An Open Letter to Those who Don’t Get the Fiber Arts
I am not doing this to recreate the past. I don’t harbour any fantasies of wearing petticoats or a bonnet. And I don’t knit because I want to feel domestic.
I do this to free my soul. I do this to work in colours that make my heart sing. I dye because I see in my mind hues and shades that are bursting to be let out. And so I do let them out, laying them down in dye upon fiber – vibrant shades poured out over wool, over silk, over the ordinary of life.
And when, at last, I cast those colours onto my needles, I feel a calm wash over me as I work them up into a fabric of my own making — the needles clicking softly and the colours gently blending and contrasting.
I know you think this is old-fashioned, but it’s not. It is as modern as imagination, as current as discovery, as now as creativity. Would you ask a painter why he doesn’t just take a photograph?
And it’s ok if you don’t get it. I understand. But I just wanted to say – I just wanted to say out loud – that this is nothing about old fashioned. This is what I do, and I do it now. I am a fiber artist.
C’mere, I want to show you something… Here, over here, through this door. It says, “Department of Rocket Science” and I’ve heard crazy things happen in there… No, don’t worry… it’s ok. Look, I’ll come with you. It’s this door here, see? Come on!…
I love to experiment with colour — it gives me such a rush and it’s why I dye. For me, there is no moment in the whole dyeing process more exciting than when I lift a skein of yarn out of the dyepot and it reveals its colours to me. Darker on the outside, softer on the inside… opening up like a soft spring flower, or glistening like a decadent chocolate. No matter how many skeins I dye, that moment gives me a rush every single time.
It’s through this process of playing with colour that I’ve created all the wonderful colourways that I dye for the shop time and again. But, along the way, that process also produces yarns in colourways that probably won’t be repeated again — yarns that were stepping stones in the development of a new colourway, or yarns where I simply let my muse run free to see what would come out of the dyepot.
And so I have created the Department of Rocket Science. It’s a special place where I can go to experiment with abandon — to mix new colours, to dye with my eyes closed, to play with new fibers and new yarn bases. And it’s place where you can come and discover results of all this wonderful experimentation, and choose one of these very special yarns for your one-of-a-kind project. (And remember that all these experimental yarns will go into this section, regardless of yarn/fiber type, so if you’re searching the shop for a particular yarn type, don’t forget to check the Dept of Rocket Science as well.)
So go ahead… open the door! You never know what you’ll find inside… But it will always be something exciting!