With just over 2 weeks left to go before the move, the packing has begun in earnest. I’ve been carefully packing up and tucking away, getting everything ready for the long trip ahead. My office is half packed now, and is quickly shifting from workspace to cardboard city. I haven’t packed the dye studio yet, because there are a couple of things left that I want to dye before we go.

One of the biggest drawbacks to the new house is that there will be no dye studio. When we viewed the place, the landlords seemed open to the idea, and even said that they’d be willing to consider putting a sink in the basement. After we had committed to rent it (and after we’d turned everyone else down), we approached them about it again, even offering to pay to have a sink installed. At that point, they decided that it was “too complicated” and that they didn’t really want me to dye in the basement. (We’ll try to convince them otherwise once we arrive, but I’m not sure I hold out much hope after seeing all of the “thou shalt nots” in the lease. In the meantime, I am trying to remind myself that this is within their rights as landlords and to not hate them for it. Most days I have some success.)

So, we’ve been looking at other options for places to dye. Right now, it’s looking like I’ll probably use Mike’s (of the Mike sweater) garage, but he’s over an hour drive away. That means that dye days will require more planning, and will likely not happen as often.

I’ve been thinking hard about what this means for DesigKnit, and especially for the Etsy shop. I have a lot of stock left from the show, and I am planning to use that to slowly populate the Etsy store, mostly after we finish the move. After that, I’m hoping to do a dye day once every month or two, focusing on dyeing from pictures like I’ve done before, since that’s the most fun.

Since I want that dyeing to be primarily about the shop, I’ve been trying to dye up some things for my own consumption over the next year. We already know that I have lots and lots of natural color spinning coming up, but I also wanted a couple of colorful things to throw in between. Last week, I popped downstairs and made this:

That’s 3 lbs of Finn for a sweater for Branden that I’ve had percolating in the back of my mind for at least a couple of years now. Each colorway will be a different ply, which should make for a very interesting barberpole yarn.

The first ply is a mix of pale greens and blues

The second is a slightly brighter mint green, with accents of a yellow-brown.

And the third is mostly black and gray with bursts of turquoise.

I’m hoping that dyeing the plies separately this way will give me the same almost-impressionistic color patterning that I got in the Sunset sweater, with perhaps a little less variegation. This isn’t an immediate spinning project, but it’s one that I’m looking forward to this fall and winter when I’m sick of grays. (And yes, 3 lbs is really, really overkill for a sweater, but after needing to match colorways in the last one, I wasn’t willing to take any chances. Also, I have a hunch that I might be able to find other ways to use these colors if I just happen to have extra.)

I also dyed up 4 oz of Rambouillet to go with the BFL-silk singles from the Fiber Optic top that I bought at GreenCastle.

I spun the Fiber Optic expecting to chain ply it into a three-ply, but the more I thought about it the more I wanted to stretch the yardage. Most of the handspun skeins languishing in my stash are there because I don’t have quite enough yardage to do this thing or that thing, and I want this to be a yarn that I’ll use right away. I didn’t want to do a random 2-ply, because I wanted the color repeats to stay separate. After a few days of mulling it over, I started thinking about maybe mixing it with another color, preferably something dark and mostly solid that would stand back and let the BFL-silk be the real star of the show. Then I started thinking about Jocelyn’s experiment with woolen and worsted spinning, and how much I liked the yarn she’d gotten. Of course, I hadn’t spun the BFL worsted, but I think I might be able to get a similar effect here. So I dyed up some deep, dark brown to match, and I should end up with quite a lot of 2-ply laceweight by the time I’m done. Isn’t it interesting how the brown dyes separated in spots to give reds and oranges that pick up the colors in the Fiber Optic?