Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Barn Sale and Dye Party

Last week I coordinated the Benton County Democrats' booth at the County Fair. It was fun and successful, but a lot of work. Tuesday booth setup took from 10am until 8pm. Then Wednesday through Saturday was the fair. I had to run in and out to get set up in the mornings, get more water cups, get more button making supplies, pick up the cash at night, and so on. It was a lot of work, and to top it off, Saturday hit 102 degrees. I was in need of some yarn therapy.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts to the rescue. They're located in Scappoose, about two and a half hours from where I live in Corvallis, Oregon, and this past weekend was the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Barn Sale and Dye Party.  My friend Amy and I drove up there Sunday morning. We only got slightly lost once, when we somehow got off Hwy 30, but once we were close it was very well marked.

We drove up their lovely driveway.

And there was the barn with storage pods in front.

Blue Moon is located in a lovely spot and it was a gorgeous sunny day. Warm, but not Saturday's 100+ degrees.

Never mind the view, inside the barn there was YARN!!!

And more yarn!

So much yarn my vision started to blur.

Everywhere you looked more yarn.

Yarn by the handful (that's Amy).

We were momentarily distracted by the pretties, but we came here

Blue Moon had their base yarns and fibers available for purchase bare and many colors of dyes to choose among.

Amy picked some merino/silk roving while I chose 2 skeins of the BFL sport (Blue Faced Leicester). They soaked your choice while you wandered among the yarn (the BFL sport required an extra step of washing to remove the oil in it).

Then they set you up on one of the steel dye tables.

And you had at it. I dyed my first skein teal, shading from darker to lighter, while Amy dyed her roving. We were both too busy dying to get pictures of each other at work. But when I moved on to my second skein, Amy was finished and she got some action shots.

This is the scary part, that lovely creamy skein of yarn. What if my first squirt of dye is all wrong and ruins it?

But I worked up my courage and started. This skein was going to be magenta at the ends, shading to purple in the middle, so I started with magenta dye at each end.

In between additions of dye, I'd wrap it in the plastic and moosh the excess dye in toward the center of the skein.

I had to stop and admire my work sometimes.

The purple came from adding blue dye to the magenta dye. I used a paper towel scrap to test the color.

Okay, that might be the official mad-scientist-at-work photo.

Wrapping it again to moosh the dye towards the center. Almost done.

Once the yarn was all dyed and securely wrapped in plastic, it went into the steam bath and cooked for 20 minutes or half an hour.

Amy and I sat in the shade behind the barn and had lunch while our fiber and yarn cooked. There was also an indigo bath in the back. Yarns were soaked in a mordant solution first. Some people were dying bare yarn with indigo while others were overdying already-dyed yarn.

After soaking, the yarn got dipped in the indigo bath.

Most of the Blue Moon helpers had hands like that - they didn't bother with gloves like I had, they just got blue hands.

Sometimes she'd dip the yarn several times to get the desired darkness. Then the skeins were hung on the fence to dry.

By the time Amy and I had finished our lunch, our yarn and fiber had come out of the steam bath and cooled.

Then it was packed in plastic carrier bags.

Tired but happy, it was time for us to head home.

 When I got home I rinsed my yarn and nervously hung it to dry. Would it dry as lovely as I was anticipating?

Ooh, I like it. It's really a little more teal, a little less blue than those photos.

I'm pretty happy with how the magenta/purple came out.

I think they go nicely together.  I might try to do some colorwork with these.

Amy emailed me a photo of her roving drying and I think it came out lovely.

I can't wait to see the yarn she spins out of this. 

As well the yarn I dyed, I might have gone a bit over-budget buying some lovely sale items.

I just love Blue Moon's BFL sport yarn, it's such a wonderful soft, sproingy yarn, and they had some mill ends cheap ($10 for ~660 yds of yummy yarn?!?). I got two, one golden:

 and one purple:

They also had Socks That Rock mill ends, and at $12 a piece, I couldn't resist.

Those two are destined to become a two-color shawl, as are the the ones below.

I'm not sure what this one will be, but I just loved the cheerful, summery green.

Then there were the free bins. Seriously, Blue Moon knows how to throw a party. Everything set up for dying, lots of discounted yarns. And freebies?!? Yup!

There was a bin of Kid Mo, a 90% mohair, 10% nylon discontinued yarn. Free for the taking. I got two colorways. Three 200 yd skeins of Highway 30:

And four skeins of Pisgah:

There were some boxes of notecards and Sock Summit paraphenalia too. I got a couple of Sock Summit notions boxes, a lanyard/name tag holder, some lovely yarn notecards, and a fun sticker.

I feel like it was Christmas in August. What a fun day and what a haul! Thank you, Tina and everyone at Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I had a fantastic time and will be keeping an eye on your blog to see when you do this again. Everyone else, if you ever get the chance to go to a Blue Moon Barn Sale, go. It might even be worth flying to Portland if you're not lucky enough to live in Oregon.