Dye Studio

I am the first to say that we are not consistent about our fiber and yarn dyeing.  We usually jump in and work ourselves to death one day to get fiber dyed and then don't do any more for weeks or months. Maybe if we had a more regular schedule, my morning would have been easier.

Since the last time Peggy and I had a dye day, we had the buildings washed, the cement cleaned, windows washed and gutters cleaned. All of that happened over a four day period several weeks ago. In preparation for all that cleaning, most everything sitting on a porch or near a building was moved.  Some of it got moved back appropriately but much of that debris is still crammed into my dye shed.

So, the first order of business was to make space for me to dye some fiber. I was dyeing fiber because my friend Rosemary Malbin asked for a yellow wool/silk blend fiber to spin.  We didn't have anything yellow so I told her I would dye her some.  Easy peasy.

I walked into the dye shed and immediately into and through a huge spider web.  As I was flailing around to get the spider web and possibly the spider off my face I discovered a huge mound of wasps on one of the beams directly above my head. So directly, in fact, that I could have easily grabbed a handful of the little buggers. I darted out of the dye shed and ran for some wasp spray. Moments later there were a hundred wasps writhing around on the floor.  I don't feel the least bit guilting about that.

About that time I recognized the unbelievably huge swarm of mosquitoes fogging my vision. I ran out of the dye shed yet again. There is no easy spray to get rid of mosquitoes so I doused myself with OFF.

There was dust and dirt on everything in the dye shed. I swept up the wasps, hosed off the floor, filled up a couple of dye pots and got them heating, and started to look for dye colors. I found three colors of yellow. Yay! But two of my three propane tanks were empty so I only have two burners I can use today.

Okay. I got two pots on the fire and added the two lightest yellows. Rosemary wanted a yellow with some depth, some movement so I needed these to be tonal. But it looked like I wouldn't get any variation in color so I added just a dab of the third darker yellow to each dye pot. I immediately realized my error.  This wasn't really a yellow but a dark gold.  Not what I really wanted. Well, crap.  Do we have any more yellow dye? Yes! I found some in a small box of dye Peggy had returned to me.

Once I took the first two colors off the fire, I could do the third yellow.  It came out exactly right.  It's a bright yellow with some depth and movement.  Perfect!

Now all three colors have dried nicely and I'm dividing them up to go on the website. They are all wonderful colors and you'll see them at the Texas Fleece & Fiber Festival in Kerrville in a couple of weeks.