Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Strong Arm vs. 2-ply?

Those of you who have seen or used both the Strong Arm Sock base (3-ply) and the 2-ply sock base yarns, which do you like better? The percentage of nylon to wool is the same for both. The main differences are in construction and yardage. Strong Arm has 3-plys and slightly less yardage; the 2-ply has 2-plys, obviously, and slightly more yardage.

Here's why I'm asking. Last year I decided to discontinue the Strong Arm base and replace it with my own custom spun blend of yarn. I was using the 2-ply as a stop-gap between discontinuing Strong Arm last year and rolling out my own custom yarn in June or July of this year. The custom spin isn't going to happen now. There is no drama as to why. It is simply a matter of the mill deciding it wants to spin very large orders instead of very small ones. I can't blame them at all, but now I have some decisions to make. Do I continue with the 2-ply sock yarn, which has great color take-up at a true fingering weight, or do I bring back the Strong Arm sock yarn, which is squoooshy and fat but can be challenging to source?

ETA: Sorry about the font color of the poll. I'm not sure why it did that. 

ETA, part 2: I like both yarns equally but for different reasons. They are both high quality, but the 2-ply is an even higher quality. I enjoy the stitch definition of the 2-ply, but when it is -3F outside I turn to the Strong Arm socks. When it is 30-60 degrees the 2-ply are much more wearable. There are back-office considerations as to why I prefer one over the other, too, but as far as the yarn itself? I can't decide. Someone suggested I do both. Eh. Maybe...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

I don't do every Ten on Tuesday because it is usually Thursday before I read the prompt, but today I caught it on time and it is a topic on which I can speak with great authority. I give you...
My 10 Favorite Kinds of Pie
  1. Apple pie. Mmm, mmm my favorite. Bonus points for extra cinnamon and a dense chewy crust to hold all that apple goodness.
  2. Pumpkin pie. Specifically my mom's pumpkin pie. Sometimes pumpkin pie can be watery, pale or, ugh, grainy. This is not the pumpkin pie I desire. Nay, my kind of pie is dark, spicy and custard-like just like mom makes.
  3. Custard pie and its coconut derivative. Someone once told me that key lime pie is a cousin to the custard pie. Perhaps, but if key lime is a cousin to the custard pie then it is like that bad cousin that your parents wouldn't let you hang out with.
  4. Lemon Meringue. I eat the meringue, then I eat the lemon, then I eat the crust. I never eat all 3 layers at once.
  5. Cherry pie with a top crust. The right crust is really important with cherry pie.
  6. Pot pie. Technically not a dessert unless you like to follow your main meal with meat and gravy.
  7. Hostess pies. Don't judge.
  8. Chocolate pudding pie with a graham cracker crust and dream whip top. No, french silk pie is not the same thing as chocolate pudding pie. It is not. It is not. It is not. 
  9. Peach pie.
  10. Quiche. Also not a dessert, but still a pie.
Check out my website at http://www.dyeabolical.com and my etsy shop at http://dyeabolicalyarns.etsy.com Receive 15% off through March 31 by entering the code March2011 during checkout.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bloggers Block, Sale and Shop Update

If I don't get back to blogging regularly the blogging police might strip me of my blogging creditials. I'll stop being a Blogger with a capital B and become a Business Owner Whose Business Happens to have a Blog for Sporadic Updates and Whatnot But Really Isn't a "Blogger", Per Se, or BOWBHBSUWBRIBPS. I can't pronounce BOWBHBSUWBRIBPS so I had better find a way to overcome my bloggers block and blog regularly!

A good start to blogging regularly might be to throw this damn laptop and wireless keyboard out the window and get an old fashioned plug in keyboard. I type too fast for both the wireless and the laptop and they can't keep up. There is serious lag time between when I type and when it shows on the screen. It's distracting and frustrating. Can you hold on for 10 seconds while my keyboard catches up with my typing?

Ok, I'm back now. Dang, I don't even type that fast. *runs off to take typing test* Only 72 wpm on this keyboard. Keyboards should have ratings, like "this keyboard is only rated for 40wpm or less". Stepping off my soapbox and moving on...

Dyeabolical is celebrating an anniversary this month. I opened Dyeabolical for business in March 2007 with some super bright, super saturated, seen from space colors and bless you all, you liked them as much as I did. I've transitioned to less, er, intense colors lately but I still love me some acid green.

I dyed up several of the original "seen from space" Dyeabolical colors to celebrate our 4th anniversary. I will list them in the shop on Tuesday afternoon.

My creation
Superheroes, Pot O'Gold, Dark (K)night,  Boltneck, Hidden Tiger, Shulkie and Themyscira

It seems way longer than 4 years; on the other hand, I can't believe how fast these 4 years have gone.  Thanks for coming on this dyeing journey with me. As an extra thank you, please take 15% off any order through the end of the month by using coupon code March2011 (no discounts on special orders, please)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tiny things are cute

The sweetest tiny thing came to live with us this week.

It's an baby airplant....
...placed inside a lightbulb! A friend gave this to me as a late birthday gift. She had to pop the end of the lightbulb, clean out its working parts and create this garden scene through a hole smaller than a dime. Amazing!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Swap Packages

February was the month of swaps for me. I participated in both the Plurk Shawl Swap and the Odd Duck's Mardi Gras Swap.  I had wonderful packages in the mail this last week and wonderful people to mail packages to. Thank you, swap partners!

 BlueGooseFarms crocheted me this great little shawlette out of hand dyed yarn. The swap was for the shawl only, so I was so surprised when she included some delicious Mardi Gras coffee, earrings, stitch markers, candy, chocolate, a great pendant, a coaster and a beautiful candle holder. You spoil me, Nichol!
Linda4888 spoiled me with this awesome box full of awesomness. She crocheted me a kindle cover, included handmade Mardi Gras potholders, a MG colored yarn, the official MG guide, king cake soap, great beads, beinget mix, cafe du monde coffee, a much and a copy of Vampire Knits, which I have been wanting.

For the Plurk swap, I knit the Charlize shawl for my swap partner, showmeyourknits. I loved the way it looked when I was finished, but the lace portion about killed me. It was so easy that I memorized the pattern, but it wasn't so easy that I could knit without losing track. Finally I just did what looked right instead of driving myself crazy trying to keep track of where I lost a yo or ssk. If I were to knit this again I might substitute a straight yo, k2tog pattern for the slightly harder to track yo, ssk offset by half a repeat. I also included a hank of red yarn and a few little gifty gifts.

For the Mardi Gras swap, I used a pattern I was test knitting for a friend to make these clever fingerless mitts. It is a little difficult to see since it isn't on a hand, but the green and gold "scarf" is a bow around the wrist and there is a cutout on the top of the hand before purple joins up to finish the mitt part. I can't wait until the pattern is published. I also included beads, a shirt, a hank of handspun, a bracelet and stitch markers in with my swap package for spartyliblover.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Customer FOs for February 2011

Momo, who got his own post earlier this month. Needle felted with Dyeabolical felting wool by Crafty and Crap.
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 (or if I have forgotten anyone!) email me  or message me through Ravelry.  Thank you to my customers and friends for letting me share your FOs!
Dawn used Strong Arm Sock Yarn in Crimson Giants to make iPod gloves for her niece. She is also making a matching headband.
Pegg knit these socks in record time from the February sock club color, Chocolate, Wine and Cherries.
Pictures do not do these socks justice. It is a very dark maroon and orange yarn with multicolored and silver sparkles throughout the yarn. Gorgeous, Deborah! (Bling sock yarn in Blood Orange)
Maya started spinning a month or two ago and is already kicking out the amazing yarns above and below. She's a natural! (merino top in Fruit Salad)
(mixed BFL silk top)
Dawn crocheted this sweet dress for her friend's baby from Cotton Warp in CMY.
Chastitycatt made this great Wakefield scarf from a hank of Strong Arm Sock yarn in Spartan
Allison knit her fingers to the bone to finish 3 hats using our superwash merino worsted.
Way to go, Legalgirl!
The last 2 FOs for February were 2 that I finished for swaps. This was for the Plurk Shawl Swap from the February sock club yarn.
...and these gloves were test knit for Tempest Tea from my superwash merino worsted weight wool.