As you read this, Alice O’Reilly is setting up the Backyard Fiberworks booth at the Indie Untangled yarn show in Kingston, New York.
Indie Untangled is where Kay and I met Alice last year, as she presided over a booth where her sophisticated hand-dyed yarns rapidly disappeared. The scene was a little nuts—pretty much a koi pond after the five-year-old empties the whole bag of fish food.
In the year since then, we have had the great pleasure of getting to know Alice and her mad scheme for world domination, one dyepot at a time.
OK, her mad scheme is actually pretty sane.
Alice would be the first to tell you that “Backyard Fiberworks” is not exactly a multinational conglomerate.
It is small.
It is Alice, basically, working at her home in the Washington, DC area. She will neither confirm nor deny whether the backyard is actually the scene of all her dyeing. But it is clear that the spirit of a backyard enterprise is at the heart of what she’s doing.
And that’s why we are so delighted to share with you a project she has been working on all summer long.
It’s a set of colors she created exclusively for MDK. There are eight. This is the fingering weight we can never get enough of. It’s 100% merino superwash.
When the boxes of Backyard Fiberworks showed up at MDK World Headquarters, we had a moment of reverent adoration.
this is Inkling.
In her quest for a batch of colors that would work together or alone, Alice had the luxury of time to think about these colors.
She tried a bunch of colors. She tweaked. She mulled.
It’s odd to think that a gently shifting color can lift a person’s mood, but it does.
One of the great things about hand-dyed yarn: the color shifts in quiet ways. You knit faster so you can see what happens next.
This pale gray is a deliciously cloudy day.
This aquatic blue is quick trip to Miami Beach, basically.
And Pumpkin may be my favorite: a rich, deep, shifting orange.
The stuff of odysseys. Homer wishes his fingering weight yarn were as wine dark as this.
We see pullovers, colorwork, shawls, scarves, cowls, and mittens. I have in mind a project that I’ll write about soon that will use all eight shades.
Please consider Alice’s exclusive MDK colors a virtual Rhinebeck for you. In the Shop, we have all eight shades in limited quantity, and we hope to heck you have fun figuring out your own mad scheme for world domination—which of course should involve yarn from Alice at Backyard Fiberworks.