Before I go into the dye studio or sit down to plan a colorway, I usually set some broad goals about what I want to accomplish. Sometimes, I’m trying to pull out colors from a particular photo. Sometimes, there’s a color combination that I think is interesting and want to play with. And sometimes, I want to dye for a specific person.

The last one can be tricky, because it’s hard to know exactly what a persons’ signature colors are, unless you know them very well. But every once in a while I run across a color that just absolutely belongs to someone I know.

I don’t think that everybody does this, but for some reason my brain stores colors for all the people I meet. It’s just one of those details that is part of knowing someone for me – like recognizing their face, their style, their favorite foods or the  smell of their go-to perfume. I stash away details like what color lights up their eyes, or highlights their skin tone, or matches their favorite piece of jewelry.

Sometime last year, I was sampling away in the dye studio, and that gold emerged. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was a color for Anne Hanson. (You can see why here, here, and here.)

If there is one person responsible for getting me thoroughly hooked on knitting, it is probably Anne. I stumbled across her blog sometime in 2006 or 2007, and immediately fell in love with her designs. I had been knitting for a while, but was getting bored with stockinette and the knit-purl stitches. Her blog opened up a whole new world of lace, and watching her designs develop caught my interest so deeply that I began to create my own. I haven’t been bored with my knitting since.

Now, I don’t know Anne. Not personally, anyway. I’ve lurked on her blog for years, been constantly inspired by her work, and have learned a lot about designing and about writing from following her blog. When I began selling my own products, I looked to her to figure out how to talk about things for sale without making a sales pitch, while still generating real content for the blog. I met both Jocelyn and Amanda through her blog, and Ellen and Jan through Jocelyn. Through some funny twist of fate, more than half of the people that read this blog ended up over here because of Anne. But I don’t know her.

So I set aside the color, as something to ponder for another time.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to Ellen about meeting up at Rhinebeck. It occurred to me that Anne would also be there. The color popped back into my head, and refused to leave. Something said that it was time. There is nothing I love more than cooking up a surprise gift, so I set off in search of the perfect fiber.

After a little while with my sample cards, I came up with this combination:

I just love the way the gray and olive green bring out the richness in the gold. This was my colorway.

It took a couple of tries, but this is what I came up with:

The fiber stowed away in my luggage when I flew to Rhinebeck on Friday. We looked for Anne on Saturday, but didn’t find her. (If I had been caught up on my blog reading, I would have known that there was a Knitspot picnic at noon, but I was behind and didn’t know.)

On Sunday, I was wandering around the market when I saw a familiar face. Kim was standing in front of one of the show barns, and Anne was with her.  Kim took the obligatory fan girl picture, and I tried not to gush too much. Fiber changed hands, and I think she liked it.

I love when things come full circle like this. Anne inspired me to knit, taught me a lot about writing and design, and introduced me to Jocelyn, who introduced me to Ellen, who brought me to Rhinebeck, where I met Anne. Little ripples going out, and coming back again.

I hope she enjoys her fiber.