Feature Friday: 222 Handspun by Elysa Darling

12 Oct

Introduction about yourself and shop.

My Etsy shop is called 222 Handspun. I hand dye and spin my yarn as well as produce hand dyed fiber for spinning, felting, and crafting. I hand pick and buy most of the fiber I use from small local farms in Northern Virginia and Maryland. You can read more about my products and yarn spinning process on my website/blog http://222handspun.com or follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/222handspun and Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/222handspun.

What got you interested in crafting?

I’m from a pretty artsy family – my Dad is a photographer and my mother is very crafty, so naturally I take after them. I studied photography and do that when I have time. I’m pretty much into anything crafty and have tried everything from soap making to quilting to jewelry making before I got hooked on spinning yarn. When I was a kid, maybe about 8 years old, I attended a summer camp run my a friend of my parents. It was just me and two other kids learning how to garden, weave, make a loom, use natural dyes, and other hippie kind of stuff. It was amazing. I still think back on that experience and how much it influenced me and introduced me to making things by hand and working with natural materials. I was always entranced with weaving and textiles for some reason. My mother had unsuccessfully tried to teach me to knit, so weaving, sewing, and macrame were the things I could do. My mother and the women in her family were good seamstresses and she taught me how to sew. She made lots of clothes for me as a kid and taught me how to sew clothes for my barbie. I wish I still had the poncho and some of the great 70’s stuff she crocheted for me.

What has been your favorite project to make and why?

There are a few commissioned projects that stand out- I love to work with customers and collaborate on designs. However, just this last weekend I went to Camp Pluckyfluff (an amazing workshop for spinners)and make some really cool projects using techniques I learned there.

What’s the secret behind your etsy name?

222 is my lucky number, so that ended up as the name of my business.

If you could open up a shop in your town what would you call it and what would it be like?

I’d love to open up my dream fiber studio- Patowmack Yarn Works, a nod to the river I live next to and the local heritage and history.

What is the most challenging thing you have made?

Definitely learning some new techniques at Camp. But I believe you can only getter better if you have to work a bit harder and step up your game now and then.

What are some of your goals you hope to achieve within the next year?

I’d like to get my yarn and fiber into more retail stores this year as well as do more shows.

What inspires you to be crafty?

I love seeing what other people make and just checking Etsy’s homepage or some of my favorite Etsy stores for inspiration from time to time.

What is your best quality when it comes to your crafts?

I try to be as genuine as possible and create the best quality product that I can. I don’t cut corners or use materials that aren’t amazing. I can be pretty self critical but I really want people to LOVE what they buy from me.

If you could have one thing to help your store what would it be?

A little packing/shipping elf to come and take care of orders would be nice!



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