• Got Bread?
    Got Bread?
  • The English Robin
    The English Robin
  • Afternoon Snooze
    Afternoon Snooze
  • Waterton Lakes Valley
    Waterton Lakes Valley
  • Magic Mushrooms
    Magic Mushrooms
  • Vino sulla Vite
    Vino sulla Vite
  • Fairy Stream
    Fairy Stream
  • Sunset Smoke
    Sunset Smoke
  • Om Nom Nom
    Om Nom Nom
  • Summer Lake Cabin
    Summer Lake Cabin
  • Stormy Mountain Sunset
    Stormy Mountain Sunset

Category: Blog

Welcome to my blog! Shop and website updates will appear here as well as other random ramblings.


To Ship Free, Or Not To Ship Free

That is the question. On July 9, Etsy CEO Josh Silverman sent this letter to all Etsy sellers. The gist of it is this: Etsy has decided it’s in everybody’s best interest if they prioritize sellers offering free shipping on orders of $35 or more to US buyers. This decision took effect on July 30. What it means is, if you happen to live in the United States and search for something on Etsy, the listings you’ll see first are going to be from sellers (who could be located anywhere in the world) who charge $0 on the shipping line of whatever it is you’re shopping for if that item costs $35 and up.

I really was not thrilled to get that letter. Many other sellers weren’t thrilled about it either. Here’s why.


What’s Up With This Twitter Timeline, Anyway?

Screencaps from Incyanity's Twitter timeline

The other day I was asked why there’s, well, non-yarn stuff in the Twitter timeline for Incyanity‘s brand account. It’s a fair question, especially for anyone who has only recently become aware of my content via my yarn, so I thought I’d take a moment to talk about it.

I’ve been running this website since 1999—which I know is basically the dawn of time as far as the internet is concerned! Back then it was on the Area 51 section of GeoCities (if anyone remembers that!) and it had a different name. Eventually, I moved to a hosted domain, adopted the title Incyanity, and here we are. From the beginning, my goal has been to create a space where I can share my interests and adventures with anyone who might care to spend time on them. I like a lot of things. As a result, over the years I’ve had a lot of different types of content on this site and undoubtedly always will! A great deal of the old stuff is archived because of course over time projects are abandoned, interests change, and so on. Nevertheless, the core of the goal remains the same: Incyanity is about my creative insanity.


I Stand With Ravelry

There is no good reason not to.

I stand with Ravelry’s policy update.

I get why some people are offended by the policy wording. Nobody likes being called out for “thing = bad”. I vote conservative in Canada but the truth is there are really shitty things going on perpetrated by really shitty people who happen to be conservative leaders.

The ultimate goal of a politician is to get people to put a lot of stock in everything they say and do. If we elect a shitty human because we also happen to agree with some of the political reforms his party supports, we are quite literally handing that shitty human enormous power to convince people to adopt all the shitty things he believes in. Bad beliefs feel validated when they’re espoused by world leaders.

I think most people are good and tolerant. But there are some who insist on bigotry, hate, and racism. Some are ignorant of what they do and why it’s harmful. Others aren’t: they intentionally use fiber arts to persecute people through offensive patterns, groups, and posts. Some seek out POCs and LGBTQ+ persons with the intent to harass and drive them away. Sometimes they even hope to inflict real-world harm.

If you haven’t witnessed or experienced it on Ravelry doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

If you’re a good, tolerant person, absolutely you should be outraged that the way you voted has become synonymous with white supremacy. But Ravelry is not what you should be outraged at. Be outraged that the man you voted for thinks sexual assault and detaining children is acceptable, that it’s okay to deny certain groups of people the ability to obtain proper health care, and so on. Your outrage should be directed at the shitty humans who use his beliefs and administration as a launchpad for their hate.

Don’t want to be lumped in with them? Make them unwelcome in your voting bloc. Make sure your party is putting their best candidate forward. If the candidate is a shitty human, tell them you expect better.

Why wouldn’t you? Those people are the ones giving you a bad reputation by association.


Incyanity Yarn: Open for Business!

That’s right! I opened my yarn shop today! Woot! It’s been an amazing first few hours too, with lots of support from family, friends, and followers, and even my first few orders (omg!!). All the feels!! ♥

It took a little over a year to get here. The journey was challenging and sometimes fraught with doubt and fear, but worth it! I’ve learned a lot. There will always be more to experience and I’m looking forward to these first few steps into actually running my business!

I’ve opened with six (technically five, I guess!) colorways on three bases. My silk yarn is 4-ply 50% Grade A mulberry silk and 50% superwash merino in fingering weight. The next one is 25% nylon and 75% fine superwash merino, also in fingering weight. Then, last (but not least!) is the super fun 50% bamboo and 50% merino in sport weight. (The bamboo yarn is amazing, so squishy and soft, and shiny just like silk! I’m so glad I can have it available.) I also have some mystery yarn posted so if you like surprises you should try one of those skeins! Over time I plan to add many more colorways. After all, I have zillions of photos to choose from!

Did you notice the new logo? Yep, there’s a little bit of Incyanity rebranding going on too! My original dragon is still going to stick around the website—I’m too fond of him to let him go—but for the shop and a few other places, I’ll be using the new dragon! The shop logo morphs the dragon’s head into a camera shutter that is cradling a ball of yarn with a crochet hook and two knitting needles in it. The dragon head is the same one that I used to represent myself in my engagement announcement last fall. (Oh yes, I got married on May 24! I’ll share some photos from that adventure Soon™.)

The link for my shop is incyanity.net/shop or you can use the “Shop” link in the menu above. Now that I’ve officially launched, there will be a few layout changes around Incyanity coming soon too.

I’m using the hashtag #incyanity on both Instagram and Twitter and hope everyone who makes something out of my yarn will use it too (and tag me) because I really want to see all your pretty projects!

Shop updates will be announced here as well as on Instagram, Twitter, and in my Discord community. Be sure you’re subscribed, following me, and in my community so you don’t miss anything!


The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Even a little bit of progress counts!

It’s March! Time has really flown by. In a way, it’s a bit scary. I could have sworn yesterday was still December. Guess not. On the other hand, I can also look back at the last six months or so and see how far I’ve come in many areas, particularly with my mental health. There are still days where I struggle a lot, but strides have been taken, challenges are being worked on, and generally speaking I am starting to feel a lot better. My family, friends, and doctors say my improvement is noticeable, which is reassuring (especially on days when I feel as if I haven’t made any progress at all).

Progress has been made in other areas too, specifically with respect to my yarn shop and creativity. Seeing tangible results in these areas helps reinforce the strides I’m making with my health, which is great. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Here are where things are at:


Working

I have a lot on the go! Planning my wedding, spending time with my fiancee, getting the shop open, dealing with my day job, keeping up with crochet projects, editing photos, writing, gaming. Whew! It’s a lot and I’m behind on some things (most especially the temperature blanket but also the Myst series roleplay and the photoblog of my trip to New Zealand) but despite the struggles I’m currently facing, I’m still determined to forge ahead. Here are some updates on things I’ve been working on today:

Social Media Everywhere

  • Did you know that Incyanity has a Discord group? Yes, it’s true! You can join us using this invite link: https://discord.gg/kn2SF4W. The group is a positive creative community for everyone interested in art, gaming, photography, writing, and of course, yarn! I hope to see you there!
  • Lately I’ve been posting more frequently on Instagram. I also have an Incyanity-specific Twitter account (in addition to my personal Twitter) as well as an account on Pinterest and Tumblr. I’m still working out how I’ll use all of these accounts so for the moment there’s mostly just a lot of simple cross-posting going on, but going forward I hope to tailor each one for more specific content.

The Yarn is Coming

  • The store is in-progress! I can’t say for sure when it’ll be open, but my hope is to get it open as quickly as possible. I have some barriers to overcome first.

Sharing Happy News

Engagement announcement

About ten years ago, thanks to EVE Online, Mat and I met and became friends. Our first face-to-face meeting took place a short while later in Iceland at EVE Online’s Fanfest celebration. Since then, we’ve grown to be the best of friends—and in the last several years, even closer than that. So today, it’s with great excitement that we announce our engagement!

In the past we played the “game of life” individually. Now we’re looking forward to starting a co-operative game together!

Our wedding will be a private (parents only) ceremony in the Cumberland Forest on Vancouver Island at the end of May 2019. We hope to host a small gathering of friends and family in Alberta to celebrate our marriage shortly thereafter.


A New Venture: Incyanity Yarn!

Yarn in a dyebath.

Yarn in a dyebath.

I have a lot of interests: gaming, writing, art, reading, photography…lots of stuff. On Incyanity I explore them all, and recently it’s been pretty obvious that crochet has been at the top of my list. Crochet is a hobby I didn’t expect; it came out of nowhere at Christmas in 2015 and I’ve really taken to it since then, particularly with Pod Pals and other cute amigurumi. Something else happened too: I developed a love of pretty yarn. As I started to expand into making clothing, I left acrylic behind and began buying “real” yarn, either 100% merino, or merino blended with other fibers. I’m particularly fond of merino/silk and merino/tencel.

During my trip to New Zealand last month I had the privilege of visiting a farm where a very nice lady dyes yarn. All I really wanted was to treat myself to some locally-dyed yarn while I was in the country, but she happily told me why she got started doing it… As we talked, I started to feel wheels turning in my head.

The truth is, in the last two years I’ve bought a ridiculous amount of yarn. Yarn makes me happy. Another truth? Yarn in blends and colors I really love have not been that easy to find. The dyers I buy from come close…but not always close enough.

I thought to myself, What if I dyed yarn in colors I really love?

Then I thought, How many people out there are like me? Maybe they’re looking for the same yarn I am!

When I got home, I started researching. I read so much and watched so many videos about dyeing that I started to dream about it. The more I learned, the more excited I became. Maybe I really could do this. Maybe it could become a new career path! (I’m definitely ready for a new career path.) I talked to some people, I ordered some supplies…and then, last weekend, I was finally able to test it out for myself.


Tweaking

Incyanity has a lot of posts!

Incyanity has a lot of posts!

I’ve spent some time tweaking and organizing the site recently; sharp-eyed visitors probably noticed a few changes to the menu. Followers on Twitter have seen the “flashback” tweets popping up over the last couple of weeks as well. I found a handy plugin that automatically revives existing posts on a set schedule—a great way to get that older content seen and hopefully enjoyed by newer eyes.

Getting the reviver plugin going made me wonder just how often certain categories of posts would be seen, which led me to make the pie chart above. Turns out, almost 70% of all posts on Incyanity fall under Solitary Pilot, which is content related to my time playing EVE Online. There are just under 200 posts in that category. Wow! This means all the other posts have less than a one in three chance of being pulled up (and most of the HOTE category is protected so won’t be revived at all). Hmm! Guess I better get cracking on putting up more stuff!

Speaking of Heart of the Empire, some more tweaks have been made there too!


Culinary Adventures: Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

I’m not much of a red sauce person. If I’m at a restaurant and in the mood for pasta, and if there’s Alfredo on the menu, chances are I’m going to order that dish. If I buy frozen pasta meals to eat at home or take to work as a lunch, I’ll buy something that has Alfredo in it. Alfredo, Alfredo, Alfredo. In my book, it’s the king of cream sauces.

On occasion I’ve tried buying Alfredo sauce in a jar, or as a powder packet (just add milk!), as a slightly more economical choice as compared to premade frozen dinners. The problem I’ve had with the premade stuff is that while I like the sauce, the premade sauce doesn’t like me back. I end up being punished with food-induced issues for days after enjoying my one night of pasta bliss, which of course wrecks the whole thing. For whatever reason, I don’t tend to have those same issues when eating out or buying certain brands of frozen dinners—I’m not sure why (maybe the preservatives?). It’s always been disappointing though, because the frozen dinners never have quite enough pasta in them to satisfy me, and having all that extra waxy cardboard left over afterward doesn’t feel terribly environmentally friendly. Eating out all the time isn’t good either.

But I also hate cooking. The idea of making my own Alfredo sauce has always been intimidating, and as a matter of course I tend not to like to keep fresh milk or cream in the house because it will usually spoil before I can use it all. Additionally, I’ve sort of had it in my head that Alfredo sauce must surely be this magical, super complicated substance that only the most masterful of cooks can make. Master cook? Definitely not me!

Recently I had a craving for Alfredo, a strong one, so decided to bite the bullet and try making it myself, from scratch.