Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm famous! Plus podcasts I lurve

Well, sort of famous and sort of of my own design. I sent some yarn and fiber out for review recently and the reviews are starting to come in. Thank you very much to Carin of the Round the Twist videocast and Laura and Leslie from The Knitgirllls videocast for some great reviews and mentions! I embedded both of their most recent videocasts at the bottom of this post.

What podcasts do you listen to? Some of my favorite knitting podcasts are Cast On, Knitmore Girls, Let's Knit2gether, Spin Control (who may have possibly picked out a few somethings from my inventory to use as a giveaway in the near future), Stash and Burn, Round the Twist and Knitgirllls. Favorite non-knitting podcasts include The Ethicist, Car Talk, and the "Stuff" podcasts--Stuff You Should Know, Stuff Mom Never Told You, Stuff You Missed in History Class.



Monday, September 27, 2010

Strange Folk Wrap Up

Thanks to everyone who came out to see us at the Strange Folk Festival! We loved seeing you. We met so many awesome new people--a couple who does natural dyeing, a teacher who uses fiber arts in her class room, a podcaster, a woman who told us about knitting during the war and stories about her grandfather who served  in the British Army in the 1800s--and we got to visit with so many old friends. We love you!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Poison D'Art

Remember this color I was asking for name suggestions for?

I settled on calling it Saint Louie Blues, but as we reskeined it in the light of day that little bit of green really popped out and ruined it for St. Louis Blues colors. It did, however, look exactly like this:
By Tambako Posted under a Creative Commons License
We played around a little with the name and settled on Poison D'Art, as in object d'art. Many thanks to Sharon for the suggestions of poison dart frog. Many thanks to all of you for all the really great name suggestions. I'm filing away Saint Louis Blues and Starry Night for future colors.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Done!

I'm done labeling, pricing and counting, thanks to the hard work of Deborah, Ann and Scott. Once I hit the publish button on this post I'll be off work until Saturday morning when we pack the car for Strange Folk. YAHOO! I forgot to snap pictures of the yarn and rovings themselves--D'oh!-- but I did manage these 3 pictures of bags and batts that I'll have at the booth.

Strange Folk Festival

Are you getting excited? My stomach won't stop flipping around for lots of reasons but mostly,  I'm excited to be there, I'm excited to see everyone and I'm worried I'll forget something vital like change or a toothbrush. I'm relatively certain I'll remember to bring the yarn.

Everything in the windowsill, on the table and hanging from the light fixture is what I'm taking. 75 pounds of yarn. It doesn't feel like much, but then I remember how I had 18 pounds of yarn the first year and I thought my table was so full. Last year we booked 2 tables and we were bursting out of the table. Clearly I have more than enough yarn and fiber for the space, but I can't help but think that maybe I ought to have ordered and dyed another 30 pounds or so. You know, just in case I accidentally stumble on to a way to bend space and time to make it all fit in the booth. :P
My biggest tummy flipper is that I have agreed to teach a beginning knitting class in addition to working the booth, plus I want to visit with the knit-in that I organized and that Ann is running. Thank you, Ann! I have already way over committed myself and I'm super stressed out about it. Next year, no lessons until Sunday morning. I'm not sure what I was thinking by offering to teach a class during the busiest part of the day.

Well, that's enough of my projecting my stress on to you. It's detail time!

  • The festival officially opens at 10am and closes at 6pm.
  • There is no giveaway this year so there won't be that mad dash of people first thing.
  • There is not an ATM on premises, but there is one at Regions Bank on Hwy 50.
  • Speaking of money, I accept checks and credit cards. 
  • Sales tax is 7.85%. Some people collect it, some don't. I usually do, but this year I've decided to eat the cost of it without increasing my prices. You're getting a 7.85% discount! 
  • I am under the pavilion. I have a corner in the middle. If you knew where I was the last 2 years, I am back to back with that space. 
  • Knitting lessons begin in the Paste Crafts tent at 11am. 
  • The Knit-In begins at 12 and goes until 3. Bring your knitting, crochet or spinning wheel. Strange Folk organizers are providing blankets for people to sit on and space if you want to bring your own chair. 
  • More info here: http://www.strangefolkfestival.com/

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yep. Fall's here.

This is probably why my right eye is throbbing, my left eye is watering and why I keep having dreams that I can't breath.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Super Sleepy Sunday

The god Java has been of enormous help these past few weeks.
My kitchen has looked like this for 2 weeks. I'm not a neat freak, but this drives me crazy even though it is totally necessary to do my job. From left to right: 3 different kinds of soap, all have a different purpose. A sink full of BFL wool. The god Java, to keep me alive. A bunch of buckets full of merino wool nepps to be carded in to art batts later. Cat food, to keep the cats alive. Sorry for contaminating your food, cats. I suppose I should have moved your food bin. Ditto for the toaster.  The counter on the other side of the kitchen looks almost exactly the same except instead of a coffee maker and cat food there is a drum carder and a skein winder. If you don't want fiber in your food then don't ask me to cook in my kitchen. 



Speaking of carding, I got some more batts done. Almost all the batts I am making right now are from a batch of polwarth wool that went awry. Almost every braid turned out either brown or blue. See, polwarth doesn't seem to want to suck up dye like merino and bfl do, so the dye sat in the pot too long and muddied. They're so-so as braids, but fantastic as batts, don't you think? 

This picture is a good example of how polwarth dyes compared to other fibers. I used basically the same colors on both of these braids in basically the same amount. The top in the left is bfl. The top on the right is polwarth. Crazy, huh?

I have a new batch of Dyeabolical Drawstring bags! Marilin just dropped off a basket of really cute reversible drawstring project bags that are perfect for socks. She changed the design slightly from last year. This picture really does not do the design justice at all. I'll get some good pictures if there are any left after the Strange Folk Festival on Saturday. The bags are slightly taller and fatter, set flat, the casings are slightly bigger to allow for a tighter close and there are 2 coordinating grosgrain ribbons long enough to dangle off your wrist. I have half a dozen of these bags, plus they're reversible so it's more like having a dozen bags for the price of 6. I keep my travel socks in them. I pull them out, toss the ribbon loop over my wrist and knit socks while I wait in line. Thanks for bringing more to me, Mom! Er, I mean, Marilin. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

I haz a new toy

From top to bottom: 2 bfl batts in Evil Jeanius, 1 polwarth/nz wool bats in pink/black/green, 1 acid green polwarth, 3 blue/green/maroon polwarth. Not bad for my first night carding.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

In Other News

In other news:
  • I switched the spring/summer Strong Arm sock yarn colors out for fall colors at Laumeier Sculpture Park and I refreshed the stock of felting fibers at Paste. 
  • I pulled the mixed BFL listings down. I claimed the blue for me, Ann claimed the gray for her and I think I want to card the maroon and silver together in to batts. Did I just say batts? Yep. I just said batts. I should be getting a drum carder any day now. I have some really great braids of roving, if I can say so myself without sounding like a self-promotional ass, and some braids that aren't bad. My goal is to turn the not-bad braids in to really great batts.  
  • I dyed more sock yarn for my both at Strange Folk.
  • I need a new name for this color. This color combo reminds me of something but I can't quite put my finger on what. Any ideas?
  • I'm working on a few skeins of handspun for inventory. This us 416 yards of a beaded 2-ply dk-to-worsted yarn (roughly 7oz). It is balanced, despite having inclusions and ever so slightly overspun singles in spots. It is a little slubby and a little smooth. Yes it's my first beaded yarn but it's solidly spun so I'm selling it anyway, albeit at a reduced price. I'm calling it "Where Rustic Meets Bling" and I'll have it at Strange Folk (or earlier if you want it) for $40.  

So Long! Farewell!

I'm hiding in my office right now which, ironically, is where I go when I don't want to work. Most mornings I need to be close to the kitchen so I set my laptop up in there and end up staying there all day, sometimes all week. I don't have an urgent need to dye anything today not true so I moved back to the office and have been knitting and listening to podcasts all morning if you ignore that I accidentally worked on emails and paperwork from 6-7:30 and did research from 8-9:45.

A giant yarn ball of stress knocked me in a hole last week and I am just now peeking my head out to see what's going on. Half that stress came from the fact that the mill that spins my cotton bases folded and the distributor had to scramble to find a new mill to spin the yarns. For whatever reason I didn't get the memo until the new Cotton Slub Sport base actually arrived.
old on the left; new on the right
 As you can see, the new mill got the CS base very close.  The main differences I see on first glance is that the section between the slubs are now textured instead of smooth and the slubs are larger. I can work with those 2 differences pretty easily. The kicker is that the Cotton Slub is no longer a sport weight. It is a DK weight. It's not a bad thing, but it is frustrating.

I am so glad that the distributor found another option rather than just discontinuing the yarn. I actually like the new base quite a lot, but not knowing this was happening in advance is problematic. New gauge samples need to be made, new sample garments need to be made, a *eep* new pricing structure needs to be worked out. Oh, and did I mention I have a show in 10 days?


Well, I've given it a week for it all to settle in and I think the change and hard work will be worth it. Frustrating to have to redo most of it, sure, but the yarn specs are so similar that I think all those things that made CSS great will still be present in CSDK. I am reserving judgment until all the testing is done, but I really do think the dk will be superior to the sport weight if only because the dk isn't sport weight. Which would you rather knit? Dk, right?

I have quite a bit of CSS still in stock, so get it while you can at the old price. Knitorious and Paste both still have this base in stock, too, so if you are local to St. Louis then I would appreciate it if you bought from them if you can. If I decide to continue with the CSDK the price will most definitely be going up to probably $14-16 per hank.



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Win $65 worth of Dyeabolical fiber!

Spinner? Want to learn? You can enter to win a spindle and 3 braids of roving from me in the Pancreatic Craftacular. 



Kim Werker, editor/author/crocheter/awesome, started her Pancreatic Craftacular fundraiser earlier this summer with the hopes of raising $3000 for The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Several crafty mavens are donating a portion of their sales to Kim's fundraising goal. In addition Kim is hosting a raffle on her blog. The first prize is $300 worth of yarn from another donor. The second prize is from me--3 braids of roving and a Sleeping Beauty spindle from Simple Market Farms.

To enter, simply make a donation to the Lustgarten Foundation and then leave Kim a comment. You can find more details by clicking here.

The contest closes on Monday, September 13th, 2010, at noon Pacific time.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Customer FO's

There have been some great projects made with Dyeabolical yarns and fibers this month!

Deborah found a lone skein of Handspun Edition! in an overdyed polwarth wool while we were doing inventory. From discovery to cast on to cast off was about 12 hours! Speed knitter, thy name is Deborah.
Suzy knit this fantastic summer sweater out of only 2 skeins of Cotton Slub. She wrote up a great review of the yarn, too! Thanks, Suzy!
Here's a shot of the back.
Crafty and Crap used 2 colors of Cotton Slub as the warp and weft to weave this super scarf.
I love the twisted tassels.
She also took these great pictures demonstrating how much the Cotton Slub changes with a rough block in a hot water wash and tumble dry. Hand washing or gentle wash/no dry is recommended for subsequent washes.

We're not just knitters here! Kat from Katatomic Labs used some of my tonal felting fibers as the icing on these great felted cupcakes.
TaiwanDawn is rocking the Cotton Warp. She's working on a shawl and a shrug from it right now and she's crocheted these cute mitts. 
Kara knit this cute little Boheme sweater from Cotton Slub in the Tangerine Dream colorway. Adorable!
Terri used 2 skeins of Cotton Warp to make this fantastic Clapotis scarf. I admit, I thought knitting a Clapotis out of laceweight might take for-ev-er, but Terri knit this up in no time at all. I am out of the red/orange/green color she used in the Cotton Warp, but I have plenty left in that color in the heavier weight Cotton Tape and I'll be dyeing more of the warp soon.

13MoonsAgo spun this yarn from a braid of superwash merino top and knitted this great headband.

...and finally, a bunch of projects I have neglected for too long--the Sunbell socks designed by Ariel and knitted by the Knit and Caboodle sock club!
From left to right, top to bottom: Ariel, Suzanne, Tracy, Terri, Danamom, and Buzz