Category Archives: Dyeing

Recipe Books

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. DSCN3104

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.

DSCN3108Currently, she has filled at least four of these books and is working on her fifth. As each notebook is filled, more delightful colors come to life.


The Sunny Side of Sunsilk

Working here at Sunshine Yarns, I am surrounded by beautiful yarns all waiting to be worked with knitting needles or crochet hooks.  One particular yarn stands out.


Straight out of the box, this yarn shimmers like the sun and brightens up any yarn stash.  Sunsilk is a two-ply fingering weight 100% silk yarn.  It is cool to the touch and drapes like water; perfect for both summer and winter projects.  The drape and sheen of this yarn will make your lace knitting stand out more than any other yarn.  Here are two shawls that Dani made out of Sunsilk.


The yellow shawl is Ishbel by Yoslda Teague in the Sunshine colorway.  The tan shawl is dyed in Mushroom and was knit in the Swallowtail pattern by Evelyn A. Clark.  Both of these patterns can be found on Ravelry

An Introduction!!

Hello Sunshine Yarns readers! My name is Chelsea Moller and I am a Sunshine Yarns intern that started this summer. To tell you a little bit about myself, I am a fine art student at Colorado State University where I concentrate on textile arts. I first found out about Sunshine Yarns after a field trip to a local yarn store in Fort Collins called My Sister Knits. There I discovered that Sunshine Yarns were looking for an intern. As I head into my last semester of school, I am interested in learning about the business end of running a yarn company. After hearing Dani’s story about how she started her company, I knew that I could learn a lot from her. As part of my assignments, I will be posting about what I learn during my time with Dani and share behind-the-scenes pictures, giving you a sneak peak into the workings of Sunshine Yarns. Here is the first sneak peek. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here are pots set to cool with freshly dyed Summer Wedding skeins. This is part of Dani’s Sun Days series colorways. It’s amazing to watch once white yarns become these beautiful skeins ready to be knitted into something wonderful.


I am excited to share all that I learn and experience with you.  Look for more to come in the following weeks!

For Isabella

One of my closest friends from way back when is having a baby in April. Last Saturday, at her shower, I gifted her a few of my latest baby knits. Andrea is all about the girly girl stuff (Andrea, I’m getting this from our conversation this past summer about wanting a “little princess”) – and I couldn’t think of a better blanket than this for baby Isabella –

Andrea loved the blanket; and it makes me so happy knowing that it is in the hands of wonderful parents-to-be!

Pattern: Eyelet Baby Blanket from Blue Sky Alpacas; design by Leslie Scanlon
Yarn: Blue Sky Organic Cotton in #80 and #606
Needles: Addi US 9
Measurements: About 27″ by 27″ without the ruffle
Started: December 16, 2008
Finished: December 23, 2008
Other Details: This time around I also knit the blanket on a US9 (rather than the loosey goosey US11 the pattern calls for). I ended up also doing another eyelet repeat to make the blanket square. I used about 2.25 balls of the pink, and a touch over 2 balls of the cream.

I also knit a few other little things as well to go along with the blanket. I seem to have this habit of getting stuck on a color theme, don’t you think?

Pattern: Ribbons from Itty Bitty Hats, by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Jeannee #0016
Measurements: 0-6 months
Started: January 5, 2009
Finished: January 7, 2009
Other Details: I love, love this design. Having to find beautiful ribbon is the best part – its a great excuse to head to your local papery store!

Pattern: Upside-down Daisy from Itty Bitty Hats, by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Jeannee in 0015, 0016, and 0008
Measurements: 0-6 month size
Started: January 3, 2009
Finished: January 6, 2009
Other Details: This hat pattern is a true classic!

Okay, okay, this post is getting really long. I have a few other pictures to show – but those will have to wait until tomorrow. Yay for babies, yay for showers!

Swallowtail Take 2

This is just one of those lace patterns that I’ll probably knit a dozen times. It goes quick; with the perfect amount of row repeats and changes in charts. Smooth lace needles and some lovely silk just make my day. I love the Swallowtail.

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark; Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Yarn: Sunshine Yarns Sunsilk in Sprout
Needles: Addi 32″ US4 (3.5mm)
Measurements: 45″ across top edge, 23″ down center
Started: May 2, 2008
Finished: May 10, 2008
Other Details: Just as fun as the first time! This one however, wasn’t for me – it was a birthday present for a friend I work with :)