Wednesday, February 25, 2015

When we say "Superwash", we really mean it!

I live on the 4th floor of one of the oldest buildings in San Diego. It's amazing, and the views are incredible, but the drawback is that this historic building lacks an elevator. And my bedroom is in the attic, and the laundry facilities are in the basement, so washing my clothes requires climbing up and down six flights of stairs. The upside of this is that I don't have to go to the gym on laundry days, since I climb up and down some 90 stairs with each load of laundry (it's weight lifting and a stair machine all in one household chore!). The downside is that I tend to procrastinate when it comes to washing my clothes, so that I have more trips at once up and down those stairs. And carrying my un-dried delicates up the stairs is even less pleasant, as they hold the extra weight of the water. So I tend to run as many things through the dryer as I reasonably can, even if only on the 'air fluff' setting, to remove some of the moisture.

Because of my lazy ways, I decided to run a crazy experiment with our yarns.

I made two identical swatches in each of our weights. One swatch I soaked in Eucalan and blocked. The other swatch I ran through the wash in the coin-op washer/dryer in my basement. With a load of my jeans. On "Permanent Press - Warm" wash setting, and on the "High/Hot" dry setting. An ideal environment for felting, no?

You'll be amazed at the results. I was.

From Left to Right: swatches in Lace, Sock, Sport, DK, Worsted, & Bulky
Top row was machine washed & dried; bottom row was hand washed

Here are the close-ups of each weight, side-by-side (in each image, the swatch on the left was machine washed and dried, while the swatch on the right was hand-washed and laid flat to dry):

Oink Pigments Bulky in "Hibiscus Kiss"
Oink Pigments Worsted in "Melon-choly" 
Oink Pigments DK in "Dill With It"
Oink Pigments Sport in "Tumbling Turquoise"
Oink Pigments Sock in "Lavish Lavender"
Oink Pigments Lace in "Zoot Soot Riot"

Pretty impressive, right?? Shrinking and fulling are almost imperceptible, though there is a wee bit of color fading from the heat. Obviously we don't recommend doing this, but I thought it was important to see what happens to our yarns when you treat them TERRIBLY. Because accidents happen, and I've definitely had tragic felting disasters that killed a sock or sweater that accidentally made its way into my load of jeans, rather than my 'delicates' pile.

I'd say this makes our yarns ideal for baby things, for gifts to non-knitters, and for lazy apartment dwellers like myself. It's also great for those favourite sweaters that you wear and wash again and again. We still recommend that you hand wash our yarns and lay them flat to dry, but I'd suspect that they hold up beautifully through repeated washings and dryings if treated kindly - machine wash cold, delicate cycle, air fluff dry. Your mileage may vary, of course, so please make two swatches and test one in YOUR machines before you run your favourite handknits through the wringer, but rest easy that the errant sock-stuck-in-jeans incident will most likely not result in tears.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Announcing Kepler

We are ever so thrilled to announce the official release of Kepler!

Buy the pattern NOW and use coupon code oink2off for $2 off! Valid through 11:59pm PST Sunday 2/22/15.

BETTER STILL! Buy two skeins of Oink Pigments Sport and get a digital copy of Kepler FREE. Our Sport will be making its retail debut at Stitches West this weekend, and will be available in our online store next week. Once we make it available online, if you place your order on our website, we will email your custom download code for Kepler when we process your order. If you buy two skeins of Sport at Stitches West, we will give you a custom download code to use right then and there!

This asymmetrical shawl, worked bottom up from the base of all triangles to the tip of the largest, is formed of a series of (nearly) golden ratio triangles in (abbreviated) Fibonacci stripes. The pattern is named for 17th Century German mathematician Johannes Kepler, who first observed that the ratio of consecutive Fibonacci numbers converges to the golden ratio; though he did not have the chance to observe how lovely they are in this combination.

The pattern is a little tricky, you’ll be keeping track of stripes in one pattern while decreasing in another. It can get a little confusing, so this might not be the best knitting to travel with, drink wine over, or take to knitnight, unless you’re very fastidious about keeping track of rows, or very good at reading your knitting (and have a much better memory than mine).

Materials required:

  • Size 6 circular needle, 40” or longer in length
  • 4 stitch markers
  • Oink Pigments Sport, 2 skeins, in contrasting colors. 
Shown in “Sea Glass” & “Dill With It” (slate blues & lime green) and “Mystery Flavor” & “The Silver Lining” (orange, grey, purple & pale grey). If substituting yarns, you will need appx 345 yards Color A and 315 yards Color B

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Year, New Things!

At TNNA in Phoenix last month, we launched a BRAND NEW PRODUCT that we are super duper excited about: Oink Pigments Sport! It will be making its retail debut at Stitches West in Santa Clara, CA, February 19-22, 2015.

Faraday by Helena Bristow, knit in Oink Pigments Sport, "Melon-choly"
This deliciously smooshy 2-ply sportweight yarn boasts 345 yards to 100g, is 100% superwash merino, and just like the rest of our yarns, is 100% USA made from Sheep to Shelf - USA grown on American sheep, USA spun in an American mill, and USA dyed in our wee dye studio in Vista, CA by two Americans! Helena has joined Alexa in the dye studio, so now we both wrap our wrists in wet wool on weekends (say that three times fast).

We've also made FIVE beautiful new colorways for Spring:

From Left to Right: Dill With It, Sea Glass, Size of the Boat, Mermaid Tales, and Mystery Flavor
Helena has written a new shawl pattern featuring the new colors in Oink Pigments Sport. Kepler is an asymmetrical striped shawl that requires two skeins of Oink Pigments Sport. The pattern will be made available for purchase on February 19th, 2015, to coincide with Stitches West 2015. Sign up for our mailing list and you will receive a coupon code for $2 off the pattern price, valid during the weekend of its release!