The weather could not have been better for a dye day, as it was overcast and not too hot. The last few days here in Arroyo Seco have been sunny and in the 80’s – not fun when your outside around boiling hot water and open flames!

Hand-dyed yarn

I got a late start as we have a class this week and a two year old to drop off with a sitter… but, I was able to complete 13 dye lots out of 3 pots!

Hand-dyed yarn

Before the yarn goes in the pots, I weigh every skein and calculate my recipes accordingly. Then I put all the weighed skeins on ropes, so they don’t get tangled in the water (hopefully). I have the pots on a high flame while doing the preparation, so the water is hot when I’m ready to put in the first round. This dye run consisted of reds, yellows and blues. Each color category has a separate pot, ensuring us a successful sequential dye day.

Hand-dyed yarn

My first three lots – Ganado B, Jasper, Indigo Storm – were very quick strikers (meaning the dye penetrated the wool quickly). With a start like this, I thought this is going to be a quick day…

Hand-dyed yarn

However, most of the colors I was dyeing have a certain dye in their recipes that take a long time to clear (meaning all the dye is absorbed by the yarn, the pot becomes clear and is then ready for the next color).  So, as it turned out, I  put my last lot in as the sun finally came out from behind the clouds and started making its way towards the horizon, around 6:30PM.Hand-dyed yarn

All in all, it was a successful day.  I dyed up some beautiful Churro for the first time (Jasper, Kota, Amber, Indigo Storm, Kayenta, Red, and Black), some 2-ply Tapestry Yarn (Ganado B, Ruby A, Indigo B, and Sunflower A) and a couple lots of Rug Yarn (Spruce and Ocher, for a custom rug Teresa is weaving).

I hope you enjoy these notes and pictures!! Now, I’m off to straighten, twist and label all of this beautiful yarn…


P.S. We would love to hear from you! What colors would you love to see in the dye pots next? Do you have any dyeing questions? About our process? About our yarns? If so, please leave a comment (link at the top of the post)…

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11 comments on “Notes from the Dye Pots

  • Hi Joe, love the new newsletter look and learning about your dye day. I saw some of my colors mentioned and I’m looking forward to weaving with your tapestry yarns.

    • Thanks Michele!
      The Churro was fun to dye, and the Amber came out so vibrant! Your yarns will be on the way tomorrow!!

  • Lovely pictures and I appreciate the explanation of the process. It looks like heavy labor. I’m looking forward to meeting you and using some of these wools and colors later this year. Traudi

    • Thanks Traudi! It is a labor intensive process, but fun too! We look forward to having you in class and finally getting to meet you!

  • Hi Joe,
    What a beautiful new website you have! Right now I would like one of every color yarn so I guess I’ll have to narrow it down a bit before I see you in August. Look forward to it.

  • The images of dyed yarn hanging to dry between the trees, beautiful, natural.
    And the fabric of friendship, Vicki and Ginny, and all the way from the NE.
    Really nice.
    Thank you Joe, Teresea, Lorilea [i bought one of your weavings in March, aqua-teal, charcoal, navy, and sienna, smashing], ….and grandma Rachel!

  • Hi Joe,

    Wow! Busy days! But LOVED the colors! Now I can’t wait to decide on my next project so I can order my churro. I am so itching to get my hands on it.


  • Love these colors!! The notes/photos were fun too! Just curious, do you still use dye recipes from Teresa’s grandmother, Rachel Brown? Hope to make it to the new shop location someday!! Would also love to take a class at some point.

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