Saturday, September 08, 2007

Yarn Love in Finland? Hooray!

I must make a confession to all my blog-fiber-friends. I have Google set up to comb the internet and send me an alert for all of our yarn names, and our shop name. That's right. That usually means that I get alerted when some blogs about our yarn. (Have I confessed this before?) It's not vanity, my friends. No, it really isn't. I just feel so much satisfaction when I see someone knitting with a palette I've created for them. I feel that even though they crafted the final piece with their ingenuity and skill, that in a way, I am also a part of their creative process. That the end result is a sort of collaboration.....

This morning (via Google alert, and hence the opening paragraph) I found that Niina in Finland has some of our yarn! Perhaps this is only cool to me, because I dyed the yarn, and in some small measure each skein is like my "yarn baby". But still, something I dyed will be knit in Finland! Go check it out.

Order Away!
Two bigs orders went out this month. The largest going to The Loopy Ewe. And another, quite sizeable order to WoolGirl. The WoolGirl order is about 80% all new colorways, per Jennifer's request. And of course, this is where you can get our brand new, exclusive sock base: Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth is 65% superfine merino, 15% silk and 25% bamboo. Don't miss out, it's to die for! (Going up tomorrow, Sept. 9th, according to the store blog!)

For all those Loopy Groupies, the current order going to Sheri is our Scarlett O'Hara base. This is very similiar to our new base, but it's machine washable. 60% Superwash merino, 30% Bamboo, 10% nylon. I love working with this base. It's very squishy, with just a hint of sheen....

Pink Whirlwind - Finished!
Here are my Pink Whirlwind socks, finished. These are knit from Valentine, one of our new semi-solid colorways. (If you would like to see more semi-solid colorways, please request them at your favorite Yarn Love retailer.) This is the Zephyr sock pattern which I thought was going to be much harder to knit, but was a total breeze!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Where have you been?

I have been intending to write this post everyday for the past two weeks. Every day, I get up with the best of intentions, even mulling over what I will write about (There's been tons of stuff going on here in the studio!) Then everyday, it's well past dinner time, I'm contemplating going to bed, and remembering that I didn't get the blog updated! Oi! So it's 9:30-ish AM and I am here chatting all of you up after trying to track down some lost yarn. (The word has gotten out, and UPS has confiscated my box of yarn. Little do they know it's not yet dyed....heh, heh, heh! I wonder when it will show up?)

What's new?
Yarn. There's lots of new yarn. is our latest shipment. It's a big one - nearly 100 skeins! (That's aboout 25 lbs of yarny goodness...yum!) is also the first store to order in our brand spankin' new, totally fabulous, custom spun sock yarn: Elizabet Bennet! Yep - Elizabeth Bennet is a luxury sock yarn: 65% Superfine Merino/20% Bamboo/15% silk. It's heaven in a sock yarn. It really is. Just note, that it is Superfine but not superwash, so give these babies the handwash loving.

Nearly all of these colorways are brand new - 18 new ones in fact! Enjoy them! The picture above is one of the new colorways. It's called Valentine and it's wonderful to work with. I accidentally dyed 2 skeins more than I needed and I quickly grabbed one and started some Zephyr Socks with it!

City Knitting in Michigan now has our sock yarn instock. They received the second half of their order last week, so go on in! They have two exclusive colorways, based on the beautiful bricks and paint colors decorating the inside of the store.

For Fun
Lime N Violet now have a daily knitting blog. They post lots of links to great articles, blogs, yarn and fiber daily. You need to check it out. It's great!

Have fun, and happy knitting!
~katie - who is now going to go dye some more yarn for The Loopy Ewe. Did you hear they're putting together a yarn retreat? woo hoo!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Empty Nest

The studio shelves are feeling a bit empty since the departure of 240 skeins of Yarn Lovely goodness. I'm still recovering from the like that. It's so nice to feel that all the beautifully painted skeins are yours to do with what you will. I subconsciously plan projects for certain colorways and am a bit baffled when I actually have time to knit and the skeins are no longer there. Yes, I know that I could walk upstairs and dye some up for myself, but it feels like someone has played a cheap trick on me, nonetheless. I know it was there, and I just want it to be there now!

You see the torture that us indie dyers live with everyday? ;)

I have been knitting again. It's nice, and I miss it when I'm crazy busy pushing the yarn monster forward....i.e. dyeing a big order. Right now I have on the needles:
* Bellatrix socks: I am a member of Socktopia, but I've been remiss lately. Not in knitting socks, but in posting them. I can't get into the new forums, and it's really put a damper on my enjoying the group. Their patterns are amazing! I was supposed to be wearing these socks to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on opening night, but I didn't make it. I was too busy finishing my mom's birthday socks instead.

I'm using sport weight yarn for these, and changing the pattern substantially. It's really fun though, and I have two yarns picked out for another pair of these. I'm planning on holding them doubled, for a more spooky effect. The bottom of my current pair is ribbed - the large stitches created by the pattern were making me nervous (I ripped out 3/4 of a finished sock earlier today, because I was convinced having the large stitches across the bottom of my instep were just asking for them to wear out.) The heavier yarn makes the holes a lot bigger, so I'm also compensating by doing 3 additional knitted rows between the "holey" rows. I'll keep you updates as they grow.

* Simple Knitted Bodice: I'm knitting this up in kettle dyed Guinevere. She's an amazing 50% tussah silk/ 50% merino wool blend that's heavenly. I'm still at the swatch stage now. Nearly done with the swatch...or at least this one. I haven't measured it yet. The size 7s that I'm working on feel like small tree trunks compared to the 1s and 0s that I've been working with exclusively for the past two moths. I'll post some in progress pics as I move forward. This is my first sweater (Adult sized, that is.) and I'm terribly excited.

Yarn Love Hits Detroit
Get yourself over to City Knitting for Sockfest! You'll find us there! Say "hi!" to Lorilee for me too. More will be coming. Our Scarlett base has just come in after a long back order, and Lorilee will have the first shipment! Yay! Happy sock knitting!

Craft Education Online
For your crafting entertainment:
* Crochet and Knit 911
* Yarn Standards
* Embroidery Stitch Dictionary
* The Walker Treasury Project

Next post - crochet, crochet, and more crochet! Woo hoo!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Yarn Has Left the Building.

All 240 skeins of it. I ended up sending it all out on the same day. Cassie, the Yarn Helper Extraordinaire came by after work to help me get things out. If it weren't for her, I totally would not have made it. I managed NOT to cuss out my yarn winder, even though I really wanted to. (I should have bought the Fricke....and believe me, I am saving up!) It was a mad dash to the UPS store, and we arrived 4 minutes before they were supposed to close only to find that the metal gate had been pulled across the store front. Luckily, the gal who works there had just come to the front door to lock up. I hopped out, mustered a friendly, but pitiful face and asked if I could mail a box. Just one box, but a huge box. And when I say huge, I mean huge. To the tune of 70lbs of yarn, huge. With the flaps up, it's taller than my waist, with them taped down, mid thigh. Yeah, a really big box. So she graciously let me mail off the huge order to The Loopy Ewe. It was such a nice feeling. Next time, I will dye two days on, one day of winding so that I have a happy mix. It's just that the dyeing is so much fun and I'm addicted to putting colors together and seeing how they turn out. Frantic photos were snapped of the new colorways, while Cassie was busy plunking yarn into the box. We were carefully plunking, lovingly plunking, but with a decent amount of swiftness too....

It feels good to have such a large order off to it's home. I hope you all enjoy it when it makes it's way up at The Loopy Ewe. I especially hope that you enjoy the new colors. I had so much fun making them! I did however take a "knitting day" on Tuesday. I just sat and knit while listening to knitting podcasts all felt good. I'm sure you know just what I mean.

"Knitting Day" Links
I've been gathering fun links for you. I am attempting to organize them via theme, so that they're more enjoyable and make more sense. So if you've been working hard, take time out to visit these sites, and put together your own "Knitting Day".

What is a "Knitting Day"? Well, a Knitting Day is a day where you spend the day doing things that are thoroughly enjoyable and allow you stop worrying about your usual cares. Knitting Days can be as long and short as you like, and I usually have more fun if I have one or two fun act ivies planned.

On my last knitting day I started some new socks, and continued working on a rather new project - my Jaywalker Scarf. I'm using the idea behind the Chevron Scarf and applying it to a slightly different ripple pattern. I tried doing the regular Chevron Scarf 3 times and couldn't get it to work out. Of course, I don't own the book, and it's out at the library. So I improvised. I'm using Cider Moon Flurry yarn in Positano and Pistachio. Hopefully it will be a great toned down accessory for my brand new, hot pink, knee length winter parka. mhm.

I cued up some backlogged knitting podcasts, put together a chocolate caramel mocha and went to town. It was lovely. I also cooked some yummy food for dinner, because I am all about yummy food. Oh, and I ordered Knitting Without Tears from Amazon too.

For your knitting day, here are some fun sites for perusing. They'll help you put together activities and fun for your very own Knitting Day.

Project Planning: cool weather is coming. It's time to, plan! - awesome patterns. I really love the search function in the archives when I'm looking for something specific. - another lovely knitting mag - the mecca of free patterns. I love that it's broken down into very specific garments/project types.

Eating: Very important if you're a foodie like me
Pioneer Woman Cooks - the most hysterical food blog I've ever read. Definitely visit - even if you have no intention of cooking. Great looking recipes, too.
Cookie Chemistry 1 - a site about making great cookies
Cookie Chemistry 2 - another site dedicated to cookies - a huge site of free recipes - my favorite food magazine's online resource. Free recipes, yum!

Listening: Podcasts I love
Cast-On: with Brenda Dayne. My first love!
Knit Pick's Podcast: episode 10 has book recs for putting together a Knitting Night
CraftLit: amazing literature combined with wit and knitting. I love Heather, too.

Wasting Time: fun things to do when you just need to waste time
3D Paper Art: amazing and beautiful. You have to see it to believe it!
Hook Line and Sinker Game: don't ask how many hours I've spent doing this....
Post Secret: People make postcards with their secrets and mail them to this blog. It's a really intriguing place. Be aware that some secrets contain strong images and language. I always spend a good deal of time thinking after I visit.

There you go - a bit of a start to planning your own knitting day!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Winding a tangled web

I'm in the middle of winding countless skeins of yarn. Ok. I have counted. I have 240 skeins of yarn to wind before Saturday. 180 of them need to be done by Wednesday - they're going to The Loopy Ewe. I had better get busy! Very, very busy.

While I've been winding (There are so many things to think about while watching your power winder spin around and around and around...) I've been thinking of ways to improve the content of the blog. A way to offer you some morsels of interesting, entertaining and useful information about yarn, knitting and life in general. So I'm going to be making more of a concentrated effort to bring you tips and news from the knitting and yarn world. I always like it when I stumble upon fun things on blogs and podcasts, and I want to "pay it forward" so to speak. (I've never seen the movie, btw.)

But before I get to the interesting tid bits, I have a question. Please help me! When I insert a picture, Blogger feels it's necessary to add carriage returns into the post. The more pictures, the more carriage returns. When I delete them manually, it dorks with the spacing of the text. Any tips or clues on how to stop that from happening? It usually feels free to not make the entire spacing of the post uniform and it's starting to drive me batty. I'm thinking of moving the blog to WordPress, but we'll see as that will be a significant amount of work.

Fun for you - a great new knitting community site that is coming online. It's more than a forum, and more than a blog. It's a wonderful conglomeration of flicker, forum and blog. They're adding people slowly, so if you haven't heard about this amazing site, jump on their wait list! - I heard about this site on a non-knitting podcast. (Oh the horror! Don't tell my knitting friends....oh wait, you are my knitting friends.) This is a rating system for websites. You tell it your interests, and use the toolbar to rate the sites you've been to. StumbleUpon keeps track of your interests and tailors it's suggestions based on your ratings. It's like the rating features of Amazon or Netflix for the internet. You know you want to. Think of all the knitting sites you could Stumble Upon!

Nicholas Nickleby - this movie was released in 2002 and is based on Dicken's book of the same title. I loved it. Of course, I love both the new and the old Pride and Prejudice. I highly recommend it if you're into that sort of movie. Even my lovely DH enjoyed the film. Dickens' characters are so great and interesting.... I found it via a Netflix rec.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Knitter's Connection Fun!

I thought you'd all like to see what fun Knitter's Connection was. Ok, in truth some of these photos are a little on the bland side, because you can't hear all the fun conversations and bustle going on around you. And it was serious Knitting Rockstar Land. I kid you not. How often do you sit there laughing while Shannon Okey and Miss Violet chat it up in your booth? Or go out to dinner with a huge group of knitters including Miss Lime, Miss Violet and Side Show Husband? Or for that matter see Cat Bordhi winding her way through the displays of yarn on several occasions while smiling and nodding to all the people around? That is not an ordinary vacation, let me tell you. Oh, and I didn't even mention the indie dyer contingent that was perpetually in motion from booth to booth chatting with customers and sharing tips....before I get carried away, don't let me forget the sweet, wonderful, lovely customers. I talked so much during this weekend that I was hoarse for 3 days. My mother would call every day afterward because she was afraid that I was going to get a terrible cold any minute....but no, not so much that as Katie talked more in 5 days than she usually does in a year. About knitting. It was nirvana. The only thing missing was my family. I didn't sleep much at night because every time I rolled over in bed and my darling husband wasn't there I would wake up. So next time, he's coming with! Oh, yeah!

I promise that I haven't forgotten you. The past three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. Dh and I spent 10 days in Tuscany....drool.....I am in love with Italy. We spent our time in a villa in the countryside and touring around Florence. Lucca was my all time favorite town. I'm going to retire in a knitting commune there as soon as I have the money to fix up a villa. Then 10 days at home to prepare for the show. 5 days gone - including two 11 1/2 hour road trips with the time jam packed with non-stop knitting and yarn action....And now I'm on a strict dyeing regime to get my orders for this month done and out to you! The Loopy Ewe is getting our first big order which will go out before month's end, but you'll need to check out Sheri's blog for an idea of when it will actually post. It's 2/3 brand new, never been seen colorways. You won't want to miss out.

The next order is for Purls the Yarn Studio, here in Des Moines. They've been a little lacking on the Love lately, so we'll be sending lots more their way!

I think my favorite part of the show was sitting in the Cider Moon booth before the floor opened, in a huge pile of yarn....just feeling it and trying to decide what to take home. I ended up with two skeins of sock yarn and 24 mini skeins for some amazing Endy-Bits-Swatch Socks. One pair is done and I'll post pics as soon as I've got some. The gals over at Cider Moon are amazing, and it was wonderful to meet them. We had the privilege of going out to dinner with them the last night of the show, and it was just perfect. Karida of Neighborhood Co. was also with us, and a more talented dyer you won't find. If you're looking for a new fiber friend, be sure to check them out!

More yarn on the website as soon as it's back from the photographer. Of course, I still have to take it to her, but that should be soon!

Photo Key - for those of you who want to know!
Photo 1: the Yarn Love Booth
Photo 2: Indie Dyer Line Up L to R: Cassie (Yarn Love Helper), Me, Jackie of Cider Moon, Gail of Cider Moon, Karida from Neighborhood Co.
Photo 3: Knitters at Dinner including: Gerry, David, Lizzie, Violet and Miss Lime
Photo 4: Looking down the row toward Cider Moon

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Playing Hookie!

Seven days in Tuscany! Sigh! That's my husband and I enjoying gelato in Lucca - our favorite town of those we visited. I'm back in the studion now and dyeing up a storm.

Imminently on the horizon is Knitter's Connection! Melissa has emailed to say she's planning on making the trip up, (Can't wait to meet you!) and I hope you'll come too! I love meeting people who've lovingly adopted my yarn. It makes me happy. I'll also get to meet Fran, who is the wonderful lady behind the entire show. She is a customer of mine, and went out of her way to extend a personal invitation to exhibit at the show. She's the reason you'll find us there. Thanks, Fran! I'm trying not to daydream to much about meeting Lime N Violet while I'm there. I want too, but I know they're so busy....and I'll probably just stutter, sputter and drool on myself if they actually stop by. How professional is that!

Next up, The Loopy Ewe!

If you love shopping at The Loopy Ewe - our next order is slated to be delivered the end of June. It's been a long wait this time around due to Knitter's Connection and my Tuscan Vacation. But don't worry. We've got an agreement with Sheri to keep her supplied every 4-6 weeks from here on out, so you won't be waiting forever. Oh, and Sharon is sending along 3 new colorways in this shipment, so keep your eyes open for her work.

Thanks, Becca!

I have a confession to make. I have Google Alerts set up to notify me if people are talking about my yarn on the internet. I don't even have the decency to have it sent to me as a digest - it delivers a new email for every new link it finds. Luckily, it found this lovely post by Becca. It has a picture of my Shipwreck yarn knit into socks. I love that! Thanks, Becca , for making my day! Go see her blog and work here. (Scroll about 1/2 way through the May 29th post.)

Back to work for Katie. Yarns are waiting to be dyed, you know!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Old News!

Yarn Love was available at The Loopy Ewe!
Ahem, notice the past tense. I was so excited to see that our first shipment to Sheri of The Loopy Ewe went up today. I noticed around 2:15pm, and placed an order. The site was running pretty slowly, so I figured there were a good number of shoppers. Today, at 7:15pm there was at least one skein of one colorway left. So thanks to you all who ordered nearly 96 skeins of Yarn Love today at The Loopy Ewe. You all made my day!

I was going to send this out as a notice via the newsletter, but since they're nearly all gone that seems cruel. So all you, my lovely bloggers will get to read about it here. Sheri ordered "new" colorways that aren't on our website. So 11 out of her 12 were "new"! Check back in the next month + as I'm sure more will become available!

Happy knitting to the lucky purchasers!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More in store

vc ss
I've spent the past two days brewing up some new colors for the summer collection. At first, I envisioned the colors to be vibrant and saturated and bold, but what's actually come out of the dye pot has been a little different. Sometimes inspiration comes and you just have to go with it. So three new colorways were born in the past two days at the studio and I think they're lovely. The interesting thing about dyeing yarn is that you can play with colors that you may never choose to knit with. Everyone perceives color differently and has a different emotional response. It's refreshing to be able to work with color that wouldn't be my first choice. I find it to be very rewarding, and have really surprised myself at how much I like those colors that at first glance weren't very "katie". I don't know why but it's so deeply satisfying.

Loopily Stalking
I've been stalking the Loopy Ewe just waiting to see my yarn up during this week's sneak up. I only get to check in between dye pots so if you see it up, let me know!

Gotta run, the new yarn is calling for me!

Monday, April 16, 2007

If you go a little Loopy....

Yarn Love has gone Loopy! If you shop at The Loopy Ewe, you might have already heard this, but Yarn Love sock yarns will be available there this week! We are very thrilled to be working with Sheri and her staff. She's so sweet and has some of the best customer service around, not to mention tremendous customer benefits. Stop by her site and enjoy her beautiful yarns!

Here is a greyscale picture of the 96 skeins I sent her way. This is by far the largest, single order I have ever filled and it was quite a challenge. I did have a great feeling of accomplishment when it was all dyed up and ready to go. See it in color at The Loopy Ewe.

Nice to meet you! (at Purls)

It was lovely to meet all of you who came to Purls this Saturday while I was there. I took a pile of yarns with me, and got to chat about yarn for four hours! What could be better? A huge thanks to Martha for hosting me. Purls has been restocked so go check it out. There are matching skeins of our luminous and shiny Joan of Arc along with a fuzzy mohair for working a scribble lace stole or shawl. I was so inspired by the pattern Marth showed me on Saturday, that I started knitting my own version over the weekend. This pattern is the free lace shawl published by Knitter's Review and it works up super quickly!

Ham's Jam Knitting Bag

I just have to post about these truly remarkable bags. Dena, the owner and artisan behind Ham's Jam bags is a friend of mine. This is the knitting bag that she created for me. I have a few other things from her - a small trick or treat bag (ok they're really my kids) and a to-die-for needle roll. I think this baby is going to top them all.

So this is the biggest of her knitting bags. And yes, I said bags. She's got a couple smaller designs for people who don't need huge. I tend to keep all WIPs in my bag, which is much smaller than this. It has two elasticized pockets inside which come with interchangeable satin drawstring pockets. That way you can easily pop your current project ball into and out of the pockets. The ball stays put, and you can work out of the bag tangle free. This is an adaptation of grommeted pockets. Grommets are great, unless you want to switch projects and you'll end up cutting the yarn to remove the balls from the pockets. On the other side of the inside of the bag you can choose what kind of pocket's you'd like: straight needles, circular needles or crochet hooks. Mhm, so hookers rejoice - she's thought of you too. The number of pockets varies by what size you choose. Then there's the big, external pocket for your patterns or keys or what-have-you.

If that weren't enough, it comes with a small pouch to put your little things in: DPNs, stitch markers, tape measure, scissors, etc. That pouch is envelope style with a magnetic clasp. I love it!

If you want more needle space, order a matching needle roll! Dena does those for DPNs, Circs, straights and hooks, too. All in all, this bag is to die for! A while back, I did a collaboration with Dena where we sold this bag full of hand dyed yarn..... and I knew I needed one. So now I've saved my pocket money and I get one of my own. I'm thrilled. Oh, and I should mention that Dena has some of the most rigid quality standards I've ever come across. Her sewing is perfection. Seriously, perfection. Thanks, Dena!

For all of you lucky enough to make it to Knitter's Connection this June, I'll have some of these available for purchase in the booth. Since these are entirely hand crafted, I'll only have a limited number. So come see us first if you're interested!