Archive | December, 2012

Yarns Made from Different Sheep Breeds – a Kickstarter Project

29 Dec

As I learn more and more about knitting, I have been discovering that there is a wide range of wool and yarns available to knit with…actually there is an overwhelming number of different types of yarn and wool to use, each with their own distinctive qualities.

iusa_75x75.20584239_m0uwIt can be difficult to know which type of yarn is best for your project and there will always be an element of trial and error.  One of my fellow Etsyians, Kouture Crochet, has decided to tackle this issue by creating a Kickstarter project which will offer backers the opportunity to trial many varieties of different wool breeds.106b44acc2d388a240ebc41f3406ad09_large

Kouture Crochet provides more info below:

“What is the project?

The goal of the project is simply to bring single sheep breed yarns to market in an affordable and user-friendly way.

Why Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a great “crowd-funding” resource. It allows everyday individuals to fund an idea they like or want to see become a reality. Additionally kickstarter can allow backers to help shape how an idea comes to life. I believe that because this project is intended to help fill a need within the knitting, crocheting and weaving worlds, it is the best format for this project.

Why yarn?

As a professional fiber artist, I found there to be a lack of easy to pick up and learn about natural yarns. It’s easy to grab a ball of 100% Acrylic yarn, but what if you want a 100% natural wool yarn perfect for a rug, baby blanket or a sweater. Right now there is no easy way to try different breeds of wool to see which is best. This project hopes to fill that gap.

Why single breed yarns?43e17b5d1ea1c399a8a98b8a5ecd3d51_large

Just as different breeds of dogs are bred for different jobs, throughout the last few centuries different regions and groups of people bred sheep to fulfil different needs. Some breeds were bred for their meat or wool or both. Wool of sheep bred for their wool will have different characteristics, usually softer and higher yields. Wool from animals bred for their meat varies greatly and is full of surprises.

The best way to know “what is what” is to feel the yarn and work with it. However, there are hundreds of breeds and thousands of varieties. One skein of single breed yarn can be anywhere from $15 – $50 (approximately £9 – £31). As a result most of us do not have the means to try more than a few breeds in a lifetime.

I have narrowed down the list to just 25 breeds. Most are fairly common and fairly easy to find. These breeds vary greatly from the insanely soft, rare and colorful California Variegated Mutant to the workaday, affordable Masham. There is the silky Polwarth and the rough and sturdy Jacob and so much more.

Will these be the same as single breed yarns that I might buy from my regular wool shop?

These yarns are handspun by me in my own style. Mill spun yarns will be much more uniform, hand spun yarns from other spinners will have their own characteristics based on the style of the artist who spun them.

Additionally, individuals in a breed or a herd will have their own features as well. This is part of the complexity and fun of single breed yarns. Most of these yarns come from small producers with their own unique style. However, the goal is to give knitters, crocheters, and weavers a sense of what a breed can be. For example, Merino from different areas and of different fineness will vary but it is certainly different to Welsh fiber and yarn.”

If you would like to get involved in the project, simply click here to be taken to the website.

Etsy Love – Maeday Art Market

13 Dec

Next up in my Etsy Love series, we meet Angeline from Maeday Art Market, who supplies a wonderful selection of Japanese washi tape and fun poster prints.il_570xN_404764077_nx13

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

I’m a graphic design graduate and I love art & crafts, design & photography. I always wanted to have a shop selling art & design pieces that I love and adore. One summer, my friends and I decided to collaborate to participate in a yearly art event, Urbanscape. I made cloth bangles and I was featured in one of Malaysia’s famous fashion online portals, Tongue and Chic. This was my very first time selling handmade items and I loved it.

One day, while catching up with my friend from Uni, she told me about her shop on Etsy and this encouraged me to open one myself. I started selling some Prints & Posters and later I brought in Japanese Washi Tapes to sell. Why Japanese Washi Tapes? Its hard to find in Malaysia and I always wanted to get some for myself to work on my crafts.il_570xN_400924265_a67z

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.

My favourite piece would be the all the Japanese washi tapes that I’m selling. It’s a magical tape, turning ordinary things into beautiful pieces and it makes me happy too.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

The first thing people will notice is that my shop is colourful, vibrant & simple. Its an Art Market place for craft lovers!

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

Currently I am supplying paper craft materials (Japanese Washi Tapes) and some Prints & Posters. I will be adding more items to my shop such as supplies for packaging, DIY kits, stationary, some handmade items from yours truly and more Prints & Posters.

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!il_570xN_395656990_p2ev

I own a sewing machine and I have no idea how to work it. Just signed up for a sewing lesson. You will get to see some of my handmade goodies by next year hopefully 🙂

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

Thanks Angeline, I’ve been meaning to brighten up my boring jiffy bag packages and I think washi tape will be the perfect solution!

Etsy Love – Fancy Dodo

10 Dec

Christmas is fast approaching and I decided it was time to bring back my Etsy Love series in order to celebrate this season of good cheer!  I will be using this series to promote fellow Etsyians and their wonderful shops.  If you would like me to include your shop in this series – simply get in touch using the Contact page above.

il_570xN_338567809First up we have Lora from Fancy Dodo, who creates wonderful collage bottle top earrings and other upcycled goodies.  The first thing that struck me about the Fancy Dodo was how fun and fresh everything looks.  So let’s get on with the show!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

I have always been big into mixed media projects and after college, I wanted an outlet for my creativity plus I needed some extra cash. I started collaging bottle cap earrings because I loved the style and I had plenty lying around. When people started asking for multiples as stocking stuffers and a pair sold at auction for $30, I knew I had something special.il_570xN_395599832_qdfp

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.

Currently, the brick earrings. I love using images of unexpected texture. All of my images are tweaked from stock photos in Photoshop, printed out, and fixed onto bottle caps.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

It’s all made by me! I am a super nerd who prefers to dress fashionably so my earrings are a great accessory to show off your favorite super hero.

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

I am continuing to empty out my stock of patterns and supplies while adding in new earrings. Once my craft closet is a bit more roomy, I plan on designing some clutches and other larger items.

il_570xN_395582475_ffct5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!

I enjoy trading amongst Etsy too so I’m more than happy to swap goods instead of money!

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

Visit my shop:!/fancydodo

Visit me:

Thanks for sharing Lora, and I can’t wait to see your new clutches!

Lora has also kindly created a Coupon Code, especially for The Candy Tree!  To get 20% off anything at Fancy Dodo, simply use Coupon Code THECANDYTREE at checkout – thanks Lora!