Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring Fling (picture heavy)

How is it possible that I am still exhausted from last week's trip to Colorado for Spring Fling and The Loopy Ewe? How much longer can I blame the altitude? :)
Ann and I on our way to eat fancy pork chops and lobster mac and cheese with some new friends. Ann is wearing the Vitamin D cardigan knitted from a limited edition cotton/bamboo fingering weight yarn I dyed for her last year. So many people have asked me about that yarn in the last week. I can dye it special order, but I don't have time to revive the line right now. Perhaps later in the summer?Not pictured, the Piper's Journey shawl I have stuffed in my bag. 40 degrees in Denver is like 65 degrees in St. Louis. Who needs coats or knitwear?
New friends!

Going to The Loopy Ewe in style. A stretch limo that seats 15 knitters does not corner roundabout interchanges very well. Amusing for all involved.

The view of the mountains from the Embassy Suites parking lot. 

I only remembered to take my camera out for one class.
I bet you can't guess which class it was...
Or how many toy knitting books I brought home...
Or how in love with these little guys I am.
On the left, genius toy knitter and knit designer, Susan Anderson. On the right, me contemplating knitting a flock of chickens and perhaps a giraffe and hippo and unicorn.

The stash that came home with me. Bottom row, center square, the Color Affection shawl finally got me.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sale? SALE!

Oops! I posted this to the newsletter list, Twitter & Facebook, but forgot to put it here on the blog. I am having a sale through this Friday.

20% off using coupon code "TWENTY" 

As always, you can shop from the website or the Etsy store. The stock in both shops are identical and both use Etsy to checkout. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shipping notice

I will be away from the studio and have limited computer access from April 18-April 22. Any orders for in-stock items placed from April 18-April 22 will ship on April 23.
Notice

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Southern Illinois Sheep & Wool Festival

Whatcha doin' this Saturday? Come see Ann & I at the Southern Illinois Sheep and Craft Festival. It is a small show about half an hour outside of St. Louis. There are sheep dog trials, antique tractor display, and a not-to-be-missed lamb lunch, livestock, frozen lamb meat at great prices, various guilds & groups, plus some vendors.The main vending area is inside the barn, so we will be there rain or shine.

 
This is my 7th or 8th year attending as a spectator and 2nd year as a vendor. The parking is good, the food is good, the people are good, the vendors are good, the customers are nice, and the sheep are cute. I love going to this festival, whether I am selling or not.


The Monroe County Fairgrounds is located one-half mile west of Waterloo on State Road 156. The grounds open at 8 and everything really gets moving from 11-2 when the lunch is served. The fair is open until 5, but things broke up last year in the late afternoon.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Customer FOs: January

Did Wendy send you? Click here!
 
My friend and cupcake pusher, Kara, periodically steps in as a guest blogger here to do a monthly round up of projects made from Dyeabolical® yarns and spinning fibers. Thank you everyone who shared their projects. They are so inspiring! You can buy Dyeabolical yarns and fibers in my online shop, on Etsy (which is a mirror of my online shop), at one of several shops or upcoming festival, or email me for a special order. Color cards and a description of each base can be found here.  Thank you to Kara for the guest post! --Rachel
 =============
It's time for another edition of "look at all the pretty things you can do with Dyeabolical yarn and fiber!". So let's just get right to it.

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).

Designer Corrina Ferguson (picnicknits) designed and knit the Bryndis shawl in Super Ego to show off the Knit Crate Cafe special kit colorway. (pattern page)

And then Rachel herself knit a Bryndis out of Super Ego in Neopolitan. (project page)

Rachel also knit a couple of Wee Sheep, designed by Susan B. Anderson, which are just the CUTEST and a great use of any leftovers you might have around the house. [*cough* or mini hanks *cough*] (project pages)


Jen used Super Ego in Born on A Monday to knit the Alma Ella shawl. Another great pairing of yarn to pattern. (project page)
Super Ego is a great base for anything - shawls, socks (of which there is enough yarn for those of us with big feet), and even sweaters.

Cheryl used some handspun Dyeabolical to create these great pillows. This is a great idea for that skein of yarn you just don't know what to do with.


E.J. Slayton (Joy) used her own basic ribbed sock pattern, from her book Ribbing Plain & Fancy, in Themyscira for some great socks. (project page).

Rose (Cakewalk Yarns) used a skein of Alter Ego in Born on a Monday for some fantastic socks in a broken rib pattern. (project page)



Mollie used a skein of Strong Arm in a one of a kind color to knit a Hitchhiker shawl. Can I just say how much I love this pattern for a variegated yarn? It's PERFECT. (project page)

The lovely Rose-Marie, from Bea-Gin Designs, used Superwash Merino Worsted in Tainted Love to knit these fun little Winter Sunshine Mitts (designed by Lemonhalf/Beck from Gusler Designs, who has done a lot of graphic design work for past clubs) (project page)

Eleanor knit this lovely Rondelay shawl out of Alter Ego yarn in Closer Than You Think. Such a cool pattern and a great yarn to go with it! (project page)


January's Handspun comes to us from Mandy at The Cloistered Lamb. She spun up a BFL/Silk blend in Themyscira and plied it with 2 strands of a dark brown BFL. Lovely! (blog post)


As always, you can find a great selection of yarn and fiber at the shop, including many skeins of yarn to knit your own Bryndis, Hitchhiker, or whatever your heart desires.

If you have an FO that you would like featured here, send me (Kara) an email at starmonkeybrass(at)gmail(dot)com or at karamichele on Ravelry.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dyeabolical....perfume?

My friends figured out a long time ago that I am highly susceptible to peer pressure. For instance, when Annie (who really needs to start blogging again) wants a color that I am highly resistant to, she simply starts a thread on my Ravelry group and generates customer support. That's how she gets me to order BRIGHT NEON DYES.
Neon yellow. No one can look directly at this yarn.
Regular yellow. You can look directly at this yarn...sort of. Don't you kind of want a yellow sweater now? It's called The Annie Effect. She's a trendsetter, that one. The pattern is Vitamin D and so is the sweater - ba da dum.
In the grand tradition of using peer pressure to get things done, Wendy from the Knit1, Heart Too podcast, mentioned that I might maybe possibly be maybe considering selling perfume. Cue the emails asking when perfume will be available. To quote Wendy, "Haha, made you start a business!". Remind me to pinch you later, Wendy! :) Seriously, my friends have some pretty good ideas.

It's true, I did buy carrier oils and perfume roll-on bottles to make myself some perfume out of my favorite soap scents. It's cheaper to buy 50 bottles than to buy 15, so I have a lot of bottles and perfume base. A few friends did ask for some scents to be made up and they liked them. Wendy & Sheila gave the Brown Sugar & Fig scent a great review....and I did like making them...and I am always looking for something fun and easy to do when I'm not working on yarn. See where I'm going here?

I don't have time for at least a month or two to develop line up of scents, to have labels designed and printed, do marketing, and so on. HOWEVER, I would kind of like to explore this whole perfume thing. Is there a need? I want to test this out and here's where you come in.

Here is how this will work: For now, this will be a side project for me. To gauge interest and help me figure out what would be popular if I did put this in the shop, I need your help. I am offering bottle of roll-on perfume for a discounted price of $5 (regularly would be between $6-9), plus shipping. The labels will be handwritten and you will have to email me to order it. For the most part, the scents will be fragrance oils and (not essential oils), except where indicated. They will ship out once a week in a padded envelope first class.

[UPDATE: Wow, the response has been overwhelming! I have more than enough testers for now, so I am closing the coupon offer. However, I will still take orders from anyone who wants to take advantage of the $5 price. Thank you, testers!] Anyone who orders at the reduced rate and fills out a questionnaire after they use the scent will be emailed a coupon code for $3 off a future order. {Edit to add: I will combine the coupon codes up to $9 if you review 3 or more scents. Only 1 coupon code per person, please.}

All of the scents need to come from my existing list of scents below OR be a combination of scents. For instance, if you want Lemon and Rose Garden mixed together, I will do that.

If sales go well, and the feedback is good, then I will ask my graphic designer to make up a label and I will work on getting more "perfumey" scent and essential oils in. Ok? OK!

Summer Honey (all natural)
Eucalyptus/Spearmint
Soapy Clean (like fresh laundry)
Vine Ripe Tomato (surprisingly light and summery)
Festival of Lights (apple, lemon, nutmeg, cinnamon)
Herbal Essence
Sandalwood Vanilla
Bay Rose
Lemon
Sweet Meyer Lemon (lemon plus a little vanilla)
Patchouli (Dirty hippy!)
Violet (very light)
Flowering Herb (garden herbs, lavender, lime) (a nice gentle scent)
Rose Garden (strong and rosey as a rose garden should be)
Lavender and Basil (I think this smells just plain clean. Not really like either lavender or basil.)
Euphoria (jasmine, rose, sandalwood, similar to Aveda* Euphoria)
Lilac
Citrus Cilantro
Cashmere and Cotton (pomelo, bergamot, vanilla, sandalwood, musk, hint of patchouli)
Barber Shop (Manly!)
Sandalwood
Christmas Wreath
Cedarwood and Sage (EO/FO)
Dreamsicle
Coffee
Gingerbread
Brown Sugar and Fig (Wendy's favorite)


Monday, April 1, 2013

Customer FOs: December

Welcome back, Kara! For those of you who have just started reading the blog, my friend and cupcake pusher, Kara, periodically steps in as a guest blogger here to do a monthly round up of projects made from Dyeabolical® yarns and spinning fibers. Thank you everyone who shared their projects. They are so inspiring! You can buy Dyeabolical yarns & fibers in my online shop, on Etsy (which is a mirror of my online shop), at one of several shops or upcoming festival, or email me for a special order. Color cards and a description of each base can be found here.  --Rachel
===================================

It's time to catch up on the Customer FOs. I (Kara) apologize for the delay, but a winter of schoolwork and illness has kept me down a bit. I'm starting to feel better (yay!) and the semester is starting on the downhill slide, so let's talk about some lovely Dyeabolical FOs from the past few months. I will post December's projects today and January's projects later in the week.

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).

Let's start with the last FOs of 2012:

First up, from Carol, the Waiting for Winter mittens in a one-of-a-kind worsted colorway. This mitten pattern, written by Susan B. Anderson, are great in a variegated or handspun yarn. (project page)


Karen used a skein of Strong Arm Skinny in Soldier Field to knit a lovely pair of D-Man socks. (project page)

Next up from Mary, are these Cabley Toe-Up Socks. She used Strong Arm Skinny in the Off With Her Red color. I love how the cable is a little bit of detail, but the pattern doesn't get lost in the variegation of the yarn. (project page)

Socks were popular this time around, with the next pair coming from Jenny. She used the Poison D'Art colorway to knit a great pair of ribbed socks. (project page)

Moving on to Handspun, Kara (Shells) did a fabulous job spinning up this BFL/Firestar in Katatomic. She spun this on her tibetan spindle, then navajo plied it on her wheel. Just gorgeous. (yarn page and blog post)

Wendy (Knit1Wendy), of the Knit 1, <3 a="" podcast="" too="">,  is spinning enough Flowershop Inferno for a sweater out of Portuguese Merino - she's off to a great start, this is just lovely!
 

December was quiet on the FO front, but you folks were busy in January! Look for the January update very soon.  In the meantime, if you have an FO you'd like to see here, send Kara an email at starmonkeybrass(at)gmail(dot)com or message me @karamichele on ravelry.