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Welcome to Esther's Blog

The World According to Esther

Hot-Lanta! Great time at Stitches South 2012!

This was my second year at Stitches South, and though I thought it wasn’t possible, we had a BETTER time this year then last year!

Located at the Cobb Galleria, in Atlanta Georgia, Stitches South is our first big show of the Spring season and it kicks everything off with a bang for sure! I have a wonderful booth space- right on the corner by the demo area! Perfect to stop and hang out, sit a bit and knit!! Jazzturtle handspun yarn Stitches South 2012

I had wonderful examples in the front- a large shrug knit by Debra Lambert (freeform designer extraordinaire and owner of Picasso Moon yarn shop in Sarasota FLA), a beautiful vest spun and knit by one of my wonderful oldest customers, a nuno felted sequins shawl I made, and my “doodle” scarf that I knit inspired by the “scribble lace” but without the purls!

I had a table full of wonderful knits by more amazing friends- a super fun slouchy hat knit by Renee Jones (Carolina Fiber Co) with my wildplied yarn, the amazing boot toppers/legwarmers knit by Arlene Ciroula of SpinArtiste (more about these later) Jazzturtle handspun yarn Stitches South 2012and wonderful scarflette knit with my yarns and my dyed mohair by Susan Dingle. The pattern is available for Download on Raverly! These are the first of many patterns that are going to be released (some will be free and some will be for purchase from the designers) that are written for and feature Jazzturtle yarns! YAY!! SO excited!

I also have some lovely lariats and necklaces made from my yarns that will soon be available online.   I can’t forget the second beautiful vest that my friend April spun and knit from my fiber.   I’m so happy with how my booth has progressed in the year since I was here last. Jazzturtle handspun yarn Stitches South 2012
When I see it laid out like this I realize HOW much spinning I’ve been doing!!

My NakedSpun yarn line has been very popular since it’s debut in New York. I got the most amazing fleeces that I just can’t dye. It’s such an amazing rainbow of neutrals! Jazzturtle handspun yarn Stitches South 2012I still have some of these amazing fleeces to spin- I’ve been hoarding them like gold. The perfect black Wensleydale, the multi shaded BFL/Cotswold curls, the red Kid Mohair and the 8 inch snow white Corridale..   I have a few more fleeces coming, and I’ll be on the search for more at Maryland Sheep and Wool next weekend..

These yarns are all “Naked”, but with the texture and whimsy my yarns are known for- sparkle, feathers and all sorts of goodies- these NakedSpun yarns continue to delight as yarns or as instant eternity scarves!  I even saved a few skeins for myself- Debra is working on something right now that will highlight these yarns in the most amazing ways…

My current obsession.. extreme FringeSpun Suri Alpaca… Jazzturtle handspun yarn Stitches South 2012 This is all the length and drama of my Teeswater extreme FringeSpun- but with the amazing natural color and fineness of Suri Alpaca! This fiber is so soft and fine I have to spin it dirty and then wash the yarn, because if I washed it first the locks would just fall apart.

Of course I haven’t forgotten my funky corespuns.. I had a wall of those in all textures.. plied, not plied, smooth and with goodies like disco balls and troll dolls! People are always laughing at what I can “get into” my yarns. The Budweiser yarns are always a big hit with the guys!

Jazzturtle handspun yarn Stitches South 2012 Of course I had a very dramatic display of my tailspun yarns- short, extreme fringe, shaggy and plied.. I have them all. Solids, brights, multi colors..  These are also amazing for edging, adding into projects a bit at a time, dollhair and of course just wearing as instant eternity scarves..
I just love all the colors played out in the display. I will have some of these at the CloverHill Yarn Shop booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool next weekend 🙂 jazzturtle handspun yarn stitches south fashion show
This year I put a couple pieces in the official Stitches South Fashion Show. This first piece is the most amazing circle shrug/shawl knit by Debra Lambert. You can see (and hear) more about Deb’s creative process in wondeful interview on Spin Artiste. This piece is really just a large circle with 2 big button holes for the arms!Jazzturtle handspun yarn Stitches South 2012
Measure out your back and start on big double pointed needles- moving to circulars when you can. The key is to switch from handspun to commercial as you go.  When you come to the width of your shoulders, add your big button holes and keep knitting in the circle.. knit until it’s as large as you want  If you like the ruffles on the sides increase extra on the last rows.

It was so wonderful to see this piece walk out.. the room made an audible gasp when this beautiful model turned around and everyone saw the back. It was pretty spectacular!

I also had a wall full of batts for spinners and felters. I put a cobweb felted shawl in the fashion show as well and was giving out instructions to make it at the booth! I see lots of new felters on the horizon now! It’s fun to pass on an addiction!!
jazzturtle handspun yarn stitches south fashion show
It was such a fun show! It is always so much fun to meet customers and see their creations! I love meeting other designers and knitters and dyers- there are some cool cross projects coming this year..
I love eating in Atlanta- we went to Flip Burger Boutique TWICE! haha!!

The most amazing part is sharing my yarns and creative ideas with people. Jazzturtle handspun yarn Stitches South 2012
Having them walk away inspired for what they can possibly get onto their needles or hooks. These boot toppers that Arlene knit were some of the biggest hits of the weekend! Everyone with a pair of boots wants a pair of their own.

I’m super excited because Arlene is giving this pattern away for FREE on Spin Artiste. This is the second pattern released that has been specifically written for and features JazzTurtle yarns! Arlene is posting this pattern on Sunday night, along with a fun giveaway for knitters and spinners so you can make your own!! Be sure to check out Spin Artiste this Sunday to get the pattern and get in on the fun!

Now onto spinning and carding for Carolina Fiber Fest. I’m sending inventory out to CloverHill Yarn Shop for their booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool festival today! Jolene and the crew will have my batts and yarns for sale!

Then Carolina Fiber Fest is here in Raleigh at the State Fairgrounds during the AG Fest, May 18-20.  I’ll have a booth and am teaching some fun spinning classes. Registration is open until May 11!

I’ll be working like a crazy person until the fests are over, then am planning a HUGE update in the etsy shop before we head overseas to Holland were I’m teaching a workshop! There are still a few spaces left if you’d like to join us! Check out the “workshop” page for details!!
Jazzturtle handspun yarn Stitches South 2012Jazzturtle handspun yarn Stitches South 2012
Until Then- Welcome to all our new customers and friends! We hope to see you at a festival soon. Be sure to check out Spin Artiste later today to see Deb’s creative process, and on Sunday to get in on the boot topper fun!!

Back to the dyepots I go!