Guest post by our lovely Naomi who participated in yesterday’s workshop with Julie Asselin.
(Lisa and Julie at the “meet & greet” before the workshop 🙂 )
Independent yarn dyer Julie Asselin is clearly as passionate about her work as she is about sharing it! Her workshop at Espace Tricot yesterday covered every step of dyeing fibre and yarn, from choosing the base fibre, to the chemical processes involved, through to the finished product. Her approach to teaching others is deeply personal. After insisting everyone pick their single favourite yarn from around the store, she asked us why we liked the particular colour and yarn, and walked us through the dyeing process behind each skein. From Hedgehog Fibres’ vibrant speckles, to self-striping yarns and Anzula’s delicate tonals, each of us found a better understanding of the logic behind the process.
Dyeing yarn with Julie is a journey not only through the steps of soaking, dyeing, and rinsing the yarn, but also through a world of colour. Dyeing yarn involves a certain amount of waiting around, and Julie filled these inevitable pauses with advice on colour theory, practical procedures, the place of yarn dyeing within a wider context of production and consumption, and many more fascinating topics.
Julie’s husband and collaborator Jean-François was also an indispensable part of the process, taking care of the fixing and rinsing while we played around with colours and application techniques. Setting up a microwave between the mohair and the worsted yarn sections in the store was a DIY approach that fully met our requirements!
But of course, the most memorable part for many was the dyeing process itself. In addition to liquid dyes, Julie and Jean-François brought sponges, pipettes, toothbrushes, and every imaginable tool to make our dream yarns a reality. While her first warning was, don’t expect the end product to look exactly as you picture your ideal result, every one of us left completely satisfied with our work, and eager to try it at home. We can’t wait to see the finished projects from our first dyeing class!
Thank you again, Julie and Jean-Francois, for bringing your warm and joyful energy to the store!
– Melissa & Lisa