Category Archives: Dyeing

New Yarns!

I’ve gotten a couple new yarn bases for Fall, and they are delightful! They’re both fingering weight, and will be carried in my Maiden Yarn store.

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This one is a very smooshy single-ply of a wool and nylon blend. I think it would make gorgeous scarves, cowls, or even a shawl. I’ve already gotten to dye some up as a test, and this yarn is begging to be dyed in rich tones of a kettle-dyed nature.

As a side note – I will also be carrying a more familiar fingering base. The 70/30 merino/silk blend I’ve had in before. It’s a nice four-ply, non-superwash yarn with a little bit of shine to it. Lovely lovely.

In case you’re wondering, I’m moving Maiden Yarn to mainly fingering weight (my favorite to knit with) and spinning fiber at the beginning of October. It’ll simplify things for me, and allow me to offer a wider range of colors in the same weight (if not same fiber blend) of yarn. Plus, who doesn’t like fingering and sock weight?

I’m really rather excited, but I shall try to remain rational.

Shop Update Today

I’m finally back from my childcare sojourn, and can’t wait to get these fibers up and running. Here’s what will be available in the shop later today.

Dyeing and Friends

Incase you’re wondering, I wasn’t able to have my little sushi treat for lunch. The grocery store hadn’t made the rolls when I dropped by.

But, I got to spend a good four or five hours dyeing yesterday. Unfortunately, that means most everything is too wet to photograph, but I snagged a few pictures.

Fresh July Fibers

I made some brand new fibers in honor of Phat Fiber’s July theme “Art Nouveau”, and I thought I’d share some pictures with you.

This first one ( “Violette” ) is named after a Maxfield Parrish painting. The painting is a rather whimsical piece in which the Knave of Hearts watches Lady Violette baking those famous tarts. But, while the subject matter is more humorous, the colors are downright gorgeous.

This scarlet and sapphire one was inspired by another of Maxfield Parrish’s paintings, but was very difficult to name. I finally settled on “Venice.”

And this one is called “Amber Lily,” and it was purely an accident. But definitely a happy accident!

I’m hoping to get up some pictures of the finished samples I sent off for Phat Fiber, but it’ll be a bit before I’m able to import them from the camera.

Officially Spring

I realize that Spring begins in March. But personally, I don’t really count it as Spring until it feels Spring-ish. And yesterday I went on a picnic lunch in a lovely park, and now realize that Spring is fully Spring-ish. So, happy Spring!

I guess the biggest news I have to share is that I’m expanding into the wholesale realm. A local yarn store is going to be carrying six special colorways of my merino/silk laceweight. (Including Dawn Treader!) If you’re in the Athens, GA area, stop by and visit Main Street Yarns to take a peek. It’s a lovely store with all sorts of goodies. (I have to be very strict with my wallet when I’m there.) I just sent off a lovely lineup of twelve skeins, but completely forgot to take a picture of them before they left! Gack!
There’s a chance that I’ll be visiting the yarn store next week, so I’ll have to take my camera and attempt to get a shot of the yarns hanging up on the wall.

Along the same line of “business,” I’m looking into giving my laceweight yarn bases some names. So, instead of calling it “70/30 merino silk” I would call it “Hawthorn Lace” or something like that. I’ve seen this done in various stores and supposedly it helps people remember the yarns. I’m all for it, except that I have to come up with the names. No pressure, right? It just reflects on me and my business if I choose poorly. Yeeks. Some top ideas now are naming them after various vines, or floral/botanical type things.

Seventeen at a Blow

For not having dyed in a while, I certainly jumped back in feet first. The ones up above there are my Malabrigo yarns. A friend and I are putting together some Malabrigo sets with matching stitch markers to put in my store, and I’ll be sending some little samples off to the Phat Fiber Boxes for April’s distribution. Lots of fun!

But, besides those, I went through a whole stack of yarns this time around. In fact, I felt like the Brave Little Tailor in one of my favorite old fairy tales. Seventeen yarns processed in one morning. (Yes, but don’t mention that I dyed less than half of those that round. The rest were twist-setting and dye-testing.) Still, I don’t think I’ve done that big of a batch since last year.

I’ve got some lovely laceweight, and a gorgeous set of bulky skeins, plus some odds and ends of other things. I was rather pleasantly surprised at how many I was able to do, what with being out of practice. The last thing I wanted to do was get halfway in and have an energy crash. When yarns are on the stove, there is no way to stop without risking the loss of the yarn. And, by extenuation, sanity.

Here’s the laceweight I dyed. It was supposed to be Dawn Treader, but I got way too much purple in there and came up with these three skeins. As I said before, I have no idea what I’m going to call it—besides gorgeous.

Spring? Already?

It might just be me, but eighty-degree weather in the middle of March seems a bit early. Not that I’m complaining about all the lovely flowering trees outside. All those white and pink blossoms—not to mention the gorgeous red ones that I don’t know the name of—very lovely stuff.

Spinning and general crafting levels have been down as we’ve had lots of wonderful house guests for the last several weeks, but now things are grinding back towards normal and I can get back to spinning. And dyeing. Lovely dyeing.

Here’s my first stab at dyeing some mohair/silk laceweight in my Blackberry Jam colorway. I still get the yarn quivers whenever I look at this. Gorgeous.

I also managed to get way too much purple on a batch of Dawn Treader lace, and it turned out amazing. My only problem is that now I’ve got to come up with a name for the new colorway.

And then there’s the two-skein set of bulky weight that I just amazed myself with. How does one go about naming a combination of black, emerald green, and purple? I may wind up having to put a picture up here and run a name contest.

Enough is Enough

I recently came into possession of a large compilation of the works of Lewis Carroll. It’s a big, beautiful “leather” bound copy. Not so good for taking on trips, but excellent for curling up with on a gray afternoon. From my initial perusing of the new material (I’m already very familiar with the two Alice stories) I’ve come to the conclusion that Carrol can be very amusing to read, but he tends to wander off into lengthy dissertations on things in which I have little-to-no interest.

However, to get to the point, one of his shorter writings features tips on writing letters and contains this little gem: “My second Rule is, don’t fill more than a page and a half with apologies for not having written sooner!” And I have taken this to heart. I think it safe to assume that you’re fed up with my apologies for not having blogged sooner, so I will dispense with them forthwith.

I’ve been keeping pretty busy lately with various fiber projects. One of which was a large undertaking.
Eight ounces of superwash BFL fiber to be handspun and dyed for a Maiden Yarn customer. Oh my goodness – I practically had to fight off my knitting sister to keep the spun yarn. Bluefaced Leicester is rapidly elbowing its soft and lustrous way to the top of the fiber heap, so to speak. It’s simply wonderful stuff.

A New Yarn

Eek! I’m just so excited about this yarn I have to share. I’m now hand-dyeing “Jaggerspun Zephyr” laceweight. (It’s a gorgeous, commercial blend of merino and tussah silk.) Anyway, here’s the first of the bunch. “Frosted Peppermint.”

Just A Few Yarns

Here is a lovely photo list of the dyeing results from the last week or so. And this isn’t even all of them.