My Yarn/Fibre FAQs
My artisanal yarns and fibres are hand dyed in micro batches.
There are only 1-4 yarn skeins (or 1-2 100g braids of fibre) of a colorway dyed for each batch. No two skeins or fibre braids will ever be exactly the same... even in the same batch! This is what makes artisanal hand dyed special.
Where do my OOAKs come from? When flashes of color inspiration present themselves, spontaneously dyed colorways result and are not repeatable. A good number of my colorways will be OOAKs. It's an artist thing!
Some dye days, a batch does not meet a certain colorway "standard", and they become my little rebel OOAKs. Occasionally, I squeeze out 1 or 2 unique No-Dye-Left-Behind yarn skeins or fibre braids from the excess dyes from a dye day. Some amazing pastel colorways are born this way!
I only use professional dyes and, as much as I can, reuse most of the water when dyeing. I also do my best to adopt a No Dye Left Behind dyeing practice.
My studio space is dedicated to dyeing, is smoke free and a pet friendly environment.
During the dyeing process, the dyes are fixed to the fibers using food grade citric acid as a mordant and the use of heat. These two allow the fibres to open up enable the dye color to adhere to the fibres. After the dyeing process, the skeins are washed 3-4 times to remove the excess dyes that have not adhered to the fibres and are "floating on the surface of the fibre".
I would like to cover below a few common questions you may have about artisanal hand dyed yarns. If you have any other questions or concerns, please reach out to me via the contact form below.
Why does the yarn or fibre I received not match the colors I have on my mobile phone, tablet or computer screen?
The skeins or braids have been photographed as close to the actual colorways as possible. However, different settings on your digital device may show colors differently on your screen. Also, dyes adhere differently to the varied fiber content and/or yarn weight of yarn bases or fibre blends.
Sometimes, not being a professional product photographer gets frustrating on "picture days". I have to admit, for me, it can be quite difficult to photograph those beautiful shades of aqua, deep reds, and subtle tonals. If only I could teleport the yarn into your hands for 5 minutes so you can squeeze, inspect and see the colors of the yarn or fibre!
Can I knit or crochet the yarn I purchased as is?
NO! The hand dyed yarn are in the form of a hank or skein. It must be wound into a cake or ball before it can be used to knit or crochet! You cannot use it as is!
I do offer a winding service for a fee per skein purchased for your convenience. You can add this to your order if you don't own a swift and/or winder or don't feel like doing it yourself at home.
If you want to do it yourself and would like to know how, you can refer to this instructional video by KnitPicks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8gi4WH3hEU
How can I avoid big color differences between skeins of the same colorway when knitting or crocheting a project?
Make sure you purchase enough of the colorway at the same time to be able to complete your project.
Also, to achieve a more balanced color distribution when using more than a skein of the same colorway, alternating skeins every 2-3 rows is recommended.
1. How do I wash my items that use your hand dyed yarn?
I highly recommend hand washing completed items in cold water with a gentle detergent. Washing with hot water opens up the fibre, which may allow the dyes to run. Avoid soaking your items longer than 15 min. Try not to agitate your projects too much. Moving around your item gently a few times are enough. Lay flat and/or shape to dry. Never twist or wring!
2. What if the yarn bleeds when I wash or soak my completed item?
"Crocking" happens when the dye process ends but some of the dye wasn’t able to get into and adhere to the fibers. It is sitting on top of the surface of the yarn. Because of this, a slight runoff for the first few washings may happen, especially with very saturated colors and colors predominantly red or blue. This is not unusual with hand dyed yarns.
I recommend hand washing completed items in cold water with a gentle detergent. Washing with hot water opens up the fibre, which may allow the dyes to run. Avoid soaking your items longer than 15 min. Try not to agitate your projects too much. Moving around your item gently a few times are enough. Lay flat and/or shape to dry. Never twist or wring!
It is also advisable to test a sample swatch by soaking to determine if the colorway bleeds, before starting your project. If there is some runoff:
You can use a color catcher (sold in many stores) with your finished item as you soak to catch the "floating" dyes.
Washing or soaking in water with a high Ph (8+) may also cause your yarn to eventually bleed. Neutral Ph is ideal. You can try mixing in 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of food grade citric acid or 1/8 to 1/4 cup white vinegar to your bath water. Soak your item for 15 minutes, no more, while slightly moving it around a couple of times. After 10-15 minutes, rinse the item gently (and until the vinegar smell is gone if you used vinegar). Do not wring. Lay flat and/or shape to dry.
3. Why is there dye staining my fingers as I knit?
"Crocking" happens when the dye process ends but some of the dye wasn’t able to get into and adhere to the fibers. It is sitting on top of the surface of the yarn. This can cause the staining on your fingers.
Also, hand lotions and oils in your hands with a high Ph can cause some of the dye to transfer to your fingers, especially with very saturated or predominantly red or blue colorways, even when it doesn't bleed during washing or soaking.
4. There is a knot in the skein I received. Isn't that a defect?
No. An occasional knot or two (which is an acceptable number in a hand dyed skein) are not considered defects. Even mass produced yarns have them occasionally.
5. What if I run out of the yarn colorway before my item is completed?
Please make sure you purchase enough of the colorway at the same time to be able to complete your project. I can not guarantee I will be stocking more of a colorway when it runs out. If you need a colorway more than what is available, you can check if it is one of the colorways on the Dye to Order Section and purchase the amount you need as a Dye to Order.
If you have any other questions or comments, please send me a message using the contact form below. I'd be more than happy to address them.