Friday, September 25, 2009

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Lambs Ears

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I home school my 2 daughters and focus on being old fashioned keepers at home. I enjoy teaching them how to cook, clean, take care of a home & husband. I also teach them how to sew, knit, and crochet. We are also learning how to run a business from home with Etsy. I learn first, then pass it on to them. :-)
I got started spinning wool with a challenge from my husband, who was tired of seeing bags of yarn coming into the house & imagining the terrible costs to our bank account. He mentioned, "Why don't you spin your own yarn, it would be cheaper." I replied that there was no way I could learn how to do that...and after researching it, bought a $16 drop spindle & some wool just to show him. Surprisingly, I liked it (after quite a few laughs) and kept trying. One of our friends heard of my adventure and GAVE me an Ashford spinning wheel they had sitting around as decoration! What a joy, and I haven't stopped spinning since.

2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?

I love to create. I knit, I spin, I dye...I have to have an outlet for all this creating. No one else in the family knits, so what am I to do with all this yarn? I decided to sell it.

3. Other than Etsy, where else do you sell your items?

I also sell at a local Living History Museum that tells about the German history in our area. I sell hand spun yarn, roving and knitted mittens, hats, wrist warmers and shawls. I also have my yarn in a small shop in Intercourse, PA.

4. How did you choose your shop name?

Lol, I had been tossing names back and forth for quite some time. One day when out in the yard I was thinking about our flower bed and the invasive plants that had been there in the past and had stubbornly refused to go away. Lambs Ears is one of those plants. It is very hardy, and difficult to remove. That started a thought (for a stubborn shop that will stick by the stuff) about how soft the plant is...well, actual lambs ears are soft too...wool...hey! I could name it Lambs Ears!

5. What are your other favorite things to do?
Other than knit and spin wool? I love to read, but have learned that books on tape are twice the fun! You can still knit or spin while getting a good book in! :-)

We (the whole family) also "work" at Landis Valley Museum part time. They are a living history museum featuring the German heritage of Lancaster County. We dress in costume for the 1750's, give tours, cook on an open hearth fire, and tell the Pennsylvania German history of the area. We also demonstrate spinning wool telling about cutting the wool off the sheep, carding, spinning and finally to the final knitted or woven project. We have a great time talking with people from all over the world. This is really fun for me!

6. What inspires you?
Oddly enough, knitting and spinning magazines inspire me. I love looking at the beautiful colors and work that others have done and usually put the magazine down at the end, ready to either knit something up, or spin.

7. What do you enjoy more spinning yarn, dying yarn or knitting?

I really enjoy spinning up hand dyed wool, whether it is mine or done by someone else. It is really surprising how it changes in every stage. You think, O.K., this will be red, orange, brown...fall colors. It comes out of the pot different; it is always a variation of those colors...the colors fade into each other creating something you couldn't have done if you tried! Then once you spin it? It changes again. One color will be more dominant...many times I have thought, "Hmm, now I didn't think that would turn out that way!" Feeling the yarn after you spin it is always the best. I just pet it and stare at it...always amazed that I managed to put that together!

8. What is your most popular item?
Well, I haven't been on Etsy long enough to really have any 1 item stand out. I usually get very good feedback on my hand spun yarn though. Folks just seem to gush about it!

9. What handmade possession do you cherish?
Of my own, I love my hand knit shawl. It is just a simple triangle, but I love the warmth. Something that someone else has made for me, would have to be the cutting board my dad has made me. It is long enough to be able to place over the sink increasing my counter space...something we never seem to have enough of!

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.
Well, if I am wanting to get away from fiber, I go to deniseannette, her work is amazing! I also love looking at the things that beautifulplace does. Her items are soft and airy. If I want fiber to drool over and challenge me, I go to moonlightbaker.

A big thank you to Lambs Ears for taking part in my blog feature this week. I think that is such a cute name for a yarn shop. Its always fun to hear how people came up with their shop name as its something that was difficult for me to do. I recently got the opportunity to do a trade with Lambs Ears and got some of her wonderful handspun, hand dyed yarn and a set of hand painted needles. Oh my goodness what a treat it has been. I have never knitted with handspun yarn before and it was all that I had imagined it would be. I made a slouchy hat that is waiting for a chance to be photographed and added to my shop. I still have a bit more yarn leftover to make something else. I just know I will have to do something with it. When you get this yarn you just have to stop everything and knit something from every scrap, leave none of it to waste. So if your a knitting junky or have a love of hand knitted stuff take a look at this wonderful new Etsy shop.


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