Friends to Dye For

Stormy skies, the tartness of lemon squares, the laughter of friends.  Colours splayed out before us.  The smell of wet wool.

After a fair bit of thought, I decided it would be better to hold two parties to dye yarn, one for family and one for friends.  My sister and her husband couldn’t make it ’til July, and the logistics of choreographing 10 people’s creativity were making my head spin.  It turned out to be a good call.  In my initial vision, we were all outside in the yard, sun spilling over us as we laughed and enjoyed a picnic-like feeling of relaxation.  In reality the weather has been very unpredictable, and this Saturday my friends and I were elbow-to-elbow in the kitchen.

Rainer and Sandra had gamely spent their free time winding yarn into hanks for me, using my new homemade PVC niddy noddy. I had a bit of trouble finding PVC piping, can you believe it? I had to go to a store up on the hill that is a combination of Canadian Tire and a livestock feed store that I’d always wondered about. My niddy noddy ended up costing more than the one in the AntiCraft, but I did have to buy the entire length of PVC. As I anticipate these long sticks of piping delighting Matthias and his friends, that’s not a bad thing. (And it still ended up being less than $15.)

I had a bit of a crisis when I realized I had ordered 1/3 of the cheap, undyed yarn I thought I had from Webs. But I looked through my stash and found some colours that I had been given and despised. That way we each had a white hank to play with and a coloured one to over-dye. I knew that one chance to dye wasn’t going to be enough. Playing with colours is really satisfying, but also completely unsatisfying. You want to try another colour or another technique or, or, or….

I ordered 4 colours of Jacquard Acid dye: three primaries and a brown. That way we could mix and match and really make things our own. I’d premixed them in baby food jars so they’d be super-concentrated. When we wanted a colour, we’d put 1/3 – 1/2 C  water in a plastic cup and then mix in the concentrated colours.

new colours
from l to r: Supernova, Princess Prunella, Riverbank, Irish Setter just peeking through, Canola Field, Blue Steel (with a nod to Zoolander)

We had so much fun. We used to see each other at least monthly for potluck suppers, but we’ve all grown busy and those monthly meetings faded away. I can’t remember the last time we were in one room together.

over dye

Can you guess which one of these became which yarn in the top photo?


5 thoughts on “Friends to Dye For

  1. creativelifestudio says:

    Nice! I keep meaning to try my hand at this but haven’t yet. Your instructions may come in handy one of these days. Love the name Blue Steel – hysterical! Love that movie!

    I am guessing that the first color became Supernova, the second, Canola Field, and the third, Irish setter. All great names, btw. Am I right???

  2. Charity says:

    That sounds awesome!

    Hey, we’re coming through Manitoba on our Epic Road Trip in July – any suggestions for must see/must dos? We’ll be in the Wpg area for about a week.

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