Dyeing yarn experiments | How to dye yarn at home

I love handdyed yarn, who doesn’t 😀 I frequently buy from my friend Daria from Five yarns, the only active indie handdyer in Bulgaria as far as I know. But sometimes I want to get a little creative and dye yarn myself and create a How to dye yarn at home guide while having fun. 

Skip that if you do not care about my thoughts on sourcing yarn 😀

The last time I did it, almost a year ago, I bought some Dharma dyes and I still have them. I got some bulky merino yarn from an online shop here. Sourcing Western type of yarn bases like fingering merino/nylon is very hard. Basically the only places in Europe I can find that send to Bulgaria are a few in the UK and one in Germany. I am not really sure what’s going on with ordering from UK after Brexit – do I have to pay import taxes or not? And since the customs is very far and I don’t have a car, I prefer to not deal with orders from countries that may end up at customs. So that leaves me with Germany, some day when I save enough money to buy a few packages at once, I may buy some thinner yarn from there.

Of course, I can buy thinner yarn that’s spun here, but that’s usually only labeled as “wool” and I don’t know the sheep breed. And they sell it in kgs, but none knows how many meters from that yarn are in that one kilo 😀 Overall, it’s a weird system. At least for me, because I learned to knit from Youtube and I am used to US knitting terms and yarn systems. I wish I had been patient enough as a child when my grandma was showing me how to knit, may be that would have helped me now with yarn base sourcing.

Anyway, that was too LONG of an intro.

Back to my post about dyeing.

Ok, so I had my bulky merino (65m/100 gr) and I went into dying.

How to dye yarn at home

First, and very important warning, that every blog article and youtube video tell you:

When using acid dyes, you need a mask and gloves for your security. Do not use for dyeing pots, spoons and utensils that you use for cooking!

My chosen method of dyeing is dyeing in the microwave, because we never use it anyway.

Supplies:

yarn scraps to tie your skein, if not already tied

Acid dyes, colours of your choice

Teaspoon

Tablespoon

1 pot

vinegar

water

mason jars

plastic wrap

wool wash

Dyeing steps:

For 100 gr skein

1. Find a place where you can spread your yarn, cover it with plastic wrap

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2. In the pot add a cup of boiling water and a tablespoon of white vinegar. Add 3 more cups of warm water. I doubled that for my 2 skeins.

3. Soak the yarn for 10-15 minutes

4. Drain the excessive water

5. Spread your skein on the plastic wrap

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6. Pour 150 ml water in each mason jar

7. I wanted vibrant colours, so I put 1/4 teaspoon of dye in each jar

8. Use the teaspoon to sprinkle colours on the skein, don’t forget to turn it around and sprinkle some more on the other side

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9. Cover it with the plastic wrap and make a jelly roll

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10. Put it in the microwave. Do the following in terms of heating: 2 minutes on max (my max is 800). Leave it to cool off for 3 mins. Repeat 4 times. Do not heat the yarn more than 2 minutes at once, you may burn it.

11. Leave it to cool off.

12. Wash it with wool wash so the excessive dye can fall off. ( To be honest, I used my hair shampoo for normal hair, lol, hair – wool, basically the same :D:D:D)

13. Leave it hanging to dry.

After it’s dry you can skein it. I couldn’t, skeining bulky yarns is not my forte. And this is my result!

I already made swatches:

I think I am going to knit myself a vibrant winter set : hat + cowl and I will be alternating between the two colours. We’ll see, but it’s so exciting! 😀

Pin this guide so you have it for the future!

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