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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...

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Natural Dyes

I love working with natural dyes.  I love picking the plants - marigolds or goldenrod or whatever else grows around me.  I also love working with the natural materials that I can't go outside and find - like cochineal for example.  Then there are the plants that can and do grow here but require a high level of commitment to produce yourself.  Various plants make indigotin, the initial form of indigo, but the process is precise even after you have grown the plants.  Osage Orange trees grow around here but to get the dye out of the heartwood requires grinding up the wood into sawdust.     Sort of looks like raspberry and lemon pop, right?  It's actually cochineal and goldenrod. ...

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Dye Day Results

Yesterday was a great dye day. It wasn't perfect because that would require a high for the day of about 65 degrees rather than the 93 degrees we had.  But we had a pretty darned productive day. We have some new yarns coming out so we were excited to see how they would take the dye.  If they had been horrible they would never see the website and we would sell them at a deep discount at one of our upcoming shows.  But no worries here.  The 3/2 organic warp twist cotton looked spectacular.  This is one of those yarns that will work just as well for weaving as it will for knitting.  It may show up as the over-shot...

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Off with the Old, On with the New

A couple of delightful changes happened today.  First, Stephen Franco arrived this afternoon to shear the goats.  Stephen is a wonderful shearer and he always does a great job.  When I think how long it took for me to find a great shearer I'm amazed.  It would take me hours of work to do what he does in about 5 minutes.  And he does such a great job while when I did them the goats looked like they had been attacked by a four year old who got his hands on Mama's scissors. We are down to only four Angora goats now since we lost Paxton a couple of weeks ago.  It was a sad goodbye to a great goat...

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