3.22.2010

giveaway: my friend london

Oh happy Monday. Meet this week's maker: My Friend London. Great name, eh? Think of her as your go-getter friend who does it all. Not only does she spin her own yarn, but she dyes, knits, and sells it too. London lives in the East Metro with her husband, daughter, and a few furry friends. Never too late for St. Patty's Day, let's give it up for her great green giveaway:

"One lucky reader will receive this 94-yard skein of soft and lofty handspun in shades of green and blue (below). It's a chunky-weight yarn measuring about 8 wraps per inch. It would make a darling small project like a hat, baby item or wrist warmers. It's very soft and cozy, 100% wool hand dyed in my kitchen and spun in the company of my family and pets. I wash, dry and store the yarns away from the critters. Hand wash and dry flat."
Even if you weren't blessed with the knitting gene, leave a comment & win this for someone who was! Here's how you can win and get this skein in your hands and needles:

1. {Comment to enter} Tell about your current needlework project or what you might knit up if you were to win this green goodness.

or

2. {Link back} to this post &/or London's shop with fb, twitter, or your blog and post a comment here to show us where to find it.

or

3. Do both and double up your odds.

However you choose to enter, do it before Wed 3/24 at 11:59pm CST. The randomly selected lucky lady (or lad!?) will be announced first thing Thursday a.m.
Now on to the Q's & A's with our friend London...

How did you get your start & find your niche?
Honestly, I think I was born crafty. Both my mom and grandmother are excellent at sewing and needle crafts so I'm sure I was influenced by them to a great degree. But the fiber arts are definitely my favorite. I learned to knit from a Norwegian foreign exchange student my family hosted my senior year of high school. She cranked out those fantastic fair isle sweaters in the round and I knew I had to try.

What possessed inspired you to take up spinning?
I happened upon some lovely hand dyed roving at the Shepherd's Harvest festival a few years ago and decided I'd learn to use a drop spindle. It was so gratifying to actually MAKE YARN. And I just wanted to make more and more, so I knew a spinning wheel was in my future. I use a Louet S15 double treadle. It's parked in front of my favorite chair and I try to spin every day. My husband and daughter put up with me spinning while we watch Mystery Science Theater, Mythbusters and Hitchcock movies.

What's your favorite part of the process?
It's super fun to dye the fiber and see the yarn create itself before my eyes. I love plying the strands together the best because I really never know what two colors will combine at any given time, it's magical to see the skeins develop.

What was your biggest craft-tastrophe?
I started out making crafty concoctions in the kitchen... one when I was nine years old involved a bottle of green food coloring splashing out onto my mom's new (awesome 1970s plaid) kitchen wallpaper and curtains. I got in some pretty serious hot water, but it definitely didn't stop me...

What advice do you have for aspiring handmade mavens?
For anyone interested in taking their crafting to the next level and selling online, Don't be shy about promoting yourself. Even if you haven't made one sale, get yourself business cards (I like those cute little ones from moo.com) and hand them out to everyone. Go to events in your community where you can make connections and hand out those cards. Post regularly on sites like ravelry, twitter, facebook, myspace, etc. Read everything available to sellers on Etsy. There is a ton of useful advice there. If you are doing what you love and posting new items all the time, people will notice.

Where can we find more of you?
At myfriendlondon.com, or on my flickr. I will also be participating in Craftstravaganza, an annual indie craft show in St. Paul, MN on May 1. Please swing by my booth to say hi. I'll be selling handspun yarn, hand dyed yarn, roving and other spinning supplies and 100% natural soy wax votive candles.


Photography by Leslie Plesser

24 comments:

Simply Live said...

Oh goodness! Can I say that the yarn is BEAUTIFUL! I love to crochet and I think that if I won this beautiful skein, I would make a cute set of wrist warmers. I have had my eye on a pattern for awhile now and have been dying to try it! Thanks for the chance to win!

ashley said...

I'm a knitter, and this would make a cute hat for my little boy!

Kim said...

I'm a big fan of London's yarn -- it's wonderful! If I won this I would make a hat for my 4-year-old daughter, whose favorite color is green. Thanks!

Jenny said...

All of the yarn is beautiful! I am currently working on knitting a maroon cable knit wrap and if I were to win this yarn I think I would use it to whip up some cable knit mug cozies, they are super fun and quick to make. Also I posted this giveaway on my blog www.everythingtrendy.blogspot.com

{eleise} said...

oh man...i wish i could knit! i could crochet something fun with it thought right?! =)maybe a hat...

Hil said...

I just got my first set of crocheting hooks and would love to have this for one of my very first projects!

Thanks for the chance to win. What a beautiful blog you have!

Leslie said...

oh Jess love the new banner and did you make the paper flower.. I was relooking for a tutorial I saw on those the other day..

Im not a knitter but would love to learn..or give to a dear friend of mine as a gifty who loves to knit!

kristin said...

i'm just gettin' into knittin' and this looks lovely!

Hannah said...

How beautiful! I am a newbie knitter/crocheter. I'd love to have some pretty yarn to work with.

Thank you for the fabulous giveaway!

Amanda said...

That yarn is beautiful! I'm not a knitter, but my mother-in-law is and she would go crazy over this give away. Considering both her birthday and mother's day are coming up, this would make a nice little gift!

Holly said...

Hmm, not a knitter but I am crafty. I would use this yarn to make enrichment for my monkey charges at the zoo like a small hammock. Zookeepers are always looking for new ideas and colors considered "natural" by the bosses. This green yarn will be put to good use!

Amanda said...

Clearly, it would be greedy of me to enter (having won your last wonderful give-away). But you can bet I'm sending this along to my knitting gals! Gorgeous!

Kate said...

Oh, the baby currently in my belly sure would love a fabulous green hat(and dare I dream it....matching booties?) to come home from the hospital in!!

washedup said...

i LOVE the soft greens and blues of this yarn! if i were lucky enough to win it, i would probably knit something for my niece or nephew. a cabled cap? chunky little booties?

Ashley said...

I love her color combinations! I would use this as a gift for my grandmother who is teaching herself to knit now. I also posted a link back to this post at www.906eastchic.blogspot.com

Kylar said...

I loooove this yarn!! I've been knitting a ton lately, but not for myself and I would love to use this yarn for wrist warmers for myself!! I blogged about it on jonestimestwo.blogspot.com!

Annie said...

I've knit with this, and it's just wonderful! London's sense of color is unique and surprising - I love her stuff!

ErinM said...

I'm currently working on a black and white blanket called Op Art from Knitty for the most adorable baby in the work, my 8 month old niece Emme. I would take said yarn and make something for her, which would go fabulously with her dark hair and rosy coloring!

Becca said...

It's such a pretty color. I love fingerless gloves, not sure if that's the right kind of yarn for it though.

I love your new banner, it's so pretty. You have to tell people, I read you in reader too much and forget to look!

Evil_Lina said...

Beautiful yarn! I'd knit myself a new winter hat since my current one is falling to tatters.

Fairlightday said...

I love the yarn Jess! You are finding some really wonderful people to interview!
I'm such a terrible knitter at anything besides scarves and hats, so it would probably become a lovely scarf for a sister who loves to color green.
Love your new banner! It's simply gorgeous. :)

Sarah said...

This yarn would be beautiful as wrist/arm warmers to battle this in-between weather we deal with in the midwest!
Here's is what I am thinking:
http://tllg.net/2T

My current project/s are baby hats and finger puppets for my hospital. Gotta keep the baby heads warm and the unruly kiddos occupied : )

EVA SB said...

Yummy yarn!

I'm a knitter. At present 'on the needles' I have a simple rib hat for my husband, a lacy wrap for myself and an afghan for a friend.
If I won this yarn I would make a hat or wrist-warmers for my daughter.

I tweeted about the giveaway
https://twitter.com/EVA_n_essence/status/10966480905

Jenny said...

Jess, Love the beautiful green yarn, it reminds me of the color of new leaves in spring.I'm knitting a cable vest for Jenny right now, but not fast enough for her.I would love to knit a small pillow with the yarn. I found some really cute pillow patterns in a book at the library. Love reading you blog. Happy knitting. From Karen
P.S. I had to use Jenny's account to leave a comment because my account was not working.