Tag Archives: roving

My Right Brain Wrestles with My Left Brain

I’m sitting at my computer feeling guilty about not having blogged in ‘forever’…. and trying to think of a topic that would be interesting and also supportive of my peers in business. I am an artist trying to be a business owner. My right brain and left brain trip over eachother often, yet I think as an artist I have a perspective that benefits my customers.

I recently had a custom request for some roving for a spinner who wanted to make yarn that was inspired by coffee foam. As an artist, I knew exactly what she meant. So we started talking color and texture and exchanging photos. 23 emails later, we came up with this blend of 7 different wool fibers that will emmulate a steamy cup o’ cappuccino.

Coffee Foam Roving

Cappuccino Roving

So, my office is a mess and I always push the deadline to the bitter edge (or just past) and I’m constantly running to and fro.  But I can speak the same language as my customers because we share a creative connection.  My business has become an extension of my art.  I can’t wait to see what the Coffee Foam yarn looks like, or whatever the next inspired project may be.  Custom orders are no problem because I understand when someone says “can we add a ‘pinch’ of a cinnamon colored wool to that?”
Whatever your art, consider where you shop.  By shopping from another artisan who is trying to ‘make a living’ as a supplier, you are supporting “the little guy” and helping someone’s dream come true.  At the same time, you should find that you get excellent customer service because your supplier understands what you are doing. 
So if you can deal with the fact that we organize in piles instead of in files… make an artist your supplier.
Team ESST is the Supply Team on Etsy.  Many of the suppliers are also artists.  Whether you are looking for beads, paper, tools, fabric or wool; you can find it at Team ESST on Etsy.   http://www.freewebs.com/etsysupplystreetteam/ 

Why I Joined Etsy’s Supply Street Team – ESST!

I opened my first Etsy shop, Yarn To Spin,  in early 2008 and my second, Yarn 2 Spin in 2009.  I knew nothing… accept that I love the textile arts and I needed a venue to be able to sell the angora that I get from my herd of angora rabbits. 

It has been a long road… one that I haven’t traveled alone.  I found out about teams on Etsy.  Places where artists with a commonality could network.  I started off joining a local team… Etsywmi Team.  All artisan’s from West Michigan.  That was fun and helpful.  These were people that I could actually get to meet.  And many have now become my friends.

As my business grew, I seperated my supplies from my finished products and now run two stores.

Yarn2Spin.etsy.com – offers supplies and equipment for Textile Artisans.  Spinners, Weavers, Felters, Knitters, etc.  I work hard to find the best supplies and offer them at a fair price.  As a fellow artisan, I am glad to offer help and opinions whenever asked.

YarntoSpin.etsy.com – is the home of my products that I make and the occassional vintage treasure that I find.  A great place to see some of the things that can be made from the products I sell.

I heard about Team ESST from a West Michigan artist.  A team dedicated to supplying artists with quality materials.  A team that promotes Etsy and the Artists of Etsy to the world.  As both an artisan and a supplier, I loved how the team would pull together to promote Etsy as a whole, not just each individual shop.  The Etsy Supply Street Team is truely a strengthening force to the artisan community. 

So, as an artisan… I shop Etsy first for my supplies.  I want to support the shops that support the Etsy community.  If you are an artisan, I’d encourage you to search etsy with “team esst” in your search field when you are looking for supplies.  You can also find the Yellow Pages of the Etsy Supply world on the Team ESST page.

As a supplier, Team ESST has challenged me to be intentional about my business and professional in all areas.  This is essential if I am ever to realize my dream of being a fulltime artisan/supplier.  I appreciate the encouragement and occassional ‘kick in the pants’ from my team members.  It has helped me be a better shop owner and Etsian.


Yart Sale BannerIt’s TEAM ESSTs 2nd Annual Yart Sale on Etsy and I’m joining in by offering some of my most popular yarns, fibers and gifts at low prices. June 10 – 14, 2009

Visit my Etsy shop and you will find an entire section labeled “Yart Sale“.    In addition to these great deals, I will refund all of your shipping charges* when you add any non-sale item to your order.  That’s like putting the entire shop on sale!!

The Yart Sale is sponsored by Etsy’s Supply Team known as Team ESST.  You can be assured of quality products and professional service whenever you shop from a Team ESST member.

Hundreds of Etsy Sellers are participating in this year’s Yart Sale.  Just search “Yart” to find all the deals.  If you have an Etsy shop, you can join in the fun too.  Just tag your items and promote in the official Team ESST Yart Sale Thread.  A new thread is opend every day of the event.

*Full refund of shipping charges for US addresses and half off shipping charges for International customers.

2009 – The International Year of Natural Fibers

Yarn 2 Spin strives to provide quality fibers to textile artisans.   Spinners, Weavers, Knitters, Felters and Crocheters can all find unique fibers to feed their creativity.  95% of the fibers we sell are natural fibers.  We strive to obtain products that are grown and processed with environmentally responsible methods.  Visit the online store to see what we have:   Yarn 2 Spin Store

We are very excited that the UN has declared 2009 as The Year of The Natural Fiber.  This video will show the production and uses of natural fibers around the world and how the industry is changing to meet the demands of today’s market.

March Shopping Extravaganza!

Why get in the car and drive to buy supplies to make your lovely treasures when you can buy them all online? Save gas, stop pollution, and support other small businesses. Team ESST is sponsoring a Shopping Extravaganza. You will find deals and specials from shops of all kinds. Both supplies and finished goods.

Find Your Treasure!

Find Your Treasure!

Yarntospin.etsy.com is offering Free Shipping to the USA and Half Price Shipping to The World!Stock up on all your spinning supplies today!Free US Shipping Through March 8th
Free US Shipping Through March 8th

Free US Shipping Through March 8th

Adventures in Hemp!

Today I began spinning the custom order for hemp yarn.  Well, it spins pretty well and I am getting a nice consistant and thin thread.  I haven’t decided yet whether to make a 2 ply yarn or to navajoy ply it into a 3 ply.  I like the navajo ply so much, but I think I want to keep this yarn pretty thin.

One thing that I did do was blend the hemp with a bit of nylon to add strength and elasticity.  If I were looking only for the strenth, I probably would have stayed with a vegetable fiber like Tencel to make it a truely vegan yarn.

Custom orders are always welcome at Yarn2Spin.  Or try this yourself.  Follow this link to my etsy store where you can find hemp, flax, bamboo, tencel and other veggie fibers.  http://www.yarntospin.etsy.com

This is ‘To Dye For’!

Saturday I did my first fiber dyeing project.  I learned a lot and had some fun and came out with some great dyed roving. 

I decided to try and make something colorful with as few dyes as possible.  Since dyes can be pricey, I thought I’d work with just the primary colors.  AND since I sell kits with the primary colors, I thought I should know how they actually work.

There are many different ways to dye roving, but I decided I wanted a variegated roving with a rainbow blend of the primary colors.  My 7th grade science teacher taught me about prisms and the colors of the rainbow with the acronym… “Roy G Biv”  Mr. Biv is the key to remembering the colors of the rainbow.  Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet.  Primary colors are Red, Yellow and Blue.  The other colors are made by a blend of the primary.

I placed a long piece of saran wrap on my kitchen counter and put the roving on top.  (Please note that one must take care when using acid dyes as they can be toxic.  Use seperate utensils and containers for dyeing and food prep)  I started with the red dye at one end and the over lapped the yellow and then the blue.  I folded the saran wrap over the roving to make a long tube, and gentley squeezed the tube to make sure the dye soaked the entire roving.  Then I laid the roving in a zig zag pattern in the bottom of a casserole dish and microwaved for 7 minutes.  Let cool and unwrap and dry.


It was fun and pretty easy.  A bit messy though.  Use plastic gloves and paper to protect your counter.  Dyes are colorfast and will stain.

Try this kit to make your own dyed yarn. 

Primary Colored Yarn Dyeing Kit

Primary Colored Yarn Dyeing Kit