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 Underwhelmed by hand-dyeds?
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ceecee
Permanent Resident

1896 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  07:19:34 AM  Show Profile Send ceecee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We're lucky to have so many hand-dyed options to choose from these days, yet I don't find very many indie dyer-vendors that have color combos that I absolutely love and have to get. Maybe I should be thankful for that. Am I being too color-snotty? Sometimes I look at the color combinations and cringe, wondering if the dyer simply needed to use up leftover pots of dye. OK, there's something to be said for wildly colorful and free-spirited combinations but some of these are well, uh, visually offensive and recall the term "clown barf" contributed by another KR member. Maybe some dyers feel that they don't need a color wheel although they don't have a natural eye for colors and could use one. Yeah, I can take it or leave it but I'd really like to support small ventures. I'm probably going to get some leftover dye flung my way for kvetching about this...

Atavistic
Permanent Resident

6604 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  07:24:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ha ha ha ha ha!

I don't like most non-solid, non-tweed yarns, so this whole post just cracked me up.

Amanda Takes Off... and Amanda Knits

Hand and foot when harmonized forms martialism/but Military and literary when harmonized is art and this brings/philosophy. (Lee, Chang Hoo)
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RoseByAny
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USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  07:49:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think color sense must be a bit like flavors. There are many indie dyers whose work is RAVED about to nearly cult-like status that really don't excite me at all. Often they're colors that don't do anything for me, so I wonder if it's like chocolate (which I don't like) or green olives (which I love) and there are just "flavors" of color that many people like, but I don't.

And then there's the repetition - I see so many of the same colors done over and over it's rather sad. Do you remember a few months ago someone was looking for a pink/brown/white hand-dyed? Do you remember that we came up with at least six different companies that were doing it, with only the most minute variation of each other? There's a lot of that sort of thing.

I haven't really bought yarn in a long time, in part because I really, honestly, truly, have more than enough right now, partly because I have wonderful friends who give me more than I could ask for, partly because money's tight right now, but mostly because I haven't been inspired by much lately.

"The web of our life is a Mingled Yarn, good and ill together."
All's Well That Ends Well, IV, iii
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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mwedzi
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
515 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  08:32:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit mwedzi's Homepage Send mwedzi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, most of it leaves me unexcited, too, but some of it is quite nice. Almost every Koigu thing I see people knit up, I don't like the color. On the other hand, Claudia Hand Paints (Painted?) is very similar to Koigu but with, imo, a better eye for color combos.

I think one of the reasons some color combos are so popular is because some colors really do look better together than others and so are more appealing to more people. This doesn't seem like a terrible thing to me. After all, how many yarn lines have solid color sky blues? A gazillion? Do we say "do we need yet another blue yarn?" You find the right combo of yarn texture and fiber you like plus the color and this is how you make your choice, and not every blue yarn will satisfy that, just like not every neopolitan hand dye will, either.

--Nikki My blog:
http://knitensity.blogspot.com
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Sharyn
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  08:46:21 AM  Show Profile Send Sharyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While I am attracted to many of these "unique" colorways, I find it difficult to actually use them for knitting - they are pretty in the skein, but there are so few knit patterns that end up doing them justice.

I love color, and I love strange color combinations. But, I find it much more satisfying to combine different yarn colors on my own - stripe, mosaic, etc. It is so limiting, creatively, to be knitting along and suddenly the color changes where it doesn't look quite right.
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LittleMousling
Permanent Resident

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  09:36:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit LittleMousling's Homepage Send LittleMousling a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have to agree. Actually, I'm even pickier than you; I've completely stopped buying variegated yarns, even though some do knit up in fairly attractive ways. It's just too much for me. Give me a nice solid--even for stockinette--any day (although I do enjoy a nice semi-solid).

Even the non-clown-barf options just aren't my thing. For socks, OK; not for me, but I get it. But when I see variegated sweaters on adults? Yikes. Rather like highly unflattering but technically beautiful Fair Isles or Arans,* it makes me think "this person was too focused on the knitting and didn't think about the wearing." IMO, the real skill is displayed when you combine the two. It's great to have other knitters say, "Wow, what a sweater!" but I'd rather wear something that doesn't make non-knitters wonder why I'd wear something like that.

*by which I mean huge, drop-shouldered, shapeless ones, not "all Fair Isles and Arans."

-Molly, obsessive but not exclusive socknitter
Stash photos, FOs and a sock recipe
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momslake
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
559 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  10:28:00 AM  Show Profile Send momslake a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not a big fan, either. The word "colorways" drives me nuts. I prefer solids and tweeds. There are a few Malabrigo colors that have inspired me, but that's about it.

One of my issues is the price. I've seen some hand-dyed yarns that are $10 for 100 yards. I know hand dying is an art form, and a lot of work, but I'm just too cheap. The only reason broke down and bought Malabrigo is that it was 215 yards for $11, which, to me, is a little more reasonable. Lorna's Laces Fisherman is also pretty reasonable, but I don't like any of the colors I've seen.


"In the northern wilderness, where wool is a way of life."
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Felted-Bag
Seriously Hooked

640 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  10:28:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit Felted-Bag's Homepage Send Felted-Bag a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It could be difference between having formal art training (thus learning about color and how to make them work together) and not having the art school training. I think it is a real skill to know how to combine colors and understand how they will look once they are knit.

One of the reasons that I really love Lisa Souza's http://www.lisaknit.com/index.htm hand dyed colors is that her art school training and watercolor painting skills show thru. (and she solids and paints to select from) Jill Laski, who no longer sells her hand dyed yarns -- but does teach classes -- is another person with real understanding of color.

Felted-Bag
www.felted-bags.com
www.heritagerecipes.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/felted-bags/
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mmkknits
New Pal

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  11:55:32 AM  Show Profile Send mmkknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think there's an emotional component to the response to color combinations (or to color in general). I see some combinations,and just need to have them. Most variegated yarns, my reaction is meh. Still, I limit the actual use of these yarns to socks and sometimes a shawl. I made a couple sweaters with them when I was a new knitter, and then moved on to wanting to control the colors myself.
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2trees
Seriously Hooked

749 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  12:17:02 PM  Show Profile Send 2trees a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm instantly attracted to the variegated yarns, but have come to accept that most of them just don't knit up that well. I like the almost-solid hand dyes; they aren't as boring as complete solids but knit up better than wild variegations.
Also, individual color preference keeps a lot of "meh" combos around. Hand dyers hate to waste those last bits of dye, and know that *someone* will absolutely love that odd leftover-special.
I was reading a semi-famous blog a few weeks ago, where the author/knitter was test-dying some sock yarn to see what actual colors she would end up with. It was clown barf at its finest. Sure enough, someone in the comments wanted to buy it.

http://worldofyarncraft.blogspot.com/
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bfaye
Seriously Hooked

USA
721 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  12:25:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit bfaye's Homepage Send bfaye a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I find handdyed and variegated yarns more attractive in theory than in practice. When knitting with them, I prefer more of an overall blending than wild color changes or stark contrasts in the colors. That said, there's something in me that loves to look at the handyed and variegated yarns in bright colors skeined up. I think it's the little kid with the new box of crayons that takes over then.

benne
http://feathersong.wordpress.com
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lacylaine
Seriously Hooked

USA
993 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  1:14:34 PM  Show Profile Send lacylaine a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I remember the first time I saw Koigu in person. I was just totally unimpressed! The colors were mostly browns, which I don't care for anyway, but the texture was rough. I couldn't imagine wanting to make socks with that yarn (this was before shawls became so popular).

Also, I agree with momslake. Even if I had more spending money I'm not sure I would spend the kind of money most hand paints cost. I'd rather buy a pretty alpaca or cashmere.

Melanie

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

Finished 1 out of 6 UFOs! Must resist starting another project!!!

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hikingmommy
Chatty Knitter

USA
238 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  2:01:36 PM  Show Profile Send hikingmommy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like the idea of hand dying, as I like to support artists whenever possible and I like to own things that are unique and handmade. However, like others have said, I don't care for the crazy color combinations that look interesting when the yarn is a hank, but knit up to look a bit childish, IMO. I like subtle color changes (shades of purple, for example) or, especially, yarns like Malabrigo where it's one color, but there are subtle variations in that color due to the hand dying process.

Some of the hand dyed yarns I've seen remind me of my summer camp tie dying days - it's lots of fun to make a crazy shirt with all kinds of patterns and colors, but they never look good. The shirts that looked good had one pattern (like a spiral) and only 1 color or a couple of similar colors that blended together well.
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Dicksie
Permanent Resident

USA
1995 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  2:28:02 PM  Show Profile Send Dicksie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I love everything that Mountain Colors dyes. I'm in the process of knitting a fair isle (just the second sleeve to finish) using Magenta for the pattern and Teal, Sweet Pea and Evergreen for the background. Their sense of color is impeccable and the yarn itself a delight. Try Bearfoot for socks. Most of the colors have subtle changes that blend nicely into the next - nothing garish. I've used their 4/8 wool, Mountain Goat, Bearfoot, Weavers Wool Quarters, Merino Ribbon and Mohair - all with excellent results.
Dicksie

http://tourdirector.smugmug.com/gallery/529635
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fiberlicious
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1637 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  6:56:12 PM  Show Profile Send fiberlicious a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, goodie - more "ground-up clown" yarns for me! I love handpainted yarns, as I like stockinette stitch and letting the yarn do the work.
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Mama Cat
Permanent Resident

1223 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  7:20:47 PM  Show Profile Send Mama Cat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I love handpainted sock yarns - I have to admit a real addiction. I haven't actually knit a lot of it up yet though - but those that I've done, I've loved loved loved on my feet. I also made a scarf out of variegated handpainted yarn, and it was really pretty. I'm not sure I would like it so much for a sweater though; but for the right project, maybe. I am planning to start the Sanquahr jacket from Jean Frost Jackets some time this year, which is a wonderful combination of solid with variegated handpainted yarn. (Dicksie made a beautiful one!)

Anyway while my sock yarn is waiting to be knit, I've put it into a basket that sits on my bedside table. It is really very pretty - all the colors meld together like a fruit basket. And since the basket is overflowing it prevents me from buying more yarn that I don't need. ;-)

I guess it's just one of those "to each her own" thing. I'm sure there are things that lots of people like that I don't like at all. For example I'm not crazy about ribbon yarn or stuff with beads in it.
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midnightskyfibers
Gabber Extraordinaire

579 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  7:34:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit midnightskyfibers's Homepage Send midnightskyfibers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think it depends on what the end product is. I love bright and funky yarns for socks (while still having similar hues), but would never wear them in a sweater.

Midnightsky Fibers
Vegetarian and Environmentally Friendly Handspun & painted yarns, fibers, and kits
Midnightsky Fibers Livejournal
Midnightsky Fibers Blog
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orangina
Seriously Hooked

821 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  10:09:31 PM  Show Profile Send orangina a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm glad I'm not the only person who is allergic to the word "colorway." Hee hee.

But seriously, I just received some Fearless Fibers superwash sock yarn (from Etsy) and I really love it. It was difficult to choose which yarns to try. She has some multi-colors and some yarns are more like combinations of different values of the same color. (Am I saying this correctly?) But anyhow, I love the yarn. Way over 500 yards on a skein, for about 16 dollars (if I remember correctly). Colors are beautiful and vibrant, but don't burn my retinas (hee hee again), and the yarn itself is JUST what I like for socks. Not too thin, not too thick, soft but not too fuzzy.

Of course, it's all personal preference. Just wanted to give an example of a positive experience.

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ceecee
Permanent Resident

1896 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2007 :  06:20:43 AM  Show Profile Send ceecee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Phew! When those leftover pots of dye are flung in my direction, I'm glad that there will be several of us to catch the splatter and dilute the effect.
quote:
Originally posted by 2trees
Hand dyers hate to waste those last bits of dye, and know that *someone* will absolutely love that odd leftover-special.
I was reading a semi-famous blog a few weeks ago, where the author/knitter was test-dying some sock yarn to see what actual colors she would end up with. It was clown barf at its finest. Sure enough, someone in the comments wanted to buy it.




That explains it perfectly!
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DaniW
Chatty Knitter

USA
164 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2007 :  06:43:58 AM  Show Profile Send DaniW a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can take or leave some of the color combos I come across. But there aren't many.
I'm rather fearless about color combos so there are probably many that would turn off others
that would not bother me.
I have some really wild stuff that will be made for little kids someday. And that combo of
lemon, mustard and peach will be perfect for me to knit up during the crappy gray days of winter.
The vivid stuff is a good antidote for 'winter blues' which is a real problem for me every winter.

Also, I haven't reached the stage in my sock knitting where I am really branching out into difficult
patterns, so I am still content to let the color do whatever it wants to do. Pools? ok. Stripes? sure.
I'm starting to feel the urge to try something more complicated, so maybe it will matter more to me then.
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Momma78239
Permanent Resident

USA
4859 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2007 :  09:21:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit Momma78239's Homepage  Send Momma78239 a Yahoo! Message Send Momma78239 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think a lot of hand-dyes make more satisfying colors when they're dyed BEFORE spinning, than after spinning. The spinning just seems to make them blend together more harmoniously. I think that's why Noro colors work so well.

-WendyM[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v632/Momma78239/smallspindlepic.gif[/IMG]
And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. Exodus 35:25
Knit, Spin, and Crochet at Yarnivore!
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