Friday, October 30, 2009

New Sock Yarns

I've been posting new sock yarns! The yarns on top have been listed on etsy already. The ones towards the bottom will be listed this weekend. I am really pleased how these new colors turned out. Normally I let intuition and inspiration guide my dye application and color choice. This leads to highly individual skeins when I'm using methods other than strict handpainting. This time I asked my twitter followers what there high school colors were. I used the colors of the first several responses as a jumping off point for these new colors. Unlike my other non-painted yarns, I can repeat nearly all of these fairly closely. The method I use still leads to a lot of variation between skeins, as you can see, but I can get in the ball park if I wanted to repeat some of these colors.

What do you think? Click here for a larger image.

October Sock Yarns

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spiral Crochet Scarf Pattern

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Spiral Crochet Scarf
©2007, Dyeabolical
Pattern is for personal use and may not be reproduced or distributed without the consent of the author
Almost any yarn will work with this project. Different yarns will yield drastically different results for this scarf. All scarves pictured used approximately 150g of yarn.

Gauge for this project is not critical for good results. A tighter gauge will give you a firmer fabric. A looser gauge will give you a softer fabric with more drape.

Appropriate for the yarn chosen.

Foundation Row: Begin with a slip knot. Chain an until the length is approximately the length you want your scarf to be. Justify Full

Row 1: Make a double crochet in 2nd chain from hook. *Make 1 double crochet in the next chain and 2 double crochet in the following chain. Repeat from * to the end of the row. End with 1 double crochet if you have a chain left over.

Row 2 and all following rows: 2 double crochet in each double crochet across the row. Repeat until desired width is reached.

Weave in ends and block. To tighten the spirals during blocking, soak the scarf in a gentle wash. Press the excess water out. Starting at one end begin twisting in the direction of the spiral until you have a tight spiral. Secure either end in clips of a pants hanger run the middle of the scarf around the neck of the hanger. Unclip when dry and give it a few good shakes.

The spiral shape and tightness of the spiral can be affected by changing the first row.

The less full spiral was made by doing 1 double crochet in every chain the first row and completing row 2 & 3 as written in the pattern.

This fuller spiral shape was made by making 2 double crochets in every chain in the first row.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cotton Slub Update

Cotton Slubs for 10/13/09
(Left to right, top to bottom: Aubergine, Booster Golden, Honey Wheat, Kelly Green, Lemon (new!), Pale Amethyst, Peculiar Purple, Perfect Turquoise, Pinky, Rustic Red, Second Hand Store, Teal, Wisteria Variegated, a stack of Aubergine skeins)

I've just relisted some of the Cotton Slub yarn in my etsy shop. This yarn has great yardage and a great texture for a great price. A lightweight pullover or a swingy cardigan generally takes less than 4 skeins--less than $40! Each skein is a minimum of 100g and 310 yards. Many skeins have bonus yardage that stretch your knitting dollar further.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Casting on

Do you ever struggle with starting a project? I have cast on and ripped for several projects in the past few weeks. Dyeing is at a stand still until more yarn arrives and a cold front has moved through. I have taken advantage of this momentary lull in activity to make some garments that will both inspire other people to knit with Dyeabolical yarn and will keep us warm.

I limited myself to 1 pair of socks and sweater. I wanted a swingy cardigan that could be made from either 3 skeins of the silk/merino fingering yarn I have left over or from 4 skeins or less of the cotton slub. Scott requested a pair of socks for himself nearly 6 months ago so that was also on the agenda.

Most of the patterns I liked for the cardigan required a worsted weight yarn. I could certainly substitute, but there is only so many things you can do to sport cotton to make it behave like worsted wool. I cast on for several sweaters, including a broomstick lace cardigan, and ripped them right out again before settling on the perfect sweater--February Lady Sweater inspired by Annie's most recent finished project. I'm using the color Jamie Green in the Cotton Slub yarn. I thought I would have to adjust the pattern because my yarn is thinner than the worsted it called for, but no! I'm hitting spot on the required gauge even though I went down several needle sizes.
After casting on for many different socks, I settled on using my Strong Arm sock yarn in the Old Jeans colorway to make a pair of Tadpoles for Scott. I managed to get the entire cuff done in one evening and that's where progress stalled. It took me a few days to finish the heel and now I'm slogging through the gusset wishing I could cast on for something else. Knitters ADD? What are you knitting?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Several people at Strange Folk asked for the cashmere blend spinning fibers I had last year. It was a popular product and several people stopped by the table to show me their finished yarns. Beautiful! And soft, too! I wavered a bit on my decision to cut back to just superwash merino and Australian wool rovings.

My decision not to bring anything fancier with me was motivated by the steep increases in prices this year. The diminishing quality of cashmere overall, regardless of where it is milled, added to my resolution not to bring a cashmere blend with me. I just didn't think it was a good fit on the table this year.

Since making that decision I have run across interesting reading material on the environmental and economic impact of cashmere herding and processing. This Chicago Tribune article does an excellent in depth review of the environmental issues. has a lesson plan on the subject of cashmere herding and farming in Mongolia. If you have a few more minutes to devote to reading than this thread on Ravelry is an interesting read. Now I'm wondering if carrying cashmere at all is the right decision for Dyeabolical. I need to do a little more soul searching on this issue.

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Patterns!

I have added 3 new patterns to my Ravelry store in the last several days.

All Hands On Deck
Top-down mittens for any size hands in any weight yarn
with special notes for large hands

A whimsical hat in Halloween colors

A wide brimmed tam/beret for both men and women
made from fingering weight/sock yarn

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Strange Folk Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who came out and made Strange Folk a success! I have heard nothing but positive feedback from vendors and attendees except for possibly the lack of funnel cakes. Ahem. KUDOS to Autumn and her minions for making Strange Folk and the Upcycle Exchange a success!

I sold out or nearly sold out of many yarns. Yay! Some of the yarns I brought with me did so well that I will be turning them in to official lines and have them in the shop in the future. I will definitely be carrying more:
  • cotton warp
  • felting fibers
I have a little bit of 2-ply tussah silk left, along with some silk thread, cotton boucle, and a sw wool/bamboo blend that I will be posting to etsy soon. They are good yarns that are fantastic in person, but don't necessarily translate well on a website and therefore won't be part of the regular rotation. It's hard to convey softness, drape and texture in pixels.

I'm on the fence about putting the silk/merino in to regular rotation. On the one hand, OMGSOFT! PRETTY! On the other hand, nearly $50 a skein with shipping.
(a left over Silkerino skein)

Many of my favorite knitters stopped by the table to say hello, including several members of the Artisan Guild of Southern Illinois who were showing off their hand spun yarns made from roving I sold them last year. How awesome is that?
(2 oz. of cashmere blend in Joker colorway plied with 2-ply white wool, spun by Karen)

(Beth spun tencel merino "Can't Hit the Side of a..." in to a bouncy great worsted weight yarn)
(Isn't this scarf amazing? Spun and knit from cashmere blend "Christmas is Coming" by Susan)

If you Southern Illinoisans (or even Missourians) are looking for a comprehensive artists guild, check out Artisan Guild of Southern Illinois. They are intensely passionate about their various crafts and are eager to share their knowledge. Unfortunately they meet on the one day a week that I can't break free otherwise I would spend all my time with them, I think.

And now for a non-Strange Folk update. The more Dyeabolical becomes a full-time endeavor the more I find myself wanting a separate space for blogging, a 'private public' space if you will. I may talk about the same event or project, but the point of view will differ. For example, I'll have a Strange Folk update on my other blog but it will talk about what I bought instead of what I sold. You are absolutely welcome to come over to my other blog and read. It IS a public blog, after all, but after today I won't be linking to it except on rare occasions. Be sure to update your RSS feeds if you want to follow both blogs!