2.18.2017

I've been dying to show you... (and a Giveaway!)

You might have heard we had a dyeing swap this winter in my Ravelry group.... I love hosting swaps that engender learning (and yarn!!!!)

In my past career I used to dye (alot) but I did precision vat dyeing with the goal of achieving the exact same results every time. I did a little bit of "creative" dyeing for weaving projects, but it had been a long time since I just played with dye.

The first thing I did was sign up for Sarah Eyre's Professional Yarn Dyeing at Home on Craftsy
 (this link will get you the class for 25% off, it is a coupon code that is applied at checkout).
 
Then I started reading EVERY POST all the other members of the swap wrote, and I learned a ton just by seeing/reading about their trial and error!

Right around the same time Felicia Lo from Sweet Georgia released a great resource on dyeing.. Dyeing to Spin and Knit
So, I bought that and started reading! Sarah teaches dyeing techniques in a loose and artful way that encouraged me to play. Felicia's book explained the science behind dyeing and had techniques that required precision. This combination of these two resources turned out to be perfect for me.

In the meantime I gathered supplies, some Acid Dyes and Citric Acid from Dharma Trading, some undyed 75% BFL (blue faced leicester)/25% nylon sock yarn (also from Dharma Trading) and some undyed Meridian from Karen at Seven Sisters Fiber Arts. Luckily in December I got an Instant Pot (which I love, and deserves it's own blog post) which meant I could dedicate our old slow cooker to yarn dyeing...
I kept watching and reading and learning, but totally procrastinated on the dyeing until last Saturday when I finally dove in! (and oh my goodness I had FUN!) In less than 3 hours I had 4 totally unique skeins dyed, I played with speckle dyeing, veil dyeing, low water immersion dyeing, and resist dyeing.


You'll notice that all my skeins are green, that's because my swapmate Lois (who was easy to stalk) LOVES green.... the perfect color to dye given the grey winter we are having! For those of you who are interested, I used 601 Sun Yellow, 624 Turquoise, 626 Navy Blue.

Skein of yarn I sent to my swapmate Lois!
I can tell that starting to dye yarn is a rabbit hole of good times! I purposefully didn't write down exactly what I did as I have no intentions of recreating these skeins, but I do give a short explanation here. I have a DEEP respect for dyers who can consistently replicate their colorways, particularly speckled and veil dyed ones. Just imagine the amount of skill it takes to dye uniform sweater quantities!!! If I had intentions of dyeing another one of Lois' skeins I should have written down what I did and measured as I went...

So, I've got a little giveaway for y'all! Who wants to win a 460 yard skein of sock yarn I dyed (75% BFL /25% nylon sock yarn) AND a copy of Felicia's new book Dyeing to Spin and Knit?

Just leave a comment below sharing a bit about your dyeing experiences with me (it's ok if you don't have any, just say that!) Don't forget to leave a way to get in touch with you... I'll keep comments open through Feb 22nd and announce a winner here!

Congrats to the winner....
I've been following everyone's inspiring dyeing adventures. Totally cool! I haven't done much dyeing and have a couple DIY projects planned for March. But after seeing the wonderful snow dyeing results and how rapidly the snow is melting, I decided to do a little experiment with Wilton's violet on some roving this morning. Eagerly awaiting the results. So much to learn!

Ravelry ID: dmbellantone

104 comments:

  1. I have loved everyone's hand dyed yarn I have seen in the forum but knew that it isn't the right time for me to try it. Someday I would love to learn!

    susiripple (on Ravelry)

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  2. I tried koolaid once after someone in the UK asked my husband to bring them koolaid for dyieing. Would love to try it again! Lseidl on ravelry

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  3. I took an acid dyeing class at Rhinebeck last year (where I fan-girled you in your car) and have made a few skeins at home since. My mind is way ahead of my actual dyeing and can't knit fast enough. Now, when I see skeins I love, I have the figure out how they were made ��
    Paqknitter on Rav

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  4. I did some Kool Aid dyeing a while ago and just tried snow dyeing last night. My skein is still wet but I like it!

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  5. I recuse myself from any winning because that beautful blue-green cake shown above is in my house.....squeeee!!! As someone said, I lucked into the golden snitch of swap-mates. :)

    I started dyeing wool fabric for rug hooking using Cushing acid dyes. There are a lot of dye recipes for this technique, and the "worst" dye job (mottling, splotchiness, color separation, etc) was the "best" dye job for rug hooking. Yarn dyeing is similar, and really bad results can always be saved by over-dyeing with darker shades. Yarn dyeing adds new dimension to knitting!

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  6. I'm going to search for my old crock pot and repurpose it.

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  7. My first experience was one of "learning"; with Wilton food dye in a color that apparently will not stick to yarn. I salvaged something. I have made a few modification with Kool Aid and I admit that was fun
    Docjulie on ravelry

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  8. I've enjoyed reading the posts and have been drooling over all the beautiful yarn on the DIY thread on Ravelry. I don't see myself jumping in to try it any time soon.....
    taffyr on Rav

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  9. This swap was just so much fun. I mostly love natural dyeing, with food and plants, but it was really fun to try Wilton's food coloring and a tie-dye kit during this swap. I have avocado skins and pits simmering right now, for a skein for me to knit Syntha socks. I am also seeking the right pattern for the gorgeous gradients I received from my swap partner. Thank you so very much!

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  10. I have never dyed yarn but I have enjoyed watching you all dye yarn for the swap on a ravelry. I love your results with your yarn and I bet Lois loves her swap yarn!
    Lkgervitz on Rav

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  11. I have taken a dye class, purchased dye and other components, have a very good resource book and signed up for a Craftsy class. Yet I have not used any of the above. I have some hesitance toward dyeing and need something to kickstart the use of the cupboard full of tools. I have several drawers of handspun natural yarn that be much more fun to play with if it were colorful. Your skein is beautiful.

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  12. I don't think I want to dye. But I do love to knit

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  13. I've played with dyeing yarn with food coloring and vinegar, but I also have used fabric dyes for cotton fibers. I've always wanted to play around more with dyeing processes, playing with not only yarn, but also roving!!

    I'm on Ravelry and Instagram at KnittingKnaomi!

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  14. I have enjoyed this swap on so much. I have tryed new techniques where snow dyeing really took the cake. I especially enjoyed dyeing yarn for you dear swapmate.........so funne we both chose green. Anjahansen on Ravelry

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  16. Well as you know, I took Sarah Eyre's class on Craftsy. The first time I watched it through, I thought "well this was a waste of time and money. There is no way that I am ever going to do that." It just seemed so complicated and messy and time consuming. But I was drawn to it, so I watched it again. This time it made me think that if I picked up some of the right equipment, it might be possible. I found some dyes at my LYS and some pots at my local Thrift store, and the rest is history. My first batch came out so impressive that I knew I had to do it again and again. It is an absolute blast!!! Now I find myself looking for natural yarns and searching my surroundings for color schemes to try out. Then the swap!!! It was so much fun, I wish we could do it every month!!!
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  17. I've never dyed any yarn, although I've got some plain yarn that I've wanted to try my hand at. I've been eyeing all of these delicious skeins on the Ravelry & the like & would love to try my hand at it. I'm smitten by your skeins, BTW. That color looks beautiful on my monitor!

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  18. Oh your skeins are AWESOMESAUCE!!!! I would enjoy a skein from you
    I have wonder what you were cooking up (8D

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  19. I have refused to fall down another rabbit hole, knitting, crocheting and weaving keep me in enough trouble, but those are some lovely skeins.

    Katbrown on Ravelry

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  20. I love to dye yarn. The problem is that it makes your yarn stash multiple even faster!

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  21. I took Sarah's class on Craftsy & loved it. I have a slow-cooker dedicated to yarn. I tried the speckled yarn & loved it! I have also overdyed yarn. I have a very old skein of fingering weight yarn that I overdyed once but I think I will do it again, maybe in a black wash. Thank you! michelleg3737 on Rav.

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  22. I have mostly native plants in my garden and use those to dye with. it is tons of fun and the yarns I dye with in the summer get knit in the winter so it is like I am gardening year round.
    a couple of years ago I tried snow dyeing which I found to be the perfect pick-me-up during the harsh cold winter months. I soaked my yarn in a vinegar and water solution and then put it in a pasta pot with a built in strained. I loaded snow on top and then sprinkled powdered dye on top of that. You will never look at snow as a nuisance again.
    I am mjm on ravelry

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  23. My husband says I need another hobby.

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  24. I've only tried dying once when I wanted to gift a pair of mitts in the favorite color of a friend. I had to dye the yarn twice to get the depth of color I wanted. Laura you are definitely uber creative!
    twosaners on Ravelry

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  25. I've done two short workshops but dying at home has seemed a little daunting.

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  26. I've done some dying of both combed wool roving and yarn, but always under a lot of guidance from experienced dyers. I'm anxious to set up my own dying system at home and start experimenting to my heart's content!

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  27. I've done a little dyeing, went to Blue Moon Fiber Arts dye day/barn sale one year and have dyed two skeins of sock yarn on my own. I'd love to do more, but I really don't have the space for it. What I've done, I did outside. Which in Oregon is a bit of a short season.

    SheilaOKeefe on Rav. Oh, and I don't do facebook, so I hope I don't have to see the announcement there.

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  28. My only dyeing experience was by crushing poke berries when I was a child - everything, including me, was bright fuschia! I am currently considering overdyeing some yarn that's not my favorite, though...

    kellimullin1 on Ravelry

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  29. Laura, your skeins are beautiful! Lois is a luckily lady, but so are the rest of us that follow you here and on Ravelry. I toyed with the idea of participating in this adventure and got as far a purchasing and viewing a bit of the Craftsy class. However, I knew January and February were going to be busy months for me and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to meet the deadlines. This adventure is in my future, though!

    Mommykins1354 on Ravelry

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  30. Would love to try dyeing someday. I always gravitate towards hand dyed yarn in the yarn store so beautiful.

    Inmyrightmind on Ravelry

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  32. Blogger Nic said...
    What stunning greens! I taught myself to dye using food colours. I love the simplicity of acid dyes, and layering them. My two favourite videos on dyeing are djinnj's YouTube Dyepot Confindential and Episode 2 of skeinyarn's blog. However, listening to the Woolful podcast inspired me to try natural dyeing, including Indigo in the last month. The quality of the colours from the two processes is very different, clear, bright, sometimes lurid, vs soft, muted and complex. I like both methods!

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  33. Oh. My. Word! I have been wanting to learn to dye for quite some time. I'm even more innspired to learn after seeing your beautiful work! I'm going to dye my first skein as soon as I get the supplies. ☺

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    1. Forgot to mention that I'm craftypw on Ravelry.

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  34. In the past I had done a lot of dyeing when I had acess to a dye studio, almost exclusively for weaving purposes. I haven't had the studio available to me in over 20 years so never consideried dyeing until you started talking about it in the group. Kool-Aid and Wilton dyes are safe anywhere and my goodness I had really suppressed how much I really enjoy it. YAYB

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  35. I have never dye any yarn but someday I would love to try. This book looks like great way to start, my daughter has done some and I just love knitting with it. Im galewinds1 on Ravelry

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  36. I used to dye wool for rug hooking using Cushing dyes. Not sure I am ready to start again with yarn but it is so beautiful.

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  37. I've never dyed wool, but have done tie dyed t-shirts. I also dye my hair and that's a type of wool, right??!! LOL Just like everyone else, I'd love to win. Good luck to all!

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  39. Love the greens! My experience with dyeing yarn is limited to Koolaid and Wilton icing dyes, but I'd like to try using acid dyes and plant/vegetable matter dyes someday! RavID mikron.

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  41. No experience with dyes here...just love to look at the loveliness from others!

    SweetLorraine on Ravelry

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  42. I have dyed with school students using powdered food dyes as well as using acid dyes in my own play.

    My favourite skein of yarn to dye and knit was when Mum asked for a pair of socks that were pink and black, for Christmas one year. That entailed me dyeing a skein of yarn to suit, using space-dyed methods for the first time. I think it is time to get back into it, as I still have both acid dyes and sock yarn to use.

    Rav ID KnitandWords

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  43. I first dyed at Yarn School, then I took at class at Iowa Sheep and Wool with my mom, and I've got a little dye lab set up in my basement, but it's been years since I've used it, alas! I really need to get back to it, I love playing with color that way! (I'm WordLily on Rav)

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  44. I do not currently have any experience with the dyeing process, but your dyed yarn is beautiful, I would love to give it a try someday!

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  45. I have dye cotton and wool fabric and have recently started dyeing yarn with food dye and koolaid products. I absolutely love it and it's totally addictive. I am always surprised with the outcome. Ravelry: CherAlCreations.

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  46. I dyed some yarn with Koolaid and it was so fun! I am going to do some yarn dyeing with snow now! It is so cool to see the unique hanks of yarn. The Ravelry group has been an excellent source of helpful hints and ideas from some very successful dyers!!

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  47. I've done some Koolaide dying with my daughter. It was great fun. I can totally see how dyeing yarn could become a very deep rabbit hole. Rav ID: jentm

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  48. Unfortunately I can't dye yarn at the moment but I have enjoyed following everybody's dyeing adventures.

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  49. Interesting in dyeing. I purchased a few books and took a class on natural dyeing at Rhinebeck a couple of years ago. I'm going to check out the Craftsy class. Love the platform.

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  50. I have been dyeing fabrics for many years but have not done much with yarns. I have been thinking about dyeing some yarn so I can have the colours I want and have been thinking about that fart's you course. Just might have to jump in and try it again 😀

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  52. My autocorrect went crazy on me. Let's try this again. I got Sarah's class but just to watch. I haven't tried dyeing yet. Hoping to get back an induction burner and pot I lent someone so I can try dyeing this summer.
    Rav ID ramonafirehorse

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  53. Laura,
    Beautiful yarn, love the greens. I have never dyed yarn but some day...
    Thank you for sharing.

    RavID: PennyJack

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  54. I had a blast learning to dye yarn for the swap and will definitely be doing more of it in the future. I've already bought several new skeins and a few more dyes for the next time. RavID: chellemay

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  55. I have only dyed with koolaid and learned it takes a lot of koolaid to get the color you want.
    sparky136 on Ravelry

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  56. Wow, wouldn't that be something! Yarn dyed by the great Laura Nelkin!

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  57. Never tried dyeing yarn but did try dyeing fabric and it never came out the way I intended. So happy that there are so many amazing yarn dyers so I don't have to dye yarn, although if I win, I will try....

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  58. Though I haven't yet done any dying (except for those tie-dyed shirts of my youth!), I was lucky enough to spend a few hours at the Center for the Traditional Arts in Chincero, Peru, where the amazing women there showed us drop spinning and gorgeous hand-dyed yarns all done with local plants. They showed us the plants and the resultant colored yarns --- delicious!!

    Though perhaps not quite as natural, I do love the vibrant greens in your sample.Yum!

    Maybe it's time to stop cooking in my crockpot and start dying wool?

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  59. I really need to start doing this. I love the idea of the uniqueness of the yarn and personalization of colors. The greens are beautiful like the lush greens of Ireland :) !

    RavID: margarete2000

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  60. So far I've only tried dyeing with wiltons food colour and once with avocados (a complete disaster), and I cannot replicate any of the stuff I've done. For me it is all about not controling and having a lot of fun.

    RavId: piaheuerandersen

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  61. I dyed yarn once, at Shelridge Farms. It was great fun but have never attempted it at home. Looks like fun!

    RavID: Spalcic

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  62. Impressive! I have no experience dyeing yarn, but thankful for those who do. Melanie1 on Ravelry.

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  63. Your swapmate is one lucky person! Beautiful! I have no experience with dying. I leave that to my daughter, Sarah Belcher, who uses all natural dyes. I so admire your talents!!

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  64. Your yarns are gorgeous-I keep thinking I will try dying but always shy away from it- Now I have a local source for undyed lovely base yarns nearby and I'm itching to try it. This would be a great kick to get me moving on it.

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  65. I've always dyed fabric in the past - but I have a whole bag of wool yarn "to-be-dyed". Thanks for the offer! RAV ID: JAAZ

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  66. Ive' dyed with koolaid and food color jell for frosting. They worked great

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  67. I started spinning last year! So yes! I'd Love, Love, Love to jump down the rabbit hole of dying :-) Being a green fan... your skeins are beautiful! Thanx for the chance to begin the ::jump::!!
    On Rav as LannieK :-)

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  68. Never dyed yarn, but have dyed plenty of fabric. Love the GREEN!

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  69. I started dyeing yarn a few years ago when I got a skein of bare superwash worsted something or other in a grab bag I believe. I started with food coloring gels and kool aid, but it wasn't long before I jumped head first into chemical dyes with Jaquard's line of dyes. I'm still not fully versed in DOS and measuring out %s and such, so I can't do repeats but I have so much fun!

    Plus both of my guilds have dye workshops. One mostly focuses on natural dyes (found out I'm allergic to Goldenrod when I volunteered to collect it!) I look forward to it each year because it's never the same dyes twice.

    I am 5ever on Rav!

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  70. me me!!! I need it! Actually, I really do need it--I have 5 skeins of yarn that turned out to be a bland dove gray that I need to turn into something I like. I've done pot-on-the-stove, and your method of microwaving but not a whole lot of either. Yet. I'm on ravelry as bizabet.

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  71. I've been following everyone's inspiring dyeing adventures. Totally cool! I haven't done much dyeing and have a couple DIY projects planned for March. But after seeing the wonderful snow dyeing results and how rapidly the snow is melting, I decided to do a little experiment with Wilton's violet on some roving this morning. Eagerly awaiting the results. So much to learn!

    Ravelry ID: dmbellantone

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  72. I've done a little bit of dyeing, which was originally to give me some color options as I was broke. After I scored a lot of super cheap beige and light pink wool yarns, I dyed them to get colors that I wanted as neither color is something I'd wear as accessory or clothes. I had some luck in getting colors that I wanted, but so long as they were deep or saturated colors!

    rav id- misstrangelove

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  73. I have zero experience but am considering overdying a shawl and a sweater that I don't love. Enter me please!

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  74. I've never tried dying. One of these days .... Rav amchart

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  75. I love those colors! Would make great socks or a shawl!

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  76. I did a class at Vogue Live in Chicago (took your knitting with beads class too - so much fun) with Beth Casey. I loved it and came home with some undyed yarn that's still languishing in my stash somewhere....

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  77. I've never tried dyeing yarn. I'd like to someday but don't really have the space right now to have dedicated equipment... maybe Koolaid, though, since I could use regular dishes for that.

    ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

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  78. I've dyed a little yarn with Easter egg tabs and 4 oz of fiber with Wilton food colors to spin, but nothing turned out excitingly beautiful! I'd love this resource to experiment more.
    KnitStatRN on Rav

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  79. Your green yarn is absolutely beautiful! I love green, also, especially when we still have so much snow on the ground. This is extremely interesting--it may be a very good project to do with my girls who don't knit but are way better at painting than I am.
    Thanks for the opportunity!
    RebeccaJensen on Rav

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  80. I host a dye day almost every summer out on my deck under a big umbrella for some of my knitting friends. We usually hand-paint our skeins. I want to do more immersion dyeing and plan to do some space dyeing of sock yarn to create regular-width stripes. I'd love to win your skein of hand-dyed yarn. I'm 'geri' on Ravelry

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  81. Great post! I've been fortunate enough to take dying workshops with Felicia Lo, Gale Evans, and Jaala Spiro. I loved each workshop and was amazed at how differently each of these talented ladies approaches her dying process. I love the resulting yarn I came home with, but I'm content to leave the regular dying to all the creative geniuses out there! (IronicalKnitter on Rav)

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  82. I have never dyed anything, though I want to. I just don't know where to start. This book would help a lot! qtpieknitter on rav

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  83. My first dyeing attempt was with cochineal, and I'm totally nuts with my results, and now, every textile in my household is at risk of receiving the cochineal treatment!!! You've created a monster, Ms. Lola!!!! (pajara in Ravelry)

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  84. My first dyeing attempt was with cochineal, and I'm totally nuts with my results, and now, every textile in my household is at risk of receiving the cochineal treatment!!! You've created a monster, Ms. Lola!!!! (pajara in Ravelry)

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  85. I have dyed yarn exactly once - with KoolAid. I was happy with the result (I baked it in a glass dish in the oven) but would like to try something a little more sophisticated. I love your speckle yarn! I haven't wanted to invest in separate dyepots (or allocate space to store them) but I think you're onto something with your crock pot. I haven't used mine in years - I'm a stovetop pressure cooker person - so I think I can shift the crock pot to dye use and not notice. I love that tip. JLWinPA on Ravelry!

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  86. No dyeing for me yet, but I keep seeing amazing home-dyed things on Ravelry, and recently picked up an 1,100 yard skein of natural merino-nylon laceweight, in case I work up the nerve to try it some time.

    carolsumie on Ravelry

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  87. I took a class at my LYS and loved every minute of it. It was fun to see how we could make such different skeins with the same basic colors. I've since bought a book on natural dyeing and am excited to try it this summer! gerib242 on Rav

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  88. I have to admit that I bought the dye for an indigo pot, and I have never had the nerve to use It!

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  89. Your greens look amazing. I haven't really tried dyeing,I'm afraid it would be another slippery slope for me. (Spinnings bad enough) I have encouraged my middle daughter in her dyeing adventures with collecting natural substances to try as well as Easter egg dyes and koolaid.

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  90. Ooooooh! That looks like fun! - I have not yet jumped down that rabbit hole. Your yarn turned out beautiful!

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  91. I don't have any experience dying yarn -- yet :) I'm dying to try it. Get it. Dying to try it. Ha ha. I crack me up. :)
    Ravelry ID: rkohlman

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  92. This is so well timed! I've tried kool aid dying before but that's it, and recently I've been amassing lots of undyed wool to try dying myself but I have yet to take the plunge! Thanks for the fantastic giveaway :) And your yarn turned out pretty fantastic. Rav ID: showandtellmeg

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  93. I have only tried dyeing once. I used kool-aid to overdye some wool yarn that I particularly didn't like the color of the wool.

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  94. I have never dyed yarn. I am fascinated by color, and would like to try, but never taken the time to learn. (I just enjoy other peoples successes with the process!) (dktrout on Ravelry)

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  95. Have never dyed yarn but have dyed silk scarves....maybe need to branch out some since my Ravelry name is dyeyarn...

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  96. My only experience with dyeing fiber was in college for an art class. Since Seattle was the home of Cerulean Blue, I thought I'd be in vogue and buy their dye. Having no experience, I somehow managed to get the dye all over the carpet of my apartment. Not a good day, but I'm older and wiser now. . .

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  97. I only had been dyed my yarn from kool-aid. Sometimes it scares me due to spill and stain on the floor. mommyknitter208 on rav.

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