Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Enter your photographs...

..and it could be the inspiration for a new colorway! You will get a free skein of the new colorway, too!  Here's how it will work:

I want you to send me your beautiful photographs, I'm looking for content and color in the photo, it doesn't have to be a perfect photo technically, you don't have to be a great photographer for this contest!  We here at All For Love Of Yarn will narrow the photos down to the 5 that I think I can produce the most beautiful yarn colorway. Then it is up to you to vote on which one you like the best and that will be turned into yarn, on the base of my choice, that will work best for the colorway. The winner of the favorite photo will win 1 full skein (around 400 yards, either fingering or sport weight) of yarn in the new colorway! This is a sock yarn club listed in my SHOP. (Several months at a time or single months.)

Submission of photos:
Septermber 1st through September 15th. Submissions before and after these dates will not be accepted.
Photo Specifications:
One entry/photo per person.
It might be posted on my blog, so don't send anything you don't want the public to see.
Photo must be taken by you, not snagged from the internet.
Photo cannot be of yarn. 
Respectful and tasteful photographs please.
No person's faces please.
I have all rights to accept or not accept any photo for any reason without explanation.
Send photos as an ATTACHMENT with these specs please: Jpeg format, around 1200 pixels wide. Please do not send links to online photo albums, only attachments. Thanks.
Send  photos to: allforloveofyarn@gmail.com
Include with your email a name I can use on my blog to give you credit for the photo.  

Voting will be September 17th through 28th. I will post the top 5 photos and you will have a chance to vote on your favorite, the one you would like to see turned into some beautiful socks perhaps, or whatever you can imagine!  The winner will be announced before the end of September.

I will dye the yarn inspired by the winning photograph and the winner will receive one skein at the beginning of October, sometime before the 15th of the month.  It will be a fingering/sock weight in either hand painted variegated, kettle dyed variegated, solid, or semi-solid, around 400 yards, my choice.

You may post your photo in my Ravelry group: All For Love Of Yarn! There is a specific thread for September photos.

This colorway was...

...a heck of a lot easier! I got it on my first try; it was the bright part of my day since I did it the same day I dyed my first go around at Halifax Shore! I did this one is both yarn and fiber and they can also be found in my shop. Yarn is Lublu Sock 80/20 Superwash Merino/Nylon and Fiber is BFL (Blue Faced Leicester). I especially love the BFL and spun some up myself to see what it would look like; it was just too tempting!

The winner's yarn...

...finally; I think. It's been a real challenge to get this one right; three times at the dye pot to be exact. I have 2 versions of this one, same colors just a different dyeing technique. I love them both. The first yarn is a lighter version, the most accurate I think; it is on Opulence, Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. The second is a darker, richer version and it is on Sumptuosity, /Baby Alpaca/Cashmere/Silk. These were the second and third attempts, don't even ask about the first! You might be able to spot it in the shop if you have a good imagination...

While I was dyeing this the first time I was picturing myself in Duluth, Minnesota, which has a similar landscape. Duluth is one of my favorite cities so it was pretty easy to get this in my head. I love climbing rocks like these and walking on the rocks in the water. I imagine the lake breeze surrounding me and soaking in the splashes from the water and smelling the cool, crisp air. It was all a delight until I realized that the yarn was not what I was feeling or imagining! My second attempt was better, but I was still unsure until it was dry and I loved it even if it didn't depict the photo exactly. The third depicts it the most accurately I think and would make a great pair of socks, this is what Rev Joy wants to make with it anyway...we can't wait to see them!
Congratulations on being the winner this month Rev Joy! Thank you to all for submitting yet again fabulous photos! I plan on getting to the others soon, Friday is a big dye day for me; I can't wait!  ~ Angela
As my followers know I can't give away the full skein because it's a yarn club, so for the sake of the members...it's available in my shop.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I am in need of...

...a test knitter for some new yarn that just came in the mail yesterday. It's WORSTED weight! It is so soft and yummy, I can't wait to get it in the dye pot.

I need your help so I'm  doing another giveaway in my Ravelry group, check it out;  someone has to win!

Friday, August 27, 2010

In response to your...

...comments (in no particular order):

1. A few of you have suggested worsted weight, you will be delighted to know that I plan on bringing it to my line up of yarns! It will be a 100% superwash merino wool. I can't wait for it actually, because I have plans to make myself a vest with it; I'm so excited!

2. Lace weight...until a few months ago lace weight was totally out of the question because I didn't have an electric skein winder, imagine winding 800 + yards with a niddy noddy! I didn't like doing 400 yards, no way was I going to do lace. My awesome husband made me an electric skein winder so I've been thinking about it. I don't knit lace myself, I've done research on the subject of lace yarn and what you all like, there will be more on that later.

3. Color Change/Runs, Knitted Samples...I would love to be able to provide a knitted sample for many of my variegated yarns, but unfortunately I can't. I've been thinking about this over the last few days: would 1 sample be enough for each length of color? One sample for 4 inch repeats, one for 2 inch, etc? In the round? In a square? And then I would have to do it for yarns with 4 colors, 8 colors, etc etc. It could be done...

I added this feature to the respective listings, stating how long each color change/run is. You'll notice it below the colorway/lot#. I hope this helps in your decision to purchase and type of project you could knit.  I'm not a big fan of pooling in my knitting so I try to avoid it when I dye yarn, with that said, it cannot always be guaranteed; it does depend on the pattern and your style of knitting. I try to keep color runs under 4 inches, most being 1-3 inches, unless I'm trying to achieve a certain effect.

I have a separate page with finished projects called: All Knitted Up in the right hand column here on my blog. There are also a few listings in my shop with photos of socks.

4. Driggs said "You tend to put fancier colorways on the fancier yarn bases. Sometimes I want a fancy variegated, but don't need the fancy fibers." I don't mean to put you on the spot, but I want to change this if I can. Can you tell me more about this, I'm apparently not aware I'm doing this?  Can you give me some examples of what you would like to see on less fancy bases, also define "fancy".  I want to have a variety of styles on each base to please everyone. Thank you, this was insightful to me!!

5. Gallery of yarn colorways: I do have many colorways photographed in each of my yarn pages in the right hand column, a gallery if you will. Also, you can browse through my sold items to see older colorways.  If you see something you like either here on my blog or in my shop, but it's not quite right for you, perhaps you want it in yarn, not fiber, like the colorway Oceania that is in fiber listed in the shop, I have done it on yarn a few times, it sells out fast. So, just send me a message via Etsy and let me know what you want; I'll be happy to accommodate. There is also the Alchemy feature on Etsy that you can use to request a custom item from a seller.

6. More superwash merino/nylon blend is coming; my supplier has had it on back order for 6 months almost!  I can't wait to get it back! It's called Nogi: 90% Superwash Merino, 10% Nylon. Also, I'm carrying in the mean time a 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon called Lublu Sock. Nogi is my preferred merino/nylon blend coming in just under 500 yards and super soft and springy.

7. As far as having a clearer explanation of what each listing is, I state what the fiber content is, weight and yardage. I'm not sure what more I could say really. Be sure to have your pages set to list not gallery, they are the 2 little white squares on the top right, just above the listings and below the featured items.

8. Each new listing is going to have a photo of the yarn before it is re-skeined so that you can see what it really looks like so that you can plan your projects a little better. There are some already listed in the shop this way for you to check out. I normally dye yarn in the round, I will state in the listings how it was dyed, also.

Thank you all very much for participating in the critique of my Etsy shop! I appreciate it very much. Follow up comments are welcome, good or bad, but nothing is really bad, just helpful for me.
~ Angela

The winner is...

...YarnFest! Congratulations! Please contact me via allforloveofyarn@gmail.com to claim your sunny yellow yarn within two weeks. (The winner was chosen by random.org)

Thank you to everyone for your very informative feedback on my Etsy shop. I appreciate it very much and have learned a lot from you. I enjoyed reading every single comment. I like constructive criticism because I know I can become better as a result. Because of this little project you will be seeing some changes in the shop, some more subtle than others. I have changed some already and I will be posting a response to your comments post soon.

Thank you again so much!
~ Angela

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Check this blog...

...out to meet me! Well, kind of. Veronika, over at Yarn on the House interviewed me (there's a video) and I'm giving away 4 skeins of yarn. Click your way over to find out how you can win!
~ Angela

Friday, August 20, 2010

I am hosting a...

...giveaway to celebrate my 1 year anniversary on Etsy! To enter the contest please leave your comments about my Etsy Shop, things you like, don't like, or to be improved upon. I have learned a lot in the past year, but I know there are always things to learn! You, my customers are the most important part of my business, because without you, this business wouldn't exist. So, I want to know what you think.

You will be entered in a random drawing to win this skein of fingering weight yarn in sunny yellow. It is my former Lublu base, just this one left and it's a good one, soft and squishy 400 yards in 100% Superwash Merino Wool.The drawing will take place on Friday, August 27th; I welcome your comments through the 26th of August. The winner will have 1 week to claim the prize. Details in the winning post. Good luck and I'm looking forward to reading your comments!
~ Angela

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beanie hat...

...is finished and it didn't take me as long as I thought it would. Well, that's because I haven't been at the dye pot lately. I've been kind of lazy this summer; but I'm looking forward to fall and winter, yes even winter. I can't believe I'm really saying that. I am excited because I'll be preparing for two fiber shows, so I'll need to get busy pretty soon. The first show is The Upper Midwest Alpacas Fiber Fest on November 6th in Hopkins, Minnesota. It will be my second show, but first show to do alone, the first was this past May, Shepherd's Harvest and I shared a booth with a friend. Needless to say I'm excited! In April, the 30th to be exact is the next show, I'm not certain that I'll get in, I will find out in January, so I'm praying that it all works out!  It is Yarnover held in the Twin Cities and I hear it's a grand event not to be missed!

I got a little side tracked didn't I...back to the little hat I made. It was such a nice easy knit and very portable, since also on the needles is a sweater; I'm working on the sleeves and it's just too big to stick in my purse anymore. I also tend to get kind of antsy when knitting a long project (I've been working on this sweater since last July), so in the mean time I've knitted a pair of socks and this beanie hat. I like to finish something once in a while, it gives me some satisfaction anyway. I will have the sweater done soon, in time for the cooler weather; I can't wait to wear it, my very first sweater for myself! I'll post about it and show photos when it's done.

Here's more info about my hat and the pattern.


...one Year on Etsy. Buy one skein and get the second at 50% off equal or lesser value, each additional skein or fiber will be 25% off. I'm on my way to 100 sales, so the 100th sale will get free shipping. Refunded via Paypal.
Sale is on through Thursday, August 26th.
Have fun shopping! Shop All for Love of Yarn.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Top 5 photos...

...are up! Here are larger photos of all those you see above in the same order. Have fun voting! Remember voting closes on August 27th at 12 midnight CST. VOTE ABOVE!

Congratulations to the top 5 photographers! They are listed in no particular order, it was a hard choice. I would love to use them all for inspiration in my dyeing adventures, if only I had all that time!  Thank you to all of you who submitted a photograph; it was a delight to see them all! ~ Angela

#1. Green-winged Macaw   Submitted by: LakeLady8186 (Ravelry name)
I imagine dyeing the yarn in narrow long stretches of color in red, green and turquoise. When knitting a pair of socks it would come out as narrow stripes, a very fun pair of socks indeed.

#2. Lotus Water Lily   Submitted by: Designs by Jenai
I would love to see this yarn progress from dark to light pink, with a medium yellow, while leaving some of the yarn white. I think this would make a beautiful colorway!

#3. Rocks in Halifax, NS Harbor   Submitted by: ReverendJoy (Ravelry name)
I think this will make a beautiful pastel colorway of gray, coppery tan, burnt red and blue in a subtle array of color blended together to create a harmonious yarn.

#4. Daylily   Submitted by: PurlVerde (Ravelry name)
I'm seeing burnt orange with the slightest hint of pink,  and yellow with small splashes of purple throughout the yarn intermingled giving the knitted piece an all-over color look.

#5. Farmer's Market Salad   Submitted by: Sdmags (Ravelry name)
I'm envisioning shades of green, light yellow, orange, dark purple and pink in a variegated yarn. I think it would be a vibrant, beautiful and fun colorway!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hand dyed worsted...

...weight anyone? I'm seriously considering bringing a 100 percent superwash worsted weight to my line up of yarns. I'm wondering if there would be much interest for it. If you are going to spend the money on it how do you like a hand dyed worsted weight to be dyed; solid, semi-solid, variegated, etc. How many skeins would you buy in one colorway? How about the price tag? Leave me your comments, I'd love to hear what you think and the reasons why or why not. Thanks, your feedback is the greatest tool and I'm grateful for it!
~ Angela
This is a photo of one skein I did a while back, the one and only. It's not the greatest photo, but all I have.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spinning merino top...

...isn't so bad after all. I got to thinking after I wrote the last post about my spinning adventures, I've been spinning a little while now, I should at least try the merino top again, maybe it won't be as hard now. So, I did it and it went pretty smoothly, oh and it's pretty and smooth all right! I'm really like how it turning out. I dyed this 64 count merino top months ago and it's been sitting in my shop, I love the colorway, when done in the yarn it sells out fast; the colorway is Oceania, a personal favorite of mine. I'm partial to the colors of the sea.
So, here is the top after it's dyed...
...and the fiber after I have divided it in half and then again into 4 pieces. So, 8 strips all together in short manageable sections for spindling...
...and here is what I've spun so far, looking pretty smooth, not perfectly even, but good for me I say...
...and here's a shot of the awesome spindle from Zebisis Designs. Awesome lady, she gave me this spindle free when I ordered my other one, the pink one. I absolutely love them both! A joy to spin with...
...and in case you wanted to see the yarn! (mill spun)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sneaky little thief...

...to precious little angel was my daughter (3 years of age) today and it all started in the grocery store. Katya and David cry if I don't put them in the "car" shopping cart, the kids' seats are up in front of the cart, equipped with steering wheels and horns. So, there they sit strapped in so they can't get out when I'm not looking. and as soon as they get in their arms grow because they always manage to get something in the cart they think we should buy. We finished getting the few things I needed and I was gathering my purse, the shopping bag and David while Katya is carefully getting herself out of the little car holding her skirt rolled up and she almost falls out of hte car because she won't let it go. I said, "Katya what do you have in there?", knowing full well she had something. She says: I don't have anything!" I proceeded to unroll her skirt and sure enough there was a pack of Rollos (candy) in there! Sneaky little thing, how did she know she couldn't let anyone see her take them from the store? We marched right back in and she showed the man that bagged our groceries and said, "I wanna put it back!!"  We had a nice lesson in stealing on the way to the next store.

This time both kids are up in front of the cart strapped in their little seats and I can see everything they do, not quite as much fun as the "car" shopping cart, but fun anyway. I'm looking at something on the shelf and Katya says: "Mom, he colored on hims arms." I turned to look and there was this man standing about 8 feet from us with his arms covered in tattoos. I laughed out loud, (but not too loud)! "Mom, he colored all over hims arms!"

Later on at home we are getting ready to eat supper and David is in the high-chair and Katya in her chair at the table. I'm in the kitchen and I over-hear Katya starting to pray: "In the name of Father, and of the Son, and Holy Pirit,  Amen. Holy Mary......She said almost the entire prayer by herself, a little out of order, but she did it! My little angel has returned! She can say the Bless us O Lord by heart. We've been praying the Hail Mary all of her life and just a few weeks ago we had her start repeating it after us at mealtime. It's amazing how kids learn so quickly.

Well, she didn't learn to steal from me! The smart thing is she knew she shouldn't do it! Amazing little beings they are. What a funny day at our house, lots to tell Daddy when he returns home from work (unless he reads this first)!

Fresh from the dye pot today is this over-dye job; it was this green, brown and red, supposed to be fall colorway, but it looked more like Christmas to me, so I over-dyed 2 of the 4 skeins with some brown to cover the green and I think it's going to look a heck of a lot better! It is still wet in the photo. We've been having insanely hot and humid weather here, so it should be dry by the end of the day tomorrow. I also dyed up some more Autumn Path, the July contest winner.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I've been wanting to...

...make this little beanie hat for almost 2 years now and I finally got started on it yesterday! I'm not really sure why it's taken me so long, other projects got in the way and it pushed aside. I have the perfect colors for it now to match my dark pink puffer jacket and navy blue sweatshirt that I wear in the fall and spring and winter if it's not too cold. I wanted a lighter weight hat that wasn't too hot for these cooler months. I really hate having a cold head and I like to wear hats and thought this one would be perfect for it.

I'm knitting with 2 strands of a fingering weight and I'm loving how the colors are playing with each other in the hat. I want to stay up and knit, but I must get to bed!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Now we're...

...talkin'! Here is the black version of World of Color. I will admit at first I didn't like it all that well, but it is really growing on me, the more I look at it the more I like it. Perhaps that's why I didn't dye it this way in the first place. This monthly contest is really helping me step out of my box and realize that I need to do things that are not so comfortable for my tastes.
Update: both white World of color sold; it's very interesting to see which version everyone likes the best. Do we have any daring people out there, I'd love to see how the black knits up. I have way too many projects on the needles to start something new!

I can spin, I can spin....

...I can spin! I love it and I was warned that I would and be addicted! She was right, my dear friend who poked and prodded me all winter long finally got me to do it! I told her I had something to look forward to when I was old. She sat me down and I hated it, as she called it, I freaked out every time I sat down at the wheel. She lent me her wheel to practice on, I'd go to her house a few times and it just wasn't my thing I thought. She then lent me her hand spindle, it was okay, a little better than the spinning wheel, my kids couldn't get at it as easily and I just didn't have the patience for all that coordination I had to keep up.  The fiber I used was correidale, great for beginners, but it was brown and boring and just not very exciting, and it didn't get me to want to come back again and again. I would spin once in a while and I was slowly learning, but still not making any yarn. Until one day in May when my PhatFiber box came in the mail (it was my very first box- I contributed yarn for the May box) and I was in heaven! There was so much pretty and beautiful fiber; how could I not want to spin this gorgeous stuff! I immediately got my spindle and ripped off the boring brown stuff, you couldn't really call it yarn yet. I threw it in the garbage -- I wasn't going back to that after I saw before me a box full of yummy fiber. That should get a person intrigued and it did!
Needless to say, I spun...
I couldn't believe I was spinning this! It was easy - I was making yarn, and I spun some more...
This pink batt was so gorgeous and so fun to spin! Ya, the day before I would have never said spinning was fun! I spun some more...
Now, this stuff was the greatest to spin so far, it was like butter to draft. I was slowly realizing that these big balls of fluff were so much easier to spin than roving! I spun some more and plied my first small skein...
I later learned that these balls of fluff were called batts, not really balls at all, and that drafting them was easy as pie I was definitely hooked! I called my friend and told her she got me finally and I was loving it!
I ordered me up a batt from BohoKnitterChicSpins and couldn't wait for it to get here.
Meanwhile I tried spinning some merino roving that I dyed to sell, it was awful! I went straight away to YouTube to see what I could do to help myself out. I learned a ton, but still didn't like roving much, especially merino. It's not so good for beginners they say. Here's mine:
I waited and waited for my batt to come, in the meantime I learned how to prepare it on YouTube. It was a joy to spin and I got better and better the more I did.
This green yarn, (it's so nice to be able to call it yarn now!) reminds me of John Deer; I think I'm going to make a hat out of it for my son and he will fit right in with Boompa (that's what my kids call Grandpa) out at their house. I learned that alpaca was an easy fiber to spin so I spun this up and I'm making a scarf out of it, it's a 2 ply alpaca and silk. A very lovely fiber combination to spin!
I get to spin every so, not as much as I'd like, but that's okay. We've been playing outside instead! I did order a lighter weight spindle and I'm able to spin a much finer weight yarn which was exciting! I'm using toilet rolls for bobbins and then to ply on, the hand spindle takes more time than a wheel, so I'll need to fill a bunch more of these before I can actually do anything with it, but I'm having fun!
Here is what I'm working on now:
I am absolutely loving to spin and I'm so glad my friend was so persistent, she said, you love to knit and dye yarn, why wouldn't you love to spin! She also said, learn now and when your older and have more time you'll already know how to do it, it's always easier to learn when you're young. I'm glad I stuck with it; it's relaxing and very enjoyable. I'll stick to my hand spindle for now, a spinning wheel can wait until I'm old! 
So, as you can see here, my fiber stash is growing ever so slowly, but growing all the same thanks to Phat Fiber! If only I had more time to spin!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A little yarn for our...

...wild side! Here's a peak at what I'm doing today. I changed the original World of Color up a bit and put in black instead of white! It's in the pot now and I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's dry and re-skeined! I still have 2 of the original in my shop. These 2 here are superwash merino and cashmere, yum, yum!

Bluebird in a tree...

...was submitted by Eskimimi (ravelry name) and I loved it at first sight and it got my vote, so I couldn't resist dyeing it! Thank you Eskimimi for submitting such a stunning photograph! It turned out okay, I think I want to do it again and focus more on the bird itself and not the background; leaving out the green and brown. It's a pretty colorway, but I don't think it captures the photo like I would like it to. The blue isn't quite right, etc, etc! Stay tuned...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Disney's World Of Color...

...submitted by Cheryl was one of the top five photos for the July colorway contest. I dyed the yarn on both Lublu and Opulence and it's available in my shop.