Friday, February 22, 2008

Dyeing, and some stitch markers

Look for Dome Hill Yarns at Knitting in the Heartland in April! In preparation for the two-day knit fest, I'm dyeing some new colorways as well as all my old favorites. I should have plenty of sock yarn for the booth -- I also want to introduce my worsted line too. Same colorways, heavier weight :-)
My shower has been overtaken by yarnSo, lots of dyeing. Here's what my bathroom looks like these days. It's amazing how different they all look before they are reskeined, huh? Plus they are blotchy & tangly-looking and just generally a mess. I wasn't really happy with the blotches on the first two skeins; I didn't soak my yarn long enough and they weren't uniformly wet, which means they took up the dye unevenly. Skeins number four and five are having bad hair days -- sometimes the skein gets sort of flipped inside out in the pot, which makes it look exactly like when you decide you're going to switch the part in your hair to the other side of your head, but half of the hair stubbornly goes in the old direction and it ends up sticking every which way. You can't do a thing until it's dry, either, you just have to hang it up like that & wait, because you want to handle the wet yarn as little as possible. After it's dry you go back & work all the separate strands & get them lying in the same direction. Skein number six came out very purple because I forgot to turn on the crock pot after I put the yarn & dye in there. Cold dye doesn't set properly :-( It all gets smoothed out in the reskeining, but yarn right out of the dye pot is not a pretty thing.
Much nicer :-)Just to prove I am not smoking crack, here are skeins number one, two, and four after reskeining. See how much nicer they look now? And they all more or less match? I'm telling you, it's only a little short of a miracle.
Pretty shiny thingsI've also made up a bunch of stitch markers for sale at the booth. Everybody in the world makes stitch markers, but I haven't ever seen any quite like these. Usually, the rings are either split rings (snaggy & can chew wooden/bamboo needles) or else wrapped wire (double snaggy, look out!) but mine don't snag. I call them the No-Mar stitch markers, which isn't terribly original, but a good description. I gave a couple to my friend Laura a little while back -- she recently told me that I ought to make more because they are her favorite stitch markers. "I cherish them," she said. Who can resist a ringing endorsement like that? :-)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Fresh from the Dyepot

Dye another dayI've been dyeing like a fiend today -- here's my first four skeins (with two more in the pot.) That's a big day for me, I don't do big production runs with dozens of skeins in one lot. In the background you can see the ingenious little macro studio that Mike built for me so I can take fab pix of the yarn... it's made of a cardboard box, some tissue paper, and a couple of clamp-on work lights. So cool! Check the Etsy shop to see these skeined up in the next day or so.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Holy smokes! I'm sold out!

I stopped by the Lee's Summit SSnK this afternoon, and brought my hand-dyed sample skeins with me to show to the other knitters and get some feedback. Color me surprised (no pun intended) when my dyeing efforts caused a bit of a feeding frenzy -- they bought me almost completely out! I was gratified to get feedback on the colorways from other knitters, too. I have been dyeing combinations that I like, but I had no idea if anyone else would actually like it. (Mike is useless for feedback on yarn -- he's profoundly colorblind.) What a relief when other knitters actually understood and liked what I was trying to do with the multi-layered dye combinations. Guess I'll keep dyeing these colorways... maybe try a few more...

The only bummer about this is, my Etsy shop is nearly empty just as I placed a new ad, and my next shipment of undyed yarn is running a bit late... so it'll be a couple of days before I can add new inventory! Oh well. I'll muddle through somehow.