitting, crocheting or spinning.  It may also be quilting or cross stitching – anything to do with fibers.  In fact, I know a few people who grow their own fiber.  I would love to hear from them, too! Please remember to post a link back to this post so your friends and readers can find everyone else’s Fiber Arts Friday links.

I’ve been spinning and carding this week.  My husband had been helping a lot by turning the crank on the drum carder while feed wool into it.  Here is a photo of a couple of the batts that resulted. These were the bits and pieces that were left and collected from other carding and spinning projects.  I’ve spun the yarn and really like it, but no photos yet.  It’s not very much – about 1.6 oz.  I may make a hat with it, using a coordinating yarn for the band to make sure I have enough.

Some Things Just Need to Blogged Instead of Tweeted

Can I just tell you:  I love wool!  It’s soft and yummy, warm and comforting. It’s natural.  It is enduring.  Not just durable, but enduring.  It’s been around for a while.  People have been using it for a while.  It will continue to be used for a long time to come in spite of the synthetic alternatives available.  There’s just nothing that can take the place of natural wool.

I’m from the South.  I’m a certifiable G.R.I.T.S. (Girl Raised In The South.)  I was born and raise along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  It gets hot there in the Summer.  No, let me take that back.  It gets hot there in the Spring.  And it even gets pretty warm in the Winter.  The Winters are often pretty mild.  I remember more than once riding bikes on Christmas Day.  I used to wonder what the kids up North did when they got bikes for Christmas but couldn’t ride them because the roads were buried in snow.  It wasn’t till I was almost grown that I realized that they got sleds for Christmas instead of bikes.  But I digress.

Hand Spun, Hand Dyed BFLMy point is, we really didn’t have reason to need to even think about wool.  Cotton was King.  It was comfortable in the warm temperatures and could be easily layered to keep us nice and cozy in the winter.  (I loved my denim jacket.  In fact, I still have one though I seldom wear it.  I just can’t let it go.)

But wool just wasn’t in our vocabulary. My only experience with wool was a navy blue wool blanket that was my mothers.  I guess she still has it.  It appeared to be indestructable – as long as you didn’t throw it in the washer, which we were given clear instructions to never do.  It was also scratchy.  Or ‘itchy’ as we are often more likely to refer to wool.

Based on this experience with wool, I had no desire to wear it.  Didn’t want to buy it.  Didn’t want to knit or crochet with it.  Even Red Heart Acrylic was softer than wool, right?

When I moved to Delaware – in January six years ago – I got cold.  My South Mississippi and Louisiana wardrobe just wasn’t going to cut it.  My first purchase was a very nice over coat (for $15 from Goodwill).  A very nice wool coat. And it was warm.  And it was nice.  It still is.  It’s hanging in my cedar chiffarobe at the moment. But as nice as it was and and warm as it was, if I had to wear for any length of time on a regular basis, my wrists and neck would itch.  It was the wool.  Wool = Bad.  Right?

My friend Julie, my wonderful scrapbooking, knitting, enabling friend Julie, told me it wasn’t the wool.  It was the quality of the wool.  If the wool was itchy, it just wasn’t the right kind of wool. She then introduced me to Merino.  Oh, so next to the skin soft Merino. That was pretty much all it took.  After that, all I wanted was Merino.  I wanted to knit with it.  I wanted to touch it.  I wanted to pet it.  I had to have it!

But I’m cheap.  A penny-pincher.  I looked at the price of the yarn. I felt the yarn.  I wanted the yarn.  But then I looked at the price again.  And I looked at the price of the acrylic yarn.  And it would do, right?  And I felt the acrylic yarn.  Well . . . maybe it would do.  But wasn’t Merino. It was so soft and warm and comfortable and comforting.  I had to have the Merino.  And, being cheap as I am, I figured out really quickly that the best way to have all the Merino I wanted was to buy it at wholesale prices and sell it. 

At the same time as my friend Julie introduced me to Merino, she also introduced me to spinning.  And I discovered hand dyeing yarn and fiber all on my own.  So, if I hand dye it and sell it, then I can have all I want at a price I like, right? Right!  That was the beginning of Teresa Levite Studio Hand Dyed and Hand Spun Yarn and Fiber.  Though Merino is still my first and my true (fiber) love, I have a sincere fondness for Silk, Angora, and BFL (and that’s BlueFaced Leicester, not Big Fiber Love!) And much more.  Much, much more!

Fiber Arts Friday Revival

Fiber Arts FridayFor a while, AlpacaFarmGirl was hosting Fiber Arts Friday.  I haven’t seen that on her site for a while, so I thought I would start my own.  It won’t be exactly the same as hers, but the same concept.  Each Friday, come here and post a comment to my Friday blog post with a link to one of your fiber related blog posts for the week.  If I haven’t posted a Friday blog, it may be because I’m out-of-town and don’t have internet service.  Or because I forgot it was Friday.  If you think that may be the case, please send a quick email reminding me to post!  Sounds pretty simple, right?

Also, please feel free to use my Fiber Arts Friday image.  Please link it back to my site, though.  Or at least include a link in the post giving me credit for it.  Not much to ask, I don’t think.

To kick things off, I would like to post a link to a fellow Fiber Artist’s blog: http://irishelk.wordpress.com/

I have another blog post that’s in the draft stage – as in, it has a title, but nothing else.  If I get a chance to write that today, I’ll post it later tonight for a bonus post.  Hah!  Two blog posts in one day?  Not if you know me!

***Extremely off-topic: The father of a close friend had back surgery earlier this week and has had complications.  First a lot of pain, and then pneumonia.  Please pray for him and his family.  Thank you.

Why My Yarn Looks Like My Yarn

Notice the ties.

You may have noticed that my yarn in my photos does not look as neat as others yarns available online.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  The first is about me.  The rest is about the yarn.

First, I have fibromyalgia.  I have some days that I feel pretty good.  I have other days that are . . . well, not so good.  The undyed, commercially spun yarn I use comes in skeins, ready to dye.  It doesn’t come on cones and requiring me to wind it into skeins to be dyed.  I could purchase an electric skein winder to wind the yarn from cones.  This would save my a few cents per skein on the yarn.  But the cost of the electric skein winder would add to the cost of the skeins.  So, in order to save me – and you – a little on the cost overall, and to save me potentially a lot of pain, I’m still purchasing the yarn in pre-wound skeins.  These skeins are tied with the same yarn as the skein in three places.  I usually add a nylon tie or two of my own to make it a little less likely to tangle.  My primary source is relatively close to home rather than across the country (less shipping, a little ‘greener’ and lot more economical).  This company also uses domestic fibers for many yarns.  This is a big plus for me.  I’m also picky about the softness/scratchiness of my fibers and will only offer yarns that pass my ‘next to the skin softness’ test.

Next, when my yarns go to your homes, you should receive yarns that are easy to wind into center-pull balls or yarn cakes. The less my yarns have been handled, the more likely you will receive skeins that do not tangle.  I could remove all the ties and manipulate the yarn so that it looks neat and pretty.  But I would rather handle it as little as possible between the time I hang it to dry till it arrives at your home.  I even try to twist the yarn into loose skeins rather than tight skeins so that your yarn will not be stretched or under any tension or stress while stored.  Sometimes I do twist them tighter than I really like, but it’s still not to the point that it will make your knitted or crocheted work twist or skew as you work.

If you have any concerns at all about your yarns tangling when winding into a center-pull ball, I will be happy to do that for you, free of charge.  Just let me know.

I hope you will enjoy working with  TLS Hand Dyed Yarns and Fibers as much as I do.  It is  joy for me to create the supplies you want.

New Etsy Shop Listings


Jan14Mosaic

Originally uploaded by mrslevite

This is a sample of some recent dyeing activity. I have dyed more – getting ready for my “Legends” Sock/Fingering weight Yarn club. I can’t post pics of those – yet!

I also have some wool and yarn in the dye pots now, so more to be listed in the next few days.

You can see more photos on my etsy site: http://teresalevitestudio.etsy.com

Secret Special #3 and Baby Alpaca

Secret Special #3 is up. No hints today. You’ll have to look for it. Again, a full size item at a try me price. This one is worth the effort to find.

I’m adding Baby Alpaca to my fiber line. I’m planning to take photos and get it listed tomorrow. I only dyed a bit of it. I’ll be dyeing tomorrow, too. Any suggestions for favorite colors? I’m thinking I need to be dyeing more greens for March, Spring, and St. Patty’s Day. But for some reason I keep reaching for the blue. And brown is looking good to me right now, too.

Continue to think about the design contest posted here in my blog on Feb. 15.

I’ll be posting a reminder tomorrow about Secret Special #4 – and maybe a hint. 😀

And hopefully I’ll have new photos to post. If anyone has photos of how you’ve used Teresa Levite Studio yarn or fiber and would like to share, please do. You can email them to me and I’ll include them here in the blog. I would also like to feature customer photos in the newsletter. So get your cameras ready and start shooting!