Thursday, April 30, 2009

can't find

I'm in the process of transferring my domain to a new host, but in the meantime my URL isn't forwarding to my store. You'll need to go directly to Sorry about the confusion.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

skein winder, how do I love thee? let me count the ways

I'd say there are 76 ways, right about now. Just wrapped up my latest co-op order, which was for 76 skeins. I capped it at 50 variegated skeins, plus an unlimited number of solid coordinating skeins. Usually there are maybe 10 trim skeins. This time, there were 26.

March/April 2009 co-op

I could absolutely not have done this without my electric skein winder. It was well worth the investment--solidly made, flawlessly functional.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

the homestretch

I finished dyeing a 75-skein co-op order today, and did half of a small wholesale order. All that by 10 p.m. I don't even have to walk the dog tonight--did it already. Just finished my Easter treat to myself, a lovely hazelnut crunch, fair-trade, and organic chocolate bar from Theo Chocolate, a local-ish confectioner. Now *this* is a nice evening--productive yet relaxing. I could get used to this.

I've been wanting to update my typeface in my logo for a while now, and finally had a chance to try out the idea of removing the serifs, since they're part of what bugs me about the font. So I converted the font to paths in my beloved but obsolete Freehand 10, and deleted away. It wasn't enough of a change, and honestly I have too much going on right now to spend hours sifting through to find The One True Typeface. So I contacted a designer tonight, and we'll see if she can help me out. I have also been seriously neglecting my advertising, so I'm hoping to get some banners put together, too.

I've forked over my dough and am now an official Sock Summit vendor. Time to put all my ideas and plans into action!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

well, whaddaya know - not procrastinating actually pays off

Tonight, instead of goofing around on the internet until 10:00, buckling down to dyeing work for a few hours, and then stumbling into bed at 2 a.m., I started working on my dyeing at 8:30. I was finished with everything I wanted to do by 10:37, then washed a backlog of dishes and reskeined a few hanks of yarn. Now I'm browsing through Ravelry forums, eating a dish of coconut avocado ice cream. (It's okay; it could use some more citrus or other tart note to make it less heavy on the tongue. And as the recipe suggests, it's better with chocolate sauce.) I will actually be in bed by midnight tonight. What bliss!

This week I switched to a new brown dye and I'm sorry. It does not take kindly to handpainting, since it has an olive component that wicks badly. And when I dip-dye several skeins, using very similar dye/fiber ratios and temperatures, it ends up being dramatically different colors. So I'm going back to my old brown, which I know and love. I was hoping to switch all my dye purchases to the same supplier, in order to save on shipping costs, but this just won't do.

Off to bed!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

thoughts on superwash from a tired dyer

Things I like about dyeing superwash yarn:
1. When you put a color somewhere, it generally stays there. Especially if the dye solution is hot.

2. When you need to do touch-up dyeing, it's much faster than when you have to touch up untreated yarn.

3. The colors are so vivid. Untreated yarn usually needs more concentrated dye solutions to achieve the same brilliance.

4. I like being able to rinse the yarn when it's hot, instead of needing to wait for it to cool down. Also, it rarely requires more than a single rinse. Pretty much all of the dye will bind to the yarn.

Things I don't like about dyeing superwash yarn:
1. When you put a color somewhere, it generally stays there. The dye strikes so quickly that you really have to work at it to make sure that all strands in a section are the same color. Pale or even (gasp!) undyed spots are not uncommon.

2. You don't get the same kind of color melding that you do with untreated yarn. Sometimes I'm really looking for a lot of shades that are in between two colors, and I don't get quite the same effect with superwash as I do with untreated.

3. My dye formulas that I develop first on superwash yarn need to be seriously tweaked before I can replicate them on untreated yarn. When I'm dyeing a mixed batch of superwash and untreated base yarns, this can make things a little screwy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

store news

I have dyed a lot of yarn (for me) in the last two weeks. 60 skeins, I think? The biggest single batch was the most recent Apple Yarns order, part 1. This is McIntosh, an exclusive colorway for them:

March 2009 wholesale order, part 1

A closeup:

Apple Yarns - McIntosh (not available for group order)

Also, some yarns that are going live tomorrow, including these:

Soleil 4.75

Rock Candy 2

And a lot more that are for my current group order. Yet, surprisingly, I am not completely exhausted and/or insane. Maybe putting together 600-1000 skeins for Sock Summit won't be as impossible as I thought?

Except maybe for the cash flow thing. I realized today that I am going to have to front a lot of money for the inventory. I know this is totally obvious, but I had been so focused on the cost of the booth, lodging, display materials, etc. and the time it was going to take to dye everything that it didn't even occur to me how much the base yarn was going to cost. Um, duh. Most of my capital is tied up in worsted, aran, and bulky undyed yarns. So I will need to do a huge flurry of non-sock dyeing after the LYS Tour madness has subsided, in order to raise funds to buy sock weight base yarns. My timeframe for dyeing has just gotten even shorter. Eeeek.