Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunflowers, Texas, fields of


I got sunflowers for my birthday; Manly bought them for me.

Sunflowers 3

The sunflowers signaled the final push. For months, I had been planning a sunflower colorway.

Why sunflowers? I'm not sure. In Texas, fields and fields of them overtake the landscape. The Texas sunflowers are really a type of wildflower. Farmers would call them weeds. They've always struck me as beautiful, in perfect opposition to cotton fields and corn.

Here is a patch of Texas sunflowers, on a hill at my parents' house. It was so hot and humid when I snapped this shot--you can see how the humidity seeped into the camera.

Texas Sunflowers

I've never been drawn to sunflowers as a favorite flower, preferring instead the highly fragrant, the small buds of blooming things: lilac, lily of the valley, jasmine.

But there is something about what the sunflower invokes in me emotionally. It must be the yellow, the yellow pulling at my childself, the brown of my eyes, the green of promise and youth and pastures.

In Utah a few summers ago, while fishing, I happened upon a hillside covered with yellow flowers. I thought that perhaps they were Utah's version of wild sunflowers.

Utah Sky with Sunflowers

A few minutes after I snapped this photograph, it began to rain. The lake's waves rose and the rain pelted it fiercely. All the while, black clouds continued to swell and boom and invade the valley. I had a tremendous, dreadful sense of deja vu.

Sunflowers 2

Whatever my pull or attraction, here is my new colorway, Sunflowers, Texas, fields of. The yarn base is a 50% superwash merino and 50% tencel. This skein contains 400 yards and each section of yellow has been handpainted with a speck of brown to mirror the brown center of the sunflower.

I hadn't knit with merino/tencel previously, but started a sock a few nights ago. I love it. It's soft and shimmery and a treat to feel and look it. The tencel works like nylon--it adds strength to the softness of the merino. What is tencel? It's a natural fiber, found in cellulose (think wood pulp) that has been extracted through a manmade process. The result is a strong yet silky fiber.


Three skeins will be available in my etsy shop. I'll only be listing one at a time, but let me know if you want more than one and I'll be happy to relist.

Blanket drive contest update: I'll be drawing the names of the winners next week. Stay tuned!


JaneD said...

How beautiful--both your yarn and your always-inspiring descriptions of your own yarn-dyeing inspirations. I've had to give up knitting and crocheting for the sake of my dissertation, not only because of time constraints but also because my hands and wrists can't handle all of that strain. Seeing your projects satisfies--a bit--my own urge to create. I can't wait to see your finished socks from this silky-looking new yarn!

Jane said...

Completely gorgeous yarn. Love the colors!

The Knitstress said...

Once again you've done it. It's beautiful, hopefully you'll stll have it around at the end of the month, it's out of this pay period's yarn budget.


Woman who knits said...

The flowers are gorgeous and so is that yarn!!

schrodinger said...

I LOVE sunflowers, and that yarn looks (and sounds) fantastic. I have to wait until after vacation - sadly.

Jennie said...

Happy Birthday! I'm a July baby too. Love the sunflower and what a great colorway. :)

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

So pretty! You know how much I love your colour sensibility. I also love how you pull your inspiration from the natural pallet your description of the wild sunflowers reminds me of the Brown Eyed Susans that grow wild all over the Okanagan. I think this may well be one of your prettiest yarns yet!

AmyArtisan said...

Oh how lovely - I wish I would have seen that when I was searching for Sunflower yarns for my Rebuilding Greensburg squares. As a Kansas/sunflower gal I wanted sunflower yarns for the squares. I even blogged about sunflowers earlier this month. :)