Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Updates

I need someone to make lists for me and then follow around behind me to make sure I do the things on the list. That person would update my Ravelry groups, write outlines for blog posts, catch up on emails, dig through my purse to find receipts I had shoved in to the bottom, monitor my etsy listings for renewals, interpret my SEO/Google stat/blog/website numbers thing, keep up on the business twitter and facebook page, work from home so I don't have to clean my home office for them, never ever ever get cranky with me and either do all those things for less than $600 a year or read the tax code and figure out how I do that employee payroll thing. Not very realistic, huh?

If I had a person like I described above that then they could have pinched me and said "Well JEEZ, Rachel, maybe it would help if you told people that you had updated the shop, huh?" so I wouldn't be sitting here wondering why the heck no one has been looking at the shop. 


Here we go, lots of pictures ahead!
Superwash Merino Combed Top
Superwash merino wool combed top. Perfect for spinning during the Tour de Fleece! 
My creation
Cotton Slub DK yarn. Yes, THAT Cotton Slub DK yarn that I've been talking about non-stop for almost a year now. It's softer and slubbier than the old sport weight, so no abusing it in the dryer, ok? I've started using a new, less labor-intensive method of dyeing the cotton. As a bonus, it makes for much more even dye lots. The only downside, if you can call it that, is that the new dyeing method shifts the color is slightly less intense. That's certainly not a downside for many of my customers who like the subtler colors.

Next up, the new product line with no name! I don't have an official name for this line yet, but it is a sock blank or sock flat if you are familiar with the concept. If you are not familiar with sock blanks, then lemme explain. I take 2 strands of sock yarn and knit them held together on the knitting machine. Then I dye the resulting fabric so that when you unravel it and knit from it you will have 2 identical socks.

One end of the flat will unravel easier than the other. Cut off or unravel the waste yarn and knit from the end that unravels the easiest to avoid potential tangles. I've started putting knots in the new blanks so you know what end to start from, but these first flats don't have those knots. It is easiest to knit these 2 socks at a time using magic loop or the 2-socks/2-circs method. If you prefer to knit your socks one at a time on dpns, it is best to unravel the flat completely and wind each strand in to a separate ball.

The magic of this dyeing technique is you don't really know for sure how each yarn is going to knit up. For instance, I know that this flat will knit generally in to wide-ish stripes:
but I had no idea it would do this while transitioning colors:
Cool, huh?

I did a lot of research online and found that the crazier the flat, the nicer the sock. I tried to dye with htat in mind.

Here are the 4 I listed for sale. I discounted them slightly because I was still working out the dimensions of the fabric and how the heck to take attractive pictures while still showing the whole blank. Conclusion: Taking attractive pics of sock flats is hard to do and will require more practice.

This will stripe in 3 very wide stripes with interesting transitions. The white isn't completely white. As you can see, there was a lot of dye transfer in to the white area.
I think this is going to do narrow stripes and really awesomely cool pooling. My feelings will not be hurt if you don't buy this and I'm forced to knit it myself. *grin*
Killer Bees! I think this will knit in to thicker stripes with awesome transitions.
I think this one is going to pool in amazing ways. Someone buy it and cast on immediately so I can see what it did, okay?

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