Monday, January 16, 2012

16.365: Chop-Chop

Remember yesterday's post, all that green yarn, hanging so dreamily in the backyard. Well here we are today. This evening, while about to embark on my weekend, I've discovered that some of the wool I've dyed is ruined, so I've chopped it up! It feels so cathartic, when I would like to scream to just chop-chop, take that yarn! For a moment at least, but really, the disappointment, of dyeing it all, 3 dyeing processes, and washing it, drying it, to only at the very end, as we are about to skein it, to discover that it is ruined, and then there's the materials costs. Sigh.

Sometimes I just curse being a natural dyer. Part of my job is to change the pH of the wool from one end of the spectrum to the other, and to not ruin the wool while doing so. The only wool I ever ruin is that which has gone through the superwash process. There are 2 ways of creating superwash, one in which you fill the wool scales with resin, the other where you burn them off. I have a feeling that the wool which has gone through the burning off process finds it very hard to go through steep pH changes. This is a large reason why I would like to dye only upon all natural wool. Though on the other hand, superwash wool takes dye much more saturated, the tones much deeper. Right now, the most popular colors are those that are very rich, jewel tones. These colors are very hard for me as a natural dyer to get on regular wool, especially softer wools like Merino. So for us to keep selling yarn, I dye on superwash, even though it means ruining yarn sometimes, so we just have to keep trying to get it right.

Hey, when pastels become the Big Thing, I'm going to be the most popular girl on the block. Happy too, since I will be working within natural dyes' natural range of colors on wool that has not gone through the superwash process.


velmalikevelvet said...

You haz a sad, but I could have a happy: send it to me & I'll make art out of it & send it back!

Michelle (missymarie) said...

Oh, how utterly sad and disappointing for you, not only the material cost but most important your time.

Your post was truly educational for those of us who do not understand or know the whole dyeing process with natural wool and superwash wool.

Kristine, keep on informing us so we have a better understanding of the life of a dyer.

Sonya Philip said...

Sad, sad, sad.

Isle of Aran said...

I love the muted and beautiful colors that you seem to produce so 'easily' with natural dyes - even/especially using other than white as your base color. Given that you are based in the heart of 'Organic' culture I would have thought you would have a local market for the colors that can only be achieved 'your' way.