I always feel flattered when a dyer lets me know she would like to participate in Strickmich! Club for the second time around – and with Alexandra Abu-Toboul, I am especially happy as her yarns are getting more and more irresistible! In 2016, she dyed a beautiful light turquoise rainbow on a shimmering silk-blend base for us. "I am happy to be part of Strickmich! Club again! It is good to know that we can make the club members happy with our yarn and a design that was made especially for it", Alexandra says. It will be exciting to see what she comes up with in 2018, as she is one of the most versatile dyers I know.
Transparent or bold, freckled or semisolid – Alexandra enjoys living her creative side when dyeing her "Zauberwiese" yarns. "I love to let my intuition guide me, especially when I am trying to dye a color combination I have seen in nature", Alexandra says. Colors have always been her thing. "As a kid I would invest all my pocket money to buy crayons and paint", she says. Later she went on to study art in Strasbourg: Sculpting, painting, photography, and after that she trained as a typesetter and worked as a graphic designer. Her favorite hobby is still sitting outside, observing nature and drawing and painting. The colors she tries out on paper have good chances to be used in the yarn dyeing pots as well. "When I am drawing I often think: Wow, this is cool, I need to try this on wool!" Colors pretty as painted, colorful as a meadow full of flowers – that's also how her brand name "Zauberwiese" ("enchanted meadow") could be interpreted.
Alexandra grew up in the Black Forest in southern Germany (and has kept her lovely accent!), but now totally feels at home in the very very north, close to the Baltic Sea. "I have always enjoyed traveling to the shores, I love being able to see the horizon. Now I live two minutes from the beach – how perfect is that?" Knitting with a view – sounds great! Alexandra likes to knit socks and small shawls, or hats for her kids. "I usually do not have the patience to knit an entire sweater", she says. When she dyes for herself, she prefers deep dark teal or magenta tones, but her customers' wishes have inspired her to develop an amazing palette. "I have recently started to experiment with different kinds of gray – and I find it really intriguing!" she says.
She applies her colors in several layers in order to achieve an fascinating depth. "Many of my skeins are unique because it is just impossible to apply the color in exactly the same way twice", Alexandra says. In her Online-Store you will find unusual yarns such as Corriedale, Donegal or Silk Bouclé. "I love the challenge to dye a color perfectly on a relatively difficult yarn base such as alpaca", she says. Her speciality are almost transparent colors and beautiful variations of the same tone – as you can see in her fabulous Mini-Skein gradient kits. But Alexandra also knows how to deal with really big skeins: Her new specialty are huge skeins that weigh 400 grams and have enough yardage (more than 2000 meters) for sweaters and cardigans even in larger sizes. They are quite difficult to dye because it's not easy to make the pigments reach every inch of the skein, but Alexandra has found her way.
Alexandra's new specialty: Huge skeins!
So dyeing our 150-g-skeins for Strickmich! Club will be a piece of cake! At Strickmich! Club we are very glad that Alexandra has agreed to dye one of her very special colorways for us.