There's a debate inching into the yarn conversation about speckled yarn vs. non-speckled yarn. Who knew this was a thing?! Speckled yarn is very hot right now and has been for a while. At The Artful Yarn we find the conversation trending more toward "what do I do with it?" rather than an outright boycott. Recently we've been reading about yarn company closures and ran across a thread where knitters were vehemently opposing the whole speckled yarn trend as sloppy and ugly. These arguments caught us totally by surprise! Speckled yarns occur in the hand-dyed yarn world and the indie dye world has exploded with a ton of super-talented people creating awesome yarn expressions that some knitters and crocheters pursue with a passion. Some knitters are speculating that the rise of indie dyers is driving traditional yarn companies out of business. Innovation can have this effect when businesses don't move along with their market. Innovation broadens markets and we believe the current speckled yarn expression has brought more people to the knitting, crocheting, weaving and spinning tent.
As in any creative process (and the yarn world is a creative place) new and exciting expressions will most definitely appear. Some ideas will not catch on and some will capture our imaginations, hold our excitement and bring us joy. This whole thing about speckled yarn doesn't reflect our shop's "no judgement zone" vibe. If you like it, great! Go for it!
In a recent blog post of her own, Felicia Lo, creative founder of Sweet Georgia Yarn, explained why her company does not dye speckled yarn. She tells her readers that it is difficult to obtain a consistent color and speckle distribution time and again. As consistency is a core value for her company this is one reason they are not dyeing speckled yarn. We respect that. She further explains that dye powder is extremely fine and hand-dyers should use respirators to protect themselves from this fine dust. She explains that the speckled dye process scatters dry dye powder on wet yarn (rather than dissolved in a solution) placing the dyer in contact with more dye dust.
Felicia's concern is the affect of dye powder exposure for all workers in the dye house if they don't use proper safeguards. This gave us serious pause. Since our beginning, The Artful Yarn has been asking yarn vendors about fair-wage incomes for yarn workers, proper treatment of animals and ethical disposal of dyes. Now we will start asking about working conditions for employees and how those handling dye are protected from dye powder released into their work environment.
And then there are those who talk about how to use speckled yarns in their projects. Tin Can Knits shared a great blog post last year about the use of speckled yarn. They contend that there is a place for speckled yarn however you want to use them. We agree with them! Tin Can Knits suggest the full-on use of speckled yarn in anything you want to make. For those of us feeling less adventurous, they suggest including speckled yarns in stripes bounded by solids or semi-solid yarns. As cuffs, hems or pops of color anywhere in a garment or accessory. However you want to use speckled yarn, our staff can offer suggestions and explore ways that you might want to use these fun, new yarn expressions.
In the end, we believe the yarn tent is big enough for everything yarn! The next time you come in, we'll show you what we have in stock right now and rest assured, there's more coming this Fall - along with other non-speckled yarn too!
Want to weigh in on the speckled yarn conversation? Take our survey now!
OTN Rally Day is our Lalapalooza Day of knitting! OTN means On The Needles, and that's just what we do! A full day of knitting in a stunning location with awesome instructors and fun knitters from all over Northeast Ohio . . . and some from Pennsylvania!
OTN Rally Day is scheduled for Saturday, August 13, at the Chagrin Falls Township Hall, just one block from our shop. Check-in starts at 8:00 AM and morning classes begin at 8:30. OTN Rally Day is highly-anticipated. The classes fill up quickly. About 38 people can participate. Registration information comes out tomorrow, Wednesday, July 6th. If you see something you like, register soon as there are always a couple of classes that fill up in the first week!
If you're on our mailing list, you'll receive an email. We'll also have a special page on our website. And we'll put info on Ravelry as well - and there will be flyers in the shop. We're covering all the bases!
OTN Rally Day has morning and afternoon classes. We offer three different project/skill classes in each session. You choose one from the morning and one from the afternoon. There's a generous break at noon for lunch, shopping and this year, we are very thrilled to host Audrey Knight, author and designer, as a guest instructor for OTN Rally Day - plus she is bringing a Trunk Show and will sign copies of her book, Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues during lunch! You can read more about Audrey on our OTN Rally Day page!
As an OTN Rally Day participant you also receive a special event souvenir, receive special discounts in the shop that day, and have the chance to win TONS of door prizes through our free Chinese raffle. Refreshments are served all day and everyone has a blast! OTN Rally Day is just $60/person. We offer shop discounts on all project materials and free project patterns for your registered classes. How cool is that?!
Hope you can join us on OTN Rally Day! Get ready for the info to come out tomorrow and call the shop to register. If the line is busy, leave a message with your phone number and we will call you back in the order your message was received!
The only place housework comes before knitting is in the dictionary.
Ran across this little saying recently and of course I'm feeling totally vindicated in not doing anything around our house. I'm also lucky that I live with guys because they don't care about dust, debris and clutter. So I get to do a lot of knitting whenever I I want to. I don't mind sharing - I used to have a perfectly kept house. The boys were little and their stuff contained to a couple of areas. I worked from home. It was easier. Now those boys range all over the place, leaving clothes, shoes, backpacks, basketballs, earbuds, paper plates, everyTHING, EVERYWHERE! And I'm not there bugging them to pick up and put away. When I get home from work, knitting is my go-to happy place where I can find neatness and order. I still have a well-kept house - when I know someone is coming for a visit. Then I really hop to it!
Our Bianca Wrap KAL will be underway soon. We had a bump in the road with getting our kits in from the vendor, but it will all work out. I had received a kit shortly after Thanksgiving to knit a shop sample (which I secretly hoped would be for me) and eagerly jumped in. What's not to like about Suri Merino from Blue Sky Alpacas. Soft? Yes! Pretty? Yes! A dream to knit with? Yes! It has everything going for it.
So I decided to knit the larger of the two sizes offered (again hoping it would be for me) and after knitting the entire thing less about 2.5 inches, decided that it was just too big - for me. So I ripped the entire thing out over the weekend while watching football games that I had no vested interest in. It is always a marvel to me how quickly you can rip out two months worth of work - and how forgiving the yarn was when I started over again. I wish some things in life were as easy to do-over and as forgiving.
We're pretty excited to be working on a fresh, new look for our website! We're adding new elements that will make our website more responsive for you. It will take a little while for all the pieces to fall into place, but as knitters and crocheters we understand that it takes some time for a project to come together!