November already! Really!

Uh, I thought summer just ended. Seriously. Where does the time go? They say it really flies when you have kids, and I definitely agree with that, but it really disappears when you work full time and have kids.

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Recently I was asked to participate in the Yarn Group of TNNA’s planning meeting. They haven’t had a planning meeting for TEN years, so to be asked was quite an honor. It was a day and a half of meeting with the most passionate people in the yarn industry, and I have to say I have never been in any meeting where everyone was 100% respectful, dedicated to the cause, and excited about the future. So what did we talk about? Basically YARN. And everything about it! Working alone is so isolating, it was so great to connect with other like-minded people and just talk shop, and see how we can grow our industry more.

I joined the Yarn Group’s marketing committee, and we discussed various ways to help LYS owners stay informed and get foot traffic into their shops. One of the things we have all been hearing is that the LYS owner doesn’t have the time to keep up with a million different social media platforms, or the time to learn how to market effectively through them. So we created accounts on social media platforms all across the Internet. Please follow, share, reblog, regram, retweet, repin, etc!

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/tnnayarngroup/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yarn-Group/132083723483950

Twitter: https://twitter.com/YarnGroup

Instagram: http://instagram.com/yarngroup

Tumblr: http://yarngroup.tumblr.com/

And a neat way to see everything at once: https://www.rebelmouse.com/YarnGroup/

The meeting was in Vegas, by the way. I have never been. I definitely spent way too much money on food, but it was SO worth it! I don’t gamble, so it evened out. It was nice to walk around and see the sights after planning all day.

After I got back, I started planning out stuff for Fable Fibers, and I decided to start doing club subscriptions. So, I will be sending out an email to those of you on my mailing list about it. I hope you sign up for it, so you can see what the fuss is all about! Link: http://www.fablefibers.com/mailing-list

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Happy New Year!

It was 62 out when I dropped my oldest off at preschool today. With a nice little chill in the air, I immediately thought one thing, “SWEATER WEATHER!” You know, a knitter’s New Year. Sweater Weather is always the beginning of knitting season, where you go from thinking about knitting lightweight accessories that won’t overheat you to full on, warm and cozy bonewarmers.

This October I am participating in the 30 Day Sweater Challenge, where I will be hand-held by the folks over at http://30daysweater.com/fablefibers to design and knit my own, custom fitting sweater. And I want it to be GREAT. Diane from over there has graciously provided me with a blog post about WHAT yarn makes a handknit sweater right for you…

Want to think about doing it? Read a little further…

Five Rules for Choosing the Perfect Yarn for Your Sweater
Have you ever knit a sweater out of beautiful, soft, cozy cashmere then realized that you never wear that amazing sweater because it is far too warm for the climate you live in? Or maybe you knit a sweater for your newborn out of 100% wool and they promptly spit up all over it and you couldn’t throw it in the wash? A big part of knitting a sweater that you will love and will be worn often is choosing a yarn that is suitable. Lets take a look at five things to consider as you are choosing the perfect yarn for your sweater.

Rule # 1 Consider the Who

The first thing you will need to figure out is who you are knitting this sweater for. Is it for yourself, your teenage daughter, your four year old grandson or for your husband? Now think about what sort of sweaters they normally wear. What do they spend most of their time doing? Where do they live? What kind of sweater would be practical for them?

Rule # 2 Consider the Purpose

Imagine what you will wear this sweater for. Will it be for your backpacking trip through the Alps? Will you use is as a swimsuit cover up this summer? Do you plan on using it as your go-to sweater on lazy fall days? Or will it be worn over your party dress at your next dinner party?

How you decide you’ll use your sweater will determine what type of yarn you will need to buy and the type of sweater you’ll make. For a backpacking trip you will want something that fits close to the body that is made out of a durable animal fiber that breathes well. To cover your swimsuit you might try a lightweight cotton knit on large needles to make an airy fabric. The sweater you wear on lazy fall days could be a little bit looser fitting and super soft. A fancy party sweater would be a great excuse to use a delicate fiber like angora and make a cardigan that goes with all of your favorite dresses. But as you can see, each occasion calls for a different type of fiber so it is prudent to take a moment to consider the purpose of your sweater.

Rule # 3 Consider Climate

I live in a very warm climate and one of the first sweaters I knit was out of a very thick, warm yarn. Needless to say it rarely got worn, it just isn’t practical for me. Personally if I spend a ton of time knitting a sweater I want to wear it (often). So now I opt to primarily knit sweaters with worsted weight yarn to be light enough to wear in the spring and fall while still warm enough to layer in the cooler months. It might be the opposite for you. If you live in a very cold climate you probably wouldn’t have much opportunity to wear a light cotton sweater.

There is one more thing to consider as you’re choosing how warm your sweater should be and that is your individual temperature. If you get warm easily then you will want to consider a thinner, cooler fabric for your sweater; if you want a sweater for those winter days when you feel you can never get warm, you will want a thicker, warmer fabric.

So what sorts of fibers should you use? In general, animal fibers are warmer than vegetable fibers. If you live in a warm climate try using cotton, bamboo, linen or blends high in vegetable fibers. Another way to stay cooler is to use light weights of yarn like fingering, dk or a light worsted weight. To stay extra warm try animal fibers or single ply yarns which trap air close to the body keeping you warmer.

Rule # 4 Consider Care

How much effort do you want to put into the care of your finished garment? I personally think that a good sweater is worth finding the time to hand wash. But if you’re a college student with a busy schedule or the sweater you’ve made is for a small child maybe a washable yarn would be a good option.

Good options for easy care are cotton and cotton blends, superwash wool and most varieties of acrylic.

Rule # 5 Consider Color

The final thing to consider is what color your yarn will be. Make sure to think about the clothing you already have in your wardrobe, choose a color that will work with what you have. Pick a color that complements your skin tone, there is nothing worse than spending the time and effort to knit a sweater and finding out after you put it on that it makes you look ill when you wear it. I tend to stick to the colors that I wear often, for me this means most of the sweaters I knit are grey, green or pale pink.

Another aspect of choosing a yarn color is the different dying processes that can make a the same color of yarn look very different. There are solid colored yarns, heathered yarns, tweed yarns, hand painted yarn and variegated yarns. One great way to make your sweater unique is to try a hand painted yarn to guarantee that no one else will ever have a sweater exactly like yours. My personal favorite is heathered yarns, I find that the heathering process adds a little bit of depth to the knitting while still having a consistent overall color. If you decide to use a variegated yarn be aware that the rate at which to color changes will very likely be different on the sleeves than on the body of the sweater.  Although… Fable Fibers yarns are hand dyed in a way that pooling does not happen! I use very short color repeats that will not change, no matter what diameter you are knitting at. This was developed to add depth and texture to your knitting no matter how simple a pattern you are doing. -Lelah

If you would like to learn more about choosing a perfect yarn for your sweater download this free Sweater Planning Guide. This guide covers everything you’ll need to know as you’re preparing to knit your sweater from how much yarn to buy to knitting and measuring a gauge swatch. And did I mention that it’s free?!

This guest post is part of the 30 Day Sweater Challenge promo tour. Join us this October as we help 5,000 knitters around the world knit a sweater they’ll love, in 30 days. To sign up just visit http://30daysweater.com/fablefibers and download your free sweater planning guide. It will help put you on the right track! See you in October!

TNNA recap

Hey y’all,

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I had a great time at the National NeedleArts Association’s trade show in Columbus this past weekend. Lots of good things are in the works, and I made a lot of great connections. Also, I got to meet a lot of people that I have been friendly with on Twitter & Instagram, and that may have been the best part.

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Anyway, I decided to go in with no expectations, so I only got a tabletop exhibit to just try the whole thing out. Maybe it was a bad idea, maybe it was a good one, I don’t know. But, I’m happy with having gone, because I will have work until the fall because of this show. And expect a few patterns out of this, too!

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A yarn of mine that was extremely popular was NOVEL, the 150g/600y Merino Cashemere Nylon blend (80/10/10). Shops were loving the yardage and content. It was so popular, though, that it will be unavailable in my online shop until the shops that ordered it receive it. So expect an October return.

Next time I do this, it might be the San Diego show in February. It was that much fun. I have to bring help next time, however – I missed out on ALL the Jeni’s!

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Behind the scenes, and a newb at TNNA!

It may seem that if a person doesn’t blog, then nothing is going on. Ohhh, let me tell you, that this is not the case. In addition to my Etsy shop (which is doing great!), I’m working on wholesale orders. And because of the interest in my yarn, I have a table at TNNA this year. Not a booth (um, first time caller, long time listener!), but a cute little table for my cute little company. I want to enter the pool by testing it out with my big toe, first. You know? So, if you happen to be in Columbus this June, please stop by table #1152!

 

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Above pic of my life, my BEAUTIFUL life. 🙂

Introducing SUNDOWN, and pssst… CLUB subscriptions are back open!

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Oh Sundown. How I love your muted, feminine swirls of a sunset sky. This yarn reminds me of the sunsets out where my parents live now, near Taos, NM. Creamy oranges, corals, and subtle plums. What a stunner! Dyed to order on Biography DK. https://www.etsy.com/listing/129272252/biography-dyed-to-order-sundown?

AND! Club subscriptions are back open! This time for ~Early Summer~ MAY –  JUNE – JULY.
 Each month you will get a new colorway that has never been seen on the Fable Fibers site. You’ll get something totally unique and special! https://www.etsy.com/listing/126560285/3-month-merino-early-summer-dk-yarn-club?ref=shop_home_active

 

Introducing Rose Britannia, a new permanent colorway!

ImageShown on Folktale.

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Shown on Biography.

Fable Fibers is incredibly proud to introduce our newest permanent colorway, Rose Britannia. It is available for purchase on the Etsy site, https://www.etsy.com/shop/fablefibers, on either the Biography DK base (100% superwash Merino), or the Folktale base (light fingering, 100% superwash Merino, GREAT for socks).

Look what @knitwithlove on Instagram is making with Rose Britannia on the Folktale base:Image

What I’m chugging along on…

I really regret never meeting Kirsten Kapur of Through The Loops Designs while we were both living in New Jersey, as I think her patterns are incredibly well written and always beautiful. She uses a lot of hand dyed yarn in her patterns, so I thought I would knit her Cladonia in my Folktale sock yarn. I chose these two colors of Folktale, in Electric Turquoise and Tangerine. Don’t they just vibrate next to each other?

I’m knitting it on sz 7 needles and have just 6 more repeats of the alternating stripe pattern before I get to the lace – which! Get this! Is in a chart and written instructions. I have no brain for charts, I need my stuff written out. Thanks, Kirsten!

I have one each of both colors left in my shop, but as always, I can dye more if it gets sold. https://www.etsy.com/shop/fablefibers

Colorways for April club members!

Thank you sooooo much to all my lovely club members! If you are receiving yarn, please check out the Fable Fibers Friends group on Ravelry for project ideas pertaining to your yarn.

If you want to wait until you open your mail to find out what color way you received… stop reading!

For my Falkland club spinners/felters, may I present “In Bloom”:

4 oz of 100% Falkland wool. Combed top.
For my Folktale sock clubbers, may I present “Peachfuzzy”:
100% superwash Merino wool, 400 yds. Rec. needle size: US 1-3.
And for my Biography DK clubbers, may I present “Riot”:
100% superwash Merino. 231 yds. Rec needle size: US 6-7

Settling in Charlotte!

So as you may know, we recently packed up and moved from NH ~and~ NJ down to Charlotte, permanently! And as we are getting settled and I am setting up my dye studio, I have begun to offer yarn and fiber club subscriptions.

Sock knitters/small shawls??
Try the 3 months light fingering club!

Love DK weight??
Or do you spin/felt? Hello FALKLAND club!!

Each month will be a surprise. I know, I know, you hate blue. But that is the fun! What will you get? It’s like a present in the mail, 3 months in a row. I’m starting small for now, withe just the three clubs this time… but I am definitely loving the club concept and want to do more. Batt club, 8 oz Falkland club, 4 & 8 BFL or Merino, and what about MCN? Yes!! All planning on it!!

So far North Carolina has treated us well. I’m still neck deep in boxes from two residences, and still trying to figure out where everything from our basement will go. That will take some getting used to… there is nowhere to hide all my boxes of craft supplies or too small clothes! Or the kids’ baby clothes that I can’t get rid of. But other than that, the kids are adjusting and we’re settling in.

Poprocks hat

It’s fun being internet friends with talented knitwear designers. Sometimes they let you test knit upcoming patterns in your own yarn, and let you tell them your remarks on their as of yet unpublished pattern.

Like, for example, this gorgeous beanie:

Meet Poprocks, a quick and fun beanie knit from my own Biography DK yarn! The colorway is OOAK, for now. I have one skein left in the shop of this colorway, so go check it out if you are so inclined! It was designed by the talented Olgajazzy (Olga Buraya-Kefelian, http://www.ravelry.com/designers/olga-buraya-kefelian ). Olga is amazing, amazing at cleverly designed patterns that have a geometric twist. They’re visually simple, as is the Japanese aesthetic she draws from, but not simple or boring to knit.

Also on the needles: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/lelah/downton-abbey-mystery-kal-with-jimmy-beans-wool The Jimmy Beans Wool DOWNTON ABBEY KAL! I’ve never knit gauntlets before, believe it or not. The KAL is pretty fun, too.