Yarn Dying Tutorial

With Easter only a few short weeks away, I thought it would be fun to post instructions on hand dying yarn using Easter egg dye.

Easter Egg Dyed Yarn

Finally Dry! Ready To Use

I discovered this art a few years back while surfing the net and have tweaked and combined a few different techniques to come up with a process that works well for me.  Unfortunately, my photos don’t do the final product justice.  I really need to figure out how to take better pictures!  If you want to see some amazing photos (and a detailed set of instructions), you should also check out the Kathryn Ivy site.  I love what they’ve done with their yarn.

If you like dying yarn with Easter egg dye, I definitely suggest you wait until right after Easter and scoop up a bunch of super-discounted egg dying kits.  Last year, my Mom found a whole slew of kits on sale for something like $.50 each, so I now have a small stockpile egg dying kits.  Now, I just need to find the time to dye myself a heap o’yarn!

If you end up trying it yourself, I would love to hear about your results!  And, stay tuned — I’ll be posting about dying yarn using Wilton’s food coloring, some time soon…

Easter Egg Dyed Yarn

Material Needed:

  • 100% wool yarn (I used Lion Brand Fisherman wool 465 yards wound into 4 hanks approx. 115 yards each)
  • Easter egg dye tablets
  • Vinegar
  • Wash basin, sink or large bowl
  • Glass bowl large enough for yarn
  • Large baking sheet (for hand painting)

Tips

  • The less yarn you use per tablet, the more intense the color.  1 tablet per 100 yards of yarn gives a nice medium tone color.
  • You can add more water to your dye mix to color more yarn, however the color will be lighter.
  • Never run water directly onto your yarn or it may felt.
  • Do not vigorously rub yarn while rinsing or it may felt.
  • Wear rubber gloves, or you will dye your hands, too!

Process

  • Wash yarn in warm water with a very small amount of dish soap.
  • Fill your basin or sink with enough cold water to cover your yarn.
  • Add approximately 1 cup of vinegar to your water and mix.
  • Gently add washed yarn to the vinegar-water mixture.  Make sure your yarn is completely submerged.  Soak for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove yarn and gently squeeze out water.
  • You can either use the immersion or hand painting methods described below

Immersion Dying Method (single color)

  • Prepare dye tablets as directed on box.  Depending upon how much yarn you want to dye, you may want to add more water.
  • Pour dye into a bowl big enough to hold your yarn.
  • Add enough water to barely cover yarn.
  • Submerge yarn into dye.
  • When yarn has absorbed dye, remove from bowl.
  • Gently squeeze out excess water (do not squeeze too tightly, yarn should still be wet)
  • Put wet yarn in a glass bowl and cover.
  • Microwave for 10 minutes.
  • Remove yarn from microwave (be careful, it will be very hot).  Let the yarn cool until it can be handled comfortably.
  • Fill basin or sink with very warm water.
  • Submerge yarn in the basin and swish around with your hands. (the yarn should not be bleeding any dye at this point)
  • Squeeze yarn dry with your hands; roll it in a towel to remove additional excess water.
  • Hang the yarn on a rack to dry.

Hand Painting (gives a pretty variegated effect)

    • Select 2 or more colors. Prepare dye tablets as directed on box.  Depending upon how much yarn you want to dye, you may want to add more water.
    • Lay hanks of yarn flat on a baking sheet.
    • Add an additional 1/3 cup of water to dyes.
    • Use a small cup, ladle or squeeze bottle to pour dye over yarn in sections.  Be sure to prepare enough dye to solution to cover all of yarn.  You can also deliberately leave sections white.

      Hand Dyed Yarn - Dyed With Easter Egg Color

      Hand Painted Yarn After Color Has Been Added

    • You can “pre-dye” yarn using the immersion method and “paint” sections of the yarn before drying.
    • When yarn is sufficiently coverd with dye, remove from bowl.
    • Gently squeeze out excess water (do not squeeze too tightly, yarn should still be wet)
    • Put wet yarn in a glass bowl and cover.
    • Microwave for 10 minutes.
    • Remove yarn from microwave (be careful, it will be very hot).  Let the yarn cool until it can be handled comfortably.
    • Fill basin or sink with very warm water.
    • Submerge yarn in the basin and swish around with your hands. (the yarn should not be bleeding any dye at this point)
Easter Egg Dyed Yarn

Soaking The Yarn After Microwaving

  • Squeeze yarn dry with your hands; roll it in a towel to remove additional excess water.
  • Hang the yarn on a rack to dry.
    Hand Dyed Yarn - Easter Egg Dye

    On The Drying Rack

    Easter Egg Dyed Yarn

    Hand Dyed Skein

    Easter Egg Dyed Yarn

    Another Photo of the Finished Product

 

Here is are are a couple photos of felted flowers I made from the yarn that I dyed. I also made a really cute yoga sweater, but I haven’t managed to take any pics of it!

Felted Lotus Brooch

Felted Orchid Hair Clip

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