Updated: Aug 4, 2022
Today I will walk you through the process of what kinds of yarn you can dye, the materials needed, how to dye, dry, and wind your yarn. We have a lot to cover--so lets get started.
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Materials needed to Dye your Beautiful Skein(s) of Yarn
1. FIBERS: Any natural fiber can be dyed as long as it doesn't have some kind of coating, cotton, silk, & wool fibers work great. I purchase my wool bare yarns from Knit Picks. Their selection of yarns, knitting needles, crochet hooks, & supplies are incrediable and reasonably priced. KnIt Picks also carries a mercerized cotton and a glitter wool yarn that is really fun--my grand daughter and I used Kool-aid--she squirted different colors along 2 hanks--came out beautiful--I crocheted a scarf for her and still have some yarn left.
I love dying my own yarn--it is FUN-you can make original color ways and designs. I like the idea of making something no-one else owns2. DYES: Of course you can purchase Kool-aid at the store--I love the orange, yellow, blue rhaspberry, cherry, pink lemonaid,--I can't remember what we used for the green.
b. Food coloring is great! just don't use the gel--only use the liquid or paste.
3. SUPPLIES: gloves--disposible or dishwashing gloves, if using Jacquard dyes it is recommended you wear a respirator mask, designate a pan-tongs-spoon that is used only for dying. If using Kool-aid or food coloring that isn't necessary. Vinegar. Most of these supplies you already own so no need to go out and buy a bunch of stuff.
THE METHOD I USE TO DYE MY FIBERS:
There are many ways to dye and have used most of them but my favorite is the stove-top method. I like stirring and watching the magic happen. Note: you can mix any kind of dye together--I tend to use Jacquard dyes with Kool-aid. I love how the yarns are so vibrant.
Get all your supplies gathered in one spot. I put mine next to the sink just in case I need water for fast clean-up--all these dyes stain surfaces--so either proctect or be ready to wipe it off immediately. I choose not to protect it just because that is one more thing to make sure I have on hand--when the mood hits me--I want everything I need handy.
Soak you fiber in warm water for appx 30 minutes. This allows the dyes to soak deep into the fibers for more thorough coverage. Meanwhile put a small amount of water into your pan/pot--I use an old large roasting pan so I can have a better view instead of a pot where it is harder to see--place on your stove-top and turn it on low.
a. DO NOT let your water boil ever during this process--just steaming or about 200 degrees.
b. add appx a teaspoon of vineger per cup of water--I never measure anything so I add about 1/2 cup to my water just before I am ready to put my fiber into the pan.
Place some zip ties a long your hank in different areas to keep your fiber together--less tangles.
c. My favorite method is to put the fiber in the water after you have soak it in warm water for 30 minutes--remember not to let your water boil it will ruin you fiber-- then add a little bit of dye directly onto the fiber in different areas but using a variety of colors.
After you get your desired effect, shut off burner, and let your fiber sit in the water until cool enough to touch.
You need with rinse out the excess dye which shouldn't be much--if there is a lot of dye--use less next time. A little bit goes a long way.
Once you have rinse out your fiber in warm water. Gently squeeze out the water and hang out to dry--I use a fold up drying rack. Easy and cheap.
Both these tools are really easy to use and come in quite handy.
Dying your own yarn is so much fun and you can create some beautiful one-of-a-kind scarves, hats, gloves, blankets--the list is endless.
I like to take two strands of different weights and colored yarn--crochet them together to make really spectacular items. This one is with a really soft bulky wool with Charteruse Jacquard Dye and a lighter weight variegated--together they created a stunningly beautiful hat.
The sky is the limit when using dyes--have fun--let your imagination run wild.
I hope this was helpful. Please leave me any questions or suggestions you have in the box below. Everyone who replies and leaves me an address with receive a free gift!