Dyeing my own yarn has been a long-time dream of mine and last week, it became an amazing reality. While at my weekly knitting circle at Wet Coast Wools, I was invited to a yarn dyeing party at one of the workers’ house. I gleefully accepted and began brainstorming.
I decided to create colorways based on my travels and life in China. I had learned to knit while living in Macau and thought this could be a fitting tribute to my time there.
We were not exactly scientific about our process as we just mixed the dye powder with hot water and immediately started squeezing the pigment into our yarns. In the future, I think I’ll take proper measurements and make some notes as I go. Nevertheless, it was incredibly fun to watch the dye soak into the fiber and blend beautifully at the edges.
The first yarn I dyed was using Knit Picks Hawthorne Bare base. It is a sockweight highland wool and nylon blend and it takes the color wonderfully. I will definitely use this base again.
The next yarn was a soft merino/nylon sportweight and will make a great hat or cowl.
Then I busted out the “good” stuff. A fluffy fingering weight merino/cashmere/nylon blend. It didn’t take the dye quite as richly as the Hawthorne, but it still looks amazing.
The first three yarns I showed you were all dyed directly laid out on a table with control of color placement and mixing.
Then I rolled up the plastic and baked the yarn in the oven to set the dye.
The last sample was a bit more of an experiment. I put the skein in a mason jar filled with a water and vinegar mix and used a syringe to inject dye into different parts of the skein. Then I microwaved the whole concoction. The colors are more random and some interesting color mixing appeared. I am super thrilled with the finished product.
In the end, I have found a new addiction. I’ve already ordered some more undyed yarn and am planning a dye party with my roommate in NYC when I get back. Stay tuned for more pictures of dyed yarn and some cool knitted items using my creations.
Some extra photos from the party.
Have you dyed yarn? Have any hints or stories? Please share them in the comments.
See an excessive number of photos here on my Flickr page.