Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yarn Talk

I'd like to talk a bit about my process, using some of my latest yarns as examples.

I've wanted to create a series of Firefly-inspired colorways for some time, now, and I thought it would be most interesting to choose a memorable moment of each episode as my muse for each colorway. This project has been so much fun for me, as it has "forced" me to watch all the Firefly episodes again and really consider them in a new light. Below are a few of my favorites.

This is the Bushwhacked colorway. I wanted to interpret the sky as yarn, so I thought about how I could create a dimensional starry effect, that was more than just stark white on black. My answer was to tie the skein in different ways, with some ties looser than others, so that some of the dye would seep into those looser parts. It was scary to put that skein into a concentrated black dye solution and hope that my plan was solid! Fortunately, it was, and I was able to achieve the dimensional look I wanted.

When I remembered that The Train Job was the first episode in which River mentioned the "hands of blue," I knew I wanted to recreate that blue. I will admit my first thought was that a pair of plain stockinette gloves knitted from this yarn would be a fantastically geeky, yet subtle tribute to the show.

I knew that creating the perfect shade of blue would require some mixing and dye magic, but I had no idea that it would be the most difficult and labor intensive shade to achieve! This yarn went through at least four processes to become just right. Part of my challenge was to make the color solid enough to be true to the look I wanted, while maintaining a hand-dyed feel. I'll call it a semi-semi-solid.

As a proud lover of all things pink, Shindig was a no-brainer for me. The trick was to get soft washes of color with subtle transitions to really mimic the effect of chiffon. The entire skein went into the palest pink imaginable to give the whole colorway a cohesive look. Then, the darker blush and peach shades were gradually added and carefully manipulated to create a yarn as frothy and dreamy as Kaylee's dress.

I enjoyed making these colorways so much, and I hope that knowing more about the process enables you to feel a stronger connection to the yarn you're knitting.