Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dye Lots

Yarns have dye lots, but did you know dyes have dye lots, too?
Light dye is from the old jar. Darker dye is from the new jar.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Where in the World is Dyeabolical Yarns?

While us St. Louisans had thundersleet last weekend, one lucky St. Louisan knit a bright yellow cardigan poolside in Palm Beach. Lucky knitter!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Things I Wonder

 This week I have thought a lot about crafters and how we do things.

  • How often do other knitters wash their project bags? I have 2 cats, I stuff my projects in to my purse, and I throw my bag on the floor at knit night, sometimes a project bag may hank hang out near the front door/on the end tables/on my desk for months before I get to it. By the time I am finished with a project, my project bag is usually well and truly dirty so I wash my bags after every project. 
Some of my favorite bags
  • Am I the only knitter who has a plastic zip bag problem? My favorite zip bags are the Hefty 2.5 gallon zip bags and the discontinued-but-I-hope-they-come-back Ziploc gusset bags. Each can hold between 5-10 hanks of yarn and last forever. I store my inventory in them, projects too big for a fabric bag, long-term projects (LIZARD RIDGE), booth supplies, and 8" dpns & some circs sorted by size and then filed in to an accordion folder (5-6" dpns are stored in a Lantern Moon case). I like being able to grab all my size 5s at one go. Of course, being able to grab all my needles of one size at a go will mean that occasionally all of one size will go missing. Usually the 7s. Invariably, I will find a Ziploc of 7s stashed in a forgotten about project bag. In other words, I am really fond of and opinionated about plastic bag with self-sealing closures.
I don't have a good picture of zip bags, circular needles, or Lizard Ridge, so here is a picture of my husband wearing freshly a silk bells (similar to a silk hankie) as a hat.
  •  How do other knitters/crafters/online business owners balance actual knitting/working/crafting time with the lure of Ravelry, Pinterest, Flickr, Twitter, Plurk, Facebook, Facebook Groups, Google+, blog reading, and other social media outlets? Social media is part of my job, and I enjoy using social media in my personal life, but there is no denying that trying to keep up with everything online is more time-consuming than knitting, spinning, sewing, and reading combined.
  • How do customers search for hand dyed yarns and spinning fiber? I know how my customers find me, and I know how I search for new fibers (hand dyed yarn, roving, spinning fiber, wool), but how do other knitters and spinners search for wool? What key terms do they use?  Is there some service that can figure this out for me? Surely there is.  
  • Related, someone explain bidding for advertising to me. I bid on some advertising last week, won the bid at 40 cents against one other advertiser, then the bidding shot up to $5/day competing against 5 or 10 other advertisers, then I cancelled my bid and now advertising is back down to 20 cents. I do not understand it and I'm frustrated because I adore the site I was advertising on. Give me a chart of how much it costs for however many impressions and click-thrus. Is there anyone out there knowledgeable about bidding for advertising and can give me some tricks?
    I miss you most of all, discontinued Noro Kureyon #88. Why did I ever let you go?
    Destashed February 2006, before Dyeabolical existed and before I knew any better.
  • How often to other knitters toss their stash? I turn my stash over in the spring and the fall, and sometimes in between. I pull everything out and separate it in to piles to keep, give away and think about. My bins get wiped out. Fresh bars of soap go in to the bins. The old soap goes in to the soap closet (it's also the towel, CDs, and keg closet). The piles to keep get put away, the think about pile goes in an enormous Ziploc and hangs in my office where I can look at and ponder about it. Then I take the rest of the yarn and portion it out amongst whoever hasn't caught on to my destashing scheme yet. All the kitchen cotton and acrylic you want---FOR FREE!

Monday, March 18, 2013

New color names and updated color cards

It took all weekend and picking a lot of brains, but here are the new color names.
New Color Card

A. Paris, At Last (extra points for you if you know the reference without Googling)
B. Garden of Live Flowers
C. Thunderboom
D. Lucy
E. (not ready yet)
F. Ethel
G. Bordello
Plus, the highlighter colors which don't really have names beyond  "Highlighter Yellow", "Highlighter Blue" etc
Many thanks to Lacey, Kara, Sheila, Alice, Lucy and Ethel for help in naming the colorways.The new colorways will be Tuesday at noon central time. I update the Etsy shop first and then within a minute or two the shopping cart software on the website automatically updates with the listings it pulls over from Etsy. So, if you are extra motivated to get a color, you want to be sitting on the Etsy page. Remember, I can always do special orders if your favorite colorway is out of stock.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Anatomy of a Colorway: A Preview

Hellllooooo! My leg is much better this week. I stood all day Saturday at Green With Indie, dyed a full weeks worth of yarn in the last 2 days, and managed to (sort of) clean (some of) the apartment and I'm fine. Maybe a leetle bit of nerve pain, but whatevs. I can deal with that. Thank you, Voodoo Vince! Your reverse voodoo really works! 
Green with Indie booth - soaps, yarns, fiber & hand dyed scarves from Katatomic Labs.
Last week I started working on new colorways. I start by trying new color ideas on combed top. Spinning fiber is much more forgiving of bad color choices than yarn is. If a color doesn't work on fiber, you can simply rip it out. Not so with yarn. Luckily, every colorway I tried worked out mostly the way I wanted it to. YAY! Time for yarn.
The yarn gave me fits. A, B & C dyed up just fine. 

I ran out of the right color dye on E and am waiting for more. D & F turned out....not right. They're pretty, but not like the fiber at all. 
Confession: I do not actually think the color on the left is pretty.
 I tried 3 times more on color D and once more on color E. 
I felt inspired yesterday and tried out a seventh color. 
That left me with a pile of Color D rejects. Did someone say overdye? All the new colors above, and the overdyes below will be in the shop as soon as I can think of some decent color names. Tomorrow? Next week? Confession: I'm terrible at time management and planning ahead. :P [ETA: Let's say Tuesday morning...ish.]

Monday, March 11, 2013


Voodoo Vince & The Stabbity Leg Syndrome
Knitters are hilarious and kind. Evidence: Today the mail carrier brought me a knitted voodoo doll with needles stuck in its leg right where I stuck needles in my leg. Many thanks to my invisible internet friend, Wendy for the lolz (yes, I said "lolz"). Check out her podcast that she does with her BFF Sheila here.