gobsmacked is back!

It’s true! After a long health-related hiatus, I’m tickled pink to be back in the dyepots flexing my creative muscles. My first official event after re-emerging was the KW Knitters’ Fair, in Kitchener (Ontario) in mid-September. It was delightful to talk knitting in person and to reconnect with yarny friends after such a long time away.

The gobsmacked set-up before the beginning of the KW Knitters' Fair, with wooden drawers full of colorful cakes of gradient yarn.
This was just a small amount of the gobsmacked gradients that were available at the KW Knitters’ Fair in September– some of which will be up on my website in October.

I’m currently in southern Ontario helping a friend for a wee bit, which is providing me with a great opportunity to get my new website set up and tested. Once I’m back in New Brunswick, I’ll get it ready to go for my next online update in late October. It’s going to be a big one!

To receive notification of the date and time of the update, please sign up for my mailing list by clicking here. Please note that this is a new mailing list (using MailChimp), so you’ll want to click to sign up even if you’ve been on my list prior to 1 Sept. 2022. To celebrate my return, I’m giving away a bunch of yarn– just join my mailing list prior to the October update to be entered!

Looking forward

Hi folks!  Gobsmacked yarn is on hiatus at the moment, but I have lots of exciting new projects in the works (including a new website and an update of my mailing list).  Even better, I’ll be introducing a brand new yarn base in late summer: Manitoulin Island is a sheepy 2-ply made from 100% Canadian wool from, you guessed it, Manitoulin Island, Ontario.  It’s a fingering weight (366 m/ 400 yds per 100g) that is terrific for colourwork.  I’ve been really enjoying getting to know it through lots of swatching and dye experiments.  My plan is to offer it in gradient cakes and as 25g and 100g solids, so you’ll have lots of options for sweater knitting (or hats, or mitts, or… whatever tickles your fancy).   I’ll have lots more information about my new Manitoulin Island yarn in the future!

A handknit hat lies on a bed of ferns. The hat is off-white with bands of simple colourwork designs in variegated greens that echo the colours of the ferns.
My first project with my new Manitoulin Island yarn, the Ruthven Hat, by the Petite Knitter via Ysolda.

PS: If you’re as excited as I am about nice sheepy local wool, may I direct you to the Great Canadian Wool-a-long?  Hosted by Small Bird Workshop, this event celebrates the glorious fibre grown by Canadian sheep (and alpacas and even a few musk ox!).  It will be a great time to discover new-to-you Canadian yarn and fibre and to build community with other sheepy enthusiasts.  You might even have the chance to be one of the first folks to try out my Manitoulin Island, as I’m donating a colourwork kit as one of the prizes!

The Wool-a-long runs from 1 August to 31 October; you can find all the details here.

December update

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 (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 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.

Four Quarter
Top Left: A Sense of Home; Top Center: Not the Norm; Top Right: Rolling Through Like Thunder;
Center Left: My Dear Petunia; Center: After Four; Center Right: Strawberry Time;
Bottom Left: Quench; Bottom Center: Mischief Maker; Bottom Right: Nightflight
Four Quarter
Top Left: Fire It Up; Top Center: Wooing Warblers; Top Right: Legend Has It;
Bottom Left: Let Them Meow; Bottom Right: Sun and Shadow and the Light Between
Four Quarter
Top Left: Now That’s More Like It!; Top Right: Confetti Party;
Bottom Left: Trout Time; Bottom Right: The Purpling Tide
ASL (alpaca/ silk/ linen)
Top Left: Lichen Love; Top Center: Drop By Drop; Top Right: Stealth Lilac;
Bottom Left: Astrophysical; Bottom Center: Acid Test; Bottom Right: Ocean Time
ASL (alpaca/ silk/ linen)
Left: Clown Car; Right: Where Elvers Hide
merino fingering double (one long gradient, dyed over two 100g cakes)
Left Top-and-bottom: Sky Puddle; Center Top-and-bottom: Home Sweet Homeward; Right Top-and-bottom: Everything Worth While
merino fingering double (one long gradient, dyed over two 100g cakes):
Left Top-and-bottom: Taking a Wander; Center Top-and-bottom: Watching the Waves; Right Top-and-bottom: Along the Way
merino fingering double (one long gradient, dyed over two 100g cakes):
Left Top-and-bottom: Making a Choice; Right Top-and-bottom: A Bit of a Brainstorm
merino fingering double (one long gradient, dyed over two 100g cakes):
Left Top-and-bottom: Breaking Through; Right Top-and-bottom: The Best of Both
sock (matching 50g cakes, each wound in opposite directions to better show colors):
Left: Berry Toes; Center: Super Sonic; Right: Wet Feet Blues
BFL/ silk lace
Left: Firecracker; Right: Coming In and Out
BFL/ silk lace
Top: Whipped Up By the Wind; Bottom Left: Friends of Flowers; Bottom Right: Midnight Garden
camel/ silk lace
Top: Quite Enough; Bottom Left: Coppertone; Bottom Right: More Than Sufficient

November news

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…?” 

Marit, a white woman with very short hair, stands in front of a whiteboard that says "Hypothesis Muppet." She's grinning hugely and proudly holding a skein of gradient yarn.
This is me at Dye Camp almost a decade ago, brain fizzing with ideas; I’m holding the first-ever prototype gobsmacked gradient. (Photo: Kim McBrien Evans)

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.

Two gobsmacked yarn cakes sit on a black background. One is teal green to yellow; the other is cobalt blue to bright magenta.
Each gobsmacked gradient results from its own unique blend of skilled technique and serendipity in the dye pots.

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.

Low tide exposes the wet mud of the banks of the Tantramar River, which slope down to a narrow channel of muddy water. The blue of the sky is reflected in the mud, creating a complicated mix of brown, lavender, and blue.
I’m fascinated by the strange colours of the wet mud and muddy water of the Tantramar River. The proportions of browns, blues, and purples shifts constantly depending on the time of day, the clouds, and the tide. (Photo: Marit Munson)

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.

Online update

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.

A crocheted cowl lies on a wooden floor; the cowl has grey stripes on a blue gradient, with a highly textured surface.
Jasmine Cowl, by Aklori Designs (photo courtesy Aklori Designs).

Mailing list

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 (gobsmackedyarn@gmail.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!