Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dyeing to Knit

Artisan yarn on Maryland's Eastern Shore. To quote:
The Verdant Gryphon, located in a roomy warehouse in Easton’s Industrial Park, is not a retail yarn shop; instead, it is an independent yarn dyeing company. “We don’t have a regular walk-in business,” Gryphon explained. All the yarn is hand dyed in the warehouse, wound into individual hanks, and sold online.

“It is artisan work,” she said as we walked to the production area where spools of yarn in its natural state sat waiting to be turned into separate skeins and then dyed a multitude of colors. Gryphon has invented these colors; currently, a database stores 265 color recipes.

Two of her four staffers were “cooking the yarn,” the term used for dyeing the skeins in big pots of boiling water with a little acid. Four skeins were processing in each pot where the staffer had adroitly poured the color and now was stirring the boiling yarn to produce a rich color with some variegation.  Once the skeins are cooked, they are soaked in a bath of soapy water, which sets the colors and prevents bleeding. (Read more.)

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