Yarn dyeing is one of the latest crazes to take off. Seems like everyone is dying to dye (insert groan here) their own yarn! If you head to Youtube, you’ll see so many amazing videos about dyeing yarn and fabrics, and so many ways to do it! If you have been following my blog the last year or so, you’ll know one of the things I’ve wanted to try is Solar Dyeing. I’m just beginning my journey into that type of dyeing, but before I started solar dyeing, I tried dyeing yarn using a kit! Keep reading below to find out more about my first adventure in dyeing…
A few months ago I had a brief stint in the hospital. Desperate for something to look forward to that didn’t involve an IV or medication, I took a look through Amazon for a fun project. I quickly came across a series of kits from a company called ILoveToCreate that produces a variety of different yarn dyes and kits (under the name Tulip Custom Color Lab if you decide to search it) in different colours, and with different projects attached! I decided on the Cowl Yarn Dye Kit, both because I liked the idea of learning to knit a cowl, and also that this particular kit comes with skeins instead of yarn. The yarn is also cotton, which bodes well for me, being sensitive to wool fibres.
While starting to dye using a kit isn’t necessary, I thought it would be a fun introduction, and a bit of a fail-safe since all of the components are made specifically for dyeing. Using a kit also gives you some of the necessary steps to help ensure you walk away with a usable yarn! I’ll use some of what I learned for future projects for sure.
The Yarn Dyeing Kit comes with most of what you need to dye your yarn- 2 skeins of cotton yarn, four colours of dye (that need to be mixed with water), several pairs of plastic gloves, and instructions for different ways to dye your yarn, as well as the knit instructions for the cowl. All I really needed to provide was something to put my yarn in with warm water, water, and a plastic bag to work on and then wrap up the yarn with.
The process is simple enough to dye the yarn with very little preparation. The yarn needs to be tied in a few places so that it doesn’t become a stringy mess, then left to soak in warm water for half an hour. I used this time to prepare my working area and get my dyes ready. This kit came with 4 colours, but I opted to skip the brown-I’ll save it for another dyeing project in the future.
Once the yarn is wet and warm, the fun begins! There are a couple of different ways that one can dye the yarn, but I opted to use the squirt bottles to dye my yarn. I sprayed a bit of each of the two types of pink first to cover most of the yarn, then finished by adding a bit of green to the mix!
Once you are happy with the amount of dye on your yarn, you wrap it up well in the plastic and leave it to sit for 4-6 hours. I left mine sitting outside, and I think the heat of the sun and black garbage bag really helped the dye adhere to the yarn.
I wasn’t sure how much pigment would stay on the yarn after rinsing it out at the end of the day, but it worked surprisingly well! Almost all of the pigment remained, even after rinsing it until the water ran clear. One of the biggest surprises for me was how some of the green and pink mixed together in some parts, creating almost a purple hue, and in other areas, turquoise!
While I don’t think a kit is necessary to start your dyeing journey, I found it to be very beneficial in my learning process. I don’t think I’ll use another kit if I dye in this style again, but I can take a lot of what I learned and apply it for future dyeing. If you are interested in dyeing but a bit apprehensive like I was, a kit might be a great way to start!
I’m trying to decide whether to use this yarn to make the cowl pattern that came in the box, or use it for something else. Right now I’m just happy looking at it, because it’s just so pretty!
If you are looking to try dyeing, there are a couple of things I’ve learned so far:
- you want to use a natural fibre for your yarn, and wool seems to be a crowd favourite
- if you are buying yarn that isn’t specifically for dyeing, you’ll probably need to wash it before dyeing it
- ChemKnits Youtube Channel is an excellent source for information on dyeing yarn!