Yesterday I had the great privilege of attending a workshop taught by superstar local dyer Karida Collins, proprietress of Neighborhood Fiber Company. I first encountered Karida's hand-dyed yarn at Knit Happens in Alexandria, VA. In fact, my very first post on this blog highlighted her yarn.
So when I found out that she was offering this workshop, I jumped. I've often wanted to try dyeing but felt intimidated by all the extra equipment I would need to get (less space for yarn!). Also, Yarn Widower would have a fit if I goofed up something in our apartment and had to sacrifice the security deposit - times are tight.
Karida greeted all four of us warmly at her charming home in Mt. Ranier, Maryland (just outside of DC). Since it was threatening to rain, we spent most of our time in her home studio.
Here's Karida during our discussion of color theory. Yes, that's a dust mask sitting on her head. Safety first.
Actually, lunch first. Karida had prepared a lovely spinach - goat cheese quiche with pasta salad on the side. Complete with iced tea infused with mint from her backyard garden.
After lunch we got down to business. Karida put us to work. We each got four hanks of sock yarn pre-soaked and ready for color. It was interesting to see how each of our approaches was so different. I was a little shy and hesitant at first - dabbing a little color here and there. My tablemate Heather was far bolder - she jumped right in and mixed it all up. After our first hank, we all oohed and aahed over each other's work, compared notes and then went back to experimenting.
Here are two of my skeins.
I named the first one DNA electrophoresis. Karida suggested Spring Flowers which is a far prettier name. The second one I named Citrine Supernova. Can you tell that I'm a science geek at heart? I didn't take pictures of my last two - I was too busy dyeing.
After the application of dye, we heat set the color in the microwave and soaked the yarn before rinsing. Karida did all the grunt work (mixing the dye, cleaning our brushes, rinsing and drying) freeing us to play with color.
It was a good day. Yarn, color and dogs. Karida's two rat terriers - Honey and Trixie kept us company and provided editorial commentary. Apparently, growling = good.