Memberships of the new Clubs, both Yarn and Fibre, will be available at 12 noon on Tuesday 1st September.
See you then!
Naming a yarn is tricky business. Most of my yarns names have some link to Scotland because it's where I have lived for almost all my life. There are some wonderful words like scunner and glaekit and fouter and fankle, but they all have slightly negative meanings. This is especially true of fankle. This is the mess you get when you drop three skeins of just dyed hot wet yarn on the floor and it turns into twisted spaghetti before your eyes, which is what happened to me last week. I gave the resultant mess to my friend Isabella aka Spinning Fishwife (and she returned the favour with a large bag of rhubarb from her allotment) and she roped in a couple of helpers at Broughton to return it to a knittable yarn.
Names need to be pronounceable. There's not much point in calling something Buachaille, for example no matter how beautiful it is. And what about Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan, gorgeous place, but as a name for a yarn? Probably not.
I don't think Gaelic is as impenetrable as Welsh to non native speakers (and I am not one of them, by the way), but even so, it's silly to make life awkward.
My original choice for the new yarn was Cairn, but after some thought I think I am going to save that for another yarn. It's a great name, but it just wasn't "right" you know?
The new yarn is called
Well it has 8 plies. Whatever form our families take, we all have 8 great-grandparents. A link to our past.
It's a smooth yarn which lends itself to all kinds of knitting. All of us, no matter how conventional or smooth our lives have been as individuals, have richly textured families. The eight great-grandparents would be fascinated I am sure, to see us, their great-grandchildren.
The yarn is good for twisted stitches and lace, and it's superb for colourwork (just wait until I show you a mitten I have in my possession).
It's a yarn for creating a knitted fabric, which is what a family or a Clan is, a plying together of individuals in which the whole is greater then the sum of its parts.
I am looking forward to Tuesday, 1st September when I'll be inviting you to be part of the new yarn club, to join my Clan.
As you may or may not know the current Yarn Yard Clubs (apart from the Lace Club) have come to an end with just a couple more mailings to go.
In their place there will be two new clubs and sign-ups for these will begin on the 1st of September (which is Tuesday next week).
These will be available on a monthly payment system just like the old Clubs. They will also be available as an annual membership, with a discount.
You can sign up at any time in the month, it doesn't have to be at the beginning or by the 15th for example. Clubs paid for in month A will be dyed and sent in month B and so on (more details on this below). You may cancel at any time and you'll have a month "in hand".
Yarn Club (the yarn still needs a name…)
This is going to feature the new yarn which is exclusive to the Yarn Yard.
It's a 100% superwash merino tightly spun in an 8-ply yarn, very smooth and silky. It's quite unlike anything else available in the UK. The yarn will retail at £6.99 for 65g/210m in the shop.
There has been a lot of interest in this yarn, so I am expecting it to fly off the shelves. Being in the Club guarantees you will get some!
Month A - two semi solids the same
Month B - two variegated skeins the same
Month C - two different semi solids
Yarn Club will be dyed and posted in the first week of the month because I will have the yarn in stock all the time and I’ll just be waiting for the 1st of the month to know the numbers.
This will combine the current Club and the Solid Club and will allow you build a library of colours (if you don’t use them immediately!). Stopping the Solid Club - and I know that some will regret this - means that there will be plenty of solids in the shop for you to choose from and it makes it easier for me to plan whole year in advance, colourwise, for both Yarn and Fibre Clubs. Being able to plan like this means you get a better variety if you are in both Clubs.
The yarn Club will be £15.99 per month, so you save on postage by being in the Club compared with yarn + postage from the shop.
Until now the Fibre Club has worked on the basis of 100g or 200g of fibre.
I want to move away from these fixed weights because it limits the luxuriousness or otherwise of what I can send. 100g of camel and silk is four times the price of Shetland, for example so it's impossible to include these luxury options within a Club based on weight of fibre.
The parcels could include any fibre at all from everyday BFL or Shetland, to Peregrine (merino/nylon for socks), yak, camel, whatever I fall in love with at the time. The less costly fibres will be a bigger quantity, up to 150g, the more luxurious ones will be a smaller amount, but still (of course) sufficient for a scarf or something elegant. There may also be batts. They take ages to make so I can’t promise how often this will happen though! There may be the occasional silk hankie too.
Because I won’t know the numbers until the last day in the month I can’t order Club fibre until the 1st, so Fibre Club will be dyed and posted in the second week of the month following payment.
It will also be £15.99 per month.
Annual membership will be available and will be 12 months for the price of 11, so that’s £175.89 for either of the clubs. Choosing an annual membership means that you would of course be “proofed” against postal charge rises which seem to happen every year without fail (and sometimes twice!)
I am working out international prices at the moment, EU prices will be very similar to those for the UK.
The new Clubs will go up on the website on the 1st September.
Please feel free to email me with any questions.
Before I went to Broughton at the weekend I took the shop offline. I took all the stock with me and I didn't want to risk an online customer and a Broughton customer buying the same item at the same time. I have recounted all the stock and am now putting yarn back on the shelves. It will take an hour or two so bear with me.
There will be new yarn and fibre later today too.
I will be on holiday next week, so there won't be a Thursday Update this week (I won't be able to post anything ordered after Friday) so I'll just be adding things as they are ready.
Every so often, when we have stuff to get rid of, stuff which is too good to throw out, which would do "a turn", we rejoin Freecycle. I'm not a member all the time (the emails can get a bit overwhelming) but it has never failed us.
In the last ten days I have offered two lawn-mowers, a television and a violin. Someone was looking for one to learn on, and posted a WANTED email more in hope than expectation. He'd always wanted to play and was planning on getting lessons. He was chuffed to bits, and I was delighted that it was going to a good home.
Of course, when you are offering things on Freecycle, you also see all the other WANTED, OFFERED and TAKEN messages too. In the last week I have seen someone who is teetotal offering two bottles of Vodka she brought for a Christmas "do" and which were never opened, a bag of bras, and 100 sacks of builders' sand which had been used as ballast on stalls at the Edinburgh Festival Craft Market.
In the local Freecycle (not the Edinburgh one), a man seemed to be offering all sorts of odd things. Sixty five desks, a pommel horse and several filing cabinets, and that's just for starters! He contacted me about the television and one of the lawnmowers, and at the same time, I emailed him about the filing cabinets. Serendipity.
I have now become the owner of a 4 drawer filing cabinet.
It seems that one of the high schools is undergoing a major refurbishment and there are TONS of things (probably literally tons) going in the skip (or skips).
This particular one has clearly been Freecycled in a rather more official capacity already, at least once.
The man, a teacher at the school, was horrified at the amount of stuff being chucked out and he has single-handedly saved the desks, office furniture and a load of other items from heading off to land fill, all with official blessing.
As you can see the cabinet itself is a rather fetching shade of baby-poop green. I'm rather partial to this colour in yarn, and since I sell rather a lot of it, I think lots of knitters agree with me. However I am not sure I want it to stay this colour as a large item of furniture in my office. It needs a re-vamp. The obvious thing to do would be to paint it black or grey or navy blue, but I think it deserves something a bit more exciting after an institutional life in the Department of Employment and as a repository for Pupil Records. What stories it could tell.
So, in true Natalie fashion I am planning to paint it in one of my favourite colours, YELLOW!
Not sure yet whether it will be buttercup, lemon (probably not), mature cheddar or egg yolk. And I think it needs new handles, the top drawer does have a handle, it just needs a couple of bolts to put it back on, but I'm wondering about looking for something more interesting. The drawers are fearsomely heavy even when empty, so I don't think i-cord is an option, sadly. I wondered about the kind of cord which is used as curtain tie-backs but I think it would be too fat to go through the holes.
Any ideas in the handle department? All suggestions welcome.
Didn't Ruth do well?
She raised £103 for MSF with two of the donations coming in while she was actually on the Plinth.
p/hop is going to be at Fibrefest in Devon at the weekend, and at iKnit in September, so I have been thinking that we need to raise the totaliser (this sounds like 1970's Blue Peter). Instead of bumping it up by £1000 or so, I've decided to set a challenge, and I have moved it to £10,000.
p/hop has grown from the first donation from DianneB on 7th November last year, to almost £4,000 in just nine months.
How fabulous would it be if we could raise £10,000 by the end of 2009, in just over 4 months time?
Please blog about it, add the widget to your blog or to your facebook page.
To add it to a blog copy and paste this
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into the widgetty bit of your sidebar.
Or click on Menu on the widget in my sidebar and it will give you the code.
To add it to facebook there is a special link. Click here to add it. You just need the add theyarnyard in the second box.
Let's get everyone talking about this!
Tomorrow, Ruth will be on the Plinth in Trafalgar Square. She'll be there from 09.00 to 10.00 and she will be sewing together squares to make a blanket which will be raffled for Medecins Sans Frontieres at iKnit in September as part of the p/hop project.
Pete from MSF will be at the foot of the Plinth with patterns which are not free (contrary to suggestions by some) but which can be obtained for a donation of however much you think they are worth.
Pete will also be knitting and I expect that, as a Knitting Celebrity he will be happy to pose for photos with his knitting (with or without you in the photo).
As you will see from the sidebar, we are nearing the £4,000 mark and I am wondering how much we should raise the target to. Pete and I are firmly of the opinion that the patterns are NOT free, but that they should not and will not bear an actual price.
p/hop relies totally on the honesty and goodwill of knitters and that's how it will stay.
There is a new short film about MSF, which is being shown in cinemas.
This is it.
The people who need MSF, should never have to say "Thank You", that would be very wrong in my opinion, so this is from me, and all the designers and everyone who has donated, and from MSF.
(and your donations will be put to good use)