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Crafting to Combat the Chaos

Crafting to Combat the Chaos

Wow, what an absolutely change-filled week this has been! Just seven days ago, we were gearing up for the March Year of Fiber orders (they're coming and are SO good!) and reminiscing about how awesome Alt. Summit was. Today, we're all fully versed in quarantine, virtual schooling, social distancing and how to navigate toilet paper shortages. (I'm looking at you, Costco shoppers!) On top of all that, northern Utah experienced an earthquake. (Wait. Are we supposed to shelter in place or run outside? Sheesh!) Still, we're holding it together here at Created by Elsie B and practicing self care, largely due to the perks of being creative people. While the cliche about idle hands is distinctly old fashioned, it comes from a place of truth - keeping yourself busy, occupied and productive is good for you. If you find yourself peeking out from between your blinds and seeing a whole lot of loopy out there, take a deep breath and grab your knitting needles; creative people have measurable advantages - we've got this!
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Our Power as Women- Alt Summit Highlight Reel

Our Power as Women- Alt Summit Highlight Reel

I hope everyone had an inspiring International Women's Day! This last week, I had the awesome opportunity to attend Altitude Summit in Palm Springs, California! Alt. Summit is a conference and community designed to educate and empower women in creative spaces. While it was awesome, it was overwhelming. The people who convinced me to take the leap mentioned that it's like drinking from a fire hose, and they weren't wrong! I knew it was going to be good, but a lot for me. Imposter syndrome hit hard a few weeks before the event. In talking through it with Sam, I realized that the only reason I wouldn't show up was because I was scared not because there wasn't going to be valuable things to learn.
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The Colorful Eggs in our Basket

The Colorful Eggs in our Basket

As most of our readers know, Created by Elsie B is headquartered in Utah, and we have long, cold winters. (The state is famous for its great skiing!) Lately, however, we've been peeking our heads out from under the covers and seeing sunshiny skies and warm temperatures (this weekend is supposed to hit 60 degrees,) and it's making us dream of all things spring! While we expect several more cold snaps before we get an actual seasonal shift, the onset of March is always an exciting time with grass and tulips tentatively peeking out from snow-covered ground. Spring is in the air here, even if just for a moment, and we couldn't resist riffling through our bins to showcase some of our spring-worthy braids in all our favorite pastel hues. Whether you're already well into spring or still have a ways to go like we do, we're sure you'll find something in the mix to brighten your day!
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Behind the Scenes With our Writer

Behind the Scenes With our Writer

While having creative freedom and full control are the primary benefits of running a small business like Created by Elsie B, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes! Created by Elsie B began as a one-woman show, but today a team of skilled professionals assists LeAndra to keep it all running like a well-oiled machine. Over time, tasks like photography, management, shipping and content have been outsourced to free up our fearless leader to focus on the creative, hands-on aspects of the business such as dyeing, product development and design. In fact, Elsie B currently employs five women who work remotely in various parts of the business, as well as LeAndra's husband Sam who supports her in different ways as needed. We'd like to pull the curtain back and introduce you to the people who help Created by Elsie B grow and succeed, starting with myself (because I'm the easiest to reach!)
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Our Favorite Patterns and Projects

Our Favorite Patterns and Projects

At Created by Elsie B, we spend a lot of time playing with fiber. There is nothing we love more than blending color and having our hands in the dye pots, and we hope that reflects in the products that we are proud to send to your doors. However, we also like to (occasionally) actually turn beautiful hand-dyed fibers into wearable works of art as well. LeAndra weaves, knits and crochets, meaning she keeps a library of patterns on tap for when the need to create hits. These are some of our top most used and loved patterns at Elsie B headquarters for both personal use and handmade gifts, and we hope they provide as much inspiration for you as they do for us! All of patterns are available on Ravelry which is where we find most of the patterns that we love best. (P.S. The little sneak peek to the left is our combo knit pattern. We do plan to get back to that- be patient, and we'll share all the deets!)
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Paint the Town Red (And Pink!)

Paint the Town Red (And Pink!)

While we believe that it is always a good time to celebrate love, February is the month that is traditionally dedicated to honoring devotion, passion and commitment. Here at Created by Elsie B, we are definitely devoted to our craft and are passionate about every colorway we produce. Still, red and pink are the traditional colors for Valentine's Day, so today we're highlighting our very favorite love-inspired braids to share with you. We are positive that you'll find something you adore in this mix!

(As a side note, one of the quick and easiest ways to search our catalog is by color. Just hit "Shop" to the left of our navigation menu and then "By Color" to see our full Elsie B assortment organized by shade.)

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Expanded FAQs - What is Combed Top?

Expanded FAQs - What is Combed Top?

When you first visit us at Created by Elsie B, you may not realize that our product line has evolved over time, and we didn't find our passion in fiber arts immediately. For people that are new to our small business, we still sometimes get asked about exactly what it is that we do. Does Elsie B sell yarn? Is this roving? The short answer is that all of our dyed fibers start as combed top, but what, exactly, is combed top? How do you differentiate it from other types of fiber, and what is it used for? Today we'll tackle that question, breaking down wool processing to help you understand the properties of this versatile type of wool fiber.
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Going Around in Circles

Going Around in Circles

While Created by Elsie B has been involved in the fiber world for quite some time, we still remember how exciting it is to pick up a new craft and immerse ourselves in learning. One of the most fun parts of diving into spinning is gathering quality supplies to make the process quicker, more efficient and more consistent. It is true that you don't have to have a significant budget to spin, and we highly recommend our drop spindle kit for beginners who are just getting into the craft. Still, you will probably outgrow it at some point and desire to upgrade to something that is a bit more practical. Elsie B has you covered with our full assortment of Spinolution products. We love and use these wheels ourselves and are proud to offer them to our customers as well. With a wide variety of price points, Spinolution has something for every spinner to love.
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On Wool: Sourcing and Responsible Practices

On Wool: Sourcing and Responsible Practices

Here at Created by Elsie B, there are many things we love about running a small business. While getting to interact one-on-one with our customers is the fuel that drives us, we also value the opportunity that we have to take a hands-on approach to product sourcing and development. Taking care of the environment has always been an Elsie B value, and that made choosing wool as our primary product a bit of a no-brainer. There are dozens or reasons that working with wool is a responsible move, and this list is just a few of the many ways that wool is wonderful both for its versatility and its sustainability! We care about where our fiber comes from and how it's produced.
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Give It a Strong Finish!

Give It a Strong Finish!

Welcome to a new year of fiber, spinning and fun! We've always envisioned our blog being not only a place to let you know what is currently going on here at Created by Elsie B, but an educational platform as well, giving our readers tips, tricks and techniques to get the most out of your fiber. We periodically get technical questions, either on our Facebook page, in a blog comment, on Instagram or even via private message. While we are happy to send over whatever resources we have at hand, we want to have that information more readily available. Today we're going to dive into finishing, so you can create stable and stunning yarns from your spins that both wear well and give you the wow factor! Finishing isn't a particularly difficult process, but it is a quite important one.
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Knitting in a Winter Wonderland

Knitting in a Winter Wonderland

We're right in the thick of celebrating all the winter holidays and while time is short to pick up fiber in time for holiday delivery, we didn't want to let the week pass without highlighting some of our very favorite seasonally appropriate Created by Elsie B colorways. Whether you already have these in your stash or want some winter-inspired options to add to the mix, we love each and every one of our seasonal picks. They make us think of snow and festivities and cold-weather coziness. There is just something about wool and winter that is well matched!
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It's a Fiber Lover's Fa La La!

It's a Fiber Lover's Fa La La!

No matter who's on your list this holiday season, it can be challenging to shop for family and friends. Maybe they have everything or you're just plain bad at anticipating what the best gift might be. (I can't be the only one!) Either way, if you have fiber lovers on your gift list this year or just those who admire the craft for afar, Created by Elsie B has you covered! We have a wide variety of products in a broad range of prices so you can find just the right thing for the special someone in your life - even if that special fiber lover is yourself! Settle in with a nice hot cup of holiday cheer while we unwrap our very favorite items to put under your tree this year.
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