Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Vacation

Happy Holidays! We will be taking next week off to spend time with friends and family. You can place orders like usual on the website and we'll be checking our email in case you have any questions but we won't be shipping orders until after the new year. We hope that you are able to take time off to celebrate the holidays as well!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Craft Lit

The Unique Sheep is sponsoring the pod cast Craft Lit for the month of December! The first episode of the month went live today and includes an interview with me. If you haven't discovered Craft Lit yet, check it out. Its a wonderful free podcast that combines two of my biggest loves- knitting/crafting and reading. The host is an award winning high school and college teacher so she knows her stuff and she shares bits of literary trivia and history to put the books into context as you listen. Previous books include classics such as Dracula, The Scarlet Letter, Pride and Prejudice and A Tale of Two cities. The current book is Jane Eyre. Each podcast episode includes a bit of chat about knitting/crafting/etc, background on the current reading and a chapter or two from the book. The books are all wonderfully read and the information that Heather shares is interesting and helpful. It is by far my favorite podcast. So check it out, listen to my interview (which I hope is good- I haven't had the courage to listen to it yet. Its so weird to hear myself recorded) and enjoy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Website Redesign

As we prepare for the new year we have decided that its time for a new website. The Unique Sheep has outgrown the little site that I created with bits of twine and newsprint years ago and its time for someone who really knows what he or she is doing to give her a face lift. Well, more than just a face lift, really, as its the bones of the site that need the most work.

We'd like to hear what changes you'd like to made. We are already planning to re-do the way the photos are managed to make them consistent in size and quality, add a customer account option so you can log in and check the status of your order, past orders and saved shopping carts and make the website work on tablets and phones. You can click here for a list of things that we will be working on. What else should we add to our wish list??

Friday, November 30, 2012

December's "Give Away"

During the year 2012, at the first of each month you have received an email from us featuring a designer or artist. We have had a wonderful year full of talented designers and crafters and all the inspiring things that they create. We hope you enjoyed learning more about them, as well as getting the free goodies in your packages with qualifying orders.

We have decided to do something a little  different to wrap up the year. Philanthropy is such an important part of who we are, that this month we are featuring two of our favorite charities- one for Kelly and one for Laura. Instead of including a free goody with your order, we will be making a small donation to these charities for every order* placed in December.


Our 3 dogs are all “rescue” dogs. Our oldest and youngest were picked up off the street, and I had no luck tracking down their former owners, so Bradley and Shep became adopted members of our family. We could not ask for more gentle and appreciative dogs. 

That is why my choice for the December charity is Ruff Love Rescue. Our middle boy, Sammy was adopted from this wonderful organization. The people that run this rescue are always looking for help, and I always wish I could give more, so I thought that this would be a great opportunity to be able to send a few more dollars their way. 

 I believe that education is one of the best ways to solve many of the problems our world faces. Education gives individuals the tools to improve their own lives rather than being dependent on the help of others. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to education or the ability to fit classes and study into their lives. One Parent Scholar House allows single parents to pursue education by providing housing, mentorship and childcare.

*donations will be made for each non-club order placed in December for $30 or more. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Knitting

It seems that the closer we get to Christmas the more likely I am to remember someone else on my gift-list who would appreciate a hand knitted gift, so I'm always on the lookout for projects that are relatively quick but will make a bit impact when they are unwrapped. Here are a couple of beautiful patterns that only require a single Gradiance sock set. 100g of fingering weight yarn will fly off your needles! And, we have an assortment of sock sets already dyed up and ready to be shipped, just pick from this list! The links with the patterns below will take you to Ravelry where you can purchase a PDF for immediate download.

Eggnog by Valentina Cosciani
Shown in Luxe "One Ring"

Speranza by Emma Fassio
Shown in Luxe, "You Zig, I Zag"

Phoenix Cowl by Janine le Cras
Shown in Tinsel Toes "Daneism"

Bashful Butterflies by Julia Temiseva

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Need yarn NOW?

If you have ordered from us before, you know that it can take several weeks for us to fill your order. That is because we dye to order which means that when your order comes in we have to wind off the correct size and number of skeins in the yarn you want, dye it the specific color you want, let it dry, twist it and label it and finally ship it. Combine that with our on-going clubs, wholesale orders and the occasional show, taking into account that there are only two of us (Kelly and Laura), and you can see why it takes us so long to fill orders. Thankfully most of you know about this so you order your yarn well ahead of when you need it. But sometimes you need yarn NOW. Whether its for a project with a looming deadline or a KAL that starts in a few days or simply because a pattern is calling to you so strongly that you must cast on immediately- sometimes you just can't wait. For immediate shipping you can order from our Available Now inventory. We normally ship first class or priority mail but if you need a faster shipping option, please leave us a comment in your order!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


This November I've been eagerly checking the Wovember blog each day to see their new posts. All month they are posting the most beautiful photos and wonderful stories all about WOOL! The month started with articles about, well, the start of the wool growing process-- breeding season and has now progressed to stories and photos about raising sheep. Soon they'll move on to shearing, processing the wool and finally making finished items out of it!

I love this quote from a few days ago:

“Without a thorough knowledge of his raw material, a craftsman cannot do good work because he understands only imperfectly the reasons for his actions. Few craftsmen have the privilege of using a more interesting material than wool; few are so intimately concerned with living creatures. Even the wood carver seldom enjoys the pleasure of seeing the living tree wherein he is to find his finished work. It is by no means an unusual experience for a spinner to visualise the yarn, and even the fabric which will grow from it, while his fingers explore the living wool on the back of the sheep.”
-Elsie G. Davenport, Your Handspinning, 1971, Select Books, Mountain View, MO, USA

November's Artisan of the Month

Bill Mullins is our featured artisan for November. Bill is a beekeeper and sells his honey products at the Greensboro, NC farmer's market where Kelly does her weekly shopping. Learn a bit more about Bill by reading this article and the interview below! We'll be including free samples of Bill's yummy honey treats with orders placed in November!*

Part 1:

1-        Have you been raising bees all of your life?

No- Just the last 42 years. (read the article linked to above to find out more about how he got started!)

2-        Who taught you how to be a beekeeper?

University of Alabama, plus the Ag extension service and Dr John Ambrose of NC State and the NC state beekeepers association, and master beekeepers program and international bee research association.

3-        What other hobbies do you enjoy? 

Ham Radio, woodworking, travel and reading.

Part 2:

1-        What is your favorite word?


2-        What is your least favorite word?


3-        What turns you on?


4-        What turns you off?


5-        What sound do you love?  

Songs from the 40’s and 50’s

6-        What sound do you hate?

Rap music

7-        What is your favorite curse word?


8-        What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?  


9-        What profession would you not like to?

10-    If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? 


*free gifts will be included in non-club purchases for $30 or more placed in November while supplies last!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Artisan of the Month for November

This month our Artisan of the Month is Bill Mullins. He provides our house with all of our honey needs. Some of you have seen his products in your club shipments in form of honey straws, honey candies, or beeswax candles.

I give his honey to our dogs with each of their meals. Honey is a natural antibacterial and has helped one of my dogs in a very big way with summer and springtime allergies. Our dog, Sam, had very bad allergies the 1st year we had him. He would scratch at his eyes until they were red and almost bleeding, but after giving him Bill's honey for several months, twice a day, there was no sign of anymore allergy symptoms!

Bill will be answering our Artisan of the Month questions next week. Meantime you can read the beginning of this article to see how he got his start with beekeeping.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Introducing: a poem of a pattern

Designer Corrina Ferguson (Picnic Knits) used one skein of Green Sheep Fingering in the colorway "carta dorata" for the lovely pattern "Wendel Holmes" which is part of her Sonnets collection. Check out this beautiful design as well as many others on her website and pick up a skein of Green Sheep Fingering from ours!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

October Featured Artisan

Our featured artisan for October is Jenny from Paisley Handmade. For the last couple of years we've been getting the most amazing little spice bundles from Jenny for making spiced cider or tea. Nothing says autumn to me quite like spiced cider. I love the way it makes the house smell while its simmering, the way you can stick your face over the pot and breath in the sweet, spicy steam and feel the warmth all over. And then you fill up a favorite mug and cup it in your cold hands, or hold it up to a defrosting cheek. Whenever we have guests over during the fall or winter I'm sure to have a pot of spiced cider simmering. The inviting smell in the house tricks people into thinking I'm much better at the whole domestic thing than I really am and cider and cookies is a treat sure to please any guest. All of this to say that I know spiced cider. I've tried all sorts of recipes and mixes. Most are too bitter, others are just too boring. Jenny's mix is just right. Its smooth but with enough of a zing to stay interesting. She must put a special ingredient in it because its different than others that I've tried. And guess what? If you place an order* in October you can try it yourself! We'll be sending out little spice bundles with orders! We do have a limited supply so orders placed early in the month will be filled first. P.S. you can also use the spice bundles to make spiced tea or mulled wine.

Now, lets learn a bit about Jenny and find out what else she is into other than making amazing spice bundles!

1-      Have you been crafty all your life? When did you first become interested in making things with your hands? 
       My first introduction to crafting came though my Mom.  She had a sewing business that she ran as a second job, and I loved going along with her to craft shows.  She taught me to sew, and I remember making an awesome, totally in style -in the 80's - pants jumper.  Yikes!

2-      When/how did you get interested in making mulling spices and how did you learn?  
      The recipe actually was passed down from my mom.  She made them for her Fall and Winter shows and they always sold like gangbusters, so when I was getting ready to do my first show I decided I couldn't do a show without the mulling spices!  I've just recently started marketing them in my Etsy shop as personalized wedding/event favors too and that is going well!

3-      Where do you find inspiration? 
      In this age of so many crafty blogs and Pinterest, it's impossible to not find some inspiration via the online world, but many times I am just inspired by my life at home with my family.  I see what needs I have as a mother to small children and assume that there are other people just like me searching for cute, functional items.  

4-      What other hobbies do you enjoy? 
       I love a good flea market or antique store, and someday I hope to be able to read a book again.  Man I miss that!  Just not enough hours in the day right now for me to get sucked into a good book and ignore my family though! (note from Laura-- sounds like Jenny needs to learn about audio books. With all the time spent in my dye studio plugged into my mp3 player I'm becoming very well read!)

Part 2:
1-      What is your favorite word? "Thank you"  It never gets old hearing my kids say Thank you unprompted.
2-      What is your lease favorite word? "But" usually means I'm going to hear an excuse or a complaint.
3-      What turns you on? Craft supplies in all shapes and forms: fabric, an empty notebook, paper, trim...
4-      What turns you off? a sense of entitlement.  Something I'm working on with my kids right now.
5-      What sound do you love?  The sound of the water at the beach.  I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida and now I live in the midwest so I miss the beach!
6-      What sound do you hate?'s like nails on a chalkboard.
7-      What is your favorite curse word? With so many little ears around, we keep everything very G-rated, so the worst it gets at our house is Darn or poop!
8-      What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?  Graphic Design.  I've always had an affinity for paper products, and would love to have the ability to do that. 
9-      What profession would you not like to?  Nurse.  I can imagine it has it's rewarding moments, but I have an aversion to seeing people in pain.  
10-   If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?  "Your zero calorie milkshake awaits."  But seriously, every Christian desires to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Find out more at Jenny's etsy shop and my Facebook page

*freebies will be included with orders over $30 placed in October, not including club or pattern purchases, while supplies last. Due to customs restrictions this month's goody will not be included in orders send to Australia or New Zealand.