Thursday, 24 February 2011

Hand-Painted Wool Colour

With my hands deep into designing for deadlines, I've been interspersing my schedule with some painting time.
Free Trade Sock Yarn 100gms $24.00

Played with a new primary red, which was actually a special run of a colour from a dye company. When it's gone, it's gone, but while it's lasting, I've been having fun with it. I love this sock yarn -- it's squidgy and bouncy -- an 8-strand 4ply weight. There's more yarn and shop news on the shopblog.

Colleen's Shawl in merino/lyocell – Colleen, lace shawl knitter extraordinary, came by on Sunday to show off her gorgeous lace shawl. It's just fabulous, complete with lovely little smokey purple beads. *sigh* My photo doesn't do it justice. This shawl was knitted in a SIOz test colourway of a yarn I was contemplating, a 50/50 merino/lyo blend.

The colourway is too subtle for me to adequately capture – light greens and purples with grey. Colleen has knitted it all. In my excitement to look at her shawls, I neglected to take a photo of the second one she brought in – a 1.5 ply alpaca lace beauty in aquas and blues. Ia yarn 'd painted a while ago. That shawl is amazing as well. Can't wait to see what she creates with the new SIOz mohair and wool lace.

It will be a warm and sunny day at the Port Markets this weekend. CU there and online, M

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Club Packs, Thanks SWTC and thoughts on Soysilk

The club packs for Feb are in the post. This is happiness all around. For knitters, your pack includes preview yarns of what is coming your way down the track -- knitable samples to get you hooked on SIOz. Hey, you already are, but I know I love samples, and you seem to too. So enjoy!

For the spinners, you have a nice chumpy pack of this month's fibre, along with a sample of the next fibre on the schedule, SA coloured sheepwool. OK, I was a stinker and included something un-dyed. You didn't think I'd spoil the fun and tell you the April colour did you?

Hello to the people at SWTC - who posted a hot shot of the Feb Tofutsies. Thanks for posting the piccie. I'm an unapologetic, shameless Tofutsies addict. And the knitters coming to the Port Markets are too! I've restocked the Port Shop with more variety of Tofutsies balls as well as the new Dark Orchid. The colours available change weekly. If you're online, it's best to email me if you have a colour group you would like -- trying to always keep a blue, a purple, a red, and greens available.

Also from SWTC -- the new Treisur Infatuation is a winner -- and also a terrible distraction while I'm under deadline. FIE! Here's a lovely shot of the colours in stock at the moment. My fave is the Southwestern- Americanish red, purple, green, and gold blend

Nearly everyone who touches a ball of this yarn buys it. The bright mix is perfect for a baby gift. Or a girlie pair of socks. I'm working on a shawl in this yarn as well. Well, while I'm designing a shawl in Jezebel, my other favourite SWTC yarn.

SOYSILK -- ok, I will say a few words regarding soy fibre for spinning. There are a few online vendors selling soy fibre -- beware. All soy fibres are not SOYSILK. You only will know the difference when you start spinning with the other stuff. Why? Because genuine Soysilk fibre is processed in a way that is just superior to other soy fibres out there -- it's a smooth, superfine top. Your fingers will know the difference.

Sure, you'll save some money, but it's not worth it. I have not been asked to write this, nor do I get any money from writing about it. I just want to put this out there in cyberspace for people to read. When I hand-paint soy, it's genuine Soysilk.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Club for February Week 2011

BHM Tofutsies - February Fab Four Ply Knitter's Club

I'd meant to write an update earlier this week, but I've been really busy with organising the club packs, several deadlines, and a full dye schedule.

Dark Matter (Way Over the Rainbow, Dark Mix
Wool/Mohair Feb Fibre Club

Above you'll find the first shots of the club colours for February. The first sock colour is tonal -- a blend of reds to suit the hot phase of an Aussie Summer. I usually paint 1 semi-solid for the club for the year -- and this year, the sock needed a semi-solid colourway to make the most of the pattern stitch. Of course, it's Feb., so red is the colour -- if you're a Hallmark-type of person. Me? I don't get Valentine's Day anything, as my partner thinks it's an evil American capitalist plot to take his money. He's a Feb Grinch. Hmmph.

The fibre this month has been a terrible distraction -- I'd scheduled merino top, but I'd caught this lot of wool/mohair and had to grab it when I saw it. Don't worry -- the merino top is still scheduled. Trust me, you will not be sorry when you open the bag and put your hands on this fibre.

The December knitter's club colourway was 'dark rainbow,' but I'd not painted the fibre club in this colourway (that was a special blend of ES Red -- for xmas 'natch). I knew I wanted to try it in the fibre and the result is just what I'd planned -- the emphasis in this lot is on the blues and greens and it's very very dark. By the time we all get 'round to spinning and eventually knitting it, the weather will have cooled and we'll be ready to wear it!

On Sock Knitting: just when I think socks have run their course, I meet more knitters who haven't made socks. Yet. Ah hah! More prospective sock knitters! I'd better get my roller skates on, as the hp sock yarn stocks are getting depleted again! There are still plenty of hanks, but as per usual, the purples and blues seem to disappear first! And it is time for me to paint greens again (yes V., GREENS).

In between several sock designs, I've been working on 3 new shawls -- 1 on the needles for the US, 1 for a mag issue, and another for SIOz. They're all in various stages of development and each is a child demanding attention. When the screaming gets too loud, I take out a spindle for 15 minutes. That seems to calm everything down. All it takes is a few minutes of spinning and I've cleared my head. *sigh*

Back to the needles, M

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Giving the boot THE BOOT!

Uruguayan merino and 8ply hand-paints from SIOz

Well, I've been given the all clear to go bootless, so I'm now officially Gimpy. The walking gets better everyday, while the mystery foot pain continues to annoy, I'm so relieved to be able to GIVE THE BOOT THE BOOT! Wahooo!

There are new things happening from SIOz, including new designs in the works and the backlog of hand-painting. Thanks again for everyone asking for updates and good wishes.

The first sock for the 4ply yarn club uses one of my new faves, an eyeletty rib. It's a top down sock (I know, I usually don't do 'em that way) but it's good to keep things fresh. I love the Dutch heel and the tweak on a heel stitch (you'll have to join the club to make this one) The first colourway is a tonal mix to make the most of the stitch. If you haven't resubbed and were meaning to, there's time.

Boo hoo! One of my fave projects in 2010 was a hood I'd been working on in aran wt/worsted. I'd just finished casting off when I went outside the shed and had my accident in VT. Now, I've put the things somewhere, perhaps unconsciously putting the accident behind me, and now, can I find the darned thing? Must be a reason. Do I file the project away or reknit it? Hmmmmm.

Well it's back to the workpile for me. If you're in Adelaide, enjoy the next few days in the cooler weather. m