Saturday, March 17, 2018

Colorway Chronicles: North Copper River

Sock blanks are great fun to dye. They afford interesting opportunities that skein dyeing does not. Because you are working with a fabric, rather than a bundle of strands, there are many more ways to apply the dyes with different results.

For "North Copper River" I combined techniques, utilizing wall pours, voids, resists and even a little speckling to get a glorious tonal quality of multiple colors that looks very much like a satellite photo of a river cutting through a barren land with multiple altitudes and depths. I find this colorway infinitely interesting to look at and great fun to create.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Knit Up and Dye Episode 60 - Perspective

I'm still not knitting, but I am dyeing. Dye demonstration included in this episode, as well as indie dyer business discussion, this month's Patreon drawings, update on 1000 things, peek at my beading and call for ideas for a gift I'd like to knit. Join me!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Knit Up and Dye Episode 59 - Breathe In, Breathe Out

Sorry, no demonstration this week, but I do discuss how I document my colorway formulas, give you some great resources for your business supplies and talk about my healing progress and prognosis. Quick sneak peek (spoiler alert) of the subscriber level custom colorway for my patrons and I show off my most recently completed beaded doll.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Episode 58 - Unconditional Self Love

Very minor progress on two sock patterns. I'm in "time-out" to address my shoulder pain. Answers to some business questions posed by a viewer, and some digital love out to everyone who is hurting. Quick look at some beading and a 1000 things update.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Shipping Overages

I've long since known there are some less than functional features of Etsy that could affect customer confidence, but what I didn't realize was that I hadn't communicated how I handle them.

Etsy calculates shipping fees per each item, not over the order total. This affects the overall rate you are charged for shipping, often making it much higher than the actual cost.

To resolve this issue I offer two solutions.

You are welcome to contact me with a list of the items you wish to purchase and I will set up a custom order with a single weight by which Etsy will calculate your shipping. I'm always willing to build custom orders whether for off the shelf items or dyed to order special purchases and welcome the opportunity to interact with you.

Or, if you place your order through the regular shopping cart, I will refund you the difference of the shipping rate you were charged and what I actually paid through the system when I generated your shipping label.

Hopefully, this clarifies how I handle this issue. I don't want a miscalculating shopping cart to be the reason you held back from buying that perfect extra skein. I've also updated the information in my shop to make this more obvious.

If you are a shop owner as well and have other solutions to this dilemma, I welcome your suggestions.

And as always, I'm open to all comments and feedback. Please let me know what you need and want.

Thank you.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Knit Up and Dye Episode 57 - Inside Out

Includes a quick demonstration of English vs Portuguese knitting styles, an update on my progress with "1000 things", project progress as well as a new project specifically utilizing the Portuguese knitting style.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Knit Up and Dye Episode 56 - Changes and 1000 Things

I'm making some changes and adopting a new knitting technique due to shoulder injury. Episode features discussion regarding current projects, upcoming test knits, new colorways, Portuguese knitting and ridding my life of 1000 things. Also includes announcements for Patreon drawing winners for February.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Colorway Chronicles: Brick

Another color I find challenging to work with is red. I love the color red. It has such a rich and varied spectrum, however I find blue-reds are more common, easier to achieve and more prevalent than yellow-reds.  What do I mean by this and why does it matter?

Red is a composite dye, which means it is made up of other colors. Magenta is the primary base, however varying amounts of blue, yellow and black are added to this to get red. Yellow is a weaker pigment, and it takes a lot of yellow to make an impact. Too much yellow in the mix and, of course, you get orange. Because of this, and of course, economic factors, most reds tend to land more in the blue-based tones than the yellow. Which is all well and fine, they are very pretty, however, if you are an individual with yellow undertones in your skin (such as myself) the blue under toned reds are simply not as flattering when worn around your face.  This is a fashion challenge many people face - we love red, but most reds don't love us.

Brick is my answer. I worked with a yellow based red that had slightly orange tendencies and warmed the tone while adding depth to the overall color by adding a yellow-green. (Weird right?) What I got in the end is a rich tonal yellow-red that varies from a rust, through red and on to a maroon. It immediately made me think of factory fresh red bricks. I love this colorway, and am seriously considering a fingering weight sweater in this colorway.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Knit Up and Dye Episode 55 - Blame it on someone

Show off my progress on current projects, discuss allowing failure in your dye process, show off Let's Get Bubbly kits. Currently seeking test knitters for Madly Addicted Two Ewe.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Colorway Chronicles: Finch

Whilst "grellow" is all the rage, it is a real challenge for me. I've tried to get this out of my dye pots on several occasions with mixed results.

My first attempt at a grellow, which is grey and yellow smooshed together into a color name all its own, came out a decidedly ill green. Why? Well, the answer is simple really. Grey isn't grey.

Many dyes are composites - colors made up of other colors. Blacks are famous for this and if you look closely you can rather easily tell if you are looking at a red-black or a blue-black. Manufacturers do offer "true black" and most recently "true silver" but they aren't always easy to find or get. My particular silver/grey dye is a blue-grey. And, if I'm not careful in how I apply it to the yarn in conjunction with yellow, it mixes and I get a green. A sickly, unattractive green. A color so bad, I turned away from reattempting this for over a year.

More recent attempts didn't give me the blend I was looking for. I didn't want to have to leave white between the grey and yellow. I wanted them to wash into each other without turning green. I used a variety of methods and did a significant amount of over dyeing in navy.

But now, there is Finch. I finally found the right process and tones to get a grellow I was comfortable with that didn't have any of that ghastly green undertone.

If you work at anything long enough, you'll have success.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Knit Up and Dye Episode 54 - My 45th!

Brief tutorial of my "cross-pot" pour technique, discussion about multiple projects and multiple project bags, works in progress, designs in progress and future projects. Call for test knitters. Contains coupon code.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Colorway Chronicles: Under the Sea

Sometimes improvising a design based on how you're feeling is fun and has wonderful results.

I was preparing to film an episode of my podcast and had a couple specific techniques in mind that I wanted to demonstrate as a double process, but was feeling rather uninspired. Weather had been cold and nasty, not just here, but pretty well across the entire country, and I knew that a winter inspired or themed sock blank was not what people wanted to see. Still, I wanted to use blue because it shows up really well on camera. I thumbed through my collection of stencils, and discovered I have a lot of summer themed stencils and absolutely no winter ones. I found myself fretting a little thinking summer felt inappropriate, but then I realized, a tropical vacation was exactly what I was craving, and likely, so was everyone else. You can find the full demonstration of the creation of this blank in Episode 52: So Much Gratitude.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Knit Up and Dye Episode 53 - Monster Taming

Another Double Demonstration Episode! This time I'm showing you how to use a pom-pom to make embellishments (poms) and I'm showing you another multi-process dyeing technique. General life discussion regarding setting boundaries, knitting discussion in which I show off a project bag, discuss having multiple projects going at once and why, current sweater project, and an exclusive pattern available to patrons and coming up in my shop as a kit!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Colorway Chronicles: She's Waiting For You

This is one of those sock blanks that I'm tempted just to edge and use as a completed piece. I think it would make a lovely wrap just as it is.

"She's Waiting For You" is another double process sock blank, in which I dyed the blank, then airbrushed stenciled designs over the pre-dyed piece. This particular colorway was actually inspired by a favorite movie of mine Steel Magnolias (the original, I haven't seen the remake). I so love the scene in Truvy's where M'Lynn is countering Shelby's description of her wedding colors (Blush & Bashful) with her own colorful description "That sanctuary looks like it's been hosed down with Pepto Bismol!" I'm of the belief my sock blank is more appealing then digestive stomach aid in its blushing and bashful tones. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Knit Up and Dye Episode 52 - So Much Gratitude!

Double Demos! In this episode, I demonstrate how to make bobbles and I show a sock blank being dyed using a double process - a ruched resist technique, then air brushed and stenciled. I also show off my completed Coexist sock, some available sock blanks, talk about my patronage program and an upcoming exclusive pattern, as well as a kit that will be offered at a discount for my YouTube subscribers. Winner of the January patron drawing announced.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Colorway Chronicles: Bleeding Aliens!

Here is a perfect example of a happy accident.

This colorway was born of poor multi-tasking. The day I dyed this I was really pushing to accomplish a lot of work and had multiple techniques going on all at the same time in my kitchen. There were two pots on my stove-top working kettle dye yarns, two roasting pans on my counter ready for some regional dyeing and I had my airbrush set up on a table for sock blanks. There were timers ticking, microwaves beeping, steam rising... in short, dyer chaos, and a lot of fun!

I had just mixed up four dyes - three were meant for my roasting pans, and the dark teal you see in the skein photo above to go into a kettle dye for a tonal yarn. I got my dyes confused, grabbed the dark teal and poured it in into the end of the roasting pan directly onto yarn, instead of into the kettle it was meant for. I realized my error at once.

Yes, I gasped. Suddenly there was dark teal all over one end of yarn meant for other colors, and no plans to make anything like this. What to do? Improvise of course! I set the teal in my stove, then picked two other colors and scribbled them onto the remaining white end. I chose a chartreuse and a periwinkle. Again, things didn't go quite as I imagined, and the chartreuse struck brighter and harsher than the more subtle tones I had anticipated. All the colors applied were still within the same color family, just with more contrast than I'd intended.

Washed and dried, I found I LOVED this "mistake" but found myself at a loss for a clever name. I twisted up a skein and ran out to my husband working on his motorcycle in the garage.

"What does this remind you of?" I yelled over the Ramones din from his beat up shop radio.

He's grown used to these bizarre interruptions from me. "Looks like alien blood."

Perfect!  He got a kiss, I got a new colorway in my catalog, and you got "Bleeding Aliens!"