I’m confused. How do I order your yarn? I sell most of my yarn right here, through monthly updates on this website. I also participate in fibre arts festivals and shows in Ontario. For all of the details, check out get gobsmacked.
I love your yarn; why can’t you make more of it? I wish I could! I dye gobsmackers with a special technique that creates unique, lively gradients; unfortunately, it’s also a really labour-intensive process, so my production is pretty limited. I’ve invested in equipment (like a motorized ball winder) and dedicated studio space, which has helped me dye more– but, at the end of the day, the supply will always be limited.
I love that one gradient that you made! Can you make me another one just like it? Unfortunately, no. I dye my gradients with an unusual cake-dyeing technique that creates uniquely beautiful results– but there are so many variables that I can’t control them all. In fact, gobsmacked gradients work best when I let the magic happen in the dye pot, rather than trying to control everything too tightly. However, I can dye you something wonderful in the colours that you love, and can dye multiple matching cakes in the same dye pot, at the same time. For more information, see special requests.
I’m running out of yarn! Will you dye me some matching end yardage? Everything that I dye is one-of-a-kind, so I’m not able to dye to match existing gradients. If you’re planning a project and think that you might need more yardage, please contact me ahead of time and I’ll see if I can dye you a gradient of just the right length.
Does your yarn have knots or other flaws? I’m fortunate to have great suppliers who provide me with high quality undyed yarn that is almost always free of knots, slubs, or other flaws. And I handle every inch of every skein during the dye process, so I usually find any problems as I’m working. If I’m aware of a knot or other flaw in a skein, I will include that information in the description when I post the yarn for sale. On occasion, a knot will slip past me; in most cases, it’s a little twist that you can gently tease apart without having a break in the yarn. A knot or flaw will never interrupt the flow of the gradient.
How do you dye your yarn? Are your colours fast? I use professional-quality acid dyes, fixed with citric acid. I choose my specific dyes with an eye toward great colours that have good light- and wash-fastness. Some colours are more vulnerable to fading than others, though, so it’s always a good idea to treat your hand knits gently.
How should I wash my finished shawl/ hat/ sweater? For all handknits, I recommend washing in room-temperature water with Soak wool wash, then laying them flat to dry out of direct sunlight. Technically speaking, you could treat most of my yarns with less caution, as most include superwash wool that will stand up to a certain amount of rough handling. Still, there’s no drawback to protecting your hand-dyed handknits by treating them gently, so that’s what I recommend.
Some colour is coming off of my yarn! What do I do? This is every dyer’s worst nightmare; I want you to enjoy your yarn without worry. There shouldn’t be any colour coming off of your gobsmacked yarn– none rubbing off on your hands when you knit with it, and none when you soak your knits to wash and block them.
It’s extremely rare to run into dye problems with gobsmackers, as I’m constantly handling the skeins so can spot and fix any issues right away. In a few very rare cases, though, differences in the chemistry of my tap water and yours might cause properly fixed dyes to bleed a bit. Regardless of the reason, if you find some colour coming off of your gobsmacked yarn, please contact me immediately so I can make it right.
Do you use any scented products on your yarn? I’m pretty sensitive to perfumes and strong scents, so I avoid them as much as possible. When I pre-soak my yarn I sometimes use a dash of Ivory dish soap, which has a mild soapy smell that is long gone by the time I’m done with the dyeing process. I dye my yarn using high-quality professional acid dyes and citric acid, which doesn’t have any noticeable smell; the final rinse is in unscented Soak wool wash.
I have allergies. Do I need to worry about your yarn? I do have a dog, Fennel the Nearly-Toothless Wonder, and live with two cats part-time. The pets doesn’t have anything to do with the yarn or the dyeing process and are not allowed in the studio. Still, there’s always a small chance that a stray strand of dog or cat hair could get caked up with the yarn; if you have any allergy concerns, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll try to figure things out.