How to make beautiful yarn out of poorly dyed singles

How to make beautiful yarn out of poorly dyed singles

Mistakes in dyeing can be messy... but sometimes there is a happy outcome even when you think it is all going to crap partway through.

I made a measuring error while dyeing a violet/blue yarn and as the dye was already in a jar with water in it, I couldn't easily save it. I wanted to use this large volume of dye so it seemed the right moment to try some overdyeing.

A friend recently gave me quite a lot of churro yarn that was dyed by someone else. The colors weren't quite what she wanted and she asked if I could use it. And not being able to say no to free high-quality yarn even when the colors were a little bold, it came to live in my studio.

Not afraid to dye

Not afraid to dye

On social media I often use this hashtag, #notafraidtodye

I've been waking up in the night the last few days with a lot of pain in my back. This is unusual for me and in my middle-of-the-night confusion I couldn't figure out how I could suddenly feel so old and creaky. In the morning I remembered. I've been dyeing yarn for almost two weeks now and that is enough to make anyone's back ache.

Maybe this visual will help.

This could have been my vocation in a different life.

This could have been my vocation in a different life.

True confessions. Every time I spend any time in the textile conservation space at the Denver Art Museum, I want to be a textile conservator. I love what they do--such a mix of research, history, science, and art.

I was able to go to Preview Open Window, the Wednesday morning talks led by Allison McCloskey (and currently her fellow Emma), last week. I never know what they'll be working on when I get there, but it is usually something that is going to be displayed somewhere in the museum soon. So the added benefit is that I get to go and see the piece finished and on display at some point in the future.

A string (thread? yarn?) of dye mishaps

A string (thread? yarn?) of dye mishaps

Oh my.

It has been quite a day in the dye studio thus far. There was the leveling problem with the lightest gray and the attempt to fix it went horribly wrong...

Let me back up. I've been working on a large dye project. I'm dyeing yarn for a big tapestry a friend is weaving and while I'm at it, I'm dyeing the yarns I need for my upcoming workshops. The first pot I wanted to get going this morning needed special care. It was a pot of the lightest gray I dye, DOS 0.03. This yarn frequently comes out quite spotty, so I used some of my tricks to try to get it level. Unfortunately, I didn't use all of them because it was clear before the pot even started to heat that this yarn was not going to be remotely all one color. Severely blotchy darker grays with spots of almost white yarn. This will never do. Perhaps the students won't care, but every time I see that ball of yarn on the yarn table, I'm going to cringe and kick myself for not using Abegal Set and for putting the acid in before the yarn had a chance to sit in the levelers for awhile.

Spring gnome sighting

Spring gnome sighting

Happy spring you all! It actually feels like spring here in Colorado at the moment. You know when I am out hiking in a short-sleeved t-shirt and am contemplating shorts that it is really warm.

These little guys were seen briefly in the front garden cavorting around some miniature daffodils. I left some hints around the garage that they could work on my dye project overnight, but was disappointed this morning to find no progress made while I was sleeping.

Luminous beings are we... Yoda

Luminous beings are we... Yoda

I visited the Denver Art Museum yesterday. The Star Wars and the Power of Costume exhibit is only here for a few more weeks and though I am not a complete science fiction geek, I do love me some Star Wars. I had to go.

The costumes were stunning. I really enjoyed seeing the concept art which was presented as drawings, storyboards, and costume fabric files along with a few videos.

Design tips and inspiration for tapestry weaving

Design tips and inspiration for tapestry weaving

Inspiration for tapestry design can come from an infinite number of sources. But actually recognizing something as a starting point for a design can be tricky! My experiences as artist-in-residence at Petrified Forest National Park last year have informed my design skills tremendously.

This experience of using a little loom and simple forms inspired by the environment was so powerful for creating meaningful tapestry designs, that I wanted to share it with all of you.