Dyed Wool and Photo Mischief

By now, you’ve probably seen the Red Tractor and Blue Slate Roof yarns that my mother, Priscilla and I created about two weeks ago featured in the lefthand sidebar:

Vermont Hand-dyed yarn
“Red Tractor” and “Blue Slate Roof” drying in the yard

I found inspiration for these colors on the farm where the sheep live:  The barn has a real slate roof, hand-crafted and so durable.  Our neighborhood has several red tractors: Cases, Massey-Ferguson, Farmall…and a few that are red with rust.

Here’s a tractor in the sheeps’ pasture!

Dyeing the yarn was a ton of fun:  Mom, Priscilla and I talked all day long as we painted the colors on by hand, doing our best to match the shades and lengths of the stripes.  We then gently steamed the yarn to set the dye and patiently waited for the skeins to cool before the rinse and reveal.  I couldn’t be happier with the colors – they are a perfect balance of bright and earthy, bold and subdued.

Fresh steamed...yarn!
Fresh steamed…yarn!

I was so happy, I dyed some more this past weekend.  The third color I wanted was a green shade.  I went through all of the steps, carefully repeating all of the procedures to create the same effects as the other two yarns.  The result, though not nearly so green as I intended, is a really attractive shade that I think might be even better than the forest-y green I had envisioned.  The combination of pale blue and bold kelly green made me think of pasture and sky, so Pasture and Sky was born:

Pasture and Sky hand-dyed yarn from Sheep and Pickle Farm
Presenting: Pasture and Sky

You might note the apparent jump in photo quality between the other photos and the shot of Pasture and Sky.  As carefully as I took the first few pictures, they look a little…well, homemade.  I’m no pro, alas.

For my birthday, my co-workers Calley and Hannah from Fat Toad Farm broke into my house (rural Vermonters don’t usually lock their doors), took my yarn and signage, and carefully photographed our products in their real, actual, grown-up photo studio where they do all of their product shots.  This is what professional finishing can do!  They then returned everything to my house while I was still stirring the caramel as if nothing had happened, and presented me with a disc of product shots at my party!  What wonderful pals!

Anonymous ugly yarn
This ugly yarn is just what I didn’t want to create. I think I’m off the hook!

3 thoughts on “Dyed Wool and Photo Mischief

  1. Gorgeous! I definitely couldn’t have pictured these results from the photos you showed of dyeing the yarn. I hope the beautiful new colors are inspiring to customers who didn’t know what to do with the white wool!

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