workshops, yarn, knitterly events

Hand dyeing workshop

 I had time to take in a couple of workshops while I was at the knitting retreat on Quadra Island. Truely, what’s a knitting retreat without a workshop, right? Judy MacLean of Sweatermaker Yarns creates beautiful hand-painted skeins of indulgence. It was an honour to watch her demonstration of crammed dyeing (I believe that’s what she called it). It’s a reduced water method.

bamboo merino

Judy dyed a bamboo/merino blend using red, blue and yellow.  Can you tell from this photo? The colours mixed together a little more than she expected since is was a new fibre for her. She deftly saved the batch by adding more red and it came out this almost silvery purple hue.

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The next demonstration was my favourite. Judy chose a tomato red, pink and yellow ochre colour. I just couldn’t stop photographing the yarn as she worked with it. Beautiful colours. This was a merino/nylon sock yarn.

merino nylon

And this is my skein I get to keep.

hand painting silk cashmere

Finally we were set loose on a skein of cashmere/silk each to hand paint. We were each given an icecube tray with one “icecube’s worth” each of blue, yellow and red. Some people mixed their colours as they painted onto their skeins and other mixed a bit before painting. After I was done I looked around and liked others’ efforts much more than my own. I plan on overdyeing this skein with perhaps a cyan blue to start. If it still doesn’t appeal to me, then I’ll try a darker blue.