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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Catching Up & Puni Club News!

Time has flown by since my last post. Where did May go? And spring for that matter?!

Things at Gourmet Stash HQ have been busy! I've been sending in festival applications, working on new sets of punis, doing custom listings, creating dyeabolical plans of awesomeness (which you will hear more about in the rest of this post), figuring out long term plans for the shop, starting a Summer of Stash-Along with the Craftstash podcast, starting a Tour de Fleece Team...oh and adding new shipping destinations! Whew! I'm exhausted just going through that list. It doesn't even include all of the additional plans I am making! But more on that another time.

Those of you that follow me on Instagram (katydidknits) got to see a teaser for the Gourmet Stash Puni Club 2014! I was so excited I couldn't wait to share the news. Read below for all of the details!

The theme of the club is "Community Supported Fiber". Which draws inspiration from local Farmer's Markets, CSA Shares (community supported agriculture) and working with businesses in my home state of Maryland. By having CSF as the theme, you get a "share" in creating something new that hasn't been done before but that I hope to keep doing year after year. 

The Club will span 6 months starting Jan 2014 to June 2014. The club packages will ship every other month, for a total of 3 packages shipping no later than Jan 31st, March 31st, May 31st.

Sign-ups start June 1st 2013 and end August 31st 2013. 

Each club package will contain: 
  • 2 oz of punis (half share) or 4 oz of punis (full share) created from an exclusive colorway dyed by either Dragonfly Fibers, Threeravens or Cephalopod Yarns. The colorway will be exclusive to club members for 1 year.
  • A locally sourced goodie/extra
  • A handwritten note
  • Themed Packaging
  • A coupon code good for 20% off 1 future order with Gourmet Stash (expires Dec 31st 2014)
  • Access to a super secret site for a "behind the scenes" of each club shipment. You will have notes from the dyer, notes from the fiber artist, info on where and who the goodie came from. Also, there will be pictures and details about a local Maryland farmer's market you can visit.
 Half-Share: $180($60 per shipment) Full-Share: $270($90 per shipment)
 Half-Share: $225($75 per shipment) Full-Share: $315($105 per shipment)

Club prices includes Priority Mail shipping for US members, and First Class International shipping for International members. 

Payment for the club is required in full. I am sorry that I am unable to offer a different payment option. This is because the club requires a vast amount of lead time for purchasing the dyed fiber, goodies, packaging, carding the fiber, assembling and shipping the packages.

For those with allergies (scent, food or fiber) please make sure you mention it in the notes to seller. I will make sure your shipment doesn't include items that may cause you any issues. This will mean swapping out certain fibers or other items. But I will make sure your goodies and punis are just as awesome as everyone else's. 

There will be a total of 25 spots in the club. This is regardless if you choose a Half-Share or a Full-Share for your membership. In future club offerings I will try to increase the number of spots to meet the demand. But for now, that is a firm 25 spots. On June 1st I will post the listings through etsy for you to purchase. 

I truly hope you're all as excited as I am for the club and the surprises I have in store for you. It is going to be EPIC! That much I can promise you. =D

Happy Spinning,

Mason Jar graphic from Rhoda Designs Studio. Edited by Kate Blaney. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Festival Road Trip

Wow. What a week! I spent this past week in crunch time preparing for the Powhatan Festival of Fiber on Saturday (4/27/13). Sadly, I was sick with a sinus infection right before the festival, but I managed to push through and get almost everything done. And somehow manage to be fairly mellow the entire time before I headed down. It was magic! ;)

So, below you'll find a very photo heavy "diary" of my trip down and back! 

All packed up and ready to head out! I drove down the day before the festival so I could set up a canopy tent with some help from the event committee. So, before I left Urbana, I stopped by my local Giant grocery store to grab a few things and some Starbucks for the road. (please excuse my pollinated/dirty car; it was one of the few things I didn't get done)

I made really good time getting down to the Midlothian/Powhatan area. Even with a few stops along the way and taking a wrong exit. Full disclosure, I am renowned for getting lost/taking wrong turns. Just ask some of my friends. They can tell you all about it. ;) And I-95 South wasn't bad at all! (well, I did accidentally take the HOV lane around the heavy construction and couldn't get out of it...which is WHY I got down there in excellent time!)

I did have to stop off and pick up some gravel to weigh down my tent. And saw this super cool looking Western store! Next time I go down to Midlothian I will be stopping here!

Once I got into Powhatan I quickly made my way to where the festival grounds were and chatted with the lovely staff. Seriously. They were so well organized and pleasant. I couldn't have asked for better people to work with. I had help with setting up my tent(Mary Claire, You rocked! Thank you again!). But once it was up I took a while to arrange my tables. The section my booth space area was in, was gently sloped. So I wanted to make sure the tables had good footing and wouldn't hobble if someone leaning was on them. But aside from that, I got the basics set up quickly, so all I had to do the next day was set up my merchandise. 

After the canopy tent, tables, and crates were set up I left to go to my hotel in Chester, VA. I relaxed, had chinese food for dinner and painted my nails! (I used Julep polish in Esmerelda)

I left at 6:30am from the hotel to get gas, Starbucks and then to head back to Powhatan! (are you sensing a theme here? Good coffee for road trips is essential!)

I got everything set out and ready about 45 minutes before the gates opened for the festival goers. Note the paper flowers/punis my daughter made for the booth to the left of the sign.
I am planning on bringing them to every festival I can!
 Also, I was very excited to visit a few nearby vendors. I didn't snap very many pictures sadly. So below are a few of the ones I did happen to get. 

I met Dani from KSC Designs. And wow. Her eye for color and pattern is incredible!!

That green double chevron box bag was calling to me. And I had meant to go back to see if it was still there. But, things got crazy once vendors started breaking down their booths. So I couldn't really leave my tent to go see her. BUT! I do plan on stalking her etsy shop. Regularly. 

I also had some amazing booths around me. Kelly Glass Studio was full of lots of pretty fibery and non-fibery stuff. The spindles I wanted. Badly. But I held off because my son wouldn't be able to resist the shiny spindle with the metal shaft..with sharp ends. Cygnet Hollow Farm was also next to me but I didn't snap any pics. However, the owner's daughter Guinevere was a delight. So much so, that I gave her a display-only pom-pom for her to play with. She made me think of my Gwen and how much I would love having her along for shows when she is older. 

My husband Jeff and our son Henry came down from Maryland on Saturday to give me a break, find me some lunch and hang out for a bit. Henry fell in love with the sheep! And kept running to where they were being held by the sheep shearing demo area by the stage. He was super cute, a teensy bit grumpy. But we can forgive him that. Both of my men had a good time. 

Jeff and Henry went and got me an incredible BBQ sandwich for lunch. Which had coleslaw on it...and honestly. I hate coleslaw. But THEIR coleslaw was amazing. Fresh, not too sweet not too tangy. Just enough crunch without any bitterness. So. It is fair to say I am finally after 29 years of loathing coleslaw entirely.... now converted to liking it. A bit. Or more specifically I like their coleslaw!

So at the end of the day this was all of the hand carded punis I had leftover. I brought 17.5 ounces of punis and left with 5 ounces. I met so many amazing people and had a lovely time. I did on the fly hand carding demos and supported spindle demos. And, chatted with a lot of people about what punis are and the differences between them and rolags. Lots of education in the Gourmet Stash booth! 
I took a bit longer to break down than I would've liked. But I really attribute that to just being tired. I headed back to the hotel and hung out with Jeff and Henry for the evening. 

We took Henry to the indoor pool and I spun some punis on my supported spindle. It was very relaxing. And as you can see Henry had a ton of fun! (not pictured is my husband, who is right across from Henry)
The next morning we loaded up the cars, had a quick breakfast and headed out for Frederick, MD. 

There was a ton of traffic on I-95 NB and I really just wanted to get home. Fast. But, I did the whole 3 hour drive back with no pitstops. And when I got into the house, I left the car in the garage unpacked and sat down and played with my spindle. It is safe to say my brain was zombie-like. All static, no coherent thoughts. 

All in all...I had a great trip! On Monday I took inventory and put up all of the punis in the shop. I do have some new Make Your own Punis Kits that I need to list; but I am having an issue with my tutorial file. So once that is taken care of I can print the tutorials and then put them up for sale. 

If you happened to come out to the festival this past weekend. Thank You! It was a wonderful day. I hope you come to the festival next year. And the year after that...and the year after that. ;) 

Hope everyone has a spectacular week! I know my week will consist of some much needed down time peppered with a bit of work. Also, I will gearing up for Maryland Sheep & Wool this weekend. I am attending as a festival goer and planning to meet up with a bunch of friends and hang out. 
Two weekends in a row full of fibery goodness! I am one lucky lady!

Take Care & Happy Crafting!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

So then...

It has been a bit since I last blogged about the happenings here at Gourmet Stash HQ. And well, that is because I have been super busy preparing for updates and for.... festivals!!

I am happy to announce that I will be at the following events:

Powhatan Festival of Fiber April 27th 2013 in Powhatan, VA

SpinQuest August 24th 2013 in Front Royal, VA

Follow the links and check out these great festivals. I will be adding more to the list as I hear back on the status of my applications. Also, please note that when I have a festival coming up the update schedule will go to just a Friday night update. This will give me time to focus on preparing for the show and still give you an update for the week.

This past week, I attended the Raggawest classes at Fibre Space in Alexandria VA. Which I must say, was a total joy. If you ever have a chance to take their classes I would jump on it. Because they are very creative, rule-free and full of laughs.

It took me a few days to fully process everything I learned. And yesterday I created two really fun batts based on Stephen's jeans and a pic from his tumblr, Colorscout. So the inspiration bug really bit me hard. lol

Acid Green Jeans

 Hot Pink Painted Brick 

These two batts were included in last nights' update. I am trying to source the green mohair so I can make the "Acid Green Jeans" a repeatable batt. But the "Hot Pink Painted Brick" batt IS repeatable. So if you'd like one send me a convo! I'd be more than happy to make more of it. 

And finally...I am super excited to announce a giveaway! This one is specifically for those planning on attending or thinking about attending the Powhatan Festival of Fiber in Powhatan, VA. 

The giveaway is for:
Two (2) tickets to the Powhatan Festival of Fiber (one for you and a friend)
Two (2) 15% off coupons at the Gourmet Stash Booth (one for you and a friend)

To enter go to the Gourmet Stash Ravelry group and leave a comment in the giveaway thread. On Friday 4/19/13 I will announce the winner and mail out their tickets and coupons. 

Hope to see you at an upcoming festival!
Happy Spinning,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

HYP Recap & Etc.

     If you happened to come on out to the Homespun Yarn Party this past Sunday, I hope you had an awesome time. I know I did! The HYP sort of kicks of the season of festivals to me-- gets you excited for MDS&W and spring! As always the committee, vendors, advertisers, volunteers and party goers rocked! ;)

Savage Mill

      This year at HYP I was a volunteer and really enjoyed helping friends old and new unload and tear down their booths. As well as be a greeter for party-goers. It was a great day and if you're ever in the area and can make it out I highly recommend it. While at the festival I had arranged with my friend Patrick to buy his Louet Jr. drum carder. And I am happy to say it is now in my studio all set up and happy. Big thanks again to Patrick for being so generous and kind. 

What I love most about this specific drum carder is the 72 tpi (teeth per square inch)! It is more coarse than the Strauch (128 tpi) I am borrowing from Kate of Dragonfly Fibers. So I can really go nuts with the Art batts on this one. Which then leaves the Strauch carder for the smoother batts. Though, I can do art batts on it as well. But I think I will reserve the Louet Jr. for the really funky batts. Though as long as I take good care of both I can do whatever I like. Which...I do! Because I would hate to have to replace either carder. One thing I really urge all fiber/spinning enthusiasts to do is, to take care of your equipment. If you do, then they will last you generations.

     In other news... this week Kristin of the Yarngasm video podcast is having a Fibery Tribble giveaway! If you'd like to enter for her giveaway go watch the newest episode for more information. There is also a super cute watercolor print giveaway happening. So you should enter for that one too! 

     For tonight's update I've got some new Bon-Bons made from my new drum carder. But they're not the normal mini-batts so you'll just have to check them out! ( hint: I had a lot of fun making these and was VERY inspired by Macklemore! ) 

Happy Spinning!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

3/22 Update & A Studio Revamp!

     Just a few items going up in tonight's update. Sorry-- I got side tracked by a few things. ( read below and you'll know why! lol ) However, in the update I am indlucing a "test" product. This week I tried out a new style of drum carding. Lots of extra blending and keeping each batt a single color. I was really inspired by all of the ombre and gradient yarns and fibers I've seen recently. Specifically the crew at Cephalopod Yarns. Their ombre mini palettes are incredible! I am hoping that soon they will give ombre fiber a test run. But in the mean time...

 Here is my take on the gradient trend!

      I learned a lot with making this set. Like, there is such a thing as over-blending fiber lol! I won't be making that particular mistake again. Please feel free to join the Ravelry Group and let me know what you think of the gradient sparkle batts! Or just come on over and share what you've got going on with your projects and ideas. And if you're a bit shy that is okay. Lurking is completely fine with me. ;)

     So, you may remember something about Fibery Tribbles with Wednesday's update. Well, I've been making lots and lots of them. ( hence the whole side-tracked thing...) But that is because they are so. much. FUN! The only problem, is that I was running out of surface space. So, my amazing husband jumped in last night and finished putting together the rest of the tables for my mini-studio in our Morning Room. 

We doubled the work space in one night and now I've got tons and tons of room to store my fiber, batts, punis, and shipping materials. Because of all of this extra space I made another 30 Fibery Tribbles today!

Again.. do I need to say it? They are addictive. 

     Then today, lots of great business-related stuff happened. I am not going to bore you with the details. Lots of it has to do with business tax and licensing stuff. Again, very boring. But, the best part was getting my PayPal Here card reader in the mail. 

     So now I will be able to accept credit cards/payment anywhere!

     Which means, I will ( hopefully ) be vendoring at a few festivals this year. When I hear back on my vendor applications I will let you know the wheres & whens. Overall though, I had an awesome work week. Which aside from the business admin stuff didn't feel like work at all. Which is the best kind of "work" in my humble opinion. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend! 
Happy Spinning!

PS - If you're in the Maryland/DC/VA/PA region come on out to the Homespun Yarn Party in Savage Mill, MD. I go almost every year and it is tons of fun! The lovely Kate of Dragonfly Fibers and Sarah of Cephalopod Yarns will be there alongside many, many other equally wonderful vendors.  If you're interested in attending... go to the Homespun Yarn Party blog for all of the details and lists of vendors. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tribbles and Bon-Bons

     I have been ahead of schedule this week! Ever since we created the drum carding station in the Morning Room I have been able to get a lot more done. Which makes me happy, the kids happy and best of all-- my husband happy. And, in my opinion, when you're happy it really shows in the things you do. So for a good portion of my week I created new Bon-Bons for the shop. 

All of the happiest, fun, and bright colors I could think to use went into making them. I smile every time I look at them. And then, I have to touch them. Because who could resist these lil guys?!

     I posted a sneak peek of them on Instagram yesterday and got so many sweet comments and lots of positive feedback. My favorite comment was from Kristin of the Yarngasm Video Podcast, "Woah! Fibery Tribbles!!". Which is right on target. They're cute, fluffy and multiplied at an astounding rate! So this group of  Bon-Bons are called Fibery Tribbles and will be listed in the shop for tonight's mini update. Which may go up sooner rather than later. Like, this afternoon! =D

Happy Spinning!

Monday, March 18, 2013

We Have a Winner!

     Over the weekend I held a giveaway in celebration of St.Patrick's Day. The prize was a brand new set of Dyer Mashup! punis, a bottle of Julep nail polish and a 15% off coupon.

And I am happy to announce our winner... 


     It just so happens that she is also from Maryland and a friend of mine. She is super sweet and one heck of a knitter and spinner. You can catch Elizabeth talking about knitting, spinning and her life over on her blog Just Add Fiber. Thanks again Elizabeth and I can't wait for you to play with your goodies!

     This week will have our usual updates; a mini update on Wednesday and a regular update on Friday. I've decided to have the set time for the updates be 10:00PM EST. I find that this works best for our family dynamic and gives me enough time to get everything finalized to go live.
    In other fun news, yesterday my husband and I put together a drum carding station in our Morning Room (aka dining room/kid computer area/arts & crafts area). 

     This way I can still watch the kids and romp around in the fiber. Though we will be changing out the tables next weekend. But, you get the idea. =D And after this coming Sunday I will have two drum carders to play with. A very sweet friend/fellow fan of Dragonfly Fibers will be selling me his Louet Jr. drum carder. So lots of fun to come from the carding station(s).

     Just an FYI, next month I will have another giveaway-- so let me know what you would like to see. Handspun? Batts? Punis Samplers? Comment below or shoot me an email. I'd really love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Spinning!