Sunday, April 11, 2010

REVIEW: Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece

Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece
by Gail Callahan
Spiral-bound: 168 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing (January 8, 2010)


"Take control of your colors!" - that is exactly what Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece will help you do. Many knitters have found themselves searching amongst endless hanks of yarn stacked in local shops only to think "it's just not the right color." We search high and low - digging through baskets and discount bins - for that perfect skein in the perfect shade to make the perfect gift. Although the commercial choices are extensive - sometimes even overwhelming, there are times when we just can't find it.

With so many options for dyeing yarn these days, it's no surprise that knitters have taken control of their colors and began dyeing at home. Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece is a comprehensive how-to from a fellow knitter who began dyeing for personal use. It wasn't long before the dyeing bug bit her - as it has so many - and she has since gone on to make it her business!

Before you jump blindly into the dyeing, Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece helps by covering safety, equipment, organization, equipment and more in a chapter devoted to setting up your at-home dye studio. Fibers are discussed in detail, including what to expect and how to prepare it.

Are you a little color shy? No worries, Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece includes a chapter on Color Power! How to find your color comfort zone, exploring the color grid, and color value and saturation are just some of the topics discussed. A how-to on dyeing your own "color wheel" is included as well.

Once you're ready to dive into the dye pot, you'll find clear step by step recipe-style instructions, complete with detailed photos, for several different methods. Dip-Dyeing, Hand-Painting, Tie-Dyeing and other techniques are all covered, some in multiple forms, such as specifics for hand-painting silk caps and wool roving. A few unusual techniques are spotlighted... how to dunk full cones of yarn and injecting color with a syringe. Immersion dyeing is covered in detail, from basic to drip-paint-immersion combos to 2 and 3 step processes. One technique I personally want to try is the Knit, Dye, Unknit, Knit instructions (think Flat Feet sock yarn)!

Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece is not just a how-to dye book, it also includes patterns to show off all of your creative color work! Mittens, baby sweaters, leg warmers, socks, hats and scarves - all patterns written specifically for your hand-dyed yarn!

If you have an interest in dyeing or have dabbled a bit and want some more "recipies," add Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece to your bookshelf now! But beware, the steps are easy to follow, the photographs are enticing... and the creative process is most certainly addicting! Happy Dyeing!

About the Author: Gail Callahan discovered weaving in the 1990's, leading her to a small business called The Kangaroo Weaver. A few years later, she began dyeing for personal use. The following year, Valley Yarns asked her to dye yarns exclusive to WEBS, America's Yarn Store, in Northampton, Massachusetts. She now teaches dyeing at WEBS, and continues to dye for them as well as for her own business, The Kangaroo Dyer.


Marjie said...

Interesting. I see you knitters talking about hand dyed wool, and I really relate to "the color just isn't quite right!" You write great book reviews.

WonderWhyGal said...

So glad you reviewed this book. I've been looking at different fiber dyeing books and had mixed feelings about them. I will definitely check this one out.

Dawn said...

Awesome review...might have to go get this book!:)

Going to my friend, Nicole's this coming weekend (FreckleFaceFibers) and she's going to teach me how she dyes....can't wait!:)

SissySees said...

Dyeing is one thing that I'm glad others do for me. I like hand-dyed yarn, but I don't even like dyeing eggs...

Anita said...

With the little bit of time I have lately for the computer I just can't keep up with you & Grace! LOL Sorry I'm so slack, it's work.... I need to win the lottery so I have more time to myself! :)

I like the looks of this book, but I don't really enjoy dyeing, I do it cause it's so much cheaper to dye spinning fiber. Another reason to win the lottery! ha ha

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