Grand Canyon Shawl and Studio Update

grand canyon shawlWe’re very excited to present the Grand Canyon Shawl, an exclusive knitting pattern for Kickstarter backers! The Grand Canyon sunset photo I used for the colorway also inspired this design, which showcases different layers and textures  like the striated rock formations in the real Grand Canyon.

more grand canyon
more grand canyon

The shawl begins with a garter-tab cast-on, then moves through a relaxing stockinette section with periodic increases, changing to Vine Lace and finishing with a chevron lace pattern and garter edging.

Our lovely Assistant Dyer Erin modeled for this shoot, and our Yarn Processor, Ryan, took the photos. I got lucky having such a multifaceted crew! Everyone whose pledge reward includes the Grand Canyon shawl or the Shawl Collection will get this super-secret pattern via email or Ravelry once the campaign finishes up. I hope you enjoy it; I had a lot of fun designing it with you in mind!

Moving Right Along…

Our landlord, Tom, has been keeping renovations going at a quick pace at the studio-to-be and we just got word this morning that he finished up all of the electrical work. Plumbing is still in the works and I’m going to pick up a new double utility sink for dyeing hopefully tonight and another tomorrow. We’re heading over there now to take more measurements for the second sink area.

I can’t believe TNNA is next weekend and then we’re going to be moving in!!!!! I’ll be in Columbus for TNNA, so please flag me down and say hi if you’re there! This year, Knitcircus is sponsoring the Designer Dinner, hosted by the one and only Marly Bird so we’re pumped about the party.

Thanks so much for all of your Kickstarter support; this couldn’t happen without you! Please spread the word if you have friends who might be interested, because we still have 16 days to make our stretch goals and stock the new space with yarn, working machinery and furniture.

And, good for her, but sadly for us, Amy D headed with a group of knitters to Ireland this morning. Safe travels and good knitting, Amy!

Happy knitting,

Jaala

Knitcircus Podcast #58

It’s up!

Jaala has some HUGE news and Amy is about to go to Ireland.

Thank you to Mary R! She both gave Jaala a shawl and helped keep her from crying of exhaustion.

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes

SPOILER ALERT: TV talk starts at 21:10 and ends at 24:19

Linky Things

Kickstarter Off and Running

Wow, our Kickstarter got off to a rollicking start! Thanks so much to everyone who got us past halfway in the first two days. Everyone in the Lair is so excited and we take turns checking the site and seeing how far we’ve come. It’s so heartwarming to see the names (secret to everyone by me) of our friends and wonderful customers supporting us in our big move!IMG_2782

Inspired by our new address on Grand Canyon Drive, we’re releasing a new yarn every day with exclusive Grand Canyon colorways just for our Kickstarter backers! Above: the Garnd Canyon gradient.

evergreen kettleOur building is called the Evergreen, so this exclusive kettle dye evokes spruce branches. Tomorrow: Pixie Dust sparkly handpaint!

I don’t know if you guys know how Kickstarter works (I was perviously hazy on the details myself), but you pledge to support a project you like (such as ours) and you get to choose a Reward at different levels. When you pledge to a project, you can proudly say that you’re a project Backer. The Kickstarter Reward is often very close to the price of purchasing something from our store, plus a little more for exclusivity. So you basically purchase the yarn, and we get to use the money we raise for our specific project! The catch with Kickstarter is that the funding is all or nothing. Even if we come up only $100 short, we don’t get a penny if we don’t reach our goal. So, even though you’ve gotten us off on a great foot, we’re still biting our nails until the project is fully funded.

Even if you just want a couple of minutes of entertainment, I hope you ‘ll hop over and check out our Kickstarter video. We had sooooo much fun shooting it! Belle and I agreed we want the few seconds of Amy in the big hat on a continuous loop on our living room computer. Kickstarter also features lots of other creative projects that are fun to look at (I backed the Little Free Library!).

Have a lovely weekend,

Jaala

Biggest News Yet: Knitcircus Studio and Kickstarter Project

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Knitcircus is making a huge move! Thanks to the support of our customers, we’re getting out of the basement and into a professional space.

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Just a couple of years ago, it was only me in the basement pursuing my dream of long-striping gradients, then one part-time person, then three, now we have the delightful Amy D and a total of six people in the Lair, three full-time. Our new space, the Evergreen Building on Grand Canyon Drive, will allow my workers to expand their hours, improve our workflow and make your yarn faster!

Most exciting, the space has room for a small retail store, classrooms for retreats and a central area for events. We can start giving back, hosting events and bringing more people in to the knitting/craft community!

But the big move doesn’t come so easily, and we’re going to need your help. The space needs improved electric, plumbing, ventilation and some new equipment, as well as covering downtime for the move itself. That’s why we started a Kickstarter project.

The way Kickstarter works is, you “back” the project by pledging funds, and in return, you get a “reward,” so it’s essentially buying special products to help fund the project. We’ve got rewards starting at $3 and up, and we’ve worked hard to make sure that you’re getting a bang for your buck!  We’re making exclusive yarns and patterns available through this project that you’ll never find anywhere else. Plus, you get chances to tour the studio (with homemade baked goods), book special classes with me or Amy, have a techniques video made just for you or even have us knit you a pair of socks!

Most fun for knitters, we’re making exclusive gradient, kettle and speckle, colorways just for Kickstarter!

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Inspired by our new address on Grand Canyon Drive, I’ve created the Grand Canyon colorway. IMG_2782

It’s already a staff favorite and I hope a lot of people take advantage of the Kickstarter, because we won’t get to make it again!

Every day for the first six days, I’ll be posting photos of the new colorways and after that, we’ll unveil the new Grand Canyon Shawl pattern, again, just for Kickstarter participants.

We’re all really excited, but it’s making me nervous, too. This is a big commitment and I know it’s going to work, out, but your help will make essential improvements happen. A new stove, utility sink and ventilator aren’t glamorous, but they are needed! Please visit Kickstarter and show us that you’re ready to come visit the Knitcircus Studio to shop, take classes, hang out and even get a peek behind the scenes at the dyeing studio! We can’t wait for you to join the fun. :)

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

put me in the zoo

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

Knitcircus Podcast #57

In which Amy and Jaala discuss their aspirational knitting and have a mini book club.

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes

Discussed in this episode:

Come What May, by Susan B. Anderson

come what may

Hi, Knitters,

I’m so lucky to have Susan B. Anderson as a friend (and almost a neighbor!). She is one of the most talented designers you’ll ever find, and one of the sweetest people. If you’ve ever gotten to take a class with her or meet at a knitting event, you’ll know that she’s just as lovely and down-to-earth in person as she is on her blog.

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photo: susan b anderson

We’ve been working on a project together for a while, and I’m happy to be able to announce that Susan has written a pattern exclusively for us, using a skein of Knitcircus Opulence fingering in Come What May to create an elegant shawl with a silvery beaded edge.

best side

photo:ryan berg for knitcircus

Susan tells the story of its inspiration best herself (from her blog):

As I sat with my friend, Jaala Spiro, having tea, pastries and knitting in my living room one morning she surprised me with several cakes of her lovely KnitCircus yarns. One of these cakes was the spectacular gradient called Come What May. There is just something about the rosy shade of pink moving into the sweet kiss of blush and ending with the lightest shade of gray.
The yarn cake was thrilling to hold in my hands and it was inspiring. I quickly cast on and knit the sweetest little lacey shawl that is not only simple and wearable but is a really fun knit to boot. The sections of the shawl keep you entertained while the gradient yarn motivates you to keep going to get to the next color.
The shawl is a semi-circular shape with stockinette, simple lace and eyelet sections that end with a beautiful eyelet ruffle. The shawl is finished with an elegant bind-off with silver-lined beads. The beads are always optional but they add so much to the look and feel of the finished shawl. The entire project is a pleasure to knit.
The yarn colorway is the single inspiration for the shawl so the name of the design has to be Come What May. The colorway, luxury yarn base, shawl design and beads are the perfect match.
Enjoy!
Susan

We’re just thrilled with the way the design came out, and are offering Come What May kits so you can make a shawl just like Susan’s, either with or without beads.

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photo: ryan berg for knitcircus

You can also find Susan’s beautifully-written pattern on Ravelry if you’d like to work from your stash.

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photo: susan b anderson

The shawl shows off the soft color changes of the gradient so nicely;  I created Come What May last February when I was so tired of bare trees and snow and just longed for the colors of spring. And Susan is holding a giveaway on her blog; comment and you could win a Come What May kit of your very own ( just through this afternoon, so hurry!)

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photo: ryan berg for knitcircus

Whether you just got a fresh pile of snow like we did or are already harvesting your rhubarb, I wish you all of the loveliness of spring,

Jaala