It actually did not take much time, if you leave out "shopping time" for materials. You soak the blank wool in hot tap water for 20 minutes, and while it's soaking, you mix up your dye bath(s). They say not to use aluminum. I have a st steel double sink, and since I wanted everything to be one solid color, I used one sink to soak, one sink for the dye bath.
It takes about 5 minutes to squeeze out the rinse water and plunge/squeeze/disperse the dye into the yarn. You have to check around, especially if your yarn is in tied hanks, to make sure you got every spot. And if you want several hanks the same color, you have to make a lot of dye bath because you have to do them all at once. If you do one at a time, the first hank will pick up dye, leaving less dye for the next hanks, so they would be paler.
Also, be careful not to tangle them too much! I was not careful.
Then you *nuke for 2-5 minutes (depending on how much yarn you're doing. I had a lot, so I nuked for 5 minutes on high), let the yarn cool down* (about 15 minutes, during which you can do other thinks), repeat from * 2 or 3 times (get it- knitting symbols
) until your dye water with the yarn is clear (or as clear as you sense it is going to get).
Lastly, let it do a final cool (another 15 or so minutes, and this should be done slowly; don't stick it in the freezer), and plunge in bath water about the same temp as the wool (so as not to "shock" it, and rinse until the rinse water is clean. This is where I think I overdid it, and the wool started getting fuzzy. Also, this is where I should have added fabric softener.
Then you squeeze out and towel-squeeze the excess water (3 minutes) and hang to dry (one minute to hang, 24 hours to dry).
Let's see -- that comes out to almost 1 3/4 hours. Mmmm. Maybe it does take a long time. :?