Sunday, October 10, 2010


It has been a while since I posted.  I celebrated a birthday and both of my sisters came out to California to spend time with me.  We had a great day in San Francisco with one of my daughters and a friend. 
   It has been an odd summer that was cooler than any other summer I remember.  Only a few days broke 100, while the rest of the country was experiencing heat waves we had a temperate summer here in the SF Bay Area.  Unlike San Francisco, the East Bay usually gets pretty warm in the summer, but the heat waves only last a few days and then fog creeps in to cool us off.  Then it burns away and we get warm again.
   Anyhow, the lazy days of summer have come to an end and it is the time for the falls shows.  I have discovered my love for the 50/50 merino silk roving that I am know dyeing.  It seems like everyone else loves it also as I am selling a lot of it.  The silk gives it a beautiful sheen and it is easy to spin.  I worked with this type of roving in a class that I took at the CNCH (Conference of Northern California Handweavers), taught by Judith M.M.  Spin Off Magazine also had an article about spinning this type of roving earlier this year.  It is fun to spin in a bulky single that you full after spinning.  I made some and gave it to my friend Gabrielle. 
  Speaking of Gabrielle, when she worked with me at the Indie Mart, she told me that I needed to work on my warm colors, especially the reds.  I took her advise and apparently, that is what everyone else thought, my reds started selling before the vendor area opened to the public and were sold out mid way through the day.  Thanks for the great advice Gabrielle!
I have started a fan page on Facebook for Twisted Sunshine Designs, please join us and feel free to post any photos you have of our products or your projects, whether they are underway or complete.
  I recently bought a used Silver Reed LK150 knitting machine, joined the SF Bay Area Machine Knitting Guild and went to a meeting.  Today I am picking up an instructional DVD and will be setting up the machine, wish me luck!  At yesterday's guild meeting I learned a lot about hand manipulating stitches on he machine to make beautiful patterns.  I am excited to get started and am hoping to incorporate my hand spun into projects just as I do on the loom and in hand knitting.
  Due to selling at shows, I have temporarily closed the etsy store, please email me with any order requests you may have.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summertime Blues

Anyone who knows me, knows I am all about blue.  Any shade of blue, just check out my acid dyed rovings and batts.  I am branching out to purples and greens, but then again, they also contain blue.  I have had some fun with color saturated 50/50 merino silk blend rovings.  Unfortunately, I did not take photos and sold out (which is great) at last Sunday's Indie Mart on Wisconsin St. in San Francisco.  More about that later.
   I haven't posted in a while, it has been a busy summer, a lot of traveling, visiting with friends and working.  Regretfully, not much picture taking.  June started out with the Spinning at the Winery which was fun for all.  Beautiful weather, fun people, good food and wine and silk/merino to spin.  Who could ask for anything more!  Then it was off to Columbus, OH for work and to visit with some vendors in town for the TNNA.  Then back home and off to the Spinning on the Farm event in lovely Healdsburg.  Twisted Sunshine had the opportunity to vend at this fun event situated in the vineyards of Sonoma County.  Low key, spinning in a beautiful setting and a great pot luck.  Met friends, new and old and Twisted Sunshine rovings, fibers and earrings were well received.  The booth next to us was operated by Sue who raises BFL sheep, which one day I hope to visit.  Of course I bought some fleece, when I got home I washed it and dyed it purple and violet.  Then used some of it to make some core spun yarn wrapped with glitz.  I will post some photos soon.  Judy and I had a great day up in Sonoma.
  Last Sunday was a total blast at the Indie Mart.  I recommend that everyone check out this event, you can follow them on facebook.  My great friend, Gabrielle, and I went into SF to set up early in the morning (some might argue that 830 is not early).  Starting at the Parkside, at 17th and Wisconsin, and continuing to 16th Street there were many indie craft and vintage vendors lining both sides of the block.  There was music, food, beer and plenty of DIY projects.  We even had a surprise visit from Alison and Maryam who, looking very tired, came to visit after working since 530 AM (now that's early) at the AIDS Walk.

Gabrielle has convince me that I need to branch out from blue (green and purple) so look for warm colors in some new projects.

Now for the Blues - going to Memphis this week - Blues, BBQ, Beale and Elvis!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

acid dyed rovings

natural dyes - rovings

I just love the soft colors that are achieved when natural (plant and beetle) based dyes are used.

project bags

project bags in a basket with hand dyed silk roving. The bags are a great place to store all your projects so they are ready to grab when you are on the go!

hand and commercial spun yarns

natural dyed yarns

yarns dyed by Twisted Sunshine with natural dyes

the booth!

the booth!
Originally uploaded by twisted sunshine designs
Knit One One show on May 1st. Judy and I shared a booth

Crazy Spinning Batt

Originally uploaded by twisted sunshine designs
Mixed media batt, materials used: various wools, mohair curls, firestar, nepps, etc

Sunday, April 11, 2010


This weekend was CNCH, the Conference of Northern California Handweavers.  I had a great time, took wonderful classes, strolled the market place, visited with old friends and made new ones.  The highlight of my weekend was the 9 hours of instruction I was participate in.  I took 3 classes taught by Judith MacKenzie McQuin: Spinning a Fine Thread, Spinning for Color and Fat Fulled and Fabulous.  Judith is an absolute wealth of information and if you ever have the opportunity to take a class from her I highly recommend it.  I also love her book: "The Intentional Spinner." 

In Spinning a fine thread we learned how to adjust our wheels to spin a fine, and very fine, yarn.  I have spun fine yarns before but nothing of this caliber.  It was a real treat working with the fine fibers she supplied us with to create these fine yarns.  First a baby alapaca, silk cashmere and even bison.  After a break for lunch and travels around the market I enjoyed an afternoon of Spinning for color.  We chose 5 different colored rovings to create a marled yarn and learned a new technique for spinning across the different rovings for a special effect.  We moved on and learned to cable these yarns.  We also made specialty yarns using fluff from an aplaca blend batt and mohair curls.

Sunday we went to the opposite end of the spectrum and made bulky yarns.  At one time, when I was a new spinner, making bulky yarns was easy, now it is a bigger challenge.  Again, learning how to properly adjust the wheel is key in making the yarn you want.  Next I want to take Judith's wheel mechanics class...
I will be posting photos of the practice yarns and then creating my own yarns, some of which will find their way into my etsy shop.

The Saturday night banquet was great fun, as was the presentation by Syne Mitchell, creator and editor of weavezine, check it out at

Monday, April 5, 2010


I just got back from visiting family in New York and Rhode Island. In one week we went from winter to spring. It was cold when I arrived, then the rains came. It rained and rained and rained; roads flooded, train service was curtailed and we had plenty of time to stay in the house and work on craft projects. The dining room table was transformed into a workshop. I was busy making beaded stitchmarkers, earrings featuring sheep, spinning wheels and knitting charms. It was fun and relaxing. When the rains stopped the sun came out and the weather really warmed up so we went on a little road trip to visit my niece and bring my daughter back to school in Rhode Island. Unfortunately, our favorite place to buy jewelry supplies, Wolf Myrow, was flooded due to the rains and was closed. Hopefully they will dry out with minimal damage to their wonderful and eclectic stock.

The etsy shop is stocked and now that I am back I have more items to photo and list. Stay tuned.
Here are some photos of some of the natural dyed yarns that I am in the process of posting.
 ... and yummy merino sea cell

Saturday, March 13, 2010

etsy shop

I have finally set up and started to stock the etsy shop.  I had a hard time deciding on whether to start on etsy, artfire or both.  Etsy won out!  I also have the artfire shop set up but it is not yet stocked.   For now I am going with the etsy store and will be working on getting it fully stocked.  Please check it out at and let me know what you think.  My biggest challenge is the photography, getting a good clear photo with true colors has been difficult.  I am hoping for sun tomorrow so I can take photos in natural light.

I was so excited when I received my first etsy sale.  The first item to be sold was the cool jewel roving, definitely one of my favorites. 

Here are some photos from the etsy shop:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

more Stitches photos

Thank you to everyone who helped set up, worked at and shopped at the Twisted Sunshine booth at Stitches West, a great time was had by all.  This was our first big show and we shared a booth with Slipped Stitches Studio.  The booth was chock full of fiber, yarns, crazy spinning batts, sheep and spinning earrings, counting bracelets and project bags.  Everyone loved the beautiful Kundert spindles we carried and we had the opportunity to teach several people how to drop spindle.  To those who bought spindles and those buy a spindle in the future, my offer to teach you, or follow up on the spindling lessons given at Stitches still is open.  Spinning is fun and relaxing, add in the beatuiful dyed rovings and batts of Twisted Sunshine and you have the makings of a great project.

Here are some of our yarns and crazy batts

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Busy getting ready for Stitches.  Wonderful friends helping me over the weekend.  The house is a complete disaster and I am wondering how everything will get done.  Here are some photos taken by Alison the master skeinwinder, on Sunday.


Friday, February 19, 2010

getting ready

I have been busy getting ready for Stitches West.  Dying up a storm, making batts, spinning kits, felting kits, getting yarns ready.  This is the last weekend to put the finishing touches on everything.  I haven't gotten a chance to take photos, will do that this weekend and post them. 

The beautiful weather earlier this week was perfect for hanging out the rovings and yarn so they were able to dry.  The weather was clear and warm, went up to 69 degrees.  That is the wonderful California weather I remember.  This winter has been mostly rain, and a lot of it, so it was nice to enjoy the sun and some early spring fever.  Well the clouds are back for the weekend, so the last of the dying will be drying in the house.

The stormy weather inspired a lot of the colorways I was working on.  I dye in small batches so most of the pieces are unique with only a few of each color but always with coordinating colors.  The natural dyes all go well with each other and it is fun to mix and match.  I have taken strips from several different rovings and alternated them when spinning to create beautiful yarns.  I will have some samples with me.

I want to thank all my knitting friends for their help and support.  The Monday night Walnut Creek Knitters and the Thursday night East Bay knitters.  You guys really rock.

Busy weekend - hope to update photos by Sunday.  I have held off on stocking the etsy store until after Stitches, I want to have my stock on hand for this event and then will post on etsy.

Please come and see me and Slipped Stitches in booth 843 at Stitches West - See you there!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Made it through the holidays! Family visits, holiday meals - all were drama free.  My younger daughter has gone back to school and the house is quiet again, except for the hum of the new spinning wheel.  My dream wheel finally made it to me thanks to Kristine and Adrienne of A Verb for Keeping Warm (AVFKW).  My dream of a Schact Reeves 30 inch cherry wheel has come true.  I had been thinking and yearning for a year now.  It is beautiful.  I have to think of a name for it before the christening party with WonderMike of Fiber Beat.  He became the proud owner of a Schacht Matchless about a week before the stork brought my Schacht Reeves.
The only problem I have is that the wheel spins better than I do!  I am spinning up some polworth from AVFKW to finish my daughter's cowl.  The wheel spins a lot faster than my Lendrum, it's big brother.  Now that the kids moved out I am starting a family of spinning wheels!

I am busily getting ready for Stitches West and will be sharing a booth with Slipped Stitches.  Come check out my dyed fiber, batts and yarn and Laura's bags.  This is my first BIG show and I am so excited and nervous.

I will post pictures of the wheel and fiber soon.