My indigodragonfly Obsession: The Greatest Love of All

Regular readers of this blog will recognize the name indigodragonfly. If I’m posting about something I’ve knitted, 9 times out of 10 it’s out of indigodragonfly yarn. If you’re a careful reader of this blog and read the captions on my photos you’ll know that part of the appeal is the creative and often hilarious colorway names. Names like “Zen and the Art of Clown Disposal,” “Pastor of Muppets,”and “A Thin Line Between Love and Batteries” are enough to keep me interested. It’s not enough to keep me knitting though – THAT requires much more than just side-splitting creativity with names.

The yarn is a dream to knit with. ALL of it is. I have knit with 13 different bases from this dyer and they have all instantly become my new favorite yarn. It’s a little awkward having that many favorites, but I’ve learned to deal with it. There are 16 more bases in my stash that I haven’t tried yet, so that problem is only going to get worse.

They dye the most amazing colors too. Seriously, I have a TON of hand-dyed yarn in my stash, but the most complex, deep, knit-friendly, can-always-count-on-it-not-to-pool-unexpectedly yarn is always indigodragonfly. And the range of colors is marvelous! They manage to make me like colors that I thought I hated, and any time I’ve been dreaming up a project that needs more than one color they always seem to have the perfect combination in their dyepots. It’s almost creepy how they do that. It’s like they’re psychic.

It’s not just the names and the fact that the yarn itself is like crack for your hands and eyes, it’s the dyers themselves too. Kim and Ron are wonderful people! I want to support them as much as possible. Besides just the general awesomeness that radiates from them, they also have THE BEST customer service I have encountered in the indie hand-dyer business. I’ve bought direct from eight other indie hand-dyers online, and it’s not that the others have been terrible (though a couple of them have), but ordering from indigodragonfly is so much more fun. When things (rarely) go awry, they are really good about communicating with the customers and letting us know what’s going on and when things can be expected to be fixed. They are the standard by which I measure all other businesses.

As a result of all that, any time I have needed yarn for a project my first thought has always been indigodragonfly. Any time I wanted a particular color I knew exactly which one would fit the bill, and it is always an indigodragonfly color. It’s only been two years since I stumbled upon their booth at the Sock Summit, but since then pretty much all of my disposable income has been spent on indigodragonfly yarn.

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This is my entire indigodragonfly stash. Isn’t it beautiful? Let’s marvel at it from several different angles.

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Are you done marveling? Yeah, me neither. Go ahead and finish reading this post anyway, I promise the pictures will still be there when you scroll up again.

“That’s a LOT of yarn,” some of you might be saying. “That’s WAY TOO MUCH yarn,” more of you might be declaring. I can assure you, it’s not nearly enough. This yarn is addictive. You can’t just knit one skein. I can’t even manage to knit one skein at a time. Look at all the indigodragonfly WIPs I have going right now.

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That’s two shawls, a pair of mittens, a cowl, a hat (now finished), and a bunch of hexipuffs.

“Wow, that’s FIVE WIPs!” some of you might be gasping. “Wow, that’s five WIPs,” some of you may be scoffing while glancing over at your own WIP mountain comprising 20+ projects. To both of you I say, “I KNOW.” ‘Cause either way you slice it, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re in the “that’s not enough WIPs” camp I can assure you, the only reason there are so few WIPs is because I tend to finish my indigodragonfly projects as quickly as possible. If you’re in the “that’s way too many WIPs” camp, you’re about to think I’m a robot programmed to knit 24/7. Here are all of my indigodragonfly FOs:

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That’s 8 shawls (one of them is even crocheted!), 4 cowls, 2 hats, 2 pairs of fingerless mitts, 1 pair of gloves, 1 pair of socks, and a headphone whale. Not pictured are the pair of fingerless mitts that were stolen last year and a shawl I gave away to an ailing family member. Usually I only give away my indigodragonfly FOs to people I see every day so I can still pull out the knits and pet them when they aren’t looking, but that one was a special case.

So, just to reiterate, that’s 21 FOs in only two years! Or another way to look at it is 35 skeins in two years. At that rate, I only have enough indigodragonfly yarn left to last me four years! We’re not talking SABLE here (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy), this is actually a pretty modest collection based on my indigodragonfly consumption rate. And from what I’ve seen on Ravelry, I’m not even that rabid of a customer. There are others with indigodragonfly stashes that surpass mine, and they seem to knit from it at approximately the same rate.

The reason I’m showing you all of this is so you can understand the sheer volume of skeins Kim and Ron must have to dye in order to keep up with their voracious customers. Now imagine doing all of that dyeing without a studio. For the past four years, that’s what they’ve been doing. All of that dyeing has been accomplished in their kitchen – you know, the kind that was built to make food for a couple of people. It’s getting uncomfortable. They would like to eat sometimes, and maybe walk through their living room without having to play Mission Impossible as they navigate over, under, and around all the yarn that has taken over their house.

They need a studio. Their sanity, and the sanity of all of those who depend on their crack – I mean yarn – supply depends on it. To that end, they have begun an Indiegogo campaign!

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They have AMAZING perks too, like a project bag (if it’s anything like their club project bags, I can tell you they’re awesome!), yarn in an exclusive thank-you-for-helping-us-build-our-studio colorway, and membership in a brand new fiber club! I’m not even a spinner yet and I’m drooling over the prospect of a fiber club.

These perks are so amazing that I’m sort of dying on the inside because I can’t have any. You see, all of that glorious stash was acquired back when I was employed. Now I only have 69 cents in my bank account and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I’m not just sad because I can’t get in on the fiber club (oh god, there’s a fiber club), I’m more upset that I can’t help them reach their goal. They’re so close! Maybe some of you can help them out for me? If you don’t knit or don’t particularly care for the perks I know someone you could send them to *nudge, wink*. And if you enjoy reading this blog, you may want to consider helping them out so that I can continue writing, ’cause if the indigodragonfly supply dries up it would end me. 

Minions, assemble! I need you, indigodragonfly needs you, THE WORLD needs you!

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Podcast Roundup

As a crafter, my hands and my eyes are frequently occupied. If I want entertainment while I work, it has to be consumed with my ears. Sometimes this takes the form of re-watching old shows on Netflix that I really don’t have to pay attention to. Sometimes I listen to music. If I’m craving something more in-depth though, I listen to podcasts.

I’m sort of new to podcasts. I didn’t really know what they were until about a year ago, and then it took me a while to really get on board with the idea. Now I’m sold. They’re awesome. Well, okay, I’m making that statement based on very little information so far, but I’m pretty sure it’ll hold up under scrutiny.

So far I have only listened to two podcasts, but I started both from the very beginning so I’ve had quite a bit of material to listen to.

For my knitting fix I listen to Cast On with Brenda Dayne. It’s a truly captivating podcast about knitting…but also about much more than knitting. It wasn’t until I was half-way through the archives that I realized it’s classified as “philosophy” and that sounds about right. It’s Brenda Dayne laying out her philosophy of art, knitting, life, the universe, and everything. It’s sort of like a really long artist’s statement, but without a single hint of pretension. Listening to Cast On makes me feel like what I do means something.

You don’t have to start listening from the beginning like I did, but if you do it’s almost like listening to a modern history of knitting. The podcast started in 2005, when Ravelry was just an idea, and SO MUCH has happened in the knitting world since then. Brenda captured it all, as it happened. It’s really cool to listen to the story of how our knitting culture became what it is today and to know that this podcast was part of that.

For my drama/horror/story fix I listen to We’re Alive. It’s a zombie story. I like zombies. Well,  actually I’m terrified of zombies, but I sort of like my stories with a side of terror, so I like zombie stories. It’s not top-notch writing, but it’s entertaining. The only thing it’s really missing for me is more character development, but it’s got plenty of action going on to keep it interesting. What really makes this podcast stand out for me is how it’s done…it’s not like an audiobook. There isn’t one person reading from a book and maybe doing some different voices for each character. It has a full cast of characters acting out the parts, with lots of sound effects to add to the story! It’s sort of like an old-timey radio drama produced with modern technology.

These two podcasts have been all I needed to entertain me while my eyes and hands were occupied. Until now. Last night I ran out of podcasts. The last podcast from Cast On was in April, and there’s no telling when there will be another. Brenda travels a lot to teach and such and I know she had a new series planned, but she’s a perfectionist so it may be a bit before she feels it’s ready to be released to the world. I can relate. We’re Alive will start its final season on August 26th, so it will be here soon, but it’s not here NOW.

I have to find something else to listen to.

For starters I’m going to check out Welcome to Night Vale. A Welcome to Night Vale fandom has appeared seemingly out of nowhere on Tumblr. Several of my friends on Facebook (who have very good taste in entertainment) have been mentioning it in their statuses. A LOT. One of them even started a Night Vale ask blog on Tumblr. One thing I’ve learned about the internet, is that if something has a fandom it is probably worth checking out. People don’t get that excited about something if it’s absolute crap.

I listened to the first podcast last night and it was…weird. But the best kind of weird. It was all surrealist-absurdist-eldritch-horror-ish, which are all adjectives that I LOVE. I suspect I will be joining this fandom soon.

All of these podcasts are going in my sidebar of useful links, because I certainly find them useful for my workflow.

The Welcome to Night Vale podcasts are only about 20 min. each though, so I’m looking for more recommendations. What do you listen to while you work?