It's been quite a while since we dyed cotton yarn. We are down to our last five skeins of Monte Carlo and have no Penelope left at all.
Fortunately, we have quite a bit of both Monte Carlo and Penelope in stock but up until today it hadn't been dyed. We also have a new yarn called Gazelle. Both Monte Carlo and Penelope are cotton/rayon blends. They have the summer feel of cotton with the shimmer and shine of rayon.
Gazelle is a thick and thin yarn that has over 80% cotton and the rest is modal rayon and nylon. It feels more like a cotton chenille robe to me than anything else. It's wonderful.
We fired up the dye pots first thing this morning. Each one used three different colors of dye but all in the same color family. We did blues, reds, rust/orange and greens. All four of the dye pots had lots of color left when we pulled the yarn out so we did a smaller exhaust dye bath to use up the rest of the dye. We got great colors!
We always try to get a mix of colors in the fiber or yarn we dye. Usually we can make that happen by letting the colors "break" into their components or by using several different of related colors like we did today. For example the blues we dyed today used turquoise, peacock and copenhagen blue; the rust/orange used rust, orange and gold.
The yarn was mostly dry by the time we finished up this afternoon and Peggy took it all home to finish drying and be re-skeined.
The bonus of having a dye day is that we got the dye shed all cleaned up. It's been so long since we were out there that there was a significant accumulation of leaves and dust along with all the fleeces I had pulled out to pick. The picking hasn't gone very well but I'm going to have to learn to love it or we will never have any yarn with fiber from my animals.