Why I started a Hand Dyed Yarn Business

Note from Lauren of the future…. I wrote this post back in November and never clicked publish! I’ll be continuing this series this month, so this is a great way to catch up.

I often get asked how I got into yarn dyeing and I figured it warranted a blog post. In fact, I plan to do a series more on my hand dyed yarn business, the early years.

I think the why started because it was something I was intrigued with when I first learned of hand dyed yarn businesses. When I first started buying hand dyed yarn, I probably had no clue they were mostly run by one person shops. I don’t think I fully grasped that until I saw some of their YouTube channels. I was always interested in seeing how the yarns came to be and quickly became obsessed with the process.

I was always a crafty kid and always had to have an activity wherever I was. While I wouldn’t call myself a restless kid in that I loved to take rests, I also didn’t like to sit with nothing to do (still don’t!). As a kid, I worked on a lot of needlepoints and brought those with me on trips, family visits and wherever else I could. I remember as a kid saying that I wanted to own a needlepoint store one day. It just seemed like a dream to surround myself with the craft and even as a kid I knew it was something I wanted to do. As I got older, reality set in a bit more and I never found myself on a path to open a business.

Knitting certainly took over my life and like a lot of people, being a knitter became more and more of an identity. I was living in a new city with no I knew outside of coworkers and found myself drawn into the knititng community. I was reading blogs, listening to podcasts and watching youtube videos. I learned how to knit simply by absorbing myself into it and by the time I had the time to start knitting (I was being with exams at the time), I thought I could do way more than I probably should have. Since all of the people I listened to were knitting sock after sock, I didn’t even think twice about casting one on. I quickly grew my stash and projects from there.

I’ve always been a learner. I loved school and was always excited for the start of a new year. I love challenging myself and seem to get bored when things become routine. It’s ironic though because I often call myself a routine person and someone who does well with routine. I think I also love to plan and schedule and so when things become too routine, I have nothing else to plan and so I look for something new.

After I finished up my exams, I really took to knitting and that was the next challenge to myself. Years later, I think I was just looking for something new to learn and that just became how to dye yarn. I started watching videos and became more and more intrigued by the process. Up late one night after too much coffee, I ended up buying some supplies to try out dyeing. To say I fell in love with the process quickly is an understatement.

I knew starting a business wasn’t just appreciating a love of the craft. You have to also want to be a business owner. This is also something I’ve wanted to do since I was little. Own my own business. I remember as a kid saying that I wanted to own a needlepoint store one day. It was never realistic to me in that it wasn’t a path I ever found myself on, nor did I really know anyone with their own business. I knew people in corporate jobs and that’s what I saw myself doing. I remember a cousin of mine once saying that a baker stops being a baker once they open a bakery.

It was a commitment I wanted to try and I knew being part business owner and part hand dyer was just the journey I was ready to take.

Stay tuned for the next post in this new series. Next time I’ll share more about how I started my business.

You can watch me talk more about the WHY here on my YouTube channel…

2020 Reflections – agirlandherwool

Well, it’s January 2021. It’s crazy to say it that’s for sure. I hope you all had fun ringing in the new year and setting yourselves up for a new year. Last year, I wrote a post reflecting on 2019 and setting goals for 2020. You can read it here. In this post, I plan to recap my 2020 and then touch on any goals I had set last year. Next week, there will be a post with my 2021 goals.

2020 Project Recap

In 2020, I finished 23 projects. This probably doesn’t sound like a lot to some of you, but I’ve been in the 20-30 range for the past few years. I don’t knit toys or wash cloths and so I tend to have bigger projects. I will say the 23 is actually higher than it should be because I do have a couple of preemie hats in there so… projects can’t be much smaller than that. It’s all the same and the number doesn’t matter, but for me, this feels like quite the accomplishment. I had a busy year and knitting has fallen off the radar and so I am happy to have hit 23 projects. My goal was 25 projects, but I knew that could be a bit of a stretch. More on that later.

22 Knitting projects and 1 Crochet project
This is new to me because this was my first crochet project. I really did enjoy that process and want to crochet more, but I always turn to knitting.

Here is a link to Ravelry with my project pages.

7 Pairs of Socks
This is low for me. I usually knit way more socks, but after 2019, I was a bit socked out. In the end, 6 is not surprising. I didn’t necessarily intend to knit any at all, but I always seemed to have a pair on the needles. One pair was tube socks for my niece and those went really quickly.

2 Sweaters for me
I finished my Altheda sweater and the Pavement sweater and so far this winter, these have been my go to wears. The Altheda sweater came out big, but for the first time ever, I’ve been using it as a throw on sweatshirt type of thing around the house. It is so comfortable and not too warm and I have been living in it. So much so that I’ve gotten the comment “weren’t you wearing that yesterday…?” My Pavement sweater is also comfortable, but a little nicer. I would definitely wear this one back to work when that day inevitably comes. I love the yarn (Once Upon a Corgi on the tweed base) as well as the style.

5 Shawls/Wraps
Again, not surprising. I do love knitting shawls. 3 used my yarn for shop samples and two were fun projects for me. I’ll talk about this a bit later, but the Drachenfels shawl achieved a big goal for me this year. I also crocheted my first project, which is my Rainbow Showers wrap with Manos del Uruguary minis. I love this wrap as well. The samples for the shop are: Neon Bricks (my first Stephen West shawl), the Mimeograph Scarf (collaboration with Pam Grushkin) and the Time Trades shawl using my Rose Gold collection, which was a mega hit. A good assortment of projects there.

3 Hats
I knit 3 hats this year, 2 of which were samples. The non-sample is the Sam’s Hat with yarn from Tidal Yarns. I definitely recommend checking these kits out. I love the yarn and the pattern. I will be wearing this! The two hats for shop samples were the 103 hat by BostonJen with my Graffiti colorway on the DK base as well as the Kentia Hat by Ambah O’Brien on my Silk DK base.

1 Cowl
Cowls are definitely underrated in the knitting community or maybe it’s just me. They are so great to tuck under a jacket for warmth without creating all of the excess wrapping round and round and your hair gets stuck and then it’s choking you… Is it just me? I knit the Escarpment cowl with yarn that I bought from my local yarn shop. It was a fun quick project and with the yarn being made with cotton, it’ll be a great spring/fall wear (when I leave my house).

5 “Other” projects
The remaining projects were scrap projects to use up leftover yarn, which I’ll touch on it a bit. I also did some other miscellaneous shop samples.

2020 Other Goals Recap

  1. Knit more for charity
    This definitely started off strong in the new year, but when my knitting time became more devoted to shop samples, I fell off the wagon. I had the ambition of going through leftover yarns and knitting them into charity items. I still love this idea and intend to continue doing this. I just need to prioritize a knitting day to it. I won’t call this a fail because I did knit a few items for charity and for a first year, it’s a great first step.
  2. Continue spinning 3x per week and maybe more.
    I’m definitely not in this habit now, but I did finish my first ever handspun project this year and so this is a win. Again, there was a time when I was spinning more than 3x per week and devoting 15 minutes to it was such a great thing. I just again, knock that off the list when things get busy. I do want to get more fiber on the wheel though, of course!
  3. Knit through my untouched yarn in my stash.
    This didn’t happen completely, but I also would call this somewhat of a success. The Drachenfels shawl was knit with yarn that I’ve had in my stash since 2016, I believe. Those skeins are basically all used up at this point and so that was one of the projects I had in mind and I accomplished it. I also knit the Honey Bee Dance Socks out of yarn that was gifted to me in… 2014? 2015? One of those. Definitely was happy to use that up. I also knit the Sam’s Hat, Fish are Friends not Food socks, Altheda sweater and Gingerbread House socks out of stash, which yarn purchased in 2019 and prior. The charity items were with yarns from 2015ish? Definitely a success even though I still have a few skeins left in stash.

2020 agirlandherwool Recap

Man oh man, quite the year for agirlandherwool. THANK YOU EVERYONE READING THIS. Whether you read my blog, watch my channel, follow me on Instagram, shop in my store, or just chat with me about knitting and yarn, thank you. I’ll touch on my overall theme for 2020 at the end, but you all are amazing and I appreciate all of the support in all of the ways.

  1. Continue to work on the shop and introduce new colors
    Definitely hit this. I was able to bring in new colors throughout the seasons as well as new gradient sets. I also introduced clubs, which have been a big change in my shop and I love creating the clubs each month. More always coming soon! I also set up my dye studio, which has allowed more time for me to dye. I also launched my shop here at agirlandherwool.com!
  2. In person shows
    Well, it’s the first mention of the pandemic here. I set myself the goal of vending in person. While a scary thought and a “I don’t even know how to do that” type of mindset, I knew that I needed to get my yarn out there and people needed to see it in person. I sent a bunch of applications out and was so excited when I was invited to vend at two festivals in September. When the pandemic hit and it came to be that they weren’t going to happen, I was relieved that I was offered acceptance for 2021. I knew I was “in the club” now as in general, returning vendors get first pick at vending openings. So, I didn’t vend this year in person, BUT, I put myself out there and if festivals happen in fall 2021, I hope to see you there!

2020 Overall Theme

My overall theme for 2020 was to connect more with the knitting community. I wanted to participate more in my lys, A Knit Sheep’s, Sunday sit and stitch sessions. I wanted to reach out to the community more and get to know people. I have to say, this was my biggest success this year. I think that a lot of us turned to the internet community during the pandemic and I’m so glad I didn’t shy away from it.

As a way to further my ability connect with my community, I started my YouTube channel. I’ve loved the conversations we’ve had, sharing my love of yarn, dyeing, crafting and my kitties with all of you. There are certainly plenty of internet friends I have now that I didn’t have at the beginning of the year.

I have been a more active participant in the sit and stitches, which is fun too. It’s so nice to connect and root for each other with our projects and during the pandemic.

I also did collaborations this year!!! I collaborated with Ambah O’Brien for the advent season. Didn’t see that on my 2020 goals list? Yeah, didn’t dream big enough there Lauren. I was so honored to work with such an amazing designer and it led me to meeting even more of you. I also collaborated with Pam Grushkin on the Mimeograph Scarf, which is a great pattern for gradients. I sponsored the Splash Pad party and the still-going Pigskin Party with BostonJen. I was interviewed with Ambah and Jana on the Purl Together podcast. I just am in awe of the year I had from a collaboration perspective.

All in all, I’ve met and chatted with so many of you and so I definitely am so proud that I hit my goal of connecting with the community more. I’m a naturally shy and anti-social person and I have to talk myself into these things. I can’t really explain my ability to put myself out there for the business, but it makes it easier. The things I’ve done for the business are things I never would have done otherwise. Thank you all for the support.

Check back soon for my 2021 goals. I’d love to hear your reflections either here or on my recent instagram post.

Check out me chatting about these topics on my channel here…

On the WIP Side – 1.1.2021

It’s Wednesday and I’m here to chat all about my current works in progress. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it brings you some joy during the work week. Definitely check out my YouTube channel to see any projects “in person.” I’ll be showing my current WIPs in this Friday’s 2020 reflections vlog. I’ll also be writing a blog post that will go live here on Saturday.

Total: 6 WIPs (2 active)
Knitting:
5 projects – 3 shawls, 1 pair of socks and 1 blanket
Crochet: 
1 project – 1 blanket
Spinning:
0 projects
Finished: 0 projects
2020 Total Finished: 23

Slipstravaganza Shawl – Stephen West MKAL
Pattern: Slipstravaganza MKAL | Stephen West
Yarn: agirlandherwool | Sock base | Speckled Orchid, Hibiscus Tea, Dragonfly and London Fog
Needles: Size 2
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/9/2020
Cast off goal: Hopefully soon!

Well, it’s been a while, but I’m still knitting away on this shawl. The past couple of months have overall meant less knitting time, but when I can knit, I’ve been working on this. My hope was to finish it before the end of the year, but there’s not enough time left. I’m still working through it though.

At this point, the shawl is far from a mystery. I’m up to the last section, which is a chevron striped border. You have the option of 3 stripes (one in each contrast color) or 6 stripes (two in each contrast color). It is so tempting to stop after three, but when I look at Stephen’s photos, he knit 6 in all of them. I feel I’d be doing the pattern wrong by ending early, especially when I still have more yarn left. I will say that, as expected, this thing is huge but, I have the benefit of planning to use it as a sample and therefore don’t need it to be wearable.

Golden Dusk MKAL
Pattern: Golden Dusk MKAL | Tamy Gore
Yarn: agirlandherwool | Silk DK base | 4 Spices Kit
Needles: Size 6
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/19/2020
Cast off goal: none

I wasn’t working on this one for a bit because I really was focused on the West shawl. I did need a break from it and I know this shawl in general was moving a lot faster than the other one so I took it back out. I think I’m very close to finishing it and so I will post more about it soon.

Other
1. Vanilla Socks – I’ve worked on them here and there, but not too much
2. Spinning – I haven’t spun.
3. Northeasterly – I have not worked on this as I need to pick out more colors. I’m really bad at working on projects if they are not ready to go.

Inactive
1. Neat Ripple – This is on hold until I finish up the charity items with the colors that I have used so far.
2. Tan House Brook Shawl – 2 shawls is enough!

What’s Next?
I can’t even think of such things.

Shop
The biggest change to the shop since I last did a recap is that my shop is now here at agirlandherwool.com! There’s even a New Items section so you can check out the latest and greatest from me. I added some fun winter colors, sock sets and mini skein sets, so I definitely recommend checking it out. There’s also ongoing mystery clubs, mini skein clubs and a dye with me club.

I was off from work this week and so I have been busy with new colorways. Check back soon as they will be live in the shop soon!

Winter Colors have Arrived!

Over here in the Northeast of the US, a snowstorm has come and gone. It was soon followed by a thunderstorm, so ya know, you win some you lose some. We did not have a white Christmas, but that’s pretty normal around here. Overall, the holidays were fine given the circumstances and I only have good things to be grateful for this time of year.

I plan to do a 2020 reflections post later this week and so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, the shop is fully loaded with some winter colorways, some returning and some new. Check out the details below and stay tuned for a fun coupon code!

I’ve got colorways in your any size skeins, sock sets (and shawl sets) as well as mini skein sets. Lots to see here! The headers are all links to the products, but they are linked to the Sock base. You can navigate to the “New Items” section to see everything.

Before we get into the colorways, I did re-list my 2020 fade/gradient advent calendar now that it has been revealed. You can check that out here in the shop.

For each colorway…

Skeins are available in any size. You can also choose any quantity so anything from a single mini skein to a sweater quantity to a 300g skein are available for your pickings.
Bases: Sock, BFL Sock, DK

For each sock set…

A sock set includes a main color and a contrast color. Calling it a sock set is a little deceptive, so my apologies. As the overall theme in my shop is of course any size skeins, you don’t actually need to pick a large skein of the main color and a mini of the contrast color. You really can mix and match the sizes of the skeins. If you want contrast heels, cuffs and toes, you can buy a typical sock set. Or maybe you just want to add a color highlight on the leg. You can also set these up to be a really fun shawl, two color hat or anything else you have your eye on. You can also switch them up and buy a large skein of the contrast and just a mini of the main color. The possibilities are endless!
Bases: Sock, BFL Sock and DK

For each mini skein set…

Each mini skein set comes with 5 related skeins. They are basically a decomposed version of the corresponding colorway. It’s a really fun way to break down a colorway. Again, calling it a mini skein set is deceptive as you can buy these sets from 5g to 100g. You pick the size of the skeins, but all 5 skeins must be of equal size. This means you can add them to your favorite scrappy blanket, knit a fun toy or crochet up an entire blanket. In fact, a friend of mine did crochet a blanket out of the Frozen mini skein set and it came out really incredible. I’m in awe of all of the crochet blankets she whips up!
Bases: Sock and DK

Frozen

Frozen – the colorway
Frozen is a repeat colorway from last year with a new formula. It’s the same idea, just a bit more saturated. It’s filled with blues, teal, purple with bits of black and maybe a tinge of green. It’s a really fun winter colorway. It’ll be great for a fun pair of socks, but it would also be an amazing shawl or color for a pop of color to stick out under a coat.

Frozen – the Sock Set
Personally, I love to use contrast colors with my sock yarn. Based on the mystery yarn club orders, I am fully under the impression that you all do too. For Frozen, I paired it with a lovely cream tonal. If you know Overnight Oats, it’s similar in its base without any speckles.

Frozen – the mini skein set
The mini skein set is a real winter toned mini skein set. All of the skeins use the same colors from the main colorway but they all look so different. I just love the variety but how well they all go together. If you’ve seen the mini skein set in my shop before, it’s the same one! It’s been a really popular mini skein set and I’m happy to have it back in the shop.

Girl on Fire – the colorway
Girl on Fire is also a returning color from last year. We often think about cooler and darker tones for winter, but who doesn’t love curling up next to the fire with a good book? We all know the fire is so delightful after all, right? Girl on Fire is a bright red-hot colorway that will keep you warm all winter long!

Girl on Fire – the sock set
I decided to pair Girl on Fire with a deep red tone. It has a layer of black on it, but the color gives off an overall brown tone. The reds in both of the skeins just really play off of each other really well here.

Girl on Fire – Mini Skein Set
The mini skein set is just as bright and cheerful as the main colorway. This will add a pop to a yoke of a sweater or brighten up a hat for you or your charity projects! Each mini skein involves reds, oranges, yellows and pinks. Just an overall cheery mini skein set.

Kissed at the End – the colorway – NEW!
I had to come out with a new colorway for the winter, but I wasn’t feeling the festive colorways. I wanted a standard winter feeling, especially with the previous two bright colors. I’ve currently been obsessed with the pink and green combos and so I used that in this colorway. Overall, it turned into a really good winter/moody color that has bits of color in it to keep you interested. This is definitely the color I would personally use for a sweater and I do think it will work in a textured pattern as well. Of course, it will work for socks and accessories too!

Where did the colorway name come from? Well, you see, this one time my mother-in-law was trying to remember a movie they had just watched and enjoyed. She couldn’t remember the name though and so we were asking what was it about? She couldn’t remember that either but what she did remember was “They kissed at the end!” which you know, narrows it down to just about every movie on the planet. Since then, that has been a running joke in the family whenever a story is told. I knew it had to be a colorway name and it fit this colorway perfectly.

Kissed at the End – the Sock Set
I really didn’t want to bring in the brown or gray as a tonal to this color. I wanted the contrast to be a brighter color to contrast the darker tones of the colorway. I decided to bring in the pink with just some brown, but I did not tone it down too much.

So that is it for now. These are the colorways. They will probably be available on the worsted base soon.

Coupon codes! Make sure you follow me on Instagram @agirlandherwool for an ongoing coupon code for 10% off your order. You can also get the code by checking out my YouTube channel as well. I just don’t want it printed in a blog post. I don’t know if that makes sense. If you can’t find the code, just let me know! The code is ongoing here at agirlandherwool.com as a thank you for following me. You can use it anytime, as many times as you want. There will rarely be exclusions, but when there are, you can find them on my Shop News page.

Introductory Coupon Code! You can use the 10% off coupon code anytime, but I will be giving my blog readers a special 15% off code for these listings in this post through the end of the year. The code BLOGWINTER2020. Thank you all for an incredible year. Feel free to reach out with any questions and let me know which colorway you are most excited about!


Shopping at agirlandherwool.com

If you look closely, you may notice something new at agirlandherwool.com. That’s right, I launched a shop here on my website. No worries, my Etsy shop isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Why decide to open a shop here on your site?
There are quite a few reasons why having a shop here on my site in addition to Etsy is a good thing!

  1. Avoiding that infamous ‘having all of you eggs in one basket.” By having a shop in addition to Etsy means that if something happens to one of them, I still have the other with my yarn available.
  2. Etsy is a great site to host a shop. However, it is fairly simple in what you can offer. Followers on my shop know that I’ve been offering yarn of the month clubs. The back end of having clubs is fairly difficult on Etsy. Here on my website, I have more options in the products that I can offer. Being able to offer subscription products was probably the biggest motivation to launch my shop here. Long-term clubs will ONLY be offered here at agirlandherwool.com.
  3. Etsy is a great place to host a shop because people go shopping on Etsy. It’s a popular destination for people looking for handmade items and crafting supplies. When asked where they purchased something, the buyer will usually say “Etsy.” While not wrong, Etsy itself would even tell you that they are just a marketplace for shop owners. You technically have not bought anything from Etsy, but instead, the shop owners have bought virtual real estate and visibility to Etsy’s marketplace. As I grow my brand, it makes sense that the buyers I bring to the table shop within my store and not within Etsy’s.
  4. As a dye to order shop, I don’t have to worry about managing inventory within two shops. Most of my quantities are set to control my workload and not necessarily what I have available. You can always reach out to me if you need a quantity or base you don’t see available!

Why should I shop here when I’m used to shopping on Etsy?
In the end, you don’t have to. My Etsy shop isn’t going anywhere and you are more than welcome to continue shopping there if that is your go to website. I might try to entice you anyway…

  1. My current price structure migrated from my Etsy shop to here. In order to compensate for the fees that I pay on Etsy, I will be increasing the prices there in the near future.
  2. I will be offering up a coupon code for anyone who wishes to use it. You can use it anytime, as many times as you wish. This code is to be used indefinitely and I have no plans to remove it. That being said, I do reserve the right to remove the code even though I have no intention of doing so anytime soon. For the code, make sure you follow me on instagram and YouTube!
  3. There’s a good chance that products will appear here first and may only appear here on my site. All clubs that are longer than 1 month are only available here on my website!

Moral of the story…
My goal is to provide hand dyed yarn in a more cost effective way. It doesn’t matter to me where you buy my yarn from because each and every order I receive makes me do a happy dance. I appreciate all of you and your support of my little business here on the internet.

I will add that Etsy orders and agirlandherwool.com orders will be treated the same. The processing times will always be the same and orders are treated on a first come first serve basis.

Again, thank you so much for shopping at agirlandherwool and I can’t wait to see what you make!
-Lauren

2021 Yarn Clubs are Here! Final Details!

Well, we did it folks. 2021 is right around the corner. This can only mean one thing. Well. It means a lot of things. It better mean a lot of things…

It means 2021 yarn clubs are here! Everyone, the clubs are up and live and you can purchase them now. Before you hop away, I have some important details to share.

Yarn Clubs are only available here at agirlandherwool.com! With the exclusion of single month clubs, you can only purchase clubs here on my website. Why? Etsy isn’t really set up to handle subscription products which makes the back end for me more hassle than it needs to be. With my own site, I’m able to offer more and more is what I’m offering.

Mystery Yarn of the Month Clubs

There will be no change to the mystery yarn of the month clubs. I post an inspirational picture and that’s all you know! You still get to choose the size of your mystery skein. You also have the option to order a contrast skein, although you do not need to. Just choose “None” under Contrast skein and you’ll only receive the mystery skein. You can mix and match the sizes you want so that you can make socks, shawls or whatever! You do you! Available on Sock, BFL sock or DK.

What’s new with Mystery Yarn of the Month clubs??
1. If you only like to buy one month at a time, you still can. Just select the “Ongoing subscription” clubs. You’ll pay for one month at a time with no obligations. However, you will need to cancel your subscription before the 20th of the month or you will pay for the next month.

2. If you want to pay upfront for 3 months, 6 months or 12 months, you can do so. You’ll pay the sign up fee and then nothing else for the remainder of the subscription. These clubs do not automatically renew. Please be aware that the 12 month club is only available for a start date in January. Similarly, the 3 month and 6 month clubs will end when the last month is December. In other words, no club will roll into 2022.

Mini Skein Sets of the Month Clubs

A new sibling to the mystery yarn of the month clubs. Based on the same inspirational photo, I will create a 5 skein mini skein set each month. You choose the size of the skeins, but they all need to be the same. For example, you can select to have 10g minis, 50g skeins or even 100g skeins (with more in between) but all five skeins will be that one size. This club is only offered as a ongoing one month at a time club, but it automatically renews so you don’t need to keep signing up. Just cancel when you no longer want to participate. Available on Sock or DK.

Dye with Me Clubs

For fans of my dye with me vlogs over on YouTube, this club signs you up to receive the fun one of a kind skeins we dye over on my channel. For a low price, you will receive yarn each month that we dyed up in the previous month. It could be any size, any base or a mini skein set. You really won’t know, but for less than $20 a month, it is a great way to have a fun surprise in your mailbox every month. It automatically renews each month, but you can cancel anytime.

Limited Edition Series
I did originally plan on offering up a quarterly Rainbow club for the first quarter. I will instead offer that up from April – June. I still have Not In Kansas Anymore available through the end of the Pigskin Party for those who love a rainbow colorway.

Remember, clubs are now available. If you want to start with a January club, you must do so before December 20th. I may extend the date this month, but to guarantee a spot, please order by the 20th.

Thank you so much! These clubs are very popular and I love offering them. I will have a vlog on my YouTube channel air in the next day or so and when it is live, check back for it here. You can also check out this post for some more details including rewards programs. For any discrepancies, the details I lay out in this current post is the final decision. Make sure you follow me on Instagram or YouTube for a coupon code!

Yarn Clubs -New Clubs for 2021

Hello! Happy Saturday. I hope you all have a great weekend and get to cozy up with some crafting. I am busy dyeing all of the Radvent Wrap kits this weekend. I can’t help start prepping for 2021 though and so I’m outlining some new clubs coming to the agirlandherwool shop!

Also – December clubs launch tomorrow, November 15th!

Current Yarn Clubs

I currently offer mystery yarn of the month clubs. All you know is the picture I use for inspiration and that is it! I offer them as 1 month clubs or 3 month clubs, with the pricing more favorable in the 3 month club.

In the mystery yarn of the month club, you choose the following:
1. Base – Sock, BFL Sock or DK
2. Size of the Mystery Skein: 20g to 100g
3. Whether or not you want a contrast skein, and if so, what size skein: 20g to 100g

Each month yarn club launches on the 15th of the prior month. This means that the December yarn clubs launch THIS SUNDAY, Nov 15th.

On the 15th of every month, when the new club launches, I share a photo of the prior month’s club. On this day, you can order that colorway without the mystery. If you don’t love mysteries, just check in on my instagram, agirlandherwool, on the 15th of the month.

New Yarn Clubs – Launching January 2021

There will be new clubs launching in January 2021. Reach out or comment on this post if you have any thoughts on which ones you are most interested in. I’d love to hear it! All new clubs will launch in December, but make sure you check back here for more details.

Mystery Yarn Clubs will now be offered in 6 month and 12 month timeframes. Purchase the club and then forget about it until the yarn shows up on your doorstep.

Mini Skein Yarn Clubs
I will be launching a brand new club featuring mini skeins. The mini skein club will either be 5 mystery minis or a themed set based on that month’s colorway. I’m leaning towards the latter option. You’ll be able to purchase these in 1, 3, 6 or 12 months at a time.

Dye with Me Yarn Clubs
Dye with me yarn clubs will feature colors from the Dye with Me vlogs I post over on YouTube. You can feel more a part of the process by purchasing the yarn we dye up during the vlogs. These will only be offered 1 month at a time when I have a better idea of what’s to come.

Rainbow Yarn Club
I will be offering up a limited time option to have a part of the rainbow club! Similarly to my Not In Kansas Anymore colorway, I will dye up a colorway that is rainbow themed, but not necessarily in your face rainbow. I’ll take a different interpretation at a time and bring a new technique in each skein. This will only be offered in 1 month and 3 month clubs and will run from January to March 2021. After that, I will have a new limited series theme.

Yarn Clubs – Reward Programs

The yarn clubs do have a rewards system set up. The rules work as follows, but feel free to reach out anytime if you have questions.

1 Month Yarn Clubs
One month yarn clubs earn points towards 10% off coupon codes.
Every 100g of the mystery color that you order earns you a 10% off coupon code.
This accumulates between months so if you like 50g skeins, every other month, you’ll earn a 10% off coupon for my shop. If you order 100g skeins, you’ll receive a 10% off coupon every purchase.
You do not earn points for the contrast skeins.

3 Month Yarn Clubs
Three month yarn clubs come with a coupon each purchase. The value of the coupon is based on how many grams of the mystery color that you order. When you place your order, you choose what size skeins you want to receive. This amount will be the same in all three shipments. If you order 100g Mystery skeins, you will receive a 100g skein each month for 3 months.
The value of the coupon code is your total grams of the mystery skein for all three months, divided by 10.
Example. If you order 100g mystery skeins for the 3 month club, your first shipment will come with a 30% coupon code.
Example. If you order 50g mystery skeins for the 3 month club, your first shipment will come with a 15% coupon code.
You do not earn points for the contrast skeins.

6 Month & 12 Month Yarn Clubs
The six month and twelve month yarn clubs will work the same way as the 3 month clubs. Each coupon will be set at the start of the next 3 months.
The first coupon code will be based on Jan-March and will be included in the January shipment.
The second coupon code will be based on April – June and will be included in the April shipment.

Mini Skein Club, Limited Series Clubs (Currently Dye with Me and Rainbow)
These will follow along with the same idea as above. For the mini skein club, the rewards will be based on the total grams for the set. The other two clubs will apply just as above.

General Rules for all clubs
These rules apply to all rewards programs.
1. All coupon codes are valid for 3 months and the expiration date is included with the coupon code.
2. The code is a 1 time use code.
3. The coupon code is storewide, but there may be exclusions. You can see a list of all coupon code exclusions anytime in the Shop Announcements.

Thanks so much for reading! Use coupon code BLOGNEWS20 for 20% off through tomorrow, November 15th. You’ll be able to use the code for the December clubs launching on Sunday.

Check out more details here on Youtube:



On the WIP Side – 11.11.2020

It’s Wednesday and I’m here to chat all about my current works in progress. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it brings you some joy during the work week. Definitely check out my YouTube channel to see any projects “in person.”

Total: 6 WIPs (3 active)
Knitting:
5 projects – 3 shawls, 1 pair of socks and 1 blanket
Crochet: 
1 project – 1 blanket
Spinning:
0 projects
Finished: 0 projects
2020 Total Finished: 23

Slipstravaganza Shawl – Stephen West MKAL
Pattern: Slipstravaganza MKAL | Stephen West
Yarn: agirlandherwool | Sock base | Speckled Orchid, Hibiscus Tea, Dragonfly and London Fog
Needles: Size 2
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/9/2020
Cast off goal: Not too long after the MKAL ends

I still don’t want to post too many spoilers here just in case anyone is avoiding see the rest of the shawl like I am. I did finish clue 2, but I’m only a few rows into clue 3. It takes forever to do 1 row! If you are interested in seeing more, check out this vlog I did about both this shawl and the Tamy Gore MKAL. I’m not sure when I’ll finish this project, but I will be focusing on it for now. I think there’s less than 30 rows for the section I’m up to, then another section in clue 3. New plan: Finish this before the next MKAL next year. Kits are still available in the shop. In addition, these colors are now available on most bases!

Golden Dusk MKAL
Pattern: Golden Dusk MKAL | Tamy Gore
Yarn: agirlandherwool | Silk DK base | 4 Spices Kit
Needles: Size 6
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/19/2020
Cast off goal: none

You can watch the same vlog to see my progress through clue 2. I did finish up clue 3 as well and people, I don’t know why, but I love this so much. It’s so soft and squishy and I know I’ll get a ton of wear out of it. It’s really a stitch sampler, I feel like we’ve done everything in this shawl. If you want to learn some basics of a lot of techniques, check this out. The rows are short and because it’s DK, it’s going very quickly. I’m tempted to start the last clue, but I want to catch up on the Stephen West one first (arbitrary knitting rules!). I’ll be posting another vlog after I finish clue 3 of both shawls.

The best part about how there are so many different stitches is that you really can’t get bored. You’re barely doing the same thing for more than a few rows, which keeps it very fun.

Vanilla Oink
Pattern: Vanilla Socks
Yarn: Oink Pigments | Targhee Sock | Ravin’ Claw
Needles: Size 0
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/19/2020
Cast off goal: none

I might be halfway through the first heel? This has been living in my dye studio and even though I feel like I’m always in there, I’m not necessarily working on this so much.

Other
1. Preemie hat – I’ve mostly finished a preemie hat, which I will include in a charity knitting recap coming soon!
2. Spinning – I haven’t spun.
3. Northeasterly – I have not worked on this as I need to pick out more colors. I’m really bad at working on projects if they are not ready to go.

Inactive
1. Neat Ripple – This is on hold until I finish up the charity items with the colors that I have used so far.
2. Tan House Brook Shawl – 2 shawls is enough!

What’s Next?
ADVENT! I plan to knit up the gradient advent that I dyed up this year. Otherwise, we’ll see. I have a lot of WIPs right now and not many plans beyond that.

Shop
Go check out Ambah O’Brien’s advent patterns. I’m so honored that she designed not 1, but 2 patterns with my yarn.

The Radvent Cowl is technically a DK weight cowl, but Ambah used my sock base and held the skeins double. She used 12 mini skeins from an expanded version of the Faerie Shadow gradient set. I’ve named the green half Faerie Garden. Kits are available now! The pre-order period is over for this kit, but I have a couple in stock. Grab one! They are all packaged up and will ship the next day!

Radvent Cowl using the Faerie Garden gradient

Ambah also designed a wrap that is stunning! It uses a 24 mini skein version of my Rose Gold set. It’s available now in the shop too!


November mystery yarn clubs are now available
until November 15th. Grab them now!

Check out the shop here. There are some great kits for shawls and socks along with good pairings for sweaters. Let me know if you need help with some color selections.

Check out the recap of the 2 mystery knit a longs here–

Diary of a Yarn Dyer – Testing New Dyes

Last week on YouTube, I posted my biweekly vlog where I dye yarn and talk through my thoughts and techniques. The topic for that vlog was about testing a new to me dye and learning about the characteristics of the dye.

Generally, when I’m dyeing up new colorways, I have some sort of idea about what I want to do. I’ll probably do a new colorway start to finish vlog at some point, but the main idea here is that I know the dyes in my arsenal and what I can and cannot do. This doesn’t just happen overnight. Understanding the dyes, how they work with others and which techniques work best for them is something that comes over time. I speed up that process by creating mystery minis, where I try different techniques and color combinations to know when and how I’ll want to use this new dye.

Minis are a great way to test out color combinations

What I look for from a technique standpoint…

You may think that the only difference between different dyes is the color. This is far from true. Some dyes are more powdery, some don’t blend well, some lighten as they set, some darken as they set. It really differs greatly and so I need to understand how the dyes will work on the yarn and in the water.

  1. Will it speckle?
    Speckling is a common technique used by hand dyers to add a bit more dimension to the yarn. It’s a great way to add a pop of color too if you want just a bit of something to the skein
    I find that not all dyes speckle well! Some are just too fine and they leave a dusting versus a speckle. Remember, a skein can be speckled, but one little speck will barely show up when someone uses the yarn. In order to really make a speckled yarn, it needs to leave a bit more on the skein than a dusting. Not all dyes are made for that and it’s good to know before you destroy a skein (I mean, not destroy, but just not end up with what you were going for).
  2. Does it take a while to absorb into the yarn?
    This is important to me because if it doesn’t absorb quickly into the yarn, I know I need a lower water level in order to use the dye. Why? Because otherwise, it will drift around in the water in the dye pan and not necessarily land where I want it to. This is an issue because the entire skein can take on that one tone where I might have wanted it to be an accent color. On the other hand, I might want it to not absorb quickly and this is important too. If I want a tonal color, having something that doesn’t absorb right in is good to know.
  3. What temperature does it need the water to be?
    Some colors really don’t take to the dye without a lot of heat. Others don’t require that. Some change properties with heat and others don’t. I need to keep all of this in mind when I’m dyeing yarn.

Knowing which colors would stay as speckles was important in this colorway
“Not In Kansas Anymore”

What I look for from a color perspective…

  1. What does the color actually look like?
    This is an interesting one. The dye companies do their best to show what a dye will look like, but I’ll be honest. I NEVER see the same result. A lot of that has to do with water to dye ratio, the base you’re using and so on. It doesn’t bother me one bit. I buy a variety of dyes, knowing that I can mix and match to achieve what I really want, but that means that I can’t start dyeing expecting a dye to look a certain way. It also will depend on the mixing of the color as well by the dye manufacturer. It’s like dye lots, but for dyes. Imagine that!
  2. Which colors does it work well with?
    Very important one. You rarely will receive a hand dyed yarn that only uses one color. Check out this video of mine where I dyed up tonals/semi-solids. None of them used one dye. There are no colorways in my collection that use only one dye, no matter how uniform is looks. I mentioned this earlier, but it really does take an understanding of how dyes will interact with each other. I have a dye that I use to create some brighter colorways. Blending it with other colors mutes it down until a really deep tone that I also love. It’s really about the combinations of the dyes that allows for some of my favorite colorways in my shop. You wouldn’t believe what 4th and Goal looks like at early points in the dye process.
This one of a kind color has a blue-green base.
I mixed two colors to come up with the base color

So that’s what I look for and think about when testing a new to me dye. Actually, when I get a new batch of a dye I’ve used before, I test it out as well to make sure it looks similar, although the research is not as vast as a new dye.

I hope you found this interesting! Make sure you leave comments, subscribe to my blog and check out my instagram and YouTube channel. All of the links can be found throughout my site and I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to reach out anytime with questions you may have or content you want to see. Have a great Monday and week. A WIPs post will be up on Wednesday and a new YouTube vlog posts every Tuesday and Friday at 5pm ET.

On the WIP Side – 11.04.2020

It’s Wednesday and I’m here to chat all about my current works in progress. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it brings you some joy during the work week. Definitely check out my YouTube channel to see any projects “in person.”

Total: 6 WIPs (4 active)
Knitting:
5 projects – 3 shawls, 1 pair of socks and 1 blanket
Crochet: 
1 project – 1 blanket
Spinning:
0 projects
Finished: 0 projects
2020 Total Finished: 23

Slipstravaganza Shawl – Stephen West MKAL
Pattern: Slipstravaganza MKAL | Stephen West
Yarn: agirlandherwool | Sock base | Speckled Orchid, Hibiscus Tea, Dragonfly and London Fog
Needles: Size 2
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/9/2020
Cast off goal: Not too long after the MKAL ends

Check out Monday’s post if you want to read more about my progress on this shawl. I just finished clue 2, so I am behind, but I don’t want to post spoilers just in case. Kits are still available in the shop. In addition, these colors are now available on most bases!

The non-spoiler recap is – I’m loving it! It’s been really fun to knit without being stressful and I love how the colors are working out. The rows are simple but create a really fun design. I definitely recommend it if you haven’t looked at it!

Golden Dusk MKAL
Pattern: Golden Dusk MKAL | Tamy Gore
Yarn: agirlandherwool | Silk DK base | 4 Spices Kit
Needles: Size 6
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/19/2020
Cast off goal: none

Check out Monday’s post if you want to read more about my progress on this shawl. I also just finished up clue 2 for this shawl and so I’m definitely behind, but I still don’t want to create any spoilers just yet. Definitely am enjoying it as well and I want to finish it quickly so that I can start wearing it. It’s getting cold outside and this is the perfect match for the cold weather!

Vanilla Oink
Pattern: Vanilla Socks
Yarn: Oink Pigments | Targhee Sock | Ravin’ Claw
Needles: Size 0
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/19/2020
Cast off goal: none

I’m still on the first foot. I’ve been so busy on the MKALs that I haven’t spent too much time on these. They are my project for while I’m dyeing, and so I am getting close to the heel.

Other
1. Preemie hat – I’ve mostly finished a preemie hat, which I will include in a charity knitting recap coming soon!
2. Spinning – I haven’t spun.
3. Northeasterly – I have not worked on this as I need to pick out more colors. I’m really bad at working on projects if they are not ready to go.

Inactive
1. Neat Ripple – This is on hold until I finish up the charity items with the colors that I have used so far.

What’s Next?
ADVENT! I plan to knit up the gradient advent that I dyed up this year. Otherwise, we’ll see. I have a lot of WIPs right now and not many plans beyond that.

Shop
Go check out Ambah O’Brien’s advent patterns. I’m so honored that she designed not 1, but 2 patterns with my yarn.

The Radvent Cowl is technically a DK weight cowl, but Ambah used my sock base and held the skeins double. She used 12 mini skeins from an expanded version of the Faerie Shadow gradient set. I’ve named the green half Faerie Garden. Kits are available now!

Radvent Cowl using the Faerie Garden gradient

Ambah also designed a wrap that has not yet been released yet, so stay tuned. I can tell you that she used an expanded version of my Rose Gold gradient set! It’s a 24 skein mini skein gradient set. It’s available now in the shop too!


November mystery yarn clubs are now available
until November 15th. Grab them now!

Check out the shop here. There are some great kits for shawls and socks along with good pairings for sweaters. Let me know if you need help with some color selections.

Check out my latest project recap, which a special guest star – my mom!