Revisiting the Kangaroo Dyer

I am extraordinarily lucky to have contact with fantastic creative people every day, whether it's my coworkers at the store on a work day there, the myriad of knitters and designers I'm in contact with online, my pole dancing/circus family, or my friends. Getting out of my creative niche to explore someone else's is fun AND mentally refreshing! I've dyed with Gail (the Kangaroo Dyer) once before, four years ago--my one and only time dyeing until recently, when she invited me back in her studio for take two. Now I'm older, wiser (lol right)....well at the very least, I was more confident in my dyeing skills this time since it wasn't completely foreign! 2One of the more awe striking sights in Gail's dye studio is her large collection of orange juice containers, testament to her lifelong love affair with Vitamin C...In all seriousness, friends and students donate the containers to her so she doesn't overdo it on the OJ! Those shelves house her ready-to-go dye mixtures and the dye powders themselves are conveniently lined up behind each solution when the time comes to make a new batch.

First agenda was to dye some superwash merino worsted yarn. With the help of handy dye color cards, I picked out three colors that sparked my interest and tested them on coffee filters until deciding on the right level of saturation for each.

dyeing processThen...dyeing time! I handpainted the hanks in sections and tried to blend each color into the next to avoid any harshness.

photo 2I can't wait to use my gorgeous yarn and see how it looks knit up!

Next, Gail offered something new--a chance to dye silk fabric! I have extensive summer camp tie-dye experience but that's about it. Since I decided I wanted to pleat the silk before dyeing it, this part was somewhat familiar thanks to my tie-dye days! Gail helped me fold the 2 yards of silk and then roll it up like a jelly roll. I submerged each side of the roll in a different dye color before opening up the fabric and overdying in stripes. I then scrunched up the fabric before adding the final layer to create the dimension I was looking for.

photo 3I plan to sew with it and I've got my eye on La Sylphide (the blouse version), once I have some fun money to snag the pattern with. I love's like yummy chartreusey endivey goodness!

Gail's studio is so cute. Her whole house in general is overflowing with her love of color and her work--there is yarn draping over furniture, drying on her front porch if the weather is nice, scraps of silk and other dyed fabrics on her kitchen table. I couldn't help but take a few shots of of her workspace to try and share that Kangaroo Dyer essence.

studioMy creative mojo is now working overtime!