Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday


New markdowns on in-stock yarns, fibers, and digital patterns!

  • Mini-Skein grab bags marked down $2
  • Patterns marked down $1*
  • In-stock yarns marked down $2+
  • In-stock fibers marked down $2+
  • Perfumes marked down $1**
  • Rolags marked down $2+
  • sales & seconds marked down even further
Discounts have already been taken. Shop here!
Sale ends Monday at midnight!

*discount applied at checkout if purchased through Ravelry
**perfumes hand blended to order and may take up to 7 days to ship

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I work 2 jobs this week, plus host Thanksgiving, so the rest of this week is going to be a difficult one to finish the national blog posting month. Chances are that I will have to do some catch up posts in December when I have more time to write something worthwhile.

I will leave you today with a link that resonated with me today. It is about the value of hand knitting called "On Devaluating Hand-Knitting". I am curious what you think of it?

Monday, November 25, 2013


Hear ye! Hear ye! I declare cookie season to be OPEN!

They don't look like the picture, but these chocolate crinkles are tasty nonetheless.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

7 Days to Go, 8 posts to write!

I remembered that I needed to blog yesterday, but I succumbed to a disgusting refrigerator and a pair of socks. I have the most exciting Saturdays.

We are having my family over for a birthday dinner this week and it is inevitable that someone will want to look in our fridge. Ugh, worst chore ever. Our refrigerator is ancient, ill-designed and cramped in to tiny corner. Even if it is just needs a wipe down, everything still has to be taken out just to reach that one spill that has fossilized. Why do we have so much mustard?!? It's an hour and 2 extra strength Excedrins, minimum.

AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by maureenclare
Post-cleaning, I put on the Socks of Calmness, a pair of french terry alpaca socks I bought from a local alpaca farmer. It's like putting a cover on a bird cage. I just settle down and fall asleep. Alpaca is a little stabby against my neck, but they are perfect for warm socks. Lovely.

I have been terrible about sharing all of my 30 Days of Gratitude in any kind of public way, but I have been trying to express gratitude every day to someone or something. This week I contacted my first knitting teacher, my 6th grade teacher, to thank her for planting the seeds. It was so nice to be able to tell her that the few weeks she spent sharing her skill turned in to a lifelong love of fiber arts. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

New Soap Shapes, Colors & Scents

A new soap has joined the lineup of made-to-order soaps --

Man in the Moon
It is a navy mica soap, with a white moon, burnished with silver & gold mica.
(this was originally offered as a soap club soap - see what you're missing? :))

Yesterday Mom & I worked on a new color card for the luffa, cube & octopus soaps. 


The scent list has been updated for soaps:

Black Pepper
Brown Sugar & Fig
Cashmere & Cotton
Cedarwood Sage EO/FO blend
Cherry Vanilla
Citronella EO
Citrus Cilantro
Citrus Woodland
Coconut Lime Verbena
Eucalyptus & Spearmint EO/FO blend
Festival Of Lights
Gingerbread Cookie
Green Apple
Honeysuckle Hollow
Lavandin EO
Lavender & Basil
Lemon EO
Lemongrass EO
Lime EO
Lime Mint
Litsea Cubeba EO
Orange Cream
Perfect Pumpkin
Rose Garden
Sandalwood Vanilla
Sea Salt Caramel
Summer Honey All Natural
Sweet Honeysuckle
Tangerine EO
Vine Ripe Tomato
White Gardenia
Witches Brew

SPOILERS BELOW!!! Soap Club signups are ongoing. Gift options are available. Just let me know you are buying it for a gift and I will send a card with the first shipment. Order by the 10th of the month to receive that month's shipment. Here is a review of the soaps from the first 3 months.

Lemon Poppyseed in the Galaxy Swirl style & Sandalwood bar
Perfect Pumpkin in Man in the Moon & Witches Brew in a candy corn inspired sliced loaf

Festival of Lights & Salted Caramel "bubbles" design

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November Newsletter

5 Days Left!
Order your dyed-to-order yarns & fibers by November 26 to ensure delivery by December 24.

Time is running out! There are only 5 days left to guarantee U.S. delivery of dyed-to-order yarns & dyed-to-order fibers.

Order made-to-order soaps by December 15 for Christmas delivery.

Missed the deadline? Never fear! I have plenty of
in-stock yarns & in-stock fibers ready to ship, plus a shop update on on December 3 at 3:30 pm CST.
Give the gift of clean!

Gift memberships are available for the
Soap Of the Month Club. Simply add the club to your cart and tell me in the Notes to Seller that this is a gift.

Choose from 1 or 2 hand crafted bars of soap each month for 3 months. The first month will include 1 or 2 bars of gift wrapped soap and a card with your personalized message.
Gift Certificates Now Available
Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter! Use coupon code "NEWSLETTER" for 10% off your next purchase.

Dyeabolical Retailers

Do you know a shop that would like to carry Dyeabolical yarns, spinning fiber, or soap this fall? Have them contact us for more information.



All About Ewe
Clark, NJ

Ewe Knit Yarns
Webster Groves, MO

Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe
Columbia, MO

St. Louis, MO

Kakao Chocolate
St. Louis, MO

Sifu Design Studio
Chicago, IL

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 19 & 20 Secret FOs

Today I am grateful for my blog readers for sticking with me during this 30 days of blog posting and gratitude. This point of this exercise is to jump start a writing habit and to finally break through the blog block that I have had most of this year. I think I have achieved that goal with 10 days to spare.

You may have noticed--and probably didn't care--that I don't post every single day for National Blog Posting Month or that some days I post twice. It just is not unrealistic on days where I am away from computer acces from 8am to 10pm. So today I am giving you 2 for the price of 1, or is it 1 for the price of 2? Either way, a bargain at twice the price! :)

I have finished 4.5 FOs in 5 days. Scott has finished 3 projects in the last few weeks. I can't show you good pictures of any of them because they are gifts, but here are some teaser pictures instead.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Loofahs do not come from the sea

I was browsing a women's magazine a few months ago and found this feature.

The caption reads "...the (brand name) loofah soap is a glycerin-based bar embedded with a natural sea sponge..." I ripped the page out of the magazine because I knew someday I would blog about it.

Sea sponges can be embedded in to soap, but the soap pictured? That probably is not a sea sponge. It looks like a typical piece of luffa, similar to what I use in my soaps. See?
Btw, I just added a ton more colors and scents. That's the subject of a later blog post, but I might as well mention it now.

Sometimes I see both luffa & sea sponges sold as vegan sea sponges, as if sea sponges were a vegetable of the sea. Nope. Luffas are, arguably, a vegan alternative to sea sponges, but to paraphrase one of my least favorite movies*, "Sea sponge, you keep using this word. I don't think it means what you think it means".

This is a sea sponge:
sea sponges by shira_gal. Used under creative commons license

This is a luffa/loofah:

Natural Loofah Sponge by pabadoo. Used under creative commons license.

Sea sponges are animals that have been removed from the sea and dehydrated. Definitely not vegan.
Stovepipe Sponge from Wikipedia
Luffas/Loofahs are gourds that have been dehydrated and had the skin removed.
Luffa gourd from Wikipedia
Sea sponges are, er, spongy, and hold a lot of water. They are soft on your skin.

Loofahs are kind of scratchy when dry, but soften up slightly when wet. They make a great exfoliating tool. When they dry they harden up again.

Sea sponges are irregular. They can some in all sizes or shapes, like the picture above.

 Luffas look basically the same, kind of like how different pumpkins are still recognizable as pumpkins. There is a stronger ring of fibrous material on the outside, and then it comes together in the middle. I admit it does look sea-like, but it is all vegetable.
Both can be broken apart and embedded in soap, but only one comes from the sea and only one is vegan.

*Yes, I know. You may proceed with stripping me of my nerd cred.

In which I give thanks for Yarn

Weaving studio; photographer Mindy Lai

Yarn, glorious yarn!

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee for the softness and hue and hand
My soul can reach, when reaching for my needles
For the end of the hank and the start of a new
I love thee to the level of everyday, at least 3 times a day
Most unquiet need, by dawn, by lunch hour, by Ott light
I love thee freely, as others strive for the right pattern
I love thee purely, as they turn from acrylic.
I love thee with a passion to put you to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith that you will always match gauge.
I love thee with a love I never seem to lose
I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life!

(Apologies to Elizabeth Barret Browning and lit majors everywhere)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Day 15 & 16: In which I brag about Mr. Dyeabolical

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 15 & 16

I am immensely grateful that I found and married my best friend so early in life. Marriage is extremely difficult work, and we are far from perfect, but I can't imagine being loved by anyone else as much as he loves me.

This really great guy? He also spins yarns and weaves scarves. JACKPOT! (I know I'm bragging. I'm not sorry. I really do feel like I hit the jackpot.)

Spun and woven by Scott

 Spun by Scott, knitted by me in to a Bandana Cowl

Woven by Scott from Regia Nation & black sock yarn

Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 14: The Random Number Generator Game

30 Days of Gratitude: 
Cliche as it may be, but TGIF.

NaBlaPoMo, Day 14: 

Do you know that vague sense of unease that happens right after you finish a project? I'm not a fan of that feeling. I have plenty of other WIPs laying around that I could work on, but none of them are ever quite right. Obviously the only solution is to cast on multiple things immediately. But what? Rather than lose hours (days) to trying to find just the right pairing of yarn and project, I have started using a new strategy. Cue the Random Number Generator Game.

Here is how I play:

1) Pull up my Ravelry queue.
2) Pull up a random number generator.
3) *Enter the number of items in my queue in to the generator.
4) Generate a number and find that number in my queue.
5) Either cast on that item immediately or delete it from my queue. 
6) Repeat from *.
7) Stop playing the game before things get crazy.

Ironically, my yarn stash is not all that big, so I gave myself $20 to spend if I needed yarn for a project or supplies to finish it. I also gave myself a few exceptions. 
  • Since I wasn't looking for crochet patterns, any crochet pattern that was chosen got to stay. 
  • Patterns that call for a very specific kind of yarn, and won't look right in any other yarn, get to stay. For example, Vintage Velvet gets to stay because it will only look right in a wool chenille, which I don't have and exceed my budget for this project.
I managed to cut my queue from 169 items to 126 items and things only got a little bit crazy. I started 4 new projects.

Purl Soho's Pom Socks

Cable Vision Wreath

Molly Hat 

and these darling cork trees

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 13

It was inevitable that I would miss a day or two of blogging at some point. It was for a good cause. I was busy weaving in 1 bajillion ends. Is it trite to be grateful that this project is finished and that it turned out well?

1945 Christmas Stocking. Knit for a customer out of Cascade 220.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gift Certificates

NaBloPoMo, Day 12:
 I have an actual business-related blog post today!

Be sure to get your holiday orders in early. In-stock items, perfumes, and soaps ship within a few days, but dyed-to-order yarns & fibers can take up to 4 weeks. Your loved ones can also take advantage of instant gift certificate downloads.

30 Days of Gratitude:
I am grateful for the genius mind who put plain popcorn, cheese popcorn, and caramel corn in to the same bag and placed it in the shelves of my local grocery store.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 11: Knitter For Hire

How much would you charge to knit these socks?  Or a hat? Or a blanket? Or a sweater?

Socks for JC
Socks for JC by FletcherJCM. Shared under Creative Commons license.

Several of us were talking about what we charge for knitting and the prices varied widely. Some people charge a token amount of just a few dollars per hour. Others charge $10 or 20/hour. Some charge by the yard. Others charge depending on the project. What that fee gets you varies wildly. Sometimes it includes finishing. Sometimes it does not. Some people charge for the time it takes to research a pattern & the yarn; others do not. There are as many pricing models out there as there are people who knit for money.

There is an oft-quoted formula floating around that says you should get paid 3x the amount of the supplies. I'm not a fan. Here's why, if you use a $20 hank of sock yarn, that is $60 for a pair of socks. But what if your sock yarn only cost $10, then you are only making $30 for the same amount of knitting. 

I charge by the hour. The $/hour varies, depending on how complex the pattern is. I never dip below minimum wage, unless I am knitting for a friend or family member. My fees are in the high end and as a consequence, I do not take many commission projects. That's by design.

Now that my business model has changed slightly to ease up on the amount of hours I work, I have time to consider doing more sample knitting, for myself and others. I have been thinking a lot about how my prices should be adjusted.

The flip side to all of this is that I occasionally need to hire sample knitters myself. Surely their time is worth the same as mine? And what about those sample knitters who want to work for free? Or for barter? And what of designers? Some designers will part with their samples in exchange for yarn support. Other designers charge to make samples. Others will release the rights to a yarn company and the yarn company itself has to pay sample knitters. 

I don't have an answer to what the perfect price is, but it has been on my mind today. What are your thoughts on knitting for money?

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 11
I am grateful for the internet. Where else would I get anyone to read my ramblings?

Day 10. Yep. Promise.

It is still November 10 somewhere in the world probably.

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 10
I am thankful for my awesome in-laws and the German food hookup they provide.

NaBloPoMo, Day 10
I had to work Sunday morning, but luckily, I have a husband who brings me take out from sausage supper for dinner--handmade sausage, delicious sauerkraut, homemade mashed potatoes, cranberries and green beans. I ate it while sitting in bed, knitting on a Christmas gift. This is the life. 


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ozark Fiber Festival

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 9
I am grateful to be home. I had a great day at the Ozark Fiber Festival and so much fun at trivia night with the in-laws (sign me up for next year!), but now it is 11:23pm and I am sleepy.

NaBloPoMo, Day 9 in pictures
AM drive down Interstate 44. Everything is brown, but it is a beautiful brown.
Learning to spin straight from a comb
The same fleece after and before combing. This spinner turned dirty, short neck fleece in to beautiful white fluffy fiber just by combing.
Susan McFarland demonstrating Russian paddle combs.
I think my embroidery could use a little work.
The drive home and more beautiful shades of brown.