Dyeing Disasters and Silver Linings

When I’m dyeing, I always go into my studio with a fixed idea of the colours I’m hoping to create.  I see them in my mind and that’s what I’m aiming for as I mix up the dyes.  And most of the time, I hit pretty close to the mark.  But sometimes…  sometimes what I pull out of the dyepot is nothing like what I was expecting.

And I’m always so disappointed, because I really wanted the colours I saw in my head.  But then I realise that even though the result wasn’t what I was expecting, it’s alright, because for someone else, it will be exactly what they were looking for.

Vineyard Stain was exactly that kind of dyeing disaster.  I was aiming for something else entirely, and couldn’t believe what came out of the dyepot.  And then I looked at it and realised it was lovely, with all the complexity and depth of a beautiful red wine.  When that skein sold, I was almost disappointed to not get to keep it myself!  And, because the colour had been a complete fluke, I wasn’t really sure I could reproduce it.

But I’d kept very careful notes as I dyed it and so, when I tried to create the same colourway again, I was relieved to see that what came out of the dyepot, though slightly more intense, was most definitely Vineyard Stain.  Maybe even better the second time around.

Into The Deep, on the other hand, was a completely different type of dyeing disaster.  What came out of the dyepot actually was what I’d been visualising in my mind but, in real life, it just didn’t look good.  Not at all.  I quickly tried a few different things to remedy the situation — a little more of this dye, a quick dip in that one — and I didn’t write any of them down.  And then I realised what shade this yarn really needed to make it alright, and I mixed it up and quickly submerged the skeins.  And what came out of the pot thirty minutes later was just breathtaking!  The silver lining to my dyeing disaster.

But I hadn’t written any of it down.  And I know — to my deep regret — I will never be able to produce Into The Deep again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.