Round the Needle
Getting your Geek Chic On February 26, 2015 05:30 1 Comment
Behind every special yarn is a special hand-dyer. Each of them has a unique way of producing artisanal yarn, and a unique set of inspirations stoking that creativity.
Geek Chic yarn has been a Knit Addiction favorite since we opened our doors. The label says it all: every skein is hand-dyed, one of a kind. While they may be similar to one another, each is a little different, with a personality of its own.
The quirky pop culture names are just fun, drawing from Doctor Who, Harry Potter and Star Trek, among others. There’s simply nothing like knitting Bigger on the Inside from Exploding Tardis, or chuckling over the perfect red skein of Expendable Crewman.
The talent behind the yarn is dyer Jolene Meurer, and she has a special touch for finding the right color for the right name. A few years back Ray requested socks knitted from Minion in Wookie. The unusual part about the request? Jolene didn’t have a color called Wookie. He wanted me to ask her to create it. “She’ll know what Wookie should look like,” he said, and he was right. She produced a perfect skein of Wookie yarn.
Jolene has been dyeing Geek Chic yarn in her Sanger, California home for about eight years, and it’s been a developing process for her. “Online friends were dyeing, and it looked like fun,” she says, “So I got wool yarn and some Kool-Aid, and put them together in a crock pot. I spent a year or two playing with Kool-Aid, Easter egg dyes and some other food dyes, before deciding to switch to acid dyes to get the colors I wanted.”
Those colors are an expression of Jolene’s personality and interests. “I love most things Geeky,” she says. “When I am really into a book/movie/video game, I want to be able to express that artistically.” That expression translates into yarns that make the perfect gift for the Whosian knitter, would be Narnian, or Pottermaniac.
Jolene is quite successful in capturing the personality of her favorite characters in her colors. Her 9th, 10th, and 11th Doctor color ways are particular favorites, and usually get snapped up as soon as they come in.
“Sometimes people have a signature color,” says Jolene, “Like Link always wears green.” But there’s more to it than that; some of it is her excellent color intuition. “Most of the time it’s more of a feeling that I have about the characters’ personality,” she says. “For instance, the 11th Doctor is very playful and energetic, so I saw him in bright colors, while the 9th Doctor was disturbed and somber, so I saw him as dark colors. Sometimes, a color way is the combination of the two; Ginny Weasley has orange for her hair and pink for her femininity.”
All the colors are special to Jolene, but she has a few favorites “The first time I used 42 was to make a sweater for my niece, so it always makes me smile,” she says. “I am a Ravenclaw at heart, so I love the combination of Rowena and Steampunk or Don't Blink. The new launch of Dr. Who was a jumping off point for me to own my geekyness, so I am quite fond of the 9th Doctor and Rose Tyler.”
Like many creative folks, Jolene is multi-talented and devotes a good chunk of her non-dyeing time to her efforts. “I do just about everything crafty. I spend most of my time knitting, but I also enjoy spinning, weaving, crochet, and sewing.”
And like many of us, her pets are partners in the crafting. “I think I spend more time convincing the cats to let me do these activities than actually doing them,” she says.
We have Geek Chic Minion and Fairy Dust in all the fun colors! Take a look and choose your favorite.