Monday, May 20, 2013

Love Means Second Chances....

This will not be the last time I say this: I can't get enough yarn.  One of the reasons I got into spinning and dyeing fiber is that I love yarn as it is, not just for what I can create from it.  I have so very many skeins of unknitted beauties, but I have no qualms with letting them stay that way for a long while.  Just the string itself is enough for me (well, at times, at least).  Lately, due to financial limits, I haven't been able to buy yarn like I used to.  And when I opened my shop, I needed to get it stocked with quality goods for my customers. Then, coming across a rather unsightly second-hand sweater made with lovely wool fiber, I remembered the fondness many of my yarnie brothers and sisters have for recycled yarn.  And their affection is well founded.

A few recycled treasures from my shop!
If you are recycling the yarn yourself, you will find a wealth of stash-worthy garments if you know what tolook for.  Fiber content and care is generally on the tag at the neck or side seam.  Get educated and entertained here if you look at a sweater and it doesn't just unravel itself before your eyes.  If you don't mind the work, you will be amazed at how much yardage you will get with minimal monetary investment.

If you are more of a purchaser than a harvester, reclaimed yarn has a green aspect, too! Yarn recycled by the small business craftster uses minimal energy.  More man- or woman-power than electricity goes into the unraveling of knitted goods (unless you count Netflix or the radio playing in the background).  Thousands of yards can be steeped in just a few gallons of water with no-rinse wool soak, and many recyclers air-dry the skeins.  When you purchase recycled yarn, you are supporting a small business as well as keeping things kosher for the planet.  It's win, win, win, win, and win. 

So, here is some love to my Etsy brethren who specialize in recycled yarn and lovely objects made from it...

Beautiful cotton reclaimed by  FunYarn

The Blue Coat recycled a sweater for this beautiful pillow.
Soft fluffiness from Sticks 'n Twigs

Love knits but the summer is too hot?  Poison Ivy Designs has the solution.

Today's "Awwwww Factor" Award goes to Anni Threadz. :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dreaming in Color

Color.  It speaks to me more than shape or function.  I will take a turquoise refrigerator over a more practical white or stainless steel.  I want a Prius more because I love that pale dragonfly green color than the fuel efficiency.  I loathe white walls (unless, of course, they are used to set off colorful room furnishings).  I love modern art of  the styles that include arresting shades and hues, transmitting messages on a level more basic that pictures or words.  I will never have one of hose sophisticated urban wardrobes I always admire from afar because limiting my color to "pops" and accessories just never pans out by the time I leave the shop.

Pantone loves to make a suggestion....
Enter Pantone.  I had always associated Pantone with paint chips and website design, somehow confusing it with hex code.  Never ever did I suspect that it is one of the coolest, most exciting entities out there.  My first clue came about six months ago when I was browsing in a local gourmet shop and came across a simple mug sporting a beautiful shade of pink identified as No. 7432.  Now, I know I am not exactly the most up-to-date on what's going on in the Weberverse, and  have since discovered that Pantone products, everything from journals and iPhone cases to cufflinks and keyrings have been around for years.  A Pantone cosmetic line is available at Sephora.  And, proving they not only define what a color is, but how it influences what we will be seeing in magazines and on runways, Pantone announces a Color of the Year (this year is Emerald and one of my most favorite shades of green).

So, now that I have found Pantone to be stalk-worthy, what's a yarn-dyer to do?  Well, besides making a pledge to buy up every color of mug and nail polish Pantone puts out, I will try to perfect this most amazing shade of green before 2014's color is announced.  As a color junkie, I consider it my duty.  Also, I will be seeking artistic inspiration from some of the delicious new color combinations being designed willy-nilly out there in the world.  But for the here and now, in honor of color No. 17-5641, I will share a few of my favorite Emerald-graced from Etsy.  Enjoy!
I fell in love with this clutch from Lost in Time, Inc. 
Clever cards and invitations by Wendy Sue Paperie.
I can't not include this beautiful yarn by Zibeline Knits.
Mrs. Robinson's Affair used one of my favorite stones in these earrings.
This little nymph from KooKooCraft is just so freakin' cute!