Special requests

Special requests will re-open in late June 2023.

Gobsmacked yarn results from a combination of special dyeing techniques and a hefty dose of serendipity.  That means that every cake is one-of-a-kind and (as much as I wish otherwise) can’t be repeated– believe me, I’ve tried!  Don’t despair, though: if you’re in love with a certain colour combination, feel free to get in touch with a special request.

Special requests work like this: you let me know what you’re dreaming of– a special shawl in wintery colours, maybe, or just the right amount of DK for a gradient-yoked sweater.  You might send me an inspirational photo (non-yarn/ fibre, please), or a descriptive phrase like “sunset colours,” or “weathered barns.”  Once we’ve decided on the appropriate base(s) and yardage, and figured out what colours interest you, I’ll add your request to my dye queue.  I’ll use that info as a starting point for my dyeing; I can’t reproduce previous gobsmackers exactly, but I’ll dye a couple of options that I think you’ll love.  The process normally takes 4-6 weeks, although some particularly busy times might push that to 6-8 weeks.  (I’ll let you know what to expect when we’re discussing details.)  When the yarn is ready, I’ll send you photos.  You can claim anything that you love, but you’re never obligated; simply pass if the yarn doesn’t appeal.  Anything that you don’t want moves into my regular yarn updates and will quickly find a home.

Special requests can be a lot of fun for both of us, especially if you give me some general guidelines and then let me play in the dyepots– the results can be truly spectacular.  For example, one customer wanted a gradient inspired by the purple and yellow cover of a favourite book, Neil Gaiman’s Stardust.  I dyed two different options for her, on merino-silk fingering:

These are both purple-to-yellow gradients inspired by the book’s cover, but they have quite a different feel.  One, at the left, is a subtle and fairly literal version of the purple and pale yellow cover; the other, on the right, is wilder and more chaotic, with complicated mixing of purples, golds, and yellows.

In the end, the customer chose both of them.  And just look what magic she made from the second cake!

Marva Maida’s project The Winter Sea. Pattern: Scottish Thistles, by Anne-Lise Maigaard. Photo by M. Maida, used with permission.