Friday, October 30, 2015

Stitchjones Design Challenge Part I: Q&A with Sharon of Stitchjones

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I'm excited to announce a third collaboration with Ariel of Stariel Knits - and this time our friend Noriko of Norichan Knits is also joining the fun!

We're delighted to welcome Sharon of Stitchjones as our featured dyer, and with her help, we've cooked up a series of custom, Lisa-Franktastic colors to design with! We're working with her Merino Sock, a squooshy, fingering weight superwash merino base. And - who's surprised? - my custom colorway is fluorescent pink.

For our first post, Sharon has graciously agreed to answer a set of questions from each of us. Since I adore color and all of the stories behind it, I asked Sharon a little bit about her relationship with color and dyeing. Without further ado, here's the interview:

Cory: I love how bright and fun your colors are! If you could describe your color sense in three words, what would they be?

Sharon: (Thank you!) Happy, Vibrant, Childlike.

For this project, Ariel, Noriko, and I were really inspired by the fluorescent colors of Lisa Frank illustrations, which were all the rage with school kids in the 1990s. Where do you usually draw your color inspiration from?

Primarily from music and nature, although inspiration also comes to me from international culture, pop culture and fashion. 

Often, artists and makers practice in several different media before they find their favorite - I started with cross stitch and drawing as a kid, then made the leap to knitting right before college. What did your path to dyeing look like, and what was the moment that you realized that it was your thing?

I didn't become an indie dyer until I was in my 50's, but I loved yarn even before learning to knit, and I did some embroidery as a child. Once my daughter was in school I became very serious about knitting. I fell in love with natural fibers and hand dyed yarns. After some experimenting with acid dyes, I became hooked very quickly! A wonderful LYS in Portland (Twisted) began selling my yarns on consignment, and Stitchjones progressed from there. I began eight years ago, what an amazing ride it's been. 


I always have a new color I'm excited about - right now it's lavender-grey - but at the end of the day, pink is my first love. What's your favorite color at the moment, and are there any other colors that stick with you?

So hard to pick just one color! I'd have to say that right now, it's turquoise. I'm finding so much fascination with nailing the right concentration of turquoise dye that looks stunning by itself and also sets off the other colors around it. Pink is a perennial favorite too, I love all shades of pink, and never get tired of seeing how many different pinks I can mix up.

Thank you so much for participating in the collaboration, Sharon! I'm super excited to start the design process with my amazing pink yarn!

Thanks, Cory!

And there you have it - huge thanks to Sharon, fellow pink-lover and dyer extraordinaire! You can check out her pretties on the internet over here:

And the other interviews over here:

Happy Friday, friends!


Friday, October 9, 2015

Three Fates Design Challenge Part IV: Testing, Testing!

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At long last, the Nusa cowl is ready for testing! As you may have noticed, in the end I decided that the reversible feature of the cowl was too cool (and too functional) not to do - it creates a fabric that is substantial but not bulky, and makes both sides tidy and beautiful. Plus, there's two different stripe combinations, so you can choose your own adventure when getting dressed in the morning! There's a bit of sewing involved, but it's all outlined in the pattern.

Interested in test knitting? I'd love to have ya! I used one skein each of Three Fates Yarns aquae fingering in colorways Mt St Helens and Netarts, or you can substitute another fingering weight - about 420 yards of the Main Color and 220 yards of the Contrast Color.

Feel free to drop me a line at cory at indieknits dot com if you're interested in test knitting.

Ariel's pattern is also ready for testing, and you can take a look at her post over here.

Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Rain & Wool

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Today the rain is coming down in soft sheets. Beading up on car windows, turning the red brick to brilliant orange. Everything becomes more luminous in the rain, its symmetry more apparent, as if preserved in glass or viewed through a kaleidoscope. It's the kind of rain that will soak your bones in a few minutes flat, if you stand outside too long without a raincoat.

And so, inside, I play with wool. I had nearly forgotten about the charm of Shetland wool, its complex colors and crisp hand. How the colors blur together. How sticky and light it is, and yet how bound to the earth it feels. Its outcome is a secret for now, but I hope to start sharing some glimpses with you soon.

In the meantime, it's time to have a second cup of coffee and clean up last night's dishes, then to play Where's Waldo with the cat next door, whose sodden mug is probably lurking somewhere around my basement windows. Poor, cranky kitty. Serves you right for singing cat opera at 2 am outside my bedroom.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Sneak Peek: Nusa

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Woohoo, the Nusa cowl sample is finished! Now, it just needs some photography and pattern editing before it's ready for test knitters. And of course, I'm already thinking about knitting a second one. I have a funny habit of knitting all of my designs at least twice - usually I'm so harebrained during the first sample that it's nice to slow down and make it as a knitter, not as a designer, for the second. I already have some yarn wound up for it and everything. With a big, deadlined sample on the needles right now, I'll probably be daydreaming about it all weekend.

Happy Friday, friends!