Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Old Spinner Woman

See that? 3rd photo on the top? That's my Old Spinner Woman Scrabble Tile Pendant on the front page of Etsy! Earlier today I sold one and immediately had a request for another. So I took a peek and sure enough, I'd been on the front page and missed it!

If you need your own Old Spinner Woman, I currently have 1 more in stock. But I can make more for anyone who needs one. I should have more made in about a week. Email me if you'd like me to reserve one for you.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Free Shipping Event!

From now until July 5th, get free worldwide shipping on any purchase at!

No kidding! Any order, big or small will ship free. And the best part? No coupon codes, complicated links, or special invitations. So feel free to tell your friends!

Don't see what you're looking for? Let me know! I'll see what I can do!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Hackle and a Diz Substitute

Pretty, no? It is. It's lovely. It's merino and soft and luscious and it's all mine. :)

When Mr. Yarnworks was home on his four day pass, I begged him to take a bunch of hair picks I'd purchased, pair them with a 2x4 in the garage, and make me a homemade hackle. Thanks to his mad skills, it only took him about 10 minutes. Yay! Thanks, Honey!

I've requested a fantastic custom diz set from riverrim on Etsy like this one, but due to a family emergency, the project has been delayed. (Send her big hugs!) But I was anxious to try out my hackle, so I used what I had on hand...

And then the problems began. And honestly, I'm not sure what the issue is. The button as a diz? Cruddy technique? Impatience? I'm not really sure where to start.

I mean, yes, the result was still gorgeous and I'm sure it will spin up nicely. In fact, I can't wait to get it on the wheel. But fibercrafts are also my trade, and I want repeatable, gorgeous, consistent results. One day, I'm sure I'll want to add blended fibers to my shop.

This is what I got instead. Some thick, some thin, having to start and stop repeatedly, feeling like I had to use all my strength just to get the fiber off the hackle and through the diz. It doesn't look nearly this difficult on YouTube. *sigh*

Maybe the new custom diz set will cure all my frustrations. Until it arrives, I'm headed back to YouTube.

And to my wheel! Thick and thin or not, I'm turning that fabulousness into yarn!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cowboy Town

Today's post is a bit different from my typical post, but I have to post it anyway, so bear with me.

A week ago, Mr. Yarnworks was able to come home on a 4 day pass. (Today finds him safely in Afghanistan.) We decided to make the most of our long weekend together and try to make some memories for the kids. One thing we've been meaning to do, is visit the Cowboy Town just a couple miles from where we live. We pass it nearly daily as we drive into Sioux Falls, and have heard and read some tales about it. We knew going in that we were doing it purely for the sake of comedy. (We do a lot for the sake of comedy in the Yarnworks house!)

You see, when we first moved to our little town, we were intrigued by the large billboards that line the road. They advertise a live buffalo heard (not really uncommon here), over 50 buffalo products, and this historical old west cowboy town. The "Gold Mine" sign within the town can also be seen from the interstate.

So we went to our most knowledgeable friend...Google. And we found this RoadSideAmerica article. It's an interesting read and there are more pictures there. Go on, I'll wait.

So we finally found our chance to go blow nearly $20 on what we knew would be a monstrosity of a "tour."

Like the article, we were the only ones in the store other than the guy working the counter. Before we left the store area, we were treated to some kickin' tunes (video link). Then we were the only ones in the cowboy town. Which was good. Our hysterical laughter may have thrown a few people.

First, we really did enjoy our close-up with the buffalo, though we prayed they were friendly. That picture above? That's about how close we were. No telephoto there! And a simple wire fence was all that held back the herd.

Then the comedy began with a series of graves. Then we couldn't tell if this town was meant to be funny or serious. Though it really came across as just pretty sad.

Of course, they have to point out that this is the *Real* West. See?

They had lots of great old farm equipment displayed, but it was a bit of a death trap. Granted, most of it was housed behind caution tape.

And here, my fiberly friends, is where you get your reward for reading. The ever-so-pristine loom. (I decided not to share the picture of the spinning wheel. It wasn't for the faint of heart.)

So then Mr. Yarnworks says, "Hey, take a picture of me next to this Do Not Open sign." Then proceeds to open the trunk. I still don't know if the Do Not Open was meant for real, or for effect.

Okay, so the article talked about some of the racist remarks within the "town." We didn't find them all, but O. M. G. This one?

In case you can't make that out, in the middle there it reads, "The Chinese enjoyed the dangerous work of blasting the mountain passes and tunnels with black powder. With their natural love of fireworks, the Chinese "powder monkeys" learned to cut their fuses so that the entire round of charge would go off at once. The louder the blast, the more likely it was to scare off personal devils & imps."

No, I'm not kidding. That's what it says. Seriously.

Okay, so moving on....

I'll spare you the bit about Abe Lincoln. The other article does a fine job covering that part of the tour and even has a video.

I was a bit horrified by the dentist and doctor depictions. Ouch!

And it appears that bank robbers have long since left this place as a ghost town.

All in all it was....interesting. And we won't be going back anytime soon. But at least the view was pretty nice.

The kids? They preferred the pizza buffet afterwards....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Charlie's Giveaway Winner!

Let's choose a winner from the Charlie's Contest, shall we?

I've closed the contest, thrown all the entries into a quick and dirty Excel Spreadsheet and have a total of 47 entries by my count. So let's head over to our handy dandy Random Number Generator.

The number 38 on my handy dandy Excel spreadsheet tells me that SANDIE!!! is our winner. Some of you may know Sandie from her blog. She's also pretty friendly over on Twitter as ZaftigDelights.

So Sandie, shoot me an email with where you'd like your laundry soap mailed! jlyarnworks at gmail dot com

Everyone else, don't worry! I'm already planning the next giveaway and it will include yarn!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Charlie's Soap Giveaway

I just got an exciting email from TerraMade Products!

In honor of the sock saved from grass stains and the exciting release of the Emma pattern, TerraMade Products has graciously donated a bag of Charlie's Soap Laundry Powder to JLYarnworks to give away to one of our lucky readers! Let Charlie's save your future Emma socks too!

Each 2.64lb bag of Charlie's Soap Laundry Powder will do 80 washing machine loads of laundry. I, personally, also like to use Charlie's in the sink for handwashing just about anything or even in the bathtub for washing small rugs. Charlie's rinses away easily and completely. I use it on my woolens before using a wool wash because, well, I wonder about how well no-rinse products clean. So I use Charlie's first, then a wool wash to lanolize it so the wool doesn't dry out and to keep the wool super soft.

Want to enter? Complete one or all of the following tasks to gain entries. After each task completed, leave a comment on this post to be counted. Be sure I have your email or that you link to some way for me to get hold of you if you win! Contest ends June 10th. Winner will be chosen by random number generator and announced on June 11th.

Entry Tasks:

1. Leave a comment. That's it. Everyone gets one freebie entry. (1 entry)
2. Tweet about this blog giveaway, linking to this blog post. (1 entry)
3. Become a Facebook Fan. (1 entry)
4. Visit TerraMade Products and comment on your favorite item. (1 entry)
5. Blog about this contest, JLYarnworks, or TerraMade Products. (2 entries)

That's it! 6 possible entries. Good luck!!!

Giveaway is now closed!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Emma Has Arrived!

My daughters have inspired a series of girly sock patterns. This is the most basic, the most classic, of the set. It has a unique construction, with a bit of ribbing hidden under the ruffle to help the sock stay up. This is also a relatively simple knit, being mostly stockinette. If you've only knit one or two pair of socks before, don't fret. You'll manage just fine! Emma is sized for Toddler, Child to Women's Small, and Women's Medium to Large.

Emma is available both on Ravelry for immediate download and on Etsy for an emailed file. Both methods give you a document in PDF format and cost $5.

More socks with a similar construction will emerge over the course of the summer. One other is just about done, but needs a final edit. Of course you've already had a sneak peek, ages ago: Hannah. Hannah is a bit more complex with a provisional cast-on and lacework.

Every time I write a new pattern, I learn something. This time was no different. I learned to get all my pictures taken before I let my model run around in the grass with a pale yellow sock and do this....

"Let" is a nice way of saying that she took off and I got the high-pitched "Nooooooo! Stop! You'll ruin the sock!!!" just right.

I also learned that, yes, Charlie's will get out grass stains. Like a dream! *whew!* In fact, most of the pictures I used with the pattern were taken after this incident.

And just so you don't think I've forgotten my new toy...

Far from perfect, but I'm learning and getting more comfortable with my wheel. More on that as I have more to show for myself. :)