Creation and Collaboration

I’m very lucky. My work is something I also love to do. Something creative and artistic.

But creative careers can carry a cloud of illusion. A well-known Canadian artist once said to me that 90% of his work life is boring.  The flash of the idea and the excitement of mapping out where that’s going to go is 10%. The execution, filling in all the bits and pieces, promoting the work, travelling for the work and all the other day by day pieces that make the 10% possible are mostly boring.

My art college students have gotten that line from me more than once. It’s not a popular concept when all you want to do is be in your studio creating.

We’re in the midst of heavy production at the moment, which really means dyeing the same colours over and over again in multiple bases. There are entire days when we don’t see more than one colour pass through our hands. And I think the yarn knows when I’m bored. I think it shows very clearly. So I struggle with trying to stay creative and inspired. I have a boatload of tricks and triggers to keep me going. But nothing works better than collaboration.

In the middle of one of these crazy dyeing days, an old friend and collaborator literally arrived on my doorstep. We’ve emailed in recent years, but I think the last time we saw each other was in the last century, so to say it was a surprise to see him is quite possibly the understatement of my lifetime.

Phil is a clockmaker. His day to day life involved restoring and building traditional clocks. But his heart is in this work.  All those pieces are made by hand, and made to work in amazing ways.  There is film of them in action. It makes me look at time entirely differently.

Way back in my first artistic life, Phil and I worked together on a number of pieces. We shared a sketchbook that we would hand back and forth and fill with sketches and ideas until we found one that clicked. I have distinct memories of standing outside on the pavement and sketching out our collaborations in chalk on the driveway. We finished each other’s lines and curves like others finish each others sentences. He worked in metal. I worked in textiles. He worked in form. I worked in texture. And we’d combine these materials and ideas, overlapping and overflowing into each other in ways I’m incredibly proud of.

This pedestal and vessel still lives at my parents house. So many details I still find in it that make me keep looking.

This is a 3 panel screen. The middle panel balances on the two sides, allowing you to change the angle of each piece.

This mirror

So many lessons from that time. Like hours and days and weeks learning how to bend iron with fire and wondering why I couldn’t make it bend like Phil’s careful, balanced, mathematically sound curves. And then learning he was trying to mimic my organic, twisty, wavy, viney things. I still see evidence of those lessons and those attempts to stretch and grow in both our work.  The mutual appreciation also.

After this visit, I’m inspired and taken back to a time when I made time for playing and learning and exploring. Time for working with other artists in ways that challenged each other, yet let us shine in our own ways. Time for creating more beautiful things to put out into the world, without thinking about whether that pattern or colour or idea will sell or whether anyone will even like it.

And I’ve decided there will be more of those. That even if it’s tiny moments of it, there will be time for sharing ideas and riffing off of each other. For admiring what’s beautiful in what you do and making what I do enhance and work with yours. I’ll be here waiting to hear your ideas. And I’ll be braver about reaching out to you with mine.



Yarn Update: Hungry Hungry Games!


Okay, so there has been suggestions out there amongst the internets that there just might possibly be a wee bit o’ interest in having some Hunger Games yarns. Luckily we at indigodragonfly have backbones of steel and do not bend to the Winds of Desire….at least for a day or two.

Okay, so here ya have it, a bunch o’ HG colourways – and remember, only one person from each District can place an order!

Oh yes, an’ just for funnies & becuz we can, there’s a few Turkeys & Reaverdancers tagging along for the ride!

To order, you can shop by base, weight or fibre, or go to the NEW page and Gods willing they show up individually. An’ as usual, here’s the teaser pics:


Enjoy, and may the stoutest tribute kick stash!!!


Sweater Club Sign Ups are open!

Sweater Club 2014 is now closed for new memberships.  Thank you everyone.

To be informed when sign ups for the next round open, please join our mailing list.

Full payment sign ups are here.

Full Club information is here.

Monthly Payment Option: If you wish to pay for your Club membership in 6 monthly instalments, please email orders AT with your location, size and package preference (Merino, Luxury, etc). We will send you a personalized sign up link.

Please note, there are no monthly payment options for Safety Skeins or Swatching Skeins

Monthly Payment Pricing:
Find your size and package preference on this chart to find out what your monthly payments BEFORE shipping will be. A shipping fee of $10-11 per month and any applicable taxes (Canada) will be added to your monthly payment at sign up. Note: Addresses outside North America may be subject to an additional shipping fee. We will clear that fee with you at sign up.

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Purchase of this item assumes that you agree to the following terms:

You must ensure that your mailing address in Paypal is correct. If you move at any point between April 2, 2014 and February 15, 2015, 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. Club shipment dates will be announced approximately 1 month in advance

There are no returns on Club memberships. 

You assume responsibility for packages delivered to the wrong address IF: your address is incorrect in Paypal, 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.  

Let us show you the (sweater club) yarn…

Many of you are gearing up towards Sweater Club sign ups next Wednesday, April 2. Because there’s so much interest and because we want to make sure everyone has a chance to nab a spot, we’ll be offering 2 waves of sign ups.

Half the spots will go up for sale at noon eastern on April 2.

The other half will go up at 9 pm eastern on April 2.

Links to help you get there will be right here, in this space at those times.

Since some of the yarns we’re offering as part of the Club are brand new, I thought I’d introduce them all to you and tell you why we’ve chosen them.

Basic Merino

SC merino

These yarns are all 100% superwash merino. They suck up colour in ways that make me love them so much. In fact, if we’re testing new colours, it’s bases like these we reach for first. They tell us so much about how multi-tonal our colours can be. They give us richness and depth. 

SC merino sock

Merino Sock is often overlooked as it’s a bit rough in the skein. But after a good soak and some love and care, it develops a lovely little halo. It’s my absolute favourite of our yarns, for its softness and ability to take and play with colour.  The texture it creates with its two plies makes a beautiful fabric.


SW superbaa DK     DSC_0005

SuperBaa DK and SuperBaa Worsted are new kids on the block. In fact, up until 5 minutes ago, they were nameless! (and now we’re picturing mascots with capes and phone booths…) We wanted something a little bit…more than our standard superwash DK and worsted yarns. And we found it! These use the same merino as merino sock and with a 4 ply texture, make a lovely round yarn with great stitch definition. They are bouncy and springy and soft. We can’t wait for you to meet them.



These yarns are a little more special, with silks and cashmere blended in with merino. These are yarns I wear every day, but can also be used to make that special piece you wear to dress up.

DSC_0008Merino Silk 4 ply Sock is a favourite amongst designers. You think it’s all shiny and delicate, but in reality this yarn can take anything you throw at it. Lace? Definitely. Textured stitches? Absolutely. Miles of stockinette? In a heartbeat. And it wears beautifully. This was the yarn I used for my wedding sweater. People who don’t knit STILL talk about it.

DSC_0009Über MerGoat Sport is spun from sunshine and kittens. SUNSHINE and fluffy fluffy cuddly souls of tiny baby KITTENS.  It’s on the heavier side of sport, and works up as nicely at a DK gauge. You feel the strength of this yarn…the solidness of the merino underneath, but then there is just the softest, warmest, sweetest haze over it.

DSC_0011MCS Worsted combines the best of the above two yarns into a lovely heavy worsted weight yarn that is smooth, soft and has just the tiniest bit of sheen to it.  The silk adds strength and drape.  And colour? Exquisite.




This set of yarns combines the best of all worlds with a mixture of bases in lighter weights (sock, DK and sport) for those who prefer light sweaters.

SC mergoat sockMerGoat Sock (formerly MCN Sock) is a merino/cashmere/nylon blend that is soft, warm and wears very well. The more you wash it, the more the halo of the cashmere comes out.



sc ms dkMerino Silk DK makes everything better. It makes a beautiful fabric, that doesn’t grow and grow and grow as silk is famous for doing. The structure and twist keep it in line. There’s just enough shine to make this a special yarn to wear, yet knit in the right style, it’s the perfect casual “just throw it on” layer.


sc octobaaOctoBaa is 8 plies of awesome.  Four strands of 2 ply yarn spun together give it a unique texture and feel. You’ve never felt a yarn quite like this one and the fabric it produces is truly unique.  An amazing, workhorse yarn.


The First Rule of Sweater Club…

Introducing the first ever indigodragonfly sweater club! 

Sweater Club Details

Sign ups will begin April 2 right here.

Half of the spots will go up for sale at noon Eastern, the rest will go up at 9 pm Eastern.

What you will receive:

  • 3 shipments – May, September, January
  • 3 yarn bases (1 per shipment in a sweater amount for your size)
  • Custom Fit patterns and recipes
  • One of a kind colours that are yours alone

Choose from 3 different package options filled with our favourite sweater yarns. Choose your package. Choose your size. Choose your payment option. Add in swatching skeins and safety skeins.

Everything you need to make a year’s worth of totally unique sweaters!

Learn more about the yarns here.

Basic Merino

  • Merino Sock
  • A new superwash DK yarn (to be named)
  • A new superwash Worsted yarn (to be named)


Light Mix

Choose as you go.  With this option, about 1-2 months before every shipment, you’ll be sent an email asking you about yarn choices for your next package. You will choose between the 3 bases we’ll be dyeing for the next shipment. These will generally the same weight. (i.e.: All sock yarns, all mid-weight yarns, all worsted/mid-weight)
As the Light Mix package obviously doesn’t have a worsted weight option,  one of the mid-weight yarns will be substituted here.

There will be a “Default” choice. If we haven’t heard back from you by the assigned deadline (in the choices email), you will be sent the “default” yarn. By signing up for the SWITCH! Package, you agree to this condition.

Each package will include a Custom Fit pattern code and a Custom Fit recipe


Swatching Skeins: receive swatching skeins (25g skeins) for each of your yarn bases in your first package

Safety Skeins: add an extra skein in any of your chosen yarn bases to make extra sure you have enough. (note: you will also have the option of adding a safety skein before each package is sent.


Note: if your size is not on this chart, please contact us and we will put together a package quote for you. Not sure which size to choose? Read this post for help.

Full Payment (excluding shipping – shipping will be incorporated into the full payment amount when the Club goes live):
10% discount off of retail cost of each package.

Sweater Club sizing chart

Monthly Payments (6 monthly payments – excluding shipping. Shipping will be incorporated into the monthly payments when the Club goes live):
includes an admin fee to cover extra paypal fees and administrative time associated with managing monthly payments

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US & Canada – $54 (size F: $61) for full year of shipping, flat rate, trackable package

International – Please email us with your size and country for a shipping quote. Rate range from $54 – $108+ for the full year of shipping

Note: Sweater Club shipments can not be combined with any other yarn purchases at this time. We’ve negotiated a flat rate with tracking for these packages and any additions will change the shipping rate significantly.

Join us in our Ravelry Group for discussion about this exciting new venture.

Trunk Show & Classes at Shall We Knit

From March 21-23, Ron and I will be packing up ALL the yarn and heading to Shall We Knit in Waterloo Ontario to join Kate for the quarterly tradition we affectionately call Shenanigans. (It always feels like our best plans for the next several months are hatched here, and as such, it is the birthplace of awesome.)

There will be yarn. All day Friday and Saturday (and Sunday, for those taking classes). All that we can pack into Shiny (Yes. We named our car.)

And there will be classes about colour and sweaters and making knits you love to wear.

Spatial Distortion: Exploring Chaos Theory goes through all the steps and techniques in making the Spatial Distortion: Swoop shawl. Choosing colours that sing, how to create short row stripes with clean, sharp edges in garter stitch, which increases and bind offs give you the stretchiest edges. All will be revealed.

The next two classes work together seamlessly. And as such, it’s highly recommended they are taken together.

Creating Your Perfect Sweater Model covers the part of sweater design that’s a little less familiar to most of us. We look at knitwear patterns and styles and often wonder “will that look good on me?” In this class, you will learn how to create a simple croquis, a fashion illustration tool that will help you with just that.

In simplest terms, turn this…                            into this…

CF3        IMG_0626


So you can do this.

IMG_0628 green croquis


Using this tool, you’ll be able to try different necklines, sweater lengths, sleeve lengths and even experiment with colour placement and texture to determine what you like best on you.

Creative Design for Custom Fit is about taking stitch and colour patterns you love and incorporating them into basic sweater patterns (like those created with Custom Fit) to make great fitting sweaters you love.  Learn where to place stitch/colour patterns to work best with shaping, which stitches work best for all-over placement, how to handle cable patterns and stitch patterns at different gauges, and finally, for the very brave, techniques for chaotic (organic) stitch pattern placement Whether using Custom Fit on your own, or working with a Custom Fit LYS (like Shall We Knit), you’ll be able to confidently add your own unique touches to your next sweater.

In other words, find out the process it took to get these sweaters

CF3-2    DSC_0022


We hope to see you there!

Yarn Update March 5/14: CaribouBaa, Merino Nylon Sock & Stragglers Underfoot


Okay, so here’s the latest…launch Yarn Vipers…assume attack formation…zero in…FRAKKKK!!!!!!!!Sold Out already??????? Someone’s been scanning my transmissions!!! Arrggghhh…Oh, there’s more than one skein…sorry I shot off your engines…my bad………..

Anyway, to browse, check oot the thumbnails below for the teasers, and scoop generously from the NEW page on the sales lists. An’ don’t forget – sign-ups are open for the next round o’ Smart Ass Knitters Club Minions Of Questionably Scurrilous Behaviour & Mayhemishness, but spots are almost gone…D’oh!!!

Stained Fingers Dye Camp 2014

Marit Aug Dye CampWho wants to come to camp?

Stained Fingers Dye Camp is back for 2014.  Come to our home studio and frolic with yarn, fibre and colour.


July 21-24 (with optional add-on open studio day: July 25)
August 11-14 (with optional add-on open studio day: August 15) note: the Fibre Fling (annual open house) is August 16

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. Learn a variety of dyeing techniques including kettle dyeing, hand painting, ombre dyeing, dyeing gradations and more.
  • maximum 7 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.

Our home studio in Haliburton ON (approximately 3 hours north of Toronto)

$500 course and materials (+HST)
Additional Studio Day (optional) $50 + HST

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

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 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



Yarn Update Feb. 19/14 Pt. 2: Most Everything Except Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock!!

Welcome back!!

Okay, time for Part Two of today’s yarn updates – lotsa goodies have been piling up in the CHUM (Clandestinely Hoarded Unreleased Multitudes) bucket for the past several weeks, so as the sharks say, in the water y’all!!

To order, you can go to the SHOP page and select NEW! This will also list any of the Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock skeins left from this afternoon’s update!!! And don’t forget, sign-ups are now open for the 2014 Smart-Ass Knitters Club – Yeah Baby!!!

Awright, have at ye!!!

Yarn Update Feb. 19/14 Pt. 1: Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock!


Here’s the first of two updates today! Part 2 will be online at 9:30 p.m. e.s.t. – different colour ways, different yarn bases!

But for now, here’s a wack o’ Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock!!!

To order, you can choose by selecting the 4-Ply yarn base page, or by going to the NEW page. And don’t forget, sign-ups are now open for the 2014 Smart-Ass Knitters Club – Woot Woot!!

Okay now, enjoy!!