November update

Thanks for a great update! I’ll start sending out invoices Saturday evening and will have packages out on Monday.

Welcome to the November update!  If you see some yarn you’d like to claim, email me at gobsmackedyarn@gmail.com.  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 about an hour after the update starts, once things start to quiet down a bit; please note that invoices are due upon receipt (with a little leeway for different time zones and schedules).

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.  Also note that package delivery is likely to be slow due to the pandemic. Unfortunately I can’t guarantee delivery times.

Four Quarter: Top: 935 Bulbs; Bottom left: Earthship; Bottom right: Bagtown
Four Quarter: Left: Sing It Out; Right: Friendly Buttons
Four Quarter: Top: Build It Up Better; Bottom left: Chaos Tidying; Bottom right: Underwater
Four Quarter: Left: Sempervivum; Right: Staycation
Four Quarter: Top: The Last Blush of Blueberry Bush; Bottom left: Citation Style; Bottom right: Which Pond?
Four Quarter: Top left: Sidewalk Solidarity; Top right: Nova’s Yard; Bottom left: Bridge to Nowhere; Bottom right: Parrot Party
Four Quarter: Top: Aliens in the Quarry; Bottom left: Seasonal Tarts; Bottom right: Two Cat Cuddle (cake has a 12″ long section of damaged ply that I consider a flaw; price $40)
Four Quarter: Top: Mount Chesterfield, Elevation 2m; Bottom left: Looping Around; Bottom right: Sunday Drive
Four Quarter: Top: Five Golden Doors; Bottom left: Impending Snugs; Bottom right: Ephemera
Gobsmidgeon (50g of Four Quarter, $22): The Big Idea
merino/ silk fingering: Been Waitin’
merino/ silk fingering double (one long gradient, dyed across two 100g cakes): Go Plant Your Flowers
merino/ silk fingering double (one long gradient, dyed across two 100g cakes): Opalescent
Cabra giant: Walk in Walker Woods
Cabra giant: Top: Sofa-Yarn Stash; Bottom left: Dog in Duvet; Bottom Right: Three Good Ideas
Snarkle (two matching 50g gradients of sparkle sock, wound in opposite directions to better show colours, $45): That Inner Voice

picnic, lightning

It’s been a rough several months, hasn’t it?

There’s a poem called Picnic, Lightning that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. It’s a classic Billy Collins poem (i.e., dark yet oddly charming) that was inspired by a line by Nabokov, in which the narrator explains his mother’s death with just two words: picnic, lightning.

I reckon that my last eight months are best summarized in similar fashion: pandemic, migraine. Both experiences are new to me, both have sucked up my time and creative energies, and both have, unfortunately, become my new normal.

The good news is that I’m adapting and figuring out new ways forward. I’m getting back in the dye pots, catching up on my dye queue, and have scheduled the next online update: Saturday 14 November at 3pm Eastern Standard Time. I’ll post more details about what will be included in that update as the time draws near; in the meantime, I hope that you’re finding some creative joy, whether through yarn and colour or in some other way.

Working in the dyepots! (Yes, I wear an indoor hat; I get cold easily.)

An open letter to Ravelry

Dear Ravelry folks,
I’m writing with a deep sense of sadness and dismay. I’m one of the people who was adversely affected by the rollout of the new Ravelry: I developed nausea and a headache within the first 15 minutes that I spent on the new site.

I don’t have a history of any visual or neurological disabilities or migraines, so I had a hard time accepting that what was happening to me was real. I tried again the next day, with similar effects. Since then, I’ve been sensitive to screen time, unable to watch video or to scroll on a website without feeling queasy or getting a headache. I assume that this is a long-lasting or recurring migraine, based on my partner’s description of her own migraines. (Ironically, she can use new Ravelry without problem, despite her migraine history.)

It’s been 13 days now. Will you stop and imagine that for a minute? A few days of trying to use your new site, dutifully reporting bugs and providing feedback and then, in the face of continued nausea and headaches, realising that I have no choice except to avoid screens as much as possible and hope that I’ll begin to feel better. As you can imagine, that’s pretty life-changing; it’s made it difficult for me to do my day job (now entirely remote, given the pandemic) and disrupted my daily routines and sense of connection with people beyond my own four walls.

Still, I was confident that I’d feel better with time, that you’d address the problem, and that I would be able to return to Ravelry.

Your most recent front-page post really knocked me for a loop, though. Instead of reassuring me that you’ll find the problem and fix it, I’m hearing “we think most people are fine with new Rav.” I’m hearing “our tools say it’s fine, so that’s what we choose to listen to.” I’m hearing “your experience doesn’t matter to us.”

I’m hearing “you don’t matter.”

It’s surprising how hard it is to write that about Ravelry.

You’ve built a community that has been my online home. I’ve logged in almost every single morning for years. I’ve stretched myself as a knitter. I’ve felt a sense of connection with people around the globe and have met some incredible friends. It’s no exaggeration to say that Ravelry has changed my life: through connections I made online, I learned how to dye yarn, got a job with a yarn dyer, and eventually started my own yarn dyeing business part time. I met my love, the woman who will become my wife. We openly celebrated our queer love in a visible way, and were met with joy and celebration from our fellow Ravellers.

The changes in Ravelry can’t destroy what I’ve already gained. My yarn business will thrive through my existing customers and word of mouth, my partner can moderate my Ravelry group, and most importantly, my love is still here at my side.

But, oh, my heart aches. It aches for the community, the conversations, the new patterns and knitterly tips and support and sense of connection. It hurts to feel excluded, to have my experience discounted, to be facing a future where I can’t use Ravelry and where I might have difficulty doing anything online. That sounds melodramatic, even to me, but in light of your failure to act, it’s also sounding increasingly likely.

Ravelry was unique, a place that felt personal and quirky and welcoming.

It isn’t any more. I mourn that loss.

Marit

Marit Munson, gobsmacked yarn

June update

Thanks, all, for another great update!  I’m working on invoices now and will get packages ready to go into the mail on Tuesday.  Edit: I’ve had a slight delay in packing, so yarn is going out in Wednesday’s mail.

Welcome to the June update, Pride edition!  If you see some yarn you’d like to claim, email me at gobsmackedyarn@gmail.com.  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 about an hour after the update starts, once things start to quiet down a bit; please note that invoices are due upon receipt (with a little leeway for different time zones and schedules).

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.  Also note that package delivery is likely to be slow due to measures that postal services are taking against the pandemic.  If you’d like to have your yarn sent with tracking, please ask me for a quote for the additional cost.

Feet on the Floor & Emerging from Midnight & Knock Loud

Four Quarter: Top: Keep Your Feet on the Floor; Bottom left: Emerging From Midnight; Bottom right: Knock Loud

Giraffe & New Normal

Four Quarter: Left: Why I Don’t Keep a Giraffe in the House (This cake has a few spots of dark green that I consider flaws, so it is discounted to $40 Cdn); Right: The New Normal

Nighttime & Afternoon Nap

Four Quarter: Left: Evening Nap; Right: Afternoon Nap

Feelin Moody & Secrets of Squirrels

Four Quarter: Left: Feelin’ Moody; Right: The Secrets of Squirrels

Melancholy Songs & Thorns and Roses

Four Quarter: Left: Melancholy Songs to Right Our Wrongs; Right: Thorns & Roses

Butterfly Migration

Four Quarter: Butterfly Migration

Here With You & Confetti Fight

Four Quarter: Left: Here With You; Right: Confetti Fight

 

rainbow_hazy lazy

Rainbow minis (12 x 20g, superwash merino, $108 Cdn): Lazy Hazy edition

rainbow_jewel

Rainbow minis (12 x 20g, superwash merino, $108 Cdn): Jewel edition

rainbow_retro

Rainbow minis (12 x 20g, superwash merino, $108 Cdn): Retro edition

rainbow_peppy

Rainbow minis (12 x 20g, superwash merino, $108 Cdn): Peppy edition

rainbow_road trip

Rainbow minis (12 x 20g, superwash merino, $108 Cdn): Road Trip edition

rainbow_solitude

Rainbow minis (12 x 20g, superwash merino, $108 Cdn): Solitude edition

rainbow_summer

Rainbow minis (12 x 20g, superwash merino, $108 Cdn): Summertime edition

rainbow_nightswimming

Rainbow minis (12 x 20g, superwash merino, $108 Cdn): Nightswimming edition

Mud Season & Waiting for Spring

merino fingering: Left: Mud Season; Right: Waiting for Spring

Jester

merino DK: Jester

Silky Yak

silky yak DK: Left: Gunpowder Sighs; Right: Your Dark Shadows

 

Pride in a pandemic

I’ve always been a rather quiet queer: an introvert, not big on crowds or parties or parades.  So for me, I guess Pride in a time of global pandemic is both unsettling (“It’s a global pandemic, people!”) and life as usual (“Maybe I should try to be a bit more visible?”).

One thing I can do is to celebrate Pride in a yarny way, with rainbows– in this case, rich and colourful mini skein sets, every one unique and beautiful in its own right, just like the folks who make up the queer community.  Each set is twelve 20g minis of Four Quarter (100% superwash merino), for a total of 240g.  They’re $108 Canadian for 960m (1045 yd) of awesome.  (Edited 25 June to correct yardage.)

rainbows

A stack of rainbow minis, waiting to be labelled for the June 15th update.

These will be available, along with regular gobsmackers, in tomorrow’s update, Monday 15 June at 3pm Eastern Daylight Time (Toronto/ New York).

Whether you’re queer or an ally, if you’re looking for something fun to do for Pride this year, why not use your favourite rainbow, from gobsmacked or from stash or from your favourite LYS, to knit some love in shawl form?  Here are a few of my current favourites:

Play it by Queer, by Shanel Wu

Bright Side, by Amy van de Laar

Rainbow Relay, by Jane Murison

All Together or First, Love, by Nim Teasdale

Fibonacci, Mark Two, by Ampersand Designs

 

PS: One thing that is quite a bit different in pandemic times is shipping.  I always get everyone’s yarn in the mail as quickly as possible after an update, but please be aware that the pandemic is affecting shipping times worldwide.  Mail between Canada and the US seems particularly slow, with packages that normally arrive in 5-7 days taking two or even three times as long.  Mail is getting through; I haven’t seen any problems with lost packages.  But the current mail situation is definitely going to require some patience on everyone’s part.  If you’d like to have tracking for your package, just let me know and I’ll get you a quote for the extra cost.