John has carefully calculated the quantities of each color of yarn he will need for his new weaving, adding 20% for good measure. Marilyn has spun 27 skeins of thick single-ply yarn, striving to prepare the fiber carefully and keep the spinning rhythm so that the yarn comes out thick [about like a worsted weight store bought yarn, but not plied] and consistent. Now it is time to apply color.
This is a new adventure for us. In the past, Marilyn almost always dyed the unspun fleece, so the color was in it before the yarn was made. But this way we know we have the right quantity before we apply the dye. At Wetland Wool we like to use Landscapes Dyes, which are made and sold in Australia. The shop is not far from John’s mother’s home in Sydney and it is always fun to pick out a few [ok, a lot] of jars to stuff into our bags.
The challenge is to ensure all the blue yarn is essentially the same color, so as to avoid odd-looking streaks in the weaving. This means creating one dye bath in a big kettle for all 19 skeins of blue yarn. We had beautiful weather, and the yarns dried quickly in the breezy sunshine.