Friday, March 18, 2016

So, why am I giving away my secrets?

Happy Friday!!!

I wanted to address something that I have been asked when I told people about wanting to start this blog...  "Why are you giving away the secrets of how you dye your yarn?"

Well, my top four reasons are:
  1. It took me FOREVER to find some of this information when I started dyeing, and I am always searching for more information.  If I can help just a couple of people find a bunch of information in one place, then it will be worth it
  2. I actually get a lot of questions from people about how I got a certain result, and those questions might be in email, on a forum, or even through texts. It is easier to send everyone to the same spot to get the answers than to give them in multiple places (a.k.a. - it lets me be lazy)
  3. I would like to think I have a really good memory, but I don't. I have dyed a skein of yarn and went to write down the steps, and forgotten some of them in the short period between putting the dye stock and yarn in the pot, and walking to my notbook/iPad/laptop to write them down
  4. I don't sell my yarn, so, to be quite honest, I don't care if people are able to replicate it. Heck, if you figure out a way to exactly replicate something I have done, I may actually ask YOU for notes. 
  5. Okay, I know I said 4, but I realized something, and it means there is a 5th one (maybe it is my homage to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? No wait...I didn't start off saying there were three...). Truth is, there really are no secrets to what I do... I got most of the info off the internet, and the rest was trial and really, I am not giving away secrets, but trying to help others avoid some of the pitfalls I have had. 
Number 4 is also something I want to address. I have people ask if they can buy my yarns, or ask me why I don't sell them.  And the reason for this is actually something that applies to all of my creative outlets (dyeing, knitting, cake decorating, photography).  I know they say if you do what you love for work, and you will love your work.  That doesn't seem to be true for me.  If I have to be creative for a living, or even for a very specific purpose, my inner creative child has a tendency to curl up in the fetal position and refuse to do anything.

I am one of those people that needs to be creative on my own terms.  Sometimes I can take a high level idea and work within those parameters, but if someone is asking me for something very specific, it sucks all of the fun out of it, and I just lose all momentum.

I see this when I do wedding cakes. If I have a friend or family member getting married, I have a tendency to give them the wedding cake as a wedding present with a couple of caveats.... you can't pay me for the creative part of it...if you insist, I MIGHT let you pay for ingredients, but that is a discussion all on it's can pick the flavours and the colours... and you can give me a general idea of what you are looking for. But if you want to give me a specific picture and say you want that exact cake, I will buy you a toaster and recommend a good bakery in town. 

I am sort of like that with my yarn. Even if I go into it saying "I want a self striping yarn that goes orange, pink, purple, blue, green, yellow, and I want the stripes to be 10 rows wide",  that is not usually what I get. The stripes will be wider or thinner, and somewhere, some of the colours will bleed into each other, changing the length of the stripes. Or, I may not be paying attention when I am heat setting them, and might lay one colour on top of another and wind up with a mottled mess.  When I do get that super awesome yarn that is exactly what I was looking for, I thank the yarn gods and say thank you when people compliment it. Kind of like in don't show every picture you take, you just show the best one. And if you got the image by luck or accident, you study it to see what you can learn for the next time, and accept the compliments. 

And your yarn will be beautiful to someone. My first kettle dyeing/immersion dyeing attempt went horribly wrong, in my opinion, but one of my friends saw it and thought it was the greatest things ever and wanted socks made out of it. When she got the socks, she loved them.

So I guess there are two points to this post. One is to say why I want to share (mostly just because I want to), and the second is to say bask in your successes, and your perceived failures, because you learn something from both of them. 

For my next post, I am going to attempt to show you all the "stuff" I use for my dyeing, which means taking a whole bunch of pictures. I just organized a bunch of my stuff, so that will make it a little easier, but it may take me an extra day or two to get to that post. 

Oh, and while we are on the topic of questions, why "" and not ""? Cause the second one sounded too morbid to me. And it didn't occur to me to use a URL that didn't have "missreena" in it somewhere :)

1 comment:

  1. " If I have to be creative for a living, or even for a very specific purpose, my inner creative child has a tendency to curl up in the fetal position and refuse to do anything."

    This is so true! I'm exactly the same which is why I get all nervous and tense when someone asks me specifically to make a whatever for them.