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Thank you to everyone who played along in our matchy matchy game, you’re all winners in my book!

I went through today and did a count and chose the the first four knitters to get the most number correct.  Sorry for the confusion on Saturdays’ post. I obviously did not think that one all the way through. Next time I will finish that cup of coffee before hitting the post button.  I chose our winners from everyone who guessed before the colorways were posted.

Our winners are… 

Anna > 8 correct matches.
 erb2007 > 8 correct matches.
 yarnderWoman  > 8 correct matches.
 Tru > 7 corect matches

( Thank you Janis for catching that my numbers were off. )

Congrats winners. if you email she’ll hook you up with you prize.

Here are our colorway names and the who, what, where, when, and why of them.

1. Sabertooth Caterpillar :  Rhonda and Heather came up with this one and I think it’s one of the best names ever. When I close my eyes and envision a Sabertooth Caterpillar I see a dirty green that camouflages well, unless of course, said Sabertooth Caterpillar is making it’s way across a sunny yellow pillow with hot pink stripes. And… we all know that Sabertooth’s are way to color conscious to get near hot pink wearing that green coat. Stealth and fabulous is our Sabertooth Caterpillar!
2. Mauvelous:  The absolutely only name for such a lovely Mauve!  End of story.
3. Pistachio:  I’ve almost named several of our green shaded solids Pistachio but they didn’t have exactly the right balance of yellow. They were always just a little too blue. Sad for them, really. I Love this green! Pistachio might be my second favorite green, right next to Pond Scum, as my first, of course.
4. Chillaxin’:  As calm and relaxing as a cool dip in a clear lake on a hot summer day. One calm and seriously cool blue.
5. Passive Aggressive Green: Kermit’s right, it’s not easy being green. I think green has always been just a wee bit envious of it’s blue counterpart. A green that edges towards blue or a blue that’s tinged with green…it’s a close call on this one. I do think green has come out the winner on this particular blue green struggle for hue dominance.
6. Big Brain Blue: I honestly don’t know. It’s just what popped in my head when I saw this blue on yarn. I’m wondering if I should be worried about it.
7. Strawberry Fields Forever: Is this red a true ripe and juicy strawberry red? Almost. It might be a day old strawberry red. When I see this red I hear John, Paul, George and Ringo offering to take me down to Strawberry Fields where nothing is real and there’s nothing to get hung about… .
8. Sea Foam Home:  On a very cloudy day on the Pacific Northwest Coast, a
waves swells and builds, then… right before it breaks onto the sand into foamy bubbly joy, there is this watery green.
9.  What’saaabi:  Have you ever bought wasaabi powder? You add water and get that hot nasal clearing yumminess. This green is that color. FYI: It will not clear your sinuses. Sorry!
10. Bladerunner: If a blade of grass could run really,really, super speedy fast, so fast that, it would break world records and maybe even sound barriers? Fast right? This is the color it would be.
11. Gourdy:  I’ve been trying to get this particular shade of pumpkin orange for a little while now. When I realized I had it I called all the barn chicks over to see.  Rhonda said as soon as she saw it that it looked like a Gourdy and it stuck.  I know pumpkins are not really gourds and mostly gourds are greens and browns. You have to admit, it looks like a Gourdy, doesn’t it?


Contest results…

or… what happens when you start a list from the bottom up?  Note to me: next time we do a contest like this make sure to photograph the pictures in such a way, that when they are imported into the system number one is actually at the top of the list, not number 11.                                                                                           While I’m sure that starting a numbered list with the top number being the last number in your sequence is some awesome brain exercise it was not my intention here.

We’ve done all kinds of naming contests before (Because they are great fun!) usually though, they involve you suggesting names for colorways and then we pick a winner. I do believe this is the first time we done the match the name to the colorway and as I check the entries daily, and hope, that someone comes close to matching them I think, maybe this way, lies madness.                                                                               It’s that snowflake aspect of us that  leaves us all having differing perspectives and opinions. Add to this snowflake people paradigm the fact that we see and process color differently and what we have, my friends, is a color conundrum of sorts.                                                                                                                                                                                  While both Rhonda and I might think it’s obvious that Gourdy is the orange one, because it’s a pumpkin color and pumpkins are orange, and seriously? How could it be anything different?  Debra and Becky might say, “Hey you loons, gourds are green and not really pumpkins, what the hell with the orange? ”

Color is personal and subjective as you can see from the contest entries below.

I’m going to leave the contest for the weekend and see how we do.  Big hint: I’m a seriously creative type of snowflake tightly plied with kinda bent.  A pumpkin might not technically be a gourd but… .

The colors are live on the website now.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! It’s sunny and warm here already. I’m hosting and teaching my first surface design class today. Very excited and slightly nervous.



A little shadey match-up contest!

I’ve been in a shaded solid kind of mood and have been working on some lovely subtle hues. I’m done with the first round and since I’m neck deep in rare gem mill end dyeing and short on photography time. I thought maybe this would be a good time for a colorway contest while we wait for me to get these up on the website (by the end of this week). I promise.  Below you’ll find 11 colorways and their names. Yes, we’ve already named them; we couldn’t help ourselves.  Now it’s your turn to have some fun and see if you can get inside our heads (scary proposition, I know) and guess which names go with which colorway. Fun right?  I think it will be great fun.
The first 4 knitters to correctly match each of the 11 colorways  with their appropriate (the ones we gave them) name win their choice of 4 of these gems. Please put your guesses in the comments.

The colorway pictures are numbered for ease of matching!!

List of names: Gourdy
Strawberry Fields Forever
Sea Foam Home
Blade Runner
Sabertooth Caterpillar
Passive Aggressive Green
Big Brain Blue

Ready, set…match!




Coloring in the lines

Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.

― Mary Oliver


I spent most of this week dyeing rare gems, which is one of  my favorite types of dyeing. As I was musing over blue, while over dyeing the lightweights in the water category, I realized that one of the reasons I love over-dyeing is that it’s coloring outside the lines. There are no limits really and very few, if any, rules.

I spend a lot of my time as a colorist making sure my color concoctions are repeatable. What this means is that everything is measured and marked every single step of the way. Every aspect of the process is carefully considered so that my production dyers can recreate each one as I intended. There are all kinds of things that can step in and mess with my controls (dye changes, yarn changes,water, mood of production dyer…)  but, for the most part, it is my accuracy in making that initial recipe that makes this whole thing work.

I have to tell you that, when I’m in a really inspired place and am focused on getting all the color ideas in my imagination out on yarn, it is seriously challenging to chart every step. It disrupts the flow a bit for me. I have to continually work on convincing myself that the recipe is part of that creative flow. If one’s intention is to share what’s being created then it’s an integral part of the process.

There are also really cool coloring tricks I can’t do because they are not repeatable in a cost effective way or in a make sure every knitter is happy kind of way.

So when I’m dyeing the Rare Gems I kinda feel like a free range dyer. Pretty much anything goes. I think it might be a bit like therapy for me, teaching color and dyeing is that way also. I  get to throw off anything that I feel is binding me or holding me back. I open the doors to those ever present winds of change, and throw the windows wide open, so whatever light is out there that can illuminate my coloring way, and…then I jump, heart and soul first, into each and every skein. It’s a blast

(I do still have a pen and paper right by my side to make hue-notes on, just in case. I’m not a fool.)

All that opening also makes way for some wonderful musing time. Yesterday when I was dyeing earth tone I got to thinking how I taught all three of my children the joy of coloring. We enjoyed outside the lines coloring long before I taught them the importance of color in them. As I watch them go out into the world and make their way I’m getting to see in action just how crucial that one seemingly small step is.  After all, it’s not just easier to see but, also, to appreciate and know, the need for controls and boundaries, when you are familiar with what it looks like without them.

Stay tuned for a huge addition to our Shaded Solids… .



Crabby Hues

All along the Pacific coast are these cute little crabs. I think they are called Purple Shore Crabs. They live in the rocky places and are kinda shy so you have to be a little stealth when seeking them out. I love watching these guys scuttle around. There’s just something about them that brings a smile. We found these in Sausalito in our recent trip to California. Sophie and I were both enthralled and could have watched for hours. Besides being charming little creatures, they are beautifully colored. Pretty little crabby hues!


Alvinda by Emmy Petersson

The Twist Collective’s Spring issue is hot off the virtual presses and the knit joy spills out of every page. There’s a lot to love about this issue not the least of which is the April in Paris photo shoot. I love the pattern contrast and colorwork of Jeanette Cross’s shawl, Fine Kettle. I can see needing to knit more than one of these. Fiona Ellis’s Charleston sweater is so utterly charming it made me swoon.

I have to say that this go around, Alvinda by Emmy Peterson, has captured my heart, which is all kinds of kind of awesome, since it’s out of Blue Moon’s Marine Silk Sport. I admit, I was a little skeptical when Kate first pitched this design to me. It might have been the original color it was in or my mood… who knows. Kate you were so very right. I’m delighted!

Dye Bubbles

A whole world of color reflected in a pitcher of dye. One of those magical chemical moments that makes this dyer’s heart sing!

Knit to Flatter by Amy Herzog

Meet Squared (Shown here in Socks that Rock Heavyweight), a flattering sweater and cool design from Amy Herzog’s eagerly awaited Knit to Flatter. If you have not rushed out to get this book you should. I feel about Amy’s book the same way I feel about JC Briar’s Charts Made Simple. Smart, yet easy to follow and brimming with information that will make me a better knitter and a knitter who is wearing her sweaters and looking good in them! Thank you Amy!


A few special things…

before we head into the weekend.

It was my intention to write a post on Monday, but you can see how well that worked out.  I have my oldest daughter back home for awhile and we’re adjusting to a new schedule. It’s great to have her here, but all three of us are busy people so… lots of  juggling. Luckily I am an expert juggler.

We’ve spent the week starting the dye prep for Maryland Sheep and Wool. If there’s anything you’d like us to send Toni for the booth, please do let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure she has it. We’re sending a ton of new colorways and breaking out some seriously old ones.  It’s been quite amusing going down colorway memory lane.  You know when you hear a song you haven’t heard in awhile, and it makes you feel all nostalgic because the memories associated with that time of your come flooding back in.  It’s like that!  Lots of good stories with each one.

Did you know that it’s Maryland Sheep and Wool’s 40th Anniversary? Impressive and exciting!  I am sure it’s going be to a grand ol’ sheepy time! If you are there, hug a Toni for me.

If you are in New Jersey on April 18th – 20th (next weekend not this weekend), specifically Maplewood, there’s the Garden State Yarn Crawl. We just sent all kinds of pretties to our newest stockist Knitknack along with a trunk show, featuring our newest design by Karen Alfke, Ariadne. Do take a peak. I’m sure Meera and her team has all kinds of knit fun cooked up for you.

heatherpaulaAren’t they adorable?  This is Heather and Paula. Paula on the left and Heather on the right.  Heather joined Blue Moon last March as a temp, to fill in here and there, until  a job she was waiting for in Afghanistan came through. We were very lucky and had Heather with us for a whole year. Her job finally came through a few weeks ago.  Heather is one of those bright and shiny stars that it’s just a joy to be around. She exudes happiness, after her morning coffee that is, and while we wish her the absolute best in doing what she loves, we will miss her a lot.  There is a lot I could thank Heather for, she made me laugh every single day.  She laughed at my jokes, because she really thought they were funny and for that alone, I will love her forever.  The consensus in the barn is the biggest gift we got from Heather was Paula. Paula and Heather were like long lost sisters they immediately bonded and  just “got” each other. Heather brought out a side of Paula we rarely saw and that I love.  And…together? Well take it from me, a force to contend with. Paula has donned her big girl pants and is being brave, but I know that she will miss Heather a whole lot.  Know that you are loved Heather.

To us, Heather is a rare gem, so in honor of her newest life adventure (…and because she threatened us if we did not empty the pod that houses dyed yarns) we are having a RARE GEM MILL END SALE this weekend starting Friday.   We have both lightweight and mediumweight  and they are mill ends ( that’s the sale part). The special part is that they are Rare Gems, one of a kind, usually over dyes, sometimes experiments. Because of this, it is a dye to order sale. I will not dye them until the order is placed. I have done it the other way and ended up with not enough of one kind and too much of another. Lesson learned. Keep in mind that this means it will take a little longer to get from my dye table to your door. I promise it will be worth the wait. I’m feeling some seriously wicked rare gem mojo!  I so love this part of my job.

Remember those new yarns I told you about? newyarns



We are going to get them up this weekend.  So keep an eye out for those. Pattern support for them to follow. I promise the new yarns will also be well represented at Maryland.

Last but most certainly not least, it is my friend Anna Zilboorg’s 80th birthday today.  I want to just take a moment and say Happy, Happy Birthday dearest Anna. I hope you had just the best day, filled with light, laughter, love and of course cake and ice cream.  I am so very glad you were born and happily celebrate you gracing the planet!

Have a great weekend!