Most of my colorways are of the 'painted' variety. That means that when I am dyeing the yarn I lay the skein out on my work surface flat as a stack of ovals so that I can see the whole skein. I then apply the dye to the skeins in sections, working it into the yarn by hand to make sure I have the saturation level I want. The sections of color might be as big as half the skein, or as small as just an inch or two in length. When I have finished, if it is a new colorway I draw a diagram that shows me which colors went where on the skein and add any other notes I might need to be able to replicate the colorway again at a later date. These notes include things like dilution strength or other dye mixture notes. Then, the next time I need to make a batch of a particular colorway I just pull out my notebook, open to the page for that colorway, and away we go.
Every so often I will do a colorway that is 'container dyed' instead of 'painted'. This means that I put the skeins to be dyed in a container and apply the dye in a more random way. I usually start by either pushing the skeins off to one side and pouring the dye into the container next to the skeins (for a more diluted, pastel effect) or by pouring the dye down over the yarn and then submerging the yarn in the liquid for more saturated colors. In either case, I then turn the skeins over to expose the still undyed parts and repeat. Depending on how many colors I am combining I will leave some yarn exposed for the next color. This continues until I feel like I am done. For new colorways it can be hard to find this point. It can be hard to find the line between not quite ready and overdone. Later, when I need to repeat the colorway it is easier because I almost always keep a reference skein of these yarns around to remind me what it should look like when it is done. The notes for these colorways are a lot different and much more subjective. "Twelve pours of yellow, five pours of red" is the first instruction for "Early Autumn". I kid you not.
Recently I had a request for a colorway that had pumpkin orange, brown, sage green, and purple in it. I don't have a 'sage' green so I decided to use 'spruce' instead. I decided to make this one of the container dyed colorways. The result of those colors and that method is "Hay Ride".
|The colors of hay, the hay wagon, indian corn, fall.|
|I love the speckles of purple and green!|
Next up Blueberries...