One of a series of posts about workshops available at the Cowichan Hand to Hand Fibre Arts Workshops Weekend in April 2018.

A good question, given there’s so much beautifully-dyed yarn and spinning fibre available from commercial dyehouses and indie dyers.


I want my colours NOW and I want the colours I see in my imagination.

Sometimes I want a specific colour or set of colours RIGHT NOW, and I don’t want to spend hours searching the internet for them (only to find when they arrive that the colours on my screen weren’t the same as on the vendor’s screen, so they’re not the colours I was looking for). I want my colours now and I want the right colours for the project I’m working on.


I want a set of colours that work well together.

If you buy indie-dyed yarns or fibre you may have noticed that all the colours from any one dyer tend to work well together, but might not work well with the colours from a different dyer. Each dyer is working with his or her stock dyes: all the colours come from the same basic dyes. In the same way, if I work from a set of dyed fibres, the colours I make will generally work well together.

I don’t want bland solids. I want living colour!

For many centuries dyers of yarn and fabric worked hard to produce even colours on fibre, yarn and fabric. Blotchy, uneven dyeing was unacceptable. Even today, unless the blotches are deliberate (hand-painted fibre and yarn, tie-dye, shibori, snow dyeing and other techniques), I don’t want unevenly-dyed fabric. But some unevenness in the colours of a yarn makes that yarn come alive in my weaving and knitting. Very few things we see are a single solid colour: if you look closely at a green leaf the colour varies not only because there are different shades in the leaf, but because light reflects differently from different parts of the leaf. By blending my colours myself I have more control over how evenly they are blended. A quick look at the photo below shows a rainbow of colour, but if you look more closely you’ll see that every one of the yarns shows its constituent colours to some degree. As a result they not only work well together, but they bring life to whatever I make from them.

Download your registration form:H2HRegistrationFINAL