As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I was commissioned to dye 34 skeins of yarn for a sock club.  These sock clubbers like their secrets, but as the yarn has been delivered and founds its various homes, now All Can Be Revealed.

The estimable Yarn Haven of Perrysburg, Ohio, (soon to be called Yarn Cravin’) has a fabulous monthly sock club that works with an indie dyer each month to make a colorway that reflects something of regional interest.  Since my yarn is for June, and the local minor league baseball team, the Toledo Mud Hens is having a Stich-n-Pitch then, the wonderful Sarah asked me to dye the yarn in team colors, red and navy blue.  Adding some white space between the colors so they wouldn’t blend into mud resulted in this rather patriotic yarn:

Got Mud?

We brainstormed several names for the yarn and settled on Got Mud?, as the Mudhens seem to have a sense of humor about their name, to the  point of  calling their paraphernalia store the Swamp Shop.

But to get to the above finished product took some work.

As it came preskeined — a real boon as I was working against a tight deadline by the time the yarn shipment arrived – the first step was to wash it


I float . . .

to get out all the spinning oils and make it ready to dye.

All wet

I knew I was going to need more drying space (I usually use the shower rod) but that wasn’t going to hold all that yarn), so I invested $9.99 at Spawn-of-Satan-Mart WalMart and got this nifty drying rack.

It\'s the rack for you, my pretties!

I did a couple of samples to see how much white was wanted between the red and blue areas


and once that was decided on (the smaller white style), started dyeing like a mad thing.  I didn’t get any pictures of the actual dyeing, because my hands were too full!

Steamed yarn

Once the yarn was dipped in dye, it was wrapped in plastic, then steamed.  When the bundles cool, the plastic shrinks around the yarn making  weird cocoons.  If I found those in garden I would be very alarmed.

The problem with white areas on a deeply dyed yarn is keeping them white.  I found that keeping the red and blues in seperate baths and the white out of the water as much as possible helped.

Splish splash, I was taking a bath

But it made for some interesting bathwater!


Then, back to the rack to dry.

Back to the rack

Patriotic woolen bunting does make a bathroom, don’t you think?

The final step was labeling and shipping.

Piles of yarn

And why are there two piles of yarn? Hard to tell in the photo, but one set has warm red and the other set has cool red.  We do aim to please.