Sunday, May 29, 2016

Catch Up

Hello again!

I know some of you were worried that if I started podcasting that I wouldn't blog anymore. My plan is to keep up with both. Wish me luck!

The podcast is going well, but I'm still getting my bearings. I still feel a little awkward in front of the microphone and I haven't 100% hammered out a layout that I want to use for each episode. That is especially true of the last episode. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I was having such a hard time recording 20 minutes of material. A little bit later I figured it out in the middle of the grocery store when my blood sugar dropped. I thought I had contracted some sort of insta-flu + tunnel vision + taken an axe to the head, but half a bottle of Coke and some dinner later and I was fine again. Yikes. Remind me not to do that again.

----------- for all 11 Watercolor stripes colors open on Wednesday June 1 at 9am. There are the 6 existing colors, plus 1 new variegated color translated in to stripes, plus 4 brand new colors (both variegated and watercolor stripes). There are 40 spots open this time. I will post more info about the new colors in the next few days.

Paris at Last
Blood Orange
Flower Shop Inferno
Viola Overboard
Neapolitan (new)
66 Sunset (new)
Inscrutable Mystery (new)
Mint to Be (new)
This coming Saturday I will be back at Suzanne's House for the World's Smallest Craft Fair. Everyone is invited! Don't be shy. I will be in the front room with my hand dyed yarns, including some Watercolor Stripes yarns. Ann is bringing her circular sock knitting machine this year, plus there will be candles, project bags, notebooks, garden crafts, jewelry, and delicious gluten free cupcakes.

This show is the last chance to buy soaps and lip balms directly from me. On Friday the soaps will go offline. After Saturday the remaining stock will go to The Novel Neighbor for one last restocking there. Click the flyer for more information about WSCF or click here.
Being able to use a real studio space last month, and a my dad's photography expertise, a few weeks ago has spoiled me. The family has been busy with my youngest sisters last play (she did amazing!) and her graduation, but hopefully next week I will be able to borrow studio space and a good photographer again. I have FOs that need their beauty shots!


A big box of row counters arrived this week. I test every row counter before I list them and they won't be tested before the self-striping shop listing on Wednesday. The earliest I will be able to get them online is Thursday evening. If you are placing an order earlier in the week and want a row counter, too, just let me know so I can hold your order. Row counters are $4.50 each and ship free when purchased with another item.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Episode 2: A Question of Sizing

Episode 2: A Question of Sizing – Show Notes

Resizing Sweaters:
Knitters Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd
Knitters Handy Book of Top Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd
Knitters Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd
Custom Fit book by Amy Herzog
Custom Fit website

Works in Progress: 

Bootstrap Socks by Lara Neel 
Stopover Cardigan by Mary Jane Mucklestone

Shop Update:
Watercolor Stripes update on June 1 at 9am central on the Etsy website. There will be one listing posted in the self-striping yarn section. There will be 40 spots open. You can choose any of my existing or new Watercolor Stripes colors. Watercolor Stripe pre-orders will ship in about 4 weeks. 
The new variegated colors will be available as dyed to order listings on June 1st. Dyed to order colors are dye on demand. Choose the colorway you want and the base that you want and your yarn will ship in 3-4 weeks.

Need yarn or fiber ASAP? Check my in-stock listings. In-stock listings ship in 2-3 days.

Upcoming Events:
World's Smallest Craft Fair, June 4, 10am -2pm. Address and info here.

On the Nightstand:
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case by Kristen Painter [I never said the title of the book! Sorry!]
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Social media links:
Rachel Knits/Knit Dye Read Blog
Dyeabolical/Knit Dye Read Ravelry group
Rachel on Instagram
Rachel on Ravelry
Rachel on Goodreads
Dyeabolical Website
Dyeabolical on Etsy

Music: Stormy Blues (Arne Bang Huseby) / CC BY 4.0

Friday, May 13, 2016

Knit Dye Read Podcast: Episode 1 Show Notes

 Here is the first episode of the Knit Dye Read podcast. Now that the first episode is up I can submit the podcast to iTunes, Downcast, Stitcher, etc. Thank you for listening!

In this episode I discuss works in progress, finished projects, and books. Disclaimer: Podcast under construction! Please be patient while I figure out things like transitions, cross fade, music, clipping, volume, etc.

Works in Progress links discussed:

Stopover Cardigan by Mary Jane Mucklestone
Mason Dixon Blog
#bangoutasweater on Instagram
Lopi Light
Random Number Generator
Bootstrap Socks by Lara Neel 

Finished Projects links discussed:
Atomic Blender Socks by Wendy Weber - test knit; pattern coming soon
Dyeabolical Self-Striping Yarn - Only a few standard stripes are currently in stock. Pre-orders for Watercolor Stripes colors will open again soon. Follow me on Instagram, sign up for the DY newsletter, or add this blog to your blog reader for updates.

Books links discussed:
Good Eats 3: The Later Years by Alton Brown
The Knowledgeable Knitter: From Planning Your Projects to Fitting and Finishing, All You Need to Know to Unlock Your Knitting Potential by Margarette Radcliffe
The Fat Squirrel Speaks Podcast 
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
XKCD webcomic
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Social media links:
Rachel Knits/Knit Dye Read Blog
Dyeabolical/Knit Dye Read Ravelry group
Rachel on Instagram
Rachel on Ravelry
Rachel on Goodreads
Dyeabolical Website
Dyeabolical on Etsy

Music: Stormy Blues (Arne Bang Huseby) / CC BY 4.0

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Lots of Links

Thank you to everyone who gave feedback about possibly starting up a new podcast. I had more feedback than I expected and it was all positive and encouraging. I ordered a mic on Friday, recorded some files on Tuesday, and learned a lot about post-production in the last few days. The first episode could be up as early as tomorrow. I need to give everything a final listen, write show notes, and figure out how to get it to iTunes.
I did finish the Echo Flowers shawl, but I cheated and used a crochet hook for the nupps. Better pictures and more details once I have good pictures taken.

Here are some links that have been hanging out in my Saved folder to share with you:

What Colour Is It? uses hex codes to translate the current time in to the associated color.

How Caron One Pound Yarn is made. I had no idea that the oblong skein shape was basically just a ball of yarn smooshed.

Knit Darling writes about when Moths Attack (shudder)

Pet dinos are kind of jerks

The secret to becoming a great knitter? Read your knitting.

More textile mill p0rn. I mean, more textile and fiber mill pictures.

The Essential Herbal Blog has something to say about ingesting those essential oils (don't do it)

The Weird, Complicated, Sexist History of Pockets

The Harvard Library That Protects The Worlds Rarest Colors

Self Care for the Hands - Take care of those hands, crafters! has a collection of antique and vintage knitting books available for your perusal

How commercial patterning yarn is made:

That's all for now. Happy knitting!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Is it time to think about podcasting again?

Recently I downloaded an audio podcasting app on my phone and enjoyed playing around with it. One thing that immediately became apparent is that I have a lot to say in an organized way if you stick a microphone in my hand, whereas I freeze in front of a video camera or babble on forever. It also became clear how much easier it is to edit audio vs. video.

I'm not 100% committed (yet) to starting a regular audio podcast, but I am considering it. Obviously I will need to learn some editing tricks to disguise the fact that I (breath) have asthma (breath) basically all the time, but otherwise I think audio might be something I want to do semi-regularly.

I've posted a prototype podcast below.  (Deleted because Episode 1 is now live!) What do you think? Yes/no? What do you like in a podcast? What do you hate in a podcast? I would love to hear opinions either way in the comments below or through email. 

"But wait," you ask, "didn't you try podcasting already?" Yes, I did, but I still haven't shaken the desire to podcast. I did about 12 episodes of a video podcast maybe 5 years ago. I enjoyed recording the podcasts, and I enjoyed the interaction with customers.  I did not love the hair and make up, setting up lights, technological issues and editing video. I still haven't shaken the desire podcast, so maybe it's time?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

This Weekend: Pre-Orders for Watercolor Stripes

The Watercolor Stripes versions of Blood Orange and Viola Overboard are up for pre-order today through Monday or until spaces run out.
 These 2 yarns have non-striping siblings so be sure you are ordering the striped listings and not the regular variegated listing. Unless you want the variegated listings, of course!

All self-striping yarns are currently dyed on the Targhee Sock base. Targhee Sock is 90% superwash targhee wool/10% nylon. Targhee is a uniquely American wool -- developed, grown, and processed in the United States. It is a lofty wool with a round, supple hand that makes for a warm fabric that is next-to-skin soft. A small amount of nylon is added to provide extra durability.

Pre-Orders will ship out in approximately 2 weeks from Monday.

Reminder, the $5 soap sale ends April 30.

Monday, April 25, 2016

FOs on Parade

Is it just me or is the hay fever situation nuts this year? Even my beloved tea of last resort wasn't making a dent last week. I'm glad I work for myself because many bosses wouldn't accept that sneezing dozens of times as a good reason for missing half a day's work.

The upside of staying indoors a lot recently is knitting progress. Wooooo!!!! A month ago I posted this picture of WIPs:

The socks in the upper right and lower left are both finished, as is the chevron scarf (below). The green and brown cowl went to the frog pond. The purple sweater body is almost ready for joining with the arms. The toe of the purple/orange/cream socks look exactly the same as they did a month ago. They're even sitting in the same spot where I put them after I took that picture. Whoops.

Finished Objects
Picture by Don Quon
Pattern: Blue Bell Hill Scarf 
Designer: Jocelyn Tunney
Yarn: Dyeabolical® Id Squishy in Donkey Shane, Okie Dokie Artichokey, and Sebastian
Needle: US 6/4mm
Notes: It's finally done! I lost steam on this project last year while I was on the second to last section. I finished the last section a few weeks ago, plus added several more color blocks to make the scarf long enough for me. The pattern wants you to end on a stockinette section; I choose to end on a garter section to avoid curling. The pattern calls for a worsted weight knit on size 8s. I knit this with a heavy sport/dk weight on a size 6. I really love the resulting fabric, especially the garter stitch sections. Garter always has a higher squoosh factor than other stitches.

Pattern: Hogwarts Express
Designer: Susan Ashcroft
Yarn: Dyeabolical® Super Ego in Iris You Were Here and A Leaf on the Wind
Needle: US 5/3.75mm
Notes: Considering how long it usually takes me to finish a shawl, this one practically flew off the needles. I followed the pattern as written until the cable section. At the beginning of the cable section I switched to using a "k2, yo" increase at the beginning of each row instead of ceasing increasing as the pattern suggests. The increased stitches are worked in k2, p2 rib. The owl cable is worked as written. Iridescent oil slick beads were used for the eyes. I finished it off with 2 ridges of garter stitch and Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off (surprisingly almost a little too stretchy for this chronically loose knitter). This shawl is plenty big and I used less than half a skein of each color. Many thanks to my Slytherin sister for modeling and to my dad for offering to take such great pictures.

 Works in Progress
This bit of lovely lace has captured my attention. Finishing the cabled socks a few weeks ago really renewed my interest in knitting projects with a little bit more going on. I flew through 8 repeats of the Echo Flower Shawl easy peasy, but I'm at the nupp'd edging now. So. Many. Nupps. Will I fly through these last 2 charts or will this go in time out until I can bribe someone to make dozens of nupps for me? I honestly don't know.