Welcome to this month’s ECY round up! October has been another busy month (when is it not?!) behind the scenes here at Shedquarters. 

Knitted pumpkins

[above: Munchkin Pumpkins from our own pattern]

For a start we’ve had three lovely hand dyed yarn updates: Keld Aran, Titus Fingering, and Keld Twist. Keld Aran is our aran weight superwash merino/linen which is a really firm favourite for garments in particular although it’s lovely for all sorts - in fact I’m wearing it in a one-skein Swainby cowl as I write this, and I have a cardigan in it draped over the chair next to me but that’ll be in another blog post which is yet to be written. Keld Twist is the same blend but it’s a 4ply/fingering weight thickness yarn that’s constructed from two plies. And Titus Fingering is completely different as that’s a superwash extrafine merino and silk singles yarn. It’s soft and smooth, and as you might expect is pretty shiny. It is a nice fine yarn but it will still withstand being worn in garments (I have a Boxy made in it).

Five hand dyed skeins in variegated shades of brown

[above: Keld Twist in Mountain Hare]

Being October and very much autumn I have been really into the autumn colours this month, and whilst we were doing a bit of an audit on Milburn 4ply and DK we noticed that Milburn 4ply in Crocosmia is currently at the bottom of the Milburn leaderboard for popularity. There’s always something at the bottom of course but if it stays there for too long we need to seriously consider discontinuing it. However, I really love Crocosmia and I don’t want to discontinue it so I’ve been giving it a lot more attention this month. It’s had a couple of dedicated photoshoots where I’ve shown it alongside lots of other different colours as rusty orange is far more versatile that you might imagine. As a result of this we’ve added lots of new Milburn yarn packs on the website HERE which we hope will inspire you. I also got a bit carried away and did some Halloween inspired ones. That then led us to create a page for Seasonal Yarns - Halloween. We’ll have to update it to Festive as we get nearer to Christmas. Anyway, that’s HERE. Hopefully Crocosmia will have a bit of a comeback and I won’t need to consider discontinuing it!

Five balls of yarn; the colours are cream, dark purple, lime green, charcoal grey, and rusty orange.

[above: Milburn 4ply pack featuring Crocosmia]

In more website/audit type updates we have been analysing our pricing and I have made the decision to reduce the prices of some yarns. They are Brimham 4ply and DK (aran was already as low as we could get it), Oakworth 4ply and DK, and Tempo 4ply. It might seem a bit nuts, and it might turn out to be a disaster, but I decided that whilst the economy is crap and we’re all skint wouldn’t it be better to take a hit on the profit margin in order to make at least a couple of the yarn lines as affordable as possible? I thought it was worth a try anyway. The expensive yarns are still there for those on higher incomes and I am hoping that we’ll still keep selling a broad range of yarns. This is for the foreseeable future - it’s not a sale or anything. Either that or it’ll backfire and I’ll have to backtrack! We have adjusted the wholesale prices of these yarns accordingly too. 

Three skeins of hand dyed yarn in soft pink, soft orange, and light brown

[above: Brimham 4ply in Rambling Rose, Mellifer, and Bark]

Another website update we’ve implemented - and are still working on - is ‘Dyed to Order’ listings. This idea comes from the fact that I used to pride myself in always producing larger dyelots so that folks could get sweater quantities of my yarns. In fact now I look back I realise it was one of my unique selling points. But with the aforementioned crap economy I haven’t been doing it for the past couple of years. And I realised that a common comment I was reading/hearing at shows was “I love this but you don’t have enough for me to make a jumper with”. In hindsight it seems obvious. I was mulling it over and realised that there was a way I could offer a compromise - I could dye sweater quantities to order. So that’s what we’ve set up!You can now browse the yarns that are available Dyed to Order HERE and when you go on the listing you’ll see a drop down box that allows you to choose your colour. Not all of my colours are listed because I worry about some of them being less reliably repeatable, so the ones on the list are the most reliable ones. You’ll see that the minimum order is five skeins and that’s because my whole set up is geared for doing dyelots in multiples of five skeins, and me dyeing one skein takes pretty much as much work as if I do five, so it’s highly inefficient which I can’t really afford. Plus we already always have lots of ones, twos, threes etc on the website - the idea of this is for when you need 5+. 

portrait of a woman wearing a handknit grey sweater with cream detailing around the neck and sleeves

[above: me modelling my Vittra Sweater in Brimham Aran which is available Dyed-to-Order in sweater quantities]

Continuing with behind-the-scenes work at Shedquarters, another thing that we are currently working on is this year’s Festive Super Secret Stash Box! We’ve been doing this annually for a few years now - I reckon this might be our fifth? The premise is that Ellen Shek makes us some really beautiful and special project bags and I dye yarn to match. We add a couple of festive treats (tea and biscuits - that sort of thing) and we send them out around the end of November/beginning of December. They are festive but not overtly Christmassy as not only am I an atheist anyway but we are also well aware that plenty of people don’t celebrate Christmas. But that doesn’t stop us enjoying things like colourful fairy lights, the smell of mulled wine, and snowflakes on everything! Anyway, at the time of writing (end of October) Ellen is just about ready to ship the bags to me, I’ve got the undyed yarn ready to dye this week, and the other bits are on their way to us already. We’re well on track with timing and we haven’t actually started promoting or selling them yet so that’s all good. We will of course let you know when we’re ready to start taking orders for them! 

So a lot of this month’s news has been admin related as well as three yarn updates; but we do also have a new pattern release to mention which is Toge by Ririko (that's a link to her Instagram profile) in Pendle 4ply. Toge is a tee which is knitted sideways and has some beautiful classy details. Pendle 4ply is our superwash extrafine merino - like the pattern the yarn is simple and classy. It’s super-soft and squishy, has a good balance of drape and bounce, and wears well. Toge is available on Ravelry only at present (we will always keep asking for off-Rav options). 

a woman is modelling a knitted tee

Finally, an important point to note: last Christmas posting dates. Yes, it’s a few weeks away yet, but this always causes trouble and it’s worth checking and knowing well in advance if timing is of the essence for you. Please check the last Christmas posting dates HERE. They might not align with what Royal Mail or the couriers say because like many small businesses we need to allow ourselves time to actually process, pack, and transport the orders to the Post Office etc. We will close for our festive holidays on the 20th of December and we will reopen on the 4th of January. You’ll be able to place orders during that time but that’s it - we can’t accept returns, we won’t respond to emails, and we won’t be shipping orders. 

illustration of a sheep wearing a Christmas hat, with text saying "seasons bleatings"

That's all for now! Thanks for reading and don't forget to check out The Wholly Irregular ECY Shedcast on YouTube for weekly updates from ECY. 


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