Dyeing Workshop

Hi guys,

I am now no longer a dyeing virgin (wow - I first typed "...dying virgin" - what a strange sentence that was). A couple of weekends ago, my LYS, Two Sisters and Ewe in La Mesa, hosted an all-day dyeing workshop with Margaret Tyler, who is an AMAZING local dyeing and spinning instructor.

My hubby Tony came along and our friend Joanne joined us, and we all had a blast. The three of us each dyed two hanks. Tony used really saturated blocks of blue, purple, red, green and a deep gray-brown color. (See skeins 1 and 2 in the attached pics.)

For my first skein, I applied a dark green and didn't really like it once it hit the yarn, so the teacher suggested trying to rinse some of it out. An unexpected result was that some of the green wicked up into the undyed areas and turned into an almost celadon color, and I started liking it a lot more (skein 3, attached). So I repeated the process in two more spots and added the slightest touches of a burnt orange color. Finally, I used some of Tony's left over purple and red for the last skein, along with some sapphire blue, and then added a touch of the blue to the soaking tub and dunked the skein in it for just a moment or two (skein 4 in the attached) to achieve an overall wash.

I wish I had pics of Joanne's yarn - she made two marvelous skeins using these really rich gold-orange-red-brown autumnal colors. She got the best results of the three of us. I think she ended up hooked on spinning, too.

Anyway, I really enjoyed myself, and I can see why so many of you have taken to hand-dyeing.


Image icon Skein 1a.jpg24.74 KB
Image icon Skein 1b.jpg52.85 KB
Image icon Skein 2a.jpg40.58 KB
Image icon Skein 2b.jpg51.84 KB
Image icon Skein 3a.jpg34.68 KB
Image icon Skein 3b.jpg60.15 KB
Image icon Skein 4a.jpg45.96 KB
Image icon Skein 4b.jpg56.04 KB


Craig's picture

Glad you enjoyed yourself dyeing is fun but watch out you will get addicted

Have been knitting for years. I knit continually then will try another craft, but will return to the needles.

QueerJoe's picture

It looks like you had a great time...love how yours turned out.

Dyeing is the one thing my partner has put his foot down about...we live in a townhouse, and every time I mention dyeing he puts up quite a fuss. With all my other obsessions, I don't consider this to be too unreasonable.

But I did LOVE the indigo dyeing workshop at the West Coast Men's Knitting Retreat!

Kerry's picture

Sounds fun. I'd like to try dyeing but am worried that I'd like it too much and so have less time for knitting.

bkeith's picture

I took a dyeing workshop not too long ago and got totally hooked. Learned spinning too, and I enjoy it, but need much more practice before I consider myself any good. I took to dyeing right away.

My only issue is that I'm afraid I'll wind up with WAY more dyed yarn than time to turn it into things. Well that, and the fact that the place smells like wet sheep. ;)

Tallguy's picture

It's true, it's true. Dyeing is as much fun as knitting, but you can't compare the two. And so what if you don't have time for knitting... eventually it balances out. But who cares anyway? As long as you are having the time of your life, it matters little what activity makes you happy. It's all good.

MMario's picture

Ray of KNitivity gave me a lesson over the last weekend - I've dyed solids before - this was very different - and it's nice to know the technique but I also know my limitations!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation