Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Giving Tree & My Apples Are Gone

Like these patterns? Want them for free? Keep reading...

Hey cabled sock lovers! The very talented Heidi Nick has designed 2 new socks using Dyeabolical® Super Ego sock yarn. Mmm, thick wooly cabled goodness!  These socks are top-down, written for 2 circular needls (but easy enough to switch to convert to magic loop or DPNs). She doesn't use a traditional heel flap or gusset, but instead uses a method of increasing for the gusset first and then turning the heel. I haven't knit these myself yet, but they are definitely on the agenda once I work through a bit of obligation knitting.
The Giving Tree in Moonlight Kisses

My Apples Are Gone in Kissing Booth

Do you want a free copy of The Giving Tree and My Apples Are Gone?  
Heidi has generously offered to provide a free Ravelry download of both patterns with the purchase of Dyeabolical® yarn. Please let me know when you order that you would like a coupon code and I would be happy to pass it along. The offer is good through the end of this year. This pattern requires 1 hank of Super Ego yarn or 2 hanks of any of my other fingering weight yarns (Sturdy Sock, Tenacious Sock, Alter Ego, or Bounce). 

One hank will make a pair of these socks. To order, go to the made-to-order yarn section, click the color you would like, then choose the yarn base you would like. Here are some of the colors that I think would work great for this pattern. Happy knitting!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Strange Folk Booth

Hi all! I hope you can make it out to the Strange Folk Festival this weekend in O'Fallon, Il. Compared to previous years, we have really stepped up our game. We will have a selection of yarn in all of our bases, a lot of fiber, mini skeins (including several sets of Highlighter Minis), perfumes, and a ton of bar soaps (but no glycerin soaps this year - I ran out of time!). We also have samples knit/spun up to inspire you, and we will be able to take special orders for sweater quantities of yarn and fiber. It is going to be awesome.

Below is a map of the area we are in. We are just on the other side of the pavilion where the red arrow is pointing. We have changed our logo since the last time we were at Strange Folk, so look for the orange and pink pom-pom garland and our new banner. See you there!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Upcoming Shows

The season is turning, and that can only mean one thing -- fall festivals and knitting all the things! Apple cider, funnel cakes, pumpkin spice everything, and piles of hand knitted goodies. The best of all things, right?

I hope you can make it to one of the shows that I am vending this fall. If not, please consider visiting one of the yarn shops that sell Dyeabolical® yarn or ordering online. There are new shops in Florida, Oregon, California, and a traveling yarn truck in New York.

Thank you for supporting Dyeabolical!

Strange Folk Festival

O'Fallon, IL - Strange Folk is the largest outdoor indie art & craft festival in the Heartland and totally worth a road trip. There are 150 indie crafts vendors (including several of knitterly interest), live bands, food trucks, DIY activities for adults and kids, and demonstrations. Click here for a full list of vendors, exhibits, bands, and food trucks.  I will have a ton yarns, fiber, grab bags, handmade soaps, and perfumes with me, including the new super bulky singles yarn and the new merino/silk/yak yarn.

World's Smallest Craft Show

St. Louis, MO - I will again be vending at the World's Smallest Craft Show house party on October 11 in South St. Louis (near Hampton & Fyler). This show will feature gluten-free baked goodies,handmade bags & crocheted accessories by AEC Designs, t-shirt yarn, upcycled accessories by textile artist Suzanne Hirth, various items from print-artist Kat Kissick, and Dyeabolical soaps, yarns & fibers, as well as other crafted goodness. I will be there from 10am - 2pm. Click here and scroll down to "Upcoming Shows" for directions.

Hawken House Christmas Market @ Rolling Ridge Nursery

Webster Groves, MO - On November 9th, I will be at the Hawken House Christmas Market at Rolling Ridge Nursery in Webster Groves, MO selling soaps and perfumes. This Sunday market runs from 10-4:30. It is an excellent opportunity to get some early holiday shopping done.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Contrary Cabled Cowl

The lovely and talented Cindy Dahle Remke from The Gauge Wars Blog published a new pattern this morning, using Dyeabolical® Aran Singles yarn, called Contrary Cable Cowl. It's pretty great, right? Here is the pattern description from Cindy:
This snug fitting cowl has an interesting texture where stockinette and garter stitch cables meet. With aran weight yarn, held double, this is a quick knit. It is September after all so we need to start thinking about Christmas knitting! :) The top circumference is able to accomodate children and adults, with the bottom widening to fit comfortably on the shoulders under a coat. It is the perfect accessory for winter play, ensuring no one’s neck or face get cold in the wind and snow.
Dyeabolical® Aran Singles yarn is a single-ply, aran weight, fine wool yarn. It has 200 yards per 100 gram hank and is available in a wide-variety of dyed-to-order semisolid and variegated colors. To order, go to the made-to-order yarn section, click the color you would like, then choose the yarn base you would like. Aran Singles is available to be dyed in all of the semisolid and most of the variegated colors. This cowl would look great in the colors below. The color used in the pattern is called King Of The Pond.

Left to right: Kissing Booth, Poisoned Cherry, Big Cheddar, Don't Feed The Bears
Tempest Tease, King Of the Pond, Wicked City Woman, Glaucous
Fish Bowl, Je Ne Sais Quoi, Everyone Likes Pie, Nehi to a Grasshopper
Quarter Sawn, Polar Vortex, Grayson, Raja

See more information on The Gauge Wars blog. Click here to purchase the pattern. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

FO: August Ornament Swap - Glub Glub

Who doesn't love a good swap? For the last few years I have been enjoying mini swaps, especially the ornament swaps in Susan Anderson's Itty Bitty Knitters group. One ornament, one greeting card. No fuss. I have gotten the best ornaments for my Christmas tree.

This month the talented Paula sent me this Santa ornament. I love how his beard and hat are hooked. Little details like that always amuse me.
I sent Greg, a fisherman, this fishy ornament:
Pattern: Tiny Fish from Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi
Yarn: random scraps
Modifications: I added a fishing bobber to the top. I was going to string this on ribbon, but then someone pointed out that the bubbles were like beads. I had some left over supplies from a previous project, so I used jump rings and headpins with loops on them (not sure what these are called?) to turn this fish in to an ornament.
Card: The card was from a set of dinosaur cards that my friend Mindy made for me.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sundays Are For Blogging

Craft bloggers often post high quality, high resolution photos of their very clean and luxurious living and studio spaces. Who are these people and how come they don't have 14 shopping bags full of wips on the floor or yarn hanging from the book case?

It has been a busy week at Chez Dyeabolical.  The final 30 lbs of the fall cold processed soap is now on the curing rack and the soaping dishes have not yet been cleaned up. The packaging issue for the fall glycerin soaps has been settled. Yarn was sent off to a new shop. My website randomly stopped working, but only for me. I shipped quite a few orders and prepped yarn for this coming week's shipments. I taught 2 spindle spinning classes to 12 really excellent people and then went grocery shopping. I think when the heat index is 105 degrees, parking is bad, and you live on the 3rd floor walk up that grocery shopping gets to count as a major accomplishment. My big plans for today include reading, knitting mindless garter stitch, and later catching up on emails. What is in store for your Sunday?

My Insta-week - a garter stitch shawl made from handspun, freshly cut soaps, new soap packaging for the glycerin soap cubes, the classroom before the spinners arrived, a box of Yakety Yak on its way to Nitro Knitters in Beaverton, OR, yarn hanging to dry, a Christmas ornament from my Itty Bitty Knitter swap partner, a wet batch of Themysicra version 2.0. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A bit of catching up and two new yarns

A customer asked me last week if I was giving up yarn in favor of soap. NO WAY! I will never give up yarn. I suppose it seems like I am way in to soap lately, and that's partially true. I am have been working very intensely lately to expand the bath and body line and to get ready for fall shows.

Some of my new soaps take 4-6 weeks to cure (worth it!), so I have been working like mad in between getting my regular orders together. I'm on my last 5 batches, which will be done today and then it's all yarn, all the time for about another 3 weeks. Then a week of fiber. Then a week of labeling. Then a week of laying on the floor exhausted, then Strange Folk!!


I talked a bit about this on Twitter a few days ago, but I thought blog readers may be interested in how my schedule works.

Every morning I check for new orders, ship orders, check up on social media, and triage my emails.The rest of my day is spent like this:
  • 2 days a week I dye yarn. Dyeing yarn can be physically taxing, and also a challenge when living in a small space. 2 12-hour days is about my limit. This is partially why special orders have a wait time. During that 12 hours I...
    • heat my pots (which takes for-ev-er)
    • wind yarn
    • dye a full lot of each color ordered. If only 1 hank is ordered then I will usually still dye a full lot and put the extras aside for shop updates and show inventory. 
      • kettle dye yarn/fiber one day
      • hand paint yarn on the other day (I don't hand paint fiber anymore)
    • make labels
    • rehank any yarn that needs to ship that week (sometimes with help)
    • clean up
    • order a pizza, because there is no way I'm cooking either day. The kitchen is too busy!
  • 1 day a week I work in a yarn shop. If I'm not too busy catching up on Dyeabolical work then  I have coffee with some friends in the morning and go to my knit night in the evening.
  • 2 days a week are reserved for special projects. What I'm working on depends on the time of the year. During the late summer I am usually doing something show related, like making inventory or cursing my lack of talent in designing booth displays. In the springtime and early summer I am working on patterns, designs, or developing new colors. This year I spent my 2 days working on 2 new yarn lines (see below) and expanding the soap line to be self-sustaining in time for Christmas markets, as well as outlining quite a few new ideas for patterns.

  • 2 days a week for days off in theory. Whether or not I take a weekend depends a lot on what's going on. This year has been a really excellent and busy year, and there has been a lot of spillover. As any small business owner will tell you, there is no such thing as a day off, even when you have the day off.
  • Sundays are for blogging. Again, in theory. I need to return to this. It relaxes me.

Here is my proof that I haven't slacked off on yarn.

Yaksley, Grapes of Yak, Monterey Yak, Yak of Hearts, Yak of the Pond, Yak the Knife, Yaktastic, Yak It Up
I had a quiet release several weeks ago of two new yarns. The first is called Yakety Yak. It is a naturally heathered gray fingering weight, Italian spun yarn dyed in a rainbow of semi-solid colors. The composition is 60% superwash merino/20% tussah silk/20% yak. YAK!! It is super soft and great for shawls and garments. Yakety Yak has its own category in the shop for dyed-to-order listings, but there are also a few hanks ready to ship under in-stock yarns.

The second yarn is a super bulky single-ply wool that was grown, processed and dyed in the US. There are 57 yards per 100 grams. The gauge is 2-2.5 stitches per inch. Most of my dyed-to-order colors are available on this base, with the exception of the highlighter colors and some of the trickier variegated colors. Click the color you are interested in and choose "Super Bulky" from the drop down list of available bases.  One hank makes a skinny scarf. Two hanks makes the 5-hour Hat and Gaiter pattern.