February was full of colour here at Gauge. We are slowly but surely working out the kinks in our new setup and dyeing rainbow after rainbow to test it out. It's a fun and challenging process. I love behind-the-scenes glimpses at other people's workspaces and I'd like, someday, to give you a better tour of our space and a few peeks at how we dye yarn without accidentally giving away the recipe to the special sauce or being overly vague. While I figure out how to walk that line, I will throw the occasional photo or video into my instagram stories if you're interested.
The yarn in these photos made its way into the shop last month. I'll have at least a couple more shop updates with variations on these colour tests before I get back to our regular colourways. (Including, yes, Whiskey in a Teacup).
As you've no doubt heard, many events, including VKL Seattle, are being cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. It's a necessary precaution, but put vendors, teachers, and organizers in a tough position. Gauge hasn't been affected, but I do have a humble request on behalf of my fellow dyers and fibre friends: if you were planning on attending an event that has been cancelled, please consider taking the money you budgeted for the marketplace and spending it online with the same vendors you hoped to visit in person. Check the vendor lists on event websites and keep an eye out for some fun virtual/alternate markets and classes (like this one) in the coming weeks.
As they say, keep calm and carry yarn.
Prices on our website will now be shown in Canadian Dollars (CAD) by default. To view prices in other currencies, you can use the drop-down box at the top of the page (bottom on a mobile device).
We have always set our prices in CAD, and at checkout all transactions have always been processed in CAD. Our prices have not changed. The only thing that has changed is that the default currency on the product pages is now CAD rather than USD.
In case you're curious: When we first started out, we used CAD only in the shop. This was simple and straightforward, but, despite the fine print, a lot of folks assumed our prices were in USD. When our website introduced a feature allowing users to choose the display currency, we thought that would solve all our problems and enabled it, defaulting to USD since most our customers are American. Spoiler alert: it did not solve all our problems.
Lately I've received emails from Americans who couldn't figure out why the prices suddenly got higher at checkout (answer: different currency) and Canadians who were disappointed that we didn't use CAD (we do). I totally see where the confusion comes from and I'm so grateful they took the time to reach out. Customer feedback is critical for being able to adapt and improve and I really do appreciate hearing from folks when they see room for improvement.
I'm popping by today to let you know that, despite things being quiet in the shop lately, I'm still working hard behind the scenes. I thought I'd give you a quick update and let you know what's in store (har har) for the next few months.
Project number one for Gauge Dye Works in 2020 has been a change in our dyeing setup. It's been a work in progress for years and we've finally made the switch from the original "prototype" that I used to dye every skein these past six years to Version 2.0, which can leap tall buildings in a single bound. (Well, probably not, but it can dye twice as much yarn which is far more useful.)
We are also switching up which dyes we use as our primary colours, which means updating all our colourway recipes. It's a big project if I do it all at once, so I'll be doing it bit by bit as I re-introduce older colourways to the shop. I've been sharing a little snippets of my progress over on Instagram if you're interested.
The yarn I'm dyeing right now is all rainbows all the time. I started doing them as a series of colour mixing tests (like the knit-up tubes in the photo above), but I love them so much and, based on your comments, you do too. So I'll be dyeing more and adding them to the shop once I have enough, likely in a few weeks.
I've been getting a lot of requests for Whiskey in a Teacup, and that will be the first colourway I work on once I'm ready to jump back into production dyeing. That's the shawl version in the top photo, and I'll bring the shawl, sock, and baby sweater versions all back at the same time. I don't want to guess at what day I'll have that ready, but I did want to reassure you I haven't forgotten about it!
I'll leave you with a picture of the Kia socks I'm working on. The yarn in an accidental one-of-a-kind colourway I dyed last year and I think it's working beautifully with the simple and satisfying stitch pattern.
Introducing the Angles and Light collection! Three patterns and five colourways available now.
If this looks familiar, it's because these projects were from my popular 2018 summer club with Andrea Rangel. I know some of you have been waiting all year for these to be available individually and I'm happy to say they're here now!
The crowd favourite last year was the clever, reversible Full Spectrum hat so I've cooked up a couple new colourways with the same striping pattern. This toque is worked from the crown of one hat, through the brim, and to the crown of the other hat. All colourways have a self-striping section on one side, and contrast yarn included for a colour work section on the other.
Another project that, in my humble opinion, would work beautifully with any of the yarn in this collection is Andrea's Slanted Stripes cowl. I knit up a sample in Full Spectrum, and Andrea posted some tips here about working the pattern in self-striping yarn. (Or leftover yarn from other projects, it's a fantastic scrap-buster!)
I quietly added my Whiskey in a Teacup shawl pattern to Ravelry yesterday. Many of you have been patiently waiting for this and I apologize that it has taken me so long to get it ready for you. It's free on Ravelry.
My plan was to wait for a time when I could launch the pattern and the yarn together with great fanfare, but the date kept getting pushed further and further back and so I decided to go with Plan B: release the pattern now. Those of you who already have the yarn in your stashes, here you go!
If it's not already in your stash but you'd like it to be, I've got it carved in stone in my dyeing schedule for this winter.
This yarn was first released last fall and I added it to the shop with a photo of a knitted shawl that I made up as I was going along. Understandably, people wanted to use the yarn to make the shawl in the photo! So I learned a few lessons from that experience - I should always use a pattern for shop samples (even if I really want to knit something else for fun), and if I say I'm going to work on a pattern, either get it done asap or set a firm release date for later on because it can't be "coming soon" forever.