Hooked on Dyeing

You know when you say that to people who don’t work in the fibre arts, they look at you funny.

I enjoy doing this so much I want to go into business doing it. I AM doing this as a business! It feels slow, but I know in reality at this point things are moving so fast I might not actually be ready in May, when I want to enter into my first show.
Can I get enough yarn dyed up? Can I get enough products together? Can I design anything anyways? Hah. Oh my, how much will all this cost? Well it all matters, but not as much as taking the first plunge does.  I get so nervous and exicted all at the same time I stutter when I’m talking to people on the phone, whether its partners or suppliers. Good thing they love my enthusiasm and can barely get a word in edgewise. I went to my first knitting show ever in Sept. Tomorrow I’ll head out to Woodstock for the fibre show and in Nov I check out fibre again in New England. Ohhhhhh excited about Nov too!

To get ready for the show tomorrow I ordered both flax and hemp roving. I’m glad I left some undyed samples around cause I found out that dying roving is not at all like dying yarn or fabric! What a hot mess. My roving looks like wet cat. And its not even animal fibre! Its still too wet to move around much. I started dyeing last month. I had leftover dyes that were stored til yesterday when I hauled them out to dye some hanks a second time from their start last month. The yarn dyed up really nicely. It was as much fun as doing it the first time around last month. The roving took the blue dye very well. I knew I had used up much of the black just from the level left in the container. I love how a nice quick dip in black deepens the colours, especially on the tips, I used black a ton last month. I had thinned out the magenta just to see if I could reduce the intensity at all. It still looks like it dyed the yarns nicely, but not the roving so much. I also realize I press the hemp yarn a bunch to remove water, and I slosh it around a ton when I’m rinsing with the fixative. Things I can’t do as much to the roving. Hah, do I ever have another tonnage to learn! Maybe I’ll get a Dyeing DVD, and not just books on knitting lace when I’m in Woodstock.

You can make dye patterns, I love that. Right now I just find the patterns.

But of course I made this project from my yarn before I considered charting things out better!

Making lace is incredible. The more holes, the more I love it.

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6 Responses to Hooked on Dyeing

  1. pip says:

    I love your yarn and that last photo is fantastic 🙂

  2. Leslie says:

    Wow, those colours are really striking! How do find working with the bast fiber yarn?

    • I have been reading about a bias issue in knitting with plant fibres, but I haven’t noticed it afffecting my projects yet. I love how smooth the lace ends up being. Looks great when I knit it up in regular or oversized needles. As for dyeing the stuff, I wish i could dye with koolaid! I alspo want tpo try the yarns in my ultimate sweater machine… we’ll see…

  3. Congratulation on your new blog. I will add it to my reading list. I swear I could have written your post. I am at the same place you are…eager to participate in a show and terrified at the same time. Just like you, I went to a knit show (as a buyer) for the first time in september in K-W. I will be ready for my first show (as a seller) in May of next year! I look forward to reading you and wish you lots of success!

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