Sunday, May 31, 2015

New Pattern Available: Ebbenflow Cowl

Energy, water, air, love, and laughter all experience an ebb and flow. The trick is learning how to go with the flow and, oddly enough, it is ultimately the most natural way. It actually takes more effort to strain against the ebb and flow in our lives. Soft, elastic, light and pretty, this slightly biased cowl will accentuate any outfit. It may not help you sort out all the stresses in your life, but it will give you an easy project to work on while you ride the waves.

Finished Measurement:
This cowl is knit in the round with no seaming. Directions are given for a 56” circumference cowl with a height of 13”. This pattern is easily adaptable. To change circumference you need only cast on more or fewer stitches in multiples of 20. Changes in height are achieved by working more or fewer vertical repeats of the lace chart.

Yarn Requirements:
Necessary yardage will vary with any sizing customization you choose to execute.
Approximately 350 - 380 yards were required for the 56” circumference/13” tall cowl as instructed.

Shown in Dye Monkey Yarns, HipHop Monkey
(400 yards/100grams, Fingering, 100% Superwash Merino, color: Chalk Line).

Recommended Needles:
Size 8 (5mm) 40” Circular needle or size required to get gauge.

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.
Stitch markers and row counter may be helpful.

Approximately 12 sts / 28 rows = 4” (10 cm) in lace pattern in the round, blocked.

Pattern released exclusively in Dye Monkey Yarns Signature Series Kit 1: June 2015

The kit includes: Ravelry pattern download or digital delivery of PDF for Non-Rav Members and one (1) skein of Dye Monkey Yarns HipHop Monkey Colorway: Chalk Line (100% Superwash Merino 100g/400 yards)
$35.00 Each, S&H included

If you would like to order your kit with additional skeins of "Chalk Line", please contact me for pricing and I will invoice you directly.

I am happy to ship kits as gifts. Please specify in "additional instructions" when ordering or email me directly.

Kits will ship on or before June 13th.
A Knit-A-Long will be hosted in my JesseKnits Ravelry Group. Feel free to join us!

My apologies - at this time I am only shipping to North America (ie US & Canada).

Public pattern release scheduled for January 2016.

Today in the Dye Pot...

"Single & Fabulous" on Tap Monkey Fingering
I'm dancing in dye again!

Today's dye pots include a lace weight of "Single & Fabulous"
- just because I think this color would make an absolutely sinful shawl, and I'm playing with blues, purples and hints of teal on some worsted weight.

I'll let you all know once they hit the shop!  Happy Crafting!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Signature Series Kit 1: Ebbenflow Cowl

Ebbenflow Cowl in Dye Monkey Yarns HipHop Monkey
Colorway: Chalk Line
(100% Superwash Merino 100g/400 yards)
I'm very excited to announce the availability of the first of my new Signature Series Kits - the Ebbenflow Cowl!

This is a limited release. Pattern and yarn will not be available again until January 2016.

The kit includes: Ravelry pattern download or digital delivery of PDF for Non-Rav Members and one (1) skein of Dye Monkey Yarns HipHop Monkey Colorway: Chalk Line (100% Superwash Merino 100g/400 yards)

$35.00 Each, S&H included

If you would like to order your kit with additional skeins of Chalk Line, please contact me for pricing and I will invoice you directly.

I am happy to ship kits as gifts. Please specify in "additional instructions" when ordering or email me directly.

Kits will ship on or before June 13th.
Pattern details can be found here.
A Knit-A-Long will be hosted in my JesseKnits Ravelry Group. Feel free to join us!

My apologies - at this time I am only shipping to North America (ie US & Canada).

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Last Skein of Colorway on Sale

Last Skein!! Cupcake Confetti on Salsa Monkey - SALE regularly $12.00 - Now just $9.00 (plus S&H)

Birthday Party hot pink, pink, lavender, purple, plum, blue and white.
Variegated and speckled like confetti on top of a cupcake.

This is a hand painted/hand dyed yarn. Variations will occur from skein to skein.
Photo has been taken to best show colors, however color representation varies from device to device/monitor to monitor. 

Salsa Monkey - 100% Merino 100g/220 yards
Soft, durable and felt-able. Perfect for just about anything - this one is a straight up work horse with pleasurable hand. 
Hand Wash ~ Air Dry
Available on Etsy

New Colorway - I love this red!

Single & Fabulous on Tap Monkey.

Okay, so he left. Now what?
He didn't leave. Nope. YOU threw HIM out.
He never was good enough; never treated you as good as you deserved.
You were always fabulous, but now you're Single AND Fabulous! wearing your hottest reds and calling him out. Next time he sees you, he'll know his mistakes.

Red. EVERY red. From deep maroon up to a crayon red and on to blushing roses and blood tones, with dashes of whites and pinks. Generally in the blue family of reds. NOT orange-reds.

This is a hand painted/hand dyed yarn. Variations will occur from skein to skein.
Photo has been taken to best show colors, however color representation varies from device to device/monitor to monitor. 

Tap Monkey Yarn Base - 75% Superwash Merino/25% Nylon 100g/463 yards
Soft, elastic and durable; a gorgeous sock yarn. Hand Wash ~ Air Dry 
Available in Etsy Store

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Knowing when to call it quits...

Today, I killed a WIP. Dead. It wasn't working for me. I tried. I tried valiantly, but in the end, it had to go.

I'm still not sure what was wrong with it. It was a sock pattern I'd knit a couple of times before. I liked the yarn - the color wasn't quite me, but the hand was nice. The first time I ripped back was because I'd realized I'd knit the foot about an inch too short. The second time was because somehow I was on the wrong row after the heel was completed. I studied those socks against each other and could not find the error. I'm still not sure if the problem was with the first or second sock, or simply with the knitter.

In the end, I announced to my husband that I was simply going to throw the whole mess away, and for once, instead of encouraging me to fix it and move on, he agreed that this horse was well beaten and it needed to go. I suggested ripping it all back and gifting the yarn. He said no. The negative energy I'd twisted into that yarn would only torment the next knitter. And so, I yanked out my needles and threw the whole thing away. It was stunningly liberating. The weight lifted from my shoulders instantaneously. Now I'm on to new things.

I need to learn when to call it quits. I think I work a lot of things way past dead. Is that part of being a perfectionist?

Strains of Kenny Rogers now haunt my thoughts... "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run."

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Towel Wrapped & Dripping Brilliance

I often find I'm my most creative ideas come to me in the shower. This morning was no exception.  I don't understand this phenomenon; I think it might have something to do with the fact that I am at my absolute furthest from pen and paper when soap is running into my eyes. Nevertheless, towel wrapped and dripping, I was able to capture the ideas on paper, and once dry set off to make them realities.

One such idea was for a couple of new colorways. They are on the drying rack now, and you'll see them soon.

Another thing that occurred to me which I will be implementing is a focus on dividing up my fingering yarns into slightly different categories - tonal and self-striping.  This will enable you to better understand how the yarn is likely to behave when you are working with it.

The big idea, however, is going to take a little more time. I will be launching a Signature Series of colorway & pattern packages/kits. Each of these kits will be release in limited quantity and will remain exclusive to the kit release for an extended period of time. My goal is to release a new Signature Series Kit either every two or three months, with the first release scheduled for June. June's kit is already in process - wait till you see this color!

If you are interested in receiving early notification when these kits become available, please visit my Ravelry group and respond to the appropriate post.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

New Payment Options!

Midnight Ginger Snaps - Swing Monkey
80% BFL/20% Bamboo ~ Fingering
My Etsy shop has now been enabled with Direct Checkout.  This allows you to choose between using a PayPal account or paying directly with your credit/debit card.  It also enables me to accept Etsy Gift Cards... you know...just in case you were to receive one for Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Shop Update - New Weight, New Colors & a Returning Color

Etsy shop has just been updated! I've added two high yardage worsted yarns (430yds) - Silver Lining and Barn Wood, brought back Email & Merlot due to popular demand, and added four new colorways in fingering: Peppermint Taffy, Midnight Ginger Snaps, Red Grapes, and Fresh Cut Grass.

Don't forget - still celebrating the Grand Opening. Be sure to use coupon code "GoMonkey15" for 15% off your order.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

If wishes were fishes, there'd be pictures

We accidentally discovered, a few years back now, that the best time to take photos of either my designs or products is first thing in the morning in the front garden. There is plenty of true daylight ambient light without it being too direct, and we get the most accurate color depictions.

Trick to that is, it can't be raining.

It's been raining. A lot. A crazy lot for New Mexico. We suspect "they" are trying to rain-seed for California and failing, and it's drifting out here instead.

Now mind you, I LOVE the rain. I'm a grinning fool when it's raining in the desert. But, I don't like the rain when I have mounds of yarns waiting for photography so that I can impress you with my latest colorways.

Yes, I tried other lighting and venues. I'm just not satisfied. So, it will have to wait. The upside is the next update will be a big one.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Busy Day

My day started with coffee and progressed quickly to cleaning the chicken coop, followed by a nice hot shower.  With chores done, my husband took off on his motorcycle for a day-long adventure and I went to work.

I made the most of today and boy was I busy!

I have six new colorways dyed up and ready for photography. With a little luck the light will be good tomorrow morning and I can get that done before heading out to my "real job". Dyeing can be a lot of work, but it's fun work.  I tinkered around with a new technique today and I really like the results. I'm hoping you will too.

I've got several orders packaged up and ready to go out in the morning as well. So far, the post office has been very quick and orders have been delivered to customers in less time than expected. Tomorrow I'll be sending out my first international order to BC, Canada.  I'm curious to see how quickly that package travels.

I set up a separate group on Ravelry specifically for Dye Monkey Yarns. Originally I had DMY as part of my Jessica L'Heureux Designs group, but it was causing difficulty for advertisers. Now, with two separate groups, Yarnies can advertise in my pattern group, and Designers can advertise in my yarn group. More exposure for everyone.

All this and I had time to bake up a new paleo recipe: butterscotch cupcakes.  They are amazing.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Dye Theory

I'm often asked how I come up with my colorways / what my color theory is. I think this is an interesting question that every dyer has a different answer to.

When I first became interested in dyeing yarns and teaching color theory in my knitting classes I did a lot of research.

When you read about color theory, they start with science, presenting complementary colors, gradients, triads and such for you to absorb like a collection of hard rules. I find rules limiting. Then they tell you if you can't handle the rules to look to nature. Funny thing about nature is, she has a much broader palette to choose from than the average dye offerings. Yes, you can blend and mix up just about any color, but nature doesn't need to create 17 different dyes to present you with leaf green, and until you look at that leaf, really look at it, you don't realize that it is so much more than just green. Of course, then they tell you to watch out for false nature (gardens with non-indigenous plants located close to each other/designed landscapes) and to go with your gut - use what ever color speaks to you.  Ha! How many of you want to knit with construction cone orange?  It's a color I love, but I just don't see it being a big seller.

So what is my "dye theory"?

It's kind of complicated, actually. Intentionally even.

I'm a huge fan of J. Peterman.  Some of you may be familiar with the name from the show Seinfeld; Elaine worked for Peterman.  Some of you may know the name from the catalog.  Some of you may not be familiar at all.  J. Peterman - who, interestingly enough, was one of the founders of Job's Plant Fertilizer Spikes - is/was the owner of The J. Peterman Catalog Company, a seller of fine clothing, accessories and collectibles.  The catalog is known simply as The Owner's Manual, and it's from that which I get most of my inspiration.

The catalog is a non-standard size and featured, until quite recently, only hand drawings of the products beside the most wonderful, romantic, scene setting descriptions you've ever read.  Along with the product, these descriptions sold a feeling, an attitude, an entire world for you to appreciate them in.  They take: "Khaki slacks, 80/20 cotton/poly sizes 2-16" and make it: "Not just another day at the office, but the day. The day your report is selected for presentation to the whole board. The day you stroll in clean, crisp, prepared. The day you are promoted. No sweat. No wrinkles. No problem. Everyday khaki's for everyday success. 80/20 cotton/poly sizes 2-16".  Setting the scene and visualizing the product makes it so much more desirable, at least for me, than "Here. Take it or leave it."  Let's face it.  It's probably the exact same product.  It's the presentation that makes the sale.

So what has this got to do with "dye theory"?

Everything. I can't dye perfect matches of nature, nor can I sell an exclusive line of fluorescent orange yarn successfully. I can however dye the "sketch" - the semblance of something bigger and grander, and I can present the story of what I'm trying to represent in such a way that you'll fall in love with it (hopefully) as much as I am.

The first such of these yarns was Beach House. I had this idea about trying to capture the colors of driftwood. Mother Nature used somewhere around a billion colors to create this fascinating bit of discard. I worked with two. But then I had to connect that bit of wood to its setting: a beach, an ocean. Again, Mother Nature used another couple billion colors, I scrounged around and found.... ta da! two. And so I created a sketch with four colors of something grand and beautiful that takes billions of colors to present, and I aimed to share my story with words - "Crystal blue waves, creamy white sands, and rich, aged driftwoods dotting the seascape - cream, dove gray, pale browns, and blues ranging from pale sky to deeper water denim tones. You can almost hear the gulls and smell the salt air."

I hope my yarns invoke happy memories, warm romantic ideas and inspiration through the color sketches I create. I hope my descriptions help you visualize the colors more clearly so that you can choose the yarn that helps create a perfect piece for you.

Friday, May 1, 2015

New Pattern Available: Moontrimmer

Fastest way to get anywhere is by broom, but what if you want to fly to the moon?  Simple, grab a Moontrimmer broom and attain previously unimaginable heights and greater successes. Flying higher since 1901.

Finished Measurements and Yarn Requirements will vary based on your yarn & needle selection as well as chosen number of Body Chart repeats. As a general guide I offer the following:

Sizes / Blocked Dimensions:
Small: (7 body chart repeats) 54” wide x 23” deep
Large: (10 body chart repeats) 75” wide x 31” deep

Yarn Requirements:
Small: Approximately 490 yards of fingering weight
Large: Approximately 980 yards of fingering weight

Shown in Fino (color: 419 Brass Button) by Manos del Uruguay (490 yards/448 meters per 100g – fingering weight – 70% Merino, 30% Silk)

Needles: Size 4 (3.5mm) 40-47” circular needles
Note: For cast on and setup, I prefer to work on either short straights or DPN’s.  It provides more control and less clutter, allowing you to establish your setup with more stability.

Supplies: Cable needle, tapestry needle for weaving in ends, and row counter may be helpful.

Gauge: Approximately 24 sts in pattern = 4” (10cm).  Your gauge will vary depending on your yarn and needle choice.

  Ravelry $5.00 USD