Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I know it's been quite some time since I gave you any evidence that I actually knit! I've been so busy that I feel as though I've hardly knit at all these past few weeks, but I did actually find time to squeeze in one sock in the fourth pair for my mother's Christmas sock set and have started on the second sock of that pair.
This will be a super-simple sock with a 3X1 ribbed cuff and stockinet body. Yawn. The color gives it a bit of interest though. I'm using Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn in Shades of Teal. The colors in the photo are not very accurate, since I took this picture indoors with a flash, but you get the idea. Just imagine considerably darker, richer shades of teal.
If I can finish this sock this week, perhaps I'll have time for a fifth pair before the holiday. I had planned on six pair for my mother for Christmas, but now it appears that it may only be four.
Of course, on the yarn dyeing front I've been far more productive! Here's one of the new colorways on Worsted Weight Mohair Wool (Blissful) that you'll find in my Etsy shop:
That's all the news that's fit to print today. Hope everyone has a great day!
Monday, November 27, 2006
This week, I have a project to share with you that many of you have likely already seen over at KnitSpot. If you haven't seen this yet, I urge you to take a moment and pop over to check it out, not only because it's such a fabulous project and worthy of reading more about, but also because Anne at KnitSpot is such an amazing and prolific designer and her blog is truly one of the best out there. Trust me ... you'll enjoy it!
This is Anne's Obstacles. It is the second installment in her forray into the concept of "Man Lace." Call it "Open Work" if that makes your manly man feel less threatened. A rose by any other name ...
This project is very close to completion, but not quite there yet. Be sure to check her blog in the coming weeks for the final, blocked and finished product. It's knit with Fearless Fibers 4-ply Sportweight Cashmere in the Sedona colorway. Can't you just feel the soft, drapey, cashmere goodness?
Alrighty folks ... get those project photos to me so we don't have a dry Monday next week!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I want to take a moment to apologize to any of you who have had troubles shopping in my Etsy shop this past week. The Etsy upgrade has not been without problems and I know a few of you have experienced some frustration trying to get your orders through. For that, you have my sincerest apology!
The bugs with the new version of Etsy are being worked out and it's getting smoother and smoother each day. If you've been impacted by this, I can only ask for your forgiveness and patience. Those of you who have shopped at Fearless Fibers before know that not only is the quality of my products important to me, but so is the quality of service. When technical problems make it difficult for me to provide you with an easy shopping experience and the level of service you deserve, believe me when I tell you that I experience the pain and frustration right along with you. But never fear -- the site is up and running with very little problem now. Thank you so much to all of you for your patience!
Speaking of Etsy, I want to tell you all about the coolest thing I purchased there recently. I bought these in Spiced Tea's Etsy shop:
They're a set of small note/gift cards. They'll work perfectly as gift cards for the knitted holiday gifts I'll be giving to family this year. The cards are a bit larger than a traditional "gift card" which makes them the perfect size to include a brief note and perhaps care instructions for the garment. I was so pleased when I received them! The quality is excellent, the pictures are crisp and clear, they were packaged well and include an envelope for each card.
If you just have to have some of these for yourself, you can go directly to the shop listing for the item. Spiced Tea has other cards and prints available as well, including 8X10 prints with these same sheep photos. Too cute!
As to knitting, I must sadly admit that I haven't knit a stitch in almost a week. This is the longest I've gone without knitting in sooooo long and it's starting to cause me physical pain! I've been intensely busy, but will definitely find time to get back to knitting soon. I've completed about 75% of the first sock of the pair I'm currently working on and need to get moving on that. The felted red vest is about 80% of the way done, but I hate the thing so much that I'm not sure if I'll ever pick it up again. I also have a new idea I want to explore as well, so the needles are really beginning to cry out to me!
Since I have no knitting photos to share with you, how about some yarn? I finally got around to dyeing a wee bit of 4-ply, sportweight cashmere and have a couple of listings up for that now.
There's Endless Night 4-ply cashmere:
And there's Mountain 4-ply cashmere:
As always, you'll find other new items peppered throughout my Etsy shop. Speaking of dyeing ... it's about time I get to work!
Wishing you all a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, November 20, 2006
I have two great new customer projects to share with you today. The first is a work-in-progress that I couldn't resist showing to you now. It's a Christmas project and I want to share it with you in time to inspire your holiday knitting before it's too close to the holidays to hope to finish anything in time!
Here is Karen's Christmas vest in progress.
Isn't that just darling!? Karen is using Fearless Fibers Sportweight Superwash Merino for this vest. She purchased one of the 6-skein sets in Christmas Colors. There's only one more of these Christmas Color sets available, so if you have a project in mind get it while you can! The set is listed in my Etsy shop.
Karen has a website, Scarves for All Reasons, where she sells some of her knitted goodies. Have a look around for more knitting fun!
The next project is a completed shawl crocheted by Elisa. And wow, what a shawl it is! Simply fabulous! For more details on the shawl, visit Elisa's blog.
The shawl is made with Fearless Fibers Laceweight Cashmere in the Exotic Wood colorway. If you're looking for this yarn in my shop, you won't find it at the moment as the last of it was purchased earlier this week. But never fear! There's already another small batch drying in my workshop which will be listed soon. If you want to be notified when the new batch is listed, just send me an e-mail and I'll be happy to give you a heads up when the yarn is listed.
Here's a closeup of the shawl that really shows the lovely pattern and colors. Delicious!
Keep those photos coming!! Thanks again to Karen and Elisa for sharing their lovely work!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Lately, I've been a bag (oops ... I mean "bad") blogger. I know, I know. Please accept my apologies! This has been a crazy week with the implementation of the new and improved version of Etsy. It's been taking quite a bit of my time, but things are settling down and I promise I'll do a better job of regularly posting to my blog.
As with many major software implementations, the Etsy upgrade has been rather bumpy. It's still periodically slow or even down from time to time, but the bugs are quickly being resolved and the new version of Etsy is worth it! If you haven't visited my Fearless Fibers Etsy store lately, stop on by and take a peek. Pretty spiffy new look, dontchya think?
In addition to the new look, there are a few new features you should be aware of. If you look to the right side of the store, you will now see "Store Sections" listing different categories of yarn. This means that if you're looking for a particular type of yarn, you can now browse the appropriate section rather than scrolling through a laundry list of products.
There is a also a "shopping cart" with the new Etsy. This means that rather than waiting for me to send you an invoice before paying, you can now proceed immediately to check out. One thing to note is that this shopping cart feature does mean that shipping costs are now approximated rather than exact. I've set up my shipping so that the first item you purchase will cost $4.05 for Priority Mail shipping. Each item you add to your cart will add 50 cents to the total shipping price (with the exception of cashmere, where additional skeins will not add to your shipping total). This method of calculating shipping yields a close approximation to actual shipping costs and seems a fair and reasonable way to handle the inherent limitations of using any sort of shopping cart function.
As to dyeing and knitting, I have managed to continue doing quite a bit of both. On the knitting front, I'm about 75% finished with the red felted vest for the Red Sweater KAL. The bad news is that it truly is a monstrosity. I'm going to try to find the will to finish the dreaded thing, as one never knows what magic might occur during felting, but I truly think that I'm really just making a piece of very expensive, ugly, ill-shaped felt which will promptly find itself in the trash can. 'Nuff said.
I also started a new pair of socks in my Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn in the Shades of Teal colorway. This pair will be #4 in the batch of socks for my mother for Christmas. I need to get another pair under my belt, so I'm keeping this one simple, simple, simple. Just a plain old ribbed cuff and stockinet foot. It's too dark still this morning to get a good picture, but I'll post one soon.
On the dyeing front, it's mostly been business as usual with stock replenishing, but as always there are a few new items in the mix.
There's this fun "Citrus" Superwash Merino Sock Yarn:
And this Tiger's Eye Superwash Sock Yarn:
And a few others in the mix as well.
I hope everyone's having a fabulous Autumn so far, staying warm, and keeping those needles flying!
Monday, November 13, 2006
I have two great new customer projects to share with you today. The first is a scarf knit by Luise with Fearless Fibers worsted weight Mohair/Wool in the Stormy Night colorway.
Luise knit this scarf using the four-stitch maneuver recently posted by the Yarn Harlot. Here's a closeup of the stitch detail. The colors in the photo above are more accurate, but here you can see the lovely detail of the stitch work.
Great job, Luise! This scarf is sure to keep you warm and comfy - and looking great! - through the cold winter months.
The next photo is a terrific sock project knit by Pam using Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn in the Marrakesh colorway.
Isn't that one terrific sock? I love the pattern and the color, and the knitting looks just great! For more knitting fun and photos, visit Pam's blog.
For next week, I have a work in progress customer project to share with you. I usually wait until a project is complete to post it, but this one is a Christmas vest that may inspire some of you to make something fun in time for the holidays. After that, I'm wide open for customer project photos, so get those pics to me!
Now get those sticks flying!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Just a quick reminder that today is the one-day only Orphan Skein Sale in my Etsy shop. All orphans have now been listed and are awaiting new homes. There's Mohair Boucle, Merino Sock Yarn, DK Mohair/Wool, Merino Twist, and even some cashmere! If you have a minute to spare, stop by and have a look.
Unless we hear another last minute change, this weekend will be the upgrade of Etsy, so expect my Etsy shop to be down over the weekend. When it's back up and running again, I'll have the opportunity re-organize the store with categories of yarn and to explore other cool enhancements.
In other news, if you're looking for a worthy cause ... and a chance to win yarn or other prizes while you're at it! ... check out Wendy Knits! Wendy Johnson launched a fundraiser earlier this week to benefit Heifer International, a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating world hunger through sustainable agricultural and animal projects. Pop by Wendy's site for information.
Everyone have a great day!
Monday, November 06, 2006
Today, I have two absolutely fabulous customer projects to share with you. Both are lace; one knit and one crochet. You can click on the photos for a better view of these wonderful projects.
The first featured project was made by Marianne. It’s a "Flared Lace Smoke Ring" designed by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer at Heartstrings Fiber Arts. Despite the fact that this smoke ring is absolutely gorgeous and looks quite intricate and complex, according to Marianne it was pretty simple to make. She reported to me that “after the first few rounds, it sort of rolls off your mind, into the wool. I was pleasantly surprised by that!”
Here’s a close up photo for a better view of the detail and also a more accurate depiction of the color. Marianne made this smoke ring with Fearless Fibers Merino Wool Sock Yarn (the classic merino, rather than the superwash) in the Sage and Chino colorway. One skein was plenty for this project, with a comfortable amount left over.
As if one fantastic lace project isn’t enough, I have another to share with you! This one is a crocheted shawl made by Elisa. The shawl was designed as a traditional pointed shawl, but Elisa stopped short and created a narrower shawl that’s just the right size for her and allowed her to complete the entire project with just one 8-ounce skein of the Alpaca/Wool Yarn. She got the pattern for this shawl from this pattern directory site.
Elisa reports that she has received more attention and interest when wearing this shawl (which she says she now wears “everywhere”!) than anything she’s made so far. Well, it’s no wonder! It’s absolutely gorgeous. Elisa made this shawl with Fearless Fibers DK Weight Alpaca/Wool. The colorway is Moss. Here’s a closer look for you
If you’re wondering why you don’t see these colors currently available in my Etsy or eBay shops, the answer is that both of these were one-time only dye runs from quite some time ago. One of the myriad of reasons that I chose to sell online directly to the consumer rather than selling to retail shops is that it gives me the flexibility to experiment, just have fun with dyeing, and occasionally offer a bit of this and a bit of that to my customers rather than just sticking to a standard and fairly static “line.” That leads me into a reminder …
Don’t forget the Orphan Skein Sale coming to my Etsy shop on Wednesday November 8th! Scroll down to the post below this one for details. Perhaps you can pick up a bargain on yarn from a limited dye run, such as the yarns Marianne and Elisa used for their wonderful lace projects.
Finally, I’m counting on all of you to contribute your project photos for future Monday features. E-mail your photos to me and give you handiwork its moment in the spotlight!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
ANNOUNCING FEARLESS FIBERS FIRST ORPHAN SKEIN SALE!
WHEN: One Day Only: Wednesday, November 8th, beginning by 8:00 a.m. PST
WHERE: Fearless Fibers Etsy Shop
I’m planning an Orphan Skein Sale! What’s an Orphan Skein, you ask? It’s a poor little skein all by itself in the world. Perhaps it’s the last remaining skein of a particular dye lot. It might be a remainder from a colorway I’ve put on the backburner for a while. It might be an extra skein I made for a project of my own but never needed. There are so many reasons that a skein might be orphaned. Regardless of the reason that they were orphaned, these babies need a good home! These are not damaged or irregular skeins or anything of the sort. They are perfectly healthy and beautiful little orphans that will be offered at 10 to 25% below my already-low prices. (I know, I know, I sound like a used car commercial with “already low prices” … but hey, it’s true.)
The sale will be one day only: Wednesday, November 8th. I will be listing the sale items in my Etsy store on Wednesday morning, as soon as I drag myself about of bed. All sale skeins will be listed before 8:00 a.m. PST. The sale items will remain listed until sold or until I awaken on Thursday morning, when the listings will be removed. The listing titles for the items on sale will begin with the words “ORPHAN SKEIN SALE” so you can find them more easily.
I haven’t gone through everything yet to select the orphans that will be included in the sale, but my guess is that there will be in the neighborhood of twenty to thirty skeins of a variety of types. There may even be some orphan twins – two matching skeins of the same dyelot, hoping to be adopted by one knitter so that they can remain together. There will even be some cashmere included. One skein of laceweight cashmere makes a generous scarf, so these orphans can easily be converted into fabulous holiday gifts.
So mark your calendars and stop by my Etsy shop on Wednesday morning. Perhaps you’ll find an orphan that will capture your heart!
If you have a blog of your own, please consider helping to spread the word. Thank you and hope to see you there!
Friday, November 03, 2006
After I diligently informed you all yesterday that Etsy would be down this weekend for an upgrade, I got word this morning that the upgrade has been pushed out until next weekend. My Etsy shop will be and running as usual this weekend. Sorry for any confusion!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I have a few housekeeping items to communicate today. “Housekeeping” in the business sense, that is.
First of all, I want to let you all know that my Etsy store will be down this weekend. This is due to a major upgrade on Etsy planned to begin late Friday evening and continue through the weekend with Etsy scheduled to be back up and running by Monday.
Etsy will receive a slightly revamped look and feel, but more importantly there will be some important enhancements to make the buying experience smoother. The upgrade is scheduled to be completed this weekend, but as with any major software overhaul, it’s possible that it will take longer than expected. I’m sure there will be a few glitches to work out as well in the coming weeks, despite a rigorous test schedule. Please be patient during this downtime. I’ll be back up and running on Etsy before you know it!
That brings me to the bragging portion of this post. I just can’t resist sharing a tidbit of news that really made my day yesterday. As of yesterday morning, Fearless Fibers made it onto the list of the Top 100 Sellers on Etsy! There are somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 sellers on Etsy, so it’s quite a significant milestone to make it onto this list. A huge THANK YOU to all of my customers for driving my small and still very new business to this small milestone of success and most of all, for making the journey getting there such a pleasurable one! Now the struggle begins to maintain my position there!
In other housekeeping news, I’ve mentioned briefly a couple of times in the past that I’ll be opening my own webstore before long. That is still in the works and will, I hope, be up and running before the end of the year. I have no plans of closing my other shops in the near future but will begin over time to slowly consolidate my business. There will be an announcement here when the shop is up and running.
I also want to provide you with an update on the 4-ply cashmere (sport to DK weight) that so many of you have expressed interest in. In time, this 4-ply cashmere will become a regular part of my inventory, but right now, with so many other things taking priority I am primarily offering the 4-ply cashmere by special order. If you’re interested in 4-ply cashmere, you can purchase it in any of the colorways that are currently available on my laceweight cashmere. Just send me an e-mail and let me know how many skeins you need and which colorway you want, and I’ll be happy to whip up a batch for you. Most special orders are accommodated within two weeks and often even as little as one week. The 4-ply cashmere comes in 2-ounce skeins, 200 yards each, $30 per skein.
My apologies for the heavy text and rather mundane content of this post. From time to time it’s necessary to step back from the fun of knit and yarn chit-chat to talk a bit of business. For those of you who have stuck with it and read this far, I’ll reward you with some eye candy … fiber eye candy that is, of course! Here are a couple of new Superwash Sock Yarn colorways added to my Etsy shop this week.
This one is a handpainted colorway called “October.” The October colorway has been part of my line on Superwash Merino Sportweight for some time, but this is the first time it has been available on the lightweight superwash sock yarn.
This next photo is a new tone-on-tone colorway: Raspberry. Delicious!
There are a few other new ones peppered throughout my Etsy shop as well, but I’ll leave it to you to discover those on your own if you’re interested.
Thanks for stopping by and plowing through the biz housekeeping talk today. I’m actually very excited about the Etsy upgrade this weekend. It will be more work for me, as I’ll have to spend some time revising my store once the new version is up and running, but it should make the shopping experience much better for all of you and that’s what matters!
Now go knit or crochet!