Friday, September 9, 2016

Fun with Color: A Review of “Professional Yarn Dyeing at Home” by Sarah Eyre on

There’s something pretty magical about dyeing your own yarn. It might be the vast array of color combinations to choose from, or the undeniable awesomeness that is working with your hands to create your very own skein of yarn. Whether you are a beginner who is looking to dive head in to a detailed, instructional journey, or an advanced dyer looking to learn new tips and tricks, “Professional Yarn Dyeing at Home” instructed by Sarah Eyre, will stimulate and educate. Sarah Eyre, a professional yarn dyer, artist and designer, leads you through 6 articulate and organized HD video lessons that includes a complete section on gathering materials all the way through to how to store and work with your finished yarn.

In the first lesson, “Getting Ready to Dye,” Sarah offers a calming and engaging introduction followed by a show-and-tell of materials and how to set up your very own dye studio. In this lesson we learn about the types of yarn, dyes, and mordant that bring the dye process to life. Lesson 2 jumps right in as Sarah safely illustrates how to dye, wash, and rinse solid yarns. Sarah is personable; easy to understand and beams with passion for the art that she creates. She moves on to teach us about dyeing wool/silk blends, semi-solids, and color mixing. Sarah also introduces her students to the popular technique of dyeing speckled yarns, which I successfully followed along with! In addition to teaching us about a slow cooker option for dyeing (time to dig out grandma’s vintage crockpot!), Sarah also includes a wonderful section on letting go of perfection, a lesson that can be applied to many scenarios in our busy lives!

For crafters who want to learn even more technique, Sarah teaches about variegated yarns and how to create complex colorways. She reminds us that keeping records is a very important part of dyeing, especially for those wanting to re-create some of their amazing colorways. In her final lesson, we learn the best way to dry our newly dyed yarns and how to skein and store them properly. Sarah offers a lovely piece on how to work with your hand dyed yarns and gives us some great tips (like using slip stitches in your project!). Sarah’s rich knowledge and experience in the fiber arts sphere is just what we needed to inspire us to dye our own, unique yarns.

And I was indeed inspired! Once I took my time to collect the correct materials for the class, I was able to begin my journey. I had dyed yarn before, but considered myself a step above a novice, and fell into a comfortable flow during the lessons. Sarah’s instruction and confidence was bewitching! I jumped in with both feet (or more appropriately, both skeins) and followed along with her instruction from Lesson 4, Chapter 2: “Dyeing Speckled Yarn.” The process was fun and action-packed (my tiny kitchen added an element of difficulty, but thanks to Sarah I was able to plan ahead to maximize my space!). Sprinkling the dye onto the yarn was super fun, and although washing and rinsing was messy, it was enjoyable to watch the yarn transform. I probably stared at my freshly dyed yarn more than I should admit; even through it’s drying process. The results took my breath away! I did it! And you can too.

My post-speckle yarn bath!
Voila! My hand dyed yarn which I named, "Lady in the Water."
As someone who was brand new to classes on Craftsy, the comprehensive HD videos, complete with an itemized table of contents are great and very easy to follow along with. The lessons are broken down into chapters and Craftsy gives you the option to start and stop videos and comment/ask questions throughout the creative process with their virtual classroom. Sarah is prompt and thorough at responding to questions and inquiry, and truly cares about her students and their work. Plus, your access never expires so you can go back and watch it over and over, all while trying new dyeing techniques. I greatly enjoyed this class and highly recommend it to all fiber artists. Generously priced at $29.99, this class is bursting with easy-to-follow material and creative inspiration from a top-notch instructor. Craftsy also offers the option of purchasing this class as a gift, and with the holidays upon us, this would make a wonderful gift for the crafter in your life. It’s time to roll up your sleeves, have some fun with color, and create your very own yarn!   -Wanda Calamia

Sarah Eyre’s “Professional Yarn Dyeing at Home” class can be found on Craftsy HERE.

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