the domestic sphere

my dalliances with all things domestic


on dyeing

So Mary-Kay came by on Monday to dye some roving with me. Now, Mary-Kay has an enthusiasm and ability to jump into things with both feet that is aweing. She started knitting a year ago, I think. One year. In the meantime, she has taken up dyeing, spinning, purchased whole dirty fleeces from Australia... and of course, the knitting. The sad thing (for us) is that I just heard that her house sold, so she'll really be moving to Denver and sooner than later. It's always better when people are hypothetically moving, but this sort of looks like it seals the deal. Even more than preordering your season's ski pass.

Mary-Kay at work. You'll have to go over to her blog to see the results.

A necklace of birthstones my Mom gave me: Zoe's topaz, Eleanor's garnet, mine is aquamarine and Leo is peridot. Anyway, I was wearing it and seized upon it for inspiration. Below it the resulting dye job.

I have to say that I like the gem inspired piece. On the second one (which was really the first one chronologically)I happily daubed and ladled the dye around, seemingly with purpose, but the minute I looked at it after it came out of the microwave, I wondered how those colors came out of my hands... or more importantly out of my brain. I lean very heavily toward warm colors. I have no idea what possessed me to put that blue in there... contrast, maybe? And the yellow is a very sharp and not-so-warm yellow. Actually the word that jumped to the top of my brain is "grell".

Every once in a while a German word is the one that comes to me... I was an exchange student in high school and at the time was reasonably fluent -- reasonably fluent for a 17 year old, which means if you want to talk about rock bands, teenage boys or late 80's pop culture, I can maybe hold my own. Grell I associate with flourescent lighting in train tunnels and other things that set your teeth on edge. The online translator says it means "harsh".

Still, I think it may turn out interesting spun up. I am a firm believer that you should occasionally try things you don't think you like or are not attracted to. How can I make this ugly yarn into something beautiful? What could I juxtapose with it to bring out what is good? Such exercises I think can really spur your creativity in new directions. And just as yarn on the skein is often surprisingly different knit up, I think the roving may be surprisingly different once it's spun into yarn.

posted by kristi at 9/21/2006 07:42:00 AM
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