Self Striping Yarn Studio by Carol Sulcoski, celebrates another beautiful book in Carol’s Yarn Studio Series and keeps us caught up with Carol at the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird.
Carol’s life has been very busy. Her oldest has headed off to college, she has returned to the law profession to facilitate his education. She continues her creative outlet of Black Bunny Fibers, hand-dyed yarn.
She learned to knit as a child, and returned to the craft as an adult, as blogs and other resources in knitting became popular, she had three young children (a set of twins!). Like many she would tweak patterns as she made progress in her expertise, she worked in a yarn shop part-time, began a blog, starting writing patterns… She wrote her first book, called Knit So Fine, with Lisa Myers, in 2008, to encourage the multitudes of new knitters to try the finer yarns they’d been avoiding. She began teaching, writing books…
Her son was in elementary school, and loved the science experience, and she’d read about Kool-Aid dying and thought that may be a way for the two of them to find something interesting together. She related the experience on her blog and continued playing with it, readers were very complimentary and eventually that progressed into Black Bunny Fibers.Carol says that unlike other teacher/designers/authors she doesn’t favor a niche of knitting because so much of what is out there she finds interesting. That led her to the Yarn Studio series. For instance, the first Sock Yarn Studios, she wanted to demonstrate what could be done with them, more than just knitting socks. Then came Lace Yarn Studios, and again, she wanted us to see the lovely drape and airy loveliness.
The Self-Striping Yarn Studio book came about similarly. She loved them, but others seemed to have issues with them. They didn’t like how the colors bunched up, or making the best of the colors. She set out to explain how they do what they do because to understand them can help us get the most out of them. A Self-Striping yarn has longer lengths of color that create stripes in our knitting, rather than just spots, or flecks of color. Carol explains how this happens in the creation of yarn both by a manufacturer and with hand-dyers. She also loves that you get a beautiful result without having to weave in ends. Multi-directional and modular knitting is something ‘self-stripers do really well,’ she says. Stranded knitting and ‘Faux’ Isle (which is the Fair Isle without having to change out balls of color) has also become popular with folks using Self-Striping yarn.
The book starts with the technical stuff, defines gradient, multi-colored strands, how to fix a sweater when the stripe width changes (from the yoke to the body for instance)… Then gets into the patterns. Amy Gunderson created a Hexagon Sweater, which is stunningly beautiful like stained glass. Fiona Ellis created an awesome Long Line Short Row Vest which combines the color fun with lacy panels. Sandi Rosner contributed a graphically advanced vertical striped Lightening Intarsia Cardigan. Erika Flory created the Tracks Scarf, in which it is the duty of the self-striping yarn to be the background of the dropped stitches. Marly added the Asymptotes Cowl uses both vertical color stripes with beautiful horizontal eyelet. (Just don’t ask anyone how to pronounce it!) Carol herself contributed a variety of fun pieces like the Vauclain Mitts (Carol says we’d be shocked at how easy to knit they are, knit flat with Zauberball), Wyldhaven Yoke Sweater, Barcladen Stole (which we think is the #SUPERSCARF of the book, also surprisingly easy), The Ramblewood Throw inspired by the quilting that Carol likes to play with and which can be created with stripes or an easy care yarn, in the case of kitty pukes. The Fairfax Baby Jacket is made with an easy-care rainbow yarn, too. It’s interesting to see where all the yarns come from, too, and still the book pays homage to Noro Yarns who is considered the master at Self-Striping yarns, as many of the patterns included used that brand.
Carol lives outside Philadelphia with her husband, their three children, a gorgeous (and he knows it) orange long-haired cat named Boris, and a pet bunny rabbit, Charcoal — the real-life bunny in Black Bunny Fibers. We can continue to follow her at her website: BlackBunnyFibers.com, she also has a Ravelry Designer Page, a fan Group there too, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
There are three previous visits that Carol has made to the Yarn Thing podcast that we have access too. Here they are: October 2012, April 2015 and February 2016 when she shared Knitting Ephemera with us.
If you missed getting to hear this visit LIVE it is still available where it aired originally as an archived episode https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/10/13/self-striping-yarn-studio-by-carol-sulcoski or with your favorite podcast catcher, like iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Also, you may find behind-the-scenes video available at Marly’s Facebook page.