Thursday, December 13, 2018

2018 Chanukah Special

Chanukah might be over for the year, but we don't really have to stop celebrating!  At the end of the summer, I decided that I wanted to create a special series for Chanukah.  I thought it would be fun to film 8 new dyeing videos with 8 dyeing techniques on 8 different yarn bases.  I would wind up the yarn in to miniskeins to create some samplers to share.


I underestimated a few aspects of this journey.  I thought it would be a lot of work, which it was, and that it was a lot of fun, which it also was.  I don't think I could have anticipated the positive response we got from all of you!  The holiday was truly filled with joy, laughter, and light, with the whole extended ChemKnits family (yes that includes you!)  

I did not expect it to be so hard to avoid sharing spoilers.  When I try something that works great, or I have a cool in progress shot, I love to share those on Instagram or Facebook. I didn't want to give away ANY hints from this series. I wanted everyone who purchased a sampler to be surprised and excited to open up their gift each night.  I have started sharing some of these in progress photos now, and I am so excited that you can finally see them! 


The ChemKnits 2018 Chanukah Sampler is different from a lot of indie dyer samplers/advent calendars for a few reasons.  A big one is that this set contained a mixture of different yarn bases.  I chose 8 different luxury yarns from KnitPicks:  Paragon, Imagination, Gloss, Andean Treasure, Galileo, Capra, Bare Hare, and Alux.  I wanted to send samples of different dyeing techniques and fiber types so you could swatch them and see how they might knit up differently.  


Each miniskein was wrapped in tissue paper inside a snowflake organza bag.  I used some cardboard labels with dreidel stickers to designate the nights.  On the back of each number label there is the fiber content and care instructions for the yarn.  Surprisingly, none of the yarns in this sampler were superwash.  Well, except for the bonus c


Since it might be hard (but not impossible) to make a complete project from the sampler, I wanted to give people an option to include a full 100 g skein of sock yarn. I picked KnitPicks Felici.  The yarn is similar to the stroll that I use all the time, but the spin is a little tighter and the Merino is softer. 

It took me a few tries to get this "Melted Wax" colorway right.  I attempted to make a speckled version that resulted in the birth of the Evil Faerie yarn.  In my second speckled attempt, I created something closer to the vision in my head, but ultimately I loved the way the primary colors mixed together when I dyed a twisted hank of yarn three different times. 


When I sat down to write this post, I mentioned that there were a few things I didn't expect to come out of this series.  After all, I've done other special weeks in the past. (Sock Blank Special, Cellulose Week, Indigo Week.)  I underestimated the positive challenge this would be to me as an indie dyer and an artist.  I wanted to make sure I created distinct colorways, but many of these yarn bases I had never dyed before, so I didn't always know if things would come out as I imagined in my head.  

Another added bonus - I had to reskein all of the yarn to create the samplers.  This means that we got to see where reskeining made a difference in how yarn looked when compared to the "as dyed" skein of yarn.  

It was an absolute pleasure to plan this series, and I am already starting to think about next years!  


If you missed an episode, don't worry!  There is a full recap of the whole week, but you can also find all of the videos in the following playlist: 


Happy Chanukah, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year, everyone!  Which yarn is your favorite?  Do you think I should do this again next year? 




This post contains some KnitPicks affiliate links.  I purchased all of the yarn and materials for this sampler myself.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

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