Earl Grey Fiber Co. & #placesyoucanknit

August 31, 2021

Earl Grey Fiber Co. & #placesyoucanknit

 

 

#placesyoucanknit

My spouse always thanks me profusely when I can provide runner support for ultra races, but honestly, the only downsides are trying to park at crowded trailheads and a little bit of sleep deprivation. Otherwise, it's just a fun excuse to do some outdoor (and let's be honest, car) knitting... 

Current open hours are Monday - Friday, 7am-3:30pm, and Saturdays, 9am-3pm.

In-store shopping: masks are REQUIRED for all unvaccinated guests over age 2. Thanks for your help in keeping my business open to the public!

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…to learn (and do)

three red and orange skeins of yarn with the words "Yarn Folk talks"


CURRENT CLASSES & EVENTS

Social Stitching via Zoom 

We are taking a Zoom break on August 26th & September 2nd. September 9th will be an in-person event; no concurrent Zoom.

 

Back to School Social Stitching in the Park

September 9, 2021, 3:45-7pm, Mountain View Park, 1200 E. Seattle, Ellensburg

Please join us for an outdoor stitching social. We have reserved the picnic shelter at Mountain View Park, so there is picnic table seating; please bring a camp chair for your comfort if desired. Masks and social distancing are encouraged for this outdoor event.

 

Have a Ball Fall Crawl

September 17-19 & September 24-26, 2021

Yarn Folk: September 26 @ 9am PDT (12pm EDT)

Join Yarn Folk and 35 other amazing shops across North America for a virtual crawl! More info and registration at http://www.HaveABallFallCrawl.com/

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...to anticipate

 A woman wearing a black cardigan is hugging seven skeins of yarn: deep teal, a dark rosy plum, a pastel variegated color, a lightly speckled greyish green, a deep crimson, and a deep rose. The seventh skein is barely visible.

 

If you're as in love with Earl Grey Fiber Co. as I am, you'll be excited to see fresh stock of Darjeeling in the shop and online! (And if you have a fingering weight sweater you've been dreaming of, keep in mind that you'll have the best selection soon after we receive new shipments--right now, we have good options from Earl Grey, Malabrigo, Neighborhood Fiber, and Berroco.)

Also, check our Instagram and Facebook feeds for an exciting mid-week arrival (the item in question is making its official debut then)!

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…to inspire

 

A cropped, cap sleeve sweater with a stranded colorwork yoke and lice-patterned body is blocking on a grey foam mat using blocking wires and blocking combs. There is a small potted jade plant in the upper left, and a copy of the pattern schematic on the lower left.
As the days get shorter, and the nights get cooler, it's a good time to think about whether there are any handmade items that need a bit of care before they return to your wardrobe rotation. (Ideally, this might have happened earlier in the spring/summer, and if so, GREAT JOB!) Especially if you have garments that are heavier and benefit from being dried flat, wash them now to reduce drying time!
Here are some recommendations for thoughtful care of natural fibers:
  • Inspect for damage--mending any small holes or snags while they are small is the key to longer life for your handmade wardrobe, and it's better to do this before increasing the weight of the item by saturating it with water.
  • Before washing, remove any pills, debris, or hair with a Gleener, Lilly Brush, or other garment care tool.
  • Know your care requirements. Maybe you washed and blocked your swatch, and know what to expect 😉! In general, superwash wools and plant fibers can be machine washed on a delicate/hand wash cycle. Non-superwash animal fibers should be hand washed. Some indie dyers specify that handwashing is preferred, even for superwash yarn bases--this has to do with preserving the most vibrant color for the longest period of time.
  • If you are machine washing, mesh garment bags can offer some extra protection. Use the gentle or hand wash cycle. You can use Eucalan or a small amount of your regular laundry detergent. Consider adding a color catcher to trap any loose dye. And wash only with items of similar weight, and make sure any buttons or zippers are closed. If there is velcro on anything in the load, definitely use a mesh garment bag.
  • If you are handwashing, dissolve some Eucalan or other wool wash in cool water, then submerge your item completely. If washing more than one item in a basin, add a color catcher. Soak for 20 minutes (or until you remember that you were soaking something). To remove, support the wet item to avoid stretching it when the fibers are at their heaviest. Gently squeeze out as much water as possible; do not wring the fabric. 
  • Some superwash wools need a bit of time in the dryer to snap back into shape. For the best information, I recommend machine drying your swatch to see how it performs. If machine drying, I strongly recommend low temperatures and careful consideration of what other items will also be in the dryer--machine drying an item by itself is likely to lead to wrinkles, but you don't want to include hi-lint items or anything too heavy or likely to snag your handmade item. Two other options that can serve you well are to dry flat until the item is only a little damp (or, if you are being extra cautious, completely dry), then finish with a few minutes in the machine OR dry until only just damp, and lay flat to finish.
  • If laying flat to dry, first roll the item in a towel (or series of towels) to gently absorb as much excess moisture as you can. Depending on the item, you may just smooth and shape it, or you may need to pin it into place. Lace, in particular, benefits from being pinned out to open it up. If you are pinning an item, blocking mats (also sold as garage or excercise room flooring or children's puzzle mats) work well; a bed, towel covered carpeted floor, or old yoga mat are other options. The first time you wash and block an item typically involves the most  pinning to size; subsequently, you can often just reshape by hand.

Get ready! The time to show off your handmade wardrobe is nearly here!

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...to stitch

A thumb and forefinger pinch the metal needle tips of an active knitting project, with a few rows of black and gold stranded colorwork visible. There are blurred evergreen trees visible in the background. 

I'll be releasing more details about this project in a few weeks when the new line it spotlights is set to arrive, but for now, I'll say that I got a LOT done this weekend while hanging around at the various aid stations for the Cascade Crest 100, and that every moment spent working on this confirms my decision to order the yarn. I LOVE IT.



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