Thursday, January 26, 2012

Unexpected results

Last year I picked up the last fleece on the table at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. It was $10, about 2 pounds, and the tag said it was a Wensleydale, Border Leicester and ? cross breed. It had very little VM that I could see and it was only $10, so I bought it and plunked it down at the Fleury wool processing booth so they could wash and card it for me. I thought it would make a nice gift for the avid spinners in my life.

It came back a few months ago in a fluffy coil of pin-drafted roving, which I don't have a picture of since I am posting part of this from my phone. I gave 4oz to Kim (wheelinsticks) and she spun it in to the yarn below. I know, terrible picture, but the yarn? WHOA. This questionable cross breed fleece spun up in to an extremely soft, lofty, squishy, wonderful, lovely, delightful yarn. I can't wait to spin my own share of this gorgeous fleece.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shop Preview

I'm making a huge update today (Wednesday) starting around noon St. Louis time.

My regular website,, has been experiencing a bit of lag between it and the etsy shop. If you are planning on purchasing around noon, then you might want to purchase directly from the etsy shop to avoid cartjacking. Hopefully that little bug will be fixed soon. Here's a preview:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Madonna and the Yarnwinder

Sometimes I find knitting and spinning tools in unexpected places, like great art work.

I'm reading the book The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft about the theft of numerous works from the Gardner Museum in Boston. At one point the author mentions another art theft from another museum, a Leonardo da Vinci work called Madonna and the Yarnwinder. Madonna and the Yarnwinder? Yarnwinder? So I look at the painting. Jesus is holding a niddy noddy!

"Behold! Symbolism!"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sundays are for spinning

This week my wheel and needles got no love. I was too busying dyeing every single bit of wool yarn in my apartment. When I wasn't working, I was sleeping, so Scott was kind enough to help with today's blog post.

Lots and lots of new spinners like seeing how other people spin and find it useful in their own spinning, so I filmed Scott spinning and Scott filmed me spinning. Neither one of us claim the One True Way of spinning, but each of our methods work for us.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sundays are for Blogging

I've already blogged about how Monday and Tuesday were a blur. The rest of the week didn't go by any slower.

We had some adventure Thursday morning when it it snowed barely at all in St. Louis, but messed up traffic terribly. I had to drop Scott off at the train station at 5am. Thankfully we were the only ones on the road and the roads had not yet been treated. Whatever they ended up treating the roads with on the first round turned that snow, which was admittedly a little slick, in to black ice. Lovely.

On Thursday I also started a new non-business Twitter account so that my @dyeabolicalyarn followers never again have to read such ranty tweets as:
  • "Remember months ago when they said cuts to road treatment and snow removal wouldn't affect anyone or cause additional problems;
  • and, How is the amount of time lost, car damage, person damage, and lost wages less expensive than just treating the roads, powers that be?
  • @Weatherbird How dare anyone defend the decision not to pretreat the interstates when someone DIED because of it.
That's right. I yelled at St. Louis's beloved Weatherbird.Yeesh. In my defense, I wasn't really yelling at him, but yelling about a link he posted to some MoDOT official saying something inane.

Long-time followers of this blog will know that I have struggled with where to draw the line between personal and business. Now I know, the line gets drawn on Twitter sometime before I yell at Weatherbird from my business account. You can now find my non-business rantings @lehcarstl and my business-related tweets @dyeabolicalyarn.

Look, here's some knitting! I finished 2 Lizard Ridge blocks this week. I could have finished 3, but I was too busy yelling to an owl about snow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Hello Monday! I've had a super productive Monday.
  • My knitting group is having an afghan knit-a-long in January, so I picked up Lizard Ridge again and knit a full square. 
  • I dyed 24 braids of the club colorway on a new wool.
  • I've kept up with the Fly Lady daily missions.
  • I've finished several chapters of Bizarre Botanicals
  • I went to the asthma/allergy doc and had a personal best lung function test, got a negative result on the wool allergy blood test (thank merciful heavens), got banned from raw non-organic oranges (boo), and had a completely uneventful allergy shot (for once). 
  • Ate an enormous salad, although the healthiness of said salad was severely compromised by the fried chicken pieces on top of it. 
  • Started the hundred pushups challenge and didn't die. Not only did I not die, I didn't have to start off at the lowest level. Go me. I'm enjoying this small victory today, because on Day 2 I'm pretty sure I'll have to drop down to the lowest fitness level. Somehow I just don't imagine myself doing 33 pushups, no matter how you slice it up.
And while I was congratulating myself for having such a productive Monday, and planning my Tuesday list, I realized that in 28 minutes it is going to be Wednesday and at least half that list must have happened on Monday.Time flies when you're having fun.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shop Updates

Hellloooo! How was your weekend? Scott and I had a nice dinner at a local salad bar on Friday and spent the weekend around the house working, cooking, and cleaning. I know, very exciting! Scott did a lot of spinning and I finished a short-row hat spun from some gorgeous Hello Yarn wensleydale fiber that Annie gave me.
I think it goes pretty good with my rockin' pompom scarf from Suzi. 

When I wasn't doing absolutely nothing, I was plowing through my inventory boxes. I listed several new braids of fiber and batts, as well as quite a few overstock, seconds, and test hanks. Everything is currently in the shop except for the pictures way at the bottom. Those will be listed tomorrow sometime around noonish. 

My creation
My creation

My creation

Friday, January 6, 2012

November-December FOs!

Remember when I said 2012 was the year I learn to delegate? I'm sticking to it! Please help me welcome Allison as a new contributor to the Dyeabolical blog. She will be handling the FO posts and perhaps the occasional guest post. I hope you enjoy the changes she has made to the format of the FO posts and find a lot of inspiration from the pictures. I see about 5 things I need to cast on for immediately.

And now, I'm off to dinner with my lovely husband because I have time. Woohoo! And now, here's Allison...

Hi everyone! Before we jump into the monthly finished object post, I wanted to quickly introduce myself since I will be handling the FO posts going forward to give Rachel one less thing to worry about. Anyway, my name is Allison, and I have been knitting since college, but really became a Knitter (with a capital K) about 5 years ago. I live in St. Louis and love Rachel's yarn just as much as you all do. You can find me as legalgirl on Ravelry and you can track me down on twitter, plurk and facebook by following the links on my Ravelry profile. Going forward please feel free to send me directly any finished Dyeabolical projects that you would like me to feature in the posts.

Now for what you have been waiting for, the awesome finished objects from the last two months! Thank you to everyone who shared pictures of their finished projects and handspun yarns made with Dyeabolical yarns and fibers in November and December. If you would like me to include your FO in an upcoming post (or if I have forgotten anyone!) email me at allison.levin [at] gmail [dot] com or message me through Ravelry.

This will be a picture heavy post. Those of you with slow internet connections may want to go have a cup of coffee while the page loads.

And now, in no particular order:

Mindy, CraftyandCrap, made this super cute needle-felted bug-eyed fish for Rachel out of Felting Fiber. I don't know about you, but I want to make one (or ten) right now!

Beck, lemonhalf, made a Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes out of Dyeabolical handspun and I am insanely jealous of the entire project. She started with Dyeabolical Superwash Roving in the Thesmyscira colorway and spun it into 424 yards of this gorgeous yarn

Which she then knit into this amazing shawl!

Next up is Leah, Zillahknits, who used a skein of Strong Arm 3ply in Sosari, along with a contrasting red yarn, to make

this amazing Daybreak Shawl by Stephen West. This shawl is definitely on my must make in 2012 list.

Steven, DramaticKnits, made his leading man socks using Strong Arm Skinny in the Dark Knight colorway

and yes, he got a full size men's sock out of 1 skein!

Tamara, neddhead, used about half of skein of the Worsted Weight Superwash in a one-off colorway to make

Trifurcate by Hunter Hammersen. You can't beat making two great gifts out of one skein of Worsted Weight Superwash!

Next up is Mandy, baconfairy, who made some Christmas socks out of Bling in the Closer Than You Think colorway that she purchased at Ewe Knit Yarns in Webster Groves, MO, one of the stores where you can buy Dyeabolical yarn in person.

Mandy used the Wanida pattern by Cookie A and knit the whole pair in 9 days! Call me jealous :)

Deborah, 7LetterDeborah, used one of the Strong Arm 3ply Sock Flats

to make basic toe-up socks. I've gotta admit, when Rachel started carrying the sock flats I wasn't sure if I'd ever buy one, but after seeing Deborah's finished object, I will be be buying myself a Sock Flat soon!

Kristin, PintSizePhoenix, took a skein of Strong Arm 3ply in the Butternut Squash colorway and made

these amazing Bois de Rose socks by Nicole Masson. These are going in my queue as well...and yes, I am quickly realizing doing these FO posts is going to increase my queue exponentially :)

Kara, KaraMichele, used the June 2011 Sock Club shipment of Strong Arm Skinny in the Always Rainbows colorway to make

some toe-up Monkey socks by Cookie A. Speaking of Kara, she was lucky enough to receive some handspun yarn from Kim, wheelinsticks

Kim used Dyeabolical Fiber in a 50% merino, 25% Tussah silk and 25% Bamboo viscose blend in the Homage to Mr. Fuschia colorway and got 300 yards of a fingering weight yarn. As somebody who has been spinning for about a month, I am so envious of Kim getting 300 yards in a fingering weight!

Mandy, who owns the Cloistered Lamb shop on Etsy, had her husband pick out a skein of BFL HardTwist Sock Yarn in his favorite colorway at the Strange Folk Festival. He chose the Steampunk colorway and Mandy wove him a scarf for Christmas!

She used a laceweight yarn in a brownish colorway for the warp and the BFL HardTwist in Steampumpk as the weft. I love the finished object!

Also at the Strange Folk Festival, Casey, who owns Tangerine Designs on Etsy, picked up a skein of Bling in the Blue Bruce colorway and made

Damson by Ysolda Teague, another great shawl pattern that you can make with only 1 skein of any of the Dyeabolical sock yarns. Casey also has an absolutely adorable model for her shawl

who I just had to show you all :)

Great knitting, spinning and weaving everyone! As always you can find everything at the Dyeabolical store. I'd be especially interested in seeing any projects you all make out of the new Hand Dyed Ribbon Rachel is carrying.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Knitting Year in Review

Fabric wreath from my mom

My creative demands have increased as part of my job. It's a good thing, but by the end of the day I pretty much don't want to do anything but veg in front of the TV and my numbers show it. It isn't a competition against anyone but myself but, as I shiver in my cold office, I do wish I had knit a few more shrugs or a big worsted weight shawl.
1 cowl (down from 3 in 2010)
6 washcloths/burpcloths/bibs/potholders/swiffer covers etc (up from 5 in 2010)
0 cosies of any sort (down from 1)
0 baby things (down from 3)
1 fingerless mitts (down from 4)
1 pair of gloves (up from 0)
1 hat (down from 3)
2 shawls (up from 0)
3 pairs of socks (down from 9 in 2010 which completely explains why I don't have enough socks this winter)
3 cardigans/sweaters (up from 1)
1 tank top (up from 0)
1 shrug (up from 0)
3 scarves (same)
23 projects in 2011 (down from 35 in 2010)

2011 Finished Projects