Friday, March 28, 2008

custom colorway: Funky Giraffe

The lovely Marisa of Funky Giraffe asked me to dye some yarn based on the colors of her store. I've been lacking in boyish inspiration lately, so it was nice to make myself get away from pink and purple for a little while.

There are some subtle changes in blues in this colorway that are hard to see in the reskeined yarn, but I think they'll be more apparent when it's knitted up. Send me a photo please, Marisa!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Flying Fish?

Our next theme for Venus Vanguard is Farmers Market. I was thinking about Pike Place Market, the monster farmers market in Seattle. Its big tourist draw is the guys throwing fish at each other. So I thought maybe a flying fish colorway. Silver, grey, deep teals, with flashes of black and sea green.

I think it has some promise, though I dunno about the name. A few weeks ago, I was reading a book review in People (go ahead, laugh) about a fashionista's pronouncement that nothing named after a fish could possibly be elegant. She was mostly talking about the fishtail dress, which, yeah, ick.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

one down, five million to go.

I was pleasantly surprised when I received my 13-lb box of undyed yarn on Saturday instead of Monday. But then I realized that I needed to work on my new colorways on cheap yarn, so I didn't actually dye any of the new yarn till this week.

So far, the week's been a mixed bag. When I was kettle-dyeing my Dusk colorway, I didn't get the dye intensity quite right. Plus I sloshed the yarn around when I took it off the stove, and now it's not Dusk anymore. Very pretty, but not what I was wanting.

I did manage to knock one item off my list--I've dyed up the Eat Your Veggies yarn for my collaboration with Erika. She's going to do an appliqued T-shirt to go with the yarn as part of our Farmers' Market stocking.

As far as knitting goes, I'm taking a break from custom orders because I know I'm going to be crazy busy with the two early-April stockings, and I don't want the stress of a custom right now. So I've picked up my personal Jaywalker sock project again, because my hands feel funny in the evenings if they're not holding knitting needles. I've shortened the gusset by almost an inch from the pattern, because it seemed like it was past time to turn the heel, but the last time I deviated from the pattern I was sorry. I hope I'm not sorry again.

I am torn between dyeing some more yarn tomorrow afternoon, and going with my husband to a sports bar to watch the opening day of March Madness. I'm not sure which option would make me geekier.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I am waiting on 20 pounds of undyed yarn right now. Half of it is coming from a wholesaler who was supposed to have shipped last Friday, but somehow misunderstood my e-mail that said I didn't want to wait for the backordered yarn that just arrived today. The other half is from a co-op, and part of my order won't arrive till next week so it will be another week before I get it.

Normally it's no big deal. My usual problem is trying to get through all the yarn that I've got in the house. But right now, thanks to my increased financial discipline for business-related spending this year, all I've got is bulky BFL and I'm needing some aran/worsted weight yarn to dye up for early April knitting projects. Bah, I knew this budgeting thing was a bad idea.

A little list of what I've got in mind for projects:

For my guest stocking at Lily Pad Landing, I'm planning to dye my Daydream and Spring Skies colorways. Got Daydream dyed up today on my last skein of Gaia organic merino, but I'm a little uncertain about how it turned out and will have to see what it looks like dry. I also want to do a skirt with my flowering plum embellishment:

but I haven't figured out what I want my base colorway to be. I'd also like to do a boyish knitted item, or maybe a felted purse ... not sure yet.

Then my own congo, Venus Vanguard is doing a Farmers' Market theme around the same time. I need to dye up Eat Your Veggies for a collaboration with Erika of Ramie Baby Designs. I have a Honeycrisp apple colorway in mind, for which I should probably do some experimental dyeing on cheap yarn this weekend. And I want to come up with another colorway, too. Maybe a sweet pea one?

After several months, I'm still thinking about approaching a local yarn store about carrying my yarns. Because they tend to take a significant percentage, I would probably need to raise my prices across the board, which I'm reluctant to do. I feel like I'm at a pretty good price point for my main target audience. But the thought of not spending hours taking photographs and struggling with color correction is awfully appealing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

the Huckleberry colorway

For over a year now, I've been thinking about a huckleberry colorway. I thought it would have purple and green for sure, and possibly some silvery grey like the twigs of a huckleberry bush. But I never got around to dyeing it because there was something missing from the image in my head.

A couple of weeks ago, I was developing a colorway for my spring training swap partner on Ravelry. It was supposed to be deep reds and blues, with some purples where the colors overlapped. But through the magic of kettle dyeing, the experimental skein turned into something quite different and wholly charming. When the skein had dried, I took it into natural daylight and the rich purples and wine reds leaped out at me. It looked just like a bowlful of freshly washed huckleberries. And I knew I'd gotten my namesake colorway.