Week before Christmas…

And this knitter has nada done. Absolutely nothing. I had planned to dye and knit my little family of six new stoΔ‡kings this year…and I’ve done nothing. I was planning on knitting my oldest a sweater..but the wool is just sitting there. Socks, hats, cowls, cup sleeves….big plans, no follow through. I can’t decide what to do first, so I’ve done nothing. Hardly logical at all! Lol! The only bit of knitting I’ve done in the last week is a bit of a vanilla garter shawl in worsted…

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But I’m going to frog it. I think I’d rather a cowl. I’m thinking maybe a seed stitch or honeycomb…not sure yet.

I’ve knit a few taster swatches for my stripping sock wool, does that count?
Rudolph

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And I’ve been dyeing…dyeing….dyeing :)

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I need a plan. I need to focus. So here’s my plan…
Two baby hats (6 mths and 2 mths)
Two preschooler hats (2 & 3 yr olds)
2 sweaters (3 and 9 yr olds)
Worsted socks
…and 8 days. Totally doable, right? I’ll do what the yarn harlot does and cast them all for surely they’ll knit themselves once I get them all ready?! Right?

WIP Wednesday…

In all my new dye ventures, one of my favourite things is still to make things for my munchkins. The fact they love their woolies makes me so happy! For the most part they even take better care of their knit clothes better than the store bought equivalent, and in kid world that’s huge!

My wee lady seems to get an unequally larger percentage of my knit output for some odd reason. Maybe I just have a soft spot for pink, or maybe she’s just better at weasel ing requests out of me, but she’s done it again!

This past week I was experimenting on dyeing on knit blanks. Knit blanks are basically machine knit stockinette tubes or sheets that you can then use to dye gradients or rough stripes. They offer a different result that warping stripes and I was eager to try. Somehow my girl got me to dye her a pair of socks in her school colours, gold and purple.

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My girl has such tiny feet that socks just fly off the needles! These are my purse socks, so only get knit on outside the house, and I’ve already turned the heel on one. What what!

See how the stripes has this unique fade to the stripes? That’s from dyeing on the knit blanks. Also….kinky wool. Ugh.

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To avoid kinky wool you can soak the wool again in skein form…but I was too anxious to get these bad boys on my needles. Makes my sock stitches look messy now, but they’ll even out once I block the finished socks

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Also…
Knitpicks sale. one word: cashmere. That’s a big box

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Oh, and hello gorgeous!

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(My mistletoes colourway at http://www.yarnenabler.etsy.com)

See you next week peeps! I’ve got to go play with some wool :D <—- best job ever!

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It just keeps getting better and better

I won’t lie…being a wool dyer has a bunch of perks for a knittaholic like me. Play with wool all day? Yes please! Buy hundreds of dollars of wool guilt-free? Sign me up! Have to test knit my new colourways? Twist my arm! Having all of this…this….potential awesomeness at my fingertips makes me so giddy! Which is why I had to take some deep breaths when I saw the first stitches emerge on my new colourway, ‘Icicles built for two’

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I’m in lurve!! I am totally a blue girl, these thick stripes make me so ridiculous happy! I really hope to knit the second sock, haha!! And check out the new sock blockers, I feel like a real sock knitter now! So much easier than hanging upside down trying to get pics of my own feet, lol!

Of course, like any good obsessive creative person, once I figured out the way to do stripes without it ending up as a ball of knots, I went a bit crazy….

But…my craziness was rewarded with a new partnership, when my bestie christina – the cozy knitter created the most amazing stitch markers! It’s only natural we team up, and now we have some super duper amazing things in our etsy store!

Check this out….

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Cupcakes!! The wool has a brown stripe, then 4 ombre stripes of pink. My little girl practically had a coronary she had the wants so bad!

We didn’t stop there though. Listening to some bing crosby put us in the mood for

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If I don’t knit myself a pair of these then I’ll never forgive myself! Ivory stripe followed by three green ombre stripes with a red chaser stripe. *i dies*

Oh oh! That’s not all! Look what else Christina came up with to go with my pencils!

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I’m totally sock obsessed!

You can find a limited amount of these bad boys at my store and christina’s store

Halloween adventures…a little late!

It wil come as no surprise to those of you when know me well that I’m a wee bit of a procrastinator.
…And by wee I mean huge.
I live for the adrenaline rush only an almost-missed deadline gives me!
…and by live for I mean I stress over, moan about and avoid at all costs.

…so yes, I’m a procrastinator.
Which is why nobody, myself included, thought it out if the ordinary I was madly dashing to finish (*ahem* start) my kids halloween costumes on October 30. This wouldn’t be a problem if I could just nip into a store and grab a pre-fab costume. Nothing wrong with that, I know there will come a day my kids will want that….most desperately. But I can’t. I looooove creating their costumes from scratch. Using things around the house, or busting out the sewing machine and knitting needles to make my kids whatever their wild imaginations come up with. Thankfully nothing too crazy yet!

In the past I’ve made trains, and fire trucks. Designed astronaut packs and crocheted pink wool wigs. I’ve sewn princess dresses and scoured Home Depot for parts.
This year was no exception. My oldest wanted to be a police office, my girl wanted to be an owl (!) and my youngest wanted candy. He’s easy to please ;).

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Police was easy. Navy cargo pants, blue dress shirt, black belt with nightsticks, flashlight and handcuffs. I dug out one of his old fall vests and wrote ‘police’ on with hockey tape. Perfection!

My youngest ended up as Mickey Mouse. Talk about easy and cute! He wore yellow fuzzy socks from the dollar store over his boots, black snow pants with red cut off pants over, and a black hoodie. La piece de resistance for him was his new hat…

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He’s still sleeping in it. I’ve done gone

And of course my baby girl got the full out royal owl treatement. Including a new winter hat made with malabrigo. Yum.

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And for the body, my sewing machine, scissors and a whole buncha felt got friendly. Real friendly.

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Tada! My Halloween creations revealed :)

Reveal Wednesday!

Hi Everyone!! I have been crazy busy dyeing wool and writing the pattern for my No. 2 Pencil socks . They have been overwhelmingly well-received and I’m afraid my friends are quite done hearing ‘omg its on the ‘hot right now list on ravelry!’ And the many…many…. *ahem* many screen captures I took. (thank you thank you, a million times thank you!)

So now I’m happy to shift gears a bit and show you something new I’ve been working on, inspired by both my oldest boy and my husband…both crazy superhero fans. And no superhero fan worth his salt doesn’t love….superman!

I’m thrilled to show you all my newest line of socks, Super Socks

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I started with superman, and no superman inspired *anything* can go without a cape!

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My oldest was so excited he insisted on putting this bad boy on right away!

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The skein comes dyed for toe up socks, with a mini-skein of red for the cape. But…if you are a cuff down its no problem to dye the wool cuff down, starting with the red cape!

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And don’t you worry superhero fans, I’ve got more colourways coming your way, including wonder woman, batman, ironman and the hulk! I gots to say, I cannot wait to knit my daughter her wonder woman socks! The Toddler is, of course getting hulk socks. Because…yeah.

TADA! Only the cutest wee cardigan you can imagine

Last week I teased you with a wee shot of a cardi I was knitting for my wee man. Well, fear not intrepid readers, I have a whole post of it now for you!

That’s right, that bad boy is finished!

…finished but without a name for that colourway. Still. I’ve waffled between blue spruce, sea glass, maritime, deep ocean, …it’s hopeless.

So until I come up with a name for it, feast your eyes on my ‘gramps’! The best wee cardigan pattern by tin can knits

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Isn’t it cute?!? Only made cuter by my helpful model

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The details of the cardi slay me
Elbow patches?!?

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Mini pocket?

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The buttons?!?

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The collar!! I dies!

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Now one out of three kids is ready for our family pictures this weekend. Poor middle child still has only a dock and a half, big brother has a hat band and….I’ve got 20 skeins of pencil socks to dye, like, yesterday.

Happy hump day!

So you bought a skein (or four…) of yarn enabler wool. Now what?

Now you get to knit some super cute socks, that’s what! I’m going to try to address some FAQ and then leave the comments open for anyone who has questions :)

First off, thank you thank you thank you!! You guys are amazing, I am humbled and thrilled (my private happy dance is now a public happy dance being done all over town, ha) by the reception to my wool. You.are.awesome.
When I first rolled the idea of being an indie dyer around in my noggin I never dreamed it would be this much fun.

When you order a skein (*ahem* of four!) I get an email. I do a happy dance. I text my husband and pm my best woolie friends and bubble over with excitement. I smile huge and giggle at random times. Then I remember I’m a professional and hunker down ;)

Your wool is dyed to order just for you. That way if you prefer cuff down socks? I got you covered. Knitting kids socks? I shorten the toe section to match. Knitting huge monster men socks? No problem!

Once I get your order, I have to wind the skein of wool in a certain way to match your order.

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It’s a bit labour intensive, but the results speak for themselves I think.

Then I dye

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Sometimes forgetting my gloves because I get a bit a lot excited

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Then the beauties dry

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Once they are bone dry, I rewind then into skeins

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And vacuum seal them for shipping

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You saw that right, I vacuum seal most of my wool! I do it for a few reasons. First, it protects your wool while it’s on it’s way to you. No worry of mangled or wet packages. The plastic vacuum bags are heavy duty and relatively inflexible. Great for shipping. Secondly, it’s cheaper. Other than needing a tracking number, I can make two skeins flat enough to go through letter mail anywhere in the world for under $20. Not a mean feat when you consider Canada post shipping rates! Added bonus…you can sneak the wool into your stash, if need be, lol! ‘Nothing in the mail today sweetie, just this magazine…! ‘ ha!

Once you get your wool, you’ll see that it has the special toe colours at each end of the skein. Best way to wind it is into a centre pull cake

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This will give you access to both ends, one end per sock. I like to start by using the inside first, But that is up to you. If you are doing two-at-a-time, you’re golden. Cast on one sock with the inside, one with the outside and off you go!

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For my pencil wool, unless you specified cuff down, I dye it for tie up socks, which means you’ll also receive two mini-skeins of gray/pink for the eraser tops. One skein per sock. Simply knit the main skein to about 4 inches shy of the total length you want, and join in the gray. I love a good Russian join, but do whatever you’re comfortable with.

And tada! Yarn Enabler Socks!

Socks…they are everywhere!

I have three socks on the needles right now. Three!! That may not seem like much to some of you, but omg it’s driving me bonkers! I’m a product knitter, I like when things are done, not when they are on my needles. And three socks, two of which are dealing with some serious SSS (second sock syndrome, ya know) and I’m having heart palpitations. Repeatedly. And frequently. It’s just so wrong!

I’m also on a bit of a deadline. Family pictures are coming right up, and these are essential! It’s a pair of gorgeous lacy socks, modified Blackrose socks, which while a free pattern, isn’t downloadable, which is not my perferred method of pattern reading. It’s a four row lace repeat and for the life of me I can’t remember it! You’d think after 20 repeats I could do it in my sleep but apparently I’m an idiot ….my babies ate my brain cells …I need more caffeine.

I did manage to finish the first one!

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And did a beautiful invisible sewn bind off. Does it have a name? I have no idea, YouTube found it and the gods of YouTube are fickle.

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it even fit

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But of course, the universe hates me because…

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Ya. That happened. That cute, adorable, snuggly puppy ball of love hates me chewed the whole gorgeous cuff to smithereins .
Starbucks and my BFF talked me off the ledge and I did some quick triage and got the ribbing reknit. No super gorgeous bind off this time because…I just couldn’t.

I’m now up past the ankle of #2…

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So of course the logical thing is to cast on a gramps sweater for my youngest, ha!

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ravelry project page, knit in my groovy grapefruit colourway. Gramps sweater is also my own wool. Might introduce it as a ‘sea glass’ colourway, what do you think?

How a concept became reality

I’m a very lucky girl, I have three great sisters-in-laws, and by some fluke of nature they are all some form of teacher. Contributing to the delinquency of minors future generations of society one sister-in-law at a time ;). Haha, I kid, I kid. One teaches adults. ;)

Ok ok, in reality though, when September hit and everyone went back to school, and I got into my dyeing, I couldn’t help but come up with something school related. School supplies were everywhere, which I tried to use as inspiration instead of just a drain on my bank account! A pencil colourway just seemed natural. Two kids in school and all these educators surrounding me I didn’t have much else on my mind!

Begin the dyeing….

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I started with that, and let me tell you, no. 2 yellow isn’t easy! It’s this yellow with muted orange undertones and I need like to get things right. My husband was conscripted to sit with a fist full of pencils and an armful of yarn and I just kept dipping till I got it right.

It didn’t end there though. After my first few pencil sales, the idea of the cuff came up. Was it possible to, perhaps, have an eraser end? Umm, hell yah!

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Total icing on the cake! A bit of dyeing later, and I’m very pleased with these bad boyz.

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So now one sock down, and 5 more to go so I can be sure my SILs are properly attired whilst they shape minds!

You know you want a pair ;)

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(That’s the fish lips kiss heel that is ah-mazing!)

Find these (and so much more!) at my etsy store, Yarn Enabler

Legwarmers!

I just have so much to tell you guys I don’t know where to start! I’ve been wonderfully busy dyeing all.the.woolz and I lurve it. I can’t even explain the tingles of satisfaction I get watching white wool turn the colour I prepared! And then I get to rewind it, and twist it and…*sigh* it’s positively thrilling. (I was going to use a different word there but thought I should keep it PG in these parts, haha!)
And when an email dings with a new order, I may still jump up and down with excitement….although I’m not admitting anything, and the only witnesses rely on me to feed, cloth and drive them places, so they are on my side ;)
Today I have orders flying their way to Virginia and all the way over to Australia!

Ok, now that I’m done gushing (*gush gush gush*), I’ve got a finished object to show ya!
My little girl is part of the competitive dance team this year, and fundraising for competition fees is fast and furious. The welcome back dance was this weekend, and I donated a pair of custom dyed legwarmers to the silent auction! The studio colours are yellow and black, so to avoid the unavoidable bumblebee comparison, I went with a gorgeous steel gray.

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Hello yellow!

Knit up in a 2×2 rib they created a really really cool pattern

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Not bad, eh? They were pretty well received, although I didn’t get a chance to check on the final bid because I was pretty busy getting down with my bad 80’s self (80’s themed dance). I was footloose and fancy free!

Hope you all are doing well! I’m off to the post office, then home to dye some more during nap time:)