A color riot is the best way to describe what the dye workshop was like last weekend. Sponsored by Black Sheep Handweavers Guild, thirteen women and our fearless leader explored what dye can do to tencel yarn.
Teresa Ruch, well known indie dyer that specializes in tencel and bamboo, showed us the basics of how to “paint” warps for weaving. I put paint in quotes because what we were really doing is pouring dye onto the warp and smooching it into the yarn and then taking a different color and blending it into the other color. This is my kind of dyeing! Not many rules, lots of fun and plenty of creativity thrown in with a healthy dose of experimentation. I found I absolutely love the intensity of color on the tencel.
The first day was giving us the basics of the properties of tencel and the fiber reactive dyes we would be using. Of course, safety tips were thrown in (don’t breathe those dry dyes!) and then we were let loose to find those colors that resonate with us. Our techniques included lots of use of plastic wrap, cooking the yarn in a microwave to set the dyes, and lots of water to rinse the excess dye out. Day two was spent designing more warps with accent colors and weft yarns to compliment or contrast the warps we’ve painted.
What I really took away from this workshop is a whole new appreciation for all the indie dyers out there. I now know first hand the amount of work involved to create these amazing yarns that I like to knit and weave with. I also know dyeing isn’t going to become one of my new obsessions, partially because of the water limits where I live. But I sure do know where I can find these fabulous yarns!
You can find Teresa Ruch’s yarns at http://teresaruchdesigns.com. If you’re interested in Teresa teaching a workshop, you can contact her through her website.