We had an interesting and informative presentation on using hand dyed yarns by Stacey Serafin at our March meeting. As all dyers do, she makes many decisions during the dyeing process and she shared with us how those decisions can affect the finished item made with a particular yarn.
Pooling can be a nemesis in many projects. Many of us have been mystified as to why some yarns tend to pool and others don’t. Stacey showed us some tips on how to look at a skein of yarn to gauge how likely it is to pool. She suggested (this is not always appropriate to do so ask before you do it!) unfolding the skein into a big loop and studying the way the dye was applied. Look for the relative lengths of the color sections and the abruptness of the color changes. If the sections are of very even length with abrupt changes there is a greater chance of pooling. This cannot be seen when the skein is folded up. These aren’t hard and fast rules because it always depends on the pattern you’ll be using, but they are worth paying attention to when you look at yarn.
Our theme of the year for 2017 is color – in any form. There does have to be more than one in the project but it doesn’t have to be fancy – basic stripes are fine. For those who want to be a bit more adventurous there are lots of techniques to try. Think stranded colorwork, intarsia, and mosaic. Using multiple colors in helix knitting (go look it up – it’s cool!), twined knitting, shadow knitting, double knitting, modular knitting, or entrelac can be a fun challenge with beautiful results. If you are interested in a mini workshop on any of these topics let a board member know.
Color was also the topic of our February meeting presentation. Nance came to talk to us about using different types of multi-colored yarns. She showed an amazing range of gorgeous colorwork making use of long color repeats, short color repeats, variegated yarns, and gradient sets. Her samples and discussion were great inspiration to explore color in our knitting – especially appreciated in the grey of winter!
At the January meeting, a drawing was held for places in the group to visit Brooklyn Tweed. On Friday, January 27, the lucky winners met at the Brooklyn Tweed office and warehouse. We were welcomed by Jen, the office manager, and she introduced us to the office staff, many of whom were wearing beautiful sweaters or accessories made from Brooklyn Tweed yarns.
Luigi, who is in charge of business development, gave us an overview of the process that the wool goes through from sheep to yarn. Brooklyn Tweed is proud to say that everything is totally “made in the USA”. The sheep are raised on ranches in Wyoming (the woolen spun yarns) and Montana and South Dakota (the worsted spun yarns.) All of the scouring, dyeing, and spinning processes happen in other places in the US. It is a very complex process! After a Q&A time, we were turned loose to roam the warehouse and shop for patterns and yarn. (more…)
Our January meeting included our rescheduled holiday potluck, neckwear show and tell for the 2016 theme of the year, People’s Choice Award voting for neckwear prizes, and drawings for both the Brooklyn Tweed tour and prizes for membership renewals. Busy, delicious, and fun!
The 2017 board has taken over and there are lots of great programs coming this year. See the Meetings page for the list.