It was our sick little joke while I was going through health problems earlier in the year that I was a dyeing woman as I focused on learning new skills and techniques to dye yarn. I assure you I'm relatively healthy, it's just our dark sense of humour.
I've tried my hand at a lot of things over the years from hobbies to careers and everything over, under and in between. I don't know whether it's luck or talent or perseverance but I tend to master the basics of most things that I try my hand at and so have a range of skills to add to my collection. Knitting was probably the first of those things that really felt like it was meant to be - it's hard for me, now, to imagine a time when I didn't knit - but in dyeing I have felt for the first time in my life that I've found my calling and I think that's quite a rare thing to discover.
How often does anyone try something completely new and have an overwhelming feeling of this is exactly what I'm supposed to do for the rest of my life?
It starts with a bowl of virtually colourless spaghetti and goes through several stages before emerging in beautiful, breathtaking colour combinations. There is no exact science but the results can certainly be more predictable the more experience you have and I'm having an absolute blast experimenting and expressing myself through colour.
As the colours emerge through a fog from the steamer, I struggle to catch my breath every time a new skein reveals itself. The possibilities are infinite and I am in complete heaven!
I'm using acid dyes made with vinegar and setting the colour with heat from a steamer rather than bubbling it in a pan. When people ask me what dyes I'm using I'm quite reluctant to say acid dyes because it sounds much more menacing than it actually is. This process is actually more environmentally friendly than many natural dyes. The dye is completely absorbed by the yarn and the excess water from the process is actually drinkable.
There are a few skeins and cakes of my hand dyed yarn available for purchase in the shop if any of them catch your eye - and I really, really hope they do because I'd love for my shop to specialise in hand dyed yarns.
I'm working with a lovely soft merino DK and also some 4 ply sock yarn at the moment, both of which are superwash so very practical. I have to admit that a lot of those skeins are being tucked straight into my stash and/or hopping immediately onto my needles because I love them so much. I hope you do too!