Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I've Moved!

Well, I'm still in the process, actually, but you can continue to follow me at my new blog address:

Please change all of your links to forward to this address! It will still have some knitting and spinning content, but a bunch of other content too, and generally be more cohesive. Thank you for the time we've spent together here on Life on the Double Point! Also, you can follow the new blog and the old one on Bloglovin': Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Announcing YarnBox!

I have been pretty absent from this blog as of late, but rightfully so -- when I haven't been working at my retail job, I've been busy at home working on two other projects, one of which it's time to announce!

YarnBox is a subscription yarn service. When Mike came to me and asked me to be a part of this project, he explained it like this -- it's a BirchBox for knitters. It's yarn that comes to your door with notions and goodies and patterns, and it shows you new brands, new yarn lines, that you didn't know existed (but we're sure you'll love). Maybe some of them you will have heard of before, and some of them will be entirely new. Some will be new colors, others will be unannounced or recently-announced yarns.

We had a few requirements -- we weren't going to take any seconds. Yarn companies sometimes try to sell off their 'seconds'. These are yarns that don't sell well and can't make it in the yarn stores. Some of them might be nice yarns that get overlooked, but the company knows that they'll have a lot of stock leftover. We've decided not to include any of these yarns in YarnBox, because they aren't new. They aren't fresh. Sometimes they're even tired. Another requirement for us was that every yarn that goes into the box is going to have to be quality. If it has a synthetic content, you can bet it will be the best of the best -- otherwise, think natural. Think beautifully dyed, soft, gorgeous -- yarns that you'd see on the shelf and fall in love with instantly, if they were only in your LYS.

My biggest requirement was that we didn't compete directly with yarn stores. I am a huge advocate of supporting your local yarn store over ordering online. With YarnBox, we're actually trying to help yarn stores discover new yarns through their customers. They can order any of these yarns wholesale through the reps or companies, allowing them to see and add new yarns whenever they see those customers getting excited about something that has arrived in YarnBox.

YarnBox also acts like a 'trial' for folks who want to try new yarns, but aren't sure. Since we have a great Ravelry group already up and running, when the company launches fully there will be a trade or 'in search of' board for people who don't love what they get every month, and for people who love it but need more for a project. Sometimes these yarns will be dyed specifically for us, and that means that you'll be able to match dyelots with other YarnBox members to complete projects.

Also included (and I love this) in each YarnBox will be a postcard for a new designer. These designers are hand-picked by me personally who produce beautiful work. I am so excited about this opportunity to work with them (and for them, a little!) The postcards can contain anything from a coupon code for a design they want to share, to a free design code, or even a small pattern right there on the card. Every month will be a new surprise.

So, how do you sign up? Go to the YarnBox website and enter your email to know when we're ready. There's also an option to WIN a free YarnBox just by liking us on Facebook (details on our website). Follow us there for more news, or follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, and watch our blog on Tumblr. You'll be interacting with me and Michael directly (I am handling all the social media), so you know you'll get an answer. I am so excited about this project! I hope you all are too!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Star Stitch Hat - Re-Release!

HDFD Hat Revamped by h.thiessen
HDFD Hat Revamped, a photo by h.thiessen on Flickr.

This hat, previously released under the title 'Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks', was first released on my old Wordpress blog in 2008. Originally, the hat was meant as a companion piece to the ever-popular 'Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks' Scarf originally designed by Morgen Dammerung. It has over 1,000 projects and has been saved in nearly 5,000 queues. I first knit the scarf in worsted-weight, and then again in Malabrigo Chunky, after which I fudged the original design to create a set. Unfortunately, the original did not really warrant pattern-writing, although I attempted it -- the decreases were a mess, with a large swathe of stockinette on one side of the hat and no rhyme or reason to the closure at the top. I promised myself later, after I had gotten better at pattern-writing and knitting, I would re-tackle this hat. But it lingered at the back of my list, except for the occasional poke or prod from a knitter who wanted to make it but wanted a better version. 

Finally, I sat down and set about making one. I could not be happier to re-release this hat with a new look, a new name and new fit! The original was very small, almost tight, and this one is nice and roomy and will not ruin your hair. The fabric, still provided by the gorgeous Malabrigo Chunky, is fluffy, soft, and wind-resistant, saturated with brilliant color. And the decreases work in seamlessly, forming the hat that I had long wanted! Success. This pattern is above all still free, although everything has been re-worked from needle size to PDF photography, and the hat has been given a new name - Star Stitch Hat

Also, I want to tell you all about the winners of the blog contest! The lovely giveaway hosted by Denise Voie de Vie's new 'Accessories: Autumne 2012' collection has been won by Miranda8Rose, who will be notified via Ravelry and have her prize sent next week! Thank you for entering, Miranda! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Knitting Spotlight 'Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale'

I have had so much fun watching Christmas movies online this holiday season. I only wish that they had the original stop-action movies that I watched as a kid on either Netflix or Hulu. Not having cable means that I can't really plunk down and continually watch Christmas reruns while knitting, but that basically means that I pick and choose which holiday specials, programs and movies I'll be watching this year.

It was one of the recommended movies on Hulu recently -- 'Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale', that caught my eye. The story of a young boy who lives in Finland's border with Russia, this story follows him and his father as they discover that Santa, whose past may be darker than the jolly version that Pietari grew up believing in. The story itself is fun, if a little bit creepy for a Christmas movie, but the best part was seeing all of the fun Finlandian knits that the main character wears! Feast your eyes on these lovely hat and mitten sets, mixed color pom poms, and yoked sweater!