This is the first part of a little series on the Rocksheep dyeing process, in which I’d like to give you an insight in how I work and how the yarn is transformed from raw yarn to pretty colorful skeins. Why not start in the middle of the whole thing and show you how I dry the yarn after dyeing?!
While many people don’t like to knit and crochet during summer and do other crafts instead, I think this season is great for just that. Most of us here in Austria have their longest vacation during summer, and you never have so many hours a day where you can indulge in yarn and fibre. Heavy wool may make your hands sweaty, but what about an airy lace shawl in silk as a vacation project?
Anyway, summer is the best time for dyeing, so I have been very busy lately. This week, we had the two hottest days so far this year and reached 35°C. In this weather, I spent the hot evenings in my dyeing studio. It is located in our basement and I’ll show you photos as soon as I have cleaned up a little down there :)! Handling large buckets of water and wet yarn in winter is a pain. Also, I don’t have a water outlet in the dye studio (I know – very impractical), so I have to get the water from the garden. In summer, I can also rinse the yarn in the garden and hang it there to dry, instead of carrying it all the way up the stairs to the second floor where I live.
It’s amazing how fast the yarn dries in the heat! In wet weather, it takes several days to dry in the apartment, but now I simply hang it outside for a couple of hours and it’s all dry and ready!
This drying rack you see in the picture is actually meant for drying shoes, but I’ll never in my lifetime have that many shoes. It’s perfect for yarn, no sharp edges, no snags, all nice and rust-free. The two smaller stands are meant for woodworking. The yarn you see here is rinsed with some dishwashing soap and clear water. I rinse the yarn until the water runs completely clear, so that you experience as little color bleeding as possible when you wash it the first time. Still, it’s handcrafted yarn and some bleeding may still occur.