Monday, July 20, 2009

The Yarnarian Did Warn You!

Are you ready for the update of the year? Tons of yarns, including some brand new ones. Why do I have so many yarns? Because I love to play with them, I'm a confused business woman, I like yarn, I need my head examined. Pick one or all of them.

Bambi: Heather Wine & Gloria's Morning

Alexa: Pine, Brise, Peaches & Wood Nymph

Emily 1/2 skeins (& half price and 1/2 yardage): Tigerlily & Rustic

New Yarns!

Linda: 80/20 Superwash Bluefaced Leicester/nylon. The nicest, woolly sock yarn around. Long fibers, soft as can be, and totally different from merino. Also known as BFL. I have just a few skeins of this because I wanted to try it out before putting in a bigger order. Well now you know that I am going to order more and more of this yarn; it's that wonderful! $20. 100 grams approx 400 yards.

Here's a pic of that sock I've been working on. This is BFL.

Cabin & Wine and Roses:

AND, the next brand new yarn is: Rachel. Yeah, I used to carry a Rachel lace wt, but don't anymore. But I had to name a yarn after elder DD, so here is the new Rachel and what a yarn it is! 100% superwash merino. 2 ply, amazing yarn. $20. 100 grams. approx 400 yards. This is for the skinny yarn lovers among you. It's skinnier than Bambi, Alexa or Linda, about the same heft as Penny. This is so new that I haven't even knitted anything from it yet. But the dyeing process was wonderful. This yarn just soaks up dye. and the hand is amazing and I just have to decide what to knit from it. Socks, scarves, mitts. No nylon so if you have feet that destroy socks, you need to add some reinforcing yarn for your heels and toes. Or you could just make the most wonderful scarves from this. It's that soft.

Grand Dame, Evening's Gloria, Lake and Elza's Colors.

I need to keep one of the Rachel yarns to try out. I'm thinking Grand Dame, unless you are desperate for it. Why this one? Because my bloody camera doesn't want to photograph it properly. The really dark color is deep wine. My camera seems to see it as brown; it's not. sigh. There are moments when it's camera - 1, ruth - 0!

You want? email me before Wed. fritzL234 AT yahoo DOT com
Last day I can ship is Wed, since I'm off to see Miss P on Fri. So, mail out day would be Wed, and I need to know beforehand. Make sense? I won't list on Etsy until I come back. And if you miss one, hey, there's always more yarn. Maybe not in those colors, but in some colorway or other.

I'm keeping Grand Dame; you can't tell the colors anyhow so it's mine! Hah!

Elza's Colors is spoken for.

Heather Wine is grabbed!

itsJUSTme-wendy - The hardest thing I find about internet communication is that you get no aural cues. That's what I don't like about talking on the phone - no facial cues. So much of chatting is watching the faces of the folks you're talking too. Sometimes I write things and I think: they'll take this seriously. And that's when I type in "giggle".

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Yarnarian Warns You:

Lots of new yarns shown here in the morning. I have to photograph the yarns first, then edit, and then start showing on this blog.

So now you know! Mostly darks, some with a bit of magic thrown in, Lots of moody yarns this time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Yarnarian is Sneaky!

Who ever heard of a heads-up on a Friday? OK, a mini-heads up. Just for the fun of it. Lace yarns today, sock yarns on Monday as usual. Hey, I have to keep you on your knitting toes.

2 half skeins of Emily lace yarn. 600+ yards and plenty for a scarf or small shawl. Go check out the patterns on Victorian Lace Today and you'll find plenty for a small skein. And the cost is half the usual cost, and you won't have to figure out what to do with leftovers.

Sapphire and Lichen

2 lovely skeins of Judith yarn: 800 yards of a skinny 3-ply non-superwash fingering wt lace yarn. If you love knitting lace but want a change from lace wt yarns, here you are. 80/10/10 merino/silk/cashmere!

Plum and gold!

Lichen is gone as well as Sapphire and Amethyst. The yarn sharks have been sharking!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Yarnarian Shifts Gear!

From lace to slipped stitches! Don't get me wrong; I love knitting lace, but every now and then a girl has to develop a new obsession, so this is my latest craze.

I've always been fascinated with slipped stitches, but have rarely used them in any of my projects. I did make a couple of baby blankets before elder DD was born (almost 39 years ago), but that was mainly it. I was just never satisfied how they looked. Oh, I liked the stitches, but the good color interactions just eluded me. Until now!

What's changed? Variegated yarn and self striping yarn. I adore variegated yarns, always have from way back when. But let's face it: these are special yarns and they need proper handling in order to look good. One can always do stockinette or ribbing or any of the very popular sock patterns out there. But they get boring, everybody and her uncle has done them, and besides, there has got to be more.

Slipped stitches to the rescue! You saw this horizontal one from a couple of days ago.

You should see how it looks on my leg. It's so neat.

Now how about this vertical pattern, in yet another scarf:

And these are just baby patterns. There are so many for me to play with, not just plain vertical and horizontal, but diagonal ones, butterfly ones, the list goes on and on. I'm just beginning here.

Here's the good news: they are fairly mindless patterns once you get into the swing of thing. The bad news: you have to make swatches with your yarn. Variegated and striped yarns have minds of their own, and you have to work with them. And truthfully, is swatching such a bad activity? You get to see how the colors of your yarn interact, and if you don't like the pattern with your yarn, you still get a pattern for future use.

More bad news: these are yarn users. The horizontal one I'm using eats yarn, the vertical is pretty easygoing. Some will use a lot of extra yarn, some not. The stitches will also tend to constrict the fabric, either horizontally or vertically, and in some cases, make it not stretchy at all, and you may very well need more stitches so that the thing can actually go on your foot. No big deal.

More good news: You are the mistress of your knitting. If you have a true yarn buster of a pattern, and are terrified you won't have enough, you can just use the pattern as trim, or make your socks a bit shorter. Or make your socks toe up so you can divvy up the yarn equally.

Even more good news:
Your swatches will probably lie flat, especially if you can throw in a garter ridge here and there. Scarves, and shawls, here we come. Oh and slipped stitches make very warm garments.

And the best news of all: slipped stitches are perfect for the Lazy Knitter! You just happily motor along, you don't have to worry about yarn overs or decreases, you just knit. AND, you'll get a fabric that is yours alone. Cool, huh? And best of all, you can happily buy variegated yarns and not dread knitting with them!

So, every now and then, I'll post a chart and pattern for you to play with.

Dyeing news: I did 2 of these longies simultaneously the other day, and they are both for sale. Still at the $20 price because I'm learning on them, but they looked lovely in the skein, and reskeined, they are gorgeous.

Cool Water:

Lilacs. This one has 2 knots in it, one that I had to do because it came with a teensy knot, and the second because it became snarled when I reskeined it. So this one I'm keeping, but just wanted to show it to you.

itsJUSTme-wendy - there is no doubt that variegated yarns need special handling. Lots of people don't like pooling or flashing; they don't bother me. In fact, I love it when a yarn flashes. But that's just me. One way to deal with it, is to use those 2 balls of yarn. when you're winding up from a skein, weigh the ball every now and then so that it is approx half the original weight of the skein. Start another ball. Then, when you knit, work 2 rows/rounds from one ball, and 2 from the other one. That should take care of the pooling and/or flashing.

BTW, pooling and flashing have nothing to do with the quality of the yarn; and everything to do with the dyeing pattern, your gauge and the number of stitches you're using, plus your pattern. So you and I could knit the exact same sock from the same yarn, and the sock would look different. Our gauges/size will determine how the yarn repeats the colors.

itsJUSTme-wendy - My guilty secret? I love Red Heart color combinations, but hate the yarn itself. Commercially dyed yarns can do things that we indies cannot. Those very longstripes that blend into the next section (Zauberball or Mini-Mochi) those are very very hard for us to do. I can now wind up mega skeins, but so far I've only ventured into an 8+ yard skein once. I'm in terror of the 14.5 yard skein, it will be enormous! What indies can do is glorious color combinations that no one else does. If I look at the variegated yarns of my youth and the variegated ones of today, I'd have to say that we are much much better than what was done in the past.

But then, I think that indie dyeing is a fairly new phenomenon. Nobody was doing this in the 50's and 60's, or at least nobody was selling yarns.

Now if Red Heart just didn't feel like plastic..... If only they would produce a quality wool yarn with those wonderful colors they do in the acrylic! giggle.

I think I lost the thread here. Wendy, I think we are on the same page here, but I'm not expressing it very well.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Yarnarian Gets an Award!

Wendy was nice enough to give me this award, and I'm quite tickled to get it. Henya gave me an award way back when, and then I lost it, so that's me. Most disorganized.
So here it is:

So - The rules state that in order to accept this award, I need to list seven of my very favorite things. Then I may pass the award on to seven other bloggers!
My Seven Favorite Things are in no particular order:

1. The Hubbo, that most wondrous man, the Schmutz Meister, my soul mate, that crazy engineer who needs to constantly make "devices", and then inflicts them upon me.

2. All of our children and their spouses and boyfriend.
3. The 5 grandkids, of course!

4. Designing and knitting. Did you have any doubts?

5. Being alone. I love being along. I love being with people, and then coming home and being alone again.

6. Dyeing yarn, natch.

7. The Mommie, the sister, the entire mishpocha (Hebrew for the family). Like all families, they drive you crazy, and that's why you love them so much. Me, of course, I'm perfect and never drive anyone crazy.

Seven other Blogs. Which ones to pick? I have so many favorites. Again, in no particular order, and these change daily.

1. Henya! She resonates with me. What a sense of humor. I have got to meet this lady.

2. Jo! In another life, I might have been Irish. Jewish Irish. Strange and wondrous combination. She is a wonderful and witty writer.

3. Linda! One of my customers/friends. She is one crafty woman, and I want to learn weaving from her. Funny, talented lady!

4. Susan! Life on a small farm. I know nothing about farming, being a city-bred person, so this is a treat for me to read. A great knitter, reconteur, and funny person. I've threatened to move in with her, and I expect to be pampered. In exchange, I will knit and make breakfast. They are trembling with fear that this might actually happen. Mwahahaha!

5. Wendy! And she has music, too.

6. Alison! This is one of the great people of the world. Such kindness and joy in living.

7. KnittyVritti! Intelligent blog, marvelous knitter.

There are lots more. Go look at the blogs I read over on the right.

No knitting or dyeing news, just me skeining, reskeining, charting, frogging, charting again, frogging again, knitting without charting, frogging, knitting without charting again! Ah ha! I found the pattern for a scarf that I like. Mindlessly easy, cuddly, perfect of winter coziness.

KV - Thanks. I love the new yarn also. To the point of wanting to keep it all for myself.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Yarnarian Blathers As Usual.

Odds and ends going on here in Yarnarian Land. I am now posting very occasionally on Facebook. Younger DD got on it for some reason, and invited me to follow her. So of course I am, and also chatting with the same bunch of people I chat with on Twitter, and Ravelry. It makes me dizzy. I don't know where I've said something. ACK! I think I'll concentrate on little Twitter; it takes a lot less energy than Facebook.

Knitting News: Remember this BFL yarn I posted last week? I found the color inspiration in a magazine, and the minute I finished dyeing it, I knew that it would not sell. I wasn't even sure I liked it. But I was playing around with my new BFL, and with different color combinations, so that was the source.

Wound it up into a ball, and still was not wild about the yarn. Didn't want to overdye it, just wanted to see what I could do with a yarn that didn't thrill me.

Browsed through one of my Barbara Walker books (#1) and found this slip stitch pattern, and thought: What the heck! Might as well try it out. Surprise! I like it, I really like it. Which goes to show that variegated yarns, even in weird color combinations, can work up into ways wondrous.

Embiggen the pics to see the pattern. I love the word "embiggen".

Dyeing: I'm back on a brown binge. Must be looking towards fall, my favorite season. We are having a gorgeous summer (pooh pooh, go away, Evil Spirits), so why I'm dyeing up fall colors beats me. I also did some seasonless lace and some more loooong skeins of Penny.

Here are the Bambi yarns: Moody Brown and Forest. Moody Brown started life as something entirely different, so I dunked it into a brown, then another brown, and finally into yet a third brown, decided that it was a great yarn. I was going to call it Moody Mud, but decided that that was a negative name for a great, sophisticated yarn.

A Bambi that was sweet: Mignon. Dyed with leftover solutions and therefore in the pastel area.

And now Lace! Emily Lace Yarn to be exact. Wonderful 1200+ yards of merino love. This is so nice to knit with. Soft Teal, Purple Orchid, Pink Fling, and Apricot Sorbet. There is a lot of colorwork in each yarn, although it all blends into one pretty color. Your shawls and scarves will look so elegant!

And finally, one of the long Penny yarns. Yes, I know, this is not pretty, but just think of it in that sock pattern posted above. Think of it as a Hot Tamale colorway, which is what it is. That rusty red took me 5 different colors of mixing to produce, and I'll never reproduce it. It's not pretty, but it is striking. I still have some work to do before I get this technique down pat, so if you want it, I'm selling it for $20 instead of $25. Nice savings, and you get the red that I worked so hard on. ;-)

If you want, you know how to get. Every yarn is $20 + shipping, EXCEPT for the Emily yarn, which is $32 + shipping.

Gotta go and pack my Fiber Barista order. It's going out either today or tomorrow, depending on how fast I can get it all together. I'll leave you with a teaser pic of the yarn. Talk about nasty, How ebil of me to post a yarn pic, where you cannot tell the colorway. Mwahahahaha!\\

Moody Brown is spoken for.

Hot Tamale is "sharked!"

Linda - It's yours. The usual $20. no shipping since I can enclose it with the FB yarn

Carolyn - I wish I could take credit for embiggen. I saw it somewhere and fell in love with it. Here's one of my own: to shark. sharking means grabbing a yarn before anyone else gets it.

itsJUSTme-wendy - I like red buy find it hard to dye up with other colors. I don't like it with blue or black. gold and red I like. Purple and red.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chocolate Bon Bons

Clearly this has hit a number of you with drool on your faces. So, next time I dye, maybe tomorrow or Friday, I'll do edition #2 of the yarn. Colors and repeats will NOT be the same as the original, but you won't care since only one person has the original and me. So you won't be matching it to another skein. Oh, you know what I mean.

Don't forget the Wicked Women Sock & Scarf Club! This time I can take more members than usual. And Yes, yes, yes, I ship internationally. As in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, various Scandinavian countries, Spain, Israel, Egypt, Mexico, and so forth and so on. And of course Canada! Click on the link over to the right, or scroll down a bit.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Yarnarian Keeps Her Promise.

I promised I would show you more yarn, so here we go. Liebe and Belleza, both in Bambi, the heathery one.

Raritan in Penny, original skein and reskeined.

Tranquil and Melody, Bambi:

Graceful, Judith yarn!

Brand New Yarns: Superwash BFL/nylon: 80/20 and gorgeous and silky and with long fibers and utterly lovely. I'm going to keep one of them for me, because I've never knit on BFL, and I want to try it out. After all, how can I tell you about the yarn if I've never knit on it!

Sock weight, superwash, 115 grams, approx. 380 yards, which is the industry standard.


Spice Road and Souk. If you want one, let me know and I'll keep the other one. I only have 8 more of these skeins. Before I buy a lot, I need to see how it dyes and knits up, but I can already tell you before knitting, that this will be a keeper. Same wholesaler as Bambi and Alexa, and you know how they feel and look. So, whoever picks first, she gets that yarn, and the other is mine, Wicked Yarnarian!

AND, because I love you all, I'm offering one skein of Penny dyed in those loooong 6.3 yard skeins. Not 6 feet, 6 yards! This is what I dyed yesterday. I did 2 of them simultaneously and have kept one for me to play with, and one for you. This is my usual Penny yarn (75/25 superwash wool/nylon), but wound up in this long circumference and then dyed. I'm playing with possible stripes. "Possible" because I like to dye in my loosey goosey fashion, and not with rigid lengths and such. But when you have yarn this long, the urge to play with striping is there. So this yarn has a dark brown strip of approx 2 yards, a lighter brown stripe somewhere else, and those candy colors along the way. In my gauge and 56 stitches, my dark brown stripe is approx 4 rounds. Your knitting would have different results. I'll show you a pic of a sock for me, and now I'll rip it out and try a mitered something or other just to see how it works knitting back and forth in garter stitch.

So here's the good news about this new technique, which needs a name: Winding up into a long skein and dyeing goes pretty quickly. Here's the bad news: Reskeining it into a workable skein for you takes forever! So it becomes a very labor-intensive activity. And therefore, I have to charge more. I know, it hurts. I'd rather not, but I have to reskein manually, there's no swift that will hold this baby, so it goes back onto the warping board. My usual price for Penny is $20; the price for a long skein will be in the $25 range.

BUT, here's more good news: while I'm playing around with length of skeins and dyeing striping sections, I'll charge my usual $20. After all, why should you pay extra for my experiments? And folks, I can make skeins up to 14.5 yards. Imagine what I can do with those. And more good news: Say you want to make a shawl and need 1200 yards of sock yarn. Easy peasy. OK, a lot of manual labor in the winding up end of it, but the dyeing goes very quickly, so it is very possible. Ah, I'm getting grandiose here, but you know what I mean.

Here it is: Chocolate Bonbons (chocolate candy with delicious centers)

Interested in any of the yarns? The usual: fritzL234 AT yahoo DOT com

Tranquil and Melody are spoken for.

Chocolate Bon Bon has been grabbed!

Raritan is gone!

Henya - I don't know if I can repeat it, but I'm going to try. I'm knitting with it and it is one really great colorway.

Lol - I couldn't do that to an innocent customer. You'd hear the swearing and cursing all over the world for that nastiness. Nope, I have to figure this out so that it doesn't take me 45 minutes to reskein one skein of yarn. Yup, 45 minutes. Crazy, no?

Hunter - What I've been doing is just placing the dyed skein back on the warping board so that it's easy to take the threads off. The problem is how to reskein it to a much smaller size. I'm dyeing up a few 6 yarders tomorrow, and when they dry, I'm going to play around with my large wooden swift and see if that isn't easier. I know I can solve this without buying or making anything new; it just takes a little time to figure out what's easiest. So far, I've only dyed 4 of these skeins, and 3 were wound into balls, and one was in a skein, so I have a lot of other ideas.


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