I’ve been rather quiet for a while, but that’s because I’ve been busy with my lovely business partner Jo (aka Shinybees), with The Golden Skein.
We are commissioning independent hand dyers, from around the world, to create colourways for us from inspiration pictures and then retailing them in yarn clubs to limited numbers. Some of the dyers may be know to you but many will be entirely new. We hope to introduce talented dyers to a wider audience, as well as have lots of fun sharing pattern ideas and pictures of projects with existing and potential club members.
At the moment, we have just the 2 clubs up and running: The Power of 3 Club, which sends 3 skeins a quarter to members, each dyed by different dyers to the same inspiration picture; and The Slimmers’ Club which is just 1 skein from 1 of the dyers in the Power of 3 Club, designed for those on a yarn diet or who are a little short of cash, but don’t want to miss out on the excitement and fun of it all. We also hope to run The Small Flockers Club and the 837 Miles Club.
I’m pleased to say that sign ups are open and going well. All clubs are limited edition and the yarns are non-repeatable. Our post out dates are 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December and you can sign up for 1, 2, 3 or all 4 quarters.
These are the pictures which we will be using for Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter 2014.
Spring: Tornado GR4 over London, form UK Ministry of Defence on Flickr
Summer: Harvest by Lorna Rande on Flickr
Autumn: Harvest by Tom on Flickr
Winter: Celebration by Yihan on Flickr (used with kind permission)
We ran the Trial Club to make sure that everything worked properly and, barring a few website glitches, all went well – Phew! There was so much excitement and we were very pleased (not to mention mightily relieved) that our yarn club was well received. The excitement and chatter over on our Ravelry group was fabulous. Thank you so much ladies for being so enthusiastic and fun.
This is the inspiration picture for the Trial club, which was used with the kind permission of Nick Ford.
Happy New Decade, by Nick Ford
And here is what our fabulous dyers produced, 3 fabulously different skeins of yarn:
This first to arrive at TGS headquarters, way back in September, was Nurturing Fibre’s 100% merino in a colourway named “Golden Dawn”. You can read about Carlé and her experience dyeing for TGS here. Carlé hand delivered the yarn all the way from South Africa. OK, that wasn’t quite as extreme as it sounds, Carlé was lucky enough to be doing a small tour of Europe and met me one evening for supper. I don’t think the staff of Pizza Express had ever seen so much yarn. At on point we had Carlé’s whole new season of colours covering the table top!
“Golden Dawn”, dyed by Nurturing Fibres
for the TGS Trial Club
Next to arrive was Sparkleduck‘s “And The Clouds Began to Break” which arrived by post and was surprisingly different from Carlé’s – this was very exciting! This yarn is a luxurious 55% wool and 45% silk. You can read all about Heather’s dyeing inspiration here.
“And the Clouds Began to Break” dyed by Sparkleduck for the TGS Trial Club
And last, buy by no means least, For The Love of Yarn‘s “Walk of Tranquility” arrived. I didn’t get to see this yarn in the flesh (so to speak) until the club members did. Jo sent me one skein at the same time as she sent out all the TGS club parcels. It was very exciting to see the package arrive. I’d seen pictures of the packaging but didn’t really know how lovely it was till it arrived in the post. The golden mailers really add to the excitement. Lisa wrote something for us too about her dyeing process. You can read it here. This yarn is very squishy, or “smooshy” as Jo calls it, because it is 80% merino superwash with 20% bamboo.
“Walk of Tranquillity” dyed by For the Love of Yarn for the TGS Trial Club
I can’t wait to see what our next 3 dyers come up with for the first quarters of The Power of 3Yarn Club and the Slimmers’ Club from the fabulous photo of a Tornado over London. Just look at all those silvers and greys and then there’s all the tiny flecks of colours on the ground, which should make for some interesting effects. I’m sure we’re going to get 3 stunning Golden Skeins. The first yarn will be arriving next week and I’m getting over excited already!!
If you’d like to know what it’s like to be a member of a Golden Skein yarn club, then take a look at these blogs and podcasts from those lucky enough to take part in the Trial Club. I’ll be posting again soon (OK you probably know by now that it may be a while) about the projects I made with my 3 yarns.
Blogs from trial club members:
The wonderful Shoe wrote on her Sparkly Shoes are Faster blog
The fabulous Martine wrote “Oh Yarn” on her iMake blog
The lovely Clare wrote on her Yarn and Pointy Sticks blog
Podcasts about the Trial Club
Yarns from the Plain
Caithness Craft Collective
Knitting with TGS yarn
The lovely Shoe also wrote a blog about her first TGS project: 2014 The Year of the Sock
What Jo had to say about it all
The Shinybees blog post
The Shinybees podcast