Yarn Care & Knotty Problems
Naturally-dyed fibers have a reputation for not being as color- and light-fast as acid dyes. I have found that if you treat your finished items with the same care as you would anything you've invested time and effort into, this isn't an issue. Some fibers are hand-wash, and some are superwash. Please read the descriptions for more information. A good wool wash, cool water, drying flat, and storing out of direct sun are always good ways to care for hand-dyed fibers.
You may have heard that if yarn bleeds when you wash it, you can set it with vinegar. PLEASE DON'T DO THIS WITH NATURALLY-DYED YARN! Vinegar is purposely used to shift the color of certain dye materials, and once that happens, it's irreversible. If you feel that your yarn is bleeding unacceptably (and to be honest, it shouldn't at all), please contact me before you try any mitigating solutions.
Indigo is another story. It works differently than the other dyes (because it's a pigment, but that's a much longer story), and so behaves differently too. It's very light- and wash-fast, but not so abrasion-fast. If a new pair of jeans has rubbed off on the hem of your shirt, you've experienced "crocking." (It has to do with that long story I mentioned; contact me if you want to know more!). It's normal, and I do a lot to minimize it in my final processing. It's difficult to eliminate entirely, so you may notice some color coming off as you use the yarn. When you wash your indigo-dyed yarn, it should not affect anything else in the bath, but you can wash it separately too. It can stain light-colored wood or bamboo needles. As with all my products, if you feel too much blue is rubbing off, please contact me.
A note about knots: I hate 'em too, but sometimes they happen, especially with a motorized skeinwinder. I keep a close eye on things to minimize this problem, but please understand that sometimes it's unavoidable.
Also, you may find a knot very close to the beginning of the skein. Because the length of the skeins coming from supplier isn't perfectly regular every time, sometimes as I reskein, the ends don't meet up nicely for me to tie them off with very little waste. The leftover tail can be almost a yard long, and I don't like that. So I tie on a little "jump" to bridge the two ends and leave you as much workable yarn as possible. We all know the pain of running out of yarn with five stitches to go on the cast-off!
Please purchase enough yarn, and maybe a little extra for your entire project in one go. While I use the same "recipe" each time I dye a particular colorway, I can't promise that this batch of Roz Red, for instance, will be the same as the next batch. Natural dyes are wonderfully quirky that way.
Your satisfaction is guaranteed at Spencer Hill. If for any reason you are unhappy, contact me and we'll work together to make it right. Also please contact me with any questions or feedback, and I'll get back to you within three days.
P.S. Pictures! I love pictures of finished work! Send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!