Dec 28

Christmas spinning

I feel like I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can give away my handspun. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely useable, and it’s fun to share! This Christmas, two of our friends/staff got a skein of my handspun.

The first was 155 yds of bulky faux cashmere that I dyed myself – my first time dyeing fibre! I actually really love the faux cashmere; it’s insanely soft when not overspun. Unfortunately, in this skein, I got a little overzealous on the plying so it’s slightly overplied, and therefore not quite as soft. It still looks good, and hopefully the tighter ply will mean it’s easier to work with for Danielle – she’s fairly new to crochet, so splitty yarns are still a challenge. Here are the pics – from fibre to yarn.

1st ply 2nd ply

My second handspun gift this Christmas was for Sarah. I had planned the blue Louet Northern Lights skein for her, but her challenge for 2016 is to only acquire yarns that are local, traceable, and/or untreated, so I adjusted my gift accordingly. I had just picked up some untreated, natural oatmeal coloured BFL, so the timing was great. I really focused on not overspinning this one – no one wants wiry BFL yarn. It was a little tougher than I typically find BFL, so I’m not sure if it was the lack of processing for superwash treatment, or just that this top was more open/combed more thinly than I’m used to, but it turned out well in the end, I think. I lost a fair bit to sampling as I figured out how to spin it without it drifting apart on me, but in the end, I got 155 yds of bulky out of this one, too. And it’s not overspun! Actually, there are a couple of areas that are slightly underspun, but I hope it will be enjoyed nevertherless. Here it is:

100% natural untreated oatmeal colour BFL

Oct 6

It’s a good day to dye!

We took over the roommie’s mother’s house while she was away and had a few friends over. It was a blast! We brought all our dyes and a bunch of mini-skeins of yarn, and told everyone to just have fun. No technical dyeing workshop here, just a bunch of friends hanging out over a some stock pots, mason jars and a microwave. Here are some of the spoils:


Feb 26

Two posts in one day! Wow!

Recently, I mentioned that we would be starting to sell Fakign Sanity hand-dyed yarns again at our new shop. The first of the new yarn has been ordered, and tomorrow will be my first big skeining/dyeing day in way too long.

And while this next bit pertains to the shop, it’s crafty, so I felt I had to share it with my knitterly friends here. We already host a knit/craft night at the shop, but as of today, registrations are open for our very first beginner knitting class, which will take place this April. If everything goes well, we’ll look at holding other classes at the shop in the fall and winter, based on interest. So, stay tuned, and if you’re up north, come visit us to let us know what you’re interested in. At this point, we’re considering beginner knitting and crochet classes, beginner lace, toe-up socks with afterthought heels, socks on two circulars, and maybe even a basic drop-spindle course or a session about online resources for those who would like to learn more about using the great online resources available to us now. It’s so exciting when the things you love to do and the things you do for a living can match up so well!

Feb 26

It’s done! And blocking!

My first real dye job became my first real shawl. I’ve blogged about it a few times: when I first started it, and again recently when I picked it up again. I finally finished it last week, and tonight I went up to perian’s to block it. I start a lot of projects, but don’t finish them very quickly or very often, so some of you may wonder if this is true. However, I’ve come prepared! Here’s the proof!

This hand-dyed yarn:

Became this lump of yarn:

And finally became this shawl:

I’m very pleased with how it turned out. It wasn’t much yarn (100 grams of fingering weight), so I knew it would be a very small shawl. In the end, it blocked out to 49″ wide and just over 20″ deep. I was desperately hoping it would make it to 48″, so this is as much as I could have hoped for. There are a couple of obvious mistakes I noticed much too late to fix (or to fix relatively quickly, at any rate), but an old friend once told me that if you couldn’t see a mistake from the back of a galloping horse, it wasn’t worth fixing, so… if you see them, just whoosh past your screen at a good gallop, and magically, the mistakes will disappear! :)

Feb 9

Progress! And maybe more dyeing soon?!

That shawl I picked up again last week after over a year? I ended up adding an additional leaf lace repeat, and have now started the edging. As tomorrow night is knit night at the store, I should be able to finish the shawl completely in the next day or two! Whee! I promise I’ll post a pic once it’s done, but I plan on blocking it at a friend’s house, so there will be post-blocking pictures in the near future as well.

I’ve even decided on my next projects. I really do enjoy lace, colourwork, etc, much more than plain knitting. I will work on my cowl top (which is mostly stockinette, but nearly finished) and I’m going to start on the Endpaper Mitts I’ve been planning for ages. I’ve recently also been working on a very basic black and wine-coloured crochet afghan, so the colourwork should keep me interested enough overall to be able to plug away and finish both the afghan and the cowl relatively soon, unless…

I spend all my free time dyeing… I just placed a fairly large order for more sock and laceweight yarn. Faking Sanity Yarns will be re-appearing on the market soon! We’ve decided to start carrying both Faking Sanity yarns and chain-mail knitting accessories at the shop this year. We’ll be launching these additions in conjunction with a WWKIP event, if we can drum up enough interest in this little northern town. Either way, I miss dyeing so much, so we may also look into wholesaling at LYS’s again once I have enough dyed in advance, so stay tuned.

Nov 17

Hey, remember me?

Wow, it really has been a while! Running a business sure cuts into the knitting and dyeing time I had grown accustomed to! I found out about a local artsy/crafty sale this weekend, though, so I actually have been dyeing. I have about a dozen skeins either ready, awaiting reskeining or drying right now. It will be a bit of a mad dash to get reskeining and labelling done since the next two days are our long days at the store, but I’ll figure it out, since the sale is this Saturday. I’ve got some of my standard bases, and some of my newer test fibers done up. There are a couple I’m really proud of (and perhaps one I’m debating holding back for myself, but don’t tell). I’ll make sure to grab a few pictures before I send them off to the sale.

As for knitting, well not much of that yet, although I did work on my Dad’s socks at our store knit night last week, and I’ll be starting some quick facecloths for a gift basket for my sister at this week’s. That’s about it, though. As much as I’d love to knit more, I know knitting while I’m tired isn’t smart (since I have to then fix all the mistakes), so it will have to do for now. I’ll just have to enjoy the dyeing that much more!

Jun 2

Faking Sanity Fixation and Bliss

And now it’s my turn to post again!

Due to epic cluelessness, I forgot to take pictures before leaving the house today. However, you can see a new batch of Faking Sanity yarns at Make One Yarn Studio, as of today. I just dropped off both my Fixation sock yarn and Bliss, the wool/silk laceweight. I really should have taken pictures; there were lots of colours that were very much out of my personal comfort zone – bright greens, oranges, pinks and roses… and of course some of my favourites, such as tonal greys, purples, and blue-blacks. Go take a peak. There’s also some other new fabulous yarns at the store that came in today, so definitely worth a trip!

bliss 1

May 20

Dyeing again

No photos as everything is wet, but I’ve had more fun dyeing today. I dyed up some more of the seasilk/merino blend I was trying out, and I’m much more pleased with this one. Also, I think I’ve nailed down how to reproduce one of the very first reds that I dyed and loved. I also dyed up more skeins of my Faking Sanity Fixation sock yarn, so I now have enough for an order at an LYS, or at least enough of that particular yarn. They’re all setting right now, and I may get in a few more later today. In the meantime, I excavated my storage closet to pull out more yarn so I could start skeining more. The next dyeing session will likely be mostly Faking Sanity Bliss (wool/silk laceweight), as well as a new 100% silk laceweight. And possibly a bit more Fixation sock yarn, too, for good measure!

May 6

Dyeing and Knitting and Dyeing Some More

I’ve been a very bad blogger, but this time, at least, I have good reason. I’ve been working lots, and reading, and knitting, and dyeing! I started with dyeing several new base yarns I’m testing out for my Faking Sanity yarn line (please forgive the differences in the black background colour; I was losing light fast, so I colour adjusted them so the yarn looked accurate).

The first is a fingering weight seasilk/merino blend. The sheen of this yarn is incredible. I’m not really fond of this dye job, so I’ll probably overdye it, but I do like the yarn overall. It would be awesome for a shawl or lacy scarf. The second is an extremely soft superwash BFL sock yarn with a bit of nylon for strength (20%). I’ve loved BFL from the first time I spun some, so I’m sort of partial toward this fiber, and this yarn in particular. The last two are both of a merino/cashmere/nylon blend fingering weight yarn. This one I’m fairly certain will become one of my regulars. It is a plump/squishy yarn that’s incredibly soft and has a nice sheen to it, as well. As I’ll be ordering this one again in all probability, I’ve decided that purple skein is going to go straight to my personal stash!

seasilk merino blendbfl superwash test
merino-cashmere-nylon blend testmerino cashmere nylon blend test

Last week, I also succombed to temptation and bought a bunch of Sidar Flirt DK – a machine washable bamboo/wool blend yarn for a cowl neck tee I saw at The Knitting Room a few weeks ago. As my crafty side is balanced with a very detailed/analytical/geeky side and because I have yet to knit a pattern as it is written, I decided to make several modifications to the shaping and construction of the top, which of course meant sketching out several scaled versions of the garment on graph paper. With my sketches in hand, I was able to determine if I like the basic shape of the garment with my proposed changes. Everything seemed ok, so I set aside my swatch and started this:
flirt dk cowl neck tee

As for the rest of the dyeing, I also managed to get a number of skeins of my Fixation sock yarn dyed up. Here are a few samples, since this seems to be the pic spam post!
fixationfixation 4fixation 2fixation 5

Apr 28

Good days

I love it when a day just works out… I got to sleep in, knit, skein some yarn for a dyeing session tomorrow, and even start a couple of skeins. I even finished the first of my Tofutsies Walking in the Maize socks, including weaving in the ends! I also got to watch some new Doctor Who and Big Bangs I had missed, and got a call for an interview next week. Good day… but now it’s late. Time to take the first skeins out of the dyebath and go to bed. I’ll be back tomorrow though to post pictures of the sock and the yarn. There’s been so little knitting, spinning or dyeing for me lately, I just had to post a quick note, even if I couldn’t get decent photos until tomorrow. Good night, all!

Feb 24

Day 13

Wow. So much for a daily update. To be frank, though, it’s probably better this way. A photo of a scarf with an extra repeat or two each day is… let’s say less than impressive. Despite great expectations of tons of knitting over the Olympics, I haven’t really been in a knitting mood lately. Yesterday, however, I did finish the first ball of yarn in my new Tudor Grace scarf from my last posts. I love this pattern. Have I mentioned that? I think I’ll probably dye up some of my yarn and use this as a shop sample; it seems to show off semi-solids very nicely.

On the dyeing front, things have been pretty quiet since the accident (couldn’t lift the pots, etc). However, I’m planning on another batch of yarns for local shops, and possibly some extra for my Etsy shop or forĀ  a booth at some markets over the summer. I’m also very excited to be starting a new sweater dyeing project in the next few days – a deep red semi-solid/varigated colourway in our Faking Sanity Hope yarn (a squishy, soft, superwash aran weight yarn with high twist). We’re hopefuly having a colour consult this weekend, and then the dyeing will commence!

Jan 13


Last week, I ordered a few skeins of some new yarns. I’m thinking of carrying/dyeing a couple of new yarns for the Faking Sanity line. And today, the package arrived in all its glorious splendour. Do any of these bases sound interesting to you guys?

1. This first one is a superwash BFL/nylon blend:
bfl superwash

2. The second one is a superwash merino/Seacell blend:
seamerino superwash

3. The third is a fairly popular base – a superwash merino/cashmere/nylon blend:
merino cashmere nylon

And this last one is just for me! I don’t even plan to dye it. I’m going to use it for a shawl, exactly as it is. It’s a 60% SeaCell/40% silk lace weight blend. The sheen and drape are amazing, and I love the warm, pale honey colour.
seasilk lace

Jan 1

A yarnie looks back…

In 2009, I started dyeing yarn, opened an Etsy shop, and made my first wholesale order to an LYS in town. I swore that since I could now buy yarn and dye it in colours I wanted as I needed it, I would drastically cut down, if not cut out, my other yarn purchases. Apparently, 2009 was a year of grand delusions! :)

Dyeing yarn made me realize that I love the intrigue on one-skein-at-a-time, unique colourways. Despite the fact thatĀ  I am normally all about process, formulas and spreadsheets, dyeing for me is an outlet for my creative side, and I prefer the surprise of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach.

On the knitting side, it wasn’t really a stellar year. I started 10 projects and finished only 4: 2 pairs of socks, a scarf and a clapotis. I also finished 3 single socks that are waiting for mates, worked a bit on a few old projects that had been set aside, and started and abandoned a baby hat, 2 pair of socks and a blanket. I am happy with what I did finish, though, and in many ways, it was a year of firsts.

These represent my first test-knit and completed top-down sock, the first acrylic/nylon project that I love, my first project with a singles yarn, my first bamboo project, my first project wth corn yarn, my first attempt at designing my own heel, and my first bulky project, which also doubled as my first slam-dunk as far as gift giving is concerned.

bubbly toes jul09-2 red hedera and a shoe magic socks done clapotis july 22
maizy socks kenkyos
non-man scarf done

Here’s to a 2010 filled with joy, peace and prosperity (that is dyeing, knitting, and yarn)!

Dec 15

More Faking Sanity yarns at Make One!

If you’re in the neibourhood check out all the new yarns at Make One… including another batch of Faking Sanity yarns from yours truly. This delivery was of Compulsion – a squishy, superwash 100% Australian merino yarn in a mid-to-heavy fingering weight. I forgot to take pictures of them all, so here’s a preview of the first few I dyed for this batch.

Compulsion mosaic

Nov 28

I dyed a little…

I’ve started dyeing up a new batch of yarn. This one is my favourite to dye: it’s a super-soft, squishy 100% superwash merino sock yarn. I decided to try a few that are outside my normal colour range, but still working with mostly, tonal and semi-solid colourways. Here are a couple sample skeins, but stay tuned… There are more on the stove today that are going in a very different direction as far as colourways and dyeing techniques go.

Compulsion mosaic

Sep 26

Faking Sanity Yarns – Now at … ?

I just got home, and had to post. Remember these guys? There’s a small difference since the last time you saw them… Can you spot it? How about if I give you a hint? There’s an addition to the label… Do you see it now? How about if I say that my trip was to a local yarn store?

faking sanity bliss and fixation

You guessed it, those are M1 sales labels on the back of my ball bands (but, I must admit, I thought you would figure it out a little more quickly)! :)

Check out both Faking Sanity Fixation and Faking Sanity Bliss – now available at Make One Yarn Studio. Fixation is a fingering weight soft wool yarn with a bit of nylon for stength; it’s great for hand-knit socks, and is machine washable, too. Bliss is a laceweight wool silk blend (55% silk/45% wool); it’s a worsted-spun 3-ply yarn with an amazing drape and subtle sheen.

And here it is in it’s new environment, waiting for you to pick it up! (Well, most of it – some has already moved on to it’s newest home!)

fakingsanity bliss and fixation at M1

Sep 22

Nearly there!

The last few skeins aren’t dry yet, so I can’t skein them and say officially that I’ve completed my first order, but look how the box has grown!

lys order is growing

See? It feels pretty cool, actually. After this, I’m going to finish a set of skeins for a sweater I was commissioned to dye, and then I’ll be doing a bunch for the shop, and trying out a few of my new 100% silk yarns in the process. I can’t wait.

Sep 19


I did some more dyeing this weekend, and while those skeins are still wet, I’ve started putting together my very first LYS yarn order (sorry about the picture quality – no decent lighting here in the evening):

part of 1st yarn order

Actually, there’s yarn all over the house right now. A skein on the stove and another on the table that just came out. A couple draped over the gym equipment. A few on the back of the computer chair. Eight more on the big chair. And four – these four (!) – with shiny new ball bands and ready to find a new home! So very exciting!

Sep 9

I’m seeing green!

This green:

sweet georgia english ivy

It’s lovely Sweet Georgia superwash sock yarn that I’ve been eyeing since it came in, and it’s awesome!

I’ve also just printed off the ball bands for the yarn I’ve completed so far for my first LYS order of hand-dyed yarns. I’ll be finishing up the last few skeins this weekend, so that’s kind of exciting too!

Aug 22


I needed to get out of the house yesterday, so I went with the roommie to Make One. I was needing a break from the magic stockinette socks, so I decided to bring some old hibernating projects with me. Surprise! I’m in the mood for lace again! I picked up the bad that was filled with a lump of blue/black yarn, needles and a shwack of papers. When I came home, I had this:

Midnight Skies Lace Triangle Shawl

It’s not much yet, but I’m quite proud of this one. The yarn was my first ever skein of hand-dyed yarn (well, I did dye a 1/4 skein of very scratchy unknown wool in the microwave with tea and koolaid first, but that doesn’t count – it even ended up in the garbage). The yarn isn’t extremely soft, as it isn’t superwash, and I didn’t know just how much abuse it could or couldn’t take in the dyeing process. That being said, I love the colours.

The shawl is one I’m putting together based on the stitch patterns in Knitting Lace Triangles book by Evelyn Clark – alternating ripples and medallion sections, then transitioning from the last medallion pattern to a few leaf lace repeats, then a border. According to my calculations (yes, yes, I know!), I am now 55% complete. Wee!

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