Most years, I have sent my wool to the mill with the expectation that my yarn might come back just a few weeks before the festivals I regularly attend. Usually, that was just enough time to count it and dye it while Mom might knit a sample or two.
This year is different. Our mill, Battenkill Fiber, has a different reservation system that allows me to place my wool earlier in the queue by making an earlier deposit. This saves me a lot of stress and hassle in the fall; a time of year when I am busy with lambs and farmer’s markets as well as yarn.
Our yarn came out wonderfully, once again. The Border Leicester wool we sent in became our Derby Line Sport-Weight yarn. We also sent our BFL to the mill and got back stunning, drapey, glossy fingering-weight yarn. It’s all dyed up, but I haven’t gotten it into the online store yet. Ditto for some hat kits we will be offering- there’s lots to look forward to!
As you read about in The Reality of Yarn, getting the yarn off of the cones and into skeins took a lot of time and patience. Choosing colors and dyeing the yarn relies a bit more on some of my experience. I took careful note of which colors appealed to people and which ones just sat. I really like orange, but I’ve eased-up on orange a bit this year in the Derby Line. I have also made more solid shades and fewer semi-solid. I did choose to make semi-solids and multicolor yarn with the BFL. It was BORN to be an art-shawl, cowl or scarf, so having an art yarn is more appropriate. Overall, I am pleased with the palette I’ve made and eager to see how customers receive it!
I admit that I am a bit selfish about dyeing the yarn. Even though it would be a potentially fun group activity, I hoard it for myself. Dyeing is the one place where I can do a bit of artwork in a profession that is otherwise mostly physical, so I make an afternoon of it with the radio on, a glass of wine, and a drawerful of powerful dyes and my dedicated pots. I hope that my creative outlet will be your crafting inspiration!