Archives for November 2011

Sale Extended!

We’re extending our sale until Monday at 11pm Eastern!

All yarn is here. And we are over here:  Orders@indigodragonfly.ca

All yarn purchases over $50 are15% off. This includes all in stock yarns only. Giftapalooza, sale yarns and custom orders not included.

We checked behind pillows and under the couch and found a few more skeins, so have a good look around. We’ve updated the Project Bag page with some fresh goodies as well.

Order via email, as usual and we’ll take 15% off your invoice.  For more information on how to order, click here.

Annnndddd….go!

The Sale is open

All yarn is here. And we are over here:  Orders@indigodragonfly.ca

All yarn purchases over $50 are15% off. This includes all in stock yarns only. Giftapalooza, sale yarns and custom orders not included.

We checked behind pillows and under the couch and found a few more skeins, so have a good look around. We’ve updated the Project Bag page with some fresh goodies as well.

Order via email, as usual and we’ll take 15% off your invoice.  For more information on how to order, click here.

Annnndddd….go!

Friday Sale!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends in the US!

Now, try to get through the day without killing your family or exploding from excess turkey and pie.  We’ll make it worth your while:

We’ll be having a Black Friday (for those of you in the US)/ Hey You Survived Another Week! Sale for the rest of us, this Friday, November 25.

All purchases over $50 will be 15% off. This includes all in stock yarns only. Giftapalooza, sale yarns and custom orders not included.

Order via the usual method (email to Orders@indigodragonfly.ca) and we’ll take 15% off your invoice.

Random Wednesday…

1. It’s Wednesday.  But really Tuesday for us. And tomorrow’s a holiday for those of you in the US (Happy Thanksgiving!) so I keep reading excited “only a few more hours!” posts and get very confused because, well, I see a lot of pots lined up and boxes of undyed yarn…

2.  The boxes of undyed yarn are making it difficult to get into our bathroom. We should do something about that, but that would also mean dragging the boxes to the basement and then dragging them back up a day later when we need them. So we have a permanent box fort in our living room.

3. As well as a yarn fort. I really should be more excited about that, I know.  But since it’s Club yarn and will be leaving in a few weeks, I’m trying not to get too attached.

4. The most adorable of designers is finishing up the pattern for Holiday Giftapalooza and I really couldn’t be more excited. It’s really beautiful.

5. Speaking of the Giftapalooza, the Mystery Goodies are starting to arrive, which is also very exciting. As for the yarn, I haven’t completely decided whether you can have it. I’m in love.  And I see a LOT of yarn come through this door.

7. Over the next few days we’re going to start splitting up the the Giftapalooza list and matching everyone up.  Low stress, I promise, but since the gift will be coming from YOU, we want to give you a chance to put your stamp on it.  We’ll be matching people up right up until sign ups end (Dec 1 for outside Ontario; Dec 10 for Ontario), but if you want to be part of the BIG group of swappers and are waiting to sign up, send me a quick email and let me know you will be signing up so I can put you on our list.

8. Otis is upstairs. Clearly he doesn’t understand his role.

9. Then again, we found this the other day:

He appears to be lacking references.  So, if you feel so inclined, there are the comments…

THAT Letter ;)

So it’s Friday, early afternoon in this part of the world.  I know none of you can possibly be thinking about work, so here’s a little something to keep you occupied for the rest of the afternoon.

It’s the annual, can-be-used-anytime-of-year-for-any-occasion Letter of Doom.

Feel free to fill in the blanks, print this out, and leave it in an obvious place…(PDF version also available here for your convenience – Letter of Doom):

Dear _____________ (spouse/sibling/BFF/parent(s)/dog, cat or python/boss/all of the above):

As you know, ____________________ (Christmas/Chanukah/Solstice/my birthday/your birthday/Valentine’s Day/Groundhog Day/THAT special anniversary/that day when you really want to suck up because you broke that thing I love) is coming up very soon. I think we would both like me to be happy with your chosen gift. Let me assist you in that endeavour.

Step 1: Email indigodragonfly:  orders@indigodragonfly.ca (or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, go to their website: www.indigodragonfly.ca

Step 2: Give them my list

  • ________________
  • _________________
  • more ______________
  • oh yeah, and _____________
  • all the yarn in the universe
Actually, wait…let me make your life easier, I have registered my wish list with Indigodragonfly’s Chief Chomptroller
who will eagerly assist you in your attempts at “Oh God, please just promise me she/he’ll like it!”  Because seriously, do you even know what Holiday Giftapalooza means?? 

All orders received by December 7 will be shipped on December 9 and should (Canada Post and USPS willing) arrive at all US and Canadian (outside of Ontario) destinations in time for Christmas.  All Ontario orders received by December 14  will ship on December 16 and should arrive in time for Christmas. For all other occasions, allow 2 weeks for deliveries outside Ontario, and 1 week for delivery within Ontario.

Oh wait…you left this till the last minute again, didn’t you?  And you think it’s too late? No worries, Otis has that covered too.  If you’re a little late, he will personally send an electronic card you can print out me so that I have something to open while stalking ___________, our local postal worker.

Electronic gift certificates are also available in any denomination and can be emailed to you right up to Christmas Eve, and redeemed at anytime. Just email Kim, tell her it’s for me and how much you’d like to spend…then all you have to do is print it out and make sure you have your earplugs handy.  The squeeing will be epic.

Love
Your ever loving _______________________


Victory Lip Sync For Your Lives!

And we’re done!

The final answer:

The yellow shawl in the middle of the photo is being knit with MCN Lace in What the Hay?!, 3 skeins

Anna is tall and statuesque…she makes some BIG shawls!  Can’t wait to see this one finished.

The following people (listed in order) posted the correct answer on one of the 2 Contest posts, after I wrote yesterday’s post at 3:59 pm Eastern:

  1. Anastasia
  2. etcgirl

(First answers only! But kudos to BettyBJ and Heatherly for their staunch dedication to keeping me on my comment toes!)

Normally at this point we would conscript Otis into choosing the winner in his own adorable way (opening “presents” is really his only good trick), but he is snoring. So….the Random Number Generator says…

Anastasia!

Congratulations.  Check your email.

Thanks for playing along everyone!

Last Day of the Contest!

Holiday GIFTAPALOOZA sign ups are still open!  Sign up here.  

Looking for yarn?  LOTS available here.  And if you see a colour you like, but not in your favourite base?  Just ask.

Today is the last day of our contest.

And up to this point, no one has the answer completely right!

Let me give you a little help. You need 3 pieces of information in your answer:

  1. Yarn base
  2. Colour name
  3. Number of skeins given to Anna to design with
Here’s the photo.

You have until 11:59 pm Eastern today (Wednesday November 16) to answer. And I’m giving you all a clean slate, so if you gave an answer on the previous contest post, I consider it invisible now!

If no one gets the answer right, anyone who got 2 out of 3 right will be entered in the draw. (Apparently I, like my mother the teacher, give hard tests!  Who knew?)

Details from the last contest post:

Tell us which of these pieces is knit with Indigodragonfly yarn, and name the yarn base(s), the colourway(s) and guess how many skeins I gave Anna  to design with. Leave a comment on this post. All correct answers will be eligible to win!  (And hey, why not tell us which of Anna’s shawls is your favourite and which Cooperative Press book NEEDS to be in your library)

The Prizes!

  • Cooperative Press will send the winner an electronic copy of Anna’s book Shaping Shawls (which is stunningly beautiful…I’ve tried to steal seen the shawls in person…you want to knit these!)
  • Anna Dalvi will send the winner a subscription to her Huldran Mystery KAL (I do believe this will become my knitting for my newfound Grimm/Once Upon a Time obsession…)
  • And yes, there is yarn.  A regular sized (around 100-115 g) skein of your choice. Might I suggest a little something to go along with item A or B?
Contest closes Wednesday November 16 at 11:59 pm

Last Chance!

Tonight is the last chance to sign up for the Smart-Ass Knitters/World Domination Club!

Details and sign up links here.

 

TARDII; or, Four Doctors

Baker.

Pertwee.

Eccleston.

Tennant.

Which Doctor are YOU???

(Yes, Yes, Yes, I know, there are more Doctors out there, but we dyed only four of our yarn bases this time (although there is more TARDIS in other bases, such as Merino Sock, Merino Nylon Sock, etc – check ’em all out!), so I picked four of them. With Regards, to Teams Troughton, Hartnell, McCoy, Davison, The Other Baker, Smith, Cushing, Atkinson, McGann, Lumley, Broadbent, Grant, The Other Grant, Gatiss et al. (Yes, even the guest Doctors!). Hey, one of my Top 4 favourite doctors was Peter Davison and I didn’t choose him – I picked the first 4 that came to mind.)

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TARDIS

(from left to right)

MCN Sock: (Pertwee Edition): merino/cashmere/nylon blend, 375 yards, 115 g, $28 –   Sold Out!

Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock: (Baker Edition): 50% Superwash Merino/50% Silk, 430 yards per skein, 100 g, $29 – Sold Out!

Merino Single Lace: (Eccleston Edition): 100% Superwash Merino, 800 yds/732 m, 100 g, $25 – Sold Out!

Merino Silk Bamboo Sock: (Tennant Edition): 60% Merino, 15% Silk, 15% Bamboo, 370 yds/90g skein, $25 – Sold Out!

PLEASE NOTE: Since this post originally went up, all skeins in these 4 bases sold out as of Nov. 25, but TARDIS is immediately available in a few other bases, and it is a colour we dye often, so if you want some in a base that’s listed as sold out, send us an email and we’ll let you know if be have that base in stock, as we do regular custom jobs.

Exterminate! Exterminate…our stock!!!

Oh, and May The Force Be With You!!

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To purchase any of the above yarn, please send me an email at orders AT indigodragonfly.ca (replace AT with “@”, no spaces) indicating which colours(s) you would like, where you live and whether you want it shipped surface or air mail. First email request for each yarn/fibre secures it. I will send you a paypal invoice for the full amount plus shipping and ship the packages off within 3-5 days. Shipping charges to the US will start at $5.85 for surface mail and $7.46 for air mail. Canada Post doesn’t make shipping charges for Canadian or International packages easy, so I will send you a shipping quote for your order for your approval. Best attempts are made to photograph colours accurately, however colours do differ from monitor to monitor (I’ve checked). I’ve also described the colours…and hope that helps. Custom orders (including dyeing or overdyeing your own fibre or yarn) are always welcomed! Just email me with what you have in mind.

Reminders and a Contest

  1. Sign ups for the Smart-Ass Knitters/World Domination 1 Skein Club will be open until Tuesday at 11:59 pm.  There are only 10 spaces left! Full information and sign up buttons
  2. Holiday GIFTAPALOOZA sign ups are still open!  Sign up and send the gift of yarn, and get the gift of yarn back. Sign up here.  And don’t forget to click the link to bring you back to our site…hint:  it doesn’t bring you here.
  3. Looking for yarn?  LOTS available here.  And if you see a colour you like, but not in your favourite base?  Just ask.
  4. And…CONTEST! 

On Thursday, Cooperative Press posted a blog post about Anna Dalvi and her work, with this teaser photo of pieces she’s working on for her next book:

Tell us which of these pieces is knit with Indigodragonfly yarn, and name the yarn base(s), the colourway(s) and guess how many skeins I gave Anna  to design with. Leave a comment on this post. All correct answers will be eligible to win!  (And hey, why not tell us which of Anna’s shawls is your favourite and which Cooperative Press book NEEDS to be in your library)

The Prizes!

  • Cooperative Press will send the winner an electronic copy of Anna’s book Shaping Shawls (which is stunningly beautiful…I’ve tried to steal seen the shawls in person…you want to knit these!)
  • Anna Dalvi will send the winner a subscription to her Huldran Mystery KAL (I do believe this will become my knitting for my newfound Grimm/Once Upon a Time obsession…)
  • And yes, there is yarn.  A regular sized (around 100-115 g) skein of your choice. Might I suggest a little something to go along with item A or B?
Contest closes Wednesday November 16 at 11:59 pm

Yarn Update: 12 Is The New Dozen

Hiya…

Twelve Colours.

Four Bases.

One Hundred and Eight Skeins (Well, until they start finding homes…).

The New Dozen.

Enjoy!!!

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Email orders AT indigodragonfly.ca to place all orders.  Let us know: 1)  what you would like to purchase, 2) where you live (state/province/country), and 3) whether you would like us to wind your yarn into cakes (charge of $1 per skein with proceeds going to our Otis Houndation).  A PayPal invoice will be mailed to you that includes airmail shipping (or surface mail if you’re in Ontario).  For further information, see the bottom of this post.

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Grrr….Argh…. (Mutant Enemy)

(from left to right)

MCN Sock: merino/cashmere/nylon blend, 375 yards per skein, 115 g, $28 – 3 Skeins Available

Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock: 50% Superwash Merino/50% Silk, 430 yards per skein, 100 g, $29 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Single Lace: 100% Superwash Merino, 800 yds/732 m, 100 g, $25 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Sock: 100% Superwash Merino 2 ply sock yarn, 390 yds, 100 g, $24 – 4 Skeins Available

Have Fun Storming The Castle!

(from left to right)

MCN Sock: merino/cashmere/nylon blend, 375 yards per skein, 115 g, $28 – 3 Skeins Available

Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock: 50% Superwash Merino/50% Silk, 430 yards per skein, 100 g, $29 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Single Lace: 100% Superwash Merino, 800 yds/732 m, 100 g, $25 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Sock: 100% Superwash Merino 2 ply sock yarn, 390 yds, 100 g, $24 – 4 Skeins Available

Hootenany – Well, It’s Chock Full Of Hoot, Just A Little Bit Of Nanny. (Oz)

(from left to right)

MCN Sock: merino/cashmere/nylon blend, 375 yards per skein, 115 g, $28 – 3 Skeins Available

Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock: 50% Superwash Merino/50% Silk, 430 yards per skein, 100 g, $29 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Single Lace: 100% Superwash Merino, 800 yds/732 m, 100 g, $25 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Sock: 100% Superwash Merino 2 ply sock yarn, 390 yds, 100 g, $24 – 5 Skeins Available

Up Until The Punching, It Was A Real Nice Party. (Kaylee)

(from left to right)

MCN Sock: merino/cashmere/nylon blend, 375 yards per skein, 115 g, $28 – 3 Skeins Available

Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock: 50% Superwash Merino/50% Silk, 430 yards per skein, 100 g, $29 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Single Lace: 100% Superwash Merino, 800 yds/732 m, 100 g, $25 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Sock: 100% Superwash Merino 2 ply sock yarn, 390 yds, 100 g, $24 – 3 Skeins Available

And Then Buffy Staked Edward. The End.

MCN Sock: merino/cashmere/nylon blend, 375 yards per skein, 115 g, $28 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock: 50% Superwash Merino/50% Silk, 430 yards per skein, 100 g, $29 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Single Lace: 100% Superwash Merino, 800 yds/732 m, 100 g, $25 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Sock: 100% Superwash Merino 2 ply sock yarn, 390 yds, 100 g, $24 – 5 Skeins Available (3 light, 2 dark)

Bright Lights, Big City, Busy Highway, Slow Unicorn

(from left to right)

MCN Sock: merino/cashmere/nylon blend, 375 yards per skein, 115 g, $28 – Sold Out!

Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock: 50% Superwash Merino/50% Silk, 430 yards per skein, 100 g, $29 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Single Lace: 100% Superwash Merino, 800 yds/732 m, 100 g, $25 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Sock: 100% Superwash Merino 2 ply sock yarn, 390 yds, 100 g, $24 – 5 Skeins Available

My Boyfriend Had A Bicentennial. (Buffy)

MCN Sock: merino/cashmere/nylon blend, 375 yards per skein, 115 g, $28 – Sold Out!

Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock: 50% Superwash Merino/50% Silk, 430 yards per skein, 100 g, $29 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Single Lace: 100% Superwash Merino, 800 yds/732 m, 100 g, $25 – 2 Skeins Available

Merino Sock: 100% Superwash Merino 2 ply sock yarn, 390 yds, 100 g, $24 – 5 Skeins Available

I Have A Ph.D In Horribleness! (Dr. Horrible)

MCN Sock: merino/cashmere/nylon blend, 375 yards per skein, 115 g, $28 – 1 Skein Available

Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock: 50% Superwash Merino/50% Silk, 430 yards per skein, 100 g, $29 – 1 Skein Available

Merino Single Lace: 100% Superwash Merino, 800 yds/732 m, 100 g, $25 – 2 Skeins Available (1 Light, 1 Dark)

Did I Listen To Pop Music Because I Was Miserable? Or Was I Miserable Because I Listened To Pop Music? (High Fidelity Special Edition #4)

MCN Sock: merino/cashmere/nylon blend, 375 yards per skein, 115 g, $28 – 1 Skein Available (left)

Merino Single Lace: 100% Superwash Merino, 800 yds/732 m, 100 g, $25 – 2 Skeins Available (right)

Oooo…Shiny…

Merino Single Lace: 100% Superwash Merino, 800 yds/732 m, 100 g, $25 – 1 Skein Available (left)

Merino Sock: 100% Superwash Merino 2 ply sock yarn, 390 yds, 100 g, $24 – 3 Skeins Available (right)

F#%k You! (Limey Edition)

MCN Sock: merino/cashmere/nylon blend, 375 yards per skein, 115 g, $28 – 3 Skeins  Available (2 light, 1 dark)

Merino Sock: 100% Superwash Merino 2 ply sock yarn, 390 yds, 100 g, $24 – 2 Skeins Available (1 light – left, one on right is sold)

Also, I Can Kill You With My Brain. (River)

Merino Sock: 100% Superwash Merino 2 ply sock yarn, 390 yds, 100 g, $24 – 5 Skeins Available (4 light – left, 1 dark – right)

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To purchase any of the above yarn, please send me an email at orders AT indigodragonfly.ca (replace AT with “@”, no spaces) indicating which colours(s) you would like, where you live and whether you want it shipped surface or air mail. First email request for each yarn/fibre secures it. I will send you a paypal invoice for the full amount plus shipping and ship the packages off within 3-5 days. Shipping charges to the US will start at $5.85 for surface mail and $7.46 for air mail, based upon parcel weight. Canada Post doesn’t make shipping charges for Canadian or International packages easy, so I will send you a shipping quote for your order for your approval. Best attempts are made to photograph colours accurately, however colours do differ from monitor to monitor (I’ve checked). I’ve also described the colours…and hope that helps. Custom orders (including dyeing or overdyeing your own fibre or yarn) are always welcomed! Just email me with what you have in mind.

Working with Hand Dyed Yarns

Working with hand dyed yarns is very satisfying and frustrating. Often at the same time. Variations between skeins can be difficult to manage. The things we love about hand dyes are also the things that make them challenging to work with. Especially for larger projects like sweaters or big shawls, where great variation between skeins…even skeins dyed in the same pot…is not uncommon. Whether working with a semi-solid or a sharply contrasted variagated yarn, here are some tips and tricks for bringing out the best in your hand dyed yarn.

Stitch patterns

Textured stitch patterns are a great way to break up the colours in a strongly variagated yarn.

*Asterisk* is a fine example of this. Stephannie requested a highly variagated colourway and planned her design to work WITH the variagation instead of against it.

SAK/WD CLUB

Yarn: MCN Lace Colour: Paging Dr. Smart-Ass

Stephannie’s Roam is another great example. Laura purposely used this textured stitch pattern to break up the variegation.

Copyright Stephannie Roy

Alternating Skeins

If you’re knitting a sweater and your hand dyed skeins are REALLY different, sometimes the only solution is to alternate skeins.  When I do this, I tend to keep each skein/yarn cake in a different project bag (or ziploc bag) to make it easier to keep my strands from getting tangled.  (I also tend to only do this kind of knitting at home on my couch where I can keep one bag on the left side of me, and the other on my right. It forces me to think when I’m turning my knitting so the strands don’t get too twisted)

When alternating skeins, I always switch skeins at a seam edge so that the carried yarn will eventually be sewn into the seam and won’t show.  If that’s not possible, I look for the least obtrusive place to change yarns.  In the case of a sweater knit in the round, this may be in the “side seam” (where you would normally expect the side seam to occur. This will be hidden inside the sweater and will not be a place you have to look at often.  You’ll forget it’s there.) Or, if there are built in button bands, I’ll switch at the inside edge of the button band.  Again, neatly hidden away.

Underarms. Side seams. Edges of a new stitch pattern. Sleeve cap edges. Inside edges of collars. All of these are great places to “hide” your carried yarn.

Andrea’s Tea Leaves Cardigan is an excellent example of how alternating skeins can work. The skeins for this sweater were not at all uniform. Alternating skeins for the whole sweater was really the only solution.

Yarn: DK Organic Merino Colour: limited edition

And also my Cormorant:

Cormorant of Insanity

Yarn: MCN Worsted & MCN Sock Colour: Cliffs of Insanity (limited edition)

Alternating for a Few Rows Between Skeins

This is my goto method for larger projects.  I hate alternating skeins with the firey passions of hell. This method works well if your skeins are pretty close, but you can visibly see a difference between them. In fact, doing at least this much overlap between skeins is always advisable when knitting with hand dyed yarn.

When I’m fairly close to the end of a skein (enough to knit 8 or 9 more rows), I start alternating with a new skein. I alternate for 8-10 changes, cut the yarn from the first skein (with enough of an end to weave in later) and continue with skein #2.

I used this method with my Cria. This photo shows all regions of the sweater where I alternated skeins.

Cliffs of Insanity

Sweater: yarn - Polwarth Silk in My Boyfriend Had a Bicentennial Scarf: yarn - Merino Silk 4 ply Sock in Only the Exact Phrase I Used Was Don't

I’m pretty pleased with how well the changes blended into each other.

Both Reunion Cowls are a more extreme example of using this technique. With both cowls, I ran out of yarn well before finishing and had to pull skeins that didn’t at all match the ones I started with.

Reunion Cowls

Yarn: Merino Cashmere Blue: Rachel H's Tiara; Red: Self Elmolation

You can see the difference (well, I can), but they’re still very well blended.

Doubling Yarn

A few years ago, I fell in love with a sweater pattern and decided I wanted to knit it, but couldn’t find a worsted weight yarn I loved.  At the same time, sitting in my stash was a very lovely merino/silk fingering weight blend with skeins that just didn’t match well at all.

So I doubled the yarn and got this: a perfectly blended hand dyed yarn.

Elsewhere

This is a technique I’ve used often for sweaters. When I belonged to Sundara’s yarn club, I scraped and scrounged, begged, borrowed and traded to get a sweater’s worth of her sock yarn in Deadly Nightshade. Every. Single. Skein. was completely different. There were skeins that were almost all dark purple. There were skeins with hardly any purple at all. But I valiantly doubled them up and made Off Kilter:

Off-Kilter

It remains one of my favourite sweaters.

And so this is also the technique I’m using for Cooke.

These are the skeins I started with.

DSC_0003

Yarn: Merino Sock Colour: The Pursuit of Meh (light)

They’re OK, but some are definitely a different shade than the others. And they were all in the same pot. I’ve paired them up and now I have this:

Cooke Cardigan

Can you see where I changed skeins?

When one strand ends, I use a Russian Join to join a new skein in, and just continue knitting with 2 strands until I reach an end again. This means that I’m never changing both strands at the same time, which helps blend the colours further. (If, by some strange fluke, both strands end at the same time, I cut one several inches early to offset the joins)

The combined marks of the dyer’s hand and your hand can create beautiful fabrics, as long as you’re aware of the challenges and how to work with them.