This is a long post on dyeing so if you're not interested stop here or go to the end to see Bailey, my dye companion.
One question I get asked quite often is "Why don't you dye more saturated bright colors?". Why? Well, they're not the colors I like as much. They are very fun to spin but then I find I have no clue what to use the resulting handspun for other than crazy sox. So I dye more muted colorways, many times in varying shades of one or two colors that will hopefully result in beautiful knitted, crocheted or handwoven items. I do dye colorways that don't appeal to me to spin but I try to have a bit of something for everyone. Last year I got away from dyeing exact color separations because I personally am tired of spinning yarns that create definite stripes or barberpoles. I love the results of my current dyeing where I get more complex looking handspun yarn but no worries about color pooling or striping. If someone wants those bright colors there are plenty of other indie dyers out there that create beautiful colorways.....and they are beautiful.
My dye day actually starts with getting everything out - tables were already set up from yesterday, 2 burner propane stove set up, all squeeze bottles, measuring devices, buckets out from yesterday too so this morning all I had to do was pull the dye stocks out of the garage along with the papertowels and surgical gloves (Costco has a great price on these in boxes of many). I like having all my dye stock already made and ready to go - I make them up in 2 1/2 gallon containers at the end of the dye day so they're ready to go the next time. I make up red, blue, yellow, cyan, pink and then so I don't have to make brown I have a gold ochre and brown, and also black.
While it's soaking I work like a mad scientist mixing up my colors for that roving. My dyes are Jacquard that I buy in the monster containers since I go through a lot of dye - much more economical that way.
etsy shop, braid or bag it and spin a small sample. I've been braiding most of the roving (not the merino/bamboo or merino/tencel as those are thinner rovings) - braiding makes for pretty pictures, it also makes for easy storage but I really don't like how it compacts the roving.....not a big deal, just open it up a bit and it spins beautifully, but I'm considering going to bagging it all this year.
Uh-oh, the wind just picked up and I heard a drying rack fall over - not a good thing as my drying racks are already being held together by duct tape and tie-wraps from constantly being blown over. Guess I better get down there and pick it all up..........