Tag Archives: csy

Community Supported Yarn goes big time

My friend Lorajean Kelley is the owner and powerhouse behind Knitted Wit, a source of gorgeous hand-dyed yarns. Many of my designs are inspired by, and knit with, her yarns. She’s been dyeing all this loveliness in the 760 square foot home she shares with her husband and 3 children, mostly on the back patio. Her business has grown so much in the past seven years that she needs to move it out of her home and into a real dye studio.

2 ziggys

(Lorajean’s boys in my This Little Ziggy vests in Knitted Wit Polwarth/Silk DK)

Here’s where you get to be part of the action. Knitted Wit has an Indiegogo campaign (similar to Kickstarter) running to fund the startup costs of moving to a studio. She needs some basic equipment that can’t come from her home (stove, washing machine, sink) as well as the installation of the equipment. She’s not asking for a handout: If you invest in the campaign, there are some very nice rewards. It’s like a down payment on more gorgeous yarn and fiber.

If you go to the Indiegogo site, you’ll see that she’s fully funded and more. Her first goal was met within 24 hours. That says a lot about her product, and our willingness to support her growth! But it’s not to late to invest. There are still great perks at most levels, and it will all go to enhance Lorajean’s ability to make MORE YARN.

I’m going for the semi-solid CSY option. You?

Spring has sprung/Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival is coming!

Ah, the first blush of spring. It made me think of this yarn, which has been waiting ever so patiently for inspiration. I’ve known forever that I want this to be long armwarmers, with a ruffled cuff, but just couldn’t see it yet.


I don’t remember when it came to me. It’s from the now defunct Pico Accuardi Dyeworks, Francino, which is a lusciously soft 50% merino/25% bamboo/25% nylon blend. 100 grams/459 yards. The color is nude, and it reminds me of a maiden’s blush. I think Stevanie Pico hand painted this one. I’ve started playing with ideas for it. Wish me luck! Especially knitting the second one…

This makes me think of spring, too.


It’s my March CSY yarn from Knitted Wit. It’s Bling, in Fuchsia Basket. I was at her house the other day to help her label yarn, and I named this one. There are four shades in this month’s CSY, all different percentages of the same dye, so they’re gradations of the same color. Sakura, Plum Blossom, Carnation Nation, and Fuchsia Basket, in order of intensity. Is one coming to you? I love the bling in Bling; it’s hard to see it in this size picture, but it sparkles in the full size pic on my iPad. You need to get some and see for yourself!

These colors also remind me that cherry blossom time is coming, along with the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival in Hood River, April 19-21. It’s the third year for this festival, organized by Yvonne Ellsworth of Lavender Sheep. There is an enticing market which is open to the public, and admission is free. There are also great classes. I learned to steek last year in Mary Scott Huff’s class. Now I’m scheduled to teach two classes there, an expanded version of Tink Drop Frog (fixing mistakes, and more tips and tricks), and the Thrill of the Thrum, which will be a guided tour through my Thrumbelina slipper pattern, as well as a history of thrumming, practice thrumming, and lots of ideas on how else to use it.


I hope you can come to the festival! Please sign up for workshops; they can’t happen unless we have a minimum number of students for each one.

But now, just a little more winter before we get into full on spring. I went cross country skiing with friends on Sunday at Teacup Lake on Mt. Hood. It rained at the end, but it was a fun outing.


My 30 year old skis still work fine. They don’t get out much. Yes, those are old school 3 pin trap bindings. Relics!


There are even more ancient ones on display in the little lodge.


And this gray jay/camp robber/whiskey jack was happy to share our lunch. It came with a bunch of friends!


What are you knitting for spring?

CSY Goodness

I caught up with Lorajean of Knitted Wit this week. The last time I saw her, we were in a mad dash to get our Rose City Yarn Crawl project done for the prize baskets. (Don’t forget to get your free copy of my Daffy Taffy Twists pattern!) After we got that done, I went to Hawaii and she went to TNNA. We’re both back now, so I took the opportunity to catch up with her, and I also picked up *two* months worth of CSY:Fingering Edition yarn. Here’s the January skein:


This variegated makes me think of chocolate and berries. I’ll be looking for a stellar stitch pattern that does it justice. The yarn is Corriedale Socked, 75% super wash Corriedale and 25% nylon, 4 ounces/445 yards. Corriedale is a new breed fiber for me; I’m looking forward to knitting with it. Not sure it will be socks, although the yarn feels like it would make a sturdy but soft and long lasting pair.


This blue-green is Cashy Light, a 80/10/10 blend of superwash merino, cashmere,and nylon. It has tons of yardage, 496 yards in 4 ounces. I think it would make a generous one skein shawl. The color reminds me of the ocean, way out in the depths.

I have a lot of knitting lined up for this weekend. I need to finish a design, start a new one, and I still want to knit myself a sweater. Remember that January was supposed to be selfish knitting month? I never got it done, too much work knitting. But last week I bought some clearance yarn at Twisted, worsted in pinot noir, enough for a sweater. I’m thinking it will be Veera Välimäki’s Honey Cardigan. Click the link and tell me what you think! I like that the neckline is less relaxed than on the Tea Leaves Cardigan. I want something top-down so I don’t have to commit to the length until the bitter end. And I decided that I didn’t want the big borders on Serra or Rocky Coast right now.

What are you going to knit this weekend?

Support your local indie dyer

Remember last year, when I joined Knitted Wit’s Community Supported Yarn club? I received five unique yarns, and helped enable Lorajean to play with new fibers and dyeing techniques. I grew my tiny stash, and she grew her business. And now she’s doing it again! Five skeins of yarn over five months, beginning in September. Signups are going on now.

Let’s review what I got last year:

A beautiful raspberry pink Rambouillet single, which I used for my Zen Rain knitalong.


It was perfect! I wore this a lot last winter with a grey sweater dress. So cute! LJ is now dyeing a Rambouillet 2 ply on a regular basis.

pink zen

This sea green Silky ‘n’ Single worsted weight is cool and serene.


I haven’t decided what it wants to be yet, but I take it out and admire it on a regular basis. LJ now has a plied version of this in her lineup, Silky ‘n’ Plied.

I also received this apple green merino/cashmere/nylon blend, fingering weight.


It’s on the needles as a shawl design project, waiting for me to come back to it. I love how it knits up. (The reason I’m a monogamous knitter is that I tend to go on to the next thing and not come back, so it’s better if I just finish before moving on. But this one is calling my name loudly enough that I WILL go back to it.) I can’t show you a picture, because it’s a secret!

Some sparkly Bling in Huckleberry, which was almost a finished sock, but I, um, got distracted! Now that I look at it, I think I actually want to finish these. I’m not loving the fit of this heel variation (gusset decreases under the heel instead of along the sides) so I’m going to rip back and go back to my standard heel.


And my favorite yarn of all: DK weight Polwarth/silk. It was a fabulous orchid color, but I traded it back to her for Beaujolais, and knit my OXO mitts with it.


I also had a chance to design my Pointer Mitts and Hats with it for the {Among Friends} club.

pointer set

This is one of my all-time favorite yarns to knit with, and it all started with Knitted Wit’s chance to experiment with this yarn base through her community supported yarn program. It’s a big win for all of us. Being part of a CSY is extra thrilling, because you never know what you’re going to get. Beautiful yarn just shows up on your doorstep. Unlike vegetables, it doesn’t go bad before you can use it. That’s good news for me!

I wonder what this year’s CSY will bring?