Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dyesaster Sale

I had a little dyesaster earlier this week. Basically, I used about 4x the amount of dye needed on some delicate silk hankies. It was my fault for taking a short cut on what is already a stupidly simple process.  My dyesaster is your gain. Dyed silk hankies normally sell for $15-20 an ounce. I am selling mine for $5.00 per ounce plus shipping, basically just enough to buy a new batch of hankies and dye.

Silk hankies are silk cocoons stretched out and layered one on another on a wood frame. Once the silk is washed and dried it is taken off the frame. The result is a flat piece of delicate fabric. Each hankie layer (or cocoon) can be peeled off each other and then spun, felted or knitted in to something new. Knitty has a tutorial on how to use the silk hankies. 

The hankies are still fine for spinning/felting/knitting. They just aren't as neat and tidy as they could be due to the extra rinsing and cooking. There may also be some dye in your rinse water the first few times you wash the finished project. The layers trap excess dye particles and rinsing it out any more aggressively may have ruined the fiber. The dye is set. What you'll see in the rinse water is the excess dye rinsing out. I have washed everything in synthrapol which should trap those particles and prevent them from backstaining.

 Leave a comment or email me at dyeabolicalyarns at gmail dot com and let me know how many ounces of which color you want and I will send you a paypal invoice.

Red and orange -- 1 ounces available
Red and blue -- 3 oz available
Red-orange, yellow, lime green -- 4 oz available
SOLD Turquoise and purples -- 3 oz available

Monday, December 27, 2010


Snowy ram statue at Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Corrinne from Goodness (Recycled and Otherwise) interviewed me a few weeks ago and posted the interview in her bog. You can read it here. Thanks, Corrine! 
  • We don't have any customer FOs to share this month yet. I do know that several items were knit, crocheted, woven and spun from Dyeabolical yarn and fiber this month, but it seems like everyone (including me) has yet to take and post pictures to Ravelry. Or they forgot to take pictures before giving items away. I did that myself with 2 FOs. If you have any items you would like to share post them to Ravelry and indicate that you used a Dyeabolical yarn or fiber, share them with the Dyeabolical Group on Ravelry, tag your project with "dyeabolical" (don't forget the "e" in "dyeabolical") or email me at dyeabolicalyarns at gmail dot com. 
  • I added generic "Dyeabolical Yarn" or "Dyeabolical Fiber" categories to my Ravelry brand page. This will let you still track what yarn/fiber you used if there isn't a category already made for that yarn/fiber--especially useful for those limited edition yarns I do each year for Strange Folk Festival. I also added categories for those of you who will be receiving sock and fiber clubs next month. 
  •  There is still a few fiber club memberships left. Sign-ups close when the club is full or when January starts, whichever comes first. 
  • I have to brag on my husband-person. He wove scarves for his mom and dad from Dyeabolical Cotton Slub Sport on his Cricket loom. I think he did an awesome job, especially for a beginner weaver. [This exact base isn't available from my distributor anymore. I can get a similar base for anyone who needs a custom order, but this is all of the original I have left. I can get an infant sweater from 1 skein, kids from 2, small adult or large summer sweater from 3, 4 for a complicated or large sweater]

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Muppet Family Christmas

It has come to my attention, yet again, that most people have not seen the best Christmas movie ever and that it is not available on DVD for you to watch in the legally accepted way. This. Will. Not. Do! I swear I posted this last year, but I can't find it, so here it is again--THE BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIE OF ALL TIME...

Muppet Family Christmas!
Many thanks to teh youtubes for having this available. 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Tale of Holiday Woe

I have a story of holiday woe for you today, but first I want to remind you that there are only 4 spots left in the Sock of the Month Club (3 and 6 month options available) and only 5 spots left in the Batt, Bump and Braid Fiber club. Club enrollment ends when the spots sell out or when 2011 begins, which ever happens first.

I need to start my tale of holiday woe with a story to demonstrate that my own dumbassery has a long history.

When I was very young my mom had arranged for Mr., um, Tucker maybe? I'm going with Mr. Tucker, to take me home from Vacation Bible School. The Sunday before VBS she asked if I could recognize Mr. Tucker. I said yes. Yes, of course I can recognize Mr. Tucker. Mr. Tucker wore a green suit everyday. Green suit = Mr. Tucker.

The next day, Monday, I couldn't find anyone in a green suit and I completely lost it when someone wearing jeans and a flannel claiming to be Mr. Tucker asked me to get met to get in his car so he could take me home. I don't remember exactly what happened but I think I started screaming about stranger danger and how Mr. Tucker wears green suits and how this yahoo wasn't wearing a green suit and therefore wasn't Mr. Tucker and eventually my mom showed up and Mr. Tucker asked me the next Sunday if I recognized him now and I said yes because it was Sunday and he had a green suit on. The End.

Now on to the real story...

My UPS guy works hard. My studio is set back from the road and on the third floor without an elevator, so he has to both walk and climb to bring me my packages. I tend to do all my ordering at once for the business, so every few months he will visit me 4-6 times each time carrying heavy and awkward shaped boxes. Plus I do a lot of internet ordering of supplies and I do a lot of trades so I get an average of 1 package every 2 weeks.

My regular UPS guy has a second guy helping him on his route this holiday season. I am knitting my regular guy mitts, but his substitute told me he would probably be handling my half of the route for the rest of the season. The only UPS guys I should be seeing is Regular and Sub. Substitute told me this while he was standing at my door, in the dark (I'm the last delivery of the day), backlit by the porchlight while wearing shorts and no gloves when it was 20F outside. All of this is relevant, especially the backlit and in the dark parts.
I thought about Sub as I was knitting on Regular's mitts and thought Sub deserved some mitts, too, since unbeknownst to him I knew I was going to see him every day for a solid 2 weeks and at least 4 of those deliveries would be 40lb boxes.
On Day 1 I didn't give the mitts to him on the first day because he seemed somber and out of sorts. At least he was wearing long pants. I thought maybe he wasn't the same guy at first but then I hearkened back to the part where he said that only he and Regular would be the only ones making deliveries.  Yeah, I said hearkened. I figured he was just having a bad day.

On Day 2 I asked if his hands were cold. He looked kind of startled that I even talked to him. Hmmm, maybe this isn't the same guy? I wasn't entirely sure so I asked "you said you're on this route with Regular until January, right"? Yes ma'am he replied. Ma'am? Kind of formal. He had smacked my back and called me "girl friend" during his original visit. Weird. "You're the same guy who came last week, right?" Yes ma'am. Ok, whatever, maybe he had gotten in trouble for being too informal? Or maybe he was mad that he had to keep coming up here?

By Day 3 Sub had found gloves to go with his long pants. He delivered 2 very heavy packages that day. I gave him the gloves and he just looked bewildered but said thanks and put them in his pocket.

On Day 4 Sub came during the day time (no backlighting) wearing shorts and no gloves. Sub is kinda cute. Huh, I didn't notice how cute he was on Days 1-3. He actually looked kind of, um, grumbly and gruff on Days 1-3. He smacked my arm with his frigid hands and called me girlfriend. "Hey girlfriend! Long time, no see!" Oh. Crap! "Uh, Sub? Is this only the second time you've delivered to me this week?" Why yes, yes it is. "Did you have a sub yourself, Sub?" Yep. He did. UPS has fill-in guys for each route. Turns out that Sub had had a sub that had been in the area last week and that I had given Sub's sub Sub's mitts. Fuuuuuuuuuddddddgggggeee! And the were nice mitts, too!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Customer FOs for November, Part II

I forgot to include 2 projects customers and friends made from Dyeabolical! Bad dyer, no cookie!

The first is from Deborah.She knit this fantastic flower scarf from some merino wool that I spun around a cotton core. Deborah is good for my ego. This yarn didn't even get a chance to get photographed before it was in Deborah's bag and being knit up. Awesome scarf, Deborah!

The second is from Kim. Kim bought a 2 braids of falkland wool from me, one in Blood Orange and the other in a medicine green/grey/orange color. She spun singles from each, plied them together and then wove this amazing scarf. Pictures don't do this justice. I held it in person and almost didn't give it back! Well done, Kim!

Thank you to Deborah, Kim and everyone who shares their projects with me!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Customer FOs for November

FOs are Finished Objects. A finished object is any item knitted, crocheted, woven, felted, spun or otherwise transformed from Dyeabolical yarns and fibers into another form (e.g. yarn knitted in to mittens, warp crocheted in to dishcloths, fiber in to a felted object, dyed top spun in to yarn). If you would like me to include your FO in an upcoming post, along with a link to your website/blog/shop/Rav ID, then please email me or message me through Ravelry. Thank you to my customers and friends for letting me share your FOs! 
Amy Lee knitted this very cool shawl from a skein of Alter Ego Sock Yarn (discontinued). Amy Lee's project notes say this is done in Luthor's Revenge colorway (dyed by special request), but the Slither colorway is very similar. The pattern she used is a top-down raglan construction. You just don't join the underarms to form sleeves. I haven't read through the pattern entirely, but it appears that you can pretty much make it to any size, just like a regular top-down raglan and it will stay on your shoulders, if you have broad shoulders like me. I am so making one of these shawls. At least one of these shawls. Find the link to the pattern and more shawl pictures on Amy Lee's Ravelry project page. 

 Rose, from BeaGin Designs, knit this warm hat for her puppy self out of Zombie Alpacalypse in Fate, PhD colorway.

BethAnn added some of her yarn spun from Dyeabolical fibers to Ravelry. This brick colored one is a merino/tencel called "Can't hit the side of a ..."
This yarn was spun from a batt with lots of nubbly texture.

Beth doesn't specify, but I think this is superwash BFL.
 Suzanne, who make La-Di-Da stitch markers for Knitorious, used hairpin lace to create this really wonderful bookmark using Dyeabolical Cotton Warp! Wonderful job, Suzanne!
Tammie snatched up the only 4 skeins of this color in a base yarn I was testing out. I ultimately decided not to bring the base yarn in as a regular line, but the color is going to stay! I am dyeing more of this color, Golden Afternoon, next week on some new sock yarn that just arrived. Where was I? Oh yes, Tammie's vest! AMAZING. Amazing. That's all. Pictures do not do this justice. She used a pattern from the Knit One Below book to make a fully reversible vest. Beautiful job, Tammie.

This is something I finished. I made the Tardis Socks pattern (ravelry link) out of my Strong Arm Sock Yarn in Doctor Who Blue. DWB was originally a OOAK overdyed color but I can do this color again if there is a special request.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Superwash Merino Worsted

Reminder! There are just a few weeks left to get in the Dyeabolical Sock of the Month or Batt, Bump and Braid Fiber Club! 
Remember these gloves I posted about a few weeks ago?
They were a test knit for a base yarn I was considering. I loved dyeing and knitting with it so much that I said if I sold 10 or more sock clubs during the week of Thanksgiving that I would treat myself (and you!) to a small order of this great worsted merino base. It came in last week and I dyed it up!

I did 4 skeins each of 6 colors and 3 skeins of a 7th color. Each 100 gram skein has about 218 yards of superwash merino wool in a worsted weight and sells for $18. I can do custom orders for this yarn in any of my repeatable colorways. They are all currently listed in my etsy shop.

Please consider this new base for your next worsted weight project! Thank you!
Jeans Quilt

Magic Bean Buyer
Ron Burgundy
Signor's Magical Paintbrush
Steampunk Slither
Tainted Love

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Competition in the Craft World

I have always been proud to be part of an industry that focuses on mutual support of its members. I'm talking about the craft industry in general her, not just the fiber arts world.

Obviously there is an element of competition in the craft industry, but you would never see Macy's send customers to Gimble's if Macy's didn't have what he customer needed. Well, except that one time in 1947, yet I frequently see yarn and craft stores refer customers to other shops and call the other shop and have the competing shop hold the item for the customer. In what other industry does that happen?

What people don't understand, I think, is that every dyer (or yarn shop or craft store) is so different that they each fill a niche the other could not. Each attracts a different kind of customer. The stock may have some overlap and yes, obviously, one shop may lose out on occasional sales to another. Ultimately, however, the entire community benefits by having multiple shops because of simple math. Providing the market isn't overly saturated with virtually identical shops/crafts/etc, 

 More opportunities to create crafters + more awareness of the awesomeness of handmade goods = more crafters + more people supporting crafting efforts = happiness + $

 No, nothing happened. There is no drama to see. It's just a sign of the times that crafters are again starting to refer to each other as competition instead of as cooperative partners. The market IS saturated in a lot of crafts. There are more crafters than there are craft buyers and it's making everyone a little tense and a little desperate in their marketing. I can't even pretend that I'm not guilty of occasionally falling in to the desperate marketing trap. I hate to tell you how much time I've spent trying to write clever twitters when oh, say, my *actual thoughts* provoke better conversation rather than some contrived nonsense that "contributes to my brand story". Puke. I promise not to listen to that advice anymore.

I guess my point is that I really believe it the power of cooperation. A rising tide raises all ships and other such hippy dippy love everyone nonsense. As the economy gets more harsh for crafters, I hate that people who used to consider other crafters partners are now viewing each other as competition. This season is harsh for all of us this year. No need to bring someone else down in the name of profit.

Again, no, I don't have any concrete examples to share. It's just an undercurrent I feel. First it started with not promoting online/community friends, then it started with desperate marketing, and now I hear crafters referring to each other as competition or sniping to vendors about what other crafters are doing. It gets around, you know, and it's easy to spot trends if you read as many blogs, ravelry groups, twitters and facebook as I do. Or, you know, maybe not! Maybe I'm seeing a pattern where there is none.

I have no idea how to end this rambling post about what's been on my mind, so I'll just say that even though there is no requirement that one one crafter must boost another crafter up, there is also no requirement that one crafter push her fellow crafter down. What differentiates us from Target is that we're a community, not competition.