Dye Workshop with Nancy Finn

Over this last weekend I got to take a dye workshop with Nancy Finn of Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks. It was quite an eye opening experience. I wasn't prepared for how difficult it would be to find the "right" colors. I don't even know what that means! I took the Second workshop first and skipped the First workshop, the one where you learn about the color wheel and make a sample book of colors. I'm really really in to this color thing, so in a few days, I'm going to start another fundraiser to take the first workshop. Even though I went into the workshop thinking I knew what I wanted, what colors I was going to try and achieve, when I actually sat down with the dye liquid, all my wants got confused and flew away. The results are, I think, amazing. I'm spinning the silk we did the first day, which I thought was going to be awful, but now I'm spinning it and I love it. Love. One of the harder parts of the whole thing was dyeing the the fiber I have left over from Helen, my first and most inspirational spinning teacher. I've been holding on to some of that stuff for years, in its natural colors. The color has inspired me to spin is, which is I think, what she would have wanted.
This is the silk dyed the first day in class. This is absolutely not what I was going for, but I love it!

Day 1 and morning of day 2. I've gotten pink down, K will be so pleased.

The purple is about half the merino/mohair blend I did over the weekend, and all that blue is the alpaca/mohair blend I got from Helen a few years ago. 

Lunch day 2, I realized I hadn't brought enough of my stash to take up a whole day. This is the whole class at lunch when I rushed home, grabbed what I had left behind and rushed back. Yay! 

This was a fun experiment... I spun both of these, on the left is a single spun grey Corriedale and on the right is a 2ply out of the (purple, above) mohair merino. I put them both in the same tray and lay them out together and painted them the same colors, and they look so different. Duh, though... they were totally different colors to start out with, plus, the way they each are spun totally reflects light differently... any way, those will be photographed again in better light and posted for sale in my etsy. someday. eventually.

One of the pink (surprise!) braids was commandeered by K who has possessed a fascination with the drum carder since it came into our house. So, I showed her how to separate the braid by color, then... we referred to the latest issue of Ply Magazine for the article Lacey (MoonRover... mmmm MoonRover...) wrote about how to card striped batts. Somewhere in the middle we snapped the band, and while waiting for it to cool, K became distracted by some dinosaur something and went off to play with Z.

Spinning the silk outside between rain drizzles and 10 second storms. 

The alpaca/mohair blend will be the primary fiber in a thank you sweater I'm making for my brother. When I took the spinning class awhile ago, he drove all the way here (3ish hours) to watch the kids for a day. Then, last weekend, while I was at the dye workshop, the family went to visit him, and he took the kids on a "playground crawl" while my parents were at costco. He deserves a sweater. The next step is find a suitable blend fiber to stretch this out enough for the whole project.