Sunday, June 24, 2012

Very Vari, Quite Contrary

Kara had an awesome idea for a semi-regular blog feature on using highly variegated yarns. You can find more patterns good for variegated yarns on my "Good For Highly Variegated Yarns" list in my Ravelry queue. And now? Kara! -- Rachel
If you're anything like me, you are drawn inexplicably to the highly variegated yarns. It's what made you fall in love with Dyeabolical in the first place. Bright, beautiful colors all mixed up on one skein of yarn. I often find myself with a new skein of variegated Dyeabolical yarn in my hands, after screaming "MINE!" when I see a picture of it.* But once I get it home, I'm sometimes at a loss. What should I make with this? What pattern can I use where the colors won't get lost? How can I do justice to such pretty yarn?

Well, you are in luck, because I am about to suggest a few pattern ideas.

Swirl Socks by Sulafaye use a slipped stitch swirl pattern that highlights the color changes in variegated yarns. The pattern is written for sport to dk weight yarn, though you can modify it easily enough to use fingering weight yarn.
Kate used the Alter Ego base in the Joker colorway to make her socks (above), while I (Kara) used Alter Ego in Flower Shop Inferno for mine.
The Super Ego base would also be a great choice for these socks, available for custom order in many great colorways. (I would try We're All Mad Here, Superheroes, or Fate PhD myself.)

In the neckwear category, the Hitchhiker scarf by Martina Behm looks amazing in a variegated yarn.
Anne knit hers using the Bling sparkly sock in We're All Mad Here, though it would look great in any of the fingering weight yarns. Alter Ego would make a great soft 'round the neck project.

In the fingerless mitts category, Spirogyra by Lynne Vogel fits the bill. The lace pattern does a great job at mixing up the colors.
Deborah used the Sporty! base in Firefly for hers. The SuperEgo base would also be a great choice (I picture them also looking great in the Bird Of Paradise colorway).

But let's say you've found yourself with more than one skein of a color. You fell in love with it and asked Rachel to dye up several skeins. How about a sweater? The Celery Cardigan by Veera Välimäki is a great choice for a variegated yarn.
Anne used the Bling Sparkly Sock yarn in the Annie colorway for this one. To make sure her colors were evenly distributed, she alternated skeins (which is always a good idea when you're using any hand dyed yarn). This is another one that would be great using the Alter Ego yarn, as well as the Bling that Anne used.

These are only a few of the great options there are for knitting with Dyeabolical's variegated yarns. There are a lot of great patterns out there, socks, shawls, scarves, mitts/gloves/mittens, and sweaters.

*I assure you, I am not kidding. I've been known to scream "MINE" at Rachel directly. I like to blame it on being an only child.

Friday, June 22, 2012

2 Awesome Things

Two awesome things happened last week in my knitting world.

First, Knittyspin reviewed the second fiber I sent in to them. I'm two for two! The spinners favorably reviewed my English 56's superwash wool.
Sid Fishious colorway

My favorite description of the fiber was "Hufflepuff meets Ravenclaw". Did the reviewer mean color? That the golden orange is Hufflepuffy and that the blue is like the Ravenclaw banner? Or it mean the fiber all-around decent fellow, like Cedric Diggory, and the color is Luna Lovegood? Either way, it is just my kind of compliment.
Picture from Knittyspin First Fall, 2012. 
I have 4 pounds of this lovely fiber undyed and sitting on the shelf next to me. The possibilities are endless. Which color should I dye it next? 

The next awesome thing comes from Corrina Ferguson of Picnic Knits. She has designed another awesome pattern from one of my yarns. I am in total awe of Corrina's design sensibility. This is her newest shawl, Natessa, made from my 2-ply merino lace yarn:
Picture courtesy of Picnic Knits
My heart literally skipped a beat when I saw this lovely heart-shaped shawl. Picture from Picnic Knits.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Customer FOs: The May Edition

It's that time again - time for us to take a peek at what people have created out of Dyeabolical yarn and fiber. May brought us quite a few FOs, so grab your coffee (or beverage of choice) and peruse the pretty with me.

What are FOs, you ask? FOs 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). 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 Rachel's customers and friends for letting me share your FOs with everyone!

First up, an FO from me! (Kara!) After a long time on the needles (mostly hiding from fear it wouldn't fit) and repeated pleas for me to TRUST THE SWATCH, I finished my Folded sweater out of the old Silkerino fingering weight I picked up at the Strange Folk Festival a few years ago.
This blocked out even bigger than I anticipated, which worked out well (obviously). If only I hadn't finished it just as the weather turned to summer here. (project page)

Ruth (knitngoddess) combined Smashed and Themyscira Bling Sock to make this amazing Arroway shawl.
Could this be more beautiful? The colors work so incredibly well together - its like the perfect marriage of pattern and yarn. (project page)

Deborah (7LetterDeborah) finished up two Dyeabolical projects in May - first up, her travel socks out of the Bling base in a one of a kind colorway. I am loving how this color knit up into socks. (project page) [and I super love how Deborah's socks turned out too big for her, but fit me great. - Rachel]

Next, she used the discontinued Cotton Slub and soda can tabs to make a purse for the Jabberwocky swap. I am absolutely fascinated with this purse - I can't imagine the work that went into this. (project page)

Alli (AlliLuvsCrochet) used a skein of Bling in a one-of-a-kind colorway to make a mini-Boneyard shawl. Very pretty! (project page)

Sheri (Craftysly) knit up this Piper's Journey shawl using Strong Arm Skinny in Superheroes and a non-Dyeabolical yarn.
I just love how this turned out. I would not have thought to use two colors on this shawl before seeing Sheri's version, but it looks fantastic. (project page

Moving into the handspun arena, Sarah (YarnGeekFibers) used the merino/bamboo handspun she finished in February to knit an Elis cowl. Lovely. (project page)

Shanda (Cre8vleigh) spun up some BFL fiber in the Blood Orange colorway.
Which she combined with some non-Dyeabolical alpaca to make an Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief.
This is gorgeous and a great use of the handspun. (project page)

Zillahknits turned some Superwash English 56's Wool fiber in Steampumpk into 70 yards of a 2-ply yarn. (yarn page)
 Which became a Mustard scarf.
I love the long color repeats she was able to create and the pattern is great for handspun! (project page)  This is the same type of fiber that was just reviewed in Knitty, so there's some in the shop right now in Sid Fishious

We have another great handspun-to-finished-object project from Gwynthie.  She fractal spun some Dance Mistress merino fiber. (yarn page)

Which then became this fantastic Amanda hat. (project page)

Kelly (photokitty) was a busy spinner in May. First, she used two club colorways (Temple Door & Mr. Fuchsia) to create some striking combinations. (yarn page)

And she spun Malliot Jaune (another older club colorway) into a single-ply skein of fabulous.(yarn page)

Stacy (StacyLoves) spun up her 8oz of Sid Fishious into about 640 yards of 2-ply yarn. I love this (full disclosure: Sid Fishious is my current favorite colorway.) (yarn page)

Finally, I am pretty sure that Kara (Shells) put her Manxome Foe club colorway on the wheel as soon as it arrived in the mail because she had it spun up by the end of May. She got the Oatmeal BFL/Silk fiber & spun it into 455 yards of 2-ply laceweight yarn. I can't wait to see what this turns into! (yarn page)

If Kara's handspun is making you kick yourself for missing out on the last club color, don't forget to sign up for the next club fiber (or yarn) in Unbirthday in the shop now! Pre-orders are being accepted until June 22, so place your order before it's too late!

And with that, folks, we are all caught up on the FO posts for the year so far! I'll still be here writing the FO posts, so remember to send your FOs my way, either through ravelry (karamichele) or email at starmonkeybrass(at)gmail(dot)com. I love seeing what you guys do with Rachel's yarn and fiber, so I can't wait to see what you have in store for the summer. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Color Cards

I finally got around to revising the color cards and I got them online without any tears like last time. Shocker, I know. Usually HTML and I get along so badly with each other.

There are still some colors missing, but I think they look pretty good. What do you think?

New color cards

New Color cards Part 2

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How I Met My Productivity Downfall

I've caught random episodes of How I Met Your Mother on regular TV, but it wasn't until I discovered it on Netflix last week that I really got in to it. Now I have to make bargains with myself about watching it. Such as "Self, no HIMYM until you schedule a few blog posts". Kara has been doing a great job on catching up on the finished object posts, but I should probably check in now and again since this is my blog, yes?

  • The monthly newsletter went out a few days ago. To recap, pre-orders are open for the next incarnation of the "not a club club" shipments. The theme is "Unbirthday"; My dyeing schedule has dialed back a little as we get in to summer, but I am waving the deposit on most special orders if you are looking for a particular colorway; and, Sifu Design Studios in Chicago will soon be carrying my yarns. YAY! 

Unbirthday (not rehanked) on the new (sorta) Super Ego sport(ish) weight yarn and on polwarth fiber

  • The tank top of DOOM is finally finished! It has been finished for a few weeks, minus the ends that need to be woven in. SO. MANY. ENDS. I've taken it with me to 2 knit nights and only managed to weave in 6 ends. Only eleventy billion more to go. It fits great, but the yarn is warmer than expected. This tank will be worn more as a vest than a tank. 

I love how fashionable Maggie M looks in the Tank Top of Doom, even though Mags and I are vastly different sizes. The trick is to gather all that extra fabric at the back with a hair clip. Voila! Instant figure.
I didn't intend on it being reversible, but after ripping out the bust shaping trying to save yarn, that's exactly what happened. I am very happy with this sweater. I may even wear it someday if I ever weave in the ends.
I used some leftover inventory of the "new" Cotton Slub DK weight yarn. It's a perfectly ok yarn. I've made lots of projects from it, but it will never be the  never-to-be-spun-again old Cotton Slub sport. I miss that old hard-twist, yardage-for-miles, go-ahead-and-wash-her-on-hot gal. Let us agree that mills with good yarn should never go out of business.

  • I am blogging again in my other blog, Lehcar Knits. I really miss blogging how I used to, combining both personal and professional. But as the business grows, Dyeabolical really isn't an appropriate venue to get absolutely ranty about sewing patterns, bad drivers or keyword searches, or so I'm told. Back to the old blog I go for that sort of stuff. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Customer FOs: April

Woohoo! Kara has another FO post ready! There's only one more to go after this and we will be all caught up! I'm taking (yet-another) week to catch up on all the stuff that falls by the wayside during fall season spring season show season, so I might even have time to get a non-FO post written this week.

Kara, you're on!

 It's that time again - more Dyeabolical FOs! This time we are looking at finished projects and hand spun from April.

First up, Casey, owner of the awesome Tangerine Designs and zephead on Ravelry, spun up some Themyscira BFL fiber on her spindle. This was the first time she  plied her singles (and only her second set of singles) and it looks great! (yarn page)

Shanda (Cre8vleigh) spun this 100% Corriedale in Be Mine. Lovely!

Shanda also knit up a Vittorio in the Strong Arm Skinny in the Brown Eyed Girl colorway. This is such a great pattern for any of the fingering weight Dyeabolical yarns, I think we'll be seeing a lot of these. (project page)

Speaking of Vittorio, we had two others finished up in April.

Kate (KateOhKatie) used Strong Arm Skinny in Themyscira.(project page)

Kara (Shells) knit hers out of Strong Arm Skinny in the Fate PhD colorway. (blog post)

All 3 Vittorio shawls are gorgeous, aren't they? You want to knit one for yourself, don't you? I knew it! It would look fabulous in any of Rachel's variegated colors and Flower Shop Inferno happens to be in the shop RIGHT NOW. The Super Ego base would make a great Vittorio, too.

Kate also knit up soakers for her soon(ish)-to-arrive baby Hoopling. These are out of superwash worsted in Steampunked Flower Shop Inferno. Too cute! (project page)

Julie from Ewe Knit Yarns used the Bling Sparkly Sock in Firefly and the Ewe Knit Yarns exclusive colorway to make a Daybreak shawl. The colors work together so well in this shawl - fabulous! (project page) [I was just at Ewe Knit today and I know they still have their exclusive colorway in stock. It is a dark teal blue and black. She ships! -- Rachel]

Jamie (tempesttea) finished her work knitting project - a wrap using the Cotton Warp in Peacock. The pictures don't do this one justice - it's so much more awesome in person. (project page) [I MUST dye this color again! -- Rachel]

In addition to all the beautiful shawls, April was also a great month for socks.

Deborah (7LetterDeborah) finished a pair of socks out of a custom colorway in Strong Arm. I love the stripey heel and toe! (project page)
Shelley (SDJones) used Strong Arm in Themyscira to knit her first pair of socks. These turned out great! (project page)
Lynne (KnittenSmitten) used Strong Arm Skinny in Seymour Krelborn (the October sock club yarn) to make Hermione's Everyday Socks. I need to make these socks. (project page)

And last, but not least, Natalie (TaterDad) knit up a hat out of a gorgeous Dyeabolical handspun. (project page) [I am always happy to spin any of my fibers in to a yarn for you. Contact me for details. -- Rachel]

Fabulous FOs in April! As always, send any FOs my way - starmonkeybrass(at)gmail(dot)com or karamichele on ravelry. I'll see you again soon for the FOs from May!