Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blog address update

Thank you for coming out to Strange Folk this weekend!

I ran out of business cards halfway through the festival and several of you picked up the card that had this blog address on it. Welcome! You are certainly welcome to stay and read this blog, but you may find the other blog, more relevant to your interests.

Long time readers, you may want to update your RSS feeds to include both blogs. As my business grows I find myself wanting a blogging space that isn't also a vehicle for doing business. There is a lot of cross over between them and up until now I have been cross-posting all of the Dyeabolical posts here. Starting today I will begin separating them. The Dyeabolical blog is for the business and yarn. The Rachel Knits blog is everything else, including zombies, curse words and, of course, knitting. There may be some cross over between blogs, especially when a project like Strange Folk consumes both my business and personal life, but starting now the posts will be different even though they may discuss the same thing.

That's a lot of words to say, "hey, I have 2 blogs now". I guess I should have just said "Hey, I have 2 blogs now." Hey, I have 2 blogs now.
Now, onward!

Monday, September 28, 2009


I have the Strange Folk post half-written, but I'm pooped. I'm off to go read Diana Gabaldon's new book in the Outlander series, An Echo in the Bone: A Novel. When I poke my head back in I'll wrap up Strange Folk and talk about cashmere. Oh yeah....

Thanks for coming out everyone. It was great to see you!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Originally uploaded by Crafty and Crap
Crafty and Crap knit this great hat out from half a skein of my Cotton Slub yarn. Come to Strange Folk today to get yarn for your own hat this weekend! O'Fallon Community Park, O'Fallon, Il.

See you there!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Strange Folk details

I promise this is the last time I talk about Strange Folk....until Monday. :)

Here are all the details you need to make the festival the best experience possible:
  • The festival is tomorrow and Sunday from 10am-6pm both days. Here are directions: Not listed is the longer but less stressful 270/255 route for those of you that want to avoid the Poplar Street Bridge.
  • No sales can be made prior to 10am Saturday because (da da da dum!) there is a give away of a Strange Folk bag full of goodies to the first 100 people to present their purchases to the info booth.
  • Stop by the Strange Folk info booth to pick up your attractive reusable Strange Folk tote to put your purchases in. They will have a limited amount of free paper bags, as well. You may want to bring your own bag in case the info booth runs out of paper bags and you don't want to buy a bag.
  • Check out the Upcycle Exchange lists. Bring a qualifying item to upcycle from the upcycle list and receive a coupon book for participating vendors. While supplies last.
  • There are a lot of kid-friendly events including a sandbox, petting zoo and art projects.
  • There will be a free internet and blogging station near the Writers Block. Be sure to check out the Writers Block to meet local authors.
  • Bring your knitting and lawn chair and join other knitters in the wild for an afternoon of knitting on Saturday afternoon. I'm not affiliated with the group hosting this, but I am donating Ravlery buttons. I think the organizer is picking them up from me? If she doesn't have them then stop by my booth and I'll give you one.
  • I will be accepting all major credit cards, cash and checks. I can't speak for other vendors but I know quite a few have capabilities to accept credit cards.
  • The concession stand is rumored to have funnel cakes. What more do you need to know?

Cotton Warp

Originally uploaded by stlrachelknits
100g of 5/2 cotton warp, perfect for weaving and for knitting! This is a heavy fingering weight yarn that has 460 yards per skein. It's only $6.50 per skein!

See us at Strange Folk under the big pavilion!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Silk Thread

My creation
Originally uploaded by stlrachelknits
I like to have products at my table that aren't part of my regular rotation of yarns.

These are 10g/165 yard mini-skeins of 100% silk. They are perfect for small lace projects, tatting and crochet projects or to use as embroidery or quilting thread. My price list is all the way in the other room but I think I priced these at $7.50. Please don't make me get up to go look, just hold me to it if I'm wrong. :)

Project bags

Project bags
Originally uploaded by stlrachelknits
This is just a sample of the adorable project bags my mom made for the table at Strange Folk. There are about 18 project bags, all reversible, sturdy and large enough for a pair of socks or a large lace project.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To-Do List

In the next 11 days I need to:

Label the yarn in these boxes
Reskein and label this yarn
Dry, reskein and label this warp cotton.
This is my favorite skein of warp:
Dye, reskein and label this chenille.
Dye and label this silk thread.
Knit this new base (superwash merino/ bamboo rayon) in to a sample something.
Knit a sample something from this mosaic-style yarn (very short color repeats)
In the next 3 days I need to finish knitting this simple hat for the Leukemia and Lymphoma raffle. I've been working on it since Friday.
By tonight I need to finish writing these patterns. Yes, I know that one of those patterns is just a ball of yarn. I suppose I need to knit that, too.

If I get done with all of that (hahahahahaha!) I'm going to knit on this sock. I'm not knitting it for work. I'm not knitting it for charity. I'm not knitting it as a gift. I'm knitting it just because and I will feel so indulgent when I do.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Silk Merino Fingering Yarn

Dyeabolical's surprise sale is still going on! Click here for more information.
I am so enchanted with this new base yarn that I have done nothing but take pictures of it all day. This 50 silk/50 merino fingering weight yarn was supposed to be a one-shot deal. Last year I got an assortment of silks for the Strange Folk table. This year I got an assortment of silks for the Strange Folk table. Keeping silk in regular inventory is just too spendy a proposition normally, but for this yarn? Oh, for this yarn I think I'm going to make an exception.
Merino/Silk Fingering
It's soft. It is beautiful. It has good drape. Technically this yarn doesn't need reskeining but I'm going to anyway just to have it sing to me as it winds off the swift.
Merino Silk Semisolids
This yarn will be for sale at Strange Folk and online afterwards. It is about 442 yards per 100g and will sell for $42.50. As with all my yarns, most skeins have a little extra built in. I wound these skeins myself so I know all of the skeins are at least 100g and most, if not all, are closer to 109g.
The color in the above and below pictures are the most accurate pictures I have of the colors. Blues, as always, are notoriously difficult to capture accurately.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fundraiser

My sister-in-law Katie, who is in her 5th year of remission, organized the O'Leary's shindig. Scott and I will be there at least part of the time. There may even possibly maybe could be a knitted something or other being raffled if I can get something finished by then.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Surprise Sale!

I'm having a surprise sale in my etsy shop. Take 25% off of all orders over $60 and receive free shipping to US addresses for totals over $100. Click here or click on the banner below.


Scott broke out the dyes this weekend.

Scott's Tie DyesScott's Tie Dyes

I helped. We debated back and forth between traditional tie dye techniques and a combination of techniques. Traditional tie dye is super saturated but needs gentle washing to keep from staining other items in the load. We figured a way to get the maximum dye leach out right up front. The shirts aren't as brilliant as fresh tie dye normally is but it won't fade any more and we won't have to worry if it gets in with our other clothes. At least that's the theory.

Scott's Tie DyesScott's Tie Dyes
Scott keeps insisting this is supposed to be a red eye, but got tetchy when I called it his hairy eyeball shirt. Eyebawwwwwlllllll!

Scott's Tie DyesScott's Tie Dyes
This one is my favorite. Isn't he cute?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Slinky Ribs Sweater

Cotton Slub Slinky Ribs Sweater

Pattern: Slinky Ribs by Wendy Bernard from Custom Knits
Yarn: 4 skeins (YES, only 4 skeins!) of Dyeabolical Cotton Slub in Wisteria
Size: Largest with additional modifications
Notes: The 1st and 4th pictures above are pre-blocking. The 2nd and 3rd pictures are post-blocking. I had a hell of a time getting good pictures of this sweater.....I'm lying. I have GREAT pictures of the sweater. They just aren't good pictures of my face. Ahem.

I recommend a hand wash and air dry for this yarn. However, this yarn loves to be chucked in to a hot wash and dry for its first bath. It really makes the yarn bloom and the stitches even out. I knit an extra 10% in length to account for any shrinking that happens during that first bath. I also knit an extra 10% in width that ended up being unnecessary.

The gauge I used was slightly smaller than what the pattern called for so I had to count for that, plus I have wider shoulders. Altogether I ended up casting on 110 stitches, which was probably too many. If I were to make this again for my current size I would eliminate 10-15 stitches.

I extended the ribbed section part longer to accommodate my ample front. I didn’t want the ribbing to end in an unattractive place. I also used short rows in the front to keep the hem even. I increased on the last ribbing row to give the stockinette portion of the sweater a blousey empire look that I thought looked better over a larger belly.

I had to do a little extra math to make the ribbing symmetrical on either side of the button band. If you look at the long sleeve version in the book you can see where the ribbing on either side of the button band isn't even. After I was about 4" past the ribbing I ended up ripping it and making it even.

The button band doesn’t tell you to make button holes. I used the bind off/cast on method of making evenly spaced button holes.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday Night Dots

  • Tonight I was poking through Ravelry for projects made with my yarn and found a few new ones. Very nice, knitters! I may have to dye up some lace yarn if people are going to stroke my ego with such great lace knitting.
Kryptonite Spider Net by knitterbunny

Icarus Shawl by Katilo

Leafy Lace Capelet by LuckyFind

Eek Eek by Jennydee

Glacial Socks by KatieOhKatie
  • A friend who was visiting the Bethel, MO World Sheep & Fiber Arts Festival sent me this cell picture. It's a little difficult to see, but that's a picture of a skein of hand spun yarn entered in the spinning contest. The spinner used my roving! I hope the spinner won first prize.
Handspun made from my roving
  • I finished knitting a sweater from my Cotton Slub Yarn. It still needs to be blocked and have buttons added. I have had a lot of compliments on the color, but it just isn't me. I think I'll overdye it teal or kelly green. I made a lot of modifications to the pattern, including copious short rows and lengthening the ribbing so they didn't end mid-bust.
  • CPSIA update: The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act now exempts yarn and fabric from safety testing, primarily lead testing because, duh, lead isn't used in its production. Garments made with any material not yarn or fabric still have to be tested. Companies who have in-house labs will now be exempt from testing. So basically, the biggest offenders of lead use in children's products aren't going to be subjected to these new rules even though these new rules were created in response to their offenses. Yeeeaaaaahhhh.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Strange Folk

The Strange Folk Festival is getting near! Are you planning on coming out?

I've ordered some special items for the table. Hopefully they will arrive soon. I'll be on pins and needles until UPS gets here. I still have to wind them--luckily I have help with that, dye them, rewind, label and organize all of this. Yikes! Please get here soon, UPS!

I haven't decided on how to do the colors on the special yarns yet, but I have some ideas:

-2-ply dk/light worsted silk
I will only have 8 150g skeins of this. I'm thinking 2 skeins each of 4 bright hand painted colors. I'm open to suggestions, though.

-50 merino wool/50 silk fingering weight--sinfully soft!
I'll have about 5 pounds of this. This is such a wonderful and luxurious yarn that I'm a little nervous to do my normal seen from space colors. This yarn would be good for lace shawls and scarves, so I think semi-solids would be most appropriate.

superwash merino/rayon from bamboo sock yarn
Heh. Heh. Heh. Put your sunglasses on. You're going to need them.

-warp cotton
I don't know much about weaving, but I thought I would try a few pounds of an inexpensive warp cotton. It would make a nice knitting yarn, too, so I think I'll hand paint them. I would like to create painted warps, but I'll need to pick the brain of a weaver before I do that. I know, of course, HOW to dye the yarn, but I'm not sure if the strands need to be organized in any particular way before being put in to a braid for sale. Are there any weavers out there who can help me out?

-silk thread
Perfect for embroidery, hand sewing, quilting, tatting or fine lace projects. I think I'm going to do this in strong variegated colors, but not necessarily the seen from space colors.

-those sock bags my mom makes that everyone, including me, likes so much

I'm also bringing my regular stock:

-Cotton Slub sport weight yarn
-superwash merino roving/top
-Australian wool top for spinning and felting
-sock yarn
-some sport and dk yarns
-and maybe a pattern pamphlet or leaflets. Maybe. I've submitted 2 designs for publication and I'm supposed to hear back this week. If it isn't accepted I am going to try and get them written up in time for Strange Folk.

I'm getting excited! Are you?