Artisan: Lynn’s Lids

I keep doing fellow artisan features, but I just realized that I haven’t actually done one of these posts for myself. So, just in time for my 3 big September sales (Cabbagetown Art & Crafts Sale, Danforth East Arts Fair and Etsy Made in Canada at MaRS), here goes:

Lynn's Lids felted wool dryer balls Lynn's Lids felted wool Toronto iPad sleeve Lynn's Lids needle felted wool Santa ornaments

Artisan Name: Lynn Wyminga

Products:  hand knit, waterproof & windproof felted wool hats, tea cosies, iPad sleeves, sheepy wool dryer balls, natural wool catnip balls, Christmas tree toppers and ornaments, either hand knit then felted wool yarn, wet felted wool roving, or needle felted wool roving.

Price Range: $10-100

How did this all begin? 
A few years ago, I picked up knitting again for the first time in 20 years. I made scarves for my kids’ stuffed animals, then scarves for my kids, husband and brother-in-law, but I didn’t need a scarf (my brother had knit me one!) so I browsed through the patterns at my local yarn shop and came across a pattern for a felted wool hat. I am a hat lover, so I figured if I could keep myself in hats (instead of buying them), I’d be set! So I made a bowler and during the felting process, I was kinda hooked. That transformation is a bit thrilling every time it happens. Anyway, I wore the hat out (and promptly made myself another) and friends kept asking me to make them one, and eventually Lynn’s Lids was born. (I had to take nearly 2 years off for treatment of 2 cancers, but when I was strong again in the fall of 2012 I started in earnest.)

 About:
I am inspired by many things, but nature is a big one (take the sheep on the dryer balls!) and necessity is another. The dryer balls idea came from the David Suzuki Foundation newsletter since I needed a smaller ticket item to sell at markets. They are a great gift since they are environmentally friendly (reducing dryer time) but even if the recipient isn’t interested in that aspect, they are just so darn cute (I had a non-English speaker order them on Etsy and they didn’t know they were for the dryer until they received them with my note – they had just bought them as fibre art!). I have made a lot of them, and as of yet I haven’t tired of it. I’m making the right product, I guess.

Other new items come from client requests (tea cosy, cat bed, computer sleeve, various hats), my own needs (iPad sleeve, camera cosy), and sometimes just whimsy (catnip balls, ornaments, Frankenstein hat, cyclops hat, devil hat, dragon hat).

The hats are definitely my favourite. I enjoy making every single one, from the knitting, the thrill of felting, and the blocking. (But not the waiting. Never the waiting.) I especially enjoy creating new designs and patterns, as that keeps things fresh and exciting. Not everything works, but mostly they do (a good example is the baker boy cap, below – which I made up a few years ago but took 3 tries to perfect). It feels great when someone tries one of my lids on and it suits them perfectly. I’ve been wearing my second hat (a bucket hat turned out to be the favourite for me and I gave that first bowler to my mom after a couple of years of wear) for 6 years so I know that they don’t really wear out. Because they are felted to a thick dense fabric, they are very durable, keeping out the wind and rain and I know the wearer will be warm and dry for years.

Needle felting is so much fun that I want everyone to give it a go, so I teach it on a regular basis at my local yarn shop.

What advice do you have for a first-time One of a Kind Show vendor?
Start creating stock early, bring a big bottle for water (it’s dry in there), pack your own food (junk food takes its toll and they are long days!) and ask a friend to come and give you an hour’s break in the middle of each day, if possible (if you can’t afford to hire a booth sitter). Smile and enjoy it. It’s a great time.

Do you have a favourite OOAK show moment/memory to share?
On day 3 (of 5) a woman I recognized from earlier in the show came up to my table (in the Etsy section) and headed straight for the basket of catnip balls, exclaiming to her friend, “I bought one of these on Wednesday and my cats just love it!” and bought 6 more right there!

You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, www.lynnslids.com, Pinterest, my Etsy shop, and here, on the blog. To find me in person, check out my upcoming markets (via Etsy) or my where page.

Lynn's Lids baker boy cap with flower

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Etsy listings & a new toque

It’s a funny thing, applying to an Etsy event. They basically look at your shop to jury you, so you’ve got to get a bunch of listings up to make sure you have the full variety of your products up. To be honest, I’ve only sold a couple of hats via Etsy, and they were custom orders, from folks who knew exactly what they wanted. I personally would never buy a hat I hadn’t tried on, so I don’t try to push the hats very hard online, and therefore never have many hats in my Etsy shop. Which is weird, because the hats are why I get out and do the in-person markets / fairs / art sales.

So, even though right now I don’t want to be selling much on Etsy (I’m hoarding stock for both the Cabbagetown Art & Crafts Sale and Danforth East Arts Fair), I have just added a bunch of listings, including a couple of these super-cute tree toppers. (And if you’re wondering why there is a Mason jar there, it is for size comparison. I figure most folks have seen a 20oz Mason jar, but may not be able to picture 8″ in their heads, or have a ruler handy.)

What am I applying for? I’ve already been accepted to the flagship Etsy: Made in Canada market that’s presented by TEST and 416 Hustler down at the MaRS Atrium, but apparently there is a media event on the night before for a handful of the 100 vendors accepted to the market, so I thought I’d throw my hat in for that, as it were. Wish me luck, folks!

Oh, and here’s a little sneak peek at something I’ll have at Cabbagetown. I was encouraged to make this by my sons, surprise, surprise…

Lynn's Lids Creeper Toque

 

 

Work update…

Things are now into full swing of production for both Cabbagetown Art & Crafts Sale and the Danforth East Arts Fair. My WIPs (works in progress) basket is full of snowmen ornaments needing scarves and buttons, catnip balls needing mice, dryer sheep needing eyes, and 3 toques needing adornment. The toques are where my anticipation is right now, since they are like a blank canvas to me and my needle felting tools, but the dryer balls need attention first, and so it goes. There are also shelves of dryer balls drying in the sun, and dryer balls yet to be felted as well.

It’s lucky that I happen to be staying near my local wool supplier (the natural undyed wool I use for the dryer balls and catnip balls) right now, since I have to keep restocking as I create more… I’m saving a ton on shipping!

Some recent photos include this one from Saturday’s needle felting workshop:

Some snowmen heads (they are now attached to bodies):

Hats awaiting adornment:

Step one of dryer ball creation:

And last week, knitting at the CNE:

View this post on Instagram

#knitting on the sky ride

A post shared by Lynn W, Amherst Is. ON Canada (@lynnslids) on

This just in: Island Workshop

I’ll be spending a little time up on Amherst Island in a few weeks. And my friends at Topsy Farms have just started selling needle felting kits, along with several different colours of washed and carded wool, or roving. I like their roving best for needle felting as I find a lot of the other roving sold is nicely combed and ready for spinning, but for needle felting, I need it to be a bit rougher.

Here’s their needle felting kit blurb:

NFKit

I thought a good way to bring some attention to the fact that they’re now selling all you need to make your own wool sculptures would be a needle felting intro workshop! Sally and I have hashed out the details, so if you are in the Kingston/Napanee/Prince Edward County area on Saturday August 23, come out to the island and learn to needle felt! For simplicity’s sake, we’ll be making the sweet birds from my last class at The Purple Purl. (By the way, it’s a steal of a deal since you actually get a kit with the class, and it’s only $20! And you get to spend a little time on the island, which is always a treat. If you want to spend the night, there are some options.

Here’s the info:

Saturday, August 23 10:15 – 11:45  at Topsy Farms, outside the Wool Shed (14775 Front Rd., Stella, ON K0H 2S0 – directions on their contact page)

Adults $20, Teens $15 (minimum age 10)
Learn to make a small bird using a barbed needle and wool roving in this fun and quick to learn fibre art of needle felting! Includes needle felting kit (2 needles, foam, skewer and wool roving).

If you need any more information, you can email me at lynnslids@gmail.com or the folks at Topsy Farms at info@topsyfarms.com or call them (613) 389-3444. There’s also an 800 number on their contact page, linked above.

Intro to Needle Felting workshop at Topsy Farms

Custom cosy #2 and class review

Hey, check out what I found: a review of my needle felting class on the Design Thrift blog.

So I took the needle felting class at the Purple Purl – and man, was it ever a blast! It was a group of eight of us all gathered around a coffee table to drink lattes, learn about needle felting, and complete our first needle felting project – a cute little penguin.” [More here…]

Also, I have created the second custom tea cosy!

Lynn's Lids Eiffel Tower custom tea cosy in purple heather

 

By the way, I was saying yesterday that this one took 4 times as long to felt as the carousel one since I used different yarn. Between the blocking and the needle felting I shave the cosy (same for hats). With this one (with all that felting), there was a lot of fuzz:

I save the fuzz for the next time I’m making dryer balls and add it to the cores. Waste not, want not!

Custom carousel tea cosy

Okay, I admit, I’ve been a little nervous about fulfilling this particular custom order… hoping it would turn out.

A lovely gal found me at the Spring One of a Kind Show and started talking to me about Teavana tea makers as she has a couple and liked my cosies. So we went back and forth a bit via email with tea maker photos and measurements (on her part) and yarn colour photos and sketches (on my part) and finally came up with a plan.

This is the first of two cosies. The other cosy is still blocking, as it was a different yarn and needed to felt for 4 times as long as this one. Such is the way with felting. You’ve been warned.

The request was for a carousel… I’m pretty happy with it.

Custom carousel tea cosy by Lynn's Lids