Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thanks to ALL!

Thank you all for helping The Unique Sheep have a very successful 2009! We are so lucky to get to create products for warm, fuzzy, generous fiber people and try our best to make sure that all the Unique Sheep packages that reach your doors are opened with smiles. We look forward to providing you with more lovely, fibery goodness in the next year.

We wish that 2010 brings you much joy, love and peace and that all your fiber projects come out better than you imagine.

Kelly and Laura

On a separate note: I want to publicly thank my beautiful, talented, and extremely intelligent Unique Sheep partner, Laura. She has been compassionate and supportive as a few sad, family events took me away from the dye studio much more than I would have liked this year. She even encouraged me to stay home with my mom who badly broke her leg the day before we were supposed to leave for SAFF.

Laura works very hard to make all of our Unique Sheep customers as happy as possible. I am constantly delighted by her talent and believe she could not be a better partner.

So, Thank You, Laura. I look forward to working along with you in 2010 to make sure The Unique Sheep continues to flourish.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!

We hope that you are celebrating the holidays with good food, good company and plenty of time to relax and knit. That's what we plan to do as well, so we won't be spending much time in the studio during the next week. We'll still be checking email and you are welcome to place your order through the website. And after a short break we'll both be eager to have our hands back in the dye pots!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Introducing... Flounce

I am so excited to announce the release of a new pattern by the talented young designer Danido Crafty. This is Dani's first pattern released by us, but she has a number of other great patterns on her website and Ravelry. Flounce is a small project that would make a great gift, or a treat for yourself once all the holiday gift knitting is done. It is my favorite type of project- one that gives you a chance to try lots of interesting techniques but not too much of any one thing to get bored!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New International Shipping Policy

We have just updated our International shipping policy. Now, each order is charged a flat rate of $7 for shipping. This is almost always going to be less than the actual cost, but it will be easier for everyone than our previous system (sending separate shipping bills for each order).

You can read up on all of our shipping policies on the website. And remember, International only applies to customers outside of the US and Canada. Because (for now, at least) shipping to Canada doesn't cost much more than shipping across the country, we include Canada as "domestic"!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sharing our Gifts: 50 Projects for 50 States

Charity knitting is great but as an impatient and easily bored knitter, I have a hard time sticking to a charity knitting project that requires me to make many of the same pattern or item. Some people can crank out baby hats for Newborns in Need or blanket squares for Warming America, but that's just not me. Thankfully I found out about a new charity group - Sharing our Gifts: 50 Projects for 50 States. This group is picking a different charity organization in a different state each month and encouraging members to knit/crochet/sew/craft for that particular organization. The first charity chosen was a veterans facility in Oregon that requested men's hats and slippers. I dug through the stash and came up with a fast and easy pair of slippers. Now the group is working on women and children's hats and mittens for the Lee Shore Center in Alaska which provides a safe haven for women and children affected by domestic abuse. I had actually been wanting to knit mittens out of our new Super Wool Gigante and had even dyed up a skein in bright red for the project. Since mittens really aren't very practical here in NC the yarn ended up being used for a pair of children's mittens using this free pattern.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bark n Knit Podcast

About a week ago I attended SAFF where we had a booth for a second year. I'll be posting more about the weekend soon, including lots of pictures. One of the many people I had the opportunity to meet over the weekend was Natalie from the Bark n Knit podcast. Natalie and I have two important things in common- we both love to knit and we both LOVE our dogs. I love that Nat podcasts about both of these things and that she always tries to encourage people to adopt pets that have been abandoned or neglected. As you know, my own little puppy dog princess is a rescue! Natalie even took time out of her weekend to come by the booth and do an interview. This is the first time I've been interviewed on a podcast and it sure is weird to hear myself coming out of the computer speakers. She had some good questions and managed to prevent me from embarrassing myself too much. Plus she has some other interesting interviews in the same podcast, so its definitely worth listening to. Check our Natalie's Blog and make sure to listen to episode 37!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Tomorrow we are loading up the truck and heading to Asheville, NC for SAFF! The festival runs Friday through Sunday and we will have a booth downstairs in the main hall (exactly opposite from the main entrance).

Laura will be teaching a class on knitting with Gradiance yarns Saturday afternoon and there are still spaces available; you can sign up at the door.

We will have limited internet access while we are away, so we may be a little slower than usual to answer emails or respond to Ravelry posts.

If you'll be at SAFF please make sure to stop by and say hello!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Amani Children's Foundation

Every couple of months we get a letter from the Amani Children's Foundation with an update on how things are going and usually a short story about the kids they help and a photo. I always enjoy reading their letters, and I thought you might enjoy it too. You should be able to click on the letter to the right to be taken to a larger and hopefully readable version.

Learn more about the colorway that we dye to support Amani!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Charitible Contributions

At the end of every quarter I add up 50% of all the yarn and patterns we sold supporting specific charities and send in our donations. I thought you might be interested in knowing what your purchases have allowed us to donate this quarter:

Doctors without Borders: $265.38 Here is the link to their website, and here is the link to our colorways supporting them

Susan G Komen: $99.50 Here is the link to their website, and here and here are the links to our colorways supporting them

Amani Children's Foundation: $33 Here is the link to their website, and here is the link to our colorway supporting them

Animal Rescue: $143 Links to our colorways are Here and Here. We choose a different Animal Rescue group to donate to each quarter. If you would like to recommend an organization, please let us know!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Introducing....Super Wool Gigante!

We are pleased to introduce the newest yarn in our collection- Super Wool GIGANTE! This bulky yarn is softer than you can imagine and dyes up in the most brilliant colors. I've already knit myself a hat and a sweater out of it and am now eagerly awaiting colder winter weather so I can wear them!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two Tattoos

For several years I've been talking about getting a tattoo of the multicolored sheep that we use as our logo. Three years ago my mother in law drew the line drawing of the sheep and I colored it in with watercolor colored pencils and since then its come to represent the company which means so much to me and seems to consume every waking (and more than a few sleeping) moments of my life now a days. So it felt right that my first tattoo should recognize something so important to my life and who I am as a person.

Finally, about a week ago, my husband and I took a trip to a tattoo shop, Blue Flame, that came highly recommended. We thought we would have to schedule an appointment for later in the week, but they said that for such a small tattoo we could come back in an hour. And before I knew it, I had a tattoo! You can see a few photos of my tattoo experience here.

To celebrate my new tattoo, I'm getting one for you too! Only, yours won't hurt as much and will come off with a bit of scrubbing in the shower. I had temporary tattoos made using our logo Sheep. We will have them with us at festivals (like the one coming up on October 4th!) and you can also snag one with your next order. Just tell us that you'd like one in the comments section when you check out!

ETA: the tattoo is on my thigh, for those wondering!

Monday, September 7, 2009

When I grow up...

I want to be a shepherdess. I remember the day in college that my career advisor asked me what my goal in life was. I said "to own a llama". I don't think he had gotten that response before at my small, private liberal arts college and he didn't quite know what to make of it. Since then I've decided that llamas are a bit too aloof, really, and that I'd be happier if I stuck to sheep and goats, maybe with a guard-donkey (cause who doesn't love donkies?). This is still one of my goals in life, but I've had to acknowledge that its one that will have to wait until Chris and I are about more settled both geographically (we may have to move in 1.5yrs for Chris's residency) and financially. So, sadly, now is not the time for me to be starting a spinner's flock. But if you have always dreamed of owning fiber goats or you know of someone who has, and your life is more conducive to the owning of livestock, check out the Spinner's Flock Giveaway at Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm. They are actually GIVING AWAY a small flock of their gorgeous angora goats. Heck, even if you aren't interested in owning goats go on over and check out the adorable pictures of the angora kids. Irresistible!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wool Therapy

I cannot get enough of shawl knitting. I have made a few rectangular versions, 2 Syncopated Lace, and then decided to try my 1st Faroese pattern. I bought the All-Over Lace Faroese Shawl pattern and decided to use a shawl set of Green Sheep Wool Sport in Gradiance
from the 15-step Joy color strip. (15, 1-5). This shawl was mean to be for me, because shawls and stoles are my go-to outerwear during the cold months, and I have decided that several styles, weights, and color ways are needed to go with my outfits, the weather,etc.

Right before the final edge was finished we found out my MIL was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Luckily it is a small tumor, so her prognosis should be good, but more testing needs to be done before we know what treatment will be needed.
I had every intention of knitting my MIL a different shawl, but when the Faroese was finished and I put it on, it told me that it longed to be on her shoulders, giving her special wool hugs as she moved forward with the process of dealing with her cancer.
The colors are perfect for her, and the Faroese design is also just right, as she lives in Seattle with my SIL and BIL and their 3 young children, so she will not have to worry about the shawl slipping off her shoulders as she plays with the young ones.
So I named the shawl "Wool Therapy" and soon it will be travelling across the country to my dear MIL where she will receive our love in form of knitted stitches in cuddly, soft Merino.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Enchanted Garden Mystery KAL

Now that we are wrapping up The Secret Garden mystery KAL, its time to introduce our next Mystery Lace Shawl KAL!

The Enchanted Wood KAL will begin in January 2010 and is designed by Janine le Cras, the same talented designer that brought us The Secret Garden shawl. This time we will be knitting a triangular shawl with optional beads. Read all the details here. We are already half full, so if you are thinking of signing up, don't delay!

The Secret Garden Shawl

We are wrapping up our first mystery KAL- The Secret Garden Shawl- and it has been SO much fun. And the shawls that are coming off the needles are incredible. Once more members have finished I'll put up a gallery to show off all their gorgeous shawls.

I know that many of you missed out on the club but guess what? You can still knit your own Secret Garden Shawl! We have the pattern for sale on the website and it takes one Gradiance Shawl Set in Luxe, Verve or Green Sheep Fingering (or 3 non-Gradiance skeins in those yarns).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Serendipity Update

Sometimes skeins don't turn out quite as planned. Maybe the color is a bit different than expected, or the skein doesn't quite weigh enough. Or maybe there are a few knots. Other times we are experimenting with new colorways. These odds and ends skeins end up in our Serendipity Collection with a deeply discounted price tag. We just updated the listing of Serendipity skeins which we keep on an Etsy shop, so if you are in the market for a good deal, check it out!

Shawl Sticks back in stock!

Shawl Sticks are back in stock! Come and get 'em while they're still here!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Christmas Knitting

Someone just pointed out to me that we only have four months left until Christmas. Broiling in the summer heat its hard to imagine that it will be here so soon, but its true. And, being knitters, this means that we have 4 months remaining to get our holiday gift knitting/crocheting/etc done. I can't tell you all of my plans because certain friends and family members read this blog, but my largest project is a lap-gan for my grandparents. I have the yarn, needles and pattern but haven't actually started yet. What do you have planned?

I also want to do a bunch of small handmade gifts for my knitting friends. Projects that won't take more than an evening or two to finish, just enough to say "I'm glad you are my friend." Do you have any suggestions of little gifts that you have given or been given in the past? Or things that you would enjoy receiving?

This might be a good time to remind you that sometimes the best gift is also the easiest-- a gift certificate! So if you have a knitter on your gift list but no idea what to get her or him, consider a Unique Sheep gift certificate. You really can't go wrong with that!

Come see us at Farm Fest

Every year I look forward to spending the day at Rising Meadow Farm for their annual Farm Fest. This year they have moved the date to October 4th so hopefully the weather will be a bit cooler. Its a fun day full of great fiber arts vendors, live music, local food stands and sheep. What could be better? Well this year it IS going to be even better because The Unique Sheep will have a booth! So if you are in or near central NC on Oct 4th, come on by and say hello!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Introducing...The Sip 'n Stitch Club

You know what I love about cold weather? How cozy it is to curl up with a mug of hot coffee and a wooly project on my needles. But when I pour myself a cup of coffee it can't be just any coffee. I am spoiled rotten by all the great local, indie coffee roasters within miles of where I live. And of course while I'm sipping on my morning brew I can't help but think about the colors that the flavors invoke in my mind, or the inspiring cultures and geographies of the regions the beans come from: Guatamala, Peru, Indonesia, Africa...

So this fall and winter we are going to share this experience with you through our Sip 'n Stitch club. Every other month you'll receive a half pound bag of freshly roasted coffee and a 100g skein of one of our sock yarns OR 4oz of roving dyeing in an exclusive colorway inspired by that month's coffee. You can get all the details on the website, of course. The first shipment will be in November and you have until the end of September to sign up!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fun at Knit Picky!

Last night Kelly and I had so much fun at the pajama party hosted by Knit Picky Yarns in Winston-Salem, NC. We brought bags full of yarn to sell plus goody bags for everyone and Knit Picky provided salad, pizza and a masseuse. Some of my favorite ladies were in attendance and so of course it was a blast. I only got a few photos but I know that there were other cameras floating around, anyone want to share?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Luxe is Back!

After selling out of Luxe much more quickly than anticipated, we finally have it back in stock! If you have pre-ordered any, we will be dyeing it up and shipping it very soon. If you've been waiting to place an order, now is your chance!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Unique Sheep Trunk Show & Party at The Unique Sheep

This Friday from 4-6pm we will have a HUGE selection of yarn (especially Gradiance sets), samples and photos and stories from Sock Summit at Knit Picky Yarns in Winston-Salem, NC. That evening we will be having a pajama party with dinner, wine, massages…there are a limited number of spaces for the party but I think there are still a few left. You can contact Jo at about that. But even if you can’t come to the party, we’ll be having plenty of fun all afternoon. Maybe I’ll even bake cookies!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Missing Packages

Several weeks ago the air conditioning in my studio broke. Because we are renting, I had to contact the landlord to contact the a/c repair people to find a time to come fix it- so it took a few days. No big deal, the rest of the house was still cool (thank goodness for separate a/c systems!) so I just focused on work I could do outside of the studio for a few days. Unfortunately, the envelopes I use to ship packages were in my studio and it appears that the adhesive that keeps them from falling apart in the mail was adversely affected by the high temperatures. And of course we didn't realize this until after we shipped over 100 packages. So if you have received an email from us saying that your order has shipped, or if you are in our LotR inspired sock club, but have not received anything from us-- or have received an empty envelope-- please let us know by emailing!!

Best Knitting Quote Ever

We just had a non-knitter make this comment while listening to some of our club members talk about our Secret Garden KAL:

"this sounds so extremely cool. I've never seen knitting to be so... Exciting!"

Welcome to our New LYS's!

Guess what happened at Sock Summit? We made a few new friends who just happen to own yarn shops! We'd like to announce that you can now find Unique Sheep yarn at:

Middleford Yarn & Stitchery Shoppe located in Medford Oregon. They took home quite the stash of Gradiance yarns, plus some single skeins, patterns and other goodies. They are even planning some classes using Unique Sheep yarns, so if you are in the area you'll want to sign up for their newsletter and keep an eye on the website. It sounds like Middleford Yarn & Stitchery Shoppe has some really nice knit-nights and help sessions and is the type of yarn shop that builds a community around it!

Diva Yarn is located in Port Townsend, Washington. Unlike your average yarn shop, this shop has a large selection of trims, buttons, cords, sequins and other glitzy stuff to make your eyes glow in addition to the ordinary yarns, needles and patterns. An armload of Gradiance sock sets went home with Lois so if you are in the neighborhood please stop by and give them a look and a squeeze!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sock Summit Review

I had grand plans to blog every day of the Sock Summit. That didn't happen, did it? Instead, every evening as soon as I sat down at the laptop I fell asleep. I spent most of the week in the booth, of course, so I didn't get to see much of what was happening outside of my small corner of the marketplace. This article has a nice overview including a photo gallery with a number of good photos from the Sock Museum.

We had a wonderful time. I really don't think there is much that I would change-- my only regret is that I didn't have time to take classes with any of the incredible instructors. That and I wish I'd eaten more vegetables-- my body isn't used to a diet of donuts, hamburgers and beer!

Its not hard to imagine how fun it is to be surrounded by knitters, dyers, designers, crocheters, instructors, etc (plus all the yarn, patterns, needles, accessories you can dream of) for a week. And it was just as wonderful as you'd imagine. Better, even. I always love meeting knitters and they never really feel like strangers, you know? But this was the first time we've gone to an event and every time we turned around we would see someone else who we have talked to online, sold yarn to, followed the blog of, taken a class from, read a book by, etc. People came to Sock Summit from all over the world, and yet it felt like such a small community of friends.

If I add too many photos to this blog post the formatting gets awkward, so I'm including a few of my favorites but you can see more on our Flickr account. You can also see a short interview with me, and a lot of other great shots of the Sock Summit marketplace and reviews with other vendors here and even more about Sock Summit (and a photo of my Thigh's the Limit stockings) on the Knitting Daily blog!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thank you Laurel!

I cannot thank Laurel, and her family, enough for being such wonderful hosts to me this week. I was always coming home late, whining like a baby about having to wake up early and made more of a mess than her three young children combined. Everyone in the family- from babysitting Grandma (who I just realized I know only as "Grandma" though I'm sure she has another name...) to the visiting sister, Crystal, to Laurel's own children and husband- was SO kind. The Sock Summit itself was wonderful, but my experience was made so much richer by having a quiet, comfortable place to come home to at night and a bowl of handmade granola to start each morning off with. Thanks to Joel for sharing his wife, his house and his coffee. Thanks to the kids for reminding me how to play. And the biggest thank you of all to Laurel for letting me into her home during a time when she was already so busy as a teacher at Sock Summit, not to mention a very pregnant mother, wife, daughter and sister. I couldn't have asked for a better place to stay and I cannot thank you enough.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Set up Day at Sock Summit

After hanging out with Laurel's wonderful family all morning, we arrived at the convention center with a van full of boxes and only the vaguest of plans. Several hours later and its starting to look like something! We still have all of this morning to finish up the details and run errands and hopefully they we'll be ready when the marketplace opens to the public this afternoon!

After setting up yesterday I had a special treat- Chelsea (YarnGeek) had just arrived in town with a friend (her LYS owner) and so we went out for a lovely dinner. Afterwards we stuck our feet in the hot tub/pool at their hotel and chatted for hours. Its so fun to finally meet people in person who I've spent so much time talking to online!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

See You at Sock Summit!

Thanks to Tamsie for the fun graphic!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Patterns

I'm pleased to introduce a handful of new patterns that you can order from our website. Like most of our patterns, they are available as both PDFs and as print copies.

The Woven Checkerboard Laptop Bag and Purse are easy enough for beginner knitters and knit up quickly in garter stitch and worsted weight yarn. For those of you headed back to school, the large bag would be perfect for carrying your books or laptop while the small bag is just the right size for life's little necessities (wallet, phone, lipgloss and sunglasses)!

Before we know it there will be a chill in the air as we head towards fall. But there is no need to pack away your summer skirts- just slip on a pair of The Thigh's The Limit thigh-high stockings! They are also great layered under pants for an extra layer of wooly warmth once the winter freeze sets in. This pattern is written for our Gradiance collection.

For those of you attending the Sock Summit next week or celebrating this historic event from afar, here is a sock pattern for you! Peaks and Valleys has a mountain range inspired pattern that is fun to knit and ideal for multicolored yarns. You can really get in the Sock Summit spirit by knitting it in our Ascent colorway which was inspired by the Sock Summit logo!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sock Summit 2009

We are so excited that we will be involved in Sock Summit 2009! We will be in booth 1018 and will be involved in several of the exciting things planned for the weekend, like the demonstration area and Color Me Crazy booth and we will be attending the Luminary Panel, Sock Hop and Opening Night Reception.

If you'll be attending Sock Summit, please stop by the booth and say hello. If you have one of our Unique Sheep buttons, or a button from one of our many clubs, wear it on your shirt or knitting bag-- that way we'll all be able to recognize each other! People are coming from all over the country and we can't wait to meet everyone.

Stephanie and Tina, the organizers of SS'09 have done so much to make this a fun event. And they keep announcing even more great "extras" to add to the fun. One of these is the Dyeing for Glory colorway contest. They have invited all of the dyers selling at SS'09 to come up with colorways inspired by the Sock Summit and there will be a vote towards the end of July. We had already created two new colorways inspired by the event, one is a Gradiance colorway and the other is a regular/single skein version, but this is a fun way to share them with others. We will be bringing a bunch with us to the show, of course, but if you want to make sure to get a skein for yourself we are accepting pre-orders for pick up at the show. If you aren't attending the show don't worry, the colorways will be available for sale on the website after SS'09 is over!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Big Shop Update at Eat. Sleep. Knit.

Eat. Sleep. Knit. just received a huge box of Unique Sheep yarn and has more on the way. Though we always appreciate your orders on our website, we also love it when you support our retail partners. Plus you are likely to receive your order much faster since its already been dyed and is ready to be packed and on its way!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Shipping Changes

We have just made a couple of small changes to our shipping policy. Canadians are now included in the free shipping over $40 offer. It doesn't cost much more to ship to our northern neighbors anyway. We've also increased our standard shipping cost for orders under $40 to $3.50 for all US/Canadian orders. We've had it set at $2.50 but it almost always costs us much more than that, especially when you factor in the envelopes and other packing material we use. Customers located outside of North America will still be charged the exact shipping cost in a separate paypal bill after we receive your order.

Speaking of shipping, have you ever wondered why you often receive your orders in parts? Its because Kelly and I actually live across the state from each other and so we only get together in person once every month or two. We each have our own colors so if you place an order with some skeins in Kelly's colors and some in my colors we each dye our separate parts and then usually ship them separately. If you are ever curious about whose colors are whose, look at the ballband. All of Laura's colors have an L in the dye lot number. The exceptions are roving and cotton or cotton/bamboo yarns. Laura dyes almost all of the roving and Kelly dyes all of the cotton and cotton/bamboo yarns, regardless of the color ordered! Its a little different, I know, but it works for us and allows us to be partners even though we live over an hour apart.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Look Who's Talking

We may have been quiet lately, but others having been talking about The Unique Sheep all over the internet! Ivy Reisner talked about the Ram Club and Fiber Fetish Club on her podcast (Knit Spirit) on May 29th and on her June 12th offers a contest to win a free kit for the first Fiber Fetish project (entries are due by June 24th). Lime & Violet reviewed the first Fiber Fetish Club shipment in Episode 89 of their podcast. And David at Sticks & String gave us a lovely mention of the Gradiance collection in show 104 of his podcast. We have been a bit blown away by all this attention! Have you heard us on any other podcasts or blogs? If so, we'd love to include links, so leave us a comment!

Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm

First, let me apologize for my lack of blog posting recently. The problem is that in order to blog, I have to take my hands out of the dye pots or away from the skein winder and lately I haven't had much opportunity to do that! Thanks to all of our wonderful customers we have been very busy lately! We've also been planning a little surprise in conjunction with Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm. Check out their blog to see all the details! And while you are there, make sure to take a look at their LambCam and all their great farm photos. The baby goats and sheep will melt your heart!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Serendipity Skeins

Sometimes we end up with a skein that isn't quite right. Maybe it only weighs 80g when its supposed to weigh 100g, or the color isn't exactly what we were going for (like that time I accidentally used blue instead of purple dye in a batch of Mystic Purple...). Or maybe the skein has a few knots in it. Often the yarn is perfectly usable, it just can't be sold as one of our regular skeins. So it ends up in the Serendipity box and these "irregular" skeins can be purchased at a discount price on our etsy shop.

I just added a bunch of new skeins to the listings and will be adding more over the next week. And remember, these great deals will not be repeated. So if you see something you like, buy it before someone else does!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Introducing...The Secret Garden Knitting Club

Join us as we walk along the hidden path and enter the Secret Garden. No one knows what waits inside, bit whispers of lace and hints of color becken us forward through the maze. Holding hands we'll venture forth, around each corner to see what lies beyond. What will you discover at the end of the path?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lovely Emma

Earlier this week the summer issue of Knotions, a free online knitting magazine, went live. And one of the many lovely designs featured is Emma. Emma is a light and lacy short sleeved cardigan knit out of Eos, our silk/merino lace weight yarn. When designer Janine le Cras first told me about her design my first reaction was "a sweater in lace weight yarn? really?" but then I stopped and actually thought about it. I love knitting lace and though I usually prefer fingering weight, Eos is fairly substantial for a lace weight. A lace shawl, my usual project, is a pretty large project when you consider the square footage. And finally, my least favorite part about sweaters are the sleeves. So really, a lace weight cardigan makes perfect sense. It is actually a smaller project than a shawl, doesn't have those pesky sleeves (the cute little cap sleeves can't possibly take much time to knit), and can you imagine how great it will feel during those hot hot summer days? Needless to say, I've already dyed up a skein of Eos for my own Emma. Won't you join me?

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Just in time for spring, I'm pleased to announce our newest crochet pattern, the elegant "Jane". Designer Jennifer Benson created "Jane" after her pattern "Miss Austin" was received with such enthusiasm. "Jane takes" less yarn (only two skeins of Tinsel Toes) and is faster to crochet than the full circle "Miss Austen", but has the same drape and sophisticated style.

Maryland Sheep and Wool Cont.

We want to make sure you figure The Unique Sheep into your festival budget, so here is a summary of what we will be bringing to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend.

We are sending a variety of single skein yarns in various colors. This will be a great
opportunity for people to try Unique Sheep yarn and use a base yarn that they may not have tried before. These skeins can be used for socks or other small projects.

We are sending a variety of kits:

--The Coffee Cozies always seem like a winner for an “end cap” or by the cash register. They are inexpensive and a quick knit. The colors are “Coffee House" (kinda like Starbucks colors :)) and Sinful- which looks just like a yummy latte.

--The Todos throw kits give a sampling of various yarn bases while using a simple lace pattern to knit a lovely blanket to show off in the Family Room.

--Todos scarf kits—another popular seller, and a mini version of the throw. This time the knitted result is a fun, textural scarf. This is the pattern that we used for our recent Knit-a-Long/ Purl-a-Long

--Crochet Baby Shoe—is hard to resist for those who have babies in their lives

--Crochet Adult Slippers—a quick project to keep the toes toasty.

--Crochet Baby cardigan—This is a crochet version of the famous “Baby Surprise Jacket”. It is a very fun project to make.

--Quatrefoil—a shrug that is perfect for this time of year! We have an updated pattern and some fun colors.

--Estonian Embrace—Estonian stitch work is HOT! There are 3 different cuff choices included in this pattern. There is enough yarn in the kit for most men’s sizes and these are made with Super Wool, so perfect for a house sock, a clog sock, or a boot sock. And they knit up fast!

--Lacey Yug—This shawl is incredibly easy to knit and can be done VERY quickly. It is a great option for those who want to knit a shawl as a “comfort” gift. I receive tons of compliments every time I wear mine.

--Into the Woods—We had the guys in mind when this pattern was developed. It features a very unique pattern stitch. (of course the ladies are welcome to make if for themselves :)) We included one in House Blend in a single colorway and 2 in Super Wool from yarns from our Gradiance Collection. The pattern also is written with instructions on when and how to change skeins for use with Gradiance sets.

The rest are things from our Gradiance Collection:

We have worked over the past year to develop pattern support and color options for this line of yarn that is exclusive to The Unique Sheep. .

--Gradiance Sock sets in Tinsel Toes, Sushi Sock, Verve and Luxe. These can be sold as yarn alone, or paired with our free Gradiance Sock patterns that explain how and when to change skeins. The Slipped Ridges patterns are available for people to purchase with Verve or Luxe. That pattern features leg and arch shaping and also explains how to use the Gradiance yarn sock sets.

--Gradiance Scarf kits- This simple lace scarf pattern was written to show people how to use the Gradiance sets and end up with a really fun scarf—since not everyone loves to knit socks! It also included Luxe, a merino/silk yarn base developed exclusively for The Unique Sheep.

--Syncopated Lace Shawl—this pattern is not for the faint-of-heart, but the resulting shawl is worth every stitch. A 16 page booklet with written instructions AND a 12 page booklet of charts is included in each kit.

--Lepidoptra—This pattern was designed by Laura and is a stunning use of our Gradiance Shawl sets.

--We have also included 11 Gradiance Shawl Sets in various fingering weight yarn bases. These are all 6- 50 gram skeins for a total of 300 grams of yarn. We have found that lots of shawl patterns call for about this amount of yarn and most of our shawl patterns are made with 300 grams of yarn. Other than Lepidoptra, we do not have a shawl pattern specifically written for Gradiance yarn, but an adventurous knitter could easily adapt these yarns to use with a shawl pattern of their choice. Just follow the instructions on our website.

Maryland Sheep and Wool

Its that time of year again, when knitters and spinners from all over the east coast trek to Maryland for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. And guess what? This year I'll be there too!! I (Laura) went for the first time a few years ago and loved it. Now this year a group of my knitting friends at Knit Picky Yarns is taking a bus up together. This means that we get to hang out and knit the whole way there!

And in case my presence isn't enough, our YARN will be there too! Once again Cloverhill Yarn Shop is filling their booth with yarn and fiber from over two dozen indie dyers and artisans (click the link to find out who). The list of names is impressive and we are honored to be listed amongst so many talented men and women. The booth is located in the Main Exhibition Hall D2 and D3 (click the link for a map of the fairgrounds). I won't be working at the booth, but I'll be stopping by to see how things are going and maybe giving the volunteers working there a break or two. And I'll be bringing samples! If you are going to be there and have a particular sample you'd like to see, just let me know and I'll add it to the suitcase.

Speaking of suitcases, I need to decide what to pack. And most importantly, which knitting projects I want to bring...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Introducing...Harbor Tweed

Have you ever noticed how some men can be such princesses when it comes to their feet? These socks are too scratchy, those don't fit right. The heels on these are two baggy, the toes on those too pointy. Though my husband appreciates any socks I knit for him, I'd never made a perfect pair until I knit this pattern for him. Finally, a sock that fits "just right".

Harbor Tweed was originally published as part of the Ram Club and was designed by Stitch Stud.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Introducing---Two New Colors for a Cause!

Here at The Unique Sheep we love our pets. Both of us spoil our dogs rotten and can't imagine our lives without them. And like any proud parents' we think that our dogs are the BEST dogs ever. And there is something special about our dogs. They were all rescued. My dog, Avi, was discovered by neighbors after a family moved away and left their dog and her brand new litter of puppies locked up in a small cage in the backyard. In February. In the snow. Now she lives a much more pampered life, though if you came for a visit she'd insist that we never fed her nor gave her any attention.

When I was coming up with my colorway, Unconditional, I thought about all the animals that have been part of my life. I thought of the brilliant blue eyes of the neighbor's Malamut that I befriended as a child and so I put in a bit of blue. Growing up my family had cats and several had the most beautiful orange coats, so in went some orange. Green was added for the eyes of those orange coated cats. All mixed in with a background of brown because regardless of the pet, mine always end up leaving muddy paw prints on my life!

Now I'll let Kelly tell you a bit about her pets and the inspiration behind her colorway, Rescued:

I found Bradly (aka: Lovey) wandering in the middle of a very busy street on the way to work one morning. I knew if I did not stop to try to help him, he would not make it. Luckily, he let me capture him, and off we went to the vet to make sure he was healthy enough to bring home. I figured we would foster him til his owners called for him, but after leaving a description at animal shelters in 4 ajoining counties and 5 area vets, no one claimed him, so he quickly became a permanent member of our family.

Last October we lost our beloved little Min Pin, Spike. We have been a two dog family for many years, and knew we would eventually get a new dog. Spike was a paid for "Blue Blood" and we loved him so much, but after bringing Bradley into our home, we knew any dog that followed would be a Rescue Dog. Our wonderful pet sitter told us about an adoption fair that Ruff Love Rescue was having on Valentine's Day. After watching 20-30 dogs run around the play arena, I picked out Sam (on the right). He is the perfect size for a playmate for Bradley. He is full of energy and has already adapted to his new home very well.

I came up with a Gradiance colorway that is almost a literal translation of the colors that are in the two amazing dogs we have. They both have a brindle coloring so the Gradiance transitions from brown to almost black. The red throughout represents the collar. (another color could be substituded for the red if you like).

These color ways will be part of our Yarns for a Cause collection, so half the proceeds from sales will go to local rescue organizations.

New Retail Partner

You can now find Unique Sheep Yarns at another great online yarn shop: Simply Socks! Simply Socks has JUST posted a bunch of our Gradiance Skein Sets and Gradiance Scarf Kits. You know what would make us feel REALLY good? If they sold out. Because then they would order even MORE Unique Sheep yarn, and we'd be one step closer to taking over the world and covering it in a huge, colorful pile of yarn.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shawl Sticks back in stock!

We finally have more shawl sticks in stock! We have everything except the Dual-Light and Star-Light which, for some reason, aren't available. We only got a few of each style/color in, though, so if you have been wanting one don't wait around. These go quickly!

Monday, March 23, 2009

NEW Men's Sock Pattern

Our first Ram Club sock pattern is now available for anyone to buy! The Toe Up Men's Work Sock with a Twist is a toe up sock perfect for wearing with boots because of its length and thickness. Though its knit with fingering weight yarn, you hold two strands together so that it knits up thick and quick! Its a basic enough style to pass the standards of most men, but with a neat zigzag design element on the side to add some interest. And one of the best things is that its written for men's shoe sizes 9-15. That's a HUGE range. The pattern lists the foot/calf measurements in case you aren't sure which shoe size you are.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Free Sock Patterns!

We have just posted two new FREE sock patterns for use with our Gradiance yarn sets. They are basic ribbed, top down socks, one is written for Verve and Luxe and the other is for Tinsel Toes and Sushi Socks, which are a bit thicker. Once you have knit one pair of socks using Gradiance yarns and these patterns, you can easily adapt any sock pattern for Gradiance yarns.

We will be adding patterns for men's and children's sizes, additional yarn bases and toe up versions as we get them tested.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Knitty Review

Guess who has been reviewed by the Knitty Roundtable? Earlier this year we sent in samples of Luxe to be reviewed by the Knitty Yarn Roundtable. This is a peer-review where they get a bunch of everyday knitters together, make up little balls of all the yarns sent in, and start knitting swatches. The reviews always seem to be pretty good, probably because instead of posting negative reviews they just don't include reviews of yarns that they don't like. So my fear was that when the Spring Knitty was posted, our yarn wouldn't be included. But there it is! With glowing reviews, even! We are SO honored to be listed among such high quality yarns on such a wonderful website. I still kind of can't believe it, and have to keep going back to the page to make sure I'm not dreaming the whole thing!

I promised Amy (the founder of Knitty) that next time we would send in a non-wool yarn so she can have a chance to play with it, too!

p.s. in case you are wondering, the colors in our photo are, from left to right, Beach Sunset, a Strength Gradiance set (one of our Colors for a Cause) and Moss.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Talented Young Designer

Best friend, designer, and teacher extraordinaire, Merike Saarniit, has been teaching her 10 year old neighbor to knit. Elizabeth took to knitting quite quickly and decided she wants to design just like her mentor. 

She came up with this idea:

Merike thought that the idea was good enough to enter the "Think Outside the Sox Contest", so she asked us to dye some yarns for the sock. Elizabeth won her age category! Scroll down the page and you will see.

We are so happy to be able to provide yarn for such talented designers. Someday we hope that Elizabeth will design a project just for us. :)

I have a feeling that will not be too far off, as these were Elizabeth's 2nd pair of socks OTN's. When she finished these she went home and made a pair of matching socks for her doll, with no help at all from Merike!

Congratualtions to Elizabeth and all the other contest winners.