Learning to dye

logo cake_transparentWhere do gobstoppers come from?  From yarn and dyes and my intuition and a healthy dose of serendipty, that’s where!  All of the cakes that I dye reflect my sense of play, my delight in colour, my love of the functional, and, ultimately, my aesthetics.

Of course, that’s not the full story.  Because the full story involves learning to dye.  Here’s the full story:

I’ve been entirely smitten with colour my whole life.  But I’m also firmly committed to the practical, tangible, material of our daily lives.  I might happily test out 6 or 7 or 8 yellows before choosing a paint colour for my hallway, but I was never fully satisfied by abstract exercises mixing watercolours or discussing colour theory.

But yarn?  Well.

Dyeing yarn is the best– the absolute best– combo of pure colour play and practical result.

I learned that combination of play and practicality from one of the best: Kim McBrien Evans, of indigodragonfly.  I signed up, several years ago, for Kim’s dyeing class, now known fondly as Dye Camp.  In the first year, Kim taught me the mechanics of dyeing: colour pyramids, DOS, acid, temperature, technique.  All interesting, all critically important, and all greatly satisfying to learn and eventually master.

P1020279But the best part?  The part that Kim excels at?  Play!  It’s the play that has kept me coming back to Dye Camp year after year.  Because, y’see, when you ask Kim a question like “what would happen if…”, you know the answer is going to be to encourage you to play, to experiment, and to find out.  She teaches you the rules, then encourages you as you try to break them.  For a hypothesis muppet like me, nothing could be better!

c. Kim McBrien Evans

Hypothesis Muppet, 2012 (c. Kim McBrien Evans)

Gobstopper exists thanks to Kim’s knowledge, support, and encouragement.  And the result?  Well, I’ll let you judge:gobstoppers!

If you’re intrigued?  Check out this summer’s Dye Camp details (and related Ravelry discussion).  I understand she’s even doing a session on dyeing plus the business side of things for dyers interested in going pro.

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