Gobsmacked is on hiatus while I undergo treatment for breast cancer. I expect to be back to work in late summer 2022. To be notified when gobsmacked is back up and running, please join my newsletter by emailing email@example.com to let me know that you’d like to be on the list. –Marit
Thanks for another great update! Everything is now sold, invoices are all out, and packages will be in the mail on Monday. I’ll be back in the new year with lots more yarn and some new adventures; in the meantime, I’m sending all the best to you and yours for the holidays and throughout the year to come.
Time has been moving strangely lately, but I have it on good authority that it is currently December, so here we go! The process for today’s update is the usual: If you see some yarn you’d like to claim, email me with your request (firstname.lastname@example.org). An update can get pretty wild on my end, but I promise I’ll respond to your email to let you know if you got your choices. I’ll send out PayPal invoices once things start to quiet down a bit (usually, about an hour after the update starts).
Reminders: Colours vary from device to device; I always include a written description of how I see the colour, but please do ask if you’re uncertain about a particular cake or set. I’ll mail packages on Monday afternoon. That should be enough time for yarn to arrive by Christmas if you’re in Canada or the US– but please note that I cannot guarantee delivery times. Packages to the US occasionally take a month or more to arrive. If you’re ordering yarn for a gift, let me know and we can talk about some options.
Hi folks! It’s been a long time since I introduced myself; I’m Marit, the dyer behind gobsmacked yarn. The daughter of a librarian and an engineer, I’m something of a hypothesis muppet: I’m always asking “What if…?”
I learned to dye yarn in 2012, at indigodragonfly‘s Dye Camp, and I’ve been experimenting and playing in the dye pots ever since. I’ve developed some unusual dyeing techniques that result in one-of-a-kind dappled gradients, full of lively colours that shift with every stitch.
After more than 15 years in Ontario, I’ve recently relocated to Sackville, New Brunswick, where my wife lives. Sackville is in Mi’kma’ki (the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq people), right on the Bay of Fundy, with its famously high tides and sweeping salt marshes. I’ve been finding the colours of the landscape really inspiring, and am learning to embrace some of the murkier colours. Don’t worry– I still love bright, jewel-toned gradients and rich oil-slick colours! But I’ll also be introducing some new small-batch tonals in the new year, inspired by the complicated cusp colours of the mud, the tides, the marshes, and the blueberry fields.
There’s a lot happening in the coming days; here are a few highlights:
Digits & Threads holiday gift guide
I’m pleased to say that gobsmacked is included in Digits & Threads’ new holiday gift guide. Digits & Threads is an online magazine focused on Canadian fibre and textile arts; this week, they’re releasing a gift guide to help folks in Canada find local (or local-ish) fibre-related businesses to support. If you’re in the US or elsewhere in the world, you might still want to take a look– there are a lot of great fibre and textile folks in the guide, plus Digits & Threads’ articles cover important issues like accessibility and highlight artists you’ll want to know.
Heart & Pocket Revue
I’m so pleased to have an in-person show on my calendar! The Heart & Pocket Revue is a lovely curated art and craft market in Sackville, NB, on Saturday, 20 November. It’s at the Legion Hall (15 Lorne St.), from 10am to 4pm. Covid protocols will be in place (currently, proof of vaccination & masks required). Accessibility: The Legion Hall has a level entryway, with a flight of stairs (handrails on both sides) to the show location on the second floor; a wheelchair-accessible elevator is available by asking an event volunteer. Washrooms include women’s, men’s, and a gender neutral, wheelchair accessible one-person bathroom.
The next online update will be on Friday, 3 December at 4pm Atlantic Standard Time (= 3pm Eastern/ Toronto/ New York). This update will feature laceweight gradients, mostly in BFL/ silk lace and a super-luxurious camel/ silk lace. I’ll also have a bunch of merino fingering doubles (a single gradient dyed over two 100g cakes of 2-ply fingering-weight merino), plus more gradients in Four Quarter and in silky yak DK. Details of all of these bases are available here; an overview of the update process is here.
Jasmine cowl pattern release
Check out the Jasmine cowl from Aklori Designs! Lori’s new pattern uses a gobsmacked DK gradient striped against a contrast colour; add in the gorgeous stitch texture of Tunisian crochet and I’m smitten! If you’ve never tried Tunisian crochet, be sure to check out Lori’s tutorials for beginners.
If you’d like occasional news about gobsmacked, including announcements of the dates and times of my online updates, please join my mailing list. I usually send a single email in a month, so you don’t have to worry about filling up your inbox. Just send me a quick email (email@example.com) indicating that you’d like to be on my mailing list; that helps ensure that I’m adhering to Canadian anti-spam laws. Thanks!
Thanks for a great update! I’ve sent all of the invoices as of Friday evening and will get packages in the mail on Monday. If you missed the scheduled time, never fear– there’s still some great yarn left. Just shoot me an email; I’ll be checking in throughout the weekend.
Welcome to the October update, featuring DK doubles perfect for Flexture, or other two-skein DK-weight shawls. Of course, there’s plenty of fingering weight yarn as well.
If you see some yarn you’d like to claim, email me with your request (firstname.lastname@example.org). An update can get pretty wild on my end, but I promise I’ll respond to your email to let you know if you got your choices. I’ll send out PayPal invoices once things start to quiet down a bit (usually, about an hour after the update starts).
Reminders: Colours vary from device to device; I always include a written description of how I see the colour, but please do ask if you’re uncertain about a particular cake or set. I’ll mail packages on Monday afternoon/ Tuesday morning. Please note that many mail services are still experiencing delays, with packages to the US occasionally taking a month or more to arrive; I can’t make any promises about delivery times.
Have you fallen in love with Kim McBrien Evans’ shawl Flexture? It’s a pretty special piece that brings Kim’s creative brain and keen colour sense together with gobsmacked gradients and contrast colours from Murky Depths Dyeworks.
The gradient that Kim used for the shawl is a gobsmacked DK double, or two skeins of DK-weight yarn dyed to create one long gradient. I love the result of dyeing doubles, but it’s really labour-intensive so I don’t do it often. Happily, I have a whole batch of DK doubles ready to go for the next gobsmacked update, on Friday 15 October.
How to choose colours for Flexture? It’s best to start with your gradient, then choose contrast colours from there. I thought I’d walk you through an example, using this lovely steely blue to grey gradient on Silky Yak DK:
This gradient goes from a deep greyed navy to light turquoise with aqua dapples to a light warm grey, which is the natural undyed colour of the base yarn. The contrast colours for Flexture are used as stripes across the entire shawl, so I want to choose colours that complement the full gradient, from the darkest blue end to the lighter grey.
To give you an idea of how I’d approach colourplay for Flexture, I’ve pulled out some assorted mini skeins to play with– they’re fingering weight and not enough yardage to use for the actual shawl, but I have a lot of them, so they’re great for auditioning colours.
I happen to love red as a contrast to blue, so I thought I’d start there. I really liked the weathered barn feel of the dark red (second from right) with the blues and greys of the gradient. And once I chose that first contrast, I started thinking about related hues in the red-to-purple range. I decided on a reddish purple that I love, plus a muted pink that will give a bit of variation in value (light/ dark) too. For the last colour, I wanted to pull something quite different, to keep the end result from feeling flat. Colour theory (and some vintage tea towels that I have) suggested the classic pairing of red/ pink combined with green. I auditioned several different greens before deciding on a variegated pale leaf green and aqua that gives a nice pop without being too shocking. The end result has a quiet garden feel to me.
Here’s another possibility– brighter and more lively than the first, this combo is built around the contrast of a deep golden yellow against the blue gradient. Using that yellow meant that my favourite acid green and a bright spring green fit right in, with all three making a strong statement against the main colour. For the fourth accent colour, I chose a medium magenta purple that really pops compared to the other contrast colours, while being a bit closer to most of the gradient in hue and value.
Of course, there’s an unlimited palette of potential colour combos! What to do if you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain where to start when choosing your own colours? You can use colour theory if you want– the discussion in Custom Shawls is a great place to begin– or just start tossing your stash to see how colours look when they’re laid out together. Just remember that there’s no right or wrong answer. Colourplay is play, after all, of the most creative kind. Have fun!
Pattern: Flexture, by Kim McBrien Evans, published in Custom Shawls for the Curious and Creative Knitter, by Kate Atherley and Kim McBrien Evans (Abrams, 2020).
Yarn: gobsmacked yarn DK double, with 4 DK-weight contrast colours. The shawl uses one double, which is a single long gradient dyed over 200g (=2 skeins) of DK-weight yarn. Recommended fibres are Silky Yak DK (20% silk, 15% yak, 65% merino) or merino/ silk DK (50% merino, 50% silk).
Update: Friday, 15 October at 3pm Eastern/ 4pm Atlantic. Information about the update process is available here.