About one of my absolute favorite independent business owners. Dyeabolical Yarns. I would say that at this point, 80% of what I purchase (Which, sadly, is NOT a lot, due to having really overdone it in the yarn buying department in the past) is from Rachel’s shop.
I’ve been following this shop since the very beginning of 2009. In fact, I can show you my first project. I’d picked the fiber up from a destash, and that’s the fiber that sold me completely. Here’s the in progress photo. And the finished photo.
At some point, I struck up somewhat of an online friendship with Rachel that I feel has benefitted me so greatly. I’ve been able to do sample knitting for her in the past, and try a new yarn or fiber from time to time. These are absolutely wonderful fun things for a person like me who really enjoys trying something new. There’s one shawl in particular I never would have tried without it being requested as a sample knit. It had linen stitch, no problem, and it had dropped stitches, again no problem, and then these weird stitches where you passed a whole bunch over another whole bunch, and I can’t even remember how that worked now. I just remember knowing I wouldn’t have even tried them without the request, and they were indeed fun.
My current spin project is, again, a dyeabolical fibers project. I have taken Fate, PhD and Steampumpkin colorways and combined them. I just finished the first bobbin.
These are now retired colorways. I have to say that it’s always my goal to own every single one of her colorways at some point, though I don’t actually achieve that. However, if something is getting retired, I HAVE to pick it up lest I miss out completely and regret it for the rest of time. These were the two I chose from the latest retirement, though I could have filled my cart to the brim.
Since this is an 8 oz. project, it’s going a bit slow right now. Plus, you know, the whole weird and unexpectedly extra long sweater project.
But, another thing happened that involves Rachel this week. Way back when, she had this cotton slub yarn. When dyed in her wonderfully saturated colors, it made yarn that I loved so much!
Here’s an example in action, with a close up of a young Miss Bug.She wore this all the time.
This yarn felt great to knit, and had such an interesting texture. I loved it so much. But sadly, the mill Rachel was using quit making the yarn, and that was the end of the cotton slub yarn opportunity. I still wax poetic about that yarn on the regular.
And look what arrived in the mail for me yesterday!
That is…an incredibly generous gift from Rachel. It’s the last of her cotton slub yarn. I had originally thought maybe I could get a nice slubby stripy cotton sweater out of it. But, I think I’ve changed my mind. I want a nice big slubby stripy shawl instead. I just want to be able to wrap myself in it. I haven’t yet chosen a pattern, but I will! I think I’ll try to get a good handle on the yardage and then go from there. I have some ideas in mind, but such a sought after yarn should get a perfect pattern, so I don’t want to rush it.
I might also add the super cool knitting row counters she slipped into that package! You can get them here and I cannot WAIT to give mine a try!
Another thing Rachel is responsible for in my knitting career:
Inspiration. My epic queen sized Lizard Ridge blanket. I saw the beginning of her Lizard Ridge way back when. And I HAD to knit it. I began collecting colors, and I began knitting it. She set hers aside for ages. I set mine aside for ages. It was only when she finished hers and posted about it that I HAD to finish mine too. I am so happy I did! It’s beautiful, and it’s the one we use daily, and it always gets compliments when we have company over who haven’t seen the house before.
Suffice it to say, Rachel has been a huge influence in my knitting and spinning over the years, and if you aren’t paying attention to her, you absolutely SHOULD be. She’s a fantastic person, in addition to being a consistently kind, fair, and honorable business woman. And, in a world of yarn and fiber small business owner drama, she’s a person you can trust. Not a hint of drama in all the years I’ve been following along. Simply amazing artistry combined with the ability to run a solid business.
In addition to all of this, she’s got a ravelry group, a podcast, and recently began a facebook group called Wool Ewe Please? where you can join and post whatever lovely knitting or spinning you want, and enjoy the posts of other like minded crafters. Go find her, follow her, and be inspired!