Friday, August 27, 2010

Yarn Dyeing Tutorial Number Two

I have had several requests for more info on the yarn (acid) dyeing process. There is already a tutorial on the sidebar, under Free Knitting Patterns, but one must scroll down all the way to the bottom and look for it as Tutorial: Dyeing Yarn in 30 Minutes or Less, so I am providing a quick and easy link to it HERE 
Please read through that first. I'll wait right here til you come back.
 Thanks for returning.
I did just dye this green yarn a much faster and easier (and lazier) way, but it is all in nearly the same colorway and that makes some bit of difference. To begin, I used wool and nylon blend, 80/20 and 100% wool for another skein.
Presoak the skeins in water and some vinegar to cover. How much? I don't have a clue. Some vinegar is like 4 oz. and the water is just enough to cover and saturate the yarn. Let is sit while you mix the dyes.

These dyes are super intense. SUPER INTENSE. A tiny speck gives lots of color. Using disposable cups or dedicated glasses, fill with warm water and add a tiny speck of dye. Mix with a spoon or other utensil. Make sure the dye is thoroughly dissolved. Some colors are harder to dissolve than others.
I mixed yellow, turq, bright blue and some black, each in a separate container. To make the green I wanted, I had to experiment, adding teeny drops of the turq dye liquid to the yellow dye liquid and seeing what it looked like on the paper towel. Go for a lighter color. More dye can be added later if necessary.
Ready to dye?
OK, squeeze out the water/vinegar from the skein and put it in a microwaveable container.
Spoon on or pour on the dyes in several different spots. Then with gloved hands lift the yarn and flip it over to reveal the undyed parts. Add more dye. To get the whole skein dyed, squeeze the dye through the yarn and if there are still white parts, add more dye.
Then pop it in the microwave for one minute on high. You may or may not want to put a lid on the container. There really are no fumes because the water will not boil or even simmer in one minute.
After a minute check to see if the residual water is clear. It will become clear if it just sits on the counter a few minutes. I was surprised at this when I saw it the first time.
With this green, I didn't think it was intense enough so I added more dye to the already hot yarn and it was taken up by the yarn without returning to the microwave. Amazing. It all happened so fast that I was encouraged to dye more yarn...three skeins in 30 minutes. When all was dyed, I filled my sink with warm water and creme rinse for my hair since wool is hair. Coconut Suave. Cheap and yummy smelling. Then squeeze out the excess water and hang to dry. Ta-da!


  1. Anonymous6:55 AM

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial!!!
    So.. I don't need to use pro yarns and Easter eggs dyes do the same cool result??? I gotta try it!
    Also: do I need to use undyed yarn only or any colored yarn too?

  2. I pretty much do the same thing. But, I love the idea of using the creme rinse, I'll be adding that to my next dyeing project for sure. Great bright colors. Always a treat to visit your creative space.

  3. Thank you, Mrs. Mel! I didn't think to look under Free Knitting Patterns for the tutorial, and glad you updated it with the even easier (lazier!) directions!!
    Knitpicks here I come...

  4. Anonymous10:00 AM

    Thanks so much for the tutorial Melody. ...and I LOVE that you said "creme rinse". I used the term "creme rinse" with my daughters a few years ago and they both (aged about 22 and 24 at the time) said "What on EARTH is creme rinse???" along with much eye rolling. Conditioner?? Oh...conditioner...

    Carol - Houston - age 59

  5. Hey! This might be a solution for your grey hair. Except for that sticking your head in the microwave thing...

  6. Acid dyes are MAGIC!! So amazing after years of MX and all that rinsing. But here is the key for me: Citric Acid instead of vinegar. Same result but no nasty vinegar smell. And you can store the crystals neatly in a jar for ages.
    Thanks for the lovely colors and great tutorial!

  7. What king of dies are you using? The colors are brilliant and It seems they work like magic.

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