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Last year, I dyed a custom colorway for the science fiction convention Boskone, and it was such a success that we decided to do it again this year.  Priscilla Olson of the Boskone committee and I designed a colorway that was inspired by the dark hard SF written by this year’s Guest of Honor,  Alastair Reynolds. I’m calling it  Star Field, and here is how I make it.

First, I wind a skein of Sterling yarn into a ball.

Then I find both the inner and outer end of the yarn

and machine knit a rectangle using both ends of the ball of yarn.

The result is a knitted sock blank, a canvas to paint on whatever I choose.

I can paint two at time. Here’s my sample for reference, and painting of two more  in progress

Two finished sock blanks — next steps are steaming, cooling,  rinsing, drying.

In the  Damselfly Yarns fulfillment area (the nice table in my office) the finished blanks are labeled.

Here’s a view of three blanks, laid out so you can see the full effect.

Since the blanks are knitted double,  socks can be knitted that have identical gradations of colors.  Or, a scarf can be knitted that will be palindromic: each end one color, shifting evenly to another color in the middle.

This will be available  at Boskone in Boston , February12-14. They will selling them for the low, low price of $25 — such a deal!  After the convention, I will stock Star Field in my Etsy shop for $30.

What’s that glowing in the night sky?

The Knit-Signal, calling all knitters and helpful folks to the aid of those in need — in this case, cash donations urgently needed for aid in Haiti.  Stephanie, the Yarn Harlot explains it all here — I love how she uses the metaphor “donations, even little ones,  add up like stitches on a sweater.”  Her favorite charity is Doctors Without Borders, and so she has put together Knitters Without Borders

or Tricoteuses Sans Frontières, which sounds even cooler.   If you make a donation to Doctors Without Borders and let Stephanie know, you become a member of Knitters Without Borders and are karmically entitled to use the badge and enjoy that warm fuzzy feeling.   Stephanie also draws names of folks who have let her know they’ve donated and distributes some swag to them — I’ve offered some of my hand dyed sock yarn for that as well.

I’ve split our donation between them and CARE, but there are many other fine organizations helping the people of Haiti cope with this horrific disaster. I hope that you can add a stitch or two into the sweater of aid that the world is putting together.

I went to the St. Distaff’s Day Spin-In again, and had a pretty good sales day.  Interestingly, this year it was the merino/tencel rovings that were selling well, not the blended batts.  Mysterious are the ways of buyers.  Also, the Sterling yarn was popular. 

I bought 3 raffle tickets for $5, and put all the tickets in the cup for one basket — which I won! What caught my eye was the great greeny-bluey merino/tencel roving from Lavender Sheep, colorway “Columbia River”, paired with a very silly and fun commercial novelty yarn.

Isn’t that great?  I think they’ll be very fun plyed together, or knitted as one.

But wait!  There was more  . . . When I unpacked the basket, there was a bounty of other stuff.

Pale green Colonial superwash roving from Great Balls of Fiber,  a pattern for a neat purse to make from quilting fabric, cool fiber and wood purse handles from the Philippines, a needle gauge, a magnetic purse clasp, bottle of body wash in the scent Snickerdoodle, and a fabulous carded batt from Crystal Creek Fibers. This baby is HUGE!

I was thinking it was merino/tencel, but looking at her shop, I see she does silk blends also, which it could well be.  I’ll write and ask.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this amazing raffle prize!  I am astounded at the wonderfulness of it.  Even  the basket is nice.