Search blog:

Colors, colors everywhere

Colors, colors everywhere

On the wall

And in my hair

Colors, colors everywhere

And not a drop to drink

You like that? I wrote that just for you, because I am a prodigious talent, and because I care about you.

You're welcome.

Colors on the yarn! Last club shipment from our Maryland address heading out this week!

Colors on the wall! Studio painting commenced!

I thought long and hard about the colors I wanted for the walls of the new studio. What would I love seeing every day? What would make me happy? What is fresh and dynamic and pleasing but energetic? My goal was not to soothe myself into a coma, I need fun, I need high impact color. What kind of yarn studio would have beige walls, I beg of you?

So I narrowed it down, and then I went to the paint store and bought no fewer than 25 small paint samples to try out. When I brought in all my swatches, the guy behind the counter stared at me and said, "Well, it's going to be like... a couple of hours for us to make all of these for you." (Translation: I don't want to make all of these for you, it's too much work.)

"That's OK," I said. "I can run my other errands and stop back later." Just to make him feel better, I added, "Once I decide on the colors, I'll be buying at least fifteen gallons of paint." I didn't want him to feel like I was wasting his time so I could do craft projects.

First, I admired the hole in the wall that will connect the two spaces with a French door.


Then I painted 76,000 swatches to approximate the final paint shades I'd chosen.


I had it narrowed down to some combination of turquoise, mallard, grass green, jade, and purple.

I painted the same swatches on the opposing wall, just to see.


I like them all.

I test out the idea of doing a saturated sari-like gold or tangerine color on the back wall.



I love it, but not in this space. The studio is too long and narrow, and the sari effect will be lost, because you won't be able to easily see the colors play with each other.

I sleep on it. I come back in the morning when the paint has dried. With walls that are thirteen feet high and eighty feet long, the walls will not be easy to repaint, and the wrong color will seem really, really, really wrong.

What's it going to be?

The grass or the jade?


Remember that I don't have to match any furniture to these saturated colors, and that helps a lot.

Here's what I ended up deciding on:

For one wall of the studio, the side that will be directly across from my desk:


Jade with a hint of teal.

For the back wall and the front wall (the short ends of a long rectangle), I decide on:


Orchid purple. Because the space is so long, the back wall color really needed to have impact, lest you have to squint to tell what it is.

For the wall behind my desk:


Mermaid Treasure, naturally.

Tomorrow we'll discuss the colors in the other side of the space, the main work room.

But I would like to point out one other small color sample:


What say you? Yay or nay? I am ambivalent about the cut -- it will grow out. But how do you feel about the red?

The paint? It doesn't matter. How do you feel about the color of my hair?


Knitting with Hand Dyed Yarn Event

So, on Sunday, I taught a class at The Yarn Spot in Wheaton, MD.

What a lovely shop in every way -- I highly recommend a visit. The staff was very warm and inviting, the environment cheery, and the selection well edited. I saw many things that were unique -- this is not just another yarn shop carrying the same four lines of yarn that you see everywhere. This is but a small part of the store -- it's quite spacious.


There was food, good food. The shop owner, Victoria, even asked me ahead of time if I had any special dietary restrictions.

I thought that was very kind of her. I wish I had some dietary restrictions. I fear I suffer from a lack of dietary restriction in general. I should have said something like, "Yes, I only eat celery and rutabagas." But then when I arrived, they could've laughed and called me a liar, because I obviously have no such restrictions, as was evidenced by the very ample bottom that was photographed many times Sunday evening.

I will spare you the pictures. Suffice it to say my skirt appears as though it could provide shelter in the wilderness for a small party of explorers. Lewis and Clark, maybe.


The attendees could not have been more gracious. They chuckled at the appropriate times and raised their hands to ask questions. I did not have to call security or call anyone's mother. I hope they got something out of the class, something other than a view of me doing this:


Or this:


I'm not quite sure what I'm doing here, but it looks amusing. Perhaps the students were slightly amused, maybe that's what they got out of the evening.



Either that, or fear.


It is a bit frightening, truth be told.

I'm sorry.

Now this is what a yarn instructor should look like!


Blurry and perplexing.

All the best instructors are blurry and perplexing.

And they sing opera.


I am quickly moving up the ranks as one of the best instructors, as I am clearly demonstrating my librettos here.

I have something that the other instructors don't have. The ability to quickly swap out one head for another.


It's very convenient, I use this skill often.

We did establish a few other things at the class.

1. Lagoon is beautiful in any kind of weather:


2. So is Cheryl:


3. I need constant supervision.


Thank you all for coming! I wish I had thought to take everyone's picture! I wish we could've stayed longer!

Let's do this again sometime! 

Things I will miss.

I'm leaving in a week. Everything is done. All the boxes are packed, labeled, and organized. 


Not even close.

It's a good thing I live such a life of ease and leisure, so I'll have plenty of time to accomplish my checklist of Things to do Before We Leave Town.


But I do want to take a moment to reflect on what I've loved about living here. I want to say goodbye to the things I've loved for 8-1/2 years, the things I'll miss.  And I will miss many things about Washington, DC.

Mostly people. The people I will speak to privately. They don't always want their information shared on the internet, I can't imagine why.But today I want to publicly say goodbye to one of the best things about DC.



Less than two weeks ago we got more than 40" of snow. Unheard of in this area, where snowfall is light and infrequent. This morning, there were daffodils poking their heads out in my yard. You can practically see them craning their necks, saying, "But we always come out at this time!"

Spring comes to Washington early and riotously. I will miss the profusion of flowering trees in mid-March. I will miss the fuchsia azalea bushes that line the hedges of practically every home.


They do not have this where I'm going.


You know when your kids are little and you tell them, "Say bye-bye to the park!" so it will make for a smoother transition in their mind?

Yeah, that's totally what I'm doing here.

Bye-bye gorgeous, amazing, early springtime.


Goodbye daffodils growing on February 22nd. I'll miss you.

Are you sure you don't want to come live with me in Zone 4?  Pretty please with sugar and cream and cherries and nonfat whipped topping?

Minnesota would be just about perfect if we could just have a glorious spring that came before May.

Who is this man, and why is he wearing a toupee on his face?


His name is Charles Dickerman. This picture was taken in the late 19th century. He was probably wearing a wool suit. He was definitely growing something on his face.

I would like to take a moment to thank Charles Dickerman, wealthy businessman, entrepreneur, and (obvious) wool wearer. Thank you, Charles E. Dickerman, for building this building in 1901:


Thank you, Charles E. Dickerman, for building this building that in 1901 served as a women's millinery shop, a furrier, a clothing store, and on the second floor, a dance hall.

Thank you.

Thank you for building the future home of Three Irish Girls.


How do you think Charles Dickerman would feel about his building being used for ballet?


And now, for yarn?


When Charles Dickerman built this building, he intended for there to be three retail stores on the main level and a larger dance and meeting space on the second floor.  Over the course of more than 100 years, you can imagine that the building saw some challenges. At least seven fires occurred here. I'm going to do my best to make sure there aren't eight. Disrepair. But the bones were good, and no amount of new construction can create a history like this one. I love knowing that I'll be working where women used to make and sell fancy hats. 

The building was purchased and fixed up several years ago, and three loft-style condos replaced the dance hall.

We're moving at the beginning of March to our brand new, bigger, more awesome, absolutely fantastic home. (Yes, that's only a couple of weeks away!)  We're packing everything we own, bidding our windowless but colorful studio in the suburbs of Washington, DC adieu, and moving across the country to Duluth, Minnesota.


Our new studio has twice the space of our current studio. And it has windows, which is an unimaginable luxury to the likes of us.  We'll be occupying two of these spaces on the main level, the space in the middle and the space on the left.


The space in the middle and the space on the left will give us more then 3,000 square feet of dyeing, drying, and storage space -- space that is sorely needed.  It will also give us the ability to work better, smarter, and faster, as we're able to set up the most efficient work area possible.

Having lived with the limitations of my current setup for more than two years, I have often dreamed of what I would do if I ever had the opportunity to build a dream studio. And you're looking at it, kid: Yarnista's dream studio.


We've taken these two spaces and made them adjoining on the inside with a French door.  It's already happened. It happened while I was here in DC answering your emails and dyeing your yarn and shipping your packages. It's like magic.

Moving home to Minnesota means that I can be close to my mama and daddy and sisters and nieces and nephew.  Moving home to Minnesota means that my kids can play with cousins and spend the night at Grandma's and go sledding anytime they want, practically all year long.

The plumbers are more than 80% done with the work on the new studio. They've installed the water lines for the sinks and the washing machines. They've put in the mother of all hot water heaters. The electrician is putting in lots of ambient lighting, and is installing modern pendant lighting for the color mixing and dyeing stations.  The painters are painting, the carpenters are carpenting, and I'm marveling.

Years ago, in this very city, a twelve year old girl tried to knit a blue cotton dishcloth. And now she's coming home to nest here:


I can't even believe it. Over the next few days, I'll give you some studio updates, including the colors I picked out for the walls while on my secret mission.

I feel so grateful that my years of early mornings, late nights, sore backs, burned arms, and delighted eyes have created something to be proud of. Thank you for coming along on this journey with us.

Things are going to get even better from here.


-- Yarnista



Yarn ninjas.

I was outside minding my own business.

As usual. Isn't that what everyone does when they're outside?

Admiring my Fairy Tale Oaks, which look like human capillaries this time of year.


Admiring the icicles that are forming like stalactites from my eaves, even though I knock them down every day.


Tootling about (I do love my tootling!), watching for a break in the clouds, looking at the interesting coloring on the leaves of my holly tree:


And discovering this puffy robin bird taking cover in the brush:


All perfectly pleasant. A delightful morning here in creation.

And then I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

Is that...?


Could it be...?


Are those YARN NINJAS?


Did you send yarn ninjas disguised as furry woodland creatures to steal my yarn?

Two of them?

Did you tell them they could sleep in my yard?


Did you instruct them to watch for me to leave and then surreptitiously break in and take all the yarn for you?

Is that what you've done? Is that what you've stooped to?


Your mother would be so ashamed.  My mother is ashamed of you too.

Shame on you. Shame shame shame.


Sending a furry woodland creature to do your dirty work. How unoriginal.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...