When Tonya dislocated several ribs in July of 2016, she was not able to do field work for several months. And because of this, she turned to her other love… yarn and knitting. After attending a class for dyeing with Kool-Aid, she began reading books on natural dyeing and experimenting with dyeing wool and wool blend yarns with the plants that grow on our farm. Natural dyeing quickly became a new addiction, and out of that came our product line, Berry Fun Yarns.
Berry Fun Yarns are dyed naturally, without the use of chemicals. The colors are coaxed out of the beautiful plants and flowers that fill the fields of Firefly Berries, as well as several natural dye extracts we purchased from trusted U.S. dyestuff companies.
Dyeing yarn naturally is different than using acid dyes in many ways. The most obvious difference being that naturally dyed yarns are highly sensitive to the pH of the water used both in the dyeing and washing process. A slight change in the pH of the water can yield an entirely different color. Because of this, we recommend handwashing all Berry Fun Yarn in cool or tepid water with a pH neutral soap like Eucalan. Once we dye the yarn, we wash every hank to assure the dye has properly set. We also recommend storing your yarn and finished projects out of direct sunlight*
Another unique quality of dyeing yarn naturally is that it is often difficult to repeat the exact same color, even when care is made to use the same water, mordant and modifiers. Why? Very simply, nature is every changing. As farmers we find this in our fruit every year. A year of little rain will cause berries to be sweeter, as the sugar is more concentrated in the fruit. A year of too much rain can cause fruit to taste a bit more water logged. Since our dye colors come from plants, they too can be affected by rain amounts and soil quality. We will always do our best to repeat loved colorways with careful notes, but it is likely each batch will be unique and may have slight differences in color. Keeping this in mind, please be sure to order all the yarn you need for a specific project at the same time. If you need to place a special order for a larger, project, we are happy to work with you… just let us know!
Finally… just like fruit is seasonal, and we do not have fresh strawberries in December, so too will the colors offered through Berry Fun Yarns be seasonal. We will do our best to dry and freeze dyestuff as is possible, but some lovely colors may just not be available in the dead of winter. We hope that this will not frustrate you, but rather inspire you to appreciate the beauty that is available each season.
As always, we welcome your feedback, questions and suggestions. We want you to be 100% satisfied! You can contact us via phone at (507) 252-1309 or through the contact form on our homepage.
Can’t wait to see what we have to offer?? Check out the yarn that is available for purchase right now in our online shop. Or, stop by the Rochester Farmers Market on Saturdays from May through October. We try to be set up most weekends.
*If for some reason you find that even after caring for your yarn in this fashion, you are unhappy with the colorfastness of the product, please contact us first. Do NOT try to set the dye with a citric acid soak or vinegar. These work great with acid dyes, but because of the pH change, this process could very likely change the color of your yarn or finished project.
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