Sunshine Yarns has been in business for almost ten years and has hundreds of different colorways. These colors have been inspired through her travels in the mountains around her home in Boulder, popular books and movies, as well as experiences with her friends and family. All colors have unique names like Dancing Clouds, Summer Wind, or (one of my favorites) Yarn Bombing. Dani’s colors are both complex, as seen in her variegated yarn and gradations, and simple with her solid colors. I am amazed at all of the colors she is able to create, but I am even more astounded at the fact that Dani is able to repeat the same colorways with similar results. Her secret to recreating her colors comes from her recipe books.
At first glance, you can tell that they have been well used. They are wrinkled from water, their pages torn and dog eared, and the covers are stained or missing all together. Upon further inspection, I have found that these books don’t just contain the recipes, they also hold stories in a year of Dani’s life. These books play the part of a diary, cataloging all of the vacations, birthdays, yarn updates, and minor disasters that occurred throughout the year. It has become my job to inspect each page and pick out the colorway recipes and copy them onto the computer. That way if (heaven forbid) these notebooks were to get lost or destroyed, the recipes would be safe.
This isn’t a simple task. The notebooks are like a labyrinth of words, abbreviations, and notes that only hold meaning to Dani. As I copy the recipes, I try to form the color in my mind. By recipe alone, many of her colors appear to me to make black or mottled browns; yet when I look up the skeins, I find a beautifully dyed skein with all of the colors showing.