We’ll Miss You

(Please excuse the cursing, but it’s how I feel)


Shit. Fuck. Damn.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr Seuss

I’ll try, Tsocks. You’re worth smiling for.

We’ll miss you.

unnamed (1)

I’m very very glad that I got a chance to say goodbye, and to thank you for your affect on my life. And I’ll pass on your message, “Why not?”

And I’m sorry I never got to show you my finished Lunantishee.

And I’ll miss you.

But I will try to smile, because it happened… and I am better for it. Forever and always.

MA 09




Evening MA Cummington

Tsock Tsarina

My usual sign off seems… oddly apropos.

That’s all… for now

~The Gnome

Gnomespun, MDSW and Spring Fests


The spring has sprung, and The Gnome has a new job! Workin’ workin’ workin.

I’m now down in Virginia/DC for at least the next couple years.

This put dyeing on a stall for a bit, but new fiber is piling up again!

Additionally, I went to MDSW…



And searched high and low…



And found some lovely local fleeces for fabulous fiber for you all!


I also got to see some friends…


But didn’t get to see others. So I wore the tiara with my cowboy hat, because Tsocktsarina was there in spirit (and her booth was packed)!


As for other festivals: Gnomespun will be at NHSW and MASW! Check out the Holiday Yarns booth!

The online shop will be open again after that!

That’s all for now!
~The Gnome

Of not-nephews and Hobbes

Somehow, I never wrote about this.

In a state somewhat long ago and fairly far away, my cousin had a son. A while later, I got to meet said not-nephew and hang out with him for a few days. He was (and is) a wonder, bright, creative, all those superlatives proud relatives might express.

Sadly, as he is far away, and I do not get much free time, I don’t get to see him as often as I would like. This sucks, and is not fair. What’s a not-uncle to do?

The answer, it was clear, came from my own childhood. When one does not have people to play with, one creates them. And of course, as a crafting not-uncle, I could aid in this process.


Hobbes. Bill Watterson and Calvin and Hobbes were wonderful worlds as a kid, why not share them now? In the rare “real life” panels, he looked like this:


First, I needed a washable, durable yarn. At first, I thought acrylic, of the nothing can bust this variety. But acrylic isn’t terribly huggable, and I plan to be around for a while and thus able to repair things if needed. Hrm…

The answer, for this project, was Knit Picks, Shine Worsted, in Black, Clementine, and white.

Ok… now let’s start. Maybe I can even write up a pattern for… um… ok no that’s not going to… hrm… number… color change… ::flail::

Well… that didn’t go as planned. Time for some free-hand crochet. It worked for Iggy, right? I won’t have a pattern, but at this point, who cares? Let’s try that again…


Well… the colorwork isn’t awesome, but it could be worse.


Forge ahead and tally ho!

So, by the head I’d finally mostly figured out how to do color changes more neatly. Thank goodness, since there are more color changes in the head. Ears, tail, stuffing…

Hobbes (1)

I’ll take it!

Hobbes n Me Small

Of course, every responsible tiger needs a letter of introduction.


But if you’re a distinguished tiger of note, such as Hobbes, you can also write one yourself.

Hobbes Letter

I also included a book of Calvin and Hobbes for when he got older. And received a very sweet phone call when they were going on vacation that my cousin and aunt were “making” him leave Hobbes behind, and he was quite worried that Hobbes would be lonely and tell me he was being abused.

Sometimes, it’s the little things.

That’s all for now!
~The Gnome

A bit of Chem: Flavonoids and Anthraquinones

So, someone asked a question while I was away. It was a good question.

It had to do with natural dyes and flavonoids, and how they compare to anthraquinones.

“What?” some of you are no doubt querying.

The Difference Between Dyes

Fiber Chemistry

Anthraquinones are a common structure for acid dyes to be based off. Flavonoids are a common structure for some natural dyes.

So here’s the most basic structure of an anthraquinone:


And here’s the most basic structure of a flavenoid:

You can see, they’re pretty similar. Big difference is that the phenol rings (the hexagons) have a linker in flavenoid, and not in the anthraquinone. As you get more complicated, that starts to seem a little less important.

One important thing to note here is that these basic structures make the chemical colored, that’s actually the most defining feature of a dye chemical. The “dye” aspect is usually added on after the fact, or if it’s a natural dye, is a lucky chance addition for the dyer.

Here are some simple-ish anthraquinone dyes:


Acid Blue, Vat Violet, the dye that makes your gas blue, and Disperse Red

These are dyes made synthetically, but the colors from lichen, fungi, rhubarb, buckthorn, and senna are all anthraquinone colors as well.

Here’s an example of a far more complex flavenoid dye. This is marigold dye, “patulitin.”


And here’s a few flavenoid colors…

Luteolin, the yellow from weld:


Quercitin, the yellow from onions (and part of the color from oak and tea):


Which is all a very long, roundabout way to say that structurally they are very similar. Most of the natural dye flavenoids are in the yellow/orange range (but not universally so), while the anthraquinones are mostly in the blue range (but not universally so). The main difference between them as DYES, is that with most flavenoids you need a mordant in order to serve as a linker to bind it to the fiber, while most anthraquinone dyes are synthesized with an acid moiety like a sulfate or the like. But the natural ones (aforementioned lichen, etc) will need a mordant, just like the flavenoids.

Hope that answers your question!

That’s all for now!
~The Gnome



Sorry for the radio silence, guys.

I’ve been away at Army training in California (I’m a Reservist). The shop’s still been operational as a lovely friend offered to keep things running.

I hope to get more things in the dyepot shortly. There will be another brief bout of training (this time in Texas), and then I should be back under steam for dyeing.


That’s all for now!
~The Gnome