Okay, so Friday I opened the box of roving and stuff and started making it ready to dye.
Yesterday I dyed most of the superwash roving, just to see what would happen.
This is most of it, which were dyed in my normal method: laid out on the workspace and dye applied, then wrapped and steamed:
There are four off on the right that were sun-dyed; I used two jugs, into which were first filled part way with hot pink and lilac, then two rovings were gently lowered into them, and each was then filled to the top with brilliant yellow. I’m not entirely thrilled with how they turned out, since clearly some of them were pressed to firmly against the edge of the jug and didn’t get circulation. Also, a couple of them were dyed in-the-braid. Yeah, lesson learned. But then, when it is spun the gradience could be a positive thing, so I don’t know…. <*sigh*>
And here’s a couple of my more interesting (in my opinion).
This one is sort of a Clown Barf combination, but when the spinner is at liberty to pull tufts from throughout to create an amazingly gradient yarn.
And this one thrills me, almost to the point I would learn to spin just so I could see how this comes up as a yarn. Almost.
And I”m not even sure I ‘braided’ them the way most folks do — I just did basically a finger-crochet chain, very very loosely.
Okay… so now that yarns have been ordered, I can announced that new yarns are coming and two new lines are now introduced on the Custom Dyes page:
Knitterman’s Daily Lace
- 100% Merino
- 1125 yards
- $24.00 for 1; $22.00 apiece for 2 or more
Knitterman’s Daily Fingering
- 100% SW Corriedale
- 460 yards
- $17.50 for 1; $19.00 apiece for 2 or more
I was going to go with Knitteman’s House yarns, but I like Daily better as it suggests the yarns you go for everyday regular shawl and sock knitting. There will be additional lines of yarn coming, but it seems (among my main customers) that people are using laceweight and fingering weight yarns. I went with the 100% superwash corriedale partly because it is the same superwash corriedale that is in the Phydlbitz sock yarn, so I know how it works up, pretty much, and specifically because it is NOT superwash Merino — I just don’t like Merino for sock yarn. It’s great for so many other wonderful things, but the constant wear on socks just doesn’t make Merino the best choice. For something being stuffed inside a sweaty shoe, you want something that doesn’t pill so much, or something you have to knit so tight the socks can walk away on their own.
As for the Knitterman’s Daily Lace, it is a 100% Merino yarn, so it is lovely enough for the task but more affordable than the Merino/Silk blend. Depending on how well it is received (determined by ordering volume), I will reserve the Primo Lace for special occasions and limited editions.
I could be totally wrong, of course (which would totally suck), but it seems that knitting trends are moving away from the segmented hand-dyed sock yarns from when I started, and moving into the subtle vibrance of lace weight yarns that are more ‘alive’ than a flat solid, but not so garish as to overpower the fine stitchwork of lace.
So, anyway, between my color applications and the less expensive yarns for lacework and everyday sock knitting, I am hoping there will be increasing demand (and thus, increased sales volume) so that I can stay in business another few years. That would be great to hit 10 years as an independent art yarn dyer, wouldn’t it! Coming up Oct 1 makes six years, so I’m more than half way there!
Between marathons I’ve been catching up on cleaning things. You know how it is — you work and do stuff and plan to do the cleaning “later”.
This is one of the stainless steel pan where I store the caps for my squeeze bottles, along with the measuring spoons for mixing my dyes. I was cleaning off the counter, dumped the contents of the pan and scrubbed it with a steel wool pad inside and out.
Now, mind you, I got a bunch of various stainless steel pans from the hospital “yard sale” back when I worked at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, so it was sometime before 1995, when I moved to LSU next door. And I have a few little pans like this, some round pans and bowls, and the large “lasagna” pan where I stack dyed pouches as they wait for the steamer. All of these were sold as “old cafeteria ware” — and they look like the stainless steel containers you see on the food lines of lunch rooms everywhere.
Okay, so I’m scrubbing out this pan and some etching catches my eye. I’ve had this thing over 17 years, yet I have never EVER noticed this hand-etched scrawl:
Yes, it says:
A12 Feces Pan
C. 5 Return Now
On the opposite outer wall it says:
Do Not Send To Lab
Oh my goodness! I already knew that my straight needles were stored in an old stainless steel upright (male) in-bed urinal jug, but now with a genuine feces pan I feel somehow more complete …. or something.
Back in 2006, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, while I was still living in New Orleans, the young daughter of an acquaintance drew this cute image to represent me (the Knitterman):
I’m still round headed, still wear glasses (she drew shades because she wasn’t sure how to make my eyes), and I still like the plaid-shirt-and-blue-jeans look, maybe workboots instead of what looks like slippers.
But it is difficult to make out the knitting needles and skein of yarn. (I’d even opt for a giant ball of yarn, held up Atlas-style or something else — but NOT the ball-pierced-with-needles cliché.)
I’m going to be putting this image on the new labels for Knitterman’s Home Lace and Knitterman’s Home Fingering, but would like to have an updated image so it is more clear what I am holding up. And somewhat more realistic artwork in general. I’ve seen some anime work that would be similar to what I’m picture in my head, but I lack the skills to make it happen.
So, if you have the skills, and want to earn a couple skeins of yarn, feel free to play with the concept. In order to effect proper scaling without pixelating, it should be in a format that scales without altering clean lines and edges. And right now my brain won’t tell me if that means raster or vector image, but a true digital artist would know right away what I’m talking about — a PNG file, not jpg.
No rush, but if you happen to have an idea, let me see what you’ve got.
First, THANK YOU to all who have been able to buy one or more cones to help restock my in-house inventory. Having yarns in-house is what creates a flow of money, since yarn can be turned into money.
Second, and this is a truly “DUH!” moment for me — on the Help Knitivity page I included cones for Phydlybitz Socks and Primo Lace, the two lines I’ve had for a while, as well as two other lines that I would like to have for less expensive options — “Knitterman’s House Lace” and “Knitterman’s House Fingering“.
As I was wrapping and packing an order, it just a few minutes ago occurred to me: A couple of people have already bought cones in those new yarns, and the order has been placed at the supplier today. And since these new yarns are coming, I can go ahead and show them as available on the Custom Dyes page for people to order … and thereby purchase even more of them.
So, this evening I will create a 2nd combo button. First I have to calculate what the per-skein price will be, then calculate the discount for multiples, and then futz around to make a second ordering button work. I will post and announce when the new yarn options are available.
Oh, this is exciting! Yes it is.