When you love hand-dyed yarn…

Check out Sharon’s post on the DC Trunk Show!

DC 3IG Meet Up 2010 (19)

I love hand-dyed yarn. Love, love, love, love, love. I love variegated yarn, semi-solid yarn, yarn with analogous colors, yarn with complimentary colors, yarn with colors you’d never think of putting together but some how work beautifully.

And this is why I love Three Irish Girls yarn. I mean, really love it, almost to the point of an unhealthy obsession (because not every skein in my stash is from Three Irish Girls…just about a third of it). Sharon just has an incredible talent when it comes to putting color on yarn: saturated or delicate, blended or full of contrast, restful or playful, semi-solid or multi-colored, Sharon does it all. Talking with fellow Three Irish Girls fans Sunday, I learned I’m not the only one who turns into a 14-year-old fangirl when it comes to Sharon and her yarn. (Ironically, I never did the 14-year-old fangirl thing when I was 14…it took me until I was 36.)

DC 3IG Meet Up 2010 (11)
Yarnista Sharon on the right, Fangirl Jen on the left

In fact, there were quite a few fangirls gathered at The Yarn Spot in Wheaton, MD on Sunday. We were all there for a class on knitting with hand-dyed yarn taught by Sharon herself, followed by a trunk show featuring some as-yet-unreleased fall colorways and several “Carpe Yarnem” skeins–one-of-a-kind colorways that Sharon creates for fun when the mood strikes.

3IG Springvale Super Merino I Want You to Want Me (3)
This Carpe Yarnem colorway was called “I Want You to Want Me”…and I did. Oh, I did.

3IG Springvale Bulky I Want You to Want Me (3)
Twice, in fact. Same colorway, different base (Springvale Super Merino above, Springvale Bulky below).

The table piled high with Three Irish Girls yarn was visible behind the projection screen set up for Sharon’s class, and I know I wasn’t the only one craning my neck for a peek before Sharon started. We were all pointing out various colors that had caught our eye in that beautiful display. I wouldn’t say anyone was doing anything as organized as planning their shopping strike as we sat there, but there were a few cases of love at first sight.

3IG Glenhaven Cashmerino Fingering Bryn (2)
His name is Bryn, and it was true love from the moment our eyes first met across the crowded room.

I went into the class with no expectations, because I just wanted to hear Sharon talk about her yarns and get the chance to chat with her a bit. I knew it was going to be fun. I knew I’d learn something. I just didn’t know what or how much.

Well, I learned a lot. We actually started with the dyeing, not the knitting, which I found both fascinating and edifying–because I learned about how the dyeing process affects how the yarn knits up. Sharon discussed how various knitting techniques can either enhance or eliminate pooling, in order to satisfy both the pooling lovers (like me!) and haters (ahemJessicaahem). I loved The Ten Principles of Pooling, only 2 of which I’d known beforehand, and the ways to use handdyed yarn had me inspired. I’ve got several skeins I purchased because I loved the colors but not in quantities to knit what I’d like, or ones that have fought the idea I had.

The Five Laws of Project Selection will be helping me there too, though I was rather pleased to learn that I’d already instinctively picked up on a few of them–in fact, I used a few of them to create my recent designs for Three Irish Girls. Of course, since the designs haven’t been released yet, I had to do a lot of tongue biting!

And yes–it was fun. Sharon’s got such a droll, self-effacing sense of humor–you’ve seen it if you read her blog–and we did a lot of laughing during the class. If you didn’t know that hand-dyed yarn and pooling could be funny, you really need to take Sharon’s class. It was cute to hear her tell the story of identifying her own yarn in a hand-knit sweater “in the wild” (in this case, her Cosmo colorway worn by a knitter traveling on the same plane from Chicago to Tulsa for her class and trunk show at Loops South). I got the chance for some extended chats with Sharon, who is such a sweetheart, beautiful inside and out, and I loved getting that opportunity.

Oh, and yeah…there was some yarn.

DC 3IG Meet Up 2010 (8)

DC 3IG Meet Up 2010 (10)

And yes…I bought some. Just a little bit. Just the stash at the top of the post…details to come…

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6 Responses to When you love hand-dyed yarn…

  1. Rhonnie says:

    *sigh* so much beauty :)
    Thanks for sharing!!

  2. RiA says:

    Sounds like fun! One of these days I’ll get my mitts on some TIG yarns. I go both ways with pooling, in some projects I love it in others I hate it. very rarely am neutral. BUT you have known me long enough to know I’m very rarely neutral on anything!

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  6. […] came the 3IG trunk show, where I scored a number of Carpe Yarnem yarns. At that point, I decided I wouldn’t try for […]