new yarn line named!

Since I am now a “yarnie” on Ravelry, I was over there the other day fiddling around with the listings, updating photos and descriptions. My inventory is always changing, so I wanted the photos to be of more current work. That is when I realized I had something new to add: my line of undyed yarn! Right now I have the yarn categorized by ply (singles, 2-ply, 3-ply), but I thought that since the undyed yarn was unique, I’d put it all together under one name. So what name would that be? To get started I called it “naturals handspun”, but of course that looks silly in the Ravelry database. Gwen Erin Natural Fibers naturals handspun. blech. With nothing left in my brain, I turned to my Facebook fans to help me out. And, wow! They gave me fantastic suggestions and a lot of laughs. Pop over to the page and scroll down to Monday to read them.

The fans’ names gave me much to think about. I talked it over quite a bit with Rich too since he is the brain trust of the business. I liked “naked”, but he would scrunch up his face every time I said it.
“So, you don’t like the current options, but you have nothing to offer?” I asked. But of course that wasn’t true.
A few minutes later he suggested, “Sheep Tones. Like earth tones, but the color of sheep.”
“Well, what would you call my handdyed yarn then?”
“Gwen Tones.”
Even though it made me smile, I’m not sure I’ll go that far, but I do like Sheep Tones. It’s descriptive and quirky and only two syllables. But then I started thinking about alpaca. Well, if I end up selling 100% alpaca yarn, then we’ll just call it Alpaca Tones. Blammo.

sheep tones 2

friday’s question

I started my internet presence in high school with a few fanpages for Sailor Moon, Digimon, and Sanrio. I also had a central “personal” page with a journal that I had to update by typing text in a standard webpage because none of those journal sites existed yet. It was called “The Misadventures of Halfpint”. Me being Halfpint, which is what I was called as a freshman by a big senior football player friend. Then I started changing the name of the page regularly, using a list of names with the initials GS because those were my initials. A few of note were Goldfish Scissors, Generic Spinster, Galactic Soul, and Granola Suit. I wasn’t concerned with maintaining an internet identity or branding; just that I was having fun and being creative. Apparently changing the layout, colors, and name of my page made it difficult for people to follow it. I was unconcerned. Once LiveJournal came on the scene, I abandoned my pages, but I stuck with “granola suit”. I thought it was funny and definitely something unique. Similarly, Lemon Quasar was created in high school to ensure ease of registering usernames. My sister helped with that one. For more about the history of my names, check out this blog post from April 2010.

Things change though. Now I see the importance of consistancy and simplicity. Whereas my first pages were more for my personal entertainment, what I am doing now must appeal to readers and customers without confusing them. “Pieces of String too Small to Save” is long and now I am considering renaming the blog to Gwen Erin Natural Fibers so that it is directly related to my business. I haven’t decided on that one yet. I get a lot of hits because of that lengthy name!

Question: How did you decide on your blog name or username? Do you find yourself explaining it to people? What other names have you used and why?

A name has been chosen!

First, I would like to thank all of the wonderful participants who submitted names to the contest.  I really enjoyed reading your submissions and your great senses of humor.  It was difficult to decide on a winner since your names were much better than anything I could have come up with, e.g. “roving holder bracelet thingie”. 

The winning entry is “Wristler” submitted by Teah.  The name itself is short and fun, but I also really liked the thought behind it – from wrestler/wrestling with one’s roving.  Don’t wrestle with your roving, use the Wristler!  Thanks, Teah for giving my new product a sassy name.

In order to show my appreciation for the other four ladies who gave me great submissions, I will be sending all of you a Wristler too!  And don’t worry if you are not a spinner, these are just fun little bracelets – no fiber necessary.  I’ll be contacting all of you soon.  Thank you again!

hand model w/ bracelets

Naming Contest!

Hey there, friends. I’ve got a job for you. You see, I inadvertently came up with something I think is pretty neat, and I’m hoping to give it a fun name. That’s where I need your help.

Let me tell you what it is first. Of course there is a story to go along with it, right?
While sitting at my desk a few months ago, I came up with an idea for a new bracelet. So when I got home, I worked up a few samples and brought them to my recent craft show. That day it was very hot, especially for October, but I wanted to wear something I made (as suggested by everything I’ve read). Since the bracelet was small and not a neckwarmer or pair of mittens, I slipped one on. During the course of the day I worked on my drop spindle, but the fiber would keep getting tangled around the spindle. Usually I stick the extra up my sleeve, but it was hot and I didn’t wear long sleeves that day. That’s when I started tucking the roving inside my new bracelet! “Wow – how awesome is this?!” I thought. And the rest of the day, when I wasn’t spinning, I could just keep the bracelet on. It was soft and comfortable and always there when I needed it. Also, the stretchiness of the knit allows you to stuff a good amount of roving in there, but the bracelet isn’t too big that if falls off your wrist.

new bracelet!
Click thru and check out my photostream for larger photos

The project initially was set in motion basically as 1) a way to use my buttons 2) something small I could offer people at a lower price point. Instead I found a cute little thing to keep my roving from tangling around my spindle. (This is like when I turned an unwanted neckwarmer into a tea cozy and now I enjoy making tea cozies).

Other similar things are called wrist distaffs. I have one that hangs from my wrist, but it’s always getting twisted in an annoying sort of way. I’d like to call this something else, to differentiate it from those, but I’m not good at naming things. Get those brains working, readers, and give me a creative name for my new product! If I select your name submission, you will be awarded with a “name to be determined” of your own and some of my exciting handdyed spinning fiber to give it a try.

Thank you for you help with this task.  I look forward to reading your creative submissions.

Winner of the naming contest will be selected over the weekend and announced next Monday (November 7).

granolasuit to gwenerin

Etsy has decided to let shop owners change their usernames ONCE.  And so I took this opportunity to drop the granolasuit, which was a remnant of my high school website days, and reinvent myself as gwenerin, the name of my business.  The previous links will still work, but from now on, you can find me on Etsy as gwenerin. Thank you, Etsy admin.

Find me here:

what’s in a name?

I’ve always gotten the feeling that there are things that make sense in my head, but when someone else looks at them, they just don’t translate.  I used to draw and sketch quite a bit when I was in school. However, I never shared the pictures with anyone because the one time I did, the person asked me what it was.  There’s nothing more discouraging then having your audience question your work, especially when you aren’t trying to be abstract.  It was likely supposed to be something specific and apparently it didn’t look like the intended object.  I find the same thing occurs with things I write.  Poetry, essays, stories, directions, etc.  They just don’t make sense to anyone.  It doesn’t help that I find it to be completely comprehensible and can’t understand why no one else “gets it”.  This also happens with any name that I might give myself for a blog, shop, username.  What is a “lemon quasar”?? What does that have to do with knitting? What is “granolasuit” (inevitably mispronounced)? “Pieces of string too…. is too long to say!” “Gwen-Erin… are you Gwen or Erin?”  Ack!  I have the worst time decided on monikers and when I do, it’s always a disaster.  So I’ll explain them now.

Lemon Quasar = Came about when I was 14 years old and just started using AIM.  I wanted a name that I could guarantee no one else would ever have.  We (my sister and I) chose two words that were unrelated and put them together.  Lemon because I like yellow and I’m a bit sour; quasar because they are small and dense, and my sister seemed to think that described me well.

Granola Suit = When I was actively creating websites, I wanted to name them something with the initials “GS” because those were my initials.  A friend created an extensive list of many possible names, all starting with G and S.  Granola Suit was one that I found quite amusing at the time.  I used it for my Etsy name before I opened the shop, never thinking I might become a seller at some point.

Pieces of String too Small to Save = Rich told me a story about finding a box while cleaning out his grandfather’s house that was labeled with that phrase.  I’d never heard it before and thought it was the perfect name for a blog about yarn, so I decided to use it.  Later I realized it was a bit of an old wives tale, something passed around.  I’m guessing he’s story was true, although now I wonder if it was something a lot of folks did.  Did everyone just have a box or jar labeled as such because they saved everything?

Gwen Erin = I am both Gwen and Erin.  It happens to be my first and middle name.  My parents original intention was to have my name be Gwen Erin, like Mary Ann, but it didn’t quite end up that way.  I’ve always enjoyed the way they went together, so I thought I would start using them that way.  Plus, for a username, it seems to be rather uncommon.

I don’t know why my creations are difficult to understand.  And I don’t know why it matters to me whether anyone “gets” it or not.  So here is one more thing that you may or may not find endearing or comprehensible.  It is a fat wee creature based on the Little Monster by Gina Russell.  I’ve made several and have found that I prefer to use a garter stitch row for the mouth rather than a duplicate stitch.  However, I’m not entirely sure if anyone else sees that.  Or they look at it and it is just a two-tone puffy square with buttons sewn in the middle. Bah!

meep for angela

a new addition to the blog

Greetings, faithful viewers! I’ve started a new aspect of this little blog, suggested by none other than Richard, Mr. String, himself:

What to do with all those little pieces of string?

You will see in the navigation bar at the top of the page, “Got Bits of String?”. On that page, I have started compiling a list of various ways to use those little bits and pieces of string that we find around the house, end up with after a project, etc. I am requesting that each of my readers contributes at least one way they have found to use small pieces of string. Please leave a comment there, here, or in my inbox.

Thank you for your input!

40 minutes left

Along the lines of naming, I looked up “quasar” and found the definition to be very amusing, especially in relation to me.  Below is the entry from
Short for quasi-stellar radio source. A compact, starlike celestial body with a power output greater than our entire galaxy. Believed to be the oldest and most distant objects ever detected, quasars are billions of light-years from Earth and moving away from us at nearly 80 percent of the speed of light. For this reason, quasars are highly important to astronomers’ understanding of the early universe. Little is currently understood about the nature of quasars; one theory suggests that they are produced by giant black holes destroying enormous amounts of matter, causing the subsequent ejection of radiation along their north and south poles. Many astronomers believe that quasars represent an early stage in the evolution of galaxies such as our own.

As for my spinning wheel, I still haven’t come to a conclusion on the name. I have narrowed it down a little bit though.  I packed it up last weekend and took it to Cosy’s. I brought two braids of BFL and spun them both before dinner was ready! Where else can I take it?

Elaine, Effie, Eliza, Ella, Eloise, Elsa, EnidEricaEstherEthel, Eunice

The socks are coming along nicely.  I finished the first one Monday evening and started the second on Tuesday. Last night while watching Christmas specials, I knit the heel flap and turned the heel. It seemed to go a lot quicker the second time around. This sock is probably the best looking thing I’ve made in a long time. I know it’s the best looking sock I’ve ever knit. My first pair was too funny. One of the gussets ended up on the top of the sock!  Not to mention one was blue and the other green.  I also knit a pair of felted slipper socks for Rich last year and a pair of socks at Pennsic.  There have been quite a few false starts and socks with no mates. Maybe the 2 circulars is a break through for me! I think I’ll stick to DPNs for my mitts.

what’s in a name?

Laura asked if I’d given the Sonata a name yet. I told her no and asked if she had any suggestions. The Ashford is Eden and the Harp is Eleanor (named in part after an adorable little girl I had the pleasure of meeting at Pennsic – if anyone could convince me to change my mind about having children, it would be her). Anyway, it’s evident that I have an “E” theme going on and I don’t mind continuing it. So, Laura supplied me with this list of names:

Elaine, Effie, Eliza, Ella, Eloise, Elsa, Enid, Erica, Esther, Ethel, Eunice

I enjoy Enid, but my brain gets a bit frazzled between Eden and Enid. The wheel is quite fancy, so maybe Eloise or Eliza.. but Elsa is fun too. Caste your votes!And here are the cupcakes I made for my birthday. I wasn’t sure if making one’s own cake was something one just didn’t do, but I was assured it was fine. But having to encourage people to sing – that was a little ridiculous. And yes, I realize the photo isn’t crisp, but I like that about it!

birthday cupcakes