Spartickes Dyes

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Podcaster Palooza!!

I'm so excited to announce the designers for the final Spartickes Dyes Holiday Club.  This club will be for the months of August, September, and October.  

August is World Mutt-i-grees Rescue month, and we are celebrating by making socks!  Lisa from the K2Tog Podcast, who is the designer behind Sparkle Punk Designs will be designing some special socks for us humans to celebrate our four legged friends.  The yarn to accompany the pattern will be a semi-tonal colorway in Will and Grace sock, which is 80% superwash merino, 20% nylon.  100 grams, 400 yards.

September is Back to School month!  Actually, school starts back in August here in Nashville, but it should start in September, so Heather of the Fiberista Files Podcast, who is the dyer behind Highland Handmades will be designing an awesome pencil pouch!  It will be knit flat with a flap and have  directions so you will have the option to personalize it.  You will need a button for the pouch.  And, if you would like to personalize it, you will need some DMC embroidery floss for that option.  The yarn will be Joss Whedon Worsted, 100% superwash merino, 100 grams, 218 yards.

Last but certainly not least is October, and we have the perfect podcaster to help us celebrate Halloween.  Sadie of the Yarnivore podcast, the dyer behind Knitter's Nightmare will be designing a shawlette out of Braverman Sock, which is 100g skein of 80% superwash merino and 20% silk. 

This three month club is $105, with an option to purchase a Spartickes Dyes Halloween project bag for an extra $12.  It can be broken down into 3 payments of $35 (or $39 with a project bag).  However, there is an early bird special!  If you sign up and pay (either the first payment or full payment) by July 1st, you will receive a $9 discount, so your total cost would be $96 or 3 payments of $32 ($36 with the bag).  If you do not pay by July 1st in order to receive the discount, the first payment is due July 24, 2014.

Go fill out this form, which will let me know which payment option you prefer.  I will send you an invoice via paypal.

Let's get this party started!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The New Club Details are Here

I'm excited to announce the next installment of the Spartickes Dyes Holiday Club!  Woot!  I've been having so much fun, and I know that the designers have been loving it too.  Here are some pictures from February and March.  I won't show you April yet, since that won't be coming out until the 15th.

Who's ready for more?  Well, if you missed out on the last one, or you just don't want the yarn to stop coming, you are going to love what I have to tell you next!!  (or if you are like me and just want to get to the good stuff, just fill out this form)

May is going to be a celebration of Mothers!  The beautiful and talented Aussie Sarah Missingham (Silkydoll) will be designing a 2 skein Mother's Day shawl out of Braverman Sock, that is 80% superwash merino, 20% SILK (shine and strength!): the same lovely yarn that the St. David's Day shawl is made from, only this shawl is going to be variegated with gorgeous bright colors, but I'm not telling you what they are!  Okay, I will tell you that she drew her color inspiration from the same flower that is featured at the Floriade Festival every September in Canberra.  So, if you want to investigate, feel free to google it!  The colors are pretty and inspired by Australian flora, so you know that I'm excited about it.

June is going to be so awesome!  One of my favorite indie dyers and an all around awesome girl is the magic behind a sock pattern that you are going to love!  GIPunkJenn of 716Knits is making her pattern based on the book The Giving Tree because it is World Wide Environment Day.  June is also the month that the book was published, AND this talented artist is incorporating Father's Day in it as well.  You will be receiving 1 skein of Will and Grace Sock, which is superwash merino and nylon.

And last but not least, July is going to be brought to you by a podcasting celebrity!  Lauren of Lemknitcrochet has so much energy and excitement.  She (hopefully Charlie will help) will be helping us celebrate Teddy Bear Picnic Day!!!  Doesn't the theme fit the designer perfectly?!  And, to celebrate, we are going to be making not one but TWO teddy bears!!  One will be made out of Joss Whedon Worsted, which is 100% superwash merino, and the second one will be SPARKLY!  It will be a smaller version-Liberace sock weight, which is 75% superwash merino, 15% nylon, and 5% gold stellina.  We needed to make it sparkly to coincide with the 4th of July!!

Aren't you so excited?!  I know that I am!  Ready for the details?  The club comes with 4.5 skeins of yarn, 3 patterns, and US shipping.  International peeps, I can let you know the cost of shipping when you sign up.  It is $141 for all three months, and can be broken down into 3 payments of $47 each or paid in full.  The first shipment will be for Mother's Day, so that is Sunday, May 11th.  We'll do your best to get it to you by the 10th since mail doesn't go on the 11th.  June is Worldwide Environment Day, which is Thursday, June 5th, and July is Teddy Bear Picnic Day, which is Thursday, July 10th.

Fill out this form  to get signed up, and I'll send you an invoice.  If you are able to pay by Sunday, you will receive either a free medium project bag or $10 off, your choice!  Otherwise, payments (or the first installment) will be due April 15th. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy Groundhog's Day!!!

Today is such a special day for me because I've been planning and plotting for months preparing for the Groundhog's Day club shipment.  All but 3 of the club participants have their yarn, and I want to reveal the finished product for y'all.

Here is a behind the scenes look at the dye process.  I'm so fortunate to be able to play with this yarny goodness everyday.  Thank you so much for your support because this couldn't be my life if it weren't for y'all.

This month's pattern is called Shadow Scout and was designed by Megan Williams (justrunknit) of The Stockinette Zombies.   
When Megan first said that she would design a pattern for me, I was over the moon because she has such amazing designs!  I love that she picked Groundhog's Day instead of Valentines Day-it just shows how great she is at thinking outside of the box!  I let Megan pick the colors-brown and purple.  I wanted to give it a little more pop than just the two colors, and when she said "double seed stitch," I knew exactly what the naked yarn wanted to be!  Here are a few behind the scenes pictures from my "secret room" where all the magic happens.

It starts with a paper towel.  I like to mix the dye then tweak the colors.  I then put them in squirt bottles and rearrange the dye on a paper towel.  This gives me an idea of what the yarn will look like.  I put it in a circle since the color on the yarn will repeat itself and I want to get a better idea of how each color flows.

While I'm playing with dye, I soak the naked yarn in this big bucket.  I usually let the yarn soak for at least an hour.  Soaking the yarn helps it to take the dye better.  

I can't believe I'm showing you this mess!  Here is a picture half-way through the club lot.  My secret room is actually the storage room beyond the bathroom--the water heater room!  I have a two burner hotplate set up so I can dye two pots at a time.  

Here is what it looks like while it is dyeing.  
I dyed both of club skeins at the same time, in side by side pots. I was careful to make sure that they stayed together through the whole process--they were like sisters!  

After they leave the hot pot, I let them set and cool down.  I then soak them in water to make sure there isn't any excess dye.  I also put SOAK in to make it smell a little better. :)

I forgot to take a picture of them drying, so I'll try to get one of those for next time.  Here is one skein, ready to be reskeined and packaged up.

Half-way through the re-skeining process

 Final product!

And, here is the awesome pattern that Megan made to accompany it.  It has optional earflaps!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Exciting News!!

Helga (you know, my mascot and imaginary assistant) and I had so much fun doing the 2013 Winter Holiday Club!  We have a special announcement!  We are doing it again!!!!!!

This time, I have teamed up with a whole slew of different designers.  You are going to be so excited!!!  I am planning on doing it for the WHOLE YEAR.  Well, the whole year starting with February because I needed a break.  And planning time.  

The first installment of the 2014 Holiday Club will be for the months of February, March, and April.  I will limit it to 20 participants, and I have not yet decided if I will offer them on a month by month basis.  I will have to consult Helga.  She's the one that does most of the work around here anyway!  

I let the designers choose the colorways, the base, and the holiday that they would like to represent; you are going to be so excited with what they've come up with!  I'm so excited.  I wish I had the talent that they do to come up with such beautiful ways to knit yarn.  I'm just so glad they are willing to share their ideas with me.

So, are you ready to find out who and what?!   Drumroll and pause for dramatic effect. 

Megan (justrunknit on Rav) of the Stockinette Zombies has hit the ground running for the month of February with one of the cutest holidays, GROUNDHOG'S DAY (don't you just love it?!).  She has designed an adorable hat, and it will be made with two skeins of JOSS WHEDON WORSTED, which is 100% superwash merino.  You might be able to squeak out a small with just one skein but you will be getting two skeins, so if you have a big melon, you'll still be covered.  But, you might be able to make something else with the other skein (fingerless Groundhog's mitts?  Oh my!).  

Birdy (birdysknits on Rav), a wonderful Plurk friend, has taken over the month of March.  She will be letting us in on her Welsh celebration of St. David! I didn't know anything about St. David, so here's what I learned:  It is celebrated on March 1 and people display the flag (check out this awesome dragon!), and pin daffodils and/or leeks to their clothes.  I can't wait for y'all to see the awesome shawl she's been dreaming up.  It will take 2 skeins of the Braverman Sock base, which is 80% superwash merino and 20% SILK!  

Rounding out this session of the Holiday club is Heather (bunniphish on Rav) from The Bunniphish Craft's Podcast will be hopping through April with an Easter cowl made with 1 skein of Will and Grace sock, which is 80% superwash merino and 20% strong nylon.  Heather has AHMAZING designs and a sweet spirit, so I know that this will be beautiful!!

These patterns will be exclusive to club members for at least 3 months, then if the designers choose, they will release it to the public.  I don't think I will release the colorways at a later date, but who knows-if Helga feels like working, I'll let her do it.  If you would like additional skeins and you are in the club, I'll give you the secret hook up for sure.

  • Let me recap, because the teacher in me likes bulletpoints.
  • February: Megan, GroundHog's Day, HAT, 2 skeins Joss Whedon Worsted
  • March: Birdy, St David's Day, SHAWL, 2 skeins Braverman Sock
  • April: Heather, Easter, COWL, 1 skein Will & Grace Sock
The cost of this session of the Holiday club will be $144, which can be broken down into 3 payments of $48.  This includes shipping and payment for the patterns.  International club members add $$ for shipping, but I don't know how much yet-I'll let you know.  

Signups will be open until January 20, 2014.  It is first come first served, but I also need to make sure I get the naked Groundhog's Day yarn ordered in time to get it out to y'all.  Please fill out this form.  Once I have it, I will send you an invoice.  Let me know if you have any questions!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Life and Times of Roz

I have a confession to make.  I got in trouble this week.  Big trouble.  Roz called me out.  She asked me why she hasn't been allowed in the shop for a long time, and I didn't have any good reason.  So, I'm letting her in this week.  And, I even put her on sparkle base, which kind of got me in more trouble.  She's not really one for shiny things.  I'm probably going to get into more trouble when I show you this picture.  It is kind of like showing her naked!

I figure that I need to show her who is boss, and I do what I want!  In the picture, you see the inspiration shot, below that on the left is the naked yarn that I soaked before I dyed it.  Going to the right from there, you see the 4 dyes that I used to make the yarn.  I use squirt bottles to apply it.  The bottom right is mid-dye.  Above that is what the dyed yarn looks like before I allowed it to soak in water.  Then you see a few shots of what Roz looks like all dyed up!  

As you can see, I really like to have fun with my yarn, each one truly does have a story behind it.  I lock myself in my tiny dye studio and make up friends to keep me company!  

Roz will be available in limited quantities in Monday's 6:00 CST update in the etsy shop:  I hope you get the chance to have her come to your house.  Beware, though.  She is a little bit snarky.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday WIPS

It's been a few Wednesdays, but here are a few of my Works in Progress.  I lost my knitting mojo for a little while, but it's back with a vengeance!  I can't stop, which is a problem since I have The Wizard of Oz Club packages to finish up and a few more pounds of alpaca fiber to dye!

Just cast on tonight!  It is the first Wizard of Oz Club colorway-not yet released.  I couldn't help myself.  I'm making a hat (and maybe fingerless mitts) for Connor.  The colors are perfect for him!  The pattern is Welldigger by Polly Hammond.  Super easy to memorize.  I love it!

Socks of STEEL.  I've been knitting on these FOREVER.  The needle size is 1.  The yarn calls for size 2, and the material is so stiff.  I keep plugging away, though, because it is what my husband wants!  Plain vanilla pattern.  2aat Toe Up on yarn I dyed that shall not be named.

Hiwassee Creek Dyeworks Self Striping CMN Hansel and Gretel.  I'm using Emily Locke's recipe for socks: Vanilla Bean.  (I'm on a slip stitch kick, I think.)  I thought I was using size 3 needles, but they are size FOUR!!  Woah.  They are big and floppy, which is a nice change from the SOCKS OF STEEL.  I'm not too worried about wear because I am giving them to a friend who is VERY knit worthy.  She said that every day when she comes home from work, she puts on her jammies and then her hand knit socks.  I know she'll take good care of them!

What are you working on?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Breaking Bad

It's update time!  Fortunately for me, I've been spending a lot of time working on club orders and orders for the mill.  Unfortunately, I've also had to work a lot at my day job, so my updates have been sparse.  I do have one for you today, though.

Those of you who are Breaking Bad fans will know that they are back!  In celebration of this well written show, I've come up with four new colorways for my Breaking Bad series.  They are joining the old favorites: Jesse Pinkman and Pizza on the Roof.

Barium Bromide 

Crystal Blue Persuasion


Walter White

Check them out in the Spartickes Dyes shop.  Favorite them.  Share them.  Buy them.

Thank you for all your support!!