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Dear Gail

I have been in the barn dyeing new colours this week. I was joking around with Debra and Anneli about how I was supposed to be working on hot summer hues but all I seemed to be interested in doing was dark with twisted flair ( name wise, you’ll see). All of them slid seamlessly unbidden from some deep dark place I seem to be working through.

I had to finally take all those dyes and put them back in their place on the shelf where they were at least out of sight if not out of mind.  I then stood there in front of an empty dye table at a loss. I looked around and watched all those lovely women I get to work with in the barn and thought of them, you know what they like, who they are. Debra with are her jeweled toned love, Anneli with her scummy ( we’re scum sisters) earth motherness, psychedelic hippie girl Becky, Paula with her rich golden warmth and Rosie, full of life passionate robot lovin’ Rosebud. I took them all in and stepped right over my dark self right smack dab into the brighter, warmer and certainly lighter side of the life’s colour wheel.

It took a bit of effort and Debra will tell you maybe some colour language was also invented, but finally through loving appreciation for these women and who they are, I got there. I had fun, created some really lovely colourways that I’m happy with and that I think others will be happy with and made them workmate happy.  All in all a good days work in the dye barn.

So Gaily the next day I walk out to the barn to say hi to everyone as usual.  Rosie has rinsed most of what I made the day before so it’s hanging up to dry right. I almost walk by them before they fully register in my over full brain. I’m stunned.

I stand there thrilled, thoroughly thrilled with all of them but most especially my dark side. Colour joy vibrating in all my cells. They turned out exactly how I envisioned and you know how much I like it when that happens right out of the dye jar.  I’m standing there tickled with myself and radiating it verbally to anyone who’ll listen and then my dear friend it hits me like a ton of bricks. Bricks, red bricks.

Gail, all those colours hanging there that I loved and I do. I Love them like a flower loves the sun, just can’t get enough. I want to dance with joy and then plan all sorts of projects and knit and spin and weave and maybe spread it all out on the barn floor and roll in it.  That kind of love!

And you know what they are Gail?

They are REDS!  Every single one has at it’s core some shade of deep red.

I wish you could’ve been there, you’d have laughed and laughed. I laughed until I could barely stand and then I cried. I just couldn’t believe it Gail.


Do you remember when I could barely tolerate anything resembling a shade of red? Wouldn’t even entertain the possibility. I do.  Then you waltzed into my life in all of your cheery ruby red loveliness and we became fast friends.

Ruby Slippers was all about you.  Remember?

We went back and forth over how I kept adding too much blue and not enough warmth. You kept wondering why I insisted upon ruining a perfectly good red.

I kept wanting to blue them all up to make them closer to a shade I could tolerate.  Then… one day while we were knitting and chatting I saw how content and happy you were knitting on that red sock in someone elses yarn ( I know, there are other really good yarns…) and I wanted to make you that happy so I went home and pulled out the dyes and added your warmth to Ruby Slippers.

Gail I’ll never forget the look on your face when I handed you that first skein of Ruby Slippers, such a blissful radiant smile, made my heart sing. 

It was a huge moment for me. Certainly because I was able to make you the red you wanted and in doing so give you the opportunity for joy.  It also afforded me an opportunity, because of that love for you, my friend, I stepped outside of myself and that seemingly small movement completely changed my colour perception. 

Gaily our friendship holds many treasures that I hold close and dear. Today I want to thank you for opening the door that led me not only back to my red self. (I’m not sure I could’ve done it without you.) but also helped me with my journey to see and love the many hues of life that I might be to see or appreciate, through the eyes of others.

You my friend are priceless gift I treasure.

Look out Gail lots and lots of reds are headed your way. 

I love you!


ps I was going to put a picture here but it is raining and gray again and you know what that does to red photography. Yup it blues them out and no way am I letting the camera blue them out.

  1. Oh what a wonderful letter to a friend.  I can hardly wait to see what you’ve come up with.

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  2. Arlene #

    Red is my favorite color in the universe – I absolutely cannot wait to see what you’ve come up with!

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  3. Hey, girlie:

    Thanks to you, I’m actually knitting something with PINK and PURPLE in it. TOGETHER. (That Valkyrie colorway sure shifts into something rosy and warm in Woobu!)…

    So repeat after me:

    “This is us growing!”


    Can’t wait to see ‘em!

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  4. Hazel Smith #

    The colourway sounds as lovely as your letter to Gail. And for the record, you can’t take enough blue out of the red for me. Being a fall palette person, I think red is great, but it has to lean to the orange side of the spectrum. Keep on with what you do best. Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

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  5. As another red lover, I’m so excited to see what you created.  There’s been quite a bit of discussion about the color red on the Dr Who Rav group as the stylist for this season is using them judiciously.  Those Rav Dr Who fans are very curious to figure out the symbolism of it.  And I’ve learned Rory means red in Gaelic.

    And I’m so excited for Gail!  I’m looking forward to seeing pics of them up on the website & how Gail will photograph them too & get her point-of-view on them.

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  6. Ahhh…you are way too sweet, DFG!! My heart is touched beyond words. I love you, too! xoxo :*)

    I can hardly wait to see your glorious reds!!! Bring ‘em on!!! (I do! I do remember when you didn’t do red!!! And ruby slippers!!! LOL!!)!!

    p.s. this rain is good for nothing photographic except of 18% gray…I’m glad you saved your pixels and saved the reds!! smile smile

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  7. What a wonderful posting!  I look forward to your adventure in the red side.

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  8. Marna #

    You both are blessings to one another.  We often feel this way about someone but aren’t able to express how and what we feel for them.  Now comes a problem – since starting the sock club adventure, I have ordered quite a lot of sock yarn…and now more to oogle over.  How do you expect we who are addicted to ever knit up our stash?  The joy I feel just looking at the beautiful skeins is worth every penney.  I believe, truly, that God allows (key word) ‘things’ in our lives to draw us close and then says ‘thank you’ through rainbows of color and friends.

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  9. Kristen #

    If the poppy on your BMFA website banner is any indicator, we are in for a very good RED time! Can’t wait!

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  10. linda #

    What a lovely letter to a friend! Way to use the darkness and power through. Ah red, I seem to have a passion for it, found it’s way to my kitchen walls and other places in my home. My son’s know their mother only buys red cars or My grandmother always wanted a red car and never got it so I have bought them for her. Red is tricky, powerful and full of fun. Can’t wait to see your renditions of red. Thanks to Gail for inspiring you. So happy to hear of you laughing and crying, yay to life!

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  11. Kirstin Sandaas #

    This sounds like an incredibly wonderful and cathartic moment.  I know that the most meaningful and important things in my life happen because my friends give them meaning and context.  Hooray for that wonderful gift!

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  12. AWWW. Nothin like a good red and a good friend. Hugs to you and Gail!!!

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  13. tina, it’s a gorgeous, sunny day today, i hope you’re taking photos!

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  14. Janet #

    So glad you’ve reunified with part of the color spectrum – it can only mean you’re becoming more whole every day, my love!!! See you soon!!! Yay!

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  15. Oh what a lovely letter.  Yay for red!  I love a good red:)

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  16. WHOA!!!  Hold on to my hat cuz I can hardly wait to see!  So does this mean I MUST go to BS?!  Oh, my!  ALL of your creations are sounding like they are really going to bowl me over and have me salivating!

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  17. Val Champ #

    Red is my favorite…absolutely.  It makes me happy in Winter especially…

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  18. Sharon T #

    Tina – Oh my gosh, what wondrous colours.  You have outdone yourself this time, and I will be hard pressed to decide which ones, because, OF COURSE, I want them all.

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