Monday, October 29, 2012

The Dyer's Notebook - Episode 6

Episode 6: Red

Week in Review

Vitamin D – first set of short rows done
Jose’s Socks – Cast on the second one

SW Merino – “51” by The Droll Eclectic "Sci Fi by the Numbers" series
293 yards

What I’ve been dyeing this week – New bases, organization

Ask A Dyer
Differences between brands of dyes
How to achieve red
Problems setting dye

Shop Update
Studio Ghlibi Club sign-ups: November 1 – November 18
This week’s update: October 30, 1 pm Central

Friday, October 26, 2012

FO: Jack o' Lantern Socks

My Jack o' Lantern socks are done, and with plenty of time until Halloween!

These are just basic stockinette socks with an afterthought heel and 1x1 rib cuff. I cast on 64 stitches and basically followed a free pattern by Laura Linneman (linked below).

Pattern: AfterThought Heel Socks by Laura Linneman
Yarn: Gynx Sock in Jack o' Lantern
Needles: US 1.5s for the majority, but I used US 1s for the heel
Ravelry Project Page

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Holla Knits Pattern Giveaway WINNER!

The winning comment was post number 2, which was compositionsofwool! Congrats compositionsofwool, and I've already emailed you the pattern.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Dyer's Notebook - Episode 5

Episode 5 - Tools of the Trade

Subscribe on iTunes!


Week in Review:

I went camping for the first time and hardly knit.
Augustus is sick :(


SW Merino – “51” by The Droll Eclectic

Stash Enhancement
Unwind Yarn Company Corriedale in "Goldenrod"

What I’ve been dyeing this week – Turquoise is my enemy.

Ask A Dyer
Tools I use (all of which are only for dyeing):
Stainless steel pots
Plastic measuring cups/spoons
Plastic bottles for dyestock

Shop Update
This week’s update is on Tuesday, October 23, at 1 pm Central.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Holla Knits Accessories Review + Giveaway!

Today is my stop on the Holla Knits Accessories 2012 blog tour, and I am so excited to share this collection with you (and give one of you a pattern for free!). I was contacted months ago by Allyson of Holla Knits/Sweatshop of Love to see if I'd like to be a part of the accessories collection by offering some yarn for one of the patterns, and I happily took the opportunity.

Like the previous Holla Knits collections that have come out this year, this collection is full of fun, unique, and cool designs by some very talented designers. Each of the six patterns is $4, or buy the whole collection for $12. I've already talked about what I love about the Holla Knits collections in general on the blog, so instead of repeating myself, let's dive right in to the patterns.

First up is Black Swan by Tara Shade. Knit up on size 17 needles in either Knits in Class Twist or Knit Picks Biggo, this looks like an incredibly quick knit that would be a fun way to change the look of an old top or carry a spring/summer dress into fall.

The Multiplicity pattern by Allyson Dykhuizen is an adorable little purse knit in Knit Picks Brava Sport that is a perfect size for just the essentials (phone, wallet, keys, maybe some chapstick...). I am not a "just the essentials" kind of girl when it comes to my bag, but there are some times (like at an event) when carrying your regular purse is a bother, and this would be great for that. This is also double knit, which is a technique I've never done before. This project is small enough that it wouldn't be overwhelming to practice a new technique on.

 Along the same lines as Black Swan, Knight Service by Teresa Gregorio is another quick way to change up an outfit. Knit in Periwinkle Sheep Merino DK or Knit Picks Gloss DK and jazzed up with plenty of beads, this shrug would be cute thrown over a sleeveless top to add a bit more coverage, or over long sleeves as pictured.

The Snowball Bonnet by Anna Elliott is knit with either Artesano Alpaca DK or Knit Picks Swish DK and plays with interesting textures to create a different winter hat. The loop stitch and the pom poms at the ends make a very soft appearance in the bonnet, and the loops just look fun to do. I can see this on a really chic lady at a ski resort.

The Scallop by the Sea clutch by Katie Canavan is a very simple shape, but makes use of pattern and color choices to make a completely unique clutch. Knit in Bumblebirch Blossom or Knit Picks Stroll Sport, the scalloped design really does remind me of waves by the sea. I think this would be amazing either in a two-color combination or a gradient, because I'm a sucker for gradients. I don't really do clutches, but I want this for a small project bag.

Finally, the pattern I'm most excited about: the Wallpaper Cowl by Emma Welford (yep, the lady that designed the awesome Holla Back Tank I just finished). I adore colorwork, yet rarely do it, but I really want to cast on this cowl. Who doesn't love a good cowl, right? The cowl is lined, which keeps floats from the colorwork protected and adds another layer for warmth. It doesn't hurt that the cowl pictured above uses Gynx DK for the colorwork (Canary and Neliel) and Gynx Sock (Electric Strawberry) for the lining. I am really considering getting this on my needles since it looks like a quick knit, but I've been restraining myself because I have so many other projects going on right now. This cowl is happening though, and I'm already playing with color combos in my head.

Now, on to the reason (most of) you are probably here for: the giveaway! One lucky reader will win a copy of the Wallpaper Cowl by Emma Welford. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post telling me which of the six patterns is your favorite, and leave me a way to contact you (email or Ravelry ID). You have through next Tuesday (October 23) to enter, and I'll announce the winner next Wednesday (October 24).

For more stops on the blog tour (and more giveaways!), check out the schedule below:

October 8: The Sweatshop of Love - collection and pattern giveaway
October 9: Under the Red Umbrella - Subscriber exclusive KP yarn giveaway, pattern giveaway
October 10: Rohn Strong - pattern giveaway
October 11: Emma Welford Designs - pattern giveaway
October 12: Knits in Class - Subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway / pattern giveaway

October 15: Bumblebirch Designs - pattern giveaway
October 16: Audrey’s Teashop - pattern and yarn giveaway
October 17: Gynx - pattern giveaway
October 18: Adaly Myles Place - pattern giveaway
October 19: Canary Knits - Subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway, pattern giveaway

October 22: Webs Yarn Store Blog - yarn giveaway
October 23: The Sweatshop of Love Hosts Homestead Heirlooms! - subscriber exclusive purse kit giveaway
October 24: Knitted Bliss - pattern giveaway
October 25: Stash, the Knit Picks Staff Blog
October 26: Holla Knits hosts Tara Shade! - Subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway, pattern giveaway

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I cast on some self-striping Halloween socks. Don't judge me.

This is Gynx Sock in the Jack o' Lantern colorway. The colorway was the result of an accident, and I'm really regretting not having any Halloween yarns for the shop this year. I already have plans for Christmas self-striping yarns, so that will be coming next month.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Dyer's Notebook: Episode 4

 Episode 4 - Yarn Bases

Subscribe on iTunes!


Week in Review

Rhinebeck is coming up, but not for me :(
Campaign for Wool – Wool Week

Holla Back Tank – Done!


What I’ve been dyeing this week
Layers Part 2

Ask A Dyer
This week, a viewer asked me to talk about different bases and how to tell what you're getting when buying online.
Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes

Shop Update
Base changes
This week’s update - Tuesday at 1 pm Central

Saturday, October 13, 2012

FO: Holla Back Tank.

It's done! I didn't think the bottom band would ever end, but it's done!

I love how this turned out! I was worried that it was going to be too short because I have a long torso, so I added 6 stitches to the bottom band and I think it's the perfect length. The tank also blocks out a lot, which gave me some length as well.

Pattern: Holla Back Tank by Emma Welford
Yarn: Gynx Sock in the Piccolo colorway (2 skeins)
Needle: US 5
Ravelry Project Page: Link
Mods: Cast on 20 stitches instead of 14 for the bottom band.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Yarnography: I Promise I'm not a Slacker.

It might seem like it by the frequency of my blog posts, but I'm really not being a slacker. I've just been crazy busy with dyeing yarn for the shop, dyeing yarn for wholesale orders, and picking out and ordering new yarn bases. These days I feel like I'm drowning in a never-ending pile of yarns that need to be reskeined. I reduce the pile to zero at the beginning of one day, and by the end of the day, there's another giant pile staring me in the face! It's a bit overwhelming sometimes, but it makes an excellent photo subject.

Not related to the yarn photos, but the Holla Back Tank is done! Well, almost. It's not off the blocking board yet, but as soon as this sucker's dry, I'll be taking some finished object pictures. I really cannot wait to wear this.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Dyer's Notebook: Episode 3

Episode 3: In Which I Forget Basic Color Theory

Subscribe on iTunes!


Week in Review
It’s cold!


Bramble Lane Fiber – 215 yards, 50% White Finn, 50% Natural colored wool

Cool Things

Resisting for layers of color

Ask A Dyer
How long does it take for you to dye a colorway? How many hours do you spend a week dyeing? - @Caitlingaling on Twitter

Shop Update
This week’s update - Tuesday, October 9 at 1 pm Central

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Holla Knits KAL - Week 7; Vitamin D KAL - Week 3?

This week's KAL post ended up being a couple of days late because I had some pressing things to post on the blog on Friday about the future of Gynx Yarns, and then yesterday was distracted by the sudden drop in temperature and an uncontrollable need for pizza and hot chocolate (not together). Today, however, I'm writing this in the early morning before my husband gets up before I can get distracted again.

 Colors are a bit off this week on this one... sorry.

The tank is now completely seamed! This now means the tank can be tried on, and it seems to fit really well. All that is left is the neckline (which I may have done yesterday), the armholes, and the bottom band. Next week there will be a finished object post!

The Vitamin D cardigan is moving right along. I've put the sleeve stitches on holders and am working on the body of the cardigan. If you're familiar with the pattern, I'm right before the short rows. I'm adding 10 rows before the start of the short rows to lengthen the cardi and lower the top points.

This cold front seems to be nation-wide, so if you've seen a drop in the weather, I hope you're enjoying it! It's in the 50s today, and I'm enjoying wearing some handknit socks.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Big Changes at Gynx Yarns.

There are going to be some changes here at Gynx Yarns.

One standard I have always had is that I would only buy yarn bases from what I believed were ethically-treated sheep. For over a year now, I have been using one base in three different weights (sock, DK, aran) that was certified organic. However, yesterday I was told that the source I buy my yarns from is no longer able to get this wool. They have found a replacement that they believe will be almost identical to what I am using now, but it would be a few months before they would be able to get any to me. There will also be a small price increase with this new source of organic wool.

So I was in a bit of a dilemma yesterday. How will I get through the next few months until this new yarn is released? What if I don’t even like the new yarn? After some conversations with a few people whose opinions I trust, I believe I have come to a solution, and honestly, it could lead to some exciting things.

I have found another source that gets their merino from ethical sources. Are they certified organic? No. Do they still care about the welfare of their sheep? Yes. What has always been important to me and my company is not a certification, but just that the animals that we receive wool from have been treated well and are cared for. This new source would allow me to add things like superwash bases, nylon blends, even some blends with a bit of sparkle. If, once I examine this new organic yarn, I decide that it is on par with what I have been selling, I will continue to have organic yarns in the shop as well.

One thing that is for certain is that the Gynx Sock, Gynx DK, and Gynx Aran lines will no longer be produced once my supply runs out. Because of this, I will no longer be taking custom orders until I have everything figured out. While this new organic base may very well be indistinguishable from my current bases, I just can’t know for sure, so I can’t promise anything. If you have enjoyed working with these bases or have wanted to try them, it would be highly recommended that you get what you want now.

I want to know what you, my customers and supporters, think about all of this. How do you feel about non-organic, but still ethically-sourced wools? The possibility of superwash or other additions? Please feel free to tell me your opinion either on the blog, on Ravelry, or email me at

I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Gynx Yarns, and I thank all of you who have helped me get to this point.