Etsy Shop is Back Open!

Good morning all. It is August 16th, and as promised, my etsy shop is back up and ready to go.

Stop in and browse around. I have new sock, lace weight and handspun yarns, as well as some new spinning fiber.

How do you like my new photographs? I’ve been meaning to do this for about two years now. In some ways, I am sorry it took me so long to get up off my ass and do it, but in others, I am glad I waited until I had all the right pieces. My dining room has some of the best natural light in the whole house, being lined with windows and all. That, paired with my vintage cherry blossom table cloth (the first thing I ever bought on etsy ever right after it opened) and my new pottery, everything came togther so beautifully.

clementines and cherry blossoms
My table cloth, just to refresh your memory.

Now, I’m off to do some spinning so I have a bit more handspun to offer up for sale. What are you up to this weekend?

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Farmers Market Booth Preview

My friend Joanie and I have spent a lot of time this week putting together the Farmers Market booth. And I think it looks really great! Here a few photos of what you should be able to look forward to this summer.







The Topeka Farmers Market runs every Saturday from mid-April through mid-November. Tiny Dino Studios merchandise will be available there most every Saturday and online every week day at tiny dino studios etsy shop.

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Winter WoolFest 2012

Just thought I would nip in real quick and let everyone know that I will be one of the Vendors at Winter WoolFest 2012 in Wamego, KS. I will have everything you see listed in my shop, and hopefully a few extra special items that I will have time to make once the Christmas knitting is over.

I am also teaching the Cottage Knitting class, so if you want to learn more about lever knitting, I am your gal.

And, a sneak peak at what I have been up to with my silk.

There is a couple handfuls of the cocoons dyed to match some alpaca roving. This has since been blended on my hackle and spun. I will ply tomorrow and show off the finished product then. (You know, something to look forward to.)

I am off to nurse my silk blisters and work on my gifts. (The gift knitting will end someday, I promise.)

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Building a Hackle

For about a month now, I have been determined to make my own hackle. A hackle is a tool for blending spinning fiber and/or for pulling your own roving out of fleece. Unfortunately, all the lovely professionally made ones have giant metal tines which made me uncomfortable. Four inch tall sharp metal spikes and five year old fingers just do not mix in my mind. Of course, the all powerful internet had the answer, in the form of a Homemade Hackle Tutorial. All told, I spent about $15. You could spend less if you already have clamps. (I find that folks don’t tend to give women tools as gifts like they do men. I think this is a small mistake. But now I can add clamps to small collection of hammer, screw driver, and needle nose pliers.)

My supplies: six hair picks, about a dozen screws (you can see size and type in the picture. My dad, whose hand will be featured in this post, said those would be best, I don’t know why), two medium size spring clamps, a washer to use as a diz once the hackle is complete, and a piece of scrap wood. You want to use a good hard wood. My dad just happened to have a perfect size piece of poplar laying around because he does a bit of carpentry here and there. We also discussed buying a piece of oak from the big box hardware store–about $5-$7–which we would have to cut to size. If you live in a place with actual lumber yards, or know a carpentry enthusiast, you might be able to find something extra cheap or free.


Measuring to center the picks on the wood.


We used a power drill to pre-drill holes in both wood and picks. When it came time to add the screws, the torque on the drill was too powerful and kept throwing the pick on the floor, so we ended up using a socket wrench. It didn’t really take any longer than a drill would have.


It would have been better if you could find all large picks so you could have two screws per pick. The ones with only one screw tend to be a bit less stable, though they still work just fine.


Clamped to the kitchen table. Loading the hackle for the first time with some local mystery fleece. My first ball of roving was a little rough, but I improved as the day went on. (For instance, I think it’s better to load the hackle in layers rather than clumps.)


My first little bump of handpulled roving. I made my hackle big enough to do about an ounce at a time, and I made three ounces of this blend yesterday. It’s the local mystery wool, some white alpaca, the merino/silk top I was bored with (much more fun to me in this form, for the record), my purple mohair locks and some purple firestar.

I am hoping for a arty-tweedy sort of yarn, which I was dreaming about weaving with last night, even though I don’t have a loom. I’ll post an update as soon as it’s spun!

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December Spinning Complements

When I launched the idea of Spinning Complements last week, I didn’t expect them to sell on the same day. However, since they did I thought I would make an extra special December edition.

Up in the etsy shop right now.

This month I am featuring a blend of 70% Merino and 30% Tussah silk. It’s gorgeous, fluffy, and oh so soft. Done up in teal, ice blue, and grey I give you both night and day of an outdoor ice skating rink.

3.5 oz individually or 7 oz of spinning fun together.

Happy December!

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Complements

Just in time for the holiday season, I am kicking off a new line of tops for spinning. Most folks dye their spinning fibers in about 100g or 3.5-4oz batches, myself included. While this is really great for small project like what I shared yesterday, I understand that sometimes 4 oz just isn’t enough.

That’s why I will introduce a new complementary set of hand painted tops every month. The two braids will make up at least 8 oz worth of fiber for spinning or felting, and while they are different colorways, they will be close enough that when used together, they will complement each other very well. The two braids will be listed separately, and can be purchased individually or together. However, if only one of the braids is sold, I will not be able to duplicate the colorway exactly, so I would get them both while you can!

November/December Complementary Hand Painted Top:


4 oz Falkland Top Hand Painted in December


5.3 oz Falkland Top Hand Painted in Winter Solstice

Happy Making!

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Sale and New Wool!


To celebrate finally earning my bachelor’s degree, I have a sale going on over at the shop through this Sunday. Use code DINO10 and receive 10% off your entire purchase.

Here are a few of the things I have been dyeing up lately:

Two 100g skeins of fingering weight BFL yarn done in Robin’s Egg Blue.


4 oz braid of BFL Top in Wildflower


4 oz braid of BFL top in Fire Flower

(I will have a more substantial post later on, I promise.)

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