View Full Version : Talk to me about dying your own yarn please

02-03-2006, 08:02 PM
i'd love to try it out and i was thinking about ordering some of that plain yarn from Knit Picks.

i'm a painter and paper crafter so i love colors and this seems really fun.

so, what do i need and what do i do? ;)

02-03-2006, 09:05 PM
There's a lot of different ways to dye your own yarn, but probably the easiest and least expensive (and least hazardous!! :help: ) is to use food colors, or drink mix...
Here's a great article from Knitty.com (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall02/FEATdyedwool.html) on how to do it - although, from what I've heard since, you can dye cotton and synthetics, the color just doesn't come out as bright.


02-05-2006, 10:59 AM
A non-protein fiber is not really dyed but rather stained with food coloring/koolaid. So not only will it be more pale, it will also fade considerably over time. This site explains that:

dyeing fiber (http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/FAQ/drinkmix.shtml)

I have tried a variety of techniques and found the one on knitty.com to work the best (boil the water, remove from heat and add color, add fiber, let cool COMPLETELY). The hardest part is not rushing the cooling, even if you carefully cool the water in stages while rinsing you will still rinse out a lot of color (this is good if you accidently make something too dark). I set mine near my kitchen window and it cools a lot faster but still preserves the color. I've used food coloring from the grocery store, kool aid, generic kool aid and Wilson's dyes (used for cake decorating and found in craft stores-and WalMart, weirdly enough though they don't have much color selection). If you use food coloring you should use vinegar in the water you presoak with, if you use koolaid you don't need vinegar. Kool aid makes the best red, IMO. Food coloring makes a great blue. That is about all I know. I am still unhappy with brown, my yarn just didn't want anything to do with the green tones in the brown so it came out kind of orange rather than brown. It was disappointing.

02-05-2006, 11:49 AM
I did the method where you soak the hank first, then lay it out on a table and paint different sections with different colors, then wrap in plastic wrap and steam in the microwave. A la these instructions: http://lusciousgracious.com/koolaid.htm It was really fun! Easy, and not nearly as messy as I'd feared it would be...I even let my 5yo paint a skein. ;)

We used both kool-aid and Wilton dyes, combining them with water and a splash of vinegar in 16oz bottles before dyeing.