October 16, 2015

To Dye For

Now that all orders have shipped and parcels have been received throughout Europe and elsewhere, I can finally tell you about what I did with my summer vacation. You will not be at all surprised that it had everything to do with yarn.


I was approached by Jo Milmine of Shineybees.com (her podcasts are fabulous!), who also happens to be one of the three owners of The Golden Skein.  If you've never visited the website for this company, you really should. As one of the U.K.'s most prestigious yarn clubs, they offer a quarterly subscription (of course you can sign up for a whole year if you are feeling spunky) for one-of-a-kind, hand painted and hand dyed yarns from the international community of indie dyers.  And by "international community", let me be clear and say that I mean "the best dyers in the world".  No doubt.  You can check out their previous subscription offers and see that the yarn that they have custom dyed is GORGEOUS!  We dyers, you know, sign a contract that prohibits us from really ever re-creating that colorway again, so if you miss out on the shipment, well, you'll just never ever get another chance to get that colorway. That's enough to make a serious yarn addict like myself cry, isn't it?

But enough of that, let's talk about my yarn contribution to the Autumn 2015 collection for The Golden Skein: Poisoned Apple.


I think that I may have caught Jo a little off guard when I explained to her the reason that I named this colorway as I did. You know, a person never thinks about the cultural differences between crafters until something comes up like this. The other dyers wrote inspirational or memorial travel explanations about their color ways; not me. I was inspired by Disney.  No, I mean it.

Jo sent me this  picture of molten lava (which I at first thought was paint under a black light because my artist brain was clearly turned on at the time) and the first thing in my brain was a color association with the wicked queen in Snow White.


And then I couldn't get that out of my head.  The other dyers appeared to have seen orange and red and black when they looked at the picture.  I saw violet first, then the black and then scarlet.  I wasn't even cognizant of the orange until Jo pointed it out in her Shineybees podcast this month. I looked at the picture of lava and, in my mind's eye, I saw this:


And I also saw how just about every female Disney villain could be associated with those same colors; so that tells you how much old school Disney corrupted my youth. I may have a particular appreciation for this wicked queen, however, as more than a few times students may have referred to me, with the above picture or one similar and my name beneath, as their own wicked queen of the English classroom. (This may or may not have been a valid caricature.)

I am only the 3rd American dyer to have been invited to dye for this club, and I couldn't have been more thrilled to participate. (Insert tooting of own horn!) Previous American dyers include Susan Hayes of Desert Vista Dyeworks and Michelle Berry of Berry Colorful Yarnings.  Because the general expectation for this quarter's offering was a 4-ply yarn, Journey was the base and I used the same dyeing technique that I use for all of my Journey colorways.  As you know, the subscribers will be getting one pretty fabulous yarn just because that's Journey all over, fabulous.

The other two dyers were DyeForYarn (Spouting Lava colorway, far left) and TravelKnitter (Stromboli color way, center).  Spouting Lava has a bit of the orange in it that I didn't see in the picture and Stromboli is a multi-dimensional blend of reds.

Poisoned Apple is the far right skein.

And that's what I did during my summer vacation, dying more yarn on the farm (30,000 yards to be exact!) in a single colorway in a single day (7 straight hours) than I have ever been asked to do before. (Sherri of Rainy Day Yarns in Washington state is a close second with all of the Rainy Day color way that she's had me dye up over the past few months--she carries my yarn, Left Coasters so check her shop out because she obviously has impeccable taste in yarn! Obviously.)


If you want a skein or two of Poisoned Apple, hurry up and order it because you can order it separately and they are almost sold out!  If you're just not an international shopper, at least you can get Journey in several other unique color ways in the shop.  Oh yeah, and I'm having a wee sale through Sunday (10/18) so you'd better get on over there and shop before I'm cleaned out (details in the shop slideshow and on the FB page)!


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