Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Folks, I'm nearing a point where a decision has to be made. The problem is, I'm not really sure what decision I'm going for. See, it all started last night...

I dyed some yarn (pictures to follow) using some Wilton's icing dye and food coloring. It turned out ok. I say ok because the brown I used separated out into different colors. I know that when working with non-acid dyes like food coloring or Kool-Aid you kind of have to go with the flow and (honestly) not expect too much. I guess I'm reaching a point where not expecting too much isn't going to cut it. Not when I take the hours of time to set everything up or spend the money to buy the yarn and supplies. Therefore, the dyeing process is going to have to change. I'm going to have to step it up.

Stepping it up will mean switching to acid dyes. Acid dyes require a little bit of caution when using them to avoid a reaction. Which means I would have to move out of the kitchen and away from all the eating utensils. To where? I wondered. The kitchen has the "largest" work space (which isn't really all that large) but I can't mix dyes in there. The only other place is the sun room. The sun room would need a major overhaul for this to happen. Currently there just isn't enough room. I have a huge desk (that I love, so it's not leaving), an electronic keyboard, a guitar, 2 clarinets, and other assorted music odds and ends. I thought about moving the keyboard into my room with the boxes of t-shirts for the shipping company and setting up a long, narrow table of some sort along the wall that the keyboard currently located against. Which leads to a next little thought...If I'm putting this much time into this, shouldn't I try and get some return?

Getting a return means that I would like to open an on-line store. I've already talked with a friend who is knowledgeable in this sort of thing and I've started developing ideas about what I'd like to do. Opening a store means that I would have to switch to acid dyes for sure. It also means I'd have to invest in some fiber over and beyond the small quantities that I buy for dyeing for myself. Thankfully I know of some places I can get pretty good, almost wholesale prices.

This has been a lot to mull over for the past few days. Blondechicken must be reading my mind because she is doing a little series for online sellers about how to reach and develop a client base. At any rate I feel I am approaching critical mass* and I'm a little hesitant to start the reaction. I know that there will be some time and money that will need to be invested up front to get the ball rolling but I feel that in the long run I'll probably end up investing just as much for my own personal gain. Plus, as my friend AG said, "Why not?" He's kind of right. I mean what do I have to lose? I would want to switch to acid dyes if I continued to dye anyways. And if nothing sold in my store I could just knit it myself.

I say all that to say that there may be some rather large projects being undertaken in the next few months but I can't wait to see where all this goes.

*Critical mass is the smallest amount of fissile material needed to start a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Basically this tiny bit of material is what makes things go boom. (Thank you Wikipedia).


Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

Hey girl, stop thinking about it and just dive in! Start working with acid dyes in the nearest handy space, enjoy the spectacular results, and grow from there. If you wait until you've sorted it all out tidily in your battle plan, you'll have lost interest!

Acid dyes really do give better effects and honestly I have never had any problems. The only weirdo is the strong smell of the vinegar which is after all the acid. And don't you use vinegar in salad dressings, cooking?


Kate_knits_a_bit said...

Oh boy, how exciting! You go ahead and have a blast, and put lots of pretties up for us to see :>
(dreaming of dyeing up enough for an actual garment, but sticking with food dyes for now)