What are your superheroine names?

Hello good people of the fiber and yarn world! This weekend I have a special treat: a follow-up interview with Adache and Marce–the Dyenamixx Yarn duo mom and daughter team. You asked . . . and they answered! They even told us their superheroine names!! I tried to pick a sampling of questions that were representative of the giveaway thread . . . and you may even see your question (and your Ravelry handle) listed below! It’s always so fun to learn more about our indie dyer friends out there! I hope everyone finds a good place to cuddle up this weekend and watch for signs of spring!

Whenever it’s a team effort, I like to know how they go about tasks. Does one mainly dye while the other does the admin? Do both dye separately or do they come up with colors together? Curious minds would like to know. 🙂  —rocassie

[Adachi] Our main tasks are coming up with colors, dyeing, marketing and social media, and packaging and postage. I think we are good at collaborating on colors together and when we’re doing acid dyes, we do many of the tasks together. Mommy has a deep interest in natural dyeing so she often plays in the pots with plant dyes on her own (I do have to do my homeschool assignments sometime hahaha). For the “business/admin” items, we trade off based on who has the most time. When Mommy travels for work, I handle it, and when she’s home, she does it or we share the load. She’s the IG heavy user though, so much of our marketing there is done by her. Much of our Etsy shop work is done by me.

I love plant based dyed yarn. I would love to know how you chose the plants. I love flowers but also have seen beautiful colors from other plants. Also do you pick/grow the plants you use? Is there a lot of prep to the plant before dyeing?         —RealYankee

[Marce] We do too! We choose plants that are already available to us based on what we eat often, and what’s found easily in our yard here in South Florida. We have successfully used avocados, pomegranates, onion skins, elderberries from our fridge and pantry and we’ve used pine cones and  needles, and croton plants from our yard.  Soon we will dye with some dried goldenrod sent to us by a friend.  These are all plants that work well whether or not heat is applied to the plant material before you soak the yarn.  We find this easy because we can set up the yarn to soak and leave it for hours or overnight.  This is a lower stress approach that we love, and it’s effective. For the perishable/food items, we tend to freeze peels and seeds (with some of them chopped up into small pieces before freezing) until we accumulate close to 100g or more, which is a good amount for dyeing 100g of yarn (or more). As for the plants, we mainly break them up into a pot with the water and mordant (alum sulfate or soda ash or vinegar, or a combination).

Does mordanting make all plant-based natural dyes equal or are there some plants that are best avoided (in terms of light/colour fastness) —suzizoo

[Adachi & Marce] So far this has been mostly trial and error for us, and we have not tried ALL plant-based natural dyes.  In fact, we’ve noticed that the most effective mordant is actually citric acid. We use organic, food grade mordants including alum sulfate, soda ash and white vinegar — all with mixed results in terms of color depth, and color fastness.  This is an area where we are doing more measuring, research, and comparison so that we can find the right plant-to-mordant combinations. The research is a lot of fun.

Do they knit colors they like/want for themselves or is it trying to make/guess what others may like? —vshaw7

[Adachi] When dyeing we make the colors that we like most often; when we research on Etsy and consider what people have liked in the past, we incorporate that inspiration in at least a few skeins per update. What we like tends to be the primary though. We can’t help it — it’s what makes us gasp and grin when the dye takes hold 🙂 We love that others love these colors too.

Do they dye first and then name the colorway or name it and then try to match their vision for the color? —pinsandneedles

[Adachi &Marce] Dye first, name next. A couple of times though we have used photos as inspiration and challenge ourselves to match the strongest elements in those photos. Our Maker Muse series is an example of this. The fun part of natural dyeing is that often the dominant color of a plant is NOT the color that it gives when dyeing yarn. For example, dark black avocado skins make a lovely pink yarn, and bright red pomegranate peels make a sunshiny yellow 🙂

What are their superheroine names? If they created a two-skein bundle, one representing each of them, what color(way)s would they be? –KittenWhiplash

[Adachi & Marce] We love this question!! We pick WakandaForever Hahahaha

Our superheroine names would be The Baconator and NeedleNinja

Our two-skein bundle colorways would be an amethyst purple for Adachi alongside a wine-red maroon for Marce.

I would ask what really is the safest way to dye fiber. Some say natural dyes need mordants that are toxic. Some say chemical dyes are toxic. So…..what’s the scoop on dyes? What really is the safest dyes to use?  -Cdambrow 

[Adachi & Marce] Based on our reading, when using powdered dyes (of any kind), the greatest safety measure is to keep your dyes, dyeing equipment and yarns separate from your kitchen items.  Also, for preventing inhalation, wear your mask and even goggles if your eyes tend to be sensitive.  Gloves are key for protecting your skin from dye pigments and from hot water and non-natural mordants.  For our natural dyeing, we still use separate equipment, but we have not found a need to use masks as we use whole plant materials for now (not powders) and all of our mordants are organic food grade materials.  Our best advice is to do what we do – read read read and ask questions of those who dye the way you’re looking to dye so that you can gain from that data and experience.

* * *

Thanks so much, Marce and Adachi!

I love meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are an indie dyer, a hand spinner, a shepherdess, a small flock owner, a mill operator, or a wool trader, I would love to feature your work on this site. Please get in touch via email or Ravelry by clicking the “About” tab (above)

This entry was posted in community, dyeing, Dyenamixx Yarn, family, indie dyer, interview, natural dye, unicorns. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What are your superheroine names?

  1. Cheryl Dambrowski says:

    Great information, thank you! love reading about how dyers get their inspiration for colors and get a glimpse into their world. The yarns they dye are just gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

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