I'm Arianne-- the owner and artisan behind Tell Tale Yarn. I started dyeing so I could have easier access to indie dyed silks, really. It's kind of a thing for me-- something about the way silk takes dye is really magical. I love dyeing wool too, of course, but something about the natural luster just kind of reeled me in. I knit a lot of openwork lace shawls, and the cool thing about silk is that it sort of just stays put once you block it, so that also made it a really attractive choice of fiber for me, I think!
I learned really quickly (maybe not quite quickly enough, based on some of my earlier projects!) that I don't really care for hand painted yarn. Especially given my aforementioned tendency to gravitate towards lace shawls-- it makes a bad pairing most of the time, at least to my eye. Low immersion, kettle dyed yarns though... the color shifts are gentle and subtle and smooth and beautiful. It's so swoonable, yknow?
I have a lot of fun doing what I do. I never expected I'd end up doing something so artistic in nature. I always figured I'd go into computer science, or biology or chemistry-- yknow, something science-y. But I guess, if you look at it the right way, dyeing is inherently science-y. You have to calculate specific weights of dye based on the weight of your dry fiber, how much acid to add to the bath, how long to heat your yarn, etc.
Speaking of dyeing, I wanted to talk about my dyeing experiment tonight! I had a go at dyeing a continuous gradient skein and thought it came out pretty well. I think I need to refine my skeining technique for this though, it's hard to do it and not have it get super tangled as you go. I'll have to post photos tomorrow when they're dry!
I sort of winged the actual dyeing process. I had two pots of water on the stove, one was just water with an appropriate amount of citric acid added. The other I would add my premixed dye liquor, let it come to temp and add the first section of yarn. I left a long section of yarn between each tied off mini skein and as I switched colors I took care to let that piece get dunked thoroughly in the bath. This is probably better explained by a photo!
Do you see the blue yarn coming from the pot closest to the camera, and then the bare white yarn leading out of the further away pot? And the remaining subdivisions of the hank are in the prebath on the counter.
I also was doing a bit of silk dyeing for a friend, and as I was carrying the very last bath to the postsoak-- I noticed something. I promptly set it down and grabbed my camera. I thought it was really fitting! Some days I approach the dye pot, and I feel like everything that comes out is magic. It was a really nice ending touch, thanks universe!