Updated on January 16, 2016
Yarn dying at home!
I got home from a long office day and decided that I needed to do something hands-on and creative. My computer legs were tired of sitting.
I took one long look at my yarn stash and finally decided I would attempt to dye my own yarn.
I originally wanted to wait until I had the perfect project in mind but tonight was all about experimentation.
Dye Yarn at Home Supplies
– white natural fiber yarn divided up into 50 gram hanks(ie. wool)
– 2 ziploc bags with zipper closure per hank
– 2 cups of acid (lemon juice or white vinegar) per hank
– warm water
– rubber/latex gloves
– RIT dye in choice colors
– mason jars or plastic containers to mix dye in
– paper towel for testing colors
– metal pans for holding yarn while dying
– microwave for baking dye in
I pulled a skein of Lion Brand Fisherman’s wool and divided it into manageable hanks.
In order for the RIT dye to stick, the yarn had to soak in an acid base. I had enough to do half the yarn with lemon juice and the other half with white vinegar. I’ve heard mixed reviews about using different acids. I’ve heard vinegar can leave a smell, while lemon juice may affect the coloring of the dye.
I filled gallon plastic ziploc bags with luke warm water, the acid and my yarn and let them soak for about 20 minutes, until I felt they were fully submerged.
My darling husband got home around this time.
“Guess what!!! I’m dying yarn! Want to help?” Of course he is sweet enough to say yes.
I give him half the yarn and we begin the fun part. Mixing colors.
Mixing color hint * add dark colors into light colors to get desired color, otherwise you may use the entire bottle trying to lighten up a dark color.
I carefully mix colors using a piece of paper towel to examine the true color of the murky black water. I look up and see the HB haphazardly mix and dump and stir and dunk. I corrected him and he looks up and frowns. He makes the point that it’s art so how can I correct that? He was right, so I shut up.
Dye tip * If you create a color you are happy with you can add water to make a lighter shade of the same color.
We drizzle, sponge and squeeze our yarn until we are happy with the results.
Dye tip* to create a corrugated look, dye parts of the same hank different colors. For stripes, make separate small hanks and dye each full circle its own color.
DONE DYING? You gotta double bag your dyed yarn, it may leak…No one wants that. Fill the bags with water until the yarn is covered. I then microwaved the bags, alternating between two to prevent them from getting too hot, for 1 minute 30 seconds. Do this until the water in the bags is mostly clear.
The deeper colors never fully cleared up, but once I wasn’t the yarn, the colors stayed pretty brilliant.
After “cooking” the yarn, I washed each hank in the sink to get out any extra dye and lay them out to dry.
I balled up each color and gave them names! “Raw Hamburger Meat” “Eye of the Storm” “Lemon Grass” and “Blue Robin.” I have to hand it to him, my love is quite the dyer. His turned out the best! Now I just need the perfect patterns…