Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Podcast with the Dye Monkey Stamp of Approval

I have a number of knit/crochet podcasts that I watch, but I've recently found one I'd like to share. I happened upon Chain344 totally by accident on Instagram.These ladies are very down to earth, honest, infectious, amusing and inspirational. They review yarns and patterns, show their projects, host giveaways and KALs/CALs and share their lives.

Their podcast is not over-produced - you are in the living room with them. Although you can't actually participate in real time, you become fully engaged and feel very much a part of the conversation. You'll find yourself laughing along and wanting to cast on. I recently binge watched hours of Chain344 podcasts due to an unfortunate bout of the flu, and honestly wish I was still ill and there were more episodes to watch. You can find Carolyn and Kait in their Ravelry group and on YouTube.

In support of their podcast, I've sent yarn and patterns for them to review, should they choose, as well as yarn and a pattern to distribute as prizes in their drawings. You can participate and possibly win some Dye Monkey yarn!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Returning to My True Love

Cherry Blossom on Twist Monkey
Fresh from the dye pot to the drying rack.
I tried. Really I did. I pushed myself to look to nature for color inspiration, viewing flowers and scenic panoramas, but in the end, I returned to my true love - food.

But that's okay, right?

Food can be inspiring, sensuous even. Who really isn't turned on by chocolate? Okay, I know there are a few of you, but you have a favorite... I know you do. I simply found that I was more inspired by a trip to the produce section of my grocery store than I was staring at places I've never been. With food all my senses light up. And so now, I dedicate myself to finding your flavor, with some exceptions. I still don't think I'll ever sell a "Shrimp Scampi" colorway, despite my love of the dish.

Today I spent my afternoon dyeing some fun new colors: "Blueberry" a lovely tonal blue with teal accents on Salsa Monkey worsted weight, and "Raspberry" a subtle, yet vibrant and feminine tonal on Twist Monkey silk blend fingering weight.

What food turns you on?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Creativity Stinks!

Sorbet Mini Skein Set - Click to View in Shop 
The smell of boiled wool and vinegar permeates my house. It is the smell of joy and creativity. It is the smell of a dyeing day.

My husband hates this smell. He understands and encourages my dyeing - he knows it is part of the process. It is truly just the smell that gets to him. He often goes out and works in the garage when I'm dyeing to escape it, but only after closing the doors to all other rooms, throwing open windows and setting all the fans in the house to high.

The irony is I hate foods that contain vinegar (pickles being the one and only exception), and he loves vinegar. Add wool, and the tables turn. Yes, I know I could use citric acid and avoid the smell altogether... but I like it.

It's okay. I'm not particularly fond of the smell of exhaust and two-stroke oil and it is a great excuse for him to go do the things he love.

What does your creativity smell like?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mini Madness

Boardwalk - Set of 6 mini skeins
available at Dye Monkey Yarns on Etsy.
I completely understand the madness for mini skeins. They are cute, adorable even. I have the need to collect them ALL. It's like having a taste of everything on the dessert tray and still staying true to a diet. There is pleasure in owning ALL the colors.

But then, I get stuck.

I have them. Now what?

Yes, endless hours of petting and admiration, playfully stacking them with each other have been spent, but I want something more. I want the "perfect project" to highlight my hoard.

And so I search.

I've spent hours on Ravelry and Pinterest combing through knit projects and patterns looking for "the" project. I've favorited and pinned.

Why not just jump in? Why not simply add a stripe? I'm sure you think I'm foolish. Sure, I could do this. It's that I have a fear of the colors looking like a jumbled mess.  I also have a serious case of "not good enough for this yarn".  I'm sure you've been there at least once before. It's that overwhelming feeling that the project is somehow less than the yarn deserves.

Do you have a favorite mini skein project? What pattern would you recommend?

Use coupon code "MADNESS35" to get 35% OFF any order now until 03/31/16.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Too Close to See

There are some colors I just can't manage to capture the glory of. I think it's because I'm trying too hard.

It's like the more I focus on a particular shade/tone, the more it alludes me. I get too close to the project analyzing undertones and hues, and like zooming into a photo and seeing individual pixels, the more the math/science/formal becomes to complex and the result is mud.

And yet, when I back away and let the dye work its magic - well, there it is. Magic happens and glorious surprises await.

What accidentally came together in your projects when you stepped back?