Congratulations to Stacey, who is the random drawing winner of the First Edition signed copy of “Knitlandia”! Stacey, I’ve replied to your comment on the “Knitlandia” post; email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate your prize!
I’m deep into getting ready for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, as well as my ongoing Club dyeing. This year, I’m branching out in my dye techniques a bit ~ trying some new techniques, revisiting some old techniques that didn’t grab me when I first tried them out.
It’s been fun, and it’s provided me with a fresh take on what I’ve been doing now for going on 14 years. I think anyone, whether they’re in a creative field, or scientific, business … whatever, can get to a point where things start feeling a bit run-of-the-mill. Too routine, too standard, even mundane. I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say that about my work, but I do feel like it was going in that direction. And so I needed to shake things up a bit, before I arrived at the point where my work became “work” and lacked inspiration and spark. I think, no matter in what field a person works, there is always the chance to become too settled, have things become too routine, and this is where creativity and inspiration stagnate.
One technique I’ve been playing with a lot more over the past months is kettle dyeing. Solids and handpainted variegated colors look so cool together in colorwork projects, so this seemed like a perfect technique for me to use more regularly. I like my semi-solid tonals, but adding more solid-solids seemed like a sensible way to expand my color range. Note that I doubt I’ll ever dye a “true” solid, there will always be nuances, shading and depth to them, because totally solid colors can be … too commercial? Flat? Boring? Not to diss on the true solids out there at all, but it’s just not what I personally look for in hand-dyed yarn.
But, getting more solid colors is actually quite fun! And it’s definitely mixing up my routine, which is a good thing. Mixing the dyes, playing with the color, tweaking things. Checking the pH, monitoring the temperature, stirring the pot. Yes, I will admit I quote the witches from MacBeth fairly often in my head as I stand over the steaming pots with my long stirring sticks ~ “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble” (my English Lit degree needs to come out now and then, don’t ya know).
What else am I working on? Kits full of smaller skeins for various colorwork projects ~ harmonious hues, and contrasting hues. Because sometimes we just need smaller amounts of several colors rather than a whole skein of each. For now, I’m focusing on putting these together in Nona, Sunna and Brigantia (perhaps Birte, too). These will also debut at MDSW, and online thereafter. Stay tuned for some teasers.
The above is a quick snap shot of 3 of the colors I dyed yesterday. These are actually not new colors; they’re just kettle dyed instead of handpainted. After I hung them to dry, I thought, not only are they somewhat patriotic, they’d be pretty together in a colorwork project.
I have quite a few new colors I’m working on and I’m really rather excited about. All of which will make their debut at MDSW and then will go up in my shop afterwards. I’ll share some teasers here as I move along in my MDSW prep.