Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today Was a Good Day to Dye

I had fun today doing something with yarn that I don’t normally do – changing it’s color. In my early knitting days, I experimented with dying using Kool-Aid, but hadn’t done much more than that. Doug, one of the movers and shakers of our men’s knitting group (Ravelry link), has recently gotten into dying and is making quite a go of it. He set up a workshop today at an Austin LYS, Gauge, and invited people to come try their hand at dyeing. He had a lot of takers! Everything was well organized and I walked out of there with some lovely sock yarn in brown. But a very vibrant brown!
Doug does really cool things with dye. He combines colors in cool ways and isn’t afraid of the bold and bright – like some people I know. What I really love about Doug is how enthusiastic he is about dyeing, and what a great teacher he makes – drawing people in, getting them started, and then letting them run free with their ideas.
He’s done dyeing sessions for his mom’s friends, and his dad even put together a little device to help portion out yarn for dyeing in striped patterns – I’m sure it has a name, but I didn’t catch it. His dad even drove it up from Houston this morning just so Doug could use it today. Nice! Doug has started a website where you can find out about his dyeing and perhaps snatch up some of his lovely work. You can see some samples above, but also check out White Bear Fibers – I’ve added a banner in the Look! section on the right.
I got to Gauge late-ish, and a lot of the activity had dyed (ahem) down, but I got to see a lot of the work other people had done – neat stuff, in some really cool colors. I loved seeing it all outside, drying in the sun. And yes, northern readers, it got up into the low 80s on this, the penultimate day of January. I’m sitting here writing this after 7:00pm, hoping the open windows will cool the house down a bit. I just can’t imagine turning on the A/C in January. Winter is supposed to come back in about 48 hours, but today sure was lovely.
My brown yarn turned out quite nicely. I dyed the whole skein in a watered down version of the chocolate dye, to get kind of a mauve-y effect. Then, I over-dyed a few sections in a slightly less watered down version. Finally, I used a brush to add some full on chocolate-y low-lights. I did miss a few sections here and there, but all in all, it should turn out good. My skein is hanging up in the bathroom right now – I’ll wind it up in a few days. I can’t wait to make some socks out of it.
Thanks, Doug, for a very fun and creative afternoon!


  1. Thanks, Steven! It was great seeing you and I can't wait to see your yarn when it's dried and wound! So exciting!

  2. This sounds so fun - I would have dug it! What yarn did you use as your base?