I’m doing simple relaxing things this week after all the excitement and activity of Stitches West and my Trunk Show. Both events were great and fun and exhausting. Everything seems to come at once! So far this week I’ve done the laundry, went to the grocery store and oh… posted a tiny bit of new yarn. (Select Single) Really there is just a little of this. Its the 2012 club yarn dyed in an assortment of colors. Its something new for me, a single (ply – one strand) alpaca/wool/silk blend. I don’t usually like singles but this one holds it shape and has just the right amount of twist. It also has SILK in it – how can you go wrong with silk???? Both alpaca and silk are long strong fibers, they blend well together, no short ends poking their way out of the yarn, they compliment each other. The crimpy wool adds loft to the otherwise dense and straight alpaca/silk blend. The resulting yarn is soft, strong, shiny and just plain lovely!
Posts tagged ‘hand dyed’
Trunk Show! Saturday, Feb 25, 6:30-9pm
Uncommon Threads, 293 State St., Los Altos, 94022
(Just 15 minutes from Stitches West, lots of free parking) 10% off all Handwerks yarns this evening
Join us for a great evening enjoying hand dyed yarns, silk, cashmere blends, superwash merino, sock yarns, lace, refreshments and more with local dyer Laura Schickli of Handwerks! Enter to win a gift basket and meet designer Jocelyn Blair with her patterns and many gorgeous samples.
No reservation necessary, just come and join the fun!
I’ve just mailed out the last of the 2011 sock yarn travel club mailings. I’ve enjoyed the club for so many reasons. Its given me the chance to continue to work with the talented designer, Jocelyn Blair (aka Fiberdev on Ravelry) as well as explore new colorways. I love being able to play with themes and focus on a select group of skeins; mixing dyes, shifting colors, getting everything just right, watching the dyes strike and forever change the white yarns. Sometimes the themes came first, giving me ideas for possible colorways, other times I started dyeing and the colors inspired the theme. I’m influenced by my surrounds and have taken in the colors of the landscape without even noticing until… there, they show up in my dye pot!
Hope you enjoyed it.
There is nothing quite like getting away and having everything out of sight and mind to help me look at things in a new light. It’s so much easier to see something with a fresh eye after I have been away from it for a while. I’ve just returned from a 3 week traveling spree of two completely different trips back to back. Both trips fun, relaxing, hectic and exhausting all at the same time. So nice to get away and so nice to be back. New ideas and directions are popping in and out of my head.
I’m putting all the So-Soft Dk (wonderful 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon 4ply Dk weight superwash) on sale, 25% off for the Fall. While supplies last…….great for heavy socks as well as scarves, mitts, hats, vests and sweaters.
Lately, I’ve been getting more requests from customers for an additional skein to match a yarn that they purchased previously from me or from one of my retail vendors. This has happened to me too. I completely understand this dilemma; you buy one skein that you love with no intended purpose, later you decide what you want to knit only to find that you really needed 2 skeins! Then comes the mad search for another skein with the same dyelot and the worry that the skeins won’t match and your projected will be ruined forever!
Up until now I have not been putting dyelots on my yarns. I generally dye in small batches of 5-10 skeins per colorway. However, as my business has grown I am doing more lots of 10 and some lots of 20 of my most popular colorways. I’m keeping more dyed yarns in stock, at the ready, to send out on a moments notice. This is all good!
So, I’ve decided to start writing “dye date lots” or “dye lots” on my labels. They will be in a “monthdayyear” format. I hope it will help with
identifying and locating similar skeins. (I don’t want anyone to confuse the date with an “expiration date”, luckily I have found my yarns never “expire”!)
The dye techniques I use create variations between skeins even in the same pan, so the dye date is not a guarantee that the skeins are identical, just that they came out of the same batch. It has never been my goal to mass produce large numbers of identical skeins. I instead love the subtle nuances of each skein as it comes out of the dye bath. Overall, my colorways are consistent as I create my own color formulas and dye to the same formula each time I dye a new batch of yarn. I keep careful records of my process so that I can recreate the look of the original batch. Some of the yarns with multiple colors can have more variation between skeins as they depend on the movement of the dyes in the water to create tertiary tones. As always, if you know you will need more than one skein for a project ahead of time it is best to let me know when you order and I will do my best to send out similar skeins.
Thank you to all my wonderful customers for helping me come to this decision. I love the feedback and I truly appreciate your business.
I find this so interesting. I’ve been playing with yarn combinations over the past week or so looking for pairs of yarns to use in a Stephen West shawl. I even dyed some new darker tone yarns so I could create more contrast between the pairs. I left the pile of yarns out on the table and moved them around every few days, trying this and then that just to see what it looked like at different times of the day and with different lighting. I finally decided to use Misty Morning in So-Soft-Sock and Embers in Silky Sock.
This morning I looked out my backyard window and saw this! Just what I had put together on the kitchen table. It wasn’t a conscious connection but I’m sure I was influenced by seeing the Trumpet Vine blooming against the aged teak bench and pebble patio.
I’ve been trying to think of how to describe Barb Brown‘s new book since I received it a couple of days ago. I had a lot of fun dyeing a couple of custom colors (sumac, chamomile, mulberries and berry bramble) for Barb about a year ago. Now as I keep looking through it, I keep finding new things that I like about it. I sat down earlier today to write about it, but had trouble finding just the right words that sounded sincere and not cliché. Its wonderful, lovely, nice, great, interesting, gorgeous patterns, looks fun to knit, current styling, wearable, …… then I had to get up and go get a latte because that always helps!
Coffee is kicking in better description : easy to follow clear charts, straightforward format, bonus section with information about sizing socks, adapting knee-highs to shorter versions, as well as great tips on custom fitting……and gorgeous yarns!
Better yet get a copy and page through it.
Knitting Knee-Highs, Sock Styles from Classic to Contemporary by Barb Brown. Read more about it at WildGeeseFibres.com
I’m cleaning up … always seems to be an ongoing project around here. It’s the end of the year and I have to do a physical inventory of my business yarns as well as an accounting of what I bought from myself for personal use. It’s a BIG project!
I’m pretty good about keeping the business yarn separate from the personal stuff but …. sometimes the two piles get pretty close together and there is some skein jumping that goes on. Gotta get that all under control today! ( or at least by Jan 1)
I went through a pile of papers sorting out teaching notes, patterns, stitch ideas and project notes as well as a few random receipts. Here is my cowls class notes as a freebie for all of you trying to tame your sock yarn stash.
Sock Yarn Stashbuster Cowls look in the patterns section of my website for the download link.
Just in time for Thanksgiving…….. two limited edition colorways:
Thanksgiving is about my favorite holiday.
Club YARN !! details for the 2011 Handwerks Sock Yarn Club are now up and open for sign up here. The 2011 club is inspired by 4 California destinations. I’m hitting all the high points – mountains of Lake Tahoe basin; northern rugged coastline of Bodega Bay; inland central Death Valley; and fun in the sun Santa Monica, southern California beach living. I’ll be dyeing and shipping yarns in Feb, May, Aug and November, giving you enough time to knit the wonderful sock pattern that will come in each mailing.
Four seems just right, not too many so you are always behind… I hate that… and not so few that you are bored twiddling your thumbs in between.
Come join the fun, sign ups are open.