Up and Coming: Special Verb Colors for S&S!

Posted by AVFKW Staff on June 17, 2014 0 Comments

In our last blog post about the upcoming Stephen & Steven Tour 2014, you got to see all the exclusive color ways that are arriving at the shop in time for Stephen and Steven's visit THIS WEEKEND!

In addition to this wonderful selection, we have also been busy bees creating new, exclusive Verb colorways for these two designers to work with!

The first color created was inspired by Stephen West. He sent photos of beautiful ice floes during sunrise, all shimmery with morning pinks and purples. Together with Kristine he choose Even Tinier Annapurna, our light fingering base composed of 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon. With 565 yards per 115 g skein, this yarn is perfect for light, drapey shawls -- which Stephen is a pro at creating.

Photography & makeup by Alexandra Feo

This brings us to Welty, Stephen's tour exclusive pattern using Even Tinier Annapurna in Magic Horse! Full of textural welts and yarn overs, Welty will be available to purchase as an exclusive tour pattern.

StevenBe chose to work with Floating, our luxurious fingering weight blend of 70% alpaca, 20% cashmere, and 10% silk. This is the yarn that customers ooh and ahh over the most -- its softness, shine, and elegance make it an instant favorite. 

Steven requested a pair of colors, starting with the mysterious tonal neutral pictured above -- named Downtempo! This was a fun but challenging color to create, and if you're familiar with Kristine's love of neutrals you know how we feel about it! 

He and Kristine worked together to pair it with a rich purple, named Oxygen Bar. While the pattern is still forthcoming, the image of these two colors together in a shawl is striking!

These special colors will be available at Verb and participating shops along the tour. Just like the special colors from other dyers, these colors will be available exclusively for students and party attendees until 2pm on Sunday, July 29th. At that time, it will be available to the general public, as well as phone orders and online sales. Stay tuned for the link!

Additionally, if you are already signed up for a class or the party, you may pre-order the yarn starting now! Give us a call or send us an email and we'll set up your order. 

Not a student or party attendee? Don't worry, there's still room! Join us for a fun morning of design with the Dynamic Duo, a fun and crazy afternoon making Swants, and of course you're all welcome at our fabulous Party & Trunk Show!

Additionally, we've added two new spots in Stephen's Wesknits Workshop on Sunday!! Click here to grab them!

-- Sarah

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Up and Coming: Stephen & Steven Tour 2014 Extravaganza!

Posted by AVFKW Staff on June 12, 2014 0 Comments

Get ready for the event of the summer -- the Stephen and Steven Tour 2014!

Stephen West of Westknits and Steven Berg of StevenBe are coming to Verb on June 28th and 29th, to teach a variety of fun and unique classes! Join us for the Dynamic Duo, Westknits Workshops, Swants, and an evening party / trunk show! Click here to read more about each of these exciting classes.

Stephen and Steven have worked with a few special dyers, combining their artistic vision and style, to create exclusive color ways for the tour. These yarns will only be available at the shops along the tour! We have picked out the following yarns to be featured during this weekend.

Amy and her team at Madeline Tosh have developed the color Knitting is Dead Sexy! StevenBe describes the color as "intense, colorful, and vibrant -- not for the faint of heart."

Knitting is Dead Sexy will be arriving on the following bases: ASAP, Tosh DK, Tosh Sock, Dandelion, and Prairie. The different fiber content in each yarn picks up the color differently -- it will be fun to see it in real life!

The shop will be well stocked with Tosh DK, Tosh Sock, Dandelion, and Prairie, with plenty of colors to choose from for all Stephen & Steven classes and patterns.

The lovely ladies at Plucky Knitter have worked with each designer to create a colorway just for them: a luminous green for Stephen West and a vivacious cherry for Steven Berg. These colors are aptly named With a "PH" and With a "V", respectively.

With a "PH" and With a "V" will be available on Primo Fingering, Plucky's fingering weight merino/cashmere/nylon blend. This popular yarn is soft, drapey, and ideal for shawls -- Stephen and Steven are each designing new patterns to go with their color! 

Alchemy Yarns of Transformation has also developed two colors for the tour. Alchemy's specialty is hand painted colors with shades that flow and shift across the spectrum. The first colorway, named Ambrosial, is an exquisite blend of greens, blues, and purples.

The second color, Evocative, is composed of vivid pinks, reds, and oranges.

Both colors will be available on two of our favorite Alchemy bases: Silken Straw, a 100% silk yarn that only gets softer as you work with it, and Haiku, their silk mohair blend. Knit together, these two yarns create an amazingly soft, drapey, and elegant fabric. Pair a strand of Haiku with any other yarn to add a fine halo, as well as a touch of color and playfulness.

The shop will be full to the brim with yarn for this event! We are adding a few new yarns to our collection, starting with Manos del Uruguay's Lace yarn! Composed of 70% baby alpaca, 25% silk, and 5% cashmere, this is a luxury lace yarn. We will have a variety of semi-solid and space-dyed colors to choose from. 

Next, from Habu Textiles, we will be adding several cotton gima yarns, as well as copper and stainless steel varieties! Habu's yarns are a favorite of Stephen and Steven due to their versatile combinations.

Stay tuned for more fabulous additions to the store -- we will have a variety of colors and textures for you to choose from to make the most beautiful and unique projects in Stephen and Steven's classes!

The yarn listed above is available exclusively for students and party attendees until 2pm on Sunday, June 29th. At that time, it will be available for the general public and online sales.

We hope you can join us for a class! Or come by the party for an evening filled with fun, glamour, and laughter! The store will be overflowing with samples!

-- Sarah

P.S. Stay tuned for Verb's special colorways created for the 2014 Stephen and Steven Tour!

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Blooming Cosmos! Dye Garden Update

Posted by AVFKW Staff on June 12, 2014 0 Comments

Welcome back!

This week we have some fun news to report in the dye garden. This week the maroon cosmos and orange coreopsis started to bloom. One of the Hopi black dye sunflowers is getting very big! I anticipate it to bloom within the next few weeks.  

This past week I installed a drip irrigation system that is activated by a timer to go off once a day. Drip irrigation will save us time and water by automatically delivering small amounts of water.

The coreopsis and sunflower seedlings were moved to larger containers.  In late June or early July, I hope that we will be able to sell dye plant starters. Madder, coreopsis, sunflowers, and yarrow will be some of the options.

We are still harvesting marigolds and yarrow flower heads to be used in future dye projects.

Until next week, happy gardening and crafting!

Cheers,

Aday

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Stitch Exchange: DIY Weaving with HonestlyWTF

Posted by AVFKW Staff on June 12, 2014 0 Comments

If you're an avid reader of the blog honestlyWTF, you've likely seen this tutorial about making your own DIY Woven Wall Hanging.  And if you didn't see it there, I'm sure you've been seeing similar ideas floating around Pinterest.  If you can't wait to get your hands on the yarn used in the tutorial, here's your chance!  We're highlighting the yarns used that are available in-store as well as mixed and matched to create other appealing palettes.

Original Palette

(1oz white merino roving, Spud & Chloe Sweater - Ice Cream, Quince & Co. Puffin - Honey, Spud & Chloe Outer - Sandbox, A Verb For Keeping Warm Annapurna - Limited Edition)

 

Evening Sky Palette

(1 oz periwinkle gray merino roving, A Verb For Keeping Warm Pioneer - Lighthouse, Spud & Chloe Outer - Sugar Plum, Quince & Co. Puffin - Chantarelle, Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Organic Cotton - Sleet)

 

Weaving Blues Palette

(1 oz. white merino roving, A Verb For Keeping Warm Pioneer - Treefort, Spud & Chloe Outer - Wave, Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Organic Cotton - Sleet, Quince & Co. Puffin - Chantarelle)

 

If you're interested in ordering any of above collections, please email info@averbforkeepingwarm or call 510.595.verb!  We're excited to see your creations!

-Mckenzie

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The Dye Garden - Garden Update

Posted by AVFKW Staff on June 02, 2014 1 Comment

Happy Summer!
Here in Northern California our weather has been warm and sunny.  This means a lot of exciting news around the garden.  Let's take a tour and see what is growing right now on our back patio.

In the raised bed to the right we have the madder growing strong.  It's about 3+ years old now and producing the most incredible reds.  With madder we use the roots of the plant.  They grow like long skinny carrots underground creating an amazing network of roots.  Madder is a rhizomatic plant that sends out underground runners in every direction creating new plant growth.  This past Spring we harvested more than 600 grams for a special order.  Friend and weaver, Adele wove cloth using natural colored and madder dyed Sally Fox cotton. You can see her work at Voices of Industry.  She has featured it in her Drawing with Madder limited edition garments.

 

In the new raised bed to left we have marigolds, Hopi black dye sunflowers, and Japanese indigo.  I anticipate the sunflower to grow up to 10 feet tall.  They have the most beautiful and strange, dark purple sunflower seeds.  The seeds are used with an iron dip to achieve an amazing black.  The marigold flowers have been used for the dye garden classes I have been teaching at the shop.  The flower tops give a bright orange.  The Japanese indigo are large leafed, herbaceous plants that we use for the color blue.  The leaves of this plant are harvested, composted, and then fermented to extract the natural blue hidden inside.  The plant will grow all summer long and we hope to harvest multiple times, gathering leaves as they mature.  

In the seedling nursery we have a variety of flowers and plants growing. We have started Weld, a plant that has a spiraled rosette of leaves and a flower spike in their second year.  We use the extract of this plant in the production studio for our electric yellows. We plan to pluck the leaves in the first year and then use the flowers in the following year. I planted a few cosmos and dahlias for their flowers. They both give a buttery yellow.  This year i planted a lot of coreopsis for its rich orange hue.

In a pot by itself, I have the prize of my garden. Are you ready for this?! It's my prickly pear cactus and it is infested with bugs! Not just any bugs but bugs that give a hot pink color.  The bug is called cochineal. It typically grows in Mexico and the Southwestern U.S., including at my parents house on a cactus in the Coachella Valley. Last month I went to visit my parents and collected a piece of their cactus with the bugs. I brought it home to AVFKW and now they are thriving on my plant! Eventually they will suck it dry, but in the meantime they are eating and growing larger. I cannot wait to harvest the big ones to dye with my own cochineal.  Typically we purchase them as an extract or as whole, dried bugs, that we grind up. So to say the least, this is an exciting addition to the dye garden.

Last, but certainly not least, we have another amazing addition to the garden. Another fermentation indigo vat! We acquired it after the Berkeley Art Museum show, The Possible. Kristine helped build, tend, and assisted other artists to dye in the vat as part of the exhibition. Like our other older vat, built in September of last year, it houses 55 gallons of fermented Japanese indigo leaves from a Fibershed project, grown 90 miles away and lye water we made from scratch, using hardwood ash.  We will watch closely these two vats and continue to learn more from them and share the wonders of indigo.

Take a class to learn more about dyeing with plants in

Growing, Gathering, and Dyeing with Plants, on Sunday, June 22nd

That is all the news for now, but I plan to post every week with a garden update. Until next time. Happy gardening, dyeing, and crafting!

Love,

Adrienne (Aday)

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