Good Things Ahead

Amazing things are happening here at Casa Twisted Spindle. First of all, I finished getting all my legal ducks in a row to do this Etsy thing. I am now busy working on merchandise, taking photos and getting ready for my August 1st opening.

The other very exciting news is that I am now a very small helper over at THISyarn. THISyarn is the brainchild of Dayna Mankowski and Ashley Martineau. Both of these talented ladies are art – or creative – yarn spinners, fiber artists and business women. I am honored to be able to help to move the dream forward. This online publication exists to help with the age old question: “What do I do with this yarn?”

As a former shop owner I have helped answer this question so many times it makes my head spin; and after a while I felt like I just ran out of ideas. That is where THISyarn comes in. Here you will find articles about makers, sheep and their humans, and most of all inspiration for creating your own unique items using yarn that is hand spun.

Hand spun yarn rarely meets the gauge standards of commercially spun yarn. It isn’t supposed to. It is hand made…one of a kind…special. Spinners are humans not machines, so each spinner is going to have a different style, preference and color palette that sets them apart from the rest. That is why we call it art. Just like paintings and other art forms come in a variety of techniques, abstract, cubism, realism, modernism, still life, art yarn can be anything hand spun from a fingering weight to a super bulky with locks, curls, and all sorts of bits and bobs hanging from it. There is something for everyone. 

My passion for hand spun yarn is very deep and it is my purpose to expose as many people to it as possible. From the techniques used to make it to the yarn itself and ultimately to a finished item, art yarn is in my blood. 

Admittedly art yarn is not for everyone. There are many knitters who must have the precision of a commercially made yarn and for the things they love to make that is completely understandable. We won’t even discuss my fingering weight yarn collection! My position is not for art yarn to replace all commercial yarn; rather it is to allow those who are so inclined to use it and guide them accordingly. This is why my passion is a perfect fit for THISyarn. What Dayna and Ashley have created is something that floated around in my head but never got off the ground. I believe it is because I was not supposed to be the one to do it, rather I was in preparation for what is happening now. I am coming alongside these women to move the dream forward.

I encourage one and all to visit THISyarn, even if it isn’t your cup of tea it is good to see what can be done with yarn that is different. Follow THISyarn on Facebook and Instagram (be sure to follow Twisted Spindle too!) and then stay tuned here as I prepare for the big launch!

I’m Home

My yarn shop has been closed for six weeks. The clouds are parting and I am beginning to see the light. My journey for direction and purpose has led to new doors opening, and I feel as though I have been reborn.

This amazing yarn journey twelve years ago when I, along with my business partner, began the planning for our yarn shop. During the research I discovered something being called art yarn. Artisans around the country were spinning the most amazingly colorful, highly textured yarns. I had no idea how to do it or what to do with this new kind of yarn, I just knew I loved it and had to have it. My love affair with one-of-a-kind hand spun yarns continues to this day.

All my energies were funneled into learning to run a yarn shop, so spinning yarn had to wait. When presented with the opportunity to take a one day spinning class, I jumped on it. To say I felt like a miserable failure is an understatement. But, over time and with lots and lots of practice, I finally mastered the drop spindle and felt ready for a wheel. I had become a spinner.

Art yarn was a hard sell for my shop. A mix of customer personality and the fact we live in the very hot and humid climate of Houston, Texas. And, as a yarn shop owner, I always felt I must work with yarn people will buy, so if I couldn’t work with hand spun, then why spin? Well, it seems there is a very good reason.

I spin yarn because I am a happier person when I do. I spin yarn because the very act of creating yarn is a soothing and satisfying activity. I spin yarn because I love yarn. But, the interesting thing about my journey is that I worked so hard to get to a spinning wheel only to return to the spindle as my spinning tool of choice. I am most intimately in charge of spinning when using a spindle and I love the connection to the very first spinners who were likely shepherds following their flock while twisting fibers into a long string we now call yarn.

I am honored to carry on this kind of tradition.