I forget where I have started after a while. Splatter? Mottled? Stripes? Freeform? I remember the basics, the colors that have shaped each season and have been added to a colorful yarn. There are years that have been defined by color. Then years defined by texture. In the race to be the next infamous dyer, I have opted to stick to small batch dying that is project based and limited edition. After all, I have declared myself an Innovative Dyer.
In the last year, I lost my yarn base. This sent me in to a void because I know that there’s nothing like Gems. Cats out of the bag…no big surprise. My yarn base was Gems. I nearly fell off my stool when Dave told me that his long time faithful yarn shops thought they could do better. This ended a long run for one of the best merinos on the market. Trust me. I have searched, test dyed and squashed every yarn I could get my hands on. NOTHING compared to Gems.
Then there’s that other side of me that said, “Don’t limit yourself.” So in the wake of innovative dying, I became an innovated designer. My patterns are still out to be tested. My writing style is not refined because I write the way I would teach in my shop. Some things can be left to intuition, but I am learning to assume that not all fiber artists get what I am thinking.
“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland”
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
Dying for Purpose
Oslo. Oslo is a great example of my sudden burst of new energy for knitting using a new dye base. It was my good fortune that someone else didn’t buy the lot. At first I was annoyed by the amount of work it took to get to the dying, but when I pieced together Flower Garden in Oslo, the possibilities became endless. I could knit that sweater in green with darker to light patterning. What if I was knit in a neutral tone and go vibrant on the color work? Endless possibilities.
What has happened is a total sensory experience on my part. While others chase merinos and merino blends, I have turned back to the choices less chosen for bases. 2020 has spurred on a new wave of energy thanks to Dawn, Tina, Doreen and my Mother. We have sock yarns, sweater yarns and shawl yarns and I think none of them are merino wool.
Next, I stepped up to be Director of Texas Make It With Wool. This is just a title and what I do with it means a great deal. We have jump back on the wool fabric train feeding our wool appliqué and rug hooking enthusiasts while educating our sewers on the use of hand dyed vs. off the bolt. Texans are not quiet so there designs should be reflective of this spirit. I look forward to 2020, a year for educating and building up visions to their fullest. There’s a mill in my future….a woolen mill….ooohhh ahhhhh…..
Until then, Jenn