Thursday, October 11, 2007

To Dye For

If I'm not free on a Wednesday night for dinner, it usually means one thing...I'm hanging at the Urban Craft Center. This week's agenda: dying yarn.

The class was so not what I expected. First of all, the amount of yarn you get for your class dollars is outstanding. Here's on skein of the yarn before:

And for all of you at home playing along who may want to do this, Knit Picks has the best deal going. This costs $3.49. You're looking at like 440 yards of yarn goodness. I have to admit, I'm a bulky kind of girl, so I think if I were to do this at home, I'd buy the bulkier weight yarns. But, for this class, the lighter weight was awesome to work with. And, while we were dying, rinsing and hanging, I was thinking up different projects to do with my newly colored yarn.

Back to the class being not what I expected. Ok, so first we get like skeins and skeins of yarn, which was fabulously surprising. Second, I guess when I think of dye I think of Rit. I had no idea that we'd be using natural sorts of dyes like onions and cool!

Angharad had all sorts of pots brewing upon our arrival. Since the natural process can be a wee unpredictable, she started without us (she didn't want us to be stuck there staring at pots waiting for the color to leave their natural elements) but explained everything she did so we could repeat it on our own. She also taught us about preparing the yarn prior to dying it and did one dry unprepped skein with the already prepped skeins to illustrate the differences in how the color attaches to the yarns....very cool.

In addition to the four natural dying batches, we each had one Kool-Aid batch. I'm so doing this at home. (Shhh, don't tell gramma, I couldn't imagine she'd enjoy that image.) Now, I had heard some not-so-favorable reviews of Kool Aid dying a few months ago, but after doing this with Angharad and downloading the instructions from the Knit Picks Website I'm super excited to try it with the wool I grabbed from the happy crafty yard sale a few weeks ago.

But, back to the class. Here's all but one batch o' yarn we dyed:

(I really wish I had remembered to grab my real camera as my cel phone doesn't really do this justice.) The row of yarn in the front is mine. All the skeins are there except the brown, which was still cooling. The first yarn in the front (the red one) is the Kool-Aid dye. We did a variegated sort of thing where we chose two colors. I did red and pink. (Mental note for the pink, use SEVERAL packages. Oddly, the end of the yarn sucked up the pink immediately and didn't give the rest of the half a skein a chance to grab any of the color.)

I know the yarn looks odd sitting on the rack but as it dries it looks fabulous. When I wind my skeins into happy yarn cakes, I'll post those pictures for your your (ok, really my) enjoyment.

At the end of class we had the option to let our yarn dry there or take it home. Of course, I'm all about instant gratification so I took mine home. Angharad busted out Ziploc after Ziploc to get our damp (and one wet) skeins home and included a jumbo Ziploc for easy carrying as well as instructions so that we could do this at home.

I mean, that's one of the things that's so cool at this center. They really want to teach you how to do all of this and share the joy that is the creative process. I mean, she was the one telling us how affordable Knit Picks yarn is an how much it cost so we could do this at home. That's just neat to me....that someone genuinely wants to pass on what they know to you so you can have that joy yourself. I was looking at my yarn drying at home last night and I was just pleased as punch with it.

Ok, more classes I'll be taking, please join me!

11/28 - Hand Made Soaps
12/12 - Gocco Screen Printing
12/16 - Hand Painted Yarns

Obviously, there are more classes, but those are the ones that float my boat. I'm also playing around with the idea of the sewing classes...I'll have to think more on those. But, one thing I was reminded of last night, for $25/hour (I think that's per person), they'll teach you whatever you want to know. Like, if you want to learn how to sew a skirt, you bring the pattern and fabric and she'll show you. How cool is that?

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Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

crist, you and Linoleum. You're not happy until someone looses an "O". As in "zero". As in a complete decimal point in their bank account.

(I know, it took me forEVER to get there, but it was worth it, right?)

2:05 PM  
Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thanks for the review. Yarn dying is one thing I haven't tried yet. I really do want to attend a few of these classes! Can't wait to see your yarn cakes.

12:02 PM  

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