Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 FO Round Up

It was a year for small projects and big yarn this year. The only fingering weight projects I finished were the ornaments, gloves, and the crocheted scarf. Everything else I finished was sport weight or above, most worsted or bigger. Hurray for chunky yarns!
14 Ornaments
2 stockings
2 pairs of fingerless mitts
2 hats
2 cowls
2 blankets
1 pair of gloves
1 scarf
1 wrap
1 pair of socks
1 bib
1 washcloth
1 pair of boot toppers
1 sweater

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Diamond Cut Fingerless Mitts Collection

The knit designer Kelene Kinnersly contacted me to request yarn support a few months ago for her new ebook collection. I waffled a little because I had already provided a lot of yarn support this year, but I am so glad I said yes. Kelene just released her Diamond Cut Fingerless Mitts Collection (available as e-book or individual patterns) and I couldn't be more pleased with what she did with my yarns. They are amazing mitts!
The samples are the medium size and knit with 1 hank of Superwash Worsted. The smaller size takes a DK weight, the medium takes a worsted weight, and the larger takes a heavy worsted or aran weight.

Since the Highlighter colors are only available in fingering weight, sport weight, and worsted weight, I recommend doubling up on the Alter Ego fingering weight base for the smaller size and use Superwash Worsted for the medium or large size. Alternatively, select another color that comes in a dk, worsted, and aran weight. I think these patterns would also look great in any of these colors:
Kissing Booth, Poisoned Cherry, Big Cheddar, Don't Feed The BearsHighlighter Yellow, King Of the Pond, Riverwalk, Moonlight KissesCelestial, Everyone Likes Pie, Je Ne Sais, Quoi, Nehi to a GrasshopperQuarter Sawn, Polar Vortex, Grayson, Raja
If you do choose to purchase Highlighter colors, be sure to use the coupon code "HIGHLIGHTER" for 10% off your order. Bonus savings: Kelene's new collection is currently half off through December 15!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Scrappy Christmas Baubles

 I just released a new pattern! I love Christmas baubles, and I love options. This pattern is infinitely customizable and takes very little time and yarn to knit. 

Start with a belly button/i-cord cast on to begin knitting in the round (instructions included). Drop your own design in the middle, use one of the sample charts provided, or use a variegated yarn for the whole ornament. Add a Styrofoam ball to fill it out, and voilĂ ! Ornaments for everyone.

This pattern provides instructions for knitting 3 different sizes of ornaments – 2”, 2.5”, and 3” diameter. I prefer using Smoothfoam styrofoam balls to fill my ornaments. They tend to be a little sturdier and easier to work with. The pattern calls for fingering weight or a light sport weight.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Giving Tree & My Apples Are Gone

Like these patterns? Want them for free? Keep reading...

Hey cabled sock lovers! The very talented Heidi Nick has designed 2 new socks using Dyeabolical® Super Ego sock yarn. Mmm, thick wooly cabled goodness!  These socks are top-down, written for 2 circular needls (but easy enough to switch to convert to magic loop or DPNs). She doesn't use a traditional heel flap or gusset, but instead uses a method of increasing for the gusset first and then turning the heel. I haven't knit these myself yet, but they are definitely on the agenda once I work through a bit of obligation knitting.
The Giving Tree in Moonlight Kisses

My Apples Are Gone in Kissing Booth

Do you want a free copy of The Giving Tree and My Apples Are Gone?  
Heidi has generously offered to provide a free Ravelry download of both patterns with the purchase of Dyeabolical® yarn. Please let me know when you order that you would like a coupon code and I would be happy to pass it along. The offer is good through the end of this year. This pattern requires 1 hank of Super Ego yarn or 2 hanks of any of my other fingering weight yarns (Sturdy Sock, Tenacious Sock, Alter Ego, or Bounce). 

One hank will make a pair of these socks. To order, go to the made-to-order yarn section, click the color you would like, then choose the yarn base you would like. Here are some of the colors that I think would work great for this pattern. Happy knitting!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Strange Folk Booth

Hi all! I hope you can make it out to the Strange Folk Festival this weekend in O'Fallon, Il. Compared to previous years, we have really stepped up our game. We will have a selection of yarn in all of our bases, a lot of fiber, mini skeins (including several sets of Highlighter Minis), perfumes, and a ton of bar soaps (but no glycerin soaps this year - I ran out of time!). We also have samples knit/spun up to inspire you, and we will be able to take special orders for sweater quantities of yarn and fiber. It is going to be awesome.

Below is a map of the area we are in. We are just on the other side of the pavilion where the red arrow is pointing. We have changed our logo since the last time we were at Strange Folk, so look for the orange and pink pom-pom garland and our new banner. See you there!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Upcoming Shows

The season is turning, and that can only mean one thing -- fall festivals and knitting all the things! Apple cider, funnel cakes, pumpkin spice everything, and piles of hand knitted goodies. The best of all things, right?

I hope you can make it to one of the shows that I am vending this fall. If not, please consider visiting one of the yarn shops that sell Dyeabolical® yarn or ordering online. There are new shops in Florida, Oregon, California, and a traveling yarn truck in New York.

Thank you for supporting Dyeabolical!

Strange Folk Festival

O'Fallon, IL - Strange Folk is the largest outdoor indie art & craft festival in the Heartland and totally worth a road trip. There are 150 indie crafts vendors (including several of knitterly interest), live bands, food trucks, DIY activities for adults and kids, and demonstrations. Click here for a full list of vendors, exhibits, bands, and food trucks.  I will have a ton yarns, fiber, grab bags, handmade soaps, and perfumes with me, including the new super bulky singles yarn and the new merino/silk/yak yarn.

World's Smallest Craft Show

St. Louis, MO - I will again be vending at the World's Smallest Craft Show house party on October 11 in South St. Louis (near Hampton & Fyler). This show will feature gluten-free baked goodies,handmade bags & crocheted accessories by AEC Designs, t-shirt yarn, upcycled accessories by textile artist Suzanne Hirth, various items from print-artist Kat Kissick, and Dyeabolical soaps, yarns & fibers, as well as other crafted goodness. I will be there from 10am - 2pm. Click here and scroll down to "Upcoming Shows" for directions.

Hawken House Christmas Market @ Rolling Ridge Nursery

Webster Groves, MO - On November 9th, I will be at the Hawken House Christmas Market at Rolling Ridge Nursery in Webster Groves, MO selling soaps and perfumes. This Sunday market runs from 10-4:30. It is an excellent opportunity to get some early holiday shopping done.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Contrary Cabled Cowl

The lovely and talented Cindy Dahle Remke from The Gauge Wars Blog published a new pattern this morning, using Dyeabolical® Aran Singles yarn, called Contrary Cable Cowl. It's pretty great, right? Here is the pattern description from Cindy:
This snug fitting cowl has an interesting texture where stockinette and garter stitch cables meet. With aran weight yarn, held double, this is a quick knit. It is September after all so we need to start thinking about Christmas knitting! :) The top circumference is able to accomodate children and adults, with the bottom widening to fit comfortably on the shoulders under a coat. It is the perfect accessory for winter play, ensuring no one’s neck or face get cold in the wind and snow.
Dyeabolical® Aran Singles yarn is a single-ply, aran weight, fine wool yarn. It has 200 yards per 100 gram hank and is available in a wide-variety of dyed-to-order semisolid and variegated colors. To order, go to the made-to-order yarn section, click the color you would like, then choose the yarn base you would like. Aran Singles is available to be dyed in all of the semisolid and most of the variegated colors. This cowl would look great in the colors below. The color used in the pattern is called King Of The Pond.

Left to right: Kissing Booth, Poisoned Cherry, Big Cheddar, Don't Feed The Bears
Tempest Tease, King Of the Pond, Wicked City Woman, Glaucous
Fish Bowl, Je Ne Sais Quoi, Everyone Likes Pie, Nehi to a Grasshopper
Quarter Sawn, Polar Vortex, Grayson, Raja

See more information on The Gauge Wars blog. Click here to purchase the pattern. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

FO: August Ornament Swap - Glub Glub

Who doesn't love a good swap? For the last few years I have been enjoying mini swaps, especially the ornament swaps in Susan Anderson's Itty Bitty Knitters group. One ornament, one greeting card. No fuss. I have gotten the best ornaments for my Christmas tree.

This month the talented Paula sent me this Santa ornament. I love how his beard and hat are hooked. Little details like that always amuse me.
I sent Greg, a fisherman, this fishy ornament:
Pattern: Tiny Fish from Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi
Yarn: random scraps
Modifications: I added a fishing bobber to the top. I was going to string this on ribbon, but then someone pointed out that the bubbles were like beads. I had some left over supplies from a previous project, so I used jump rings and headpins with loops on them (not sure what these are called?) to turn this fish in to an ornament.
Card: The card was from a set of dinosaur cards that my friend Mindy made for me.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sundays Are For Blogging

Craft bloggers often post high quality, high resolution photos of their very clean and luxurious living and studio spaces. Who are these people and how come they don't have 14 shopping bags full of wips on the floor or yarn hanging from the book case?

It has been a busy week at Chez Dyeabolical.  The final 30 lbs of the fall cold processed soap is now on the curing rack and the soaping dishes have not yet been cleaned up. The packaging issue for the fall glycerin soaps has been settled. Yarn was sent off to a new shop. My website randomly stopped working, but only for me. I shipped quite a few orders and prepped yarn for this coming week's shipments. I taught 2 spindle spinning classes to 12 really excellent people and then went grocery shopping. I think when the heat index is 105 degrees, parking is bad, and you live on the 3rd floor walk up that grocery shopping gets to count as a major accomplishment. My big plans for today include reading, knitting mindless garter stitch, and later catching up on emails. What is in store for your Sunday?

My Insta-week - a garter stitch shawl made from handspun, freshly cut soaps, new soap packaging for the glycerin soap cubes, the classroom before the spinners arrived, a box of Yakety Yak on its way to Nitro Knitters in Beaverton, OR, yarn hanging to dry, a Christmas ornament from my Itty Bitty Knitter swap partner, a wet batch of Themysicra version 2.0. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A bit of catching up and two new yarns

A customer asked me last week if I was giving up yarn in favor of soap. NO WAY! I will never give up yarn. I suppose it seems like I am way in to soap lately, and that's partially true. I am have been working very intensely lately to expand the bath and body line and to get ready for fall shows.

Some of my new soaps take 4-6 weeks to cure (worth it!), so I have been working like mad in between getting my regular orders together. I'm on my last 5 batches, which will be done today and then it's all yarn, all the time for about another 3 weeks. Then a week of fiber. Then a week of labeling. Then a week of laying on the floor exhausted, then Strange Folk!!


I talked a bit about this on Twitter a few days ago, but I thought blog readers may be interested in how my schedule works.

Every morning I check for new orders, ship orders, check up on social media, and triage my emails.The rest of my day is spent like this:
  • 2 days a week I dye yarn. Dyeing yarn can be physically taxing, and also a challenge when living in a small space. 2 12-hour days is about my limit. This is partially why special orders have a wait time. During that 12 hours I...
    • heat my pots (which takes for-ev-er)
    • wind yarn
    • dye a full lot of each color ordered. If only 1 hank is ordered then I will usually still dye a full lot and put the extras aside for shop updates and show inventory. 
      • kettle dye yarn/fiber one day
      • hand paint yarn on the other day (I don't hand paint fiber anymore)
    • make labels
    • rehank any yarn that needs to ship that week (sometimes with help)
    • clean up
    • order a pizza, because there is no way I'm cooking either day. The kitchen is too busy!
  • 1 day a week I work in a yarn shop. If I'm not too busy catching up on Dyeabolical work then  I have coffee with some friends in the morning and go to my knit night in the evening.
  • 2 days a week are reserved for special projects. What I'm working on depends on the time of the year. During the late summer I am usually doing something show related, like making inventory or cursing my lack of talent in designing booth displays. In the springtime and early summer I am working on patterns, designs, or developing new colors. This year I spent my 2 days working on 2 new yarn lines (see below) and expanding the soap line to be self-sustaining in time for Christmas markets, as well as outlining quite a few new ideas for patterns.

  • 2 days a week for days off in theory. Whether or not I take a weekend depends a lot on what's going on. This year has been a really excellent and busy year, and there has been a lot of spillover. As any small business owner will tell you, there is no such thing as a day off, even when you have the day off.
  • Sundays are for blogging. Again, in theory. I need to return to this. It relaxes me.

Here is my proof that I haven't slacked off on yarn.

Yaksley, Grapes of Yak, Monterey Yak, Yak of Hearts, Yak of the Pond, Yak the Knife, Yaktastic, Yak It Up
I had a quiet release several weeks ago of two new yarns. The first is called Yakety Yak. It is a naturally heathered gray fingering weight, Italian spun yarn dyed in a rainbow of semi-solid colors. The composition is 60% superwash merino/20% tussah silk/20% yak. YAK!! It is super soft and great for shawls and garments. Yakety Yak has its own category in the shop for dyed-to-order listings, but there are also a few hanks ready to ship under in-stock yarns.

The second yarn is a super bulky single-ply wool that was grown, processed and dyed in the US. There are 57 yards per 100 grams. The gauge is 2-2.5 stitches per inch. Most of my dyed-to-order colors are available on this base, with the exception of the highlighter colors and some of the trickier variegated colors. Click the color you are interested in and choose "Super Bulky" from the drop down list of available bases.  One hank makes a skinny scarf. Two hanks makes the 5-hour Hat and Gaiter pattern.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Halloween and Christmas Colors

A customer recently asked which Dyeabolical colorways would make a good pair of Halloween socks. Her question inspired me to put together this montage of colors and color names that would make good Halloween and Christmas socks. Some colors are available as both spinning fiber and yarn, some are available as only yarn. Dyed-to-order listings are running about 3-4 weeks currently.

Blood Orange

Eye of Newt

Kilt Me Dead

Poisoned Cherry

Solomon Grundy

Luthor's Revenge

Velociraptor Says What

Wicked City Woman
Closer Than You Think

Christmas Is Coming


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Drop everything and knit

Have you seen the newest issue of Twist Collective? Remember that excited breathless feeling we all used to get pre-Ravelry when a new fall knitting magazine would come out? Yeah, same thing. You may as well put your current WIPs in the closet before looking at the newest issue, because you will want to cast on a new project immediately.

I was working on a simple stocking design. The Aislin cardigan is 2 sleeves and a quarter of the front away from being done. I have been knitting on the Hitofude cardigan. A podcaster inspired me to cast on for a Miranda sweater. I swatched and did the math for a Honeybee cardigan. Plus the 2 usual purse socks on the needles. And then I saw the Courant shawl...
Holy. Sheep. Must knit now! 

So naturally I dropped everything and cast on. Mosaic knitting + lace requires every bit of attention I have. This is not a travel project. This is a sit at the table with no one talking to me project. It has been a long time (if you don't count the holiday season) since I have considered taking a day off of work just so I could knit.
I'm using Dyeabolical Yakety Yak in Monterey Yak and Yaktastic

There are dozens of mistakes in the first motif, and a few in the second motif, but I think it will be ok. I tell new knitters and spinners that mentally you know how to do something, but you have to teach your hands how to do it. It's all about muscle memory. That first motif was all about teaching my hands to do lace and mosaic colorwork at the same time. {Some of you might be muttering about how swatching is a great way to work the kinks out of a new technique. LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU.}

My knit group motto is "that shit'll block out" and I think that is true for this pattern. The first repeat was hard won and I'm not ripping it back. No one will notice a few misplaced stitches when I flash and twirl the finished stole around like a peacock.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Shop Update: Perfume Oils

Yarn & fiber have always been, and will always be, my #1 focus and my #1 love, but this bath & body thing has kind of taken over my dining room. Not that I'm complaining! I'm enjoying having one afternoon a week where I am surrounded by amber bottles and herbal concoctions, while reading up on the properties of various oils and compounds.

There are 3 new custom perfume blends for fall, and 1 new single note perfume oil.

When you buy a scent from me, you can choose between a coconut oil base or a synthetic silicone base. I will then custom blend your perfume oil and put it in a roller ball container. The roller ball container fits perfectly in a pocket or wallet. The perfumes/colognes are usually a blend of essential and fragrance oils. I try to use as many natural ingredients as possible, but there are some scents for which essential oils are not feasible or responsible. Sandalwood, for instance. In those cases I use high quality fragrance oils.

Patchouli - New- This is a single note perfume. Either you love patchouli or you hate it!
Sweater Vest & Pipe - New - Described by a friend as smelling a bit like a hipster grandpa, but in a good way. :) This essential oil blend contains patchouli, orange, clove, pine, lavendin, lemongrass, gardenia, elemi, and synthetic ambergris. It is a great unisex oil with sticking power.
That's Nice (What Is It?) - New - The #1 comment for this custom blend was "That's nice! What is it?". This sweet, feminine, non-floral perfume has complex notes of basil, lime, orange and rosemary essential oils, plus black pepper and vanilla.
Hannigan's Bathtub Gin - New - This custom blend is described as slightly medicinal, but in a good way. Essential oils of basil, lavadin, citrus, juniper berry and patchouli are used. It has licorice-like top notes. A gin-y juniper berry shines through.
Brown Sugar & Fig - This has been a customer favorite. It is light and feminine, without being floral. Warm brown sugar and ripe fig join together in a subtle, yet intoxicating blend. It isn't too sweet, nor too spicy.
Euphoria - Euphoria is a sophisticated floral scent of jasmine, wild rose and warm sandalwood.
Fraser - There is just something about a spicy, woodsy, citrusy perfume. This is a great masculine scent, and women love it, too. This custom blend smells of clove, sandalwood, tangerine essential oil, and patchouli.
Sandalwood and Sandalwood Vanilla - Sandalwood is such a popular scent with my customers that I am offering it both as a single note perfume and blended with vanilla.