Jul 26
2009

Shiny!

Have you ever watched Firefly? I always thought the expression “shiny” was amusing and quirky, if a bit odd… It’s what keeps popping into my head the more I dye this yarn. This shot was taken with no flash, and yet… Shiny!

Bliss Silver and Coal

Jul 14
2009

New yarn previews

I’ve been dyeing some more yarn these past few days. Here is a quick preview of some more Fixation (first photo), as well as some of the new silk/wool laceweight Bliss (second photo).

fixation Bliss

Jul 9
2009

Temptation…

Is your idea of an ideal sock yarn one that balances great wear with softness and a supple hand? You guessed it: more Fixation will be hitting the shelves in the coming weeks.

Do you love the subtle sheen of Bamboo? More Therapy is on it’s way to the shop, too.

Are your fondest memories of holding and squeezing your stash? Keep those memories alive with more uber-squishy Compulsion sock yarn.

Luxury, you say? Watch the shop for some awesome new 100% silk fingering weight!

Dream of lace? Enjoy the soft sheen of our new laceweight silk/wool blend later this month, or pamper yourself with some of our upcoming 100% silk!

Looking for something else? Let us know if there are any specific fibers or yarns you’re looking for and we’ll see what we can do.

Disclaimer: I was wondering as I wrote this how it sounded:

  1. cute and a little cheeky
  2. mtlaise is a little full of herself
  3. wow! she’s finally gone around the bend!

Rest assured, I am neither full of myself, nor have I lost my marbles. Well, I dropped them, but I think I’ve gathered them all up again… :)

Jul 7
2009

Skeining, a poll and…

I just finished skeining up a batch of Fixation for my next dyeing session, along with several skeins of a new yarn I’ll be carrying in our shop. “Bliss” is a soft 3-ply worsted-spun lace weight yarn with amazing drape and a soft sheen. The blend is 55% silk and 45% wool, and I love the feel of this stuff!

I’ll be doing a shop update including our standard fingering weight yarns, as well as this new lace weight in the coming weeks. In the meantime, for lace yarns, do you prefer 50 or 100 gram skeins? A 50 gram skein of this yarn would be enough for small shawls, such as Swallowtail (Ravelry link). I was thinking of dyeing and skeining this strictly in 100 gram skeins, but I thought I should throw the question out there to you folks.

In related news, I’m very excited to say that I’ve been talking to a yarn shop owner about carrying my yarns too. I won’t give away details yet, but stay tuned! I’m thrilled about the opportunity, and I’ll share more once details are finalized.

Apr 13
2009

Koolhaas Krazy

If you’ve been anywhere near me in the last 5 months, you’ll probably be very aware that I have a little hard on for Jared Flood’s Koolhaas pattern.  It started when I knit one for my brother-in-law for Christmas (Cascade Ecological):

And then I made one for me (Sheep Shop Sheep One) and one for a friend (Manos Wool Clasica):

The latest one I had even more fun with, since I also dyed the yarn for it.  I started with some lovely Custom Woolen Mills mulespun worsted and ended up with a pretty damn cool hat, if I do say so myself:

Do you know how hard it is to take pictures of your own head?  Bah!  Though I do love seeing the backgrounds (despite having to delete the ones that make us look like complete and utter slobs.)  For instance, the stack of Munchkin boxes, Joshua Malina as Will Bailey on my computer screen (damn West Wing has sucked me in again), and my collection of geek DVDs (Stargate, Doctor Who, Buffy, Lord of the Rings, etc.)

Apr 1
2009

I’m a Ravelry yarnie!

I just got my email from Ravelry, and my yarns are in the Ravelry database now! Woo!

Mar 26
2009

It’s a good week!

While I’m still recovering from my plaguishness, and there have been a few blips, this has been a pretty good week, and I like to share those! It started out with our Finance Director coming back from Ecuador this week with 60 dozen roses in a riot of colours and varieties for all the staff. They were beautiful, and they’re one of the few flowers that don’t bother my allergies too badly, so I picked a 1/2 dozen various types in yellow, peach, orange, red, white, and white with red tips. I’ve been enjoying them all week.

I’ve also been test knitting a sock. I remember seeing a sample of this sock when it was first designed and loving it. And now, I get to test knit it. How cool is that? I’m loving the pattern. It’s a fun knit that’s keeping my interest, and I switched yarns for a better contrast, which I think was the right decision. These socks are definitely going to be for me! Here’s a little hint at the pattern.

test knit

On the way home tonight, I stopped at the dollar store to get a glass dish for dyeing. They didn’t have anything suitable in stock, so I thought I’d avoid a wasted trip, and pick up a few things at Walmart. I ended up finding a huge 18-quart crock pot for $25, which will be way more useful than the little glass dish ever would have been.

Then, when I got home, I had received a parcel notice: my skein winder is here! I can start dyeing my lace!

ETA: Ooh, and the awesomest roomie ever got us a new DVD drive for the computer, I got a new SD Card for the camera, I had a yummy roast for dinner, and I just remembered I have a bag of Reeses Pieces! Woo!

Mar 20
2009

Ugh.

I’ve been plague ridden, but am finally starting to feel better tonight. I’ve been making progress on a test knit for a sock pattern. Unfortunately, my plan to show a picture with the slightest hint of the pattern was foiled by my electronics curse: yet another camera card bites the dust.

As I’m writing this, though, I’m staring at a wad of very odd feeling fake cashmere fiber. I had grabbed a bit and tied it in a knot and set it in the dye bath with some other fiber a while ago to soak up the excess dye. The more I look at it, though, the more I like the look and the more curious I am about how the colours would work out in the spun yarn. The dye bath was black with a hint of teal, so the knotted portion remained white or silvery, while the rest is a black with green undertones. It’s not enough fiber to try on the wheel, especially since it’s horrid to draft, but I may pull out my spindle and give it a whirl. 😉 If I ever get a camera card that doesn’t hate me, I’ll show you all how it turns out!

Mar 16
2009

Photos!

For those who asked about some of the new dyeing techniques I picked up this weekend, the larger picture was dyed using a technique learned from my favourite German. And now, here’s a preview of tonight’s shop update:

March 16 preview

Mar 16
2009

Shopping is fun, don’t you think?

If you do, keep an eye open for a shop update later tonight! I had bought a worsted weight yarn base, that is now discontinued before I even put up my first skein of the stuff… so take a look at the short lived Existential Angst superwash that will go up tonight. Only 9 skeins ever!

Mar 14
2009

Friends

I’ve been blessed with awesome friends. Yesterday, I came home to a gift from the roommie: bar clamps (with cushioned grips, so they don’t harm the table and because I’m paranoid), so that I can skein yarn more easily. It was very exciting! And this morning I got to try out my new setup. It took a couple of tries to figure out the best way to use them, but this was SO much easier than my previous skeining. I really do have a rockin’ roommie!

I also got to spend the day with the lovely Annarose. We had planned a dyeing day earlier this winter, but it just didn’t work out. Today was so much fun though, so it was totally worth the wait. She brought me chocolate muffins and loads of tips and tricks and new dyeing techniques. One of the “surprise” methods sounded both interesting and terrifying at the same time. We’ll see how it turns out – I just pulled the skein out of the kettle between the first and second paragraphs. I haven’t opened up the skein yet, but at first glance, it looks pretty awesome; I’m hopeful. This was my first attempt with one of my new worsted weight superwash merinos, and I quite like it.

Mar 12
2009

Dyeing is fun… and so is turning a heel!

I’m a procrastinator. I admit it. That’s the first step, right? Unfortunately, it still doesn’t help me skein all the yarn I need for this weekend’s dyeing session. At least I have extra motivation this time around: a friend is coming over so we can dye together. I’m really excited about that! I bot a bunch of red dyes last week, so I’m thinking I may try some more oranges and reds. I may even keep a couple for myself for a test knit I’ll be doing in the next two weeks.

I actually have been doing some knitting, already. tonight, I just turned the heel on my first Kenkyo. Wee! I’m glad I got to that point before setting it aside.

I also did a bit more dyeing this week, and just put these up in the shop:

Therapy - Gillyweed 3Fixation - Spruce Grove 3

Mar 10
2009

Shop Update!

There will be more added tomorrow in other yarns and colours, but here’s a sneak peek:

March 10 preview

Mar 9
2009

Shop Update!

It’s not quite ready yet, as I’m in the process of taking and cropping pictures, but there will be another shop update by Wednesday, with more Fixation, Compulsion and Therapy yarns in various colours. Stay tuned! Here’s a sneak preview at one of the yarns:

Compulsion - Purple Mists

Mar 6
2009

I splurged

Not a big splurge, but I’ve been looking at a lot of dyeing books lately. One is out of print, so I’ve been watching Amazon for used copies (Synthetic Dyes for Natural Fibers by Linda Knutson); the other is The Yarn Lover’s Guide to Hand-Dyeing by Linda La Belle, which is what I bought on this week’s impromptu visit to Chapters after a failed attempt at visiting Spinknit, the Fiber Queen. I’ve heard people gushing about both on Ravelry.

Today is the dreaded skeining day, as I’m planning on another dyeing day this weekend. I had planned on doing that last week, but I got some horrible news from a friend, and it just sucked the inclination to do anything right out of me. I did try dyeing some silk scarves this week, but the first attempts were… let’s just say less than stellar. I may try again with some different techniques, but for this weekend, my practical side says it’s time to dye more yarn, as there’s almost none left in the shop. I actually have one new skein already to put up, that I absolutely love, and I know the roommie is working on a new style/colour of chainmail, so you should see new additions to the shop soonish!

Feb 15
2009

Dyeing, techie problems and knitting

I had great plans for the long weekend… Friday I got everything ready for dyeing on Saturday. I got up early yesterday and dyed until dinner – some new skeins, and several form last weekend that still needed to be overdyed. It was great fun, and I now have more than a dozen different skeins in several different sock yarns all dyed up for the shop. Today and Monday were going to be my days to photograph all the yarns, reskein them and photograph again, as well as designing ball bands and finishing up a few things with the shop setup.

I spent an hour or so photographing everything multiple times to get the best possible shots, then another several hours cropping and comparing each shot for the best possible options. I was deleting the last shot I decided not to use when my SD card started acting up. Eventually, it just froze and I had to kill the process. After several episodes of Big Bang Theory as a distraction, I went back to my photos… Wait… where are my photos? Now, neither the computer or the camera will read the card and my work is lost! Grr! I can go buy a new card and take the pictures again, but that’s a lot of work to lose…

OK. Enough whining. I picked up my knitting needles while watching TV, and started working on the Kenkyos  in the Malabrigo sock yarn I picked up this past month. I’ve just finished the second pattern repeat and now it’s time to decide if I like the combination of the two, or if I should try something else… Both the yarn and the pattern are beautiful, but I wonder if they’re a good match. Maybe I’ll post a pic tomorrow once I get a new camera card and let you guys decide!

Feb 12
2009

I dyed a little

Literally… I had about 20 grams from the end of a cone left, so I thought I’d try new colours and a new dyeing technique… The colours aren’t really my favourites, but the roommie likes it, so you may see it again as a finished item in one of her posts! The yarn is one of the ones we’ll be carrying in our shop – Faking Sanity!

Faking Sanity Fixation: a smooth, soft superwash fingering weight wool with a firm twist and a bit of nylon for strength

Fixation handdyed sock yarn

Feb 12
2009

Brrr…

It is approximately 62 1/2 degrees fahrenheit in my apartment right now (yes – approximately, I rounded to the nearest 1/2 degree). If it ever hits, oh, say 65 degrees, and I can remove the heating pad and blanket that are keeping my circulation going, I will skein up the rest of my yarn tonight for one last batch of dyeing this weekend for the new shop!

I’ve also been itching to start a new sock with my yummy Malabrigo sock yarn, so hopefully it warms up a bit soon… I was thinking I’d do Eunny’s Chuck’s Cabled Socks pattern or maybe Kenkyo (Ravelry links) since the stitch definition of this yarn seems to be awesome.

Jan 19
2009

Spinning and Stash

I haven’t broken my resolution yet – I’ve not spent any money on new yarns this year. I do, however, have some new stash to show off!

I got a gift certificate to my LYS for Christmas, so I got some more dyes to support my new dyeing habit. I also picked up my fourth Year of Lace kit, which has lovely, lovely yarn (no pics yet as some people haven’t received their kits yet) and another great pattern; I even got to take a class from the designer earlier this year, so I’m excited to try this one out as well.

I also arranged a swap on Ravelry: some alpaca silk I couldn’t find a project for in exchange for 125 grams of silk hankies to spin. I may have to do some prep work before trying that though – just pulling them out of the bag, my dry hands snagged on them horribly. I’ll have to moisturize and exfoliate for a month before I touch them but they are oh-so-lovely! Don’t you agree? I may even try my hand at dyeing the white ones; we’ll see.

silk hankies to spin

While working at the LYS this weekend, I also tried my hand at spinning and plying on the new Spinolution Mach 1wheels. By the end, the spinning actually got fairly decent for me. The singles weren’t extremely even, but they were at least fairly pretty. See?

northern lights top on a Mach 1 wheel

The plying, on the other hand… well, no words could tell you as much as this picture…

DK2Worsted Louet Northern Lights Navajo plied

Jan 12
2009

Dyeing!

While I won’t post pictures of any yarns we’ll be selling, I thought I’d give a sneak peak at 2 of the custom colourways I did for Christmas gifts.

This first pic was taken after the original dye bath in a couple different shades of purple.
merino purples 2

I then overdyed them both, and got these:
merino blue purple with blackmerino purple to black

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