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Dyeing in the Summer


Peggy and I have established a company policy that we will not do any dye days if there is a heat advisory.  I'm sure it's pretty obvious why we came to that conclusion. We had a dye day several years ago during a heat advisory and it wasn't pretty.  Well, the yarn was stunning but we weren't in great shape by the end of the day.  Dye days are a lot of work.  There are pots to be filled and positioned on the burners, dye and necessary assists to be added, yarn and/or fiber to be wetted, pots to be stirred only not very much or Peggy starts to get just a little testy because she is in charge of re-skeining the yarn and too much stirring makes a mess of things... but I digress...  There is the hose to wrangle, yarn and/or fiber to be rinsed and either hung up or laid out to dry.  Then there are the bottles and pots to be washed, the floor to be hosed down.  And all of that is the physical work.  The other type of work involves picking out all the colors.  Will this blue look right with this green?  How much red should we add to this orange?  Does this look OK or should we over dye it?

Having said all of that, I decided on a dye day Sunday morning.  Yes, the expected high for the day was 98 degrees and while that was not literally a heat advisory it was pretty darned hot.  And it was all the more work since I was flying solo.  Usually Peggy and I do these days together but I sort of got a wild hair and decided first thing in the morning.  I am working on some designs to show off some of our yarn and I need to have the bouclé match the wool which means I need to dye it.  I thought if I started early and didn't try to dye too much I would be fine.  Turns out I was right.  I was hot and sweaty and tired but definitely fine.

Peggy and I work really well together.  We have similar sensibilities about most things.  We both are willing to work hard.  We are both willing to wash dishes and clean up our messes and we coordinate well when it comes to colors and options and where to go from here.  We are different is a couple of important ways, too.  My first instinct is always to dump in the entire packet of dye.  Peggy is the one who starts with a bit and will add a bit more till we get to where we need to be.  So in this dye operation I'm the gas pedal and she's the brake.  To get anywhere you need both but today all I had was me.  As a result, the silver grey turned out to be nearly black and the soft yellow and brown turned out Thanksgiving pumpkin and black.  Ah, well.  Not the colors I intended but quite nice none the less.

Six dye pots ought to result in six different colors of yarn.  Well, no.  The silk bouclé doesn't take the dye like the wool.  The mohair bouclé takes the dye differently, too. Then some of the wool is super wash so it takes the dye differently also.  It also depends on how much yarn is in each dye pot.  If you crowd too much in one pot the dye gets used up without getting to all the yarn.  I had three skeins of Lovely that managed to get jammed in the bottom of two different dye pots and come out not quite white but close.  Those three skeins got a new dye pot all their own with a totally different color dye.  Not sure what they will look like in the morning.