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Vinalhaven Dye Day

This July, a few friends from our spinning group headed for an all-fiber retreat on the island of Vinalhaven. It was a beautiful summer weekend full of the greens and blues of the Maine coast. Pam brought along all the fixings for an indigo dye vat, and we were able to try our hands at this mysterious dye. Unlike other natural dyes, there is no intense heat or mordant required. Water-saturated yarns, shibori-tied wraps, a haphazardly-tied t-shirt, and a knitted cowl were all thrown into the vat. Chris wrapped pebbles from the driveway into a white knitted sock form to create areas where the dyes do not strike. Each emerged an electric shade of green before transforming before our eyes into a blue that matched our surroundings. Items were hung on a line at the edge of the forest. Later, each was rinsed and brought inside in front of the stove to dry.  Before and after on the cowl is also shown. Before dyeing, the colors were described as “popsicle.” After dyeing, the colors blend and soften. And check out those skeins of yarns! What fun. Living and dyeing on a Maine island.

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