These past weeks have gone fairly quickly for some and exceedingly slow for others. For many of us, Spring makes sheltering in place a little easier. I look around at the explosion of color, from new leaves, tulips, pieris...even the grass looks good to me right now. I am a gardener and a bonsai grower and have immensely appreciated both these past weeks. There are many ways to look at the world around us and in this beautiful area, there is a lot of hope and inspiration to be had.
As for the shop, the Alaska Hat Kit from the last newsletter was a huge success with over 50 kits sold. THANKS to each of you who purchased a kit or made a call-in or online order. These days are especially challenging, and sometimes frustrating and sad for me; I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support. I am still hoping for the best and wish all of us health, happiness, creativity and a quick passing to better days.
Below is one of my favorite quotes. Elizabeth Zimmerman was a British-born hand knitting teacher and designer. She revolutionized the modern practice of knitting through her books and instructional series on American public television.
Blessings to you and your loved ones and please stay well.
"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ―Elizabeth Zimmerman
IN THE LIBRARY KIT now available -Designed by Emily McNeil
We have created a luxury yarn kit for Emily's most recently published pattern, In the Library. The kit contains one cake of Mohair Lace, a hank of Marine Silk Fingering and the pattern (which is free for this promotion). If you have never knit with these yarns before, you are in for a treat.
The kit is priced at $49.00, and I admit to getting a little over-zealous with the variety of kits offered. These yarns are some of my favorites and are even better when held together. This project shows the yarns off in a simple and elegant manner.
My dye studio is at my home. It is outside because the steam and heat are overwhelming. My equipment is simple: three propane burners, three very large stainless steel commercial pots, five propane tanks, several tools, lighter, a shelf of pre-mixed dye, gloves, buckets and a hose. Inside I do the washing before and water extraction after the dye process and dry the yarn on specially built racks. I use a dehumidifier in the room to draw out the water quicker and keep the house dry.
The process is fairly straight forward though takes hours from start to finish. Our yarns are delivered to the shop after they have been custom wound at the mill. We all work at getting them ready to dye which means cutting dye-ties, adding a long lead on each skein and then tying the leads together. Each yarn has a different number of skeins in the dye lot; some skeins are dyed singly (Ethereal Silk and Queen Anne's Lace) and some lots have ten skeins such as our Merino DK.
We store the yarn in boxes at the back of the shop, and I bring them home as needed.
I often laugh when I say that I am a 'bag lady' as bring bags of yarn back and forth every time I come and go. At home, the yarns are washed and made ready for the dye pots. The magic is in those eight colors of dye, the fabulous yarn bases I use and the natural outdoor setting. Dyeing yarn is all about color mixing, how the yarn is laid in the dye pots, how long is kept there, and how many times the yarn is lifted, turned, color is added and then the yarn is added again. It can take hours for some of my batches to finish and/or 7-9 additions of dye before I am satisfied. Best of all is that I look forward to it every time!
After the yarn is dry, I carry it back into the shop and hang it to be skeined and labeled. It is then either put on the shelf, into backstock, online in our shop, sent to a customer, added to a kit or made ready for an upcoming show.
Each summer, I offer several dye demonstrations at the shop and hope you will join me to learn more.
Are you a Raveler?
If so, come join our Fidalgo Artisan Yarn Lovers group!
The group is growing as the shop continues to grow...we appreciate your support and showing us your wonderful projects!
Just look for Fidalgo, we're the only one!
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