I needed some grellow in my life. (That would be grey + yellow.) So I dyed some. I’ll knit it up into socks soon!
In the cold gloom of winter the rightness of layered grey tones offset with the warmest pops of sunshine yellow and marigold could not be ignored. So I gave in. And then I fell in love with the newest Yarn Love colorway.
Oriole – which does look remarkably like a yarny version of that sunniest of birds, is a limited edition color. You can get it only through the end of January. It’s the official colorway of our crazy Sit & Knit, too.
Because we’re on a Sit & Knit deadline, all orders for Oriole will be expedited as much as possible. The earlier you order, the faster your skein gets dyed! Order up what you need right here in the Yarn Love Etsy Shop.
I’m off to cake up my own skein of Oriole on Marianne…I’m driving off to visit relatives for a couple of days and you bet that Oriole will be winging along with me!
Sit & Knit ….What images do these words evoke for you?
Katharine Hepburn-esque beauty married to needle & yarn?
Or maybe you walk through your idyllic life wearing a gorgeous Fair Isle tam plus a glorious Shetland sweater?
Perhaps your favorite knitting group friends come to mind?
I often feel more and more stress as the end of December approaches. Have I purchased gifts for my family that they will like? What will my children remember about their childhood Christmases? Should I attempt to Martha Stewart the Christmas meal or should I keep it simple? Did I walk out the door with the hem of my skirt tucked into my underwear or is it really that cold outside?
Although for the moment I’m immersed in the bustle of holiday preparation, soon it will pass. I know I’ll be ready for a small project & the camaraderie of my knitting friends. I hope you will be, too. This year, I’m kicking off a Sit & Knit right after the end of the winter holidays.
Why? Because I need a break.
Because I need to set aside time to chat with my friends.
Because I am running out of handknit socks, and I can’t wear my knit pattern samples. (Doesn’t everyone have this problem?)
I hope you will join me for an unusual Sit & Knit….because otherwise I will be chatting to myself (and they lock people up for that!). The Yarn Love Sit & Knit will have multiple facets – you choose which ones you will participate in. Best of all, it’s just for fun. No deadlines. No stress. And if you run into a problem working through the pattern, we’ll be here to help you out.
The knit-a-long. We’re voting right now on what pattern we’ll knit together. Cast your vote, then cast on with us! All the pattern choices are small accessories so we can maintain our sanity post-holidays. Cast your vote, and you can help me re-establish a decent handknit sock wardrobe again!
- We’re fun. And who couldn’t use a little more fun?
- Get help if you need it from myself or other knitters
- Discount codes for the Yarn Love. That means if you need the pattern or some yarn, you’ll save some moolah!
- KAL Exclusive Colorway: I’ll be releasing this the first week of January.
- We’ll also provide encouragement/dire warnings so that you actually finish.
It has been suggested that we do a read-a-long with our knit-a-long. I’m totally game. I’m addicted to listening to audiobooks while I dye yarn. That means your yarn is extraordinarily well-read even before it arrives on your doorstep.
- Virtual escape into wonderful readerly adventures.
- Tell yourself/family/significant other you can do something other than knit.
- Fabulous discussion of plot, characters and more.
Ok, I admit it. This idea came to me right after Baking Day….somewhere between the 4th & 25th piece of Honey Vanilla Caramel that I ate. If you, like me, perhaps ate a few a lot too many cookies this celebratory season you may find that you’re a little more, ah, padded than you prefer to be.
If you’re up for a doable fitness challenge, this group is for you. I’m committing to doing a 15 minute ab workout every weekday for the entire month of January. I want you to workout with me because I really have no willpower when it comes to working out. I’m not a total flake – I can be very committed and very determined, but just not when it comes to biceps, and triceps, and quads, and whatnots.
The workout is simple, if you have a floor and eyeballs, you can do it. (Ok, you have to have some abs that are ready for toning. And please make sure you’re healthy enough for moderate exercise!) It takes about 15 minutes, and seems to actually work. Great abs (or non-saggy, baggy, post-kids midsections) here we come!
- Trimmer waist & a fit, fabulous you!
- Get rid of all those cookies we baked/ate/loved.
- Motivation – I’ll be there for you, if you’ll be there for me.
- Show your spouse/family/significant other/pet that you actually do something other than knit.
It is my distinct pleasure to introduce the newest color in the Yarn Love line: On Walden Pond.
This color is the result of a very special collaboration between myself and the most fantastic fans/customers ever. Several weeks ago, many of you entered our Design the Next Yarn Love contest; submitting your entries for literary based colors. The sky was the limit, as long as there was a literary tie-in you could choose any subject and any color.
I chose the top five entries, and opened the finalists to a popular vote. The Walden Pond entry won, gathering an impressive 181 votes! These two photos, submitted by Susan, provided stunning visual inspiration:
On Walden Pond is the 15th and final color of our Fall Palette. The entire palette will be released one week from today. So if you like On Walden Pond, be sure to stop by next Monday, November 12th to see all 15 colors of the Fall Palette in their full glory.
If you need On Walden Pond right now, you can place your order via the Yarn Love Etsy shop.
Knitting books and patterns with a literary theme have been very popular lately. There are the Jane Austen Knits from Interweave, the What Would Madame Defarge Knit? from Cooperative Press, and tons of individual patterns on Ravelry with literary roots. There are even a few from Yarn Love! The Frivolous Socks are inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse; from Sense & Sensibility there are the Miss Margaret Socks which are named for Margaret Dashwood, and thee Lady Elinor socks are named after her older sister, Elinor Dashwood. Although it is unclear if Jane Austen herself was a knitter, she does mention some of her characters knitting in Emma, where there are references to both Jane Fairfax and Mrs. Bates knitting. Madame Defarge was an avid knitter. Her contribution to the French Revolution was knitting a roster of names that would become victims of the Revolution.
There’s also lots of knitting in TV and movies! In Friends, there are several episodes that show Phoebe knitting, but this clip is by far the best. It shows Phoebe struggling to learn how to knit, and then she shows a few strands of yarn tied together, throws it around her neck and exclaims, “Scarf’s done!”.
There have been a surge of patterns inspired by the Harry Potter series, and Hermoine showed off some great knit accessories in the movies. Dumbledore also mentions a love of knitting patterns in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.
Yarn Love needs your help! Create the newest Yarn Love color and win a spot on our Fall 2013 palette.This contest is being held in the Yarn Love Ravelry group.
You: Create a brand-new color based on your favorite literary character or historical person. Next, name your color based on your inspiration. Finally, post here with your idea, description, color name and inspirational photos by October 16th.
Yarn Love: Will narrow the choices down to our top 5 favorites. Then, we’ll set up voting right here in this thread.
You: Will vote for your favorite by midnight, October 23rd.
Yarn Love: Will include the winning color in our Fall 2012 Palette (available in November!) and the winner will receive two skeins of their very own color.
If you have ever longed for a yarn color you just couldn’t find, this is your chance! Craft the color of your dreams and it could become a part of the Yarn Love line.
We encourage you to submit photos or other visual inspiration along with the written portion of your submission. Use the forum photo tools to post your pics right in your post.
Dos & Dont’s of the Contest:
1.) One entry per person, please.
2.) Initial color entry must be posted to this thread by midnight October 16th.
3.) Choice of the top 5 colors are up to my discretion.
4.) The winning entry will be chosen by popular vote.
5.) By posting, you agree that Yarn Love may use your color idea, description and name.
6.) The full entry must be written in a single forum post.
7.) No editing/deleting after the October 16th deadline, please.
This time we’ll be introducing our final starlet: Anne Shirley, and Dyeing Diva Extraordinaire and Yarn Love Fearless Leader: Katie Franceschi.
Anne Shirley is a smooth multi ply worsted weight yarn comprised of 100% Merino wool. Each skein of Anne Shirley is $18 and contains 250 yards and 115 grams of yarn love. Want a little Anne Shirley for your private stash? You can find Anne Shirley at the Yarn Love Etsy Shop and at Eat Sleep Knit.
Anne Shirley in colorway Tulips has recently been featured as Springtime Monster in mercourier’s new claymation movie Monsters of Green Gables.
Aberdonian’s Lenina in the Forest is a sequel to Sin City and features Anne Shirley in the Ancient Forest colorway.
And finally, Dyeing Diva Extraordinaire and Yarn Love Fearless Leader: Katie Franceschi.
Katie is a mad scientist with a love of colors. Here’s a sneak peek at her dye studio/home/laboratory.
All the component colors used at Yarn Love are mixed into concentrated dye liquids in those water bottles. Dyes get goopy over time so these bottles get recycled and replaced regularly. All the Yarn Love colors are mixed by hand from these 11 hues.
There is a window directly above this mixing station to provide the best light possible. Katie spends a significant portion of every dye day standing right here measuring and mixing up each color.
The hand-painting station with freshly dyed skeins stretched across the sink. Skeins are tied for dyeing, soaked and then stretched across this mesh shelf for dyeing. Once all the colors are applied the freshly dyed skeins will be wrapped and moved to the oven to set. This is Early Crocus.
After the skeins are properly set, they go into a soothing wool wash bath. Small buckets are used and like colors are grouped together; this helps conserve water. Some days there is an entire line of soaking yarn!
Immediately after their soothing wool wash, the skeins are spun out in the spin dryer to remove excess water and hung on one of our drying stations. Each drying rack has a fan along each side to encourage swift and thorough drying.
This canvas bin just to the side of the drying station is where finished yarn awaits banding. It’s a waist-high laundry bin & it holds a lot of yarn. Diving into this baby is the most wonderful experience ever! In this shot, it’s filled with Elizabeth Bennet – about 12 lbs worth. The finished bin will be carried off to the banding table when the yarn is ready to be shipped.
Like any respectable operation Yarn Love has it’s own quality control team. Our Yarn Love mascots ensure your yarn is of the highest quality by hanging out on the dyeing counter making sure every skein is dyed just right. These two goldfish, which are named The Daddy Fish and The Xavier Fish are 3 years old and huge! We also have two lyre-tail mollies and an algae eater, but they’re holding a staff meeting off-camera.
and the winners are: Dana N, and Melissa W!
Congratulations to you both! Your dream skeins of Yarn Love will go into the dye pots very, very soon!
It’s contest time.
Don’t you just love those words? This contest is simple. Post below with your favorite Yarn Love yarn + color and you’re entered to win the yarn of your dreams.
* You may find your favorite hanging out in the Yarn Love Etsy Shop. (It’s newly stocked, you’re going to love it!)
Today we’d love to introduce you to some of the stars of Yarn Love. We’re still working on the movie deal in Hollywood, but the all star cast is here and ready!
Yarn Love: A Knitter’s Dream Come True
Starring: Elizabeth Bennet, Juliet, and Anne Shirley
Dyeing Diva Extraordinaire and Yarn Love Fearless Leader: Katie Franceschi
Elizabeth Bennet is a fingering weight yarn that is a blend of super wash merino, silk, and bamboo which is custom spun for Yarn Love. Elizabeth Bennet is $12.50 per skein and weighs in at 50 grams and 195 yards.
Three shades of Elizabeth Bennet are featured in Whiffle’s Color Affection; which won Ms. Bennet best supporting actress in this year’s hit romantic comedy “The Object of My Affection”. The featured colorways of Elizabeth Bennet are: Champagne, Art Deco, and Shiny Penny.
Elizabeth Bennet in colorway Banana Split recently played Daffodil Buttercream in WoolTherapy’s stage production of “Spring Yarn”.
Elizabeth Bennet is great for making luxurious socks, shawls, and anything else you could imagine!
Here are some of my favorite picks for Elizabeth Bennet:
1 skein project: Tiny Shoes by Ysolda Teague
2 skein project: Blackrose Socks by Suzi Anvin
3 skein project: Damask Shawl by Kitman Figueroa
Juliet is a soft and springy sock yarn in fingering weight. Comprised of super wash merino and nylon, whatever you make with Juliet is sure to hold its shape with wear and remain beautiful with love and use. Juliet is a great value at 4 oz, 420 yards, and $21 per skein.
Juliet in colorway Sweet Tangerine recently starred in BethanyW’s “A Diamond in the Rough” as the clumsy and lovable Rhombus.
Juliet in colorway Joy recently toured with the Ringling Brother’s biggest competition: JaceynotJC’s Circus Sister Stockinettes.
Love these yarns and want some for yourself? We’ve been dyeing up lots of Elizabeth Bennet which can now be found in the Yarn Love Etsy Store with all of these colors on Juliet going up during the next week, so stay tuned!
In part two we’ll be introducing the final starlet of this winning cast: Anne Shirley and writer/director/dyer behind Yarn Love: Katie Franceschi.
August is here, bringing with it warm, sultry weather and complex new yarn colors. I find August to be an expectant time of the year – when it seems most everyone is poised on the brink of change….a break in the weather in favor of fall breezes, transition from summer idleness into the rigors of school. It’s a time of planning new challenges and embarking on new adventures. It’s also one of my most favorite times of year.
I’ve dyed up a new yarn for this month. A light fingering weight yarn, tightly spun of Corriedale wool, this yarn will last for years. It’s a great combination of things I love in a sock yarn – durability but soft enough to wear next to the skin easily. Machine washable:
100% superwash Corriedale wool: 460 yds / 420 m per 4 oz / 115 g skein. Additional skeins $22 each.
For those of you who love warm colors – you’re going to love Calliope ! Seven component colors are kettle dyed to create even more in the pot. Deeply saturated and almost too intense, this colorway was made to be seen. Copper, deep sapphire, maroon, bright rose, ocher, royal purple and magenta. Calliope shows pops of green and chartreuse from the ochre & navy combining in the pot.
Cottage by the Sea
Are you ready for a breath of fresh, cool, clean air? Perhaps it’s time you visited the seaside. Next to a rocky beach the ocean laps cool and inviting. In hidden niches lie little tide pools, showcasing the beauty of the sea. Soothing sage, steel blue, sky blue and kelp green lap each other playfully in this moderately saturated semi-solid.
Well, thanks to non-stop, work-a-holic type dedication to the Yarn Love desk, I have progress to show you! It’s exciting to me, since I’ve been sanding so much this past week that my upper arms & shoulders ache like a gym rat’s. Unfortunately, the effects of hours worth of sanding is difficult, nigh impossible, to show photographically. So take my word for it, to get to this point I have spent hours upon hours smoothing out these boards.
Last time I left you staring at the mock-up of our standards on the wall. The hang track was in place, but needed 50% more bolts, plus we needed to bolt in the standards, as they were just hanging on the wall while we decided where to place them.
So here’s what the wall currently looks like:
See the all-important toggle bolts in this standard? Those are going to hold everything on the wall….and the Yarn Love printer is heavy!
Next, a lot of really interesting wood-working took place. I’m pretty handy, but since I’m a girl I’m usually left well out of anything involving power tools. I’ve sanded, refinished, hammered, drilled, re-wired and more, but power tools (aside from a hand sander) were never in the line up. This time it was different.
I helped Nick cut the boards for the shelving – he ended up running the circular saw because he has more experience, and the cuts needed to be dead straight. (We don’t want wavy sides to the shelves!) Since they are so deep – several are 20” – and the desktop is more than 60” long, it was a two person job.
Once the cuts were done (it took us two evenings to work out the method and actually get it done) we moved on to routering the edges. Now, if you’ve never heard of a router it’s a fancy machine that changes the edge of a board from a right angle to a fancy or rounded shape. We really wanted the desktop to have a rounded edge, so it would be more comfortable for typing.
If you’ve never used a router, let me just say that they’re crazy. They have a fierce, rotating bit that bites into the wood & changes it shape…..and it’s not affixed in any way. That means the operator is in charge of making sure it runs precisely straight across the board, with no variation in depth or height or that fancy shape gets wonky.
It took two nights of practice before we were ready to attempt the more than 70” continuous run of the desktop edge. Nick ended up doing this as well, because it turns out he’s better with a router than I am. I got to try it out on practice boards, though! It took another night’s work to put the edges on the shelves.
Here’s a shot of the edge of our lower shelf with the routered edge:
Next up was a week of work sanding. These boards are pine, but they’re joined. Which means each shelf is composed of several small boards glued together along the length. It causes extra bumps and dips at the join, in addition to the knotty nature of pine.
Every board was sanded into submission with 60, 100, and 150 grit until I was happy. That took two days.
Next up, we applied sanding sealer, and sanded that down. This is pretty delicate work, and was done manually with 220 grit sand paper. Plus, since the edges are fancy, that means every routered edge had to be sanded three times: once for the rounded portion, once for the flat portion (below the rounded edge) and once along the tiny shelf where the flat edge meets the rounded. This process took another two days.
Which brings us to this morning! When I applied the first coat of polyurethane to the shelves. Since our highs have been well above 100 degrees for the past three weeks, all of this work has to take place early in the morning, or after sundown. So I was up & out in my garage at 7am. And here’s what the boards look like right now. Oooh, shiny!
Once they’ve dried, they will get a thorough hand sanding with 400 grit sandpaper. They will be brushed, and wiped down before the second finish coat goes on. The desktop will get at least 3, if not 4 coats, since it will see so much use.
It’s going to take a while since I’m still busily dyeing wholesale orders, and rearranging all of the Yarn Love storage. It’s quite the project! While you’re all anxiously waiting the next update, I’ll leave you with a final picture of the full desk mock-up.
Note that the shelves haven’t been cut yet, or any of the edges done….but this was so we could visualize exactly how the space was going to come together. See that banana box? It’s got nearly the same footprint as the Yarn Love printer….I can’t wait until these shelves are done and it’s the real printer sitting there…..
Since you’re a yarn club member, I hope that means you like the colors that I do….because this month I simply picked out colors I was attracted to and applied them all to the same skein. Wah lah! This month’s variegated skein was born. Then I selected another color from the rainbow, applied my wizard-like dye mixing skills, added an overlay and we now have a semi-solid, too! I think they capture the allure of early summer, and I’m planning on taking a skein of Stargazer with me on an upcoming trip. It’s just that pretty.
SeaCell /Merino blend fingering weight: 30% SeaCell/70% superwash merino, 378 yds / 345 m per 4 oz / 115 g skein. Hand wash, lay flat to dry. Additional skeins $24 apiece, plus shipping.
Have you ever knit with SeaCell? Well, here’s your chance! Seacell is a man-made fiber (made with a similar process to the bamboo derived rayon on our Elizabeth Bennet and Scarlett O’Hara yarns) derived from plant and seaweed materials. Apparently, seaweed is very healthy & promotes lots of good things, but mostly, it’s just pretty in yarn. In addition from being pretty, it definitely improves durability and helps the yarn spin up sleekly. (Cellulose fibers tend to compact & lay flat when spun.) You can read more about SeaCell here at Paradise Fibers.
I have a slight love affair with flowers. I can’t help myself, they’re pretty and cheery and smell good. What’s not to love? Here in Iowa we have ditches full of lilies – often referred to as “ditch lilies”. (Original, no?) They’re prolific and often get their start from gardeners throwing the thinned plants into the ditch to dispose of them, where they promptly take root and proliferate. They grow wild, often in huge swathes of color – it’s lovely to behold.
I’ve seen iris (ok, those are not lilies, but I’ve still seen them!), stargazers, tiger lilies, stella de oro and more. You’ll see the range of lily colors present in Stargazer. This colorway is comprised of 7 applied colors which mix in the kettle to create even more hues. I love the result & it’s so entertaining to see how differently each skein comes out of the pot.
Of course, I couldn’t include absolutely all the colors that I loved because there are no bad colors and I love them all. I did add 7 colors which I though coordinated well and are currently entertaining my fancy.
It’s time to heat things up. This is a true red – leaning neither toward orange or blue – with just a touch of black. It’s a sophisticated jewel tone, equally suitable for men & women. This semi-solid is more solid, and a little simpler than last month’s Robin’s Egg Blue. Beguile is nearly solid, with only the slightest touch of variation to keep things fresh. If you’ve been waiting for a true red, your ship has just come in!