A Color Is Born

One of the most common questions I’m asked is how I make my colors. Dyers are a secretive bunch and we don’t often give up our secrets, but I’m going to tell you a little about how I dye my yarn.
Before I started dying yarn, I knit with a hand dyed yarn that was incredible. The richness and complexity of the colors made for a true knitting experience. Not only was the fiber luxurious and squishy, every inch of the yarn was a fascinating discovery of color. I wanted to make a yarn that gave my end users the same excitement I had felt. I searched long and hard for a method of dying that would make this possible.
What I discovered was laborious and time consuming. The dye process takes anywhere between five and ten hours, but the results are well worth it. Here, I’ll present the process that I use for Green Dragon, my favorite color. To begin, I start with a single layer of color and allow the dye to set.

Green Dragon begins
Green Dragon Begins

In the case of Green Dragon, this first layer is a relatively bright green. An interesting color, though, never has just one layer. After this first layer sets, I add three more greens, each time layering the new green on top of sections of white and the previous colors before it. The result is that there are sections of the original green along with each additional layer and entirely new greens where the initial colors have blended together.

A Second Layer
A Second Layer
A Third Layer Increases Complexity- Note that there is still a substantial amount of white.
A Third Layer Increases Complexity- Note that there is still a substantial amount of white.
A Fourth Layer- Nearly all the white is gone. Sections of all four original greens are visible with an entire new and rich pallete emerging.
A Fourth Layer- Nearly all the white is gone. Sections of all four original greens are visible with an entirely new and rich palette emerging.

If you look closely at the photos, you’ll also notice that the colors are applied in extremely short sections. This means that the resulting fabric has an overall appearance of a general color without pooling but gives more and more interest the closer the viewer gets- much like the paintings of the masters.

The Green Dragon finishes with a layer of purple to bring it to completion. Rarely will I make a color that doesn’t have something to add a bit of excitement and pop. For me, this is what brings everything together and makes it a really exciting yarn.

A Fifth Layer- The dark purple adds a radical contrast to the lighter greens and draws the viewers eyes in.
A Fifth Layer- The dark purple adds a radical contrast to the lighter greens and draws the viewers eyes in.

While the amount of work each skein receives is tremendous, the results are clearly worth it. Be sure to check out all our colorways here.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s