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Archive for September 8th, 2006

Teaching, Dyeing, Going Camping

Friday, September 8th, 2006

Thursday I was busy busy busy… I did a lot of cooking/baking in anticipation of the weekend, and I had a class at Rae’s (Marcia came in from Williamston and we worked on Fruit Hats and other assorted goodies). After class Brian and I had a better dinner than usual and then I went down into the dyeing studio. I couldn’t put it off one more day.

LynnH's Seaside ColorwayI’ve had a standing request for some yarn that would make up a Cushy Blankie, from a customer at Rae’s who already bought the pattern. I think she has been holding her breath waiting for yarn for a month or more. I don’t really take orders but I sort of owe this woman a bit of a favor (she gave me the best advice one day, and I am grateful though I haven’t had a chance to say so yet). Therefore, when I finally got down and dyed some yarn, I first did something I hope she will like.

So I dyed three pounds of Seaside Cushy ColorSport and three pounds of a pink/purple Cushy ColorSport and I’m steaming it all as I type this. In the morning I will rinse it and put it up to dry… and then we are going away Friday-Sunday to Wheatland Music Festival. When I get back I will reskein it and sell it in half-pound skeins. I lucked out and found my same yarn already put up into half pound skeins. (I used to buy it in half-pound cones and have to skein it before and then again after dyeing. You can imagine how this is really helping my speed!)

My basement dye studio is a very efficient workspace which is aesthetically less than pleasant. I need to go down there someday and paint some purple and turquoise on the wooden beams or something, just to make it more “me” and more fun to be down there. Once I actually get my (gloved) hands on the yarn I don’t notice anything anyway, but prep time and cleanup would be so much nicer with a bit of color.

At least long ago I got some really good lighting, and that really makes a big difference. This way I can dye at 3am and still see what colors I am working with. Lights were definitely the right first move, and I did that before I dyed a single strand of yarn.

Turkish Toe Up Socks in Seaside YarnPurple trim, though, that has always been in the back of my mind. At least that one wooden post in the middle of the space is really begging to be prettier. But time is so precious it seems a waste to spend studio time painting a post rather than dyeing yarn. I’m sure you’ve felt that way about something, too.

So now my yarn is steamed and it needs to steep in the steam overnight to make sure the color stays on the wool. It is sleep time now, and that no doubt will be followed by a crazy morning. We like to leave by noon, I hope I can make that happen. I have my food packed (and Brian does the packing of camping gear, bless his heart) but need to throw a few clothes in the backpack and grab as much yarn as I think I could knit in three weekends, and I should be ready to go!

Photo: The first batch of my colorway “Seaside” that I ever dyed, drying on my porch and knit up into my Turkish Toe Up sock pattern. Everytime I make this colorway I use the same three dyes, but in different intensities/proportions. This pictured batch was heavy on the blue and light on purple. The current batch has intense purple and intense turquoise but it is somewhat easy on the blue. I love it. This colorway continues to be my best seller, no matter what the proportions I use. I think humans just respond well to this range of colors, when used together. It’s sky and sea.