Dye Day Traditions

First of all, if you don’t know, every week I dye skeins of yarn on Saturday afternoon. Dye Day in itself has become a bit of a weekly tradition. I’m a big fan of traditions, routines, schedules and things that happen weekly. I’ve been called robotic and extremely logical, so clearly I am left-brained…The funny thing is, I always just assumed that meant you couldn’t be creative at all. It seems that assumption isn’t true in my life because I would consider myself to be both logical and creative. I think my creativity stems from my logical side…Who knew, huh?

Anyway, back to my weekly traditions. On the weekends, Ben and I usually go hang with my parents. This is always lots of fun and my parents are sweet and wonderful and completely spoil us! Part of my reasoning for Dye Day being on Saturday afternoons is because my studio is not fully set up yet. Our water system is still not finished, exactly, here on the farm. We use a rain water collection system for most of our water needs. This works GREAT when it rains! The water is fresh, clean and good for you because it has healthy minerals in it. However, it doesn’t work so well when it doesn’t rain…We don’t have enough water storage at this point and so we have to water-conscious. If you’re not familiar with the dye process, it uses A LOT of water. (Well…rinsing does…) So in an effort to conserve water usage on the farm, I rinse out when we’re at my parents house over the weekends. I am extremely blessed to have a mother who is also a fellow craftsperson and lets me rinse out at her house and use her water. I couldn’t dye anything if it wasn’t for her generosity.

I also began a brand new Dye Day tradition just last week! I use one spatula to mix all my dyes up and just rinse and dry it between mixings. I have a small cup of rinse water that is usually quite colored by the end of my dyeing sessions. Last week, I had an extra skein leftover after I had dyed my usual 9 skeins. I didn’t really want to mix up another batch of dye so instead, I wet the skein like normal and poured the rinse cup on as my dye. I really had no idea what it would look like but one of the things I love about dye work is that if you don’t like something, you can always over-dye it.

When I rinsed everything out last week, I came to my rinse cup skein and it actually turned out to be this LOVELY light gray color! A color that I probably could not have achieved if I’d been TRYING to get it. Well…Now I’m hooked. So I decided that every week when I’m done dyeing, I’ll throw one more skein in and dye it with my rinse cup. This week looks like it’ll be a reddish of some kind but kind of a pastel red. Ohhh I can’t wait! I should also mention that another of my favorite parts of dyeing is how it can be completely serendipitous and surprising. I like to have some idea of what the color will look like in my mind and then be completely surprised and pleased by the results. (Not always pleased, but like I said before, over-dyeing!)  I try not to allow myself to have expectations of how a color will turn out. You can do everything exactly the same and sometimes, the color just doesn’t look the same. ‘Tis the nature of chemistry, I suppose. 🙂
~JoAnna

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