Archives for December 2013

2013

We had great hopes for 2013.

And then it started like this:

feb 2013

Note to self: if you must get an infection that requires Anthrax-level IV antibiotics, don’t do it on the same weekend, in the same town, as the Canadian Pond Hockey Championship Tournament.  Just saying.

Luckily the year got better fast!

2013 was the year…

We designed special colours for Cookie A’s Sock Club and Knit City.

Part of our home area flooded

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and you helped us donate $2453 to Flood Relief, helping victims of the flood directly.

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This made us incredibly proud.

And then SOMEONE decided it was time for us to build a studio.

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And they invited all of you to our wedding shower.  Where we dyed some very special yarn.

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Met some very special minions.

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(there were others, but they were camera shy…or I was too shocked and in awe to photograph everyone)

And were surprised by some very special pottery.

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Did I say surprised? I meant SURPRISED.

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Through this event, indiegogo and other bits and pieces of fundraising, we did it. We will have a new studio as soon as humanly possible.

We travelled. A LOT.

To TNNA.

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(complete with Zigzag Stitches’ TARDIS project bags, which blew us away at Studiopalooza)

To Maine, for Amy‘s Make Wear Love retreat

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To Rhinebeck, where there were more indigodragonfly Rhinebeck sweaters than ever before.

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Vancouver, for Knit City

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(Duct Tape Bondage class.  It’s a thing.)

Knitter’s Review Retreat. Multiple trunk show trips.  We were really happy to sleep in our own bed for more than a few nights at a time when December arrived! 🙂

2013 was the year of our 4th annual Highlands Fibre Fling (Open House), with visitors from Ottawa, North Bay, all over southern Ontario and even a wonderful minion visit from south of the border!

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And our first ever Stained Fingers Dye Camp

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I finished some sweaters:

wedding 2 CF1 -2 CF3-2 CF4-3 Aislinn Draper

Oh right…and got married. After 3 years of trying…finally.

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Our best and most exciting year yet.

So what does 2014 hold?  Fifth anniversary epic fun and frivolity! Indigodragonfly’s fifth anniversary (July), 5th year of the Smart-Ass Knitter’s Club (signups in February), more travel and trunk shows, the usual nonsense and many special surprises.

Thank you for being part of what we’ve done so far. Come join us for more.

 

The Great Giftapalooza Reveal of 2013!

Here it is: the post where we reveal all the Giftapalooza colours of 2013.  🙂

Spoiler warning: There are photos.

 

 

We’re not kidding.

 

 

Keep scrolling and you’re going to see stuff.

 

 

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r. It’s The End Of The Turkey As We Know It (And I Feel Stuffed)

l. Nestor The Long-Haired Christmas Hippy

 

 

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(from left to right)

a. Gravy Crockett

b. I Would Like…A Holiday Shrubbery!

c. Victoria The Ever-Frisky Lingeriendeer

 

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(from left to right)

a. Tursharken

b. I Would Like…A Holiday Shrubbery!

c. The Theory Of Relativity: Cook For Six, Twelve Will Show Up

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Carolling: Trick-Or-Treating For The Elderly

 

 

 

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(from left to right)

a. Tursharken

b. Mumford And Joy

c. Tiny Timbits

d. Midnight Mess

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(from left to right)

a. Santa Claustrophobia

b. Hearthenugen: The Fear Of Roasting One’s Chestnuts In A Nut-Free Household

c. I Surreindeer!

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(from left to right)

a. Tiny Timbits

b. Midnight Mess

c. North Polwarth

d. Gandhi Gain

e. The Other Tiny Bloodsucking Dancer

f. I Surreindeer!

g. Yes, But Is He Chimney-Worthy?

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(from left to right)

a. Bethlehemline

b. Midnight Mess

c. Feet: The Ultimate Stocking Stuffers!

d. Haberdasher, The Sweatshop Reindeer

e. The Other Tiny Bloodsucking Dancer

f. Eat=Mt PlAte

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(from left to right)

a. Olive Loaf, The Other Tasty Reindeer

b. Turdokken, Her Majesty’s Satanic Feast

c. Fettuccine Elfredo

d. Q: If Several Reindeer Are Stranded In The Mountains, Which One Survives?  A: Donner.

e. Yes, But Is He Chimney-Worthy?

f. Eat = Mt PlAte

g. I Surreindeer!

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(from left to right)

a. The Reindeer Connection

b. icicles: sued by Apple for name trademark infringement

c. Tiny Timbits

d. Midnight Mess

e. The Other Tiny Bloodsucking Dancer

f. Failed Three Wise Men Gift #12: Brussel Sprouts!

g. Santa’s Pillage: The Sacking Of Bracebridge (it’s an Ontario joke)

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(from left to right)

a. Eat = Mt PlAte

b. Santa’s Got A Brand New Bag

c. Santa Claustrophobia

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(from right to left)

a. Djonner Unchained

b. Tiny Timbits

c. North Polwarth

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(from left to right)

a. Acid Reindeer

b. The Other Tiny Bloodsucking Dancer

c. Hearthenugen: The Fear Of Roasting One’s Chestnuts In A Nut-Free Household

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(from left to right)

a. Manger, The Quebecois Zombie Braindeer

b. Midnight Mess

c. Limpy, The Spare Tire Of Reindeer

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(from left to right)

a. I Surreindeer!

b. Reactine, The Unemployed Reindeer

c. Turdokken, Her Majesty’s Satanic Feast

d. Yes, But Is He Chimney-Worthy?

e. Gordon, The Oft-Hosed Reindeer

f. Hearthenugen: The Fear Of Roasting One’s Chestnuts In A Nut-Free Household

g. Tiny Timbits

h. Turducken: The Geode Of Birds

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(from left to right)

a. Eat = Mt PlAte

b. Midnight Mess

c. The Other Tiny Bloodsucking Dancer

d. Tursharken

e. Djonner Unchained

f. And Then Buffy Carroted Frosty. The End.

 

One Day in September…

Ron and I have been engaged since the day we moved into this house.

That decision was easy.

The wedding itself, however, was not. We chose a date. And another one. And another still. I lost count of how many times we changed the date.

Then we put our foot down. We set a date. We warned everyone. And all our loved ones were warned that death and illness would be no excuse this time.

And we did it.  On September 28.  Between 2 knitting events. (I know. You’re shocked.)

There were pretty flowers

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Family

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Childhood friends

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Adulthood friends

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Lots of knitting (it was in the invitation!)

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and admiring of knitting

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Can you tell the photographers were a knitter and married to a knitter?

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The yarn was dyed by Ron, in the Mum colourway. It was a way to have my Mum with us at the wedding. And the fact that I was wearing something that was made by both Ron and I made it even more special.

We left out markers and stickers for everyone to tell us stories…

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We walked down the aisle to “The Rainbow Connection” (a perfect choice, because I knew it would make my friend Carol cry…and if Carol cries, I won’t. No testing of the waterproof mascara!)

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We said some stuff

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The wedding was officiated by an old family friend who encouraged us to make the vows our own. Ron did a rewrite of the traditional vows, so our vows were about love and commitment, sickness and health but also about knots and overdyes, and chaos and order muppets. (It’s possible I may have hesitated about honouring the order muppet…but was swiftly told I’d signed off on these vows, so…

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Big thanks to Adam Benjamin and Meredith Eligh Sexton for wonderful photography.

Knitting My Favourite Clothes: A CustomFit Love Story

I love my handknits. But I haven’t always LOVED my sweaters.  I’ve loved knitting them, but have not always loved wearing them. I found I was wearing them as show pieces and then stripping them off as soon as I could in favour of clothing that felt better on.

Five or six years ago, I knit my last sweater that didn’t fit at all. It was time for change. To move away from loving the knitting but not wearing them, to knitting something that fits well. So trying a number of different resources, I began to make better sweaters.

Cria and Caulfield

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These are the first sweaters that fit me.

And I got better at it. Reading more about how to manage fit. Doing the math needed to move waists to where my waist is and to accommodate my hips AND my bust, reconciling both with a shoulder width that, in standard sizing, doesn’t match.

I was happy with the results.  Really REALLY happy.

Aislinn and Draper

Aislinn         Draper

Over the moon about how these were the best fitting sweaters ever. I couldn’t imagine being happier.

Then at TNNA, Amy asked me if I’d help test her new sweater pattern software, CustomFit.

I was wrong. I COULD be happier.

This is my first CustomFit sweater:

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Knitting with CustomFit is an entirely different experience.  During testing, I sent a lot of emails back to Amy. “I don’t think this waist/bust shaping is going to be right. This doesn’t look like what I’ve come to know is right for me.” And it didn’t look the same. It was better.

When I finished this sweater and tried it on for the first time, this is the shaping that made me lose my mind:

CF1

It curves where I curve. Exactly where I curve.

The details are perfectly tailored to my preferences. The neckline is at the depth I want it to be. The length is to my exact preference. The sleeve length? It’s where I want my 3/4 sleeves to land. I think about how and where I will wear my sweaters now and tweak the details to fit those desires.

One thing I noticed when I put on the very first CustomFit sweater: it didn’t feel right. It wasn’t sitting where I expect sweaters to sit on me. I wasn’t feeling the extra fabric under my arms, created by shoulder seams that don’t sit at my shoulders. I didn’t need to pull at the sweater to make it sit properly. I was, for the first time ever, wearing a sweater that fits me perfectly. And I had to get used to knowing what “good fit” feels like.

I learned much from this first sweater. I learned about fabric and that swatching now is for making fabric I love so that I can make that fabric into sweaters I love. I learned about my preferences and changed some of my measurements so that the next sweater (and the one after that and the one after that one…) would be even better. I added more ease in the armhole. I added a touch more length to my “mid-hip” length. As wonderful as the first CustomFit sweater was, I made adjustments that I knew would make me even happier.

CustomFit works best when the preparation work is done carefully and well. Have someone else take measurements for you, and double check them. If you don’t have a friend or family member who can help, try your local yarn shop or a professional seamstress or tailor.  Fabric is also essential. Swatch until you love the fabric you’ve created. And then test that fabric.  Measure it before washing. Wash it and dry it the way you’ll wash and dry the finished sweater. Hang your dried swatch to see how gravity will affect it. Wear it around your wrist to see how it will change on your body, with body heat and everyday activities. Measure it and make notes at every stage of this testing and you’ll have a pretty good picture of how your sweater will behave.  The bigger your swatch, the more accurate these tests will be. (6-8 inches square will give you a good sense of how it will behave)

Since that first sweater, there have been more.

My wedding sweater (from a recipe designed by Amy)

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The third:

CF3 CF3-2 CF3-3

And Shore Ledges, using the CustomFit recipe found in the Shore Ledges pattern:

CF4-3 CF4-2

 

 

 

I finish sweaters faster now. Because CustomFit patterns don’t require me to figure out which size will be closest to mine, and they don’t require that I figure out the math to make them fit better. There is one set of numbers: mine.

But I also finish faster now because I want to wear the sweaters I’m knitting.

These are now the clothes that I reach for first. The pieces I build outfits around. And the sweaters that feel as comfortable on as my most worn in t-shirt. These are the clothes I get complimented on, even by the people who have never noticed my handknits.

I’m building a wardrobe of clothing that fits me well and feels good to wear.  I’m thinking about the sweater styles I love, and recreating them and improving them…making them absolutely perfect for ME.

I am in love with these sweaters.  And can’t wait for these to join them:

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Yarn Update Dec. 19/13: Merino Sock & Friends!

Hiya,

Okay, so this is probably the last yarn update of 2013…unless Louie has been hiding skeins behind the couch, which occasionally happens!

Anyway, here ya go! To order, click on SHOP and go to Merino Sock, Merino Nylon Sock or other NEW colourway bases. The final post office run before we shut down will probably be this Friday @ 12 noon e.s.t., so anything from this update that’s ordered up until approx. 11 a.m. will go out then. We’re scheduled to shut down from Dec. 20 to Jan. 19, so speak now or forever (or at least for a bit) hold yer peace.

Here’s a preview of today’s update – just click on the photos and they should bring up their required info…

Yarn Update Dec. 4/13 – Merino Silk DK an’ Grrr….Targh….

Hiya,

Okay, so here’s today’s update! A DK & a heavy Worsted, jus’ aboot right given the frosty time o’ the year around here what with almost a foot of snow on the ground already, a little bit o’ the heavier yarn bases for the warmin’ up with!

To order, go to the SHOP page and select NEW – they’ll all be there! An’ for funnies, here’s a gallery for quick eyeballing…

If you click on the individual pictures they’ll give you the specs of each.

Okay, Enjoy!