Hand dyeing yarn with synthetic dyes – Speckles and freckles – Online workshop
In this online workshop with dye expert Debbie Tomkies we’ll be experimenting with ways to create those magical speckles that you may have seen and admired being made by indie dyers!
In this relaxed, online workshop Debbie will be showing you different ways to create gorgeous speckles and freckles using simple techniques and safe, easy to use synthetic dyes (with a spot of food colour making a guest appearance!).
Dye along with Debbie to create your speckled yarn easily at home using either our acid dye or procion dye kits and some basic equipment. Debbie will be showing you from start to finish how to prepare your yarn for dyeing, super cool techniques, fixing your dyes and finishing the process.
- This event is aimed at those who have done a dye workshop previously and understand the basics (choosing yarn to dye, how to make a dyestock, soaking yarn etc.). If you’re a complete beginner you might prefer the Introduction to hand dyeing session first, although you’ll no doubt enjoy watching this one and you can catch up with any gaps later.
What you will learn:
- How to set up your space and prepare your yarn for dyeing
- How to prepare your dyes for speckling
- Applying and creating your speckles
- Pros and cons of the different speckling techniques
- Fixing your dye
- Finishing your yarn
You will need:
- We recommend either our acid dye or procion dye kits. These contain all the ingredients you’ll need as well as our accompanying full instruction booklet. To get you started, we would suggest a set of three dye colours (available in the starter kits) will give you loads of colour potential. If you have the budget, the deluxe kits offer a wider range with 12 gorgeous colours. Of course, you can also use your own dyes (please get in touch if you’re not sure whether the dyes you have will be suitable). You will also be able to use food colour powders like our new food colour based GTG (Good to Go) dyes. Kool Aid and similar synthetic powdered food colours can also be used.
- You will also need some natural fibre yarn. Ideally wool or an animal fibre but if you prefer a non-animal fibre, cotton, rayon, bamboo, linen and other plant-based yarns can also be used (you’ll need procion dyes for this). You’ll find an extensive range of undyed yarn on our website but you may are welcome to use your own yarn. And of course, we’re very happy to advise if you’re not sure whether what you have is suitable.
- Our free downloadable guide also sets out what materials and equipment you will need. Most of the equipment is cheaply and easily obtainable from the local supermarket or DIY shop (Wilko and B&M are our favourites in the UK!) but please make sure anything you use isn’t used for food afterwards.
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Support good causes!
As with all our online workshops we donate a proportion of our online workshop fees to raise funds for local organisations like Don’t Walk Past group so we hope you’ll share on your social media and invite friends to sign up if they would like to take part.
How does the session work?
Our online sessions are flexible and you can watch from anywhere! You simply need access to a pc/mac, laptop, tablet or smartphone with a camera and audio to join. The session is also recorded for ticket holders to view for 2 months after the event..
You can choose to watch the session live and dye-a-long with Debbie. Alternatively, watch live with your feet up and a cuppa and have a go later. The recording will be available for 2 months after the event for you to watch at your leisure.
About the classes
Debbie loves to teach and has been a dyer for over 30 years so you’ll be able to pick her brains for tips, tricks and hacks!
Debbie’s online sessions are fun and enjoyable. The pace is relaxed and there is time to dye along if you wish or watch and have a go later. You’ll be able to ask questions live during the session and the chat box means you can also interact live with Debbie and the other students.
Debbie has been a hand-dyer for over 30 years. She has worked with yarn companies, hand-dyeing yarns for commercial collections. She also ran successful yarn and fibre dye clubs for a number of years.
Debbie teaches dyeing and printing with both synthetic and natural dyes, including indigo and woad vat dyeing. She works with yarn, fabric and fibres.
Debbie is the author of 5 internationally published books, Hand-Dyed Yarn Craft Projects, Complete Knitting Skills, 250 Knitting Stitches, Knitting.Learn it.Love it and How to Knit.
When she’s not dyeing, designing, knitting or crocheting, you’ll find her in the garden, tending her dyeplants, enjoying a nice craft beer or hugging a big mug of builders’ tea. And if you’re out and about, she can often be found in the mosh pit at a gig or enjoying some folk music!
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What our students say...
“I had a wonderful time and discovered a new passion! Thank you so much for your clear and thorough instructions and for being such an inspiration. My only problem is finding the time to fit dyeing into my already busy days – but never fear, it will have to be done! Inspiring!”
“Wonderful! Thank you very much”.
“A really fun session that demystified what had seemed like a very complicated craft to me before today. Thank you!
“Fab fun. I was really curious to know how some many colours can get into a single skein – now I know (some!). I’d love to do some more! Thankyou!”.
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