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Bits and pieces.

We have finally caught our collective breaths from this past weekend’s Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. I do believe a great time was had by all. I certainly had a blast. I love this show. It has some of my favourite elements of a woolly good time: fiber critters, fiber folk, and anything your woolly heart might want or need.  Also there is really great pie. Oh and Irish Wolfhounds and music and … .

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We sold bunches of yarn and saw all kinds of friends, got lots of hugs and I even got a kiss on the cheek from a very beautiful sheep wench. It really was great to see everyone and have a moment or two to visit.

I even got to shop, which was boatloads of fun. And… I kept my promise to myself and left without one single fleece which I do believe is an OFFF first for me. However, I made up for it in spades at the Greensleeves booth, I had a smallish incident involving some spindles. The number is not important.(Remember Barbara you’re sworn to secrecy.) My name is Tina and yes, I have a spindle problem.  It’s ok I used to have a spinning wheel problem, a way bigger problem to have, but I got that under control, at least I’m making progress. Besides they are tools of my trade right?  A yarn-girl needs tools with which to ply her trade.

Buckets of fun!!  Thanks to all of you who came out to play, it was good to see you all!

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Maxine of Island Wools isn’t her chicken tea or head cozy lovely?  It’s mine now along with coloured cotton and some wicked cashmere. I know.

This week is jam packed and as I type this and remember today is Thursday the week is also almost over.  Where does the time go?

We are shipping sock club and filling web orders and prepping for our next shows SOAR, Rhinebeck and Stitches. That’s where the time goes.

We were scheduled to put the price change for the 3 weights of sock yarn up yesterday but we are having a few Zen Cart issues. So you have a few days to squeak in your order if you have not already.  I doubt we get it up before Monday. So…

For those of you waiting for next years sock club pricing we should have that for you at the end of next week.

Today’s word of the day at Dictionary.com is woolgathering. They define woolgathering as: Indulgence in idle daydreaming. This struck me as funny this morning and then I got to thinking about it. I never really gave this word much thought other than being kind of charmed by it.  As an expert woolgatherer I would not describe any part of what I do as idle or daydreaming; thinking, planning, designing, and scheming maybe but not daydreaming.  I wonder is this a touch of sexism or just shows how we’ve valued this part of life in the past.  Even though the woolly arts started out as male dominated, knitting the families clothes or even knitting to pay the bills (working with wool) was traditionally women’s work. We all know us women as a group are just idle daydreamers, the whole sorry lot of us. 

hmmm… food for thought.

Thank you dictionary.com.

ps. I do not have anything against day dreamers or day dreaming. Ask Sister Margaret Claire she gave me an A+ in it.  Gotta love a sarcastic nun.

Anyway thats the news from Blue Moon where the women are strong and are woolgathers and would love a moment to indulge in idle daydreaming.

Knot Hysteria November Colour Retreat

All about Colour!

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The glory of summer is fading away and being replaced with the splendor of autumn.  Steph and I have both noticed the first hints of gold and orange starting to sneak into the trees and garden, so it must be time for what we are happily coming to think of as our fall knitting retreat.  From November 4th to 8th we would love it if you could join us at Port Ludlow, for another wonderfully good time.  We’ve done our Silk retreat a few times, so we thought it might be time to mix it up with a whole new theme, and we let the season guide us.  This time, we’ll be knitting, spinning and dyeing with a focus on colour and all that it means to us as fibre artists, and we can’t imagine a better time for a colour retreat then the middle of autumn surrounded by all the fall colour at our lovely little knitter-friendly Resort at Port Ludlow in Washington.

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Spinning:

It’s been such a pleasure to have master spinner, author and all-round-genius Judith MacKenzie with us for the retreats, that we’d be mad not to have her back for this one. Judith is brilliant with colour, and in the spinning room she’s got a lot planned.  Judith will show you how to spin a painted top, and how to combine a rainbow of gorgeous solids – at the carder, and at the wheel.  The only bad thing about this all day intensive is that it’s not nine days.

Knitting

In the knitting room with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee there’s an all day exploration of knitting with colour.  We’ll work on perfecting your stranded knitting, investigating fair-isle, working with slipped stitches to create fancy patterns that only use one colour per row, firmly grasp the principles of intarsia and talk about stripes.  We’ll even talk a little about how to choose colours that go together, and how you tell if they do.  If you’ve ever wondered how to better manage colour in knitting- this is your class.

Dyeing

In the dye room Tina Newton will take you on a guided journey into the emotional and psychological aspects of colour.  We’ll delve into our personal colour depths and comfort zones. We’ll take a mood, memory, moment… and express it in colour on yarn and roving. We explore compliments and contrasts on the colour wheel as it applies to dyeing for spinning and knitting. Bring an apron it’s sure to get messy!

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The weekend begins when you check in on Friday night, and we all have an opportunity to talk, hang out (maybe have a drink) get to know each other, chat with the teachers, and you’re assigned to one of three small groups.

Saturday, Group one goes with Tina, to a big bright room with a floor covered in plastic and loaded with dye and fiber goodies.

Meanwhile, group two goes with Stephanie to knit.

Over in the pretty room overlooking the water, group three sets up their spinning wheels (or spindles) to spend a day with Judith. 

That evening, we gather to play with carders, learn how to make batts, and play with all sorts of colourful fibre.

Sunday, the groups rotate places for the day classes, and then after dinner we’ll have a discussion on inspiration and a show and tell.  The teachers will share what inspires them and a bit about their own creative process and show you some wonderful pieces, and if you’re so inclined, we’d love to see what you’ve done with colour also.  Please bring your best, and don’t feel limited to bring only knitting.

Monday we rotate for classes again, and Monday night we have a wonderful social gathering for Q&A and talking about all we’ve learned, bid you farewell, and the retreat ends that evening.

The price includes all three classes, evening fun, all materials (except wheels, spindles and needles), and breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The food is fabulous, and we promise that there will be very good vegetarian options. Our lovely Chef Dan is very excited about having colour as the retreat theme, and we’re expecting even more beautiful food from him than usual – and that’s saying something. 

Accommodations are separate and you will arrange those on your own. We have negotiated special prices with Port Ludlow, and there are some shared accommodations (condos and town-homes) if you’d like to come with your friends.

Simply call Port Ludlow and tell them that you’re with Knot Hysteria and the knitters, and they will help you get sorted with the special knitter price. They are lovely and helpful people.

Price for the three day/three class intensive with meals:

$735. (Credit card or paypal are fine) All Materials (except knitting needles and spinning wheels) included. 

Gift bags, presents and surprises forthcoming.

(If you’re a vendor and you’d like to talk to us about putting a little something in the gift bags, just drop us a line. We’d love it.)

If you’d like to come and are thinking about your skills, keep in mind that you don’t have to be an expert spinner, but you do need a basic working knowledge of a spinning wheel, spinning basics and should be able to spin a continuous thread. We’re not saying that you need to do this well. An advanced beginner would be very comfortable. As a knitter, you’ll need to be able to cast on and off, knit, purl, increase and decrease easily and be comfortable with most knitting instructions. You don’t need to be experienced with colourwork. The point is to learn.

To register, simply send an email to with “Colour Retreat” in the subject line, and include your name, address and phone numbers, and we’ll call you to arrange it. The first 45 knitters are in, and we can’t wait to see you.

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It’s ON at O.F.F.F.!

We’re headed to Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival this weekend, otherwise affectionately known as O.F.F.F. While it will only be my second time attending, this year marks Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ tenth anniversary of heading down to Canby, OR for the best (not-so) lil’ fiber show in the Pacific Northwest. (Don’t tell New York, but I prefer O.F.F.F. to Rhinebeck—it’s big enough, yet much more manageable, and not so darn flippin’ cold… although they do have some pretty foliage back East. Luckily, our yarn will be at Rhinebeck, SOAR and Stitches East.)

O.F.F.F. is a weekend celebration of the entire world of fiber, from fleece & plants to a final finished objects. Whether you’re a knitter, a spinner, a crocheter, a weaver, or simply an animal lover, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. There are workshops, demonstrations, contests, art, cooking, all sorts of fleecey beasts, and, of course, lots of yarn and fiber to be fondled in the Spinning/Fiber Crafters’ Circle Tradeshow & Galleries.

Which brings us to the Blue Moon booth… in addition to having many of the new colors in multiple yarns, and in honor of our decade of attending O.F.F.F., we’re putting on a mini Barn Sale. We’ll have Rare Gems (unique over-dyes and unrepeatable colors), Mill Ends (discounted, not-quite-perfect skeins, a plethora of silk hankies (aka mawatas) and special one-off fibers and yarns. We will not be having a barn sale this year, so if you’re hankering for some one-of-a-kind shopping, this weekend is your chance. (Did we mention the silk hankies?)

Speaking of booths, ten years ago Tina first met Morgaine of Carolina Homespun at O.F.F.F, and it was her first time there, too. On Saturday, Morgaine will be hosting “Created in Oregon: a Celebration of Oregon Authors and Designers,” starting as a book signing in her booth 3:00-5:00 and turning into a party in the camp area. Come meet the authors and contributors (and see the designs that feature BMFA yarn) of Beyond Toes: Knitting Advenures with Judy’s Magic Cast On by Judy Becker, Jazz Knitting by Ilisha Helfman, My Grandmother’s Knitting by Larissa Brown and Created in Oregon: A Knitter’s Datebook by Deb Accuardi. Bring your books, bring snacks and drinks to share, bring your projects from any of these great books and join us in celebration!

Will we see you this weekend? We sure hope so.

Come on by from 9:00-5:00 on Saturday and 9:00-4:00 on Sunday at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds.

The Chroma-copia

So, this color changes was a doozy! Tina wouldn’t stop and the colors just kept coming. In an effort to preserve your mouse-clicking finger strength, here’s a list of the returning colors, followed by a list of the newbies.

Returning colors, (aka the ‘Tis the Season posse):


Autumn Christmas Balls Deck the Halls Dreidel
Fall “On Tap” Gingerbread Dude Gingerbread Dudette Grinchy
Harvest Moon Hobgoblin Hollyday Jingle Bell Rock
Jonagold Moonlight Revels Rocktober Rocky Horror
Sugarplums The Cookie Next Door The Witching Hour Vine Maple
Xmas Rock

And here are our new friends:


Aurora Borealis Becky Sue Black Magic Cornucopious
Currier & Ives Dark Shadows Debra Anne Falling 4 Ewe
Festival of Lights Fey Franken Hen Frosty
Ghoulash Hawthorne Holiday Hen Holidazzle
Morticia Nisqually Ochroid Overcast
Paula Jo Peepee Weepkins Pink Flamingo Pink-a-boo
Psychobarbie Punkin Spice Rosanna Donna Royal Flush
Seedy Weeds Stephen Philip Sunnyside Up Swamp Goblin
Sweet ‘n Sour Tina’s Silver Lining Very Merry Green Winterberries
Yule Tide Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah

 

Which ones catch your eye?

If we’re lucky, Tina will take us through her inspiration and how some of these came to be… but for now she’s dyeing up a storm in the barn because of the many shows in the upcoming weeks.

Colur changes news

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Yes, new colourways are indeed coming as promised.  I swear they are.  I’ve had a bout of colourrhea and, to be completely honest, a bit of a hard time limiting myself.  So… what looked to be a quick easy addition to the seasonal colour shift is just a bit more work because of the photography and web work it takes to add them all in.

I’m so excited about a bunch of these and all the colourplay I’ve been up to in general. I’m experimenting with some new techniques and ideas. Also, I believe that from earthy to holiday to bright, there is something in this shift for everyone.  At least that is my hope.

We will be bringing these new colourways to Oregon Flock and Fiber and Toni Neil of The Fold will have them at Rhinebeck and SOAR. Plus, we will be at Stitches East, hosted by our very good friends Kathy and Steve Elkins of WEBS.

As always, if you do not see a colourway offered in the yarn you’d like, email us to see if it’s possible to special order it.  We would also like to remind everyone that when we do a colour change like this, we do get a bit bogged down. At that point, it might take the full 10 days to get your order shipped.

Now, for a little business talk.  Over that past year and a half, we’ve had the price we pay for yarn increase 3 times.  We’ve done our best to absorb this cost so it did not impact you.  We just had yet another increase and need to adjust our sock yarn price by $1.00 a skein.  So on September 27th, the prices of all three weights of sock yarn will be increased by $1.00—putting them at $21.00 for lightweight, $23.50 for mediumweight, $29.50 for heavyweight.

Just to prepare you for 2012, Blue Moon will have an overall price overhaul in January due to increasing wool prices.