Review: Dyeing to Spin & Knit by Felicia Lo

Audience: Early Intermediate Dyers

Dyeing to Spin & Knit by Felicia Lo, the founder of Sweet Georgia Yarns,

Set up in five sections — color theory, dyeing techniques, color in spinning, color in knitting and patterns that feature colorwork — Dyeing to Spin & Knit sets the reader up to succeed at dyeing.  Page after page of inspiring photos and color concepts will turn the beginning spinner into something grander.

Pros

Dyeing can be an incredibly complex topic, and while Lo gets very technical in some areas, she does a wonderful job managing text accessibility.  She masterfully dances the line between too much and not enough information.  In this text, she focuses on techniques and doesn’t get lost in the weeds discussing the intricacies of specific dyes or products.  For example, she explains the formulas she uses to mix dye stocks without focusing on the specific dyes she uses.  Lo’s focus on “how” instead of “what” gives this title a longevity that a number of other dye books lack.

She includes valuable observations about how and why dyes look different under different circumstances.  She shows how fiber length can affect the appearance of color, the difference between a two and three ply fractal and how the CMY and RYB color models compare.

The photos and visual examples in this book go above and beyond in demonstrating the concepts and colors that Lo discusses in her text.

Cons

I don’t find this to personally be a con, but a number of other reviewers have pointed out that this title is not intended for very beginning dyers.  It expects the reader to come into it with some basic dye knowledge.

Analysis

I rate this book five out of five stars.  I am often a harsh critic of even the best works, but I read this title cover to cover in one sitting and then went back to take notes.

This is not the ideal book for someone who has never tried to dye before.  Though I found the text thorough, it glosses over some basics.  This is the ideal book for the person who has some basic dyeing experience and who is ready for new ideas, new inspirations, and a deeper understanding of color.

Conclusion

If you are ready for some serious color inspiration, a little bit of science and a little bit of art, I urge you to read Dyeing to Spin & Knit by Felicia Lo.  You won’t be disappointed.

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