Crafts · Yarn Dyeing

An Experiment in Hand Dyeing Yarn

     Hello everyone – guess what, I have a new hobby now. Not only do I love buying yarn (and occasionally making things with it), now I also enjoy…well, buying yarn…but dyeing it too!

     Yes, having spent quite a lot of time looking at lots of lovely hand dyed yarn, I thought ‘why not give it a go myself?’. I did a lot of research (read that I spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos) and discovered that all you need to start is a pot, some wool yarn, some vinegar and some food colouring. It helps to have other tools of course…like a drying rack to hang the yarn up to dry and spoons and things like that, but really, getting into yarn dyeing doesn’t take too much effort which is great.

      But enough about that kind of stuff, let’s get to the pretty yarn part! This was my first yarn dyeing session:

     Okay, I did accidentally end up with quite a bit of a green theme going on – four out of the five mini skeins ended up with a green hue because I put way too much green food dye into the pot! A lesson learned there but I still think these look great.

     I think they especially look good when you hang them up together which makes me not want to actually use them and just admire them hanging which I will have to get over so I can actually use the yarn but I’ll deal with that at a later date!

     So, about the yarn. The first skein I dyed was the brightest green one. because of the amount of colouring I used it ended up a pretty solid green colour. I thought I’d try make it a little bit more interesting by adding some flecks of brown throughout. They don’t stand out too much but maybe they will when I get around to crocheting with the yarn.

     For the second skein, I dried dipping it in slowly to try get an ombre effect. There was still quite a lot of green food colouring in the pot so I didn’t add any more, hence why the colouring is less saturated. It’s quite a subtle colour change.

     The pale blue/green one with all the brown specs was actually dyed by my mum. She used the leftover colour in the pot as a base and then used a fork to add lots of brown spots – we decided that this one reminded us of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

     The palest blue/green one was just added to the pot to get the last of the green colour and then I added quite a lot of blue and black food colouring and left it for quite a while but the food colouring was awful and non of the colour took at all so that one is quite a subtle colour.

     Oh yes, there was also this ball of yarn that my mum dyed but I couldn’t take any nice photos of it as she managed to make it a tangled mess in the dyeing process somehow and I spent way too long trying to figure out what had happened, in the end managing to untangle it and wind it into a ball at least!

     But yeah, that was my first yarn dying session. I had a lot of fun with it. I have no idea what to do with all this hand dyed yarn and be sure that there will be a lot more hand dyed yarn to come. Any suggestions on mini skein projects?

7 thoughts on “An Experiment in Hand Dyeing Yarn

    1. Thanks! It had been something I’d wanted to try for a while but didn’t get to it because I thought it would be a lot harder than it actually is but a pot, some wool, some food colouring and some vinegar really isn’t much!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I used some undyed superwash merino mini skeins that I bought online (either from Laughing Hens or Devon Sun Yarns, it was one of those sites), but any light coloured wool yarn should work for experimenting. I’ve also been using some cheap King Cole wool that I have for using up leftover dye and it’s a scratchier wool, but I like not letting dye go to waste and messing around with colours on cheaper yarn 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Still not sure! I realised I’ve never really actually crocheted a fade or anything using yarns like these. I’m so used to just using solid colours or self striping yarns that I don’t know what patterns would be good for a fade set. Gonna have to start doing my research!


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