AD: Entomology 101

To coincide with participating as a Phat Fiber contributor, I’ll be debuting some limited edition colorways that will coincide with the sampler box’s monthly theme. These special colorways will be available for a month only (unless they’re in high demand), and after that, you’ll have to place a custom order for them.

So consider this my take on a fiber club, but an UN-club, if you will. No pre-ordering months ahead of time and no being surprised with fiber you don’t particularly care for, but can’t return. But, there IS  the option to pre-order the entire series at a discount. Contact me on Ravelry, if you’re interested in placing a bulk order, and receive 20% off the total, and get free, priority shipping!

So, without further ado, this month’s theme is “Entomology”:

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Visit the shop to see what else is new, or contact me on Ravelry if you’re interested in a bulk order!

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The Happenings

Things have (sort of) calmed down a bit with my mother’s departure (although with all of the extra cleaning she did, it still seemed like it was a mess in here when I woke up). Now we can just kick back with our coffee and chit chat for a few, yes?

Speaking of my mom’s return to New Orleans, here’s a little farewell photo we took before my husband chauffeured her to the airport:

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Anyhow, there’s lots of new things in the works here at DBDW! First, and possibly the biggest of the news, is that I’ve been taken on as a consignment account at a local yarn shop here in Denver! Woohoo! Now, ideally one of my long term goals is to begin offering my products at wholesale (for resale), but you’ve gotta start somewhere.   So, within the next few weeks, you’ll be able to find a (small) selection of Daybreak Dyeworks handspun yarns and hand-dyed spinning fibers for sale at Wild Yarns!

Next, I’m officially a Phat Fiber contributor, which I made quick mention of in yesterday’s post. If you’re not familiar with Phat Fiber sampler boxes, definitely visit their website and check them out.  It’s a pretty amazing idea and a great way for indie fiber artists (and anyone else with knitting/fiber- related goods) to get their name out to a broader audience and just build community and comradery with other small businesses in similar fields. You can get a few sneak peeks by visiting their Ravelry group.

I have something new I’ll be introducing to the shop that coincides with the whole Phat Fiber stuffs, but I’ll get into all of that in another blog post.  If you simply CAN’T wait, the details are here (P.S. join my group)!

Amongst other things, I’ve been busy spinning up some handspun samples:

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This is just the first little batch and I have another skein that needs to be split into  sample-sized mini skeins. These babies will be donated to Sunrise Fiber Co. as I’m “sponsoring” her yarn club for this month. More free publicity, folks 😉

Here’s the other skein that’s soon to be split into sample skeins:

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This was a failed version of my Koi Pond colorway. There was way too much white space (for my liking) on the original fiber, but I absolutely LOVE how it spun up! I almost don’t wanna let it go 😦

Glamour shots:

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I’m pretty in love with this yarn. It makes me think of laying on a picnic blanket and looking up at the sky through a canopy of autumn leaves. It’s almost poetic.

That last major thing going on around here is the impending start of the upcoming school year! What happened to my summer?! Sheesh! We’re gearing up for second grade and another round of preschool around here. If anyone’s interested, we’ll be basing most of the 2nd grader’s curriculum on what’s found on Ambleside Online (Charlotte Mason-style curriculum) and the preschooler will be following along with most of the Ambleside reading, but will have more of a Montessori-style environment to work in. Perfect for her kinetic nature (and short attention span). Look forward to some homeschool-themed posts in the future!

Anyhow, that’s about it for now. It’s literally taken me about 3 hours to write this post with all the starts and stops that’ve happened since I first sat down, lol! Everyone seems content for now though, so off to spin a bit! Happy crafting!

What’s on the Wheel Wednesday!

For today’s post, I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things for the Yarn Along! Join us there, or leave a link in the comments below, showing off what’s on your wheel this week!

 

This week’s post will be very condensed. It’s my mom’s last day in town, and I don’t want to spend too much of it on the computer.  It’s been a bittersweet visit as always– I’ve been reminded of how much I miss my hometown family, but things have been crazy for the past week, so I’ll be glad to get back into our normal rhythms. Anyhow, the photo-bombardment starts NOW:

 

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Did some experimental dyeing…

 

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Ready to ply…

 

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Phat Fiber samples…

 

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Friends

That’s all I have for today! Hopefully I can check back in tomorrow with more chatter, photos, announcements, etc. Until then, happy crafting!

 

What’s on the Wheel Wednesday!

For today’s post, I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things for the Yarn Along! Join us there, or leave a link in the comments below, showing off what’s on your wheel this week!

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Today’s post is gonna be a quick one because things are BUSY here at headquarters! My mom is visiting for a week, which is tons of fun! I’m hoping that will equate to lots of spinning time for me though, because I have a lot going on in the fiber world! More on that later though– I’ve gotta keep this post short and sweet.

For my spinning, I’m halfway through the 2oz sample of my Lazy Summer colorway. This was dyed on 100% Falkland with big color repeats of dark pink, tan, and a turquoise shade of blue. The long chunks of color lend themselves beautifully to fractal spinning, so that’s exactly what I’m doing. I started spinning up the half that was split for short color repeats first– for some reason that always seems to spin up faster for me. I’m deliberately not spinning too fine, as I have a deadline to get this complete, so my singles are about a fingering weight, and I’m guessing I’ll have a decent sport-dk weight when the yarn is complete. I’m dyeing to see how this looks plied!

On the knitting front, Junior’s new longies are done, minus the drawstring:

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As you may very well see, one ball of yarn (self-dyed) came out much darker than the other, hence the two-toned legs, but that’s okay. Color-blocking is in 🙂

That’s all I have for today! Lots of things are in the works for DBDW, but I’ll save those details for another post! Things may be quiet here for the next few days, with my company and all, so I hope y’all have a great rest of the week! Happy crafting!

What’s on the Wheel Wednesday!

For today’s post, I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things for the Yarn Along! Join us there, or leave a link in the comments below, showing off what’s on your wheel this week!

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The corn is getting plied! I’ve only got a few (or 50) yards left to go and this skein will be done! This was a fun spin, and my first time, in a LONG time, spinning a solid yarn.  There’s just enough variation in the dye job to keep things interesting, especially once you start plying– it’s a different type of barber poling. All in all, I love it! No big plans for it yet, but I’m thinking, if I have enough yardage, maybe it can play a part in this?… We’ll see, since the 3-year-old has already made a big announcement of how yellow is her favorite color now. And look at Jr. back there peeking at you (and snapping my drive band)!

On the knitting front, my Featherweight is still coming along, but it doesn’t look much different, so no need to post a photo. But I tell ya, after that sunshine sweater, you just can’t beat some good ol’ top down, raglan shaping! And speaking of the sunshine sweater, remember the yarn I got from Sunrise Fiber Co. (mentioned here)? Remember how I said I was gonna knit this? Well… I don’t know… Once again, I’ve fallen in love with the look of a finished garment, without any consideration of construction– and guess what: this is a shawl full of SHORT ROWS!! So we’ll see. We’ll just have to see.

Speaking of short rows:

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I’m whipping up a set of britches for the boy! Now these are the type of short rows I can handle. One every 5-6 rows isn’t so bad! And thinking about his little bum cruising around with these is motivation enough. I’m using this pattern, and the yarn is self-dyed Australian wool that I got in a destash. Other knitting includes two separate, unfinished socks and something for my daughter’s up-coming birthday (that hasn’t been started yet).

Lastly, I’m hosting a flash sale on my Facebook page today, still trying to give some of my ready-to-ship items new homes. This time, though, it’s samples and unsuccessful dye jobs:

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Visit the page for details on prices (which includes shipping) and payment! Happy crafting!

The Gauntlet has Been Thrown

I was presented with 2 challenges this week, both of which I aptly accepted.

The first was from my husband. We decided to embark on some BFF dyeing (an idea we shamelessly “borrowed” from Laura of The Dyer’s Notebook podcast).  The overall idea is that you work together with someone else throughout the dyeing process.  Each person gets to use whatever colors they like and whatever techniques they like, taking turns, and in the end, you get an awesome, completely unique work of art!

Instead of tag-teaming the dyeing process, my husband and I decided that he would do the dyeing and I would do the spinning and knitting of the finished yarn.  That was probably best since the hubs and I have a completely different color sense (and this way, he could ensure no yellow came on the scene, lol)! This is the end result of my husband’s dyeing experiment:

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This is 4oz of Falkland. See that? No yellow, no purple or pink… Anyhow, the challenge came in when I asked how he wanted it spun. With these long color repeats I immediately thought of fractal spinning and a fun winter hat. His idea: self-striping socks! Oy! I haven’t begun spinning it yet, and even though the idea of spinning for self-striping socks is a bit daunting, I’m totally up for it.  Unbeknownst to the hubs, for our next dyeing date, he’ll be responsible for the spinning 😉

A few progress photos (so he can have his moment in the limelight)…

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Next challenge: someone contacted me on Etsy with a custom dyeing request. It caught me off guard since she wants yarn and not fiber, but I again accepted the challenge head on! Here’s the inspiration photo of the colors she wants. Here’s what I was able to come up with:

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Not an exact copy, obviously, but I’d say pretty good, considering I didn’t have the original recipe! So now, I’m just waiting to hear back whether or not she likes it. If not, this pretty skein will become a new hat for Boy.

So, this leaves us with two things to consider:

1) Should I foray into yarn-dyeing alongside dyeing fiber? I had a really good time dyeing this yarn, and I’ve had quite a few instances of people telling me they really like my work, but they just don’t spin…

2) I’ve officially switched over to professional-grade acid dyes. Before, I was only using non-toxic dye solutions (read: food coloring) which worked great, but in the end, it doesn’t make much difference as far as environmental safety is concerned, and on the business end, it’s not as cost-effective.  Food coloring isn’t cheap as it is, and the amount needed to get truly saturated colors caused me to have to restock a lot more often than I’d like. Small Business Success Tip # 108 (or whatever number I’m on): Spend as little as you can on materials.  This doesn’t mean use crap. But if I want to see any kind of a profit, I need to spend every dime wisely, and I was probably paying twice as much for food coloring than I will be on acid dyes.

Anyhow, that’s all for me for today! Hope y’all are finding fun ways to stay cool this weekend– happy crafting!

What’s on the Wheel Wednesday!

For today’s post, I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things for the Yarn Along! Join us there, or leave a link in the comments below, showing off what’s on your wheel this week!

 

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It kinda looks just like an ear of corn on the cob, doesn’t it? This past week I’ve been spinning up the 2oz sample of my Sweet Corn colorway, and I just got the first half done. This was dyed on 100% merino and is spinning up like a breeze. I’ll be honest though, this was more of a “spinning for the sake of keeping what little dignity I have left” project. Remember this post where I flashed that photo of everything I was gonna spin during the tour? I even made some superfluous claim about spinning a 3-ply sock yarn! Well, sadly, it didn’t happen 😦 Only one of those braids got touched ( The Sweet Georgia, Violet Hill), and the others are all still sitting in bags, in a box, waiting for their shot at freedom. I’m a little disappointed with how my first Tour panned out– I just didn’t have the time or focus to tackle most of my goals. It’s still so fun (and encouraging and inspiring) to see what everyone else is doing though, and that’ll help me stick with my goals, even if I don’t reach them until well after the Tour ends.

Some knitting?

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This batch of fluff is the beginnings of a Featherweight Cardigan, which I’m giving myself all the way until my birthday (end of November) to complete. I can’t wait till it’s done though, because I am going to LOVE this sweater so much. A simple, grey cardigan is a staple in my wardrobe, and the one I have now is nearly 4 years old, and getting a bit raggedy. Plus, I got it from Wal-Mart, so you can guess how luxurious it is.  Once this baby is done, I fully expect to be wearing it for the rest of my adult life. To ensure it’s long life, I’ll be adding a good bit of length to the body and probably changing/ narrowing the neckline a bit. And I’m also knitting it about 2 sizes bigger than I need– never know when it’ll need to be a maternity cardigan 😉

I also have a finished object!

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Despite what my 3 year old thinks, this  isn’t a “white pumpkin”, it’s a boob. Remember my friend who needed the uterus? Well she requested a breast that could be used for nursing demos as well. I used this pattern, and it worked up in no time. I’m excited to see what her next knitted anatomical need will be!

So that’s it for me today. Here’s to the last week of Le Tour! Happy Crafting!