About those packages….

There were some packages that were supposed to have been picked up and carried away last Thursday.  In reality, the packages were ready but the mail carrier never came around to take them.  I was not here for the carrier on Friday, but I put in another pick-up request for Saturday and still no pick-up.   So I put in yet another request for Monday, but this time I kept a close watch and stalked the mail carrier to ensure the packages were taken away.

Y’all know we had a hurricane a week ago Monday.   I got my power back later that same day.  The mail carrier on Monday told me the local postal station, which serves my ZIP code and a neighboring one, was still without power on Monday, so he was unable to scan the packages in.

I just checked and there is still no tracking available on the packages that were picked up on Monday.  If they had no electricity to power their scanners I’m pretty sure there was no power to automatically sort mail and packages and it was all being done by hand.

It is all very frustrating for me trying to send packages out, and I’m sure it is frustrating for other customers awaiting incoming mail and packages.  But even more, I can only image the frustration of the postal workers and mail carriers trying to do their jobs on the clock while also many of them don’t have power in their own homes.

One of my daughters finally got power back on Sunday night, and my other daughter got power back last night.

I just looked at the CenterPoint outage tracker.  There are currently over 51,000 customers STILL without power around the Houston metro area.  These are meters without power, but many of those meters are attached to homes with families and pets.    I suppose this is better than the 2.7 million customers without power right after the storm, but golly gee this is ridiculous.

Anyway, I just wanted to give an update on what’s happening with your yarns.  The sooner I give yarns to the mail carrier, the sooner those packages starting winding their way through the system, so I will still do my part to have packages ready for pick-up tomorrow as promised for the most recent collection of Blog Reader Specials.


It’s Been A Wild Year All Week!!

Happy Saturday all around!

As most folks may have heard, we had a hurricane come through on Monday.  I was without electricity from around 5:00 a.m. until late afternoon on Monday.  CenterPoint Energy is hoping to restore power to at least 80% of the Houston metro area by tomorrow — a whole week into this recovery!  I am thankful I got electricity back early this time, yet sad so many others are still without, including three of my children who live in the great metro area, one of whom also has solar panels and battery back-ups which for some reason also failed him.

Even though I do have power and water, it has been nearly impossible to order groceries or meals delivered.  I tried to order groceries on Wednesday, and the Instacart system tried to schedule me for delivery on Monday.   And (more relevant to my Knitivity customers) the mail systems were impacted, with packages and mail being delayed.  I have four yarn packages for which I put in a package pick-up request for Thursday, and the packages are still here.  I will try again on Monday.

I’m not a fan of Big Storms.  I had hoped Beryl would have remained aiming more toward the Texas-Mexico border area, but it turned almost directly toward Houston, mostly on the west side which put me quite firmly on the “dirty” side of the storm.  It is called the dirty side because it is where most of the winds and torrential rains occur.  It was just me and BigBoy in the trailer, and the noise was absolutely terrifying to me, with the trees whipping around beating the trailer, dropping branches and debris on the roof and all around, and generally creating an unpleasant time for me.  As we are always reminded in these storms, it’s not so much how the wind blows but what the wind blows.  I had my patio chairs and outdoor trash bins stacked and wedged next to the steps behind the porch.  The neighbors on the other side of the property had loads of stuff blown about, making the whole yard look like a disaster.

Anyway, the storm has passed, the yard mostly cleared, and I decided to dye some yarns last night, failing to realize today was forecast to have rain all day.  I prefer not to try photographing yarns in the yarn, but was able to catch a brief pause in the rain this morning and got a couple good pictures.

All of these are Phydlbitz Sock, dyed as Twinsets.  I didn’t have a particular theme in mind, but several came out looking like something from the Dark Forest (in a hauntingly pleasing way, of course) and others are a delightful mix of garden nursery displays. Or perhaps a children’s nursery.  Very lovely either way, in my opinion.   Several of the multi-color Twinsets would look terrific being knit in high-contrast vertical or diagonal stripes.

Twinset #540-541 is solid navy, but the rest are a variety of dye application techniques with multiple dyes on each Twinset.   I started Twinset #536-537 with a dipped brown, but for some reason my brown came up as a dark slate gray, so I topped that twinset with some gold ochre and sun yellow.

Phydlbitz Sock is normally $27.50 each skein, but when you claim any two or more of this new collection (BRS24 – #520 – 543) matching or not you may have them at $25.50 apiece on Saturday and Sunday.

To claim the ones you want just send me an email with your numbered requests. I’ll mark your requests off the Available Yarns tally chart shown below and then send you a PayPal invoice, which you can pay with a credit or debit card even if you don’t have a PayPal account.  If you are outside the U.S. please let me know so I can calculate your shipping costs.

Due to wet weather, it may take an extra day or two for this week’s yarns to dry and get reskeined and ready to ship.  Even so I hope to have these all ready to ship on or about Wednesday or Thursday.

Speaking of shipping costs, I noticed last week that all rates were increased on July 1, both domestic and international, so shipping will cost a little more.

Available Yarns
Rack 1 – 520, 521, 522, 523, 524, 525, 526, 527, 528, 529, 530, 531
Rack 2 – 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 537, 538, 539, 540, 541, 542, 543

Here Comes Beryl!

If you’ve been following the news you may have noticed Tropical Storm Beryl is coming to Houston tonight or tomorrow.  At one point it was a category 3 or 4 major hurricane out in the Caribbean, then it went over the Yucatan Peninsula and was downgraded to a Tropical Storm.  It is forecast to increase to a category 1 hurricane as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico before slamming into the Texas coast just southwest from Houston.  Far too close for comfort.

I knew the storm was coming, but hoped it would still take a more westerly route instead of arcing northward.   I also knew I had more Phydlbitz Sock yarns coming (they arrived yesterday afternoon, btw) but I didn’t want to be dyeing during a storm.  So I finally collected all the once-posted Phydlbitz Sock yarns that weren’t re-uploaded with the big Website Disaster a couple months ago.  Shown below are those  yarns, which I laid out and sorted for reposting.

I would really love to see these and all the other yarns on the Blog Reader Specials page to be adopted to find new homes and new projects.   So, for now, through Tuesday, everything on the BRS page will be invoiced at 20% off.

I am hoping we will not lose power this time, but I am able to edit the BRS page as claims are made, prepare invoices, and do most of what I need to do at this end, thanks to my new phone and better access.  But if the power is out I can’t print packing slips or shipping labels — my phone is not connected to my printer.  I hope to pack and ship all requests by Thursday.   I will, of course, update here on this page as well as on Facebook any status updates that may be needed, in case power does go out.

Back to Cones

I just put in an order for more Phydlbitz Sock coned yarn.  I really prefer the pre-made hanks as they are easier for me to prepare for dyeing, but the price difference between the cones and the hanks is such that I can more easily afford the cones.   Oh well, it is what it is, and it is the same yarn from the same mill.

The issue this week is that Thursday is a federal holiday and I don’t know if UPS will deliver by Saturday.  I could either fret about it, or make up my mind to reject the stress and do something different this weekend.  Considering Hurricane Beryl is already formed and aiming for somewhere in the Gulf, I have enough stress for the week.  Honestly, based on what I’ve seen and read, it will most likely hit the east coast of Mexico, but since it is already Category 5, there will likely be rain bands up  as high as Houston, creating a bit of a mess.

So, once I get the current BRS collection processed, I can finish reposting allllll the unpost previous Blog Reader Specials yarn and have a big holiday Empty The Bins sale.  And hope the storm avoids Houston.  And further hope my holiday sale discounts are enough to cover the bills due next week.  🙂

Well, That’s a Surprise!

Happy Sunday!

I started last night’s dye session with the idea I wanted to try a cool gray, a warm gray, and a French gray.  These are colors in my big collection of Prismacolor color pencils, with (if I remember correctly) 5 gradients in each range, from 20% to 100% saturation in each.   I know that cool gray leans toward blues, warm gray leans toward reds, and French gray leans toward browns/neutrals.

Obviously I don’t have computerized color/dye matching or a huge manufacturing plant; I could not hope to create the correct proportions for those gradient saturations in each range.  But I could try mixing my base gray with “just a smidge” of a primary blue, a primary red, or brown.  Apparently what I considered a smidge turned out to be quite overpowering so I ended up with a slightly grayed blue, slightly grayed red, and slightly grayed brown.   UGH!  Not at all what I wanted.   Next time (if I grant myself another attempt) I will have to increase the gray by a factor of three or four, and reduce the add-in colors to barely a hint or suggestion.    However, Twinset #498-499 is almost the French gray I was hoping for, even though it is still more brown than I’d like.

Even with my disappointment in the grays, I think all of this week’s Twinsets came out pretty good overall.   Twinset #496-497 in particular reminds me of a partly cloudy sky over a meadow in full  riotous bloom.  Similar meadow colors appear in #506-507 and #512-513. Twinset #502-503 is a straight gray fade.

All of these are on Phydlbitz Sock, and would normally be $27.50 on the Blog Reader Specials page, but for today and tomorrow (Sunday and Monday) you can claim any two or more, matching or not for $25.50 each skein.

To claim the ones you want just send me an email with your requests.  I’ll mark your requests off the Available Yarns tally chart below and then send you a PayPal invoice.  Even if you don’t have a PayPal account, they can process your credit or debit cards, and they collect your shipping information to expedite the shipping process. Upon payment I will prepare and print your shipping label right away, so that when the yarns are fully dried and reskeined, I can ship without delay.    I expect this week’s collection to be ready to ship on or about Thursday Friday of this week.  (I forgot that Thursday will be a postal holiday.)

Available Yarns
Rack 1 – 496, 497, 498, 499, 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 507
Rack 2 – 508, 509, 510, 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519

Picture of hand-dyed yarns drying on the rack.Picture of hand-dyed yarns drying on the rack.

I Grapely Appreciate You

This Trio is now sold.

Recently I was asked to create a custom-dyed set of Phydlbitz Sock in an amethyst color, but with lights and darks similar to all the array shown on a cut or faceted stone.  So that’s what I did.

And since I had so much extra dye prepared, and some extra yarns ready in case I needed them, I decided to make some extra purple skeins.

These were all dyed as individual skeins, so they are NOT Twinsets and can’t be sold with a Twinset claim.  But they were all dyed the same day with the same batch of dye.

Normally, Phydlbitz Sock is $27.50 per skein, and would be $82.50 if bought normally.  BUT if you email me and ask for the Grape-ish Trio I will let you have them for $70.00 as a bundle, plus normal shipping/handling.   🙂


A New Array of Color!

Happy Monday, Everyone

I don’t know where you are but in Houston it is hot.  Just plain hot.  I saw a meme this morning that said, “Remember to drink lots of water and stay indoors between 11:00a.m. and November 1.”  Yeah, for real.   And I’m of an age and condition where I need to seriously pay attention to air quality warnings, pollen warnings, and all the rest.

So I take my morning walks as early as I can.  If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know I carry dog biscuits to feed the friendly dogs along the way.  Today I set out with a pocket full of treats, and didn’t see a single dog anywhere on my route; none of my regulars and not even a wandering stray.  And it was barely 8:00a.m., so I guess they’re already all staying cool somewhere.

Anyway, I hope all of you are staying healthy and protected from the heat.

Last night I dyed up another collection of Blog Reader Specials, all on Phydlbitz Sock (75/25 Superwash Corriedale/Nylon, 430 yards).

As is my custom, these were all dyed as Twinsets, to allow for larger-than-socks projects, but a single skein is more than adequate for an average  pair of adult socks, although knee-highs would need both skeins of a matched Twinset.   My Twinsets aren’t always identical twins, although I do try to make them as similar as I can.  And to ensure you can see all the colors within a Twinset, I will twist the bottoms on the rotate as well as rotate one skein of each pair.  I hope this helps.

When I hang the yarns to dry in this manner, I do try to make sure each Twinset is different from its neighbors on either side, but don’t normally try to show off any particular Twinsets.  This time, however, I put Twinset #483-484 deliberately next to #485-486 — there’s just something striking to me about the apparent orange and apparent purple.  I say “apparent” because both of these Twinsets were made by layering multiple colors, repeatedly dipping into one and then another color to create the end result.   Actually the colors layered in #483-484 are the same colors that were segmented for Twinset #469-470.

While part of me feels like I’m getting (almost) too old for this sort of work, I am pretty sure I could go several more decades before running out of ways to make new combinations.  Other dyers like to create a stable of special repeatable colorways, I prefer playing with colors and discovering new things each week so there is always something new to inspire your knitting and crocheting adventures.

Phydlbitz Sock is normally $27.50 each skein, but for Monday you may claim any two or more skeins, matching or not, for just $25.50 apiece.

To claim the ones you want just send me an email with your requests.  I’ll mark your requests off the Available Yarns tally chart below and then send you a PayPal invoice.  Upon payment I will prepare and print your shipping label right away, so that when the yarns are fully dried and reskeined, I can ship without delay.    I expect this week’s collection to be ready to ship on or about Thursday or Friday of this week.

Available Yarns
Rack 1:   469, 470, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475, 476, 477, 478, 479, 480
Rack 2:  481, 482, 483, 484, 485, 486, 487, 488, 489, 490, 491, 492

Contrast or Coordinating?

I am giving this week to creating 3-skein combinations of previously shown Phydlbitz Sock.   These yarns need to be sold, I need them to be sold, and yarns yet to be dyed need the previously dyed yarns to be sold.

So, I’m wondering — should I lean toward coordinating colors (like  various greens or blues), or should I lean toward pleasant contrasts?

And, should I make them as 3-skein bundles or show them merely as suggestions for people to make their own combinations?

Jewel tones, Confetti, and More

What a month it has been.   Last weekend I talked about the long power outage and the interruptions it caused.  This Tuesday I went to see my endocrinologist (no big deal, regular check-in) and came home expecting to finish reskeining last week’s dyes.  Instead, I got to wait out another power outage, but it was only about 5 hours or so.  And another storm on Wednesday knocked power out again for a couple hours.   I am SOOOO over this nonsense, but it is Texas and (apparently) Texas does power outages.  UGH.

As a result of the long outage from the 16th, my daughter’s mother-in-law was kind enough to have a spare back-up phone charger.   It was enough to recharge my phone 3 more times before I drained it out, but that was enough to last until power came back.   I liked it so much I went and got myself two more of the same model, so I will not fear running out of phone battery quite so much.  They arrived Thursday morning and they are now both charged and ready for the next outage.   

I can’t tell anyone what to buy, but I bought the INIU brand, which was marked as an Amazon Choice, and they were under $35.00 each.  If you’re in an area prone to various natural disasters and weather events, I recommend having back-up power banks for your devices.  

Onward to newly dyed yarns!

I went into yesterday’s dye session wondering how to use the colors available.  I knew I wanted mostly darks, but in order to highlight darks there needs to be some lights for contrast.  I ended up doing a few Jewel Tones, and some Confetti  dyes, as well as some that remind me of Mountain Fog and Forest Floor.  None of these descriptors identifies a specific color but rather they suggest the myriad colors that can be embraced by those descriptors, if that makes sense.

One Twinset in particular (#435-436) practically screams “Autumn Shawl” or “Harvest Socks”.    It was dyed in a Confetti technique, as were #423-424, 429-430, and 439-440.  These won’t easily pool or stripe, but should present a sprinkling of color when knit up.

The rest were dyed in either a pouring or a dipping method, each with multiple colors being layered one over another.

These are all  Phydlbitz Sock (75/25 Superwash Corriedale/Nylon, 430 yards each), and normally sell for $27.50 each.  For this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) you can claim any two or more (matching or not) for just $25.50 each.   And when you claim any two or more from this week’s collection (#421 – 444), you can also claim any number of previously posted Blog Reader Specials for the same price.

To claim the ones you want, send me an email (ray@knitivity.com) with your requests.  I’ll first mark them off from the Available Yarns chart below and then I will send you a PayPal invoice with your pricing discount calculated.

I expect to have these ready to ship Wednesday or Thursday.

Available Yarns
Rack 1 – 421, 422, 423, 424, 425, 426, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432
Rack 2 – 433, 434, 435, 436, 437, 438, 439, 440, 441, 442, 443, 444

Picture of handdyed yarns drying on rack

Picture of handdyed yarns drying on rack

Such Inspiring Dyes This Week!

Wow, this has been a wild month! Early in the month I had some health issues requiring extra expenses, ending with a colonoscopy on the 14th.  (No sign of cancer, but other issues going on as my innards rebel against me as I age.)  As I was getting my system back into sync, southeast Texas experienced a freak powerful storm on the 16th, with winds reported over 100mph, wreaking havoc across the region. I’m guessing it was reported on the news in other places. I lost power Thursday early evening, as did most of the greater Houston area.

I sat in the dark, no electricity until Monday afternoon. I lost most of my food and all my refrigerated insulin as a result.  (Thankfully the pharmacy is replacing the insulin Friday afternoon, but I still have to pay for the replacement — eek!) Then I discovered my Internet provider was also wiped out by the storm. At the time of this writing (Wednesday afternoon) I still don’t have internet access, but I’ve been promised it should be up this evening. I guess if I am able to prepare this mailing and send it out, it means I have Internet access. We shall see.

Meanwhile, I’m putting time into preparing yarns to be dyed tomorrow (Thursday) and shown to you on Friday.


It is now Friday morning.   I finally got Internet access Wednesday evening, got yarns dyed up yesterday, and after the wash-and-rinse this morning, I am really excited by many of this week’s dye jobs!

Knowing I had many techniques to choose from, I decided to combine several techniques, and I am thrilled with the results.  I could not have created these exact combinations if I had tried!  And, as you know, I don’t really take notes or attempt to duplicate colorways repeatedly.  I tried that long ago, and for me and for my available resources (workspace and conditions), it just doesn’t work.

Several Twinsets came out looking “Deep Woodsy/Mysterious”, such as Twinsets #397-398, 405-406, and 413-414.   Others look to me more like “Fairies in the Meadow” sort of colors, as on #403-404 and 419-420.   And still others were dyed in layers of softer colors, overlaid with darker splatterings in various ways.

I do know that Twinset #411-412 might look a sort of purple, it is actually a blackened red — think “regal velvet”, perhaps?

These are all Phydlbitz Sock yarn, 75/25 Superwash Corriedale/Nylon, 430 yards each.   These are normally $27.50 apiece, but for Friday and Saturday, you can claim any matching Twinset for $25.00 each skein.

To claim the ones you want, just send me an email with your requests.  I will mark your requests off from the Available Yarns tally chart first, then prepare your PayPal invoice.  Upon payment I will purchase and prepare your shipping label so when this week’s yarns are dried and process, they can ship right away.

Monday is a mail holiday, and I will be in clinic on Tuesday, so I expect to ship these yarns either Tuesday afternoon or on Wednesday, weather pending.

Available Yarns: 
Rack 1 – 397, 398, 399, 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 408
Rack 2 – 409, 410, 411, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420

Picture of hand-dyed yarns drying on the rack.

Picture of hand-dyed yarns drying on the rack.