Sweet Sheep Featured Flavor: Lemon Lime

In the interest of fighting the rainy-day blues, I’ve decided to extend the 15% off sale I’ve had running for Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe. (Are you part of my mailing list? I occasionally run sales that I only announce there, and this was one of them. Do sign up if you haven’t already, I send out news only about once a month!) But, since it’s rainy and gross and I’m wishing for the sun, the spring sale will now run through April 8th. Enter SPRINGSPRUNG at checkout to earn 15% off your purchase! This week I’m featuring the sunniest of lip balm flavors that I make: Lemon Lime.

il_570xn-604687057_6xqj

Lemon Lime lip balm

Why I love it: This lip balm tastes/smells like sunshine in stick form. It’s bright and energizing, summery and sweet. I admit to always loving lemon/lime flavors, as a kid I consistently chose Sprite over Coke and would eat all the yellow Starburst candies if I had my way. Both the lemon and lime flavors come through here for a fun, vibrant lip balm.

What it pairs well with: I don’t have nearly enough citrus scents in stock right now, but the Lemon Cake lotion bar would make a nice little gift set with the Lemon Lime lip balm and Lemon Cake soap. The Kumquat lotion bar is another energizing citrus that I can guarantee you’ll love if you’re drawn to Lemon Lime.

What’s your favorite sunny, springtime scent?

Advertisements

FOFri #36: That’s A Lot of Falkland

I have yarn! I present to you the first finished handspun to come off of my Lendrum wheel. (You can hover over photos for captions, or click to enlarge.)

Isn’t it lovely? I basically just want to wallow in those gigantic skeins. You might recognize the smaller one from the ply experiment I conducted where I spun and swatched samples with different amounts of ply twist (oh, the #spingeek-ery!). I learned a lot from that little exercise and I truly love the finished product.

I’m still working out what types of details I want to track about my spinning projects, but for this one I recorded a variety of information. Here’s a recap:

  • Dates: Dec. 1st 2014 – Feb. 12th 2015
  • Fiber: Ashland Bay Falkland Wool commercial top, 16 oz in finished yarn (1 oz used up in sampling).
  • Singles: Spun with Z twist (clockwise) on middle whorl of regular flyer (8:1 ratio). Used a semi-worsted backwards drafting style, occasionally from the fold. Measured 25 WPI (wraps per inch) and 2350 ypp (yards per pound).
  • Ply: Three plies with S twist (counterclockwise) on larger whorl of regular flyer (6:1 ratio). Treadled 4-5 times per length of yarn. Measured 10 WPI and 600 – 900 ypp (measured 600 in reality and 900 on the balance).
  • Yardage: Skein 1 had 306 yards on the winder but after wet-finishing the skein measured 255 yards. Skein 2 had 438 yards on the winder but measured 340 yards after finishing.

Even though the yardage measurements are unclear (I suspect a yardage counter could be handy in the future), I likely have somewhere between 595 and 745 yards of approximately worsted weight yarn. That’s enough for a generous cozy shawl, a boat-load of accessories, or if I spin a little more Falkland up, perhaps a vest? I haven’t decided if I will dye these skeins or not. I’m tempted to try a rainbow skein like what The Lemonade Shop dyes or something like the Tipsy skeins at Blue Moon Fiber Arts but I don’t want to ruin so much spinning if it goes wrong. What would you do?

lovesale

Clicky-clicky!

There are still a few days left to receive a discount on your Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe lotion bar or gift set order. The coupon code ‘love10’ is good through Sunday. Treat yourself or a friend to some sassy sweet Ribbon Candy, tart juicy Kumquat, cinnamon-kissed Gingersnap, or refined and stately Black Tea (to name a few). As always, if you don’t see a scent in stock that you’d like, you can request whatever suits your fancy from over 30 options with a custom lotion bar or custom gift set order.

I don’t think I’ll make it to this space over the weekend, so have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Celebrating My 30th

So folks, this weekend is the big Three-Oh for me. Thirty years old! Gosh, I remember when that sounded so old. By 30 I thought I’d have everything figured out, I’d have a settled career path, I’d maybe even have kids and a house! Thirty just seemed so far away and intangible. Now that it’s here, I’m realizing that 1) I don’t feel ready for half of those things anyway and 2) I’m totally ok with that. I’ve got fuzzy goals and even fuzzier plans, and I’m feeling pretty relaxed and flexible about if and when they come to fruition.

Celebrating My 30th | Woolen Diversions

Darwin, demonstrating the way in which I should approach life.

As much as I’ve loved the past 30 years, I’m expecting the next 30 to be even better. My 20s were full of more than their fair share of upheaval and angst, and I’ve recently been making strides towards living a healthier, less anxious, more joyful life. I’ve also realized that many of the people whose work I admire didn’t do their great [whatever it is I admire them for] until they were middle-aged or older. When I start to feel the pressure of time on my back I stop and remember that I really have no idea what I’ll be accomplishing or experiencing over the next few decades, and that there is still plenty of time.

Celebrating My 30th | Woolen Diversions

… for yarn. Always time for yarn.

You know how I really know that I’m 30, though? I’ve caught myself, on more than one occasion, making small talk with the poor, bored high school cashiers at the grocery store. Those kids don’t care what an old lady like me has to say, and I know that, I can remember that feeling, yet I still find myself doing it as if it can’t be helped. (When did I start small talking with strangers anyway?) To those kids, I’m just another old-ass adult with old-ass adult stories, and that just blows my mind.

Celebrating My 30th | Woolen Diversions

Use code ’30BDAY’ at checkout.

In celebration of my birthday weekend, all purchases of lotion bars or lip balms at Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe are 30% off with use of the coupon code ’30BDAY’ at checkout through January 27th. Be sure to tell your friends, and thanks so much for your support! Here’s to 30!

IS #82: Small Business Saturday Edition

I must keep this post quick because I’m taking a big exam tomorrow (eek) but in the spirit of #SmallBusinessSaturday and the upcoming #CyberMonday, I thought I’d highlight a few small, independent businesses that handcraft perfectly gift-able items. There are so many incredible things to choose from on Etsy, so I’m narrowing this list down to shops that I’ve purchased from personally or the shops of people whom I follow on social media (blogs, Instagram, etc).

Royalty Soaps:

Photo copyright Katie White of Royalty Soaps. Click for shop.

Katie makes the most incredible cold-process soaps. The things she does with color and ‘toppings’ (for lack of a better word) are so creative. I’ve been using a lemon creme scented bar that is just divine. I’ve tried out a fair bit of handmade soaps lately, and the ones from Royalty Soaps have an incredible lather and feel so good on my skin, they don’t dry it out at all. They are my current favorite, hands-down.

Amy Hood Arts:

Photo copyright Amy Hood. Click for shop.

Amy is a Rhode Island knitter and artist that I met at a knit night some time ago. Her shop is a mix of gift-able items, with handmade zippered pouches prominently featured. As a marine biologist, I love the nautical and natural themes that run throughout her work.

Haldecraft

Photo copyright Lorena Haldeman. Click for shop.

These monster mugs are just the cutest! So creative, they’d make a really fun gift. Lorena’s mix of products is impressive. She carries ceramics in her Etsy shop, as well as handspun and hand-dyed yarn and handmade soaps on her other website. Busy lady!

June Pryce Fiber Arts:

Photo copyright Cheryl and Jenn. Click for shop.

Cheryl and Jenn are the lovely (semi-local!) ladies behind June Pryce Fiber Arts. They carry hand-dyed fiber, yarn, gradient kits, stitch markers, project bags, and shawl pins. I really liked the look of the lap mat featured above. Its job is to catch any VM that drops out of your fiber while spinning or to protect your lap from whatever messy crafts you are doing. Nice idea!

Northbound Studio:

Photo copyright Misty Ostrowski. Click for shop

Apparently I’m on a bit of a pottery kick, but I think these mugs and other table accessories made by Misty are so adorable. I’ve been watching her make these on Instagram and I love the kind of ‘cutout’ patterns she decorates them with.

katerynaG:

Photo copyright Kateryna Golovanova. Click for shop.

If you’re looking for a handwoven or handknitted beauty of a garment for someone really special, I’m pretty sure that Kateryna is your gal. I found her shop through some posts on the Socks That Rawk! group because she uses a lot of my favorite sock yarn to weave her gorgeous creations. They’re all as breathtaking as this one!

Mary Buttons:

Photo copyright Mary Clarke Edwards. Click for shop.

Speaking of weaving, Mary occasionally weaves amazing fabric from some of my other favorite dyers (Cephalopod Yarns! Verdant Gryphon!) and fashions it into lovely pouches. The one pictured above is actually fabric printed with a cable knitting design, which is pretty nifty in its own right!

The Knitting Artist:

Photo copyright Lisa Urban. Click for shop.

Lisa is an artist who makes incredible paintings of handknit still-lifes. I especially love the colors and textures in the piece featured above. You can purchase prints of her paintings or handmade greeting cards featuring larger-than-life knitting stitches, perfect for all the fiber enthusiasts on your gift list!

Caffeine Girl:

Photo copyright Deborah Kades. Click for shop.

Deborah makes colorful and creative polymer clay necklaces and bracelets. I love the button necklace shown above, all the colors make me so happy! She recently posted all sorts of nice things about my Sweet Sheep lotion bars on her Caffeine Girl Creates blog, which is what inspired me to write my own post featuring small businesses that I admire! Thanks, Deborah!

Woolen Diversions

Use coupon code THANKS2014 at checkout!

Don’t forget that the free shipping special is still ongoing at Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe. Enter code ‘THANKS2014’ at checkout to receive free shipping on all orders, everywhere, through Monday Dec. 1st. Happy indie shopping! What’s been inspiring you, lately?

IS

WIPWed #74: Feeling Thankful

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US, and despite all the busy and the crazy and the deadlines swirling around my life right now, I’m feeling really thankful for everything this year has brought. At this time last year, we had just learned about my mom’s cancer diagnosis, and several surgeries and treatments later, she’s doing quite well and we are optimistic about her recovery. This time last year, I was still a fiancée, and now I have a husband who always knows the perfect thing to say to make me feel better when things get rough (such as, “C’mon, Alicia, what would Katniss do?”). This time last year, I weighed about 60 pounds more than I do now, and I’m hopeful that I will continue to make progress along this (stupidaly hard) path to better health. This time last year, I had never traveled outside the country, and I now have wonderful memories of sloths and howler monkeys and palm trees and Costa Rican rain drumming on tin roofs to soothe me when I need it (note to self: finish those recap blog posts!). And finally, this time last year my Sweet Sheep lotion bars were a mere twinkle in my mind’s eye, and now I’ve filled over 125 Etsy sales, received over 70 5-star reviews, and have over 390 ‘likes’ on Facebook. It’s been a rollercoaster of a productive and somewhat frenzied year, and when I feel ‘stuck’ or like I’m not making any progress, it’s incredibly beneficial and kind of amazing to pause and look back on it all with a sense of gratitude and appreciation.

Woolen Diversions

Free shipping for the holiday weekend!

To celebrate the holiday weekend (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday — oh my!) in one small way, I’m offering free shipping on all orders from today through December 1st. Use the coupon code “THANKS2014′ at checkout to receive free shipping on all domestic and international orders! Thanks for all your support, and consider shopping indie this holiday season. 🙂

And I cannot forget all my knitting and spinning in the list of things-for-which-I’m-grateful!

Baby Kalamazoo:

Woolen Diversions

CY Traveller, colorway Kalamazoo. Click for project page.

I knit this project in about 2 seconds flat (ok, 2 days) for a coworker who is having a little girl and going out on maternity leave today. I’m really happy with how the hat turned out. There are very subtle 2-stitch faux cables throughout the body which make for interesting texture without being overtly cabled. I’m thinking of incorporating this fabric into a larger design. And I just love the little i-cord loop at the top of the hat!

Overdyed Cypress:

Woolen Diversions

BMFA Twisted, overdyed by me. Click for project page.

My #NaKniSweMo sweater is nowhere near done, and definitely won’t be finished by the 30th, but I’m super proud of the fact that the back is finished and I’ve made good headway on the front. This is one garment that I’m actually going to complete, and that is exciting in and of itself.

Petrol BFL:

Woolen Diversions

Countess Ablaze BFL/silk/firestar. Click for handspun page.

To occupy myself while I wait for my new wheel to arrive, I started a braid of Countess Ablaze BFL/firestar/silk on my Babe. I intend to spin this as my ‘default’ yarn: a thin single that I then n-ply into a DK-worsted-weight yarn. I have two such handspun skeins in stash already, and have vague notions of spinning a bunch of color-coordinated BFL in this way and using them together in a larger project. I’m using this spin to take part in the Indie Untangled Knit/Spin/Crochet/Weave-along, come join us, there are prizes!

Finch Test:

Woolen Diversions

Abstract Fibers sample. Click for handspun page.

Finally, I’ve been spinning a bit on my new Jenkins Finch spindle. That photo shows all of the little sample it came with spun up, and later on I will ply a wee skein!

I hope you’re prepping for a wonderful holiday and enjoying all your WIPs this week! Check out other WIPs at Stitch Along Wednesday with Gracey.

Housekeeping Friday

So many things to tell you about today, I’ve had to put them in a numbered list!

  1. Remember my Blue Sky Alpacas giveaway? Well, we have a winner! Congrats, Naomi, and thanks for liking my blog page on Facebook! (I’ve emailed you for your address and will ship your prize out straightaway.) Thanks to everyone who participated, I loved reading your comments about your favorite travel destinations. Now you have me itching to visit places like the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and The Grand Canyon (I could hit those up in one weekend, right?). Also Norway, France, Italy, Australia… sigh. Too many places to see!
  2. Hunter Hammersen has very graciously agreed to review my Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe lotion bars and is hosting a giveaway, as well! Head on over to Violently Domestic to check out what she thinks and enter to win a lotion bar and lip balm of your choice.
  3. Sweet Sheep is proud to be one of this month’s sponsors over at the Knitted Bliss blog! I’ve been a long-time reader of Julie’s blog, and especially enjoy her Pin Up (Pinterest roundups) and Modification Monday series.
  4. October means it’s time for the annual October Stockpile event in the Malabrigo Junkies group on Ravelry, which means my Malabrigo-specific patterns (Dissipative & Syrinx Shells) are both on sale for 20% off with the code ‘MalQuick’ through the end of October! Get your quick and colorful cowls on the needles, the holidays approacheth!
  5. Have I told you that I’ve added some autumn scents to the shop? I don’t think I have! If you’ve been itching to get your fix of seasonal sensory delights like Pumpkin Spice, Autumn Harvest, and Apple Butter, I can hook you up. And if we ever get a sunny day in New England again, I’ll post photos for new Kumquat, Honey Oatmeal, and Frosted Cranberry scents, too (like my shop on Facebook to be the first to know as soon as new fragrances go up!).

Happy Friday, all!

WIPWed #46: Flying By

Man, the weeks feel like they are zooming by. My knits, on the other hand, are not. Except for the hat that I miraculously finished in 5 days, I have very little WIP progress to show this week. That’s partly because I spent most of my time on that hat but it is also because I have a few knitting-related things happening that I can’t share here, so progress on the shareable stuff has been slow. Here it is anyway!

Festooned Joy:

IMG_5841

BMFA Socks that Rock LW, colorway Comfort & Joy. Click for project page.

Despite other commitments, I’m still knitting a round or two on my socks every day. I’m really digging the linen stitch toe going on here. It does such fun things with the highly variegated yarn, doesn’t it?

Raven Loch:

IMG_5834

Squoosh Fiber Arts Rapture, colorway Raven. Click for project page.

Since my mom’s hat was such a quick success, I figured I’d start one for myself as well. (This is another Loch hat by TinCanKnits.) The yarn is a skein I gave to my mom so she could crochet me a black scarf that would match most of my work clothes. There was a ton of yarn left over (I did not realize the pattern made such a short scarf) so now I will have a coordinating hat, as well!

IMG_5833

Pretty scarf, crocheted by my mom. Click for pattern page.

The pattern makes an itty bitty accent scarf, but it looks really cute on and is one of the few crochet stitches that I really like. That’s all I have for WIPs today but I do have some new stash enhancement to share! (And by share I  mean visually, because these pretties are mine, mine, mine.)

IMG_5839

Jill Draper Makes Stuff Mohonk. Click for shop page.

My dear friend Katy sent me this skein as a birthday present. As you might know, the Yarn Harlot raved about this stuff when she used it for her nephew’s sweater and Cormo is one of my favorite breeds of sheep to spin, so I’m extra excited to knit with this yarn. Anybody have a good neckwear (scarf, cowl, shawlette) or hat pattern suggestion for about 370 yards of bouncy, rustic, sport-weight wool? What would you make with this skein?

IMG_5840

The Verdant Gryphon Bugga, colorways Cobalt Blue Tarantula and Oil Beetle. Click for TLE shop page.

And then there was a birthday present… from myself. * Ahem * 🙂 I cannot be blamed. After almost two years, The Loopy Ewe (which has an excellent customer rewards program and great, color-accurate photos of their yarns) finally began to stock Bugga again, in older and hard-to-get VG colors, on my actual birthday. If that’s not a recipe for an impulse buy, I don’t know what is. As we all know, I love Bugga and the Verdant Gryphon but I do not love their website so much, I find shopping during Bugga updates at The Loopy Ewe to be more pleasurable. So color me happy and color my stash blue-green happily enhanced.

That all from me this week! Don’t forget, you still have a few days left to receive 29% off any of my Ravelry patterns (through the end of the 31st). And be sure to check out more WIPs at Tamis Amis.

A Bit of News & a Sale!

Happy Tuesday, all. I wrote a guest post for Sarah’s Spinning Show & Tell over at the Crafts from the Cwtch blog, check it out! I did a little experiment with different fiber preps and drafting styles to see firsthand the differences between worsted and woolen yarns. It was a lot of fun!

Capture

Crafts from the Cwtch blog logo

In other news, since it’s my birthday week, all of my patterns on Ravelry are 29% off from today through the end of January. (This sale is going to get better for you with each passing year!) No coupon code is needed, just add to your cart and the discount will be applied.

Capture2

My Ravelry pattern store, click for link.

As you might remember, I’m in the process of rebranding and improving the layout of all of my existing patterns. If you’ve had your eye on something, I encourage you to grab it now, as I will be adjusting the prices of some of my patterns in February to better reflect my future pricing structure and the work that has gone into them. If you purchase a pattern now, you will receive the updated version on Ravelry as soon as I upload it, so no worries about that! And as always, thank you for all of your support. 🙂