Water Series 2: Terra Cotta Reflection

More colourways to add this this Friday’s Etsy shop update at 1:00pm EST!

I sent out a sneak peek of this one last night; presenting ‘Terra Cotta Reflection’:

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I wanted to branch out of the blues into some rich reds, rust and saffron tones, and the perfect way to do it was a photo I took of the reflection of autumn foliage in the water. I love how painterly the photo turned out, and it was a great base for this colourway.

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Kim’s Barn is back by popular demand, and it’s been remastered :) I rebalanced the reds, golds and turquoise tones, and I think the results are much truer to the photo than the original.

Stay tuned for more new colourways to be released this week, including 2 more in my ‘water’ theme and the new and improved Merrickville Gold!

Free Pattern: The Man Slouch–Reloaded!

This simple slouch/touque is a quick, mindless, easy knit for both guys and gals.

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Because, let’s face it; guys are picky. It can’t be too detailed, in a girly colour or contain un-manly motifs. Here then, is a base pattern for a very simple hat that can be worn slouchy or not, and dressed up easily for the more adventurous.

This pattern was originally written for one skein of Malabrigo Arroyo, but a few folks have pointed out that they can’t find the colour I used, so I have altered the pattern to use one skein of Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label DK weight. Tanis has an amazing selection of ‘guy friendly’ colours, including Charcoal, Spruce, Graphite, Ravine and more. Enough to make sure that even the most manly men can find something they’ll wear ;)

This pattern is also a good option for more variegated yarns, so if you’re looking for a great way to use up a skein of Blue Brick yarn, this might be the ticket!

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Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches – Size: 19.5, (22) inches around

Materials:

  • 1 skein of Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Lable DK  (sample shown in ‘charcoal’).
  • 4 mm circular needles and 4 mm dpns
  • 1 Stitch marker
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in your ends

Construction:

(You read right, it’s a man-hat after all!)

C/O (108), 120 stitches and join for knitting in the round

  • Rows 1 – 22 – Work in k2, p2 ribbing
  • Row 23 (increase round): *K8, kfb* repeat from * to end 123, (135 stitches)
  • Knit all stitches for 6 rows
  • Purl all stitches for 2 rows

Main hat body:

  • *Knit all stitches for 12 rows
  • Purl all stitches for 2 rows*

Repeat from * 2 more times

  • Knit all stitches for 8 more rows.
  • Work 1 row of decreases as follows:
  • Row 9: *K8, k2tog* repeat from * to end (120 stitches)
  • Knit all stitches for 3 rows
  • Purl all stitches for 2 rows

Begin crown shaping (switch to dpns when needed)

  • Row 1: *k10, k2tog* Repeat from * to end
  • Row 2: *k9, k2tog* Repeat from * to end
  • Row 3: *k8, k2tog* Repeat from * to end
  • Row 4: *k7, k2tog* Repeat from * to end
  • Row 5: *k6, k2tog* Repeat from * to end
  • Row 6: *k5, k2tog* Repeat from * to end
  • Row 7: *k4, k2tog* Repeat from * to end
  • Row 8: *k3, k2tog* Repeat from * to end
  • Row 9: *k 2, k2tog* Repeat from * to end
  • Row 10: *k1, k2tog* Repeat from * to end
  • Row 11&12: *k2tog* Repeat from * to end

Cut yarn leaving a long tail. Use the tapestry needle to weave this tail through the remaining stitches and pull to close.

Wet-block to relax the yarn and enjoy!

Busy Bees – New colour ways and Etsy Sale!

We’ve been working around the clock inventing new colour ways for an Etsy Shop update happening this Friday at 1pm EST. I’m pushing the time forward a bit to make things easier for west coast knitters :)

A few things that are going to be new for this sale:

  • US and Canadian shoppers will now receive tracking numbers on all shipments, and expedited parcel shipping. Shipping will be *slightly* more expensive than it was last time for US shoppers, but I think you’ll appreciate the difference!
  • Each colourway will have more options for purchases. Per colour I am trying to list 4 Tobermory Worsted, 4 Escarpment DK, 4 Killarney Sock and 4 Point Pelee Lace. At the current size of our operation we have maxed out the size of each dye lot, but this is twice as big as last time and should provide shoppers with more options.

(PSST! I will be launching a new, free and super simple pattern on the blog tomorrow, stay tuned!)

And now to the colours!
Thor’s Well is in Portland, OR, in a place with the incredibly romantic name of ‘Cape Perpetua’. It’s an ocean sinkhole that fills with water during high tide and then spews it back out. At low tide it’s hard to notice, but at high… it’s spectacular. I don’t recommend trying to shoot it alone, as it’s a bit dangerous and there’s a good chance that you’ll get salt water on your equipment, but if you can make it happen, then you couldn’t ask for a place with more drama.

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The Leslie Street Spit is here in Toronto. When the excavation was done for our subway lines, the construction refuse was dumped down at the lake, gradually growing into a long spit of land that nature has reclaimed over the years and which has become an important stopover for migratory birds. Because of the nature of the place, you can still see fascinating evidence of how the spit was built, like this Greek-style pillar sticking up out of the lake.

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Can you see the theme yet? The theme has been ‘water’. And no discussion of the ocean would be complete without the warm, turquoise waters of the caribbean. This last colour way is ‘Bajan Pier’, and it’s an abandoned pier in Barbados. The colour of the sand, the water and the rusted pier are just perfect, and to add to my personal attachment to the place, this is where Tito proposed to me <3.

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More colour ways are in the offing today, including favourites from last time like Merrickville Gold and Kim’s Barn. I will post more colours, as well a re-skeined versions, as they become available :)

The Blue Brick’s Yarn Bases

We’re ready to ship! Everyone who ordered last Friday can expect their goodies very soon. I finally got my yarn tags in, which was the last bit I needed. I can’t express how happy it makes me to see this pile of Merrickville Gold with my yarn tags attached.

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On that note, I’ve finalized my list of bases that the Blue Brick will carry on a regular basis. We’ve chosen to name each base after a place in Ontario that we love. It may be confusing at first, but we find it quite charming, and though we plan to branch out into photography from around the world, I wanted each skein to still have a connection to home.

Tobermory Worsted

  • Worsted Weight
  • 100% Superwash Merino
  • 200 yards/182 metres per skein

Escarpment DK

  • DK weight
  • 100% Superwash Merino
  • 256 yards/234 metres per skein

Killarney Sock

  • Fingering Weight Sock
  • 80/20 Superwash Merino/Nylon
  • 420 yards/384 metres per skein

Point Pelee Lace

  • Lace Weight
  • 100% Superwash Merino
  • 980 yards/877 metres per skein

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All skeins are shipping with a 4×6 or 5×5 print (depending on the shot) on kodak metallic paper. In addition, we plan to carry a few special things from time to time:

Niagara MCN Sock

  • Fingering Weight MCN Sock
  • 80/10/10 Superwash Merino/Cashmere/Nylon
  • 378 yards/345 metres per skein

Lake Superior Bamboo Sock

  • Fingering Weight Bamboo Sock
  • 70/20/10 Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon
  • 466 yards/426 metres per skein

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As soon as all these goodies are in the mail, we will get dyeing again! Over the next few days I will feature each of my bases one at a time, with photos of the place that it’s named after :)

To Reskein, or Not to Reskein?

I’ve been sharing some images lately of the reskeined work getting ready to ship, and a few folks have asked about the ‘why’ of reskeining, so I thought I’d talk a little about it here.

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During the hand painting process, things can get very messy. By reskeining, I am making sure that my skein has already been through a swift and skein winder, so my customer is going to get a nice, neat skein that unwinds easily when they’re ready to start working with it. It’s like a last-stage quality check. Everyone has had a skein that turned into a hot mess when they tried to unwind it, and it’s never fun.

Reskeining a hank also provides a better understanding of how the colours will actually sit beside each other in the knitting. For example:

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This is a fantastic shot for showing my original intent when I was hand painting. The skein, unwound looks like this:

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Reskeined, it looks like this:

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And compared against the original photo, you can still see the connection:

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I don’t reskein if the hank is already nice and neat and ready to ship, but if I see any rogue threads or think that the skein is likely to give trouble later then I absolutely will rewind it :)

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Thank you!!

IMG_2663Thank you so much to everyone who supported my hand dyed yarn launch day! We were overwhelmed and humbled by the response we received and are working hard to get everyones orders packaged and out the door as soon as possible. I have received many messages over the past few days, and I thought I’d try and answer them here.

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I didn’t get what I wanted! Are you going to repeat colour ways?

There are some colours that we plan to add to a ‘signature’ series. Among them are Kim’s Barn, Merrickville Gold and Highway 11. We will continue to add signature colours, but we also hope to keep things dynamic by constantly using new photos to bring fresh colours to the store.

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When will there be another update?

We are taking this week to look after fulfilment of everyone’s orders. After that we will be hitting the dye again right away, and are hoping to have an update ready in 2 weeks.

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Can you please make more of each base?

I know it was frustrating that there were so few skeins available per base, so this time we will be creating fewer colour ways, but more skeins for each of them, to give everyone a better chance to get what they want.

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Will you do custom orders? Can you work from one of my photos?

Alas, this is not something we have the capacity to do right now. We are a tiny operation, in a tiny apartment, but in the future, who knows?

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I am picking up the photography prints for everyone’s order today. Your photos will be either 4×6 or 5×5 depending on the shot, and printed to kodak metallic paper for a beautiful depth of colour and sheen that you can’t get from regular prints. I really hope everyone enjoys the prints as much as the yarn.

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Thank you again to everyone who came out to support us!

Launch Day :)

Thank you everyone, for the kind words, encouragement and support as we’ve prepared the Blue Brick’s entry into the indie yarn dyer world! This has been a very cool, whirlwind journey that began as an experiment, went viral, and led us to this point.

A few quick notes about our yarn:
Everything will be available in our Etsy shop. The store looks empty at the moment, but that will change at 11 am EST today.

Each skein of Blue Brick yarn is inspired by a photograph taken by us. They are individually hand-painted using acid dyes in a pet-friendly, smoke-free home.

Each skein is handprinted individually, so if you are creating a multi-skein project we recommend striping your yarns to achieve consistency. While every effort is made to colour correct photography, your skein may look slightly different from the one pictured. Hanks may or may not be re-skeined before shipping. Information about each base, including fibre composition and yardage will be be in the write-up.

Speaking of shipping, we are perfectly happy to ship anywhere :) shipping options will be presented at checkout.

With that, I’d like to show off the last colour way for this update, ‘Balls Falls’. Balls Falls (besides having an amusing name) is a beautiful waterfall in the Niagara escarpment area of Ontario, an area that boasts over 115 waterfalls due to its unique geography. I loved this one little spot in particular because of the way the water comes right out of the rock.
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And here is a quick recap of all the yarns that will be available today :)

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