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Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing, The Hardcover – 1 Nov 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft (1 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307352536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307352538
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 1.8 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 241,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

LINDA LA BELLE is a former costume designer, having worked on Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle as well as costuming several sculptures for Keith Edmier, one of which ("Beverly Edmier") is in the permanent collection of the Tate Museum in London. Linda continues to do commission work, creating specialty props for everything from an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent to a knitted piece for "Details" magazine. Her studio, The Yarn Tree (, in Brooklyn, New York, offers classes in dyeing, knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, felting, and papermaking.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diane Chidzey on 22 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book gave me the info I was looking for as I'm a complete novice. Can't wait to start experimenting on my hand spun yarn.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wendy on 26 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book, even though I don;t hand dye. There are hints a plenty, and lovely pictures and patterns.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Some good ideas, but information is missing 7 April 2008
By Roady Jane - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book with zero knowledge of yarn dyeing. I got past the beginning with the parts about tools, dyes, etc. As I started looking at the projects, I noticed that there were "ingredients" such as synthropol and soda ash, which I hadn't remembered seeing anything about. I assumed I had missed that part, but I kept looking and couldn't find anything about the chemicals used in dyeing.

I ended up being very confused about the whole thing. I paid to take a class at my local yarn shop instead. After the class, I found the book made much more sense and was quite useful.

I did get confused with one part -- she said to make a 10 yard in diameter skein, but I thought that was awfully long. I actually contacted her and she said 5 yards up, 5 yards down. That's more like "circumference" than "diameter," and it makes a really big difference.

In searching the Internet, I found a book reviewer who was also confused by the lack of information on the chemicals, just like I was. She contacted the publisher, who told her that the author agreed she needed to add a chapter on that next time around. I feel kinda sad that I bought an incomplete version of the book.

All that said, I am taking on one of the projects in the book -- from dyeing to making a sweater, and it's been fun. That's one thing I really like about it. It doesn't just give general technique, it gives a finished yarn and then shows you exactly how to get there, including the exact yarns used. Then it gives you a project you can make out of the yarn.

I also think that in addition to the specific projects, it would be nice to get very general use of the dyes. For instance, Jacquard acid dyes. Give an explanation of how they work, what you need and how to generally use them. Then give specific projects and explanations for achieving them.

I do like the book, despite it's shortfalls, and the author was very nice when I contacted her.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Very Informative and a Keeper! 16 Nov. 2007
By Deneen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I completely disagree with the previous review. I have bought a few yarn dyeing books over the past year and quite frankly, got rid of them immediately. Too in depth, too confusing and only included acid dyes. I thought I found all the information I needed on the internet for free.

However, I think this book included many methods-steam, mason jars, stove top, as well as hand painting and soaking. I liked the fact that Kool-Aid and other alternative dyes were discussed. The patterns were simple patterns, but nice that both knit and crochet were included. I also found the methods of various "professionals" very interesting. To me, this is a keeper. I have used different dyeing methods, including Kool-Aid and this book will be on my reference shelf!
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful introduction to hand dyeing 18 Jan. 2008
By Armchair Interviews - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The past several years have seen an explosion of hand dyers offering their yarns to knitters. Many knitters are tempted to try their hand at designing unique colors, but have no idea where to begin. Linda Labelle's new book, The Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing: Beautiful Color and Simple Knits is the perfect introduction to this complex art.

Beginning with an introduction to color theory, yarn preparation, and the basic techniques used throughout the book, the book is organized according to dye type. Moving from Kool Aid and food coloring to commercial dyes, each dye method is reviewed and illustrated using lots of pictures. The dye technique is followed by a pattern designed to utilize the newly created yarn. Although the patterns are fun, their main purpose is to illustrate how the newly dyed yarn looks once knit up, showcasing the dye's effect. Patterns include socks and hats, ponchos/shawls, gauntlets and even a lace sweater.

Scattered throughout are interviews with seven professional dyers. The beautifully photographed sections show the dyers at work in their studios, surrounded by stunning yarns. Labelle discusses dyeing with some of the yarn world's luminaries: Cheryl Schaefer from Schaefer Yarn and Karen Selk of Treenway Silks. Darlene Hayes of Hand Jive Knits shares her techniques and tips with her instructions on using eucalyptus, a product available to anyone (by order through a local florist), to create a beautiful natural dye.

Labelle assumes her readers are absolute beginners and provides instructions on everything from choosing the right gloves to complex dyeing methods. It is this careful instruction which makes The Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing an excellent choice for anyone interested in learning dye methods.

Armchair Interviews says: A good geared to beginners and up.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Yarn Dyers need this one. 7 Jan. 2008
By Ann DY - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very practical guide to the vaious dye products available and ways to use each type. The dyes are specifically referred to by brand name and the book is VERY helpful.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I love this book! 16 Nov. 2007
By Donna J. Panner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book actually arrived a few days ahead of schedule and I was pleasantly surprised! I have purchased other books on dyeing, but this one has simple, basic instructions and FINALLY some good info on cotton dyeing and microwave dyeing. Cute patterns too!
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