Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Colour My World

It’s so dark here these days that I must have colour to brighten things up. Something Jane Thornley said in her article in this week’s Ravelry newsletter got me thinking. As I’ve said before, I rarely buy indie dyers’ yarns because I have dyes and I know how to use them. However, I’ve had a flash of insight on why they are so popular. A couple of reasons actually. One is what I call the Collector’s Impulse. The Internet and Ravelry have made it much too easy to see what other people are buying, showing off their purchases, naming names and linking their faves. The dyers respond by making intriguingly named limited-edition colour combos and “clubs” which raises the excitement. I must have that too! Squeeee!!! Yarn budget be damned. The fact that most of the indie-dyed yarn is sock yarn just makes it that much more desirable. Or sometimes lace yarn, same thing.

The other big factor I believe is the colour range available. It’s just too exciting to resist! Far beyond the 5 or 10 or even 30 different colours that manufacturers create for a line or a season, indie dyers can have any colour they want. And a whole lot more. When yarns are dipped or painted, there are overlapping areas where colours blend and mingle and those are just the best colours! The ones that you didn’t expect, rich and complex and mysterious. Commercial dyeing techniques can’t achieve the same effects no matter how hard they try.

Not only the colours themselves but the way they are applied makes hand-dyed yarns unique. Think of random speckled yarns (a specialty of Koigu), delicate semi-solids, 5 or 10 or even 30 different colours on the same skein. Subtle, bright or totally eye-dazzling – pick your faves. And hoard them because you’ll never see exactly this yarn ever again. Special. Precious. Gotta have it.

The stash just grows and grows. Of course actually using the yarn is another thing altogether! Most people buy one skein of a colourway at a time. Or maybe two more-or-less matching ones. Not enough for a sweater or a large scarf but enough for a small project. Hence another reason for the overwhelming popularity of accessories!

Which brings me to the new Interweave Knits Accessories publication. I haven’t seen it in the store yet but I looked at the preview page and…sigh. I already own most of the patterns. They have taken them from past issues of IK, KnitScene and some of their books. It’s a pretty pricey magazine as well so I think I’ll pass on it. It irritates me to inadvertently buy the same pattern twice, never mind a whole fat magazine full of reprints. Maybe OK for those who didn’t pick up the issues the first time or who have enough money to justify buying it just to have them all in one place. I was anticipating this magazine hoping for a bunch of new patterns so I’m kind of disappointed now. Fine. I have enough patterns to keep me knitting for about 150 lifetimes anyway.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I got a lot of washing done yesterday. I scrubbed the hall closet and washed about 6-gajillion loads of laundry. The basement looks like a clothes bomb went off in it and the living room is still piled high with sorted heaps. I was super careful when climbing on a step-ladder to reach the high shelves but then unfortunately fell down later when I was making the bed. I have a bruise on my behind and a few stiff muscles today. Bleh.

How does one fall whilst making the bed, you ask? Not easy but I managed. If you recall our bed is a weird home-built wooden box with the sides cut in a curve so we can get in and out. (Yes, it’s very comfy. Why do you think we haven’t replaced it?) I was standing inside on the base holding up the mattress trying to attach a recalcitrant suspender on my too-big fitted sheet. My Birkie caught when I shifted my feet (yes, I should have taken them off) and instead of falling on the mattress I fell off onto the floor, hitting the semi-padded corner of the trunk on the way down and finally landing on a pile of pillows. The soft final landing didn’t help the fact that I’d connected hard on the way down. Ouch. And to top it off, later in the evening I knocked a pole that was holding up a banner on the wall and it landed on my head. Didn’t leave a bruise but left me thinking I should have stayed in bed. Oh wait…that’s not a safe place either.

So it’s back to work today putting everything back in the closet. Feels wrong somehow when it’s all cleaned out to not carry on and paint but we’re not quite ready for that yet. At least I know there’s no bugs in the woolies and it’s all washed and fresh. Bonus, I found 2 vintage handspun sweaters, one mine and one T-Man’s, that don’t fit so they can be unravelled and the yarn reused for something else.

Speaking of T, here’s his Movember moustache so far:

Movember2 At least he’s not growing a mullet too. I can hardly wait until December!


Silk said...

What a nice looking man... not too keen on the stash... send the pic on to Glenys... thought she might get a giggle out of it.... sheila

Louisa said...

Hee-hee! Glad you think he's nice looking though it's not a great photo. He's actually better looking in real life - and preferably without the mo. Yes, Cousin G just might get a good laugh!