Saturday, April 30, 2011

[Video update] Upcoming events and shop update

·         Thanks, Suzi!

·         Mom’s bags. I meant to do them justice, but I still haven’t done it with this video. Maybe I’ll try again when I’m not trying to tell stage left from stage right while trying to talk pretty and while looking at myself in the monitor. Anyway, they’re great little bags.

·         Tower Grove Farmers Market, May 7. I will be there unless it rains or if the winds are so bad that I can’t keep my tent down.

·         Etsy Shop Update

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Sock Club members--please see an announcement about the club here. 
May is rushing towards us like a...well, like a mad rushing thing. It's 5:30 Easter morning, before my first cup of coffee. You expected me to be able to come up with coherent words? Anyway, May is rushing towards us and I'm both excited and anxious. Show season starts in May.

Luckily, my "show season" consists of 2 shows in May and 2 near October so it isn't like my show season is overly taxing or anything, but still. Nerves. Hard core nerves. I'm doing my first fiber festival this year and I'm convinced all the other dyers are going to point and laugh at my garment rack displays (which I still think is genius, if perhaps a little declassé, especially now that I have taken off 2 of the matching hanging shelves and added this crazy thing). I'll be making a trial run of the garment rack shelves at Tower Grove Farmers Market on May 7 and if people really do point and laugh, well, then at least I'll know, right?

Rant time.

The knitting world is vast. You (the generic you) might be famous in your own small community, but outside that community no one knows who you are even if you are the most famous knitter in the world. I assure you, I met plenty of people at the yarn shop who don't know who or what an Elizabeth Zimmerman is or don't know that Ravelry exists or who have never heard of a knitting podcast.That doesn't make that person less of a knitter by any stretch of the imagination.

Back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

I took last week off from dyeing yarn. It might be a mistake to skip a week of dyeing, especially with a show coming up, but I needed a break plus my new dyes haven't arrived yet. I was hoping to take the whole week off work, but that didn't happen. I found I couldn't relax until I still spent 4-8 hours in my office each day. I got caught up on a lot, got some yarn wound and cleaned the office. I found a bag of the roving below, which I dyed 2 weeks ago and promptly forgot about. I'll have this up by Tuesday, along with more "We're All Mad Here" on Bling, Strong Arm Skinny and Superwash BFL roving.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday is for Handspun (pic heavy)

There has been a lot of handspinning and spinning accesorries acquisition happening around here lately, some of which have been gifts from my wonderful friends. Knitters are just about the most generous people in the world, I think!

Annie gave me this JessLu bag to hang from my spinning wheel. It fits the hook, oil and extra bobbin perfectly! 

I traded with Nichol from Blue Goose Farms for this unbelievably gorgeous mohair. She included some sample locks from her other mohair goats...
...some Mardi Gras themed coffee (not pictured obviously)...
...and this gorgeous spinning hook made by our friend who I'm not sure wants to be named yet, but you know who you are. Open an Etsy shop already, won't ya?

Annie gave me the roving for this yarn last year. It is a silk, alpaca and camel blend. It was terrible to spin when I first sat down with it last year. I decided to give it another try this year. I sat down, attached the leader and 4 hours later I had this gorgeous yarn. What a difference a year makes!
90 bulky yards of a 3-ply done from the March fiber club.
Tussah silk dyed by BMFA. OMG! Amazing to spin! That's what I gotta say about that.

Dyed by Tempted Yarns for the Knitgirlls spin-a-long. I got 300 yards of a heavy fingering 2-ply from this superwash bfl. I love the barberpole/gradient effect it came out with!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Update

I made a small update to the shop last night. From left to right, top to bottom: Cockscomb on the Bling base, a BRIGHT PINK (no name), 70's Dress Shirt, Annie and Jo Rides a Motorbike all on the Strong Arm Skinny (2-ply) base.

My creation

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All the colors

Today was dye ordering day and I may have gone a little nutso picking out new dye colors. Usually dye ordering day happens once a year and involves spending a truly ridiculous amount of money on fresh jars of the tried and true colors I've been using the last 4 years. This time I shook the pallet up a bit and picked out 21 new dyes, 18 of which could be classified as either green or purple if I were being honest with myself. I'm nothing if not consistent in my color preferences....

Speaking of green and purple, I dyed up a new color a few weeks ago, sold out in an instant, dyed more up and sold all 4 hanks in an afternoon plus got a few emails asking me to list more soon. I think we have a winner. *grin*

We're All Mad Here (pink, magenta, apple green) in the Strong Arm Skinny base

Friday, April 8, 2011

We Shall Call It Skinny

I had 12 people vote on the blog poll about the Strong Arm Base vs the 2-Ply base and about another 12 weigh-in in person, through Plurk or through email. The results are as follows:

8 people prefer 2-ply over Strong Arm
8 people prefer Strong Arm over 2-ply
8 people like both equally
1 person who preferred Strong Arm were emphatic in their love of Strong Arm and suggested that if I discontinue it that it will make baby unicorns cry.
1 person who preferred Strong Arm made whimpering noises when he discovered that I wouldn't be knitting him socks from Strong Arm if Strong Arm was discontinued. He proclaimed that if I won't be knitting him his own pair of Strong Arm socks then I need to forfeit my Strong Arm socks to him. 
1 person--me--knows better than to argue with enthusiastic customers and people who know where I keep my hand knitted socks.

So here's what we're going to do. We're keeping Strong Arm and to reduce or possibly  increase confusion I am renaming the 2-ply sock yarn to Strong Arm Skinny. This is going to work out well...I think.

To recap:

Both Strong Arm and Strong Arm Skinny are 80/20 superwash merino wool and nylon. Both are technically fingering weight, however:
  • Strong Arm Skinny is 2-ply true fingering weight. 400 yards per 100g. The yarn is soft, strong, well balanced. The high twist factor give this yarn a little bounce that charms me. Socks made from this yarn are good for 3 seasons.
  • Strong Arm is a 3-ply, 364 yards per 100g. The yarn is round and has a diameter that places it in the heavy fingering weight category. It knits in to a thicker fabric with a high squish factor. Socks made from Strong Arm are the socks you will pull out when the temperature dips below freezing.
Themyscira in Strong Arm

Themyscira (different lot) in Strong Arm Skinny

Monday, April 4, 2011

Customer FOs for March 2011

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!
Deborah knitted up these striped Mardi Gras gloves from 3 colors of the superwash merino worsted weight base. Fun!
Deborah's sister, Peggy, knitted these Broad Spiral Rib Socks from Poison D'Art in the Strong Arm Sock base. Look how long she was able to make the cuff!
Fiona knitted this absolutely amazing Involute shawl in a colorway she requested called "Fiona's Copper Penny". Stunning, Fiona. Simply stunning!
Lisa from the 90% Knitting Podcast (and also a new yarn dyer!) spun this really excellent handspun from a mixed bfl silk in the Juniper colorway. Well done, Lisa! I love your plying!
Kara and I conspired to get this little dolly made for our zombie-loving friend. All I did was provide some of the yarn and the pattern. It was Kara who crocheted like a fiend over the weekend to get it done. How cute is this zombie? SO CUTE!
Rosalia (on Ravlery) knitted this sweet Bougainvillea shawlette from a hank of Strong Arm Sock Yarn. This isn't related to knitting at all, but I can't hear "bougainvillea" without thinking of Mother Burnside screaming "GET THOSE HORSES OUTTA MY BOUGAINVILLEA!" in the hunt scene in the Auntie Mame movie. 
Winterhart recently got a spinning wheel and look what she made from some merino/tencel fiber! Is she a natural or is she a natural? Great spinning, Winterhart!
Last, but certainly not least, Joy did a beautiful job knitting these socks from her own Basic Ribbed Socks pattern. She used a one-of overdyed color of Strong Arm. Lovely, Joy!