Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Felting at Paste Crafts

I visited Paste Crafts with Deborah last night for a needle felting class taught by the lovely Katatomic. Paste sells my felting fiber and uses it for classes, so it was a little surreal to be taking a class on how to use my own supplies.

The other 3 participants, Stacy, Mimi and Deborah made really awesome felted flowers. Mine was pretty good. Deborah showed a natural aptitude for the craft and made a felted lady bug while we the rest of us were finishing up. I wish I had brought a camera. Maybe Deborah will post pics?

I'm not sure needle felting will play a prominent role in my crafting life, but I can see myself making felted beads or other inclusions for handspinning art yarn.

While I was at Paste I switched out some of my sock yarn for 3 colors of Cotton Slub* to see if it works for their customer base. If you would like to check it out or are in need of crafty supplies and happen to be in the St. Louis/Soulard area, stop by Paste!  

*Cotton Slub is also available through Knitorious and through my online shops.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lunchtime Listings, A Sincere Thank you, Strange Folk and Roving

  • I've started doing what I call "Lunchtime Listings" on most days. I usually list a new item or put an older item on sale, although sometimes I will relist an item that has sold or that I think has been lost in the shuffle.You can find my Lunchtime Listings on my Twitter feed or on my Facebook business page*. For blog readers only, you can take 15% off any Lunchtime Listing this week. Pay as you normally would and I will refund your 15%. Be sure to put "Lunchtime Listing" in the Note to Buyer to receive your discount.  *My regular facebook page is here. Feel free to add me! (and no, my last name isn't really 'Dyeabolical', but it would be SO AWESOME if it were)
  • There are a lot of quality dyers out there, some new and some who have been around for awhile, but there are also a lot of get-rich-quick, fly-by-night dyeing operations out there who may not know or care that they are giving the rest of us a bad name. I want to sincerely thank you for continuing to buy hand dyed and handmade from artisans who focus on quality, customer service and artistry. I love my job and it fits my needs, but it is a lot of work for not a lot of money. Knowing that you appreciate hand dyed means the world.
  • I got in to  Strange Folk Festival again this year! Wooohoo! Last year the spinners at Strange Folk asked for more diversity in my spinning fibers. You're getting it this year, spinners! I have already dyed a few pounds of wensleydale. Over the next few months I'll be listing polwarth, Falkland, merino, bfl and bfl/silk blends. Here is a (really fuzzy) preview of the wensleydale! This stuff is dyeing dying to be spun in to laceweight singles. Look for a few of the colors to make it as Lunchtime Listings this week! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Purlieu Pics

I was inspired to take better pictures of the Purlieu scarf I wrote about yesterday. Suddenly being inspired to take better pictures may be due to the fact that Knittyblog asked if they could use a picture in their Knittyspotting feature. Yay!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Using thick and thin art yarns

This is a tale of two hanks of Dyeabolical Handspun -- Art Yarn Edition.

The first is a lumpy bumpy thick and thin with the occasional coil and super bumpy bits.

It knit up nicely in to a remarkably difficult-to-photograph, but attractive nonetheless, Purlieu scarflette. This piece has a warm yet avantgarde appeal to it. It isn't for everyone, but for the right person (ahem, me!) it is the perfect accessory for a chilly Saturday night stomping around from gallery to gallery with spikey hair and heavy combat boots (I wish!). 

The second skein is a pink yarn thread plied with a sturdy nylon metallic thread with an orange tint streaking through it. It, too, is thick and thin with coils and non-traditional elements. Color aside, this yarn is very similar to the yarn above, but in the hands of a different knitter it has a whole different appeal.

The knitter, the lovely Deborah, paired this pink thick and thin thread-plied yarn with 2 skeins of Rowan's Kid Silk Haze for a light weight and attractive scribble lace shawl. The addition of a large tassel adds weight and drama to this whisper thin shawl. As you can see, it looks stunning worn dramatically wrapped around the shoulders over an attractive ensemble.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cotton Warp

I finally got the Cotton Warp listed last week and then promptly forgot to blog about it. Oops. Bad business owner. Bad blogger. No cookie.
 My creation

Cotton Warp is one of those yarns that sells well in person, but doesn't translate well online. I'd like to tell you more about this yarn and why I chose to carry it in my shops. 

There were 2 inspirations for this yarn. First, there are a lot of people out there who don't "get" hand dyed yarn or may be unaware of how many yarn options we have these days.  I wanted some sort of gateway drug yarn in to the world of hand dyed yarns.  Second, I wanted something exclusively for the weavers.

Cotton Warp 5/2 fit both needs. A big box knitter could try out a skein of indie hand dyed and make a finished project for a fairly low investment. Additionally, the lower price takes some of the pressure of finding the "perfect" pattern that some knitters sometimes have that keeps them from trying a yarn that may otherwise call to them. Plus, it's warp! It's designed as warp yarn for weavers!

  Woven Napkin by Crafty and Crap

The Cotton Warp is a nice, inexpensive way to knit/crochet/weave with hand dyed yarns. It is only $6.50 a hank and each hank is 463 yards of light fingering weight yarn. It can be used held single for fine-weight items, like shawls, or held double and triple for thicker items, such as crocheted potholders, wash clothes, bags and lightweight garments.
Double thick potholder made from Cotton Warp 5/2 held double
This yarn is a non-mercerized cotton warp. It is intended to be strong and soft to hold up to the abrasion of weaving. The hand of the fabric is soft and drapes well. Just because this yarn was intended for utilitarian purposes--wash cloths and baby bibs--don't let it stop you from knitting and crocheting wonderfully lightweight and colorful garments and accessories.

Crocheted shopping bag by ChrystalMo
I use the base yarn as a canvas to try out different color combinations or dyeing techniques, much the same way I do with my spinning roving. If I have new dyes or left over dyes, I pour them on and see what good new combinations I can come up with.  Because of this, many colorways are not repeated unless they prove to be good sellers. For this reason, you should buy enough hanks to finish your project.
Baby bibb from Mason Dixon Knitting, held double
At $6.50 a hank, I do hope you try it out sometime.

Monday, July 12, 2010


St. Louis knitters are in for a treat this month. The yarn shops are having a shop crawl! Sandy from Knitorious talked about it this morning on Fox 2 News. Dyeabolical even got a mention!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cotton Warp soon, I promise

J.D. from Craft Gossip gave my Cotton Warp a great write-up and I promptly sold out of most of my colors. Since then I have dyed up 8 skeins each of 5 new colors and they have been ready to photograph for a week now. I let my partner's staycation get in the way of my work. While it was fun to sit around doing nothing but spinning and watching TV all week, it's time to get back to work.

Tomorrow I'll photograph this big bag of Cotton Warp and I'll list it tomorrow, too. Promise.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Silly to think

It was silly to think that my Knitting the Queue project would last any longer than the time gap between issues of Knitty. In fact, Knitting the Queue lasted exactly as long as the gap between the last issue of Knitty, which didn't have anything I had to knit right now, and the current issue, which has 4 things I want now.

I will keep plugging away at Lizard Ridge (no progress) and the Slither elbow length gloves.

I finished 2 Apres-ski kerchiefs from some handspun art yarn I traded for at a recent show.  It's gorgeous yarn.

I cast on for a sweater I can wear to the new Harry Potter without it screaming "obsessed fangirl". The pattern is called Classic Hoodie by Pheonix Bess. I am using Valley Yarn's Colrain, which is a wool/tencel blend. The pattern starts out with a dense 1x1 rib for 2.5" that they are calling nearly invisible and then decreases by nearly half the stitches when it transitions in to stockinette. I understand the theory behind casting on a huge amount of ribbing and decreasing them out, but it doesn't take the sting of having to knit 2.5" of 1x1 rib when every row has 432 stitches.  This is a sweater that I could easily be talked out of knitting until I get past the ribbing section.

And that's all I will be working on from Knitting the Queue for a while. In the meantime, Knitty. 
The new issue of Knitty is awesome. What don't I want to knit? 
Jewels by Amy from Spunky Eclectic. I think in honor of my new spinning wheel, which Amy sold me, I ought to spun up yarn for this. 

 Mythos. I seriously couldn't fall asleep last night thinking about this sweater. I don't believe in making a sweater smaller than I am currently in hopes I will lose weight, but I have a yarn in mind and in stash that has enough yardage for two sizes smaller than I actually wear. Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I? Shouldn't I? 

 Coquille shawl. I can't tell if I love this shawl or if I am obsessing over it because of the stripes. Any excuse for Noro, you know?

I cast on for Purlieu yesterday. I am using some lumpy bumpy thick and thin I was going to save for scribble lace. The Purlieu pattern uses 2-stitch short rows to emphasize the floofy yellow sections of yarn used in the pattern.

I think the yarn I am using may be plenty floofy on its own without any help. I need to knit a few more rows to decide if I love the Big. Giant. Bobbles.
Terrible cell pic of my Purlieu so far

Today's TdF stage started an hour ago and I still haven't pulled out the wheel. I suppose I ought to do that....

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I am using this month's Tour de Fleece to spin up samples of each of the merino rovings I recently dyed and also to practice my art yarns techniques. The colors are, for the most part, one of a kind colors and every braid is slightly different.

My creation
The roving on the left is called Tie Dye. I used 2 braids to make 4 110-yard skeins of a dk to worsted weight 2-ply, fractal spun. There are 2 braids of Tie Dye remaining and the 4 skeins of handspun will be listed for sale next week. Please let me know if you would like me to reserve a skein or more for you.

Fractal spinning is a technique I learned about in Spin Off magazine. You split the roving in half lengthwise. You spin one half straight on to the bobbin, which makes one looooonnnng color repeat. The other half is further split lengthwise and each of those thinner pieces are spun on to a second bobbin. This second bobbin is filled with shorter color repeats. When you ply those 2 bobbins together you come out with a barberpoled yarn that gently self-stripes. 

My creation
The roving on the left is called Carnival. I used 1 braid to make 2 skeins of a super thick and thin yarn, plied with a periwinkle blue. There are 3 braids of Carnival left and the 2 skeins of handspun will be listed for sale next week. Let me know if you would like me to reserve a skein or two for you!

My creation
This roving is simply called Black and Red. I used 1 braid to make a hybrid of the 2 skeins above. This is a 2 ply yarn, but one of the plies alternates between very thick and very thin. I have 2 braids left of Black and Red. I am planning on using this skein of handspun to make a scarf for myself, but I can easily spin up more if you are interested.

As always, I am happy to do custom spinning for any of the fibers I offer. I can do custom spinning for most non-Dyeabolical wools, too.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tower Grove

Just a reminder, I will NOT be at Tower Grove this weekend.  I will have a booth at Tower Grove again in October.