I love dyeing weeks. I feel a much greater since of accomplishment when I have yarn on the drying rack at the end of the day. When I first started dyeing yarn it was the dyeing itself that took up the most time. Most days you will find me rewinding yarn, taking pictures, editing pictures, updating the shop, working on marketing materials, attempting to keep up on social media (surprisingly important!), staring woefully at a screen full of HTML wondering what I've gotten myself in to, and vacuuming. Always vacuuming. This business is nothing if not lint-producing.
When I decided to grow the business from part-time hobby to full-time job, I thought that would me more time behind the dye pots. I was wrong. I have invested in equipment to reduce prep and finishing times and developed techniques that are more efficient, so I am getting more yarn dyed. I'm just not spending more time doing it.
I cherish dye days much more now than I used to. I wake up early in the morning and start the yarns soaking. Today I'm dyeing the last of the chenille yarn. I pour a cup of coffee and check my email. I mix up any last dyes I think I might need. Yesterday I dyed red, green, blue, gold, purple. Today I mixed up yellow, orange, teal and brown.
I fill the pots if I'm kettle dyeing, lay out the plastic wrap and painting brushes and tools if I'm handpainting. The cotton yarns don't need anything special other than a place to rest while the dye takes up. I make sure iTunes is loaded up with podcasts. I put on my dye clothes in the rare case I can find clothes that aren't covered with dye. I lace up the comfy shoes. Then I zone out for several hours doing what I love to do best.
This yarn dyeing business is so much more than just dyeing yarn. It's yarn prep, yarn finishing, marketing, paperwork, networking, sample knitting (as opposed to fun knitting), customer service, shipping, photoshoots, photo editing and vacuuming. Always vacuuming. It is only sometimes dyeing yarn and I cherish those weeks when I get to do nothing but that.
I'm doing solid colors this week. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, teal, chocolate, gold. Think of the color combinations for a striped scarf! Red/green, blue/gold, green/gold/purple, teal/chocolate, teal/green or my favorite red/orange/yellow/green/blue/purple. I'm a sucker for a rainbow.
Now if you will excuse me, I have some chenille to dye. Happy knitting!