Sunday, April 10, 2011

A day late and a...n update!

First things first, I should have done this yesterday but I was figuratively snowed in under digital photographs. The recipient of this month's giveaway of itty bitty needles and yarn miniskeins is Rebecca! I'll be emailing.

Meanwhile, back at this also figurative ranch, I have finally updated the shop again, and will continue to do so as I can get the pictures done. Not with the entire backlog, that's still overflowing. I have pictures for a few more things including Silksheep fiber and some Arctic Hare, and I want to get that done asap. Still, I've listed the entire backlog of Jackrabbit. It feels really good to have 6oz skeins back in the shop.

I'm still amused by the Cobalt colorway in Jackrabbit.

I did a few "looks like a semisolid even if it isn't" in what could be considered a straight "color" instead of a "colorway" for the festival last autumn. Mostly for completeness' sake because I always have big gaps in my spectrum. Of course no one paid any attention to those colorways. I should really stick with my strengths and leave the rainbows to other people.

Still, I'm rather proud of Cobalt as I think it manages to capture that almost cadet blue of the lighter portions but the inky purple tones in the deep parts that cobalt colored glass has. Well, depending on what one considers cobalt blue, of course.

More nattering under the jump cut.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A day that can't be misconstrued as a bad joke (and yes, a giveaway)

April fools' day is one of those days I enjoy but also find a little dismaying. On the other hand, the ouroboros of irony in this Reddit prank is sort of amusing, if only that the second pick for "most boring video" was a knitting tutorial. I think a link to This Is Handmade would have been more appropriate.

Then there was this:

This was around 10am yesterday and it snowed for hours. It was all gone by the evening after it warmed up and rained, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted to wake up to!

I was also out all day yesterday having a delightful fibery time with some far flung friends. By the time I got home this blog post just wouldn't coalesce, (a cocktail might have contributed to this fact). But I have a giveaway to give! This month I'm giving away something a little quirky, to go along with April 1 (a date which I've now avoided).

This month, I'm giving away this:

No, not the plate. Look closer. I swear there's something there sitting on the yarn. Really! OK, it's a set of double pointed needles I bought from China a few years ago. They're a set of 4 steel needles about 9.5in long, size 16. This size 16 is, I believe, from the old UK scale and so these needles fall between size 00/1.75mm and size 000/1.5mm. I'm also including the 5 mini-skeins of assorted sock yarn in a mostly blue palette. Just in case the idea of knitting with 1.6mm needles is daunting, you know?

When I was in Shanghai I would see women knitting elaborate single colored sweaters in the round on long dpns like these or longer, with one or more strands of lace weight yarn. The smallest sized needles I could find were 18s. Since I was running around with a short US#7/4.5mm circular needle and a heavy worsted weight yarn, I felt very fish out of water.

The knitters were often sitting outside their booths in assorted marketplaces, and I once saw a woman winding yarn with a vertical wire swift. Most of the yarns being sold in the markets were unlabeled and in big hanks sorted by fiber content. This was very different from the yarn and fabric shop I visited where everything was in a glass case or in boxes along the wall, looking very much like the balled yarns we see here, and with heavier weights available.

I'm going to let this one run through Friday, April 8th, and I'll pick a random winner on Saturday. This time around I'd like to hear a story about yarn craft in public, either your own or seeing someone working on something in public. Comment here with a story or anecdote to be added to the drawing! And yes, double dipping with this month's Ravelry group giveaway is fine. And remember to leave a way for me to reach you if you've won.