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Superior Gradient Yarn since 2012. Hand-dyed and exclusively milled yarns. Based in Portland, Oregon. Free shipping on US orders over $100.

05 Jun '15

Here Comes the Sun

All this week, we had gloomy skies and rain.  Today, June 5th dawned bright blue with impending temperatures of 80-something and low humidity.  Ask a dyer who works outside a lot - the humidity really matters.  No matter how long I live here, in my head I still expect misty Seattle weather.  So on days like this one that are glorious down to the roots of its teeth, I don't always believe it will last.  Any Portlander will tell you Seattle and Portland aren't the same thing at all, Portland is by no means Seattle's weirder little brother.  Which makes me a bad Portlander for expecting the same thing of both places.

The lovely sun did last all day, without making life truly unbearable.  I worked with a lot of colors out in the studio, planning what we're going to be taking to Black Sheep Gathering while juggling wholesale orders and gradient dyeing.  If you're coming to Black Sheep this year, we'll have a lot of both Lilt & Pebble Gradients in the 165g size, as well as a number of full sized (500g) gradient kits.  But more on that later, right now I want to tell you all about our next wonderful knit-along.

First, a little secret: when I originally approached this quarter's designer about working with me on an exclusive pattern, I assumed she would be too busy, or something like it.  I practically fell off my chair when she replied, interested in the project.

What can I say about Marnie MacLean's Helios Shawl that can really convey the essence of this project? Light and airy, definitely.  This project is a lace-lover's dream.  The yarn feels luxurious knit up this way, with an open gauge that further enables the silky lace-weight's prodigious drape.  There's also a bead option right near the end that weights the hem just enough to keep the shawl from flying away without detracting from the ephemeral feeling of it around your shoulders.  I already love Silken Lace -  I say that without an ounce of narcissism, the mill is doing an excellent job with this custom yarn substrate -  for it's smoothness and durability while still being fine and light, and Helios is the perfect pairing for the yarn.

This and the preceding photo are courtesy of Marnie MacLean.

The basics of the KAL are here on Ravelry and also in the product listing.  We'll be offering prizes again this quarter to finishers, and though I missed my opportunity to take pictures in good light I have decided to offer up 1 skein of Silken Lace, and my two skeins of Sanguine Gryphon Mithril.  Marnie has also offered to send a pattern (of her designs available via Ravelry) to finishers.  To be eligible for prizes, you must do the following:

  • participate it in the KAL using a Helios kit from our website
  • post a cast-on photo (first couple rows) sometime between July 1 and July 31 in the Ravelry thread
  • post a finished photo in the thread as well as a link to your Ravelry project page before the end of the KAL on September 30

We hope you'll join us to knit Helios over the next couple months.  For all my playing with colors this week, I still haven't chosen one to dye for myself, or what beads I might think about using.  Maybe next week I can post a couple photos of the Mithril prizes and by then I'll have figured out where I want to go in terms of colors.

So, to quickly address what we're bringing to Black Sheep Gathering:

  • stock on hand of Lilt Sock, Pebble Sock, Silken Lace as well as paper patterns
  • Lilt Sock and Pebble Sock Gradients in both 165g and 500g sizes
  • tentatively, we'd like to have Prime in an array of regular colors, as well as Sublime 500g Gradient Yarn Kits - this stock will be the last thing we prepare, depending on time available

Come check us out in the main hall!  Black Sheep Gathering moved the vendor marketplace and now we'll have better access to bathrooms and A/C.


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