10 tips

for beginning dyers (not including the ones in the previous post!)


1) learn a bit about the color theory and how things mix together.  although we have a very different sense of color, deb menz’s book Color in Spinning is a good start.

color wheel!

2) play! very, very educational in the beginning.

3) if you start with kool aid, word to the wise, it takes a lot of kool aid to dye bright or rich colors, so buy a lot!

early kool aid dyed yarns (some mixed with commercial yarns)
early kool aid dyeing in knits

4) if you decide to keep dyeing, it will very soon be worth getting some acid dyes rather than kool aid.

5) buy (at minimum) red, blue, yellow, and black for your first dye set. if you want to follow deb’s advice, buy red-purple, red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, and blue-purple. and black.

6) shock your wool with caution… in other words wait until you’ve some experience.  if you want to rinse your wool, rinse in water that is the same temperature as the wool. try not to plunge cold wool into hot water or vice versa. cuts down on the possibility of felting.

banana republic 50/50 wool/angora… recent dye job.  used to be pink.
over dyed sweater wool

7) you can always over dye things you don’t like.  or maybe… just maybe you’ll like them spun and/or knit up.  who knows!

8) if it’s hard not to think of what you’re dyeing as precious, try dyeing on recycled sweater yarn first… or over dye stash yarn that has been sitting around a while.

9) when dyeing yarn, tie the skein in 4 or 5 places in a figure eight fashion.  you really really don’t want that skein to get messed up.

10) have fun!  what’s the worst that can happen?

my first dyeing, done the paint on saran wrap way
dying class yarn

p.s. next up!  i’ll tell you how i dye.

p.p.s. enticed by lisa, i’m going to be at the great lakes fiber show this saturday… hoping to buy my first fleece(s).  i’ll keep you posted and if you see me there, say hi!

p.p.p.s. anyone who wants to add other tips, feel free to in the comments!

6 thoughts on “10 tips

  1. My goodness…I love the fibery color “wheels” in those first two pictures! So happy! :)

    And FYI, my trunk is nigh empty, so plenty of room for fleeces! LOL

  2. I was confused. When you speak of farm wool what do you mean? I assumed that you were talking about fleeces that you had processed yourself. Is farm wool processed wool that you buy at the farm that they had milled and sent back?

  3. I just love your colors! esp like the yarn colors!! too fun! I love dyeing and playing!! I am so sorry I missed you at the Fiber Show today! I wish I had known you were going! would have loved to meet up!! did meet a few gals from a yahoo group I am on though and of course Dianne from Creatively Dyed (have met her before so guess not 1st time meeting her!) are you going to Kirtland (Woolfest?)in end of June? or Yellow Springs in the fall? maybe we could meet there?? hope you had fun! hugs Linda

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