Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yarn Fairy Bliss

Sometimes, things get very focused around here. (I like to think this makes us more productive. Don't ruin it for me.) Club kit to get ready, orders to fill etc. This was the last kit for the 2008 club (wow, that year went fast). and I almost feel like I can see a minute of free time coming... nope, sorry. that was just a dust bunny blocking my view. Don't like dust bunnies anyways - I'd only want to dye yarn if I had 'free time'...

Anyways! Part of the club membership includes yarn from the Yarn Fairy. When club members join, they get the chance to give me their top 3 favorite colors so the Yarn Fairy has a clue - because life is too short for ugly yarn. So, I had some Yarn Fairy deliveries to go out with this last kit. Some folks were very specific, some told me to pick for them, others chose not to answer at all. I went through the lists, checked them twice, and began 'assigning' yarn. Then I spent some quality time with my dye pots because I was itching to focus on some Yarn.

Now, I took about a dozen pictures similar to this during the packing process. Piles of a variety of yarns for the Yarn Fairy deliveries. Piles of complete one-of-a-kinders... Just lovely stuff. However, I might have had on about a dozen caffeine patches because these were the only 2 pictures that I could apparently stop the twitching long enough to make the camera take a clear picture.

I loved doing the dye days for these. LOVED. I decided I spend quite a bit of time 'focused' and not enough time 'unfocused'. I'd like to say that at least one day a week from here on out there will be similar 'unfocused' dye days (please remind me) because I enjoy being creative like this, and I hope you'll enjoy the yarns coming out of these days. (And also? These are totally the yarns Lisa is NOT supposed to look at. Lisa? Move along. Nothing to see. Go knit a sock or something.)

In the pictures above, all of the shades of purple come from extra dye from a batch of Neo, and one racy shade of red. (Here's Neo pictured below.)

  • All of the light green and all of the light blue skeins? Also from the left-over Neo.
  • The super-dark green? Cleopatra exhaust. (I like that one soooo much, I've named it 'Evergreen' and you can haz more, I just added it to the sockyarn page.)
  • The orange/red on the far left? Exhaust pot from 'Crimson Rioja' (Kitri) & a little spike of yellow.
  • The one on the far right? Pink & brown? Ya, the self-striping notion continues to entertain me. This one is called 'Chocolate Cherries' in honor of Valentine's Day approaching, and is also now available.
Glenna & I were talking about the approaching holiday, and got to thinking about some new colors to go with 'Chocolate Cherries'. We decided we needed something 'anti-valentine' and so have 'Bruised Ego' in black & blue painted (mostly) random in black and then overdyed in blue:
Then I decided we needed a little less pink in the world (shhh, don't tell Nora). Something closer to... 'Goth Valentine' painted in geometric designs with black, purple, and blue:

So, there are several new colors available, and I've done some upkeep work on the sock-yarn page, go look - I'll wait here. I hope this makes things a little easier to navigate (and shop).

In fact, let's have a sale on postage. A Valentine's Day Sale. Spend $60.00 and I'll refund your domestic postage, or half of your international postage. Sale applies to all of the yarn and kits, and runs through February 14th.
(HINT: If you are a club member, this means you get the postage sale AND the club discount refunded to you...)


In Club news, for 2009 there are still spaces left, and joining now gets you entered in a drawing for a skein of yarn in your choice of colorway.

I'll be sending out an email to the folks who signed up prior to Jan 15th to get your colorway choice bonus skein for signing up early. That email will go out in the next day or so.

2008 Tsock #6 kits did indeed ship yesterday. (Waldmaus- commence with the stalking.) The post office here announced that I owe them brownies on Monday for all the extra work. Usually we can apply postage at our leisure here and drop off finished packages to them, because they are all in groups by same weight or international. This time around, every kit had to be weighed for differences because of Yarn Fairy yarns and bars of Sheep's Milk & Lanolin Soap etc. It made me a little homesick for Dave-the-Postmaster and our stamp system when we lived at the farm, sniff. I suppose it completed a circle though, since we began this year's club standing in the post office applying postage to each kit individually, cancelling each package, and packing in canvas postal bags. It was very deja-vu-ish. Especially when you consider I'm about to dye a bunch of yarn for not only the upcoming release of Roxie, Tsock 6 from 2007... but also a bunch of Hellfire skeins for the pending release of Tsock 1 from 2008 - Firebird.

I just love saying "I have to go make Hellfire now".


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Have Stitch Marker, Will Travel.

So I've cast on (for the 3rd time) a mobius (in colorway Neo, with 3 strands together on size 11 needles). I finished casting on and was all set to start the first row when I realized I was without a stitch marker. Now, I was not at home but sitting in a waiting room of sorts without my knitting bag - it was in the car, it was a billion below zero (ok, it was 14F), and I am basically lazy.
Amazingly, I could not find any different colored string, piece of plastic anything, twist-tie... nothing. I did however, have my car keys. I could NOT however, get the blasted key off the ring, so I did this instead:

Now, this worked perfectly, until it was time to leave:
Get in car.
Look at knitting.
Look at steering column.
Look at knitting...
Drive home:

(I prefer to think of this as pure genius rather than any desperate attempt on my part to sit on a cold chair in a drafty room without knitting.)


In other news, You missed the January 15th Deadline!! Woe to you, my friend. You missed the guaranteed free skein of yarn in the colorway of your choice for signing up for the TsockFlock Sock Club 2009 before Jan. 15th.

Bummed out? How about a chance at a skein of yarn anyways? There's still room in the ol' database of names for 2009 so if you sign up now, I'll have a drawing from the sign-ups (from the 15th until the club is full) for that free skein of yarn in your choice of colorway. No guarantees, but there's a good chance at 400 yds of free sock yarn just for signing up. I'll wait right here, you go take a look.

Friday, January 02, 2009


So from the looks of things, my psychic link to the blog is STILL not functioning. That would explain the lack of 'real' posts verses all my obviously imaginary ones during the past month... sigh.

Well, I hope you all had a great holiday, we had a lovely one here.

Our first Gingerbread construction project ever. I think we did ok, considering the frosting hardens faster than crazy glue-!

What do you get the Pixie who has everything? Silk People (or in this case, styrofoam heads).
I worried a bit about what to get Glenna for christmas. I mean, I knew what her favorite colors were & all, but there isn't a fiber she hasn't tried or a spindle I could get her... and so I went the tricksie path instead. Asked her what fiber in my stash was the nicest. Since I had no cashmere roving anywhere about, she opted that the silk was the nicest. As I started pulling out silk, I found some silk bells/caps. "Caps?" She says, suddenly paying a ton more attention... ("ah-hah, says I...") And so I started babbling about a dye project request for someone else who's colors I didn't know, and the technical aspects of dyeing silk etc, and got her involved & making helpful suggestions cuz she loves her some silk... Finally asked her for color suggestions, feigned busy doing other projects and let her go at it on the silk.
Oh I checked on her now & then with a few tips & pointers, but this dye job was all hers. When she was finished, we pronounced it pretty good and she felt safe that she wasn't going to be fired for ruining the silk. Liked it pretty well, in fact. And so after it was steamed & rinsed, I turned it over to her as her Christmas present. I am so teh subtle. I'm pretty sure she didn't know it was hers... at least, she lets me think I got away with it ;-) (I would like to point out that the color inspiration was my tea-cup/mug. Hand thrown pottery from an artist in Portland OR I got several years ago. Those for the record, are Miss Pixie's favorite colors on record.)

Stand by for photo onslaught:

I think we did a pretty good job of matching colors and she did an excellent job of painting them!

Let's see, what else has been going on. Well, we made some soap. Ok, we made a LOT of soap. Ok, we made more than 240 bars of soap. Sheep's milk & Lanolin.

And just for the record? If you work at a hardware or plumbing supply store and someone calls looking for Lye, please verify the spelling.
  1. We are not looking for Lime for the garden. I'm fairly certain that a 25lb bag for $4.75 is not granular LYE, it's granular L I M E, trust me.
  2. No, lye is not illegal.
  3. No, it is not going to 'damage the environment' or single-handidly destroy the earth or the ozone if I use it.
  4. Yes, they still use it for things other than decomposing a body in a 55 gallon drum (??)
  5. No, you do not have to report a purchase of Lye to any authority, and I can purchase it at any age.
  6. Yes, people still make soap at home.
Moving on.

One word: Bacon! No, it's not breakfast time (not here anyways). There's this group of people out there (you know who you are) who for some reason (best not thought about), want Bacon yarn. Not bacon FLAVORED yarn (the majority anyways), but color/theme. And they've been clammoring for this for some time now. There would not be distracted, no "Look! Something Shiney! Over there!" ploy seemed to work on this mob. Heaven help me, I began thinking about bacon themed yarn. Now mind you, this is not the final product but I think I'm getting close to it.
Let's see, what else? Oh I know, Gift Certificates! Those are new! They're on the home page, and you can get $10.00, $20.00 or $50.00 and they do not require the recipient to use paypal to cash it in. You purchase the amount you want, and I get the details from you in a confirmation email. You can even do anonymous gifts for folks, which comes in handy for knitting group gift swaps etc.

The only other note of interest aroud here, is that the 15th of January is the last day to sign up for the 2009 TsockFlock Sock Club and get a free skein of yarn your choice of colorway as a bonus. Sign-ups will continue after that, but you'll miss out on the free skein. There has been talk of a drawing for a skein from the names of the late-comers after that, but do you really want to miss out on the guaranteed yarn? 6 kits, a visit from the yarn fairy AND a free 400 yard skein in your favorite colorway from the website? Basically a $20.00 bonus... hmm. Not to mention the other goodies. Tempus Fugit, my friend. Tick Tock. First kit goes out in February, and the database o' names doth fill quickly.