Yesterday was a good day to dye. I got a new batch of superwash merino yarn delivered and the weather was beautifully calm and sunny so I got out the alembics and retorts and started the alchemy.
I love the dyeing process. Acid dyes are easy to work with and produce such beautiful vibrant colours. The fact that some of them don't develop their full strength until set and others change their appearance during the process just adds to the magic for me. Every time I open up the steamer and unwrap the finished skeins is a moment of anticipation and excitement as I never know precisely what I'm going to get.
It's quite a long process from start to finish and the actual dyeing is only a part of it. Once the dye is applied the skeins are steamed then left until they cool completely. Then I rinse them in cold water many times to extract any excess dye that might be left. After that they are hung on a drying pole outside, if the weather is good, or on my indoor rack if it isn't. Drying can take anywhere from 1 - 3 days depending on the conditions. When they're completely dry the final step is to re-skein them, which involves winding into a ball and then winding the ball into a skein again. This shows off the colour mixture better, neatens them up and allows me to check for any flaws, knots etc.
The yarn you see in the photo is all dry now and will be in my Etsy shop just as soon as I can get it rewound and photographed!