Second Birthday Celebration June 16-17

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It’s our birthday and you’re invited! June 16th 5-7:30 join us for a party at the Studio, 634 Grand Canyon Drive in Madison, Wisconsin.  We’ll have live music, prizes, a pop-up shop from a local maker, and cake!

Saturday June 17th we’ll have classes with Susan B. Anderson, a sidewalk sale and and more pop-up-shop action. Both days you can win prizes when you visit us. More class details coming soon!

We’re so happy to be in the Studio and hope you can join us to celebrate.

 

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Keys to the Castle! And Speckle Yarn and Studio Events

Hi, Knitters,

It’s a whirlwind of activity here as we’ve been sending out Trunk Shows for June (Yarnology, Strings Attached and the Yarnover Truck, whooo!), preparing for TNNA (luckily, I’m just attending, not vending), working on our Kickstarter campaign (still time to get in on the exclusive rewards if you haven’t yet!), getting ready to release a new collection this Friday (yay!) AND packing up for the big move June 1st. And all without our beloved Amy D, who’s leading a group of knitters around Ireland as we speak. 🙂

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Maybe not the prettiest photo, but the prettiest things to me! These are the official Keys to the Studio, so we can come and go at will. Our landlord, Tom, is determined to get everything done so we can move in on time. This is no easy task! He’s in the middle of having the ventilation system installed, tiling and plumbing the bathroom, finished putting in extra electrical for our stoves and is about to knock out a wall!

Grand Canyon Speckle
Grand Canyon Speckle

And here’s the Exclusive Grand Canyon Speckle colorway for our wonderful backers! Getting the pale color to show up was a challenge, but I”m very happy with the way it turned out and hope you’ll love it, too.

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paint chips of the world, unite

Today, we have the fun job of picking out colors for the new spaces…no bashful grays here!

We have a new page on our website for Studio Events! Please check it out for classes, events and general good times.

Finally, I’m very excited to announce one of those Events; the Knitcircus Studio Open House! We’ll celebrate having our doors open and our new digs on Saturday, June 27th, from 12-4:00 pm. If you’re local to Madison, Wisconsin, please join us for gourmet treats, our fresh new store and a special sale event!

Take care , knitters,

Jaala

Yarn Con Yarn! And last chance for Early Spring Yarns

Hi, Knitters,

We’re skeining, dyeing, labeling and packing as fast as we can to get ready for Yarn Con in Chicago this weekend! Belle will be accompanying me and we’re really looking forward to the sweet organizers and meeting/seeing Chicago knitters.

YARN CON COLORS

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The Yarn Con people had a great idea and they asked a number of indie dyers to collaborate on a fun project before the show; custom Yarn Con colorways!  The yarns will be sold at the show as a way to help sustain the event, which has been getting bigger and better every year! (You certainly can’t beat free event parking in Chicago).

We got a little excited and I may have actually designed three colorways, including a whole new dyeing technique I’ve never tried before! The yarn above is a brand-new Speckle colorway inspired by the current Yarn Con logo colors. Everyone in the Lair loved it, and I couldn’t resist naming it Put Me in the Zoo, after the beloved children’s book.

The Speckle technique was so much fun, I’ve designed a number of colorways which will debut this Friday at 10:00 cst as part of the new Late Spring Yarn collection! DSC_0023smaller

More Yarn Con Colors: I designed a gradient using the deep red and pale blue from the Yarn Con logo. These are two colors I’ve always wanted to work with, so it was a lot of fun.

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Then we have a handpaint focusing on the deep red. This is a cousin to the popular Ruby Slippers colorway from the Wizard of Oz collection. DSC_0017 smaller

Yarn con has lots of great vendors, like Sun Valley, Fleur de Fiber, Sophie’s Toes and lots more, plus classes from the lovely likes of Andi Smith, Jen Lucas and more, so if you’re in the Chicagoland area, I hope you’ll stop by and say hi!

LATE SPRING YARN COLLECTION

The new collection will be up in the web store this Friday at 10:00 am, which means we have to say goodbye to some of our favorite Spring yarns until next year!

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If you’ve been thinking about a Robin’s Nest….DSC_0454

or maybe The Can Can Can….

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…or a New Day, order it in the next 24 hours or they’ll be gone!

The good news is, more Spring favorites and new colors including Speckle skeins and gradients will be available as part of the Late Spring Collection!

Happy knitting,

Jaala

Happy Accident, Snickerdoodles

Hi, Knitters and Crocheters,

This weekend, my dad is going to fulfill his dream of taking Li’l Buddy and some friends skiing up north, “While I can still ski!”

This knitter isn’t a big skiier, but I’m more than happy to come along for the ride to keep the party going, cook, organize and stand by with extra warm clothes if anyone’s forgotten anything. Mike and Belle get to stay home and enjoy a relaxing weekend with the pets.

Happy Accident

We didn’t plan for this, but due to a Lair snafu, we ended up with a 300-g ball of yarn! I figured, what the heck, I’ll dye it rainbow, because that’s fun.

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At first, when it was all wound up into a cake, we all just laughed, but then we started to like it. A lot.

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Our Big Rainbow has three full repeats of the Over the Rainbow IMG_1914[1]

Then we started thinking, you could make a whole small adult sweater, baby blanket or three-skein shawl with this baby!

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What do you guys think? Would you use or love a huge skein, or is it just too crazy-big? Please tell me your thoughts!

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This week, I made Snickerdoodles for the kids as an after-school treat. The best part was that Lil Buddy’s nearly-silent friend piped up when I asked what kind of cookies they wanted and clearly stated, “Snickerdoodles!”

That name is so fun to say, it can bring out even the shyest.

we always use the Betty Crocker cookbook recipe for these and they turn out great. Except no cream of tartar, because they make it taste a bit tinny in my opinion.

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These were gone within 48 hours.

Light the Lights

Light the Lights G of E (1)

Speaking of fun, the new color of the month is up, and it is delightful, if I do say so. We named it “Light the Lights,” from the Muppet show theme song, because these colors reminded us of their high-energy hijinks. Gonzo blue, Kermit green and Miss Piggy pink, anyone?

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Of course, it comes in Matching Sock Sets, 100g Cakes and 150g cakes for your knitting pleasure.

And no more waiting weeks for your color of the month! Now that we’ve re-vamped things in the Lair and Erin the fabulous Assistant Dyer is on the scene, we’re turning things around much faster.

Crossing my fingers for a fun, safe ski trip up north and hope you all have a wonderful weekend,

Jaala

Knitting in the New Year

Happy New Year, Knitters!

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paper chains made by Belle

After a very busy holiday yarn season, we all took a week off to enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

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With Christmas and Hannukkah so close, it was a whirlwind, with matzo ball soup and candles at my parents’ then  our family’s traditional homemade Swedish Meatball Christmas Eve dinner here. Every year, we make up a new 12 Days of Christmas song to reflect the events of the year, so this one included “nine baseball players,” “three weeks of clouds,” and “A Sasha under the tree.”

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this little hat was a gift from my mom, handknit and fairly traded

After The Best Christmas Ever(tm), with brunch at our place and dinner at Mom and Dad’s, we took a whirlwind trip to Michigan to check out Mike’s dad’s tree, 12 feet tall with more than a thousand ornaments. Little Buddy found the pickle.

Then two days and two cakes of celebrating Li’l Buddy’s birthday. German Chocolate cake is a family tradition, and it’s an old-fashioned one, with egg separating both for the cake and the frosting. But man, is it worth the time. The kids who came over for a sleepover (just a few this year) got homemade chocolate cupcakes with ganache.

And then it was New Year’s Eve, and frankly, my dears, we were partied out. I snuggled up in our new flannel sheets with a laptop and Dr. Who (season 3, David Tennant, now my favorite Doctor) while Lil Buddy hung out with friends and MIke and Belle puzzled the evening away.

IMG_1703 If you’re puzzlers, I highly recommend this particular one, the Fairytale Fantasia. I have never seen a more intricate, detailed picture, though its complexity isn’t for the faint of puzzle-heart.

And now it’s 2015! Today we’re back to work in the Lair for one big day before the weekend, doing exciting end-of-2014-things like inventory and taxes. But we’ve got a new year of yarn creating and knitting!

Knit this Year 

I took a few luxurious moments to revisit my favorite projects on Ravelry, and though my knitting time is limited these days, a girl can dream! Here’s what I’m hoping to work up this year:

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Moyen Age; this is my dream sweater to knit for myself this year. I just find this delicate design by Hada Knits captivating, and it looks good on all of the Ravelers who’ve posted photos.

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Knotted Pine, by Alicia Plummer; love these cables, with just enough texture and changes to keep it interesting.

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My mom loves the Manly Scarf in progress Mike, so she requested a version for herself using the 100% cashmere Trapeze yarn I dyed for her for Christmas. A (Wo)manly scarf! This pattern uses a classic texture pattern for a timeless effect and it’s perfect car or waiting room knitting.

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Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s patterns always intrigue me, and I’d love to try the unusual stitch in her Moko-Moko cowl.

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Of course, Susie Anderson is on the list, with her 50-Row Shawl I’ve been itching to try. A worsted-weight shawl would be so comfy in the winter.

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Dandelion Days cowl; big surprise, I love the combination of cables and lace in this compelling cowl.

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In fingering, I’m going to try the Ici Paris Beret for my mom; she loves Paris, and I’ve been curious about the Eiffel Tower Stitch for years.

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I want the Zag-Edged Scarf for myself; the combo of garter stitch and a nice edging looks like a sure winner for the actual knitting time I have, which is usually while playing Big Bang Clue or watching Modern Family with our own family.

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Et Frais would make a perfect use for our gradient yarns in the 25g balls. That texture looks super fun.

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The Accelerating Stripes mitts, of course, would make a perfect canvas for some Gradient Stripes action. Belle would love a pair of these.

For socks, I always use Susie Anderson’s How I Make My Socks or Wendy Johnson’s toe-up basic slip-stitch heel pattern, but this year I’d like to try the Fleegle heel with the Time Traveler Socks and some nice patterning with RPM, like Cindy did in our KAL earlier this year.

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Kirsten Kapur creates lovely patterns and I’d love to knit up her Snow Drops and Snap Peas shawl, as well as my perennial favorite, Cladonia.

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What are you knitting this year?

Have a great one,

Jaala

Cyber Week Deals and Second Harvest

Hey, I’m sure it’s just me, but I hate when my inbox gets flooded with messages for people vying for my business on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But I do love my customers and we do have some very special, limited-edition prices going on, combined with a way to help families have more to eat this holiday season. So here goes!

cyber week

We’ve got some beautiful kettle-dyes and handpaints in the store, and all are 30% off! We’ll be adding new ones every day this week.

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And every single ready-to-ship yarn in the shop is now 10% off!

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That includes Matching Socks Sets, 100-gram cakes, and 150-g cakes like the Hummingbird colorway below.150g3

And, because it’s the holidays, we’ll donate $1 to Second Harvest Food Bank for every order we receive between now and December 23rd. One dollar is three meals, so three people get to eat every time you buy yarn. That’s something we can all feel warm and happy about!

Take care,

jaala

Podcast #52

Amy is back from Vogue Knitting Live Chicago, and Jaala talks about her new yarn!

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Mentioned this episode:

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes.