Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Easter Fun and more beanies

After finished a big project, it's nice to work on something small. I tackled a beanie yesterday, in hp handspun hemp and wool. Must sew ends in.

SIOz is hosting an easter hank hunt this weekend and details are on the shop blog link on

Only a little bit of time to knit beanies as I'll be painting and putting up mini-hanks the rest of the week. But is is very nice to work on something different. And this new lot of banana palm silk is calling my name -- I'm thrilled with the blend of green with blue that I mixed that day. Thinking a vest knitted with some soy dk. Hmmmmmmmmm.


Saturday, 27 March 2010

Pondering the Plight of the wool shop

I don't often get time to read Ravelry lists -- I like to say hello to people and answer queries, but time is ltd.
Just puzzled today regarding negative posts on Ravelry regarding our local Adelaide wool shops. My response sometimes surprises people. Perhaps they think that I welcome a competitor's demise. In reality, I wish they would all flourish. Why? Because they don't offer knitters the same products as I, nor do they provide the same types of services.
When you make artyarn, you may fight for some of the same $$, but in reality, buying 20 balls of yarn for a plain jumper isn't the same sale as selling to someone looking for a luxury hank of hand-painted alpaca.
Each of the local shops serves their own communities and offer retail services that I, as someone who designs and paints, cannot. Nor would I want to.
The sad truth is, that while some of the locals might seem a bit daggy, and don't offer deep online discounts, they do provide a service that is essential to a community of knitters -- their experience, talents, and often amazing wealth of technical knowledge.
Sure, walking into a local shop in Adelaide might not be as exciting as entering say, Wondoflex in Melbourne, which is just HUGE, but there's always something new and nice to touch and buy.
For me, buying local means I'm not wasting money on postage and the added carbon footprint to a purchase. And when I have a problem, it is so much nicer taking it to the shop than arguing on the phone or online.
I really feel badly for one owner, who has to deal daily with the browsers who come in, check colours and brands, then leaves, knowing they'll go home, log on and make a purchase. These shops don't exist for that purpose.
Of course it's not just a local issue -- I've had the same conversation with owners all over the Mid-Atlantic region as I work there several months a year. One proprietor is just downright surly with customers now, when I know it wasn't always that way. I reckon at one time she was a cheerful, happy yarn store owner.
Well, tomorrow is a retail day. I may joke that retail isn't my forte, but I look forward every week to seeing what has been knitted or spun with SIOz yarn and fibre.
As always, thank you for reading. m

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Web Updates and SIOz Blogspot

Whew! Finally, the new website is up and running and I've migrated the SIOz official shop blog to my website -- it's a link there new.

I'll be using this blog for misc. fibre chat, rather than the strictly business SIOz announcements.

All is linked via

For today, I soldier on under deadlines and anticipation of cooler weather. I really want a jumper for the new season -- for me myself I -- but I reckon that is merely a dream, given my schedule at the moment. But I can doodle every once in a while, can't I?

I'm continuing to do a row or two of the Doctors Without Borders sock -- a kit I got in an auction at the Sock Summit. Painfully slow, but it does keep my fingers occupied in queues. Sorry for the small thumbnail -- I haven't edited the downloaded piccie.

Back to the needles, M

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Vote Today in SA

It's an election day here in SA and the dog is going a little nutty every time someone walks by to go to the poll, which is at the end of the street. 

The weather forecast says a little cloudy, maybe some rain tomorrow -- I'll be at the usual spot at the Port Markets of course.  It's still too humid to be coffee first thing at the market weather, but we're getting closer!

New Dyelots this week of:

Hand-Painted Banana Palm Silk -- this is a rather fetching blend of golds, ochres, and greens in time for autumn. The blend in this one is killer. 3-4 hanks makes a quick-knitting sleeveless vest. 

Restock of the Evil Stepmother Red in the Premium Merino 3,  great for scarves, lace, and fine socks, as well as a new stock of an Autumn Orange in Premium Merino 3. $24.00 per 100gm/400m hanks.

For Spinners: restocks of the Regular Merino Fibre -- lots of purples and a range of blues -- better wholesale pricing means a price reduction for my customers. All of the Aussie Wool Fibre (reg) is now $12.00 for 100gm (hand-painted). The Organic Merino Top -- ditto -- and is now $17.00 per 100gm. 

Happy Knitting, Spinning, and all things fibre. M

Friday, 12 March 2010

Hellos and thanks

G'day -- gearing up for the new fibre season. Re-programming webpage is progressing slowly, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel! Thanks for checking in here in the meantime. The shop has been restocked for Uruguayan singles (the very popular squishy lace yarn) and some more colours of spinning wool. 

Special hellos to Near and Far in Cygnet, TAS, SIOz stockists -- they've got some special lots of sari silks, hemp and wool, as well as soy ribbon in stock. 

And a hello to the people who came by last holiday weekend. Turned around and realised, the stocks of SIOz Merino 4 and Merino 8 are sadly depleted, so I've been making an effort to speed up the dyelots. Wheeeeeeeeee!

This week -- some special yarns:

1 lot of my autumn blend, done in a very special ltd edition of Green Mountain Spinnery dk wt 50% wool/50% lyocel ("a natural derivative of wood pulp from cultivated Southern oak and gum trees grown on land unsuitable for grazing"). This colourway has been called various names, depending on how you look at it. One customer decided it looked like a Monet painting (the Haystack series). I think it looks like the veggie patch in autumn, when everything is dead and changing colour. 56gm/164m per hank (US 2oz/180yds) $17.00AU per hank (enough for a pair of gloves or a plain beanie). 

Merino 4 and Merino 10: 2 weights of superwash, premium supersoft merino wool in colourway Forbidden City -- $24.00 per 100gms in either weight. Think a bright jade blend, not as blue as the Dark Mermaid. 

And by customer request, the return of Sherwood Forest. I'm gearing up for some Robin Hood colours. Thank you for asking.

This week, Sherwood Forest (new version with a killer green and new deeep blue) is in a new thin sock wool -- a merino/silk blend with a touch of nylon. This is very fine, and takes dye beautifully, for rich, deep colours. And... 

There are a few test hanks in my new, ltd edition 100% cashmere light dk. I have a feeling this won't last, so get in quick. 

Sneak Peek: TEASER! Super Secret new stuff to knit with and fondle:

10ply/Aran wt/US Worsted wt yarn: here's my first piccie of the new supersoft, unbelievable yarn:

Test colourway is far too yummy -- it looks like one of those strawberry ice cream Chuppa Chups. I've test knitted a hat to see how it feels. Thank you to Jonelle at SWTC for getting this sent to me. I'll be processing it as quickly as can be. When the lots are ready... all will be revealed. *smile*


There are restocks of wool for spinning (restocking the shop with diff. colours of organic merino top as well as reg aussie wool. 

The stocks of spindles has been depleted -- there are few beauts still there, but more will be on the way. If you have a request for a particular type of stone, please feel free to email melissa AT strandedinoz DOT com and I will source it for you for your very own special gemmie.  Samples of the yarns I've spun with my gemstone spindles can be seen on Sundays at the Port Markets and in previous blog entries.

CU at the Port Markets. M

Friday, 5 March 2010

Long Weekend at the Port Markets

Hiya Hiya Hiya (can you tell we watch the Muppet Show in our house?)

Since this is a long weekend and a Monday holiday at that, I will be trading at the Markets on both Sunday and Monday, 9-5.

Parking Hint: free parking is almost always available in the lots across Commercial Road (near the Foodland). It's just a block behind Commercial, and only a few minutes walk to Port Markets. There's parking usually along Commercial Road as well.

Right -- the wool is drying slowly this week. Could that actually be HUMIDITY in the air? Are we really getting rain? Wow. Swapped around my dye schedule this week to run new lots of hemp and aloo.

Aloo: available in a dark brownish ochre, Puna (light purple) and Midnight Puna (dark purple)
Hemp: a rich, warm red. This one is brighter than the last lot as the hemp order came in lighter than the last shipment.

If you want either aloo or hemp, be sure to get to the Market this weekend or email me tout suite. It tends to sell out sooner than other yarns. I haven't met that many dyers who work with these fibres. Both are $10.00 for 100gms. Why so pricey? Well, it must be scoured (I use a non-toxic textile wash) and that process takes time, but I think it is worth it. Customers advise it can't be beat for making all manner of crocheted and knitted bags. I love it knitted with another yarn to provide strength and texture.

Spinners: the new shipment included the popular un-spun sari silk fibre. This lot is really nice, plenty of wildly-coloured chunks to work with. So much fun to see how the colours work in with whatever you're spinning.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Blog Migration -- slowly but surely

In the midst of the ole deadlines and dyelots, I've been working towards incorporating my blog into my webpage to make communication flow better and to cut down on the number of places info gets to. Bear with me whilst this takes place. I'll post info here regarding.

Here's a shot of some low-micron organic merino top that I have been playing with:

On Mars -- Organic Merino Top $20.00/100gm

I heart this fibre! It's 100% Aussie wool of course.

A big hello and thanks to Colleen, the intrepid lace knitter. She came by to share with me her gorgeous garter stitch shawl she's making out of the Wild Garden mix I did in the CTH Sockitome.

Lots happening here at SIOz central. There will be new designs and yarns for the autumn and winter (some you just won't be able to resist). It's all I can do to not get distracted by the shipments.

I'm working as quickly as possible to clear the great Nepalese woolpile of 2010 -- it was a woolalanche! Some smart knitters already came by to pick through the new crop of sari silks (some killers in there -- the PURE silk sari is BACK as well as BLING -- sari, banana, and gold thread plied. Oooooooooooh. I am in the process of loading a pile onto the online store.

Thanks as always to my fantastic, talented customers. You make it all worthwhile.
Mel, in sunny Adelaide