Friday, April 26, 2013

I Wanna Touch It!

Oh, how I wish you could!  I really, really, wish you could just reach through your screen and pet the yarns in my shop (with clean hands, of course!) 

A question I'm frequently asked is, "how soft is this yarn?  Is it softer than cheap acrylic yarn?  Is it as soft as my favorite craft store yarn?" 

Well, I do try to give you that info in the listings . . . but knowledge is power!  So, I'm going to fill you in on the details about micron count, how I decide if a fiber is next to skin soft, and a quick overview of fibers I use in order of softness. 

MICRON COUNT
No, not the techie kind . . . the fiber kind!  Micron refers to a measurement - a teeny tiny measurement! - of the diameter of just one fiber.  Finer fiber - or fiber with a smaller diameter - is generally going to be softer than a fiber with a higher micron number.  So if soft is your thing, you're looking for a low number, not a high one.  (Think baby fine hair as opposed to my wiry, coarse hair!)  

HOW SOFT IS IT?  
In my listings you will see the following descriptors -
  • Not next to skin soft - this fiber is itchy.  It just is.  Its still fun yarn, but don't make a cowl out of it.  It might be best to use as trim or for an item you don't wear on your skin. 
  • Next to skin soft for some - this fiber is just a little itchy if I lay it on my arm.  It might not bother you one bit, but its just a little coarse for this sensitive skinned lime! 
  • Next to skin soft for most - this fiber is a little itchy for my neck, but soft and lovely on my arm.  If I were making something with it, I might not choose a scarf or cowl, but just about anything else would be lovely. 
  • Next to skin soft - this fiber feels luxurious and soft, even on my neck.  I might also call this yummy. 
  • More than next to skin soft - I would bathe in this.  Seriously soft. 
You will probably notice that I like to work with fibers that are next to skin soft for most or softer. 


FIBER GUIDE
*remember, each sheep or other cute critter will have its own style!  This is just a general guide based on the samples I've gotten my greedy fiber mitts on.* 
  • Corriedale/Domestic Wool/Superwash Wool/Jacobs/Shetland/Romney/Other Farm Wools - these are often nameless breeds, a mix of wools, or ones you won't have heard of.  Springy and durable, they'd make great socks or other items that see a lot of wear and tear.  These are usually in the 24 to 28 micron range. 
  • Punta Wool - This is usually pretty soft!  Its a blend of wool breeds from South America, and the batch I get does make a difference, but we're usually looking at next to skin soft for most or next to skin soft.  This is my favorite economical option for people who are on a tight budget wanting to use handspun yarn.  Usually Punta is 22 to 24 micron. 
  • Superwash BFL Wool - sometimes the chemical processed used to make fiber machine washable also makes it a little less soft.  See the next entry for more info about BFL Wool. 
  • BFL Wool - Blue Faced Leicester wool is curlier than merino.  It is just slightly less soft.  It often has a subtle sheen. 
  • Polwarth Wool - A merino bred with a little bit of Lincoln, this fiber is longer and curlier than merino too and just slightly less soft.  The polwarth I purchase is usually 21 to 23 micron. 
  • Ramboulliet Wool - Another breed with just a little longer fiber than merino, but just as soft.  I've usually gotten Ramboulliet that is 21 micron. 
  • Superwash Merino Wool - I usually buy superwash lambswool merino, but sometimes not.  This will usually be just slightly less soft than merino, but if its lambswool, sometimes its just as soft! 
  • Merino Wool - This is one of the softest wools I get my hands on.  Most merino spinners use is between 18 and 22 micron. 
Other fine wools I get to work with from time to time include Finn, Cormo, Targhee, and Columbia.  These will often be as soft as BFL all the way to softer than merino. 

Other luxe, insane soft fibers you may see include yak, cashmere,

camel, angora bunny, cria (baby) alpaca, silk, bamboo, milk protein fiber, and tencel.  
 
I use alpaca sometimes.  Alpaca can vary in softness.  I try to get my hands on the soft stuff, though!  (18 to 23 micron.) 

Sometimes I use nylon.  It can be crazy soft - like faux cashmere - or a workhorse nylon for sock blends

A word on sparkle - I personally find firestar less poky than angelina . . . neither are "ohmygoodnesscrazysoft" but sometimes you just need some sparkle! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Skeins, Hanks, and Balls

One question I'm often asked is, "Why don't you send out my yarn in center pull balls?"  Well.  Lets talk about it! 

When a yarn is pulled off the bobbin of my spinning wheel, I wrap it on something called a Niddy Noddy.  It looks like the letter I, but with the bottom line twisted 90 degrees.  I use that thing to count the yards as I wind off your yarn.  Then, I wash the yarn (still in a big loop) and hang it up to dry.  When its dry, that big loop of strands is called a HANK.  When I twist the hank on itself after photographing, its now called a SKEIN.  I pretty that up and send it to you!  

 SKEIN

 HANK

I do not put the yarn into center pull balls because its not very good for your yarn!  If you're going to use yarn right away, a center pull ball is a fine choice - keeps everything nice and tidyIf you're going to think about it for a little while, store it in your stash, a center pull ball is not the right choice for Fine Lime handspun.  It can cause some problems!  
  • A ball is much tighter and compact than a skein.  For nice, loffty, squishy handspun, it will flatten your yarn out by smooshing the fibers.  This would be an especially sad fate for thick and thin yarn! 
  • A ball doesn't allow for air flow through the fiber, so if the humidity changes, moisture can be trapped inside, causing yucky things like decomposition and mold.  
You can easily create a center pull ball at home.  The fastest/easiest way is to buy an inxepensive swift (looks like an umbrella!  It holds your hank in a big loop and spins as you wind) and ball winder.  For shorter projects, I know several knitters and hookers who choose just to work from the yarn on the swift. A less expensive way is to use a nostepine (tapered stick, basically!  You can even use a large knitting needle) and wind by hand. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Winners!

Time to announce the winners of our two, fabulous, fan appreciation giveaways!
Winners, please email
thefinelime@gmail.com ASAP to claim your prize.  If you do not claim your prize by Thursday, July 5th, I will draw a new winner. 
Did you win something you can't use or don't want?  Let me know in your email RIGHT AWAY and I will draw a new winner.  The sooner you let me know, the more likely you are to win something else!  Your entry will be freed for other redraws. 
PLEASE NOTE - prizes are non transferrable, non refundable, not exchangeable, and not redeemable for cash. 

HOOKED ON CUTE
Mo & Ozzy Starfish Sunhat - DEB

CLAIMED  Crochet Me 'N Mine $25 Credit - MELISSA
CLAIMED  Lollypops and Bellyflops Drops of Jupiter Hat - MELISSA

CLAIMED  My Loopy Lil Monsters $10 toward any hat - MANDI
CLAIMED  Eskimo Kisses Custom Penguin Hat - MELISSA
CLAIMED  Kristin's Kreations Headband - JENNIFER
CLAIMED  Loopsy Daisy Apple Bonnet - KATIE
CLAIMED  Monique's Craft Corner Halo (any size) - MANDI
CLAIMED  A Piece of the Plan Conductor Beanie - MANDI
CLAIMED  Simplistic by Sondra $25 credit - MANDI
CLAIMED  Lil Tot Shots Photography Headband - KIA
CLAIMED  Treaured by Holly Crown - MELISSA
CLAIMED  Reni's Closet Sack Hat - MELISSA

CRAFTER'S PARADISE
CLAIMED  I Love to Crochet Feature - BAILEY
I Love to Crochet Feature - VICTORIA
CLAIMED  I Love to Crochet Feature - KIA
CLAIMED  Creations By Valorie Pattern Pack - AVRILYN
CLAIMED  Creations By Valorie Pattern Pack - RACHEL WATERS
CLAIMED  Creations By Valorie Pattern Pack - WHIMSICAL WARMTH
CLAIMED  The Fine Lime Thick and Thin Merino Yarn - WHIMSICAL WARMTH
CLAIMED  By Your Side Itty Bitty Brittney Bag - PIPERQ
CLAIMED  Stack a Rock Ranch Mohair Locks - SHANNON
CLAIMED  Woven Wool Wear $10 credit - AVRILYN
CLAIMED  Wild Wind Naturals Hand Dyed Merino - CANDICE
CLAIMED  Sassy Yarn Barn $35 credit - AVRILYN
CLAIMED  The Fine Lime Custom Dye Day Spin - AVRILYN

Monday, June 25, 2012

Etsyversary Giveaway - Hooked on Cute!

The Fine Lime is one year old and SO MUCH FUN!  Not only that, but we have reached 2500 fans on Facebook!  So, in true FAN APPRECIATION fashion, we're having a big multi-vendor giveaway full of all the cute you can handle - much of it crochet!  Check out these BEAUTIFUL prizes from generous sponsors!
(For your first entry - go "like" each page and then, comment that you have done so, including a way to contact you - email, etsy profile link, twitter @ - if you don't provide a way for me to contact you, it will be difficult for you to claim your prize!)


Want to win my YARN?  Scroll down to the next post for ANOTHER fab giveaway! 

This fun, summery cotton sun hat from my Mo & Ozzy days!  This hat is sized to fit a child ages 5 to 10 and is suitable for boys and girls. 


$25 to spend at Crochet Me 'N Mine
FAN PAGE -
https://www.facebook.com/BaileysCrochetMe
This SUPER ADORBS Drops of Jupiter newborn photography prop from Lollypops and Bellyflops


$10 off any HAT purchase at My Loopy Lil Monsters

This INCREDIBLY adorable Crochet Penguin Earflap Hat, black with turqoise, orange and white. This hat will be made to order, any size from nb-toddler.   Handmade for you by Eskimo Kisses!


This simple and CUTE hand crocheted 3-strand headband from Kristin's Kreations in purple, blue, and fuscia.  (Ships free to US, but $1.50 charge to ship to Canada, thanks!)

A totally SWEET apple bonnet newborn photography prop from Loopsy Daisy! 


This precious handmade halo from Monique's Craft Corner - which will be made in a size you request - newborn through adult! 

An adorable newborn Train Conductor Beanie made from upcycled materials by A Piece of the Plan! 
 


A $25.00 Gift Certificate to spend at Simplistic by Sondra.  This excludes items made from handspun yarn. and includes FREE shipping in the US, international rates may apply. 


Lil Tot Shots Photography is going to send a surprise crochet flower headband to her winner!  She will pick the color, winner to pay $2 shipping. 

Treasured by Holly has this SUPERCUTE photo prop crown to give away!  Princess Tiara in Gold - Photograph your new little princess in syle with this super cute super chic tiara. This item is ready to ship.  It is a newborn size, and fits up to 14".  She is happy to pay shipping.

Reni's Closet is generously sending one lucky winner this INSANELY SOFT newborn sized 'sack' hat, made from supersoft alpaca yarn in ivory and baby blue.  ***Winner to pay shipping


*whew*  So many goodies!  Want extra entries?  Here's how to get them!   YOU MUST LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY YOU COMPLETE!
  • Share a link to this giveaway on Facebook (maximum of three times)
  • Tweet the link to this giveaway on Twitter (maximum of once daily)
  • Share a link to this giveaway on Google+ (maximum of three times)
  • Pin this giveaway on Pinterest
  • Add a participating Etsy shop to your favorites on Etsy (you can do this for each listed shop).  
  • Share your favorite photo from a participating Facebook Fan Page on Facebook.  Please tag the page if you can.  (you can do this for each page once a day to earn lots of entries!)   
  • Pin your fav item from a participating online shop on Pinterest (unlimited)
  • Complete a purchase from a participating sponsor during the giveaway event (unlimited)
  • Share a link to an item from a participating online shop on Google+ (maximum of one item per shop, per day)
  • Tweet an item from a participating online shop on Twitter (maximum of one item per shop, per day)
  • Tweet a link to a photo from a participating fan page on Twitter (maximum of one photo per shop, per day)
This giveaway opens Monday, June 25th, 2012 and closes at 7pm MOUNTAIN TIME on Saturday, June 30, 2012. 
Winners will be announced on this blog and all be contacted with the information they provided by Monday, July 2nd, 2012.  If a winner does not respond to claim their prize by Thursday, July 5th, 2012, a new winner will be drawn. 
This giveaway is open to all, but international winners may need to pay a small amount for shipping. 
This giveaway is only sponsored by The Fine Lime and Participants.  Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, Google+ and Pinterest are in no way responsible for this event. 
Prizes are not returnable, non refundable, and not redeemable for cash. 

Etsyversary Giveaway - Crafter's Paradise


Happy first birthday to The Fine Lime and a BIG THANK YOU to all the customers and fans who have made this year CRAFTASTIC!  In honor of my super talented customers, this giveaway is tailor made for crafty divas.  Check out these BEAUTIFUL prizes from generous sponsors! 
(For your first entry - go "like" each page and then, comment that you have done so, including a way to contact you - email, etsy profile link, twitter @)

THREE WINNERS - A 5 Photo Shopping Spree Feature of your facebook page at I Love to Crochet!
FAN PAGE -
http://www.facebook.com/ilove2crochet

THREE WINNERS - A SIX pack of crochet patterns from Creations By Valorie!  (And YES, she has patterns specifically for handspun yarn!)

This skein of turquoise thick and thin merino handspun yarn from ME!  The Fine Lime!  It is next to skin soft and measures 42 yds and 2.9 oz's. 


This adorable Itty Bitty Brittney Bag from By Your Side - perfect for your creative projects! 
Travel in style! The Itty Bitty Brittney Bag is the perfect size for all of your necessities! Her drawstring closure cinches tight to keep all of your stuff secure and padded to keep things safe! She also has FIVE interior pockets!
The Itty Bitty Brittney Bag would also make a perfect first purse for that special little girl or a GREAT knitting bag for that sock project!
She is 100% cotton, machine wash, cold, on gentle cycle, dry on low or line dry, iron as needed.
She is approximately 8.5” tall, 5” wide and 3” deep = 21.59cm tall, 12.7cm wide and 7.62cm deep




4 oz's of amazing, glossy, washed mohair locks from Stack a Rock Ranch and Maggie! - fun to spin, dye, or use as doll hair. 



$10 to spend at Woven Wool Wear on Etsy!  (She has HANDSPUN YARN!!!)


This GORGEOUS hand dyed, 4 oz braid of soft, 21 micron merino combed top from Wild Wind Naturals. 
Etsy Shop - www.etsy.com/shop/WWNaturals


$35 to spend at Sassy Yarn Barn.  Can you guess what she has?  HANDSPUN YARN! 



LAST BUT NOT LEAST - one winner will recieve the next DyeDay photo from The Fine Lime emailed to them and will get to choose one braid.  They will get to CHOOSE to have it spun thick and thin, worsted weight, sport weight, or bulky 2 ply and sent to them FREE.  



*whew* So many goodies! Want extra entries? Here's how to get them! YOU MUST LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY YOU COMPLETE!
  • Share a link to this giveaway on Facebook (maximum of three times)
  • Tweet the link to this giveaway on Twitter (maximum of once daily)
  • Share a link to this giveaway on Google+ (maximum of three times)
  • Pin this giveaway on Pinterest
  • Add a participating Etsy shop to your favorites on Etsy (you can do this for each listed shop).
  • Share your favorite photo from a participating Facebook Fan Page on Facebook .  Please tag the page if you can!  (you can do this for each page once a day to earn lots of entries!)
  • Pin your fav item from a participating Etsy shop on Pinterest (unlimited)
  • Complete a purchase from a participating sponsor during the giveaway event (unlimited)
  • Share a link to an item from a participating Etsy shop on Google+ (maximum of one item per shop, per day)
  • Tweet an item from a participating Etsy shop on Twitter (maximum of one item per shop, per day)
  • Tweet a link to a photo from a participating fan page on Twitter (maximum of one photo per shop, per day)
  • Share a photo on Facebook of an item you made using something purchased from a participating sponsor (please tag the sponsor in your post!) 
  • Share a photo on Google+ of an item you made using something purchased from a participating sponsor.  (maximum of once per item you created.)
  • Tweet a photo of an item you made using something purchased from a participating sponsor.  (maximum of once per item you created.) 
  • Pin a photo of an item you made using something purchased from a participating sponsor on Pinterest.  (maximum of once per item you created.) 

This giveaway opens Monday, June 25th, 2012 and closes at 7pm MOUNTAIN TIME on Saturday, June 30, 2012.
Winners will be announced on this blog and all be contacted with the information they provided by Monday, July 2nd, 2012. If a winner does not respond to claim their prize by Thursday, July 5th, 2012, a new winner will be drawn.
This giveaway is open to all, but international winners may need to pay a small amount for shipping.
This giveaway is only sponsored by The Fine Lime and Participants. Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, Google+ and Pinterest are in no way responsible for this event.
Prizes are not returnable, non refundable, and not redeemable for cash.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Fine Lime Turns One!


Can you believe it?!?!
The Fine Lime turns 1 year old in less than a week. That's right, its my Etsyversary, and what's an Etsyversary without some fantastic shenanigans?!?!
Next week we will have coupon codes and hold tandem giveaways - TWO fabulous giveaways . . . . one full of crafty shop supplies and one with finished items . . . . and they will be easy to enter with FUN ways to win extra entries.
Can you guess what we'll be giving away?!?!? Yep, Fine Lime goodies and some cute crochet from my Mo and Ozzy Days.
In addition, I have a crowd of lovely and talented sponsors! How about a sneak peek? 


I Love to Crochet

Loopsy Daisy



Creations by Valorie

Crochet Me 'N Mine
Eskimo Kisses 


By Your Side
 http://www.etsy.com/shop/ByYourSide2009

Lollypops and Bellyflops


Stack A Rock Ranch


Monique's Craft Corner

Sassy Yarn Barn
www.dunbarsassy.etsy.com


Woven Wool Wear


Kristin's Kreations

My Loopy Lil Monsters

-

A Piece of the Plan