Alisha Goes Around kettle dyes yarn in small batches. We offer blends from basic to luxury, from lace to Aran weights. We’re dyeing frequently and will be adding bases as they are ready.
Author: Barry Sutton
Alisha Goes Around yarn has been used in these magazines:
Interweave Knit.Wear 2012, Twist Pullover by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. Yarn: Panoply of Peacocks Fingering in Macedonia. Photographs by Joe Hancock.More are available at Alisha Goes Around
Interweave Knitscene Fall 2012, Perpetua Shawl by Romi Hill. Yarn: Richness of Martens Fingering in Love Billets. Photographs by Nathan Rega, Harper Point Photography.
The Sock Report Volume 1, Sky Blue by Star Athena. Yarn: Tiding of Magpies Fingering in Sea Glass.
Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2011, Book Excerpt from Whimsical Little Knits 3, Roisin by Ysolda Teague. Yarn: Tiding of Magpies Fingering in Mist.
Interweave Knits Accessories 2011, Thoreau Hat by Terri Kruse. Yarn: Panoply of Peacocks Worsted in Great Seas and Old Growth. Photographs by Harper Point Photography.
And here are some of my favorite patterns from books and independent designers:
How much is this going to cost me?
- Depends on where you are and what your package weighs. Here are our preset shipping rates. If your package falls outside of the weight limits as defined here, don’t worry, we’ll figure something out. For international orders, USPS.com only quotes rates to 4 pounds for First Class Mail. I figure people would rather send me an email or place two orders than pay International Priority or Express rates. Please note that international First Class cannot be insured or tracked. Once an international package leaves my hands, the seller has ceased all responsibility and liability. Packages are occasionally opened at customs. I will continue to offer international shipping for now, but do realize that international shipping is rarely problematic. If you would prefer to use International Priority shipping, contact me before placing your order on Alisha Goes Around.
- I get to the post office between two and three times per week. I think that’s fairly good. Not Zappos good, but decent for a one-woman show with toddler in tow. If your item isn’t listed as a special order, it usually goes out within two business days. All bets are off during times of injury, illness, and husband traveling. You take a baby to the post office to fill out customs forms. Go ahead.
- Because of the nature of our artisan business and the products we sell, the answer is generally no. Contact us — there’s usually something we can do to make everyone happy. And I do make mistakes — if I do, let me know right away! But be nice. Take a deep breath. Check your rage level. The fact that my yarn (bought from another shop) is in skeins and not in factory-made balls probably doesn’t warrant an angry takedown. I mean, I will wind a ball of yarn for you if you ask.
I have a problem and I’m going to be rude and nasty to you about something outside of your control. Fix the thing you didn’t do wrong!
- Oh, that’s how this is going to be? The meaner you are, the slower I get. Abusive emails = up to two week time out. I run this business by myself, have a family, and have stuff to get done, and I don’t have spare emotional energy for people who write nasty things to me.
I want XYZ yarn that you don’t have in stock. How do I get that?
- Write me a note. Be specific. I’m adding new yarns from my lineup as quickly as time and money allow. If there’s demand for something, I’m more likely to bump it to the front of the queue.
When do you update?
- Whenever I can. I’ll mention updates on Twitter, Facebook, and my Ravelry group at least 48 hours in advance. So follow, like, and join.
I bought X skeins from you two years ago. I need another skein to finish my shawl/sweater/socks/snuffleupagus. Can you do that?
- Maybe. If the yarn is still produced by the mills, if the dye is still available, and if I have the dye notes for that colorway, I can give it a shot. However…
My skeins don’t match up. What’s up with that?
- I kettle dye most of my colorways. That means all the yarn goes into a pot of water with all the dye. Dye is not placed on the skeins in an orderly fashion. Dye falls on the skein where it falls. Sometimes there’s even saturation. Often I purposefully manipulate the yarn, dye, water, and other conditions to create a layered effect on the skein. Even skeins from the same pot can look vastly different from each other. Think of kettle dyeing as producing fraternal twins (or dectuplets?) — they’re related, they’re made at the same time from the same stuff, but they aren’t going to be mirror images of each other. If you order multiple skeins at once, I do make an attempt to match skeins so that your project has a degree of uniformity. Now, if you feel there’s a significant problem, contact me. I’ll see what I can do.
I’m knitting a sweater. Any tips about dealing with hand dyes?
- Alternate your skeins, yo! I have learned that one the hard way. Don’t be like me and end up with a big old stripe around your waist because you knit a skein of yarn in the dark and didn’t realize how bad it was.
I heard that superwash yarns grow. Truefax?
- Yes, they can. Wool is bouncy and grabby and full of shape-keeping memory because of the crimp and the scales of the yarn — the physical form of the wool fiber. Superwashing changes that. The fiber is stripped of the scales and loses some crimp. So while it doesn’t grab onto itself to felt, it also doesn’t grab onto itself to retain shape.
How do I block something? Can you give me a detailed, step by step list of instructions? Will you diagram the pin placement for a pattern you’ve never seen before?
- I’m a terrible blocker. You don’t want my advice or input. One of those “wastes your time and ticks off the pig” sort of things. Here are some very wonderful instructions on blocking from TECHKnitter. She’s awesome. Every time you have a question on something, you should look at her site first. Really. Here are some more very wonderful instructions on blocking from Eunny Jang. Eunny is now the editor of Interweave Knits, so she doesn’t blog anymore, but between the blog and her articles in IK, she’s covered a lot of ground.
I’m Alisha, and Alisha Goes Around is mine.
For Christmas 2006, my sister gave me a crochet book. I hadn’t knit or crocheted since I was in grade school, but as a newly-made foster parent, I needed a portable, kid-safe hobby. Restyling Blythe dolls, dyeing fabric, quilting, gardening, makeup-making, and jewelry making just didn’t fit in the purse, no matter how big that purse grew. Crochet was something I could take along to doctors’ appointments, child therapy sessions, and eventually became something to occupy my hands in the dark while my mind raced, while my presence soothed a child woken by his scariest dreams.
Eventually I found crochet blogs. Then I found knitting blogs. That knitting, I liked how it looked, but pointy needles + my son = scary. Then Ravelry was created. I joined the waitlist, and when I was approved, I was enchanted by the way colors moved on Joelle Hoverson’s Chevron Scarf, especially the version knit by a blogger named DoggedKnits. I coveted that scarf. But I couldn’t find anything like that yarn at Hobby Lobby, the only non-Wal-Mart yarn seller I knew of. I did recall that a website I’d shopped from previously had both white yarn and yarn dye, though, so I took the very big step of ordering real wool yarn and real wool dyes. I used Google-Fu. I dyed some yarn. I bought Stitch N Bitch. I retaught myself how to knit, this time continental style because my crochet-friendly hands and muscle memory wouldn’t let me throw stitches. And I knit that scarf. It was my first knitting project, my first dyeing project, my first Ravelry FO, my first yarn photograph, my first blocking (oh, my, did that thing roll!), and the first time I forced someone to wear a woolen in the blistering Texas Summer.
Not long after that, I learned that there were other stores besides Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Wal-Mart where I could buy yarn. But they were all an hour from home. Good thing there was the internet — back to the undyed yarn and more dye. And back again. When I could, I went to real yarn stores, but it wasn’t often enough.
In 2009 I started spinning, dyed some fiber, then went to a few knitting group meetings. First question: Where’d you get that yarn? I answered that I made it (Because doesn’t everyone? Everyone dyes their own when they can’t find what they want, right? And surely, most knitters spin too, right? Turns out, no.). Second Question: Will you sell it? I did.
I dyed and spun and dyed and spun. And then I made a Shawl That Jazz out of Merino/Tencel handspun. I went into a real yarn store, Yarn Barn of San Antonio, to buy needles for my first pair of socks in July 2009. Shawl That Jazz was in my WIP bag. First question: Where’d you get that yarn? Second Question: Will you sell it? The answer that time was no, I won’t sell this yarn, but I will sell other yarn. Two days later I brought all my hand dyed yarn and fiber to the store (A whole Rubbermaid bin! So much yarn, I thought. I had at least 40 skeins. At least!). The owner bought all of it and asked for more. After the meeting I sat in my car with a check in my hand, still not believing what had happened, and called my husband. I said, “I think I just started a business. The $250 of yarn, that undyed stuff I was scared to buy, is all gone. And she wants to buy more. I think I need a name.” He laughed. I don’t think he believed me.
The husband wasn’t the only one dubious of the idea that yarn could be a business. I’m crafty. I do a lot of stuff. I like to learn. I like to make. But I get bored after a few months, once I’ve gotten good at something, and I move on. With that in mind, when I mentioned to my parents that a store had bought my yarn and that I was starting a business, my father said, “There Alisha goes, around the bend again.”
I left to visit my grandparents the next day, bringing my pots and dye with me. Once there, I ordered more yarn. I dyed it, my parents, siblings, grandparents, and son watching with interest. I laid out saran wrap over my grandmother’s 1960s Formica counter tops before I dyed. I squawked at my father when he “helped” by stirring the pots with grandma’s wooden spoons (and then I bought her new wooden spoons). I dried yarn on the clothesline alongside towels and swimsuits damp from the lake. I loved sitting on the patio watching the skeins twist in the wind. I worked on my first sock and learned that I knit very very loosely with small needles. My grandfather told stories about his grandfather, who had worked at the wool mills in Northern Minnesota as a dyer until an explosion blinded him. Cautionary tale, perhaps. Grandpa mostly wanted to see more red and blue.
I made cold calls in Minnesota. I got picked up by a few shops. I still needed a name. My dad’s words, “There Alisha goes, around the bend again,” had rattled around in my head for a few weeks. Sounded a bit like a challenge. I claimed it, reclaimed it, even, and took Alisha Goes Around as my own. It seemed right enough. And it wasn’t yarn-specific, so if I decided to go back to quilting or knitting sweaters for dolls, I could still use the same name.
I began work on AlishaGoesAround.com in July of 2009 and it opened in the fall. I did the Yarn Crawl at the Yarn Barn. I sold to more stores. I sold to knitters in town. I worked. I learned. I sold in person at Kid N Ewe with Rosewood Yarns. I kept going.
Now, only a few years later, I’m still going as fast as I can. I exhibited at The National Needlearts Association’s Spring and Fall trade shows in 2011. My yarn is carried by dozens of stores across the country. To my delight, Alisha Goes Around yarn has been used in patterns designed by Cat Bordhi, Ysolda Teague, Miriam Felton, Cookie A, Janel Laidman, Romi Hill, Anne Hanson, Nicky Epstein, Cecily Glowik MacDonald, Laura Nelkin, Sheryl Thies, Anne Kingstone, Wooly Wormhead, Grace Akhrem, Heather Dixon, and Hill Country Weavers, among others. As a knitting magazine collector, I am lucky enough to count Knitscene, Knit.Wear (the cover!), Interweave Holiday Gifts, Interweave Accessories, and Living Crafts as users of my yarn. For a knitting nerd, it could not be better.
Not everything has been unicorns and rainbows, of course. The past year has brought difficulties I never imagined. My father passed away without warning two weeks after the June TNNA trade show. A month later I found out I was pregnant, high risk for loss, and became very ill for the next eight months. I fulfilled my commitments. I did what I could when I could. Growth, however, was impossible. My plans were paused. Commissioning mills to custom-spin base yarns? No. Revisiting lotions, shampoos, and other bath and body products? No. Expanding my wholesale business? No. So I waited. My daughter was born in March, healthy, good-natured, and lovely. My body began to recover. In May I made a last-minute decision to return to the June TNNA trade show, even though I wouldn’t exhibit, to see if I could still see myself in the fiber arts world. Just like last year, it was exciting and inspiring. More than that, it was comforting. It was familiar, even though I barely recognize myself. It was sustaining, affirming, exhilarating and FUN. I had fun. And then I realized not only was I ready to come back, I had to come back.
So I’m here. New website, fresh yarn, new products. The long-delayed bath and body lineup is in formulation now that I can stand the scents and textures that go along with it. My old fabric dyeing skills are in use as I experiment with woven baby wraps. Patterns go out to test knitters as fast as I can edit them. Custom spun bases arrive in September. I’m back in the ceramics studio. I even knit.
I have movement. I have momentum. I have joy. I’m back.
Alisha Goes Around is open year-round by appointment in Downtown New Braunfels, Texas.
Call, text, or WhatsApp 830-387-8880, or email email@example.com to set up a visit.
The Shop is located at 193 1/2 West San Antonio Street, Studio 212, New Braunfels, Texas, 78130. We are above The Phoenix Saloon at the corner of West San Antonio and South Castell. There is a door and staircase to the second floor at the left-most side of the building when facing from San Antonio Street. We are on the second floor in suite 212.
There is free 2 hour on-street parking all over downtown. There is lot parking behind The Phoenix Saloon.
Upcoming Alisha Goes Around Shows
DFW Fiber Festival, Irving, Texas, April 2016
Hill Country Spinning Retreat with Judith, Hunt, Texas, April 2016
Yellow Rose Fiber Fiesta, Seguin, Texas, April 2016
Yarnover, Hopkins High School, Hopkins, Minnesota, April 2016
Shepherd’s Harvest Festival, Lake Elmo, Minnesota May 2016
Magnolia State Fiber Festival, Vicksburg, Mississippi, May 2016
Zombie Knitpocalypse, Rochester, Minnesota, June 2015
Houston Fiber Festival, Cypress, Texas, July 2015
Fiber Christmas in July, Kelleyville, Oklahoma, July 2015
Stitches Texas, Irving Convention Center, September 2015
Hill Country Yarn Crawl, Downtown New Braunfels, Texas, October 2015
Blackland Prairie Artisan and Fiber Festival, October 2015
SAFF, Fletcher, North Carolina, October 2015
Kid n Ewe, Boerne, Texas, November 2015