Do you believe in jinxes? Because the oddest thing happened yesterday.
Well, let me back up a little first. You remember that our studio suffered serious storm damage earlier this year, right? Rain pouring through the roof, the ceiling buckling like roller coaster tracks, and finally contractors coming in and ripping out the walls and ceiling to make everything safe again. As you know, that work uncovered some additional damage and, to help raise funds to cover the costs, I decided to turn something ugly into something beautiful and dye a special colourway inspired by the damage.
Yesterday was a beautiful day — warm and pleasant so I set myself up on my front porch to take photos of the new colourways (two of them — I couldn’t just do one!). My porch always gets great light so I take advantage of it whenever I can but, as I was taking the photos, the sunshine started slipping away quickly. I looked up and saw a bank angry clouds rolling across the sky, blocking out the light, and looking like… well, looking like they were coming for some kind of vengeance.
I knew rain had been forecast but the sheer anger of those clouds took me by surprise and I finished the photos fast and brought everything inside …just as the heavens opened. And open they did! The rain was incredible: pounding on the roof like a drum, pouring down the eaves so fast and spilling right over the gutters (as if they weren’t even there!) and rolling out into the street, which was quickly beginning to imitate a waterslide at an amusement park.
It lasted for two hours. Water came in our basement (not much, but some). Firetrucks wailed in the distance, and I turned the police scanner app on my phone. And then my assistant Jill texted: the creek along road to the studio had burst its banks and one of the hillsides had come down onto the street. The police scanner squawked as the emergency services set up barricades and tried to clear the mudslide.
Now, I am feeling fairly confident that our studio is ok (knock wood). It sits well back from the creek and the roof has been solidly repaired. But today we supposed to go down and pack the Mini-Skein Club and… well, I’m not sure we can all safely get there. This dumpster was floating down the street near the house of one of my assistants (as was this rescue boat). And last I heard, they still hadn’t cleared the mudslide.
So instead, I’m going to start this morning gently (and give everyone who has to rush to work the chance to do that first). I’ll drink my tea, slow down a bit, and then I’ll head down and see how the studio fared. They say lightening doesn’t strike twice… I wonder if that’s true for flood waters too? Either way, please keep your fingers crossed.
Speaking of drinking tea and slowing down, I can’t think of any better way to do that than with a little fiber news round-up, can you? So grab a cuppa, sit down with me, and let’s start today right, shall we?
image © Aroha Knits LLC, used with permission
This looks like fun: a five-day mKAL and photo challenge from Frenchie at Aroha Knits, all about incorporating mindfulness and self-care into our knitting. It starts May 21, with five days of prompts for reflection and pattern clues. Click here for more details.
I came across two articles this week — here and here — on the cost and effort that goes into producing a knitting pattern. They’re both eye-opening. To be honest, some of it didn’t surprise me, because I know how much work goes into producing yarn (and the bulk of it isn’t the dyeing — it’s the prep before and after, especially for Mini-Skeins, and then the photographing and getting it up on the website, and then sharing and promoting it) and designing patterns seems so much more complicated than dyeing yarn. I found both articles fascinating — well worth reading!
When I read the title of this post (“Can We Talk About Moths?“), my first thought was no thank you! But this time of year, I’m afraid we all have to. The article is short and without much detail but the comments below are full of handy info. And for the record, did you know that all our yarn — dyed and undyed — is stored in plastic tubs and bags for that very reason? I’ll admit it looks pretty sterile and takes away a lot of the yarn’s romance but it’s 100% worth it to keep your yarn safe from creepy-crawlies!
Ok, I hear “Laurel”. What about you?
I recently came across two games that are all about colour and which absolutely fascinate me (thanks Jill!). The first is Color Match, which shows you a colour and then has you find it again on a spectrum. I love this because, as a dyer, this is basically what I do all the time, but it’s so cool to see it scored (my highest match: 98 out of 100!). The other is Blendoku and your goal is to put colours in (increasingly complex) gradient order. It feels like creating a bunch of Sweater Sets at breakneck speed and I can only do it for so long before I am itching to get down to the studio and start making some for real. If you download them, please let me know if you have as much fun with them as I do!
This Tuesday: the SpaceCadet Flood Damage Limited Edition Colourways!
Storm Damage + Unexpected Costs = Beautiful New Colourways!
It may seem like an unlikely equation, but I am determined to turn all that ugly flood mess and mold and blech into something good. And I hope you’re just as excited to see the result as I am! Here they are…
The first is inspired by the rain coming through our ceiling: first it was a beautiful clear bluey-grey and then, as it picked up muck and debris running through our walls and ceiling, it turned brown. Sounds gross (and it was!) but, as a study in neutrals, I absolutely love the resulting colourway, don’t you?
And the second colorway was inspired by… wait for it… the mold and mildew they found all over the wet insulation inside our studio walls. You’ll see the bright pink of the fiberglass mixed with yellow-brown mildew and black splotches of mold. Sounds so ugly right? Well the walls were gross as they came down, but I this colourway is actually really beautiful. Whodda thunk, eh?!?
These go live on this coming Tuesday May 22 at 12noon (eastern). A very limited number are dyed and ready to ship, but I’ll keep this colourway open to orders for two weeks, and we will have a special custom dyeing day for the rest on June 7th.
(You’ll notice neither of them have names yet — I always find that the hardest part. Please, send suggestions. The wittier and snarkier the better! I need to show these storms who’s boss.)
And also on Tuesday, I’m going to be releasing four other, new colourways to join our palette of permanent colourways. Here’s a quick peak at them, but there’s something about them I want you to see…
Here’s what I want to show you: look at what a gorgeous fade they make when you combine them with the two storm damage colourways! Now, as I said, these four are joining our regular colourway line-up but, if you want to put together this fade, you’ll need to order within the two weeks that the storm damage colourways are available.
Do you love them as much I do? I hope so, because I really want to make something good out of all the mess and hassle of the damage to the studio. So I’ll see you on Tuesday at 12noon!
Making Advances by Jennifer Dassau
I love the way this shawl takes a simple triangleand unexpectedly enlongates it into a beautiful assymentrical shape. And even more, I love the way the stripes accetuate it by swapping the roles of the main colour and contrast colour along the way. Go wild with the colour by pairing a semi-solid with a variegated. Or incorporate Mini-Skeins with a single semi-solid to create a colour story that changes right along with the shawl shape!
Pistachio Ice Cream Shawl by Brenda Castiel
The simple shape of this shawl belies its fascinating construction, using short rows to create wedges of colour to contrast with garter and eyelet rows that cross-cross the whole piece like ribbons. Here it’s knit in two colours (and yay, it’s another great example of combining semi-solids and variegateds!) but I’d love to see it done with each wedge being a new colour from a set of gradient Mini-Skeins. It’d be a show-topper!
Roselette Cowl by Mindy Wilkes
There’s something so sweet about the stitch pattern in this cowl that it jumped out at me immediately. Stranded colourwork doesn’t seem nearly so daunting when it’s this delicate. I love the soft colours and traditional patterning — and the fact that, knit in fingering, it’s perfect for using leftovers and scraps from other projects. Choose your colours carefully, and the result will be delightful!
all images © the respective designers, used with permission
Ok, that’s it for today. I’m going to get ready and head down to the studio soon. Or try to, at least. Keep your fingers crossed for me and, until next time, I wish you all the best!