My knitting time during these deep winter months (January into March) has focused on small, quick-to-complete projects while I await participation in my first test knit. The sage colored cowl uses yarn I hand-dyed with Kool-Aid as part of a class with Heather Best and I did a stash dive for the wool, alpaca, mohair, silk blend that resulted in the soft, squishy cable bordered shawl.
The pattern I volunteered to test is currently in the making by Jennifer Berg, Native Knitter. While her projects often incorporate geometric images in contrasting colors reminiscent of Acoma pottery or Navajo blankets, a first glimpse of her new design reflects the dramatic colors the raw southwestern landscape. Proceeds from the sale of this soon-to-be released pattern will benefit MMIW – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
While I tracked my first hand-dyed installment from Idaho, I wondered if the new skeins would blend with the predominant hues already in my stash or provide challenges from the color wheel. Both of these thoughts proved true. The solid aqua skein was well within my color comfort zone. The variegated skein is one I definitely would never have selected with its repeating runs of un-dyed natural cream to yellow to coral to burnt orange.
I knew I needed to use this odd yellow skein right away or it would languish for years. A new shawl pattern from Marie Greene featuring lacy contrasting stripes was released at just the right moment for a February project inspiration.
Martina Behm’s Strickmich! Club has gone on hiatus for 2023 so no squishy packages will arrive this winter from Damsdorf, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Lest I miss the excitement of mystery yarn deliveries, I have filled the gap by joining the Sew Happy Jane Hand Dyed Happy Yarn Club.
Heather Best is an amazing fiber colorist. I used her DK tweed in the Brighter Day colorway for my Fireworks pullover and a matching cowl. The yarn was lovely to work with and that sweater is among my favorites for a bit of warm color on a gray winter day. Using her Kool-Aid formulas, (Yes, the sweet summer drink concoction!) I took five skeins from au naturel wool to subtle hues all the while learning that my passion is not as a dyer.
She begins dying each month’s palate only after club orders are placed. This ensures accurate quantities without overstocking and enables members to choose Fingering or DK weight yarn in single 100g. skeins or to double the fun with a pair of perfectly coordinated hanks – 1 tonal and 1 painted. And, if beautiful yarn is not a prize in itself, each themed box includes curated gifts. Club members may vary weights and quantities each month and even pause participation for a month or two without totally disengaging. The flexible subscription plan is great for participants, although I imagine this marketing approach requires more recordkeeping. Waiting is the only downside of this new yarn service. On these gray January days, while Heather is deep in color-filled production, I must wait to discover the treasures of my February Happy Yarn Club box.