October 17, 2017

SkeinTwisters, Special Yarn, and Cool Swag!

Hello, Untanglers! It’s been a busy summer & fall at Alpenglow Yarn, as we’ve been getting ready to launch our second product for indie dyers – the SkeinTwister! This tool helps with the final task that dyers, yarn companies, and mills do before mailing yarn to you – twist up those loose hanks into nice, tidy skeins. This is almost entirely done by hand, and you can probably imagine that it gets tiring and can even be painful if you’re twisting a large batch, or already have joint pain. Enter the SkeinTwister! It’s a motorized hook that does the twisting part, all the dyer has to do is fold the skein in half and push one end through the other to fasten it off. We’re excited about it, dyers are excited about it, and even if you’re not a dyer, there are several ways you can join in the fun too!

For fans of naturally dyed yarn, Alpenglow Yarn and Sincere Sheep are getting together at the dyepots to bring you AlpenSheep – a collaboration! We’re always talking dyes, and are excited to get together and work with a variety of dyestuffs and combine techniques. We’ll be dyeing her Cormo Sport yarn, which is entirely sourced and spun in the USA and is amazingly soft and springy. You can order as many skeins as you’d like, and request either all on color or multiple coordinating colors if you have a colorwork project in mind.

If you’re a little bit on yarn overload at the moment, we have a bunch of really fun Pirate Red gear! Pirate Red is the SkeinTwister’s sassy mascot, and you can drink some rum with her on our rocks glasses, or sport her on a coffee mug or t-shirt. We can offer a variety of styles and sizes thanks to on-demand printing, which also cuts down on textile waste because only the shirts that are ordered are made.

We hope you’ll get twisted with us – orders for SkeinTwisters, yarn, and gear will be open through the end of October!

September 19, 2017

USVI Hurricane Relief Sale

Hello, naturally-dyed yarn enthusiasts. I grew up on the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which got/is getting hit by two category 5 hurricanes in the space of two weeks. Smaller hurricanes are relatively common, but direct hits by category 5s are rare. The result of Irma was devastating, and as I write this, everyone is hunkered down and waiting for Maria to blow by. While the island of St. John is farther away from the eye this time, there is much debris strewn about and so little sturdy shelter, that there could be just as much damage. The eye is due to clip the island of St. Croix, which has been a source of supplies and relief for St. John and St. Thomas. So all 3 islands may very well be in dire need after today.

A brief summary is that after Irma, the majority of houses were no longer habitable. Emergency food, water, and medical supplies were being dropped by helicopter. Some provided by FEMA and the military, but most provided by private citizens who took a 30+ mile boat trip from St. Croix or Puerto Rico, as well as a couple of celebrities who are fundraising and championing the islands, like Tim Duncan and Kenny Chesney. The USVI has a relatively small population, they do not have voting representation in Congress, and anyone living there is not allowed to vote for President. They really have to fight for both media attention and federal aid, and usually get the scraps. I know my efforts are just a drop in the bucket, but hey, that’s how buckets get filled.

I rounded up the last of my remaining naturally dyed Alpenglow Yarn inventory, and have listed it at $25/skein on the SkeinMinder website (sorry if that’s confusing — it was already set up for ecommerce and quicker to get up and running). $15 from each skein will go toward local community foundations that not only provide immediate aid and relief, but also continue to employ people, and help the residents rebuild. If the skein you wanted is already gone, try the Yarny Surprise! I have many perfectly awesome one-off skeins from test batches and test yarn that are just too time-consuming to photograph and post. There’s some good stuff in there, and you’ll definitely get $25 worth. There’s also information for direct donations on my website, and if do you do that instead, please drop me a screenshot of your receipt and your mailing address and I’ll send you a little thank-you.

Lastly, if the only thing you can do is share a news article about the USVI, that’s actually quite helpful and would be much appreciated. Most of my Facebook shares about the hurricanes are now public, please feel free to look them up on my wall and share them out.

Thanks so much, and please keep the Caribbean in your thoughts!

October 5, 2015

See us at the Indie Untangled Pre-Rhinebeck Trunk Show!

Hello, yarn lovers! We’ve been heads-down working on SkeinMinders for the past several months, and the dye pots have been a bit neglected. But we’re coming out of hibernation just for Rhinebeck!

We’re excited to be part of the Indie Untangled Trunk Show for the second year, we can’t wait to leave the California heat behind and experience some real New York fall! We’ll be squishing as much of our vibrant yarn as we can into two suitcases and pouring our naturally-dyed rainbows into a small booth for you to enjoy. We’ll have:

Rangeland and Wander, our USA-made superwash Merino in fingering and DK weight
Mighty Fine Rambo, our Wyoming-grown and made super springy light fingering weight
Sylvan Sock, our Vermont-made, sturdier fine wool and tencel fingering-weight blend
and
Three Little Corries, our heavy sport-weight small farm Corriedale spun semi-woolen for lots of airy loft.

We can’t wait to see everyone!

September 28, 2015

SkeinMinders are here!

We’re excited to announce that SkeinMinders are now available on our website! Thanks to a our Kickstarter campaign, and special thanks to many of you Indie Untangled folks, we successfully finished the project and recently delivered all the units promised to our backers. Now we’ve started to build them on a continuous basis, in smaller quantities, and they’re available at skeinminder.com. We’re also offering free delivery to those of you who will be at Rhinebeck!

What is a SkeinMinder, you say? It’s a device that automates skein winders, making it an essential tool for any indie dyer with a motorized winder. Just set the number of rotations you want, press the Big Red Button, and that’s it! The SkeinMinder will automatically stop your winder when it gets to the right count, freeing you to do other tasks in the meantime. It also shuts your winder off if the yarn gets jammed.

Use the SkeinMinder to:
– Wind skeins from cones
– Wind minis from larger hanks
– Re-skein full skeins
– Keep your sanity

Check out the dyers who are using SkeinMinders in the Hall of Fame, or on instagram: #skeinminder
(This also serves as quite the excellent enabling list, by the way.)

Happy Winding!

February 9, 2015

The SkeinMinder is coming soon!

Not only have we been dyeing up tons of gorgeous colors for Stitches West, but we’ve also been hard at work, preparing to launch the SkeinMinder! What is the SkeinMinder, you say? It’s a tool for indie dyers and production spinners that takes the fuss out of winding yarn.

The motorized skein winders that indie dyers use are made by other small businesses, and are pretty simple in design. The SkeinMinder automates them! Just set it to the number of rotations you want, and push the big red button. The SkeinMinder keeps track for you, and automatically stops your winder. It’ll even detect if your yarn has jammed and pause everything!

We recently launched the SkeinMinder website, and are busy preparing for our Kickstarter campaign. Why Kickstarter? Well, the SkeinMinder is a custom electronics product, and those are expensive to make. We need to build them in batches of 100 for it to be feasible. With Kickstarter, we can make sure there are at least 100 dyers who want one. With their orders, and the support of the fiber community, we can start up a production line and make the SkeinMinder a reality!

We’re also going to have plenty of beautiful yarn rewards – there will be Alpenglow Yarn of course, plus yarns from several of our indie dyer beta group! And what a group it is, there will be packages of yarn that include Sincere Sheep, Knitted Wit, Canon Hand Dyes, Pigeonroof Studios, Hazel Knits, and Teresa Ruch, just to name a few! Stay tuned here or through the SkeinMinder newsletter to find out when the Kickstarter kicks off!

We’ll also have SkeinMinder demos set up at Stitches West, come visit us in booths 936/938! We’ll also have a stunning array of naturally dyed yarn that we’ve dyed up just for the occasion. See you soon!

October 29, 2014

It’s a Shiny Groovy Sale!

If you missed us at Rhinebeck, here’s your chance to stock up on some Alpenglow Yarn! We’re doing a bit of Halloween housekeeping, clearing out older bases to make room for new ones. Groovy Goat, Small Farm Groove, and Sylvan Wool are all 40% off, only $12 per skein!

What are these yarns, you ask? Groovy Goat and Small Farm Groove are beautiful blends of fine wool and yearling mohair. Don’t let the mohair content fool you into thinking “scratchy” — mohair from young goats is silky, shiny, and strong. The yarn has a beautiful luster and many of the colors are overdyed on natural grey, giving them a wonderful subtlety and depth. All colors are naturally dyed, of course!

Sylvan Wool is a gorgeously shiny blend of 50% fine wool and 50% tencel. It’s a great sweater yarn for warmer climes (yes, we’re looking at you fellow Californians!), and since the tencel dyes differently than the wool, the colors have a wonderful tweedy look to them. It’s also great for any project that needs just a little bit of flowing drape.

Go ahead, add a little Groove or Sylvan shine to your stash for only $12! And don’t forget to select the “Free Shipping” option. It’ll zoom to your doorway via USPS First Class or Priority Mail, depending on weight. Happy Halloween!

Garments shown in photos:
Diamond Back Top by Kira K Designs in Sylvan Wool
Akimbo Skirt by Kira K designs in Small Farm Groove
Projects on Ravelry by curlie

September 11, 2014

Natural Dyer’s Club: The Mythical Blue-Red!

Have you ever wondered what goes into creating a certain color with natural dyes? Now you can find out! Join us on a journey to create the Mythical Blue-Red. It’s the color of dragons, the color of crushed velvet, a sensual deep red. We’ll explore different dyes and mordants in search of the perfect recipe.

Club members receive mini-skeins of 6 or 8 colors, a detailed explanation of the dye process, and the final recipes for each color. We’ll also include ideas for multi-color projects that you can make with the mini-skeins. What if a color really speaks to you and you want a full skein? Or enough full skeins to make a sweater? After you receive your club shipment, you also have a month in which you can order full skeins of any of the club colors for 20% off.

There are only a few spots left — visit our website to get yours! We also have a few yarns on 50% off clearance — it’s a great time to try some Corriedale, Rambouillet, or Small Farm Alpaca!