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.


I didn't add up the weight of this yarn, but I'm guessing that it is about 40 pounds. The yarn to the left on the deck in shades of brown is the custom dye I did for a friend. The front row of hanging yarn is an overdye project on churro that I will write more about in another post. The rest is Harrisville Highland and singles yarn that I dyed for my workshops this summer: a true grayscale (almost impossible to buy), a violet to blue gradation, and a teal gradation.

I'm teaching a lot of workshops in the next four months. Yarn was needed.

All of this is dyed with acid wool dyes. If you're curious about them, you can watch a Facebook Live I did last week from my dye studio with details. That page is here: Look for the video link to the left.

I wrote earlier about a little dye mishap I had last week involving the grayscale and a rather big mess. I wanted to share how that gray yarn finally came out because, well just take a look.

Perfectly even. That is DOS 0.03. I've managed 0.015 in the past, but this is a victory if I ever saw one (and not the kind my two-year-old niece used to have when she started learning to use the potty).

Big ole pile o' yarn... with another two rods hanging behind!

I am ready to give my body a rest from all the water schlepping and lifting. And you know what really gets me in the end? Washing the yarn in the bathtub. Even being careful, using my abdominals, and putting my foot up on the side of the tub, washing that many skeins of yarn is a lot of work. Then again, two men built a very long fence in my backyard in about 9 hours this week including digging holes and pouring cement, so perhaps I have no room for complaint.