Queen Bee in my lap, Winter Craft Show & New Shop

I disappear from the Blogosphere for two months, and that’s all I’ve got to show for myself, I know. But on the upside, I started a Ravelry Group, opened a new shop on BigCartel, and I got into a major show that’s gonna kick major ass. So there.

Delicious new fiber in the BigCartel shop

Why a new shop? Well, in short, because Etsy fees are a bit much.
Why should I shop at your new shop, Etsy is all familiar an’ stuff, this new site is ok, but it’s scary. I know it looks different, but this means more of your dollars will go to me, and less to Etsy, AND you’ll still have the same buyer protection you had with Paypal, because the shop runs on Paypal. See, that’s not so bad is it?  For now, Etsy stays open, but if all goes well, and I’m able to get traffic over to the BigCartel site, I’ll eventually move everything over to the new site, but for now, you can still find me lotsa ways. Etsy. Ravelry. Twitter. BigCartel & here of course.

And yes, I do still owe you a full on review of the Queen Bee, I’ve taken some notes, and jotted down some ideas, but they’ll probably have to wait until after the Boston Bazaar Bizarre. This will be year two at the Cyclorama which is fantastic as it’s perhaps the only venue in Boston short of the Gahden that can hold all us craftypants vendors and all you craftierpants shoppers. Vera exciting.

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Let the UPS stalking begin & other social activities

So I ordered a Queen Bee. I know that as a dealer of SpinOlution wheels, I should be calm & totally cool about this, but I’m too bloody excited. If you hear squealing echoing through the intertubes next Thursday, that’ll be me. I’ll try to be a good little brownie & post here and on my Brand New Shiny Ravelry Group, but we’ll see.  Place your bets now on which I’m more likely to do, and how long it’ll take me to kill the gerber daisy I bought at Trader Joe’s tonight.

Speaking of night, g’night folks.

I know I know, pretty photos tomorrow, promise.

News: Gargantuan & Glorious Edition

Howdy Readers, all 4(?) of you.

It’s been a big month at KnittinK. First off, I had a great show at the First Annual Boston Bazaar Bizarre Summer Fair.

It was a lot of fun, the weather was perfect (cool, crisp & overcast), and I met some wonderful people & even got photographed for a book (more to follow on that next spring).

In other, equally awesome news, I became a dealer for my Beloved SpinOultion spinning wheels.  And I’m offering demos, to anyone who wants to travel to the Boston area to try one out. In fact, a lovely spindle spinner is coming tomorrow, and I can’t wait to meet her. More importantly, I can’t wait for her to meet KronK.

But wait, there’s more! I also got in to the Big Ole Exclusive & Amazing Winter Boston Bazaar Bizarre. There’ll be more info on that to follow as well. It’s in December, so believe me, you’ve got time. But lemme tell ya, get yer butt on their mailing list cos you want those Early Bird tickets.

FINALLY, but certainly not last, no wait, that’s not how that goes. Anyway, I’ve spent a large part of the summer spinning & knitting at my much beloved Local Yarn Shop (LYS), Island Yarn Company. I consider the owner a good friend, so I couldn’t be happier for her that the very first pattern she submitted to Interweave got in!!! She’s got a lovely & clever gloves pattern, Calomel Gloves, in the Interweave Knits Weekend.

Welp, that’s all for now. I just reorangized my studio because I’ve got THIRTY-FIVE pounds of wool heading to my house. Yep, you heard me. And you know what that means, right? Fall is officially going to rock…and dye.

Deadbeat Dyer & Why Handspun costs what it does

I know, 2 weeks again, but it was finals, I swear. But have a look at this lovely that I’m going to turn into a hat. Oh yes. It’s alpaca, merino & silk & it’s from It’s a Colorful Life. She sent me 2 delicious batts, the second of which I have yet to spin, but I’m sure it’ll be just as delightful as the first. The colors are falling a bit flat in this photo, but trust me, they’re delicious and lovely and if I have my way, I will find a pattern that I can wear for at least 6 months out of the year.

But onto another matter, which I’ve been meaning to address for some time. The issue of the cost of handspun. I get a lot of funny looks and questions about what I do, and why it’s more expensive than say Red Heart.

So here are the questions I’m aiming to answer with this post: Why does it cost what it does? Why buy handspun when there’s commercial yarn at AC Moore? It’s not practical, it’s not uniform, etc.

First off: Why does handspun cost more than commercial yarn?
This is not a short or simple answer, so if you just want to look at purty things, go play in my flickr. For those of you still following along at home, I’ll give you the simple answer first– because it’s worth more. Yep, I said it. It’s not humble, it’s not polite by some standards, but there you have it.
Now, here’s the long answer:
It starts with processed fiber. I don’t have the space or time to process my own fleeces, so I purchase fiber (from local farms when I can) that’ve already been washed and the fibers aligned so it’s ready to spin. This most often called combed top (though there’s also roving, rolags & batts, which are all different fiber preparations). So I purchase this, and pay for shipping. Then I measure it, and braid it so that it’s ready to dye. Then I spend several hours dyeing several pounds of fiber in my little kitchen. I soak the fibers to prep them to receive the dye (this is what makes it colorfast), I mix my dyes & start applying them to my fibers. I then babysit my dyebaths to ensure that the fibers are taking in the dye, and that the fibers aren’t felting. Then, I gently rinse my fibers, hang them to dry on my chandelier. Yep, I’m classy. Then, once dry, I fluff, rebraid, weigh & price them. Or I then spin them. If I choose to ply, I then essentially spin them 3 times. In other words, while this is a wonderfully fun and delightful process, it’s work, and it’s time, and it’s my business. I am endeavoring to live my dream, and feed myself & my four legged lovelies from my work. So am I the cheapest thing out there? Nope. Not by a longshot. But, when you buy my stuff, you’re supporting a someone, an actual person. A person who values craftsmanship, human life (pursuing a degree in healthcare), animal life (both my own, and through donation to the WWF & SPCA) and who in turn, makes an effort to support other local businesses and etsy artists.

Before moving on, I want to bribe you to continue reading by showing you one of my critters.

This is Banshee, who is appropriately demented given that his Momma's a dog...

Now, onto the question of commercial vs handspun: Why buy handspun when there’s commercial yarn at AC Moore? It’s not practical, it’s not uniform, etc.
Handspun has many purposes, and more and more patterns are being made by killer designers to highlight the deliciousness, the loftiness, the zaniness of handspun. That said, not all patterns suit handspun fibers, that’s just the way of it. And if you’re making a sweater that uses sock weight yarn & requires 2500 yards, handspun might not be the most economical or practical option (though many spinners dye & spin for their own sweaters). However, knitting, crocheting, felting, weaving with handspun provides a particular thrill, it’s the unexpected, the unknown! It’s the casting off of what’s expected or deliberate.
It’s a thrill. And it’s made even more so by the fact that you’re working with a product that has been worked on, worked over, and loved dearly by another human. That, at least to me, means something. I mean, how lucky are we that we don’t have to spin thread to make fabric? That we can buy wacky, creative, cocoon- art- bouble- corespun- beehive- yarns for our projects from other people all around the world? And how cool is it that so many of us are able to spin, that this craft hasn’t died, or been lost? There’s so much history, and care, and thought into what handspinners put into what we do, and I love that.  I can’t get that feeling, and that thrill from shopping at a chain store, and I find that even in my LYS, I gravitate toward the handdyed stuffs, cos I like the unpredictability of it, among other things. I can’t help it, that’s just how I’m wired. Meanwhile, I’m aware that not everyone feels that way, and that’s completely fair and valid. This is just one fiber junkie’s opinion.

Cheers,
Ady Bee

Melting Candle Pot Giveaway Bonanza O’clock…pants

Forget melting pots, forget burning the candle at both ends, I’m so tired, I’m just gonna start mixing metaphors ’til it looks

blurry sneak peek

cool. With finals coming, and with 10 lbs of fiber dyed so far this month, I’m a little tapped out. So, I’m relying on you folks for inspiration. Post a comment with a link to a photo from which you’d like me to extrapolate colors to dye. And if you’d like to see it with a particular fiber type, lemme know. Aaaand, if you retweet/repost, etc. and we get enough folks to comment, I might just might use random.org to pick a winner & might maybe just send you some free fiber. But that means we’ll need at least a few commenters, so get to work, my minions.

Overdue OR “I was dead at the time”

I know, I know. I’m a dreadful woman, it’s true. The show went great, thanks for asking. And I’ve spent the last week recovering from the gruesome heat and taking more exams than I care to discuss. But I’m here now to make it up to you. I’ve been posting and selling fibers in rapid succession, so there. Also here’s my leftover faux cashmere, om nom nom nom.

RAIN DATE for the Boston Handmade Marketplace

That’s right, due to today’s balmy thunderstoms of doom, the show has been moved to Sunday. Hope to see you there!

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