When handling very dark or saturated colours - ones that require a lot of dye - it’s possible some dye may come off on your hands despite the best efforts of the dyers to rinse thoroughly. There are many reasons for this, including:
- differences in climate / environment like humidity
- pH levels of the handler’s skin and natural oils picking up the dye. - handling and transport of the yarn
Most importantly, don’t worry! This is a common occurance with hand dyed yarns and will go away after an initial wash of the garment (prior to blocking, for example).
Ideally, no, but as you can guess from the above, some running may occur in the initial wash or rinse. If you’re using very different colours together, you may want to test the yarn for colour fastness. You can do this by taking a small sample of yarn (5-10cm), wetting it, and letting it rest on a piece of paper towel or a kitchen towel. By the time the yarn dries you should be able to see if the colour runs. If it does, our friends at Urth yarns - as an example - recommend pre-washing your skein. Simply soak and rinse the skein in cold water - optionally use some wool wash - and rinse until the water runs clear. Then dry thoroughly before using the yarn in your project.
A couple reasons; the first is purely aesthetic - we think it looks good! The more practical reason is that with any hand dyed yarn, variation may occur. Taking pictures in multiples allows us to be totally transparent in that variation; you can see all the different ways the colours look in the yarn. It also highlights colours that may be hidden in a skein due to the twist or label.
There’s a number of reasons for this. The primary one is quality. Our animal fibre yarns are often breed specific (Merino, Polwarth, and BFL wools), animal specific (Alpaca, Mohair, Cashmere, Llama), and have been graded (fine / superfine / extrafine merino as examples). These fibres are far and away higher quality than generic “wool” you may find at big box stores. The other core reason is fairness to our creators. Since the majority of our yarns are from small indie creators, these suppliers have much higher costs than a major manufacturer would. They put their time, love, and high quality wools and dyes into their products. We feel they should be paid properly for their efforts, and ensure we’re not gouging our indie dyers when negotiating prices.