Maybe I’ll Become a Cook

Sometimes it’s good to push yourself outside your comfort zone.  And if it works, it’s such a boost to the ego!  And when it doesn’t…  well…

Well, indeed.  Last week I pushed myself right out of my comfort zone and straight into yellow.  I don’t do yellow a great deal — it’s just never been a personal favourite of mine.  But yellow is a great colour — sunny and bright, and filled with warmth.  It was time to tackle yellow.

And, while I was pushing outside my comfort zone, I decided to shake things up even more by trying a new dyeing technique.  It was something I’d never tried before — indeed, I’d never even seen it done before — and I got excited about it as soon as I thought of it.  The technique would create very short bursts of colour — just one, two, maybe three knit stiches long — and unusual blends of shades.  I couldn’t wait to try it.

And so I took a deep breath and mixed up my yellows…  and in went the yarn.

And what came out did not thrill me.  The yellows were beautiful, but The Technique had not worked the way I had expected at all.  The short bursts of colour were there, but were much more ragged at the edges than I had hoped, and the shading was simply too haphazard for my tastes.  I pursed my lips and shrugged…  Chalk it up to a learning experience and be done with it, I thought.

“I like them!  They’re interesting.  They’re… earthy!”  Turning these yarns over in her hands, my friend clearly saw something in them that I hadn’t spotted at first.  And she was right.  The shades are earthy, and the colour changes aren’t ragged as I first thought, they’re organic.  And the yarns, I suddenly realised, are beautiful.  Even if they weren’t what I was expecting and are completely outside my comfort zone.

So here they are!

The idea behind this one started as Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, but when it finally dried, I realised it makes me think so much more of Sunflowers, of their lovely golden yellow petals and dark seed-centers, of the earth they sprout from and the sun that nourishes them…

And this one… this one…  I am trying to think of a good name for it, but time and again, all I see is Pasta in a Garlic Pesto.  Even though the colours are exact, no matter which way I turn it, no matter how I look at it, that’s the only thing that comes to mind.

You know, if this dyeing gig doesn’t work out, maybe I could become a cook…

7 thoughts on “Maybe I’ll Become a Cook

  1. I was recently in Door County, WI and had the chance to visit Whitefish Bay Farm.

    The owner was in the gallery when we arrived, spinning fiber from her sheep. (One of her sheep is named YoYo Baa. Makes me laugh every time.)
    Across the room were baskets of yarn that she had dyed with organic materials like artichokes and rhubarb. They were all lovely shades of yellows and greens. I loved them.
    Your yarn turned out beautifully. Well done, as usual.

  2. I love these! Going outside your comfort zone may be scary, but I’ve often found that my most creative work happens when I’m teetering on the edge. Great job!

  3. I’m sounding like a broken record but these colors are stunning! I don’t think you had failures at all but if you ever open a restaurant – let me be the first in line!

  4. Ummm…. Yeah….. You need to re-evaluate what constitutes failure because those are not it. You totally rocked yellow!

  5. When I look at the second one I see pistachio nuts. That’s just me. I think we should all step outside our comfort zones once in a while. After all, thats where personal, artistic and profession growth comes from.

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