Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sale and Show

The sale continues on in both my etsy and my artfire shops. If you spend $50 or more then domestic shipping is free. I have added every skein of yarn I have in my inventory now, except for a few duplicate sock colors. I have also added a knitted object, my Lady Eleanor Shawl.

Here is the copy from the listing:
Please note: The darker irregular-shaped spots across the surface of the fabric are simply shadows from a nearby tree. The stole itself is a basketweave-type pattern (entrelac) in gray, ivory, camel, tan and brown.

This long, luxurious and versatile stole is made from wool, silk, cashmere, angora, alpaca, kid mohair and camel. The luxurious fibers give the stole a wonderful drape and warmth that makes it perfect tossing artfully over your shoulders and pinning with an artistic brooch at your next special event. The warm earthy colors and the sturdy wool make this stole equally useful for wrapping up in front of the fire on chilly winter nights.

The dimensions are 31” wide x 76” long, not including the fringe. The fiber content of the yarn transitions when the color transitions, making for a texturally interesting accessory as well as a beautiful one.

55% wool, 10% silk, 7% cashmere, 7% angora, 7% alpaca, 7% kid mohair, 7% camelhair

This stole was previously a shop sample in a yarn store for a few months. It has been cleaned thoroughly, carefully inspected and is LIKE NEW and ready to give as a gift. A commissioned piece like this would be US $450.00.

I am willing to trade in full or part for marketing/website assistance, spinning equipment, large canning/pasteurizing pots, non-fabric mannequin forms, suitable camera, fabric prepared for dyeing, neat gadgets or ????

I will have a small display at the Missouri History Museum this coming Sunday for the Second Annual Green Living Expo from noon-4pm. I am splitting a table with The Knittress (aka Suzi)  who will have a variety of knitted accessories made from natural fibers and her friend who I believe is a jeweler. I am only bringing a limited amount of inventory with me, but I am looking to do a little wheeling and dealing that day since it is my last show of the year, so come on down. Just let me know you are a blog reader and I'll hook you up with a discount. If you would like me to bring something specific so you can see it in person just let me know and I will be happy to accommodate your request.  As always, I will be accepting cash, check or credit card.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope it was a wonderful day for you. Mine started out well, but 4 bites in to dinner the day turned in to a crazy combination of asthma, allergies, possible food poisoning and/or flu  that drove me away from the table and back to the privacy of my home so I could suffer in peace. Couldn't this have waited until tomorrow? Drats.

Before I head off to bed for the night (or weekend), I wanted to let you know about a few things.
  1. I have a new Artfire store. I am keeping my Etsy store, but I wanted to explore having both an Artfire and an Etsy shop. They seem to have different clientele. I'm curious to hear what people think of Artfire. It seems like an interesting venue!
  2. Kate from the KateOhKatie blog did a wonderful test knit of my Silkerino base yarn. Her beautiful Damson shawl (pattern by Ysolda Teague) took 1 skein of Silkerino in the teal color. Didn't she do a lovely job? Silkerino was supposed to be a limited edition yarn, but her shawl turned out so beautifully that I may put it in to regular rotation.

  3. I am offering free shipping on all orders over $50 from either my Etsy shop or my new Artfire store. Use the coupon code "I LOVE YARN" on Artfire to receive free shipping. Etsy unfortunately doesn't have a coupon option, so you will need to pay for your purchase first and then I will refund your shipping fee. I will happily combine orders from across the sites to make you eligible for free shipping.

 And now? I am for to die, but just for a little bit. Ugh.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

St. Louis Craft Mafia

I have been accepted in to the St. Louis Craft Mafia! This means that I will automatically be accepted in to several different shows and that my networking opportunities just exploded. I'm so excited!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dye weeks

I love dyeing weeks. I feel a much greater since of accomplishment when I have yarn on the drying rack at the end of the day. When I first started dyeing yarn it was the dyeing itself that took up the most time. Most days you will find me rewinding yarn, taking pictures, editing pictures, updating the shop, working on marketing materials, attempting to keep up on social media (surprisingly important!), staring woefully at a screen full of HTML wondering what I've gotten myself in to, and vacuuming. Always vacuuming. This business is nothing if not lint-producing.

When I decided to grow the business from part-time hobby to full-time job, I thought that would me more time behind the dye pots. I was wrong. I have invested in equipment to reduce prep and finishing times and developed techniques that are more efficient, so I am getting more yarn dyed. I'm just not spending more time doing it.

I cherish dye days much more now than I used to. I wake up early in the morning and start the yarns soaking. Today I'm dyeing the last of the chenille yarn. I pour a cup of coffee and check my email. I mix up any last dyes I think I might need. Yesterday I dyed red, green, blue, gold, purple. Today I mixed up yellow, orange, teal and brown.

I fill the pots if I'm kettle dyeing, lay out the plastic wrap and painting brushes and tools if I'm handpainting. The cotton yarns don't need anything special other than a place to rest while the dye takes up. I make sure iTunes is loaded up with podcasts. I put on my dye clothes in the rare case I can find clothes that aren't covered with dye. I lace up the comfy shoes. Then I zone out for several hours doing what I love to do best.

This yarn dyeing business is so much more than just dyeing yarn. It's yarn prep, yarn finishing, marketing, paperwork, networking, sample knitting (as opposed to fun knitting), customer service, shipping, photoshoots, photo editing and vacuuming. Always vacuuming. It is only sometimes dyeing yarn and I cherish those weeks when I get to do nothing but that.

I'm doing solid colors this week. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, teal, chocolate, gold. Think of the color combinations for a striped scarf! Red/green, blue/gold, green/gold/purple, teal/chocolate, teal/green or my favorite red/orange/yellow/green/blue/purple. I'm a sucker for a rainbow.

Now if you will excuse me, I have some chenille to dye. Happy knitting!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I am running an ad on Facebook. So far none of my knitter friends have seen it. Will you comment if you see it in your Facebook side bar? Even if you don't see it, check out the Dyeabolical facebook page to keep updated on Dyeabolical happenings.

Monday, November 9, 2009

O'Fallon craft show wrap up

We did so-so at the O'Fallon, Il craft show. I'm not sure we will return but it was a valuable learning experience. We also met some really great crafters at the show who were also first-timers.

I lusted after the glass enamel on copper jewelry from K.G. Jewelry. Hopefully they will have a website up soon. Cheryl Yeager from The Flying Dog and Co. and her granddaughter Sydney are both very creative who draw, make sculptured pins, paint, and knit. By the end of the weekend we had them spinning yarn, too. Sydney, the granddaughter, was so intuitive with her knitting and took right to spinning after only hearing instructions once. Both of them did this sort of backwards loop wrap when they were knitting English style (right handed) that was very efficient and fast. I plan on sitting down today to see if I can replicate it.

Our next show will be the Green Living Expo (pdf link) at the Missouri History Museum on Sunday, December 6th from noon-4pm. I am splitting a table with Suzi from The Knittresses. She will have hand knitted items made from wool, alpaca and other natural fibers. I will probably be bringing 3 or 4 cubes-worth of product since I am limited on space. I will have a sock yarns, cotton slub, spinning fibers and a little bit of silk. Even if you don't come for the yarn, come for the other vendors. It sounds like it will be a worthwhile event.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

O'Fallon High School Craft Fair

Scott and I will be at the O'Fallon, IL High School craft fair this weekend. If you are in the area, stop by. I have never been to this craft fair before but I hear it is very large. Here is the pertinent info:

Dates: Saturday Nov. 7th 9am - 5pm and Sunday Nov. 8th 10am - 4pm

Address: 600 S Smiley Street, O'Fallon, IL, 62269-2316

My table: Booth #1614 in the multipurpose room. I am splitting a table with local horror author Elizabeth Donald. Look for the gothic booth decorations, books and yarn you can see from space. You can't possibly miss us.

Admission Fee: $3

Here's a sampling of what I'm bringing--

Doing this baby right

Originally uploaded by sungazing

I do love a baby wrapped in Noro.

Thanks you to Julie from Sungazing Photography for sharing this picture of her latest subject, baby Gianna. Gianna is nestled in the first Noro project I ever made. Julie fell in love with this purse. Before I gave it to her I put together a rigid basket "liner" made from plastic canvas, spray glue and fake leather to help keep the bag from losing its shape when filled with normal purse contents. I can't guarantee bag integrity when you fill said bag with babies, Julie. ;)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Roving Roving Roving

This morning I spend time separating and fluffing some felting wool and roving I'm bringing with me to the O'Fallon, Il High School craft fair this weekend. It makes me wish I had a working wheel. I miss spinning!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Progress Continues

I'm knitting knitting knitting on my February Lady Sweater made from my own Cotton Slub yarn and still not done. It's the downside of being fat. I'm happy with who I am and accepting of the size I'm at, but if anything can give me a complex about my size it's how damned long it takes to knit a sweater. I'm estimating that adding full sleeves plus extending the length will put me just under 4 skeins to knit this, or about a $40 investment. Not bad.

This is what I've accomplished so far. I am sorely tempted to finish it off right now, but a cropped cap-sleeve shrug isn't my style. Wouldn't this be cute over a summer dress for someone else? One of my sisters or sisters-in-law, maybe? I have lots and I'm pretty sure none of them read this blog. I'm sure if you were making a smaller size (M? L? Even XL?) you could bind off the sleeves here and add a garter stitch hem with less than 2 skeins. That's less than $20 for a nice sweater to throw on during cool summer nights.