Creativity is a Muscle

Creativity.

It’s a magical talent that suddenly appears out of the blue.  A lightning bolt. That only comes to a very few chosen ones.

Like it couldn’t happen to you.

Well that’s a myth.

The truth is that creativity is a muscle. It needs to be exercised. It needs to be fed. Every. Single. Day.

It needs to try a million and one “meh” ideas before focusing in on the one really fantastic and brilliant one that makes you feel like you have super powers and keeps you up at night.  It’s learning how to recognize the idea that should be followed and how to take it down the path that turns it into your next favourite finished object.

Creativity is not just for making beautiful things. It’s about solving problems by looking at them from different angles…perfect skills for fixing your knitting errors or finding solutions for running out of yarn, modifying patterns, adjusting for gauge and so much more.  It’s about learning to truly understand how stitch patterns work and how to adapt them. It’s about gaining colour confidence and learning to trust your instincts.

It’s about learning what makes you stop yourself from trying new ideas and skills, and giving you skills to take your ideas to the next level.

When asked what former students most wanted to learn from me, the most common answer is always “I want to understand what happens in your brain.”

Well now you can.  Come take the workshop on March 28, and see what’s inside your brain too:

Inside Kim’s Brain at Shall We Knit, Waterloo Ontario.  Register here

(There are also still spots in Short Row Insanity. All Optical Delusion classes are sold out, waiting list only.)

 

Stained Fingers Dye Camp 2015

Come to the Indigodragonfly studio and spend a week frolicking with yarn, fibre and colour.

Dye Camp August full2015 Stained Finger Dye Camp Application

Dates:

June 15 – 18 (with optional June 19 Open Studio day)

July 20 – 23 (with optional July 24 Open Studio day)

August 10 -13 (with optional August 14 Open Studio day)

What is Dye Camp?

  • 4 day course, starting with basic dyeing techniques, and allowing for lots of playing and experimentation. Learn how to mix colours and repeat results consistently. Learn a variety of dyeing techniques including kettle dyeing, hand painting, ombre dyeing, dyeing gradations, experimental techniques and more.
  • maximum 10 students per course, with very individual instruction and direction. (so if 4 people want to work on entirely different ideas? It can be done) This course is equivalent to private lessons, with lots of one-on-one instruction
  • returning students are welcome! We will spend some time with you to talk about what you’d like to work on in your time here. Consider it a week of guided individual study.

Where:
Our studio in Haliburton ON (approximately 2.5 – 3 hours north of Toronto)

Cost:
$500 course and materials (+HST)
Additional Studio Day (optional) $75 + HST

A number of payment options will be made available to you. (monthly, deferred payment, pay now now now!) Indicate your preference on your application.

Yarn (with the exception of yarn for samples) is not included in the material fee. Yarn may be purchased from us or you may choose to bring your own. Please do not bring yarn from other dyers to “overdye” (out of respect for their work). A price list will be provided early so that you’re aware of what’s available to you and how much to budget.

Travel and accommodation is your responsibility. There are B&B’s, motels, a bigger hotel and some small cottage resorts/rental cottages, etc. We even have a small space right at the studio available for rent. We will send you information about local accommodation, along with recommendations and information about local amenities. We can also link you with other students who wish to share accommodation and travel.

If you have further questions prior to registration, please ask here or email me directly at kim@indigodragonfly.ca

Smart-Ass Knitters/World Domination Yarn Club 6

Sign ups for 2015 begin on February 14, 2015 here.

Monthly payment options can be found on the listing page for each item, and include an admin fee.

Welcome to the 6th year of the Smart-Ass Knitters/World Domination Yarn Club.  We’re excited to bring you amazing colour, patterns from some of our favourite designers and those special details that make this the most fun we have in the dyepot. This year’s focus will be on sock and DK weight yarns.

This year, sign up for the Basic Club with optional extras like extra Club skeins, mystery skeins and swag!

DETAILS:

Basic Club package:

Shipments start in June 2015 and continue every 2 months.

Packages will contain the following items, made exclusively for this club:

- YARN: 1 or 2 full skeins (100-115g) of luxury, hand dyed yarn in exclusive colourway(s).
Club colourways will only be available to Club members and will not be released to the general public.  New Club members, however, are welcome to custom order past colours as long as they are members.

- PATTERNS:  2 patterns for each package (exclusive to Club members for 6 months). Patterns will be for 2 different items. Some may offer options for larger sizes using 2 skeins.  Patterns are designed to introduce you to new designers and give you a range of techniques and projects to play with. You may find some lace, some cables, some colourwork…you may find the unexpected!

- PROJECT BAG:  designed and silk screened exclusively for the Club (1 bag per membership)

OPTIONAL ADD-ONS:

Extra Club Skeins:  extra skeins in the exclusive Club colourway may be added to your Club package, allowing you to make knit both patterns or to make larger versions of some items (i.e.: scarves, shawls)

Mystery Skeins:  For those who just can’t get enough! Mystery skeins are random skeins chosen for you and put in your package. They are equivalent in value to your Club skein and can be any weight or colour. (We provide a survey that will let us know your colour loves and blahs)

Yarn Winding Service: You may ask for your yarn to be wound in a cake for $1 per skein (proceeds set aside for our Otis Houndation)

Artisan Swag (full year members only):   You can sign up for 1 larger gift to come in one of your packages, instead of several smaller ones.  What will it be? A surprise.  But here’s a hint: it will handmade by an artisan and it could be any one of these — shawl pin, buttons, project or tool bag, knitting related mug or other dish ware, needles.

♥ Membership Benefits:

  • Club members can order Club colourways to be dyed on any base they choose, in any amounts. (Note: these are for personal use only…not to be sold to others)
  • Full Year members only: Those who pay in full will have the option of having their patterns delivered to their Ravelry library for the duration of their membership
  • special offers throughout the Club year, exclusive to Club members only

PRICING
All prices are in Canadian funds and include shipping.
Prices reflect the value of the yarn bases and extras chosen for the Club, actual shipping costs and the exclusivity of the colours. Remember: these will not be available to non-members at any time.

Basic Club
(“full price” options include savings of approximately 20% )
6 packages – total of 8 skeins of yarn
Ontario/US $390 | $39 per month (monthly payments)
Canada/International $405 | $41 per month (monthly payments)

3 packages – total of 4 skeins of yarn
Ontario/US $195 | $39 per month (monthly payments)
Canada/International $205 | $41 per month (monthly payments)

Extra Skeins & Mystery Skeins:
*includes 1 skein per month*

Canada/US: $110 (3 shipments) | $205 (6 shipments)
International: $120 (3 shipments) | $225(6 shipments)

Swag:  $60
(6 shipment/full year members only; no monthly option available)

Please note: There are no refunds on Clubs for any reason.
Feel free to ask us as many questions as you wish before signing up, but once you’ve signed up, you’ve committed to membership.

3) TERMS & FAQ’s

Terms:
Subscribing to the Club means that you agree to monthly payments withdrawn from your Paypal account for the duration of the Club, unless you have paid in full or have made other arrangements for payment.

You must ensure that your mailing address in Paypal is correct.  If you move at any point between June 1, 2015 and April 15, 2016, please inform us of your address change as soon as possible by emailing us with your new address.  We must have your new address at least 15 days prior to a Club shipment to ensure it is sent to the correct address.

There are no returns on Club memberships.  If you choose the monthly payment option and cancel your Club membership through Paypal, we will continue shipping packages until the value of your payments to date is used up. No refund will be issued for partial payments. If a monthly payment fails, we will make a reasonable attempt to contact you by email (at least two times). If payment can not be resolved at that point, we will cancel your participation in the club and no refund will be made for partial club shipments. (for example, if you are paid up for the June shipment, but not for August, we will ship the June package but hold the August package until full payment is received). If you discover an issue with your Paypal account, please contact us and we will work with you to resolve your account with us. You assume responsibility for packages delivered to the wrong address, if your address is incorrect in Paypal, if you have sent us the wrong address by email or if you have not given us sufficient notice (minimum 15 days prior to a Club shipment date) to change your address in our system.

FAQ

What is this?
A yarn club with patterns and options! Each package will contain 1 skein of indigodragonfly yarn and 2 patterns for that yarn.  Colourways are exclusive to Club members only and will never be available to the general public.  Packages will be shipped every second month, around the 15th of the month.

How many packages/how long is the commitment?
Packages will arrive every 2 months, so you’ll receive 6 packages if you sign up for the full year club, and 3 packages if you sign up for the half year club.  You can opt to pay monthly, or pay for the whole club at once at a significant discount (approximately 20% off the price of the Club).  Packages can ship within the shipment month.

When do sign ups start?
The Club will be open for subscriptions starting on February 14, 2015 and will be open until March 14, 2015 (or until we’ve reached our full capacity)

When do shipments start?

June 15 will be the first shipment. Shipments will follow every second month on the 15th of the month until April 2016 for full year club members, or October 2015 for half year club members.

Will you ship to Canada?
Yes! I live here, so there will definitely be shipping to Canada. In fact, the prices quoted for the Club include shipping.

If you have further questions, feel free to email us directly at orders AT indigodragonfly.com.

Blog Tour: From Folly Cove

Today I’m hosting a stop on the From Folly Cove blog tour for  Julia Farwell-Clay new collection for Classic Elite.  There’s all the news you need to know about From Folly Cove is here on Julia’s blog.
What I love about Julia’s designs, is a traditional sensibility meshed seamlessly with well thought out details that make her pieces inherently wearable and comfortable while making you feel like you’ve created a special piece for your wardrobe.
One of the things I am most curious about is where designers find their inspiration, and how they carry that inspiration forward through the design process.  I asked Julia to talk about the Kenyon Dress in From Folly Cove and to share what drew her to create this  piece.
Kenyon is inspired by Folly Cove designer Louise Kenyon’s most popular pattern is called Home Port.
Kenyon 1
Compare this to the dress and you can see the connection. I took my cues here from the horizontals, and used gansey like textures (although I don’t think any of them qualify as actual gansey patterns, in order from the bottom up, diamonds, checkerboards, a slip stitch smocking stitch, and the top row is interlocking hearts).  The stripes used to outline each section are also nautical in their design inspiration. They come from french striped sailor shirts, called Marinières.
Kenyon 2
Another special detail is the lace hem of this dress, which echoes both the nautical theme and the texture from the bodice. I think it also gives the dress a playful feel, reminding me of waves rolling into the beach.
Kenyon 3
Today’s prize is for the Kenyon Dress.  Leave a comment on this post, telling us which pattern in Julia’s new collection you would like to knit most and why, and we will use a random number generator to award one of you a free copy of the pattern. Deadline for comments is Thursday February 5 at 5 pm Eastern.
Meanwhile, the whole collection is 10% off on Ravelry all week, so enter the code FFC10 at checkout for your 10% discount on any purchase of one or more of the collection’s patterns,  or even the whole ebook!
Tomorrow, the blog tour continues with Talitha Kuomi.  At the end of the week, check into the Classic Elite Blog for a chance to win yarn for the project of your choice from the book.

 

Knitalong with the Minions!

Mmmmmwaa ha haaaaa, baanaanaaaaaa!  The minions are organizing a knitalong! Head on over to the Indigodragonfly discussion page on ravelry.com to join in!  There’s a brand new colour just for this event!  The photo is below!  We love exclamation marks!!

xx

Darby and K8

Blue Suede Ewe

Blue Suede Ewe

Minion Caption Contest Winner!

Thank you to everyone who submitted captions - we had a great time reading through them while munching on chocolate covered coffee beans and bananas.  You’d be surprised how close some of them came to revealing the truth about what goes on in the studio!

We’re thrilled to announce that the winner is…

Geeka!

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Geeka will be receiving this glamourous, minion-themed prize pack:

prize pack 1

ps – there’s a minion-led Knit Along coming up asap, mmmmmwaaa ha haaaaaaaa! Keep an eye on this space and the Indigodragonfly Ravelry discussion boards for more info!

2014: When It All Got Bigger…and a contest.

2014 is when things started getting a little…big. It was the 5th year of the Smart-Ass Knitters/World Domination Club, with patterns from Fiona Ellis, Amy Christoffers, Thea Colman, Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark, Stephannie Tallent and Andi Smith.  So far.

And the first year of our Sweater Club, which sold out in a shockingly fast 18 minutes.

Louie started earning his keep as marketing director

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Darby created mascots for some of our yarn bases…

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Kim designed some stuff.

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Dye Camp got bigger, expanding from 2 sessions to 3 sold out sessions.

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We held our 5th Annual Highlands Fibre Fling (our studio Open House) to celebrate our 5th year in business, and despite pouring rain, it was our best attended one ever!

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We even created a 5th Anniversary yarn colour, made up of 5 of our most popular semi-solid colours.

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Things got a little crowded in our home studio.

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So we bought a studio.

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Now work is work, and home is home.  And yarn lives in both places.

We travelled, and brought the yarn with us:

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And we decided that minions are the best thing ever.

Look at how happy and normal they look…

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Don’t be fooled.

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(K8 and Darby are running a caption contest for this photo.  To enter, leave your caption in the comments and when the studio reopens, we’ll announce the winner who will receive a Sooper Special Minion Prize pack. Contest closes January 5 at 11 pm Eastern)

In Which We Show You all the Giftapalooza 2014 Yarn

And without further ado, welcome to the 2014 edition of the Giftapalooza Reveal.  AKA: how we spent half of November elbow deep in yum. ;) As always, this a post fraught with spoilers…photos…we are going to tell all the secrets.

If you’re still trying to avoid spoilers, please do not venture further.

Really.

Have we lied to you yet??

Reservoir Nogs
Reservoir Nogs

Boxing Day: It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Tequila, Cousteau's A Christmas Coral, Light The Leg Not The Lamp!, Ralphie's Eye
(l-r) Boxing Day: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Tequila, Cousteau’s A Christmas Coral, Light The Leg, Not The Lamp!, Ralphie’s Eye

Doctor Whoville
Doctor Whoville
A Charlie Browncoat Christmas, Drumstyx, Frozo The Winter Clown, A Kringle In Time
(l-r) A Charlie Browncoat Christmas, Drumstyx, Frozo The Winter Clown, A Kringle In Time Hearthritis, Bumblefish
(l-r) Hearthritis, Bumblefish

Rudolph Lundgren, The Turkey Fairy Cometh, Olaf 1 Frosty -35
(l-r) Rudolph Lundgren, The Turkey Fairy Cometh, Olaf 1, Frosty -35

Brrr....Argh...., Presents Of Mind, Peas On Earth
(l-r) Brrr….Argh…., Presents Of Mind, Peas On Earth

Harry Blotto And The Half-Bagged Prince, Stockingjay
(l-r) Harry Blotto And The Half-Bagged Prince, Stockingjay

Turspocken
Turspocken

Presents Of Mind, A Wreath Of Franklin
(l-r) Presents Of Mind A Wreath Of Franklin

North By North Pole
North By North Pole

Ramsay's Turkey Nightmares, Plumberbatch - Best Present Ever!
(l-r) Ramsay’s Turkey Nightmares, Plumberbatch – Best Present Ever!

2 Minutes For Stuffing, Sidney Clausby, Hunting High And Merlot
(l-r) 2 Minutes For Stuffing, Sidney Clausby, Hunting High And Merlot

Made Ya Grinch!
Made Ya Grinch!

Coal Miner's Stocking, I Will Cranberry You!, Streggnog
(l-r) Coal Miner’s Stocking, I Will Cranberry You!, Streggnog

Five Golden Rings To Rule Them All, Grimm The Tree
(l-r) Five Golden Rings To Rule Them All, Grimm The Tree

Super Noma, Grrr....Argh....Nog...., Not A Puppy
(l-r) Super Noma, Grrr….Argh….Nog…., Not A Puppy
Frosty Flakes, In A Grinch, The Turkey Fairy Cometh
(l-r) Frosty Flakes, In A Grinch, The Turkey Fairy Cometh

Actually It's John F. Frost, Elf Insurance, Djingle Unskeined
(l-r) Actually, It’s John F. Frost, Elf Insurance, Djingle Unskeined
8 Droogs A Molokin'
8 Droogs A Molokin’
Reavin' On A Jet Plane, Ten Reavers Reavin'
(l-r) Reavin’ On A Jet Plane, Ten Reavers Reavin’
Diners Drive-Ins And Dashers, Wolf Blitzen
(l-r) Diners, Drive-Ins And Dashers, Wolf Blitzen
Scornament, Buffy The Reindeer Sleigher
(l-r) Scornament, Buffy The Reindeer Sleigher
Drumstickenhooven, Buffy's Holiday Party: Who Punched The Spike?, Snow Trek 2: The Wreath Of Khan
(l-r) Drumstickenhooven, Buffy’s Holiday Party: Who Punched The Spike?, Snow Trek 2: The Wreath Of Khan Frankincense And Frankincensibility, Tinsellectomy, Frosty Bite
(l-r) Frankincense And Frankincensibility, Tinsellectomy, Frosty Bite

We did our best to get ‘em all (& there are a few duplicates but they were super-stoked to have their pictures taken so we couldn’t say no), but if we did miss any let us know & they’ll be added to the ménage à froid!

Traditions

I haven’t been feeling the holiday spirit this year. At all. Which is very unusual for me. I love this time of year. Time with family and friends. I fall completely for the spirit of it.

But for a number of reasons and huge sweeping changes, the things I look forward to are just not happening this year. So finding the spirt of the holidays has been non-existent.

When I was growing up, my family had a tradition of all going together to get our tree. Whether we went to a tree farm to cut it down, or drove to a market, or walked uphill in a blizzard, all bundled up and dragging a sled with my baby brother in tow, it was a family tradition.

Decorating it was also tradition. My dad was in charge of lights, which he made out to be a deeply complicated process of testing bulbs and making sure reflectors were in place. And then we placed the ornaments. Some bought. Many made in school by my brother and I. (Let’s just say that Dallington Public School’s spray painted Christmas ornament tradition has had its part in the destruction of the ozone layer) Wax ornaments from Germany. Needleworked ones by both parents. The special ones that belonged to each of us. They all have their stories, and we told them to each other again every year.

When I moved out, I didn’t have a tree. Living alone it always seemed like too much work. A lot of effort for something I was never home to see.

This year I was feeling this way again. But we had talked about it, and I asked Ron what he wanted to do. Now we have a property will lots of trees that need to be weeded out, so our “tree farm” is our back yard.

Ron came back with this:

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Please note that our living room ceiling is 2 stories high.

Last night we decorated. As we do every year, brought the box of ornaments up from the basement. Settled the tree. Strung the lights. Pulled out the ornaments and put them on the tree.

The ones we brought into our marriage from our old lives:

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(OK, not the dinosaur.  What…you don’t have a 16″ stuffed dino on your tree?)

The ones made by friends:

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The crazy stuff that made it on that first tree that Ron had driven 13 miles to our downtown Toronto apartment:

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The ones with inside jokes:

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The ones that look very familiar…

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(Do you see it? Also: the penguin has as many books under his arm as Ron carries with him everywhere)

And the goofy ones we find in our travels:

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(Oh come on.  Tell me YOU don’t have a prison chicken/possibly penguin on your tree…)

As each one went on the tree, I remembered where we were when we found it. How we decided it was coming to live with us. The crazy names Ron gives each one. And the tree was no longer just a tree.  Just a thing we do every year because it’s tradition. It’s a living, growing monument to us.  To my new family. To the life we’re building together.

And the spirit is back.

So someone…please…when I moan about not feeling the holiday spirit next year? Tell Ron to go out and get the damn tree.

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However you choose to celebrate tomorrow…or not celebrate…please accept our best wishes for your health and happiness for the next year.

 

 

 

Yarn Update – November 20, 2014

The last of the goodness, squirrelled away over the past few months, is now up for grabs! To shop, you can select the NEW category from the main SHOP page, and you can also click on the thumbnail photos below for more info on them.

Also, new inventories of many existing colourways/yarn bases that have been previously for sale but subsequently sold out have been updated, so check out all the bases for goodies that have just resurfaced! And as an added bonus, several newly-named Mutant Zombie Squirrel Kits have be unearthed, which can be found on the KITS page from the main SHOP page!!

And here’s today’s yarn gallery, so have fun!!!