Saturday, 27 February 2010

Waiting for Rain!

SIOz Merino 4 Superwash in Red/Purple Mix $24.00/100gm

SIOz Merino 4 Superwash in Orange Mix 1 - $24.00/100gm

Will it ever rain in Adelaide? Forecast revised last week. No rain in sight, after teasing us with promises. *sigh* 

In the midst of my dye schedule, the shipment from Nepal arrived (the timing is always a guess) so I'm a few days behind, as I've had to un-bury myself from the mountain of new fibre and yarns. Apologies to you patient knitters!

Why am I excited? There's a new lot of pure linen -- machine-spun in Nepal, but still a rustic, natural thin yarn that I'm really happy with. It's just so cool. Cool to wear, cool to knit with. Linen for weaving, crochet, and knitting. 

New spangle-y plied banana silk with gold thread -- in a pale purple and green blend. Very bling. Great for a bag (see below) or for the edging of a garment.


Most thrilled with: a new natural cotton in a two-ply -- close to the equivalent of a 4ply/fingering weight.  It's so beautiful -- not fake looking at all or bleached -- with flecks of colour from the imperfections of the cotton.

There's more, including a re-supply of aloo, hemp, and hemp and wool (new type), all being prepped for the dyelots next week. 

Natural yarns will be at the Port this weekend for you to have a feel and decide on colours.

SIL Melanie's photo of her ball of WOR club yarn -- nice pic Smelly!

Thanks for the photo -- now I'm distracted and need to make a pair of socks in this yarn. 

Here's a photo of the Club First Project:

This bag is designed in a teardrop shape, with some fancy pants shaping and groovy no-sew bag bottom tricks to boot. I love designs that are simple, but have a few fun knitter's techniques to keep the knitter thinking. 

This week: I will be running lots of animal fibres in florals starting Monday, so do email or ring with your request. First up are the 10ply lots of premium merino superwash.

CU at the Port, M

Monday, 22 February 2010

SIOz update

G'day from sunny Adelaide. Well, it's bloody hot mate and to add to the fun of the season, the fridge has died a horrible death. So after an entire day running around haggling with salesmen, I am the proud owner of a soontobedelivered new fridge. Wahooo. Ever not have a fridge in summer? Lived out of an esky? It's amazing how much you NEED ice cubes when you can't just open the freezer and get some. I shall fill the new one with piles of ice this week.

Right -- it's that in-between season. Still feeling the summer heat. Can't think about projects for the colder seasons. I'm sticking with socks. Not much of a commitment, can put it down easily. Ah, the humble sock. We knitters are lucky we can make 'em.

A big thanks to everyone who braved the humidity and heat and came by for a chat and a squeeze of yarn hanks yesterday. Glad to have met you.

And thanks to everyone for picking up your club kits. Enjoy watching your rainbow knitting grow!

CU at the Port or online, M

Monday, 15 February 2010

Feb 2010 Club Yarn and Fibres - Way Over the Rainbow Club Mixes

Way Over the Rainbow Knitting Club Mix Feb 2010

For those of you who've already joined the SIOz knitting club, your packs will be sent out this week. Thank you to those who've already joined the fun. I couldn't help but post a photo of the first yarn for the year. I don't often mix Way Over the Rainbow, as it is one of my specials, but it is appropriate that we start off the knitting year with a splash, non? Your pack includes 100gms of this yarn (3ply merino, superwash), assorted goodies (natch) and a pattern for the project bag. 

Way Over the Rainbow organic merino
Fiber Club Mix Feb 2010

NOTE: the mix for the spinners is not the same rainbow as for the knitters. Some people are in both clubs and well, I thought I'd mix it up a bit. :-) Yeah, I've got a few rainbows up my sleeve.

For the fibre club, your packs are ready to go -- most of you guys are picking yours up, so they'll be ready for you this Sunday at the Port Markets. If your plans change, let me know so I can arrange delivery. Thank you to everyone who advised colour preferences for the gemspindle. It was fun making these to suit the spinner.  All the spindles have oak shafts, have been hand-sanded, coated, sanded, coated and finished with a nice little hook for spinnability. 

Regular Drop Spindle with glass whorl (Fibre Club Feb 2010)

I've mentioned previously that I'm not limiting membership to my clubs this year. Yup, after some great feedback from customers and a lot of reading online, not to mention my own experiences, I came to the conclusion that if you want to knit or spin with SIOz yarns or fibres, you should be able to get what you want. 

Recently: I was placed in a lottery for a sock club and was told I 'didn't get in.' My initial reaction was, what? My $$ not good enough? And why am I feeling left out? This struck me as ridiculous. I mean, the last thing I neeeed is more sock yarn (I have only knit with 2 other brands for my own personal knitting in like, the last 3 years, so why would I care?) My reaction had been so hard-wired into me by Madison Avenue that I had to really think about it.  I'm still irrationally irritated that I didn't get into that club -- 2 weeks later. For no real reason. 

I don't want my customers or potential customers to have that feeling. 

So you are all welcome. If you are a member and want more than 1 hank of yarn or instalment of fibre, do let me know in advance, as I need to account for the numbers in each lot. 

Happy Knitting and Spinning -- M

Friday, 12 February 2010

It's so easy being green

Bayou Sauvage - SIOz Superwash 3ply

100gm/400m hanks $22.00AU

I HEART this green. There seemed to be a dwindling stock of green yarn, so it was back to doing lots. I know I can't stash all of this lot for myself, but can I at least knit with one?

In reality, the answer is NO, as I've got other yarn for my needles at the moment. I will certainly look forward to seeing what you knit with it. This yarn is superwash, so it's suitable for socks, shawls, gloves...

Finn X 8ply wool

It's not St. Patty's day yet, but I'm getting the green on!

Clubbers: the clubs are slated to go out mid-week. Haven't gotten around to joining the SIOz knitting or fibre clubs 2010? Not to worry. Why? Ok, this was a philosophical issue for me and how I do business. I am keeping my clubs open all year. Why? Because if someone is commiting their money and their knitting time and want to knit or spin with my yarns and fibres, then they can. I'm not into imposed exclusivity (how to describe?). And because I run a full-time yarn and design business, I structure my time to ensure I have time. The only exception to this is if I simply can't get more of something (special fibres), which doesn't happen very often, as stock yarns and fibres that I dye regularly. The club members are entitled to order the colours and projects in the clubs. I won't be making those for general purchase.

Someone asked me if I will be releasing the designs for the knitter's club to general customers. The answer is - nope.

Yeah, you guys keep me busy. And for that I'm incredibly grateful.

NOTE: for Fibre/Spindler Club members, the final instalment must be ordered in advance, so that means, if you are VERY late joining, you may have a delivery delay.

The First One-Hank-Happiness yarn is on display Sundays at the market. Yup, it's a tease.

A BIG HELLO to the knitters who've been spending their US winters knitting A Coloured Sheep Shawl (shown below).

It has been so much fun getting your updates and comments and queries. I hope to see you during my next show trip to fondle the finished garments. It seems to be taking on average 3-4 mos of on and off knitting to complete this large shawl project. Less if you use 5ply instead of 3ply wool. And yes, I'm contemplating a handspun version -- it sits in my brain for some distant point in time. There's also a hank of very special Cormo that I'm thinking might be an awesome CSS.

CU at the market -- M

Monday, 8 February 2010

It was a Scorcher!

Sunday at the Markets was a warm one this past weekend. Kinda toasty up top, where I'm at. Nice tin roof to keep us baking. 

In spite of the heat, some intrepid fibre addicts made there way there earlier in the day. Thanks to the Chill Out knitters -- it was nice to meet some of you and I look forward to Mondays at the Wheatsheaf, Thebarton.

Dyelots for this week include: Bayou Sauvage. If you liked Woodland Creatures, you'll like this one. Put up in my thinner sock wool -- 100% 3ply merino. Great for scarves, shawls, gloves, and socks. I HEART this colourway and hope you will too.

CLUBS: thank you to everyone who's already joined up. Reminder, Adelaide customers who want to save some $, email your order and I'll invoice you manually for your membership, minus the $8.00 postage.

I'll be braving the heat and painting more banana silk as well as more of the unbelievably soft cotton lace. A number of my customers have said they've had bad experiences working with cotton. Yup, if you have one, you'll be hesitant in trying another, but this cotton is so soft, so well-spun, it will change your minds. Not to mention, at $10.00AU per hank it's just a fantastic yarn for shawls and baby's garments. 


SIOz Cotton Lightweight in Wild Mix One $10.00/50gm

See you at the Markets, Melissa

Friday, 5 February 2010

Thanks and Colours for this week

Thank you to everyone who's inquired regarding the 2010 clubs. I really appreciate your enthusiasm. Can't wait to see what gets made from all this lovely string and fluff.

Here's some close up photos of a new banana smoothie bag to show you. I noticed that the lot of banana silk I used for this bag was stiffer than the last time I made it; this happens as it's all handspun and lots vary. If you find your banana silk is thick, it won't harm the project to go up a needle size. That said, you have to take into account that this fibre is unplied and will stretch with use. It's worth wrestling with it for a few rows to get a good result on this project.

The purple and green and bits 'o everything banana silk is a yarn that is difficult to match with others. You'd think it would blend as it's a bitsa. But no.

In fact, I ordered it sight unseen and when I unloaded the boxes, went, hmmmm. That's not what I ordered. But since it's from the workshop in Nepal, and I think about how much work they've put into it, I surrendered my imagination to the colour muses and left a hank on my worktable, waiting for inspiration. The green soy (orphaned hanks) works really well with it don't you think? 

Dyelots this week: So Sari Handspun in Dark Bluegreen Semi-Solid (wool 70%/recycled saris 30%) $8.00AU per 50gm hank. Some millends of a gorgeous merino ribbon (with a nylon binder) in Dark Bluegreen Semi-Solid ($5.00AU/50gm hank).  And some very special hanks of Finn X wool 8ply in a green multiblend.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Side-Bar Details for Yarn and Fibre Clubs

Thank you to everyone who has asked regarding yarn and fibre clubs. I've posted the basic details  on the blog sidebar. 

Loyalty cards: The new loyalty cards are already going out. I've renewed my frequent-shopper program, but this year, it is simpler. For every $250.00 of SIOz products, you get a $25.00 store credit for your next purchase. The only exception to this is that the super-discounted, bargain basket yarns at the Port do not count towards your loyalty shopping balance.  And yes, clubs count towards your loyalty balance!