Way back in 2010, Leo Pola came to visit and he tried his hand at dyeing some yarn.
After his first pass with a single skein (above), he did a pair for himself that I would later send to him after they were cooled, washed, and dried. I’d forgotten his did two for himself, but my collection of photos with dates showed both of these as his own DIY yarns.
After he dyed the ones he wanted, we put them into the steamer, and I later reskeined them:
After his passed in December, Eileen volunteered to go through his yarn collection and she found one of these skeins, and just this week sent it to me so I’d have a tangible memory of his visit so long ago:
I had also forgotten that he had dyed his yarns on Dura-Lace. Back in 2010 I was still working with my previous supplier, who did not carry a lace-weight yarn, but they did have a rather popular line of 4-ply sock yarn, 75% superwash wool/25% nylon, about 460 yards. I asked if they could use the same sock yarn plies, using only 2 of the 4 strands, and turn it into a laceweight, with a superwash wool and nylon. After a little experimentation, they were able to produce what I dubbed Dura-Lace, put up at about 920 yards, a 2ply laceweight. And, they gave me a 1-year exclusive before they would start producing and marketing it for others. And I just checked — they are still marketing the product I called for, so surely I had a great idea that continues to make money for them! (Because I parted ways with this company on less than ideal circumstances shortly after Leo’s visit, I’m not going to name them, so don’t ask.)
So, anyway, one of Leo’s two DIY yarns has now made it back to where it was first dyed. My task now is to figure out what it wants to become. Any ideas? Do I knit something? Do I capture it under domed glass for posterity? Beyond the value of a hand-dyed yarn, of course, it has added meaning because it was hand-dyed by someone we all treasure in the knitting community.