Thursday, December 20, 2012

Customer FOs: October & November

Before I hand this over to Kara, I want to tell you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I am thankful for each of you. The update this week is already live. If you are craving a sold out color, then I highly encourage you to purchase one of my Dyed to Order listings (or email me) and I will get it dyed up for you within 2-3 weeks. I will continue to ship through the weekend, but I will be spending time with family, so please allow for a short delay in email responses. Gift certificates are available and will be sent via email. If you need a denomination not listed, please email or convo me on Etsy. I hope you all enjoy your holiday weekend. Merry Christmas! -- Rachel

Hi there! Kara here again with the Finished Object post. Fall just flew right by, didn't it? How is it almost Christmas already? I don't even know where October and November went, but they passed by and you made some great Dyeabolical FOs in that time.

If you aren't familiar with FOs, they are Finished Objects. A finished object is any item knitted, crocheted, woven, felted, spun or otherwise transformed from Dyeabolical yarns or spinning 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).

So, on Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer...Oh, wait. That's not right.

On Yarn, on Fiber, on Knitting, on Weaving and Spinning.Let's get on with the FOs already!

First up, Sarah (YarnGeekFibers) was busy the past couple months. She finished the Favorite Scarf Ever out of Alter Ego in Flower Shop Inferno, which turned out ah-mazing. (project page)

Then, as if that wasn't enough, she also whipped out a Pogona Shawl that she then gave away to Rachel herself! (and I love it! -R) This one was also out of Alter Ego (such a great shawl/scarf yarn!), this time in Solomon Grundy, which is a kettle-dyed version of Born on a Monday. Such a great FO. (project page)

Either of these would also be great using Tenacious Tencel or Strong Arm Skinny, both available in the shop now

Cathy (divinediva) used a skein of Strong Arm Skinny in Closer Than You Think & a cream-colored yarn to whip up this festive Mormorio shawl. It's just perfect for the holiday season! (project page) This is such an amazing shawl! Perfect for Mrs. Claus!

Next up, Kara (Shells) finished a gorgeous Wingspan out of handspun Sid Fishous. This is absolutely beautiful. Stunning! Gorgeous! (project post)

Rachel, Dyeabolical herself, also finished up a couple projects in the Fall. First up, a tiny star ornament using Superwash Worsted. So fun! (project page)

Next up, out of Dyeabolical Handspun, a Multnomah shawl. Lovely! (project page)

Speaking of handspun, Heidi (Jellybean) fractal spun her Unbirthday club fiber into this fantastic yarn in October... (yarn page)

...and then by November, had a fabulous Trillian scarf. (project page)

And finally, from Malia (rhymeswithmaria), we have some fun monsters out of handspun. The pattern is the Amugurumi Monster and Baby. Malia spun this yarn out of the Flower Shop Inferno colorway. (Monsters out of handspun might be my new favorite thing. -R) (project page)

What's that? You say you don't spin yourself, but you'd like to knit a project out of Dyeabolical handspun? If you are in St. Louis, Ewe Knit Yarns in Webster Groves, MO carries Dyeabolical handspun. OR, ask Rachel to spin up a braid of fiber for you. Her prices are quite reasonable. 

A series of seriously fabulous FOs this time, ladies. Just gorgeous, ALL OF THEM.

As always, I love seeing what everyone is doing with Dyeabolical yarn and fiber. Don't forget to send those FOs my way either to karamichele on Ravelry, or to starmonkeybrass(at)gmail(dot)com. Have a happy holiday knitting, spinning, weaving, crocheting, or just sleeping off all the frantic holiday crafting. I'll see you next time. --Kara

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Customer FOs: September

Hello fans and friends of Dyeabolical - I (Kara) have not forgotten you or your lovely FOs. Life, grad school, BFF adopting a cute kidlet - it all sneaks in and zaps away my time. Now I'm in the midst of crazy holiday crafting (cue maniacal laughter now) just HOPING that I can get everything finished in time. Who's with me on this? Yet we all do it every year.

But enough about that, you want to see FOs. If you aren't familiar with FOs, they are Finished Objects. A finished object is any item knitted, crocheted, woven, felted, spun or otherwise transformed from Dyeabolical yarns or spinning 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).

First up, Ann whipped up this cute little cardigan for the previously mentioned kidlet (she is going to be the best dressed kid with all these knitters as friends). The pattern is Pod of Cetaceans and she used a green one-of-a-kind Dyeabolical worsted merino/cashmere blend with a non-dyeabolical semi-solid blue. (project page)

Also from Ann, another baby sweater. This is the Baby Seed Jacket out of a skein of unnamed worsted wool in the Golden Afternoon colorway. This is a great tiny pattern for that random skein of variegated worsted weight yarn that you just had to buy. Or how about making the baby in your life a cute little Christmas sweater with a skein in the Christmas Is Coming colorway? (project page)

Kelsie used a skein of Super Ego in Gamma Ray to knit the Semi-Precious Shawl. I love this so much - this color and pattern worked so well together. (project page)

Helen whipped up a fabulous Hitchhiker with a skein of Super Ego in Fate PhD. I just love this pattern and pairing it with the Super Ego yarn was a great idea! (project page)

Tasha used Strong Arm in Slither to knit up some ribbed socks - another great example of a simple pattern to show off the colors in the yarn. (project page)

Deborah used a custom colorway in Worsted Superwash to knit this AMAZING shrug. This is just gorgeous and looks fabulous on Deborah. Right after I saw this, I wanted to cast on for one for me regardless of the fact that this is a look I cannot pull off. (project page)

Laura used Organic Worsted Merino in Neon to knit a Chadwick Worm for her grandson. Super cute! (project page)

Moving on to handspun, Joelle knit a Ripley hat out of the Flower Shop Inferno she spun (featured in the August FO post). (project page)

Finally, Amy spun her Unbirthday polwarth fiber into 339 yards of a two-ply yarn. So fun! (yarn page)

Phew, September was a busy month for FOs and it doesn't look like you guys are slowing down any as we approach the holiday season. I'll see you back here next time & happy knitting, crocheting, weaving, and spinning until then!

Friday, November 16, 2012

An Oops and a New Yarn

Oops! There has been a labeling mistake. Merino Hard Twist sock yarn, which debuted in September, was erroneously labeled as superwash merino wool and nylon when it is really a non-merino superwash wool and nylon I take full responsibility for this. It was my misunderstanding when I read the content labels from the mill. Somewhere in the production process, I switched a merino wool hank for a non-merino wool hank and the error compounded from there.

Anyone who has purchased Merino Hard Twist sock yarn in the last few months is welcome to exchange the hank for different yarn. Shipping is on me.

For now, the superwash wool and nylon yarn will just be listed as "sock yarn" in my shop until I rename the base. The price will remain the same.

I am sorry for any inconvenience.

Moving on, can I interest you in some new colorways on the Tenacious Tencel base? 75% superwash merino / 15% nylon / 10% tencel--and YES, I double checked the label. :) These go up in the shop at noon today.

You can shop from or my etsy shop. The two sites are mirrors of each other. I use a service that pulls in listings from etsy to my website. I use etsy as my shopping cart, which means that I will never accidentally oversell, but which also means that my website is always just a few minutes behind when listing new items.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why you should wash on cold

Customers frequently ask me why I do things certain ways or why I make certain recommendations.

This morning I am sending an email to my club members recommending that the newest color be washed in cold water for the first wash. As I was writing the email, I realized that 1) I am way way more interested in why dye behaves certain ways than the average person; 2) I think some of you are, too; and 3) this is what my friends call "blog worthy".

There are several reasons I recommend washing Caucus Race, and other colors like it, on cold for the first wash.
  • The colors in Caucus Race were achieved using twice my normal amount of dye. It is super saturated. This means that there will inevitably be a few excess dye molecules hanging around for a few washes. No matter who is doing the dyeing--indie, commercial, yarn dyer, textile dye house, couture fabric houses, discount clothing factories--there will always always be a few excess dye molecules. Most times there will be too few to actually notice the color when diluted in a sinkful of water; sometimes you will see a transparent tint to the water. Most dyers wash post-dye in a detergent that suspends excess dyes and helps prevent most backdyeing.
  • Loosely bonded blue and green dye molecules are especially prone to hanging around after the party is over, especially turquoise-based blues and greens. Think about washing a fresh emerald green handspun for the first time. Was the wash water a light blue turquoise? That is because emerald is a turquoise-based dye. 
  •  In a well-set dye job, all the dye that was going to bond bonded already. What you have in the rinse water is the excess, the 3-4 turquoise molecules that were never going to bond. Some excess dyes will rinse out of fiber or yarn during the first rinse. Some take a few extra rinses. This is no problem for sock yarn, but spinning fiber compacts when washed more than once or twice. Better to have a blue-tinted rinse water than compacted fiber, I think.
  •  The roving is a silk blend. All silk will release dye when washed in hot water, no matter how well that dye is fixed (according to the dye gurus at my dye supplier).
  •  What this all adds up to is that I am fairly certain there will be some slight tint in the first wash with any fiber as super saturated with blue and green as Caucus Race is. All fibers and yarns? No. Some fibers and yarns? Yes. This is normal. The wool wash you use may even encourage dislodging some of those excess particles. HOWEVER, the fiber/yarn/fabric should not fade or change color if washed properly. There should be no actual bleeding or leaching of color out of the material and in to the water. There is a small risk that the tinted dye water will backdye on to anything else in the sink. If the fiber/yarn/fabric was set correctly and rinsed in a detergent, then the risk should be minimal
  •  If you do have real bleeding? Rivers of dye leaching out of the fabric and turning your hands funny colors? Snap a picture and email your dyer ASAP so he or she can puzzle out why. Sometimes mistakes happen and I would want to know immediately if my quality control failed.
 So, there's my educational "behind the curtain" blog post for the week. I hope you find the information as interesting as I do. If there are ever any other questions or topics I can expand on for you, let me know!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Customer FOs: August

Hello all - it's time for the August edition of the FO post! I, Kara, apologize for the long delay (after all, it's now October!), but your intrepid FO post writer has decided that going back to graduate school for a doctoral degree while working full time sounded like a mighty fine idea. Classes started a few weeks ago and I am JUST NOW figuring out how to manage my time so that I can do everything, including knitting (let's not discuss the serious case of cast-on fever I have right now. KNIT ALL THE THINGS!!!).

If you aren't familiar with FOs, they are Finished Objects. A finished object is any item knitted, crocheted, woven, felted, spun or otherwise transformed from Dyeabolical yarns or spinning 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).

So, let's get on with all the pretty, shall we?

First up from Katie, we have a Multnomah out of Strong Arm in Cerulean Coleptera. Katie said herself that this is a great pattern for variegated yarn and she is so right! (project page)

Rose-Marie used Bling Sparkly Sock in Be Mine for Vittorio. Is there a Dyeabolical color that doesn't look fabulous in this pattern? I don't think there is. What? You haven't knit one yet? Well get thee some lovely Alter Ego or Bling and get knitting! (project page)

Rachel herself used Worsted Superwash to knit a tiny Mochimochi Snowman. So cute!

Carrie used a 80/20 bfl/silk handspun in an unnamed colorway to knit this gorgeous Lazy Katy shawl. I just love how this turned out - these colors speak to me. (project page)

Hillary used BFL Hard Twist in Flower Shop Inferno to make a pair of Jaywalkers. Great socks! The BFL Hard Twist is a fantastic sock yarn. (project page)

Cindy knit this beautiful Celeano shawl out of Bling Sparkly Sock in Queen's Tea. I love the border on this!
 And a full shot so we can see the whole thing. (project page). Why yes, Cindy is wearing a second shawl from Dyeabolical. It is Lyrica Euterpe by Romi Hill knitted in the Ewe Knit colorway. Looks great, Cindy!

Courtney combined a skein of Alter Ego in Slither with the Bellatrix sock pattern to make a pair of perfectly evil socks. (project page

Moving on to handspun: 

Joelle spun fiber in Flower Shop Inferno to make this great aran weight yarn. (yarn page)

Kara did a little spindle spinning in August using fiber in the Sid Fishious colorway to make this two-ply yarn (yarn post).

And finally, the amazing Susan Anderson knit up a pair of mittens out of handspun in Themyscira. They look so warm and cozy! (blog post)

And that finishes up August's FOs. I'll be back soon with the FOs for September! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Strange Folk Info

2 more sleeps until Strange Folk Festival! I'm so excited! We're in a tent this year, NOT in the pavillion. I put a big arrow from where we usually are to where we will be. Also? 2 doors down from us? Yarn Geek Fibers. Also? Right outside the pavilion? Cupcakes and tea. Also? Ann will be with me Saturday morning. Also? Strange Folk, the best must fun weekend of the year. I can't wait!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Strange Folk Festival

It's time for Strange Folk again! If you haven't been to the Strange Folk Festival, go! Do Not Miss! It is a huge festival with great food, music, activities for kids and adults,and is full of vendors who only sell handmade (or hand dyed!) items. Bring a chair and hang out in front of the stage, or eat meat on a stick, or start your holiday shopping early.

I am in a tent this year, not under the pavilion. I will post here when I know where my tent will be. I am looking forward to being in a tent this year. As a seller, I love the frenzy under the pavilion, but the laid back atmosphere of the tents definitely has its appeal.
Jar of mini hank goodness

I have needle felting fiber in the dye pots right now for needle felting kits. Mom is working on putting together grab bags of hand dyed fiber from the bin of fiber below. This morning I filled up a big jar full of mini hanks. This show is going to be so much fun!

Huge milk crate full of hand dyed fiber

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Minnie Pearl borrowed this shawl from Tempest Tea one night at the Ryman Theater. Very stylish, Minnie! The yarn is a cotton warp yarn in an unknown colorway. Unknown because my notes say "Reflecting Pool" but apparently the label said "Peacock". Hrm...a mystery. Where in the world has your Dyeabolical yarn been?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September 2012 Newsletter

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Club Pre-Orders: Caucus Race

It's time for another edition of the Dyeabolical club!  No, this edition's yarn isn't named for the US election.  We're still on-theme: it's Alice's Caucus Race!

In Alice in Wonderland, Alice and her friends were soaking wet, after an impromptu swim in Alice's own tears, and were discussing ideas to get dry.  Mouse thought a dry recitation of history would do the trick, but the Dodo had other ideas.  "What I was going to say," said the Dodo in an offended tone, "was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race."

A caucus-race, for those unfamiliar, is a race with no start, no finish and everyone is a winner.  Simply run around like mad until you are dry.  Or, better yet knit yourself a nice pair of wool socks instead! Wool can absorb a huge amount of water before feeling wet and still stays warm even when thoroughly soaked.

Caucus Race is a vibrant color, perfect for going in to fall. It is a nautical navy, a forest green and a bright pop of periwinkle (blue in some light, purple in other light).

Caucus Race is available three ways: as a 100g hank of the sturdy, Blue Faced Leicester Hard Twist sock yarn, or in luminous 85% Polwarth, 15% silk fiber (4- or 8-oz braids).  Don't miss out: pre-order close on September 17, or earlier if space runs out.

A reminder of how the new club format works:

  • You preorder the fiber or yarn you want using the appropriate listing. The order period is open until September 17.
  • After the order period closes, Rachel will dye up your order and assemble the club swag.
  • All the international orders will ship on or before October 24. All US orders will ship on or before October 29.
  • Your Not Quite a Club package will include the Caucus Race colorway pictured above (exclusive for at least one year), dyer/inspiration notes, and swag that matches the club theme or the club color. Swag is worth $5-7 and may include items such as pins, ribbons, buttons, prints, paper goods, lip balms or other related gifts. 
  • If you would like to order more than 1 hank of yarn or more than 8oz of fiber, please contact Rachel and she will create a custom listing for you.
More questions?  See the club FAQ at:

Cotton Worsted -- Limited Edition

Tell me if this sounds familiar:  you want to make some dish cloths.  So you spend weeks searching, looking for juuuuust the right shade of red worsted cotton to match the holsteins-wearing-vintage-aprons theme of your kitchen.  Happily, you find that yarn!  You clutch it to your chest and take it home and knit it up into beautifully-crafted, sturdy dish cloths.  You take a moment to admire the color coordination as they sit next to your holsteins-wearing-vintage-aprons cookie jar in front of the holsteins-wearing-vintage-aprons backsplash, across from the holsteins-wearing-vintage-aprons refrigerator magnet and potholder set.  Those reds match exactly!  Your life is complete!

Then, tragedy strikes:  you use your new dishcloth the first time and it turns a bit...pinkish. Within weeks they've faded to a blah grey.  Your themed kitchen is no longer perfect.  The holsteins glare down at you from every direction.  You've let them down.  Your beautiful handknitted dishcloths no longer match.  Life is bleak.

Rachel is super duper sick of that happening, so she dyed up enough cotton yarn for herself to last a really long time and is offering the extras to you. Each limited edition hank is triple washed, twice in scalding hot water, to dissolve any extra dye particles hanging around. Then each hank is washed in synthrapol to prevent back-dyeing in case any extra dye particles are still floating around. As with all cottons, extremely hot temperatures and use with cleaning products can produce fading, but rest assured the dye won't come off on your skin the first time you use the cloth (true story).

This makes it an ideal kitchen cotton, but these colors are pretty enough to be knit up as garments too.  50 grams (100 yards) is just $8 for this limited edition base, so get yours while you can!

(And hey, doesn't that middle one match your holsteins' aprons?)
((I'm starting to suspect that Kate the Newsletter Minion owns a cookie jar with holsteins wearing aprons -- Rachel))

Strange Folk

Everyone's favorite craft/food/music festival is quickly approaching:  Strange Folk!  The music, the food, the vendors....we can't wait!  Mark your calendars for September 29th and 30th, at Community Park in O'Fallon, IL.  Remember, Rachel has a tent on the grounds this year (not under the pavilion as in years past) so be sure to stop by!

Holiday Colorways

Holiday colors will start making an appearance soon. If you are on a deadline for holiday knitting, or if you just don't have the time to stalk shop updates, then please consider a custom order. You can see a (mostly current) color card here. Check the shop for Dyed to Order listings or contact Rachel for more information.

From left-to-right: Witchiepoo, Steampumpk, Closer Than You Think


Thanks for supporting Dyeabolical!
Rachel Kluesner (who can hear Kate the Newsletter Minion sobbing from all the way in LA, so sad she is that she must miss Strange Folk)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On the Shores of Giche Gumee

Where in the world is Dyeabolical yarn? Sally sent me this picture from her vacation. From Sally, "On Lake Superior, waaaaay north in Minnesota (Lutsen, near Grand Marais, about 50 miles south of the Canadian border....and yes, they went to Thunder Bay Ontario)." The sock is the Roma colorway. Thank you for sharing, Sally! Where in the world has your Dyeabolical yarn or fiber been? Please share your pictures.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cotton Worsted

Months and months ago, I bought a case of worsted weight yarn from the Pisgah mill when it went out of business. It has been sitting on a shelf in my dining room taunting me ever since. Taunt no more! This week I turned that case of cotton in to some pretty yarn. It goes up for sale at noon today (Friday). Don't forget to use coupon code "DYEABOLICAL" for free shipping.

Oh, and I have a new Halloween-inspired wool color, too. This is called "Witchiepoo". I have 3 hanks on Super  Ego base ready for the update and I will be taking special orders. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Knitted Petticoats

I spent the afternoon browsing the "Underneath it All" exhibit at the Missouri History Museum. I ran in to some unexpected knitwear!

Apparently, when steel cages became popular, it also became in vogue to wear knitted petticoats for both warmth and to provide some modesty in case your hoop misbehaved and showed a little more limb than intended. The display said this red petticoat was from the late 1800s (1860 maybe?) but it looks like it could have been knitted yesterday. It was very well preserved! It didn't look worn at all. It certainly didn't seem to suffer from the dreaded saggy skirt bottom we know so well in modern knit skirts.

There is ribbing at the waist, which transitions in to pleats. The stitch pattern is a square pattern with purl "triangles" at the top of each square. At the bottom, some sort of chevron or feather and fan patterns. I think I would have just let my ankles show.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where in the World is Dyeabolical Yarns?

Friend Mindy holding a sock being knitted from Dyeabolical yarn in front of King David's temple. The colorway is the prototype fort the Roma colorway.  
The pictured sock is a world travelin' sock. That sock started life on the back of a sheep in South America, went to England for spinning, came to me for dyeing in the US, and just spent some time in Israel.

Where in the world has your Dyeabolical yarn been? Send me a picture!