Sunday, June 19, 2016

It's like Christmas!

I cannot express enough just how much fun Mystery Knit-Alongs are for me.  This one has been especially fun because not only is the pattern a mystery, but so is the yarn.  I offered general themes for participants to choose from, as well as a "surprise me" option, but no one, outside of myself and my husband has actually seen what the yarns look like. I feel like I'm preparing Christmas gifts. I'm so full of excitement, anticipation, and hope that all participants love these kits.

I can't wait until this KAL kicks off and we have our reveal. It will be so much fun to show off photos of the yarns, but the fun is only just beginning. Participants have chosen their preference to work the sock pattern either as a toe up or a cuff down, which means... their clues will be different. And they will be working different aspects of the design at different times from other participants. And, there are options built in to each version, essentially ensuring that each pair of socks will be completely unique to their knitter.  I simply can't wait to see what these knitters create!

Even if you aren't participating in the MSKAL with us, feel free to follow along and enjoy the reveals. Kits will eventually be made available for general purchase.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mystery Sock KAL

Are you up for an adventure? Nothing too dramatic, I promise. More of a lawn chair adventure really. See, I’m in the mood for a mystery sock knit along. But this time, it’s ALL going to be a mystery… even the yarn.

Interested?

So, here’s the deal: hand dyed fingering weight yarn in more than sufficient quantity (140g /649 yards), a nearly mindless, not quite vanilla sock pattern in multiple sizes, flexible enough for you to sub your favorite heel/toe into should you wish, worked in the direction you favor (toe up or top down - you pick your path), free shipping, and a four week work along complete with online forum live chats.

Yarns will be offered in themes that indicate a general color family. You will not see the colors until you open your package. For the truly adventurous there will be a “surprise me” option.

This project will be suitable for beach/pool/tv/knit night knitting, however you will need to be able to see your work. This project will be especially pleasurable to process knitters with a big appreciation of hand dyed yarns who enjoy watching colors pass through their hands as they work.

Spaces will be limited. Kits will be available for USD $40.00.

To reserve your space, please go here (Ravelry group thread - if you are not yet a member, sign up, membership is FREE***) and leave a post indicating your preference of either one of the themes or desire to be surprised.

Current proposed start date is July 1, with shipping to begin June 24th.

(***If you absolutely don't want to do this through Ravelry, other arrangements can be made by contacting me at jesse@dyemonkeyyarns.com)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Patterns in Patience

Patience is a funny thing. I always thought either you are a patient person or you're not. I spent years practicing being patient - it is afterall a virtue. But what I learned is patience is a situational behavior.

For example: Are you desperately, darkly wishing I'll hang up before your manager is available to take my call? If so, you've never, ever, ever met anyone more patient. My house could be on fire and I'd have years available to my patient wait for that transfer. Years. That situation is going to be settled (in my favor) even if another ice age has to happen first. And if you terminate that call... I'll call back and be willing to hold twice as long. With a smile.

But, on the contrary, if you are selling brand new shiney, hand dyed, one of a kind yarn, you damn well better figure out either teleportation or time travel because I want it yesterday. Now is too slow.

Why is this? Both situations have a satisfying end. Both ultimately take time (at least for now, I am working on tele-yarn-portation).

I think the answer lies in potential. Those frustrating opportunes to exercise patience have a distinct end. Those opportunes where I find myself frustrated in having to be patient are actually launchpads to new activities. See what I mean:

I'm patient...

  • In waiting rooms for a doctor visit
  • Waiting for movies to release in desired formats
  • Waiting for an oil change or maintenance at the garage
These things are all terminant.

I'm impatient...
  • Waiting for a knitting pattern to release
  • Waiting for shipments involving yarn, books, cooking ingredients and gifts for others
  • Waiting for dye to take up, or yarn to dry

These things are all beginnings or parts of a bigger, more fulfilling process.

What about you? Does your patience, or lack there of, have a pattern?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

We have a winner!

Wow! So many entries! Thank you all so much for participating. You can't imagine what a response of this size meant to me.
My spreadsheet showed 754 entries total. I used the random.org number generator and got "572" which correlates to... 

Drumroll please... 

Carmen N!

Carmen, please email me at giveaway@dyemonkeyyarns.com with your full name and shipping address and I will get your prize right out to you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Giveaway Drawing Tomorrow!

Did you remember to enter?

I'm drawing the winner tomorrow, June 1st.

There is still time to enter. See details HERE.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

New Yarn Base!

Pop Royalty on Flamenco Monkey
So, if wool is nice, and a wool/silk blend is nicer, what does that make a wool/silk/cashmere blend? Why, a new yarn at Dye Monkey Yarns of course!

Now Available... Flamenco Monkey
Fingering weight 70% Superwash Merino /20% Silk /10% Cashmere 437 yds/100 gram

Do I need to tell you it has a wonderful hand? Yeah, probably not.

What color do you want?

Custom orders available on this base.

And don't forget your coupon! PARTY35 gets you 35% off all yarns and custom orders until May 31st.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Today is a big day and to celebrate ALL orders today receive FREE gifts.  Treat yourself or give your family the coupon code and send them to my store with a list of what Mama wants.

Coupon code PARTY35 gets you 35% OFF any order.

First 3 orders will receive one of the custom commemorative Dye Monkey stitch markers.

Further, don't forget to enter into the giveaway drawing. You can get all the details on how to enter HERE. Entry is free and easy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Dye Magic

Dyeing is so addictive. I can't wait to see what magic comes out of the pot.

You're probably wondering what I mean by that.  After all, I'm the person adding the dye - shouldn't I know what I'm doing?

Well, yes, sort of.

I have formulas/recipes that I've developed for each of the colorways. But even when I follow my plans, there is an element of magic to dyeing yarn.

Each base reacts differently to the dyes. Some fibers take up dye differently that others. Subtle changes in the atmosphere (temperature, humidity) can affect the final outcome - much like baking a cake. Even how fast or slow I pour dyes into the kettle can affect the look of the final product.

And what yarn looks like in the dye pot is often different from the final washed and dried product. Wet yarn always reflects darker tones than dry yarn, so sometimes when I'm trying to dye subtle colors, I have a little panic time while the yarn is still in the pot and looking too vibrant.

It's all magic, and magic is FUN!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Happy Anniversary!!! Join me in celebrating!

I'm very excited about Dye Monkey Yarns first anniversary. Woooohoooo!

Starting this business, meeting so many wonderful new fiber fanatics, and exploring color and dyeing techniques has been an amazing experience, and I'm grateful to everyone who has joined me on this journey.

To celebrate, I have several special offerings.

First, and foremost, my entire Etsy shop is on sale! Please use coupon code: PARTY35 and you will receive 35% OFF any purchase now until May 31st.

Secondly, this offer is good for any custom orders initiated before May 31st. If there is a colorway you love that you'd like specific yardage for, or dyed to a specific base, please contact me via Etsy and we will arrange it.

Grand Prize Giveaway!
"Swimming Hole" on HipHop Monkey - 400 yards
Basket courtesy of Harbor House Baskets
Thirdly, there are GIVEAWAYS! (US and CANADA ONLY) 

I will be randomly announcing giveaways all month long, but the Grand Prize Giveaway is this fantastic collection including a coil fabric project basket, one full skein of "Swimming Hole" on HipHop Monkey, and Toe-Up Socks for Every Body by Wendy Johnson, valued at $78.00! (Doesn't that yarn co-ordinate beautifully with that basket! Wow!) No purchase necessary!

Want it? Here's how to enter:

Counts as one (1) entry each:
Counts as three (3) entries each:
  • Post your favorite Dye Monkey yarn or this Giveaway to Instagram using @dyemonkeyyarns and tag two friends
  • Post your Dye Monkey Yarns knit or crochet project photo to Pinterest - be sure to include "Dye Monkey Yarns" in the description so we can find your entry! (afraid you did it wrong or just want to be sure your entry is counted? Email link to giveaway@dyemonkeyyarns.com)
Counts as five (5) entries each:
  • Publish a blog entry featuring Dye Monkey Yarns including a link to the Etsy shop and this blog post. Email blog link to giveaway@dyemonkeyyarns.com
  • Include Dye Monkey Yarns in your podcast. Please include a link to the Etsy shop and this blog post in your show notes. Email podcast link to giveaway@dyemonkeyyarns.com
Giveaway is open to US and Canada only.  Winner will be chosen randomly from all entries, and contacted for shipping address. Prize will be shipped no later than June 6th. 

Podcasters/Bloggers working as teams/partners will need to sort the prize out amongst themselves.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mojo Murderer

Sometimes you've got mojo, sometimes you don't, and sometimes it's taken from you. Welcome to my morning.

The plan of the day included some gardening, grocery shopping, reviewing yesterday's dyed goods, blogging and dyeing all.the.things., not necessarily in that order. The shopping and gardening was all good. The reviewing of yesterday's work was not.

Yesterday I worked on a custom order. I'm excited about the order. The customer and I have worked together to design a color for her that is destined for a sweater. I love that process. I get to be half of the creation of that garment in providing the supply. I thrill at seeing finished projects made with my yarn.

I wasn't thrilled when I reviewed this yarn. It's still on the drying rack, fresh from yesterday's process. Magic generally happens on the drying rack. Colors bloom there, developing into their final glory. Indeed, that happened in this case, however the end result wasn't what we were aiming for. There are inconsistencies from skein to skein outside of my acceptable "hand dyed" tolerance, and spots where dye simply didn't take up properly. I'm not 100% sure why this happened, but I'm 100% sure I'm not shipping this. I'm not happy with the end product.  Is there anything wrong with the yarn? No. Is there something wrong with the color? No. In fact, it's quite beautiful. It would honestly make a lovely sweater. Simply not this sweater for this person.

Reasonably, this disappoints me. My first response is to "fix it" but dyeing over in this case is not the answer. It won't make it better, only less consistent. My second response is to "do over" but, alas, I haven't got enough stock of one of the dyes to do so. (Interestingly enough, I placed that order yesterday, before knowledge of this disaster.) And, finally, my third response is "serve the customer" and so I did with a message honestly explaining the problem, my apologies, and the timeline upon which I can resolve the issue.

Still, this robbed me of my mojo. I had planned on spending several hours dyeing yarn today. Now, I have no desire to do so. Part of that is coming from my need to fix problems before moving on to other things. It's also in part to just plain being disappointed. I know at this point my mojo is gone and I would be forcing my creative process, which never ends well. Did I fail? No. Some part of the process did, and that happens. Yet, it still affects me.

So, what to do? Why, move the patio furniture out in to the sun and blog to you all from a leisurely posture. Let the process happen. Relax, wait for the stock order, regain the mojo and begin again fresh. I think instead of mixing dye, I'll mix up a fruity drink and work on some new design swatches instead.

How do you handle things when your mojo gets murdered? I'm always interested in learning how other creatives process.