Monthly Archives: March 2013

Customer Service Disconnect….

As we move into our 2nd year of being in the hand dye business, there were some things on my list of needs that needed immediate attention.

On Monday I spent a great deal of time researching and attempting to obtain information from a small business owner regarding their product.  First off, there wasn’t a telephone number, just an email.  I proceed to email them and get a snarky answer back.  I was quite taken aback by the attitude in the email.  This was not a small purchase by any means.  I give it another chance and email him again with a question and ask if we could speak.  The answer to the question was so nuts and NO we could not speak.  I am a small business trying to do business with another small business and the result, epic fail on his part.

While going back and forth with a fellow dyer on Ravelry, Laura, who was oh so helpful, she mentions that she got one of the things I needed from another company called Ball and Skein.  I immediately went to their website and shot them an email stating what I was interested in and if it is possible to have a phone conversation.  I promptly got an email back with the link to what I am looking for and a YES, they will call me in the morning.  That was yesterday, and they are located in the state I was born and raised, Rhode Island, small world.

I had a lovely conversation with Judy.  Not only is she a knitter, but a dyer as well, so she knew EXACTLY what I was looking for and explained everything to me in great detail.  I bought everything I needed from them!

What did I buy you are probably asking yourself.  I bought myself a 3 skein electric skeiner and a twin vertical swift….hello increased production!!!!  And instead of waiting 4-8 weeks with the other company, these are shipping on Monday and I will have them by Thursday!  I now have equipment….!

In the end it was the customer service that won me over!  And I got to support a local small business in my home state.  Feels like a win, win to me.

I hope your day is wonderful and the sun is shining where you are!






An Anniversary….


What a year!  Here at The Yankee Dyer Studio we are celebrating our very first Anniversary!  It has been an amazing year with many fantastic Yankee Dyer events and the fun and hard work of growing the business.

Seeing the beautiful knitting garments made from my hand dyed yarns just gives me the giggles and goosebumps all at the same time. Have the Yarn Harlot knit socks for Ken just about put me over the edge. So many great happenings in just one year. I am blessed for sure.

I also have met so many new and wonderful knitters along the way. You all have impacted me so much!

I have so many fun things planned for The Yankee Dyer this year, so stay tuned for the new and exciting year to come.

Please visit my Etsy shop, The Yankee Dyer and enjoy a celebratory discount. If my chance you are local,  give me a shout and I will deliver it to you so you also save on shipping!

As always, thank you for your friendship and support!


Do I get a re-do??

I had a feeling when I woke up today, can’t quite describe it, but I should have stuck with my original plan of doing some spring cleaning (Mom, stop laughing)!  She is the Queen of Cleaning and I would never think or try to dethrone her.

I had some dyeing to do and I wasn’t really in the mood a lot of it but thought I should do more that what I needed to get out. Well, that was a mistake. The 2 skeins for the customer are fine and beautiful.  The 7 skeins of my 80/10/10 decided today might be a good day to felt!!  Yep, when intentional this is a fabulous little happy thing, when  unintended, a nightmare.  I just couldn’t believe that this had happened.  I sat down and had a good cry, then I phoned a friend and then I ate some potato chips and took a shower. I’d take a picture of the carnage, but it is too much for my heart right now.  Lesson learned, I will listen to my gut the next time.

Tonight is Knit Night and I am looking forward to seeing everyone.  I am bringing my Mystery KAL to show everyone and my Vitamin D, because it needs some love.

Tomorrow Clue #2 is coming out.  I will be up early printing that off and then it’s knitting time.

I am baking a banana bread and the house smells yummy and comforting.

Thanks for listening!

Have a great day,


I have Nupps……

I have to admit that if I reviewed a pattern and saw the word “nupps”, I would avoid it like the plague. Mainly because I had heard other people moan and groan about these mysterious little yarn adventures.

So, having now completed the elusive Nupp, I am ashamed that I have avoided these sweet yarn accents. I had a blast doing them and I think they look great.


Now remember, I kinda stink at taking photo’s, but you can see them. I also completed Clue #1…YAY!!  I can’t tell you how much I loved doing this.


So now that I am caught up on the knitting project, I will again give my undivided attention to the Vitamin D cardigan while waiting for Clue #2.

I also should be dyeing and I think that will take place tomorrow.

Enjoy the pictures and I will see you back soon!

Happy Knitting,


New fun….

As you all know, I am doing the Mystery KAL with the @Romi Hill Studio on Ravelry and I am in so in love with Clue #1.  It has been a total blast to see what is going to happen with every row you knit. I am not quite done with Clue #1 yet, but this is what it looks like so far.  Of course, these are my colors…..


I love my yarn choice, Skinny Bugga in the Dragon Tattoo colorway.  I have done so many different types of increases that it feels like I’ve had a refresher course and I just about giggle with every new row. This is nearing the end of Chart D, and then on to Nupps….! I have not done Nupps, so this will be a new experience and I am totally looking forward to it. I am using my Signature US #5 needles with the stiletto points, these will make those nupps easier.  As I always say, stiletto’s in the hands and not on the feet! I am all about comfort.

I so wanted to get back to this after getting my son off the bus, but he reminded me of Spirit night at school so it was homework and off we went. The roast I was going to fix went right back into the fridge for tomorrow.

We were holding our breaths about a possible Vet visit with the pup (she is going to be 3, but she still thinks she is a pup), but our groomer gave me some ideas to try, and they worked and frankly, our checking account thanks you Sharon!!

I am off to knit for a bit…..

Happy First Day of Spring…

(If you still have snow, I am sorry)




Re-discovering the stash…

I have been enjoying myself immensely going through my stash looking for the perfect yarns for the Mystery KAL with Romi Hill. You need a Main Color and a contrast color. Romi says that the MC should be lighter than your contrast color. Not a problem, and if there is, I can always dye something just for me.

I was thinking earthy tones, but as much as I like them, I want something with some POP! I have this lovely skein of green and it was my very first purchase at MDSW two years ago.  I would use this as my CC and I have to dig through my downstairs stash. You remember, I have yarn stashed throughout the house.  Some on the first floor, some in the guest room and some in my bedroom.  Having it spread out is kind of fun especially when you are on the hunt for something to go together.  What I really needed was to gather “my stash” and start making piles.  It was really so much fun. I even tagged some yarn with project ideas and got organized at the same time…win, win!

I had this lovely Caper sock yarn from String Theory that has been calling me since our retreat to Williamsburg last month and I had a skein of Skinny Bugga that was perfect companion. Shazam, a perfect pairing for the contrast.  I love, love, love my color choices.


So, I started on Clue #1 yesterday and it is shaping up nicely.  I like this whole “mystery” thing. It’s fun not to know what’s going to happen next.

I will show you Clue #1 as soon as I am finished with it.  Hang in, I am half done with it!

Mystery, Mystery….times Two…

See what happens when left to my own devices, I am now committed to, count them, 2 Mystery KAL’s.

The lastest, as of 5 minutes ago, is one by Rosemary (Romi) Hill and it is a semi-circle and Clue #1 came out at midnight.  Now I have to search my stash for yarn that will work…not really an issue!  Have you tried a Mystery KAL?  If so, I would love to hear about what you made and how much you enjoyed it.

A Mystery KAL

Getting my attention this week has been my Vitamin D sweater and it is really taking shape.  I am really enjoying this knit and using my Yankee Tweed yarn is making me very happy.  This yarn lends texture and interest to this knit.

My father in law is in town for the weekend and I have been cooking up a storm because the last time he was here I was dyeing yarn all weekend and did NO cooking and I know that he really enjoys my cooking. Last night was homemade spaghetti sauce and fresh baked bread and tonight it is BBQ ribs, coleslaw, beans and corn bread. I am making myself hungry…

I did an Etsy shop update last eveing! Some beauties you might want to check out at


Viajante is a Portuguese word for “traveller”, and a hot pattern on Ravelry right now.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about it when it came out and pretty much had dismissed it as a “not for me” pattern. But then some of my knitting friends were getting jazzed about it and I waited. I waited for people to finish the project and post some pictures.  The pictures were pretty, and I was already smitten about the yarn chosen by the designer, Martina Behm. I was starting to weaken.  I looked at the pattern notes of others and noted the needle size and dismissed it again because of my hand issue. But I went ahead and obtained my prized Wollmeise Lace-Garn for it in a colorway called Amethyst Light. I may have failed to mention that this is done in 1700 yards of lace weight yarn…..insert your cringing face here! I also failed to mentions that it’s knit for a bit on a 2.75 US (3 mm) needle and then the majority is knit on a size #4 US needle.

I have the pattern, the yarn and the needles right here beside me as I type this.  It looks so crazy, but it would be a great public and television knitting project.

I think it will stay on the back burner for a bit. My hand just can’t hold that small of a needle right now and I am making progress and would rather not have a setback now.

Getting my knitting love is my Vitamin D cardigan and I am happily knitting away on it.  This is my first top down sweater and I love that I can try it on as I go.I am using my yarn again, this time I am using my Yankee Tweed in the Wine colorway on Signature needles US #5 and I am loving it. I just might be monogamous with this project.  Here is a sneak peek….

Vitamin D Cardigan byHeidi Kirrmaier

Vitamin D Cardigan by
Heidi Kirrmaier

Please excuse the picture. It is a grey and rainy day and I had to use the flash.

I had planned on hitting the dye pots today, but I much prefer to dye in natural light and today is so gloomy out. So change in plans. I am going to clean up the kitchen and tidy some other neglected areas and then sit and catch up with the rest of the world with Downton Abbey. A friend lent my Seasons 1 and 2 and I have been itching to watch.

Have a wonderful day and I hope the sun is shining where you are!




Change is good….

February was a month of reflection, change and healing. I had been dealing with a right hand issue and finally got to see the specialist. He was recovering from the flu and I was coming down with that viral thingy I had, but I was not going to miss this appointment for anything. I don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome, yay, but I do have DeQuervain’s Syndrome.  Sounds kinda funky and I guess I will have to stop hitchhiking now….kidding.  It is basically an “over use injury”of my thumb. Unfortunately I wasn’t eligible for any steroid shots due to a pre-existing condition and the doctor said that there was a surgery, but he wasn’t a fan. So basically, I have a brace that I sleep in and exercises to do.

I have to laugh because he really enjoys meeting us knitters. He says, that despite being mothers and wives, if he asks us to tell him what is going on, we all start the dialog with, I AM A KNITTER!! We had a chuckle about that. Then I told him I was also a handdyer and he knew about that too.  I immediately loved this man who understood “the knitter” in me. I will see him again next month…

Anyway, as you can see, I have been able to knit, but only on US #5-8 size needles for now. That is okay, I can work with that.

Yankee Dyer business was calling me and I knew that my business deserved a full-time employee and decided to end my employment at my LYS.  It was a great time and I learned so much and made so many wonderful and lasting friendships. It was time for me to spread my wings and fly.  I am really happy about my decision and proud of what I have accomplished so far.  I see lots of opportunity before me and you all get a front seat view.

I hope your day is full of happiness!


I’m still here…

Greetings! Sorry that I have neglected you but I was ill and then my mom was here visiting for a week and I lost track of you….so sorry.

I have been knitting on that fabulous Warwick shawl in my own yarn, finally. I used my lovely Yankee Stride and enjoyed knitting on this very much! Here is a sneak peek, unblocked…..

warwick1 I love that this looks like a hot ass mess until it is blocked and that is where the magic happens.

Warwick Shawl by Irish Girlie Knits

Warwick Shawl by Irish Girlie Knits

It is by far, my favorite shawl. I did this the Anne Hanson way, no stitch markers and no life lines….I call it knitting on the edge. The pattern was clear and easy to follow and I would have been done in a week but I got a cold/virus thingy that had me down for about 10 days. I mean taking a shower was an “event” and then you changed into fresh jammies and had to rest…that kind of thing.

I actually did the bind off while my mom was here and used my kitchen table for the blocking. Was not the best space, but I was anxious for my mom to see the magic of blocking.

I also joined the Juego Mystery KAL on Ravelry with Laura Nelkin. This was an impulse thing after I finished the Warwick shawl and it requires 40 grams of beads. Yes, you read that right, 40 grams. I am going to have a shawl with BLING! This MKAL starts April 12…can’t wait.

I also acquired some Wollmeise Lace for a project that I will talk about in a future post…..

There have been so many changes since I last wrote, all wonderful and different. I feel lighter and happier than I have in months, so I know that the decisions I made were the right ones. More on this later.

I hope this post finds you all well and happily knitting away!

I would also love to know what you all are knitting on! Inquiring minds want to know.

Happy day,