Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Skein Queenery and other tales

Glister - a new hand-dyed laceweight silk from Skein Queen in Jade Palace and Camellia

I thought I'd start by clarifying my plans for the direction of the kingdom of Skein Queenery. I'm happy with the new website but am in the process of building another shop. The current one is O.K. but I'm not happy with just O.K. - I'd rather have super-dooper. So the new shop will have several advantages including the ability to pay using debit/credit cards, full tech. support and a couple of other things which I'll go into when we're ready to launch. All-in-all, a bit of a transitory period, but I'd rather get things even better make the shopping experience as easy for you as possible.

The new pre-dyed ranges from Lotus Yarns will be launched with the new shop. The photo above shows the yummy Bamboo Soft - 100% Bamboo yarn in a range of 15 colours - loosely spun allowing the structure of the yarn to wick away moisture making finished garments extremely comfortable to wear, especially in warm circumstances. Like silk in sheen and drape but less expensive.

Also in the new range will be 16 colours of 4 ply pure cashmere. If you like my Opulent base, then you'll already be familiar with the buttery softness of this 100% cashmere.

So why introduce pre-dyed colours when you're a hand-dyer? Well, I'm not going to be giving up the hand-dyeing! These are additional options so that the shop shelves don't look so bare in between dyeing sessions - and also, hand-dyed yarn may not be suitable for every project. This gives an extra opportunity to buy high quality yarn not available elsewhere in the UK (except from my friend Abby at soon-to-be-launched Crafty Yarn).

The South Hill Park Christmas Craft Fair was really fun and successful too. Now, bear in mind, crafters have to be pre-selected to exhibit at this fair and there's a lot of competition to get in, and then look at our stand!
I call it an eclectic mix of yarnie goodies - others might say jumble sale! I think we stood out from the minimalist, well-lit, white-and-chrome stands around us - in a good way (I hope!) I was really surprised how much interest there was in the yarn. I started with this much:

And came back with not much at all. I'll list a couple of skeins in my Etsy shop over the next day or two - there's even some Plushness which didn't prove as popular as the Kimono silk.

Sour Apples


Even my knitted lavender hearts did well - more surprise! I did about 13 of them and only a few came back.

And even my effort at stitching sold:

The best bit was chatting to Helen of Angharad and Kira all day. Thanks to Knitwit and alabamawhirly (knit happens) for organising it - worth clicking the linky (lots of lovely Christmas presents made with SQ yarn, some of them.)

It was also lovely to meet up with Machi of Magpienest, Tara of Kennedy Design and thanks to Rose, Phil and Tristan for popping by and the lovely Yvette who brought these that she'd knitted in Wisp to show how the yarn knits up - all these out of one skein of Wisp!

Some mitts

This is a purse but I wanted to try to show the lovely slip stitch (like linen stitch) she worked up.

This is a mini tank top that she worked in a zigzag pattern with another yarn.

And the reason I had to wait til today to blog - it's my sister-in-law's birthday today! Happy Birthday, Kathleen. She requested a knitted hat, so I made her this Koolhaas:

I love the end result but I won't be repeating all that cabling in a hurry - I think it's given me arthritis!


alabama whirly said...

what are you saying about our stand ; )

please don't tempt with delicious pics of soon to comes. I am feeling that I need to buy everything in double amounts right now!

heather said...

wow - that is majorly exciting :0) I think the pre-dyed yarns are a great idea to add to your range and they look gorgeous !