Sunday, October 3, 2010

With a little help from our friends

Autumn is very welcome this year. We had quite the crazy Summer. But with some help from our friends we made it through. Thanks to Teri, Sally, Sadie, Alwynn, Mikola, Marisol, Jonny, Zach and Lizzie for being so very helpful at different points of the Summer!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Flock and Fiber Festival

Last weekend we finally came up for air! We have been so busy this Summer dyeing up the yarn and dealing with a few small problems (like Stevanie's house fire). We had so much fun connecting with local knitters and spinners. Oregon Flock and Fiber has been the only show we've participated in the last couple years. However, it was such a wonderful time we are considering doing a few more shows during the year so we can connect with even more people. We'll see what comes of this idea. We shared the booth with our good friend Lorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit. We also share our dye studio with Lorajean. After such a crazy Summer we all decided it was time for a dyers' retreat. So we are creating one for ourselves. Different creative activities for ourselves and a couple other dyer friends so we can all get new inspirations for the coming season. We'll be sure to take lots of pics.

Friday, July 2, 2010

An elsusive green

All of our writing lately has gone into our clubs and newsletters. After a very long Spring it is time to get back to the blog!
With natural dyeing as with all growing things there are seasons. We have ended up in between onion seasons. Because of the long rainy season here in Oregon this year this period is dragging on and on.
There are many plants that give shades of yellow. The buttery yellow above was attained with Calendula petals. You can still see them floating in the yarn. By dipping these yellow skeins in an Indigo bath we achieve some amazing greens. However, different yellows give different greens. We are tapping our toes waiting on yellow Walla Walla onions to hit the market in force. Once they have their thick skinned sweetness in the market we will be right there peeling away. The golden color we get from these skins will be a step in achieving a dark green that is part of our Veneto colorway. You may notice the ties in the above skiens. Just wait and you'll see the final step to this process. We are hoping it all falls into place soon as this is a colorway going to a local store for a sock club.
Speaking of sock clubs--The Community Sock Club is now taking sign ups for round two! This club is hosted at Gino's Restaurant in Portland. We get together every other month for a luncheon with other members, the designer of the month and us (the dyers). It is a great way to knit socks and make some new friends;) Check out more information on our website.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Not so Happy hour

I just got off the phone with my Deb. Her friend Keri just passed away - they've been friends since they were 14 years old and Keri was also a member of our Community Sock Club that meets at Gino's restuarant every other month. Keri has two little girls, ya'll. One of them is the same age as my Elsiebelle. I'm so heartsick for my friend and her friend.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Creating with Love or Spleen

When I'm dyeing yarn, or creating anything, it's an emotional process. I'm not saying my magical ingredient in our natural dyepots is tears (alright, sometimes...) but I am saying that I put what I'm feeling into the colorways I create. Some of our colorways are named for people, some for memories, places we've been, etc. I try not to ever create in a negative mood; I don't want you wrapping your baby in that. But sometimes, I feel a little like this.

That's my middle child when he was about six years old after his brother tried to take a toy he was playing with. Now they are 12 and 15; the elder is preparing to act in Romeo and Juliet and the younger holds a guitar much more often than a baseball bat. Their arguments are both more and less sophisticated than when this photo was taken, but just as "full of spleen" as Shakespeare used to say. I'll admit I've made some spleen colorways - there's one called "Amparo" because "I'm gonna kill Andres with a spoon" doesn't fit so prettily on a label. Or even "Sedona" which I made on a bad day and have repeatedly vowed to stop making but ya'll keep buying it so I have to keep making it.

"Bleeding Heart" is really "the teenage heartbreak that lasts your whole life" - it's slick fresh blood color has earth undertones and bruised purples. It's old and raw at the same time; and that's how I feel every time I see him.

But then there's Elsiebelle, palest lavender and steely gray. It's named for my daughter who is this tough but fragile girl. She's had a kidney disease since birth which requires us to take her for testing every six months. Liz always tells her doctors she's fine, even when she's sick or in pain.

A long time ago, as I would tell the story to my daughter, there was an optimistic young bride heading out on her honeymoon to the Oregon Coast. She and her new husband drove through Tillamook County on the most beautiful of clear days (mid August is always perfect). There was nothing but blue sky and cow fields. Teenage bride should have read something into that.

Tillamook Sky is that memory, just the breath of the color of the day. Bittersweet.

Today, my hands have touched 168 skeins. I've been singing along with Yo La Tengo, The Roots and Radiohead. Cathy and Sean wandered back with stories. Jesse banged shelving around. The wind from the Columbia gorge blew into the studio. The yarn, headed to Colorado and California, is happy and full of love.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A party at the dyeworks

A few weeks ago we had some fun with our friends from Lantern Moon. They walk through and see all sorts of colors on yarn (and hands) everyday. We decided to have an evening event where the Lantern Moon crew could play with some color while we explained the process of the natural dyeing. Everyone had mini skeins that they could dip in dye pots and in additives after to alter the effects. There were two full size skeins that the crew used for a group acid dye project as well. It was fun to see what each person put on their portion of the skeins. Sharon (owner of LM) will be knitting something fun with the yarn. We'll get a pic as soon as we see the project.
Henry the rabbit got in on the fun too. He was just moving to my house and made a stop off for lots of love at the warehouse. Luckily he was still white by the time we got home;)
We will be having other dye events in the future. On March 27th we'll be opening the warehouse for the day to dyeing, spinning and knitting classes. Info will be up on the website this week!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Community Sock Club

We are right in the middle of the first season of the Community Sock Club. A sock club that is creating community through a meet up every other month. The ladies are enjoying lunch together at Deb's restaurant, Gino's. A designer and dyer are paired together (and join us for lunch). This month the designer is David Castillo of Splendor and the dyer is us! It has been so much fun getting to know everyone this year. We are definitely going to host the club at Gino's again next season (starting in September). Plus this club is going on the road. Ask your LYS if they know about the "Made in Oregon" sock club.
We will be sending a box of fun to shops around the country starting this May. Pico Accuardi yarns, patterns designed by Oregon designers and coffee, tea and baked goods all from Oregon roasters, blenders and bakers. We are so excited to share the creativity of our part of the country with the rest of you! I have been a little bad about keeping up on the knitting, but I will be showing you some beginnings real soon:)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Your yarn is in my trunk...

Deb is so much better at this blogging than I am. Deb and I are Pico Accuardi Dyeworks, we specialize in naturally dyed yarns, fibers and fabrics. We have our studio inside Lantern Moon, a fair trade company owned by Sharon and Joel Woodcock - two of the most loving and creative creatures on the planet. A few days ago, we had Yvonne from Lavendar Sheep and Lorajean from Knitted Wit in for an At the Kitchen Table podcast recording. Deb was ready to rock, had all the questions ready and I, well, I didn't even do my hair.
I thought about doing this yesterday, after a long studio day, while sitting in Kelley's Olympian downtown with Larissa Brown and men in leather chaps. I'd just been on a mini knitting retreat at Manzanita (go check out Olga's T-spot, stinking cute!) and all the girls were knitting on their Ravelympics projects and watching the Olympics on TV. I was trying to knit in the hot tub with a full glass of red; Kelley's Olympian biker bar is as Olympic as I get. Larissa's working on Andrea's shawl in my DK superwash and I was supposed to bring her a new color to work in to it, "Bleeding Heart." We were supposed to try to work parallel, but instead we watched people "getting stoked" on The Onion and plotted out stalking Leonard Nimoy at Comicon in Seattle next month (happening at the same time as the Yarn Market News conference!). I think I helped her fill out her Ravelry designer survey. They asked what they could do to facilitate pattern sales and I think we said send boxed wine. I forgot about doing this, our first blog post and about the yarn to be delivered.

Today is going much the same, I went to drop off new stuff to For Yarns Sake ; I like to hand deliver to our Portland stores and see what they are doing and what's new. Also, Pico Accuardi is doing a trunk show there on March 7th and we are doing a colorway for their sock club. But of course I didn't call to check her hours and I turned up about two hours too early. A good friend works close by, so it wasn't a total wasted trip.
Back at the studio, we've been busily preparing for our retreat in May, our nationwide sock club, the community sock club and our regular orders while developing colorways for Imperial Stock Ranch, Cascade and Pear Tree.
It sounds glamorous but really I'm still rolling with every body's yarn in my trunk.