The Appeal of Indie-Dyed Fibres

In my post dated August 29, 2016, we discussed the term ‘indie dyer’.  Today, we will look at the appeal of indie-dyed fibres.  Although indie dyers may be working with wool fabric for rug hooking, fibres for spinning and/or yarns for knitting and crocheting, for the purposes of this post we will be focusing on indie-dyed wool yarn. Most of the topics also apply to the other fibres as well.

 The appeal of indie-dyed yarns can be summed up in two words: colours and options.

As with most yarn companies, hand-dyed yarns are available in various weights from lace to chunky, with or without glitter, in various blends, in luxury fibres, in self-striping sock yarn and in ombres .  What is different about indie-dyed yarns is that the process of hand dying results in a yarn that has a lot of tonal variation of colour as opposed to the more uniform, solid colours produced in a commercial dye process. This variation in values within a skein creates a much more vibrant look by adding both depth and interest to your knitted project.   Whether the yarn is a semi-solid, tone-on-tone shades of one colour or a variety of colours combined to create one colourful yarn, the varied values achieved through hand-dying creates added life.

In addition, the indie-dyer has a plethora of dye techniques options from which to choose which results in more and more ways to make one-of-a-kind yarns. Many are using multi-step dyeing techniques unique to hand dyeing and difficult to produce in a commercial setting.  Consider the current and popular trend of speckles over a solid coloured yarn.


Additionally, as independent operators, Indie dyers realize that they have options when it comes to packaging their yarns.  Some offer sock yarn packages that contain a large hank of a speckled yarn combined with a smaller hank of a complementing solid-tonal yarn for cuffs, heels and toes.

 You will also find packaged sets of gradated skeins in progressive values of one colour …


 and other sets that transition from one colour to another over a series of skeins.


Both gradated and transitional sets can also be found in mini skein collections.

Some indie dyers are working with their local yarn shop (LYS) to create colourways to compliment the shop’s branding or specialty products, such as teas.  Additionally, if  you are not able to find the right yarn to fulfill your needs, talk to your LYS who can work with their indie dyer to create the yarn that you desire.

Now, are you dreaming of all of the creative possibilities available to you?
Rhonda Kellett
Hand dyed fibres to inspire and excite.
Kingston, Ontario

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