Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shop Preview

I spent too much time on Wednesday trying to make a narrated slide show, but it just didn't work out.

These items will be listed in the shop on Friday around noon central time.

My creation
Bird of Paradise on the bases Sporty!, Superwash Merino Worsted and an 85/15 Polworth wool and silk

My creation
 Fate, Ph.D. on bases Sporty!, 50/25/25 merino wool/bamboo viscose/silk and Finn wool

My creation
Hidden Tiger in bases Sporty! and superwash merino worsted

My creation
Sock flats in the Strong Arm sock yarn base. These are the last of the Strong Arm base I'll have before the base goes on hiatus. Remember I will still have Strong Arm Skinny in stock. 

carnivale skinny 2
Carnivale in Strong Arm Skinny

My creation
Marilin's Bags Reversible Project Bags with ribbon ties. Made by Marilin, distributed by Dyeabolical

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Hello! Wow, a lot of you visited my website yesterday! You might be new here, so I thought I would reintroduce myself and give the who, what and wheres.

Thank you to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee for linking me in her blog post. Major mucho thanks to KateOhKatie, who power-knit a shawl so I could be at Stephanie's book signing in spirit. How cool is that?

Now, who the heck do I think I am and what do I do?


Rachel--knitter, dyer, spinner, coffee drinker. Former freelance writer and editor who abandoned the profession because I am really quite bad at grammar and spelling. I was excellent at turning other peoples ideas in to long bits of serious-sounding fluff, but it sort of killed my soul to do it. And I write slow. And I start sentences with "And". It is really best for both the writing world and myself that I dye yarn now.

I am the dye mistress dye master  dyer for Dyeabolical. That's Dyeabolical with a ®. Before I was a really bad freelance writer I took law classes,including an intellectual property class where I learned how to turn a (tm) in to a ®. I'm not sure that was worth the $1200 in tuition for that class, but there ya go. Oh yeah, I also like to digress a lot. A lot. 

I am the sole dyer for Dyeabolical, aka Dyeabolical Yarns and Spinning Fibers. I have been doing this job since 2007, first part time while I worked full time at a yarn shop and now full time. I have a ridiculous origin story on my etsy profile page, but the true story of how I got started is this. In 2007, the colors I liked weren't being dyed, so I dyed them. I had it in the back of my mind that I might want to do this as a profitable hobby someday, but at first I was just practicing. I took the yarns to the LYS I worked at to show them off to my co-workers and strangers bought them wet off the hangers. Then it happened again. Then it happened again. The owner offered me shelf space and BAM! A company is born.


My dye style is bold, saturated colors in strongly variegated handpainted colorways. I have branched in to other forms of dyeing, including tonals, semisolids and kettle-dyed yarns and I like those just as much as I love the variegated sock yarns.

I prefer doing one of a kind artisan yarns, but I accept that my customers want repeatable colorways. The picture above are several of my repeatable sock colorways. You can also request these colors on a different wool base or on spinning fibers.

You will find both one offs and repeatables in my shop. Repeatables usually have a colorway name and one ofs usually do not have names.
I do needle felting fiber, too.

I started doing fiber and sock clubs this year. Fiber club runs 1st and 3rd quarter. Sock club runs 2nd and 4th quarter. Signups for the clubs start about 1.5 months ahead of time and will be announced here in this blog. Fiber club sign ups will be starting next, in about 2-3 weeks. 
My creation

The easiest way to find me is to go to From there you can link to my shop, my blog and see where I am vending next.

You can also find me on:

I also have a video blog that embarrasses me deeply and yet I do it anyway, most often when I am suffering from chronic writers block and have better things I should be doing. You can find my video blog here in the archives of this blog or you can subscribe using iTunes. Just search for "dyeabolical" in the iTunes store.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Markdowns on Cotton Slub DK and Cotton Bamboo

I just listed new markdowns on the Cotton Slub DK and Cotton Bamboo yarns. They are all now $12. These are great spring/summer yarns. Stock up for spring!

My creation

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In which Kate is competitive...

Never challenge Kate in jest. Girl takes challenges very seriously.

(slightly edited, mostly because I can't spell)
[ETA: Can I just say that I read Kate's newest post and I just realized on a seriousl and profound level that she knit that shawl just so I could be there in spirit? Yeah, we egged her on (and scoffed) and it was a lot of fun, but it didn't really all the way sink in that she knit for 12 hours so I could sort of see Stephanie, too. Kate, you're the best.]

Me to Kate: Just realized I can't make it to YH tomorrow. Sadface. Can I bribe you in to getting me a copy?

Kate to me: Sure thing! (sorry you'll have to miss it though... :-( ) Any special request on the inscription? :-)

Me to Kate: I can't think of a thing, unless you can persuade her to say nice things about my yarn, which you probably can't. CHALLENGE. (Seriously, just a signature would be fine. Should I paypal you?)

Kate to me: Oh shit. IT'S ON. I'll wear my Joker socks tomorrow! Rather than Paypal, would you be able to take that cost off a skein of secret yarn? :-D
Kate's Joker Socks

 Kara to Kate: so...CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, then? :)

Kate to us: I'mma try. Kara - help me start brainstorming awesome requests?

Kate to the world: So stinkin' excited for the YarnHarlot talk tomorrow.Now just wish I'd made a whole sweater or shawl of @dyeabolicalyarn to show off... :-D
Kate to me: I am an eeediott! I have Damson and Milkweed both in (discontinued, right?) Dyeabolical.

Me to Kate: Sort of discontinued. It just never sold enough to bring it on full time.

Kate to me: Which is a cryin' shame, I must say. Lovely stuff (both of 'em).Think I could whip up a Traveling Woman before 2:00pm tomorrow? :-D

Me to Kate: yes, you could do that before 2 tomorrow [I should not have said this.]

Me to Kate 2 seconds later when I realized she might take me seriously: You are insane and no knitting a whole shawl in less than 12 hours!

Kara to Kate: Okay, I'm gonna have to stop you right there. No knitting a shawl in 12 hours. [Kara has witnessed many a crazed knitting attempt and participated in a few herself.]

Kate to us: Awright...we have a bday party tonight at 6. If I started at 7, knit through to midnight, got up at 6, knitted 'till 9 or 10......then pinned it for a quick block immediately (windows open and fans on high), left the house at 1... I dunno...

Kara to Kate: No. Nononononono. Seriously. It's a quick knit, but I don't think even you can knit that fast [This is where Kara made a critical error]...and you shouldn't make yourself insane with trying it. Seriously. You have to work & go to a party and sleep.

Kate to us: I dunno, I'm starting to think it might be do-able. Have wanted a green shawl for a while, too. (would use stuff I got Wed.) But that's me possessing a special kinda stupid, isn't it?

Kara to Kate: And do you really want to meet the Yarn Harlot looking like some crazed knitting lunatic?

Me to Kate: I'm not supposed to poke the crazy and finishing a shawl between now and tomorrow with work and a party? That's crazy. [This was my critical error. I should have known then that Kate was going to make us eat our words.]

Me to Kate 10 seconds later: *pokepokepoke*

Kate to us: LOL. We'll see. If nothing else I'll have a nice WIP to show off :-D

Kara to Kate: I have clearly failed in reasoning with you. So I'll join in and just poke the crazy, as Rachel so eloquently stated.

Monica chimes in and also pokes the crazy. We all have a good laugh.

Kate, 12 hours later and clearly proving us all wrong: At the Yarn Harlot event, 12-hour shawl and all! :)

Winning at knitting

Thursday, October 20, 2011

[video blog] Episode 5: Hammer This

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shop Update

Everything is up in the shop! This is what I've added in the last week.

My creation

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More Housekeeping

I knew I had forgotten things in Monday's post!

  • I updated the All Hands on Deck mitten pattern. It should be much clearer and easier to follow now. It is a top-down mitten pattern, infinitely customizable for any size hands using any size yarn. The yarn I used for the mittens below was dyed by Crafty and Crap. She's not dyeing anymore, but I remain hopeful she will go back to it one day. I love her Muppets colorways!
  • [edited because apparently I hit "post" halfway through a thought] A few people have asked about new podcasts/video updates. It turns out that some people read blogs and some people watch video updates, but very few people do both. Interesting! The blog readers are getting posts, but the video watchers aren't. I really like doing the video updates, but I have to be in the mood to do them at the same time that I have light to record and am not horribly disheveled from standing over steam pots. I actually am in the mood right now to do them and my hair looks normal. It's dark, but I can set up studio lights if I need to. The problem is, I have a sock deadline looming and still need to knit at least a foot, if not a foot, a cuff and another foot. Plus, I don't really have anything to talk about other than what I've listed in these Housekeeping posts. Sooooooooo, video updates will resume soonish, but not right away.

Vic Reeves and Harris Tweed

I got lost on YouTube yesterday, but found this fantastic segment by Vic Reeves on Harris Tweed. Pour a cup of coffee and watch it. It is fascinating and inspiring! I especially love the second video where Vic goes to the Harris Tweed factory and they play with wool. Weavers, check out the loom on the third video. What a great workout!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


A lot of people have told me they are all of a sudden having trouble leaving comments. I have changed the comment settings and hopefully they will work now. Can some of you try it out?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Conversations With My Husband

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 9:38 AM, Dyeabolical wrote:
Your wife is a desperate fool and is shopping freaking EBAY for jeans and camis. EBAY. Ugh, I'm going to get some sort of stranger disease, I bet.

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 10:06 AM, Scott Kluesner wrote:
I will wash all of your newly acquired garments in extra hot water, thereby averting the stranger danger.

On 10/6/2011 10:09 AM, Scott Kluesner wrote:
It could be worse...
From Things Could Be Worse tumblr blog
[It guess it could be worse....]

[Can we have a public conversation about why all of a sudden women's plus sizes have suddenly changed for the smaller? Why is a 3x, which used to be for sizes up to 28, now for sizes up to 20? Seriously? And can we also discuss why women's "jeans" in stores now are made out of extremely thin low grade cotton?]

[I only ask because it's the third pair of practically new $45 jeans I've ripped in the last 3 months and it's starting to make me mad.]