time & tide - march
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#timeandtideyarn takes inspiration from our beautiful Suffolk coastline. Whether we’re walking the dog in deepest midwinter, picnicking on an almost-warm-enough Spring afternoon, or taking a dip at the end of a long, hot, summer’s day, the sea is always beautiful and there’s always treasure to be found…
Two shades each month throughout 2023, dyed on a variety of yarn bases and using our favourite dye techniques - one inspired by the sea itself, and one by the beautiful things we find along the shore.
The inspiration for March's shades came from a blustery, showery walk along Sizewell beach. It's a great beach for walking the dog, with dunes between the huge power station and the pebbly beach and interesting flora and fauna.
The redundant off-shore rigs that provided water cooling for the now-decommissioned Sizewell A plant are home to kittiwakes and the structures themselves rise dramatically not far from the beach. With the foreboding sky above, the water was dark and the structures silhouetted against a sliver of lighter sky, just a hint of warm light evident. The shade it inspired is called from the inky depths and combines deep navy, dark teal, and hints of cobalt fading to pale aqua and slate blue with just the faintest flash of bronzed rosy blush...
After a stormy high tide, this stretch of coastline sometimes offers up tiny pieces of Baltic amber - and in the twenty-plus years we've walked these beaches we've found two! No luck on this occasion but I can't help but walk along the strand line kicking over the seaweed just in case, and on this damp day, the seaweed shone gold, ochre, and chartreuse. Perfect inspiration for sock yarn and I've called it a glistening tangle.
We dye our yarn in small batches using a combination of kettle dyeing for semi-solid and tonal shades and low-immersion and hand-painting for variegated shades that will 'pool' or 'flash' depending on gauge. Even within a dye batch, each skein is unique as a result of our dyeing techniques.
Although these yarn bases are both spun from superwash fibre, we recommend hand washing in cool water to preserve the vibrancy of the dye and, as with all small-batch, hand-dyed yarn that doesn't have dye lots, we also recommend knitting alternate rows from two skeins when working on larger projects to avoid noticeable changes between skeins.
We use professional acid dyes with good light and wash fastness and do our best to exhaust every dye bath and reuse water wherever possible to reduce any further environmental impact. Occasionally a small amount of 'loose' dye may remain in the yarn after rinsing (most likely with deeply saturated shades) and we always recommend hand washing in very cool water and pre-washing your yarn separately if you are intending to mix light and dark shades in a single garment/project.