Sunday, October 23, 2016

Episode 6 - Casual Day

Another episode! Yay!

Sadly, due to the renovation nightmare that is my house, there are no technique demonstrations this time, but I do show a number of recent dye projects and discuss the techniques utilized in their making.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Don't Fiddle with It!

Last week I posted Episode 4 of my podcast featuring a custom dye project I was working on for my mother. This was the first of what I dream to be many episodes showing my dye process. It was great fun to do, and I hope an interesting behind the scenes opportunity for my viewers. I had some interesting challenges as I am both the cast and crew, but nothing a little creative editing didn't smooth over. In the end there was only one casualty: the yarn.

What you see on the film is the proper process. What you don't see is me fiddling with it off camera.

I took late summer off from dyeing this year, a little hiatus if you will. With that time away from the kitchen, some of the familiarity faded, and when I did my podcast filming, I started filming with the very first batch, and the tiniest lack of confidence in my formula note taking.

I take excellent notes. I know that now more than ever. Where I fail is in trusting myself. I mixed up the dye, poured it in the pot, did everything according to formula, but it just didn't look and feel like I remembered it. Instead of just popping on the lid and walking away (like I should have) I poked at the yarn.

With my kettle dye process, I do what I call a wall pour - pouring the dye around the outside wall of the pot, only hitting the yarn touching the outer walls, and a quick dash of dye in the middle. Because the yarn is in water and has been soaking, the dye naturally wicks along the fibers and takes up unevenly for the desired tonal effect.

However, if you poke at it too much, the desired uneven take up of the dye doesn't have a chance to happen and instead, the dye takes up much more evenly and you get a mostly solid color, which is very nice, but ultimately, not what I was looking for in this particular case.

I intend to discuss this and show a comparison in my next podcast of a correctly "dyed to formula" skein vs. a "fiddled with it" skein so that you can see the difference and impact.

Lesson learned: Trust yourself!

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.


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

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 number generator and got "572" which correlates to... 

Drumroll please... 

Carmen N!

Carmen, please email me at 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.