One of the recent colorways up in the shop, Am Falling was the bit of Autumn that I needed during this (hopefully) last wave of Florida Summer heat. Mei is the 100% Superwash Merino base that I fell in love with a while back. It was something new to try, so I decided to test how well it took dye and was completely won over. I made sure to get more, and with what I've dyed so far of it, I can only say that I'm extremely pleased by what I've been able to achieve with this yarn.
While dyeing the above colorway, and some additional ones since then, I've had time to think about what I'm doing and why. No better time to think than when you go through the motions of getting things prepped. That mindless repetition leaves room to focus on other important things, like whether or not I'm going to put as much effort into this as I did in the past. Here's what I've realized:
I'm definitely not at a point where I can produce at the same rate as I did in the past, and the dyeing process that I've been favoring lately is multi-stepped and time consuming, but this rate at which I'm currently working, and the technique I'm using, is allowing some of that love for dyeing yarn to come back. Love without the pressure.
There's a lot about dyeing yarn that's tedious, frustrating, and makes me question everything from my color sense to why I continue to bother spending so much time on it. Time where I could be doing something perfectly luxurious, like soaking in a hot bath before a nap, or sipping tea while reading books and cuddling the cat. I'm not up to being able to push for getting larger quanties out there; I'm just not physically ready for that since I get easily worn out due to CHF. Nor am I thinking of making my resurgence in the dyeing world one where my focus is on growing and nurturing an extremely small operation into a business that can stand on its own.
Even though I'm putting what I dye up for sale, I don't know that I'd consider myself anything more than a hobby dyer at this point--not anymore, not right now. What I sell essentially funds the next batch of dyeables, nothing more or less, and I'm okay with that. I'm okay with taking it easy. Taking it easy doesn't mean lack of quality, and I believe that shows in what I do. Everything from making sure yarn is neatly reskeined to producing quality photos so that it's color correct and shows the yarn's best qualities--I don't want to let anything slide.
I don't want the idea that this is a "hobby" to mean it's not as professional as when I was running a larger operation, offering special club packages, and so on. The first, and really only, step to making sure no one thinks otherwise is for me to not think otherwise. So that's what I'll do.