Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Knitter's Christmas Eve

This holiday season would not be complete without the A Knitter's Christmas Eve, a poem by Nancy Massaroni that has been circulating among knitters for a number of years. As you read this poem, expect a chuckle, as it will all sound way too familiar. 
So enjoy a quick break....and then get back to work!!

A Knitter's Christmas Eve poem
by Nancy Massaroni, 2009

’Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
There was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney with care
’Cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep—he was no help at all.
And the sweater for him was six sizes too small.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash.
Tripped over my yarn and fell down in my stash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how far I still had to go.
When out on the lawn I heard such a noise,
I was sure it would wake up both Dad and the boys.
And although I was tired and my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nic.
Yet what I heard left me very perplex-ed
For nothing I heard was what I expect-ed.
"Move Rowan! Move Patons! Move Koigu and Clover!
Move Shelridge! Move Starmore! Move Spinrite! Move over!
Lopi, don’t circle around, just stand there in line.
Pay attention you sheep and you’ll work out just fine!
I know this is hard, as it’s just your first year,
But I’d hate to go back to 8 tiny reindeer."
I peered over the sill.What I saw was amazing!
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing!
And then in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa’s big boots stomping on the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet.
As I turned around, St Nic I did meet.
He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe
And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.
A bright Fair Isle sweater he wore on his back,
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran sack.
His hat was a wonder of bobbles and lace,
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf on his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
On the back of his mitts was an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I spotted a small label:
"S.C." in duplicate on the cuff.
So I asked, "Hey, Nic, did YOU knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a well-dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I’d thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.
He spoke not a word, but looked down in his lap
Where I had laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He began then to knit, first one cap then two.
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks,
While I sat back drinking a scotch on the rocks.
Quickly like magic his needles they flew,
Good Grief! He was finished by two!
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me.
I heard him explain as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year, start your knitting sometime around JUNE!"

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Zodiac Club Art Experiments

Has anyone used the set of art supplies from the July shipment to explore their creative side, yet? I've been playing around with the mini canvases a bit. I love their size because you can experiment with a technique or an idea without getting overwhelmed with the project. Forewarning: I haven't had an art class since I was in grade school and even then I usually stuck to sculpting or something else that didn't involved canvas and paint. I'm posting these photos not to show how good or bad of an artist I am, but to share with you the fun I've been having exploring a new (to me) form of art!

First I decided to stick with a subject that is really familiar to me-- the Unique Sheep logo. Normally I use watercolor pencils, regular drawing paper and black ink pen for our logos. For this experiment I used the logo I'm familiar with but used a canvas-paper and gauche paints. Gauche paints are really interesting to work with because they are thick and opaque like acrylic but they are actually a type of water color so if you dip your brush in water you can blend the colors on the page. To me, though, it still feels more like painting with acrylics and feels some what restricting. I do like that with gauche you can do a watercolor like blended background and then use the undiluted, opaque paint to do layers on top -- like the little swirls of color on my sheep. That is definitely a technique worth exploring more. I like how my sheep's body turned out but there is something "off" about her head.

 My second attempt was a medium I'm a bit more familiar with- water color- but a new subject, a portion of the view out the window of my family room. I used watercolor paper and one of those little children's sets of watercolors with 8 or so little slabs of color lined up in a plastic case. I think I would enjoy doing watercolors-- I like the freedom and the way the colors move in the water. Its a LOT like dyeing yarn, only you have to try to make a picture, not just a pretty color. I think I'd like to get a better set of watercolor paints and learn how to use them properly. Overall I'm pleased with how this little painting turned out, given the limitations of my supplies.

I've hung both of my little paintings on our refrigerator, with pride! We don't have kids yet so we rarely have colorful drawings on our fridge, unless we are honored with a gift from a friend, so its nice to brighten it up a bit!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival

Come check out our booth at the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival this weekend in Lexington, KY. We'll be in the "big top" tent with a booth full of Gradiance sets! It looks like it should be a beautiful, spring weekend here in Kentucky and we hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Knitty pattern "Now in a Minute" by Brenda Dayne

The new Knitty "Surprise!" patterns are up and, guess what? One of them uses Unique Sheep yarn! We were so honored when Brenda Dayne asked us to use our yarn and the shawl she designed for it, "Now in a Minute" is a perfect match for our Gradiance collection. It is elegant and feminine without being too overtly lacey, and since most of it is in a simple stockinette stitch pattern its a great option for chatty Knit Nights, travel knitting or sitting-on-the-back-porch-sipping-a-lemonade-and-soaking-in-the-sun-knitting.

This pattern requires 150g of fingering weight yarn (Brenda uses Luxe) in any of our Gradiance colorways. Brenda collaborated with Kelly to create the new colorway "Enfys" for this pattern.

p.s. if the link to the pattern doesn't open immediately, try again later. The Knitty website has a tendency to get a bit overwhelmed by the initial burst of people visiting the site when they announce new patterns!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

New Website/Old Coupons

I haven't finished transferring all of the old coupon codes to the new website/shopping cart which means that if you have a coupon code, our new website might not accept it. But do not worry--- your coupon is still good! Just email me at and let me know you are ready to use the coupon and I'll re-issue it using the new software.

New Website!

The new website is live! We have been working on this for months and are so excited to be able to finally unveil it! We tried to keep the ordering process very similar to the old website to make the transition easier. We added several new features which we think you will enjoy:

  • PDF purchases will now be sent immediately and automatically
  • You shopping cart summary is always visible in the green column at the right to make it easier for you to update your cart
  • You can create an account and log in to check on the status of your order and review past orders. 
The biggest improvement has been in how our Search bar functions. The search box is always present at the top of the green column. We have added a lot of new photos to the site and the search bar is the best way to explore them. To see photographs of a certain colorway on several different base yarns and even examples of it knit up, simply type in the colorway name in the search bar. Give it a try yourself- for example, search for "silverlode" to see eight different photos of this colorway on different yarn bases and 4 photos of it knit up. We will be adding more and more photos to the site in the future to give you more examples of our colors on different bases, as different sized sets,  and knit up into projects.

Have some fun and do a bit of exploring. If you find any broken links or mistakes please let us know! Our goal is to make our website as easy to use and helpful as possible so please let us know if you have trouble with any part of it!

Most of the credit for this project goes to Leanne Mitton, our very patient and always helpful web designer. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Website Changes

We will be revealing the new website this weekend (!!!) which means that there may be a brief period of time when the website is unavailable while we switch things over. Thank you for your patience while we make this change. We think you'll like the new website. Once its uploaded I'll post again telling you all about the new features!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Wow- Laura and I just celebrated 5 years together as "Your Unique Sheep dyers"! I may sound like a broken record at the beginning of each New Year, but I am still so happy to be partners with such an amazingly talented, intelligent and beautiful person. I feel like I have to say it publicly, at least once a year.

We are also very lucky to be able to work with great designers. Every time a designer decides to use our yarn in one of their projects it gives me a happy shiver. Somehow they always make our yarn look better in a finished object than it does just laying in the skeins. So thanks to Janine, Laurel, Merike, Julia, Susan and many others who have joined our design flock.

We are always happy to hear from people who want to carry our yarn in their online and/or bricks and mortar retail shops. If you do not see your LYS on this page, then tell them about Unique Sheep. If they already carry our yarns, but are not listed, let us know and we will update our site right away. A special Thank You to Ellen at Earthfaire, who has partnered with us for almost all of our Mystery KAL's and provided beautiful beads to go with our yarn and patterns. Ellen also carries a large selection of Signature Colorways, only available through Earthfaire.

The biggest Thank You to all of our customers. Take a look on the Ravelry pages to see many of the projects you have all stitched using Unique Sheep yarns. Every time I visit that page I am delighted to know that you trusted us enough to buy our yarns and stitch them up into finished garments. We hope you enjoy using our yarns as much as we love dyeing them for you:)

May 2013 bring all of your Peace, Joy and lots of Love.