Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dyeing at Stitches East

I went to Stitches East last weekend, it's last time in Atlantic City as it turns out, and thank the gods for that! It is just not a good venue for a thousand or so manic knitters, and the hotel situation has been pretty poor, too. Anyway, two years ago I said that I probably wouldn't go back again, except that then I heard that Elaine Eskesen from Pine Tree Yarns was teaching a couple of dyeing classes, and I've always liked the way her yarns look, they have a wonderful depth of color. Dyeing is one of those things that I continue to learn more about, and I have found that every master dyer has their own personal style and techniques, so I continue to take classes and hope that eventually I'll be able to do what makes me happy.
Anyway, here is a picture of Elaine demonstrating:
And another that shows people from the class working on their own skeins. Elaine likes to use the "squeeze-bottle" method of hand-painting barely wet wool, for a truly non-repeating application of color.
And here are the skeins I did using her method:
Elaine also taught a class that was not hands-on, and this was not nearly as effective. I imagine that they had asked her to teach it because she has a new book out on dyeing, and she used a lot of the samples and swatches from the book in the class. It was not enough material, though, for a 3 hour class, it would have been a good length for a guild meeting-type presentation. I wish it had been another hands-on class, especially if we had been able to work on other types of fiber, such as silk and mohair. She did have a nifty little kit that she has pro-chem put together for her, with wetting agent, citric acid, and primary color dyes. I know that I am much happier with my dyeing when I mix the colors, rather than using pre-mixed colors, even though some of those are very nice, and also convenient to use. Especially when hand painting, mixing my own colors seems to make them work better together, as the tones and hues are more similar.
A poorly lit picture of me, Fran, and Raina at the Fashion Show banquet-
And, well, I also shopped, but not very much, as there is not really much that I need to get. Some sock yarn, one of Linda's (GraftonFibers) lovely handmade crochet hooks and a bit of her fiber, the new Sally Melville book, a mug with a lace knitting theme on it. I still need to get the Vintage Socks book based on KnitDad's trusted recommendation, but I'll get that from one of the shops that I go to regularly.
Off to spin!