Saturday, October 15, 2016

Don't Fiddle with It!

Last week I posted Episode 4 of my podcast featuring a custom dye project I was working on for my mother. This was the first of what I dream to be many episodes showing my dye process. It was great fun to do, and I hope an interesting behind the scenes opportunity for my viewers. I had some interesting challenges as I am both the cast and crew, but nothing a little creative editing didn't smooth over. In the end there was only one casualty: the yarn.

What you see on the film is the proper process. What you don't see is me fiddling with it off camera.

I took late summer off from dyeing this year, a little hiatus if you will. With that time away from the kitchen, some of the familiarity faded, and when I did my podcast filming, I started filming with the very first batch, and the tiniest lack of confidence in my formula note taking.

I take excellent notes. I know that now more than ever. Where I fail is in trusting myself. I mixed up the dye, poured it in the pot, did everything according to formula, but it just didn't look and feel like I remembered it. Instead of just popping on the lid and walking away (like I should have) I poked at the yarn.

With my kettle dye process, I do what I call a wall pour - pouring the dye around the outside wall of the pot, only hitting the yarn touching the outer walls, and a quick dash of dye in the middle. Because the yarn is in water and has been soaking, the dye naturally wicks along the fibers and takes up unevenly for the desired tonal effect.

However, if you poke at it too much, the desired uneven take up of the dye doesn't have a chance to happen and instead, the dye takes up much more evenly and you get a mostly solid color, which is very nice, but ultimately, not what I was looking for in this particular case.

I intend to discuss this and show a comparison in my next podcast of a correctly "dyed to formula" skein vs. a "fiddled with it" skein so that you can see the difference and impact.

Lesson learned: Trust yourself!