I read these words, tacked up on the wall, as I entered the studios of Kismet Fiber Works. I had ventured down to the mountains of southern Virginia to spend a couple of days with my friends, Angie LeNoir and Stephanie Stotts, the owners of Kismet, to play with fiber (specifically SilverSpun) and color. Having never dyed yarn before I was beyond excited, especially since we were going to be working on the future colors of SilverSpun.
Stephanie & Angie had been preparing for my visit for over a week. They knew I wanted to use only natural dyes and that I was especially intrigued by indigo. Indigo is a finicky little dye bath and if you're going to do it the correct way, it has to "cook" for a week before you can use it, so when I walked out onto the "dye porch" I saw what looked like a milking can sitting in a simmering pot of water. It turns out it was a milking can, as Angie used to be a dairy farmer in her old life, and it was full to the brim with an "indigo dye brew" (who knew those cans would come in so handy in her new life)!
We had decided that we would first try and dye raw cotton. I had had 20 pounds of it shipped to them from the Spin Lab at NC State - a little over-kill, I must admit - but at least we were guaranteed not to run out of fiber to play with! I grabbed a wad of it and dipped it in the dye, being careful not to stir it as they told me getting air into the bath would make it oxidize.
When I pulled it out I was a little disappointed. I was expecting a vivid, deep blue, but what I had was a kind of ugly black-green (those words from the wall were echoing in my head).
Then we stepped outside and the magic started! The wad of cotton began to change color right before our eyes. Within minutes it went from ugly to beautiful, developing into a shade of deep, deep blue. It was stunning!
We were hooked! We wanted to see more. We started throwing in pieces of fabric - silk, cotton, linen, blends - all taking the dye differently, but in a beautiful way.
I couldn't stand it any more. I just had to see what SilverSpun would look like dyed. So I dipped the yarn in and out of the blue came this:
Beautiful, no? Hand dyed SilverSpun using only natural dyes coming soon! I can hardly wait! Can you? Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you'll know the minute it hits the market.