Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Myra and I have been dyeing up a storm, stock piling yarn for TKGA in King of Prussia in July where we will be vendors for the first time. (Not counting years ago at Salem Harvest Sheep and Wool.)

One of the best parts of getting a block of time to dye is the opportunity it brings to try out new colorways when the inspiration strikes. I don't like to mix dye, so when I get the bug to try something new, I generally write down the recipe and try it on fiber later.

Dyers know what preparation is involved with dyeing. Preparing the yarn by skeining it, prewashing it, soaking it in an auxiliary, mixing the dye and then finally the application and heating. Since mixing the dyes is not my favorite part of the process, I try to get it done in one sitting. I use liter sized bottles that sterile water and saline comes in for the Operating Room (my old life). They are perfect for dyes because they are graduated, they clean up well, and they are unbreakable. I fill the bottles with fairly hot water, not too hot, but as hot as comes from the tap and line up as many as will fit on the counter. I use disposable t-spoons so I can move quickly and not stop to wash off real measuring spoons, and with my nose and mouth covered, start adding dye powder to the bottles. Occasionally a customer will come down to our studio when I am in the process of doing this and it always amuses me to see the expression on their face when they see the mask.

When I mix a big batch of dyes like this, they tempt me for days. Until I can get there again for the real application, it will nag me that all that color is waiting to be released.

One of the many benefits of having a business partner is that I get to use her dyes. I think I will shop at her house tomorrow for some new inspiration.

1 comment:

Madelyn said...

Um, um, yummy colors. I want to take your dyeing class if I can find the time.