Good News/Bad News

Yup, It’s price increase time. I’ve been putting this off for several months, but wool, silk, and cashmere prices keep going up! A store-wide price increase will go into effect Friday, March 7th. Semisolids and variegated yarns will go up ~$2 per base. Maki will get a tiered price increase with each base going up ~$2 now and another $2 in six months.

Now for some good news! I will be stocking more luxury yarns this spring. Alpaca/silk lace weight and sw merino/cashmere/nylon will be hitting the pots soon in Maki and coordinating semisolids. Samples are being knit as I type, but here’s a little sneak peek.IMG_7535

For those interested in heavier weight Maki, I will have DK and Aran gradient skeins in 50 and 100 gram sets. These will replace the DK and Aran weight striping Maki, but will give users way more options. It may mean more ends to weave in, but if you’re doing colorwork or stripes, you’ll have better control of where the colors change. And if you only need 150g, you won’t need to order 200g!

I hope you guys think the good news outweighs the bad (but predictable) news. I’m looking forward to a super-productive and fun spring with a WARM festival season.

2013 – Life as a Yarnie

2013 was filled with a lot of personal ups and downs Chez Play. But there was always yarn and fiber to wind, dye, and label. Thankfully, I have Instagram to document the daily goings-on of a full-time “yarnie.”

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, PALers! Here’s to another 12 months of fluffy color and steamy dye pots.

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Merry and Bright

IMG_7400Christmas was very merry and bright Chez Play!

We followed all of our usual traditions with only a little bit of last minute shopping. Things were a bit hairy for a week when we were down to one car. Thanks to the USPS pick-up service, I was able to get orders out in their usual timely fashion. And we were able to get my husband’s car sorted out in time for me to be able reclaim the van and get his stocking stuffers. It’s difficult to fill one of those things for a person who doesn’t like candy and has expensive hobbies. I was quite pleased to find mini cans of WD-40. He almost ended up with fast-food-themed boxer shorts.

Our Christmas highlights:

Cookie baking and decorating is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. The 8yo thought the blank angel cookies looked more like a squid. He has the best ideas.

I started a pair of two-at-a-time socks with my Nerd Girl Yarns Bounce and Stomp from the Tripping Yarn Balls Come as You Are Club. This one was inspired by Epic by Faith No More. It’s pretty darned epic!

And I gave myself this awesome tshirt from Busted Tees. I hope you all had a chance to hang out with people you love and enjoy the day! It’s back to the grind today. The After Christmas Sale is in full swing and it looks like I’m going to have quite a few big orders to pack and ship. All Maki and fingering weight yarns are 15% off so this is a great time to stock up! Time to get the dye pots going and update the site with my 2014 vending schedule. I’m looking forward to another busy year of yarning. Happy New Year, PALers!

AfterChristmas

Sneak Peek Mini Skein Giveaway!

P1060562As part of the Annual Big Summer Sale, I’ll be listing (Tuesday, August 6th at Noon!) a collection of mini skeins that includes some new variegated colorways! All but one of these will be hitting the shop in September.

P1060560From left to right:

Melon Baller

Phoenix Song

Gilded and Wrought

A test – probably not going to release this one

Faded Blooms

Holo Yolo

 

You can win these AND 6 more mini skeins in my newest giveaway! Enter below for your chance to win.

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Annual Big Summer Sale!

Hello PALers!

The Annual Big Summer Sale is live!

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Head on over to the Etsy shop to enjoy 20-30% off all in stock merchandise! Dyed-to-order jobs are not included in the sale.

Self-striping sock yarns (like the one below) are being discontinued. Once an accurate inventory has been done, I’ll be listing what I have left at 30% off.

P1040722Look for a new mini skein set that highlights new variegated yarns and a special giveaway! The horrible cell phone pic below is a little sneak peek. Enjoy!

New Base Giveaway!

Happy July PALers!

I’m happy to announce a new yarn base to the Play at Life Fiber Arts’ line. Yuuka (pronounced YOO-ka) is a super squishy, 3ply, SW Merino fingering weight base with 490yd in each100g Maki. It’s perfect for those looking for a machine washable yarn with a softer feel than many tightly spun and plied sock yarns.

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I test knit this base and colorway with Tentaculum, a free pattern designed by Wollwerk by Simone Eich. My version ended up being over 6 ft long! I’m able to loop it around my neck twice for extra warmth. I love that it stays where I put it and the softly curly ends are perfect for fidgeting if I’ve been foolish enough to forget my knitting while I’m out and about. Tentaculum’s pattern repeat is short and easy to memorize, making it a great project for late night, possibly tipsy, tv knitting.

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Yuuka Maki are making their debut in the shop on Monday, July 22nd at noon.To celebrate I’m having a giveaway. Enter below for your chance to win your own Yuuka Maki in Jack’s Lament! Rules and details on how to get extra entries are below. Good luck!

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That 70s Club – January/February

They have arrived! The January and February shipments for That 70s club have been delivered to the club members, so I think it’s safe to show them off.

P1050601January’s shipment, There Be ‘Shrooms, was inspired by all those mushroom things that were around in the 70s. Do you remember those ceramic flour/sugar containers? Specifically this one? Someone I know had this exact set. And my grandparent’s furniture matched it perfectly. I think they still have that furniture!

February’s shipment, Corduroy, is a deep, red/brown coordinating semisolid. This will definitely become a regular colorway! I can’t wait to knit myself some colorwork socks with these two.

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Knitterly Resolutions

541755_4674793841208_48625760_nI don’t really make big resolutions. BUT, I do like to have some crafting goals and last night I had a good reason to add one to this year’s list. I broke a needle!

My husband bought me this set of Denise Interchangeables when I first learned how to knit. At that point, I had purchased all my yarn from area “lot” stores and big-name retailers. I didn’t know about local yarn stores or Ravelry, and had never even met another knitter, crocheter, spinner, or weaver.

This is not meant to be a dig against Denise needles. I actually like them for flat, worsted+ knitting. But I work mostly in the round and/or with fingering weight yarns and I think I’ve simply grown out of of these. I don’t think I’ve invested in any knitting equipment that wasn’t directly related to the yarn business since this set. I already know what I’m getting (Chiaogoo red lace FTW!) Time to save my pennies!

I’m also going to continue to work down my stash of sweater quantity yarns. Several of these were purchased at the aforementioned discount stores *and* I still have thrift store sweaters to frog. Right now I’m working on Girasole with BRIGHT orange Lion Brand Cotton Ease.

And then there are monsters. I made two in the week between Christmas and the new year. I want to make one more before I ship them off to 600 Monsters Strong.

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I will continue to participate in Nerd Wars. I’ve had so much fun AND I’m using my languishing fingering weight and handspun stash. In December I made a handspun hat.

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In shop news, it’s Play at Life Fiber Arts’ 4th anniversary!  To celebrate, I’ll be including a special gift in each order throughout the month of January. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PALers!

That 70′s Yarn Club

I vividly remember the colors and kitschy patterns of the 70′s with great fondness. Growing up, we had an avocado car and stiffened crocheted wall hangings in our dining room. I wore corduroy everything. I loved it all!

That 70′s Yarn Club celebrates avocado, orange, owls, and mushrooms. Colorways will be fun, wearable interpretations of those wonderful, cringe-worthy combinations.

Shipments will alternate between striping and gradient Maki (or fiber) and coordinating semisolids. Pair yarns together for a large, striped shawl. Or ply a long color repeat with a semisolid for a marled, self-striping yarn. This club will give you many options beyond a single skein or braid.

Club spots will open on this site on Friday, November 16, 2012 at noon. Spots will close November 30 or when the club is full. Your first shipment will go out by January 15 and will continue each month (by the 15th) through 2013. Yarn, fiber, paid-in-full, and monthly subscription options will be available for the entire year or the first 6 months. I will be listing any available spots for the second 6 months in May 2013.

Stay tuned for spoilers and other fun!