Last Sunday, I took the Kitchen Safe Yarn Dyeing class at Lion Brand Yarn Studio. We were asked to bring two hanks of yarn from a long list of mostly wool Lion Brand yarns. Naturally, I made three hanks from stash yarn.
Side note – It is almost harder to get a ball of yarn into a hank than it is to get a hank of yarn into a skein! I found a great tutorial online about how to tie up and then twist the hank, but I forgot to save the link and now I can’t find it to share .
Back to the class – Our teacher was Grace. When I signed up, I thought this was going to be a class about using natural, edible dyes, but it was about dyeing with cake gels. That required a bit of expectation adjustment on my part.
I know that your first time working with a dye doesn’t usually result in stellar results, but I’m still a little underwhelmed by these.
Grace thought that perhaps I had not wrung the yarn out enough so the dye didn’t really saturate. In the store, this looked like a big blob of grey, so I’m glad that in intense sunlight (only), there are some hints of color.
I think I had better luck here because the hank was really small (less than 100 yards) and easy to wring out. I also took the most time with this hank.
I purchased this mysterious yet extremely itchy wool on eBay many years ago when I was not that familiar with working with wool yarn. I later used it successfully for several Kool Aid dyeing projects based on this tutorial.
This giant cone of yarn is wound with two strands, so the yarn is fairly thick. It does felt up nicely though.
Back to the class – I tried saturating the entire skein with orange, and then adding different blobs of bright color. The yarn was a bit darker than the other two hanks to start, so I think the color had a different effect. This hank barely had time to set in the crock pot during the class and was bleeding colors when I got home.
I did have a good time learning a new method of kitchen safe dyeing, using both the cake gels and a crock pot. But ultimately, I think the structure of the class is a bit too short. You need about 30 minutes to soak your yarn before dyeing, another 30 minutes to heat your yarn after dyeing, and another 10 or so minutes to get your hanks prepared to soak (since there are several people sharing two sinks). That means with a two hour class, you really only have about 30-45 minutes for the actual dyeing and that the class is hard to end on time since there are still yarns in the crock pot. I felt very rushed and if the class was longer, I probably would have took more time with each hank, and made sure that the water was running clear off each hank before leaving.
I will probably be sticking with the Kool Aid since I’m more familiar with it than the cake gels, I wasn’t amazed by the results in comparison, and I would have to do a bit more traveling to get my hand on the cake gels.
For more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.