Have you made anything with your Spinzilla yarn?

You may recall I spun some merino/yak yarn during Spinzilla with the intention of making super warm mittens since my hands get really cold during the winter. I made them, and then it was unseasonably warm for months. The first day of winter felt more like the first day of spring. But when I woke up this morning my phone told me the temperature was 11°F. Ah, now that is merino/yak mitten wearing weather! So I wore them on my morning walk in the woods, taking them off so I could take their photo.

mittens made from Happy Fuzzy Yarn Merino/Yak combed top handspun & Navajo-plied

(I live in Michigan. What do you want?)

I also started my BFL Death and Taxes sweater, and it’s really awesome so far. My plan is to eventually write a pattern for it in DK Merino in multiple sizes, so I don’t want to tell you too much about it yet. Stay tuned!

Have you made anything with your Spinzilla yarn yet?

Don’t forget, January 15 is the last day we’re taking online retail orders.

You can see all the retailers who carry our yarn and/or fiber on our handy store locator map. In the next month or so, we’ll be adding new stores in PA, DE, MD, VA, and CO.

 

Really big news you should read!

2016 is going to be a big year for Happy Fuzzy Yarn. It’s going to be our 10th anniversary. It’s going to be the year we get our 100th store.

And it’s going to be the year we stop selling online.

What?!

It’s true. It’s time.

Our online retail sales are very low, and maintaining the store is very time-consuming. Nearly all of our income comes from wholesale, and some LYS owners will not buy from dyers who sell online, so our income will actually go up if we stop selling online.

We will continue selling retail at shows, but Friday, January 15, 2016 will be the last day for you to order online.

But we want to make sure you can still buy Happy Fuzzy Yarn! Here’s what you can do:

  • Take a look at our store locator map. Are you near one of these stores? Patronize them, keep them in business, buy Happy Fuzzy Yarn there! The more you buy, the sooner they’ll order more!
  • Nowhere near any of these stores? Go to your favorite LYS and tell them you’d really like them to stock Happy Fuzzy Yarn. If you have any Happy Fuzzy Yarn or fiber, or anything you’ve made with our yarn or fiber, show it to the owner so they can see how nice it is! Be sure to let them know we aren’t selling online anymore after 1/15/16. They can contact us at wholesale at happyfuzzyyarn dot com.
  • Nowhere near any yarn stores? Contact your favorite online yarn retailer and tell them you’d really like them to carry Happy Fuzzy Yarn. Tell them they can contact us at wholesale at happyfuzzyyarn dot com and we will send them samples.

We don’t want to abandon you! We want to make it easy for you continue to buy our yarn and fiber. Doing this will allow us to grow, and have our yarn and fiber easier for you to find where you can see it in person and pet it and fondle it!

If you have a gift certificate, please redeem it by January 15, 2016 (if that’s not possible, we’ll work something out, but it will be so much easier if you redeem it by then!).

All clearance items are now at least 75% off.

Our patterns will continue to be available on Ravelry.

My handspun yarn will only be available at shows.

If you have any questions I haven’t answered, please leave a comment!

 

 

Help me help the bunnies!

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and I’m starting to see ads for Black Friday. I want to do something different.

Great Lakes Rabbit SanctuaryA lot of you know I have rabbits. While rabbits are the third most popular pet in the US, they’re also misunderstood, and frequently abused and abandoned. The Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary provides a safe haven for these rabbits.

I adopted Joey from the Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary in 2009. He was part of a mass rescue from a hoarder in Nevada who had 800 rabbits. The GLRS took 500 and another sanctuary took 300.

I am going to donate 25% of all online sales from Wednesday, November 25 through Wednesday, December 2 to the Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary. SHOP HERE! The more you purchase, the more money goes to help rabbits in need. I hope you’ll help me help the bunnies!

Donate to GLRSIf you don’t need to buy any yarn or fiber or patterns for yourself or as a gift, please consider donating directly to GLRS.

The rabbits and I thank you!

 

 

What I learned spinning 7370 yards during Spinzilla

What I learned spinning 7370 yards during SpinzillaBehold all the yarn I spun during Spinzilla!

Last year I spun 6652 yards, and I was proud of myself, but I realized I could spin a lot more if I prepped my fiber ahead of time. So this year I prepped two pounds of BFL combed top in Death and Taxes for a sweater for myself.

I was done spinning and plying it by Thursday evening.

Lesson 1: Prep a lot more fiber than you think you’re going to need.

Thursday, in fact, was the day I spent the most hours spinning. TEN HOURS. There were several factors that allowed me to keep going for so long, I think. First, I was spinning long draw, which is easy on my hands. Second, I listened to podcasts and watched Periscopes while I was spinning, so I kept my mind occupied, which made the time go faster. Third, in the evening, after I had already spun 6.5 hours that day and was tired and kind of wanted to go to bed, I went to our team spin-in at Carol’s and got my second wind, was entertained by the lively conversation, and spun another 3.5 hours.

Lesson 2: Keep your brain entertained.

Thursday night, after I finished plying the BFL, I began spinning 4oz of merino/yak in Coastal to make myself a pair of mittens. I got about halfway through spinning it before we called it a night.

I slept in Friday since I had stayed up way past my bedtime the night before, but then finished the merino/yak and Navajo plied it. And then I wasn’t sure what to spin next! Carol still had the bins of fiber at her pole barn from the night before, and I had planned on pulling something out of one of the bins to spin.

Lesson 3: Keep all the fiber you’re going to spin in one place.

I texted Carol and rummaged around to find something to spin until she brought the bins over. When I finished that random little 1.5oz skein, I picked out a BFL braid in Galactic Gumshoe to make myself a cowl. I spun about half of it, and then went to bed so I could get up early the next day for the Spinner’s Flock meeting.

The Spinner’s Flock is a guild which meets monthly in Chelsea, MI, and it’s sort of like a giant spin-in with about 100 people, and a business meeting, and vendors, and food. It gave me a chance to spin for three hours and sell a bit of fiber, and then afterward some of us went to a local deli for a 2.5 hour lunch.

Here’s the thing. I am an introvert. After going to a guild meeting and lunch, I am so exhausted that when I get home, all I can do is take a 3 hour nap. And then it’s bedtime.

Lesson 4: Honor thy introversion.

Lesson 5: If your goal is to spin as much as possible, don’t go to a 2.5 hour lunch.

Sunday morning I plied the BFL I had finished spinning at the guild meeting, and then decided the rest of the day was the Day of Singles, mainly so I wouldn’t be stuck at the end with singles that needed to be plied and not enough time to ply them. So I grabbed several braids of the Local Wool Project wool/alpaca combed top, prepped them, and proceeded to spin several skeins of worsted to bulky singles using a short pinch draw (I’m not quite sure what this kind of drafting is called. I pinch the fiber and pull it quickly, but keep it thick. If you know what this is called, please tell me!).

After a few hours, I had several skeins, but my hand hurt.

Lesson 6: Spinning bulky singles goes super fast and is definitely the way to go if the goal is to produce lots of skeins! But thicker yarn obviously means less yardage per skein.

Lesson 7: Long draw is easier on my hand than short pinch draw, therefore I can spin for a lot longer using long draw.

For the last skein, I spun a fingering weight singles with a short draw (regular, not pinchy), which was much easier on my hand. I finished at 11:38pm.

Total yardage spun: 7370.

Next year I will spin even more using the lessons I learned!

 

What We Spun Last Week During Spinzilla

Team Happy Fuzzy Yarn Spinners had a fantastic Spinzilla this year!  Here’s what we made:

 

Now it’s time for an unofficial craft-o-rama to use all this lovely yarn.

We can’t wait for next year’s Spinzilla!

How I prep my fiber PART 2

I sat down today to finish prepping my fiber for Spinzilla, and I realized I totally left out an important step in the video I did last week. D’oh! So here is part 2.

 

Also, note that TODAY is the last day to sign up for a Spinzilla team!

 

Spinning in Ann Arbor

Photo of a spinning wheel flyerSpinzilla isn’t just about yardage — it’s also about community.  If you are near the Ann Arbor area, come spin with us!  These gatherings are also a great time to ask questions and get help.  You do not have to be a member of our team to attend — you do not even have to be a registered Spinzilla participant (how would I know?!).

Spinzilla Opening Party

Monday October 5, 2015, 7-10pm

We will officially kick off Spinzilla in Carol’s pole barn — but don’t let that stop you from starting your spinning at 12:01am.  We will have chocolate, wine, and other treats. Bring your wheel or spindle and whatever you are working on.  We have plenty of chairs.  Combed top will be available to purchase (cash, check, or credit).

Contact Carol if you want to attend and need her address.

Daytime Spin-Ins

Tuesday October 6, 2015, 12-3pm
Wednesday October 7, 2015, 12-3pm

Riin will host day-time spin-ins at her house, which also doubles as Happy Fuzzy Yarn’s headquarters.  If the weather’s fine, we will sit outside — maybe get some good pictures for the photo contest.  Contact Riin for her address if you haven’t been to HQ before.

Combed top and yarn is available to purchase whenever you visit HQ.

Spinzilla Takes Over Knit Night! Ahhhh!

Thursday October 8, 2015, 7-10pm

Four days in and your enthusiasm may be flagging.  Your legs may be sore.  Your eyes squinty.  Time to seek solace with like-minded fiber fiends.

Spinzilla is co-opting Carol’s usual Thursday night Knit Night and moving it to the barn so we don’t create a fire hazard at Starbucks. Come spin, knit, snack, and chat with us!  Carol has an impressive tea stash and basic coffee supplies. (She will not be offended if you buy and bring your own fancy coffee. She will, in fact, be perfectly indifferent.)

Again, combed top will be available to purchase just in case you’re running out.

Did you know that Happy Fuzzy Yarn is a Merino Sponsor of Spinzilla this year?  We’re so proud of what they do!

We look forward to seeing you all next week!  Leave a comment and let us know if you’re coming!

 

How I prep my fiber

I made a video for you!

I hope you like it!

 

On the Wool Road

Happy Fuzzy Yarn will be on the road for the next couple of months — come visit, say hello, share your projects.  We love to meet our fans and supporters and see what hijinks the yarn and fiber get up to after they leave HQ.

Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs

Allegan 2015

Our booth at the Michigan Fiber Festival, 2015 (click to enlarge)

September 19 & 20, 2015
Truth: we love this show.  It doesn’t have the big name that other midwest US fiber festivals do, but the wool people know it’s there and they come in droves.  It is also at that perfect time of year, when it definitely feels like Autumn, but without the bite of cold that warns of winter.

A Wool Gathering is located at:
Young’s Jersey Dairy
6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd
Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Saturday, September 19, 10am-7pm
Sunday, September 20, 10am-5pm

Ann Arbor District Library Green Fair

September 27, 2015
Happy Fuzzy Yarn was invited to participate in the first ever Green Fair put on by our city and district library. The Green Fair is a day-long event featuring classes, local food, and locally made products.

We will be there with combed top for spinning and felting, as well as some handspun yarn.

It’s Easy Being Green Fair is located at:
Ann Arbor District Library–Downtown
1st Floor Lobby
343 S Fifth Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Sunday, September 27, 12:30-5:30pm (free admission)

Ann Arbor Fiber Expo

October 24 & 25, 2015
Of course we will be at the Fiber Expo at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds (colloquially known as the county fair grounds). The fall Fiber Expo is huge, taking up three barns and includes classes, shopping, demonstrations, and fiber animals.  There is a small entrance fee, but totally worth it.  Hopefully Humphrey the Camel will be back; he’s very friendly and available for petting.

The Fiber Expo is located at:
Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds
5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Saturday, October 24, 9am-5pm
Sunday, October 25, 10am-4pm

 

Join Us for Spinzilla

Spinzilla logo

Spinzilllllllllla!

A monster of a week, indeed!

It’s that time again. From today through Friday October 2nd, you can sign up to participate in a little friendly yarn spinning competition. Cost is only $10 and you do not need to be an “experienced” or “good” spinner. In fact, this is a good time to learn if you have been thinking about doing so.  The event itself is seven days in early October, 5th-11th, 2015.

I am captain of Team Happy Fuzzy Yarn Spinners and I hope you will join us.  You do not need to live in Ann Arbor to be part of our team, although we will have local spin-ins and it’s always fun to get together. There will be wine and chocolate if you can be there in person. If not, maybe I will send you some. Chocolate, that is.

Don’t hesitate.  There are only 25 spots per team.

Going rogue but still want some company?  Yes!  Watch this blog for meet up information.

Spinzilla organizers have been posting team bios this summer.  Click here to read about Team Happy Fuzzy Yarn Spinners.

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments!

 

 

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