Today I’m going to share my experience on every knitter’s favorite subject; hand dyed yarn! Only I’m not going to simply share a beautiful yarn I found, I’m going to share with you how to hand dye this particular yarn.

We’ve all spent hours pouring over the pictures of speckles on instagram and at one point or another raced to get something special from somebody’s much anticipated shop update. Sometimes we are lucky, and sometimes we are not. But did you ever wonder what goes into making a skein of hand dyed yarn? Today, let’s talk about how to hand dye yarn.

how to hand dye yarn at home

It is with great pride that I am sharing photos with you of the very first skein I ever dyed. This beautiful green treasure is my first experiment in the world of dyeing yarn at home, and I absolutely love it!

My instagram friend Jutta of Green DesignsCS has a Dye Your Own Yarn kit in her etsy shop, and she sent one for me to try out. It took me a little time to get around to making the project, because I didn’t realize I was going to have to sacrifice a pan and steamer to make this. But I realized since I’ve been using my instant pot for just about everything, I don’t really cook in my stock pots anymore. So that made the decision to sacrifice the cookware easier.

Once you’ve used a utensil with acid dyes, you are not supposed to ever let that stuff come into contact with your food. So you have to have separate tools for yarn dyeing and for cooking. This includes the microwave! Some people will microwave their yarn to introduce the required element of heat to fix the color, and you should not heat any food in that microwave ever again. I don’t have a microwave, so that was not an issue. But it took me a couple of months to accept losing a stock pot. Now that I’ve seen what I I can make, I’m fine about it! And ready to do more!

This is what the kit looks like. Everything you need is inside the jar. How amazing is that? When you open it up, here’s what you have.

The packet has the dye and the acid component inside. I’m assuming it’s probably citric acid. The yarn itself is extremely nice. Jutta really does have beautiful yarn stock. I picked the Moonlight base which is 50grams and 200 yards of fiber. It’s a super wash merino, and it’s absolutely gorgeous! I went with the Rosemary colorway, because I’m totally having a green phase these days! It’s probably due to all the gardening I’ve been doing this summer.

This kit comes with your choice of 4 bases and in 8 different colors.  There is a lot to choose from.

Here’s how the yarn looks as it’s taking up the dye. It’s even pretty sitting there! This is not a fast project. The yarn soaked in the dye solution for 3 hours until it had mostly exhausted the color. Then I steamed it on the stove top for 20 minutes. Then I let the yarn cool off and then I rinsed it. Finally, the beautiful new yarn was hung out to dry. I let it dry over night and reskeined it in the morning.

So while it’s not a super fast project to make, it’s really fun! And I cannot wait to knit this yarn into a project!!

I have a beautiful tonal colorway which is exactly what I wanted. I don’t absolutely love a solid color in my yarn. It’s the usual thing we see, especially in commercial yarn. So being able to get so many gradations in the color makes me so very happy. It’s exactly the kind of yarn I want to make!

I would recommend this project if you are curious about what goes into making a hand dyed yarn. It takes more tools and equipment than I expected….by tools I mean a steamer and a plastic spoon and gloves. That sort of thing. You’ll need plastic wrap and something to cover your face when you open the dye packet. I have a  whole new respect for what indie dyers are doing! They make it look easy, but it’s very hard work. And they have invested a lot of money into the tools and sacrifice a lot of space in their kitchens and homes to create and package the yarn they share each week in shop updates.

I made this video to show you the full process. I hope you enjoy seeing how I made the yarn and how it came out!! Be sure to subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already. Your support in terms of likes and subscribing and comments helps the channel quite a bit, and I really do appreciate it.

Thank you so much for stopping by today! I appreciate you reading about my crafting and cooking adventures. Sign up for my email list if you are not on already, and I’ll notify you when new videos and projects are posted. I have new things every week, so I’m sure you won’t want to miss anything. Especially when I have yarn gorgeousness like this to share!

Author: Pattymac

Patty loves figuring out new ways to use pom poms, where to stash more yarn and is always wondering what to bake next...chocolate or lemon? When not dreaming up new things to knit (or bake), she loves riding her beach cruiser on the Boardwalk, escaping to mid week movie matinees, and planting new things in her container garden.