Thursday, 26 May 2011

New Article by SIOz in YARN Issue 22

Ahoy Mate-eees! It's time for the Winter issue of YARN magazine, the Aussie Indie mag for fibre addicts. And in this issue you will find an article by yours truly. It's a rather short description of my thoughts on wool and Aussieness. I was rather sedate in my commentary, which for those of you who've discussed the issue of global business and local wool selling, will already be familiar. If you'd like to read this issue, I've loaded copies on my webshop. And if you have any little pirates around you, you may just have to knit one for them.

Dye! My Pretties! - the newest SIOz sock yarn is available in the first colourways of the season. I'm very excited about this yarn as it is a really nice match between yarn type and the way I paint. The results are just what I was looking for in a sock yarn for 2011.

Keeping it brief for now, as the worktable awaits, M

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Thank you and what's happening at SIOz

Well, it's been a busy week here at SIOz Central. Amongst the winter knitting and various projects, I've managed to get the dyelots going -- sleep obviously is at a minimum, but still at a healthy level (don't worry Melanie!). These will take longer to dry as the humidity level has gone up again.

I've been tackling the new sock yarn lots. This week -- it's reds and more softer florals, including a version of one of my favourites, Timberlake (a bit of sky, a bit of water a bit of trees). This week's is a dusky version with a tinge of light purple. We're still chewing on names on the Ravelry group, so hop on and you too might win a free hank of new, fresh, sock yarn! Thank you to everyone who's played along -- keep those suggestions coming.

There are more hanks of 8 and 4 ply blues and purples, with a nice mix of Rome (see prev postings) and a complementary blue.

Here's a photo of the hood I am still playing with. I'm trying to get this one off my back -- I broke my leg last year just after sewing in the ends. Seriously, this hood has some bad juju I'm trying to get out. Anyway, it's knitted in SIOz Merino 10. Very warm and I think will be reknitted in something lighter before I've said FINISHED for this design. Hmmm.

The Hood by SIOz

Cable Close Up for The Hood

Amongst the yarns that I HEART very much in the SIOz line at the moment are the cashmere treat hanks -- here are some piccies of the latest colours loaded:

ink marle in 100% cashmere dk

dark orchid in 100% cashmere dk

I've checked the going rate for 50gms of cashmere online (well, the european good stuff anyway) and it, on sale, runs around $32.00 per 50gm. SIOz hand-painted cashmere dk is $12.50 for 30gm/75m hanks. This yarn has brilliant stitch definition and is lovely to knit with. 3 hanks makes a pair of women's mittens.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Name That Sock Yarn

Kraemer Sterling - Hand-Painted by SIOz

Supersocke Silk in SIOz Pretty Good Green

It occurred to me as I started running the new sock yarn lots that I needed a name for the yarn. I've labeled it Stranded Sock, my catch-all name for regular sock yarn. But I really need a name for this one.

Wanna win some new sock yarn? Just join the Stranded In Oz group on Ravelry and offer your suggestions on the Name That Sock thread. You might just get your name chosen. I welcome a healthy debate on names. Best name wins! Who decides? The group should take care of that for us nicely! SIOz knitters aren't a shy bunch.

Here's another peek at the new yarn, in a run of my Winter Florals.

100% Superwash wool -- spun for socks
This yarn needs a name!

The green yarns shown above are lone hanks I ran last week. The Supersocke Silk is a test hank -- of the new yarn base from Cherry Tree Hill. The Sterling was the last of the lot I had and it said it wanted to be green. Really!

It's back to the needles for me. Mel

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Not sick of sock knitting. Nup

Foreground: Stranded Sock 100gm/360m superwash wool
spun for sock knitters

Greetings from Oz central, otherwise known as the place where 100gm hanks of superwash woolly goodness threaten to bury the inhabitants.

That's right -- Mr. Delivery D00D arrived this am with my much-anticipated boxes of socky fun. Only problem? It came un-dyed. I somehow forgot to clone myself in an alternate universe, dye it, then ship it to myself over here. Ah well.

In the midst of the wool pile, I'm immersed in some sock designs - what else would I be doing right now?

I was thinking as I unpacked boxes -- I tend to design in my head doing other things -- that it's the minutia of knitting stitches that attracts my attention. Tweak this, swap that, and suddenly, the whole thing looks different. As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time doing this.

So this week, I have in front of me 2 very different projects -- a completely natural sock (I like to work in un-dyed yarn as a change of pace) as well as a decidedly oceany blue sock.

Ravelry: thank you to everyone who has joined us at Oz Central on la Rav. Some of you very clever knitters are already taking advantage of the Thanks For Joining SIOz on Rav discount of 15% off your next order. This offer is only good on regularly-priced items and is a one-time only offer. No additional discounts apply. And yes, it's good on Namaste, Inc. products, thanks for asking.

Want to join the fun? Join Rav, the SIOz group, then email me at melissa AT strandedinoz DOT com and I'll send you the handy discount code. Most of the time I can figure out who you all are, but sometimes your fun Ravatar names don't immediately connect to your 'real' names.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Winter Chill Down Under -- we love it

Ocean Blues Superwash Sock Yarns -SIOz

The first blast of cooler air has finally hit Adelaide and I, for one, am loving it.

Fun and games this week for me here in the workroom. What arrived? Well, many kilos of... the wrong yarn. From the mill. *sigh* Lemons from lemonade you ask? Yes, well... since the cost of shipping it back were ridiculous and decidedly UNGREEN, I've negotiated a way out of the headache on this end. Not ideal of course, but at least I can put the Panadol back in the cupboard! LOL Here's a piccie of the new ooopsie yarn:

I ran a lot in a darker version of Forbidden City. It positively glows!

What's at the Port Markets this week?

Mixed lots of special yarns -- when I say mixed lots... I grouped individual yarns by type and dyed them in the same lots.

Ocean Blues (above) -- haven't run this one for a while, so was pleased to do so this week. Didn't think they would dry in time, but hey presto -- all superwash sock yarns went into this lot. Make a pair of socks in SIOz Ocean Blues for winter. There are hanks of Kraemer Sterling, given the SIOz treatment, as well as some Louet Gems, and some ltd edition Italian Sock (my fave high twist yarn for socks, far too dear to run very often). The photo was taken before I finished processing the hanks -- just had to snap a colour shot right away!

Rome Purple from Stranded In Oz

The purple run was a test of a new colour I'm torturing myself with called ROME. Purple. What else? And the photo on my screen just doesn't do this shade justice. My screen a yarn much bluer than in person.

I've been in search of the ultimate purple; and just when I think I've got it, it eludes me. This search has meant a lot of mixing and remixing -- emailing dye houses, and all manner of colour mania. Dare I even say I think I've got it? The truth will be in the knitting.

Come out this Sunday and grab one of the few test hanks in ROME. Who knows, I may go back to the drawing board yet again. I am looking forward to the feedback on this colour. In this lot was a hank of Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Sock -- a base they don't wholesale, as well as a hank of my beloved Merino 4 Natural. Sooo soft, so luxurious. And yes, I don't want to part with either, but out they go.

MORE banana palm silks and So Sari:

So Sari in Light Olive from Stranded In Oz

Banana Palm Silk in Kansas from Stranded in Oz

Banana Palm Silk in McLaren Vale from Stranded In Oz

The diehard SIOz addicts know that I don't run the McLaren Vale in BPS very often. This lot is divine and features another new purple -- it's rather grapey and rich as well as my fave dark eggplanty purple I use in this colorway.

Pattern restocks -- there's been a run on sock patterns at the Markets, so I've printed up a new batch. If you purchase online, be sure to ask in your notes upon ordering if you'd like a free pattern with purchase.

CU online and at the Markets, M

Monday, 2 May 2011

Online, Really!

In the midst of deadlines, the usual Autumn yarn and design rush, I've been playing catchup on the online shop. Whew!

Unrelated to the workweek, above and below, please find a photo of my beloved hank of Bronze Goddess, spun by Vellan. I've now wound it into a ball and still can't bear to knit it yet. Sooo lovely.

The photos don't do the colour justice -- a bit of olives, bronzey rust, and a lighter shade of the same. It's organic merino -- simply fab.

BIG SIOz NEWS? Weeeelll, Adrienne T. in SA has won the 40% off voucher via a mystery mini-hank she received in her mail order! Well done Adrienne, who has recently been bitten by the toe up sock bug!

Still want some kewl discounts or fun prizes? There are a few mini-mystery hanks left and loaded online. Missed out for Easter at the Port? Clever crafters have asked, can I order online for the Port and still get my mystery hank? Yup -- just pop the mystery hank in your cart and choose Store Pickup for delivery option. :)).

I'll be posting shop updates on the shopblog later in the week-- In brief, the Nepal Handspun products have been updated and sorted for easier browsing. I've also loaded Tofutsies in the sock yarn category -- the stocks change frequently for that yarn at the Port, so I've been reluctant to load them -- just in case one sells while I'm vending offline, but I've loaded a safe amount on the webshop to make it easier to get your hands on this incredible sock yarn. There are some hand-painted Tofutsies hanks loaded as well.

In the meantime, if you're a RAVELRY fan, check out the new Stranded In Oz group -- started by spinner extraordinary, Vellan. Thank you V for the new group!

Admission: I'm a reluctant Raveler. Not because I have any feelings about social networks, it's just a lack of time on my part. I'd rather paint, spin and knit than read about it, so my time online, when it is available, is devoted to updating blogs, editing photos and corresponding with customers via my website.

When I've asked my customers about Ravelry many say they aren't interested in social networks. Perhaps it is a demographic issue, not sure. I look forward to hearing about, no matter the medium, what people do with the yarn and fibre once it leaves here. And judging from what I see every week, I must be doing something right, as the knitting and spinning is really inspiring. Thank you for that!

Inspirational KNITTER! Jenice came by last weekend -- it was lovely to meet her. After a diagnosis of Parkinson's as well as lung cancer surgery, Jenice decided it was TIME. Time for what? Time to get out of the house and buy SOCK YARN! Her visit was so inspiring. Talk about a dedicated sock knitter. Anyway, she's off knitting socks in new Infatuation and of course, couldn't resist the Tofutsies. I can't wait to see her socks. Whatever minor grumping I had going on in my head has completely vanished after meeting Jenice.

Plans are in the works for all sorts of activity SIOz-wise (new yarns, new patterns, and more). For now, it's back to the needles and dyework.