It is finally summer!
Not on the calendar, of course, but school is out. My grades are posted. My classroom is packed up so the floor can be waxed. I worked that last baseball game. (Well, kind of. It started to rain an hour in, and the athletic director let me leave, which I did—very, very quickly.) I am a free woman.
One of the first things I did with my freedom was (surprise, surprise) dye some yarn!
It was different, though. First of all, it was cotton. I had never dyed cotton before, but when one finds thirteen skeins of it clearance, well, one knows exactly what to do.
Buy that stuff up and get some color on it immediately.
Plus, these skeins of yarn came in two weights—lace and worsted—neither of which had I dyed before. I’m a sock yarn girl, through and through, so this was also new. Though honestly, I’m not totally buying that the “lace” yarn was really lace weight. It seemed more like a light fingering weight to me.
Over the course of a couple hours, I dyed all thirteen skeins, which I rinsed and hung out to dry the next day.
I freestyled some of the classic Fencerow Fiber colorways: Wild Blackberry, Honeysuckle, Red-winged Blackbird, Summer Storm, Tiger Lily…
Mockingbird, Bluebird, and what was supposed be Red Fox, which turned out to be more of a Brown Squirrel. And of course, some Rainbow Connection colorways.
I had such fun playing! And I was so impressed with how quickly cotton just sucks up dye. I think I will always be a wool loyalist, but the cotton-dyeing experience gave this plant fiber a new place in my heart.
I was able to get the lace cotton to dry enough to show off at the first MadCity Street Market of the year, which was a neat experience.
The market is every third Friday of the month, May through October, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Sugg Street in downtown Madisonville, Kentucky. I was happy to share a booth with Maria Lee of Black Dog Fiber Studio (where I’m headed here in a minute for knit night!), Kim Hardesty of Bicycle Botanicals, and local artist Susan Henley.
It was a great summer kick-off.
And then yesterday, I did something I haven’t done in several years, kind of like dyeing fiber: I went kayaking.
I know it’s not fiber-related, but it is somehow related to the part of me that I let disappear for a few years, the part of me that feels reawakened since I’ve started dyeing again.
Honesty: I gained quite a bit of weight since I’d last kayaked, and in my mind, it was something that I couldn’t do at my size.
Yesterday, I proved myself wrong.
And it felt good.
Body image and body positivity are themes, a little like my inner Lisa Frank, that float just beneath the surface with me. I can’t promise that they won’t make an appearance here occasionally.
But I will always try to come back to color.