Tuesday, August 31, 2010

L.A. County Fair

If you're in the L.A. area this month, then you should try and make a stop at the L.A. County Fair, taking place September 4th through October 4th at the Fair Plex in Pomona.Our good friend Patricia Woods will be on hand at the California Heritage Square, demonstrating and teaching people how to spin fiber on Wednesdays and on the weekends. The Heritage Square also has other fun historical experiences to partake in, like panning for gold, grinding corn, and quilting. Patricia will be by the Big Red Barn; through the tunnel, veer to the left where you'll see Texas Donuts. It will be right next door.

There's also a Spinning Contest taking place on Saturday, September 18th at 5:30pm. The contest is put on by the California Rabbit Society and entry is only $5 (and we think a free ticket to the fair). You can email Hilary Godfrey for more details: hilarygodfrey@therancheslol@sbeglobal.net or click on the link above for an entry form. There's 3 different divisions: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. We'd love one of the winner's to be a Woodland Woolworks fan!

If you're looking for some fun, fair entertainment and want to see some spinning in action or are looking to show off your skills, the California Heritage Center and the Spinning Contest is the spot. 

(Might want to stay away from the cheese fries though- yowza! And we're not sure we want to know how big a Texas Donut is.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lantern Moon

We just got in a shipment of new products from Lantern Moon the other day, and it reminded us that we should do a blog on this company, as many who buy or see their products might not know much about them, and they're an interesting company that's worth writing about.

Lantern Moon supports socially and globally conscious living. They work directly with producers to provide income, education, and self-reliance to Vietnamese women and their families. In 2004, they established an educational trust fund to benefit the children of these families.
With your purchases you provide a market for these wonderful products and contribute to the economic and social well being of the areas where they are produced, providing income and self-reliance to women and their families. 

The women create all these products by hand, so most are one-of-a-kind and highlight their artistic skills that are often unique to the regions with which they live in. They create really beautiful items, and it's good to know that they're getting paid a fair wage and have their well-being watched out for while doing it.

Lantern Moon's environmental policy is also something worth cheering about, as they check to make sure how viable the resources are long-term, and how much impact using those resources will have in the regions they come from. They have begun shifting the balance from using local and regional woods to woods that can be certified sustainable through independent third party verification, making sure their footprint on the environment is even a smaller one.

Because of these policies and philosophies in running their business, we thought it'd be good to call attention to it. It feels that much better purchasing a product that not only is gorgeous to look at, but also good in it's core values. Take a look at the Lantern Moon products we carry here (just click on the category links).

Monday, August 23, 2010

eCatalog and web findings

Well, we just finished our Fall "eCatalog" and got it up on the site. Trying something different to see how well it works. The cost of printing and especially mailing has risen so much - plus the environmental impact of printing all those catalogs up, takes a toll. We thought/think that we can still satisfy those who look forward to our catalogs, plus make it quick and easy to access on the internet, as well as easy to order by adding links to all the products. You just click the picture and voila! you're taken to the webpage of the clicked product. Technology is pretty cool. It's fun to get a chance at pushing forward with technology and web capability to make a more interesting and entertaining catalog. Who knows, maybe we'll even get video clips in future issues. This format will also allow us to create catalogs more frequently, keeping y'all better up-to-date with all the new products we add and events that are up-coming, so that'll be great.

Surfing around the web, I found a couple fun blog articles I thought I'd share:

First off is a really simple and fun pattern for Woven Square Slippers. It comes to us from the Knitting Interrupted blog. Basically, you weave up a square (or possibly knit/crochet), sew up the sides, felt, and just like that, you've got a new pair of slippers. If knitting socks looks too daunting, this might be the way to cheat and get yourself some warm slippers on the easy. I won't tell, I promise. 

I thought the Kool-Aid dye color recipes at Tried & True were pretty clever. Who knew you need 2 lemons, 1 grape, and 1 orange to make brown? Nice color chart. Not sure how well it carries over to wool though...

Speaking of wool and felt - this site has a lot of great information on learning how to felt. Lots of videos. Maybe it can inspire you to do some felting.... we've got fun little felting wool packs on sale right now too. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. 


Friday, August 6, 2010

Interesting definitions

I found these interesting snippets when I searched for "yarn retail" on the magicyellow.com site...  (a sort of yellow pages type place)

When shopping for knitting string, otherwise known as yarn, spend some time fingering the different weights in order to find a variety that suits your purposes. If you are planning on creating a baby item, or a piece of delicate lace, you do not want to choose a bulky yarn of heavy weight, since that will make your item too thick. Heavier yarn is a good choice, however, if you are knitting throws or cold weather item, such as hats or scarves. While you are shopping for yarn, visualize the item you will be knitting and consider how close to the skin the item will be. You do not want to choose a bulky, heavy weight if it will be in direct skin item for long periods of time, because it may turn out to be scratchy and uncomfortable. 
And this one:

Yarn is a bulky, thick string-like fabric used in knitting socks, baby sweaters, throws, slippers, shawls, lace, wraps, hats, mittens, oven mitts, scarves, skirts, tops, bags and it comes in many different colors. The string can be thick and weight heavier than other strings, sometimes has a lace texture but it can still be bulky for fingering work. Similar to crocheting, knitting is a favorite past time of many, providing a relaxing outlet. Yarn retailers sell yarn and knitting supplies to customers. Large craft or fabric stores typically have yarn or knitting sections where customers can purchase their supplies. Yarn comes in all sorts of colors, sizes, fingering weights and textures. Be on the lookout for sales and cheap discounted prices. Many stores offer weekly sales and promotions, as well as yarn or knitting clubs. Check out your local yarn retail store for more information about knitters' clubs. You can find retail yarn stores or craft stores in your local phone book or in online directories. Consider what type of yarn you need for your project, and how much of it. Keep your budget in mind before heading out to shop at the store. Many yarn retail stores and online stores sell knitting kits, which can feature anything from shawl kits and poncho kits to sweater kits and sock kits. Such kits come with all the yarn and instructions you will need to make that particular item. This is ideal for the amateur or beginner knitter. Remember that Yarn is a weighted string, so you may need to use new specialized tools that you may easily find at a local shopping center.

I wonder who writes these things?   Bulky string-like fabric?  huh...  Course, that makes me wonder how the dictionary defines yarn.  So I wandered over to dictionary.com and found this:

1. thread made of natural or synthetic fibers and used for knitting and weaving.
2. a continuous strand or thread made from glass, metal, plastic, etc.
3. the thread, in the form of a loosely twisted aggregate of fibers, as of hemp, of which rope is made (rope yarn).
4. a tale, esp. a long story of adventure or incredible happenings: He spun a yarn that outdid any I had ever heard.
–verb (used without object)
5. Informal . to spin a yarn; tell stories.

bef. 1000;  ME; OE gearn;  c. G Garn;  akin to ON gǫrn  gut, Gk chordḗ  intestine, chord1 ,  Lith žarnà  entrails, L hernia  a rupture, Skt hirā  vein

Urgh, had no idea about the origins.  Okay, time to back away from Google and get back to my weighted string.